Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk from New York City, born in 1944. He obtained a BA in philosophy from Brooklyn College and a PhD in philosophy from Claremont Graduate School. After completing his university studies he traveled to Sri Lanka, where he received novice ordination in 1972 and full ordination in 1973, both under the leading Sri Lankan scholar-monk, Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya (1896-1998). From 1984 to 2002 he was the editor for the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy, where he lived for ten years with the senior German monk, Ven. Nyanaponika Thera (1901-1994), at the Forest Hermitage. He returned to the U.S. in 2002. He currently lives and teaches at Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, New York. Ven. Bodhi has many important publications to his credit, either as author, translator, or editor. These include The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya, 1995), The Connected Discourses of the Buddha (Samyutta Nikaya, 2000), and The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Anguttara Nikaya, 2012). In 2008, together with several of his students, Ven. Bodhi founded Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit supporting hunger relief, sustainable agriculture, and education in countries suffering from chronic poverty and malnutrition.
Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. He frequently describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk. Born in northeastern Tibet in 1935, he was as a toddler recognized as the incarnation of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama and brought to Tibet's capital, Lhasa. In 1950, Mao Zedong's Communist forces made their first incursions into eastern Tibet, shortly after which the young Dalai Lama assumed the political leadership of his country. He passed his scholastic examinations with honors at the Great Prayer Festival in Lhasa in 1959, the same year Chinese forces occupied the city, forcing His Holiness to escape to India. There he set up the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, working to secure the welfare of the more than 100,000 Tibetan exiles and prevent the destruction of Tibetan culture. In his capacity as a spiritual and political leader, he has traveled to more than sixty-two countries on six continents and met with presidents, popes, and leading scientists to foster dialogue and create a better world. In recognition of his tireless work for the nonviolent liberation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. In 2012, he relinquished political authority in his exile government and turned it over to democratically elected representatives. His Holiness frequently states that his life is guided by three major commitments: the promotion of basic human values or secular ethics in the interest of human happiness, the fostering of interreligious harmony, and securing the welfare of the Tibetan people, focusing on the survival of their identity, culture, and religion. As a superior scholar trained in the classical texts of the Nalanda tradition of Indian Buddhism, he is able to distill the central tenets of Buddhist philosophy in clear and inspiring language, his gift for pedagogy imbued with his infectious joy. Connecting scientists with Buddhist scholars, he helps unite contemplative and modern modes of investigation, bringing ancient tools and insights to bear on the acute problems facing the contemporary world. His efforts to foster dialogue among leaders of the world's faiths envision a future where people of different beliefs can share the planet in harmony. Wisdom Publications is proud to be the premier publisher of the Dalai Lama's more serious and in-depth works.
"I am sure that many people will benefit from In the Buddha's
Words."--Thich Nhat Hanh
"Congratulations and gratitude to Wisdom for the new publication In the Buddha's Words--if someone relatively new to Buddhism were to buy only one book, this should be it!"--Jean Smith, author of NOW! and editor of 365 Zen
"A remarkable book. In the Buddha's Words is an anthology drawing primarily of the first four [widely available translations of collections of the Buddha's spoken teachings], and manages quite successfully to both summarize them and extract their essence. [ . . . ] Although this material has been available for some time now, one of the things that has remained a difficulty for many readers is its complexity and scope. In the Buddha's Words provides a framework with which to see the teachings' overall structure, and it does so in a skillful way. Bhikkhu Bodhi's introductions alone, strung together, would themselves serve as a beautiful and accessible overview of the dhamma. [ . . . ] I think this anthology will rapidly become the sourcebook of choice for both neophyte and serious student alike. In the Buddha's Words reveals the mature understanding of someone who has not only a complete mastery of his material, but also of someone who has deeply understood the nature and intention of the dhamma and who shares it with us as an expression of his own caring. This publication will be very much welcomed by Western meditators and students of the dhamma. [ . . . ] Any amount of study or practice that helps to deepen wisdom and assist us to emerge from layers of delusion is precious. This book could contribute to this enterprise more than almost anything else in print. It gives us access to the very texture of the dhamma, the specific words and phrases, which guided and inspired the Buddha's original students. Bhikkhu Bodhi has created a framework upon which he has placed the key elements of the dhamma for all to plainly see and investigate for themselves. With a map of such clarity in hand, one may tread the landscape with confidence. Those for whom the Buddha's teaching is a living tradition will find this book to be a dear friend and spiritual companion. My overall response to the work is one of gratitude--to the author, the translator and editor, the publisher, and all the other helpers and benefactors who have contributed to making this gift to the world."--Andrew Olendzki, Executive Director of the Barre Center of Buddhist Studies -- excerpted from a three-page review in Buddhadharma
"In the Buddha's Words has ten chapters, each with an insightful introduction and a handful of sutras, many newly translated, edited and condensed to make them more manageable for the non-scholar. The book begins with a rich explanatory General Introduction that alone would be worth the purchase of the book."--Right View magazine, from the Mid-America Buddhist Association