Great Disciples of the Buddha: Their Lives, Their Works, Their Legacy

Overview

A perennial favorite, Great Disciples of the Buddha is now relaunched in our best-selling Teachings of the Buddha series.

Twenty-four of the Buddha's most distinguished disciples are brought to life in ten chapters of rich narration. Drawn from a wide range of authentic Pali sources, the material in these stories has never before been assembled in a single volume. Through these engaging tales, we meet all manner of human beings - rich, poor, male, female, young, old - whose ...

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Great Disciples of the Buddha: Their Lives, Their Works, Their Legacy

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Overview

A perennial favorite, Great Disciples of the Buddha is now relaunched in our best-selling Teachings of the Buddha series.

Twenty-four of the Buddha's most distinguished disciples are brought to life in ten chapters of rich narration. Drawn from a wide range of authentic Pali sources, the material in these stories has never before been assembled in a single volume. Through these engaging tales, we meet all manner of human beings - rich, poor, male, female, young, old - whose unique stories are told with an eye to the details of ordinary human concerns. When read with careful attention, these stories can sharpen our understanding of the Buddhist path by allowing us to contemplate the living portraits of the people who fulfilled the early Buddhist ideals of human perfection. The characters detailed include:

  • Sariputta
  • Nanda
  • Mahamoggallana
  • Mahakassapa
  • Ananda
  • Isidasi
  • Anuruddha
  • Mahakaccana
  • Angulimala
  • Visakha
  • and many more.

Conveniently annotated with the same system of sutta references used in each of the other series volumes, Great Disciples of the Buddha allows the reader to easily place each student in the larger picture of Buddha's life. It is a volume that no serious student of Buddhism should miss.
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Editorial Reviews

Jack Kornfield
"A truly unique and excellent addition to the literature from the Pali texts. Great Disciples is a rich sourcebook, offering lucid stories and translations and brilliant scholarship, all visibly crafted with a love of the Dhamma."
Sharon Salzberg
"The living tradition of Buddhism is the linkage of spiritual friendships that bring us all the way back to the Buddha. Here are the stories of his early disciples, the men and women who studied with him directly, and who can inspire us all to the power and depth of spiritual friendship."
Jan Chozen Bays
"This is one of the most inspiring books a serious Buddhist practitioner can read. It provides many examples of the humanity of the Buddha and his followers and relieves our fears that enlightenment erases individuality. It shows us how our individual human talents and aspirations can be purified by deep and continuous practice to produce extraordinary benefit for ourselves and others."
Inquiring Mind
"An enlightening look at the Buddha's sangha as archetypal model..."
Joseph Goldstein
"This book is a wonderful addition to our understanding of the culture of awakening. In a way that is both scholarly and inspiring, it brings to life the struggles, practice, and realization of the great disciples of the Buddha. Through the book's many stories and teachings, we begin to connect their spiritual journeys with our own."
Larry Rosenberg
"A fascinating glimpse of life in ancient India at the time of the Buddha. The disciples came from diverse backgrounds, with different talents for us to emulate as well as weaknesses to overcome. I found reassurance from learning that their struggles were not that different from my own."
Thich Nhat Hanh
"I am grateful for the publication of this book. With great admiration for and trust in the authors, I recommend The Great Disciples of the Buddha to friends and students alike."
Booknews
"Fascinating and valuable, inspirational and encouraging, these are stories to read again and again..."
Wisconsin Bookwatch
"Delivers an inspiring confirmation of the human potential for awakening and spiritual transformation."
Eastern Horizon
"When three highly accomplished dharma practitioners collaborate to bring their encyclopedic knowledge to bear on a particular topic, the result will be a landmark work like Great Disciples of the Buddha. It is edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi with his own contributions together with an extremely useful introduction. The authors reveal their ability to see the great spiritual truths behind these stories. They skillfully show how each of the Buddha's great disciples is an individual in his own right with characteristics that distinguish them from the rest: Ananda's gentleness and loyalty, Mahakassapa's seriousness and love of solitude, Sariputta's concern for the well-being of the Sangha, for example. Great Disciples of the Buddha is not just a collection of biographies. While it can be read by the casual reader, the serious seeker will receive a great deal of Dharma instruction because the writers aspects of the Teachings in a manner appropriate for a modern audience. Monumental."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780861713813
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2005
  • Series: Teachings of the Buddha Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 612,231
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Nyanaponika Thera, a German-born Buddhist monk, was a scholar, translator, and founder of The Buddhist Publication Society in Sri Lanka. Thera died in 1994 at the age of 93.

Hellmuth Hecker is a leading German writer on Buddhism and a translator from the Pali Canon. His books include a german translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (parts 4 and 5) a two-volume chronicle on Buddhism in Germany, and a biography of Ven. Nyanatiloka Mahathera, the first German Buddhist monk.

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.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Credits
Abbreviations
Editor's Introduction
1 Sariputta: The Marshal of the Dhamma 1
2 Mahamoggallana: Master of Psychic Powers 67
3 Mahakassapa: Father of the Sangha 107
4 Ananda: Guardian of the Dhamma 137
5 Anuruddha: Master of the Divine Eye 183
6 Mahakaccana: Master of Doctrinal Exposition 211
7 Great Women Disciples of the Buddha 245
8 Angulimala: A Murderer's Road to Sainthood 317
9 Anathapindika: The Buddha's Chief Patron 335
10 Shorter Lives of the Disciples 363
Notes 379
Bibliography 393
Contributors 395
Index 397
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