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Thread: "Introduction to Theravada" book

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    "Introduction to Theravada" book

    Hey all, can someone suggests me an easy to read book about Theravada? I have a friend who is a newbie in Buddhism, and he wants to know about Theravada branch. Thanx

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    Forums Member dharmamom's Avatar
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    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but Walpola Rahula was Theravadan? In any case, his book "What the Buddha taught" is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in Buddhism in general. And, yes, I'm almost sure he was Theravadan. There are many people from the Theravada branch of Buddhism here that will come up with excellent books but this one, along with Thich Nhat Hanh's "The heart of the Buddha's teaching" are my top recommendations for newbies. But then, Thich Nhat Hanh is zen, not Theravadan.

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    Forums Member The Thinker's Avatar
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    I am a Theravada Buddhist and the only book i read is the Digha Nikaya, or in english it is called The long discourses of the Buddha.

    Maybe bot the most easy book but i used it also when i was a newbe as you call it :)

    The thinker

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    Administrator Aloka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by padma View Post
    Hey all, can someone suggests me an easy to read book about Theravada? I have a friend who is a newbie in Buddhism, and he wants to know about Theravada branch. Thanx

    Hi padma

    For easy to read books which are by Theravadan authors:

    I recommend the range of excellent free books available from Forest Sangha Publications and would suggest possibly starting with Ajahn Chah :

    http://forestsanghapublications.org/

    Also, here are some Ajahn Chah books to purchase:

    http://www.wisdom-books.com/SiteSear...=2&Submit=+Go+


    I definately highly recommend:

    "The Sound of Silence" by Ajahn Sumedho

    also:

    "Don't Take Your Life Personally" by Ajahn Sumedho

    Both of the above books are a good read and full of wisdom - here is a link to the second one:

    http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=22287


    Other than that I suggest :

    'Mindfulness in Plain English', by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana


    and a small selection of suttas ....

    "Anguttara Nikaya Anthology - An anthology of discourses from the Anguttara Nikaya" by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhi Bodhi.

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    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Hi padma,

    Highly recommendable:

    1."The Buddha's Ancient Path"

    2."The Word of Buddha"

    3."Handbook for Mankind"

    4."The Four Noble Truths"

    Numbers 1, 2 and 4 are excellent because they show direct quotes of what Buddha really taught.

    Number 3 is a Theravada approach to what Buddha taught. Excellent teacher & excellent text.

    All four are direct to the issue of what Gotama Buddha's teachings are really about.

    Last edited by Esho; 02 Jul 12 at 19:55.

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    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharmamom View Post
    "What the Buddha taught" is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in Buddhism in general.
    Sure it is!

    Here a link:

    "What Buddha Taught"


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    Forums Member Cal55's Avatar
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    Lots of good advice above. However if I had to pick one book to introduce someone to Theravada, and one introductory book by Ajahn Sumedho, it would be the same - 'The Mind and the Way' :-

    The Mind and the Way

    It has just enough of the basic ideas (Kamma, Four Noble Truths, Metta) with advice on meditation and lifestyle.
    For me it gives a great overview, but with enough depth to reward re-reading as one's experience grows.

    Best wishes
    Cal
    Last edited by Cal55; 02 Jul 12 at 22:53.

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    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cal55 View Post
    if I had to pick one book to introduce someone to Theravada, and one introductory book by Ajahn Sumedho
    Yes, he is an excellent book writer and a wonderful teacher. As a teacher has to be, he makes the Dhamma really understandable and ready to be practiced, away from philosophical riddles and useless complexities.

    Last edited by Esho; 03 Jul 12 at 01:22.

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    hey all, thank you very much!!

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    Hello, thanx dharmamom. But I have misunderstood my friend's request. He actually asks about "in depth Theravada" book. so do you know any? Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by dharmamom View Post
    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but Walpola Rahula was Theravadan? In any case, his book "What the Buddha taught" is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in Buddhism in general. And, yes, I'm almost sure he was Theravadan. There are many people from the Theravada branch of Buddhism here that will come up with excellent books but this one, along with Thich Nhat Hanh's "The heart of the Buddha's teaching" are my top recommendations for newbies. But then, Thich Nhat Hanh is zen, not Theravadan.

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