Author's Note

With so many books available on Buddhism, one may ask if there is need for yet another text. Although books on Buddhism are available on the market, many of them are written for those who have already acquired a basic understanding of the Buddha Dhamma. Some are written in an archaic style, based on a rigid translation of the original texts. Such a style is not appealing to modern readers who might get the impression that Buddhism is a dry subject. There are books by learned scholars who present the teachings in a highly academic and abstruse manner. Except for a few very well-informed readers, these books could create more confusion than clarify, and may even lead the ordinary reader to conclude that Buddhism is too sophisticated for his needs. Some books highlight differences between schools of Buddhism, with the result that the uninitiated reader may be engrossed in the so-called 'intersectarian rivalry', without realizing that there are many more similarities than differences among schools. There are also books written by non-Buddhists who, either deliberately or through their ignorance, distort and misrepresent the true teachings of the Buddha.

This book is written with a specific aim in mind: to introduce the original teaching clearly and without recourse to exaggeration, cultural implications or disparaging of particular schools of Buddhism, so that the reader can understand the Buddha Dhamma its modern context. There is a growing interest in Buddhism the world over because many informed people have grown rather weary of religious dogmatism and superstition, on one hand, and greed and selfishness arising from materialism, on the other. Buddhism can teach humanity to walk the Middle Path of moderation and have a better understanding on how to lead a richer life of peace and happiness.

K.Sri Dhammananda



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