Walpola Rahula


Born
Walpola, Sri Lanka

Walpola Rahula (1907–1997) was a Buddhist monk, scholar and writer. He is one of the Sri Lankan intellectuals of the 20th century. In 1964, he became the Professor of History and Religions at Northwestern University, thus becoming the first bhikkhu to hold a professorial chair in the Western world. He also once held the position of Vice-Chancellor at the then Vidyodaya University (currently known as the University of Sri Jayewardenepura). He has written extensively about Buddhism in English, French and Sinhalese. His book, What the Buddha Taught, is considered by many to be one of the best books written about Theravada Buddhism.

(from Wikipedia)

Average rating: 4.15 · 9,254 ratings · 436 reviews · 10 distinct worksSimilar authors
What the Buddha Taught

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4.15 avg rating — 9,190 ratings — published 1959 — 47 editions
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සත්‍යෝදය

4.41 avg rating — 17 ratings2 editions
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Sathyodaya: Truth Awakening

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Buddhist Studies In Honour ...

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The Heritage of the Bhikkhu...

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3.55 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 1974 — 5 editions
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Humour in Pali Literature a...

4.33 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1997
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佛陀的啟示

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History of Buddhism in Ceylon

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භික්ෂුවගේ උරුමය

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 1946
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La naturaleza y el destino ...

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“First of all, Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic. If anything at all, it is realistic, for it takes a realistic view of life and the world. It looks at things objectively (yathābhūtam). It does not falsely lull you into living in a fool's paradise, nor does it frighten and agonize you with all kinds of imaginary fears and sins. It tells you exactly and objectively what you are and what the world around you is, and shows you the way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquility and happiness.”
Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught

“The question has often been asked; Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? It does not matter what you call it. Buddhism remains what it is whatever label you may put on it. The label is immaterial. Even the label 'Buddhism' which we give to the teachings of the Buddha is of little importance. The name one gives is inessential.... In the same way Truth needs no label: it is neither Buddhist, Christian, Hindu nor Moslem. It is not the monopoly of anybody. Sectarian labels are a hindrance to the independent understanding of Truth, and they produce harmful prejudices in men's minds.”
Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught

“What we call life...is the combination of the Five Aggregates, a combination of physical and mental energies. These are constantly changing; they do not remain the same for two consecutive moments. Every moment they are born and they die. 'When the Aggregates arise, decay and die, O bhikkhu, every moment you are born, decay, and die.' This, even dow during this life time, every moment we are born and die, but we continue. If we can understand that in this life we can continue without a permanent, unchanging substance like Self or Soul, why can't we understand that those forces themselves can continue without a Self or a Soul behind them after the non-functioning of the body?”
Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught

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