INTRODUCTION The Ven. Acariya Maha Boowa (Bhikkhu Nanasampanno) accepted an invitation to

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

INTRODUCTION The Ven. Acariya Maha Boowa (Bhikkhu Nanasampanno) accepted an invitation to go to England in June 1974 together with two other Bhikkhus, Ven. Pannavaddho and Ven. Abhiceto, originally from the U.K. and Canada respectively. All three had the good fortune to be able to stay at the Dhammapadipa Vihara in Haverstock Hill which was run by the English Sangha Trust. [*] It was there that Acariya Maha Boowa gave the talks recorded in this book, the only exception to this being the discussion on 13th June in the morning at Cambridge, when the Bhikkhus went to receive food at Mr. Benedic Wint's house. [*] The Vihara in Haverstock Hill Road is now no longer there. The property was disposed of when the Sangha moved to Chithurst in Sussex. The talks given by Acariya Maha Boowa were tape recorded, but the questions and answers were mostly taken down in shorthand by M.R. Sermsri Kasemsri. It is mainly due to her efforts, not only in taking down the questions and answers, but also in subsequently transcribing all the talks and her shorthand notes and typing out the manuscript, that the Thai book was produced from which this translation was made. Translation from Thai into English does not normally present any special problems. But in the case of this book the origin of it was the spoken word, and in addition the subject matter is Dhamma which involves many concepts and technicalities for which English has a rather poor vocabulary and often a lack of the necessary fundamental concepts. The teachings of Buddhism may in fact be compared to a technical subject such as chemistry or electronics in that many technical terms and phrases are necessary, and also special concepts and ways of thinking are needed in order to understand and appreciate the reasoning and truth of Buddhism. When it comes to a question of whether to translate a technical word (nearly always from the Pali language into English, the reasoning that has been used is approximately as follows: If a word in Pali (or Thai) has a well-known and accurate equivalent in English, then the English word is used (e.g., Sati -- Mindfulness; Panna -- Wisdom). But if there is no well-known or accurate equivalent or if the use of an English word leads to more confusion or misunderstanding than the original Pali word then the Pali word is used (e.g., Samadhi, Jhana). I must apologise to those people who are not familiar with Pali terms and who find difficulty in reading a book such as this which has many Pali terms, but I feel sure that it is far better for readers to not understand rather than to misunderstand. In any case, following on this introduction is a short list of those Pali words which occur frequently in the book, together with a brief assessment of their meaning so that the reader who is not familiar with those words can have a ready reference. There is also a more complete glossary at the end of the book. I should like to thank all those who have helped to produce this book, including M.R. Sermsri Kasemsri for her work on the original book in Thai; Mr. Michael Shameklis for his help in translation of the first thirty or so pages; Tan Suchard (Bhikkhu Abhijato) for helping to correct many many translation mistakes, and to Tan Chris (Bhikkhu Cittobhaso) for typing out the manuscript. Bhikkhu Pannavaddho Wat Pah Ban Tard Udorn Thani Thailand * * * Brief list of words that are usually left untranslated in the text 1. Citta The heart (in the emotional sense, but not the physical heart), the "one who knows" (but often knows wrongly). The nearest English equivalent is the word "mind," except that "mind" is usually understood as being the thinking, reasoning apparatus located in the head, which is too narrow a meaning for the word "Citta". 2. Dhamma (i) the ultimate meaning is that basis which is behind all phenomena and is thus the truth. It is unchanging and is thus not knowable by that which is impermanent. (ii) in the sense of Buddha Dhamma, meaning those practices and ways of behaviour that conforms to Dhamma and lead one towards Dhamma. 3. Dukkha Discontent, Dissatisfaction, Suffering, Pain, Anguish. Dukkha is a very broad and general term covering all those things that are unpleasant, irritating and disturbing. 4. Kilesas Those defiling states arising from greed, hate, and delusion which constantly tend to lead us against Dhamma. 5. Nibbana That state of the Citta in which all the Kilesas and Dukkha have been eradicated. 6. Samadhi Absorption of the mind when concentrating one pointedly on an object. It has many levels and few people know more than the initial stages of it. 7. Tan Acharn Tan is a Thai word meaning Venerable. Acharn is also Thai and derived from Acariya -- teacher. 8. Vimutti Freedom, Liberation, in the sense of freedom from the Kilesas, Dukkha, and attachment to the mundane relative world (Sammuti). * * * * * * * *

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank