The Essential Buddhadhamma: The Teachings and Practice of Theravada Buddhism (Hardcover)

The Essential Buddhadhamma: The Teachings and Practice of Theravada Buddhism By Bhikkhu P. A. Payutt, Bruce Evans (Translated by), Bruce Evans (Translated by) Cover Image

The Essential Buddhadhamma: The Teachings and Practice of Theravada Buddhism (Hardcover)

By Bhikkhu P. A. Payutt, Bruce Evans (Translated by), Bruce Evans (Translated by)


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An abridged translation of one of the most important books on Theravada Buddhism in recent history—authored by the esteemed Thai monk P. A. Payutto.

First published in Thailand in 1971 and since then expanded and revised multiple times, Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto’s Buddhadhamma is widely considered to be one of the most significant scholarly works on the Buddhism of the Pali canon produced in the last century. In this abridged translation, Bruce Evans presents the core of Ven. Payutto’s monumental scholarship, creating an ideal manual for anyone walking or studying the Theravada Buddhist path. Within are discussions of unparalleled sophistication on such foundational Buddhist teachings as the five khandhas, dependent arising, kamma, the noble eightfold path, spiritual friendship, wise attention, the four noble truths, the nature of enlightenment, and more.

Replete with passages from the ancient Pali suttas, Payutto frames Buddhist teachings in terms of broad existential questions that all of us face, such as “What is life?” and “How should life be lived?” Payutto’s illuminating expertise shows Theravada Buddhism to be a thorough explication of how reality unfolds according to natural processes—as well as a way of life that can yield the highest form of happiness.
BHIKKHU P. A. PAYUTTO (SOMDET PHRA BUDDHAGHOSACARIYA) is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Pali canon and Theravada Buddhism. He entered monastic life at the age of thirteen and has since authored more than four hundred books and booklets. He has taught widely at universities in Thailand and the United States and has received numerous honors and awards, including the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. He is the abbot of Wat Nyanavesakavan, a temple outside Bangkok, Thailand.
BRUCE EVANS is a translator, editor, and Theravada Buddhist practitioner. He took bhikkhu ordination under Ajahn Chah in the 1970s and lived for seventeen years as a monk in Thailand. From 1985 to 1992, he served as abbot of a remote monastery on the Thailand-Laos border. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Product Details ISBN: 9781645472353
ISBN-10: 1645472353
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication Date: July 30th, 2024
Pages: 856
Language: English
“For many centuries in the Southern Buddhist world, Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga was the go-to text for a compendium of Buddhist teachings and an exegesis of the Pali canon. In the current age, Ven. P. A. Payutto’s magnificent and comprehensive Buddhadhamma has begun to replace that venerable text, analyzing and explaining the essential teachings of the Buddha and making them accessible for a contemporary readership.
This new publication, The Essential Buddhadhamma, is a somewhat condensed version of the original treatise, ably presented by Bruce Evans. I cannot recommend it too highly, as it contains the core Buddhist teachings of the Pali canon in a wonderfully systematic and practical format. Anyone interested in understanding the Theravadin view of life and Buddhist practice will be blessed with a treasure trove of teachings if they delve into this book and explore its myriad elucidations.”
Ajahn Amaro, abbot of Amaravati Monastery

“For over thirty years, Bruce Evans has worked in close consultation with the author of Buddhadhamma to refine his English translation, cut out any conceivable excess, and give us The Essential Buddhadhamma. A Thai masterpiece of Theravada Buddhism, the scope and meaning of the Buddha’s teachings are explained here in a wholly satisfying way. Scriptural knowledge and authentic understanding rarely come together like this, showing us a coherent vision of life, truth, and purpose. Recommend 1000%.”
Ajahn Hāsapañño, abbot of Vimokkharam Forest Hermitage

“This impressive survey gives us an ‘inquire within about everything’ for Theravada Buddhism. Practicing Buddhists, students, and scholars will welcome the chance to encounter Ven. Payutto’s authoritative discussions on almost any topic you could think of: dependent arising, the five aggregates, theories of not-self, rebirth, and many others that can be so difficult to grasp. Payutto walks us carefully through some of the thorniest areas of debate around these themes—and in a readable style that makes his compendious volume ideal both as a work of reference and as something to read and consider for interest. Chapters on key topics of doctrine and practice are accessible and suitable for beginners as well as those with greater knowledge. The Essential Buddhadhamma promises to be a classic manual for many years to come.”
Sarah Shaw, author of The Art of Listening

“This deep dive into the underpinnings of the Theravada Buddhist path—with its clear, detailed explications—provides trustworthy guidelines for gauging one’s development of right view and meditation, and should become a resource that will stand the test of time.”
Paul Breiter, translator of Ajahn Chah’s Being Dharma

“In The Essential Buddhadhamma, Ven. P. A. Payutto offers fundamental Buddhist teachings in practical, lucid, and descriptive prose. Payutto, through the editing and translation of Bruce Evans, reveals the Dhamma’s value for our lives, grounded in the authoritative texts of the Pali canon.”
Brooke Schedneck, author of Living Theravada

The Essential Buddhadhamma is the book for everyone seeking a comprehensive, practical, and insightful overview of early Buddhist and Theravada teachings. As the early corpus is huge, a comprehensive survey requires length, even in abridged form. Ven. Payutto is judiciously loyal to the texts and wise tradition, beautifully incorporating the Buddha’s original teachings throughout. He guides practitioners in thinking through and digesting these profound teachings so that we may put them into practice intelligently. Bruce Evans has managed the abridgment nicely. Appropriately, the emotions it fosters are equanimity, confidence, and contentment.
“Venerable Bhikkhu P. A. Payutto has long been a jewel of the Thai Saṅgha: kind, humble, gracious, and generous. I know of no better overview of early Buddhist and Theravada teachings than his masterpiece.”
Santikaro Upasaka, cotranslator of Ajahn Buddhadasa’s Seeing with the Eye of Dhamma