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Theravada Buddhist Devotionalism in Ceylon, Burma and Thailand

by: V.V.S. Saibaba

The monograph consists of two parts, the first examines Buddhist devo-tional practices, in Theravada tradition and their objective and benefits. Part two elucidates the rise and growth of Buddhist devotionalism in Ceylon, Burma and Thailand, keeping view in the specific demonstrative aspects of their faith in contemporary Buddhist religious life.

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ISBN: 9788124603277
Year Of Publication: 2005
Edition: 1st
Pages : xv, 88
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Indices
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23 cm.
Weight: 350

Overview

The monograph consists of two parts, of which the first examines the Buddhist devotional practices, from the historical and canonical perspectives of the evolution of the worship of caitya, stupa, relics, symbols and images. It provides a multi-dimensional account of caitya, thupa, relic, symbol and image worship in Theravada Buddhist tradition, in the Sinhalese Vamsa literature and as depicted in the records of the prominent Chinese travellers to India. It throws light on the Buddhist stupa, the Buddha’s relics viz, hair, nail, tooth and ashes; the symbols which pre-ceded the Buddha image viz., the bodhi-tree, wheel, bowl, staff, robe, crest, turban, shadow and the Buddha’s foot-prints as the objects of devotion and worship and the objectives and benefits of such devotional acts. Part two elucidates the rise and growth of Buddhist devotionalism in Sri Lanka with special reference to its ceremonies, rituals, pilgrimages as depicted in the devotional literature of Ceylon. Further, it provides an account of devotional Buddhism in Burma by tracing its antiquity; describes Buddha’s relics, images and pagodas as the objects of veneration. Similarly, it makes a brief survey of Thai Buddhist devotionalism with special reference to Wats, Thai offerings and prayers to Buddha images and their objectives. The work illuminates the historical and canonical significance of precept and practice of different aspects of Buddhist devotion and how they are demonstrated in the contemporary Buddhist religious life of Ceylon, Burma and Thailand.

Contents

Dedication
Foreword — Vijay Kumar Thakur
Prologue
Abbreviations
Part I
Historical Perspective of TheravAda Buddhist Devotionalism
Introduction: Buddhist Worship and Devotional
Practices in Pali and Avadana Literature
1. Cetiya and Thupa-Worship
Sanction of Stupa-Worship by Earliest Tradition
Thupa-Worship in Vamsha Literature
Thupa-Worship in the Records of the Chinese Travellers
Benefits of Cetiya and Thupa-Worship according to Canonical and Other Works
Bhakti and Thupa-Worship
2. Relic-Worship
Historical Perspective of Relic-Worship
To see Relics is to see the Buddha
Benefits of Relic-Worship
3. Symbol-Worship
Worship of Bodhi-Tree
Worship of Wheel, Bowl, Staff and Robe
Worship of Crest, Turban and Shadows
Worship of Footprints
4. Image-Worship
Origins of Buddha Image
Image-Worship in Pali Canonical and Post-Canonical Works
Image-Worship in the accounts of Chinese Travellers
Part II
TheravAda Buddhist Devotionalism
in Ceylon, Burma and Thailand
5. Theravada, an Organic Whole
6. Buddhist Devotionalism in Sri Lanka
Pilgrimages
Sinhalese Buddhist Devotional Literature
7. Buddhist Devotionalism in Burma
Prayer in Burmese Buddhism
Burmese Buddhist Ritualism
Contemporary Burmese Conception of the Buddha and Nirvana
8. Buddhist Devotionalism in Thailand
Rise of Buddhist Devotionalism in Thailand
Facets of Thai Buddhist Devotionalism
Epilogue
Bibliography
Index: Buddhist Works
Index: Buddhist Words and Proper Names

Meet the Author
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1947
Dr. V.V.S Saibaba (1947-), a Professor at Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, wherefrom he holds his Master’s degree (1973) and Ph.D degree (1985). He was the Head in the Centre for Mahayana Buddhist Studies at Acharya Nagarjuna University (1987-89). He taught Buddhist Sanskrit texts, philosophy of the Buddha, Scriptural readings, Indian philosophy and Shankara Advaita. He has participated in several International and National Conferences and supervised research on Jaina and Buddhist Philosophical texts, Buddhist history, Art, Architecture, Literature, Judaism, Catholic Christianity and Hatha Yoga. He has published the book Facets of Buddhist Philosophy: Theravada and Mahayana; many research papers in International and National Buddhist journals. He was a consulting editor of the Contemporary Who is Who, American Biographical Institute, USA.
Books of V.V.S. Saibaba