As promised last month, this month we continue to explore Buddhist India: this time after the Buddha, with bibliographies on Indian Buddhism after the Buddha (up to the first sectarian splits) and on Buddhist pilgrimage today.
There’s a lot of great scholarly content in the new bibliographies this month, so I encourage you (really!) to go and check them out. I won’t list every exciting thing here today, but I did want to highlight some work by four of my favorite Bhikkhu teachers:
- This talk by Bhante Yuttadhammo was delivered at the foot of the (Sri Lankan) Bodhi Tree and is such a good, atmospheric listen. If it inspires you to go on pilgrimage, check out the books there!
- In this book, Bhante Sujato explains how Buddhist sects, much like island birds, slowly evolved into separate species due to distance, not dramatic schisms—an important fact to keep in mind as you read about the early Buddhist sects.
- Bhikkhu Bodhi muses about the emergence of the Bodhisattva ideal in this thoughtful essay
- and Ajahn Geoff shares with us King Ashoka’s favorite suttas for preserving the religion giving us a taste of the questions and concerns which drove Indian Buddhist history as a whole.
Lastly, this month marks a special milestone for the University. It was exactly one year ago yesterday that I first launched the University library with the goal of providing thousands of free books, articles, and talks across the breadth of Buddhist Studies. One year later, we now have over 1000 pieces, covering everything from the Agamas to the Vinaya, from the Buddha to the World and in that year, over a thousand scholars from 67 countries have come and downloaded an average of seven items each.1 It means a lot to me to see that so many people are interested in learning authentic Buddhism and want to keep the Dhamma as it always has been: free. Thank you for coming and studying with us, and I hope you will find the University a helpful resource for years to come.
Looking to the future, there’s still much to do to bring greater depth to the University’s offerings. I look forward to delving deeper into Buddhist philosophy and history in the coming years, but I especially look forward to hearing your ideas about where the University could go from here. If you have any ideas, feel free to drop me a line, and until then: Thank you for reading!
Chief Librarian, The Open Buddhist University