A complete recording of a reading in Thai of the Vessantara Jataka by Phra Warat Gambhīrapañño Norasingha
A Review of a new book by Ken and Visakha Kawasaki designed to provide readings while on pilgrimage in India, but which is much more than that.
I gave this talk to the devotees who attended the Candlelight Procession at Vivekavana Monastery on Vesakha Eve. It recounts the young man Sumedha’s aspiration to become a Buddha and the perfections that had to be fulfilled.
My simplified translation of the Pāḷi text Jinacarita has just been published in Singapore by Awaken Publishing & Design. The book is a retelling in simple and poetic language of the story of The Life of the Buddha.
The book is one of the most useful compiliations on the moral life of the layman that can be found. It is drawn mainly from the great verses collections in the Pāḷi Nikāyas and almost all aspects of the lay life have been covered.
The story is an interesting, if highly improbable, fable: a sage lives alone in the Himālayas, there is semen in the urine he passes, and a deer who happens to eat the grass in that place gets pregnant from it.
Although the story recorded here is not found in the Pāḷi Canon, nor to my knowledge, anywhere in the Canonical texts of the other schools, it has a certain verisimilitude that gives it some authenticity.
It was while staying at Jetavana that the Buddha told this story about a Feast for the Dead. One day, some bhikkhus asked the Buddha whether there was any benefit in sacrificing goats, sheep, and other animals as offerings for departed relatives.
Ken and Visakha Kawasaki have been using the Jātaka Stories in their English teaching activities amongst the Buddhist monastic and lay communities in S.E. Asia for more than 3 decades.