Authorís goal was to make Buddhists proud of their faith

by Punya Pujitha, Independent Mail, June 10, 2011

Anderson, South Carolina (USA) -- “What Buddhists Believe,” written by thge late Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda Thero, is a must read book for anyone who has an interest in Buddhism. It answers many questions asked about Buddhism for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

Ven. Dhammananda Thera was a graduate in Buddhist philosophy and literature and Oriental languages from Indian and Sri Lakan universities and has served the Buddhist Missionary Society for more than 40 years. His vast knowledge in Buddhism is exhibited in many of his books. .

Because of popular demand, “What Buddhists Believe” was revised and expanded for the forth time in 1987 from its original edition in 1964. Translated copies of the book are available in Chinese, Korean and Indonesian.

This informative book is divided in six parts. Each part consists of topics that are expanded in a number of chapters of interest to Buddhists and also non-Buddhists. Some of the parts are “This world and other worlds,” “Human life in society,” “Leading a Buddhist life” and “Buddhism: essence and comparative approaches.”

Ven. Dhammananda Thero has explained in simple language the practices of Buddhists, their beliefs and Buddhist doctrine. He also has corrected many misconceptions about Buddhism. Chapters on what Buddhists believe include interesting topics such as the Buddhist concept of Heaven and Hell, a successor to the Buddha, astrology and astronomy, belief in deities, meditation, the future Buddha, superstitions and dogmas, the moon and religious observances, traditions, customs and festival, schools of Buddhism and Kamma. The book also answers the questions: Is Buddhism atheistic? Is Buddhism pessimistic? Is there an eternal soul? Was Buddha an incarnation of God? and What is Abhidhamma?

“It is not the aim of this book to seek converts, because such a spirit is alien to the spirit of Buddhism,” Ven. Dhammananda Thero writes. “What it aims at is to inform and educate Buddhists about the basic tenets of their religion and to demonstrate lofty ideals, making every Buddhists proud to be called a Buddhist.”

“What Buddhists Believe,” by Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda. This book is available for free download from
Punya Pujitha Kuruwita worked for an English daily newspaper Sri Lanka for more than six years. Her beats included buddhist affairs. She lives with her husband and daughter in Central and enjoys visiting the Buddhist Vihara in Greenville.