Nyanaponika Thera

Devotion in Buddhism: Three Essays

Devotion in Buddhism: Three Essays

Religion and devotion are inseparable, and Buddhism is no exception to this rule. Theravada, or Buddhism based on the Pali Tipiṭaka, the original Teachings of the Buddha (sometimes called Hīnayāna), is alleged by some to be dry and intellectual, to have no devotion or higher emotional content in it.

There may be some truth in this allegation when it concerns those people who only superficially profess adherence to the Teaching (Dhamma) or who limit themselves only to an intellectual study and appreciation of the Dhamma without applying its tenets to their everyday life.

For the true follower of Theravada, however, devotion is an indispensable aid on the way to Deliverance. For him even the word “Buddha” can produce the deepest emotional stirring and rapture.

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About Nyanaponika Thera

Nyanaponika Thera (Siegmund Feniger) was born on 21 July 1901 in Hanau, Germany. He came into contact with Buddhism early in his youth and left for Sri Lanka in 1936, where he was ordained as a novice and a year later as a monk by the famous German monk Nyanatiloka.

Interned in camps like Dehra Dun's in India, he worked intensively during the war years on translations of Pali texts. Not only as author of the now classic The Heart of Buddhist Meditation and of many other books and translations, but also as co-founder in 1958, editor and president of the Buddhist Publication Society he made a great contribution to the international dissemination of the Theravāda teachings. He died on October 19, 1994 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276