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The Buddha in the Jungle

by Kamala Tiyavanich

A Thai Buddhist and US-trained historian, Tiyavanich weaves together stories about Siam in the 19th and early 20th centuries that illuminate the life of the Buddhist culture. They tell of village monks encountering giant snakes, a Christian missionary gored by an elephant, bandits and boatmen, a dog-bodhisattva, midwives, guardian spirits, and other topics. Distributed in the US by the University of Washington Press. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

Sons of the Buddha: The Early Lives of Three Extraordinary Thai Masters

by Kamala Tiyavanich

Filled with lively anecdotes, Sons of the Buddha tells the early life stories of three master Buddhist preachers from Thailand, each of whom also have followings in Europe and North America. Ajahn Buddhadasa (1906-93), Ajahn Panya (b. 1911), and Ajahn Jumnien (b. 1936), all monks and abbots of monasteries, have been highly influential in Thai society and tireless in their public appearances and exhortations. A preacher must have common sense, know how to turn everyday life experience into Dharma lessons, and assess his audience so that he can make the most of his communications with them. Sons of the Buddha shows how three boys evolved into remarkable embodiments of the "preacher" ideal. Each would affect changes in moral attitudes and Dharma practices, restore Buddhism's social dimension, bridge the divide separating laypeople and monastics, and champion an open-mindedness toward other religions. In these delightful stories, we see what it was that led them to become so fearless and influential.

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