Publications

Text Books on Buddhism published by Colombo YMBA

The Colombo YMBA has published a series of Text Books in six levels titled ‘Guides to the study of Theravada Buddhism’ primarily intended to provide the necessary study material, in the form of comprehensive manuals, to students of English medium Dhamma Schools, Study Centers and private candidates who prepare to sit the English medium Dhamma Examinations conducted by the Colombo YMBA.

The series comprises six text books intended to cover the syllabuses prescribed for the six levels of the Dhamma Examination scheme. The contents of the text books are summarized below.

Basic Level Book (covers the Syllabus for the Basic level)

This Text book provides a brief account of the Life of Buddha from Birth to ordination of the Chief Disciples, Qualities of Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha meaning of the Five precepts, Wholesome acts and Unwholesome acts, Buddhist festivals, and ‘Blessings’ of the Maha Mangala sutta. Students have to answer one question paper on Buddha Dhamma.

Book One (covers the Junior Part I (Preliminary) Syllabus

  1. Dhamma Section
    Covers the Life of the Buddha from Birth to Enlightenment, Qualities of the Triple Gem, an Introduction to Tripitaka, Theravada Buddhist Councils, Dana and Sila, Meritorious deeds, Maha Mangala Suttas and explantations of the prescribed Dhammapada stanzas.
  2. Abhidhamma Section
    Covers topics such as History of Abhidamma, Abhidamma Texts, the main subject  - the Classification of Consciousness and the Concepts of Conventional and Absolute Truths.

Book Two (covers the Junior II (Junior) syllabus)

  1. Dhamma Section
    Contains an account of the Life of the Buddha up to the end of twenty years after  Enlightenment, Buddha’s visits to Sri Lanka, Chief Lay Patrons and Disciples of the Buddha, Vinaya Pitaka, Four Noble Truths, Fifth and Sixth Buddhist Councils and Explanations of the prescribed Dammapada stanzas.
  2. Abhidhamma Section
    Abhidhamma Section covers in detail the main subject – 52 Mental Factors including the inter-relations between mind and Mental Factors – Sangha naya Sampayoga naya and a brief introduction to the Absolute Truth of Nibbana.

 Book Three (covers the Senior Part I (Senior) syllabus)

  1. Dhamma Section
    Book Three narrates selected ‘Important Events’ in the life of the Buddha from Birth to Parinibbana such as daily Routines of the Buddha, Antagonism and rivalry from heretical Teachers, Promulgation of the Vinaya and Last days.
    Other topics covered are Social Ethics based on the Suttas Hindrances, Fetters, Objects of Meditation, Proof of Rebirth
  2. Abhidhamma Section
    Abhidhamma Section gives a full Analysis of the main subject prescribed for this Level namely ‘Matter’(rupa) and Classification of the Consciousness according to feelings, Roots and Functions.

Book Four (covers the Senior Part II (Higher) syllabus

  1. Dhamma Section
    Provides detailed explanation of the prescribed subjects, namely Requisites of Enlightenment, Way to Nibbana, Dependent Origination, Three Signata, Ratana Sutta, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, Contribution of Col.Olcott, Buddhist Approach to discerning Truth and Explanations of and Comments on the prescribed Dhammapada Stanzas.
  2. Abhidhamma Section
    Abhidhamma Section provides explanations of the prescribed subjects, namely Doors (dvara), Objects (arammana), Bases (vatthu), Thought Process (citta viti) and Process Freed (vithi mutta)

Book Five ( covers the Diploma syllabus)

  1. Dhamma Section
    Dhamma Section includes summaries of Maha Satipatthana Sutta, Culla Kamma Vibhanga Sutta and explanations of Insight Meditation (Vipassana), Seven stages of Purity (Visuddhi) and short treatises on the uniqueness of the Buddha and Mahayana Buddhism with a comparison followed by explanations of the Dhammapada verses together with expositions of the morals embodied in each stanza.
  2. Abhidhamma Section
    Abhidhamma Section includes explanation of Abhidhamma categories, Dependent Arising (Paticcasamuppada), Law of Causal Relations (Patthana) being the substance of Chapters VII and VIII of Abhidhamattha Sangha.
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The Buddhist

The Buddhist Publication was initiated in 1902. The journal had been started by the Colombo Theosophical Society in 1888, but found it difficult to carry on. The brains behind the YMBA like D.B Jayatilaka and A.E. Buultjens realised that the YMBA was not just an Association for being Buddhist discussion, for gatherings of like-minded Buddhists, for bana preaching, but a movement for the revival, and the restoration of Buddhism to its rightful place in this country. Hence the publication of a journal like “the Buddhist” it was realised would be of immense help to put across Buddhist, opinion in the country. It could act as the mouthpiece of Buddhists, as a watchdog for protecting of Buddhist rights and privileges and an instrument for exposures of inroads made towards the subversion or destruction of Buddhism in this country

Publication of “The Buddhist” was no easy task. There was often conflict of opinion both from a secular angle and from the clergy. Obstacles and handicaps did spring up on the way. But men like A.E. Buultjens, C.W. Leadbeater, C. Jinarajadasa and D.B. Jayatilaka who was Editor did not cave in the face of difficulties. It was at the time the only journal on Buddhism in English. In those early issues there was much discussion of doctrinal matters. D.B. Jayatilaka was a profound student of the Buddha Dhamma and the journal had the benefit of his erudition and scholarship.

The Buddhists were in dire need of this journal to spearhead Buddhist thought and opinion, to defend the positions they took in matters of public interest, and answer their critics and opponents who were many. The circumstances of its publication were hostile, but since the country continued to be bombarded by Christian propaganda it was necessary for the Buddhists to have a mouthpiece to express their views.

Vesak

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September/Dec 1997

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2011 August

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May/June 1942 to April 1943

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May 1931 to April/May 1932

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December 1888 to December 1889

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Published as a Weekly Journal from December 1888 to December 1889 52 publications

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The Buddhist - Vol 121

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