Walpola Rahula's What the Buddha Taught is a perennial backlist best-seller and has proven to be an indispensable guide to beginning Buddhism. It is renowned for its authoritative, clear, logical, and comprehensive approach. The Heritage of the Bhikkhu is a vivid account of the Buddhist monk's role as a servant to people's needs as a follower and teacher of the basic Buddhist principles. In this fascinating and informative volume, the author — a noted Buddhist monk and scholar who received monastic training and education in Sri Lanka — emphasizes Buddhism as a practical doctrine for daily living and spiritual perfection, not simply a monastic discipline. The Heritage of the Bhikkhu is a pioneering work that deserves to stand with the author's earlier masterpiece.
1. Buddhism and Social Service 2. The evolution of the Life of the Bhikkhu 3. The Councils 4. Introduction of Buddhism to Ceylon: The National Religion of the Sinhala People 5. Religio-Nationalism and National Culture 6. Fundamental Innovations 7. Study and Meditation: Academic Developments 8. Monasteries: Their Administration and Maintenance 9. Arts, Crafts, and Literature 10. National Freedom and the Protection of Peace 11. The Portuguese Period 12. The Dutch Period 13. British Rule 14. Struggle for Freedom: Rebellions 15. The Strength of Bhikkhus: Lay-Clergy Unity 16. British Tactics: Disruption of Lay-clergy Unity 17. Brithsh Tactics: Confusion of Monastic Administration 18. British Tactics: Intrigues to Destroy Buddhism (Christian Education) 19. National and Religious Degeneration 20. The Revival Postscript Appendix I. What is Politics? Appendix II. Bhikkhus and Politics: Declaration of the Vidyahankara Pirivena Appendix III. The Kalaniya Declaration of Independence Appendix IV. Basic Points Unifying the Theravada and the Mahayana