Venerable Hammalawa Saddhatissa was born in Sri Lanka in 1914 and ordained as a Buddhist monk at the age of twelve. The author of and translator of a number of scholarly works on Buddhism, he was also the president of the Mahabodhi Society. Recognized as a Mahathera, the highest rank in the Theravada monastic tradition, Venerable Saddhatissa traveled widely throughout his long career. He died in 1990.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
“For more than a quarter of a century, those in search of an introduction to Buddhist moral thought have turned and returned to this little volume…” Thus notes Charles Hallisey of Harvard University in his introduction. Starting with an examination of classical Greek notions of ethics, Venerable Saddhatissa goes on to explain the development of Buddhist moral codes and their practical application. In this work, Venerable Saddhatissa starts with an examination of Western notions of ethics, beginning with the early Greek philosophers and moving on to show us how the study of morality is crucial to a clear understanding of the Buddhist tradition. Drawing on a vast array of Buddhist scriptures, Venerable Saddhatissa explains the development and position of Buddhist precepts from a traditional perspective, while simultaneously offering clear and practical advice on how best to live the moral life of a lay Buddhist practitioner. Throughout Buddhist Ethics, Venerable Saddhatissa always keeps us in touch with the pragmatic uses of Buddhist moral practices, not only as a way to live in harmony with the world, but as an indispensable aspect of the path to the Buddhist’s highest spiritual goal.