Sons of the Buddha: The Early Lives of Three Southern Thai Mastersby Kamala Tiyavanich
A thrilling spiritual biography—or rather three-in-one—Sons of the Buddha is a transcendent account of an all-but-lost Thailand and the early lives of three of its most prominent Buddhist teachers.
Using lively prose, anecdotes, and illustrations, Kamala Tiyavanich tells the early life stories of three Buddhist masters who have many devoted followers both in Thailand and North America. Achan Buddhadasa (1906-93), Achan Panya (1911–2007), and Acban Jumnien (b. 1936) have been influential monks in Thai society and tireless in their work and teaching.
A preacher must have common sense, know how to turn everyday life experience into Dhamma lessons, and be able to accurately assess the needs of his audience. Sons of the Buddha shows how three boys evolved into remarkable embodiments of the “preacher” ideal. Each would effect changes in moral attitudes and Dharma practices, restore Buddhism’s social dimension, bridge the divide separating laypeople and monastics, and champion open-mindedness toward other religions. In these delightful stories, full of local color, we see what it was that led them to become so fearless and influential.
What Others Are Saying
“The author lovingly reconstructs the childhood and adolescent years [of these three monks] as an evocation of the unique dhamma strengths of each man. At the same time, [Kamala] illuminates the culture of rural southern Thailand in those years, which was grounded in both Buddhism and what today we would call environmental values. This book is a joy to read and an inspiring reminder of our cultural possibilities. . . . Sons of the Buddha is uplifting and, at times, magical. It strengthens one’s faith in our human potential.”—Guy Armstrong, Buddhadharma
“This is a beautiful, life-enhancing book. You'll be swept up into an unfamiliar world made tangible and massively present.”—Stanley O'Connor, Emeritus Professor, Cornell University
About the Author
KAMALA TIYAVANICH is a Thai Buddhist and the author of the highly-acclaimed books Forest Recollections and The Buddha in the Jungle. She received her Ph.D. in Southeast Asian history from Cornell University.