Monday, June 27, 2005

Thai Vipassana books I just bought

With the same trip to Seacon Square, I stumbled upon and bought 2 books on Vipassana meditation (concentration) from a Dokya bookstore. Both of them are in Thai language, but one of them is more interesting than the other.

The (first) book was translated into Thai This was the was published by Siam Press (7th printing).
The book's title in Thai is หัวใจกรรมฐาน from the English edition entitled "The Heart of Buddhist Meditation". The original shorter version was in German called "Satipatthana, Der Heilsweg Buddhistischer Geistesschulung", publised in 1950.
The surprise for me was that the late author was German and his original name was Siegmund Feninger, born in Hanau (?) on July 21,1901, self-educated in Buddhism and later was ordained a Buddhist Monk in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) before WWII (1936)and
received a monk name of Nyanaponika Thera, equivalent to พระญาณโปนิกเถระ in Thai scripts.
He as as widely regarded in Sri Lanka, and passed away on October 19, 1994. The first edition was published since B.E. 2528 or 1985 but I did not know, actually I was still studying in the US at the time so naturally I could not see it.
The translator was Gen. Charn Suwanwipatch, M.D., and the reader and editor was the venerable พระพรหมคุณาภรณ์ Phra Promkunapork (P. A. Payutto), better known in the former royal title of พระธรรมปิฎก Phra Dhammapitaka and regarded as the most knowledgeable sophist on Tripitaka and Dhamma in Thailand (or perhaps the World),

The second book is วิปัสสนาทีปนี and was written by the late venerable พระพรหมโมลี (วิลาส ญาณวโร ป.ธ. ๙), and printed by Dokya Press. It is one in a series by the same author and is more of an elegantly-worded literary assay on Vipassana.
I think once I start reading this second book I must have strong concentration, think hard, in order to try to decipher meannings behind its analogies and beautiful and sophisticated Thai words inside.

I think I will enjoy both of them.

No comments: