The Buddhist Publication Society
is a charity whose goal is to explain and spread the doctrine
of the Buddha
. It was founded in Sri Lanka
in 1958 by two Sri Lankan Buddhist laymen, A.S. Karunaratna and Richard Abeyasekera, and a European-born Buddhist monk, Nyanaponika Thera
. Originally conceived as a limited effort to publish small, affordable books on fundamental Buddhist topics, the Society expanded its scope in response to the reception of their early publishing efforts. Reflecting its Sri Lankan roots, the Buddhist Publication society's publications reflect the perspective of the Theravada
branch of Buddhism, drawing heavily from the Pali Canon
for source material.
The Buddhist Publication Society publishes a variety of works, in both English
, ranging from introductory works to translations of extremely technical philosophical texts. The Society publishes works by a number of noted Theravada monks, including books by Piyadassi Thera
, Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, and Narada Mahathera
. It publishes modern translations of a number of texts from the Pali Canon, including complete translations of the Digha Nikaya
and Majjhima Nikaya
, as well as shorter books such as the Dhammapada
. It also publishes detailed studies of individual suttas, along with their commentaries.
The Society has traditionally published two short English-language books that were sent to Society members several times a year, The Wheel and Bodhi Leaves. The longer Wheel series dealt in depth with a number of Buddhist topics and included a number of translations from the Pali Canon, while the shorter Bodhi Leaves contained personal essays by Buddhist practitioners and teachers. The Bodhi Leaves series was discontinued in 2003. A Sinhala version of the Wheel, called Damsak ("Dhamma Wheel"), was previously offered to Sinhalese readers.
Dhamma Dana Project
In 1993, the Society launched the Nyanaponika Dhamma Dana project, named in honor of former Society president Nyanaponika Mahathera. Under the auspices of the project, 50-150 copies of each new book published by the society are sent free of charge to libraries, monasteries, and Buddhist centers around the world. Copies of the Wheel are also sent to a number of Buddhist temples and practice centers, to be distributed free of charge.
Presidents of the Buddhist Publication Society