The Buddha once said that his Teaching has only one taste, that of liberation. Yet, being a Teaching of Actuality, Buddhism has also dimensions extending to wide fields of human life and thought. Some of them are mirrored in the essays of this volume. These wide-ranging and penetrative writings offer, therefore, many stimulating approaches to Buddhist thought and its application to problems of our time.
This publication is the third and concluding volume of the Collected Writings of the late Francis Story (The Anágárika Sugatánanda). It comprises his contributions to the two serial publications The Wheel and Bodhi Leaves, issued by the Buddhist Publication Society of Kandy. Some of these essays belong to his best and most mature writing. It was, therefore, felt that a reprint of these writings should not be missing in this edition of the author’s collected work.
It was as early as 1959, the second year after the foundation of the Buddhist Publication Society, that the author contributed
his first essay to the Wheel series, i.e., “The Case for Rebirth.” This essay, however, in view of its subject, has been included in Rebirth as Doctrine and Experience, the second volume of the Collected Writings.
As will be seen from the Table of Contents, several articles in this present volume were taken from the Wheel Publications, Gods
and the Universe in Buddhist Perspective and Dimensions of Buddhist Thought. Both of these are posthumous compilations gathered from magazine articles (difficult of access now), unpublished (and partly incomplete) manuscripts, etc. These sources of the articles have caused some minor duplication of subject matter in the material taken from Gods and the Universe. But as these parallel passages appear in different contexts and contain new formulations, they have been retained in this reprint.
Issuing this volume, the Buddhist Publication Society, including the Editor, wish to express their deep and affectionate gratitude to the late author, Mr. Francis Story, who for many years, had been a loyal friend and devoted helper of the Society. His help was not limited to the excellent literary contributions which this Society was privileged to publish. When coming regularly to Kandy from his residence in suburban Colombo, he assisted in the evaluating and editing of manuscripts submitted for publication, in replying to readers’ questions on the Dhamma and in many other ways, including office work and designing book covers. Being convinced that the dissemination of the Buddha Word was a noble and important cause, he never stinted the time and labour devoted to it. His death, aged 61, has been a deeply felt loss, to us personally and to the common cause.
Francis Story’s literary work, we are sure, will find growing appreciation in times to come. The Editor and the publishers have been happy to present it to those who wish to study the Buddha’s liberating message and apply it in their lives.
Forest Hermitage Kandy,