What the Greeks called philia is what the Buddha called mittata. Both words mean loving friendship or brotherly love. Until recently, even in Western societies, friendships were much closer and deeper than is expected today. The friendships between Achilles … Read the rest

Until fairly recently almost all societies considered women to be inferior to men, some still do. This lower status was reflected in the teachings of most religions as well. The Bible holds women responsible for the fall of humankind (1 … Read the rest

Virtually every reference to sex in the Pali Tipitaka is condemnatory. However, there are two passages which could be said to have a mildly erotic content. The first of these are the unusual verses in the Sakkapanha Sutta of the … Read the rest

If prostitution is the oldest profession, them that of the executioner is the second oldest. Some of the most ancient written documents and certainly the oldest legal documents, mention death as a punishment for various crimes, often very minor ones. … Read the rest

The Five Precepts consist of the bare minimum of Buddhist moral behaviour. Being a sincere Buddhist involves much more than just following the precepts, but anything less than that disqualifies one from honestly calling oneself a Buddhist. If you ask … Read the rest

As understood in most cultures, marriage is the union of two persons which is recognized by some authority be it religious, legal or social. There are and always have been many types of marriage – polygamous and polyandrous, there are … Read the rest

The Buddhist virtue of generosity (dana) or sharing (caga) are well-known. That food is the main thing given is also well-known and a well-established custom. However, the Buddha often spoke of giving things other than food … Read the rest

During the Buddha’s lifetime he was given numerous epithets to highlight or praise his outstanding qualities. Some of these include the Happy One, Teacher of Gods and Humans, Lord of Creatures, Teacher, etc. One of the most interesting of these … Read the rest

The Kacchapa Jataka is one of several rude stories in the Jataka and has, I think, never been translated into English before. Like several other risqué stories in the collection, Professor E. B. Cowell who edited the first complete English … Read the rest

The 21st of March is the International Day of Forests. On this and similar “international days” the organising committees try to get as many elements of society involved as possible, with varying degrees of success, and with fluctuating levels of … Read the rest