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Mind Overcoming Its Cankers: An In-depth Study of Mental Effluents in the Buddhist Perspective

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Item Code: HAO978
Author: Acharya Buddharakkhita
Publisher: Maha Bodhi Society of India
Language: English
Edition: 2022
Pages: 246
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5x5.5 INCH
Weight 270 gm
Book Description
About the Author

Born in Imphal, Manipur, graduated as an engineer in Kolkata, having participated in the Indian Freedom Movement, this extraordinary person joined the army and saw enough violence of the II World War. That led him to renounce everything and he went in search of peace and truth. At last through reading the holy Dhammapada, he came to the path of the Buddha and got ordained in Kushinagar under the most Venerable Chandamani Mahathera and came to be known as Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita.
A visionary and hard working Buddhist monk, he scarified his whole life in study, practice and teaching of the Buddha's words and putting that compassionate teachings into practice by establishing Maha Bodhi Society, Bengaluru in 1956. Since then he worked tirelessly in the field of spirituality, education, medical and social services and established meditation centers, hospitals and educational institutions in India and abroad. He had the distinction of being a member of the Editorial Board of the Sixth Buddhist Synod (Chattha Sangayana) in Yangon, which brought out a complete edition of the Buddhist scriptures in the original Pali language.
This is the centenary year of his birth and Mahabodhi organizations and his countless disciples are celebrating the Birth Centenary with meaningful activities as mark of paying respect to the great teacher Most Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita. We feel privileged to present this book as a part of this centenary celebrations series.


"Mind Overcoming its Cankers" is an in-depth study of mental effluents in the Buddhist perspective. The first edition of this book was brought out in 1978 by the Buddha Vachana Trust, Maha Bodhi Society, Gandhinagar, Bangalore. In 1994 a reprint of this edition was brought out by Buddhist Wisdom Center, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, for free distribution. In 2003 a Vietnamese translation of this book was produced by the Tathagata Meditation Center, San Hose, California, USA, also for free distribution. A revised edition of this book has now been prepared which the BPS, Kandy, Sri Lanka, has published. A second and revised edition of this book has been prepared now by the Buddha Vachana Trust Maha Bodhi Society Bangalore. We thank all those who have helped us in bringing out this latest edition.
This is an Author's humble offering at the lotus feet of the Tathagata Buddha, the Bearer of Truth, the Supremely Enlightened One!


By writing this book, Venerable Acharya Buddharakkhita has made a significant contribution to the field of both Buddhalogy and psychology. Its relevance, however, is not limited to scholars, for it provides an admirable guide for all sincere seekers of truth.
As enunciated by the Buddha, the asavas are those inherent mental cankers or pollutants with which we all are afflicted. These existential ulcers affect the fabric of all thought and action, both individual and societal. Until extirpated, they ensure the continued unsatisfactoriness of lives to come.
The three cankers are the canker of sensual desire, the canker of desire for continued existence, and the canker of ignorance. However, the simplicity of these categories belies their manifold and subtle ramifications. The path from diagnosis to deliverance leads one through the vast and intricate machinations of the human mind, from dormant tendency through thought, overt action, reaction and future kamma. The asavas and the various approaches and techniques for their riddance, which form the subject of this treatise, have been propounded by the Enlightened One in specific, practical terms.
The buddhologist will appreaciate the thoroughgoing and painstaking care with which the author has collated hitherto scattred material from various sources, to present for the first time this comprehensive and incisive commentary. In addition to his own comments, he has presented the material as enunciated in the Sabbasava Sutta and the Nibbedhika Sutta, along with the classic commentary of Acariya Buddhaghosa. In lucid, concrete language he has also incorporated pertinent Buddhist stories and observations from his own rich background and wisdom.
The subject is then approached from the Abhidhamma point of view, in pure philosophical and scientific terms of analysis. The basis of this facet of the presentation is the Dhammasanganī, the first book of Abhidhamma Pitaka. Here the asavas have been expounded in two distinct ways as the nikhepa-kanda treatment based on semantic analysis, and the atthuddhara- kanda method, a condensed psychological analysis of the states of consciousness.
Let it not be assumed that one must be a Buddhist scholar to be able to understand and benefit from this work. Psychologists in particular will find their eyes opening in a new way. Ancient as it is, Buddhist psychology is far more refined than modern psychology, which in comparison resembles rough ore. Buddhism recognizes and is familiar with more levels of consciousness, and hence is more sophisticated. While subtle, it is not the subtleness of the nebulous, esoteric, fuzzy thinking commonly indulged in by dabblers in Eastern thought. It is, rather, the subtlety of the surgeon's scalpel, which precisely and incisively exposes the multidimensional workings of the complex aggregate known as the 'human mind'.
The achievements of Buddhist psychology are made possible by the underlying acceptance of the life process as the continuous flux of interaction between ever-changing subjective and objective phenomena. Boxed in by static metaphysical concepts, other schools and systems, no matter how "modern", cannot help but be limited. Hence the modern psychologist will find ample food for thought in the ideas herein presented. Along with the wreckage of some of his most cherised preconceptions, he will find that many of his exciting "new" ideas have existed for thousands of years as working principles, not mere theories. More important, he will find himself expanding his horizons as he questions his most basic premises and discovers unsuspected intricacies of the human consciousness.

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