The Supreme Patriarch, Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, presided over on Wednesday launch of the Kingdom’s easiest version of the Thai-language “Tripitaka for the People” written by the late Buddhist scholar Sucheep Poonyanupap at Wat Bovoranives Vihara in Bangkok.
“Tripitaka for the People” is an abbreviated Thai-language interpretation of the original 45-volume Tripitaka. Sucheep, a former monk, spent years reducing the Buddhist teaching from its original 12,000 pages to about 1,200 pages.
“It’s the Kingdom’s easiest version of the Tripitaka to read. Ajarn Sucheep reduces the comprehensive Buddhist teachings from the 45 volumes of a five-book set into one book, while keeping the core of Buddhist teaching. His readable book simplifies the intellectual Buddhism, aiming for [a book that] ordinary people could read,” Assistant Professor Suchao Ploychum, who is on the editorial team, told The Nation.
This country has many Thai-language versions of Tripitaka. However their knowledge is still limited to the scholars. Therefore the abbreviation of a Thai-version of Tripitaka will make the Buddha’s teachings accessible to ordinary people.
Sucheep first published it in 1979 and then reprinted it many times.
The recent version is produced by Culture Ministry, People’s Tripitaka Foundation, Mahamakut Buddhist University and Buddhasa Bhikkhu Foundation in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sucheep Poonyanupap (1917-2000).
Suchao and his team spent over two years to transform the teachings into a modern version by adding illustrations, diagrams and an appendix.
“The artist-cum-monk Theeraphan Thirabhodi created illustrated drawings in sepia which depict the scenes of the development of Tripitaka, documenting it from the Buddha era to the early Rattakosin period of Thailand,” he said.
“Moreover, the appendix in this book features hundreds of references and the Pali vocabulary,” he added.
The life and work of Sucheep were also featured at the launch at the temple’s 100 years building. Sucheep’s version was named Thailand’s “walkable Tripitaka” by the late prime minister, Sanya Dharmasakti. The former monk wrote many Buddhist texts.
The exhibition of his life and works runs through January 12.
The temple will host a New Year praying festival on New Year’s Eve.