The Buddha’s Teachings on Prosperity - Foreword

At Home, At Work, In the World

Foreword
by Arthur C. Clarke

I have to admit that there is some incongruity in a lifelong secularist like myself writing these words to introduce a book on the Buddha’s way to prosperity, wisdom, and inner peace. My views on religion have been widely publicized, and I believe all religions are a form of mind virus that affects otherwise healthy—and often educated—human beings.

Buddhism stands apart in being tolerant, accommodating, and pragmatic. Having lived for a half-century in Sri Lanka, I have seen how the Buddha’s teachings are applied by various groups in many different ways. Strange as it might seem, perfectly rational people and rabid fundamentalists both claim to derive their beliefs and attitudes from the same source. Clearly, many liberties are being taken with the original teachings.

That is why I welcome the publication of this book, by Bhikkhu Basnagoda Rahula, Ph.D., which aims to rediscover the principles and values of Buddhism that have been obscured by centuries of culture and history.

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of associating with the late Dr. Walpola Rahula, one of the few truly erudite people I have met. He struggled long and hard to rid Buddhism of fanaticism and rituals. I hope the current Bhikkhu Rahula will continue that noble mission, as there is much unfinished business.

—King’s College, London