One Hour for Buddhism

Six essays on various Buddhist topics originally conceived as six radio talks.

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One Hour for Buddhism (PDF)

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One Hour for Buddhism

One Hour for Buddhism


The author Henri G. A. van Zeyst, whose writings from 1938 up to 1949 were published under his religious name as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, Bhikkhu Dhammapāla, is now leading a very retired life in the hill-country of what is presently known as Sri Lanka.

The apparent gap of time in his writings (1949–1969) does not indicate, however, a mental rustication; for, apart from his opus magnum, the Norm, which still remains in manuscript form with the Printer and Publisher, he has during that period contributed very liberally many articles to the Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, of which he was at that time for several years the Senior Assistant Editor and Administrative Officer at the Campus of the Ceylon University in Peradeniya. His various broadcasts on Buddhism were well received, and some were published in the Radio Times.

His views on the teaching of the Buddha are lately not of the stereotyped “dogmatic” attitude, so often found in popular publications, but show an independent approach to and search for the basic teachings without their mediaeval decorations. But the result remains as orthodox Theravāda as ever, although the setting of these “gems” is more suited to the modern mind, which has hardly time to spare, even if it were only “One hour for Buddhism”.

Shanti Bhadra Theta
Sri Lanka.
23rd June, 1974

Author’s Preface to the First Edition

It has been said that it is the duty of old men to lie to the young ones, to allow them to discover their own disillusions. Yet, it is hard to witness so much waste which could have been prevented, if there had been only a few more pointers to show the edge of the road, if not its end. And so, nearing the seventieth year of this individual life span, words had to be spoken when thoughts became too forceful.

The following pages are not more than pointers. Originally conceived as six broadcasts for the Overseas Service, each of ten minutes, they got their birth-name from that. But some technical block-head prevented this, and now they are offered here in a printed form. This publication was made possible from the turn-over of the sale of an earlier publication, “The Challenge to Buddhism”, for which generous contributions were responsible. Again the price of this “hour” has been kept down to cover the expenses of printing and publishing, which, however, have doubled during the last two years.

Go forth, my little child, in this cold world to warm the hearts and waken the minds of some few who may be ready to blossom and bear fruit, even within this “Hour”.

Henri G. A. van Zeyst
Bandarawela, Sri Lanka

Foreword to the Second Edition

While writing the text for the broadcasts of One Hour for Buddhism, and preparing it later for publication, I had the feeling that it would be last.

That is now more than four years ago. Since then, with the help of my present enthusiastic publishers, there have been several new booklets printed, and quite a few more are ready in various stages of compilation and publication.

Thus, without taking much notice, we found suddenly that this little booklet had run its course without being able to supply the demand. Hence this second edition was planned without any change in the text.

It seems to have fulfilled my wish that it would warm the hearts and waken the minds of some few.

May these blossoms bear fruit.

Henri van Zeyst,
November 1978

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