Touching the Essence

A series of lectures, broadcast in the first half of the 1940s.

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Touching the Essence

Touching the Essence

Six Lectures on Buddhism


Bhikkhu Dhammapāla
(Henry van Zeyst)

Buddhist Publication Society
Kandy – Sri Lanka

The Wheel Publication No. 132/133/134 The Archives are very grateful to the Buddhist Publication Society for permission to reprint this text here.01

SL ISSN 0049 – 7541
First Edition: 1944 (YMBA, Colombo)
Second Edition: 1969
Third Edition: 1986
First two editions published under the title: Broadcasts on Buddhism.

From the Foreword to the First Edition

The nature of the radio lectures delivered by me was such that a more careful study of them was thought to be useful not only for the many who listened in at the time, but especially for all who were not in the same position.

The lectures, which form a series, touch upon the most essential parts of the Buddha’s teaching, the Four Noble Truths, the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta, the doctrine of kamma, the paṭicca samuppāda and the deliverance of Nibbāna. The second part of the lecture on Soullessness, being of a more polemic nature, could not be broadcast for obvious reasons, but was delivered at the Y.M.B.A., Colombo, the original publishers of this series, under the caption: “Can the soul-idea be vindicated?”

The many questions that followed this and similar lectures are a proof of the great interest taken in Buddhism by the intellectual classes, if only the Norm is presented to them in a normal way which will satisfy their hunger for truth.

May this publication bring about, if not satisfaction, at least a whetting of their appetite!

Bhikkhu Dhammapāla
Udawatte Temple,
March 15th, 2487 (1944)

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