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Sri Lankan Reform Buddhism in the Himalayas: Chittadhar Hridaya’s Sugata Saurabha by Professor Todd Lewis


The United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission

Presents a Lecture


Professor Todd Lewis



Sri Lankan Reform Buddhism

in the Himalayas:

Chittadhar Hridaya’s Sugata Saurabha

This lecture will explore the poetic masterpiece recounting the Buddha’s life written by Chittadhar Hridaya (1906-1982) of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Examining it as a case study of Buddhist modernity, it will show that not only does this text reflect the author’s awareness of indigenous Sanskrit sources, but it also demonstrates how Hindi translations from the Pali Canon, and Mahabodhi Society publications – both influences originating in Sri Lanka – shaped Sugata Saurabha, one of the great literary accomplishments of modern Buddhist literature.

Date: Thursday May 3, 2012

Time: 6.00 – 7.00 p.m.

Refreshments will be served from 5.30 – 6.00 p.m.

Venue: United States-Sri Lanka Fulbright Commission Auditorium

New Address: 55 Abdul Caffoor Mawatha, Colombo 3

(off Duplication Road, next to Stone & String)

Entry: By prior registration only – seating will be on a first-come first-served basis.

Call: 256 4176 and 471- 8744 to register

Todd Lewis is Professor in the Religious Studies Department at The College of the Holy Cross, in Massachusetts, where he has taught since 1990. Having done research in Nepal since 1979, Prof. Lewis has published over thirty articles and several books on Newar Buddhism, including Popular Buddhist Texts from Nepal: Narratives and Rituals of Newar Buddhism (2000). He has also co-authored a textbook published by Oxford University Press, World Religions Today that is now its 4th edition. Professor Lewis is a four-time Fulbright scholar and a Guggenheim fellow. His and Subarna Man Tuladhar’s translation of the poem that is the subject of today’s lecture, entitled Sugata Saurabha: A Poem on the Life of the Buddha by Chittadhar Hridaya of Nepal, was awarded the Toshide Numata Prize for the best book published in the field of Buddhist Studies in 2010.