September 12, 2012

The First Buddhist Monk I Ever Saw

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi Remembers Ven. Thich Minh Chau

Ven. Thich Minh ChauTricycle is saddened to relay the news that the Vietnamese monk Venerable Thich Minh Chau passed away on September 1st, at the age of 94. Ven. Minh Chau is known internationally for his scholarly work, A Comparative Study of the Pali Majjhima Nikaya and the Chinese Madhyama Agama, published by Motilal Banarsidass. He also translated the four Nikayas and other Pali texts into Vietnamese and served as a long-term head of Buddhist universities and institutes in Vietnam. You can watch an interview with him here and learn more about him in the video below.

The Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, who wrote to notify us of Ven. Thich Minh Chau's passing earlier this week, is just one dharma student who was profoundly affected by the Vietnamese master. As he wrote, "The Venerable was the first monk that I ever saw in this life. This encounter occurred by sheer coincidence, during the summer of 1965, when I was a college student just starting to become interested in Buddhism. I told the story in an essay I wrote several years ago. The wordless encounter made a deep impression on me, which perhaps planted the seed of my future destiny." The essay, which was originally published by Parabola magazine in their Winter 2009 issue, is being reprinted here with the permission of Bhikkhu Bodhi.

Next page: "My First Encounter with a Buddhist Monk," by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi.

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