Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ph.D. (1944- ) was born named Jeffrey Block in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Clairemont Graduate School in 1972. He was the editor and president of the Buddhist Publication Society in Sri Lanka where he lived for most of his early years as a Theravada monk. He has translated most of the Nikayas of the Pali Canon and has improved the quality of previous translations for the modern reader. He has given keynote addresses to the United Nations and to the International Buddhist Women’s Conference. He supports the full ordinations of women as bhikkhunis (nuns).
In 1967, while still a graduate student, Bodhi was ordained as a samanera (novice monk) in the Vietnamese Mahayana order. In 1972, after graduation, Bodhi traveled to Sri Lanka where, under Ven. Ananda Maitreya, he received novice ordination and, in 1973, he received full ordination in a Theravada order.
In 1984, succeeding co-founder Ven. Nyanaponika Thera, Bodhi was appointed English language editor of the Buddhist Publication Society (BPS, Sri Lanka) and, in 1988, became its president. In 2002, he retired from the society's editorship while still remaining its president.
In 2000, at the United Nations' first official Vesak celebration, Bodhi gave the keynote address.
In 2002, after retiring as editor of BPS, Bodhi returned to the United States. He currently teaches at Bodhi Monastery (Lafayette, New Jersey) and Chuang Yen Monastery (Carmel, New York) and is the chairman of Yin Shun Foundation.
Publications and teachings
Bodhi's publications include:
- The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering (1984, BPS; 2000, Pariyatti)
- The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya (with Bhikkhu Nanamoli, 1995, Wisdom Publications)
- Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: An Anthology of Suttas from the Anguttara Nikaya (with Nyanaponika Thera, 2000, Altamira Press)
- The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (2000, Wisdom Publications)
- A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma: The Abhidhammattha Sangaha of Ācariya Anuruddha (2000, BPS Pariyatti)
- In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (2005, Wisdom Publications)
Bodhi's on-line courses include:
- "The Buddha’s Teaching As It Is" (1981)
- A course in Pali Language (2003)
- Majjhima Nikaya lectures (2003-2008)
- "Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi" (official biography), retrieved from "Bodhi Monastery" at http://www.bodhimonastery.net/Monastery/Teachers/bhikkhubodhi.html
- See "Climbing to the Top of the Mountain: An interview with Bhikkhu Bodhi" (2002) from "Barre Center for Buddhist Studies" at http://www.dharma.org/ij/archives/2002b/bhikkhu_bodhi.htm.
- In Bodhi, Connected Discourses (2000), p. 5, Bodhi dedicates the tome to "the memory of my teacher Venerable Abhidhajamaharatthaguru Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera (1896-1998) and to the memories of my chief kalyanamittas in my life as a Buddhist monk, Venerable Nyanaponika Mahathera (1901-1994) and Venerable Piyadassi Thera (1914-1998)".
- "Story of the Buddhist Publication Society" from "Buddhist Publication Society" at http://www.bps.lk/aboutus.asp. During Bodhi's tenure as English-language editor, the Sinhala editor was Ven. Piyadassi Thera until his death in 1998.
- According to the BPS "Newsletter" (1st Mailing 2008, No. 59), p. 7, right hand column, bottom: "Note: The author [Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, related to the article "The Buddhist Publication Society of Kandy: A Brief Account of Its Contributions to Buddhist Literature," pp. 4-7] served as the editor of the BPS from 1984 until 2002 and has remained its president since 1988." (Retrieved 2008-07-29 from "BPS" at http://www.bps.lk/newletter_pdf/nl_59.pdf.)
- Bodhi's U.N. keynote address is available at http://www.buddhanet.net/budmsg.htm.
- For example an example of Bodhi's teaching at the Chuang Yen Monastery, see "Going to the Source of the Buddh's Teaching: A Study Course in the Pali Suttas with Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi" from "Buddhist Association of United States" (BAUS) at http://www.baus.org/baus/programs/2008/CourseNotice-Fall_2008.pdf.
- An on-line edition of "The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering" (BPS, 1984/1998) is available from "Access to Insight" (1999) at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/waytoend.html.
- His 1981 ten-lecture "The Buddha’s Teaching As It Is" is available at http://www.bodhimonastery.net/courses/TenLectures/TenLectures.html. Bodhi recorded these lectures at the prompting of Bhante Gunaratana.
- Bodhi's Pali language course is available at http://www.bodhimonastery.net/courses/Pali/course_Pali.html.
- Bodhi's Majjhima Nikaya (MN) lectures are available at http://www.bodhimonastery.net/courses/MN/MN_course.html. The structure he provides for the MN suttas later became the general structure he provides for selected suttas from the entire Pali Canon in Bodhi (2005).