Nanamoli Bhikkhu

Deceased Person

1905 – 1960

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Who was Nanamoli Bhikkhu?

Ñāṇamoli Bhikkhu, born Osbert Moore, was a British Theravada Buddhist monk and Pali scholar, educated at Exeter College, Oxford.

While serving as an intelligence officer interrogating spies and saboteurs in Italy during World War II, he discovered Buddhism via the Julius Evola's The Doctrine of Awakening a Nietzschean interpretation of Buddhism. This work had been translated by his friend Harold Edward Musson, also an intelligence officer serving in Italy.

After the war Moore joined the Italian section of the BBC. Moore and Musson, who shared a flat in London, were quite disillusioned with their lives and left to Sri Lanka in 1949 to become Buddhist monks. On April 24, 1949 they received the novice ordination or going forth, pabbajjā, from Ñāṇatiloka at the Island Hermitage. In 1950 they received their bhikkhu ordination at Vajirarama Temple Colombo. Ñāṇamoli spent almost his entire monk life of eleven years at the Island Hermitage.

After having been taught the basics of Pali by Nyanatiloka Mahathera, Ñāṇamoli acquired a remarkable command of the Pali language and a wide knowledge of the canonical scriptures within a comparatively short time. He is remembered for his reliable translations from the Pali into English, mostly of abstruse texts such as the Nettippakaraṇa which are considered difficult to translate. He also wrote essays on aspects of Buddhism. By 1956 he had translated Visuddhimagga into English and got it published as The Path of Purification. He also compiled The Life of the Buddha, a reliable and popular biography of the Buddha based on authentic records in the Pali Canon. His notes with his philosophical thoughts were compiled by Nyanaponika Thera and published as A Thinker's Note Book.

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Born
Jun 25, 1905
United Kingdom
Religion
  • Theravada
Died
Mar 8, 1960

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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