By MARTIN SEEGER - July 8, 2017
In honour of the 111th birth anniversary of Buddhadāsa, keynote speech by Dr. Martin Seeger (University of Leeds, United Kingdom) presented at The 8th International Buddhist Research Seminar & The 2nd International Conference on Buddhadāsa Studies, held on 24-25 May 2017 at the Buddhadāsa Indapañño Archives, Bangkok.
First of all, I would like to thank the Buddhist Research Institute of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, the Suratthani Rajabhat University in Surat Thani and the Buddhadāsa Indapañño Archives for inviting me to this seminar and conference. I feel very honoured, indeed.
In my talk, I want to combine some reflections on my personal encounter with Buddhadāsa’s work with ideas that he expressed in 1973 in a remarkable essay, which has received not much, if any, scholarly attention so far. My purpose of doing so is to propose possible pathways for future research on Buddhadāsa’s intellectual development and legacy.
Let me start.
Whilst becoming alienated from beliefs and practices of Catholicism, the religious tradition I was brought up in, in my mid-teenage years I was increasingly drawn to the study of Daoism and Tibetan Buddhism. This is the reason why I enrolled on a university course in Chinese studies and also pursued Buddhist Studies. In particular, Tibetan Buddhism with its public face the Dalai Lama, attracted me a lot at that time. I was fascinated by what I perceived as an immensely interesting amalgamation of ancient and “mystical” traditions with what appeared to be modern, “scientific” ways of thinking. At that time, I also studied Pali canonical texts to some extent, but to me Theravāda Buddhism as a living tradition was far less attractive, both spiritually and intellectually, as it seemed to be aloof from modern society and somehow “archaic.” This perception changed considerably though when I, more or less accidently, came to Thailand for the first time in the early 1990s and encountered the living complex and multi-faceted tradition of Thai Theravāda Buddhism. During that time, I also came across a book whose ideas became particularly influential in my decision to engage more deeply with modern forms and interpretations of Theravāda Buddhism. In fact, my interest and fascination became so strong that I decided to change the major focus of my academic course to Thai Studies. This very book was a bilingual edition of Buddhadāsa’s “คุกของชีวิต,” The Prison of Life. This short text is based on a talk that Buddhadāsa gave to foreign practitioners of meditation in the late 1980s, some five years before his death.
I found the book The Prison of Life very accessible and logical but, at the same time, also provocative and viscerally challenging. It presented me with a form of Buddhism that seemed to be in line with rational and scientific thinking, whilst questioning the value of ritual and other religious elements. This was very appealing to my own thinking at that time. Having been brought up in a rather strict Catholic tradition and having served as an altar boy for many years, The Prison of Life intrigued me immensely because of its critical stance towards institutionalised forms of religion, something I was increasingly becoming suspicious of at that time. The Prison of Life offered me an approach to religion that encourages sceptical inquisitiveness and personal verification. To me, this was unexpected, refreshing and thus magnetic. Passages such as the following I found deeply thought-provoking: “external learning is from books, ceremonies, practices, and things like that… External study… hasn’t really accomplished anything of value.”, “Wherever there are altars, wherever people bow down and worship so-called sacred and holy things, there is the place where the ‘sleeping science’ persists.” Even the section headings of this book on their own made me critically consider my presumptions about religion. Some of these headings read as follows: “Life Itself is Prison,” “Sacred Institutions Are Prisons,” “Holy Things Are Prison” and “Discover It Inside.” Intuitively, this all instantly made sense to me.
I now believe that the work of Buddhadāsa that I was able to read at that time resonated so deeply with me because my general understanding of Buddhism was shaped by, in the words of David McMahan, a “westernized, demythologized, rationalized, Romanticized, Protestantized, and psychologized” form of Buddhism. I had gained most of my knowledge, quite typically for a Western sympathiser of Asian philosophies and religions, not through participation in a living Buddhist culture but through reading books, in my case in English and German.
I now understand that one of the reasons as to why Buddhadāsa’s teachings, as outlined in books such as The Prison of Life, had such a lasting effect on me was because my prior understanding of Buddhism was that of a “Buddhist modernist.” As McMahan argued, there are three key-aspects of Buddhist modernism: detraditionalization, demythologization and psychologization. Without any doubt, Buddhadāsa’s concepts and the language he uses in his books certainly are, albeit to various extents, in line with how McMahan describes these three cultural processes.
Anyway, inspired and motivated by Buddhadāsa’s ideas, in 1997, I became a Theravāda monk in the Chiang Mai monastery Wat Umong, which has deep connections with Suan Mokkh. Soon after my ordination, I came across numerous practices and beliefs in Thai Buddhism which I thought Buddhadāsa was highly critical of and wanted to do away with. As a consequence of my reading of Buddhadāsa’s work, my intellectual and religious journey went into a direction that was quite different from what I had anticipated. Over the course of the three years of my monastic life, I developed a deeper understanding and appreciation of the importance of community, institution, ritual, hierarchy, belief in rebirth and meditation used for the gaining of supernatural powers. I even helped to produce Buddhist amulets and was involved in a ritual to exorcise evil forces. To me reconciling Buddhadāsa’s ideas and radical approaches with the Thai socio-cultural matrix and the textual tradition of Theravāda Buddhism became a complex and challenging task.
Take the idea of rebirth, for example. For Buddhadāsa “birth” (jāti) is a mental process that can be experienced and seen (sandiṭṭhiko) in the here and now; it refers to the feeling of or the mental arising of the idea of “I” (ตัวกู) and “Mine” (ขอกู). As for literal rebirth, in his own words,
the cycle of rebirth that consists of dying, being placed in a coffin, being reborn again and then ‘getting into’ the coffin again in order to be reborn again, is something I am not concerned with; I do not touch this kind of rebirth but I do not deny that it exists. I will leave it to those who believe in and only know this kind of rebirth. I still do not have the time to become interested in this kind of rebirth as it is not of urgency for us.
Whilst it may be true that Buddhadāsa’s teaching of rebirth as the mental arising of an “I” and “mine” may be attractive for Westerners, as many of them may find the notion of rebirth either challenging or even unacceptable, it is clear that, according to Theravāda’s authoritative Pali texts, the Buddha was using literal rebirth in his teaching. The American Theravāda scholar monk Bhikkhu Bodhi argues that to remove the teaching of rebirth “would virtually reduce the Dhamma to tatters.” He states that
when the suttas speak about rebirth into the five realms – the hells, the animal world, the spirit realm, the human world, and the heavens – they never hint that these terms are meant symbolically. To the contrary, they even say that rebirth occurs ‘with the breakup of the body, after death,’ which clearly implies they intend the idea of rebirth to be taken quite literally.
Moreover, the belief in literal rebirth has become essential and deeply embedded in many aspects of Thai Buddhism, both in social and individual religious life.
Another example is Buddhadāsa’s critical stance towards the sacred scriptures of the Theravāda tradition. Famously, he was critical of large parts of the Pali canonical texts and their Pali commentaries (aṭṭhakathā). For example, he said of the Abhidhammic scriptures of the Pali canon, which he regarded as a later accretion, that they are “excessive philosophically and linguistically and in the way they use logic… the entire collection of the Abhidhammapiṭaka can be thrown into the sea and the world wouldn’t miss anything for the task of ending suffering, apart from its excessiveness [ความเฟ้อ].” At the same time, however, he frequently availed himself of the Pali commentaries. He also said that “the Pali canon is the heart; it is the most important collection and it is necessary to have the commentary texts that explain the Pali canon; I have to have all of the available commentary scriptures.” Elsewhere, he admitted that the commentarial texts can be of great value for historians and students of literature.
Buddhadāsa was fully aware that his teachings and language invited criticism, which sometimes was severe. But he said that when his approach makes people examine and contemplate more the Buddha’s teaching about liberation, then “I like it when people lambast me [ด่า].” Elsewhere he says about the way people reacted to his teaching: “the more people become sceptical [ฉงน], the more I am pleased, as long as there is some benefit in it and it makes people think.” He perceived it as his “duty … to implement all kinds of methods that make human fellows move towards the soteriological goal.” He justified his use of provocative language, for he needed people, in his own words, “to understand [the Buddha’s teaching] easily, quickly and profoundly…”
What also needs to be mentioned here is that his works have sometimes been edited badly and, as a consequence, Buddhadāsa’s intended meaning has become distorted or taken out of context.
Also, the ways in which his ideas have been received and interpreted are diverse. Whilst he was heavily criticised, and even accused of “destroying Buddhism,” others believed that he was an arahant, a fully awakened one, even though he has never made claims of achievement of sainthood and wanted to avoid any focus on him as a person. At the same time, due to his radical re-interpretation of central Buddhist ideas, such as literal rebirth and the realms of Buddhist cosmology, people speculated that Buddhadāsa may have been a sukkhavipassaka, that is a “dry-insight practitioner.” This means, according to these beliefs, that he was fully awakened but lacked the deep levels of meditation that would allow the experiencing of actual Buddhist hells and heavens.
At the same time, Buddhadāsa’s teachings seem to have great potential for effective adaptation and localisation of Buddhist teaching. My colleague Mike Parnwell, professor in South East Asian development, and I observed in a research project on development monks in the northeast of Thailand, how a young charismatic monk localised concepts from Buddhadāsa in creative and imaginative ways. In particular Buddhadāsa’s hermeneutical dichotomy of phasa tham and phasa khon, that is “dhamma language” and “ordinary language” respectively, seems to have been very influential for this monk’s flexible and inclusive way of teaching Buddhism to local villagers. As we argued, this approach allowed him to integrate Buddhist core teachings
into local beliefs without undermining locally held beliefs and practices, even if they are in stark contradiction to some fundamental Theravada doctrines… The aim is to lead [the villagers gradually] to the core teachings of Buddhism in a way that ties in with existing local beliefs.
The vastness and complexities of his work, the fact that he often used provocative language in specific contexts with a specific audience in mind, the seeming contradictions in his work, and the fact that, as he himself admitted, he changed some of his views over the course of time, make a study of Buddhadāsa, his thoughts and his socio-religious impact, a formidable task.
The father of the Thai forest tradition, Luang Pu Man Bhūridatto (1871–1949), is said to have compared the teaching of laypeople with catching a fish that is outside an enclosure (สุ่ม). When the fish is inside the enclosure, it is easy to catch it with one’s hands, but when the fish is outside the cage, it is very hard to catch it. Similarly, when studying Buddhadāsa’s work and how his work has been received, I often feel like trying to catch fish that is outside the enclosure.
However, recently, as part of my research on female Thai Buddhist practitioners and teachers of the first half of the 20th century, I began to study more deeply the remarkable relationship between Buddhadāsa and one of Thailand’s most influential monks, Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn (Jaroen Ñāṇavaro, 1872-1951) of the Bangkok monastery Wat Thepsirin. I want to argue that a study of their relationship will help yield a better understanding of Buddhadāsa’s own thinking.
Despite his enormous influence in Thai Buddhism, Somdet Phra Buddhoghosajarn has hardly been considered in Western scholarship. Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn was an important ecclesiastical administrator and was widely revered as a Buddhist practitioner, educator and gifted sermoniser. He was a translator of numerous Pali texts, editor of 11 volumes of the Sayamrattha Pali canon, and chaired the Saṅgha Supreme Council between 1932 and 1938, acting for the Supreme Patriarch. Between 1946 and 1950, he was the Sanghanayok, the “Saṅgha’s Prime Minister.” It would be hard to overstate his importance for 20th century Thai Buddhism. For Buddhadāsa, Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn was, as he put it, “one of the brains” of the Thai saṅgha institution and also the “most progressive” (คนก้าวหน้าที่สุด) senior monk, when Buddhadāsa studied in Bangkok around the year 1930. What is also relevant for the argument that I want to develop in this talk is that Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn also worked closely with Prince Patriarch Wachirayanawarorot (1860-1921) when the latter wrote the hugely influential textbooks for Thai monastic education.
As is well-known, to the surprise of Buddhadāsa, in 1937 Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn unexpectedly visited and even stayed overnight in Suan Mokkh, which had been founded only 5 years earlier. At that time, Buddhadāsa, still a rather young monk of only about 10 rains (vassa), had already been heavily criticised as “unconventional” (แหวกแนว) or “weird” (อุตริวิตถาร). It was even said that Suan Mokkh accommodated monks who are “mad” (บ้า).
Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn’s influence on Buddhadāsa must have been significant. Buddhadāsa writes that “within only two hours, [Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn] made me become 100% his student [luksit].” The letter correspondence between the two that has been beautifully published in 2010 reveals a close dhammic friendship between them. Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn, for example, started his letters to Buddhadāsa with “Phra Maha-ngueam, who fits my character” – “พระมหาเงื่อม ผู้ที่ถูกอัชฌาสัยของฉัน” – or “Phra Maha-ngueam who pleases me” – “พระมหาเงื่อม ผู้ที่ถูกใจฉัน.”
Prompted by the judge Phra Dunlayaphaksuwaman, in 1973 Buddhadāsa wrote an interesting piece for a memorial publication on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn’s birth. The title of this text is “Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn in my Feeling” – "สมเด็จ ในความรู้สึกของข้าพเจ้า". In this text, Buddhadāsa expresses his deep admiration for a number of personal characteristics of Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn, but, at the same time, admits that he found it difficult to write the text. Phra Dunlayaphaksuwaman, who edited the text, tells us that when reading Buddhadāsa’s manuscript for the first time, he was deeply moved and overjoyed by its content. So far, neither the content of this essay nor the intellectual and personal relationship between Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn and Buddhadāsa, more generally, have received much scholarly attention.
In this essay, Buddhadāsa describes the way Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn combines strict conservatism with what Buddhadāsa calls “liberal” approaches as “amazing” (น่าอัศจรรย์). For Buddhadāsa, this means the preserving of valuable canonical and Thai traditions and ideas on the one hand, whilst simultaneously pursuing a considerate adaptation of the tradition to new realities and embracing new possibilities on the other. Buddhadāsa agreed with almost all of Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn’s interpretations of the more profound aspects of Buddhist teaching that they discussed. Moreover, Buddhadāsa mentions that his own critical approach to Pali texts was strongly influenced by Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn. Thus, Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn encouraged Buddhadāsa to study critically the Pali suttas by considering formal aspects that may allow the identification of textual accretions. In their letters and numerous verbal conversations, Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn and Buddhadāsa discussed the meaning of Pali canonical terms, sometimes through a text-critical approach, and the historical development of Pali texts. Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn strongly emboldened Buddhadāsa in the pursuit of his work and, by so doing, gave him a lot of confidence. Buddhadāsa also reports that “about some issues [Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn] told me that ‘I want you to discuss this further, for I believe if you do it, it may be more effective.’” Unfortunately, Buddhadāsa did not further elaborate on the issues he was referring to here.
I want to argue that what is needed is more research into modern Thai Buddhist intellectual history that investigates questions about continuity and change in the ideas and approaches to Pali texts in the works by the great Thai Buddhist thinkers Prince Patriarch Wachirayanawarorot, Somdet Phra Buddhaghosajarn Jaroen (Jaroen Ñāṇavaro), and Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu. It seems to me that this kind of historical research may reveal interesting insights into the development of Buddhadāsa’s teaching and textual approaches.
Over the last few decades, we have seen how Thai Theravāda Buddhism has been challenged by a number of important issues that are relevant for its current and future role and its institutions in Thai society. Gender equality, ecological concerns, human rights, social justice, text-critical studies of early Buddhist texts, and Thai Theravāda’s relation to politics and nationhood, to name a few, have become significant issues. Questions of how local forms of Thai Buddhism are to be related to and interact with national and global forms of Buddhism have become more relevant. In Buddhism’s on-going process of adaptation to modernity, the questions must be raised as to which traditional elements and aspects should be preserved or adapted, to what extent, how and why. I believe that, with his teachings, language and textual approaches, Buddhadāsa makes valuable contributions to the engagement of these questions, as he and his followers tested and ultimately demonstrated Thai Theravāda’s considerable potential for flexibility and adaptation. However, while it is certainly necessary that the Buddhist tradition needs continuously to adapt itself to modern contexts, there is, at the same time, a risk of lacking an appropriate appreciation of the complexities, depth and values of traditional practices and ideas. In the adaptation process, Buddhism may lose important and valuable elements, as, for example, is pointed out in Robert Sharf’s critique of “Buddhist modernism.” Buddhadāsa seems to have been very much aware of this. Despite its many innovative elements and modern approaches, Buddhadāsa’s work is also characterised by a deep concern for continuity and the upholding of what he perceived as important traditional values and practices. I believe that a study of Buddhadāsa’s work, his intellectual embeddedness and innovativeness in Thai Theravāda tradition, and the reception of his work, may not necessarily provide answers to all of the questions, challenges and issues I just alluded to. Maybe we should not so much interrogate his work in order to find answers but rather use it as a starting point to ask questions (ตั้งกระทู้). Based on my own experience as a Buddhist, admirer of Buddhadāsa and academic, I believe Buddhadāsa’s work should certainly be able to help us to ask apposite questions in relevant discourses of modernity. His work as well as his approaches seem to possess the capacity to provide ideas and strategies to face and critique issues and developments of modernity, both on an individual and societal level. I believe that Buddhadāsa will remain “alive” while his work continues to be elusive, like the fish outside the enclosure, and thus provoke, question, and inspire, whilst also encouraging scepticism and creativity and engagement in critical reflections on traditional values and practices, critical investigations of Theravāda’s textual corpus, and highlighting the value of preserving Theravāda lineages, traditions, rituals and social institutions; all at the same time…
Thank you for your attention!
 These are the translations by Santikaro (Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, The Prison of Life. Translated from the Thai by Santikaro (Bangkok: The Buddhadāsa Indapañño Archives, 2015)).
 McMahan, David L., The Making of Buddhist Modernism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 8.
 See also Jackson, Peter A., Buddhadāsa: Theravada Buddhism and Modernist Reform in Thailand (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2003), p. 295.
 McMahan, The Making of Buddhist Modernism, pp. 42-59.
 พุทธทาสภิกขุ, “ธรรมะน้ำ” ล้าง “ธรรมะโคลน” ท่านพุทธทาส ตอบปัญหาแก่ผู้สาดโคลนใส่ร้ายป้ายสี, พิมพ์ครั้งที่ ๒ (กรุงเทพฯ: สำนักพิมพ์อรุณวิทยา), หน้า ๑๕๘. See also e.g. พุทธทาสภิกขุ, “ธรรมะน้ำ” ล้าง “ธรรมะโคลน”, หน้า ๑๔๑: “เราไม่ได้ปฏิเสธ เรื่องเกิดใหม่หลังจากตาย อย่างที่เขาพูดกันอยู่หรือเขาเชื่อกันอยู่”, ไพโรจน์ อยู่มณเฑียร รวบรวม, ท่านพุทธทาสตอบปัญหาพุทธศาสนา, หน้า ๕๕-๕๘ and Jackson, Buddhadāsa, p. 120: “Buddhadāsa does not in fact completely deny the actuality of rebirth. What he does deny is the relevance of literal rebirth to the spiritual enterprise of Buddhism.”
 Bucknell, R.S. and M. Stuart-Fox, “The ‘Three Knowledges’ of Buddhism: Implications of Buddhadasa’s Interpretation of Rebirth,” in Religion 13 (1983), p. 99.
 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_46.html (accessed June 29, 2017).
 See e.g. สมเด็จพระพุทธโฆษาจารย์ (ป. อ. ปยุตฺโต) cited in วิภา จิรภาไพศาลม, “ในโลกอันแสนวิปริตกับฐานความคิดท่านพุทธทาส,” ศิลปวัฒนธรรม ปีที่ ๒๗ ฉบับที่ ๗ พฤษภาคม ๒๕๔๙, หน้า ๙๔: “ท่านเอาจริงเอาจังมากกับพระไตรปิฎก ท่านอยู่กับพระไตรปิฎกมามากมาย และตั้งใจค้นคว้า ศึกษาจริง”
 พระประชา ปสนฺนธมฺโม สัมภาษณ์, เล่าไว้เมื่อวัยสนธยา อัตชีวประวัติของท่านพุทธทาส (กรุงเทพฯ: มูลนิธิโกมลคีมทอง, ๒๕๓๕), หน้า ๔๔๕.
 ไพโรจน์ อยู่มณเฑียร รวบรวม, ท่านพุทธทาสตอบปัญหาพุทธศาสนา ๑๑๔ ปัญหาพุทธศาสนากับท่านพุทธทาส (กรุงเทพฯ: สร้อยทอง), หน้า ๖๒.
 ไพโรจน์ อยู่มณเฑียร รวบรวม, ท่านพุทธทาสตอบปัญหาพุทธศาสนา, หน้า ๑๑๐; see also พุทธทาสภิกขุ, เพชรในพระไตรปิฎก, พิมพ์ครั้งที่ ๒ (กรุงเทพฯ: กลุ่มศึกษาและปฏิบัติธรรม, เมษายน พ.ศ. ๒๕๒๙), หน้า ๒๒: “อาตมายอมให้ด่า จะด่าว่าเป็นอะไรก็ได้ ด่าว่าเป็นคนนอกศาสนาจ้วงจาบพระไตรปิฎกเป็นส่วนใหญ่. แต่ดูให้ดีเถิด อาตมาไม่ได้จ้วงจาบพระไตรปิฎก เพียงแต่ต้องการให้ทุกคนเข้าถึงหัวใจพระไตรปิฎก.”
 ไพโรจน์ อยู่มณเฑียร รวบรวม, ท่านพุทธทาสตอบปัญหาพุทธศาสนา, หน้า ๗๙-๘๐.
 พุทธทาสภิกขุ, “ธรรมะน้ำ” ล้าง “ธรรมะโคลน”, หน้า ๙๔.
 See e.g. อรุณ เวชสุวรรณ in พุทธทาสภิกขุ, “ธรรมะน้ำ” ล้าง “ธรรมะโคลน”, (คำแถลงเกี่ยวกับการจัดพิมพ์); Ito, Tomomi, Modern Thai Buddhism and Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu: A Social History (Singapore: NUS Press, 2012), p. 97.
 See e.g. Jackson, Buddhadāsa, pp. 292-293. There are also posters of relics and Thai books that refer to Buddhadāsa indirectly as “arahant” or “ariyasong” (noble one).
 Over the course of many years of research, I have repeatedly come across this belief in interviews and informal conversations. See also e.g.: http://www.gmwebsite.com/webboard/Topic.asp?TopicID=Topic-090407092137386 (accessed June 29, 2017).
 Parnwell, Michael and Martin Seeger, “The Relocalization of Buddhism in Thailand,” in Journal of Buddhist Ethics 29 (2008), pp. 78-176.
 Parnwell and Seeger, “The Relocalization of Buddhism in Thailand,” p. 132
 พุทธทาส อินฺทปญฺโญ, “สมเด็จฯ ในความรู้สึกของข้าพเจ้า” ประมวลเกียรติคุณ สมเด็จพระพุทธโฆษาจารย์ (เจริญ ญาณวร), ธีรชัย ทองธรรมชาติ เรียบเรียง, พิมพ์ครั้งที่ ๒ (ชลบุรี: ยุวพุทธิกสมาคมชลบุรี ในพระสังฆราชูปถัมภ์, ๒๕๕๔), หน้า ๑๒๓.
 พระประชา ปสนฺนธมฺโม สัมภาษณ์, เล่าไว้เมื่อวัยสนธยา อัตชีวประวัติของท่านพุทธทาส, หน้า ๑๒๒.
 พุทธทาส อินฺทปญฺโญ, “สมเด็จฯ ในความรู้สึกของข้าพเจ้า”, หน้า ๑๓๖.
 พุทธทาส อินฺทปญฺโญ, “สมเด็จฯ ในความรู้สึกของข้าพเจ้า”, หน้า ๑๓๙.
 พุทธทาสภิกขุ, สาส์นสมเด็จฯ กับพุทธทาส และดุลยพากย์สุวมัณฑ์ (กรุงเทพฯ: ธรรมสภา, ๒๕๕๓).
 พุทธทาส อินฺทปญฺโญ, “สมเด็จฯ ในความรู้สึกของข้าพเจ้า”, หน้า ๑๑๘-๑๔๘ and พุทธทาสภิกขุ, สาส์นสมเด็จฯ กับพุทธทาส และดุลยพากย์สุวมัณฑ์, หน้า ๒๕๐-๒๖๑.
 พุทธทาส อินฺทปญฺโญ, “สมเด็จฯ ในความรู้สึกของข้าพเจ้า”, หน้า ๑๒๕.
 พระประชา ปสนฺนธมฺโม สัมภาษณ์, เล่าไว้เมื่อวัยสนธยา อัตชีวประวัติของท่านพุทธทาส, หน้า ๒๘๒-๓๘๔.
 See e.g. พุทธทาส อินฺทปญฺโญ, “สมเด็จฯ ในความรู้สึกของข้าพเจ้า”, หน้า ๑๒๙-๑๓๑ and พระประชา ปสนฺนธมฺโม สัมภาษณ์, เล่าไว้เมื่อวัยสนธยา อัตชีวประวัติของท่านพุทธทาส, หน้า ๒๘๔: “ท่านเป็นคนแรกที่บอกว่ามหาสติปัฏฐานสูตรนั้น "ฉันไม่เชื่อว่าเป็นพุทธภาษิต" เพราะมันยาวเกินไป
 See e.g. this interesting statement by Buddhadāsa: “บางเรื่องท่านพูดว่า “เรื่องนี้ฉันอยากให้เธอเอาไปพูดต่อ เพราะเชื่อว่าเธอจะพูดได้ผลดีกว่าฉัน” เรื่องเช่นนี้ ท่านทั้งหลายลองคิดดูเถิดว่า ข้าพเจ้าจะรู้สึกตัวเบาปลิวสักเท่าไร? ...ได้ทำให้ข้าพเจ้า มีความกล้าหาญและทะนงตัวในการทำงาน ยิ่งขึ้นกว่าเดิมหลายเท่าทีเดียว” (พุทธทาส อินฺทปญฺโญ, “สมเด็จฯ ในความรู้สึกของข้าพเจ้า”, หน้า ๑๔๕).
 See previous footnote.
 See however พระประชา ปสนฺนธมฺโม สัมภาษณ์, เล่าไว้เมื่อวัยสนธยา อัตชีวประวัติของท่านพุทธทาส, หน้า ๓๘๕: “เรื่องบางเรื่อง ท่านจะบอกให้ผมเป็นคนเอาไปพูดไปโฆษณา เพราะเชื่อว่าผมจะพูดได้ถนัดกว่า อย่างเช่นเรื่องสอุปาทิเสสะบุคคล ซึ่งไม่มีใครสนใจมาก่อน...”
 Sharf, Robert, “Losing Our Religion.” Interview in Tricycle, Summer, 2007, pp. 44-49.
 See also e.g. Jackson, Buddhadāsa, p. 271: “…Buddhadāsa has shown that Theravada is in fact a highly adaptable system, with vast theoretical resources for reform and for development in new directions.”