GUETH, Anton Walter Florus

GUETH, Anton Walter Florus (Nyānatiloka Mahāthera). Wiesbaden 19.2.1878 — Colombo/Ceylon 28.5.1957. German Bauddha and Buddhist scholar in Sri Lanka. Son of Anton G., principal of gymnasium, and Paula Auffahrt. Studies of music and composition in Frankfurt and Paris, became early acquainted with Buddhism. His work as a violinist brought him through Turkey and Egypt to India. From India he went to Sri Lanka and soon to Burma, where he was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1903. In 1905 he returned to Sri Lanka and in 1910 settled down as a Buddhist hermit in an island of lake Dodanduwa. The hermitage became a favourite visiting place of the islanders and later he also got some Western disciples. During both World Wars he was interned, partly in India. In the early 1920s he was several years in Japan and taught as a Docent Pāli at Taisho University in Tokyo from 1921, and at Kamazawa University from 1922, from 1925 as a Professor. In 1926 allowed by British to return to Sri Lanka and restored the Island Hermitage. In 1950 citizen of Ceylon. Among his disciples were Vappa (L. Stolz), Sumana (Fr. Stange), Nyāna­ponika (S. Feniger) and Nyāna­satta (M. Novosad). Translated eleven works from Pāli.

Publications: The word of Buddha. 1906, and 11 further editions, French by M. La Fuente. P. 1935.

Kleine systematische Pali Grammatik. 1911.

Pali-Anthologie und Wörterbuch. 1928; Der Weg zur Erlösung. In den Worten der buddhistischen Urschriften. 266 p. Buddh. Handbibl. 8. Konstanz 1956.

Guide through the Abhidhamma Piṭaka. 11+165 p. L. 1938.

Buddhistisches Wörterbuch. Kurzgefasstes handbuch der buddhistischen Lehren und Begriffe in alphabetischer Anordnung. 263 p. Konstanz 1953, 3rd rev. ed. 277 p. Konstanz 1983.

translated: Puggalapaññatti. Das Buch der Charaktere. Breslau 1911; Aṅguttara-nikāya. Die Lehrreden des Buddha aus der Angereihten Sammlung. Überarbeitet und hrsg. von Nyanaponika. 1-5. 1911ff., 4th rev. ed. Freiburg 1984; Milindapañha. Die Fragen des Königs Milinda. Zwiegespräche zwischen einem Griechenkönig und einem buddhistischen Mönch. Lp. 1919ff., Hrsg. und teilweise neu übers. von Nyanaponika. 396 p. Interlaken 1985; Buddhaghosa: Visuddhi-Magga oder der Weg zur Reinheit. Die grösste und älteste systematische Darstellung des Buddhismus. 981 p. Konstanz 1952 (vol. i München 1931).

Sources: Peiris, Buddhism 139-141; D.G.K. 1935; Wikipedia with photo and further references (also in German version).

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