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, the family was Roman Catholic. School and gymnasium in Wiesbaden. In 1897 bireflt at monastery, Maria Laach. Studies of music and composition in Frankfurt and Paris, now became 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 1904. In 1905 he returned to Sri Lanka and after a visit to Europe in 1910 settled down as 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 he was finally 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: Das Wort des Buddha: eine Übersicht über das ethisch-philosophische System des Buddha in den Worten des Sutta-Pitakam. 72 p. Lp. 1906, and many further editions, English 1907, French by M. La Fuente. P. 1935, also in 13 other languages.

Kleine systematische Pali Grammatik. 8+119 p. Breslau 1911.

Pali-Anthologie und Wörterbuch. 129 p. München-Neubiberg 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. 12+121 p. 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. 1919, 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 with photo; D.G.K. 1935; *H. Hecker, Der erste deutsche Bhikkhu: das bewegte Leben des Ehrwürdigen Nyânatiloka (1878-1957) und seine Schüler. Konstanz 1995; Stache-Rosen 1990, 192f.; Wikipedia with photo and further references (also in German version); A. Payer, Mat. zum Neobuddh. 2; photo in Rau 103.

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