I am an English Buddhist monk who took higher ordination in the Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka in 1996, being given the ordination name Anandajoti (Radiant Joy).
Since the end of the 1980s I have lived mainly in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia; and I am currently living in the International Buddhist College in Sadao, Thailand.
In 2008 I started to look after an old Sri Lankan Temple in Taiping, Malaysia. As part of our Dharma propagation work I would show a film every Friday and hold a discussion on the issues it raised.
I left that Temple in 2010, but I wanted to continue sharing the documentaries I think are helpful for an understanding of Buddhism in its wider aspects, and the cultures it has influenced.
The Dharma Documentaries website presently (Nov. 2019) has over 700 documentaries from three main areas:
1) all traditions of the Buddhist Teaching,
2) the associated cultures, mainly in Asia,
3) materials about other areas of concern, like ecology, human and animal rights.
The collection presented is a personal choice, and the site is mainly for well-made documentaries and occasionally academic lectures. I will not include material just because it is on subject, if I judge the presentation to be poor.
Bearing this in mind if you have any suggestions for inclusion on the site please use the comments form below (or anywhere else on the site). As I have to review the material I normally post only one new documentary a week, usually on a Friday.
I have a number of websites besides this blog.
1) The first one I started was Ancient Buddhist Texts in 2002 as a way of publishing material from the broader early Buddhist Tradition in the original languages together with annotated translations. The website, which is still expanding, now includes texts, translations, and studies from both the early and medieval periods, in Pa?i, Sanskrised Prakr?t (BHS), and Classical Sanskrit. There are also resource materials, maps and a large collection of audio files, and most of the material is published in a range of formats: html, pdf, ebook, and where appropriate mp3.
2) In the year 2006 a supporter in Sri Lanka gave me a camera, and since then I have been taking photographs of the temples, pilgrimage centres and historical remains in Buddhist Asia. To accommodate this material in 2009 I started a dedicated website, Photo Dharma, to house the various collections. As of 2018 there are more than 13,000 photographs on the site all published in high-definition files, and having associated information in the various albums.
3) In 2012 I published the whole of the Sri Lankan edition of the Tipitaka in around 16,000 image files in a site which we hope will eventually house the commentaries and ancillary works also. Later I added the Burmese texts too. The Pali Text Images site is rather specialist, and only intended for those who read the Pali language through Sinhala or Burmese scripts.
4) Around the year 2004 at the suggestion of Jeanne Mynett I started another website to house the teachings of Godwin Samararatne, one of the best-loved lay meditation teachers in Sri Lanka in the 20th century. Godwin was my first Dhamma teacher and my first Buddhist meditation teacher, so he has proved to be one of the most influential people in my life.
As I am publishing materials in various formats and in different places in 2010 I started the Dharma Records blog which mainly acts as a center for notification of updates on the others sites, and as a place to share some other things with people.
I also have the Dharma Records youtube channel for various videos I have made, either recordings of Dhamma Talks, or films made from my photographs. There are also over a hundred playlists on the channel, many of which are embedded in this website.
And another youtube channel Dharma Documentaries which has many rare videos on Dharma themes; and as youtube keeps taking down documentaries, I started a Bittubers channel, also called Dharma Documentaries, which has around 200 more rare documentaries. Many of these are embedded or linked to within this site, of course.
20 thoughts on “About”
Dear Aj. Anandajoti,
Thank you for this site and sharing the Dhamma with us. The only suggestion I would have is that you also give some more space and time to the Bhikkhuni/Female life in Dhamma and their contributions.
Hi Arpita, thanks for your kind words. I would gladly share more films on women’s life and contributions to the Dhamma and Sangha, if you know of some I’ve missed please let me know and I will post them as long as they fit.
Amazing work Bhante, Thank You for your consideration in sharing with us
So very grateful to you for sharing all these lovely titles. Having just viewed the Tibetan nuns in their monastery in Nepal, I am concerned for them — Did they survive the tragic earthquake (2015)?
FYI: Tried grading the few I’ve seen so far, but the star system (or was it my finger?) malfunctioned–assigning less stars than I pushed…
Thanks for the comment Julie. Yes, the monks and nuns did survive, as far as I know, but had to sleep outside the buildings while the aftershocks were still running. Of course they are no engaged in major relief work in the area too.
Nice work in all aspect related to Buddhism. But we would like to see or read more about to revolutionary Buddhism by which Buddhism take place all over in India through dominated people in Varna- system of Brahmins ( vaidik , Sanatana, Aarya people) . Why the declines of Buddhism in india? Revolutionary philosophical struggle of Buddhism against counter revolutionary people till today.
I just found a good documentary on the bhikkhus from Wat Pah Nanachat during the 90’s when Ajahn Passano was still Abbott there. I think I’ve just about officially exhausted every Theravada documentary in English there is now. I think it would be a good edition to the site. Thank you for this website and Ancient Buddhist Texts. Here’s the url:
Thanks Andrew, I have downloaded and will review and include it here soon.
Two rare documentaries:
Thanks, Franko, will look at them soon.
I wanted to express how moving it was to view the documentary on Gobind lama,
“The Mountain Yogi”.
Can you guide me to where I would be able to purchase a DVD?
Something this inspiring moves me to want to share it with others when they
come to my house to visit and there is time to watch on a projected movie screen
vs a small iPad. As long as I am still living in Los Angeles, I have some of the
technology of both analogue (LP’s) and digital (DVD) and have a hard copy
library of music and visual so I am not dependent on the Internet or the cloud.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
Blessings to you,
interesting site, would love to be in touch, please feel free to email me, thanks!
Gaetano Kazuo Maida
Buddhist Film Foundation
Box 22755, Oakland, CA USA 94609
Thank you for creating this site, Bhante. I need inspiration sometimes (and instruction always!), and these documentaries are an excellent source of both.
I’d like to point out a small technical thing I’m experiencing in Safari 13.0.5 (15608.5.11) running under macOS Catalina 10.15.3 (19D76): the terms I type into the search field near the top of the page are almost invisible, as they appear in very light grey characters against the white background of the search field. I’m running Catalina in dark mode, which may be a factor.
Ah – I’m part Russian, am learning the language, and am interested in Buddhism in that country – and I just discovered that you have a few documentaries posted that discuss just that. I’m looking forward to watching them!
Thank you again, Bhante. May you be well, happy and peaceful!
I am really happy to hear the site has been useful to you Ian.
What an amazing resource for pilgrims on the path, and blessings on you as the instrument of its creation. It is a fountain of inspiration and learning, to which I shall be returning. Thank you.
Thank you Jon for your kind comment. I am glad to hear the archive is useful to so many!
very appreciate your films,
please – here is a very new one, from an Austrian Songwriter who found the way from Music to the Dharma – Super8 movie, like a nice documentary over 8 years …
LETTER FROM A FRIEND – RENATO UNTERBERG
was at the Film Festival Diagonale Austria 2021 and Film Festival Mumbai 2021https://www.diagonale.at/filmarchiv/?fid=10176
For more informations:
Thank You very much
Thank you Christine I will look into it.
Great work! Bhante! It is an excellent effort to propagate the Dhamma through documentaries. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
I will be visiting this site more often in 2023. I came here from watching Becoming A Woman In Zanskar to see if there was any updates on the two friends.. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication, my eyes have been opened wider than before I am truly humbled.