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However, the conversations may be just a literary device the author used to add interest.His primary aim is to clarify Buddhist doctrine and to refute the wrong views promulgated by various opponents of Buddhism.Ignorance of the Dhamma is the main reason that we have taken rebirth.

(In the Milinda Ṭika, a commentary on the Milinda Pañha, it is stated that several verses of prologue and epilogue in the Milinda Pañha were composed by Buddha­ghosa).

I presume this debate was conducted in the Bactrian Greek language but was later translated into Pali and Sanskrit.

This well-known Pali book called Milinda Pañha or Questions of King Milinda has twice been trans­lated into English: in 1890, and in 1969.

The author, Bhikkhu Pesala, is a Budd­hist monk who had training in Burma and Thailand whose know­ledge of Pali has enabled him to check areas of ambig­uous translation to compile this concise and readable work in elegant, modern English while his knowledge of Buddhism has enabled him to clarify some obscure ideas. A Sri Lankan supporter, Indrajit Samaranayake, gave me the keys to his house, and I typed the first draft on his computer while he and his wife were at work.

I started work on the first edition of “The Debate of King Milinda” in 1988 at the instigation of Ven. In 1990 the first paperback edition of 500 copies was published for free distribution.

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