Bryan received his B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Toronto in 1969, afterwards pursuing a career in Communications & Marketing. He went back to school in 1991, receiving an MSc. (Geology) in 2001 from U of T. Since then he has been studying Buddhism, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Pali and Classical Chinese, pursuing his interest in isolating Buddha’s earliest teachings and studying the transmission process, through Comparative Philology and other means. Bryan completed his PhD in 2014, entitled, Linguistic Ambiguties, the Transmissional Process and the Earliest Recoverable Language of Buddhism, and is active researching issues related to early Buddhism, especially the transmission of the canon, the language(s) of early Buddhism and how they changed over time, and the meaning of key early canonical concepts (like sati). Curently he is a Visiting Scholar at the U of T, teaching a course in advanced commentarial Pāli.
Bryan’s published academic works on Buddhism include:
Levman, Bryan. 2005. “The Buddhalakṣaṇa and the Gaṇḍavūyha Sūtra.” Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies, Number one: 31-58. ——. 2009. “Vedhamissakena: Perils of the Transmission of the Buddhadhamma.” Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies,Number five: 21-38.
——. 2009. “Sakāya niruttiyā Revisited.” Bulletin des Études Indiennes, No. 26-27 2008-2009: 33-59.
——. 2010a. “Is Pāli Closest to the Western Aśokan Dialect of Girnār?” South Indian Journal of Buddhist Studies, Vol 1: 79-104.
——. 2010b. “Aśokan Phonology and the Language of the Earliest Buddhist Tradition.” Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies, Number 6: 59-88.
——. 2011a. “What does amisā/misā mean in Minor Rock Edict I?” in Felicitation Volume in Honour of Venerable Dr. Pategama Gnanarama Thera (D.Litt), 342-352.
——. 2012. “Lexical Ambiguities in the Buddhist Teachings, An Example & Methodology.” International Journal for the Study of Humanistic Buddhism, Issue 2(2012): 35-54.
——. 2012a. “The muṇḍa/muṇḍaka crux.” What does the word mean? Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies Number 7: 45-78.
——. 2012b. “What does the Pāli phrase pahitatta mean?” Thai International Journal for Buddhist Studies, 57-74.
——. 2013. “Cultural remnants of the indigenous peoples in the Buddhist scriptures.” Buddhist Studies Review. Vol. 30.2: 145-180
——. 2014. “Linguistic Ambiguities, the Transmissional Process, and the Earliest Recoverable Language of Buddhism.” PhD diss., University of Toronto, Department for the Study of Religion. Available from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Toronto; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1566171666). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1566171666?accountid=14771
——. 2015. “Towards a Critical Edition of the Tipiṭaka.” Thai International Journal for Buddhist Studies 5. In Press.
——. 2016. “The Language of Early Buddhism.” Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 3(1): 1-41.
——. 2017. “The Transmission of the Buddhadharma from India to China: an Examination of Kumārajīva’s Transliteration of the dhāraṇīs of the Saddharmapuṇḍarīkasūtra”, in Ann Heirman, ed., Buddhist Networks. pp. 53-108. London: Brill Publishing. Forthcoming.
——. 2017. “Language Theory, Phonology, and Etymology in Buddhism and their relationship to Brahmanism,” Buddhist Studies Review, vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 25-51.
——. 2018. “Putting Smṛti back into Sati (Putting remembrance back into mindfulness),” Journal of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. Vol. 13, pp. 121-149.