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Buddhism News & Review


WEEKLY BUDDHISM NEWS & REVIEW

Saturday 31st March 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Realizing the bliss of Nibbana: Miran PERERA - By virtue of the fact one is born to Buddhist parents makes one claim to be a Buddhist by religion. In reality one becomes a Buddhist by tradition. However, a true Buddhist is one who takes refuge in the Buddha the Dhamma his teachings and the Sangha the order of venerable monks. Refuge in Buddhist terms means safety from the pursuit and danger from the evil forces of craving, hatred and ignorance the source of defilements that pollute the mind.

Can the Theravada Bhikkhuni Order be re-established?; A statement issued by the Concise Tripitaka Editorial Board states: The re-establishment of the Bhikkhuni Order which was the subject of debate a few decades ago has surfaced once again. Agitation and press conferences were held recently by the parties who claim to have established the Bhikkhuni Order, in a bid to pressurize the Government to recognize the Bhikkhuni Order. Already the Most Venerbale Maha Nayaka Theras have informed the Commissioner-General of Buddhist Affairs that it is not possible to establish a Bhikkhuni Order according to the 'Dharmavinaya' the doctrine of the Buddha.

Practise little by little - DR Padmaka SILVA - What is done at the beginning is contemplating the thirty two body parts in that manner. Subsequently we contemplate how the body arises and how it perishes as mentioned secondly. During the first part Samatha develops. In the second part Vipassana develops. When this meditation is practised both Samatha and Vipassana get performed. Till you get used do it little by little. Initially contemplate the thirty two parts of the body several times. Thereafter contemplate the secondly mentioned part several times. Don't hurry. Do it little by little without hurrying up.

10 Buddhist Women Every Person Should Know

In 1996 during Fall Practice Period at Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, I participated in the first chanting of the names of Buddhist women ancestors. San Francisco Zen Center's Abbess at that time, Eijun Linda Ruth Cutts, led the effort and did the difficult research necessary to create this list, which began with Buddha's stepmother and ended in Japan. Tears filled my eyes when everyone, men and woman together, wholeheartedly recited these names.

World | Posted on Mar 31, 2012 at 02:32am IST Dalai Lama wins $1.7 mn Templeton spiritual prize

ibet: Tibet's Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama has won the 2012 Templeton Prize worth $1.7 million for his work affirming the spiritual dimension of life, the US-based John Templeton Foundation said on Thursday. The spiritual leader "vigorously focused on the connections between the investigative traditions of science and Buddhism as a way to better understand and advance what both disciplines might offer the world", the foundation said in a statement.

Self-immolations Go against Buddhist Tenets

In response to the self-immolations of monks and nuns in Tibetan regions recently, two researchers at China Tibetology Research Center, Tenzin Lhundrup and Lian Xiangmin, said during an interview with China Radio International that self-immolation violates the basic tenets of Tibetan Buddhism and must be stopped as soon as possible. They called on all parties to play an active role in avoiding such events from happening again, rather than inciting more self-immolations or politicizing the event.

Pagoda will be Austin's biggest meditation center

Wild turkeys and deer usually roam the grounds of the serene Buddhist monastery and meditation center that sits on 16 sprawling acres in Southwest Austin. But for now, the peacefulness at Sitagu Buddhist Vihara has been interrupted. It's become a construction site for what will soon become Austin's biggest meditation center.

Saturday 24th March 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Dilemma of Right Knowledge Kavinda Hettiarachchi; In Buddhism the ultimate goal is to attain the ultimate emancipation of knowledge or enlightenment. This theory of reality based on epistemological foundations. We can see that the teachings of Buddha were meant for the intelligent or wise and not for the stupid or the unwise. Specific knowledge in Buddhism considers to be directed to the attainment of the goal of emancipation.

Reclaiming Emperor Ashoka’s heritage Harish Singhal And Paul Chaffee; Approximately 2280 years ago, Emperor Ashoka, third regent of India’s Maurya Dynasty, ascended the throne. This Iron Age family ruled India’ first empire, stretching from eastern Iran to Burma, including most of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

The Buddha visits Miyangana; The Miyangana forest-temple land in the ancient kingdom of Lankadveepa developed repeated storms of disputes between tribal Yakkhas and Nagas. The legendary descendants of Ravana, the King and Vibhisana his brother, the enmity between factions grew serious to the extent of a possible showdown.

Studies in Buddhist EthicsAs I mentioned recently, I gave a talk last month at the Oxford Center for Buddhist Studies on the topic of Buddhist ethics, or more specifically, recent studies in Buddhist ethics. As Richard Gombrich pointed out in the Q and A, I didn’t mention karma at all in my talk. And I agree with him (see his 2009 book, “What the Buddha Thought” for details) that karma must play a central role in understanding traditional Buddhist ethics (what nontraditional Western Buddhists make of karma is a whole book in itself just waiting to be written).

Karma: What it Is and What it is Not

Even though most meditators in North America are not Buddhist, there are a significant number who are. Certainly Zen meditation will bring benefits regardless of religious allegiances, but it is particularly well suited to those who study the way, ie, Buddhists. This essay is for them.

Thoughts on the Buddhist idea of “Right Livelihood”

Much of our lifetime is spent earning a living. Our economy depends upon the productivity of the workforce. Today I want to introduce the Buddhist concept of “right livelihood” and suggest that including meditation as part of the workplace would represent an overall improvement for all concerned. Modern studies show that excelling in a variety of emotional competencies, not just a few, is a strong indicator of leadership success.

Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor

It is difficult to imagine a life as full of grandeur and drama as that of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, but it is more difficult still to imagine how such a life could ever have been lost or forgotten. From 270BC to 233BC, Ashoka ruled every part of the subcontinent except for India's southernmost tip, an empire larger than that of any Indian ruler before .....

Saturday 17th March 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Elements of Buddhist State and social philosophy Dr. SENARATH TENNAKOON; During the time of the Buddha the concepts pertaining to the social structure, social stratification, social administration and management were essentially creative and subjective in nature. The rulers (the kings) were the representatives of divine powers. The people were classified into classes as high or low according to their birth and they were not allowed to change their professions.

What the Buddha taught Layananda Alles - Continued from March 7, Medin Poya. We may like BBQ chicken as opposed to curried chicken; deep fried vegetables as opposed to boiled, Chinese flavors as opposed to European and so on. Then we go in search of Thai food, Chinese food etc. As a result, when we eat we only talk about the combinations and not what is underneath. Through this process we develop an attachment or distaste for a combination. We do not enjoy the elemental items, which the nature has designed the taste buds to distinguish;

How a miser’s ignorance brought suffering Premasara EPASINGHE; In the religious literature of the world, Dhammapada – Treasury of Truth, occupies a very esteem position. It consists of 423 verses or stanzas. It has 26 chapters, known as ‘Vaggas'. Dhammapada begins with Yamaka Vagga (twin verses) and ends with Bramana Vagga (the Brahmana or ascetic).

How western Buddhism has changed in 50 years

A western Buddhist shares 10 insights into how the religion and its followers have moved on since its arrival in the west . It's 50 years since Buddhist teachers started arriving in the west in the early 60s and Buddhism crash-landed into the counterculture. So what have we learned about western Buddhism?

Recession driving people to meditation, says Croydon buddhist centre leader

MONEY worries are driving a record number of Croydonians to seek security and serenity through meditation, according to a leading Croydon Buddhist. The number of people attending classes at the Buddhist Centre Croydon on the High Street has doubled in the past two years.

Olcott’s Construction of Buddhism

March 16th, 2012 · No Comments · History Over at The Smart Set, Stefany Ann Golberg has posted a nice piece on Henry Steel Olcott, an American civil war colonel and champion of Sinhalese Buddhism. Olcott was a fascinating character who had major impacts on the construction of Sinhalese Buddhism and Western understandings of that construction.

Barrier-free Sanchi

Shefali Tripathi Mehta, Mar 11, 2012 : Heritage School and college trips invariably took us to Sanchi, just a few hours from Bhopal. We looked forward to such trips, except for the history lessons. Age-old : The Great Stupa at Sanchi, Bhopal.And god knows how difficult it is to run from history when in Sanchi. So, I am not ashamed to confess that we found Sanchi rather monotonous.

Thailand celebrates 2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment

Vesak day generally commemorates the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Lord Buddha. However, Vesak 2012, which falls on June 4, holds a special significance as it will also mark the 2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment.

Saturday 10th March 2012

Medin Poya Day

Importance of Medin Poya Day Premasara Epasinghe - The significance of Medin Poya Day is mainly due to the fact that it was on this day, after the Buddha's Enlightenment, seven years after He left the Royal Palace, that He visited his father's kingdom – Kimbulwathpura. It was a moving story.

What the Buddha taught Layananda Alles; Approximately 2600 years ago The Buddha made a significant discovery. Ascetic Siddhartha relentlessly continued his investigation in a highly systematic manner, not unlike a scientist, to culminate in enlightenment as eloquently described in “Ariyapariyesana Sutta” (Noble Quest). Through various discourses the Buddha, as well as his key disciples captured what they experienced and described how they gained the respective experiences.

Practising the teachings Dr Padmaka Silva; We mentioned that according to what Lord Buddha had preached if we practised at least five meditations we would get an opportunity to get rid of Raga, Dosa and Moha present in our minds. According to the Dhamma preached by the Blessed One it is possible for us to have the confidence of achieving successful results if we practise at least these five meditations.

History of the tallest Samadhi Buddha statue .It was 1970, the time Delicia Jayawardene was working at a Duty Free Shop at Katunayake Airport. A frequent passenger who passed this Duty Free Shop was Ven. Mapalagagama Vipulasara Thera, a Sculptor Priest and Chief Incumbent of the Ratmalana Pirivena. The respected monk never fails to stop at these shops during his frequent sojourns abroad.

Meditation on Makha Bucha Day by Sattahip Navy

On Wednesday, as it was Makha Bucha Day, 300 navy officers from the Coastal Protection Department of the Sattahip Navy Base conducted rituals and prayers to obtain merit. This was followed by a Meditation, to tame their minds and thoughts, following the path of Lord Buddha. Peaceful Mediation will certainly help the officers to stay focused on their daily assignments and in dealing with everyday life.

India to Replicate Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

Indians who haven’t yet seen Cambodia’s 12th-century Angkor Wat temple have reason to cheer: the World Heritage site is being recreated on the banks of holy River Ganges, in the eastern state of Bihar.

Cambodia bans roasting whole cows in public

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Cambodia's prime minister has banned spit-roasting cows in front of restaurants, calling it too cruel a sight. Hun Sen said Monday he is ordering the ban after Buddhist monks told him the activity runs contrary to Buddha's teachings on the sanctity of life and encourages violence.

Maldives: Islamic extremists destroy priceless Buddhist statues

In an episode of mindless vandalism reminiscent of the Aghan Taliban's destruction of priceless historical artefact's in 2001, members of an Islamic mob destroyed priceless Buddhist statues in the Maldives earlier this week.

Saturday 3rd March 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Doctrines of the Buddha’s six contemporaries ; Lionel WIJESIRI - There are references in Buddhist literature to some six senior contemporaries of the Buddha, for instance, samannaphala-sutta (the second sutra in the Digha Nikaya). It appears from the context of these references that Ajatshatru, the king of Magadha, had met a number of these teachers and asked them each separately to state in clear and unambiguous terms the result of their ascetic practices.

Strengthening concentration power; Dr Padmaka Silva - Continued from February 9. That is why we must do it throughout the day in a balanced manner. Otherwise we will be spending the major portion of the day in a manner in which the sins do not get worn off. If we practise a meditation throughout the day we do so in a manner in which sins get worn off. Therefore do not waste time. Even an individual practicing Samadhi should do the same. If he thinks “I now have the Samadhi” and neglects to meditate the pleasure he gets from the Samadhi may get weakened. After sometime even the Samadhi might leave him and he will lose the comfort he was receiving.

Shanxi to Build 1.8-bln 'Eastern Buddhist Capital'

Shanxi Province in north China is planning to invest 1.8 billion yuan (286 million US dollars) in 14 projects towards transforming Wutai Mountain into an 'Eastern Buddhist Capital', Xinhua reports. The plan aims to fulfill the terms of being enlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and transform Wutai Mountain into a tourist center of Buddhist culture. The projects include, repairing and protecting the relics and historical sites;

‘Scattered values’ united under Shwedagon

FIVE leading Buddhist monks delivered sermons to audiences numbering in the tens of thousands at Pyi Thu Yin Pyin public square in Yangon from February 17 to 21, to mark the 2600th anniversary of Shwedagon Pagoda. Sayadaw Dr Ashin Nyanissara, a professor at Yangon-based Sitagu International Buddhist Academy who spoke on February 19, said the study of Shwedagon Pagoda encompassed not only religion, history and culture, but also literature, art, architecture, philosophy, society and politics.

Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor, By Charles Allen

"In the history of the world there have been thousands of kings and emperors who called themselves 'their highnesses', 'their majesties', 'their exalted majesties' and so on," HG Wells wrote in The Outline of History. "They shone for a brief moment, and as quickly disappeared. But Ashoka shines and shines brightly like a bright star, even unto this day."

India lost Buddha to China

“Indians, over centuries, have lost their Buddhist culture to countries like China,’’ said Charles Willemen, rector, International Buddhist College, Thailand. Willemen was present at the Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies where the Buddhist Studies Series was inaugurated with the release of first volume, Outlining the Way to Reflect - a book by Willemen which explains the basic modules of meditation from the ancient Buddhist culture.

Wisdom at the waterfall

Wisdom at the waterfall February 25, 2012 Set in stone ... Banteay Srei Temple near Siem Reap. Set in stone ... Banteay Srei Temple near Siem Reap. Photo: Getty Images Kate Edgley joins a meditative 'exploration path' through temples, caves and ancient sites. I'm on top of Phnom Kulen, a sacred mountain, in my cossie in the pouring rain. I'm teetering at the edge of the River of a Thousand Lingas beside a wide waterfall, being splashed by a group of pilgrims who sit in the holy water wearing their saris and laughing.

On the river road to Mandalay

Ten-year-old San Aung is excited: today he becomes a novice Buddhist monk. He and 44 other boys from Mingun village, and other nearby villages just north of Mandalay in Burma, also known as Myanmar, take their first young steps on the path to Buddhism. It is a ritual followed by most boys and young men in this mostly-Buddhist nation.

Buddhism, Cosmology and Evolution

Even with all these profound scientific theories of the origin of the universe, I am left with serious questions: What existed before the big bang? Where did the big bang come from? What caused it? Why has our planet evolved to support life? What is the relationship between the cosmos and the beings that have evolved within it?

The art of traveling

Colombo's annual street art festival, Kala Pola, is the perfect excuse to explore stunning Sri Lanka. Chen Nan reports. A random walk in a city you visit for the first time is a good way to discover something not listed in the travel book. I found such surprises myself during a recent trip to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. I decided to avoid the bustling streets, full of fast motor-tricycles and buses, and went down a quiet alley with no name.

Consuming Buddha

“What’s your major?” “Religious Studies.” “Oh. Interesting.” Pause. “Are you religious?” The question is nonsensical, but I get it every time I tell someone my major. It’s a little bit like asking an Asian Studies major whether or not he is Asian or asking a Horticulture major whether or not he is a vegetable. “Yeah, actually, I'm a Buddhist.” “Oh, cool!” Pause. “Do you think of Buddhism as a religion, or as more of a way of life?” This question is almost as popular as the “Are you religious?” question, but it takes longer to answer.

The Ceylon Traveller: Nagadeepa

For the longest time, “Nagadeepa” was a word that came up in school textbooks, whether it was History, Social Studies or Buddhism. It was yet another place that could not be visited due to the war but made more special by the mythical aura surrounding it because of all the stories about Nagadeepa;

Saturday 25th February 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Nepal - birthplace of the Thathagatha Miran PERERA; When Buddhists go to temples they utter three formulas of adoration. One of these deals with the Buddha himself, with his personal qualities as teacher, sage, guide, philosopher and friend of mankind. Worship consists not in prayer but in the hope that by striving to practise those qualities in our own lives. For the devoted and dedicated pilgrims the prime sacred site is the birthplace of the supremely enlightened Buddha.

How Europeans saw Sri Pada S B Karalliyadda; Robert Knox says that according to Sinhalese the tallest mountain is situated south of Kandy City. People call it Himapola. The Portuguese and Europeans call it Adam's Peak or the mountain of Adam. This appears as a heap of sugar but flat on top with a stone. On this stone there appears an impression similar to a foot print of a man. But this footprint is bigger than that of a human, about two feet in length.

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott - a superior man

Radha Burnier; Colonel Henry Steel Olcott was undoubtedly a person who stood head and shoulders above most people. He made his mark in many fields because, wherever he lived and worked, he manifested qualities of heart and mind which made him worthy to be called a superior man, a term that Confucius used.

Ancient treasures in Burma

I sit surrounded by the spires and stupas of Bagan's 4000 Buddhist temples as the afternoon drowsily departs. These pagodas have dotted this rural landscape of Burma, with its small fields of beans, sesame and peanuts, its horse carts and bicycles on dusty tracks, since the 11th century.

Festival banned 20 years returns to Myanmar pagoda

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Amid the towering golden spires of Myanmar's grandest Buddhist shrine there was talk of politics and hope for the future as thousands came Wednesday for the return of an annual festival that was banned for more than 20 years by the former military regime.

Scenic roots

February 21 2012 at 06:00pm By Sarah Barrell. It’s 4am and the rush-hour trail of tuk-tuks is already snaking through the dark towards the sprawling Angkor complex, illuminated only by the roadside bonfires lit by hawkers and itinerant families. At this hour, when the sun has yet to cast silhouettes of temple towers against the sky, it’s surprisingly chilly.

The Ceylon traveller Nagadeepa/

For the longest time, “Nagadeepa” was a word that came up in school textbooks, whether it was History, Social Studies or Buddhism. It was yet another place that could not be visited due to the war but made more special by the mythical aura surrounding it because of all the stories about Nagadeepa;

Meditation Boosts the Brain

Owen Nicholas; Ethical Technology Posted: Feb 24, 2012 Science and meditation are two things that one might initially regard as having no more in common with each other as Chinese calligraphy and Italian pasta. Science, however, has recently examined the eastern tradition to answer the longstanding question: how does meditation work? Is anything actually happening or is it “all in the head?”

Buddhism takes us from Type A to Type Be

The first interview had been scheduled for 11 a.m. a week ago Friday, but my call went unanswered. Rather than get upset, I asked myself WWBD, or What Would Buddha Do? What is a deadline to someone like Anam Thubten, a meditation teacher for whom eternity is a drop in the bucket? I took a deep breath, perhaps even a cleansing one. Deadlines? These are artificial constructs. They are for the nervous, shallow and insecure

Saturday 18th February 2012

Scientists and Buddhist scholars gather from all over the world for Buddhism in Austral-Asian region

The first annual International Conference „Buddhism & Australia“ took place in Murdoch University, Western Australia, 2-4 February 2012. The academic Buddhist conference was first of a kind on Australian soil, when a number of academics and Buddhists came together around the world: USA, Canada, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Mongolia, China, Thailand, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Taiwan, Indonesia

Buddhist influence on Tamil literature

by Nagalingam KUMARAKURUPARAN; Buddhism entered Tamil-Nadu in the third century BC Flourished in the sixth century AD declined in the eight, but lingered till the end of the 16th century. Buddhist statues in South India It might have been introduced first into the Tamil Kingdom by Asoka's Missionaries on their way to Ceylon. Talaing chronicles, the source book of Burmese Buddhism, reveals that Asoka built a vihara in Kanchi, in which Acharya Dharmapala stayed and wrote 14 commentaries on Pali texts. Buddhism had an almost incalculable effect on art, thought literature and way of life of the Tamils.

Buddhist statues in local bar are disrespectful

Feb 15 2012 by Jean Pedder, Stirling Observer Wednesday Dear Editor – I have lived in Stirling for nearly seven years and love everything about the area – the friendly people, food, wonderful landscape, etc – but as a Buddhist, originally from Sri Lanka, I am upset and angry that statues which are very similar to the ones in temples across Sri Lanka are being used in bars and clubs, mostly in Glasgow but one has now opened up in Stirling.

Buddhist festivals around the world

by Premasara EPASINGHE; Today, Buddhism is a world religion with about six billion followers. It is not only a religion, but also a great philosophy. Not a single phase of Buddhist history has ever been lurid with the light of inquisitorial fires, or darkened with the smoke of heretic or heathen cities ablaze or red with blood of the guiltiness victims of religious hatred. Buddhism wields one sword.

Maha Sangha has protected country for over 2,500 years

PM Nimal WIJESINGHE-A'pura Additional District group corr; The Maha Sangha have been protecting the country, the nation and the religion for over 2,500 years. Today, there is an atmosphere where certain enemy forces are trying to invite foreign powers to enter the country for gaining their narrow and unpatriotic ends, said Prime Minister D M Jayaratne.

Treasures of Buddhism

Russia’s only travelling exhibition of Buddhist art has returned to the city in a new and bigger format, nearly 10 years after it was first unveiled in St. Petersburg. This time around, “Treasures of Buddhism,” which has been to nearly 40 cities and been seen by 65,000 museum-goers since it was last on show in the city, is a key event of the Days of Tibetan Culture in St. Petersburg festival, which runs through March 27.

Saturday 11th February 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Meeting the divine messengers- Bhikkhu Bodhi; The traditional legend of the Buddha's quest for enlightenment tells us that throughout his youth and early manhood Prince Siddhattha, the Bodhisatta, lived in complete ignorance of the most elementary facts of human life. His father, anxious to protect his sensitive son from exposure to suffering, kept him an unwitting captive of nescience. Incarcerated in the splendor of his palace, amply supplied with sensual pleasures and surrounded by merry friends, the prince did not entertain even the faintest suspicion that life could offer anything other than an endless succession of amusements and festivities.

Strengthening concentration power ; Dr Padmaka Silva; If there is a person in whom a Samadhi has developed and if he wishes to make use of that Samadhi and in order to strengthen that Samadhi, he should meditate in the morning, day and night. If he remains without meditating it becomes impossible to strengthen that Samadhi. He fails to get the comfort associated with Samadhi. Although he feels at some time that it does not develop it develops at least to a small extent. It is like climbing a hill. Doesn’t he ascend the hill slowly even using a walking stick? Although he thinks it does not develop it develops internally at least little by little.

Metta means goodwill -Thanissaro Bhikkhu; Continued from February 7, Navam Poya (SEE below). Notice that last statement: "May they look after themselves with ease." You're not saying that you're going to be there for all beings all the time. And most beings would be happier knowing that they could depend on themselves rather than having to depend on you.

NAVAM POYA - Features - 07-02-2012

Initial stages of Buddhist monastic order- Sachitra Mahendra; On a Navam Poya the Buddha preached a discourse now known as Ovada Patimokkha, which established the tradition of the Sangha coming together before the rules of Vinaya. This discourse which is referred to as the basis and the foundation of the Buddha's teachings was delivered on the first Navam full moon day after the enlightenment.

Metta means goodwill- Thanissaro Bhikkhu; Ajaan Fuang, my teacher, once discovered that a snake had moved into his room. Every time he entered the room, he saw it slip into a narrow space behind a storage cabinet. And even though he tried leaving the door to the room open during the daytime, the snake wasn't willing to leave. So for three days they lived together.

Happy wayfarer- Ven Professor Dhammavihari thera; The word wayfarer or magganuga is used in Buddhist texts to denote the disciple who is intent on treading the path to release from suffering as announced and indicated by the Master.

Dalits to embrace Buddhism

MYSORE/CHAMARAJANAGAR: Dalit families in Kalanahundi Village, 5km from Chamarajanagar town, have threatened to convert to Buddhism, to protest against the alleged discrimination by upper-caste Hindus. The District Federation of Dalit organizations have planned a mass 'Buddha dhamma deeksha' programme in the village in the last week of February, when hundreds of dalits in the district, including Kalanahundi dalits, are anticipated to embrace Buddhism.

The Temple that brings monks closer to God

The Taung Kalat Temple near the Mount Popa volcano in central Burma is built on top of a volcanic plug - a rock formation creation by magma seeping from a volcanic vent. As these amazing pictures show the temple is a Mecca for tourists and followers of the Buddhist faith.

Yasodhara’s own journey of selflessness and detachment

Review of World of Buddhism Vol 29 – Sri Lanka Cultural Research Publications. The 2012 issue of the World of Buddhism – identified as "the international Buddhist magazine" was released recently. The contributors discuss a variety of topics ranging from whether politics is a dirty game to the contribution made by learned Buddhist scholars and a few topics related to the teachings of the Buddha

Saturday 4th February 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Mahabodhi Centre’s contribution to Buddhism Jeewani PATHIRANA; Buddhists consider setting foot on the native land of the Buddha a fortune. Blessed are those who are born in this sacred land. My motive is to recollect memories of Buddhagaya, worshiped by thousands of pilgrims annually from Sri Lanka and world over. Buddhagaya is the most esteemed sacred place of worship for Buddhist devotees world over. Devotees start and conclude their journey to Buddhagaya from Mahabodhi centre at Egmore in Chennai.

Remembering Ambedhkar Senaka WEERARATNA; As a leading Buddhist country in the world, the Buddhists of this country should seriously consider requesting the Government of Sri Lanka to issue a commemorative postage stamp in honour of Dr B R Ambedkar, for the great work he has done for his people and the cause of Buddhism in India. There are nearly 250 Million Dalits in India which is virtually 1/4th of the Indian Population.

Kalutara Bodhi Trust prize-giving Divakara MOHOTTI- Kalutara Gr. Corr. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity are the four main religions in the world. Sri Lanka also accommodates the followers of these religions. The well-known scientist Arthur C. Clarke who lived in Sri Lanka had forecasted that Buddhism is the only religion that would survive by 2050.

Global Epic on Karma to Benefit World’s First Museum of Buddhism and Yoga

Albert Einstein famously dubbed Buddhism ‘the religion of the future’ and several studies show Buddhism to be the fastest growing religion among Westerners all over the world. In addition, the PEW Forum has found that a 65% majority of Americans subscribe to Dharmic practices like yoga, meditation, karma and the number continues to grow in record numbers.

Monastic Council Restores Status of Released Monks

The official body that governs Buddhist monastic affairs in Burma has restored the status of three monks who were released from prison last month after serving more than four years behind bars for their involvement in the 2007 Saffron Revolution. The state-controlled Maha Nayaka Sangha Council made the decision on Wednesday after the three monks, who were among dozens detained for taking part in massive demonstrations in September 2007, applied for official recognition of their status on Jan. 27.

Rediscovering Burma’s Magic

The battered white taxi bounces over the potholes, and shadowy figures on old-fashioned bicycles loom in the darkness. The headlights play for a moment on the golden dome of a Buddhist pagoda, and away to the east, the first light of the coming day is showing behind the ridges.

The Sacred City Of Kataragama

Kataragama (also Katharagama, Katirk mam and Kathirgamam, is a pilgrimage town popular with Buddhist, Hindu and indigenous Vedda communities of Sri Lanka and South India. The town has Ruhunu Kataragama Devalya, a shrine dedicated to Skanda or Murugan also known as Kataragama Deviyo Kataragama is situated in the Moneragala District of the Uva Province, Sri Lanka.

Saturday 28th January 2012

Western Buddhism: The 50 Year Lessons (Part II) Part 1 in last November

A few weeks ago I began a series of posts called "Western Buddhism: The 50 Year Lessons." In that post I mentioned three lessons: enlightenment is not what we thought, meditation is not good for everything and religious corruption is universal.

Heritage of Stupa construction

Prof. W. I. Siriweera: The Stupa , Chaitya or dagoba had a pre-Buddhist origin. Literally Stupa denotes a made up heap of earth or of any other material. The term Chaitya is derived from Prakrit cita, Pali citaka which means a funeral pyre with a wooden post erected in its centre as a memorial. The term dagoba is derived from dhatugarbha, a repository of dhatu or relics. The idea of preserving the mortal remains of a person fully or partially in a structural memorial was based on the age-old belief of inseparability of connections between an organism and its constituents even after the former had become lifeless or detached from its original form.

Bactrian Greeks, the Bamiyan and Avukana Buddha statues

Rajitha Weerakoon discusses the Greek connection with colossal Buddha statues Around 30,000 Greek bhikkhus had arrived in Anuradhapura from the monasteries of Alasanda (the city of the Yonas, Alexandria in present Afghanistan) according to Geiger’s Mahavamsa (chapter XX1X (39)) to participate in the inauguration of the construction of the Mahaseya (Ruvanveliseya.) The Greek bhikkhus led by Yonamahadharmarakkhita Thera had been part of 96,000 foreign bhikkhus who had arrived from several ancient Indian states and Persia for the ceremonial event.

The Gold Standard

From stupendous stupas to floating villages, Max Anderson embarks on a full-immersion introduction to Burma. The B600 is a locally made car of astonishing awfulness, a tiny utility vehicle with plastic sun chairs for front seats. I watch one laden with six passengers - a Picasso abstract of arms, legs and faces - as it sputters slowly past the golden stupa of Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon.

A thousand Thai Buddhist monks on a march to bless flood-hit provinces

Weena Kowitwanij: A delegation of Buddhist monks treks across six provinces to restore “peace and harmony” to flood-hit regions. Along a journey of more than 360 km, they touch the main temples. As the Buddha did in the past, the monks want to heal wounds and bring grace to the nation.

Indian Buddhist leader Dr. B.R. Ambedkar deserves to be honored with a commemorative Postage Stamp in Sri Lanka

As a leading Buddhist country in the world, the Buddhists of this country should seriously consider requesting the Government of Sri Lanka to issue a commemorative postage stamp in honour of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, for the great work he has done for his people and the cause of Buddhism in India.

Happy Chinese & Buddhist New Year – January 2012

Happy Chinese & Buddhist new year to all our readers. New Year occurs on different days in different countries following Buddhism. In Mahayan countries, New Year celebrations starts on the first full moon day in January. These countries celebrate the day according to their ethnic background and culture.

Saturday 21st January 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Metta in daily life Ven Bhante Vimalaramsi Thera; This is the last night of the retreat, and I thought I would talk about how you carry your meditation with you when you start doing your daily activities. In a lot of respects this has been a lot looser retreat than you're used to, and I don't insist that it be a real overly strict retreat because you need also to know how to carry your meditation with you when you're doing other things, not only sitting and doing the walking meditation. What we need to learn how to do is carry that open heart with us with all the different activities we do during the day.

Buddhist insights into the Apocalypse ‘Buddhist view point, Scientific view point and the Future World’ – ‘A foresight into Apocalypse’ is the newest novella composed by the young novelist, Academician Chamika Munasinghe It is a well known fact that most inhabitants living on the earth have expressed their fear over the beliefs according to which disastrous or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date according to the Mayan calendar.

Meditation: path to Dhamma Dr Padmaka Silva; We have continuously spoken about the manner in which an individual expecting the refuge of the Sasana of Buddha can acquire successful results from Dhamma meditation. We must know what methods one has to basically follow and how one has to maintain the meditation in order to make the meditation more successful. If we do not become aware of that it becomes impossible for us to make a success of the meditation.

Officials warn of ‘fake monks’ targeting Phuket tourists

PHUKET: The 'monk police’ of Phuket are warning everyone on the island of con men who are impersonating Buddhist monks and tricking locals and tourists into giving them money. Chatpawit Jinapong, Director of the Phuket branch of the National Office of Buddhism, which operates directly under the Prime Minister's Office, spoke with the Phuket Gazette about these fraudulent “monks”. “High season in Phuket attracts a lot of these con men who dress like Buddhist monks to get money, which really isn’t appropriate. We found that most are from Cambodia, here in Phuket on tourist visas, though there are Thai fake-monks too,” he said.

The Monk Who Brings Peace to the Suffering

MANDALAY—Bhaddanta Ariya Vumsa Bhivunsa, 63, pointed to the emblem consisting of three lotus flowers on the gateway to the Myawady Mingyi Monastery on the outskirts of Mandalay. "Those three lotus represent the three steps of Buddha's teaching—Learning, Practicing and Peace," said the monk.

China vs. India: the battle for Buddha

LUMBINI, Nepal — For a few short hours, as dancers imported from Kathmandu leapt and twirled for the bemused president of this tiny Himalayan republic, the sleepy, provincial town of Lumbini, in western Nepal, became the focus of the great chess game underway between India and China.

Olcott, the Picketts and Buddhist women's education

The genesis of Buddhist women's education in modern Sri Lanka goes back to March 24, 1889, when a group of women gathered at the Colombo headquarters of the Buddhist Theosophical Society. The BTS had been formed nine years before at the behest of

Slowly to old Siam

Sydney Morning Herald ; We stop to throw bread to a school of plump catfish residing in front of a temple; Thailand's Theravada Buddhism forbids killing and it seems the fish know where they are safe from the fisherboys' hooks. You couldn't call the Chao Praya a pretty river. ...

Saturday 14th January 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Team spirituality comes to Los Angeles - Dr Stephen Long: Ven. Walpola Piyananda’s philosophy in regards to Buddhism in America has always been that if we don’t train the younger generations to be good Buddhists, when the older generation is gone our temples will be empty. By the ‘younger generations’ he means those children of Asian immigrants who were either born in America or who arrived here with their parents when they were very young.

From generosity to wisdom - Ven Neluwe Sudammananda, a young novice Bhikkhu, became one of the recipients among 800 Samaneras who received all textbooks required for school studies. This was under the patronage of Kalutara Bodhi Trust. Addressing the gathering, the Thera emphasised the importance of generosity through which monks can continue studies. Such kind of activities establishes the educational position of the local Sangha community. Text books worth Rs 1,000,000 have been donated, the Thera revealed.

Religious service of Ven Atipola Medhankara Thera Richard Basnayaka: The Most Ven. Atipola Medhankara Thera Chief Sanganayaka of Asgiriya Chapter, Matale district and Viharadhipathi of historic Aluwihare temple passed away recently. The funeral had the participation of the Most Ven. Galagama Aththadhassi Anunayaka Thera, Asgiriya Chapter, the Most Ven. Niyangoda Vijithasiri Anunayaka Thera, Malwatta Chapter and a larger number of Buddhist monks of all three nikayas and the Parish Priest of St. Thomas’ Church, Matale.

A peaceful life of prayer

Their garish orange robes are undoubtedly loud but the Buddhist monks of Cambodia roam the streets silently, gliding gracefully along the footpath toting umbrellas to shield their shaved heads from the sun. The monks are something of an enigma and during a whirlwind visit to Siem Reap, I join a travel buddy on a trip to Polangka Wat to catch up with a couple of friendly monks he met at Angkor Wat.

Generous gift of Dhamma presented by Thai princess

IN 1999 the Dhamma Society of Thailand, founded by Maniratana Bunnag, started work on revising the phonetic Roman version of the Pali-language Tipitaka, the three books of the Buddhist cannon. The project was completed in 2005.

Buddhist texts go digital

Buddhist texts go digital One of Thailand's most respected monks is making his works accessible to all via e-book technology . Venerable Phra Brahmagunabhorn (P.A. Payutto) is one of Thailand's most highly respected monks and a leading scholar of Thai Theravada Buddhism. His profound knowledge of Buddhist scriptures is widely recognised and his moral conduct greatly admired.

The world's largest jade Buddha

A display of a 2.7-metre-tall Buddha carved from a single piece of jade was launched yesterday, at an opening ceremony graced by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, former President S R Nathan, Mrs Goh Chok Tong and leaders from other religious groups.

Does a coyote-dancing gay monk spell end of Buddhism?

The ear-slapping customs official abusing his power at Suvarnabhumi Airport was not the only act of inappropriate behaviour caught on camera this week. Those contemplating joining the monkhood should first try and walk a mile barefoot. Many might argue that men in Thailand dancing like coyotes is a pretty regular occurrence, so what made this time different? The fact that the booty-shaking man in question was a fully ordained monk!

Meditation vacation

By Matthew Green Take New Year thoughts of health kicks and fresh starts a stage further with a 10-day ‘Buddhist boot camp’ in the Himalayas. The guru looked troubled. A spry 75-year-old, who could have passed for 60, he usually wore an expression as pure as his ivory robe. Peering into my cell, he watched as I wept harder than I could remember, for a reason my mind could not fathom. Then he beamed.

Saturday 7th January 2012

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Confidential are the best kinsmen Olcott GUNASEKERA - Health is the greatest gain, Contentment is the greatest wealth, Confidential are the best kinsmen, Nibbana is the bliss supreme. Dhammapada V.204. This is the reply given by the Buddha to King Pasenadi Kosala when the latter asked four questions from the Buddha regarding the greatest gain, the greatest wealth, the best kinsmen and supreme bliss to any human being. In this short article, I shall be discussing the third line of this admonition of the Buddha.

Benefits of meditation - Dr Padmaka Silva. We have discussed facts relating to Kilesa Parinibbana Sutta. We have to understand another fact related to that Sutta. Out of the four individuals we spoke about, the third and the forth individuals have attained Jhana Samapatti. Although they have attained Jhana Samapatti do all of them attain Parinibbana in this life itself? No. That means there is a difference there also. They have strong Samadhi. In spite of having strong Samadhi they fail to attain Parinibbana in this life itself.

The place of emotions in Buddhism Dr Padmasiri de Silva; Emotions are generally regarded in the mind of the Buddhist as aspects of our personality that interfere with the development of a spiritual life, as unwholesome states ethically undesirable, and roadblocks to be cleared in the battleground between reason and emotion. In keeping with this perspective emotions are described as states of “agitation” or “imbalance.”

2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s visit to Mahiyangana:

A Pinkama to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of Buddha’s visit to Mahiyangana will be held at the Mahiyangana Rajamaha Viharaya on January 8 under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.The Buddha visited the Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya sacred precincts on a Duruthu Pasalosvaka Poya day 2,600 years ago. A three day pinkama to mark this historic event begins at the viharaya today. A daham hamuwa which is part of this pinkama will be held at the viharaya tomorrow afternoon presided by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The dos and don'ts of witnessing to Buddhists

While Christianity is hardly on the radar of young people in Western countries, Buddhism is growing in popularity. In fact in the 90s, as people were leaving the church in their thousands, it was the fastest growing faith in the UK.

‘Look at science the Buddhist way’

BHUBANESWAR: After delivering hard talks on chemistry at the ongoing Indian Science Congress (ISC) here, Nobel Laureate Prof Richard R. Ernst donned the garb of a Buddhist spiritual leader and philosopher on Thursday.

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