WEEKLY BUDDHISM NEWS & REVIEW
Saturday 8th October 2011
Establishment of Maha Bodhi Society; Priyanka KURUGALA; Ven Dodangoda Rewatha Thera is currently the General Secretary of Mahabodhi Society, India, also holding the position of Chief Sanghanayaka of India. He is in the forefront re-breathing life into Anagarika Dharmapalas mission of protecting Buddhism. Daily News Buddhist Spectrum spoke to him with the objective of tracing the roots of Maha Bodhi Society, India. Ven Rewatha Thera Pilgrims fond of visiting the Buddhas land now have a number of facilities. They have proper accommodation too. A century ago, however, when Anagarika Dharmapala initiated his mission, things were in a dire situation. Pilgrims had quite a lot of difficulties to face.
Validity of wholesome and unwholesome kamma ;Rajah Kuruppu - An important part of the Dhamma is the Law of Kamma, the Law of Action and Reaction. Broadly stated, under this Law, wholesome actions lead to pleasant experiences and unwholesome actions result in unpleasant and painful consequences. The Buddha emphasized the importance of cetana or intention as the foremost factor in this Law. The intention of any action, verbal, physical or mental, is important from the Buddhist perspective. For this reason, the Buddha declared as follows.
The Buddha, the sensible rationalist Dr Prabhakar Kamath - He is arguably the greatest Indian ever, and one of the greatest thinkers in the history of the world. Most of what we know of him comes to us from various Buddhist literature, memorized, and orally transmitted from generation to generation, and finally written down nearly four hundred years after his death in 483 B. C. Even though he was certainly a historical figure, most supernatural events, and irrational beliefs attributed to him must certainly be due to embellishment by overenthusiastic later adherents of Buddhism. Most of the initial converts were Brahmins, who brought with them their Brahmanic baggage.
Stanford University and Harvard University have gotten $5.2 million in grants from Hong Kongs Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation to promote the understanding of Buddhist philosophy in the West. The $2.5 million gift to Stanford, along with matching money from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation , will pay for an endowed chair in Buddhist Studies.
2011/10/04 23:21:57 Taipei, Oct. 4 (CNA) A 112 year-old nun who lives in central Taiwan's Nantou County, one of two oldest people in Taiwan, said Tuesday that the secret of her longevity is her lifetime of Buddhist practice. Liu Ching-huan, who was born in China's Sichuan Province, arrived in Taiwan with the remnants of the late President Chiang Kai-shek's forces as a young girl and was ordained at a Buddhist temple in 1965 in the county's Puli Township.
Long before Steve Jobs became the CEO of Apple and one of the most recognizable figures on the planet, he took a unconventional route to find himself -- a spiritual journey that influenced every step of an unconventional career. Jobs, who died Wednesday at the age of 56 of pancreatic cancer, was the biological child of two unmarried academics who only consented to signing the papers if the adoptive parents sent him to college.
Some of you may know that this week the university welcomed a Buddhist monk of the Theravada tradition to campus, Ajahn Punnadhammo. On both Monday and Tuesday he spoke to groups of students and faculty, responding to diverse questions about Buddhist philosophy, practice and history that his decades of monastic life enabled him to answer.
Saturday 1st October 2011
I often say when I teach meditation, "We meditate not just to be calm, but to be real." Meditation has become quite popular in the West, and Buddhist teachers abound, but I wonder if we have yet learned this profound lesson well enough. The Buddha himself, beginning his spiritual pilgrimage, studied with many meditation teachers.
The Buddhist teacher's decision to leave his monastery suggests a revival of the principles laid down by the Buddha. On first impression, Mingyur Rinpoche seemed to have everything well set up for a high profile career as a globe-trotting meditation teacher in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
Amnesty International says Muslim rebels waging an insurgent campaign in three southern provinces of Thailand have committed war crimes by deliberately targeted civilians. Nearly 5,000 people have been killed in the provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat since 2004. In a report released Tuesday, the human rights group says civilians from all walks of life, including teachers, civil servants and farmers, have been indiscriminately targeted in the attacks.
By Damith Wickremasekera: A so-called temple run by two Japanese monks of the Mahayana sect at Liberty Plaza was closed down by Police yesterday after a group of Buddhist monks staged a protest against it. The foreign monks had been running the temple for more than five years and people had paid between Rs. 500,000 and one million with promises that they could attain enlightenment and be absolved of their sins by performing certain religious practices after paying the money.
The controversial Japanese Mahayana Temple located in an apartment at the Liberty Plaza in Kollupitiya said it would continue its religious activities in Sri Lanka despite an attempt by some Buddhist monks to stop them.
Buddhist points misunderstood- Ven D Mahinda: Thera Buddhism is based on reality. This is known as the four noble truths. When ones mind is full of superstitious ideas, such a one cannot understand the Buddhas teaching. Most Buddhists, who live in the West as well as in the East, do not get an opportunity to read the Tipitaka (Pali Canon). They do not listen to the Dhamma either. Hence they are unable to live up to the Dhamma. This will result in their not understanding the doctrine.
Meditation as a process Part I - Dr Padmaka Silva; We were discussing the fact that an individual practicing meditation has to believe in the understanding of Buddha. We must understand the manner in which we should practise meditation based on the facts we have studied and the benefits we get by practising such meditation. There is a good Sutta which you can read. It is in the second part of Anguttara Nikaya. Its name is Kilesa Parinibbana Sutta. It is mentioned there that Oh Bhikkhus! Four individuals can be seen in this world. What type of individuals are they?
Pride and conceit; Continued from September 8- Dr. Elizabeth ASHBY: The trouble is that too much praise, particularly if it borders on flattery, stimulates the sense of I-ness. The ego sticks out its chest and feels two inches taller; it has a delicious feeling of security and believes itself to be invulnerable! This is the nasty sort of pride that the ancient Greeks called hubris; it was looked upon as an insult to the gods, and when the Olympians found a man suffering from it they unloosed Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, who brought him to death or destruction.
Buddha used to call it Vipassana. The word is beautiful, simple, meaningful. It means 'just watching'. Passana means to see very carefully. Vipassana means to see carefully but without thinking. You are just there, sitting silently, doing nothing.
A hemispherical Buddhist stupa belonging to the Vajrayana period of Buddhism dating back to 6th and 7th Century A.D. was by chance unearthed by the Department of Archaeology of Andhra Pradesh last week following sighting of a large brick in the vicinity of a large mound in this village.
Anagarika Dharmapalas 147th birth anniversary fell yesterday, September 17 By Kumar Wethasinghe From time to time the nation pays tribute to its past heroes, for their benevolent contributions and immense sacrifices made towards national upliftment.
Ven Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Thera : Tribute to an exemplary monk : Bhikkhu Bodhi - Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya was one of the great personalities of Theravada Buddhism in the twentieth century, and it is testimony to his vast store of past merits that his life span stretched clear across this century from its beginning almost to its end. In the course of his exemplary life this outstanding Mahathera has held some of the most prestigious academic and ecclesiastical posts in the country. Yet such honor and fame hardly touched him inwardly: at heart he always remained a simple monk whose greatest joy was quiet study and meditation at his small village temple near the town of Balangoda.
Let us meditate; Dr Padmaka Silva - We must get used to practising meditation in an orderly manner always. There is no point in doing it simply because others are doing it. If so we become a group of people who refuse a big gain for ourselves and make the world also lose. If we do it in an orderly manner we can acquire the results that can be obtained from meditating.
Our ancestors saw the birth of many religions that soon spread to the rest of the world, and Buddhism in particular was adopted by many countries including Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Russia where Buddhist shrines have managed, in part, to withstand the ravages of war and time.
One hundred forty-seven years ago Anagarika Dharmapala was born into a wealthy and influential family in Sri Lanka. At the age of twenty he chose not to enter the family business renouncing the life of a householder and dedicating his life to the revival and dissemination of the Buddhas teaching.
Dr. Hema Goonatilake, a participant at the first ever international Pali conference held in Sri Lanka, recounts a memorable experience. The first ever international Pali conference in Sri Lanka was recently organized by the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies of the University of Jayawardenapura. It is useful at the outset to assess the historical significance of this conference.
Birth signs of the Buddha - Sandadas Coperahewa - There is a riddle poem which depicts the birth of the Buddha, symbolizing the signs of the zodiac. Most of the poems that have been in usage during the Kotte period, have been out of usage, owing to the lamentable lack of knowledge in the Sinhala language and literature, Buddhism and general knowledge.
Significance of Binara Poya - Premasara EPASINGHE - Binara Pura Pasalosvaka Full Moon Poya Day falls on September 11. The most important, significant event that took place on Binara Full Moon Day, falling with in the traditional Vassana (retreat for the rainy season) period for Bhikkhus, was that when the Buddha in his fifth Vassana season, or rainy retreat, residing at Kootagarasala of Vesalipura the Budda paid his last visit to his beloved father, King Suddhodana, who was sick and desirous of seeing his illustrious son, relieved of his physical suffering by his power of determination and preached Dhamma to him.
Pride and conceit - Dr. Elizabeth Ashby - In Christian literature of the lighter sort we sometimes come across the expression Little Devil DOUBT. This personage is not known to Buddhists, but another little devil can be still more devastating. He is an ugly little Mara, named CONCEIT. Unlike his big brother Pride, who is not lacking in dignity, Conceit is a mean, slinking little devil, lurking in dark corners and always ready to rush out and nip our heels. Doubt is slain when the disciple wins the stream: Conceit being a manifestation of Pride, remains a menace to the very end.
A quiet campaign to grant female monks legal recognition began this summer. Advocates hope that the minimal fanfare will help the 'Bhikkhunis' evade conservative religious opposition.Dhammananda Bhikkhuni grips a wobbly stack of feminine hygiene products and sorts them on a long table. Her followers watch before mimicking her quick movements.
VENERABLE Ajahn Cagino, 43, lives in a cave with two snakes and eight bats. The cave is 2km from the nearest village in Mae Hong Son in northern Thailand. Nestled in a deep valley hemmed in by high mountain ranges that border Myanmar, Mae Hong Son is isolated from the outside world and is covered with mist throughout the year.
Freedom of the mind from a Buddhist perspective -Dr Senarath Tennakoon; According to Buddhism free dom of thought and exercising ones free will are boundless. One need not be a slave to a philosophy, book, tradition, any leader or teacher and super power. All human beings are potential Buddhas and can develop their minds even to the extent of attaining Buddhahood. In the Dhammapada the first stanza itself declares that the mind is the fore-runner in every action. All evidence suggests that our sense of free will is deeply ingrained.
Meditation key to understanding the Dhamma - Dr Padmaka Silva; Earlier we discussed the facts stated in the Nibbida Sutta. There we mentioned that an individual wishing to achieve favorable results from practicing Dhamma and meditation should have confidence in the understanding of the Buddha. Also we spoke of the action that should be taken by us to achieve at least the minimum benefit or refuge from this Dhamma as individuals born in an age in which the wisdom of humans is deteriorating and born as ordinary individuals without a lot of wisdom.
Esala Perahera of Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya- Rupa Banduwardena; Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city life of the busy capital, Colombo, it is just five minutes drive from the Dehiwela junction and also from the Boralesgamuwa junction. Located midway in the calm and serene atmosphere, no Buddhist can miss the sacred holy spot a proud land mark in this area giving the pilgrims the true taste of a sanctified punyabhoomy. Its popularity has spread islandwide and worldwide too, well known for its exceptional miraculous powers drawing massive crowds daily, not only on Poya days but every second, every day, of the year.
1. Contemporary Indian Society and Buddhism's origin: A keen observer of the world history may notice a pendulous motion. At one end of the pendulum's swing is the society immersed in crass materialism, Pravritti (literally, action) and at the other end is the society engrossed itself in spirituality, Nivritti (literally, withdrawal).