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Buddhism News & Review


Saturday 23rd May 2009


God and Kamma E. M. G. EDirisinghe God is both compassion and vengeance. He rewards acts of merit and punishes (or pardons) acts of sin. So is also the Kamma. Kusala kamma yields beneficial results while akusala kamma yields adverse results. The only difference is that God is personified whereas Kamma is not. Thus all good and evil is stored in God as in (kamma good or evil action).

Ven Tibet S Mahinda’s childhood Padma EDIRISINGHE Mahinda is certainly a lucky name. It is the name of Lanka’s saviour who rid the country of the dreaded fangs of terrorism. It is also the name of the great priest who brought Buddhism to the island. It also happens to be the name of a unique character who came over from another country to exhort the island’s race to preserve its identity.

Heredity and environment Buddhist concept: Elmo FERNANDO Modern astronomy entails a vast knowledge of the stellar cycles, so much so, that this esoteric and spiritual science has an abundance of research to place on planetary cycles and their influence on humanity. The constituents of the mind is deathlessness and its way the Vijna (consciousness) which moves in each life throughout Sansara.

Bigger than ever

By SETO KIT YAN Four musicals later, Musical On Stage Productions celebrates its 10th anniversary with a restaging of its pioneer performance, Prince Siddhartha The Musical. TEN years after it burst onto Malaysia’s art scene as its first full-scale musical, Prince Siddhartha The Musical is back. And, it’s bigger and better than ever.

The Buddhist view on abortion part 1

President Obama’s recent visit to the University of Notre Dame has stirred up new sentiments over the old debate. On one side, conservative Catholics condemn the president’s liberal views on abortion; on the other, feminists assert that the law should not prohibit women to make their own choice;

Kate Moss converting to Buddhism?

"She is really into Buddhism and has a bought a bronze Buddha statue for her living room and has started meditating," femalefirst.co.uk quoted a source as saying.

Does real Buddhism exist in the West?

by Brad Warner As Buddhism becomes more widely accepted, guys trying to make a fast buck on people’s misconceptions about it are going to keep crawling out of the manure. It’s really a buyer-beware situation. If you think enlightenment is something someone can give you in a big hurry for $150, you deserve what you get. But if you’re ready to face reality, the real practice is there, and the real teachers are more plentiful than you can imagine.

Saturday 16th May 2009


Buddha's insights on effective communication Prof. Sunanda MAHENDRA Ven Sanathana of the Bowalawatta monastery invited me to deliver a short speech recently. It happened to be the day we give alms to the monks to mark the death anniversary of my parents too. The invitation was abrupt, and I was at a loss for an appropriate subject to deal with. At length I could put my finger on a Sutta with an interesting account of the Buddha's interpretation of communication.

Guiding light to youth Title: Budu Sasune Pihita Labana Pinvath Neganiyani ,Author: Ayodhaya Weerasinghe Publisher: Mihira, Publishers, Rajagiriya Price: Rs. 220 Page count: 136 pages Ayodhaya Weerasinghe's book, part two of the same title, was meant for the females in the modern society but covers a wide spectrum of matters both religious as well as practical in moulding the character of everyone with direct references to the teachings of the Buddha who had gone into meticulous detail about the mind and its potential and the impediments that inhibit the achievement of an enlightened human being.

ABHIDHAMMA IN A NUTSHELL - XXVI: Derivatives Shamika SOYSA The 'Four Great Essentials' were described in detail in the last episode. It was evident that these four contains in any kind of material. Derived from those four essentials there are 24 more Rupas, which are prominent as materials. This episode would illustrate these 'derivatives' or Upadaya Rupas.

5000 Years of Kashmir

Kashmir is a unique civilizationed experiment which can claim, as observed by Sir Aurel Stein, the distinction of being the only region of India (undivided) which possesses an uninterrupted series of written records of its history. The archaeological excavations in Bourzahama, 15 kilometers from Sringar, establish its antiquity to before 3000 BC ( ie over 5000 years). It was contemporaneous to the Mohenjudaro civilization.

Buddhists told to persevere

Ni Komang Erviani , The Jakarta Post , Denpasar | Mon, 05/11/2009 2:54 PM | Bali A call for perseverance, equanimity and the ability to maintain a peaceful heart filled the glittering halls of vihara (temples) across the island as local Buddhists celebrated the Tri Suci Waisak festival on Saturday. Tri Suci Waisak, which celebrates the birth, the enlightenment and the passing of Buddha into Nirvana, is the most important religious festival in Buddhism.

Hindus urge authentic portrayal of Lord Buddha in upcoming mega-film

Nevada (US), May 11 (ANI): Welcoming the recent announcement of English language international mega-film on Buddha, Hindus have urged its makers to present an authentic portrayal of his life and times.

Peace and happiness to all -

Australia's Buddhist community taking part in colourful celebration for United Nations Day of Vesak Australia’s Buddhist temples come alive with colour this week as celebrations are under way for the United Nations Day of Vesak, with the best wishes of the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson.

Buddhism and accuracy of the Buddha’s teachings

The Dhammapada says: “Not in the sky, not in the midst of the sea, nor anywhere on earth, is there a place where you can be freed from the consequences of an evil act.” Christianity in its origin says “whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall reap” and that necessarily includes evil and sin.

'Tenets of Buddhism based on reason'

MANGALORE: The tenets of Buddhism are based on scientific reasoning, which is why B R Ambedkar thought it to be the ideal path to progress for the oppressed in society, said Rachaiah, HOD, department of economics, DVS Arts and Science College, Shimoga

Saturday 9th May 2009

Elaborate activities for Wesak celebration

Stories by LIM CHIA YING THOUSANDS of devotees are expected to converge at Buddhist temples throughout the country tomorrow to pay homage to Lord Buddha on his birthday and to celebrate his attainment of enlightenment as well as to commemorate his death.

Illuminating the spirit of Vesak!

Ruwini Jayawardana Amidst the serenity and tranquility of Vesak, a range of brilliant lights, mind soothing music and melodious recitals of verses relating age old tales, take centre stage.

Wesak message from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Fri, 2009-05-08 18:53 By Janaka Alahapperuma-London London, 08 May, (Asiantribune.com):While Buddhists are British Prime Minister Gordon Browngetting ready to celebrate Wesak (Vesak) festival all over the world, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has sent a very rare Wesak message to Buddhists in Britain saying that everyone could learn from the Buddhist philosophy and should reflect on the contribution the religion has made to society.

Thailand celebrates Vesak, seeks responses to political and financial crises

by Weena Kowitwanij - Celebration calls for reflection to find ways to solve current problems in light of the Buddha’s principles. In his address during the closing ceremony Prime Minister Abhisit encourages the nation to build peace, promote sustainable development and defend human rights. Buddhist elder calls for transparency and good government for the good of the country.

Buddhist sculpture shown in London

Valuable pieces of historic Buddhist sculpture from China, Burma, Thailand and other Asian countries are being displayed in a major exhibition in Britain. The show is at a new gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Around fifty sculptures and artworks are on display. They were created by craftsmen between 200 AD and 1850 and explore how Buddha was represented through art.

Yasodara recites to Rahula

After many years Kimbulwathpura was to rejoice The visit of the saffron robed Lord Buddha, under the blue skies King Suddhodana, was to welcome his son, after many a year People who got the news flocked from far and near.

Buddhism in Asian civilization

Dr (Mrs) Tilokasundari Kariyawasam - Buddhism began as an intellectual and ethical movement in the sixth century B.C in India. It spread during the life time of the Buddha in India. At the time of the Buddha’s parinibhana almost all the important states of India seemed to have been deeply influenced by the new teaching. He had many disciples and accumulated a large public following by the time of his parinibhana in 483 B.C.

The contributions of the Buddha and Buddhism

Meerut, India, May 06 — Gautama Buddha and Buddhism have made excellent contributions towards strengthening the Indian Way, which is based on universal acceptance, particularly in making it dynamic and bringing the common man into its fold.

Founder of Amarapura Nikaya Gnanavimala Maha Nayaka Thera:

A devout defender of Buddhism - Reproduced below is an article by Justice of the Supreme Court K.D. de Silva in 1973 There passed away 140 years ago to be precise on July 8, 1833, a Buddhist prelate whose services to his religion were inestimable and his contribution to national culture was outstanding. He was Mahaddama Rajadhi Rajaguru Gnanavimala Tissa, the founder of the Amarapura Nikaya.

Buddhism more scientific than modern science

Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso reflects on Buddhism’s enduring significance I used to be a scientist. I did Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, hanging out in the same building as the later-to-be-famous Professor Stephen Hawking. I became disillusioned with such science when, as an insider, I saw how dogmatic some scientists could be.

Want to play monk? Fork over $700

FANG, Thailand — Two freshly shaved white guys, scalps an uncommon pink, mill about the Sri Boen Ruang temple’s courtyard. The duo mingles with a flock of orange-robed novice monks, busy sweeping the plaza with straw brooms. Like the resident “naehns” — or child monks — these grown, pale-skinned, monks-in-training rise before dawn for alms runs and devote hours to quiet meditation.

Saturday 2nd May 2009


Jathaka stories: A national treasure Rupa BANDUWARDENA The Jathaka story, the sacred masterpiece, has come down the ages adding piety and sanctity to Buddhist literature. This is undoubtedly the most important sacred work that occupies a unique place in religious history. This is a unique reflection of religious tradition demonstrating the pride of place given to Buddhism. It has a special place in Buddhist culture and the literary world having a very long record of history as far back as the birth of the Buddha and Buddhism.

ABHIDHAMMA IN A NUTSHELL - XXV: Earth - Water - Fire - Air Shamika Soysa Readers of this series might remember the article called ‘Science and Religion’ appeared on Buddhist Spectrum on January 21. ‘Angels and Demons’ by Dan Brown talks about an ancient group called ‘Illuminati’. Illuminati believed about four primordial elements of all things in existence: Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

First Buddhist cultural festival launched in Britain The first ever arts and cultural festival drawing on Buddhist cultural traditions has been unveiled in Britain. The festival, known as The Many Faces of Buddhism, is held in London at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum and the Barbican Center in collaboration with the Hong Kong-based philanthropic organization — Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.

Taming of Alawaka The ruling king of Alawa, had a problem in his State His subjects were numbered so was their fate. A Demon a Yaksha, Alawaka by name Feated on human life, that brought the kingdom shame.

The great Buddhist revivalist

The 98th anniversary celebrations of the Late Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera will commence today (29) at the Vidyodaya Pirivena in Colombo. He is considered to be one of the pioneers in the revival of Buddhism and the tradition of oriental education during the 19th Century in Sri Lanka.

Dalai Lama, in Cambridge, speaks of hope

The Dalai Lama, kicking off a four-day visit to the Boston area, today acknowledged China's extraordinary economic and political might, but said the world's largest nation's quest to be considered a superpower will be stymied as long as China continues to dodge human rights concerns.

Buddhist art: images of detachment?

A new gallery devoted to Buddhist sculpture which opens today at the Victoria and Albert Museum, provokes interesting questions about the relationship between art and religious devotion. How has a religion –or is it a philosophy? - which teaches the need for detachment from all worldly matters produced such a substantial volume of artistic work preoccupied with material form, frequently made from precious materials?

Thailand's gay monks given 'good manners' guide

A Buddhist leader in Thailand has announced plans for a new set of guidelines to curb the behaviour of homosexual and transgender monks. Last Updated: 1:25AM BST 28 Apr 2009 The "good manners" curriculum was devised to discourage monks from wearing make-up and tight robes. More than 90 per cent of the Thai population are followers of Buddhism and most men spend at least one year in a monastery during their youth.

Everybody, it seems, is a Buddhist now

Douglas Todd, Canwest News Service Published: Saturday, April 25, 2009 Have you noticed more friends and acquaintances quietly suggesting they have become Buddhists? I'm picking up the trend everywhere. I take Buddhism very seriously as one of the great religions. There are important truths to explore in Buddhism. It is a profound and challenging system of belief.

The bhikkhuni question

Re-examining conventional wisdom on the issue of bhikkhunis in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Ajahn Brahm: It is a myth that Theravada bhikkhunis cannot be revived correctly according to Vinaya. To many, it is a non-issue, either because they do not believe the Theravada bhikkhuni sangha can be revived, do not see any need for it, do not think women want it, or do not even know it already exists. Yet, with Theravada bhikkhunis now found in every region of Thailand, as well as around the world, the issue cannot be ignored for long.

Meditation eases minds in troubled times

It used to be that Maribeth Riggins-Loy's biggest worries were getting her work done at the office and trying to lose 10 pounds. Now she finds her head churning with fears of "job security, the national and global economy, and what the future will hold for our country."

Buddhist Meditation May Augment Visuospatial Abilities

The conclusion belongs to a new study - People have been trying to achieve heightened states of meditation for millennia, a part of cults present in many religions. But, with Buddhism, meditation is the centerpiece, and some practitioners can reach amazing results, which have been recently also demonstrated scientifically, in a recent issue of the Association for Psychological Science's journal, Psychological Science. Researchers have proven that Buddhist meditation results in a temporary augmentation of a person's visuospatial abilities, in that they are able to retain, for example, an image in their brains for a long time.

April 2009


Most Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera: Challenge to British power Bhikkhu Ratana “Whatsoever a book is in your hand, go through it with much interest and implant the subject matter in your mind. Thereby, it enables you to proliferate and enrich your knowledge. Pick up even a piece of paper of any sort thrown on the road, if there is something of which you are ignorant, learn it.”

The revival of Buddhism Indian connection (1956-2006): Rohan Lalith Jayatilleke When India was partitioned in 1947 (West and East Pakistan) a few Buddhists lived in the sub continent. There was a Buddhist minority of about 100,000 in the district of Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts, the southern part of the East Bengal, which had now become East Pakistan and later the independent state of Bangladesh. These Bengali Buddhists were Theravadins and they had successfully carried out reforms of their Sangha after 1856.

Berlin exhibits Buddist heritage of Pakistan

An exhibition of art from the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region of Gandhara has opened in Berlin and will run until August 10th. The area hit the headlines in March 2001 when the Taliban demolished the Bamiyan Buddhas, the world’s largest rock/carved Buddha statues.

London to host Buddhist film festival

April 19, 2009 The International Buddhist Film Festival comes to London in May, offering films from across the world with a Buddhist touch - from documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters. More than 40 films from 18 countries, including 27 UK premieres, will be screened at the Barbican in London from Thursday May 7th to 17th.

Whither Japan? - A Sri Lankan Buddhist connection

By Dr. Janaka Goonetilleke When two Japanese Buddhist monks Shaku Soen and Shaku Kozen arrived in Galle, Sri Lanka in 1887 little did we realise that these two priests could represent the dilemma that Japan could face in a span of 125 years. Following the collapse of the Tokugawa era and the start of the meiji period in 1868-1911 Japan opened up to the rest of the world on a philosophy of Strong economy and military. This was a defined period in Japanese history when two major issues engaged the Japanese mind, each struggling to dominate Japanese society.

More women are taking to Buddhism: First woman master

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) A growing number of women are taking to Buddhism in India like in the West where two-thirds of the practitioners of the faith are women, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, the first Tibetan Buddhist woman master, said.

New Guidebook Uses Buddhist Principles to Combat Cancer

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- "For those who are touched by cancer there is no sweeter, more mystifying sound than the elusive words SPONTANEOUS REMISSION," writes Dr. Alan Cooper in his new book, "I, Cancer: The semi-Buddhist answer to dancing with Cancer ... YOU LEAD" (published by AuthorHouse). "But what if this miraculous phenomenon was not a spontaneous event at all but was rather an entirely fundamental, even predictable endpoint on your heroic inner journey over the moat of fear and helplessness that surrounds your cancer?"

Revival of 2,500-year-old Buddhist university planned

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Islamabad Gandhara Art and Culture Association (GACA) has planned to revive the 2,500 years old Buddhist University of Taxila with the contemporary features of the 21st century. Chief Monk of Korea, Jeon Woon Deok, who is currently visiting Pakistan, has approved the site for the institute for which government has fully supported, Zulfiqar Rahim, director GACA told APP here Monday.

More on the wisdom under the Bodhi tree: misery is optional ladies

“Misery only exists, no one who is miserable” Buddhism’s viewpoint of dukkha and the cyclical nature of suffering renders the notion of misery as a “re” or it. Misery, considered an emotion in the West, exists as an emotion independent of people. In a form of “reification”, misery is a pulse in the ocean of dukkha rather than a reflection of human thoughts. A person in the Buddhist worldview is not miserable because misery is a state of consciousness not personality. It is only in the attachment to misery based on the belief that one’s particular needs or wants have not been met does a person think they are miserable.

Largest UK Buddhist festival brings nuns, sacred dance and films to London

Festival: The Many Faces of Buddhism, The Victoria & Albert Museum and The Barbican Centre, London, April 25 – May 17 2009 "Most people don't know that nuns perform sacred dances," reasons Robert Yau Chung Ho, discussing the dozen-strong Indian group he's secured for this festival.

Buddha’s second visit to Sri Lanka

Indeevara de MEL The significance of Bak poya is historical, since it marks Buddha’s second visit to Sri Lanka. This is noteworthy, as Bak is a month of national importance as well. Buddha statue in Mihintale Picture by Lakshan Maduranga According to Mahavamsa, Buddha could foresee an imminent war between two Naga Kings Culodara and Mahodara, uncle and nephew, over a jewel-studded throne that made him think of visiting Lanka for the second time.

Therani Geethaya showcases tales of Buddhist nuns

Ruwini Jayawardana There is a saying that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. A woman can say more in sight than a man can say in a sermon. Both sayings are proved true as women transfer from their roles as sister, friend, daughter, wife, mother and many others in her journey of life. Kanchana in a scene from Therani Geethaya A mother is also considered as the leader in a family as she manages the household as well as nurtures the children.

Johnny Depp and Ewan McGregor films to be shown at Buddhist festival

Jaina Mahavira

The senior contemporary of the Buddha: Dr Keerthi Jayasekera The sixth Century BC was remarkable for the spiritual unrest and intellectual ferment in many countries. In China we had Lao Tzu and Confucius, in Greece Parmenides and Empedocles, in Iran Zarathustra, and in India Mahavira and the Buddha. In that period, many remarkable teachers worked upon their inheritance and developed new points of view for the philosophy of life.


A Buddhist arts festival will be held in London to coincide with the opening of the first gallery for Buddhist sculpture in the UK. The Many Faces of Buddhism, a series of arts and cultural events drawing on Buddhist cultural traditions, will be presented by the Robert HN Ho Family Foundation, from April 25 to May 17. The festival celebrates the opening of The Robert HN Ho Family Foundation Gallery at the V&A museum, Kensington, on April 29.

The 14 Million Dollar Buddha

If you read Jonathan Harr’s “The Lost Painting” (2005), a non-fiction book that chronicled the modern search for a missing Caravaggio painting, here is a similar tale that has been unfolding in Japan with much fanfare over the past few years. Yet unlike the owners of the Caravaggio painting–Jesuit priests in Ireland–the Japanese owner of the 800-yearold wooden Buddha (identified as “Vairocana”) about 24 inches in height, put the icon up for auction at Christie’s New York in March 2008.


Annihilating the Bamiyan tradition Daya Sirisena In March 2001, the terrorist outfit Taliban started destroying wonderfully carved sculptures known to the world as Bamiyan Statues that stood undisturbed for over 2000 years. Eight years have gone by since the destruction and today, the Talibans are hiding in the jungle of ignorance waiting for divine justice which is far different from natural justice.

Mindfulness defined Thanissaro Bhikkhu What does it mean to be mindful of the breath? Something very simple: to keep the breath in mind. Keep remembering the breath each time you breathe in, each time you breathe out. The British scholar who coined the term ‘mindfulness’ to translate the Pali word sati was probably influenced by the Anglican prayer to be ever mindful of the needs of others-in other words, to always keep their needs in mind.

ABHIDHAMMA IN A NUTSHELL - XXIV: More on Matter Shamika Soysa Buddhism deviates from many other religions in world. It rather examines existence and future than the past. The third Reality in Abhidhamma is one of the best areas of the Doctrine to understand the existence of world and living beings. Who created the world and living beings?

Kalamas heard it Sachitra Mahendra The Buddha has shown a path - the four-fold noble path, which seems logical and practical and we have seen people overcoming the grief following the path. Seeing is not always believing. But it makes us have a try on the path.

Buddhism and Quantum Physics - The space between two things

Thu, 2009-04-02 00:59 By Christian Thomas Kohl Abstract. Rudyard Kipling, the famous english author of The Jungle Book , born in India, wrote one day these words: "Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet". In my paper I show that Kipling was not completely right. I try to show the common ground between Buddhist philosophy and quantum physics.

Kandy in 1940s and 50s

H.S.S. Nissanka This is an attempt to portray Kandy, the last capital of Sinhale and the most beautiful heritage city in Sri Lanka through anecdotes connected with the end of British colonial rule and the regaining of political independence and national resurgence that accompanied it.

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