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Buddhism News & Review


WEEKLY BUDDHISM NEWS & REVIEW

December 2005

The elite of the elite

There are nine such priests in Bangkok. Born into the highest caste, Brahmins in everyday society bring gods closer to the common people On a cool morning a few minutes before seven, Brahmin Kachron Nakavethin and his team arrive at a small construction site on Ratchada Soi 32 off Ratchadaphisek Road. They are carrying trays of various sizes that hold a cooked pig’s head, fruit, flowers, joss sticks, wooden sticks, gold, silver and copper alloy bricks and a few Thai musical instruments.

The biggest Buddhist temple in Europe opened in Kalmykia (Russia)

Photo

On December 27, the Golden Temple was opened in the capital of the republic of Kalmykia Elista (Russia), reports a REGNUM correspondent. The Golden Temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in Russia and Europe as well. Over 5,000 people came to the opening ceremony – residents of Kalmykia, representatives of Buddhist communities from Moscow, Volgograd, Saratov.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Vicious misinterpretations of Dhamma by Kingsley Heendeniya - This is not my usual brief essay because the subject requires a certain detail. By 'vicious' I use the Oxford English Dictionary meaning: 2. (Of language, document, reasoning etc.) incorrect, faulty, unsound, corrupt. It is a follow-up of my essay on the Satipatthana Sutta and a response to another by an emeritus Professor of Buddhism, University of Hawaii. (Daily News, 15th Dec.). He has made gross distortions for a vicious adaptation of the Teaching of the Buddha to 'explain' the environment in Dhamma terms.

The lost Buddhist heritage of Tibet by Rohan L. Jayetilleke - Half of Tibet consists of a vast wind-swept plateau dotted by shallow salt lakes. To the Western travellers and geographers Tibet is the 'Roof of the World'. The Tibetans traditionally call their country symbolically the 'Land of Snow'. The mean altitude of Tibet in the western and central regions is between 13,000 to 16,400 ft above the mean sea level. Steep mountains, clad perennially with snow dot the landscape.

BUDDHISM: WORSHIP WHEN YOU WANT

One city temple’s flexi-hours have proved a big draw to the time-challenged, and authorities hope to see others follow suit. Bangkok’s Wat Suthat Thepwararam is one of the few city temples that is crowded most evenings, thanks to its flexi-hours that cater to residents who are pressed for time. From 7am to 9pm, it has become an increasingly popular place for those who come to pray, hear sermons and meditate after a stressful day at work.

In wake of tsunami, fears of ghosts still haunt Thailand

PHI PHI ISLAND, Thailand (AFP) - Few will actually admit to seeing a ghost themselves, but everyone has heard about them on this once idyllic island still rebuilding after the tsunami killed 700 people. There was the woman who saw foreign tourists struggling to escape the sea almost a year after the tsunami, and the hotel worker who heard ghosts playing on the beach.

Lanka to host 2550th Buddha Jayanthi Festival

A special discussion to celebrate the 2550th Buddha Jayanthi Festival in Sri Lanka, next year, was held at Temple Trees with President Mahinda Rajapakse in the Chair yesterday(13). Ministers, Members of Parliament and officials of Government Departments including the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs attended the discussion.

Unduvap Poya its significance to Sri Lankans

Unduvap is the last poya of the year. It is a very important and historic day for Sri Lanka, as it was on this Poya day that Princess Sangamitta Theri arrived in Dambakolapatuna port in Jaffna with a right branch of the Sri Maha Bodhi in India accompanied by a retinue of several others who joined her in this voyage.

Dalai Lama launches personal website to spread world peace

(AFP) 11 December 2005 DHARAMSALA, India - Self-exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday launched a personal website to spread his message of world peace and take questions via email. The website www.dalailama.com was inaugurated on the international Human Rights Day and the 16th anniversary of his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Miracle of faith - Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda defies nature and laws of gravity.

Pilgrims there know why Yvonne Bohwongprasert Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda or the Golden Rock draws Buddhist pilgrims all year round. The 22 feet pagoda sits on a slanting face of a rock. Hands clasped, pilgrims kneel down in prayer seeking blessings from the deities. Children such as this one haul luggage to make a living and support their families. Pilgrims to Kyaikhiyo Pagoda will tell you that their prayers are usually answered.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The ancient Buddhist heritage of South India by Rohan L. Jayetilleke - Since the sixth century B. C. Buddhism held a considerable place in South India and has left its impressions in the monuments and literature. The famous stupas and viharas in Krisna valley and the large number of cave temples of the Western Ghats, Bhattiprolu and Gantasala, Amaravati, Nagarjunakonda and Goli manifest the status Buddhism had in South India.

Seeking the end of the world - On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. At an advanced hour of the night Rohitassa, a son of the devas," approached the Blessed One, and in resplendent beauty shed his brilliant light over the entire Jeta Grove. Having come to the Blessed One, he paid homage to him, stood at one side, and said: "Is it possible, O Lord, that by going one can know, see or reach the end of the world, where one is not born, does not age, does not die, does not pass away, and is not reborn?"

Russian factory makes Europe's largest Buddha statue

December 7 (RIA Novosti, Ilya Livada) - A factory in the southern Russian city of Volgodonsk has made Europe's largest Buddha statue, the factory's technical director said Wednesday. Viktor Sergiyenko said the nine-meter fiberglass statue representing Buddha sitting on a throne weighed less than its analogues.

Book Review: An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World

Pankaj Mishra grew up in India, and began his career as a journalist and is still a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, Granta, and the Times Literary Supplement. His first work of fiction, The Romantics, received the Los Angeles Times‘s Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and tells the story of a young brahmin who is forced to confront his beliefs and overcome his emotional awkwardness.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Accomplished in this Dhamma discipline by J.C. Boange: In a sutta which appears in the Khandha Vagga of the Samyutta Nikaya. i.e. Sattatthana Sutta (The seven points), the Buddha has set out to the bhikkhus, who could be termed Skilled in the Dhamma. Discipline. Even though it had been delivered to the Monks, it is equally useful to any person intent in following the Dhamma with a view to final emancipation.

Graham: Why stress when you can meditate?

Demanding classes, exams, endless workweeks and the general madness of the holidays is enough to make anyone feel burnt out. Don't worry; the days of sleeping in and reducing caffeine dependency are not far off.

Buddhist film wins Catholic prize

The “Thai Catholic Social Communications” centre has presented an award to a television film, “Buddhism in India: The Rise, the Fall, and the Return of disciples”. An award also went to a film for cinema which tackles Down Syndrome. Bangkok (AsiaNews) – A film for television entitled “Buddhism in India: The Rise, the Fall, and the Return of disciples” has won the Catholic Media Award presented by the Catholic Social Communications of Thailand (CSCT).The presentation ceremony was presided over by Bishop George Yod Phimpisarn, CSCT President. The film won the award because it realized the value of Buddhism, and considered how Buddhists can preserve their faith and practice it more concretely.

Science of meditation

By KATHLEEN FACKELMANN USA Today WASHINGTON - The ancient practice of meditation may change the brain in a way that helps boost attention, according to studies out recently at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Buddhist monks have been saying for years that meditation helps increase attention and concentration. The new findings now offer some support for the notion.

November 2005

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Relevance of Buddhist pedagogy to the modern world by Ananda Kumarasiri - It cannot be denied that humankind has achieved stupendous progress in science and technology and in numerous other fields of human endeavour. But in terms of mental outlook, thinking and behaviour, the profile is one of alarming concern. This is plainly evident in the social decadence of contemporary society. Society today is afflicted with serious social ills, albeit more severely manifested in some environments than in others.

The Monpas, devoted Buddhists of Arunachal Pradesh by Rohan L. Jayetilleke - The Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian State of picturesque beauty lies at the north-eastern tip of the Indian sub-continent. This enigmatic State of India situated at the foothills of Himalayas, covering a land area of 83,743 sq km of the Himalayan range is landlocked sharing international frontiers with Bhutan, Tibet, China and Myanmar.

Thousands flock to Nepalese teen, say he is reincarnation of Buddha

(with a photo)

Associated Press Nov. 24, 2005 12:00 AM KATMANDU, Nepal - A teenage boy has been meditating in a Nepalese jungle for six months, and thousands have flocked to see him, with some believing he is the reincarnation of Buddha, police and media said Wednesday. Ram Bahadur Banjan, 15, sits cross-legged and motionless with eyes closed among the roots of a tree in the jungle of Bara, about 100 miles south of the capital, Katmandu.

Allure of Buddhism growing in the UK

Buddhism in Britain has received another boost with the arrival of Tibetan spiritual leader, The Dalai Lama, on the latest of his goodwill missions. The exiled Tibetan leader was visiting Scotland where new figures show that Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the region. In Glasgow, according to figures from the 2001 census, and reported by The Independent, the number of people describing themselves as Buddhist has soared by 28.5 per cent.

Today is Il Pasalosvaka Poya (15-11-05)

Thai royal Katina ceremony "Vassana Vassan Upaganthung". This precept is observed by the Ven. bhikkhus who follow the Theravada Buddhist Tradition. This is the period where Buddhist devotees dedicate their time and energy to practice religious observances. At the end of the three months of Vassana people divert their attention to conduct the Katina Ceremony on an elaborate scale, Buddhists consider this to be a great, significant and a very meritorious act.

Physics is the King of science. It is a very esoteric way of thinking. Thus, it was said that when Einstein announced his theory of relativity, only four persons understood him. Bertrand Russell was one of them .

The shape of religion in the future In the nuclear age Buddhists the world over owe a duty to co-operate and co-ordinate their efforts in spreading the principles of Buddhism which teaches love, peace, happiness and right understanding for all mankind. Buddhism invites anyone to come and see for himself and permits him to accept only those facts which agree with reason, logic and truth.

Food of Bodhisatvas : Buddhist Teachings on Abstaining from Meat : Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol (1781-1851) is revered by all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Living mostly on retreat in the mountains, surrounded by a few close and hardy disciples, or on pilgrimages to the holy places of Tibet, he led an austere life. He had no fixed abode, only the most meagre of possessions, he was attached to no monastery, adhered to no school, and remained free from dependence upon benefactors.

New study shows meditation feeds brain

Meditation appears to do more than calm you down: New research suggests people who meditate daily can thicken their cerebral cortex. That's the opposite of being "thick," because the cortex is central to memory, decision-making and integrating body and mind.

World Buddhist Summit held in Thailand

The fourth World Buddhist Summit opened in Thailand on Tuesday when leaders of the two sects from all over the world meet and exchange views and opinions, seeking cooperation and overcoming differences, with an aim to bringing about prosperity and security for Buddhism. Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Tuesday morning presided over the opening ceremony of the summit hosted by Mahamakut Buddhist University.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Social communication in Buddhism by Kalakeerthi Edwin Ariyadasa - Excerpts from a paper presented at the "Roundtable" on Social Communication in Religious Traditions of Asia, held at Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand. By their very nature, all religions aim at epitomizing the positive and wholesome urges of life. Spiritual leaders, each in his own way, have made it their noble mission to illuminate the path of mankind's progress out of the morass of ignorance into enlightened thinking. Most religious systems unerringly identify the need to guide the masses towards a wholesome worldly life, as a means to achieving the upper reaches of spiritual experience.

The historic Vikramasila Buddhist university by Rohan L. Jayetilleke - A few miles away from the village of Bargaon, where the Nalanda University stood in the State of Bihar is the ancient site of the Vikramasila University of Buddhist studies. Vikramasila and Valabhi universities figure in the accounts of Chinese Buddhist pilgrim monks of the 7th century A.D. However, there were other universities that flourished after the heyday of these older universities

Mahaparinirvana: O Vaisali, thou peerless city, home Of wandering monk and mendicant, to whom Thou hast been kind and hospitable e'er, I wish thee well: for now from here I go On this last journey of my final life, To Kusinara, where I shall pass away: Unchanging bliss awaits me there which none Can take away. Through endless aeons I've toiled To reach this day, and now at last it's mine.

October 2005

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Buddhist heritage in Kalinga Desa, Orissa State of India by Prasanna Wickramarachchi Visiting Sacred sites such as Buddha Gaya, Saranath, Kushinara, Lumbini etc. on pilgrimage has now become common among Sri Lankan Buddhists with better and improved transport and other facilities being made availa ble in recent times. For the more adventurous traveller, fascinating Buddhist heritage sites are available in India, one such State being Orissa.

Proposals for skilful dying - 2 (Continued from 19. 10. 2005) How the dying man - Abhinash Chowdary was reborn in a heavenly realm when his mind was religiously inclined at the few moments of his life. I felt amused and stayed on in spite of what I was told. Suddenly I heard him muttering excitedly, "Don't tie me up and drag me!" This he repeated several times. I could not conceal myself any longer and hurried to his bedside. "What's the matter?" I asked.

The Elimination of Anger

With two stories retold from the Buddhist texts by Ven. K. Piyatissa Thera The ultimate goal of Buddhism is the deathless condition of Nibbana, the sole reality. Hence, one who aspires to that state should renounce mundane pursuits and attachments, which are ephemeral, for the sake of that reality. But there are very few who are sufficiently mature to develop themselves to achieve that state in this very life. Thus the Buddha does not force the life of renunciation upon those who lack the spiritual capacity to embark upon the higher life.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Kapilavastu India - Nepal battle of sites BY ROHAN L. Jayetilleke KAPILAVASTU, the birth place of Prince Siddhartha (later the Buddha) is claimed by Indian authorities as the present site on Indian territory at Piphrawa, in Uttar Pradesh, the largest State of India. The Nepal historians and archaeologists claim Kapilavastu to be at Tilaurakot, in Nepal. Terai, about 26 kms to the North of Lumbini, which too is in Nepal Terai.

Proposals for skilful dying THERE is an age-old tradition in Sri Lanka that came about through the knowledge and awareness of the potency of neardeath kamma. The story of Dhammika Upasaka who requested the Sangha to recite the Satipatthana Sutta when he was on his deathbed, and The story of the Venerable Thera who ingeniously changed his father's fearful sign of destiny by providing conducive circumstances for him to perform a good deed at the very last moment, are just two examples.

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Science explores meditation's effect on the brain by Lionel Wijesiri : Scientists are now taking advantage of new technologies to see exactly what goes on inside the brains of Buddhist monks and other individuals when they meditate intensively and regularly. The neuroscientists have discovered that regular meditation actually alters the way the brain is wired, and that these changes could be at the heart of claims that meditation can improve health and well-being.

On understanding the world as taught by the Buddha by Kingsley Heendeniya: We are witness to earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, cyclones, tsunamis, floods, fires, wars, murder, poverty and so on - things again from the time civilizations like Mayan, Etruscan, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Mongolian, Indian, Muslim etc rose to zenith and vanished. Everything seems a film re-play.

Vessagiriya - the monastery of the Vaisya-Setthis by Rohan L. Jayetilleke: Vessagiri or commonly known in Sinhala as Vesagiriya or Vaisyagiri, is the traditional name of the forest bound cluster or rocks in Anuradhapura, adjoining the highway to Kurunegala, about a mile to the south-west of Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura.

Al-Quran makes allusion to the Buddha : Strong similarities between Buddhism and Islam

by A. F. Dawood: The Holy Quran, which was revealed to prophet Mohamed more than 1400 years ago, makes allusion to the Buddha, and there are several similarities in Buddhism and Islam. A prince of Sakya clan who spent 13 years of luxurious life, Siddharta Gautama relinquished his worldly life at the age of 29 years and meditated in the forest for six years in search of the truth for the cause of suffering and attained Enlightenment - the Buddhahood.

Buddhism and Christianity Both have something to teach each other

By Winton Higgins - Westerners are deserting their own religions to become Buddhists, according to a recurring canard. But while most western Buddhists in Australia have had Christian upbringings, most of them are long-lapsed in favour of secular materialism before they discover Buddhism. Exhibit A: your humble correspondent, once a good Anglican boy, but ‘over it’ by 17, discovered the Buddha aged 45, and now teaches Buddhist insight meditation. It’s not the churches but the shopping malls that are the losers in the Buddhism boom.

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Change and impermanence as taught by the Buddha by Kingsley Heendeniya : Philosophers have struggled with the problem of change beginning with the Greek conundrum of Xeno's Eleatic Arrow, and the riddle who wins in the race between Achilles and the tortoise? Both these have been 'explained' by Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein and others leaving out however the one thing that is pregnant in the problem: What is time? Stephen Hawkins has tried it.

We must revive Pali in our schools by Lionel Wijesiri : During the early 1960s, when I was a secondary school student, I had the good fortune of being taught Pali as a subject. Dhammapada was one of our Texts. We have been motivated by our teachers to do an in-depth study of the Dhammapada. As a result a great number of Buddhist scholars were born out of our generation.

Things to be done when a family member is critically ill : The best way to help someone who is dying is to encourage him to have a positive, peaceful mind. That means being free of disturbing emotions such as fear, anger, attachment, depression, etc. To be able to help someone else achieve such a state of mind, we need to work first on our own state of mind, i.e. work on reducing our own fear, etc. If we ourselves have disturbing emotions regarding death, it will be very difficult to help another person overcome his.

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Some examples of Habitual kamma In the Meghiya Sutta, the Buddha recommends that a bhikkhu whose paramis are still immature for enlightenment should cultivate a number of things, one set of which is: Here a bhikkhu is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the restraint of the Patimokkha Code of monastic rules, perfect in conduct and resort; seeing danger in the slightest faults, he trains himself by undertaking rightly the rules of training.

Venerable Buddhagosha Maha Thera - The greatest Indian Pali commentator of the 5th century A.D. by Rohan L. Jayetilleke Prior to a discussion of the life and works of the greatest Indian Pali Theravada Buddhism commentator Venerable Buddhaghosa Maha Thera, it is pertinent to commence with an account of Venerable Buddhadatta Thera, a contemporary of Buddhaghosa, who had preceded him to study at Mahavihara, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Exploring an ancient kingdom Frontline (India)

28 Sep 2005 Buddhist relics unearthed during recent excavations in Jajpur district of Orissa lead scholars to identify Radhanagar as the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kalinga.

Anagarika Dharmapala - Indefatigable servant of the Buddha

The 141st birth anniversary fell on September 17 of Bhikkhu Sri Deavamitta Dharmapala, known in the annals of Buddhist history as Anagarika Dharmapala. His life and character had been a source of wonder and inspiration to Buddhists throughout the world for the last 141 years as he was an indefatigable servant of the Buddha.

September 2005

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Mahayana Buddhist rituals in Japan by Rohan L. Jayetilleke: The Second Great Buddhist Council was held in Vesali, India, one hundred years after the Great Demise (Mahaparinirvana of the Buddha) the capital of the Licchavis in the United States of the Vajjis. The bhikkhus of Vesali promulgated ten amendments to the Vinaya (Code of Discipline) codified at Sattaparni caves of Rajagaha (Rajgir) three months after the demise of the Buddha. The Daisheishi Bodhisattva Fresco. About AD 1000, Koyasan, Japan Thus the discordant monks segregated from the others and eighteen schools of Buddhism arose, which later dichotomized into Mahayana and Theravada.

As more Americans turn to the Eastern religion, Buddha gear both sacred and kitschy is everywhere. A lotus grows in the mud, the Eastern spiritual saying goes. But if the proliferation of Buddhist images, icons and language means anything, then it's also thriving in boardrooms, shopping malls and cyberspace. As unprecedented numbers of Americans turn to Buddhism -- there are now some 6 million Buddhists nationwide -- more Buddhist ideas and symbols are popping up in bookstores, gift shops and business retreats.

The Buddhist Trail - Tourists are returning to the birthplace of one of the world's great religions

It appears on your right as you go around the temple, and you wonder at once if that is the tree: an ancient-looking, sprawling tree with a massive trunk and a zone of deep, hypnotizing shade at its center. A middle-aged Japanese man dressed in white, wearing a mask, is meditating in its shadow. Behind him two Tibetan monks are counting off their prayer beads and whispering.

Book Review - Dhamma-Vinaya: Essays in Honour of Venerable Professor Dhammavihari (Jotiya Dhirasekera)

Venerable Professor Dhammavihari (formerly Jotiya Dhirasekera) is a reputed scholar in the field of Buddhist Studies both nationally and internationally. This illustrious scholar has a long span of career, first as a teacher at the University of Peradeniya where he imparted knowledge and vision to a vast number of pupils, second as the Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, and third as the Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya.

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

On understanding the teaching of Dukkha by the Buddha by Kingsley Heendeniya When I was about 14, nearly 60 years ago, I read the book The Last Days of Pompeii by Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton where two friends meet on the road after the eruption of Vesuvius and one tells the other: Life is sweet brother, who would wish to die? That sentence made a deep impression and has stuck in my memory.

How a noble one dwells On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan-tree Monastery. Then Mahanama the Sakyan approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. So seated, he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, in what way does a noble disciple often dwell when he has arrived at the fruit and understood the teaching?"

Buddhism in English for youngsters The Sri Wimalasiri English Dhamma School at Asokaramaya, Polpithimukalana, is just two-and a-half kilometres off Kandana town towards Gampaha. The Dhamma School renders yeoman services to the community by teaching the children Buddhism in English.

First Global Dharmaduta

FOREMOST among the Buddhists to be modernised was Anagarika Dharmapala. In 1891, Dharmapala set up the Mahabodhi Society, the first laymen led Theravada organisation, and strove to resuscitate Buddhism in India. M.B.S. is the first inter - or transnational Buddhist organisation. Dharmapala untiringly toured the globe. Visiting England four times, US six times, China Japan and Thailand as well as France, Italy, Germany and Canada.

Pious Buddhist King Buddhadasa - physician, surgeon and veterinary science specialist

SRI LANKA take pride, quite justly at that, of the unique record they hold as the only nation, I presume, with an uninterrupted chronicle of their history. This chronicle is Mahawamsa. This great linage, gives a comprehensive report relative to Sri Lankan rulers and their achievement. Turning the pages of Mahavamsa, we come across, some colourful personalities.

New debate on birthplace of Buddha

There seems to be no end to the controversy over the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The latest claim that the apostle of peace was born in Orissa has been challenged by historian Karuna Sagar Behera. He said, "The Buddha was neither born in Orissa nor visited the place during his lifetime." Mr Behera said the claims made in this regard could go against the interests of the state.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Somawathie the miraculous Chetiya by Patricia Mangalika Yahampath - Until the year 1947, for many hundreds of years, a Buddhist place of worship named Somawathie Chetiya was unheard of by the people of this country. This place of Buddhist worship where the Sacred Right Tooth Relic is enshrined in the Chetiya, is believed to be a place replete with miracles. A tribute should be paid to Sirimalwatte Siri Piyaratana Thera who is among the pioneers who discovered the Chetiya. With the passing away of the prelate, the next to succeed him was Pahamune Sri Gunananda Thera with whose untiring efforts, the construction of the Chetiya was completed to an extent with the pinnacle placed.

Thangka - The Sacred Buddhist Paintings of India by Rohan L. Jayetilleke - The Hindu artists began the Thangka paintings to symbolize the power or attribute of single central deity and later diverted their creativity to represent the attributes of Hindu goddess, Tara the consort of Vishnu, Saraswathi, the goddess of learning and music and goddess Bhadrakali or goddess Kali, who inflicts punishments on the sinful. A Thangka painting With the passage of time Thangka paintings began to represent the Buddha in meditative posture, symbolizing perfection. The Thangka Buddhist paintings signify the Buddha the Exalted One, who attained Enlightenment, so that it would be a role model for Buddhists to attain the Supreme Bliss of Nirvana, the deathlessness.

The Dragon King Erakapatta In the time of Kassapa Buddha's Sasana, the dragon king Erakapatta was a Bhikkhu. One day as a young Bhikkhu, he was travelling in a boat along the Ganges when he reached out and held a blade of grass called Erakapatta . Eraka is the name of the grass and patta means leaf or blade. He did not release his hold on the blade of grass even though the boat was moving speedily along. So naturally it broke into two. Now, according to the Vinaya, it is a light offence to damage vegetation intentionally. But he thought, "Well, it's just a trifle," and did not bother to confess his offence to another Bhikkhu.

Notes on a pilgrimage Day 1: We've decided to walk along the levee at first. We've walked three miles so far, and we're going to try to walk about nine miles a day. We have no idea where we're going to stay tonight, but we did see a couple of plantations up the way with some long, beautiful lawns. - Jotipalo Bhikkhu

Buddha disciple's birthplace found

Nalanda: The village in which Gautam Buddha’s main disciple Sariputra was born has finally been identified as Sarilchakgaon in Nalanda district of Bihar. Sariputra was born here nearly 26 centuries ago. Archaeologists have been searching for the site since 1830.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

A Dhamma friend to Western Buddhists - 'The Venerable Anandamaitreya is here! The Venerable Anandamaitreya is here!', called the voice of Mr David at the government Rest House near Balangoda as he ran along the veranda with the news of Bhante's arrival. For my husband Peter, and I, it was the end of a long search for this Buddhist monk. The Venerable Anandamaitreya Thera At Maharargama Temple, he was not there - just left. At Ratnapura - not there - gone to Balangoda. At Balangoda - not there - gone to his friend's monastery 20 miles away in the jungle.

Buddhism and the Brahma concept - The term Brahma occurs fairly frequently in Buddhist literature. There are many terms that are prefixed with the word Brahma. Some of the well-known are Brahma-cariya, Brahma-vihara, Brahma-kaya, Brahma-danda, Brahma-jala, Brahma-cakka and Brahma-sara.Even the Brahma world as well as denizens of such worlds known as Maha-brahma, Brahma-sahampati, Brahma-sanankumara are also mentioned.

Buying into Buddhism

As more Americans turn to the Eastern religion, Buddha gear both sacred and kitschy is everywhere - A lotus grows in the mud, the Eastern spiritual saying goes. But if the proliferation of Buddhist images, icons and language means anything, then it's also thriving in boardrooms, shopping malls and cyberspace.

August 2005

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Assemblage of pagodas of Kekku, Myanmar WITH Buddhism being segmented to 18 schools after the Second Great Council held at Vesali, 100 years after the passing away of the Buddha, there were schismatic tendencies, threatening the unity of the Maha Sangha.

Good sleep THUS have I heard. On one occasion when the Blessed One was dwelling in the Alavi country, he rested on a heap of leaves spread on a cattle track in a simsapa forest. At that time Hatthaka of Alavi passed that way while taking a walk and there he saw the Blessed One seated on the heap of leaves.

The new Mahanayake of Udarata Amarapura Nikaya VEN. TERIPEHE Somananda the new Mahanayaka of the Udarata Amarapura Nikaya received the formal Act of Appointment as the head of the Nikaya from the President on the 8th August on the recommendation of the Sangha Karaka Sabha.

The virtue that makes hearts grow tender MAKING one's life meaningful, for a Buddhist, very much tends to involve learning how to adapt to life's ups and downs. Life necessarily contains many setbacks and disappointments.

World renowned Theravada teacher passes away VEN. SAYADAW U. Silananda was well-known for his tireless effort to spread Buddhist education through letter and practice. Ven. Sayadaw U. Silananda passed away peacefully on August 13, 2005, in USA following a brain tumor. He was 78.

Signs of Buddhism along Iran 'Silk Road'?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 - ©2005 IranMania.com LONDON, August 23 (IranMania) - A team of Iranian and Japanese experts will soon begin searching for remnants of Buddhist culture along the section of the Silk Road which crossed Iran, an official of the Archaeological Research Center of Iran?s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization announced.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The International Buddhist University College in Thailand The International Buddhist University College of the Kingdom of Thailand was inaugurated on the 17th of July, 2005. The university is located in a hundred acre land in Hatyai, the third largest city in the Kingdom of Thailand. The idea of starting a university offering courses in different Buddhist traditions was first raised by Professor Y. Karunadasa, an internationally recognized Buddhist scholar from Sri Lanka, when he taught at the Than Hsiang Buddhist Research Center in Penang in 1996.

Fear of death Once the brahmin Janussoni approached the Blessed One and addressed him thus: "I maintain, Master Gotama, and hold the view that there is no mortal who does not fear death, who is not afraid of death." "There is indeed, brahmin, such a mortal who fears death, who is afraid of death. But there is also a mortal who has no fear of death, who is not afraid of death. And who is the one who fears death and the other who does not fear death?

Shwedagon Pagoda - 'A beautiful winking wonder' by Rohan L. Jayetilleke - Rudyard Kipling, the writer and poet referred to Shwedagon Pagoda (Stupa) as a golden mystery.... "a beautiful winking wonder". The author Somerset Maugham described the Golden Pagoda as "A sudden hope in the dark night of the soul of which the mystics write, glistening against the fog and smoke of the thriving city". There is a popular saying in Myanmar "to be a Myanmare is to be always a Buddhist.

ROMANISING THE TIPITAKA

Rare version of historic Buddhist text presented to Sweden under project overseen by HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, continuing the work of King Rama V. Exactly 112 years ago King Chulalongkorn commissioned publication of the Tipitaka Buddhist canon to present as a gift to Siam’s friendly nations. At the time Siam was under the threat of Western colonisation.

Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda of Myanmar passed away peacefully this morning (August 13, 2005)

Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda passed away peacefully this morning (August 13, 2005): Please select the links to articles at TBSA site for details.

Buddhists mark 100 years of faith in Canada

TORONTO — Celebrations marking 100 years of Buddhism in Canada will be opened today by his eminence Monshu Koshin Otani, lord abbot of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in Japan. He is the 24th Monshu, a hereditary position, and descendant of Shinran Shonin (1173-1262), the founder of Jodo Shinshu, or Shin Buddhist tradition in Japan, according to a news release.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Preparing Sri Lankan Sangha for Dhammaduta service abroad - Sri Lankan monks have played a major role as Dhammaduta missioners in the 20th century bringing Buddhism to many parts of the world such as South and South East Asia, North America and Europe. Ven. Narada, Ven. H. Gunaratana, Ven. K. Gunaratana, Ven. Piyadassi, Ven. Ananda Maitreya, Ven. Vajiragnana, and many other distinguished Sri Lankan monks' names will forever be etched in the history of outstanding Sri Lankan monks serving outside Lanka.

The miniature Buddhist Vihara of Botswana - The Republic of Botswana is a tiny landlocked country neighboured by Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, and Sout Africa. It was formerly a British Protectorate known as Bechuanaland, with a current population of 1.6 million. Most sadly Botswana has the highest rate of HIV/AIDS. However, the country has a booming industry in diamond and beef exports. The capital is Gaborone. The capital Gaborone has all the modern state-of-the-art buildings, roads and other facilities.

Mind, its nature and function as described in Buddhism - Mind and its behaviour loom large in the Buddhist analysis of the individual. Cyclic existence which causes him to suffer now here and now there, until he gains release from it, is described in relation to the individual's mind and its improper function due to defiling unwholesome thoughts.

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

In Thailand, British monk brings Buddhism to Westerners - THEY begin the morning at dawn clothed in white, but by mid-day the 25 Western men gathered at Thailand's largest temple wear the saffron robes of the Buddhist monk. A group of Americans and Europeans bow down during an ordination ceremony at Dhammakaya temple in the outskirts of Bangkok.(AFP) With their heads shaved and concentration on their faces, they kneel in front of the abbot and other senior monks of Wat Dhammakaya to recite in ancient Pali some of the 227 precepts that will guide them through the next several weeks.

The Buddha's antidote for moral decay of His time - AT the time of the Buddha (BC 588-543), there were six sophists or religious teachers, Purana Kassapa, Makkahali Gosala, Ajitha Kesakambali, Pakuda Kaccayana, Sanjaya Bellattiputta and Vardhamana Mahavira alias Niganta Nataputta. They had renounced the world in their quest of truth and to discover a panacea for the evils of suffering. The air was full of a coming spiritual struggle which extended far into the people at large.

Archeological Finds In Orissa, India May Solve Puzzles

BHUBANESAWAR (India), Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Archaeologists Wednesday said they have found three 'Asoka stupas' (pillars) claiming they could help solve many historical and archaeological puzzles and add new chapters to Indian history. Excavations conducted at Tarapur, Deuli, Kayama and Radhanagar in Jajpur district of the east Indian state of Orissa have yielded the remains of three Asoka stupas and inscriptional evidences which could solve many historical questions.

July 2005

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The universal appeal of Buddhism - A French business friend of mine used to visit Sri Lanka virtually every June for the past five years. He spends his month-long holiday attending a Vipassana Meditation Centre. Seated Buddha. Sandstone. 2nd century A. D. From Bareilly, India, National Museum New Delhi. Temple of the 1,000 Buddhas in Bourgogne He has not changed his religion but says that the experience is soothing and relaxing. "In short," he comments, "I become a different man each year."

Why Are French people attracted by Buddhism? IN France, Buddhism is considered the fourth largest faith - after Christianity, Islam and Judaism - with an estimated 550,000 practitioners. Many French Buddhists are Asian immigrants, who retain the religion of their ancestors.

Appreciating an illustrious Buddhist writer BY VEN. BHIKKU Bodhi President of Buddhist Publication Society - ON December 27, 2004, the day after the tsunami disaster struck Sri Lanka, another disaster struck the small world of Buddhist publishing in this island-nation. The prolific Buddhist writer and editor, A.G.S. Kariyawasam, passed away at his home due to heart failure.

Buddhism in China

Believers and non-believers co-exist in modern Chinese society. Buddhism had first reached China from India in the First Century AD encouraged by King Kanishka of Kushan Empire in Central Asia.

THE BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Impressions of an Insider-Outsider The Buddha once said that a lake of clear, pure, blue water in a remote rugged uninhabited region would not benefit mankind but that a lake in the vicinity of a well-populated village would. Chief Incumbent, Sri Lanka International Vipassana Meditation Centre Ven. Harispattuwa Ariyawansalankara Thera The International Vipassana Meditation Centre is like that bountiful lake. As a meditator using the Centre's facilities from 1990 and from last year as an intermittent resident, I cite this analogy with much gratitude.

A Bhikkhu with intellectually convinced vision of Dhamma by Rohan L. Jayetilleke: The evening is chilly in the Udawattekelle Forest Reserve of Kandy. The Day is October 18th, 1994. Sister Nyanasiri (American Dasa Sil Matha, formerly Helen Wilder) who entered the Sil Matha Order under Nyanaponika Maha Thera, as usual brings the evening 'Gilanpasa'.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Swimming against the current by U. Mapa: "In that person a deep yearning for the undefined nibbana has arisen. He has already touched it mentally. He is called a swimmer against the current-an upstream bound person. He has already started the process towards nibbana." (Dhammapada - verse 218)

In this body, a fathom in length by Kumudu Gunatilaka - The orientation of society towards spiritual realities is more pronounced today than ever before, and the spirit of inquiry is more alive than any other time. From planet to man and to the smallest grain, everything in nature is interpenetrated by several worlds.

China's largest open-air gold-plated Buddha statue built in SW China

A gold-plated Buddha statue, believed to be the largest open-air Buddha in China, will be completed at the Chongqing Buddhism College in upcoming October. The Buddha statue, 20.6 meters tall with a four-meter-high foundation, will be plated with a layer of 12-nanometer pure gold. Building of the statue will cost four million yuan (about 483,000 US dollars).

Academicians Claim Buddha Turned Into European Saint

The ancient tale of Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism, spread from his homeland to Europe, where he became a Christian saint with the name of ``Iosaphat.” That’s the conclusion of a group of Korean researchers who have conducted a multi-linguistic study of the westward spread of the story of the Buddha.

Buddha now thought to be oldest in wood

The renowned wooden statue of Buddha in the main building of the famous Haein Temple here was long thought to have been carved in the early Joseon era, but experts said yesterday it was produced centuries earlier, perhaps in the late 9th century during the Silla period. A temple representative said yesterday that wooden tablets were found inside the statue of the Vairocana, or cosmic, Buddha while the icon was being regilded. Writings on the tablets indicate the statue was produced in 883. The Joseon Dynasty began in 1392.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The noble way of spiritual growth by Kumudu Gunathilaka: The doctrine expounded by the Fully-Enlightened-One is not a religion. It is not an organised system of thought, nor a blind faith or inculcated worship. It is the noble way of spiritual growth. It stands apart from philosophy, theories, beliefs, dogmatism, heathenism, paganism etc. It is the 'Ariya Dhamma', the eternal law.

How to judge a person's character : Four facts about a person, can be known from four circumstances. What are these four? By living together with a person his virtue can be known, and this too only after a long time, not casually; by close attention, not without attention; by one who is wise, not by one who is stupid.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Ven. Wimalananditissa Maha Thera passes away: The cremation of Ven. Agga Maha Pandita Wimalakeerthi Sri Ahungalle Wimalananditissa Maha Thera of Amarapura Sect will take place on Saturday July 2, afternoon at Ahungalle Weerasinghe playground.

The arrival of PHRA Raja Mangalachariya (SomDET) Deputy Sangha Raja : by Ven. Amugoda Somananda Maha Thera Ven. P. Rajamangalachariya Maha Thera, the Chief Incumbent of "Vat-Pat-Nam" Maha Viharaya of Thailand will declare open the four storeyed Dharma Mandiraya, Siri Dhammawansa Siri Dhammananda Rajamangalachariya at Jayasekararamaya Maha Viharaya, Kuppiyawatta, Colombo on July 5, 2005 ceremonially.

Spiritual and cultural centre for over eight decades: by C. V. Rajapakse, District Judge, Matale Jayasekerarama temple at Kuppiyawatta, Colombo 10 is situated in an ideal place and also a spiritual and cultural centre of Sangha and contribute greatly to propagate Buddha Dhamma for several decades.

Joy and optimism as the Dalai Lama turns 70

Dharamsala, India - About 10 000 people, including monks, Tibetan refugees and foreign tourists, have prayed outside the Dalai Lama's home in northern India to celebrate the spiritual leader's 70th birthday.

Historical analysis of concepts and forms in maintaining Buddhist monasteries

THE importance of preserving and maintaining Buddhist monasteries was emphasised even by the Buddha in his sermons to the monks. He had also specific relevant maintenance procedures. This paper intends to discuss the concepts and forms of Buddhist monasteries pertaining to the archaeological heritage management. In this paper, we intend to specify the different contributions of heritage management technology which were associated with Buddhist monasteries.

Scientists save Bodh Gaya's holy Buddhist tree

Scientists have saved a tree in Bihar's Bodh Gaya town - where the Buddha attained enlightenment 2,500 years ago - from infection, disease and pollution.

June 2005

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The Five Precepts from a wider perspective A question often associated with killing is whether it is more sinful to kill a man than a mosquito. Some people are of the view that they are equal. Others think that killing a lower level animal is less sinful than killing a higher level being such as a man. In trying to find an answer to this question I would like to recall the statement 'cetanaham bhikkave kammam vadami' which means it is the thought that causes the kamma or the sin. by A.J. Gunawardene

Irrespective of the divisions they entered the Sasana Braking the ageold tradition of ordaining the family members with very close blood relationship and to pass on the temple administration to a bhikkhu within the certain family circle, Ven. Halmillawawe Pemarathana Thera has admitted 15 young boys into Buddha Sasana outside the Govigama caste. Five of them are from the Tamil community.

Scientologists distort Buddhist history

The Scientologists’ ulterior motives were well and truly exposed when they were found distributing a 30 page full color, propaganda booklet in Sinhala, titled, Santhoshayata Maga (The Path to Joy) in Colombo suburbs, recently. Questions have also been raised on their movements outside tsunami- affected areas, despite their pretence of having come to aid tsunami victims.

2005-2006 Buddha Dhamma Diploma course opens

YANGON, 9 June — The opening ceremony of Diploma in Buddha Dhamma Course for 2005-2006 academic year organized by the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University of the Ministry of Religious Affairs was held at Maha Santisukha Buddha Missionary Monastery in Tamway Township this morning.

Vesak celebrations at Berlin Vihara

THE Vesak celebrations, in the historic Berlin Vihara to honour the three important events in the life of the Buddha, was organised in a respectful manner this year. The ceremonies were conducted with due priority being given to the observation of Buddhist precepts and right conduct.

Religious freedom in ancient Sri Lanka

The Mahavansa (the Great Dynasty) the national chronicle states, the king Pandukhabaya, the founder of Anuradhapuraya, the capital of Rajarata, after his coronation had laid out the blueprint for the new capital, allocating premises for building a chapel (a place of worship) for Kuban the God of wealth, another one of the sect called Yonas, yet another for various heretical sects and a monastery for wandering mendicant monks. (The Mahavansa - William Geiger).

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Following Buddhist social values - THOUGH it is uncertain when social values exactly came into existence there is no doubt that their beginning dates back to very early times in the history of human civilisation.

Sangha Conference in Australia on June 8 and 9 - AUSTRALIAN Sangha Association (ASA) has organised National Sangha Conference ('Bringing the Sangha Together') on June 8 and 9 at Baden Powell Scout Centre, Pomona Street, Pennant Hills, NSW 2120. The conference will involve a mixture of talks, small group workshops, and discussions, as well as time for meditation and spiritual practice.

'Korean Buddhism has a lot to offer to the world' - KOREAN Buddhism, with its deep store of untouched resources and well-preserved traditions, is making big strides to reach out to the world, a prominent leader of Korean Buddhists said. "The unique ways of ascetic practices and enlightening the mind that have been handed down through generations of Korean monks are a treasure for mankind," said Ven. Bub-jang, president and executive director of the 31st Administration of the Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist sect in Korea.

The Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit

There are many magnificent Buddhist temples awaiting travelers in Bangkok, but of all of the Buddhist images, none are perhaps more impressive than that of the Golden Buddha.

May 2005

Buddhism in ancient Israel and Arabia

In places where inland seas or lakes, that are fed by rivers, the possibility of narrowing the shore region by accumulated silt or the contraction of the inland sea or lake owing to dry climate was possible. The great Gobi and Taklamakan deserts in Central Asia were once a large inland sea according to marine scientists and geologists. The Buddha Statue in Khurul Monastery in southern Russia. The sediment, brought up over the past centuries by the Great rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra in East bengal have pushed the sea-shore back several miles into the Indian Ocean.

Maha Karuna, the Great Compassion of the Buddha

Siddhartha Gauthama - the Buddha, a historic personage of the 6th century Before Christ has been extolled in Buddhist literature as a Super Humanbeing, with extra-ordinary qualities and powers. With His extra-sensory perceptions He could describe the universe as it is now found to be by scientists of today.

The Buddha, our unique teacher

History has produced many great figures, but none in the present cycle of title, as impressive and memorable as Siddhartha Gotama, the Sakyan Prince, who became the World's Greatest Spiritual Guide. There have been many Enlightened Ones before Him, but we have no actual historical knowledge of them.

What does it mean to be enlightened?

Very few people stop and turn around to consider the question, "What is it that I call my self? What is it that I refer to as my self?" And yet if you reflect for just a moment, you will see that this is the most important question we can ask. In a conversation with an aged brahmin, the Buddha once explained concisely what is meant by a Buddha, an enlightened one:

Karma, the law that no being can escape

"Deep, indeed, oh Ananda, is the law of Karma, no mortal being can comprehend it." To an ordinary person the word Karma is merely another word, very often loosely used. Nevertheless, when anything untoward or dissatisfactory were to happen, quite unconsciously one attributes it one's karma, not knowing what it exactly means, how and when it forms. Its functions and diverse ways of manifestation.

The Buddha's conversation with a farmer

The Buddha conversed with a farmer called Kasibharadvaja in a friendly and informal way. This farmer was not a simple-minded peasant but a Brahmin with a thoughtful turn of mind. He did not hesitate to speak with the Buddha in a challenging manner, yet his attitude to the Master was one of deference as we shall see.

Buddhism in daily lives

Do we Buddhists really practise the Buddha's teachings in our daily lives? We heard and learned about being considerate for others, gentle speech, speech at the right time, patience, and many other ways of wholesomeness. We think that we have understood what we learned and read. But, do we?

Quiet devotion on Vesak Day

Vesak Day or Buddha Day passed largely unnoticed in Britain despite it being the most sacred day for the Buddhist community. Except for Buddhist temples, centres and societies where devotees gathered for prayers, singing of religious hymns and other activities, there was little sign that the occasion commemorated three important events of Buddha’s life.

Peace in Buddhism

The word 'Peace' has become the buzzword in international gatherings, political discussions, among warring nations, regional meetings and so on. In this strife-torn world everybody wishes to live in peace and harmony. Peace has become so important in today's context even the Asia Africa summit held in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, thought it fit to discuss the issues of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism which have been the scourge to all nations in the world. How does Buddhist teachings fit into the subject of Peace?

Symbolism in Buddhism

The practice of Buddhism today contains a wealth of symbols, images, icons, rites and rituals which have become much studied and admired all over the world. The sheer diversity and richness of various cultural influences as it spread from India to East Asia brought forth its openness, magnanimity and tolerance of cultural assimilation, while maintaining its spiritual focus and values. Although one can sense an entirely different set of practice offered by a Tibetan Buddhist as compared to a Theravadian Buddhist, the underlying principles remain the same.

A visit to Buddhagaya

IT was our National New Year's Day, 2005 and my wife Nirmali and I set out early in the morning from Varanasi (Baranes Nuwara), the holy city for the Hindus on an 8 hour 270 km road journey to Boddhgaya, the holiest city for Buddhists - the place of the Buddha's Enlightenment in 528 BCE. We got a feeling of oneness with all religionists on this New Year Day.

Revealing facets of the Dhamma

The month of May is sacred to all Buddhists. The magnificent lustre of the Holy Triple Gem is heightened in this month of Vesak, as Buddhists all over the world reach out for renewed solace. They spend more time on wise reflection on the virtues of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

Gleanings from the Parayana

The parayana Vagga, constitutes the final chapter of the Sutta Nipata, which is one of the Sections of the Khuddaka Nikaya. It comprises of a series of questions addressed to the Buddha by sixteen Brahamin students of a learned Brahmin named Bavari. The Epilogue (Theri Gatha) goes on to state "Anyone whose life accords with what the Buddha taught in these answers goes across the ocean, from here to the beyond".

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The Buddha's birthday celebrations in Korea -. Almost anywhere you go in Korea these days you are likely to see brightly colored lanterns festooning streets and neighborhoods and other areas where a Buddhist temple is located in anticipation of Buddha's birthday.

Is Kandarodei in Jaffna, former Kadurugoda Viharaya? There is a historical place called 'Kandarodei' situated in the midst of palmyrah trees beyond Manipai about 10 Kilometres away from Jaffna. There are small dagobas numbering 61 scattered over about 1/2 acre land. Those small structures are constructed with ash-coloured stone. Some dagobas have only the foundation.

From Anguttara Nikaya : Bhojana Sutta - a meal - In giving a meal, the donor gives five things to the recipient. Which five? He/she gives life, beauty, happiness, strength and quick-wittedness. Having given life, he/she has a share in long life, either human or divine. Having given beauty he/she has a share in beauty, either human or divine. Having given happiness, he/she has a share in happiness, either human or divine. Having given strength, he/she has a share in strength either human or divine. Having given quick wittedness, he/she has share in quick-wittedness either human or divine. In giving a meal, the donor gives these five things to the recipient.

The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

Last Sunday, May 15, marked “Vesak,” the celebration of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death in what is now Nepal. This prince, who renounced a life of riches and dedicated himself to the pursuit of enlightenment, founded a religion some 2,500 years ago.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

'Be lamps to yourselves' BY M. B. Werapitiya - A Buddhist believer holds lanterns under rows of lotus lanterns at Chogye temple in Seoul, 08 May 2005. South Korean Buddhists hold several events to celebrate Buddha’s birthday on May 15. AFP BUDDHISM takes one on a voyage of discovery, a fact-finding mission. Unlike religions in which scriptures are deemed sacred and questioning their authority would amount to sacrilege, the Buddha was the only teacher who invited His followers to test every statement of His as a goldsmith does an item of jewellery to determine whether it is made of genuine gold.

Let us join and usher an era of peace BY H. M. NEMSIRI Mutukumara - THE Vesak Pasalosvaka Poya season which begins with the first full moon day in the month of May (this year on Monday 23) comes to the climax of the six month season of continuous pilgrimage which started six months before in December.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Being in the now.... by Sanitsuda Ekachai - When we watch our mind, we find out how noisy it is, how full of endless thoughts. Watch those thoughts, and we see how they are connected either to events from the past or to what we think will _ or should _ come in the future. An untrained mind drifts from one thought to another, forever driven by emotions generated by a flow of satisfactions and frustrations, of likes and dislikes.

The Buddha, the greatest physician of mind and body by Rohan L. Jayetilleke - Gautama Buddha having attained Enlightenment under the Sri Maha Bodhi, at Buddha Gaya, (India), walked in seven days to Isipatana (Migadaya - saranath) of Varanasi (Benares) 288 miles, covering approximately 5 miles an hour. He walked for around 40 miles a day, in order to meet with his erstwhile associates of Uruvela (modern Dhungeswari) Kondanna, Vappiya, Bhadda, Mahanama and Assaji, to deliver his first discourse Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta.

Cultural heritage of Gandhara Story and picture by Yvonne Bohwongprasert - This standing Buddha statue greets visitors in the courtyard of Takht Bhai monastery. Gandhara, Pakistan - One doesn't have to be a follower of the Buddha to marvel at the cultural heritage, ancient ruins and trails of Gandhara. Like many other Thais, I was totally ignorant of this part of Pakistan and its history until I travelled there recently and discovered its strong links with Buddhism and why the people there, even though they are Muslim, guard this national treasure with such passion.

Taming the 'mischievous mind'

The practice of meditation provides a method to truly begin experiencing life and reality - This week, our Vipassana lecture series by Phra Acharn Manop Upasamo looks at how to familiarise ourselves with the mind _ how it actually works, that is. The purpose of doing this is knowing

The healing powers of Buddhist meditation

Members of the Clocktower Sangha speak very little as they trickle into the South Acton Congregational Church for their weekly meeting the evening of April 25. Those who have brought cushions or small wooden kneeling-benches on which to sit arrange them in a circle on the bare wood floor. Others add folding chairs to the circle. At the front of the circle, one member lights candles and arranges a picture of the Buddha on a small table to create a makeshift shrine.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The art of eating - the Buddhist way BY PHRA Paisal Visalo AFTER returning from a visit to a temple in the Northeast of Thailand, a western woman told her friends never go to that place, saying that the monks there did not like one another. "When they eat, they never speak even one word to one another,'' she said. "How can they then expect respect or faith from us?''

The Vesak celebrations in Myanmar BY ROHAN L. Jayetilleke THE month of May or Kason is the second month of the traditional calendar, the first being April. Kason means either to pour water or water shortage according to Myanmar legends.

Birth, old age, decay and death BY MAHENDRA Siriwardene THE most deplorable aspect of living is the above four components that virtually include the entire lifespan of an ordinary being, puthujjana.

No plans to de-list Bodh Gaya, says UNESCO

IANS Patna April 25: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has clarified that it has no plans to de-list the Bodh Gaya temple in Bihar, near the site where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment some 2,500 years ago, from its World Heritage List.A two-member UNESCO team that visited Bodh Gaya, the temple town known as Buddhism’s birthplace about 110 km from here, to assess the physical condition of the 1,500-year-old temple, also said it was ready to help the Indian government protect the historic complex.

65000 Dalits embrace Buddhism

On 22 October 65000 Dalits embraced Buddhism here. The same day, known as Dhrama Chakra Parivartan Day, Dr Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar had converted to Buddhism in 1956 along with lakhs Dalits in Nagpur. A special meeting was held here under the chairmanship of Japan-born Indian Bhikshu, Bhante Nag Arjun Sarai Sasayee, certificates were distributed among those who converted to Buddhism in the meeting.

The Three Jewels of Buddhism What it means to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

The Three Jewels are the foundation of all forms of Buddhism, and the first jewel is the Buddha. The word buddha means "the Awakened One."

April 2005

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The art of eating - the Buddhist way BY PHRA Paisal Visalo AFTER returning from a visit to a temple in the Northeast of Thailand, a western woman told her friends never go to that place, saying that the monks there did not like one another. "When they eat, they never speak even one word to one another,'' she said. "How can they then expect respect or faith from us?''

The Vesak celebrations in Myanmar BY ROHAN L. Jayetilleke THE month of May or Kason is the second month of the traditional calendar, the first being April. Kason means either to pour water or water shortage according to Myanmar legends.

Birth, old age, decay and death BY MAHENDRA Siriwardene THE most deplorable aspect of living is the above four components that virtually include the entire lifespan of an ordinary being, puthujjana.

No plans to de-list Bodh Gaya, says UNESCO

IANS Patna April 25: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has clarified that it has no plans to de-list the Bodh Gaya temple in Bihar, near the site where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment some 2,500 years ago, from its World Heritage List.A two-member UNESCO team that visited Bodh Gaya, the temple town known as Buddhism’s birthplace about 110 km from here, to assess the physical condition of the 1,500-year-old temple, also said it was ready to help the Indian government protect the historic complex.

65000 Dalits embrace Buddhism

On 22 October 65000 Dalits embraced Buddhism here. The same day, known as Dhrama Chakra Parivartan Day, Dr Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar had converted to Buddhism in 1956 along with lakhs Dalits in Nagpur. A special meeting was held here under the chairmanship of Japan-born Indian Bhikshu, Bhante Nag Arjun Sarai Sasayee, certificates were distributed among those who converted to Buddhism in the meeting.

The Three Jewels of Buddhism What it means to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

The Three Jewels are the foundation of all forms of Buddhism, and the first jewel is the Buddha. The word buddha means "the Awakened One."

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Some thoughts on negative thinking by Kingsley Heendeniya The Buddha teaches, among other things, about inclinations of the mind; and He constantly recommends abandoning and abstaining from them. Make an island unto yourself "I do not, monks, see any other single thing that so leads to the arising of unskillful things [akusala], or to the growth and development of unskillful that have arisen as wrong view. I do not, monks, see any other single thing that so leads to the non-arising of skillful [kusala] things that have not arisen, or to the decline of skillful things that have arisen, as wrong view" [Anguttara].

Kucchivikara vattu - the monk with dysentery Even unpleasant people need to be cared for when they are ill. In this sermon, the Buddha tells us to care for anyone who needs our help, and goes on to describe how to be a good patient and a good nurse. Now, at that time a certain monk was sick with dysentery. He lay fouled in his own urine and excrement. Then the Blessed One, on an inspection tour of the lodgings with Ven. Ananda as his attendant, went to that monk's dwelling and, on arrival, saw the monk lying fouled in his own urine and excrement. On seeing him, he went to the monk and said, "What is your sickness, monk?"

New Buddhist relief organisation - a cornerstone of compassion by Rev. Dhammaruchi, USA On March 19 and 20, Saturday and Sunday, my master, Bhante Chao Chu; my Dhamma brother, Dhammapala, and I attended the Buddhist Global Conference. After two days of dialogue, at the BMICH, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the participants of the Buddhist Global Conference adopted a resolution assigning an Interim Organizing Committee comprised of Sri Lankan and international Buddhist representatives with the responsibility of presenting a draft constitution for a new Buddhist relief organization within the next three months.

Unity in Buddhism is a distant hope

The prime minister wants to see the launch of an International Visakha Puja. Thaksin Shinawatra expressed his hope on his weekly radio show on April 16, six days after the nationwide merit-making ceremony on April 10 in which all five major religions in Thailand simultaneously performed rituals aimed at bringing peace to the country.

Sri Lanka: Lessons from heart of Buddhism

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - For many people, this teardrop-shaped tropical island at the southeastern edge of India did not come up in conversations until the devastating Dec. 26 tsunami. It left at least 30,000 dead and more than 1 million homeless in Sri Lanka, which suffered the second highest toll among countries hit by the disaster.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The Dhamma is about developing insight by Kingsley Heendeniya I read the two-part article 'A Journey of discovery - Model for developing vipassana nana through two suttas' by Pundit Venerable Medhananda Thera and Dr. Ron Wijewantha, with increasing dismay. It is facile and misleading. These notes are not its detail critique. It is wrong to debate Dhamma but it is necessary to correct misinterpretations. Here is a tip to the discerning student. Any exposition that purports to illustrate the Dhamma with diagrams should be suspect and immediately rejected.

Lesson for Rahula Lying is such an institutionalized part of modern society it is hard for many of us to imagine a world without it. The Buddha has a lesson for His son in this sutra: Ambalatthikarahulovada Sutta - Lesson for Rahula at Mango Stone (paraphrased) When Rahula, the Buddha's son, was seven, he set out some water for his father to wash his feet. Buddha picked up a ladle full of water and began to wash. He showed His son the ladle with a little bit of water left in it and said "This is how little worth is left in someone who isn't ashamed at telling a lie."

Buddhavedu - the 'Buddhagaya' in South India by Rohan Jayetilleke The village Buddhavedu (derivative of the Tamil word Buddha Vidu, village of the Buddha) is situated in the Kanchpiuram district of Tamil Nadu. Kanchi is a species of trees; the juice of the leaves were used for colouring cloth during ancient times. Hence this district of Kanchipura was a settlement of weavers and tailors. Presently, Kanchpiram sarees are produced in this area on handlooms.

Nation gets ready to celebrate Myanmar New Year

By Myanmar Times reporters Revellers laugh off yet another soaking during the Thingyan traditional new year celebrations in Yangon last year. PREPARATIONS were nearing completion throughout the country last week for celebrations marking Thingyan, the traditional new year.

The spirit of the Sinhala and Hindu Avurudu

by Andrew Scott It's Sinhala and Hindu New Year once again, a season well known for good cheer and universal festivity. Though the degree of New Year festivities change from place to place, from village to village and from town to town and according to people's means its seasonal cheer and its love and friendship are perennial throughout the length and breadth of Sri Lanka.

Study of Pali language and literature

This brief article is a sequence of my meeting with Ven. Dhammavihari (Professor Jotiya Dheerasekara before entering priesthood) in connection with one of my researches when I visited Sri Lanka some time ago. At that time he was residing in an 'Arama' at McCarthy Road. I met him to get some information about a book, which could not be found in any library or temple, I visited in Sri Lanka.

Embracing Buddhism, Ambedkar set an example

AHMEDABAD: Chief Minister Narendra Modi has said that Babasaheb Ambedkar, by embracing Buddhism, set an example of protecting the social fabric and integrity and unity of India.

Spiritual Saffron

"Every moment of our life is very precious. You let go of one, God will never give you that moment again. Likewise most of the images are instant. It's yours if you strike at that moment," says Tilak Hettige, Photographer, who launched his book 'Saffron Robes', a photographic essay on Buddhist monks, on March 24.

UNESCO to study Mahabodhi temple:

Unhappy with the condition of the Buddhist Mahabodhi temple in Bihar, experts from the UN's cultural arm will visit the world heritage site this month. The UNESCO team will make a visit in the last week of April to the 1,500-year-old temple at Bodh Gaya, about 110 km from here, an official told IANS over telephone.

Prince visits Buddhist monument

Prince Charles with the Bhutanese monks at Harewood House Prince Charles left behind preparations for his forthcoming marriage during a visit to a Buddhist monument in West Yorkshire on Tuesday.

STUPA

Britain's first Buddhist stupa has been consecrated near the city of Leeds after a year of meticulous building by a team of Yorkshire stone-masons and a group of monks who had never before left the kingdom of Bhutan.

Sri Lankan govt to assist Buddhist religious education

The Buddha Sasana Ministry is also considering honouring Dhamma teachers with Justice of the Peace posts and providing them with foreign trips. Apr 07, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has taken steps to assist Buddhist religious education in the country, as it attributes the escalation of violence to the lack of religious education.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Kodhana Sutta Anger is, of course, not conducive to enlightenment. the Buddha explains that anger actually makes us miserable here and now! Seven things happen to people who are angry, which end up making their enemies happy: Some people wish that their enemies become ugly. But when people are angry, even if they are well bathed, beautifully dressed, and their hair neatly cut, they become ugly themselves! This is exactly what their enemies would wish for them!

The scope of Buddhist humanitarian services Dr. Ananda W. P. Guruge, reputed Buddhist Scholar and currently the Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of the International Academy of Buddhism, University of the West Los Angeles, California, USA will deliver a bilingual talk on the topic 'The Scope of Buddhist Humanitarian Services' on Wednesday March 30, 2005 commencing at 5.00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Dharmavijaya Foundation, 380/7, Sarana Road, Colombo 7. The German Dharmaduta Society and the Dharmavijaya Foundation are sponsoring this talk jointly.

Model for developing vipassana nana through two Suttas by Ron Wijewantha and Pandit H. Medhananda Thera "In the seen there will be merely the seen...' - said the Buddha The Dhamma sermons of erudite monks are often the source of great inspiration to the discerning listener. Some of these sermons would often leave a lasting impression in one's mind. This is particularly evident when listeners are in a contemplative, reflective or meditation mode. At such times, these flashes of inspiration could indeed bring much sublime pleasure.

"Sri Lanka may outlaw all missionary efforts"

by Elaine Jarvik ("Deseret Morning News," March 31, 2005) Salt Lake City, USA - "Anti-conversion" legislation in Sri Lanka could target missionaries and faith-based humanitarian aid workers, according to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Exiled Vietnam Monk Returns to Homeland

Friday April 1, 2005 8:16 PM By TINI TRAN Associated Press Writer HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - The South Vietnamese government exiled him. Its communist successor wouldn't let him return. So for 39 years, Vietnam's best-known Buddhist monk has traveled the world and built a huge and faithful audience for his message of peace and forgiveness. Now Thich Nhat Hanh has come full circle, back to his native soil.

March 2005

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

'There are gods, miracles do happen' Excerpts from an inspirational discourse by Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso (Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastry in Western Australia) at Maharagama Vajiraghnana Dharmayathanaya on Sunday 13th February 2005.

1900 years of Afghan Buddhism by Lionel Wijesiri Ryukoku University, a Buddhist school in Kyoto, and Afghanistan's National Institute of Archaeology have signed an accord to survey and excavate newly found Buddhist relics lying west of the famed Bamiyan ruins. The excavation is expected to shed new light on the history of Buddhism in Afghanistan.

Bhutan awaiting world Buddhist leaders for conference in Thimphu Bhutan which is making preparations to hold the 23rd WFB and WFBY General conferences in the first Buddhist kingdom of the world of which King Jigme Singye Wangchuk is the head of state will be the venue for the conferences shortly. The conferences were postponed due to the cold weather conditions in Bhutan.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Buddhism is only for life here after - the misconception BY DANISTER I. Fernando - BUDDHISM is a way of life. It confines itself not only to its lofty philosophy by which one can realize its ultimate goal the eternal liberation from suffering, but also emphasizes ample consideration for social, economic, and even political welfare of all beings also living at present.

Our modern world's problems: Is Buddhism the answer? by Ven. Thich Bao Lac - Twenty six centuries ago the Buddha entered this Samsara world with the vow to show all sentient beings the path to liberation. Nowadays humankind has made enormous technological progress.

World Buddhists meet in Colombo- The unimaginable devastation caused by the Tsunami to some of the countries bordering the Indian Oceans had its positive side too. In a predominantly Buddhist country like Sri Lanka it raised the level of kindness and compassion (karuna), (maitri) and selfless charity (dana) of its people to unimaginable heights. Never having faced a natural disaster of such severity the people rallied to the support of all those victimised by the Tsunami.

Death - how it comes! According to the Dhamma, death is only a state of disintegration of the five aggregates (skandhas) namely form, sensation, consciousness, thought and intellect (rupa, vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana). Death could come in various ways e.g. murder, suicide, accident etc).

13th Plenary Meeting of Fifth State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee held in Yangon

YANGON, 17 March — The 13th Plenary Meeting of the Fifth State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee was held at Wizaya Mingala Dhammathabin Hall on Kaba Aye Hill this morning. Vice-Chairman Thayet Aung-mingala Monastery Sayadaw Agga Maha Pandita Agga Maha Saddhamma Jotikadhaja Agga Maha Kamma-thanaçariya Bhaddanta Kesara presided over the meeting. The Sayadaw delivered an Ovadakatha, saying that members of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee are to perform four main tasks of the Sangha for purifying, stabilizing, ensuring propagation and organization of the Sasana without losing sight. Thus, they should avoid misconducts in organizing the Sangha and to assign duties of the four main tasks to SSMNC member Sayadaws to over 300,000 members of the Sangha.

'Kingdom of Siam' reveals a culture absorbed with Buddha's path to perfection

Recent events give added immediacy to several objects in "The Kingdom of Siam: the Art of Central Thailand, 1350-1800" at the Asian Art Museum. A 16th century copper Buddha stands with both hands raised waist high, palms forward, in a symbolic gesture or mudra known as "restraining the ocean. " It evokes the legend that the Buddha Shakyamuni once turned back encroaching flood waters by spiritual force alone.

Archaeologists unearth major Buddhist settlement in Pakistan

ANI, March 11, 2005 Islamabad, Pakistan -- Officials from Pakistan's Department of Archaeology and Museums have unearthed an entire Buddhist settlement at Takht Bhai in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.

Buddhism flowers for Southeast Asians in Inland Empire

By Naomi Kresge, Press Telegram Staff writer, March 13, 2005 Long Beach, Calif. (USA) -- Even though Long Beach resident Rean Tha has a Cambodian Buddhist temple in her hometown, she occasionally heads 60 miles east next door to the California Speedway in Fontana for special occasions.

Ancient statue's leading role in telling story of Buddha

A SEVENTH-century statue of Buddha is the centrepiece of a new exhibition opening tomorrow at Cartwright Hall in Bradford. The Radiant Buddha, which runs until April 24, is the result of a collaboration between the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery and London's British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, and it will feature a rare collection of Indian Buddhist sculpture illustrating events from the historical Buddha's life.

Meditation relieves stress, improves health

John Greer compares the average person's everyday thoughts to a waterfall.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Who are the Buddha's followers? Sri Lanka, my country is proud of its tradition as the repository of the original teachings of the Buddha. Indeed, it is not unreasonable to say that Theravada Buddhism only exists in the world today because it was preserved uninterruptedly in Sri Lanka since the time of the Arhant Mahinda.

Book review: Treatise from the perspective of a practising Buddhist Buddhism for the layman Author: K. S. Tilakadasa Buddhism is a teaching oriented way of noble thought, the sole objective of which is the eradication of kilesas loosely translated a 'mental defilements'.

A novel housing project - With the International Buddhist Centre, Siyambalagoda, Yatiyana in Minuvangoda (in the Gampaha district) as the nucleus, the Venerable Paravahera Candaratana Nayaka Thera of Le Bourget, France has launched a program to build one hundred houses for the devastated areas of the tsunami that ravaged Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004.

Thai Royal to present first English volume of Tripitaka to President

THE first copy of the Tripitaka of Theravada Buddhism printed in English will be presented to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga by Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand. The presentation ceremony will take place at the BMICH tomorrow, states a Presidential Secretariat press release.

India: Buddhism in northeast losing originality

Guwahati, Buddhism in India's northeast is fast losing its originality with cultural fusion threatening this centuries-old faith, experts Thursday said.

February 2005

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Buddhism, the only real science by Ajahn Brahmavamso. Ajahn Brahmavamso is the Abbot of the Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery in Western Australia, and Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. He trained as a monk in the Thai Therevadan tradition under the guidance of the renowned meditation master Ajahn Chah.

That full moon day It was another full moon day. As usual I made my way to the nearby temple along the gravel path. The sun was sinking, but up above was a trace of the big moon already rising in the cloudless sky.

Seeing one's blemishes (From the Anangana Sutta) - Keeping up the discourse, the Venerable Mahamogallana Questioned the Venerable Sariputta why One who has a blemish but knows it not Is below him who has it, and knows it, And why one who has no blemish But knows not he has no blemish, Is below him Who has no blemish and knows it?

A life After Death

There is prevalent a belief that the individual soul lives in a body on earth not once but several times in different names and forms until final emancipation. This is called the cycle of birth and death, in which one’s own destiny is determined by one’s own actions, thoughts, attitudes and aspirations. The falling off of body at time of death is considered as only entering into a newer body.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Global Buddhist conference On Buddhist relief work in a post-tsunami context March 19-20, 2005 BMICH, Colombo. The recent tsunami tragedy brought out an unprecedented outpouring of Buddhist attitudes (karuna, maithree) and action (dana) among Sri Lankan Sangha and lay Buddhists alike.

Olcott Day - February 17: Revival of Buddhism and role of the theosophists

Sri Lanka has been a leading Buddhist country. It is not quite correct to speak of Decline of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The invaders tried to vanquish it by subjugating this peace-loving land which did not believe in the rule of the arms. All our attempts were made over very many years to prevent the noble tenets from spreading in the land.

Col. Henry Steele Olcott - great name in Buddhist history

World history finds its greatness and attraction through the services rendered by philanthropists. A person whoever he is, achieves greatness through ideologies borne in his mind and to the extent of effectiveness and favourable consequences resulting therefrom.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The Buddha was not immune to the action of kamma by Kingsley Heendeniya - There was much discussion on TV, radio etc about kamma and vipaka, after the devastating tsunami. I recently heard a scholar monk claim that the Buddha felt 14 times, the effect of akusala kamma from his previous births. I do not know what they all are.

Spirit of Buddhism by E. M. G. Edirisinghe - Buddhism is neither a religion (in its narrower sense) nor a philosophy (in its wider sense); it is the Dhamma (the Truth)

Sister Soma Although traditional Buddhism suffers from the sexism prevalent then and now in India, China, and elsewhere, it seems the Buddha recognized the essential equality between men and women.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

Religious perspective of tsunami tragedy by Lionel Wijesiri - A disaster like tsunami does more than shake up the world; it shakes up our worldview. It forces us to ask many difficult questions: Why? Why us? What have we done to deserve a punishment like this?

Ven. Ajahn of Australia to hold discourses on meditation - Venerable Ajahn Brahmavamso, abbot of Bodhinyana monastery in Western Australia, renowned for his teaching on meditation, will be in Sri Lanka next week and will hold sessions relating to various aspects of meditation from 11th to 14th February in Colombo, Kalutara, Mahragama and Kandy.

Ladakh - the land of Vajrayana Buddhism - With the holding of the Second Buddhist Council by Monks of Vaisali, known as Vajjaputtakas, the Maha Sangha came to be divided into twelve sects. Vajrayana and Mahayana were two of such sects. In Ladakh, Vajrayana persisted even after the Buddhist missions of Emperor Asoka.

January 2005

Today is Duruthu Pasalosvaka Poya

The Buddha's third visit- This is the Kelaniya festival season, and today is the Full Moon Poya Day of Duruthu in the year 2548 as for the Buddhist calendar. A Kelaniya fresco The Sinhala saying "Upanda sita karapu paw netha warak wendoth Kelaniye" which meant - the sins committed in the lifetime are brought to nil by worshipping at Kelaniya even once - explains well the greatness of worshipping the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya.

Some simple instructions for a happy life - Here are three brief sutras, which show how the idea of rebirth contributes to our compassion for others, as well as giving us a little comfort for ourselves.

The efficacy of the Tun Sutra - The Tun Sutra - three sutras - Mangala Sutra, Ratana Sutra and Karaniya Metta Sutra - are household in the Buddhist polity. Buddhists wherever they live either organise and hold Sarva-ratrika partrana desana - all-night chanting of paritta in their own homes or pariticipate in pirith chanting ceremonies in the homes of their friends or relatives. The chanting of paritta goes back to the time of the Sakyamuni Buddha himself.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

One does not belong even to oneself Buddhism among all religions in the world stands unique, in the history of human thought, vehemently denying the existence of a soul or self.

Australian Sangha Association Bid to bring the Sangha together Australian Sangha Sabha Day was held in Sri Lankarama Maha Viharaya in Ellen Grove Brisbane recently. Here are some of the Australian monastic community who attended the Queensland meeting under the auspices of Ven. Wattegama Dhammavasa Nayaka Thera, Chief Monk of the Monastery and Sangha Nayaka of Australia for Amarapura Chapter. A historic initiative is under way in Australian Sangha Community.

Emergency supplies to tsunami-affected families from the New York Buddhist Vihara Temple The NY Buddhist Vihara Temple in Queens Village shipped more emergency supplies to Sri Lanka for tsunami-affected families last Friday with unexpected help from the Taiwanese government.

FIRST BUDDHIST UNIVERSITY IN RUSSIA

MOSCOW, January 20 (RIA Novosti) - Buddhism is gaining popularity in Russia say experts who studied the possibilities of Russians receiving the diploma of a clergyman, the site, "All Russia", reported.

Jewish Buddhism - The Principles

Friday, January 21, 2005 It's making the rounds on the Internet... Jewish Buddhism - The Principles 1. Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen. And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with such round shoulders.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

When nature misbehaves humans have to weep by Bhikkhu Professor Dhammavihari Thera - The recent disaster in the South Eastern sector of Asia through giant tidal waves, encompassing a global mixture of humans, have prompted us to express our opinion as Buddhists on this subject.

Socio-religious significance of Buddhist chanting by Ven. Dr. Pategama Gnanarama Thera - When we view Buddhism from the functionalist perspective of sociology, the role that Buddhism plays in society in bringing social cohesion by means of psychological support to its adherents is more real than apparent in the practice of Buddhist Chanting.

73rd anniversary of the Mulagandha Kuti Vihara Sarnath centre of the Maha Bodhi Society of India held the 73rd anniversary of the Mulagandha Kuti Vihara on 26th November 2004 at Isipathana Deer Park Sarnath-the place where Sakyamuni Buddha preached the First Sermon.

Researchers find meditation gives brain a super charge

The practice of mental discipline, concentration can change how mind works, develop awareness. - Brain research is beginning to produce concrete evidence for something that Buddhist practitioners of meditation have maintained for centuries: Mental discipline and meditative practice can change the workings of the brain and allow people to achieve different levels of awareness.

BUDDHIST SPECTRUM

The dhamma of natural disasters by Kingsley Heendeniya - A Buddha statue sits unscathed among the rubble with skeletons which were washed up from a nearby graveyard by the deadly tsunamis in the southern coastal town of Kahawa. What has all of this got to do with the tsunami? Why did it cause so much sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair? Why did it produce dukkha in those directly affected and evoke dukkha in those not directly affected?

Loss of a Buddhist scholar: Buddhist Mirror writer is no more - We inform our readers of Buddhist Spectrum page with profound sadness that the hand that penned the column Buddhist Mirror stilled on last 27th of December.

Meditation Gives Brain a Charge, Study Finds

Brain research is beginning to produce concrete evidence for something that Buddhist practitioners of meditation have maintained for centuries: Mental discipline and meditative practice can change the workings of the brain and allow people to achieve different levels of awareness.

Lord Buddha’s Teaching Peace Is The Essence

The Second World Buddhist Summit held in Lumbini from November 30th to December 2nd ended up with the Lumbini Declaration. The main objectives of the summit were to develop the birthplace of Lord Buddha, Lumbini, into an attractive World peace city and promoting the area as an international center for Buddhist studies with the construction of an international airport near Lumbini.

The Consolation of Karma

Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman talks about how suffering, even through the tsunami disaster, can offer a karmic advantage. Why do bad things happen to good people? Does karma play a role? Abstractly speaking, karma is not really a theory of fate; it's a causal theory. And it says that anything bad that happens to you is a resonance of something bad that you perpetrated in a previous life.

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