Friday, November 4, 2011

The Speech delivered by Nimal Samarasundera, Secretary of Ministry of Buddha Sasana ( Sri Lanka )

The Speech delivered by Nimal Samarasundera, Secretary of Ministry o Buddha Sasana ( Sri Lanka ) 

Nimal Samarasundera
Friday, 03 June 2011 09:43

Most Venerable Chief Sangha Nayaka of Myanmar,
Venerable Members of Maha Sangha,
Rector, Venerable Sri,
Your Excellencies,
Distinguished guests,
Dear students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I consider it a privilege to be here to attend this historic occasion of inaugurating the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University. This is the Red Letter Day in the history of Buddhist world when the Government of Myanmar is establishing a University which is the first and only one of its kind in the entire Theravada Buddhist world and which is a fulfillment of a long-felt need in the region. I wish the new university every success.

Let me thank sincerely organizers for giving Sri Lanka this opportunity to share the joy of being a partner to this important event and express the very best wishes for the project of Her Excellency Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, HoaLakshman Jayakody, Minister of Buddha Sasana, Cultural and Religious Affairs and the people of Sri Lanka of whom the majority are Buddhists. As the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana I give you the assurance of extending Sri Lanka's cooperation to this endeavour in whatever way the university seeks.

The cordial relationship particularly based on Buddhism, between Mvanmar and Sri Lanka is at least 500 years old. Accordating to the Kalayani Inscription higher ordination of Sangha was sought for and brought into Myanmar from Sri Lanka during the 15th Century.

Subsequently during the reign of King Wimaladharmasooriya I, higher ordination of Sangha was taken to Sri Lanka from Myanmar as which was then known as Arakan or Rekkhanga Desa (Rakhaing). Similarly, monks from Sri Lanka came to Myanmar and secured higher ordination from venerable monks of Myanmar. The two Myanmar Sects of sangha now we have in Sri Lanka have had their roots in Myanmar for which we are indebted to this great Buddhist country. The world respects Myanmar as a country, which has preserved Theravada Buddhism.

Buddhism will be the only doctrine that can face the challenges of the new millennium. It is necessary to produce a group of Dhammadutas who can take the timeless message of Buddha across the world.

We must appreciate the fact that now the enlightened academic and education communities all over the world, and especially in the West, have evinced a renewed interest in Buddhism and that their approach is primarily intellectual and incisive. Buddhism has never encouraged blind faith as we all are well aware of what the Tathagata said in the Kalama Sutra "Accept not because I say it or because your traditional teachers have said Analyse well and bring to bear your sense of criticism on anything you are taught and accept that alone which is consonance with reason and wisdom".

Today's world is not prepared to accept dogma. They seek the aid of reason and logic to test the validity of any proposition. And I boldly say that Buddhism can stand any such incise examination and scrutiny. Our Sutras are replete with such discussions that took place while the Enlightened One was living. So, I would humbly submit that the type of Dhammaduta that we should send especially to the West, is the accomplished Dhammadhari who will be in a position to field the many questions raised by a typical Western audience after a discourse. They are yearning to learn, to be enlightened.

So, I pray and hope that this Missionary University being the first of its kind will be a successful harbinger of the new approach to the dissemination of the Dhamma. I thank you.

May all beings be happy!

`Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta'

Source: The Light of Majjhimadesa - Volume (1) published by U Chandramani Foundation. 2001
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