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50th Anniversary of the German Dharmaduta Society: Agganyani to speak on the 'Prospects for the Growth of Buddhism in Germany and other Western countries'

Agganyani (Christa Bentenrieder), the Secretary - General of the Deutsche Buddhistische Union (German Buddhist Union) will deliver the key note address on the topic ' The Prospects for the growth of Buddhism in Germany and other Western countries' at a public meeting being organised by the German Dharmaduta Society to mark the 50th Anniversary of its founding (1952-2002). This meeting will be held on Saturday, September 21st commencing at 3.00 p.m. in the Auditorium of Savsiripaya, 123, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7.

A highlight in the day's proceedings will be the first issue of a new commemorative postage stamp and first day cover in honour of the services rendered by the German Dharmaduta Society during the last 50 years, states a society press release.

The German Dharmaduta Society was founded by Asoka Weeraratne, on September 21, 1952. It was initially known as the Lanka Dhammaduta Society. It is dedicated towards spreading the message of the Buddha in Germany and other Western countries. It owns and maintains the Berlin Buddhist Vihara (Das Buddhistische Haus) in Germany, which is the oldest Buddhist Temple in Europe and the key symbol of the growing Buddhist cultural ties between Sri Lanka and Germany.

Agga Maha Panditha, the Most Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Maha Nayake Thera will chair the Meeting.

Minister of Power and Energy Karu Jayasuriya will be the Chief Guest at this function.

German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Juergen Elias will be a Guest of Honour.

Professor Emeritus Dr. Lily de Silva will speak on the Topic 'My experience as a teacher of Buddhism at the Berlin Buddhist Vihara' Tissa Weeraratna, the Trustee managing the Berlin Vihara will also deliver a speech. Karunasena Sonnadara will speak on the topic 'Memories of 40 years of association with the Berlin Vihara.'

Agganyani, the main speaker is a charismatic personality and widely known in Germany and International Buddhist circles. Born in 1954 to a Catholic family she studied at the Munich University completing her studies of natural sciences with a Diploma in Mineralogy (similar to M.Sc.) the release also adds.

She first came into contact with Buddhism in Nepal in 1977. What began as a fascination turned out to change her life and inspired her to set new ideals. In the initial phase of her association with Buddhism (beginning in the 1980s) she sought, studied and practised in various Buddhist traditions. However in 1992 she chose with great determination to follow pure Theravada Buddhism.

Agganyani has dedicated herself to practice Theravada Buddhism more and more intensively. In 1998/1999 she completed a one-year Buddha-Dhamma Diploma-study course at the "International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University" in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma).

In 1993/1994 she was elected a member of the Executive Committee of the German Buddhist Union (DBU), and in 1994 she became Secretary General of DBU. Since that time she has been leading the German Buddhist Union and managing its Head Office in Munich.

Agganyani's vision is the flourishing of the pure Dhamma for the happiness and peace of all living beings, to make available and attainable Nibbana for everyone who is yearning and striving for it. Therefore she is working as a "Dhammaduta" to the best of her ability in order to promote Theravada-Buddhism and establish a monastic Sangha in Germany and Europe, and to make it possible for German and other Europeans to lead the noble life of a Buddhist monk or nun in western countries.

Agganyani's strongly believes that contacts and net-working among active Buddhists all over the world will be necessary, especially in the traditional Theravada-Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka and with their outstanding masters, for the authentic preservation of the original word of the Buddha and the global success of the living Dhamma. 

HNB-Pathum Udanaya2002

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