Indian Bhikkhus keen to imbibe Theravada tradition
COLOMBO: Indian bhikkhus had requested Sri Lankan Buddhist monks of
the Theravada tradition to enlighten them on the value of original
teachings of the Buddha.
The bhikkhus of All Indian Bhikkhu Society had made this request from
Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera of Sri Lanka Mahamevuna Asapuwa,
during his visit to India recently to attend a dhamma recitation
ceremony at Bodhgaya.
The ceremony had been organised by the Mahabodhi Society of India to
mark the 2550th Buddha Jayanthi. It had invited Ven. Gnanananda Thera
and monks at Mahamevuna Asapuwa to participate in the ceremony on behalf
of Sri Lanka, for the task of reciting the Sutta Pitaka in Pali. The
reciting had taken place at Bodhgaya which lasted for 20 days.
The Dhamma Sangayana (recitation ceremony) was also attended by
Buddhist monks in Thailand and Myanmar who recited the Vinaya Pitaka and
Abhidhamma Pitaka commencing from February 13. The Dalai Lama was also
present. Sri Lanka had been assigned to recite the Sutta Pitaka.
"The Thripitaka Sajjayana (chanting) began with all Buddhist monks
chanting the Buddha's first dhamma discourse, The
Dhammachakkhappawattana Sutta," said Ven. Gnanananda Thera describing
his experience at the ceremony.
"We (the Sri Lankan Buddhist monks) had the opportunity to perform
our task in the shade of Vajrasana under the Sri Maha Bodhi," he said.
As we were chanting the Sutta pitaka, bhikkhus from Bangladesh and
India also joined us. Although they were not that competent on the
science of articulating Pali terms, it was a pleasure to have
experienced their participation, he said.
We were invited by the bhikkhus of the All Indian Bhikkhu Society to
visit their temple. "The Indian monks told us that although they had
entered the Sasana as Buddhist monks, there was nobody to teach them the
They said that Arahat Mahinda Thera had brought the dhamma from
Bihardesh, India and established it in Sri Lanka. Now the time has come
for you, the masters from Sri Lanka to teach the dhamma to us, they
"One of the Indian monks said," I have been a monk for the last five
years. But I still do not know about the Buddha and his personality,"
"said Gnanananda Thera.
This stands to reason that the Buddha's teachings has disappeared
"I have been to India many times but this was the first time I was
able to speak on this matter so openly with the monks in India," the
Ven. Gnanananda Thera had given a lecture in Hindi to the students at
the Magadha University of India.
"It was amazing that 20 students have consented to enter the Shasana
after this lecture," he said.
This means the thirst for dhamma is still there. The solution for
this is to propogate the dhamma on firm footing, he pointed out.
He thanked the Chief Incumbent of the Bodhgaya Mahabodhi Society, Ven.
Palawatte Seewali Thera for organising the event, Secretary General Ven.
Dodangoda Revatha Thera, and America's Life of Buddha Dhamma Foundation.