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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Buddhist Information Centre almost complete

Buddhist Information Centre almost complete

The construction program of the Sambuddha Jayanthi Memorial has moved forward in several steps. The memorial could be seen in its complete structure in the vicinity of Tunmulla Junction, Colombo. The organizing committee anticipates to open the building on Vesak full moon poya day in 2011.

Buddhist Cultural Centre Director Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi Thera has taken steps to construct this building to mark the Sambuddha Jayanthi anniversary as a step to fill a void in the Theravada Buddhist world. The building will be the only Theravada Buddhist information centre in the world.

All Sri Lankans should therefore be familiar with the importance of this construction. The noble monks have been conserving the pure Theravada tradition all throughout. They did so by memorizing the teachings.

Sambuddha Jayanthi Memorial work in progress

In other parts of the world monks protect the teaching by acquiring more knowledge. It is recorded, however, that the pure Dhamma remains only in Sri Lanka. The present generation should conserve the teachings to the future generations too. It is their duty.

Well versed Buddhist scholars opine that Buddhism is the greatest world heritage one can see. It is the way to live in peace. It is the way to live a relaxed life. It is the way to face death in peace.

Since the day the Buddhist culture was established, Sri Lankans practised it as their own lifestyle.

Even following the introduction of many other cultures such as Hindu, Portuguese, Dutch and English our people still continue to practice their customs. The open economy, globalization and urbanization have mainly changed our people’s attitudes.

Now we have lost about half our core values and it’s time we had reformed our crumbling society. The construction of the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi Mandira is one main avenue to reach the target of rehabilitation in the Sri Lankan society.

To make this objective come true the Buddhist Cultural Centre has been launching numerous programs since 1999. Publication of books is one leading program organized by the Centre. A large number of Buddhists was inspired to read, as a result. They shall continue reading these books, which are of a high quality.

According to the Centre’s agenda, they have implemented a number of training programs for newly ordained monks. As a first step books have been published giving guidelines for education. Publication of books for the students of Dhamma schools is also another program.

Of the programs they have recently launched Dhamma training programs for Bhikkunis and Dasasil Mathas, and donation programs for temples in difficult areas take a lead role.

The construction of the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi Mandiraya is the pinnacle of all these programs. It will be the single roof under which all Theravada Buddhist information is gathered, especially with its large conference hall with the 600-seating capacity. Besides studies on Mahayana, Wajrayana and Thanthrayana Buddhism is also possible.

Half the construction is now complete. Rs. 200 million – the total estimate is Rs. 300 million - will be required to cover the rest of the construction, the organizing committee said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who provided the land for the memorial, laid the foundation stone at the request of Ven Kirama Wimalajothi Thera. Former Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardana guided the construction project.

Interested citizens are requested to fund this program of national importance. This is quite a beneficial opportunity both local and foreign-settled Buddhists. Donations could be deposited at the Sampath Bank Plc, Nugegoda Branch, Sri Lanka Account No. 000360001601.

All cheques/ bank drafts should be drawn in favour of the Buddhist Cultural Centre crossed ‘Account Payee’. Credit Card payments can be made through the website:

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