Category Archives: Buddhism

In Appreciation of Nandasena Ratnapala, A Professor who Begged in Anthropological Mode

Ned Dean and Ranat

“We meet and we part

In this journey through sansara

But the meeting or parting does not end with time or years

It is a long stretch of an eventful road

Where milestones matter more than rises or falls

We have travelled together on this hard, endless road

Where milestones matter more than rises or falls

The journey was neither smooth nor full of magical moments alone

But many achievements reached more worth than monuments in gold

Leaving a fragrance that would linger on and unfold

Gifting a memory of a life rich and rare

Now you are gone as you wished on a fateful morn

While family, friends and students remember and mourn

A warm tear drops that none would see or feel

As I ponder about you, while my memory unfolds your sight.”

Neetha S. Ratnapala

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A Medley of Races by T.W. Roberts

“A Medley of Races” … being an article in the Times of Ceylon Christmas Number 1935

A land where five empires have met and clashed and left remnants of themselves behind. Here and there a monument, a temple, a church, a road, a plant and everywhere the most vivid remnant of all, chunks of humanity. And so you often stumble on Sinhalese endowed with features that seemed to have stepped out of a picture by Velasquez. Similarly, most of the Sinhalese of one district (Negombo) talk not Sinhalese but Tamil, while the intelligentsia of all Ceylon know English better than they know their own languages.

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Gnanasara Thero leads BBS Defiance of Court Injunctions at a Kovil in Mullaitivu

 Meera Srinivasan, in The Madras Hindu, 28 September 2019, where the title is “When the Saffron Robe has the Final Say”

The recent passing away of a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka and his subsequent cremation in the northern district of Mullaitivu has brought to the fore an old concern — the power wielded by the Buddhist clergy and the impunity shielding them. It wasn’t the monk’s cremation that was the problem, it was the site.

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Sri Lanka’s Rivers of Grief from 1956-to-Present within Documentary Film

Anurudha Kodagoda in Sunday Observer, 6 October 2019, reviewing Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s TEARS IN PARADISE

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s latest documentary film, ‘Tears in Paradise’ (Paradisayaka Kadulu), consists of the political history of Sri Lanka from the assassination of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike to the 1983 Black July, emphasizing the dark history of violence released by the Sinhala-Buddhist ethnicity of the country with the patronage of the Sri Lankan Government which was in power at that time.

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Christian-Buddhist Dialogue in Sri Lanka in Modern Times

The World Council of Churches (WCC) [partnered] in organising the 13th annual conference of the European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies to commemorate the birth centenary of Lynn A De Silva, a pioneering figure in Christian-Buddhist dialogue. The conference, which is considered one of the most high-profile international conferences on crucial issues within the Buddhist-Christian encounter, [took place] at the Arch Abbey of St Ottilien, near Munich, Germany from 27 June–1 July 2019.

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Bharhut Stupa: Its Significance in the History of Buddhism

Bhante Dhammika of Australia, in Island, 14 August 2019, where the title runs “Bharhut Stupa; Majesty and Mystery”

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The British Major had ridden for days from Allahabad while on his way to Nagpur and had arrived in the small village of Bharhut just before sunset. That evening while resting in a villager’s house he noticed some carved stones paving the floor and suspected that they had been taken from some ancient structure. Inquiring about this he learned from his host that there was a half-buried ruin a little beyond the eastern edge of the village. So in the morning the major went to have a look at this overgrown mound of bricks and stone. The time was November 1873, the major was Alexander Cunningham and he was about to stumble upon one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in India and one that is testimony to the artistic genius of the early Buddhists.

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2000-Year Old Buddhist Scroll from Gandhara Now in Public Domain

Allen Kim of CNN, in https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/29/world/gandhara-scroll-buddhism-trnd/index.html

The Library of Congress made public a rare 2,000-year-old text of early Buddhism on Monday, and it offers a glimpse into early Buddhist history during its formative years.  The scroll originated in Gandhara, an ancient Buddhist region in northern Afghanistan and Pakistan. Only a few hundred Gandharan manuscripts are known to scholars worldwide, and each is vital to understanding the early development of Buddhist literature. For instance, using linguistic analysis, scholars study these manuscripts to chart the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia.

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