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Sunday, 12 May 2013

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Theravada Buddhism for Vietnam


Ven. Mahinda Thera ties the pirith noola
on an elderly Vietnamese



Ven. Mahinda Thera with Vietnamese Bhikkhus opposite the Narada Temple Dagaba.

Centuries ago Buddhism reigned supreme in Asia from India to far east Korea and Japan including China. The stupendous Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan and Borobudur monuments in Indonesia are reminiscent of that golden era of Buddhism. Mahayana took a strong foothold in East Asia with its large number of adherents even at present. Ven. Maharagama Mahinda Thera has shouldered a gigantic task of propagating Theravada Buddhism perhaps to quench the Dhamma thirst of the Vietnamese, The Thera's, Sadaham Charika is poised to accomplish his mission.

Vietnam is today dotted with over 50 Theravada temples in addition to Mahayana temples. Vietnam has ensured full religious freedom to the adherents of all religions. It was in the 1960s that the late Ven. Narada Thera of the Bambalapitiya Vagiraramaya planted the seeds of Theravada Buddhism in the then war-torn Vietnam.

No doubt the serenity of the Buddha Statue would have helped the war-weary Vietnamese to regain their tranquillity of mind.

Today the Mahayana co-exists with Theravada in the salubrious religious atmosphere. Theravada Buddhism is in its embryonic stage at present in Vietnam. Ven. Mahinda Thera has launched his campaign to revive, elementary Buddhist practices such as Pansakula, Anusasanas (sermons) Katina Pinkamas and observing sil.

The ever-increasing appetite for Dhamma schools is not only from the children but the elders as well. Ven. Mahinda Thera has been instrumental in setting up the Bhikkhuni order, a timely need of the aspirants to renounce lay life and join the Order. He has also channelled aid mainly from America, England and other sources to develop the Dhamma set up.

The indefatigable efforts of Ven. Mahinda Thera will no doubt reach fruition in the near future when Sri Lankans could also be proud of the resurgent renaissance of Buddhism in Asia.

Ven. Mahinda Thera delivers a religious sermon Vietnamese Bhikkunis and a large gathering of devotees listen to a sermon by Ven. Mahinda Thera.
 

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