Welcome Speech 2012 - Vello Vaartnou
My name is Vello Vaartnou and as a Buddhist and leader of the Buddhism & Australia organisation I am very pleased to welcome you all to the International Buddhist Conference entitled Buddhism and Australia.
The teachings of Buddha have spread throughout a variety of cultures spanning a widely in geographical terms, especially in the last 60 years.
The world is changing in all its forms and so are we, things that surround become sources of knowledge and such is the way of Buddhist knowledge. From this concept manifested the idea of calling together monks, scientists, lay Buddhist and other people, who are interested in researching the way of the Buddha.
Today we are gathered here to advance the teachings of Gautama Buddha, to try to define our place in the ideological and geographical world which is increasingly growing together with its spiritual assets, literature, art, history, architecture, politics and philosophy, is a wide topic and offers us much to discuss.
In this case, we would have to start with the history, so as to speculate on the course of the teachings of Buddha in time.
Every generation should review the chronicles from the history, because time changes our understandings and conceptions about Buddhist teachings...
The goal and nature of the Buddha’s teachings does not change in time, however people who follow the teaching of Buddha do, hence people will create new forms and methods to meditate on the teachings of Buddha.
The popularity of Buddhism in the world may be interpreted as a victory of a new spiritual ideology, which moving from one continent to the other, enriches the teachings of Buddha, with modern new methods and western technology.
Because the economic bridge has been built between the two continents, then the same should be made in the field of culture and ideology.
The Goals of this Conference:
- To gather the material allowing the compilation of the History of Buddhism in Australia in the coming years.
- Buddhism has been present in Australia for some generations and probably these are the last years in which we can ask the old generation of Buddhists to write down their thoughts and ideas.
- To gather materials, documentation, photographs about Buddhist history in the East as well as in the West. Because the development of technology in the world today is offering us many possibilities in the field of communication, then modern technologies should be used such as computers, Internet etc.
- This idea has been promoted by the likes of Prof. Lancaster for a long time. Modern digital technology allows more room for data, thus allowing us to record the activities and achievements of modern Buddhists in more detail.
- Technology also allows us to publish gathered information online. Gautama Buddha, who was the ultimate model and the source of highest knowledge towards enlightenment, might agree with the proposition to gather and preserve the contribution of today’s followers of the teachings of the Buddha – to record their achievements whether they are in nature practical or theoretical. The goal of our activities is to gather and preserve materials and facts about the Buddhist of our times for the future generations.
At the same time this conference could speculate on topics as to how one could use computer games to create visual environments, which could help fulfil the Buddhist view of the world with visual aids.
With the help of digital technology it is possible to prepare different teaching materials for monasteries and higher educational institutions, but for lay Buddhists as well. The technology today allows this to be freely employed.
I myself started painting thangkas with a computer in 1997. The computer allows more detailed work and a bigger visual-informative composition. The digital technology also allows greater illustration of texts, in addition to, different comments which are inlayed within the visuals.
Looking at the future, we should discuss how the next event should look and how it can be more fruitful.
It is tempting to start the next session with different workshops, but all this depends on how successfully this co operation is supported outside this conference. Buddhists have to offer academics information this is their line of work, by this I mean Oriental Studies, Buddhist Studies, Tibetology, Indology etc.
These conferences turned out to be very successful and due to the co operation between Buddhists and academics, it allowed us to record the main events in the history of Buddhism in Northern European countries – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Interesting aspects of texts and translation problems have been introduced by internationally known specialist Natalia S. Yakhontova PhD who is a senior researcher at the St. Petersburg branch of Institute of Oriental Studies Russian Academy of Sciences (department of Turcologic and Mongolian studies) one of her works:
When I went through Asia to study Buddhism I got to know many interesting people among them internationally recognized specialist Dr Natalia Bolsokhoeva from the Institute of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences in Buriatya, Russia .
Years ago when I arrived in Kathmandu where I visited a Tibetan clinic, I was asked if I knew Dr. Natalia Bolsokhoeva because I had studied in the monastery in her country. I was surprised of how well-known her name was in the Asian continent.
I found myself on a journey to Myanmar and met a very broadminded monk - the Venerable Dr. Ashin Ketu from State Pariyatti Sāsana University in Yangon, who now has arrived to Perth with a rich presentation „Pāli and Sanskrit Studies in Myanmar“
For example Prof. Chimeg Oyun, from National University of Mongolia,
The names that I do mention here, are connected to the previous conference Buddhism and Nordland.
The result of the conference Buddhism and Australia will be fruitful in the same extent, because we all carry an idea of how Buddhism and science could provide an ongoing fruitful relationship logically and profitably.
Gomang datsan and Buryat are tied together by a historical, legendary person, the teacher and monk Agvan Dorijev, who has founded the famous Kalachakra temple in , and who for years acted as the representative of the 13th Dalai Lama in Russia.
All of you, who have arrived to our first event, are most welcome.
In connection to the organizing of the conference I would like to pay respect to the honourable Ajahn Brahm, under whose dharma guidance the flower of teaching is blossoming in the monastery of Serpentine, my thanks for advise and positive emotions.
Firstly I would like to introduce Chris Burns and Kay Burns from York.
I don’t think so!
Now I want to introduce our secretary Marju Broder.
She has been the secretary of Estonian Niyngma more than one decade.
I pray that the wishes of our countrymen and women, the
Thank you all.