I have lived in Perth as a Buddhist monk for almost 29 years and seen Buddhism grow from a tiny, invisible fringe group into a large, harmonious and progressive community that is well known and widely respected.
The Buddhist Society of Western Australia (BSWA) was the only Buddhist organisation in Perth when I arrived in May 1983. Soon after, the Vietnamese refugees established temples in Money Street, North Perth, and later the Pho Quang Temple in Marangaroo, Sunyata Meditation Centre in Victoria Park and Quan The Am Buddhist Association in Nollamara. Several small Burmese temples were established including a Burmese based International Meditation Centre in Mahogany Creek, as well as the Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple in Kenwick and two Khmer monasteries. Followers of Mahayana established a branch of Fo Quang Shan (Buddhist Light International) in Maylands, Sagaramudra now in Chittering, the Australian Buddhist Bliss Cultural Mission in Willeton and a Hong Kong temple in Cannington. The Vajrayana followers established Hayagriva centre in Kensington, the Tibetan Buddhist Society in Herne Hill, and Dharmapala and Diamond Way in Fremantle. In 2004, the BSWA initiated the formation of the Buddhist Council of Western Australia as the umbrella group for all Buddhist organisations in our State. The BCWA now represents the interests of Buddhists to both government and media. I apologise for missing out any organisation but it is a testament to how much Buddhism has grown in WA that I can’t remember them all!
It is fair to say that the Buddhist Society of Western Australia is not only the first but also the largest and most active Buddhist group in Western Australia. Actually, having travelled widely serving Buddhism throughout Australia, I would say that it is the largest and most engaged Buddhist organisation in Australia. The BSWA runs two large monasteries with 20 monks and 5 nuns respectively, a large 60 room state-of-the-art meditation centre, a one acre purpose built city centre with over 1,000 paid up members, and a popular website that is well used throughout the world. It also has close connections with the large Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore, the Buddhist Fellowship in Indonesia and the Ajahn Brahm Society (!) in Sri Lanka.
In this presentation, I will focus on the history and development of the BSWA because I know it best and because it is a leader in the growth of Buddhism in Australia.
On Vesak Day 1973, a small group of Buddhists met in the lounge room of a private house in a suburb of Perth and established the first Buddhist community in Western Australia. For the next 8 years, the Buddhist Society of Western Australia (BSWA) struggled, relying on a few visiting monks who came to Perth only rarely to give inspiration and teaching.
In late 1981, a delegation representing the BSWA travelled to Northeast Thailand in order to invite monks from the Thai Forest Tradition to build a forest monastery in Western Australia. Ajahn Chah made the BSWA wait for over a year before sending two monks to Perth. He wanted to make sure that the BSWA was committed to looking after the monks. In 1983, two monks took up residence in a small, four roomed suburban house in Magnolia Street, North Perth. In Thailand, monks were venerated and well supported. In Australia, they were verbally abused, some days went without any food at all, and even had stones thrown at them. Australian society was still unfamiliar with Buddhist monks and misunderstandings were common. Nevertheless, the teachings delivered in the front room of that house soon began to draw in crowds of up to 80 people on a Friday night. The presence of committed Buddhist monks brought the BSWA alive.
It was the intention from the start to find some land beyond the suburbs to establish a forest monastery just like those in the time of the Buddha. One afternoon in 1983, while returning from yet another unsuccessful search for suitable land, the monks stopped only for a cup of coffee in a friendly Real Estate Agent’s office in Byford. A friend of the agent, who happened to be present, mentioned a block of land “in the back of Serpentine” that had been taken off the market over a year ago because it couldn’t sell. We made enquiries. The owner was willing to sell at a price that we couldn’t afford. We made a ridiculously reduced offer anyway and, to our surprise, it was accepted! We had a monastery.
The land had no buildings. For the first night, I slept under a tree and bathed in the lake. It was freezing! We were in debt for the purchase of the land and so had no choice but to build the monastery ourselves, at the beginning with cheap second or third hand materials. People did not trust us at first, so they were not generous. Why donate when you are unsure of who you are donating to? When they saw how hard we worked, how simple we lived, and how profound yet down to earth were our teachings, then the funds began to come.
It is often said that no blood has ever been shed in the spread of Buddhism through history, but much of the monks’ blood is on the bricks and mortar of the buildings of Bodhinyana! Now, after 28 years, we have 21 monk’s huts (usually full), a 4 roomed Anagarika (postulant) building, a guest house for men and another for women, dining halls, kitchen, workshop and meditation hall. The grounds and buildings continue to be maintained by the monks. There is a waiting list of people wanting to try out monastic life.
Buddhist laypeople come every day to offer food, receive teachings and blessings. On major ceremonies, up to 2,000 people come.
An important decision that was a key to our success was retaining a centre in the city. The house in North Perth was overcrowded during the talks, so, in 1987, we purchased a deconsecrated church opposite a 5 acre park in Nollamara, only 5 Km from Perth CBD. We named the centre, Dhammaloka, meaning the “Light of the Truth”. Dhammaloka was intended to cater for most of the services to our lay Buddhist community, keeping Bodhinyana more quiet and “monastic”.
Two adjacent houses were later purchased and a new Teaching Hall and other facilities added. Soon, the Teaching Hall would be filled to its capacity of around 300 every Friday night, as well as attracting large numbers for regular meditation classes, Sutra classes, Dhamma School for children, Youth Group and other fellowship groups. Dhammaloka also provided a convenient location for holding major Buddhist festivals, marriages, funerals, cultural events and fundraising for disasters such as the Boxing Day Tsunami.
Dhammasara Nuns’ Monastery
The Buddha established the “Fourfold Assembly” of monks, nuns, laywomen and laymen followers. The nuns were missing from our BSWA. So, in 1996 we set up a fund for purchasing land for an independent monastery for women.
Donations were hard to come by. Then one day, an Australian man dressed in jeans came to see me wanting to make a donation to celebrate the birth of his first child, a girl. He told me that it is unlikely that his daughter will want to become a nun when she grows up, but he wanted to make the opportunity available for her anyway, and for other women too. Then he handed me a cheque for $250,000!
In 1998, looking for some land elsewhere, we passed a “For Sale” sign for a huge property of 583 acres. My driver said that we could never afford such a large property but we investigated the land anyway. It was to be sold by auction. We arrived at the property early and, my word, did we perform some intense Buddhist chanting! Our absolute limit was $600,000. A competitor bid $625K and my heart sunk. The guy bidding on our behalf ignored his instructions and bid way beyond our limit to $650K. Our BSWA treasurer went ballistic, but it was the winning bid. Though we were in a precarious financial position for a while, faith won over prudence, and we managed to raise the funds. Beautiful Dhammasara Nuns’ Monastery in Gidgegannup was born.
Just as with the first monks at Bodhinyana, the first nuns at Dhammasara did it tough. There were virtually no facilities and the women had to design and build and maintain everything themselves, while at the same time teaching and developing their own monastic life. Now, there are 8 nun’s huts, an all-purpose nuns’ cottage, two inspiring stupas, and big plans under way for a meditation hall, dining area-kitchen building, and more accommodation.
There was a problem with the Buddhist nuns at Dhammasara, and that was that they were not fully ordained. They were not bhikkhunis, as nuns were in the time of the Buddha. Many years of talking and researching the problem of bhikkhuni ordination had passed with no action taken. So, when the four resident nuns at Dhammasara asked for full ordination as bhikkhunis, we began to consider taking action. Though we anticipated objections from a few Buddhist monks living outside of Australia, the large 2,000+ membership of the BSWA were overwhelmingly supportive. Thus on October 22nd 2009, the BSWA hosted the first Theravada bhikkhuni ordination in history outside of Asia. Though a small number were angry, the majority were inspired. Their faith in Buddhism increased. Leadership requires holding firm to what one knows to be right and withstanding the reproaches of the minority. Even the Buddha had to endure criticism. Strong and sensitive leadership has made the BSWA the success it is today.
Jhana Grove Retreat Centre
A major part of our service is the teaching of meditation. For many years we had hired venues to hold our residential meditation retreats. In 2003, we decided to build our own retreat centre in land opposite Bodhinyana Monastery. Once again, our faith well exceeded our finances. The intention was to build a meditation retreat centre suitable even for the elderly and sick, such as those suffering, or recovering, from cancer. Therefore, everyone had to have their own room and every room had to have an ensuite. Moreover, there would be no charge for those on retreat. We would rely solely on donations. The cost would be $5 million!
Many times, my monk’s immense equanimity was tested to its limit when I opened the envelope containing the latest bill from the builder for many hundreds of thousands of dollars. But we scraped by. Moreover, the monks often had to come to the rescue, in particular on the night before the grand opening ceremony. The guy installing the bamboo floorboards in the meditation hall had walked off the job, so the monks were up until 4 am on the very morning of the opening ceremony, completing the final third of the hall floor. Inspiration built the Jhana Grove Meditation Retreat Centre. In the almost three years it has been operating, Jhana Grove Meditation Retreat Centre has earned the label as the first “Five Star” retreat centre in Australia.
The Cyber Centre and Books
Committees are usually full of old people. So, instead, in 2003, I encouraged a 27 year old to become President of the BSWA. His youthful enthusiasm and modernity soon caused the Friday night talks to be podcast. Even though it cost the BSWA a lot of money because, as he once told me, “we were at the bleeding edge of the technology”, it was immensely successful. The talks, articles, blogs and other downloads made the teachings given at Dhammaloka accessible throughout the world. Even a couple of years ago, over one million complete Dharma talks were being downloaded every year, which meant that an average of 114 people were listening to a talk from the BSWA every moment somewhere in the world! The number has grown since then.
Today, the talks, meditation lessons and Sutra classes are streamed live, with questions coming back from such distant locations as Nebraska, Bulgaria and Cape Town, and being answered at the end of each session.
The BSWA is the copyright owner of many successful publications, including Opening the Door of Your Heart; Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond; Simply This Moment: and The Art of Disappearing. The first volume has been translated into over twenty languages and was the number one bestseller in Indonesia. Publishing the talks given at Dhammaloka and Bodhinyana for sale in bookshops has made Buddhism even more widely accessible.
Buddhism is now the second religion in Australia. The BSWA is a good example of how hard work and consistency, holding to the original teachings while innovating in the way that they are presented, keeping up with modern ways while preserving ancient traditions, all has contributed to the spectacular growth of Buddhism in Western Australia.
Buddhism has an even greater contribution to make to Australian Society in the future.
Ajahn Brahm, Perth, January 2012.
Little wonder that religious people are often defensive when psychology is in the air, with its secularism and its scepticism. But there is a countercurrent to this seemingly inevitable process. William James is reported to have said to a Buddhist monk who came to one of his lectures: “Take my chair. Yours is the psychology everyone will be studying 25 years from now.”
This event is regularly quoted in Buddhist circles as a sign that Buddhist psychology is the direction that western psychology is headed. But notice also that the opposite is true: the Buddhist monk (who some say was Anagarika Dharmapala) was interested enough in western psychology that he wanted to hear what James had to say.
Psychology and Buddhism have much to offer each other, when they are willing to listen and understand with humility. Psychology offers a detailed understanding of psychological development and the formation and nature of mental illness that is far more detailed than anything found in Buddhism. And Buddhism offers contemplative techniques that have been repeatedly proven to be uniquely effective, not only in relieving symptoms of mental illness, but in expanding consciousness to heights unsuspected by Freud.
As the anecdote of James shows, the intersection between Buddhist and psychology, while it has taken flight in the past few decades, is much deeper than that. These two disciplines have been in a symbiotic relationship since the dawn of the modern era. Buddhist ideas were very much current in European intellectual circles in the days of Freud. And new western ideas were very much current in Buddhist lands, many of which were colonies, and all of which were forging new “modernist” forms of Buddhism that enabled their ancient faith to find a new lease of life in this new and dangerous world. Much of what we consider today to be “traditional Buddhism” was in fact invented in the early 20th century, as Buddhists responded to western critiques by developing rational, psychologized versions of ancient Buddhist practices.
The best known of these innovations is the so-called “vipassana” meditation movement. This emerged from a secularization of Buddhist practice. Stripped of ritual and superstition, meditation was henceforth to be a purely inner process of mindful awareness. In this way, the influence of modernity performed a great service for Buddhism, prompting an unprecedented re-invigoration of meditation, a practice that had previously been mostly ignored, or marginalized to the mystical experiences of dubious quasi-shamanic wild monks. This enabled meditation to flourish in “value-free”, secular contexts; to be widely adopted by other faiths; to be implemented in prisons, hospitals, and the like; and to be studied using the quantifiable methods of western science.
But there is a nagging feeling: what has been left behind? Is Buddhism to be stripped of its riches and left as a bland devotional cult while the cutting-edge is adopted by the secularists? Is a meditation technique, divorced of its context of ethics and philosophy, able to deliver the same transformation? While the vipassana movement has, without doubt, accomplished an astonishing feat in bringing meditation to the west, the task is still only beginning.
As a former practitioner of vipassana, I can attest first-hand to the fear of emotions that is often taught in that practice. Pleasure, especially, is fearful and to be shunned as a source of attachment. In this I see the unconscious influence of Buddhism’s western critics like Freud, who argued that meditative absorption was a mere infantile regression to the oceanic immersion in the womb. The vipassana schools responded by rejecting pleasure, and rejecting absorption. Whether or not this hypothesis is correct, one thing is clear: such fear has no basis in the Buddha’s teachings as recorded in the early scriptures, the Pali Nikayas and Chinese Agamas. There, pleasure is seen as, not an obstacle, but the very key to all deeper meditation experiences.
As the influence of Buddhism on psychology grows, therapists who are Buddhist meditators are becoming increasingly aware of this. The fear of pleasure is becoming more muted, and being disposed altogether. The way of approaching vipassana is shifting, becoming gentler, more accepting of emotions, more appreciative of pleasure. As therapists, they are all to aware of the damaging effects of an excessively intense or severe approach to meditation.
As this process goes on among the psychologists, meditation among Theravadin Buddhists is also changing. Three decades ago, almost no-one was teaching samatha (tranquillity) meditation internationally. Gradually, a few rebels appeared, championing the value of absorption meditation (jhanas), and speaking of the role of pleasure in leading to such deep states. One of the pioneers was the first Australian bhikkhuni, Ayya Khema, and soon after our very own Ajahn Brahm. In the US, Venerable Thanissaro, in Malaysia Bhante Dhammavuddho; and in the late 90s Burma’s Pa Auk Sayadaw emerged as one of the leading meditation teachers in that former bastion of pure vipassana.
It is quite remarkable that this movement towards a greater acceptance of samatha meditation has been happening, in parallel and with mutual influence, in both the Theravada bastion of Burmese monasticism, and in the secularist heartland of American Buddhist psychotherapy. No, they are not doing exactly the same thing, but there is a clear and strong connection.
I suggest that, as we see this connection unfold, we are merely seeing the latest chapter in a book that started at the very latest in the late 19th century, with the mutual influence of modern Buddhism and psychotherapy. This will not be the last.
What will the next chapter read like? If I was to hazard a speculation, I would say it will not be meditation. The integration of meditation in western psychology is already approaching completion. Of course, there is much to be done, but that will in terms of expanding and refining existing models and applications. Essentially, both modern Buddhism and psychotherapy agree on the topic of meditation.
What they substantially disagree on is eschatology: what happens when we die? This is a question that clearly has significant psychological impact. It changes the very orientation and meaning of life. As we have seen in the context of meditation, Buddhists responded to western scientific and sceptical critiques of rebirth by modifying or in some cases rejecting the notion of rebirth; and the rejection of rebirth is a commonplace in psychological Buddhism. Yet the vast majority of people, Buddhist or not, believe in rebirth; and it is a mere unfounded assertion to say that they are deluded by their fear of death. It is just as plausible, given that both Freud and the Buddha spoke of a death-wish, to argue that the secularists reject rebirth because of an unconscious longing for annihilation. Neither of these arguments, however, are useful: they use psychology in the wrong way, to dismiss those who are different rather than to understand them. The test of whether a belief is neurotic or not is whether it is beneficial. Clearly many people find belief in an afterlife to be beneficial, so it is unreasonable to dismiss it as a mere delusion. Psychology itself, as repeatedly emphasized by Jung, cannot make judgements about the truth or otherwise of such claims.
The evidence for rebirth, among psychologists, biologists, and others, is strong and growing stronger. In the next generation, I suspect we will see a major shift in perspective. The annihilationists will gradually fade away as the reality of rebirth becomes harder to deny. At the same time, following the pattern of mutual influence, Buddhist ideas will change; while scientific data appears to confirm certain aspects of Buddhist ideas of rebirth, there is no guarantee that it will confirm every aspect of Buddhist teachings. In fact, it is virtually inevitable that it will not. We need to stop using science merely as a tool to validate Buddhist when it is convenient, and start meaningfully considering what the intersection of Buddhism and science implies. For example, in the findings of Ian Stevenson, there does not appear to be any support for the widely-accepted Buddhist notion that your mind state at the time of death will determine your rebirth. Does this mean we must reassess our notions of rebirth? Or is it merely the incomplete state of the evidence?
Buddhists and psychologists will increasingly come to recognize that questions of ultimate meaning and human destiny are not just theoretical or abstract notions, but among the very core concerns of spiritual or psychological development. Accepting, debating, integrating, and dealing with the implications of these difficult matters will, I believe, be the next frontier in the integration of Buddhism in modernity.
One final comment. There are many who feel that Buddhism is watered down, distorted, or corrupted by its encounter with the west. This is wrong, and frankly such ideas can only be the product of someone who has never spent much time in a Buddhist country. Of course Buddhist is watered down and distorted - has it ever been the case that in any place at any time, there’s a nation of Buddhas just wandering around? Buddhist culture is no more a perfect embodiment of what the Buddha taught than Christian culture really reflects the teachings of the Jewish prophet who told his followers to give away all they possessed and follow him.
A little history teaches us that when Buddhism arrives in a new culture, it finds its way by adapting elements of the old culture, allowing those who are satisfied with tradition forms of animist worship to continue to do so, as long as they give up cruel sacrifices and the like. Bits of Buddhist philosophy make their way among the philosophers, meditation practices are undertaken by a few yogis, devotional cults spring up for the masses, simple ethical teachings are preached, stories and local art forms are adapted to Buddhist forms, and so on. This is all no different in principle from what is happening in the west today.
Of course the Buddhism that is accepted in psychology is not the complete fullness of everything that was taught and realized by the greatest sage who ever lived - how could it be? Of course the psychologists will pick and choose, leaving aside those bits they can’t digest - but maybe can later. Since modern western culture is in many ways quite different than any of the other cultures that Buddhism has taken root in in the past, the details of this process will differ greatly. The conversion narratives of Buddhism in the west do not feature the taming of child-eating goblins. It does feature the transformation of psychotherapy. And this will be something of momentous significance for both psychotherapy and Buddhism.]]>
“Whatever happiness in this world there is
Arises from wishing for others,
Whatever suffering in this world there is
Arises from wishing for your own happiness.”
Concern about the issue of conflict, violence and the suffering and distress associated with them may have contributed to Siddartha Gotama*s teachings that Buddha once described how mankind s tendency to resort to violence had worried him when he was still striving for enlightenment or “the supreme state of supreme state”….
… Since desires are causes and motives of all fighting, are ideas of good and bad, inferior and superior, of all quarrels. Anyone who does not react to abuse and revile, is not vindictive, and gives up victory as well as defeat and enjoys happiness with serenity. One harms others thinking of one s own benefit, when others harm him in return, He harms them. This chain of action and reaction goes on. He who kills will get a victor over himself, and a reviler another such of himself. So the good man harms no being, live in peace, with sense- restraint. disciplined and in chastity. A man who has no anger, has sense restraint and who freed through right knowledge, leads to the right kind of life, will have a truly peaceful life.
The Buddha condemned those who quarreled, competed, argued, fought or harmed others, he respected those who never engaged themselves in these things, having understood others and made peace with them.
The Buddha s teaching of harmless (ahimsa) is positive. It is nothing but metta for all beings. Only he who is harmless and has metta will have no hatred for anyone .
As far as the non- violence principles in the Buddha s teachings, the basic attitudes of the Buddha towards to aspects of non- violence are clearly defined against any kind of violent deeds or karma produced by body, verbal and mental of human beings.
It observed that physical tortures, verbal abuses, as well as mental obscurations are forms of violence. Physical violence can not be accepted even as mean s of solving human and social problems. It is rejection of physical violence is based upon a strong conviction and reflection on the severity of the violent actions or bad karmas.
Throughout his life a Buddhist way- farer will never resort to killing, never touch any weapons, but will go about with loving kindness and consideration for the welfare of all living beings. The really strong are those who have always patient, refuse to retort in words and deeds, always forgive and protect the weak. In fact the best gift which can be given to anyone, is the assurance of non hatred, harmlessness and fearlessness.
Realising that like oneself all beings seek happiness, one should not come in the way of others happiness for the sake of one s own happiness. All fear the stick and all are afraid of death, making example of oneself, one should neither kill nor cause killing.
All I treamble from violence
All I fear is death
Comparing one self with others
One should neither kill nor cause to kill
The above mentioned verses by Buddha, state that 1) All sentient beings fear any violent actions, and they became frightened when any form of violent, terrible sufferings fall on them.2) Any living beings are feared of death, 3) all living beings appreciate just own lives, 4) When somebody faces with violence, one has to reflect that the one s situation similar of other”s because of the very fact that as human beings, we love own lives to be secured. 5) The motivation to avoid violence and to protect lives of others come from conviction that one s life is very sacred and precious one for every living beings in the universe.
The Buddha teaches as Self-analogy should be the criterion for one s dealing with others. Convinced that the doctrine of selflessness (nairatmya) is true, a large number of people may achieve sameness of oneself and others and cessation of others suffering may became dear to them, and they may accordingly. If they constitute a society, love (maitri), compassion(karuna) will prevail in it. Non- attachment (asanga), fearlessness (abhaya), and non – injury (ahimsa) will consequently be values realized by it. Such a harmonious society can have only harmonious relations with other such societies. In the made up the will be universal perpetual peace.
The truth of selflessness makes one realize that others are as much oneself as one is, and one must be as much concerned for others as for oneself. Indeed there isI and no others. I am I is as much true as I am as anoter . There is just universal suffering, and let all of it be put to an end.
In conformity of Buddhist tenets, everything is non – constant everything is in dependent origination no matter what it be happiness or suffering and dharmas(elements) have no real specific ‘ self ’. So, The perfection of man means the insight into the true nature of world and the reasoning of things and phenomena in the world not isolated or stiff conditions, but in their changes, in mutually transience of existing and non – existing. In effect, the Buddhist Philosophy maintains that man, having eliminated his ‘egoism’ or ‘self’ is to attain Nirvana or sublime peace.
2.On background of Mongolian Buddhism
The Historical Antecedents of Mongolian Buddhism
The landmass of Mongolia is impressive, totaling approximately 1,564,116 square kilometers; it is the second largest landlocked country in the world, another fact that has influenced its history in important ways (Central Intelligence Agency n.p.).
Early period of Buddhism in Mongolia: 3rd B.C. E to 13th century
According to historical sources of Mongolia, the Buddhism was introduced and spread throughout the history of successive Mongolian states starting as early as 3rd B.C.E. The earliest introduction of Buddhism was to the southwestern territories of Mongolian Hunnu (Xiongnu) state (3rd B.C.E-2nd B.C.E). In Hor chos 'byung (History of Buddhism in Mongolia) it is stated that “As it is prophesized by the Buddha in gLang ru’i mdo, Buddhism spread in Upper Hor country (present area of Qinghai, China) at the same time when Buddhism spread in Khotan after 100 years of the Buddha’s parinirvana. (4th century B.C.E)”. At that time 3 meter standing tall golden Buddha statue was the main object of sacrifice for inhabitants of southwestern Mongolian Hunnu state. Hor chos ‘byung informs that Buddhism was spread not only in southwestern part of Hunnu state but also in the present territory of Mongolia. The evidence of this is the Jowo Buddha temple in Bayanbalgad city, which was located in the northern bank of the present Selenge river in Mongolian Selenge aimag. At the time of Toba Wei state (386-581), the Buddhism was the state religion of Mongolia. A king of Joujan or Nirun state (402-555) proclaimed the Dharmapriya monk as a state teacher with the title of the purohita. In 572, the Toba King , a king of Tureg state of Mongolia (4th to 5th AD) had sent his state messenger to the Northern Qi state (550-577A.D) to bring Buddhist texts and scriptures such as Vimalakirtinirdeshasutra, Mahaparinirvanasutra and Sarvastivadavinaya.
Mongolian Empire: 13th –mid 14th century
During the Mongolian Empire, Buddhism was mainly practiced in the court of kings and later Buddhism was promoted as the state religion in Yuan Dynasty (1280-1368). Though some Tibetan and Mongolian historical sources inform that Chinggis Khaan (1162-1227) sent a letter to Tibetan Sakya Lama Sachen Gunga Nyingpo (1092-1158) and issued a decree on tax exemption for Tibetan Monasteries but that historical event is not commonly agreed. Whatever was the fact, the Chinggis Khaan and his successor kings were famous for their religious tolerance and support of Tibetan Buddhism. It is evidenced by Ugudei Khaan’s (1229-1241) decree to erect a magnificent stupa in Khar Khorum city, the capital city of Mongolia, and invitation from the Mongolian military general Godan, the son of Ugudei Khaan, to Tibetan Sakya Pandida Gunga Gyaltsan (1182-1251). Later Tibetan Karma Bakshi (1204-1283) was invited to the court of Munkh Khaan (1251-1258). The founder of Yuan Dynasty, Khubilai Khaan (1215-1294) promoted Tibetan Pagpa Lama Lodoi Gyaltsan to the post of state teacher in Shand city in 1264. From that time “patron and priest relation” between Mongolian kings and Tibetan lamas was established. The support of Buddhism by Mongolian great kings was due to Mongolian policy of effective and unified rule over their conquered countries, great tolerance for different religions and spiritual need of new religion replacing old age shaman belief and practice.
Third spread: 16th to early 20th century
After the collapse of Yuan Dynasty of Mongolia in 1368 the state support for Tibetan Buddhism declined. During the second half of the 16th century, with the support of Mongolian Khans, Buddhism was revived in Mongolia for the third time. Altan Khan of Tumed (1507-1589) played an important role for this revival. He invited Tibetan Lama, Sonam Gyatso (1542-1588) in Khukh khot city and bestowed on him the title of Vajradhara, the Dalai Lama. Abtai Sain Khan (1554-1588) met the Third Dalai Lama Sonam Gyatso in 1578 and later had established Erdene Zuu monastery in Mongolia between years of 1585-1586. Both Altan Khan and Abtai Sain Khan made Tibetan Buddhism as a state religion and prohibited the shamanism. Once again due to state support Buddhism flourished in Mongolia. Many Mongolian Buddhist scholars played a significant role in the further development of Buddhism in Mongolia such as Undur Gegeen Zanabazar (1635-1723), the First Jebtsundamba, the reincarnation of Tibetan famous historian Taranata (1575-1634), Zaya Pandid Luvsanprenlei (1642-1716), Zaya Pandid Namkhaijamts (1599-1662). By the time of early 17th century Buddhism was firmly established as a state religion in Mongolia. In 1640, the Law of Mongol-Oirad had declared Buddhism as a state religion. In the following centuries large Buddhist monasteries were established throughout Mongolia and number of monks constantly increased. In 1785, the number of monks in Mongolia was 70 thousand but in 1868 there were over 100 thousand monks only in Ikh Khuree city, at that time the capital city of Mongolia. During his visit to Mongolia in 1904, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama Thupten Gyatso acknowledged that Mongolia was the center of Tibetan Buddhist world.
The establishment of many new monasteries opened to a greater part of the population the opportunity to become monks, resulting in a drain on Mongolian manpower. The monasteries, however, became similar to those of early medieval Europe; they were the cradles of literature and science, particularly of Buddhist philosophy. By 1629 many other lamaist works were translated into Mongolian, including the 1,161 volumes of the lamaist canon, the Bka'-'gyur (Kanjur). Tibetan became the lingua franca of the clerics, as Latin was in medieval Europe, with hundreds of religious works written in this language.
Communist period: 1921-1990
In 1921, Mongolian national revolution took place and eventually Mongolia had declared the establishment of Mongolian Peoples’ Republic in 1924. From 1924, Mongolia became a satellite state of the Soviet Union and persecution of Buddhism started, in particularly the horrible year of 1937. During the persecution many high reincarnated lamas and scholar monks were sent to prison and executed. All monasteries, except two or three monasteries, were destroyed and closed. Sacred Buddha statues and books were destroyed and burned. By 1944 there was no single functioning monastery left in Mongolia. In 1944, the government re-opened Gandantegchenling Monastery with seven monks. In 1970, the Buddhist University was established at Gandantegchenling Monastery for Buddhist training of young monks from Mongolia and Buryat Republic of Soviet Union. Gandantegchenling Monastery was only one functioning monastery during the communist time. In the communist era many Mongolians practiced Buddhism secretly.
Democratic society: 1990-present
After the collapse of Soviet Union, a peaceful democratic revolution took place in Mongolia and Mongolians obtained the freedom of religion. By 1992, 92 new monasteries are newly opened in addition to Gandantegchenling Monastery, the only functioning monastery during the communist time. This number increased up to 143 as of 1997. As a result of increase of number of monasteries the number of monks is also increased. There were 2500 monks by 1998. In addition to training young monks at the Buddhist University,Gandantegchenling Monastery, the Center of Mongolian Buddhists have been sending number of monks to Buddhist institutions in India, particularly to Tibetan Budddhist institutions. Currently around 200 monks have been studying in Tibetan Buddhist institutions. As Mongolian Buddhism was much suffered during communist era and Mongolians nearly lost their Buddhist tradition, culture and practice for 70 years, there is large task for Mongolian Buddhists to revive Buddhism in Mongolia under many challenges such as financial restraint, lack of highly qualified Buddhist teachers and rapid growth of Christianity in Mongolia.
(Ven . Dr. T Bulgan. ABCP Secretary General, Mongolia)]]>
The story of the geographic spread of Buddhism is as old as the tradition itself. From the days of the wanderings of the founder, the ideas of Buddhism had a spatial domain, that is, the areas where these occurred could be mapped. The spatial mapping of the diffusion, right up to the arrival of the religion in Australia, is a continuation of events and networks of influences that have made up the fabric of the history of these ancient teachings. In order to understand the full context of the multiple events in Australia related to the appearance of Buddhism, it is helpful to look back at the various ways the spatial foot print of the religion has appeared, sometime expanding and other times shrinking.
I suppose we can follow the advice of Lewis Carroll “it is best to begin at the beginning”. If we do so, then the query must be: “what was the nature of Buddhism in its earliest years?” It is my belief that Buddhism marked a new direction for religion in the world because: it broke from its original homeland; its teachings were translated into languages not found in the earliest formulations; and different ethnic groups adopted it. In a word, Buddhism was “portable”. It is one thing to have diffusion by spread of political power or growing through the geographical spread of an ethnic group bound by common heritage of language and culture. However, it is quite another to have a religion which can move across the boundaries of space, culture, language, and political divisions. We seek to understand the expansion of Buddhism beyond the boundaries of the founder. It seems to be the case that the spatial footprint of Buddhism started with the founder travelling over a wide area of the Ganges basin finding support from a variety of social groupings. The diffusion took on a more political turn when King Asoka helped it spread across the sub-continent. While this expansion was impressive, it was to be overshadowed by a larger movement that would eventually eclipse that of the homeland. Beyond the reaches of the sub-continent where the diverse groups had many shared cultural features, the patterns of dissemination took a quite different turn. Buddhism found a niche with interregional mercantile practices. The trade routes became the avenues to a new map for the institutions and ideas. This movement is far too often only described as the so-called “Silk Road” of inner Asia, caravan routes leading in part from the southern seaports that moved through Central Asia into the domain of the Han people. The neglected but perhaps even larger influence was to be found in the activities of those seaports of the Indian Ocean and the Andamen Sea and beyond to the western most reaches of the Pacific Ocean.
When the religion had reached out to East Asian kingdoms of the Turks, Koreans, and Japanese, more than ten centuries had passed from the time of Sakyamuni. We tend to flatten ancient history and see centuries as minor milestones when they were each in reality long and comprised of multiple generations. The spread of the religion took place in steps each marked by centuries of time and a complex array of events that we have yet to describe fully, much less understand.
By the 8th century C.E. the long process of introduction, assimilation, and local adaptations had reached a point where the domain of Buddhism fell within what we may say was the “Great Circle”. This “circle” can be seen in the travels of pilgrims from East Asia to India. For example, a Korean monk, by the name of Hyecho, in the 8th century set sail from his home kingdom and made the journey to India by a series of voyages. He was forgotten by his home country. However, the discovery of his diary in the early part of the 20th century brought his journey to our attention. It is suspected that he did not quite manage to complete the circle and probably lived his last days in Chang An. Our knowledge of him comes from his own record of travel which was discovered by Paul Pelliot in the famous cache of manuscripts found in a sealed cave at the great meeting point of trade routes in Dunhuang. I see that journey as proof that East Asian pilgrims were aware of the “Great Circle” and they knew that one could travel among Buddhist lands by making a circular journey to India by sea and/or land.
The “Great Circle” was the outer reaches of Buddhism as it followed the seacoasts of Japan, Korea, China, present day Vietnam, encompassing Java, Sumatra, Malaysia, coastal regions of the Andaman Sea, reaching to the sea ports of the Eastern and Western Indian coastline, before turning inland at the Indus Valley and moving across the mountain ranges into the Taklamakan desert and down the Ganzu corridor to ancient Chang An. This vast area did not include Australia, nor did it extend beyond the network of mercantile communities of what we now call Central, South and Southeast Asia. The question is often asked about why Buddhism did not spread toward Europe and the Mediterranean. I would like to frame the question in a different fashion. Why did it not spread beyond the “Great Circle”? My current answer is that the “Great Circle” was made up of a series of social networks largely built around merchant communities. The kingdoms and confederations that formed the political structure of the regions were no less tied to these networks of sea trade. It was the structure of these networks that sustained the tradition in the outposts and it was the religion in turn that sustained and supported the trade that extended into ever widening spheres of activity. Pilgrims from East Asia made their way along these linked networks. Where no similar networks existed, or where a different network was operating which excluded Buddhism, the religion did not find a home. Such was the case for the expanse of the “Great Circle” into the Southern Hemisphere where merchants carried Indian cultural features as far as Java and Bali but there was no reach to the islands beyond or to Australia.
We can study the “Great Circle” in segments for it was not one giant conglomerate that had a single set of patterns. The circle could and was often broken as networks changed. For example, the Nabataeans from the Arabian peninsula and environs took over coastal trade and seaport exchange along the western coast of India and eventually parts of the eastern one as well. They also set up centers in Malaysia, Sumatra, and Java. Deprived of the support of previous networks of Indian and local traders, Buddhism in these regions withered. Therefore, the area of the “Great Circle” that was closest to Australia fractured under the advent of the Arab domination of seaports in what is now Indonesia.
For long periods of time, segments of the “Great Circle” remained in place but the expansion beyond the outer reaches of the sphere was limited. One might think that the Mongol Empire was a time of great breakout of the Asian cultural sphere as their armies moved across Eurasia. However, the control of distant lands in the Western regions of Asia did not last for long and cultural transmission by the military is usually quite limited. On the other hand, the Mongols helped to create the modern world, one in which the whole of Eurasia was involved in contact and exchange. Merchants from the Mediterranean Sea could travel to China and return home. Europe became aware of the lands toward the East and developed a new network which we call “colonialism”. All of these factors were leading toward a global awareness and the whole surface of the earth was finally included in histories and learning.
Australia was part of this new network as large scale migration as well as global trade transformed the continent. In the areas of Asia that still held to Buddhist practice, colonial scholars started the study of it among Europeans. While the Christian missionary activities challenged Buddhism, it never quite broke the segments of the “Great Circle” that were still active in the 17th and 18th centuries. Modernity, brought by the Europeans, tested all aspects of life in the Buddhist world. Buddhism was no stranger to suppression and opposition. In China, anti-Buddhist activities were recorded from the 4th century and in Korea, the emergence of the Chosun dynasty reduced the influence and the power of the tradition. However, nothing would equal the 20th century for the vigor of control and attempted elimination of Buddhism in North Korea, Mongolia, China, Tibet, Vietnam, Cambodia, Buryatia . In the latter part of the century, the pattern of decline began to shift. The restrictions, harsh at times, were lifted as shifting politics opened up new eras in communist- controlled governments. A revival has been very marked among the Buddhists and today there is a great deal more activity than in the 1970s. It is ironic to note that in the face of the challenges of European colonialism and the political ramifications of the “cold war”, Buddhism was once again becoming portable. Networks of immigrants in France, England, and North America as well as in Australia brought about a widen region of Buddhist influence.
Social and philosophical movements of the late 20th century created major changes in education and information exchange. Termed the “post-modern” period, it was a time characterized by cross cultural and multi- cultural dimensions. A new openness to multiplicity of approaches and at times a fierce rejection of previously held concepts marked the new era. In this environment, Buddhism became for many in Europe, North America and Australia, an acceptable cultural alternative to the European and Western Asia religions. It is in this era that Buddhism has come to have a very substantial base in Australia. Social and political changes have meant that immigrants from Buddhist countries are a growing presence in countries that are trade partners. Global trade and new networks created for it include companies based in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam doing business with counterparts in Australia and other nations. This dynamic has resulted in a growing migration of Asians. I point this out to indicate that the spread of Buddhism is still closely tied to networks of trade and interchange among regions of differing cultural histories. These patterns of contact and movement we find in the global world of commerce and multi-cultural contacts today are not so very different from the ones that created the original “Great Circle” of Buddhism.
And so we come to look at 21st century Buddhism in Australia. It has all of the features which characterize the forms that the religion is assuming in a global sphere. In the forefront of the groups that are helping to install Buddhist practices in places as widespread as South Africa, Perth, Paris, Norway, and Canada are religious leaders from the major trading nations of Asia. It is among the lay Buddhist communities of Asian immigrants that we still find the support structures which have sufficient resources to construct large complexes, establish Buddhist schools and institutions of higher education. The future of Buddhism in North America and Australia does not lie solely with the non-Asian population. A great challenge will be to deal with the second, third, and fourth generations of the immigrants. Will the children and grandchildren of the first generation immigrants choose to remain a part of the community of Buddhists and give it support?
How can Buddhism hold a place in the future world where massive meta-trends predict a very different world by 2050? At one level, we see some nations with an aging population and decline in numbers and in others a projection of enormous growth but without sufficient resources to handle the millions of people being born. Last December, the population of the world crossed an important line. More than half of the current inhabitants of the planet live in cities for the first time in history. This urban aspect is nowhere more crucial than in Australia which has one of the largest percentages of urban dwellers of any nation. Buddhism of the village and the rural areas has to be adapted to this new era of huge urban centers. The form of Buddhism that can flourish in the future must respond to the needs and the demands of city dwellers.
What are the aspects of Buddhism that must be nourished in the future? Buddhist history records for us many long debates as various streams of discourse competed for attention. One of the great debates has been over the relative merit of meditation and study of texts. In Korean monasteries, there are two separate training halls for these two methods and the monastics may choose whether to recite and study texts or sit in meditation. I don’t believe that the two forms of activity need to be in conflict. In a world of massive information and education at unprecedented levels among a majority of the population, it appears that both study and meditation are necessary. In the Vinayas translated into Chinese from the Sarvastivadin and Dharmagupta schools, we find statements that study is essential as an adjunct to meditation. Monks and nuns who neglect study are said to be turning their back on the Dharma and it is a fault that must be remedied. What is the nature of this study for our present situation in Australia? How should Buddhist communities best deal with informing lay people and monastics about the teachings? Can yogic practice of mindfulness be sufficient? It is hard to imagine that Buddhism can survive in an environment of city life and universal education without making sure that its membership is informed. I include in the expression “Informed Buddhism” the idea that followers must become educated about their religious tradition and they must then be ready to help inform others about it. Nowhere is “Informed Buddhism” more active than at the Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong. Each year they grant one hundred M.A. degrees to ordinary citizens who enroll in the graduate program where they study doctrine, practice, and history of the tradition. With this growing number of believers who have a deep understanding of the teachings, I see how important Buddhism can become in a densely populated city. There are numerous study centers and schools springing up throughout the world. including those here in Australia. I believe this gives promise for a continuing and healthy state of the religion.
From the perspective of the Northern Hemisphere, Australia has been viewed as “distant shores.” However, the current technology of the computer, internet, and digital data has changed the reality of “distance.” As an advanced technological nation, Australia is already making great contributions to the world’s knowledge about Buddhism. BuddhaNet stands out as an example of how an Australian Buddhist group makes contact with hundreds of thousands of users every year. For those who can not easily find help with their study and practice, such websites offer a crucial service. The new technology removes “distance” from the equation and what happens in Australia can be immediately available to people in all nations of the world.
I have tried to provide some historical context for viewing the situation of Buddhism in the 21st century in its Australian setting. It is an important moment in history when Buddhist ideas are included in a global discourse that includes physics, cognitive science, psychology, and philosophy. My suggestion is that we are seeing the age old process of the “portability” of Buddhism once again on the move, this time globally and finally far beyond the “Great Circle” of the past.]]>
.In addition D. Yendonov made a great contribution to the composing the visual aids on Tibetan medicine for the Buryat emchis and medical students. He was an initiator, author and leader of the project on the creation of medical paintings by Buryat artists, physicians and medical students. Besides he formed a creative group for making copy of the plates of the since 1926 kept at the Atsagat manba datsan. Upon the request of Agvan Dorzhiev set of the “Atlas of Tibetan medicine” was transferred from the Tsugol datsan Tashi choiphel ling (Chita region) to .the Atsagat medical faculty. Our many years research proofed that there is reason to considerate the separated plates in a varying degree as rough copies of the “Atlas of Tibetan medicine”, as on the several plates the remarks were made”, a copy of the drawings of the “Atlas of Tibetan medicine”. In this connection we began a complicated work on the identification of the contents of the Atsagat illustrations with correspondingvisual ranges on the canvas of the “Atlas of Tibetan medicine” from the History Museum of Buryatia named after M. N. Khangalov collection (further Museum).
In the valuable collection of the Museum there are 65 plates of different formats of medical contain with a separated chapters on Tibetan medicine depicting by director and students of the Atsagat medical faculty. They painted on separate album sheets, on whatman paper and primed canvas. They represented an illustrated material, subordinated mainly to the subject and structure of some paragraphs, chapters, and volumes of classical Tibetan medical treatise “Gyushi” (rgyud bzhi) and its comprehensive commentary ‘Lapis Lazuli’ (vaidurya sngon po, Vaidurya - onbo).
In the Atsagat set there is a plate, showing the mandala of the Supreme Healer - the Buddha of Medicine (Sanskrit: Bhaishajyaguru, Tib. sangs rgya sman bla). The Healing Buddha gives teaching to a retinue of gods, sages, Hindu divinities and Buddhist disciples. There is some analogy with the first plate of the “Atlas of Tibetan medicine”. The Healing Buddha is depicted in the medicinal city Sudarshana (Tib. lta na sdug) with the attributes of the Buddha sitting up on a throne made of wish-fulfilling jewels. In the center of the square city with four gates is located the Medicine Buddha’s palace. In the center of this palace sits the Healing Buddha, Buddha of Byrel colour in an intensive blue color, color of lapis lazuli. A begging bowl filled with the nectar of immortality is in his left hand. His right hand holds the myrobalan chebula fruit (Tib. a ru ra, Latin Terminalia chebula Retz.), panacea for all diseases caused by disorder of three physiological energies (Sanskrit dosha Tib. rlung - wind, mkhris pa - bile and bad-kan - phlegm). Mandala is distinguished from a classical one depicted in the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine” by its amazing simplicity. There are no depictions of his retinue of gods, sages, Hindu divinities and Buddhist disciples listening to the teaching of Tibetan science of healing (gso ba rig pa). Each representative understood and interpreted teaching of the Medicine Buddha Bhaishajyaguru according to his knowledge. We don’t see the images of mountains where the curative plants and herbs grow, no animal, mineral raw materials, and healing springs. In the Atsagat version some of kinds of raw materials are painted on four parts of world. In peculiar manner the Maharajas are depicted. They protect four parts of the world from enemies of Dharma (Teaching).
The medical pictures of Buryat specialists are distinguished by their peculiarities and are reflected a definite stage of scientific illustration in the creative activity of Buryat artists possessing by the art of easel painting. The authorship of some plates is belonged to D. Yendonov as it is mentioned: “The director Yendonov painted”.
On a number of plates there are no names just “The student’s work of khuvarak (novice) of the Atsagat medical school”. On the plates there are no author’s numerations, from my point of view they could be distinguished by sizes 53х35, 43х20, 22х20, 29,5х34, 43х22. On the back side there are the stamps of the Buryat - Mongolian Antireligious Museum (opened on the 8th of November of 1937 in Ulan-Ude), its address and obviously the incoming number assigned by the Museum. In the contemporary Museum’s inventory books the plates are sequentially numbered from 1 to 65. On the facial sides of the mostly all 65 plates there is a big round seal of Atsagat Tibetan Medical Committee and signature of director Yendonov. This fact says that the student’s creations were appreciated by the director of the school. He knew a professional level of each student and carried the high responsibility to the theoretical and practical knowledge, which the students received under the guidance of the knowledgeable teachers during a long-term training. Student’s works in a remarkable degree connect with the practical chapters of Tibetan science of healing, which are necessary to know for the future professional traditional doctors in their daily practice.
Many anatomical plates contain the drawings of topography of internal organs on modular grid where each square cell is a module of measurement. The pictures of anatomical plates are given with precise indications of each organ and its separated organs that it is extremely need for making treatment in depending on the kind of the illness. These treatments include cauterization, bloodletting, pricking by needle. The latter is to some degree similar to an acupuncture that widely spread in Chinese medical tradition and found recognition throughout the world. On the anatomical plates the points for thermal treatments in the forms of cauterization a warming up are pictured as the most effective treatment methods for many illnesses including serious chronic ones. The total amount of the points is 71; 20 points are located on the back side of the body, 22 – on the front side, 29 – on the head and extremities.
In addition, the plates illustrate the bloodletting vessels and points of pricking by the needle. Almost all bloodletting vessels are paired, they are symmetrically located on the right and left sides of the head, right and left hands, right and left sides of the body. Our deep study show, on the plates there are three unpaired vessels fontanel, nose’s vessel, breast’s vessel, and bloodletting vessels varying from the kind of pathology. Acupuncture is an important method of the treatment of the exterior and interior solid tumors, solid tumors of kidneys, spleen and stomach. Some treatments are held by hot / red-hot needle, while the other by cold-needle. It should be noted that the points of cauterization and warming-up are of red color, the points of acupuncture are yellow, and the points of bloodletting are blue. Such color principals are traditional and used in the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine” that has been to a remarkable degree a prototype for illustrations of D. Yendonov and his talented pupils.
Based on our investigation we can conclude that the plates as a rule have the titles; an anatomical human figure is in the center and fitted with short or detailed annotations. They are written in Tibetan language or in Tibetan with an old Mongolian translation or only in old Mongolian. The annotations and captions under drawings lacked the unification that is a short - coming of the work. Most often the images of man’s figures are not proportional and have a contour character.
Medical paintings were used not only as the visual aids in the educational process or aims; the students have passed the exams on them. In the Tibetan medical texts is said, a disciple was sitting in front of the teacher and was talking about the contents and meanings of every picture in illustrated range on the plates. In addition the student was asked to indicate the illustration of the one or other plate correctly related with the chapter of four volumes of the Root text “Gyushi”. Such approach served as a good orientation for the teacher to determine the level acquired knowledge during a long term of studying .It was considered that this part of the exam was the most difficult as the student must demonstrate the volume of an acquired knowledge on all course on Tibetan healing science.
The images of surgical instruments used in practical Tibetan medicine are the important component of the anatomical plates. Presented illustrations in the corpus of the Atsagat paintings say that Buryat physicians have not much ones. On the Atsagat plate only 43 instruments painted. While in the plate 34 of the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine” there are 99 surgical instruments which were used by traditional doctors (emchis) throughout Tibet.
The illustrations testify that in the medieval centuries the Tibetan medicine had a definite instrumental arsenal each of them had the specific meaning and was widely used into surgical operations. In the “Vaidurya - onbo”, a commentary on the Tibetan medical culture “Gyushi” there is an classification of surgical instruments into five groups: 1 – the instruments for the survey, 2 - forceps, 3 – lancets, 4- thur ma or needles and 5 – auxiliary instruments. The characteristics and a detailed description of the instruments are given in the twenty second chapter of “Tantra of Explanation” of the second volume of “Gyushi” and in its profound commentary “Vaidurya - onbo”. Such classification is accepted in the plate 34 of the set of the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine” as well.
Buryat emchis in difference from their Tibetan predecessors used the probes for the checking up the wounds on legs and arms, the probes for the investigation of the purulent abscesses: forceps for the extraction foreign bodies from bones, blood vessels, tendons. Peculiar lancets were needed for bloodletting; hollow needles for the extraction of pus and liquids from the certain parts of the body, the bent hooks for the deleting of the pellicle of eyes if a person suffer from wall-eye, and the bent rods for cauterization. Each Buryat healer carried the needed surgical instruments with him in a special slipcase.
Buryats historically differ by a proficiency and high technique of the iron processing and only special trained masters produced the medical instruments that had certain initiations. It is happened that the instruments needed for practice were been made by skilled emchi-lamas themselves. Most often this art was transferred from generation to generation. Instruments were made from the alloy of red cooper and gold, and a durable high quality steel as well. At the same time in Tibet they were made from expensive metals: gold, silver, a durable and special processing steel and finest iron.
Buryat skilled masters as their Tibetan colleagues made the instruments strictly according to the sizes presented in Tibetan practical guidance’s. The sizes come from particular canon that each master must follow. Some samples of the medical instruments that were used by Buryat healers in their medical practice presented in the Museum’s collection. Some of them were exhibited at the exhibition, which was opened on August 10th of 1998 and worked during one year at the Museum in Ulan-Ude. Those medical instruments give a little information on the instrumental arsenal in the practice of professional Buryat emchi-lamas.
The paintings presenting the “Tree of Medicine” constitute the second group. The scheme of the “Tree of Medicine” may be considered as the alternative of “the Universal Tree” – “Scambha”, translated from Sanskrit as “reliance”. “Scambha” symbolizes sustainable links between past and future, the world of gods and human beings. The ancient Indians were aware about the idea of “the Universal Tree” from the “Book of Exorcism” (Atharvaveda), dated the first century before BC. It is part of the corpus “The Four Vedas” and it is considered as the first ancient Indian text closely linked with medical knowledge. The illustrations of the “Tree of Medicine” include the depictions of the healthy and ill organism, the causes of the diseases, balance and imbalance of three physiological energies (dosha, wind, bile and phlegm). They only define all the functions of the human beings’ organism and relatively are identified with the principals of movement, fire and softening.
Only the restoration of the system integrity let reach the recovery of the patient. It is important to know that Tibetan medicine doesn’t treat the symptoms of the illness; it aims to eliminate the causes of the imbalance, the restoration of the natural resources of organism. In addition hence following methods of diagnoses are indicated: survey, pulse examination, analyses of urine, questioning of the patient and also the methods of treatment. The illustrated structural elements of the “Tree of Medicine” represented a detailed schematic description of theory and practice of Tibetan medical system in the form of the three trees with 9 trunks, 47 branches and 224 leaves.
The third group includes the plates with images of the spirits and demons affecting negatively on a person and in this connection causing certain diseases. Based on the “Gyushi” we can say that half of the illnesses known to the Tibetan physicians were attributed to the effect of harmful deities and spirits, as karmic punishment violating various taboos and rules of religious morality. “For the medieval doctor, divination was one method of diagnosis, a way to determine the causes of an sickness. It was important to establish precisely which demonic forces were harming the patient’s health in order to eliminate their injurious influence by means of rituals of propitiation, elimination and suppression”
Only three plates are belonged to the forth group. Two of them are reasonable to classify as a kind of abstracts of the students of the Atsagat manba datsan representing the theses of a number of the chapters, paragraphs, fragments from educational supplies on the all course of Tibetan medical science. The notes are written in old Mongolian by black ink of European production in clear calligraphic manner. The most probably that the khuvaraks (novices) owning the art of calligraphy have written these abstract’s texts
From my point of view it is also reasonable to relate the rules on compliance with sanitary standards to the forth group as they are not fitted to the illustrative material. The rules working out by D. Yendonov is written in old Mongolian. The traditional Tibetan physician has recommended keeping strictly the rules for taking curative baths and pharmacy’s work, when specialists involve in the composition and preparation of multi - component Tibetan drugs. These rules were concerned not only to the students of Atsagat medical school, but to the people, who used to come to get the healing springs. Each person must keep strictly to the established order and keep clean the sacred territory. The Yendonov’s rules did not lose its actuality in the globalization’s époque. The contemporary lamas of the Atsagat datsan do much not only for conservation of the curative springs but the maintenance of needed rules. They take care of this powerful area and give instruction to young generation.
It seems strange that in the corpus of Atsagat illustrations there is no the plates with the medicinal materials of flora, fauna and mineral origins. It is obviously the students took part in annual expeditions and they studied the medicinal raw materials in natural environment under the guidance of supervisors. More over, all over the Atsagat territory and nearby there is the variety of medicinal plants and herbs. The Atsagat region could be compared with the Yarlung valley in Tibet, where from point of view of Tibetan emchis a great number of curative plants and herbs grow up. Due to their high effectives they use by skilled traditional doctors of many generations in their successful medical practice.
Besides the works of khuvaraks of the Atsagat medical school in the Museum’s collection there is a set of 11 one formatted (62х69,4 cm) plates depicted by Buryat artists with mineral colors on the primed canvas. On the back side at the bottom of each plate there is a stamp of the Buryat - Mongolian Antireligious Museum.
The talented Buryat artists (zurachiny) have owned the technology of canvas preparing and techniques of the drawing on the canvas. A complicated technique of primed canvas was borrowed not only from written sources, but from Tibetan and Mongol teachers and colleagues. Not excluded that some Buryats have studied under the supervising of outstanding Tibetan and Mongol experts. The technique of the preparing of primed canvas consists of the following: “an artist makes a weak solution of glue for the front side of canvas for not to let the paint soak into tissue as the picture must be intensive on colors. Then the artist made several layers of ground – glue mixed with chalk, gypsum or kaolin. When the priming was dried up and ready, it was polished for the smooth solid and flexible for the keeping up the layer of colors. Sometimes they made a primed canvas not only on the front side but the back side also”.
It should be mentioned; this method of the preparing primed canvas for the drawing was considered to be traditional and widely spread in many regions of the Central Asia. Nowadays it is used by the modern artists that I observed during my study trips to India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. The paintings are distinguished by interesting technique and manner that reflect a certain stage in the creation of Buryat artists owning the art of the easel paintings.
Proceeding from the inscriptions on the certain plates it may conclude that they were created between of 1929-1930. However historical sources provide no one opinion about the appearance of the set, consisting of 65 plates. It is difficult to say when the plates were given to the Museum’s collection as we don’t have any information. There are no the living witnesses who could give reliable facts about it. Possibly, the Atsagat paintings entered the Antireligious Museum’s collection in 1937 when Zh.Zh. Zhabon (1899-1971) was working as a member of the Republican Organization of the Society of the Militant Godless and transferred to the possession to the Museum the treasure of the Tibetan medieval culture the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine”. He was the chief curator of the valuable collection of Buddhist Art of the History Museum of Buryatia named after M.N. Khangalov since 1952 until 1970.
In June of 2004 the Atsagat datsan that has been restored in 1992 and the public of Buryatia at large have celebrated 150 anniversary of the outstanding Buryat personality Agvan Dorzhiev. In this connection according to the information of the Museum’s staff S.V. Bardaleyeva the Xerox copies of 20 plates in original size which have been painted by the students of the Atsagat medical school were given to the datsan. Now they are kept at the collection of the Atsagat Museum within the Buddhist monastery. The finest work on framing the plates under the glass was held by the artist V.P. Askhayev. The depictions of the Atsagat medical school, painted at the thirties of last century have now an elegant appearance. During the last several years the Museum step by step has been passed the copies of other 45 plates. It is important that the illustrations became again visual aids for the pupils studying a complicated subject of Tibetan medical culture under the guidance of highly - qualified Buryat teachers.
The medical drawings of the Atsagat medical faculty completed under the leadership of D. Yendonov are becoming a heritage of the peoples. It should be noticed that nine plates from the set, consisting 65 plates are demonstrated in the permanent exhibition of the History Museum of Buryatia named after M. N. Khangalov. Thanks to the Museum’s staff the inhabitants of the Buryat capital and its guests have a great possibility to make aware with the drawings of Tibetan medical culture created by Buryat skilled masters and traditional physicians. The plates represented in the exhibition are in the nice wood frames making them an organic part of the conception of exhibition. The Atsagat depictions are distinguished by particular style, a technique of images and colors reflect a definite level of Buryat spiritual culture in the thirties years of last century.
The 11 paintings from the set, consisting of the 65 plates were published in the book, entitled “The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine in the cultural space of Central Asia”, the authors V. Shaglakhaev (Dashi Lama) and N. Bolsokhoeva. Ulan-Ude. 2010. Those drawings give valuable materials for the profound study the principles and features’ of the illustration in Transbaikalia..
Bris cha (“The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine”), consisting of 76 plates. The History Museum of Buryatia named after M.N. Khangalov. Ulan-Ude: Inv. No. 15. A. 18-79. Sizes of the plates 65x88.
Bris cha (Illustrations on Tibetan Medicine of the Atsagat Medical School). The History Museum of Buryatia, named after M.N. Khangalov. Ulan-Ude: OF 8281.
Tenzin Phuntsog Shel ‘phren. Aginsk Edition, the end of the XIX c. 223 f.
Yendonov D. Textbook on anatomy and physiology, manuscript. The History Museum of Buryatia, named after M.N. Khangalov. Ulan-Ude: OF14824 (12) (in old- Mongolian).
Yendonov D. Russian-Mongolian Dictionary of medical terminology. The History Museum of Buryatia, named after M.N. Khangalov. Ulan-Ude: OF 18405.
«Атлас тибетской медицины». Свод иллюстраций к тибетскому медицинскому трактату XVII века «Голубой берилл». 1994. Вступительные статьи Н.Д. Болсохоевой, Д.Б. Дашиева, В.С. Дылыковой - Парфионович, К.М. Герасимовой, Л.Э. Мялля, Т.В. Сергеевой. Перевод текста атласа Т.А. Асеевой, Н.Д. Болсохоевой, Т.Г. Бухашеевой, Д.Б. Дашиева. Пояснительный текст к листам атласа составил на основании исследования тибетских медицинских трактатов «Четверокнижие» и «Голубой берилл» Ю.М. Парфионович, из-во «Галарт», М.,592 c..
Bolsokhoeva N.D. 1992, the Mandala of the Medicine Buddha-Menla. According to the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine’ in. Buddhist Himalayas. Kathmandu, 5, No. 1&2:
Bolsokhoeva N.D., Gerasimova K.M. 1998, the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine”. Treasure from the History Museum of Buryatia in ‘The Buddha’s Art of Healing. Tibetan Painting Rediscovered. Foreword by His Holiness of the Dalai-Lama XIV. New York: Rizzoli, 33-60.
Bolsokhoeva N.D, 2007. Tibetan Medical Illustrations from the History Museum of Buryatia, Ulan-Ude in Asian Medicine. Tradition and Modernity. Leiden. Brill Academic Publishers, vol. 3, No. 2. 347-367.
Shaglakhaev V.A. (Dashi Lama), Bolsokhoeva N.D, 2010. ‘The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine’ in the cultural space of Central Asia. Publishing - House of the Republican Centre of Medical Prophylaxis of Ministry of Public Health of Republic of Buryatia. Ulan-Ude. 86 p. (in Russian).
 . Another name is united school of Tibetan medicine of all datsans. Within this school should be entering datsans of the Khori aimak (region): Chelutai, Aninsk, Atsagat, Egitui, Khizinga and Chesan, and Verkhneudinsk aimak (region):Tugnu-Galtaisk, Tsolga and Khokhurtaisk D. Yendonov was appointed the Head of united school.
 It could be, that the highly educated Buddhist scholar Ch .- D. Yiroltuyev was appointed on this prestigious post in 1896, after the dearth of D. Gomboev, who filled a post of Khampo Lama since 1878 until 1896.
 Emchi is a word of Uigur origin. It was adopted by Mongols, and became widespread on the vast cultural space of Mongol World. It became usual among Tibetans. In modern Tibetan EMCHI with respect particle LA is address to traditional Tibetan physicians.
 See in detail: Bolsokhoeva, 2007, pp. 350 -351.
 . Shaglakhayev. (Dashi Lama) and Bolsokhoeva. 2010, pp. 76-87., since 2010 official name is the National Museum of Buryatia.
 . Op. cit., pp. 76-87.
 Bolsokhoeva . 1992, p. 22-5.
8. Name for the Chelutai, Aninsk, Atsagat, Egitui, Khizinga and Chesan medical datsans of the Khori aimak (region) and: medical datsans Tugnu-Galtaisk, Tsolga and Khokhurtais of the Verkhneudinsk aimak (region). Emchi D. Yendonov filled the post of director of this Committee.
 Bolsokhoeva and Gerasimova, 1998, p.57
 Op.cit , p.57
Thank you for your coming here with uncountable brightness to shine me. Today I would like to deliver the topic of speech: the contemporary missions for Buddhist youth.
Time is changing, and so is the culture, structure of our society rapidly, too. It seems that people cannot accommodate themselves to the situation. We can learn that from the condition of disordering phenomenon, confusing axiology, ruining morality, destroying environment, lacking the manners of democracy…etc. It looks hard to find out that begin block, not mention to make an organization with fresh power to recover the society. Actually to build a harmony society needs the power from self-consciousness of people. So, here I believe Buddhism can do that. Alternative as the mind of people and the appearance of everything, they are not out of the six kinds of basic vexations, which Buddha said before. It was so before, and now is so, even so will be in the future. Buddhism can be used to overcoming all the bothers from the mind of people, so will serve for them in the future. Because the efficiency of Buddhism is over time and space, we can deal with all the problems of society clearly with that. Only to purify the mind of people with that, we can turn the society to be fresh. So that is the contemporary main and unavoidable mission of us, as a Buddhist youth.
The mission, as my main idea, can be divided into 3 directions, which also need your instructions, as follows. I declare that we should pay more attention to:
There will be 5 points in my thinking as follows:
The ‘vidya’ means ‘knowledge’ in Sanskrit. In Buddhism tradition, the 5 vidyas refer to 5 doctrines of knowledge as the key skill for a religious preacher. They are ‘language and literature’, ‘art and technology’, ‘medical science’, ‘logic’, and ‘meditation’. It is necessary that those who will devote themselves to preaching Buddhism, like sanghas, should learn the 5 vidyas enthusiastically.
The teachings from Buddha mainly divided into 3 doctrines: ‘disciplines’, ‘meditation’ and ‘intelligence of prajna’, which every Buddhist should follow. All the eminent sanghas achieved powerful wisdom from their practices, like meditation, so that they can spread Buddhism and influence people widely and profoundly. Those facts teach us a good lesson that to practice can endure the life of Buddhism.
For catching the changing time, we should pay some attention to learn all the knowledge of this world so that we can clear our confusion from other religions and source. We can help other people with science technology. We also learn the bothers, customs, and karmas of people are the best sources that can enlighten themselves. Because the dharma of Buddhism is very profound, we must lead people to start their dharma journey that by general knowledge of the world. It is an old saying in Chinese Buddhism that people shall trust Buddhism before you can give a solution to his problem in advance. Because we, Buddhists help him to solve his problems, they can trust us, and also accept Buddhism. We should digest all the knowledge in the world and Buddhism sutras including of all the sections and schools in Buddhism so that we can find the suitable teachings that can solve peoples' problems. The purpose of Buddhism is to clear the puzzles in our lives.
To keep a good ethic and harmony atmosphere is the point of building a successful monastery. About this issue, Buddha delivered 6 principles for building a good monastery. It can be parted in 2 divisions: rationale and attitude. The ‘rationale’ refers to the principle that everybody in the monastery decides for his or her practice together. Meanwhile, the ‘attitude’ refers 6 points as follows:
To keep these 6 points can improve the respect of our monastery from society.
In the Buddhism education, we should raise people the spirit of bodhisattva, benefiting people. We may encourage ourselves to practice by 4 vows and 4 wishes:
Also we may encourage ourselves to practice by 4 ‘none mind’, and let them become the energy for our preaching Buddhism:
Also we may teach people to learn Buddhism skillfully by ‘4 preaching skills’ as follows: ‘almsgiving him’, ‘encouraging him’, ’helping him’, and ‘benefiting him’. Also we may push the business for spreading Buddhism by ‘6 pramittas’: ‘almsgiving’, ‘discipline’, ‘endure’, ‘diligent’, ‘meditation’, and ‘prajna, perfect wisdom’.
The above description is the mission and responsibility as a Buddhism youngster nowadays. It is also the virtues of a Buddhist.
Now we come to the second direction.
I shall raise 3 points to talk about this issue.
We should improve the international exchange based on variable sections and linage in Buddhism. Let us learn the dharma and culture among all the sections and lineages so that we can make up for the weakness by others goodness. We also build our agreement so that we may have a good friendship. It will improve the cooperation each other for widely spreading Buddhism.
The progress of science technology shortens the distance among human beings. We should elevate the field of vision from local to international level. So Buddhist youngsters should be encouraged to attend variable international activities. Devoting ourselves to the religion, we also have a communication with other religions with a modest manner so that we can respect those who have different views and thinking. It is important that we should strengthen communication and build the trust between each other. If possible, we come to find the cooperation with each other for higher situation, the welfares of global human beings.
Actually, there is no national boundary in Buddhism. We can’t set a limitation for ourselves. Intelligence of prajna can break the bother from the emotion without control. Buddhism will benefit all the people in the world so that passion of Buddhism can break the misunderstanding among human beings. All the people can deal things peacefully. Only higher magnanimity and elegant manner can build a harmony world of human beings. Let us enlighten the world and comfort people to be peaceful.
Now we come to the third direction.
I shall propose 4 points to talk about this theme.
Chinese sutra ‘Liu Zu Tam jin’(Teachings from the six generation leader of Chan section in Chinese Buddhism) has the story that the 6th leader, venerable Hue Nen reply the saying of the 5th leader, venerable Hon Zen: ‘People can be parted from their birthplace, north or south, but can’t be parted from their Buddha nature.’ Although human beings are widely distributed over 5 pieces land, there are many kinds of peoples and different futures in each land. Yet as a Buddhist, we should protect the right of human beings, freedom, fair, justice, and peace. We also pay no less than attention to the minority nationalities, immigrants, refugee, the prejudiced minority group and the victims.
Due to the combination of the system of politic and the structure of religion, it brings the bad result that the politician may handle and control religion, which will lead to a crisis, not only to let the religion decayed but also drive people to open the war. Therefore, we must remember the teaching about peace and justice from Buddha and avoid to hurting and constraining the other people violently by abusing the teaching of religions. It is important that to push the research the relation between peace and religion so that we should improve the communication and respect in each other between disciple and none disciple of religions, and moreover, defense the freedom of belief, and thinking.
The rapid alternation of social culture results the ruin of ethic and morality, much confusion of axiology, and rapid dying of traditional virtuous so that it bring the severer social problems. We may provide the opportunities of learning, the judgment of valuation, and correct belief for the youth by religious education so that they will have the correct knowledge about the meaning and value of life. The culture of Buddhism is a kind of excellent one. If it becomes the main steam of social culture by our efforts, then it will be respected that we have a fresh society with harmony.
Although there are different countries over the world, no matter which country is developing or developed, we should concern their social problems such as these problems from the ecology of human beings: the conflict of politic, persecuting of people, minority group, minority people, the boiled condition of the earth, crime of internet, violence, drag, pregnancy without marriage, problems of youngsters, poorness, abusive sex, younger prostitute, widely broadcasting of AIDS, high aging society, the life, death and aging of chronic sicker. These problems are stretching and we are straggling with them which result the society under a declining situation.
We must know the reason of ruining morality, and find the way to recover that. The education of religion is a good medicine for the solution of those problems. We can’t ignore the power of ours but conduct the practical action to pay more attention to the society by our great wisdom, great passion, and powerful energy to push.
The new age, 21st century, of Buddhism must fulfill the Buddhism basic education for the youth so that we can prolong the life of dharma and also keep a good spirit of Buddhism. We can create a pure land on the earth via the activities of international exchange, improve a wider field of vision, cultivating higher magnanimity and manners, coming to concern social problems enthusiastically, and the mind of benefiting all the people.
Many thanks for the invitation and accommodations by host of this conference. You give me the opportunity to deliver my opinion. Kindly please give me instructions about the above ideas. Here I hope all the Buddhism organizations can cooperate with each other to improve a further happiness of human beings for the Buddha’s dream coming true. Finally, let us encourage each other on the way to bodhi.
Dharma Word from Master Lien-Hai
1.To appreiciate matters surrounding with bright mind.
2.To treat all sentient beings with compassion.
3.To undertake task with responsibility.
4.To take introspection with modesty.
5.To share other’s happiness with cheerfulness.
6.Delightful giving to those who needs help.
7.To advocate the right doxy with unchanging mind.
8.To absolve guilt with forgiveness.
9.To cherish what we have with gratitude.
10.To carry the successful experience on with self-denial.
11.To accept things happened with ordinariness.
12.To turn down the most precious possession, and leave it willingly.]]>
As I worked on this paper, however, it became clearer to me that in the context in which this paper was to be presented, which will be immediately obvious to its listeners and easily discoverable by its readers, the points raised in the preceding paragraph can be taken as givens. Not that I dismiss the value of discussing the processes underpinning the globalization of capitalism, the dynamics of the competition between Christianity, and the nature, and therefore effect, of new technologies that facilitate travel, migration and human interaction. Such a discussion, however, would delay engagement with the deeper and more important issues that face those who believe that Buddhism can underpin an international movement to promote peace and well-being.
Two important, and related, issues face those who seek to position Buddhism as a basis for an international movement to promote peace and well-being and are expressed in the literature on global Buddhism. The first concerns the tensions that may exist between Buddhism and a global religious-spiritual practice and Buddhism as a form of spirituality developed within and for each of the Asian countries and cultures in which it has emerged (I recognize that “Asia” is term that hides many differences and tensions, but will use it for the sake of brevity – a point to which we might return in discussion). The second issue relates to, what might be called, the individualization that Buddhism has undergone in its reception in the West. I acknowledge that both of these issues relate to Buddhism’s crossing from East to West. I accept, therefore, that I elide many issues that arise for those who practice Buddhism in the East, particularly its transformation in the face of the globalization of capitalism and its use by those in social elites to provide legitimacy for the social orders in which they dominate.
So this paper is in two parts. In the first, I discuss the literature concerning a tension between Buddhism as a local religion-spirituality and Buddhism as a global religion-spirituality. In the second, I discuss the literature concerning the individualization that has been asserted of Western Buddhism. The second is a sub-set of the first, in that Buddhism reception in the West is a form of the localization of Buddhism, but the issues raised in the second part go deeper than those raised in the first part of this paper. For here we encounter the possibility that Buddhism will not disrupt the processes of globalization that produce war and dis-ease.
Before I begin, I wish to acknowledge those who do not understand Buddhism as potentially underpinning an international movement to promote peace and well-being. As Victoria has noted, “there are still those Buddhist leaders, predominantly in Asia, who believe that Buddhists, especially clerics, should not take part in any form of social activism, most especially that which challenges either the political or social status quo. As one leading Japanese Zen master informed this writer some years ago, “Zen priests don’t get involved in politics!”” (2001: 72).
Part One: Local v. Global?
The first question, or perhaps set of questions, concerns a tension between Buddhism as a local set of ideas and practices and Buddhism as a global or generalized set of ideas and practices. Many commentators on Buddhism and the history of Buddhism emphasize the ways that it was adopted and adapted in specific cultural circumstances. The various forms of Buddhism that proliferated through Asia were all local expressions of Buddhist principles and were connected to local social practices, particularly those organized around monasteries in which a strong relationship existed between the practitioners of Buddhism and the local communities they served. Global Buddhism has had to present a generalized (perhaps this might be better put as de-localized) form of Buddhism. The question that arises here concerns a potential tension between Buddhism as a local phenomenon and as a global movement.
Locality and Specificity
Every form of Buddhism can be understood as a local expression of principles that may be treated as common to all forms of Buddhism. While this idea of an essence of Buddhism may be contested, the local variations that result from specific adoptions and adaptations of Buddha’s principles and practices have already produced a myriad of Buddhist sects. As Bubna-Litic and Higgins argued, “all spiritual traditions are human artifacts, and the human founders — like all members of their species — are children of their time and culture” (2007: 168)
This may be especially true of Buddhism. Bivins notes a widely held view that Buddhism “adapts to other cultures with uncanny ease, mingling with indigenous practices and values so as better to establish itself in a new territory” (Bivins, 2007: 61). Amstutz suggest that “every kind of traditional Buddhism in Asia has had its own identity and practices, its own idiomatic or monolingual quality…” (2002: 8). This may have resulted from the fact that, as Chan points out, “Buddhism... was not a written faith until several hundred years after the death of its founder. The faith antedated the scripture in all key areas of conversion. ... Moreover, the body of scripture is now immense. Once it began, different sects just wrote their own. (2000: 570)
This idea may be troubling for some Buddhists. Makransky suggests that Asian Buddhist traditions have not valued religious change, or “the historical development of thought and practice in new cultures” because “it would mean that they had fallen away from the pure original—the original teaching of Shakyamuni.” (2008: 120). They would resist his conclusion that “Mahayana sutras express centuries of developments of diverse Asian cultures... they ...communicate ... multiple historical adaptations of Buddhism found transformative and liberating by Buddhist communities in varied cultures during the centuries after the Shakyamuni lived” (Makransky, 2008: 127). But, as Makransky then suggests, “if practice and understanding had not taken new forms in new historical periods and cultures, it would not have freshly inspired and informed those cultures” (2008: 120).
One of the influences on Buddhism’s mutations is a result of the interaction between Buddhist practitioners and socio-political order in which they practice their Buddhism. In particular, as Lubna-Litic and Higgins contend, “Buddhist monasticism in its homelands consorted with socio-political elites and adapted to their hegemonic values. Monastic establishments were socially and politically embedded; they performed social-integrative and regime-legitimizing functions” (2007: 160). “In Thailand,” Hattam suggests, “segments of the Sangha became dependent on state patronage. The growth of monastic wealth was accompanied by the integration of the Sangha into society; often the priestly class became another sector of the elite, with its own social power, cultural influence, and selfish interests” (2004: 16).
An important reason that Buddhism has taken a variety of forms is that its spread has been to already existing communities and cultures. Any religious or spiritual movement that spread across cultures undergoes this process of adaptation, but Buddhism has proven particularly adaptable. Buddhism “has often astonished us with its capacity for accommodating the different cultures that it encountered, becoming almost one with it as it took on the color and tenor of its adopted home. All this can be readily seen in Buddhism’s trajectory across East Asia where the Buddha’s teachings have developed into vastly disparate and localized sects.” (Low, 2010: 27) Thus, “the forms of Buddhism that travelled to and were cultivated in the West are adaptive interpretations of both cultural and religious forms steeped in the cultures of Asia” (Takagi, 2008: 6).
Rather than seeing adaptation as a departure from true Buddhism, Makransky presents it as a reflection of the brilliance and skill of the scholars who articulated Buddhism in particular cultural contexts.. Those who composed Mayahan sutras, he argued, spoke “the Dharma directly from the hearts of Central Asians, Chinese, Koreans, Tibetans, Japanese, Vietnamese to the hearts of their countrymen and women – in the culturally specific ways needed freshly to reveal the human capacity for self-transcending awareness, reverences and compassion in new places and times” (2008: 128). The very notion of “skilful means” indicates something important about Buddhism’s spread
Indeed, Buddhism continues to be re-presented to the communities of which it has long been an important part. As Berkwitz’s discussion of Sri Lanka’s Gangodawila Soma’s Buddhist nationalism demonstrates, some Buddhist spiritual leaders have specifically engaged with the effects of globalization in reshaping their Buddhism. “Soma’s message of reform crafted an ideal vision of Sinhala Buddhism and culture over against the external forces he identifies as threats to their continued existence in Sri Lanka” (Berkwitz, 2008: 79).
Locality and Connection
An important feature of the spread of Buddhism is their connection to local communities. Buddhists served their communities in a variety of ways. They were called upon, then, to assist in meeting people’s ““worldly” needs and desires…: such as desires for ritual protection from diseases, natural disasters, powerful spirits or enemies; for promoting the prosperity of communities; for providing ethical frameworks to establish social order and cohesion, for healing the sick, for easing the suffering of the dying and assisting them in the afterlife, and so forth” (Makransky, 2008: 138).
Any attempt to create a “global” Buddhism, then, requires a de-emphasizing of local nuance for general acceptability. In short, to become the basis for an international movement, or as Kitiarsa refers to them a “world” religion, Buddhists have to “emphasize the transcendental and universalistic goals of their faiths. ...” (Kitiarsa, 2010: 112)[i] Bubna-Litic and Higgins suggest that, “in an implicit tribute to “global Buddhism” [Sydney Insight Meditators,] also consciously followed the precedent of the Santa Fe Vipassana Sangha in not tying itself to any particular teacher, group of teachers or approach to practice” (Higgins, 2007: 167).
Low suggests that Ikeda’s “strategy of decentering from the historical and cultural specificity of its religious tradition is an important move that would manifest itself most clearly in Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a term designated for its international branches” (Low, 2010: 36). While Metraux suggest that SGI’s spread to Australia “ lead to the "deterritorializing and relativizing" of the movement from an inherently Japanese faith practiced mainly by Japanese, to a much more universal movement whose followers abroad are rarely Japanese and who in many cases have no particular affinity for Japan or Japanese culture.” (Metraux, 2003: 111) He notes that “a number of Japanese NRMs [New Religious Movements] such as SGIA, Mahikari, Zen, and Tenrikyo are growing in Australia because they have successfully adapted rituals, languages, customs and leadership to non-Japanese contexts” (Metraux, 2003: 116).
Attempts to develop a global Buddhism often rely on a notion of “essence” to maintain some sense of continuity with the local forms from which they derived. Low notes that “Ikeda’s strategy relies on an artful stripping down of Nichiren’s teaching to its essence and revealing them to be no different from the more humanistic—and universal—ideals of culture, philosophy and peace” (Low, 2010: 29). While Ip suggest that “Sulak Sivaraksa's translation project” involves the selective expansion of “traits which he hopes others to accept as authentically Buddhist, and then uses these "true" Buddhist elements to construct Buddhist activism, encompassing both his critical theory on and prescription for the problems of capitalism” (Ip, 2007:20).
Ip, however, denies that Sivaraksa projects an essence for Buddhism, but delineates a small “b” Buddhism. Thus, rather than highlighting Buddhism’s uniqueness, “Sivaraksa chooses to imagine the blurred boundary between Buddhism with a small "b" and other pre-modern spiritual traditions. In addition to acknowledging non-Buddhist influence on his faith-based thought, he also translates his Buddhist path to resistance into one that can be trod by non-Buddhists” (Ip, 2007:34). This allows Sivaraksa to demonstrate that “ as a form of religion-based activism, Buddhism with a small "b" can be, and, in fact, has been practiced by those from other religious backgrounds” (Ip, 2007: 37).
To make Buddhism global may even require reconsidering the very nature, and therefore source, of spiritual authority. Once they moved away “from the traditional authority structures of the Theravada, the question arises as to what dharmic texts should be regarded as authoritative? The Bluegum Sangha’s response has been to distance itself from the commentarial tradition and initiate a sutta study program” (Bubna-Litic and Higgins, 2007: 167)
Charles Prebish identified “two Buddhisms” in America. One of these Buddhisms “places primary emphasis on sound, basic doctrines … and on solid religious practice (which may reflect sectarian doctrinal peculiarities).” The other one places less emphasis on “the basic doctrine and painstaking practice, [its adherents]… usually base their attraction on the promise of something new, frequently centered in the personal charisma of a flamboyant leader.” (Prebish as quoted in Hickey, 2010: 6)
Local v. Global?
The question that the preceding account raises concerns a possible tension between the local nature of Buddhisms as a lived experience of practitioners who are part of, responsible to, and who generally understand themselves and are understood as participants in local cultures and communities and Buddhism as a global phenomenon. I do not seek to resolve this in the following sections, but merely to note the divergent views on this question that emerge from the literature on Buddhism.
Local v. Global
Those who suggest an unbridgeable gap between local Buddhisms and a global Buddhism include Gregory, who identifies “the tension between “Buddhism” as a construct that claims to be universal and the particular cultural histories within which it is embedded in different communities” (2001: 251). Takagi also notes that “Buddhism in Asia practiced by Asians has been adapted for Westerners. In some circumstances, adaptations are such that temples in Asia do not recognize the forms and practices in the West” (2008: 6)
Low suggests that, “for individual Buddhist sects that aspire to a global presence, the challenge is one of presenting a single, universal message to a pluralistic world with competing political and economic interests. More often than not, this requires a radical remapping of the religious landscape and a re-interpretation of its traditional past in order for it to make it a mass appeal beyond its borders. (Low, 2010: 27) When it comes to Soka Gakkai, Low suggest that its success “as a lay Buddhist movement with presence throughout the world has come at a cost.” Though he suggests that “its rupture with traditional temple Nichiren Buddhism is an inevitability given its ambitions to be a world religion” (2010: 41).
Given the nature of the literature surveyed for this article, the tension between the Buddhisms practiced in the East and West is the most commonly noted. Hickey even identifies “a long American history of white racism, and minority groups’ concomitant distrust, [that] have contributed to the development of racially segregated Buddhist communities in the United States” (2010: 4-5).Hickey cites Numrich’s research in which “parallel congregations” operated “side-by-side: one composed of immigrants and their descendants, who engaged in cultural and merit-making activities; and one composed of converts, who were mostly white, and who were interested primarily in meditation and Buddhist philosophy. These parallel congregations interacted relatively little, and “pursue substantively different perspectives and practices of Buddhism”” (Hickey, 2010: 2).
While Bubna-Litic and Higgins argue that Australia has seen greater fraternization between “Western and Asian Buddhists”, they suggest that an “enthusiasm for mutual contact for a time papered over the underlying conflict between the associational values that inhere in traditional religious institutions on the one hand, and Western voluntary associations on the other” (2007: 163). They note various instances of tension between those pursuing a monastic form of Buddhism and lay insight practitioners. These “brought home to many insight practitioners… both the incongruities in their communion with the Theravadin institutions that had trained so many of their teachers, and the inescapable organizational requirements of lay insight practice” and “the incongruity between de facto status as a voluntary association on the one hand, and an authoritarian power structure on the other” (2007: 165-6). In their view “the gulf between modern values and associational requirements on the one hand, and their monastic counterparts on the other, seems unbridgeable” (2007: 171).
Part of the explanation of these differences may lie in the different needs of migrants, for whom Buddhism represents a link back to their home cultures, and non-migrants. Tweed suggests that “religious rituals, stories, metaphors, institutions, and artifacts propelled them back and forth between the homeland and the new land” (Tweed, 2011: 20). Non-migrants, who returned after training in Eastern monasteries, on the other hand, returned home.
Many of the generation of teachers who brought serious dharma practise to the West from the 1970s (including Robert Aitken, Christina Feldman, Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg and Christopher Titmuss) had received intensive monastic training in Asia. Despite the acknowledged legacy of monastic institutions in Asia, these teachers returned to the West and disrobed, and insight (or vipassana) teachers in particular taught dharma practice in ways that made no necessary references back to the monastic world at all. Instead, they established pioneering (and these days internationally pivotal) lay institutions for intensive meditation practice, above all Gaia House in the U.K., and the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock in the U.S.A. This development diffused throughout other Western countries, not least the English-speaking ones... (Bubna-Litic and Higgins, 2007: 159)”
Hannah’s account of tensions at international Buddhist conferences during debates about the ordination of women represent but one issue on which unbridgeable gaps opens. In her account, “many indigenous Tibetan Buddhist participants” who participated in a conference in 2007 “articulated anxiety about “modern” or “western” forces “threatening” traditional structures and values.” They were often criticized by “Western (and other) Buddhist practitioners” whose “syncretic adaptations and interpretations of Buddhism, and attempts to transform (monastic) religiocultural practices they deemed “incompatible with Buddhism”, “outdated” or “sexist”, were viewed with unease. Consequently, indigenous Tibetan Buddhist participants frequently articulated the need to “preserve” religious and cultural traditions. (Hannah, 2010: 343-4)
The use of the language of human rights, which can often underpin critiques of the effects of globalized capitalism, is an important and specific manifestation of this potentially unbridgeable gap. Schmidt-Leukel quotes verses in which “Rimacandra summarises the Buddhist belief that the idea of an ego or “I” is one of the main reasons for the human predicament. Some Buddhist authors have criticised the idea of human rights by the argument that it would promote this idea of an ego and the egotism so closely linked to it” (Schmidt-Leukel, 2006: 41).
Local and Global
The position that a tension exists between the local and global has been contested on a number of grounds. One problem with this distinction is that it creates or represents a false distinction. For example, Sulak Sivaraksa’s “work encapsulates both a critical and Buddhist sensibility and his work is characterized by a Buddhist dialectical approach which he applies to all manner of binaries including local/global, theory/practice and self/society” (Hattam, 2004: 13).
Bubna-Litic and Higgins suggest that the effects of the globalization of capitalism mean that specific practices of Buddhism occur within a global context. They “present Australian developments in insight (vipassana) meditation practice as specific illustrations of global trends rather than as components of a national exceptionalism. More than ever today, little sense can be made of the Buddhism of one country without reference to this global context” (2007: 158). Low expresses a similar position when he “contends that far from becoming secular, Soka Gakkai has re-asserted its religious identity by re-defining what is “religion” and what is “sacred” and “secular” in the modern global age. Its radical distillation of Nichiren to its essence allows for it to take on the form and color of the different global communities that it enters” (2010: 29).
Low goes some way further, though, by positing a “contact zone where nativists meet - or rather fight - the titanic force of transnational capital, whose values, practices and institutions are sweeping across the globe.” By selecting from and revising Buddhism, he argues, Sivaraksa “attempts to crack open a space for Buddhist activism in the contact zone.” By doing so, Low continues, Sivaraksa “underscores the bond between the local and translocal.” The result is that he transforms “his originally culturebound "true" Buddhist principles into actions of defiance marked by transcultural practicability.” Crucially for this article, Low rejects the view that “by celebrating the unique, pure, and unitary nature of their heritages, nativist writers and translators are unable to see the historicized fluidity of their beloved traditions, and the hybridity of their cultures under colonial influences.” Thus, for Low, “Sivaraksa… is far from essentialist while defending staunchly his religious tradition. He recognizes the complexity and ambiguities rather than the purity and unity of premodern culture; he sees the historicity and malleability of tradition; and last but not least, he moves beyond an exclusivist fixation on the uniqueness of his own religion” (Low, 2010: 21-2).
Low hoped to show in his article that the split between Soka Gakkai’s original form in Japan as a temple practice and its emergence as a global lay movement was part of Buddhism’s development. He argues that its “strategies and growth as a global movement”, which required “hermeneutical revisioning and remapping, … is part of a historical process of re-interpretation within tradition.” Indeed, in his view, “the unmooring of the lay Buddhist group from the traditional temple Buddhism represented by Nichiren Shōshū… expedited the former towards its ambitions of global proselytization [and] forced a process of hermeneutical revisioning and a process of decentering that enabled the lay movement to proliferate beyond Japan” (Low, 2010: 28).
Ip, though, suggests that Soka Gakkai offers an approach that is more compatible with Western values than it is divergent from them. While Soka Gakkai criticizes ”capitalist-style competitiveness, it also appreciates the opportunities capitalism creates for people to gain the best from life. The Soka Gakkai teaching stresses that economic prosperity is one key factor defining happiness, the pursuit of which is the goal of human life. Indeed, recent research notes the similarity between Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Soka Gakkai in terms of attitude towards wealth” (Ip, 2007:46-7).
If nothing else, as Baumann points out, the West offers an environment in which the local and global meet. Thus, while “in Asia, traditionalist and modernist Buddhism are generally in a state of tension and institutionally do not go well together. However, in Western countries, at times these two main strands actually meet in the same pagoda or temple” (2001: 29). While, thus far, the two congregations rarely connect, they at least exist in the same space.
Bikkhu also notes an intergenerational difference between Asian parents and their children that suggests a meeting point for East and West. “The second generation's tendency to emphasize the meanings and reasons behind Buddhist practices prior to actually doing them often distinguishes them from the generation of their parents. The survey data indicate that 80% of the youth informants believe that they look for more meaning than do their parents” (2011: 56). While these two attitudes, as Bhikku suggests, may reflect the collectivist culture amongst the first generation and an individualist culture amongst the second generation, there remains a meeting of the two that might enable some mutual accommodation.
Finally, we might reject an opposition between the local and global on the basis that the messages of Buddhists, or at least engaged Buddhists, present themes that make sense at both the local and global levels. The challenge of countering the effects of the globalization of capitalism is both a local and global one. “Universal responsibility” is neither local nor global, but both.
Against the greed, envy and aggressive competitiveness encouraged by “a culture of excessive materialism” the Dalai Lama recommends the cultivation of contentment. He argues that we need to counter the “culture of perpetual economic growth” that fosters discontent, contributes to the growing economic inequality that is emerging everywhere, and also seems to be the source of damage to our natural environment. Universal responsibility also demands a commitment to honesty which helps reduce the level of misunderstanding, doubt, and fear throughout society. Honesty also involves not being blind to the various injustices that distort societies, and the commitment to speak out against these. A sense of universal responsibility means countering the urge to ignore the diseased and the marginalized, and to “ensure that the sick and afflicted person never feels helpless, rejected, or unprotected”" (Hattam, 2004:9).
The question of whether a tension exists between the local and global cannot be resolved here. It may well be that both tension and compatibility are present at every moment in which Buddhism is found. Some practitioners may choose to ignore one in favor of a focus on the other, but this is a reflection of practitioners’ predispositions and not something essential about Buddhism in the contemporary world. In engaging with the question of the relation between the local and global in the context of the globalization of capitalism, we may see both in a different light.
Individualization of Buddhism in its Transition to the West
A second issue that arises from the literature that deals with contemporary Buddhism and its capacity to underpin an international movement to promote peace and well-being derives from suggestions that Buddhism has undergone “individualization” in the process of its reception in the West. While this may express the possible tensions between the local and global, it represents a significant issue in its own right. Despite the economic power of Japan and China and India’s growing stature, thus far, the West has maintained its political, cultural and economical dominance.
Cultural dominance is perhaps the most important of these, as its cultural effect on the reception of Buddhism in the West may constitute an obstacle to Buddhism’s capacity to underpin an international movement promoting peace and well-being. In receiving Buddhism, then, many in the West may reinterpret it to match their pre-existing cultural dispositions. As Hannah points out, “many westerners who convert to Buddhism assume that (indigenous) Buddhist ethics are consistent with their own “progressive views” (informed by western moral discourse) ...” (2010: 342-3).
Before I begin this part, I must acknowledge problems with the very category of “the West”, Gregory rightly notes that we cannot even make sense of American Buddhism because this phenomenon “is far too large for any one person to grasp in its totality” (2001: 240). Further, we must note that individualization is not a phenomenon confined to the West. “In modern Western, as well as modern Eastern, iterations of Buddhism, forms of practice become means for bringing about personal, private religious experiences, and this development might perhaps appropriately be termed Protestant Buddhism” (Prohl, 2006: 5 emphasis added).
Individualistic Appropriations of Buddhism in the West
The individualization of Buddhism may not be a particularly recent phenomenon and, according to Offermans began centuries ago. “The westernization of Buddhism is therefore by no means only a phenomenon of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; instead it commenced in the sixteenth century with the first Jesuit missionary letters, which reported about the extraordinary “religion of the Fo”“ (Offermanns, 2005: 17). More recent changes, however, seem deeper and more profound – but this may reflect the position from which they are viewed
It may even be that Buddhism’s popularity in the West is a result of it being understood through a Western imaginary. In his study of American Zen, Bivins suggests that “American preferences or commitments to possessive individualism, sexual freedom, or psychologies of personal growth are precisely what motivates many elites to seek out Buddhism in the first place, believing it to be a free-floating, nondisciplinary, and personalized tradition” (2007: 63). Gregory suggests that “Buddhism is often adopted because it seems to offer a more effective way of realizing values that are already held in the culture.” Many Americans take up Buddhist practices “as a means to fulfill some higher value that is seen not so much as being Buddhist but as being universal. … Buddhism is often justified in terms of values that are thought of as “American”—such as self-realization, freedom, transforming relationships, getting in touch with one’s experience, living more fully in the moment or the world, healing, and so forth.” One result is that Americans who adopt Buddhist practices are “reluctant to call themselves “Buddhist.” Their concern is not so much with being Buddhist per se as it is in using Buddhist practices and ideas as a means of realizing goals whose “truth” is not necessarily seen to reside in their being Buddhist” (Gregory, 2001: 250).
Practitioners of Zen Buddhists in America, Bivins suggests, “have participated in an idiosyncratic (re)construction of a centuries-old tradition in order to accommodate or satisfy a specific set of contemporary needs and desires. This engagement with Zen has emphasized intellectual abstraction and indeterminacy over practical ethics…” This, for him, illustrates “the evolution of “white Buddhism” or “Protestant Buddhism” in North America more generally.” The growth of Buddhism in the US in the 1950s occurred “amid a network of social meanings and expectations specific to young, alienated, elite Caucasians”. They then constructed “a new religious idiom from the tension between their own desires and the particulars—ethical and otherwise—of Zen as it was transmitted” (Bivins, 2007: 59). Bivins refers to this as an “interpretive double movement”, which is an “ongoing process whereby those in search of an alternative to their religious culture impose their own idiosyncratic values onto an alternate religious tradition, all the while remaining paradoxically within the interpretive confines of the culture from which they hope to escape” (Bivins, 2007: 60).
For Bivins, Alan Watts was an important figure in this interpretive double movement.
Watts’s Beat Zen was self-consciously revisionist and Americanized, a fluid mode of expression that was “too timeless and universal to be injured” by the “hassle” that marred square culture and Square Zen. Beat Zen was, he claimed, “amazingly pure and lively” and could be accessed by any number of paths: through monastic living, by hopping freight trains, or simply in “digging Charlie Parker.” (Bivins, 2007: 66).
Beat Zen reflected the freedom that was part of being American. This meant that Zen could “be accommodated within the frame of any individual lifestyle; Zen transgressed arbitrary constraints and boundaries, coming alive through the individual’s inclinations and self-expression.” But it was not just Watts, for D.T. Suzuki also created “the impression of Zen as a tradition effectively divorced from devotional or doctrinal content, as simply a path toward experiential insight and self-expression.” Indeed, “many laypeople who were serious about inquiring into Buddhism went from Watts’s work as a general inspiration to Suzuki’s work, which was understood to be more “authentic”” (Bivins, 2007: 67).
While the individualization of Buddhism may have begun centuries ago, the 1970s represent an important period in terms of this process.
In the crucial decade of the 1970s, the West was coming under the influence of second-wave feminism, the peace movement, various other democratic protest movements, and the broader counter-culture, all of which sought to cultivate the values in question. Buddhism as such enjoyed a “radical” reputation in the West, thanks to such influences as the Beat Poets and popular writings such as those of Alan Watts. Thus many Western Buddhists took for granted an elective affinity — the institutional hallmarks of traditional Buddhism notwithstanding — between the dharma on the one hand, and the egalitarian, universalist Zeitgeist of the 1970s on the other. In several Western countries Buddhist intentional communities sprang up and melded dharmic principles with counter-cultural ideals. (Bubna-Litic and Higgins, 2007: 160)
Tanaka notes that this appropriation of Buddhism reflected a “post-1960s … thrust toward greater personal fulfillment and quest for the ideal self...” The result was that American Buddhism became what Putnam called a “privatized” religion, which "involves less social capital than environments in which individuals are connected to other individuals in shared faith commitment.” In his view, “the recent growth of Buddhism in the United States is partly attributable to the climate of "privatized" religion. (Tanaka, 2007: 115).
Amstutz suggests that those who rejected “privatized” religion were already catered for within Judeo-Christian religious communities. Those who sought “non-Christian alternatives” favored “individualistic, non-communalistic forms of religious practice.” Crucially, for the current discussion, Amstutz argues that this reception of Buddhism means that, “in the absence of deeper cultural shifts … social or "engaged Buddhism" in the USA will remain quite limited in scope” (2002: 1). This is because non-Asian American Buddhists (NAABs) are “only marginally interested in socially-oriented or engaged religion” (Amstutz, 2002: 17). In short, these Buddhists seek
a new modality of escape from self and from the need for constant self-invention, a new way of dealing with anxiety and loneliness. Yet at root the problem of the self has not really been cut through, and as Tamney has suggested, NAAB Buddhism since 1975 has become largely secularized, psychologized and "medicalized" as a stress reliever along New Age lines. Perhaps the cryptocalvinist socioeconomic world leaves little room for much besides therapy (Amstutz, 2002: 19).
An important manifestation of the individualization of Buddhism was to understand and practice meditation as an individual health practice. Thus those involved in the San Francisco Zen Centre privileged “meditation above all other types of thought or activity, notably to the exclusion of ethical concerns” (Bivins, 2007: 61). Baumann suggests that some global Buddhists “have gone so far as to separate method or practice from its conceptual Buddhist context. Some, such as the Insight Meditation Society, Shambhala Training, or certain vipassanà teachers, emphasize a non-Buddhist and expressively non-religious understanding, highlighting individualized “healing,” therapeutic remedy, and psychological well-being” (2001: 32).
Along similar lines, “Zen scholar Victor Hori has noted that Americans tended to talk about the results of meditation in terms of getting in touch with themselves, getting strength to cope with the pressures of society, or assisting them with self-realization” (Amstutz, 2002: 18). Amstutz goes so far as to delineate “therapy Buddhism” as “the paradigmatic, primary engaged adaptation of Buddhist ideas [that] is already in place, and will continue to involve therapeutic meditation for hospital patients, stressed middle classes and small religious groups.” The most important consequence of the dominance of the appropriation of Buddhism as “therapy Buddhism” is that it supports “discourses of America as a therapy society (one that treats symptoms) rather than the more activist discourses of America as a social justice society (one that fixes fundamentals)” (Amstutz, 2002: 21).
I must note, before leaving this discussion of meditation, that this appropriation may well represent a misunderstanding of mediation. “Rather than thinking that meditation is an escape from society Thich Nhat Hanh argues that meditation is in fact a process that “equips oneself with the capacity to reintegrate into society”” (Hattam p. 5). For Hori, as Amstutz points out, Westerners’ understanding of meditation was limited by their self-conception “as ontologically autonomous and independent of social roles and relations, whereas Buddhism developed in societies where (as in communitarian forms of Christianity or Judaism) the person was conceived more as having been created from social relations.” A possible consequence of this, which is important for this discussion, is that the western appropriation of meditation practices is incompatible with this Asian conception of self. “From a normal Asian perspective Buddhism is not about realizing the self and freeing its purity but rather about de-realizing the self by breaking habits of self to become socially open, responsible and compassionate” (Amstutz, 2002: 18-9).
Another consequence of the Western individualistic appropriation of Buddhism was that it reflected a limited understanding of well-being. The focus is on “my” well-being and this is understood to be something for which I can take responsibility without concern for the social environment within which I find myself. An atomized sense of self results in an atomized sense of the nature of well-being. Gregory suggests that Americans who take up Buddhism do so in order to “break with the traditional values with which they have been raised, [which] sometimes precipitating a radical shift in their identity.” In doing so they “typically practice Buddhism as individuals, and their involvement is more apt to express a personal search for fulfillment” (Gregory, 2001: 244).
The Effects of Individualistic Appropriations
The individualization of Buddhism in the West is important for this discussion because it suggests a potential limitation with respect to Buddhism’s capacity to underpin international movements to promote peace and well-being (with the latter being understood to refer to collective well-being or personal well-being as part of collective well-being). In part, this is because it justifies disengagement from the collectivity and a focus on personal goals; and, in part, it is because individualized Buddhism provides a form of solace, and potentially mental health, within a divisive and unhealthy international economic, social and political environment.
As to the first point, Baumann distinguished between “traditionalist” and “modernist” Buddhism and contrasts “traditionalist Buddhists [who] strive to acquire “merit” and aim for good conditions in this and the next life” with “Western modernist Buddhists [who] have abandoned the idea of rebirth [and] do not share concepts such as accruing “merit,” but rather endeavor to reach “enlightenment” or “awakening” in this life.” For these Buddhists “concepts such as karma and reincarnation are held to be “beliefs” that need to be checked critically against a Buddhist, existential agnosticism” (Baumann, 2001: 27). Along similar lines, Takagi suggests that “Buddhism’s spread in the West is an indicator of a perceived need for securing a form of autonomy and will in the face of the overwhelming realities of globalization, war, and decline.” (Takagi, 2008: 6).
Metraux’s survey of members of Soka Gakkai International Australia (SGIA) suggested that for at least some of those who have been attracted to SGIA were drawn to it because it was compatible with conducting oneself within a western capitalist society. His
surveys and interviews indicated that at least some of these members were attracted to SGIA because of the movement's doctrine that members need to take responsibility for their own lives and circumstances. They felt that the movement gave them control over their own destinies so that they could create their own happiness in life. They felt motivated by SGI leaders and study materials that told them that they can readily advance in life through their own hard work, strong faith, and discipline. (2003: 129)
Metraux also notes that SGIA’s appeal for white-collar professionals was also found “in other areas where I have researched SGI chapters” (Metraux, 2003: 129).
Taking up SGI did not reflect any commitment to serving some larger cause or of even changing one’s life in a particularly significant way. Metraux quotes Hammond and Machacek’s observations that those who joined SGI-USA "had to give up very little of their former way of life. Conversion, apart from learning to chant, entailed only minor behavioral change; whatever tension converts experienced because of their decision to join Soka Gakkai was therefore minimized" (Metraux, 2003: 130-1).
The most important aspect of the individualization of Buddhism in the West, for me as a political theorist, is its ideological effect. Individualization is important in this context because provides no position from which the globalization of capitalism can be understood as requiring challenge, if not active resistance, as part of one’s spiritual practice. Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, has argued “that Western Buddhism, …preaching inner distance and indifference towards the frantic pace of market competition, is arguably the most efficient way, for us, to fully participate in the capitalist dynamics, while retaining the appearance of mental sanity. This is why he describes Western Buddhism as “the paradigmatic ideology of late capitalism.” By presenting itself “as the remedy against the stressful tension of the capitalist dynamics,” Zizek continues, Western Buddhism allows “us to uncouple and retain the inner peace and Gelassenheit” and “actually functions as its perfect ideological supplement.” (2001: n.p.)
The result is that Western Buddhism for Zizek, teaches that “instead of trying to cope with the accelerating rhythm of the technological progress and social changes, one should rather renounce the very endeavor to retain control over what goes on, rejecting it as the expression of the modern logic of domination” The consequence is that Western Buddhists are to “let themselves go” and “drift along, while retaining an inner distance and indifference towards the mad dance of the accelerated process, a distance based on the insight that all this social and technological upheaval is ultimately just a non-substantial proliferation of semblances which do not really concern the innermost kernel of our being”. The result, for Zizek, is that “the "Western Buddhist" meditative stance is arguably the most efficient way, for us, to fully participate in the capitalist dynamics, while retaining the appearance of mental sanity” (Zizek, 2001: n.p.).
This ideological effect of Western Buddhism is but one of the effects of the individualization of Buddhism in the West. It influences its adherent’s sense of what is possible and what is necessary. But individualization also diminishes ones sense of the importance of community for being and well-being. It prevents the use of practices like meditation as means of connection with a larger social whole and recognition of responsibility to that social whole. As Zizek points out, this Westernization has also occurred in Japan and we might conclude that it is spreading to other parts of Asia and changing the nature of Buddhist belief and practice in some Asian countries. So the problem may be understood in a Western context, but needs also to be understood in the context of the globalization of capitalism.
While I could offer little by way of an alternative understanding of the effects of the individualization of Buddhism in the West in the second part of this paper, this is because of its limited focus. I am open to suggestions that there are non-individualist appropriations of Buddhism in the West that present less of a challenge with respect to Buddhism underpinning an international movement for peace and well-being. My intention in this paper was to examine some of the points that commentators have raised that bear on Buddhism’s capacity to underpin such movements. No definitive position should be inferred from my comments, as I do not have such a position. If anything, my hope is that, by addressing the issues raised in this paper, these issues might be resolved in such a way that Buddhism can fulfill this role.
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 This may well require engaging in conversations unfamiliar to Buddhists and to employ concepts that belong to global discourse and not Buddhist philosophy. Blumenthal encourages Buddhists to engage in an international discussions concerning justice, but argues that
if we are going to engage in justice discourse at all, we ought to do it well. For when we use the term "justice," to some degree we already are attempting to fit into a philosophical category not entirely indigenous to Buddhism. Buddhists eager to take part in international dialog on social change, ought to begin a serious consideration of these sorts of philosophical topics, and we ought to equip ourselves to more fully engage in a global discourse on these philosophical and practical issues. (Blumenthal, 2009: 341).
The aim of this paper is to examine the extent to which Buddhist values and ideas could be realised in the face of globalization. Let me begin with a personal note. I come from Sri Lanka which in the first millennium was at the crossroads of the then globalisation. This is indicated by the majority group of Sinhalese having the largest genetic diversity in the country compared to other ethnic groups - over the centuries there had been genetic mixing from various parts of the world. The then Sinhalese, almost exclusively Buddhist, travelled to the then far corners of the world as revealed by records in Rome, China, Southeast Asia and the lands in between. Buddhism itself was carried through travel and the then incipient globalisation to East Asia and West Asia and possibly even further afield. So, Buddhism was in the forefront of the global travel of ideas. Buddhists should not, therefore, be afraid of the global as it is in their "genes" as it were.
Capital, technology, knowledge and to a lesser extent, labour had become much more mobile in today's globalised order. Globalisation in culture today is brought about by people sharing their thoughts, actions, ideas, in short, their culture, across vast distances. This is through mass tourism, migrant workers and refugees. Penetration of trade, financial links, travel and telecommunications increase this shared universe. Globalisation cuts both ways for Buddhists. Globalisation has helped Asian countries almost all having the imprint of Buddhism if not now during their history to become rising economic powers. Globalisation has also resulted in the spread of Buddhist practices like meditation to all parts of the world and seems to be following the spread of yoga practices in earlier decades to become in the future almost a household Western practice. International exchange of Buddhist scholars and practitioners has facilitated the spread of Buddhist ideas across the globe.
Adverse Aspects of Globalisation
The crisis brought about by the negative aspects of globalization has resulted in droughts, floods, economic dislocation, internal conflict, debt, poverty and social inequalities in the contemporary world. This has led to unrest among the poor classes. The middle and upper classes are in the process of waking up to the real situation as their economies are failing. There is now an opportunity for people to develop a true critical self awareness of the negative features of globalization and take serious note of the solution which the Buddha had made known to the world many centuries ago. Buddha's teachings are needed more than ever in this age of globalisation.
Economic globalization without values developed with the underlying assumption that globalization brings jobs, technology, income and wealth to societies with new conditions that these societies were willing to submit to the principles of the free market, privatizing public services etc. This has resulted in poverty and powerlessness of the majority of people, the destruction of community, depletion of natural resources and devastating environmental effects. Let us review some of the negative aspects.
According to the Worldwatch Institute, more goods and services were consumed in the forty years between 1950 and 1990 (measured in constant dollars) than by all the previous generations in human history. According to the United Nations Human Development Report for 1999, a child in the developed countries consumes and pollutes 30 to 50 times as much as a poor one in an undeveloped country. Today 1.2 billion people survive on less than a dollar a day, and almost half the world's population live on less than two dollars a day. The 20% of people in the richest countries enjoy 86% of the world's consumption, the poorest 20% only 1.3%. Thus, globalization has increased the gap between the rich and the poor. The rise of new awareness in the West and also the rise of Asia could with correct ideas and attitudes change this situation.
The current spate of globalisation has also brought about a homogenization of culture through a variety of social and cultural developments. According to the same UNHDR report, the world spent at least $435 billion in the previous year for advertising, plus well over $100 billion for public relations and marketing. The result is 270 million "global teens", who now inhabit a single pop-culture world, consuming the same designer clothes, music, mostly emerging from the West. This new corporate culture has destroyed the local cultures and traditional ways of living that have evolved over thousands of years and appropriate to their local conditions and environment. As a result, social relationships too have disrupted. But it seems the movement is in the opposite direction with increasingly global trends being set in Asia and the non-West - again a product of globalisation.
The collapse of the empire of globalization
In mid-2011, the Canadian-based group, Adbusters Media Foundation, known for its advertisement-free anti-consumerist magazine, Adbusters initiated a peaceful occupation of Wall Street to protest against a growing disparity in wealth, and the absence of legal repercussions behind the recent global crisis. Their slogan "We are the 99%" refers to the concentration of wealth among the top 1% of income earners which had nearly tripled over the last thirty years. Prior to that, Occupy Dataran movement had begun on July 30, 2011, and by October 9, Occupy protests were ongoing in over 95 cities across 82 countries and in over 600 communities in the US. This was a reflection of the spread of neo-liberalism (combined with the push from neocons and theocons of the Bible belt in the USA). It was also a partial reflection of the rise of Asia through which as a result of globalisation, jobs from the West were being sucked into Asia. The current economic travails had not affected Asia that much.
Bhikkhu Bodhi's statement endorsing his support to the non-violent occupation of Washington, DC, describes the problem as well as the solution as follows:
We live at a time when perpetual warfare, the crackdown on civil liberties, economic and social injustices, and most ominously, the desecration of the biosphere, are threatening human civilization. We now stand at a crossroads presenting us with a simple choice: either we make major changes in our social and economic policies to ensure human flourishing on earth, or we carry on with "business as usual" despite the prospects of unprecedented catastrophe. I want to participate to show that I favor choosing the former alternative.
This "perpetual warfare", a reflection of neocons and theocons in the US reaching for empire has reached exhaustion, and the US overstretched militarily as well as economically and in debt to Asia, is now coming to an end. Asia in the meantime is on the rise. And it is "The Light of Asia" namely Buddhism in the words of Edwin Arnold that has come to the fore now.
The Buddha’s attitude to wealth, investment and saving
The Buddha did not despise wealth and the wealthy. Anathapindika and Visakha, his closest supporters were among the wealthiest. While he guided the people to attain the ultimate truth, he encouraged lay people to accumulate wealth, but through righteous means. Happiness that wealth brings was classified as, the happiness of having wealth, the happiness of consuming wealth, the happiness of freedom from debt and the happiness of being blameless in conduct. He advised Sigala, going into detail about consuming, investing and saving, for example, consume one-fourth, invest two-fourths and save one-fourth.
A discourse most relevant in the context of the current economic crisis is the Vyagghapajjasutta where a man named Dighajanu requested the Buddha to teach him how to lead a happy life with his wife and children. The Buddha said, i) You should be skilled, efficient, earnest and energetic in whatever profession you are engaged in (utthana sampada); ii) you should protect your income which you have earned righteously (arakkha sampada); iii) you should have good friends (kalyanamitta) who are faithful, learned, virtuous, liberal and intelligent who will help you along the right path away from evil; iv) you should spend a reasonable proportion of your income, neither too much nor too little, meaning you should not hoard wealth avariciously, nor should you be extravagant, you should live within your means (samajivikata). Then the Buddha expounded the four virtues conducive to a layman’s happiness: i) Saddha – faith and confidence in moral, "spiritual" and intellectual values; ii) Sila – abstain from destroying and harming life from stealing and cheating, from adultery, falsehood and intoxicating drinks; iii) Caga – practice charity, generosity without attachment and craving for your wealth; and iv) Panna – develop wisdom which leads to the complete destruction of suffering, to the realization of nirvana (Anguttara Nikaya 1929 P.T.S Edition pp. 786).
Buddhist values in contemporary society
The question arises whether Buddhist values can have a message for contemporary society. If we consider terms used in Buddhist texts like ‘kusala’ or ‘dhamma’ to convey the meaning of what we today define as ‘values’, the Buddha has eloquently discussed how values could change over time. In the Agganna Sutta, the Buddha said: “That which was reckoned immoral at that time, is now reckoned to be moral”. (Rhys Davids Translation). In the Cakkavattisihanada Sutta, “In the future, as morality continues to degenerate, human life will continue to shorten to the point where the normal life span is 10 years …those who lack the honorable qualities of motherhood, fatherhood, will be the ones who receive homage...” (Thanissaro Bhikkhu, 2002)
Core values in Buddhism
Although the Buddha held that values change over time, his teachings focus on a set of core values that transcend time and place. The Kalama Sutta exemplifies this in the simplest manner. When the Kalamas were confronted with the diversity of opinion on the nature of the good life, the Buddha said that one should not go by report or tradition, by the authority of others, or by speculative reason. One should make use of one's own observation and experience about the nature of life and thereby determine what is wholesome (kusala) and what is unwholesome (akusala). Critical awareness is the essence of Buddhism. Buddhist values can be summarized in three simple principles: Avoid evil, do good, and purify the mind (Dhammapada, 183).
Wrong Globalization and roots of "evil"
The ecological problems, the environmental crisis, the problems of international relations, poverty, civil war, and social conflicts are all due to a lack of awareness about what in Buddha’s teaching, are called akusalamula (unwholesome roots). These roots of evil are promoted in different false forms in the globalized culture.
What are these roots of evil? Unwholesome characteristics are usually summarized as the three poisons or three roots of evil: lobha - greed, dosa - anger and moha - delusion. The goal of the Buddhist way of life is to eliminate these roots by transforming them into their positive counterparts: greed into generosity (dana), anger into loving-kindness (metta), and delusion into wisdom (prajna).
The Adittapariyaya Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya XXXV, 28) describes that existence is on fire - burning, being driven by our human greed, hatred and ignorance. These are the ‘three fires’ or ‘three poisons’, also translated as “desire, aversion, illusion”. How do we extinguish this fire or cool ourselves?
David Loy explains transforming these three “poisons” in relation to social exploitation. He says that the ‘three poisons’ of personal suffering can be consciously transformed into their positive counterparts: greed into generosity, ill-will into loving-kindness, and delusion into wisdom (The Great Awakening: A Buddhistic Social Theory), Wisdom Publications, Boston 2003)
Thus, the transformation of the ‘three poisons’ is a pre-requisite for cultivating compasssion. This means that the Buddhist solution for unjust social systems is personal or individual rational awareness, ultimately manifesting unconditional kindness and compassion for all.
In this context, it is useful to focus on what David Edwards calls 'Compassionate Revolution' which expands the breath of compassion (1995 p. 11).
In my view it is compassion that marks the difference between mainstream and dissent, between the cliches of conformity and liberating insight, between a murderous status quo and change, between despair and hope … Recognizing this great value of compassionate understanding, Buddhism takes us in all our laughable self-importance, greediness and irascability, and declares that even we can work on ourselves to increase our compassion…In the process, we are told, we will experience freedom (from greed, fear, hatred and delusions).
Furthermore, Stephen Batchelor makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the roots when he says,
"The contemporary social engagement of dharma practice is rooted in awareness of how self-centred confusion and craving can no longer be adequately understood only as psychological drives that manifest themselves in subjective states of anguish. We find these drives embodied in the very economic, military, and political structures that influence the lives of the majority of people on earth. (Stephen Batchelor, Buddhism Without Beliefs – A Contemporary Guide To Awakening, Bloomsbury, 1997, P. 112).
Another important issue is as to how we reduce unwholesome values and develop the more wholesome ones. This process is symbolized by the lotus flower. Although rooted in the mud and muck at the bottom of a pond, the lotus grows upwards to bloom on the surface, thus representing our potential to purify ourselves.
Significance of one’s own change
Buddhism teaches that the individual can overcome external influences through the development of mindfulness, through the development of one's inner nature without waiting for all the external conditions to change. Buddhism maintains that we are capable of bringing about a change inwardly. One cannot change all the external factors in the outside world. If we develop our inner selves, we can overcome the outside influences. That is why Buddhism maintains that we can live happily in this world even amidst people who are unhappy. The only way this value crisis can be overcome is by resorting to the Buddhist solution that the Buddha had made known to the world many centuries ago.
Self-transformation, Bhikkhu Bodhi says, is also a fundamental goal of the Buddha's teaching, for liberation from suffering. “The Dhamma was never intended for those who are already perfect saints. It is addressed to fallible human beings beset with all the shortcomings typical of unpolished human nature: conduct that is fickle and impulsive, minds that are tainted by greed, anger and selfishness, views that are distorted and habits that lead to harm for oneself and others. The purpose of the teaching is to transform such people -- ourselves -- into "accomplished ones": into those whose every action is pure, whose minds are calm and composed, whose wisdom has fathomed the deepest truths and whose conduct is always marked by a compassionate concern for others and for the welfare of the world. (Bhikkhu Bodhi, Summer-Fall 1990)
Buddhist values and social philosophy
This paper also seeks to examine the close connection between Buddhist values and social philosophy, especially in terms of what we have to do for the good of society and the relationship that exists between the social ideal and the personal ideal. It is clear from the Buddha's discourses, that the creation of social conditions favourable to the individual was a major concern among the early Buddhists.
The relationship between the personal ideal and the social ideal is best summarised thus:. “He who has understanding and great wisdom does not think of harming himself or another, nor of harming both alike. He rather thinks of his own welfare, of that of others, of that of both, and of the welfare of the whole world. In that way one shows understanding and great wisdom." (Anguttara Nikaya No. 186), or "By protecting oneself (e.g., morally), one protects others; by protecting others, one protects oneself." (Samyutta Nikaya 47).
This concern has manifested itself in the concept of the "welfare state" created by the Buddhist emperor, Asoka (B.C. 274-236) and in Sri Lanka by his contemporary Tissa. Walpola Rahula stated, "Buddhism arose in India as a spiritual force against social injustices, against degrading superstitious rites, ceremonies and sacrifices; it denounced the tyranny of the caste system and advocated the equality of all men; it emancipated woman and gave her complete spiritual freedom." (Rahula, Walpola, 1978).
Navigating the future
The above are about the more immediate and the tangible. But there are developments through globalisation that finds resonance in Buddhist ideas.
One individual self, it should be noted, could today live because of travel, migration and the Internet in several different cultural worlds. Earlier, when communities were simple and relatively isolated, a person had generally one cultural realm which he or she occupied. An individual could today generally be a member of his "original" community, his new home as a migrant, his transborder expatriate community or his virtual electronic community, say his e-mail friends. Each of these communities could also have different sub groups within them. The contents of a citizen's mind are thus increasingly composed of elements, not exclusive to a country, ethnic group or region. Thus, no firm separatism within the internal cultural world of an individual, is objectively possible, nor viable in a real sense in today's globalised world. A cultural fragmentation of the mind occurs, with multiple frames of reference for action, corresponding to each sub culture. For those familiar with the Buddhist deconstruction of the self will not find these new developments strange. The Buddha himself deconstructed the mind and said there was no self there. Recognising this lack of self would help us navigate the new globalised world (Susantha Goonatilake, 1994).
On the positive side of current developments is the globalisation of Buddhism itself to an unprecedented level. Communications technology has enabled people from around the globe to connect with one another. Hundreds of Buddhist directories, TVchannels, information networks unite people around the world to think together and work together.
The growth of Buddhism in the West, in particular, the popularity of meditation retreats and materials on Buddhist spirituality has had an impact on traditionally Buddhist countries. Translated works of the teachings of other sects have widened the religious horizons of traditional Buddhists. Information channeled through trans-national media networks on increasing dialogue between Buddhism and Western science and experiments being done on Buddhist meditation in Western laboratories give them a sense of identity which is being fast eroded in Buddhist societies, swamped by unethical conversion by evangelical Christians.
The initiative made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Western thinkers such as the late Varela to integrate science with the Buddhist approach of self-transformation could in the near future make a significant contribution to transform society in the age of globalisation. With the rise of Asia this could be easier.
Anguttara Nikaya 1929 P.T.S Edition.
Cakkavattisihanada Sutta: The Wheel turning Emperor, translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, PTS Dighanikays iii 58, 2002
Batchelor, Stephen, Buddhism Without Beliefs – A Contemporary Guide To Awakening, Bloomsbury, 1997
Bodhi, Bhikkhu, Buddhist Publication Society Newsletter cover essay #16, Summer-Fall 1990
Edwards, David, Compassionate Revolution, Radical Politics and Buddhism, Green Books, Devon 1995
Goonatilake, Susantha, “The Wandering Self: Between Cultural Localization and Globalization” in The Futures Of Cultures, UNESCO Paris. 1994
Goonatilake, Susantha, “Buddhist Foundational Approaches in Bioethics”, Journal of Buddhist Studies, Centre of Buddhist Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Volume 2, January 2004
Loy, David, The Great Awakening: A Buddhistic Social Theory, Wisdom Publications, Boston 2003
Rahula, Walpola, Zen and the taming of the bull: Essays, Gordon Fraser, 1978
Samyutta Nikaya (Kindred Sayings 47)]]>
Modern scholars are of the opinion that the introduction of Buddhism in Myanmar was not later than the 6th century A. D. The earliest epigraphic records are found in the small village of Hmawza, six miles away come from north of the modern town of Pyay in Myanmar. The village which is scattered over with the ancient remains has been identified with the old capital of the Py3s. Indeed it was the heart of the country known as Tharekhittarar (Sr2 Ksetra in Sanskrit). One of the important evidence to prove the existence of Buddhism in Myanmar is a book made of gold plates on which some extracts from the well-known Pāli texts like Vibha<ga, A<guttara Nikāya etc. were written. These records show that Pāli Buddhism was already established in Myanmar at the time of the Py3 period (1st to 9th century A.D.) So we can definitely say that the whole Pi4aka was flourishing in Tharekhittarar before Bagan period.
In the Bagan period Pi4aka-leaning was spread throughout the country. The more Myanmars learnt Pi4akas, the wider they studied the Pāli Grammar. Pāli grammar is important in order to grasp and understand the profound meaning of the Pi4aka. There are four kinds of profundity in the Pi4aka. They are:
Because of the profound nature, it is very difficult to grasp the meaning of Pi4aka for those who do not have knowledge of Pāli grammar. So grammar study is necessary to grasp the meaning of the Pi4aka.
There are six schools of Pāli Grammar, namely;
Of these six schools, the two schools Bodhisatta and Sabbagu8ākāra have been lost.
Kaccāyana Grammar is the oldest one among the P1li Grammars. It was known by the name of the author, Kaccāyana. According to tradition, the grammar was composed by the Buddha’s disciple Mahākaccāyana. The traditional view is already refuted by the modern scholars. The Kaccāyana Grammar is composed mainly on the model of Kātantra. According to some scholars Kaccāyana Grammar is a compilation of various hands.
Based on Kaccāyana Grammar a lot of grammatical works and commentaries are written by subsequent authors. Of these works, Bālāvatāra and Padar3pasddhi are equally important and useful to learners.
Moggallāna is the most systematic grammar of Pāli language. It was composed by Moggallāna in the Th3pārāma of Anurādhapura during the reign of King Parakkamabāhu (1153-1186). As well as this, he composed the two commentaries: Moggallānavutti and Moggallānapa0cikā. To understand the Moggallāna Grammar, Payogasiddhi and Padasādhana are also important.
Saddhan2ti is the largest grammar of Pāli language. It is divided into three volumes: Padamālā, Dh1tumālā and Suttamālā. It was composed by Ashin Aggava9sa during the reign of Kyaswar (1234-1250) of Bagan, Myanmar. Of three volumes of Saddhan2ti, Dhātumālā was composed on Pāniniyodhātupā4ha.
Saddasa<gaha was composed by Myanmar scholar U Phoe Hlaing (1828 -1882) at the time of King Mindon from Mandalay. According to scholars, it was composed on the Siddhānta Kaumud2 of Sanskrit Grammar. It is still in manuscript.
Among the Pāli Grammar, Kaccāyana Grammar has been the oldest and the fundamental treatise in Myanmar since the Bagan Period to the present. It is also the prescribed book for the Pathamabyan or Buddhist Scripture Examination.
A lot of auxiliary treatises of Kaccāyana Grammar were composed by various scholars. Some of these treatises exist in Pāli as well as in Myanmar. Based on Kaccāyana Grammar, Pi4aka learning is made step by step. The courses are divided into two: day courses and evening courses. Day courses are on the Sutta and Vinaya studies and evening courses on Abhidhamma. In this way Myanmar has made great contributions to Pāli studies.
Pāli Scholars had to depend on Sanskrit Literature, especially in the field of Vyākara8a (grammar) Nighantu (dictionary), Ala<kāra (Science of Rhetoric) and Chanda (Prosody). It is undeniable that Pāli grammars were composed mainly on the basis of Sanskrit Grammars. To be skillful in the field of Pāli Literature, each student must learn not only Vyākara8a (Grammar) but also Nighantu (Dictionary), Ala<kāra (Science of Rhetoric) and Chanda (Prosody). So the following treatises are prescribed for the Pathamabyan Buddhist Scripture Examination.
Actually these treatises are composed mainly of Sanskrit treatises. Sanskrit study in Myanmar still exited later than the tenth century AD. The Sanskrit word “Sr2 Tribhuvanāditya” is found as the title of King Kyansithar of Bagan. In Shwegugyi stone inscription of Bagan (1177 AD) in P1li, the last two verses were composed in Sanskrit.
“Guham vaisākhamāsasya, Caturth2 krs8apaksake, Sthāpitam Suryavāraye.”
“The cave was established on the month of vaisākha (May), fourth waning, Sunday.”
The late Venerable Sayadaw U Silānandābhiva9sa pointed out the Saddhan2ti-dhātumālā is composed mainly of Paniniyodhātupātha. But Ashin Aggava9sa, the author of Saddhan2ti reminded the Pāli scholars.
“Keci pana sakkatabhāsato naya9 gahetv1 ‘candam1’ti pa4hanti. Ta9 na sundra9.”
“Having taking the method from the Sanskrit, some recite as ‘candam1’. It is not good.”
“Sakkata00uno pana keci s1sanik1 tato naya9 gahetv1 ‘tejassi’tisa-kara9 dvibh1va9 katv1 pa4hanti. Tath1pi na dosa. P1lipotthakesu pana ‘tejasi’ti nissa00ogapadameva 1gata9.”
“Taking the method from the Sanskrit, some Sanskrit scholar monks recite as ‘tejassi’ making the consonant ‘s’ double. But there is no fault. In P1li books there is ‘tejasi’ only with singl s.”
These facts indicate that Sanskrit learning was popular at the time of Bagan Period.
Pin-ya Period’s famous scholar and minister named Catura<gabala (1313-1363) wrote the Nissaya (word by word translation) of Hitopadesa. In the Ava Period, Shin Indagutta (1498- 1563) composed Navarat Pyot. It was a translation of Sanskrit treatise Navaratna. At the time of King Bodaw of Konbaung Period, a large number of Sanskrit treatises were collected and translated into Myanmar. In 1148, sixth waxing Nadaw (1786 A.D), of M.E. the Mah1dan Wun of Religious Affairs Minister reported to the King the list of Sanskrit Treaties which were carried from Varanasi, the list is as follows.
(Takra, Ny1yadarasana etc) 22
When Kar Nga came back from Varanasi, he brought thirty-two Sanskrit Treatises and sent them to the King in 1155 M.E.., 12th waning of Wagaung (1793 A.D). At that time the King ordered to translate some Sanskrit texts into Myanmar and encouraged monks to learn Sanskrit.
In Myanmar, there were a number of eminent Sayadaws like Man-Le Sayadaw (1841-1920) and Abhay1r1ma Sayadaw (1878 -1943). They were experts in Sanskrit. Abhay1r1ma Sayadaw translated Hitopadesa, Amarakosa, Mugdhabodha and other Sanskrit Texts into Myanmar Nissaya.
At present, all students of State Pariyatti S1sana Universities (Yangon and Mandalay) have to learn Sanskrit as a part of P1li language. Post-graduate students have to study not only Sanskrit but also Prakrit for the comparative philology. Without Sanskrit and Prakrit knowledge we cannot explain some P1li words systematically. The purpose is to understand the profound doctrine of the Buddha. In the near future, our students will make great contributions to the field of P1li and Sanskrit Studies.
Laos is one of the Buddhist countries in Southeast Asia where Buddhism has firmly taken root as well as in her neighboring countries such as, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam and so on. While the exact dates of the introduction of Buddhism to Laos, as in the case of her neighbors, are of a matter of debate.
However, according to Nangsue nithan Urangkhathat, the “Chronicle of the Stupas of the Breast-Bone Relic of the Buddha” or the chronicle of Vientiane which is related to the stories of Nāga, recounting that, once Buddhism started spreading through the Mekong Valley where the Buddha ever traveled through this area and predicted that this land would be civilized and Buddhism would flourish here. And afterwards, after the Buddha entered into parinibbāna for 8 years, 7 months and 15 days or in the 8th century B.E, the Venerable Mahā Kassapa Thera together with 500 monks (there must have been 5 monks) traveled to this land and brought with them the breast bone relics of the Buddha from India to be enshrined in Phoukampa, the Kingdom of Sikhotabong, the present Phra Thatpranom stupa.
In the 3rd century B.E, during the time of Emperor Asoka, who sent the groups of missionary monks to Indochina peninsula including Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos. This group was conducted by the two arahats the Venerable Sona and Uttara.
Until the time of Burichan who was enthroned in A.D. 475, there were also two arahats from India, the Venerable Mahā Putthavongsa and the Venerable Mahā Sassadi who served Buddhism at that time. The Venerable Mahā Putthavongsa lived in Putthavongsa Paluang or the present Wat Sok Paluang and the Venerable Mahā Sassadi lived in Wat Thepnimit(Thatfoun) in Vientiane. This means that the Buddhism has flourished in Laos since the time of Asoka and earlier than that.
According to Andrea Matles Savada, during the 7th century A.D, Tantric Buddhism was also introduced into Laos from the Kingdom of Nanchao and around at the same time, Theravada Buddhism was also introduced into Laos around 7th or 8th century by Mon Buddhist monks. And during the 11th and 12th century A.D, Khmer rulers took control of Muangsua, the historical region of the Kingdom of Luang Prabang in the northern Laos then Mahayana Buddhism was replaced by Theravada Buddhism.
And up to the 14th century A.D, Theravada Buddhism was introduced again from Cambodia in form of Sri Lankan Theravada tradition by King Fa Ngoum. This time was the most official phase which has been professed and practiced since then and through the ebbs and flows of the history, Buddhism sometimes has encountered with difficulties, it never wholly disappeared from the country, but survived and flourished up to the present.
Introduction to Vessantara Jātaka
Now, after a short introduction to Buddhism in Laos, we come to know about Vessantara Jātaka. It is a Buddhist story describing the former life of the Buddha when he was born as a Bodhisattva- a Buddha-to-be named Vessantara. The story is included in the ten collections of Jātakas which are the final rounds of rebirths of the Bodhisattva who cultivated pārami or perfection for countless circles of rebirths. It is a famous Jātaka which has special emphasis on the generosity perfection or Dānapāramī. The story was told by the Buddha Himself while dwelling at Nigrodāram, Kapilavatthu during His early visit His father, King Suddhodana and royal cousins after He attained the Supreme Enlightenment. When visiting them, the celestial rain was down pouring and this astonished the people so the Buddha told that the rain did not occur only this time but ever happened when He was born as Vessantara Bodhisattva.
Vessantara Jātaka is really well-known in Laos and in neighboring countries; its origin is in Pāḷi but later it was translated into Lao in both prose and poetic styles. In Laos, the preaching ceremony of Vessantara is annually organized which is called as Boun Praveth or Boun Mahāchart in Lao or Vessantaradesanā in Pāḷi. Because it was rendered into Lao poems so that it produces more literary values and increases conviction to audience who fond of the melodic styles, especially, the elder people, so it is so captivated and enthralled when listening and considered as classic and high literary values, the masterpieces of Laos out of other three that are, Sinxay epic, Thao Heuang Thao Cheuang epic and Sane leup pra soun or undeletable message. However, its rendition into poem is unknown who was the author or translator, but there are reliably possible sources. According to Mahasila Viravong, in his introduction to Vessantara Mahājati, it was rendered into poems for the first time in 1482 A.D in the reign of King Paya la Saentaiphouvanarth which was the same time as the reign of King Praboromtrailokanarth, Ayutthaya period. Later, it was revised in 1620 A.D. in the reign of King Voravongsa Dhammikaraj, the son of King Saysethathiraj’s aunt which was in the time of King Chong Dham of Ayutthaya.
When translating Vessantara Jātaka into Lao poems for the first time, there were many prominent monks who were well-versed in Pāḷi, namely:
Venerable Phramahā Thepluang had longevity and lived up to the reign of King Visunnaraj. He composed Nithane Khunburom (the story of the King Khounburom) in the contemporary period of Venerable Phramahā Mongkol Siddhi in 1504 A.D and Ajahn Dhammajunlanenoi-a lay Buddhist scholar who was appointed King Visunnaraj to teach Pāḷi and Sanskrit for monks and novices in Luang Prabang. And at that time, Somdet Phra Sangharāja Visunmahāvihāradipati Srisattanaganāhut, the supreme patriarch, who translated Pañca Tantara Nidāna Pakaraṇa from Pāḷi into Lao. Therefore, Vessantara Jātaka in Lao poetic version presumed to have translated at that time. In addition, due to Laos shared the same Buddhist tradition as her neighboring countries, especially Thailand during Ayutthaya period; monks may have learned and exchanged knowledge from each other. However, when it was translated into Laos, it remained Pāḷi words followed by Lao words or expression; it is called nissaya which is the form of Pāḷi translation that is left a word of Pāḷi and begin translating from that word but in expression and events related to the word, for instance, pattova, comes in the morning, she hurries to go into the forest, seeking fruits and so on, this is the identity of Lao ancient Tipitaka translation as it remains until today. Since then, Vessantara Jātaka has many poetic versions in different localities of Laos for instance, in Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champassak.
And today some of Buddhist scholars also have produced new version of poems of Vessantara Jātaka. One of them is Ajahn Bounteum Sibounheuang, the well-known lay teacher for he is expert at Vessantara Jātaka, poet, Dhamma teacher, and also a teacher at Sangha College. He set up own family library opening for general people, monks and novices, providing Dhamma study, life skills, and the most interesting programme is to learn how to give Vessantara Jātaka sermon. There are many monks and novices have joined the programme. In addition, He has produced daily radio programme “Dhamma at Dawn” to broadcast Dhamma talk and sometimes he gives Vessantaradesanā as per request. The family library is really useful for monks and novices to learn with him so that they can help to preserve the tradition of Vessanataradesanā and to promote Buddhism. Apart from this, Vessantara Jātaka is also included in the curriculum of public schools, especially in Lao literature.
Its Role and Impact on Lao literature and Society
As Vessantara Jātaka was composed in poems, it carries significant influence in Lao literature and Lao culture. The ceremony of Vessantaradesanā is a big event, annually organized and which is included in Hid Sip Song (the traditional ceremony organized in each month of the year) originated in the time of King Fa gnoum in 14th century B.C. It is different from other ceremonies because it takes a whole day to finish, therefore, people in the whole village have to work to gather in harmony, to prepare for the event for instance, cleaning the temple ground, arranging the ceremonial venue. Villagers are appointed to serve monks and novices who are invited from other different temples to preach in the ceremony. In this event, everyone is responsible for it, ranging from an abbot, the chief of village to general villagers. This creates the harmony in a village community.
Vessantaradesanā is not a mere festivity, but it plays a significant role on educating people. It is an opportunity for them to learn the Dhamma and bring it into practice in their daily life in order to live in harmony and develop generosity in the village community. In some temples in the countryside, elder people can remember even Pāḷi gāthā or verses, and if monks or novices skip any parts or verses, they will be reminded. In order to be fluent in reading Vessantara Jātaka in Tham alphabets from palm leaf manuscript, monks and novices need to study and rehearse before the ceremony takes place and within a week they can master of it. By doing so, this is really useful for the preservation of palm leaf manuscript and the Buddha’s teachings.
Apart from this, Vessantara Jātaka contains nine literary tones or tastes, which is considered the most complete factors of literature, while other Lao literature works are not, there are:
This mellifluously impresses audiences especially when monks and novices preach in special intonation of melodramatic sound. This is a charm of Vessantara Jātaka that contributes to Lao literature. In reality, it does not only entertain people but it also convinces and encourages them to increase merits particularly by offering Dāna or giving, the practice of generosity perfection. When giving Dāna, most people wish to be reborn in the heavenly realm and have aspirations to meet the Metteya, the future Buddha. This is also influenced by the story of Venerable Malayadeva who travelled to heaven and hells and reported his experience to people in the human world. The Mettaya told Malaya Thera that if someone has a wish to be reborn in the time of him, he must listen to the Vessantara Jātaka recitation a whole day in full of 1000 Pāḷi gathā, he will get benefits from this and will not reborn as a purgatory beings, but will travel in the saṃsara with the save boat.
Besides, Vessantaradesanā is an annual ceremony which is recorded in Hid Sip Song of Laos, it also influences on Lao literature, arts, politics and so on. In the ceremony, the painting of Vessantara Jātaka is ready onto the cloths depicting the whole story. And mural paintings of Vessantara can be found nearly every temple in Laos.
In addition, the characters in the Jātaka have become to talks of people, for example, when someone is really greed and craving he will be compared to Jūsaka, the Brahmin who beg for the Kaṇhājina and Jāli. If someone is really generous and kind, he will be compared to Vessantara Bodhisattva, and if someone is really a good wife, she will be compared to Maddī, the Bodhisattva’s queen, and if a woman when giving dāna to monks makes a unwilling face, she will be remained to make a smiling face otherwise she will have an old husband like Jūjaka. And if someone is not a good wife, who commits sexual misconduct, will be compared to Amittatāpanā, the Jūjaka’s wife.
From my personal analysis, if comparing to the Buddha’s teachings, the characters in Vessantara Jātaka representing metaphorical meanings of Dhamma itself, for instance, Vessantara Bodhisattva indicates wholesomeness( kusala Dhamma), Jūsaka, the Brahmin represents unwholesomeness(akusala Dhamma). In addition, its literary tones conveying complete senses of normal human behaviors which can be compared to daily life, for instance, the sense of tranquility conveying the meaning of calmness and peacefulness, the sense of sorrow representing the meaning of worldly concerns which one can learn and observe from this Jātaka applying it as a mirror of life.
Besides, the poetic version of the Vessantara Jātaka is divided into 13 sections and used as a part of casting luck in some temples. People will use this as the way of prediction; they can read their fortunes themselves without any helps from monks. This is to prove that the Vessantara Jātaka is really influenced in Lao society.
The cause of Vessantaradesanā
As mentioned above, the ceremony of Vessantaradesanā is annually organized because it is influenced by the Malaya Sutta, which is a post-canonical text; the author of the sutta is unknown. Another reason is to maintain Buddhism from the extinction based on the Buddha’s prediction. According to His prediction, Buddhism will gradually vanish after it has reached the 2000 years and there will be very few monks who are well-versed in the Tipitaka. There are five kinds of disappearance of Buddhism as follows:
Discerning the causes of disappearance of Buddhasāsana from the prediction, the Lao ancient Buddhist scholars made an effort to prevent it from vanishing by composing and translating the Vessantara Jātaka in various versions and made it easy in both prose and poems. The poetic version often brings melodramatic expression which it really attracts the audiences. Therefore, the Vessantaradesanā is remained until today.
Another reason why people like the Vessantara Jātaka because Vessantara Bodhisattva is a righteous, generous and kind. He has the ten qualities of the righteous king. Therefore, he is a role model of all kinds of people and they have strong conviction to listen to Vessantaradesanā because of the Bodhisattva is the present Buddha.
Skepticism in Vessantara Bodhisattva
However, there are some doubts in the generosity of King Vessantara when he gave all everything to the poor, even his son, daughter, wife and if someone wanted his life he also would give it to them. Some may criticize that giving a son, daughter and wife to others is against human rights. Generally, common people are quite right, but there are three levels of cultivating generosity perfection:
To cultivate normal generosity perfection, one may donate food, clothes, accommodation, medicines in general; to cultivate a higher level of generosity perfection, one has to do more dedicating and sacrificing themselves. But the highest level is to give something that common people cannot do, for example, Vessantara Bodhisattva gave his daughter, son and his wife to Jūsaka, the Brahmin, which is the tradition of all Buddhas in order to fulfill the dāna pāramī perfection.
Vessantara Jātaka has really influenced on Lao people. It is one of the four masterpieces of Lao literature. It reflects every aspect of daily life and becomes a part of Lao traditional and culture as people always refer to the circumstances and characters in the Jātaka as their role models. The annual ceremony of Vessantara Jātaka recitation really reminds people to live in harmony, to work together, to become generous people. This brings happiness and peace to the village community and to the many.
Even though Vessantara Jātaka is the former story about the Gautama Buddha who is the present Buddha, it is annually recited in order to maintain the Lao tradition and culture as well as to prevent Buddhism from the five kinds of disappearances as mentioned above. Another reason is that people believe to be reborn as heavenly realms and to be in the presence of the Mettaiya, the future Buddha. However, this tradition needs to promote more and more.
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 MahachulaTipitaka, AN. 28/ 447
 The resource from Thailand mentioned that Malaya sutta in non-canonical text, but in Hema Goonatilake confirmed that the story of Malaya is not included in the Tipitaka, it is a post-canonical text, the Malaya Vatthu, not a sutta, a story about Malaya Thera, Sinhalese monk who had astral travel to heaven and hells and had a conversation with Maitreya Deva in Dusita heaven and after he returned to the human realm he reported experience to the people written in 1208 A.D. or in 13th (Hema:2009:38)
Buddhism is a religion which has since long been embraced by most of society archipelago. Srivijaya and Majapahit era was the golden era for Buddhism. The existence of Buddhism in Nusantara (Indonesia) can be proven by the existence of a legacy-legacy in the form of inscriptions and buildings of the temple as well as foreign literature, particularly literature-originating from China.
The history of the development of Buddhism in Indonesia can be found from various sources that refer to a legacies of the past. holdover past consists of inscriptions that were found and foreign news, i.e. from the people's Republic of China who visited Indonesia. Inscriptions dating from the fifth to seventh centuries do not give too much information. The inscription comes from Borneo, Sumatra and Java. From the inscription we know that at that time there were Kings name smells of India, like Mulawarman in Kutai and Purnawarman in West Java. However, it does not mean that the King was coming from India. The most likely is that Kings were Indonesia native embraced religion that came from India.
Many people suspect that the early introduction of Buddhism to Indonesia is on the arrival of Aji Saka to Java in the early centuries of the Union. These allegations were derived from etymologically to Aji Saka itself, as well as matters related to it. The word 'Aji' of Kawi Language may refer to the science that has to do with the Scriptures, while the 'Saka' is interpreted as the Sakya who experience the transformation. Thus many words Aji Saka is interpreted as the title of King Tritustha of experts about the Sakya, in this case an expert about Buddhist Dhamma, also considered to be the person responsible for the creation of Java script. If this is true, that have dates Saka expressed as \ ' Nir Wuk Tanpa Jalu' (Nir meaning empty (0), Wuk means not so (0), tanpa (without) mean 0 and Jalu equals 1) which at one time intended to capture the first landing of he in Jepara, Northern Central – Java.
Source of our knowledge of Buddhism was taken from an inscription was found and from foreign news stories of China, who visited Indonesia. Inscriptions dating from the fifth to seventh centuries do not give too much information. The inscription comes from Borneo, Sumatra and Java. From the inscription we know that at that time there were Kings that have names that smelled like in India, Mulawarman in Kutai (Borneo) and Purnawarman in Tarumanagara (West Java). But it does not mean that the King was coming from India. The most likely is that Kings is the original that already entered Indonesia religion that came from India. Furthermore these inscriptions suggest that the religion is embraced Hinduism. but from the discovery of the statues of the Buddha, it can be inferred that Buddhism also existed, even though the number is still a little bit.
Based on research conducted a number of experts in Indonesia's history, up to now still there are many different opinions on when masiknya Buddhism in Indonesia. But one thing that can be recorded in history, based on the Fa Hien travelogue, a Buddhist missionaries from China, around the year 414 AD, there have been Buddhists on the island of Java, though still in an amount not much. Then, based on historical records, the Bhikshu Gunawarman, in 421 AD, came to Java and translated scriptures form mulasarvastivada sect, also taught Buddhism. began developing in Java. Whereas the development of Buddhism in Indonesia is recorded on the record of travel I-Tsing, a bhikshu from China are on the way back to China and lived some time in transit to the Sriwijaya in Palembang in Southern Sumatra Island (685-695 AD). Bhikshu Hui Neng in the 664 lives for three years in kalingga (Holing) translating various Hinayana buddhism with the help of Javanese monk, Jnanabhadra. One among others, which they translated was Mahaparinibbana Sutta. According to I tsing, Hui-neng was just one of among 56 chinese monks who made a pligrimage to india during that period.
Indonesia especially in Java was not isolated at all from o ther advanced buddhist development centers in India, Srilanka, and China, before, during, and probably after Borobudur construction period. There were probably more two way communications going on among those countries at this early period than what the history might know about.
The arrival of monks from different countries to java and also the existence of some highly regarded buddhist Scriptures, e.g., Mahavairocana, Vajrasekhara, and Gandavyuha Sutra, known or sculpted in Borobudur, should explain Java's own legacy of Buddhism and therefore the existence of Borobudur. On the other hand, the existence of borobudur also demonstrates the early evidence of international constructive relationships and fruitful cooperation.
Development of Buddhism in Kingdoms Era
Medang (Early Mataram)
Buddhism was originally developed in Java and Sumatra were originally developed by Theravada Monks Gunawarman. Slow-flow is gradually pressed by other branches coming into Indonesia after they have a strong position in India.
Compared to previous days, the source of Buddhism in Central Java a bit more. On these days in Central Java have been two major Dynasty: the Kingdom of Syailendra dynasty who embraced Buddhism and Sanjaya dynasty embraced the religion of Shiva. Presumably this good relationship both kingdoms once, for news that there is a mention that both kingdoms were helping each other in the founding of the temple.
In the Kingdom of Sailendra dynasty embraced religion is Mahayana Buddhism. It is known from historical relics and artefacts of the Temple of the Kingdom was the institution of Mahayana Buddhism. It is seen as the foundation of Kalasan Temple which is dedicated to the goddess of Aryatara (personification of Prajnaparamita according to the flow of Tantrayana/Vajrayana (esoteric buddhism), one of the sect of Mahayana Buddhism) in the year 779 a.d. from the epigraphic record is well known that one of the Kings of Sailendra dynasty in Java have a teacher named Kumaraghosa of Gaudidwipa (Bengal) who led the ceremony at the time of the inauguration of the statue of Manjusri. Likewise reported that there were other people diprasasti from Gujarat who ever did worship services in a certain Temple. The allegations date from news in India. King of the Pala dynasty of Dewapala (Bengal) in his 39th (between 856 and 860) gave some villages for the observance of a monastery at Nalanda, which was founded by King Suwarnadwipa Balaputradeva (Sumatra), grandson of the King of Java.
The kings who reigned in the days of Syailendra dynasty is Bhanu (754-775), Vishnu (775-782), Indra (782-812), Samarottungga (812-833) and Balaputra (833-856). Inscriptions of Syailendra Kalasan inscription was in 778, using letters pranagari and Sanskrit; Kelurak inscription near Yogyakarta in 782, also wear the letter a pre-nagari and Sanskrit; Karang Tengah Inscription near Temanggung in 824 in Sanskrit language and old Javanese Kahulunan Inscriptions, Kedu, in 842 written in Ancient Javanese language and letters.
An information coming from the biography of amoghavajra and, at the same time, his master, vajrabodhi seems to fill this gap. Both of them were regarded as patriachs of mantrayana school and disembarked in Java in the first half of eight century AD.
Notwithstanding the foregoing circumstances in Central Java is not the same situation in South Sumatera. How does the Mahayana developed in Java? That question is difficult to answer. To note is the Kalurak inscription (782), which presumably relates also to the inauguration of the statue of Manjusri, mentioned that Manjusri also likened to the Triratna (triple gem) is also identified with Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. For the followers of the Mahayana in Central Java, presumably the Bodhisattva not distinguished with the gods of Hinduism.
In addition to inscriptions, there were temples which bear witness to Buddhism in Central Java. The temple gives a lot more explanation. The temples that build in this era, that is:
ñ Kalasan Temple, Near Jogjakarta, was built on 778 AD.
ñ Sari Temple, near Kalasan Temple.
ñ Borobudur Temple, near Magelang, was built on 826 AD.
ñ Mendut Temple, eastern side of Borobudur Temple, was built on 809 AD.
ñ Pawon Temple (is gate of the Borobudur Temple), was built on 826 AD.
ñ Ngawen Temples Group, near Muntilan.
ñ Sewu Temples Group, near Prambanan.
ñ Plaosan Temples Group, Eastern side of Sewu Temple.
Based on the records of the Tang Empire of China, in the mid-7th century in Central Java, there is an empire that embraced the Buddhist name Kaling. In China it is colloquially known as Ho Ling. it is very orderly and serene though led by a woman named Queen Sima. Ho ling then became science centers of Buddhism, and not least the Chinese from the Chinese came to the country to study Buddhism, although at the time of the Tang dynasty Buddhism became the official religion in the country of China.
In the 7th century and 8th between India and China are interwoven relationships are crowded. Hungan is not solely in the areas of trade, but also in science and Buddhism. Between the years of 618 to 907 AD, China ruled by Tang, was in India in the 7th century reign of King Harçha were being tolerant of Buddhism. Then at the time that many travellers and Monks from China who make a pilgrimage to the Holy places of Buddhism in India.
In the mid-7th century this grew and developed into an important port on the banks of the waters of the straits of malacca, an important traffic vein between India and china. For several centuries, the kingdom was held the hegemony of the ocean. Srivijaya was arguably the center of trade and the centre of buddhism in southeast asia. Buddhism in srivijaya times was mahayana buddhism to understand sanskrit.
Between ad 850 until early abad 13, royal sriwijaya ruled by the family of syailendra dynasty who have ruled in mataram, central java. Between ad for 75 years in charge of mataram, the family syailendra many of erecting buildings lustral buddhist temple. Sriwijaya then expands your dominion to the Southern Thai now called Suratani and Pattani. The temples made by srivijaya there among other vihara mahadhatu in jaiya and vihara mahadhatu in nakorn si thamarat until now still exists and a building form, for statues - Buddhist statues and the Bodhisattva similar to that was found in java.
Attisa, a very popular Monk from Tibet that rebuilding Buddhism in the country has ever come to Sumatra and lived there from the year 1011-1023. He studied under the guidance of Dharmakirti, a leading Monks in an age of Srivijaya. based on a biography entry in writing Attisa in Tibet, Sumatra was the center of Buddhism, the main being Bhiksu Dharmakirti was a major scholar of that era. The arrival of the dharmaduta to Indonesia prompted a lot of people go on pilgrimage to India to visit the Holy places and Buddhist centers like Nalanda University and others. After returning to Indonesia they established temples of various shapes and sizes.
Srivijaya was expected to be centered around Palembang. Not much remains of the Temple found in Sumatra. There is a group of Muaro Jambi Temple (in Jambi), Muara Takus Temple (in Riau) and the Gunung Tua Temple, inclined to mahayana buddhism. In palembang ('Telaga Batu') many obtained rocks that reads ' siddhayatra ' meaning Holy trip that was successful, and on the Siguntang Hill found the great statues of buddha, the work of 6th century.
The earliest information about the existence of Buddhism in Java and Sumatra were obtained from a Chinese traveler named Fah-Hien, who upon his return from Ceylon to China in 414 was forced to land in the country named Ye-Po-Ti as his ship was damaged. Now is not very clear whether Ye-Po-Ti it Java or Sumatra. Some experts say that Ye-Po-Ti is a Java Island (Javadvipa). Fah-Hien mentioned in Buddhist Ye-Po-Ti, although only slightly. However, after the fifth century it is unlikely that things are changing. It was not until three hundred years later, at the end of the seventh century, Chinese Buddhist monk I-tsing records with complete Buddhism and its application in India and Malay. Its main attraction is the ' home of Buddhism ' North India where I-tsing resided and attended there for more than ten years. From his notes can be said that Buddhism in India and Sumatra have much in common, where I-tsing also found the distinction between Buddhism in China and in India.
I-tsing spent time living alone as a Buddhist monk in India and Sumatra. The whole book is a complete record of the life of the monks. He lives in India is entirely based on the rules of the vinaya. Compared notes Fah-Hien in 414 with notes of I-tsing, can be drawn the conclusion that the Buddhist in Java and Sumatra had been built very quickly. The work of I-tsing also write notes as expressed above, he also wrote a book about the journey of a famous religious teachers who went to the land to the West (Srivijaya?). She says in his note, the life of a monk who in essence are almost the same as in India. In his book it is said that the original Java and Sumatra Monks is a very good sanskrit scholars. One of saatunya is Jnanabhadra which is the Original Java people who live in Sumatra and acted as tutor to China and help translate Buddhist sutras into Chinese. The language used by Buddhist monks is the language of sanskrit. Pali is not used. However this should not be made a rule of thumb that Buddhism that developed here is Mahayana.
I-tsing explains in his book, embraced Buddhism throughout this country and most of the system adopted is Hīnayāna, except where there is little in the Malay who adopted Mahayana Buddhism, widely known to the public that speak sanskrit Buddhist literature not always mean the Mahayana.
This is a form of Buddhism that reach the Islands in the South seas. I-tsing says at the Islands in the South seas, Mulasarvastivadanikayo almost universally in the adaptation. I-tsing doesn't seem to make the difference between the adherents of the Hinayana and Mahayana. He said: those who worship the Bodhisatta and reading mahayana sutras are known adherents of Mahayana Buddhism. While not referred to adherents of the Hinayana. Both of these systems in accordance with the teachings of Dhamma. Can we tell which is right? Both teach virtue and guide us to Nirvana. The two leads to the destruction of lust and salvation of all sentient life. We should not care about these differences. create doubts in fact will create confusion.
From his works can be said that I-tsing is not too in Buddhist philosophy in matters of cope but only interested in the life of the monks and the tasks that the election was by them. In other words, he gave all his time to learning and the life of the monks rules (vinaya). As mentioned above , in sumatra and java more growing hinayana buddhism. I tsing telling that in the malay, middle east coast of sumatra others who adheres to mahayana buddhism. From other sources explained that before the arrival of I tsing, have come from india dharmapala monk, to the malays and spread the flow of mahayana buddhism. the early 20th century, two stele found near palembang south sumatera inclined to mahayana buddhism. Stele other made in 775, found in viengsa, the malay peninsula adduce that one of the King of Sriwijaya - that not only rule in south sumatra but also around the south of the malay peninsula - ordered the construction of three effigies. the third effigies offered to buddha, vajrapani bodhisatwa, and avalokitesvara. and other place found plate gold which said some Dhyani Buddha's name; which of course is the flow of mahayana buddhism.
From the news I-tsing's next we can take the conclusion that at that time Srivijaya became a centre of Buddhism. There is a college that didn't lose by Buddhist College in Nalanda India. There are more than 1000 Buddhist monks who are teaching as well as the ceremony is similar to that existing in India. Except for the followers of the Hinayana, Mahayana, there is a follower of Srivijaya. There is even a teacher teaching in Mahayana. From this news is clearly that of Srivijaya was central to Mahayana Buddhism, which is open to new ideas and are also happy to hold a scientific work. Therefore the Chinese traveller who wants to study in India must stop over in South Sumatera, to make preparations. It is also done by I-tsing.
Presumably then Mahayana is a growing and influential. This is evident from the inscriptions collected around Palembang that mention that the daputa hyang-perhaps the Prime Minister-trying to find the blessings and supernatural powers in order to establish the Kingdom of Srivijaya, so that all beings are able to enjoy it. From the expressions to be used, can be drawn the conclusion that this ceremony is an ancient ceremony of indonesia in accordance with the teachings of the Mahayana. From other news stories, it is clear that Mahayanalah is the boss at the time. Not even just that alone, perhaps the influence of tantra, which in India is affecting Buddhism since the middle of the seventh century, is also found in South Sumatera. It is obtained from the explanation that one of the highest level to get the wisdom is vajrasarira, body armor (diamonds) are reminded to teaching wajrayana. All this shows that at the beginning still exist close links between Indonesia and India. This relationship seemed are more and more substractive.
Kingdoms in East Java
In East Java, presumably to Buddhism and religious Shiva coexist. It appears from inscriptions where mPu Sindok referred to with the title Sri Isana (Shiva) while his daughter was married to Brihaspati is also called Sugatapaksa (Buddhist). Also discovered the influence of tantra on both of these religions are strong enough. From existing literature, the literature was obtained that terkuno compiled in such a way, to consist of verses in Sanskrit language, followed by a description of the encyclopedia in old Javanese. From here it looks that the passages were derived from India. In the next development was the book consists of verses in old Javanese and interspersed stanza from the Sanskrit language. This shows the relationship with India already loose. Finally there is the book which is entirely made up of old Javanese, only sometimes contained interludes in the Sanskrit language. At the time of these two books outlining the Mahayana, namely ' Mantrayana ' which Kamahayan trance dance contains the teachings of the Buddhist monks who were being ordained, and ' Sanghyang Kamahayanikan ' which contains a collection of teaching how one can achieve kele pasan. Principal teachings in Sanghyang Kamahayanikan is indicates that the form of various kinds of release form is essentially the same. For authors is not too difficult Sanghyang Kamahayanikan to identify Shiva with Buddha and call it ' Shiva-Buddha ', not to mention Shiva or Buddha, but Shiva-Buddha as one God.
Coexistence of the acculturation of culture resulted in blurring the original form and expression of Buddhism. In Kingdoms era, can be inferred that this era is the era where the Syncretism has already reached its peak. Presumably the flow of Shiva, Vishnu and Buddha can live together. All three are seen as a form of an assortment of the same truth. Shiva and Vishnu are considered equal in value and they are described as the statue of 'Harihara' half Shiva and half Vishnu. Shiva and Buddha are seen together. For example, King Vishnuvardhana (from Singasari) who died in 1268 was worshipped as a Shiva in Waleri temple and Amoghapaça Buddha on Jago Temple. Kertanegara glorified as Shiva and Buddha in the Jawi temple and his wife as Jina and Locana in Sagala as well as Bhairawa in Singosari Temple.
In the days, Shiva or Buddha is one of the aspects of a single religion, which is Java (so as not to compete). In the book of the Arjunawijaya for example is told that when the Arjunawijaya entered a Buddhist temple, the monk explained that the Jina of the corners of nature depicted on the sculptures it is tantamount to the incarnation of Shiva. Vairocana is equal to Sadasiwa who occupied the central place. Aksobya equal to Rudra, who occupied the East. Ratna sambhawa together with Brahma which occupied South, Amitabha is similar to the West and Mahadeva occupies the same Amogasiddhi with Vishnu to occupy the North. Therefore the monk says there is no difference between Buddhism with Shiva. In the book of 'Kunjarakarna' mentioned that no one, either followers of Shiva and Buddha could have let slip if she separates the real one, namely Shiva-Buddha.
We had the impression that at the time of Buddhism more evolved from Shiva. This is seen from the book of Sutasoma (compared by Mpu Tantular), States that the Buddha was none other than the Brahma-Vishnu-Isvara, the Hindu Trimurti. In fact, Shiva and Buddha is One (Siwa Buddha bhinneka tunggal ika tan hana dharma mangrwa). This book telling about anger Kalarudra who was about to kill Sutasoma, an avatar of the Buddha. The gods tried to defuse the Kalarudra by reminding that actually Buddha and Shiva indistinguishable. Jinatwa (substance of Buddha) is the same as Siwatattwa (substance of Shiva). Furthermore it is recommended that people pondering the Shiva-Buddha-Shiva tattwa, substance-Buddha.
This seems too the story of Bubuksah is also depicted in the Panataran Temple. Two older brothers named Gagang Aking (followers of Shiva) and Bubuksah (followers of Buddha), since young life as a hermit on Mount Wilis. Bubuksah eat everything edible while the butt of Aking take vegetables only. They argue about two Hermitage. Then God sent the Scorpion to master in the form of white tiger Wijaya to test both the boy. When White Tiger comes to the hilt Aking, he adviced so just go his brother because his body is fat. When the Tiger comes in Bubuksah, he deliberately handle him for the course, so that he might escape from this mortal world. From here it is clear that Bubuksah was a follower of the Buddhist scriptures he is not even in the hard ascetic practice. He got a place in heaven. This story reveals a polemic, which indicates the primacy of Buddhism. However the story is depicted in Panataran Temple. from this increasingly clear that the elements indonesia native the fore which was expounded in the form of hinduism and buddhism.
At the time of Majapahit (1293-1429) who have the spirit of the Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, Shiva does not mingle in the whole Buddhist system, so that more precise is called pararelism or coalition. In the book of nagarakertagama mentioned that both remain separate, different teachings, different priest and worship, even the built area is also regulated. Reverend devotees Sugata (Buddha) stepped on the land west of the island of Java because its inhabitants are not adherents of the teachings of the buddha. There is an official who manages of Buddhism (Kasogatan) and religion (Kasiwan). Gajah Mada's (the Prime Minister) is Buddhists and the King embraced the Religion of Shiva.
Formally, buddhism in nusantara perish together with the fall of the kingdom of majapahit (1429) because the civil war and the appearance of the kingdom of Islam. In the islamic rule not recorded the presence of life folk buddhist religious. but does that still persist, at least in the attitude life behavior, trust, inwardness, a penchant samadhi and ascetic, known as kejawen.
Buddhist Literature in Indonesia
Based on a legacies of the golden age of Buddhism during of the kingdoms era, both in Java and Sumatra, can we conclude that at such times, the development of Buddhism was rapidly once. Especially when we conducted the study of Borobudur, which we admit is one of the wonders of the world that can still be seen on this earth. At such times, Buddhist literatures has grown very rapidly. A lot of literature is the work of the Buddhist scholar in his era, i.e: Sanghyang Kamahayanikan, Sutasoma and Kunjarakarna.
Buddhist Developments In The Present
“The Mount Merapi will excite the lava be five hundred years from now Buddhist teachings will return to the Archipelago”, then General disappeared from the front of his enemies, after choosing to retain what he believes, with only leaving a few lines of a prediction ...
In 1429, the Majapahit Kingdom came to an end. Then join the collapse also pillars of Buddhism in the archipelago. The people who are loyal to embrace the religion of Shiva-Buddha fled and assembled at various places in East Java and Bali.
One hundred fifty years an intermittent, the indonesian nation colonized by netherlands. had come together the house of colonist, missionaires that spread the christian. In addition, there s also dutch scholar who came , for the purposes of examines history and culture is a nation that was colonized. The netherlands studies all of that , certainly with the purpose to perpetuates mastery his people over a nation that Colonized.
The teaching of spiritualism which is prominent among all these the dutch people who had come to indonesia is what known as the association of theosophy . the teaching of theosophy put pressure on the aspect of a fraternity between humans, without distinguish race, nation, or religious. So that there is also the indonesia educated who came to being a member of the Theosophical Society. The Theosophical Society formed a branch in Indonesia in 1883, when the arrival of H. P. Blavatsky (one of the leaders and founders of the Theosophical Society). The buddha's much-talked in Theosophical meeting and reintroduced meetings through lectures and meditation guidance given at the Theosophical branches in Jakarta, Medan, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and others.
Traditionally, Chinese tradition in Indonesia is mix of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The Buddhst teaching is the Northern Buddhist tradition or generally known as the Mahayana. The presence of Mahayana Buddhism in most of the city can be traced to the growth of “kelenteng” (chinese temples). For example, the Shrine Jin de Yuan (now Dharma Bhakti Monastery) which was founded in 1650, and not less 18 monks lived there in the 18th century. In 1901, Most Ven. Pen Ching (Ben Lau Qing He Shang), which became known as Aryamula, arrived in Indonesia and providing religious services in the temples in a number of cities, including Bandung, Cirebon, Karawang, and Semarang. He also founded the Vihara Khong Hua Si in Jakarta. The Monks were merely providing rituals services. Rarely reveals the Buddhist teachings in detail.
Buddhism among bumiputeras (local) themselves at that time only a sporadic live domestic tradition. The newspaper 'Sin Tit Po', published on 27 March 1935 announces that in Kampong Petenon, Surabaya, there are 1,500 Buddhists, there is also a group of residents who profess religion buddha but no longer knew the teachings of the Buddha. Some are making Buddhism as a part of Hinduism who embraced the concept of Shiva-Buddha, the Buddha as an Avatar and contempt of Vishnu.
These three groups of people (chinese, Theosophy, Bumiputra) above the root of the birth of institutional Buddhism in Indonesia. In 1929, in jakarta have formed an organization named Buddhist Association for the Propagation of Buddhism in Java which is then converted into Java Buddhists Association, led by Ernest Erle Power (Chairman) and Josiast v. Dienst (Secretary). This organization is part of The Buddhists International Mission centred on Thaton, Myanmar. Java Buddhists Association oriented Theravada Buddhism, and print media named namo buddhaya with Dutch-speaking. The arrival of Josias Priest revealing many community leaders who pay attention to Buddhism. In the temple, while he was discussing with monks, many figures who come to listen to temple. Talks between the descendants of the Netherlands upasaka with the figures temple revolves around the teachings of Buddhism and its development in Java.
In the 1920s appears one character named Tek Hoay Kwee, a merchant, a keen writer and also a humanists. He also published the first magazine in Indonesia contains the teachings of Buddhism, with the name Moestika Dharma. The services Tech Hoay Kwee, established dialogue between Josiast V. Dients and Ven. Lin Feng Fei, Abbot of the Kwan Im Tong Temple, in Prinsenlaan (mangga besar), Jakarta. Dialogue that resulted in an agreement that the temples as places of worship of Buddhists is not only used as a place of worship, but also as a place to get a lesson in Buddhism. As a follow up to the deal, Ven. Lin Feng Fei allow Josiast give lectures on Buddhism in the Kwan Im Tong Temple. Then Kongkoan (Chineesche Raad), a Councils that is organizing the temples in Jakarta, allow all Josiast gave a talk at the temples around Jakarta.
On March 4th, 1934, Ven. Narada Thera, a Buddhist Missionaris (dhammaduta) of Sri Lanka, came to Indonesia for the first time in the visit to Southeast Asia, at the invitation of Ong Soe An (a prominent Theosophical from Bandung). During his time in the island of Java, Ven. Narada Thera visited Batavia, Buitenzorg (Bogor), Bandung, Yogyakarta and Solo. In a five-city Ven. Narada Thera gave lectures about the teachings of Buddhism. The coming of the monk Narada by activists of the Theosophical utilized to broaden insights into Buddhist teachings. When they visit Borobudur Temple, in Magelang, on 10 March 1934, the Ven. Narada Thera blessed Bodhi Tree planting undertaken by the leaders of the Theosophical Yogya, Mr. E. E. Power. After from Borobudur, in the evening, Ven. Narada Thera ordain some upasaka in Yogya. Among them there is a Javanese named Mangunkawatja.
In that year also formed Java Buddhists Association Afdeeling Batavia (Jakarta) by J.W. de Witt as a Chairman and his Secretary Dr. R. Ng. Poerbatjaraka. Beside that is formed is also Java Buddhists Association Afdeeling Buitenzorg (Bogor) under the leadership of A. Van der Velde (Chairman) and Oeij Oen Ho (Secretary). Shortly thereafter, on May 10, 1934, Java Buddhists Association Afdeeling Batavia escape from the Center of Java Buddhists Association and stands on its own under the name Batavia Budhists Association led by Tek Hoay Kwee (Chairman) and Ny. Tjoa Hin Hoey (Secretary). In the magazine Moestika Dharma, Tek Hoay Kwee explains that this separation is not a solution but to be able to move more freely. Batavia is the skew spread Buddhists inaugurated Association Mahayana, differs from Java Buddhist Association that spreading of the Theravada Buddhism. it also in 1934 formed a a central organization named Central Buddhistische Institute Voor Java with Magazine in the dutch called De Dharma In Nederlandsche Indie.
In 1935 Sam Kauw Hwee has established by Kwee Tek Hoay, i.e. local organizations whose members consisted of Buddhists, Confucianism and Taoism, with print media named Sam Kauw Goat Poo which Indonesian Language. This Organization's goal is essentially to prevent the Chinese people and Chinese ancestry to be adherents of other religions. During the occupation of Japan, all activities of the Buddhist organization stalled. Then in 1952, all Sam Kauw Hwee was activited back to combine themselves into a Association of Sam Kauw Hwee Indonesia (Gabungan Sam Kauw Hwee Indonesia - GSKI).
Revival of Buddhism after The Independence of Indonesia
The revival of Buddhism and its practice as a distinct religion in the Indonesian archipelago characterized by the solemnization of a waisak in borobudur temple for the first time 1953 attended by 3000 a participant, followed by the ambassador, and becomes headlines news in a newspaper. It was largely initiated by one man named The Boan An. A local Chinese he studied physics at Groningen in the Netherlands, but in 1953 he ordained as a novice in the Mahayana (c'han) tradition in Khong Hua Si Temple in Jakarta named Ti Cheng. His preceptor recommended that he further his studies in Myanmar and thus in the same year, he entered the famous Sasana Yeiktha in Yangon, to practise satipatthana meditation under Mahasi Sayadaw. In the following year he was ordained as the bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita, the first Indonesian bhikkhu in 500 years. In 1955 he returned to Java and energetically worked for the reestablishment of Buddhist temples and monasteries. Largely as a result of his work, Buddhist organizations were formed in many parts of the country. With the background following the exercise in two tradition (theravada and mahayana), Buddhists built does not care about the difference of the sect. Although Most. Ven. Ashin Jinarakkhita teaches more people read the paritta in the Pali tradition, chanting in sanskrta and chinese also introduced.
On Asalha 2499 or July 4th, 1955, Ven. Ashin jinarakkhita founded the Fellowship of Layman and Laywomen Indonesia (Persaudaraan Upasaka-Upasika Indonesia - PUUI) in Vihara Buddha Gaya, Watu Gong, Semarang. PUUI are the crucible or agency for the monk helpmate, chaired by most upasaka Madhyantika. S. Mangunkawatja. These institutions duty to help propogates buddhism, because the monks that time had a little less .
In 1956 is the Buddhist world commemorates Buddha Jayanti, 2500 years since the Buddha passing away (Mahaparinibbana). In Indonesia commemorates Buddha Jayanti are marked with the spirit of revival of Buddhism was ever buried under the ruins of the Majapahit Empire, which was carried out with a warning of Vesak in Borobudur Temple.
Various Buddhist organizations which is the civic and social organizations as well as doing the development of Buddhist qualities of Buddhists. Among they are:
1.Indonesian Tridharma Combine (Gabungan Tridharma Indonesia - GTI)
Gabungan Tridharma Indonesia is a joint merging of some Sam Kauw Hwee (Chinese Temple). Sam Kaw Hwee Indonesian Assembly joined with Thian Lie Hwee, led by Ong Tiang Biaw (which later became Ven. Jinaputta) and combined Khong Kauw Hwee Indonesia (GAPAKSI). The Worship of Sin Ming Hui (Social Community of Candranaya) and Buddha Tengger, forming Combined Sam Kauw Indonesia (GSKI) under Leadership of The Boan An as Chairman in 1953. After The Boan An was ordained became Monk in 1954 in Burma with the name Ashin Jinarakkhita. Chairman of GSKI switched to Drs. Khoe Soe Khiam (Drs. Sasana Surya). In 1962, renamed as Gabungan Tri Dharma Indonesia (GTI).
2.Indonesian Buddhist Association (Perhimpunan Buddhis Indonesia – PERBUDHI)
Some Buddhists of the Javanese, including Sosro Utomo (Buddhist Tengger), see that hard for people to remain merged with GTI. Therefore, for the growth of a new organization which recommended form lets people join Java. 1957 formed the Buddhist Union of Indonesia (PERBUDHI) with the Chairman of the first Sosro Utomo. In its first Congress in 1958 it was renamed the Buddhist Association of Indonesia (PERBUDHI) with the Chairman Mr. Sariputra Sadono, and then successively as Chairman was Col. Soemantri M.S. and Gen. Brigadir. A.A. Suraji Kertawijaya. Upper effort of Ven. Jinarakkhita, Perbuddhi venture quickly grew and spread outward Java Island. In Perbudhi there is a group that is Upasaka and Upasika elite group in Perbudhi. This must be a member of the Group perbudhi and bound in brotherhood called Fellowship of Indonesian Layman and Laywomen (PUUI) which was formed in 1956 by the monk Jinarakkhita and is supporting the Sangha and responsible to the Sangha Suci Indonesia led by Ashin Jinarakkhita.
3.The Deliberations of All Indonesian Buddhists (Musyawarah Umat Buddha Seluruh Indonesia (MUBSI)
The Deliberations of All Indonesian Buddhists (Musyawarah Umat Buddha Seluruh Indonesia (MUBSI) was formed in 1962 by those who refused to PUUI in the Perbuddhi led by Drs. Suharto Djojosumpeno from Yogya, who last served as the staff at Lemhanas. They argued that the Organization could not be Perbudhi wheel goes well because PUUI is not subject to the decision of the Congress, but to the Sangha.
In 1965 Perbudhi Semarang branch to break away from Perbudhi and formed the Buddhis Indonesia in Vihara Tanah Putih, Semarang. Buddhist Indonesia had the support of the various branches of Perbudhi in Central Java and East Java and declared themselves to be branch of Buddhist Indonesia. This is the initial split of serasian and personal problems between the characters Busshid in Semarang, Central Java and the central character of Buddhists, but as an excuse to get out of Perbudhi because Perbudhi participate in the Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) in Bangkok in attendance are representatives from Malaysia. At the time Indonesia was being argued with Malaysia.
5.Indonesian Buddhist Federation (Federasi Umat Buddha Indonesia)
In July 1965, held a meeting between Buddhist organizations that exist to create a foundation of unity and cooperation. The meeting was resumed again in August and October 1966. At their meeting in February 1967 successfully formed the Federation of Buddhist Indonesia whose members are: Buddhis Indonesia, Gabungan Tridharma Indonesia, Musyawarah Umat Buddha Seluruh Indonesia, Agama Hindu-Buddha Tengger, and Agama Buddha Wisnu Indonesia
Perbudhi does not want to join the Federation of Buddhist Indonesia because among members of the Federation of Buddhists this is Indonesia has issued a joint statement which harms the Holy Perbudhi Sangha and Indonesia. In the Maha Samaya II (PUUI Congress) held 16-18 March 1969 in Bandung, attended also by the Perbudhi and the Maha Sangha Indonesia, formed the highest Assembly of the entire Buddhist Indonesia that function sets the wisdom in religious and responsible to the Maha Sangha Indonesia. Chairman of the House is Ven. Girirakkhito (Chairman) and Gen. Suraji Aryakertawijaya (General Secretary).
To prevent a split that is not widespread, on the initiative of General Saparjo, conducted a meeting to hold deliberations. After several meetings, on 26 May 1972 made the pledge in the temple to form a single container Buddhists Indonesia. The pledge signed by: 1. Suryaputta Ks Suratin (Buddhist Indonesia) 2. Bgen Sumantri MS (MUABI) 3. Brigjen Suraji AriyaKertawijaya (Perbudhi) 4. Djoeri (MUSBI) 5. Drs. Sasana Surya (GTI) 6. Soepangat Prawirokoesoemo SH (Salatiga Buddhist Brotherhood). A single container that is melting all Buddhist organizations and named Buddha Dharma Indonesia abbreviated BUDHI. Beside that also formed The Buddha Dharma Indonesia whose members consist of the leaders of Buddhism and Buddhist scholar from different sects. This function sets the Assembly of religious wisdom.
So much harmony, unity and unity still has yet to be realized, while the conflict between the organization increasingly, on the basis that the Hindu-Buddhist Customs Bimas conducted a meeting led by Buddhist organizations and the Buddhist leaders in 1976 in Jakarta. In the meeting it was realised that the Buddhist organizations have two forms of activities, namely: the social aspect of civic and religious aspects of life coaching are performed by the chaplain of the sect in question. Under these circumstances sukarlah to form a single container for Buddhists because each sect have traditions and religious ceremonies are different to each other. Therefore these two aspects of the Buddhist organization activities are separated and each is compiled in a single Institution.
Social aspects in a single container civic compiled non sektarial called the combined Buddhist Whole Indonesia (GUBSI) under the leadership of r. Eko Pratomo Bogdan Michka SH (Chairman) and Drs. Aggi Tjetje (General Secretary). Spiritual aspect of being a Religious Assembly representing Buddhist sect in existence. The field grew to be The spiritual Priest BUDHI Buddha Dharma Indonesia (MAPANBUDHI) (October 3, 1976) is now an Assembly of Buddhism Theravada Indonesia-Magabudhi. Of the group, named the Assembly Chaplain Tridharma Tridharma se Indonesia - Martrisia (December 17, 1977). in conjunction with the inception of the Sangha of Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia appear Assembly Mahayana Indonesia - Majabhumi (August 1978). Organization of Nichiren Syosyu Indonesia (October 28th, 1964) became Nichiren Syosyu Buddhist Assembly of Indonesia (NSI).
Then in the next meeting, set up Assembly of Buddhism in the form of the Federation of Indonesia MABI. MUABI then resigned from MABI. It became an Institution MUABI Dharmaduta Kasogatan Indonesia which eventually became the Tribunal Dharmaduta Kasogatan Tantrayana Indonesia, a leading by alm Sumarsono Giriputta and then Drs. Oka Diputhera. MUABI (after Indonesian Buddhists) has been renamed The Indonesian Buddhayana Council (MBI).
Development of the Sangha in Indonesia
1.Sangha Agung Indonesia
Indonesia takes a lot of Monks. According to vinaya or regulation of the Sangha, Vinaya or regulation, namely the upasampada or ordination of bhikkhu can be done in terms of the most poorly attended by 5 senior biku. In 1959 Y.M. Bhikkhu Ashin Jinarakkhita Invited 13 bhikkhu from abroad, namely:
The invitation in order to form the Sangha Indonesia, through Sacred ordination of monks Indonesia 3 candidates. Then the Ven. Ashin Jinarakkhita also sent a wanna-be monk/nun ordination in Indonesia for other overseas.
When it ordained is Ong Tiang Biauw is named Jinaputta. There on 17 May 1959 Ong ordained samanera and next 5 days later ordained bhikkhu at Watugong, Central Java. At the same time was also Ktut Tangkas from Singaraja and Ki Sontomihardjo from Banyumas became a samanera. The years of the next candidates biku and biksuni sent to ordained abroad.
In 1959 by Bhikkhu Jinarakkhita established Sangha Indonesia consisting of monks and being ordained samanera, which according to the Theravada. Later changed to Sangha Suci Indonesia Indonesia in 1968 changed again become Maha Sangha Indonesia which consists of the monks of Theravada and Mahayana.
Bandung, 1969. For the benefit of the development of the Buddha Dharma in the land of water, at the invitation of Ashin Jinarakkhita Mahathera of the Maha Sangha Indonesia, in the Entourage of monks from Thailand. Headed by Most Ven. Chao Kun Sasana Sobhana, abbot of the Wat Bovoranives, Chao Kun Dhamma, Chairman of the Maha Sangha Indonesia Monk Ashin Jinarakkkhita, Bhikkhu Khantipalo from United Kingdom (A few years later the Most Ven. Chao Kun Sasana Sobhana who became Spiritual Teacher of the King of Thailand, was appointed Sangharaja (Supreme Patriach) Of Thailand). With the help of the ambassadors of the Dharma (dhammaduta) Thailand, in 1970 at the celebrations of Vesak in Borobudur held ordination Monks. Venerable Ashin Jinarakkhita gave up his murinya who still takes its roots in traditional samanera Dhammayuttika Monasteries of Wat Bovoranives Bangkok Most Ven. Chao Kun Sasana Sobhana (now Sangharaja (supreme patriach) of Thailand). 5 people that ordain is: Ven. Aggajinamitto, Ven. Uggadhammo, Ven. Jinadhammo, Ven. Sirivijayo (disrobe), Ven. Saccamano (disrobe). Because the Most. Ven. Chao Kun Sasana Sobhana must go back to Bangkok, coaching young biku-biku submitted on Bhante Vidhurdhammabhorn (bhante Vin) which then often are in Indonesia.
Divisions and disputes among the Buddhists to 1969 are generally based on a personal dispute. The split among the monks in the Maha Sangha Indonesia characterized by the existence of differences in the understanding of the Vinaya and Dharma. Some Theravada monk willed the monk did not intervene on this split and stands alone as a role model. Because of this attempt is not successful, then the monk went out of the Maha Sangha Indonesia and formed a Sangha Indonesia on January 12, 1972. Sangha Indonesia got support from organizations who gathered in the Federation of Indonesia Buddhists and from another organization such as Perbudhi and Buddhist Fellowship Salatiga.
On January 14, 1974, on the initiative of the Hindu-Buddhist Societies Guides Customs, held a meeting between Sangha Indonesia dan Maha Sangha Indonesia. At the meeting, agreed to fused Sangha Indonesia dan Maha Sangha Indonesia become Sangha Agung Indonesia and each monk will carry out the Vinaya under each sect. Elected as Chairman Most Ven. Jinarakkhita and his Deputy is Bhikkhu Jinapiya Thera. However, a subsequent meeting to define among others the structure and functions of the Organization of the Sangha Agung Indonesia never be implemented. The consensus made on January 14, that cannot be realized.
The Organization of Sangha Agung Indonesia at the present still exist with the member of monks and nun from three traditions that is theravada, mahayana, and tantrayana. Their member about 150 members all around if Indonesia.
2.Sangha Theravada Indonesia
Sangha Theravada Indonesia was form In 1976, separate from Sangha Agung Indonesia. In the afternoon on October 23, 1976, housed in the Maha Vihara Dhammaloka (now Vihara Tanah Putih), Semarang, initiated by some Buddhist monks and devotees namely: Ven. Aggabalo, Ven. Khemasarano, Ven. Sudhammo, Ven. Khemiyo, and Ven Nanavutto; Mr. Suratin MS., Mr. Mochtar Rashid, and Mrs. Supangat, to the agreement to form Sangha Theravada Indonesia .
3.Sangha Mahayana Indonesia
Similarly in 1978 with a few Mahayanis monks in the Sangha Agung Indonesia resigns and then formed a Sangha Mahayana Indonesia, Then, to unite the Mahayana monks and bhiksuni in one container, they founded the Sangha unity Mahayana Indonesia on September 10, 1978 in Buddha Murni Temple, Medan, North Sumatra.
In Indonesia there are thus three Sangha (Order): Sangha Agung Indonesia, Sangha Theravada Indonesia and Sangha Mahayana Indonesia.
Post Sectarian Periods
Indonesian Buddhist Trusteeship Council (Perwalian Umat Buddha Indonesia (Walubi))
Minister of religious affairs Alamsyah Ratu Perwiranegara held a meeting with the leadership of all assemblies and sangha in Indonesia. In this meeting all the Tribunal's Sangha stated all sects of Buddhism, based on the belief That the one true God with different designations. In this meeting established Perwalian Umat Buddha Indonesia (WALUBI) representing Buddhists in 1978. This name given by Minister of religious affairs Alamsyah Ratu Perwiranegara.
Walubi is federate with members: 1. Sangha Theravada Indonesia, 2. Sangha Mahayana Indonesia, 3. Sangha Agung Indonesia 4. Assemblies: 1. Assembly of the Buddhist Nichiren Syosyu Indonesia 2. Assembly of Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia 3. Assembly Dharmaduta Kasogatan, 4. Assembly of the Priest of Buddha Dhamma Indonesia (Mapanbudhi) 5. The Buddha Maitreya Priest Indonesia (Mapanbumi) 6. All Indonesia Assembly Chaplain Tridharma 7. The Scholars of Buddhism Indonesia (MUABI) after Buddhist Congress renamed The Indonesian Buddhayana Council (MBI).
Walubi Chaired by Suparto Hs from Mapanbudhi with Ir. T. Soekarno from NSI and advisor Board chaired by Soemantri M.S, from MUABI. Walubi have the Trial Sangha's and placing the three sanghas as an institution fatwa was with its chairman Ven. Ashin Jinarakkhita. The arrangement of its administrator is as follows:
Suparto Hs. From Majelis Pandita Buddha Dharma Indonesia as Chairperson (General Sekretary).
The workshop was held on February 20, 1978 in Jakarta produced the document “the stabilization of the Buddhist Teaching Workshops in Indonesia National Personality”. Results of this workshop is the Foundation to hold a Congress of Buddhists Indonesia.
After held Pre-Congress, Indonesian Buddhist Congress was held on May 8, 1979 in Yogyakarta. Pledge of Buddhists in which among others will carry out with a vengeance and it as well-good all statutes and decisions of the Indonesian Buddhist Congress, stated in an open forum before the Minister of religious affairs Alamsyah Ratu Perwiranegara in a National Ceremony on Vesak on May 10, 1979 in Mendut Temple and signed by all Buddhist Sangha and the Tribunal, including NSI, which at that time recognized as Buddhism that is similar to other assemblies.
The Congress confirmed the Decision of Buddhists Indonesia Workshop the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism with Indonesia's national Personalities. Results of the Congress that include a code of conduct, Criteria of Buddhism, Buddhist Indonesia Pledge and the inaugural resolutions of Workshops the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism With Indonesia's national Personalities. The decision regarding the admission of all sects of Buddhism in Indonesia against:
Criteria the Buddhist religion in indonesia , i e the presence of : the lord of almighty god, triratna / tiratana , trilaksana law / tilakkhana , catur arya satyani / cattari ariya saccani, pratitya samutpada / paticcasamuppada , karma / kamma , punarbhava / punnabhava , nirvana / nibbana, and the bodhisattva / bodhisatta .
The code of conduct also decided at the Congress include:
Results of the Indonesian Buddhist Congress is the basis and large means to bring about harmony, unity and unity of Buddhists in Indonesia. With the results of the Congress which is the basis of harmony, unity and unity of Buddhists is not the means that will be immediately created harmony. It is not easy to implement program Walubi in the first years of the formation.
In 1981, held an extraordinary Congress Walubi. Results of the extraordinary Congress was the replacement of the DPP Walubi. The new Chairman is Soemantri M.S from MBI and Secretary General of the Seno Sunoto of NSI.
In 1980, The Guidance Customs Hindu and Buddhist Societies formed an institution under the name Combined the monastery, Temple, Gray's House (Gavikra), but the Agency is not to develop, because the temple-monasteries and temples as well as the home of deashes already was under the coaching socio-political service Assembly.
Replacement of the leadership is not bringing an increase in Walubi Concord intern Buddhists and terlaksananya Walubi program, but rather Welcome the day of Vesak as Secretary General of the Seno Sunoto Walubi contained in newspapers 'Sinar Harapan' in 1983 were contrary to the code of conduct and results of the workshop on the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism. In his speech that Seno Sunoto changed the Feast day of Vesak as a reply to Bob for Buddhists based on the philosophy and Outlook on life of Japan. Protests in the newspaper can be stopped so as not to cause unrest and disrupt unity more amongst the Buddhists. Those problems would be resolved by DP Walubi Center. However, the issue was never resolved.
Then in early 1985 arise again disquiet amongst the Buddhists in Central Java, especially in Wonogiri about other Buddha at the presence of addition to Gautama Buddha. In a consultation officials Directorate General of the Hindu-Buddhist Bimas with Buddhist leaders, Seno admitted that Niciren Daisyonim is a Buddhist. The problem about the existence of two Buddhas are contrary to the criteria of the Buddhist code of ethics and the results of the workshop the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism and damage internal unity of Buddhists, are not resolved by the DPP Walubi came to the 1st Walubi Congress in 1986.
1st Walubi Congress
The 1st Walubi Congress was held on 8-11 July 1986 confirming the results of the Congress of the people of Indonesia about the Buddhist code of ethics, the criteria of Buddhism in Indonesia, Buddhism with a national personality, Indonesia pledge Buddhists Indonesia. In the Congress was elected General Chairman was the Most Venerable Girirakkhito and his Deputy were Drs. Aggi Tjetje.
Based on the Widyaka Sabha fatwā Walubi and historically, factual and faith, that NSI has strayed from the criteria of Buddhism in Indonesia, as well as violating the code of conduct and decision workshops the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism with Indonesia which has National Personality was confirmed by the Congress of the Buddhists and Congress Walubi. This result does not use Niciren Syosyu Indonesia as part of the Buddhism, therefore the NSI excluded from Walubi on July 10, 1987.
2nd Walubi Congress
2nd WALUBI Congress was held in Desember, 7th 1992, who returns choose Ven. Girirakkhito as a chairperson. For General Secretary was be choose Drs. Budi Setiawan (Director of Buddhist Society, Department of Religious Affairs). The Congress also chose the Dra. Siti Hartati Murdaya as Board of trustees. Congress formed The Framers By law Walubi consists of 30 peoples.
Buddhist organizations re-occurring conflict after the Congress because of a difference opinions regarding the work of the Framers Bylaw. This continued until the occurrence of acts of violence reported to National Commission for Human Rights. SAGIN and MBI expelled from Walubi by reason of the discipline of the Organization and teaching. Both were accused of heresy because syncretism, divisive, as well as animating chinese custom.
Konferensi Agung Sangha Indonesia was formed on 14 November 1998 as a means to streamline and returns the position of the Sangha who suffered riot as a result of internal conflicts and the existence of Walubi and misrelationships among members of Walubi. KASI was founded by the monks of the three Sangha in Indonesia: Sangha Theravada Indonesia, Sangha Mahayana Indonesia, dan Sangha Agung Indonesia, supported by assemblies of autonomous under the auspices of these sanghas, as the Indonesian Buddhayana Council (MBI), Assembly of Buddhism Theravada Indonesia (Magabudhi), and The Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia (Magabhumi).
A manuscript of establishment of Indonesian Sangha Great Conference (KASI) was signed together by :
ñ Most Ven.Dharmasagaro Mahasthavira : Ketua Sangha Mahayana Indonesia
ñ Most Ven. Sri Pannavaro Mahathera : Ketua Sangha Theravadha Indonesia
ñ Most Ven. Arya Maitri Mahasthavira : Wakil Ketua Sangha Agung Indonesia
ñ Most Ven. Prajnavira Mahasthavira who choosed as General Secretary
KASI is the association of sangha sangha ( of a fraternity the monk . bhiksu ) from a meeting ( conference ) supreme. with a holding in the Scriptures of Buddhism (Pali Tripitaka, Mahayanis, Tibetan/kanjur), this agency as decision considering the Dhamma (Dhammaniyoga). Although KASI is The Sangha-are members of the Sangha is its administrator/monks, but the monk of KASI also remained involved laity as helmate of the sangha.
According to The Tripitaka, the Sangha and the Laity is a group standing respectively. The presence of the Sangha is a mandatory law, whereas the presence of lay organizations (the Layperson) is indeed laudable, but not a must. A lay organization be changed or may be disbanded and renamed, but the Sangha to be preserved its existence with all its provisions as mentioned in the Vinaya Scriptures of the Pali Canon/Tripitaka. In a meeting with the Minister of religious affairs, also reported some activity KASI, among others: following the Work of the Executive Committee Meeting II VI World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC) in Sri Lanka on February 17-22 April 1999 and holding a Vesak With se-North Sumatra in Medan. Leadership of the World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC) is pleased to welcome the formation of KASI, and also raised the Most Venereble Ashin Jinarakkhita Maha Nayaka Sthavira (76-year-old monk pioneer of Buddhism in Indonesia) as Vice President of WBSC.
KASI as organization official buddhists it said in a letter numbered 455. 5 / 1204 that was signed plh director general social and political the department of the interior of the Republic of Indonesia, Drs H Ragam. The establishment of KASI hence now buddhists indonesia having an institution cleric who parallel to the institutions of the clergy in other religions where kepengurusannya up in the hands of the clergy as an assembly of the indonesian (MUI) of mohammedanism, a conference prelates indonesia (KWI) of catholics , fellowship of the churches of indonesia (PGI) of christianity.
Representative of Buddhist Indonesia (Perwakilan Umat Buddha Indonesia (new-Walubi)
Representative of Buddhists Indonesia formed on the basis of National Consensus Buddhists Indonesia on 20 August 1998, consists of the Confederation some Buddhist organizations fractions a few Buddhist organizations, as well as some Buddhist organizations that don't fit in KASI. It's organization was lead by Dra. Hartati Murdaya. This is a container of community organizations of Buddhists Indonesia which consists of assemblies of Buddhism, Buddhist, religious institutions, The Honor Council the Sangha and viable Container was breathing on Buddhism.
Buddhist Youth Organization
Encouragement to develop organization also found in groups of young people and women. The Buddhist Youth Indonesia (Pembudhi) who was born in the neighborhood MUABI (1973) and was active in the KNPI and Golkar after signing the Declaration of Indonesian Youth (1986) and prepare Youth Buddhist Congress. The Government ordered him to come with an intended element of youth assemblies, so that it gets done deliberation Walubi together in 1986 which gave birth to a younger generation of Buddhist Indonesia (Gemabudhi) with Chairman Lieus Sungkharisma.
Youth Organization growing among the assembly between others : Tridharma Youth (1954), The Joint Secretariat of the Indonesian Buddhayana Monasteries Youth (sekber Pmvbi - Buddhayana Youth) 1973 , Then The Young Generation Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia (1986), Theravada Indonesia Youth (patria ) 1995 , etc.
Buddhis Women Organization
Buddhist women Indonesia originally was a local Buddhist women's organizations in Bandung (1973), then along with women's groups from assemblies, held a Congress Woman Walubi Buddhist Indonesia in 1987 and gave birth to a large family of Buddhist Women Indonesia (KBWBI). Subsequent developments gave rise to various women's organizations based on Buddhist assemblies that exist in Indonesia as Women Theravada Indonesia (Wandani), Indonesia, and the Mahayana Women etc.
Buddhist Become Official State Religion
An ancient literature said that the buddhist religion in indonesia will asleep in four times and shall stand again after 500 years later since the collapse of the royal mahapahit on in 1478. it appear to be a reality. After passing the 4 (four) era, i e , the Kingdom of Islam , era of Colonization , the Independence, and the Old Order; and also after about 500 years since the collapse of the Royal Mahapahit in 1478, Buddhism started to rise again in the archipelago (indonesia). It is characterized by the presence of a presidential decree republic of Indonesia number 45, 1974 and decision president of the republic of indonesia Number. 30, 1978 who sets the establishment of the directorate general for guidance society Hinduism and Buddhism.
If counted, since since the collapse of the royal majapahit on in 1478 and the rising of Presidential Degree of Republic Indonesia Number 30 in 1978 , there is a time lapse more or less 500 years. And by the presidential decree, Buddhism became one of the official religions recognized by the State and is aligned with other religions. In 1983, the day of Vesak (Vesak) designated by the Government as a holiday of Justice (Buddhist Year 2499 BE) with the Decree the President of the REPUBLIC of INDONESIA No. 3/1983.
Buddhism in Indonesian National Identity
Indonesian state philosophy is Pancasila. The pancasila was formulated by Soekarno and deliverd as a speech without text before the committee to Investigate Preparatory Efforts for Independence on the June 1st,1945. The principle of Divinity, which is the most relevant to this study, was at that time described as follows.
“I have described four principles: (1) Indonesian Nationalism, (2) Internationalism and Humanity, (3) Consensus or Democracy, (4) Social Security. The fifth Principle should be: to build independent Indonesia which is devoted to the God who is one. The every Indonesian Should believe in his or her own god. A christian worships the god according to instructions of Jesus Christ, a moslem believes in God according to the instrucion of the prophet Muhammad s.a.w., a Buddhist performs religious to his scriptures”.
Still a question whether the existence of the circle of Buddhist teachings acknowledged the existence of the Godhead That the one true God, make the Government at that time feel free to make Buddhism as the official religion. Then, the most Venerable Ashin Jinarakkhita proposed the name Sanghyang Adi Buddha, Buddha trance dance as the name of God in the teachings of Buddhism. It is then submitted to the Minister of religious affairs and the Government finally accepted Buddhism as the official religion of the country in 1978. It is listed in the GBHN 1978, Presidential Decree Number 30, 1978, as well as Circulars Minister of Home Affairs No. 477/74054/1978 (18 November 1978).
The workshop was held on February 20, 1978 in Jakarta produced documents of 'Workshop the stabilization of the teachings of Buddhism in Indonesian National Identity”. Workshop document contains the code of conduct, criteria of Buddhism in indonesia later confirmed as well as on the pledge along the Buddhist Congress in 1979. The decision regarding the admission of all sects of Buddhism in Indonesia against:
It also set out any criteria of Buddhism in Indonesia, namely the existence of: Almighty God, Triratna/Tiratana, Law Trilaksana/Tilakkhana, Satyani/Aryan Chess Cattari Ariya Saccani, Pratitya Samutpada/Karma/Paticcasamuppada, Kamma, Punnabhava, Punarbhava/Nirvana/Nibbana, and Bodhisattva/Bodhisatta.
Therefore, Buddhists at the time viewed the need to adjust to the new order Government which sets out the terms of the religion is to believe in God (theistik), the political conditions in the past very difficult for Buddhism to thrive if it does not apply to categories of the Godhead that the one true God and would be considered Atheists and will not be allowed to develop.
Peculiar characteristic of Indonesian Buddhism appearing in a couple of decades after the failed communist coup in 1965, Indonesian Buddhism has accepted Adi Buddha in order to comply with the Indonesian State principle of Dicinity which has been strongly enforced since 1965. the indonesian Buddhism called Buddhayana appears syncretistic as one can see it from its liturgical publication. In this transformation, the first indigenous monk Ashin Jinarakkhita has played a significant role throughout. In the words of scholars who have since investigated further, the situation can be generally summarized in three suggestions.
One, the adoption of Adi Buddha was due to Indonesian government framing of buddhism into monotheistic religions, especially Islam, exerted major influence. Two, the adoption was also perceived as forming theistic Buddhism and therefore causing conflicts among Indonesian Budddhist organizations to arise. Three, in the middle of all these, Ashin Jinarakkhita, The Buddhist Leader of the time was allegedly the one who created Adi Buddha and Buddhayana. It is said that he had a particularly strong personality, was a great pragmatist and a shrewd judge of political developments, wore a theravada robe yet wore a beard in the Mahayana style. The latter eans the issue on hand cannot be examined just from the view or the action of the religious leader alone, but must also consider the state's view and governing acts as well as the history behind it.
In the archipelago, the discourse on divinity was neither totally new even for the fourtheenth century Java nor the end of it. The concept of divinity has been known to Indonesia for long time. The one term of divinity Buddhism was called Sanghyang Adi Buddha is from the word “adi buddha”. The term Adi Buddha reffereing to the concept of absolute and abstract divinity was employed for the forst time in Sanghyang Kamahayanikan. This term also found in scribed in the Pagarruyung I (Bukit Gombak I) inscription dated to 13 April 1356. The inscription claims that a descendant of Amararyya dynasty, the Illustrious King Adityawarman, who has the banner of non-duality, who was exceedingly like Adi Buddha – embedded with virtues of loving kindness, compassion, joy, and tranquility- was a king beneficial to misfortunate living beings.
This concept refers to the similarity of the concept of God in other religions (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism) which is the majority religion in Indonesia and a prerequisite for any mention of Theistik Religion in Indonesia. Government recognition of the appellation of God in Buddhism appeared in Government Regulation No. 21 RI in 1975 about oath/promise of a civil servant who claimed “Demi Allah” for those who are Buddhists replaced “Demi Sanghyang Adi Buddha” (later confirmed by Indonesian Law No. 43, 1999). The God term by 'Sanghyang Adi Buddha' is a trance dance of Buddhists under the Guidance of MUABI (now MBI – Indonesian Buddhayana Council).
Revival of Buddhist Education in Indonesia
The new order era schools must provide religious education. Buddhists began to pay attention to the development of education. Perbudhi and PUUI yan initially moves in the field of broadcasting and religious services at the monastery, began organizing a cetiya/courses-reserved Buddhist teachers and assigning their activist plunge into schools. Understaffed and Buddhist schools of education are still felt to this day. Many Buddhists traditionally follow another religious education at school, then moved the religion. Buddhists are not only founded a monastery, but also began to develop the school. Like Buddhists Tridharma in Jakarta set up “Sila Paramita” Buddhist School (1967). Later founded a school in Jambi is “Sariputra School” and the Tri Ratna School in Sibolga, North Sumatra, and so on. To print the teacher of Buddhism, Buddhists in Semarang is a pioneer in the presence of the Buddhist Teachers School “Smaratungga” in Boyolali. In Banyumas also founded Buddhist Teachers School “Mpu Tantular”.
At Jakarta in 1979 founded the Nalanda Buddhist Academy (now the Nalanda Buddhist College). Up in 2010 there are 15 Buddhist College are recorded, among them: Nalanda Buddhist College (Jakarta), Smaratungga Buddhist College (Boyolali), Mahaprajna Buddhist College (Cilincing-Jakarta), the Buddhist Srivijaya Empire State College (Banten), Kertarajasa Buddhist College (Unfortunate), Sailendra dynasty Buddhist College (Semarang), Bodhi Dharma Buddhist College (Medan), Ashin Jinarakkhita Buddhist College (Lampung), Raden Wijaya Buddhist College (Wonogiri), Dutavira Buddhist College (Jakarta), etc. some of them became the member of International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABU) and Association of Theravada Buddhist Universities (ATBU).
Buddhism is a religion which has since long been embraced by most of society archipelago. Srivijaya and Majapahit era was the golden era for Buddhism. The existence of Buddhism in Nusantara (Indonesia) can be proven by the existence of a legacy-legacy in the form of inscriptions and buildings of the temple as well as foreign literature, particularly literature-originating from China. A tradition or school of Buddhism that held by Nusantara society was non-Mahayana Buddhism, however, for the development of subsequent Mahayana and the Surmang Foundation became more popular in the community. This is evidenced by the many historical relics that have the value of the philosophy of Mahayana and the Tantrayana. From historical relics can also be seen that there has been a follow between Hinduism-Shiva with Mahayana Buddhism in Indonesia.
After experiencing two heyday, i.e. the Srivijaya and Majapahit Empires, Buddhism in Indonesia finally decline after the fall of Majapahit Kingdom. But after four days, after 500 years later since the collapse of the Kingdom of Mahapahit in 1478, Buddhism began to bounce back from his sleep. Travel the revival and development of Buddhism beginning in the colonial era to the present through a winding road. Various problems arise alternately.
At the time of colonization, the development of Buddhism face constraints include lack of notable understand Buddha Dharma and confront aggression missionaries of other religions. During the old order, independence and development of Buddhism tinged by differences of opinions and views among Buddhists leaders giving rise to turmoil here and there until the establishment of various Buddhist organizations. In addition, the Government has not acknowledged the attitude of Buddhism as the official religion, has narrowed the motion the development of Buddhism. However during this time, was born the Sangha Indonesia as Buddhists protector.
Buddhism became one of the official religion of the development of Buddhism in coloring the new order era. In addition, the formation of a single Container and chaos within the Organization WALUBI also occurred during this period. Instead of unifying the whole Buddhists all over Indonesia, not so long ago, the presence of the hostile hospital and the split cause WALUBI amongst Buddhists. caused any prejudice, misconceptions, and the impositions of a few unscrupulous private interests Trustees WALUBI.
The dissolution of the old WALUBI and established New-WALUBI for the purpose of burying the problem exists, it appears that does not give a good impact. Even so, there is a bright side of the chaos that ensued. At least Buddhist Sangha Institution which eventually have to sit abreast KASI with the institutions of the clergy in other religions.
The new paradigm in buddhism which envolved today is a single container is no longer a necessity. Each Assembly or religious organizations have the freedom, and therefore is responsible for implementing the vision and mission. Each of them. not to intervene in each other. Diversity is preserved without neglecting the unity, tolerance, mutual understanding, and brotherhood. Experience teaches that the hostile hospital organisation and conflicts occur because of abuse of power/position for personal gain, the use of violence to impose their will and practices that deviate from the values of religious (Scriptural). The Buddhist community becomes increasingly idealized through inter-disciplinary approach to appreciate and understand the sect with the various schools of Buddhism. Inter-religious dialogue is increasingly developed, so did the inter-ethnic dialogue sects (particularly in the mainstream environment or KASI). Globalization and advances in information technology have presented various influences from abroad. Monk/biksuni or foreign dharmaduta more and more are visiting Indonesia. Further efforts to safely Buddhist teachings through socially engaged Buddhism, Buddhist social care, has become increasingly evident. That movement does not just come from the assemblies, but also more recently a prominent Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (based in Taiwan) spreading the love without discriminating group, nation, and religion.
Ming, Chau. Beberapa Aspek tentang Agama Buddha Mahayana, Jakarta: Sasana, 1987 and 1994.
Ming, Chau. Filsafat Buddhis Mahayana. Jakarta: Sasana, 1985
Wahyono, Mulyadi. Pokok-pokok Dasar Agama Buddha, Jakarta: Ditjen Bimas Hindu Buddha Depag RI, 1992.
Widya, dr. D. K. Sejarah Perkembangan Agama Buddha, Jakarta: Ditjen Bimas Hindu & Buddha Depag RI-UT, 1993
Rusli, HS. Teori dan Praktek Tantra-Vajrayana, Medan: IBC, 1982.
Narada, Sang Buddha & Ajaran-ajarannya, Malang: Yayasan Dhammadipa Arama 1996.
S.Widyadharma, Dhamma Sari. Jakarta: Yayasan Dhammadipa Arama, 1990.
Kiprah Kasogatan Jakarta: 1994
Dharmakusumah, Alam Kematian sementara (Bardo Tholdo), Jakarta: 1992.
Soekmono, R. Pengantar Sejarah kebudayaan Indonesia, Jakarta: Djambatan, 1973.
Tim Penerjemah, Sanghyang Kamahayanikan, Jakarta: Ditjen Bimas Hindu & Buddha Depag RI, 1979.
Tim Penyusun, Perkembangan Agama Buddha di Indonesia, Jakarta: Lembaga Litbang Majelis Buddhayana Indonesia, 2005
Kern, J.H.C and Rassers, W.H, Çiwa and Buddha. Jakarta: Djambatan, 1982
Kandahjaya, Hudaya. The Master Key for Reading Borobudur Symbolism, Jakarta: Penerbit Karaniya, 1995.
_________, Ashin Jinarakkhita and Adi Buddha in Indonesian Buddhism, (paper), presented in the Numata Conference on Buddhism and Islam at McGill University, in 2009 and at the 16th Congress of International Association of Buddhist Studies, Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taiwan, in 2011.
 He is a Buddhist Lecturer and Dean of Dharma Achariya in Smaratungga Buddhist College, Indonesia. Now he still study in for Graduate School of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand in Buddhist Studies Program.
 No Name, History of Buddhist Development in Indonesia, published , Monday, July, 16th 2007 http://dharmoghandul.blogspot.com/2007/07/sejarah-perkembangan-agama-buddha-di.html, retrieved at December, 20th 2011.
 He is the founder of the first Buddhist school in Indonesia. The school is located in Jakarta's original Batavia English School (1931), was closed at the time of Japan's colonization, then reopened under the name Sin Hwa English School (1945), and the latter being the chaitya School in 1955. Prior to becoming biku, Tee Boan's been also taught at the school. The school has a Buddhist Chaitya, first Buddhist places of worship in Jakarta that no institution of the said.
 Support Perbudhi to the Sangha Indonesia and stated as the refuge of Perbudhi in addition to Maha Sangha Indonesia has caused PUUI, whose name has been changed to The Scholars of Buddhism Indonesia (MUABI) States out of the Perbudhi.
 There are several versions of which is to say that:”... Until the mid-1970s, Buddhists in Indonesia is composed of many organizations. At that time there were few organizations of Buddhists who were active in the field of coaching is not nurtured by religious Sangha (that is the time). Based on the existence of the situation and condition of Buddhists in Indonesia like that, then in the afternoon on October 23, 1976, housed in the Maha Vihara Dhammaloka (now Vihara Tanah Putih), Semarang, some Buddhist monks and devotees namely: Ven. Aggabalo, Ven. Khemasarano, Ven. Sudhammo, Ven. Khemiyo, and Ven Nanavutto; Mr. Suratin MS., Mr. Mochtar Rashid, and Mrs. Supangat, to the agreement to form Sangha Theravada Indonesia. See on 30 tahun Pengabdian Sangha Theravada Indonesia, hal. 98-99, Diambil dari : http://samaggi-phala.or.id/berita/awal_sti.html
 The initiator of Foundation of Sangha Mahayana Indonesia namely Bhiksu Dharmabatama Mahasthavira (Huat Sien), Bhiksu Heng Sin Sakyaputra Mahasthavira (Zinc Hiong), Bhiksu Dharmasagaro Sthavira (Ting Hay), Bhiksu Mioa Kai, Bhiksu Ru Kong, Bhiksu Dharmasetya Sthavira (Xing Xiu), Bhiksu Cong Miao Huat, Bhiksuni Ti Gie Yao, Bhiksuni Beng Kie, and Bhiksuni Tuan Sin. Its Administrator consists of the Most Ven. Dharmasagaro (General Chairpersons), Ven. Dharmabatama (1st Chairperson), Ven. Sakyasakti (2nd Chairman), Ven. Dutavira (General Secretary), Ven. Dhyanavira (1st Secretary) and Ven. Andhanavira (2nd Secretary). Sangha Mahayana Indonesia, conceived the idea of construction of Pusdiklat Mahayana Buddhism Indonesia. The ideals of the Sangha is disseminating the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism in Indonesia Indonesia language as well as using translating Scriptures of Buddhism into the language of Indonesia.
 prefixed to the 'twin' AD/ ART and followed with sackings 13 steward Central Leaders of walubi derived from membership Indonesian Buddhayana Assembly (MBI) and Sangha Agung Indonesia, the conflict in WALUBI was continue dismissal of the membership of Indonesian buddhayana assembly (MBI) with Decree no. 135 /sk/dpp wlb/1.8 /x/94. then walubi issued the decision no. 141/sk/dpp wlb/1.8/94 about dismissal of the order of Sangha Agung Indonesia (SAGIN) and Indonesian buddhayana Assembly (MBI) from walubi on october 15 1994.
 At the time of the new order Government hold a clearance against Buddhist religious institutions with cleaning it from indigenous Chinese elements is considered a foreign culture. This provision is based on the instructions of the Minister of Home Affairs (No. 455.2 -360) 1988 about structuring a temple not justified using the term vihara or cetiya. In other words the monastery or cetya shouldn't show the symbols or Chinese culture.
 Although Buddhism has officially become a State religion, but the use of the term Sanghyang Adi Buddha as a God and its own controversies being debated among Buddhists Indonesia until now. This is because the concept of the Adi Buddha just trance dance in the schools of Vajrayana/Tantrayana Buddhism is not God in the sense of Personality God like monotheis religion (religion of Abraham). Politicization by using and menyandingkan term Adi Buddha trance dance as a personal God is contrary to the teachings of Buddhism that is basically nonteis. With the existence of this politicization, making Buddhism in Indonesia to be a little different with Buddhism in the world.
 Jan Bakker, Laurence-Khantipalo Mills, and Egaku Mayeda in Kandahjaya, Hudaya. Ashin Jinarakkhita and Adi Buddha in Indonesian Buddhayana (Paper that presented at the Numata Conference on Buddhism and Islam at Macgil University in 2009, and at the 16th Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taiwan, in 2011.
 Adi Buddha is another name of Dharmakaya which is an embodiment of the five Dhyani-Buddha-. Adi Buddha is the Primordial Buddha, the one, or is called also paramadi Buddha (Buddha of the first and unmatched), Anadi Buddha (the Buddha neither created), Uru-Buddha (Buddha of all Buddhas), also called adinatha (first patron), swayambhu (that is by itself), svayambhulokanatha (protector of the world that exists by itself), or Sanghyang Adwaya (there is no second to none). The term comes from the tradition of the adi Buddha Aisvarika (Isvara, the Lord, the blessed Buddha), the nepal Mahayana spread through Bengal, up to known on Java island.
 Ven. Jinnarakkhita reveals to the TEMPO, ' ... but I did hold to the principle that the Buddhism in Indonesia is a Buddhist Deity Who is the one true God. Which in Buddhism is called Sang-Hyang in Buddhism. I took a stance of Buddhist in Indonesia should be oriented to the Buddhist Borobudur. Due to the Borobudur--Mahayana Buddhist who knew the Sang Hyang Adi Buddha. Because it is a religion See on Buddhist '.'Berkiblat ke Borobudur' retrieved on December, 20th 2011. http://majalah.tempointeraktif.com/id/arsip/1973/11/03/AG/mbm.19731103.AG63253.id.html
 The concept of divinity can be found in Sanghyang Kamahayanikan, the kelurak inscription, the Kunjarakarna Dharmakathana, Gandhavyuha-Sutra, Namasangiti, karanda-vyuha, svayambhu purana, mahavairocanabhisambodhi-sutra, guhya-samaya sutra, Tattvasangraha-sutra, and paramadi Buddhodharta-Sri Kalacakra-Sutra.
 which then evolved into the Academy of education science of Buddhism (1986) and transformed into the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IIAB) Smaratungga. In 2000 transformed again into a Smaratungga Buddhist College.
Cambodia or Kampuchea is a country located in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. The official religion in Cambodia is Theravada Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of its population. Nowadays, there are many Buddhist monks practicing and studying the teaching of the Buddha (Dhamma and Vinaya) in temples around the country. In my province, Kratie (a province in northeastern Cambodia), has many Buddhist monks studying in Dhamma Vianaya Schools and Buddhist High Schools. There are also a few Buddhist Meditation Centers for all Buddhists to practice meditation too.
During the Khmer Rouge Era, in 1975 when the communist Khmer Rouge took control of Cambodia, Buddhism was nearly completely destroyed. Every monks and religious intellectual had been either murdered or driven into exile and every temple and Buddhist temples and library had been destroyed. The Khmer rouge policies towards Buddhism- which included the forcible disrobing of the monks, the destruction of monasteries, and, ultimately, the execution of uncooperative monks effectively destroyed Cambodia’s Buddhist institutions. Monks who did not flee and avoided execution lived among the laity, sometimes secretly performing Buddhist rituals for the sick or afflicted.2 Estimates vary regarding the number of monks in Cambodia prior to the ascension of the Khmer Rouge, ranging between 65,000 and 80,000.3
By the time of the Buddhist restoration in the early 1980s, the number of Cambodian monks worldwide was estimated to be less than 3,000.4 But at this present time, there are 55,583 monks and novices in 4,307 wats (temple) across the country.5 Nowadays, Buddhism is the main part of Khmer people to practice and study the Buddha’s teachings.
The Origin of Engaged Buddhism
As we know, engaged Buddhism is originally coined by noted Vietnamese Zen teacher Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. During the Vietnamese War when he and his Dhamma friends were interested in their meditative practices but the society was afflicted by the suffering of the war so the question arose in their mind regarding the objective of their religious life. They thought that when the other part of society is faced with the fear, pain and suffering so would it be appropriate for them to confine themselves to their spiritual practices, hiding from the external world? After thought, they decided to do their action to society. Because of their spiritual practices so that they could understand the grief and agony of others so they go out of their place to offer their services to common people of the society by helping them with the Buddhadhamma. They gave this way of life as a new Chinese term, translated as Engaged Buddhism into English, although not considered to be very good translation.6
If we get understand clearly about this term, Engaged Buddhism might have arisen in the Buddha’s time because this concept already begun with the departure of the Buddha. He taught the Dhamma to many people around India and to show them the path to free from fear, pain and suffering. The Buddha’s service toke forty-five years for people, to teach and to show the path of the Dhamma to people and many of them got enlightenment and live with a great
life. The Buddha is a great leader, teacher and a great compassionate person for the world.
Engaged Buddhism in Cambodia
As I mention above, Buddhism was nearly completely destroyed during the Khmer Rouge Era. Monks were forced to disrobe and worked as lay people and some of them were killed. Some monks were exiled to other countries like Vietnam and Thailand…etc. There were many temples destroyed or became the prison. Following the defeat of the Khmer Rouge by forces of the Vietnamese government, Buddhism initially remained officially suppressed within Cambodia.7 Following challenges to the legitimacy of the Vietnamese-backed People’s Republic of Kampuchea, policies towards Buddhism began to liberalize starting in the summer of 1979.8 A group of monks who had been exiled and re-ordained in Vietnam during the Khmer Rouge period were sent to Cambodia.9 Today, Buddhism is struggling to re-establish itself although the lack of Buddhist scholars and leaders and the continuing political instability makes the task difficult.
For Engaged Buddhism in Cambodia, I would like to mention about Venerable Maha Ghosananda because his work, Dhammayietra is the first program that set up for peace and nonviolence in Cambodia. Before I talk about Dhammayietra, I would like to talk a little bit of Maha Ghosananda’s history.
Maha Ghosanada: An Origin Story
Maha Ghosananda, (full title: Samdech Preah Maha Ghosananda), is highly revered Cambodian Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition, who served as the Patriarch (Sangharaja) of Cambodian Buddhism during the Khmer Rouge period and post-communist transition period of Cambodian history. He was born in Takeo Province, Cambodia in 1929, to a farming family in the Mekong Delta plains. He had interested in religion from his young age and began to serve as a temple boy at age eight and became novice at the age fourteen. He studied Pali and Buddhism in the local temple, and then went to complete his
higher education at the Buddhist universities in Phnom Penh and Battambang Province, before going to India to pursue a doctorate in Pali at Nalanda University in Bihar in 1953 and he received doctoral degree as Maha Ghosanada.
While in India for doctoral study, Maha Ghosananda met Nichidatsu Fujii, a Japanese Buddhist whose affiliation with Mahatma Gandhi had inspired him to found the Nipponzan Myohoji, an order dedicated to world peace. It was from Nichidatsu that Maha Ghosananda learned the methods and philosophy of satyagraha (translated as “soul force” or “truth force” that is a particular philosophy and practice within the broader overall category generally known as nonviolence resistance) that was to inform his own nonviolence advocacy in Cambodia.
Maha Ghosananda always traveled and studied that why he became influent in Sangkrit, Pali, Burmese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai, French, English and also several Chinese dialects. In 1965, he left Cambodia and journeyed to the isolated forest of Southern Thailand, where he became a disciple of the noted meditation master, Ajahn Dhammasaro. He remained in his Thai forest retreat for more than ten years. After the first flood of refugees began to appear at the Cambodia-Thai border in 1978, Maha Ghosananda left the forest monastery to greet them. He went to Sakeo, the refugee camp for the Khmer Rouge; he walked directly to its center and began to silently distribute pamphlets of the Metta Sutta, the sutta of loving kindness. He said, “All day long we moved the hand up and down” Nonetheless, when troubles with Cambodia were learned, “we cried for Cambodia every day.”10 As practicing mindfulness meditation, Maha Ghosananda’s inner peace grew and he waited and prayed for a chance to help his people.
Maha Ghosananda moved from meditation master to the refugees’ camp and he was set within the circuits of exile and deterritorialized nation-building. He was known as “The Buddha of the Battlefields”. By 1980, he was the Cambodian nation-in-exile consultant to the U.N. Economic and Social Council and cofounder of the Inter-Religious Mission for Peace in Cambodia. There are two most important precepts of engaged Buddhist interventions is sovereignty battle…nonviolence and neutrality.
Maha Ghosananda returned to Cambodia through the Dhammayietra inspired a rumor that circulated for several years that Ghosananda was the fulfillment of an old prophesy that after the brutal reign of the Thmil (infidels), a “holy man from the west, a light skinned Khmer would appear. A prince would arrive to save his people.”11 But his efforts to represent a peaceful resolution to conflict in Cambodia have rarely kept him there. In 1992, he received the title as Somdech Phra from King Sihanouk in Phnom Penh and he was known popularly as Somdech Song Santipheap (the Leader of Religion for Peace) in Cambodia.
Maha Ghosananda wrote a book named “Step by Step”, a guide leading to truth, happiness, and peace for all Cambodian as well as for other nations in the whole world if they all follow the eminent path or idea. His famous saying in the book he wrote was “The suffering of Cambodian has been deep, from this suffering come great compassion, great compassion makes a peaceful heart, a peaceful heart makes a peaceful person, a peaceful person makes a peaceful family, a peaceful family makes a peaceful community, a peaceful community makes a peaceful nation, a peaceful nation makes a peaceful world, and may all beings live in happiness and peace in our universe forever”. This book was published in 1993 in many different languages.
Because of his works for Cambodian and for the world, Maha Ghosananda is known as “Buddha of the Battlefield” and “Ghandhi of Cambodia”.
Maha Ghosananda died in Northampton, Massachusetts on March 12, 2007.
Dhammayietra is the Path for Peace and Nonviolence
Dhammayietra means pilgrimage of truth. It is the path of walking on Dhamma to spread peace and happiness to others and Maha Ghosananda set up this program to spread peace around Cambodia. I remember when I was a small temple boy. I saw many villagers line the roads with lustral water (Teuk Mun) and incense that will be plunged into the water to extinguish the fire of war. Often at these times the walk’s iconic leader, Maha Ghosananda reflects upon the Dhammayietra’s purpose, “Peace is growing in Cambodia, slowly, step by step…Each step is a meditation. Each step is a prayer…”12 This purpose is the
most significant of engaged Buddhism in Cambodia because it is the path to get peace for the country.
In 1992, during the first year of the United Nations sponsored peace agreement, Maha Ghosananda led the first nationwide Dhammayatra,13 a peace march or pilgrimage, across Cambodia in an effort to begin restoring the hope and sprit of the Cambodian people.14 This Dhammayietra was conceived in the refugee camps at their point of dispersal back into Cambodia. Against the wishes of U.N. bureaucrats preparing to repatriate the 300,000 refugees and government officials of both Cambodia and Thailand, some 350 refugees crossed into Cambodia, “Step by Step.” By the time the walkers reached Phnom Penh, their number had increased to 1,000, snaking through the city.15
The second plan for walking Dhammayatra was in 1993 when the volatile conditions preceding the U.N. monitored elections. This time, Dhammayietra took off from Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, the sacred site of Cambodian nationalism in a province in constant tension between the Khmer Rouge and government force. The third Dhammayietra in 1994 proved to be the most controversial. Its itinerary through the war zone in western Cambodia cost the lives of two participants, a monk and a nun, when government soldiers accompanying them and the Khmer Rouge exchanged fire. Maha Ghosananda completed the walk saying “this violence is indeed the reason we walk.” “Our journey for peace begins today and every day. Slowly, slowly, each step is a prayer, each step is a meditation, and each step will build a bridge.”16
In May 1995, the fourth Dhammayietra was led by Maha Ghosananda from the Thai border to Svay Rieng near the Vietnamese border. This Dhammayietra focused on banning land mines, to draw attention to the more than 10 million landmines in Cambodia; more mines that people, continue to this day to kill and maim hundreds of farmers and children each year. During the walk, the Buddhist collected 20,000 signatures to ban landmines.
A message from Maha Ghosananda that read by a Unitarian Minister “Peace is always a point of arrival and a point of departure. That is why we must always begin again, step by step, and never get discouraged. Pañña (wisdom) will be our weapon; Mettā (loving kindness) and Karunā (compassion) our bullets; and Sati (mindfulness) our armor. We will walk until Cambodia and the whole world is peaceful.”17 He also said that, “If a driver is not sober how can he drive a car? If you don’t calm your spirit, you cannot bring peace to the country.”18
In 1996, Dhammayiera was held again and it focused on deforestation and the link between militarism, illegal logging and the ongoing civil war. There are seven hundred people took this part through some of the province s most damaged by deforestation. They planted 2,000 trees along the pilgrimage. Maha Ghosananda always gave a public talk to many villagers and encouraged them to “remove the land mines of hatred from our hearts.” He said, “When we respect the environment, then nature will be good to us. The trees are like our mother and father. They feed us and nourish us: provide us with everything- the fruit, the leaves, the branches, the trunk. They give us food and satisfy many of our needs. But if we just cut down the trees it won’t rain anymore. The trees make rain. So on the Dhammayietra we are spreading the Dhamma of protecting ourselves and protecting our environment, which is the Dhamma of the Buddha.”19
In 1997, the sixth Dammayietra was a milestone in reconciliation between Khmer Rouge and Government forces, in which Maha Ghosananda urged forgiveness and reconciliation for Khmer Rouge forces who repented and renounced violence. He blessed to Ieng Sary, a senior Khmer Rouge and forgives him and said, “In Buddhism, when people know their crimes and they ask for pardon, then the Buddha pardons them. We do not know if (Ieng Sary) is lying or not, but the Dhamma forgives people who return to the light and give up fighting.”20 That time was very important task of Maha Ghosananda that he met Khmer Rouge leaders and tough the Dhamma and forgive them. This walk continued for three weeks through all the former strongholds of the defecting Khmer Rouge unites.
Maha Ghosananda offered a message to villagers: “We must remove the landmines in our hearts which prevent us from making peace. The landmines in the heart are greed, hatred and delusion. We can overcome greed with the weapon of generosity; we can overcome hatred with the weapon of loving kindness; we can overcome delusion with the weapon of wisdom. Peace-making starts with us.”21 Maha Ghosananda gave a simple message which full with a great meaning of the Buddha’s Dhamma.
In May 9, 1998, Maha Ghosananda was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in a ceremony in Tokyo, Japan. The prize is given to individuals and organizations that have contributed to interreligious cooperation, furthering the cause of world peace. In this year, Maha Ghosananda led two shorter walks in Cambodia. The eighth Dhammayietra was a journey to northeastern Cambodia. This purpose is to protect the environment. And other one was walking from Takeo to the King’s Palace in Phnom Penh. Its purpose to encourage a nonviolent election. After 1998, Maha Ghosananda no longer to part in the Dhammayietra walk because of his failing health.
Dhammayietra takes total times of 7 years from 1992 to 1998 and took a total distance of more than 1 million kilometers.
Engaged Buddhism is a really Buddhist social work to help people to be free from suffering, painful and difficulties in their lives. It is the path to apply Buddhadhamma to society to get peace for oneself and others. Many Buddhist monks working as president of organization, association to help their children, people, society and country by the Dhamma and to continue apply Dhamma to around the world.
In Cambodia, Dhammayietra is the first engaged Buddhism to find peace for the country. The Dhammayietra and Maha Ghosananda are arbiters of exile and international politics. Represented as a quintessential Khmer Buddhist response to Cambodia’s entrenched conflict, the Dhammayietra forget its discursive identity vis a vis the “local” space of the nation but this local space is mobile.
Maha Ghosananda’s instruction to move “step by step” toward peace re-appropriate dangerous mobility- the massive relocation during the Khmer Rouge era, refugee flight, the danger of treading on land fed with mines and turns walking into a mindful act.
Walking step by step with mindfulness is the path to get Peace.
- Chandler, D. 1991. The tragedy of Cambodian history. Politics, war, and revolution since 1945. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
- Ebihara, M. 1971, Svay, a Khmer village in Cambodia. Ph.D. dissertation. New York: Columbia University.
- Eppsteiner, F., ed. 1988. The path of compassion: Writing on socially engaged Buddhism. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.
- French, L. 1994. Enduring Holocaust, surviving history: Displaced Cambodians on the Thai-Cambodian border, 1989-1991. Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University.
- Ghosananda, M. 1992. Step by Step. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.
- Jackson, K. D. 1989. The ideology of total revolution. In Cambodia 1975-1978: Rendezvous with death, edited by K. Jackson. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Mahoney, J.S. and P. Edmonds, eds. 1992. Editor’s introduction. In Step by Step, by M. Ghosananda. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.
- Moser-Puangsuwan, Y. 2000a. One million kilometers for peace, reconciliation and hope: The Dhammayietra movement in Cambodia. In Nonviolence intervention across borders: A recurrent vision, edited by Y. Moser-Puangsuwan and T.Weber, pp. 251-68. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i.
- Yang, S. 1987. Khmer Buddhism and politics from 1954 to 1984. Newington, CT: Khmer Studies Institute.
- Sivaraksa, M. 1997. In the shade of the Bodhi tree. Dhammayietra and the re-awakening of community in Cambodia. Crossroads 10 (1): 1032.
- Queen, C. and S. King, eds. 1996. Engaged Buddhists: Buddhist liberation movements in Southeast Asia. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
- Venerable Santi, Somdech Preah Maha Ghosananda, The Buddha of the Battlefields, April 1, 2007
But there were other varieties within the Buddhist yoga practice, as it is seen from Tsonkhapa’s work, where he defines his own view on right meditation and criticizes some views which he sees to be wrong.
Within the yoga practices, which held on to be true by some Indian and Chinese monks and were criticized as the wrong views in Tsonkhapa’s work, there were views, which seem to be of Ch’an Buddhism and connected with it views of some Indian Buddhists. Tsonkhapa didn’t use a term “Ch’an Buddhism” and not mentioned connected with the Chinese Buddhists Indian Buddhists by their name. But he described their views as meditation through gazing at “trees and stones” for comprehension of Shunyata, which is evidently of Ch’an Buddhists’ and corresponding views of some Indian Buddhists.
Evidently there are common features in meditation process within Buddhist directions and even outside of Buddhism.
But in this paper I’m tracing some differences in meditation process in Ch’an Buddhism and in Gelukpa ( Tsonkhapa’s own) for demonstration the reasons of Tsonkhapa’s critique from the point of his own views on right meditation and trying to make a hypothesis on the origin of such varieties in Buddhist meditation.
Because sources in Chinese and Pali are inaccessible to me, for demonstration of peculiarities of the Ch’an meditation I depended mainly on the Chinese author Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk)’s “ The Secrets of Chinese Meditation”, a very clear part on Ch’an Buddhist meditation process within his book “Self-cultivation by Mind Control as taught in the Ch’an, Mahayana and Taoist schools in China” (4) , written on the basis of Chinese sourses, and for hypothesis on origin of varieties in Buddhist meditation on Johannes Bronkhorst’s “The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India” (5), written on the basis of Pali texts and hope to be making later this concept more precise through other texts and studies.
I considered meditation process in Ch’an Buddhism in comparison with meditation process in Gelukpa through demonstrating differences in process of meditation, its result, preliminary preparation to it and some technique. At the same time it should be mentioned that in the “Grades on the Path to Bodhi” by Tsonkhapa process of meditation, its’ result and preliminary preparation to it is considered in details. Here by preliminary preparation I mean first of all a period of preliminary training.
1.Meditation Process in Ch’an Buddhism in Comparison
With Meditation Process in Gelukpa.
Process of Meditation, its Result
and Preliminary Preparation to It.
1.Process of meditation through gazing at “trees and stones” without thinking for comprehension of Shunyata in Ch’an Buddhism in difference with thinking in inner mind in Gelukpa.
As it is seen from books on Ch’an meditation according to their views “the Buddha attained Enlightenment after gazing at the stars at night, that is after he had succeeded in stripping His mind of all feelings and passions” (4, 43). So, “gazing” at anything in outside world and “stripping of all feelings and passions”, which means as I understood thinking of nothing is a meditation method in Ch’an Buddhism, which is criticized by Tsonkhapa. For Tsonkhapa in his “Grades on the Path to Bodhi” meditation process is a process of concentrating on the object of inner mind without looking at the objects of the outside world. And the following cite from “Lankavatara” sutra: “Support just on mind and not analyze in outer sense” (1, 213a) also shows meditation process as thinking in inner mind unlike “looking at”.
At the same time attention should not be dispersed to other objects even in inner mind, only on the purposed object.
So, for Tsonkhapa meditation is a process of thinking activities and it could be shown by his words: “Samadhi is created not by eyes knowledge, but by mind knowledge”.
2.Result of meditation as the realization of self-mind in Ch’an Buddhism and realization of things’ nature through own mind (self-mind) in Gelukpa.
According to Ch’an method, the main purpose of meditation is realization of self mind. “By self-mind is meant the pure mind which is not stirred by a single thought. ”Self-cultivation directed to attaining of this purpose begins with the control of wandering mind. Attaining of such a “pure mind” aimed to free mind “from false views in order to uncover his inherent wisdom which they screen” (4, 43-44). It seems that in Ch’an Buddhism this “attaining of a “pure mind” is resulted from delivering of all thoughts which are “false” being dictated by habit, tradition, society and other factors and not originating from own individual mind.
It is interesting that Tsonkhapa also wrote about “self-mind”. In difference to Ch’an Buddhism by self-mind he meant not “the pure mind which is not stirred by a single thought”, but thinking activities, aimed to creation of an image of mind and analyzing it in inner mind. These thinking activities according to Gelukpa should take place through the “view”, in which Tsonkhapa implies the Buddhist view and defined by the “four aims of the yogi”. The result of these thinking activities is realization of Suchness, which as it seems might be understood as realization of all things’ nature in one’s own mind, as it is in his sutra: “through analyzing one’s own mind all dharmas will lodge in one’s own mind”, which is cite from the “Prajna-Paramita’s Counsel” (sher phyin man ngag). If the final result of meditation in Ch’an Buddhism is “pure mind”, in Gelukpa it is “intuition without phenomenon”. Although both results look very similar, in Ch’an Buddhism by “pure mind” is meant persons “inherent wisdom”, while in Gelukpa all things nature, or Suchness, through persons mind.
If in that number “on first two steps tranquillity and extraordinary vision are created through containing meditation and analysing meditation” (1, 212b – 213a), the third step, named “intuition without phenomenon” expresses the final result of the meditation process.
3. Momentary awakening in Ch’an Buddhism and a long period of learning in Gelukpa as preliminary preparation before realization of things’ nature special through meditation process.
According to Ch’an Buddhist view “...clinging to names and terms” cause people “to neglect self-cultivation” (4, 44), and “in ancient times, it was sufficient for an enlightened teacher to give some hint of the presence of the self-nature inherent in his pupil who was immediately awakened to it, thereby attained enlightenment and succeeded to the Mind Dharma” (4, 45). So, the trainee could be awakened very quickly. Only “later with the advance of material civilization, when life became complicated with the result that spiritual awakening was very difficult to achieve, the masters were compelled to change their tactics by employing words, sentences, shouts, roars of laughter, gestures and blows of the staff to awaken their students...All these acts were later called kung ans (Japanese, koans)” (4, 45).
As for Gelukpa the trainee should learn Buddhist sutras to acquire right view and knowledge of sutras. For acquiring this knowledge long years usually spent by the trainee. According to Gelukpa, view, deeds and meditation should be concordant
1.Tecnique for realization of self mind, aimed to stopping of all thoughts in Ch’an Buddhism and technique for realization of things’ nature in own mind (self-mind) through the “four aims of the yogi” in Gelukpa.
In Ch’an Buddhism for disciplining his wandering mind a student should first to “disengage himself from seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing for the purpose of realizing singleness of mind to see clearly and to-take up the ‘host’ position before a kung an can be interpreted correctly”.”After he has succeeded in disciplining his mind” no further thoughts should arise therein” (4, 46) as it is seen from Mr. Charles Luk”s study on the subject.
He continues:“...Even before starting Ch’an practice, it is imperative that we know how to stop the ever-flowing thoughts that have been stirring our minds since time without beginning. We ‘live’ because we ‘think, and if we want to escape from this realm of suffering, the first thing is to realize a mind free from all thoughts” (4, 46-47).
So, all technique in Ch’an Buddism is purposed to achieving a state of no thought, which “...is the most difficult thing...” To prevent thoughts from arising in mind the ancients devised a technique, named hua t’ou, which means “ the mind before it is stirred by a thought or a mental word, and its English equivalent is ante-word or ante-thought. It consists in looking into, or in concentrating on, the self-mind and is also an impure thought used as a device to put an end to the thinking process. It is a pointed concentration to cut down all thoughts and eventual visions which assail the meditator during the training” (4, 47-48).
According to Ch’an Buddhism “word arises from Mind and Mind is the head of (i.e. ante-) Word. Thought arises from Mind and Mind is the head of Thought...In reality, a hua t’ou is the head of a thought. The head of a thought is nothing but Mind...before a thought arises, it is hua t’ou. From the above, we know that to look into a hua t’ou is to look into the Mind. The fundamental face before one’s birth is to look into one’s mind. Self-nature is Mind and to ‘turn inwards the hearing to hear the self-nature’ is to ‘turn inwards one’s contemplation to contemplate the self-mind’(4, 47-48). So, looking into hua t’ou, or self-mind before a thought arises is the main goal in ch’an Buddhism.
As for Gelukpa its technique for realization of things’ nature in one’s own mind (self-mind) is taking place through thinking activities with accordance to “four aims of the yogi”, taught by the Buddha, and aims at an opportunity. The “four aims of the yogi”, which were considered by Tsonkhapa in detail, briefly are as follows (1,144a-144b):
1. Common aim, by which meant realization of all things’ essence through containing meditation and analyzing meditation with resulting changes in one’s mind.
2. Aim to get rid of what had been experienced.
3. Wise aim.
4. Aim to get rid of the obstacles through meditating on their antidotes.
2. Disengaging oneself from “seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing” in Ch’an Buddhism and having suitable surroundings in Gelukpa.
As it was in above mentioned cite in Ch’an Buddhism for disciplining his wandering mind a student should first “disengage himself from seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing” for the purpose to attain a state of mind with no thoughts.
In Gelukpa the trainee having the same purpose to discipline his mind is recommended to have suitable conditions for meditation. There are 6 conditions connected with surroundings and own intentions of the yogi (1,141b-142a):
1.Place, where necessary food and clothes are easy to get, there are no wild beasts or enemies, no diseases to be gotten, there are good friends with compatible principles and views, there are no many people at day and much noise at night.
2. To have modest needs with no requirements such as good and many clothes.
3. To be able to cease such requirements.
4. To be abstinent of diverse activities such as involvement in trade, in strong attached relations, practices on curing and astrology.
5. To be generous in vows.
6. To be abstinent of desires.
3. Sitting with crossed legs is the most suitable body posture in both Ch’an and Gelukpa.
“Ch’an practice has nothing to do with whether one sits or not, but sitting with crossed legs is the most convenient way for beginners to control their bodies and minds which can be easily disciplined in that position” (4).
The same is with Gelukpa. In Tsonkhapa’s work there are indicated in detail postures of body, according to the “Grades of Meditation”. Body should be disposed on a soft and comfortable mattress and its part should be in the next position (1,142b):
1. Full or half crossed legs.
2. Eyes not opened widely or closed, but directed to the tip of the nose,
3. With body not bent up or down, but straight, sit containing reference to (the aim-Ch.O.)
4. Clavicles straight.
5. Head not high or low, contained firmly in one direction, disposed from the tip of the nose to the navel.
6. Teeth and mouth relaxed.
7. Tongue touching the top side of upper teeth,
8. Breathing without noise, with no effort and no perception of inhale and breathe out strain should be free, without noise.
Thus all postures of the body will be directed to calming down of the eight great winds.
4. Singleness of mind without thought in Ch’an and singleness in the aimed purpose in Gelukpa.
In both Ch’an Buddhism and Gelukpa it is spoken of training with singleness of mind. But I there are some differences in understanding of what is singleness of mind.
In Ch’an one should work at the “training with singleness of mind...” (From instruction given by the late Master Hsu Yun (1840-1959)*(*See Ch’an and Zen Teaching, First Series, pp. 38-40- cited through 4, 50) The same could be said about Gelukpa. But difference is contained in singleness of mind without thought in Ch’an and singleness in the aimed thought in Gelukpa.
According to Ch’an Buddhism “...one should never give rise to a discriminating mind; one should remain indifferent to either the effectiveness or ineffectiveness’ (of the hua t’ou) and one should take no notice of either stillness or disturbance. (From instruction given by the late Master Hsu Yun (1840-1959)*(*See Ch’an and Zen Teaching, First Series, pp. 38-40 cited from 4, 51)
Thus, “...when the state of purity and emptiness appears, if the doubt ceases to exist, this is the unrecordable state in which the meditator likened to a withered tree (see next part) which is lifeless and to a stone which cannot be soaked with water.
As for Tsonkhapa, rising of singleness of mind meant concentrating on the aimed object without dispersing to any other object of outside or inner world.
Roots of the Difference in Meditation Process
in Ch’an Buddhism and Gelukpa.
Roots of the difference in meditation process in Ch’an Buddhism and Gelukpa first of all originate from the different point of view on Shunyata as was noted in Tsonkhapa’s work.
1.A concept of Shunyata in Ch’an Buddhism and in Gelukpa.
It is evident, that there is a difference in the concept of Shunyata in Ch’an Buddhism and Gelukpa as mentioned in the “Grades on the Path to Bodhi” by Tsonkhapa.
It seems not to be wrong to interpret Shunyata in Ch’an Buddhism as emptiness itself while in Gelukpa Shunyata is not emptiness itself, but emptiness of things and its reflection in person’s mind by their own nature, which means co-relation and inter-dependence of all things.
It is interesting that in both Ch’an Buddhism and Gelukpa one of the important sources to interpret a process and the result of reflection in mind was “Lankavatara sutra”. As it is seen from Mr.Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk)’s study Bodhidharma used the four books of Lankavatara sutra for interpreting meditation process. As Mr. Luk wrote: “When Bodhidharma came from the West (India), he set up only the doctrine of the Transmission of Mind and used the four books of the Lankavatara Sutra to seal the mind”. There are such cites from the Lankavatara Sutra as: ‘When one sits in meditation in a mountain grove and practices all-embracing self-cultivation, one perceives the endless flow of false thoughts arising in the self-mind’. This is the World Honoured One’s revelation of the secret of self-cultivation”.
And another: ‘As mind, thought and perception are realized as false states of the self-nature appearing in the self-mind, one is liberated from all causes (producing) the sansaric sea of existence and ignorant karmic desire’. This is the Tathagata’s profound teaching of the method of awakening to the self-mind.’ (4, 51)
It says; ‘from olden times, the saints handed down, from one to another, the teaching according to which all false thinking is devoid of independent nature.’ This is the esoteric sealing of mind.’... (From instruction given by Master Han Shan (1546-1623) (From Han Shan’s Journey in dreamland-Han Shan Meng Yu Chi) (4,52).
Mr.Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk) also tells a story how “Huang Mei sought for a successor to his Dharma” as follows : “the Sixth Patriarch inherited the robe and bowl after merely saying: ‘fundamentally there is not thing’. This was the transmission of the sealing of Mind”. (From instruction given by Master Han Shan (1546-1623) (From Han Shan’s Journey in dreamland-Han Shan Meng Yu Chi) (4,52).
So, we can conclude that in Ch’an Buddhism emptiness, or Shunyata is understood as nothingness itself, a concept, criticized in “Grades on the Path to Bodhi” .
Concerning the right view on Buddhist meditation in Gelukpa its’ tradition to interpret Shunyata on the basis of Taljurva school of Madhyamaka, which originates from Nagarjuna and succeeds through Aryadeva, Buddhapalita and Chandrakirti’s (12 ). According to this view, Shunyata is not emptiness itself, but emptiness of things and its reflection in person’s mind by their own nature. Things and a person’s mind don’t originate by their own nature, don’t exist as any entities without co-relation with other things. Even “in concept” we cannot say that anything exists by “its own nature”, independent of other objects and phenomena.
2. False thinking in Ch’an Buddhism and a concept of two truths (relative and absolute) in Gelukpa.
As it seems, the main purpose in Ch’an Buddhism to cultivate “pure mind which is not stirred by a single thought” lays in the concept, which originates from above mentioned “Lankavatara” sutra, cited in Mr.Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk) book: “mind, thought and perception are realized as false states of the self-nature appearing in the self-mind”, and realization of them as false states leads to liberation from all causes (producing) the sansaric sea of existence and ignorant karmic desire”. But there is also a quotation from the same “Lankavatara” sutra: “all false thinking is devoid of independent nature”.
Seemingly, in Ch’an Buddhism which cultivates “self-mind” “false thinking” is understood as thinking through common ideas, circulating in society, dependence on others’ views and opinions and cultivation of “self-mind” is seen in Ch’an Buddhism as realization of own nature, independent of circulating opinions.
In opposite to this view, in the “Grades on the Path to Bodhi” by Tsonkhapa, “false thinking” corresponds to the relative truth, due to which all things are seen as “independent” by nature, existing by their own while according to the “absolute truth” nothing exists by their own, independent nature and nothing is “devoid of independent nature”. So, realization of all things’ nature as “devoid of independent nature” is realization of the absolute truth, one of the main aim on the Path to Enlightenment.
3. Separateness of view, deeds and meditation in Ch’an Buddhism and unity of them in Gelukpa.
Ch’an Buddhist meditation although being connected with the “view” took place “independent” of it. As Mr. Luk notifies: “Although Ch’an is a Transmission outside of the Teaching, it uses sutras to testify spiritual awakening. Therefore, the Buddha’s teaching and the Patriarchs’ transmission are one (and the same).* (*Sakyamuni Buddha was also a Patriarch of the Transmission school. (See Ch’an and Zen Teaching, Second Series, Part I). As we see, in Ch’an Buddhism Buddhist sutras are used, but meditation process is taken place independent of the sutras’ content.
Ch’an Buddhist meditation also seems to be separate from “deeds”. In Mr.Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk) book is a story about returning of the Sixth Patriarch to the South, where he met Tao Ming and said to him: ‘Do not think of either good or evil, at this very moment, what is the Venerable Sir’s fundamental face?’ ( From instruction given by Master Han Shan (1546-1623) (From Han Shan’s Journey in dreamland-Han Shan Meng Yu Chi) 12,52).
In Gelukpa “view, deeds and meditation” are inseparable (11).
It could be concluded that in Gelukpa although understanding of the “things” nature takes place through own mind, meditation should take place through analyzing according to the right “view”, to tradition of sutras, while in Ch’an Buddhism which recognizes use of sutras meditation is aimed mainly to discovering of “own natural thinking” with independence to others’ view and opinions.
2. Origin of Meditation Process in Ch’an Buddhism in Comparison
With Origin of Meditation Process in Gelukpa.
Varieties of meditation process in Buddhism except of their connection with diversity in views of the Buddha’s successors, which was shown in many studies of the famous Buddhologists (22) could be connected with the influence of the previous or contemporary to the Buddha yoga or similar practices in India ( 5 ). As some scholars write there were many kinds of yoga practice in India from ancient times and yoga practice may be originates even before Patanjali’s time (16).
Buddhist meditation spread in many mostly Asian countries has varieties and there are long traditions which differentiate one stream from another in many features . Difference in views on meditation process like difference between Buddhist directions first of all seems to depend on interpretation of sutras by the founders of these directions, among whom views of Indian Buddhists were of initiative role. Those Indian Buddhists had their own views on what was taught by Buddha and were divided to different schools. So, varieties of meditation process in Buddhism could be connected with diversity in views of the Buddha’s successors.
On the other hand, this diversity could be connected with the influence of the previous or contemporary to the Buddha yoga or similar practices in India. Nevertheless common features in Buddhist and non-Buddhist yoga practices of later time as “working” with self-mind, contemplation in one’s mind could also be seen.
In Ch’an Buddhism as we see the main purpose is looking into hua t’ou, or self-mind before a thought arises. In Gelukpa through analyzing one’s own mind (self-mind) all things’ nature is seen. Any object of outside world as well as a person including himself is cognized through his mind. In the “Grades on the Path to Bodhi” “analyzing one’s own mind” meant analyzing of any object, including one’s own mind with it’s perceptions, with it’s flow of thought, which nevertheless should be directed only to the aimed object. But at the end of the thinking process “intuition without phenomenon”, when “nothing is seen” is reached. In non-Buddhist (Hinduist) literature, as we see from the “Lingapurana”,a study by Mr. N.Gangadharan there were two kinds of meditation due to this Purana: “directed towards an object and then without an object” (16 ). This Purana also says that one who knows his self, finds everything” and “this has to be achieved by doing the Pasupatayoga by contemplating on one’s own self”. So, two kinds of meditation, “directed towards an object and then without an object” taken place in modern world are reflected in Ch’an Buddhist and Gelukpa kinds of meditation.
In Johannes Bronkhorst’s “The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India”, made on the basis of Pali texts, he observes features, which could be “non-authentic” intrusions into the Buddhist texts”, and considers two traditions of meditation in ancient India, namely “the main stream”, in which early Jaina meditation and meditation as part of asceticism in early Hindu scriptures included, and Buddhist meditation with possible sharing “certain features with the other religious movements that existed in India in its time” (5, xyii) with the influence from the main stream. Description of some practices within the “main stream”, which he considers as possible influence from the main stream seemingly could be a starting-point for hypothesis on origin of above considered varieties in Buddhist meditation. It seems that Ch’an Buddhist meditation in comparison with Gelukpa has more common features with the “the main stream”.
1.”Restraining the thought” in early Jainism and Hindu scriptures and similar features in Ch’an Buddhism.
In Johannes Bronkhorst’s study we see: “The Vitakkasanthana Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya and its parallels in Chinese translation recommend the practicing monk to ‘restrain his thought with his mind, to coerce and torment it’. Exactly the same words are used elsewhere in the Pali canon (in the Mahasaccaka Sutta, Bodhirajakumara Sutta and Sangarava Sutta) in order to describe futile attempts of the Buddha before his enlightenment to reach liberation after the manner of the Jainas” and follows: “Once again it is hard to see a better explanation than that
these Jaina practices had come to be accepted by at least some Buddhists” (5, xii).
Another information about early Jaina meditation from Uttarajjhayana 29 is in Bronkhorst’s book : “By making the mind onepointed (the soul) brings about the destruction of thought” (5,42)...
Except of early Jainism some early Hindu scriptures also told about “restraining the thought (mind).Example is in the Svetashvatara Upanishad: “...the wise one should restrain (dharayeta) his mind like that chariot yoked with vicious horses (5, 47)...
Within those Buddhists who accepted restraining his thought, who aimed to “destruction of thought”, seem to be Ch’an Buddhists, for who by self-mind is meant “the pure mind which is not stirred by a single thought”.
2. “Halting of the senses”, aimed by non-Buddhists and similar features in Ch’an Buddhism.
In the same study another practice “assigned to non-Buddhists” is “to halt functioning of the senses in such a way that “one sees no form with eye, hears no sound with the ear” (5, 30), while in Buddhism “rather than fasting, restraining the mind and stopping the breath, one should perform the Four Dhyanas. And rather than aiming at the non-functioning of the senses, one should remain equanimous in the face of the experiences they offer” (5, 30).
Halting of the senses functioning in such a way that “one sees no form with eye, hears no sound with the ear disengage himself from seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing for the purpose of realizing singleness of mind” reminds disengaging oneself “from seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing for the purpose of realizing singleness of mind” in Ch’an Buddhism.
Even more, passages with the same meaning from Bhagavatgita about motionlessness of body and mind in Jainism: “Freed from all attachments, taking little food, having conquered the senses...he is motionless like a stone...He neither hears nor smells nor tastes nor sees; he notices no touch, nor does (his) mind form conceptions...Like a piece of wood, he does not desire anything, nor does he notice (anything). When he has reached the Original Nature (prakrti), then sages call him ‘engaged in Yoga’ (yukta)...And he looks like a lamp shining in a place without wind; not flickering and motionless it will not move upward or sideward...(5,46) with words
“like a piece of wood” are almost the same with Ch’an Buddhist “ unrecordable state in which the meditator likened to a withered tree which is lifeless and to a stone which cannot be soaked with water”.
3. Meditation with an object in the outside world, which could take place in Jainism and similar features in Ch’an Buddhism.
According to Johannes Bronkhorst’s book in Jainism, where were four kinds of “pure meditation”, during the second kind of meditation “the Great Hero meditates on what is above, below, beside, while remaining in his position, motionless”, observing his concentration, without desires”, from which the author concludes, that “meditation can have an object in the outside world” (5, 39).It resembles with description in Ch’an Buddhism about attaining Enlightenment by the Buddha “after gazing at the stars at night, that is after he had succeeded in stripping His mind of all feelings and passions” not to mention the accent on “pure mind”.
1. Comparing meditation process in Ch’an Buddhism with meditation process in Gelukpa, it seems that Ch’an Buddhist meditation with its goal to liberate from all thoughts which it considers as “false thoughts” directed to revealing of a person’s original nature, given him from nature, and as such serves as a push to creativity. Many Chinese and Japanese paintings and poetry are interpreted as an influence of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism. Although as it is seen from Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk)’s book some Ch’an Patriarchs ironically remarked about their trainees who began to pronounce poetry thinking that they revealed their self-mind. On the other hand it seemed that above cited remarks, such as “Do not think of either good or evil, at this very moment”, and revealing of own nature independent of the “false views”, interpreted as the views of others’, or society, in Ch’an Buddhism could serve as an origin of unsocial behaviour at worst case.
As for Gelukpa with its strong tradition of long period of learning, with vows of temperance it seems to have a tendency to dogmaticism.
2. Conclusion, made by Johannes Bronkhorst is that “all the important features of early Jaina meditation are found in the early Hindu scriptures...As in early Jainism, meditation itself aims at the motionlessness of the mind. Here as well the sense organs are conquered. As a result the adept is said not to hear, smell etc” with the notice that this kind of meditation described elsewhere in the Buddhist canon (5,53) and that although “the Buddhist scriptures criticize this tradition repeatedly. Yet practices and ideas connected with this tradition appear to have made their way into the Buddhist community. Some of these practices and ideas even came to occupy rather central positions in the Buddhist tradition” put on an idea that above accented features in Ch’an Buddhist meditation originate from the “main stream” influence.
3. Although tradition of Ch’an Buddhism began with Bodhidharma, with time flow innovations were worked out like kung ans or looking to hua t’ous. As in Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk)’s book: “formerly the Buddha and Patriarchs taught only how to awaken to the self-mind and how to cognize one’s Self. There were then neither kung ans nor hua t’ous. Later at the time of Nan Yo and Ch’ing Yuan,...the two great Dharma successors of the Sixth Patriarch, whose Dharma descendants founded the Five Ch’an sects of China... and after them... it was Huang Nieh who taught people to look into hua t’ous and then Ta Hui *(*Ta Hui: an eminent Ch’an master in the Sung dynasty; died in 1163 in his seventy-fifth year) ... taught his students to use an ancient kung an as something to lay hold of, called a hua t’ou on which they were urged to concentrate their attention” (4,52) we see innovations when some new techniques were worked out. So, in Ch’an Buddhism there are some innovations in technique made through a time flow. As for innovations in Gelukpa, this problem should be clarified through learning of meditation practices.
Bibliography on Meditation Process and
1. Main sources.
1. Tsonkhapa ( Lobsandagpa).Stages on the Path to Bodhi for Three Kinds of Personalities / in Tibetan /. Size of pages 49,5 x 9,5. Size of xylograph 27 x 6. Number of lines 5. Number of sheets 223.
2. Gonchogjigmedvanbo. Differencies of the Eight Subjects and the Seventy Topics, Sermoned by Lama Maitreya / in Tibetan / Size of pages 60,5 x 10. Size of xylograph 55,5 x 8. Number of lines 7. Number of sheets 22.
3. Tsonkhapa.Grades on the Path to Bodhi for Three Kinds of Personalities. Translation to Mongolian by Tibetan rabjamba Molom and Mongolian gushri Naganzuna Judva / personalities unclarified/ . Old Mongolian manuscript.
4. Lu K’uan Yu (Charles Luk). The Secrets of Chinese Meditation. Self-cultivation by Mind Control as taught in the Ch’an, Mahayana and Taoist schools in China. Samuel Weiser, Inc. York Beach, Maine . Weiser Classics Series. Edition 1984.
5. Johannes Bronkhorst. The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Delhi, 2000.
2. Other texts, studies and dictionaries.
6.Bodonguud Chimeg Oyun (Chimeg O.) The Socio-Philosophical Ideas in the "Grades on the Path to Bodhi" by Tsonkhapa. Dissertation work for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy ( Ph. D ). Ulaanbaatar, 2001 (in Mongolian). Part II: Reflection as the Kernel of the Process of Cognition.
7.Chimeg O. The Socio-Philosophical Ideas in the "Grades on the Path to Bodhi" by Tsonkhapa "- in "Studies on Philosophy and Religion", №234 (2), School of Social Sciences, NUM, UB, 2004 (in Mongolian).
8.Chimeg O.Views on Pudgala's Non-Ego in the "Grades on the Path to Bodhi" by Tsonkhapa.- in "Studies on Philosophy and Religion", IV, №253 (30), School of Social Sciences, NUM, UB, 2006 (in Mongolian).
9. Chimeg O. Views on Yoga Practice in the "Grades on the Path to Bodhi" by Tsonkhapa "- in "Studies on Philosophy and Religion", VI, №271 (37), School of Social Sciences, NUM, UB, 2007 (in Mongolian). English version was also reported to International Conference “Buddhism and Nordland”, 2009 in Tallinn, Estonia, published in the Journal of the School of Social Sciences, NUM, UB and was given for publishing in a Journal of the Department of Buddhist Studies, University of Delhi in 2010.
10.Chimeg O. Ideas of Relative and Absolute Truths in Buddhist Philosophy ( on the basis of the "Grades on the Path to Bodhi" by Tsonkhapa) in "Studies on Philosophy and Religion", VIII, №277 (3), School of Social Sciences, NUM, UB, 2007(in Mongolian).
11.Dagvadorj D. Atisha’s Lamp on the Path to Bodhi. In “Thought and Reflection”, No.1-2. Ulaanbaatar, 1991.
12.Exposition of History of Buddhist Philosophy. Ulaanbaatar, 1986. Collective work by G.Luvsantseren (a part of Madhyamaka), G.Lhagvasuren (a part of Yogachara and as a co-author a part of Vaibhashika), O.Chuluunbat (as a co-author a part of Vaibhashika), T.Sodnomdargia (a part of Buddhist logic) (in Mongolian).
13.Luvsantseren G. Philosophical Views of Nagarjuna. Ulaanbaatar, 1981.
14.Conze Edward. Buddhist Meditation. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 2005.
15. Dasgupta S.N. Yoga Philosophy in Relation to other systems of Indian Thought. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited. Delhi, 2005.
16. Gangadharan N.. Lingapurana. A Study. Ajanta Publications. Delhi, 1980
17.Guenther Herbert V. Introduction to S Gam Po.Pa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Dam chos yid, bzin. gyi nor. bu tharpa rimpo che,i rgyan zes, bya, ba theg, pa, chenpo,i lam.rim,gyi bsad,pa. London, 1959.
18. King Winston L.. Theravada Meditation. The Buddhist Transformation of Yoga. Motilal Banarsidass. Delhi, 1992.
19. Klong-chen rab-‘byams-pa. Kindly Bent to Ease Us. Part Two: Meditation. bSam-gtan ngal-gso from The Trilogy of Finding comfort and Ease Ngal-gso skor-gsum. Translated from the Tibetan and annotated by Herbert v. Guenter. Dharma Publishing. California, 1976.
20. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, or seven books of wisdom of the great path, according to the late lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup’s English rendering. Arranged and Edited with Introductions and Annotations to serve as a Commentary by W. Y. Evans-Wentz with Foreword by Dr. R.R.Marett. Pilgrims Book PVT.LTD. Delhi, 1999.
21.Obermiller E. ‘The Doctrine of Prajna-Paramita as Exposed in the Abhisamayalankara of Maitreya. Leningrad, 1934.
23. Patanjali. Yoga. Edited by... ...(to be defined later more precisely).
24. Roerich Yu. N. Tibetan-Russian-English Dictionary with Sanskrit Parallels. 10 volumes. Edited in USSR (in Russian).
Bibliography on History and Philosophy of
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During the reign of one of the most powerful kings of Central Asia Srong btsan Gonbo (reigned between 629-649) Tibetan written language appeared and translation of medicine books in Tibetan language started. In this way, Tibetan medicine adopted the knowledge about diseases and their medical treatment from the books of Indian medical science Ayurveda, and the art of pulse diagnostics and the teaching of five elements – from Chinese medicine. Also Tibetan medicine was influences by Greek-Roman Arabian and Persian medical systems.
Medicine in Tibet was for all times closely connected with Buddhism. That is why mainly traditional Tibetan doctors are lamas (monks). Medical teaching was not forbitten for women also. In previous time many famous practitioners were women. Hospitals and pharmacies were situated within the monasteries, and in the most prestigious Buddhist universities manba datsangs (medical faculties or schools) were established. The strong connection with Buddhism is reflected in the fact, that the causes of diseases are often connected with reincarnation, it is considered that they are brought from previous lives. In their treatment a certain number of rituals, mantras, special meditation practices are used; great attention is paid to spirituality and morality. The attempts to separate Tibetan medicine from Buddhism were always unsuccessful.
The main treatise on Tibetan medical culture is a fundamental (Root) text “rGyushi” (rgyud bzhi, “Four Medical Tantras”). In four volumes of this treatise, consisting of 156 chapters corporal and spiritual causes of disease, healthy way of life, detailed descriptions of diseases, their treatment, principles and methods of diagnostics, principles of drug treatment, procedures and other means are given. The “rGyushi” is not a canonical text, as is not incorporated into the Kanjyur and Danjyur collection.
There are 84000 of different health disorders distinguished in Tibetan medicine. According to the opinion of the most eminent Tibetan emchis, the number of diseases is equal to the number of the sick people. It is considered each disease of each person is individual and is not like the disease of the other. Tibetan science of healing based on a correct understanding of the body and its relationship to the environment are classified all diseases into 404 types. They are divided into four kinds. 101 types are of karmic diseases. Such types of sicknesses are difficult to treat with a normal medical treatment and demand spiritual techniques. 101 – inner diseases. 101 kinds are diseases caused by spirits (they could be classified by terms of modern medicine as nervous and mental diseases). 101 are manifested in the body appearance and are cured by the diet changing or by the refusal of the habits, which caused the disease.
The causes of diseases in Tibetan medicine are explained according to the theory of three energies or three dosha (lung, mkhis pa and badkan). As Tibetans say, three energies – wind, bile and phlegm are the basis of living nature. There exist seven types of constitution. Individual correlation of these energies in each person predetermines not only his physique, but also inclination for one or another disease. For instance, if bile is dominating, the person is more hot-tempered and is disposed to indigestion and heart and vessels diseases; people of wind type – are thin, melancholic, more often have articulation diseases and nervous disorders. If phlegm prevails – the body is inclined to grow stout, and the diseases characteristic of this type – are metabolism disorders. The ideal correlation, when each of the energies has equal amount in the body, almost never occurs. Depending on the life conditions, nourishment and spiritual state, this correlation is always changing.
In Tibetan medicine diseases are also divided into two groups – that of “cold” and “heat”. This corresponds to western characteristics of chronic and acute illness. In the same way Tibetan medicine is divided into medicine for curing “cold diseases” and medicine, suppressing “heat”. At the same time can be of different kinds of medicines also, and there are a number of medicaments for curing bile, wind and phlegm diseases. At previous time Tibetan doctors did not know such names as diabetes, tuberculosis or inflammation. That is why Tibetan analogues of diseases sound strange for us, for example, “hidden heart heat” corresponds to diagnosis of ischaemic heart disease, or “kidney cold” – insufficiency of kidney functioning.
According to Tibetan medicine there's nothing on the earth one can't use as a medicine.
Tibetan pharmacy generally uses multi-component preparations rather than those consisting of a single drug. While pills are by far the most common form of preparation, formulations may other forms as well. In Tibetan formularies the necessary ingredients for a given multi-component preparation are first mixed together based on the doses described in pharmacological guidances, special prescription books and then they are ground into powder. Tibetan medicinal preparations therefore consist most commonly of a combination of substances. Most ingredients are herbal, although mineral and animal substances are widely used as well. Multi-component medicines are usually more drastic, than one-component, because each component influences its part of disease and intensifies systemic effect. As a rule Tibetan medicines do not have side - effect. Tibetan drugs can be in the form of powder, pills, oils and also in the exotic for us forms –medical incenses. In this case on the boxex of incenses will be writing remark “Healing insenses”.
Medicinal compositions are traditionally made by doctors themselves. Unique recipes, which are used today, were thoroughly composed, transmitted and checked through many centuries by many generations of the most eminent traditional Tibetan doctors (emchis).
I am starting my topic concerning the mineral raw materials in practical Tibetan medicine. I discovered, it is quite complicated aspect of Tibetan medical culture and I did not find any special studies, investigations or publications about this important branch of Tibetan Materia Medica, which were done by Western scholars or scientists. It is well - known, wide account of raw materials: plants, herbs, animal and mineral raw materials are given in the Root text on Tibetan medicine”rGyushi” (“Four Medical Tantras”), the most profound and huge commentary “Vaidurya onbo” (“Lapis Lasuli”), composing by remarkable scholar and a great politician of the medieval Tibet Desi Sangye Gyatso (1653-1705) and widely circulated for centuries guidance on the Tibetan pharmacology and pharmacognozy, entitled “Shel phreng” (“The Crystal Rosary”). The last treatise was complited by one of the most important authorities in the pharmacological and pharmacognostic fields Deumar (sometime in Tibetan literature uses spelling Dilmar). Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog born in 1672, the date of his death is unknown. Let’s me tell about his life in .brief. Unfortunately, few facts are known about Deumar geshe Tenzin Phuntsog (in the history of Tibetan medicane he is mainly known under his short name Tenzin Phuntsog).
The biographical review of his life and fruitful activities was made by outstanding modern Tibetan intellectual and emchi, Prof. Pasang Yonten in his profound monograph “The Historical Survey of Tibetan Medical Science”, writing in Tibetan. It published by the Yuthog Institute of Tibetan Medicine Choglamsar. Accoding to this bibliogpaphy, Tenzin Phuntsog was born in Gojo dzong in the Nangrig lineage of the great healing master Tsampa Shilahade, who came from the land Trom (Tib.: Khrom) during the reign of Tibetan king Meagstom (another name is Thride Tsukten, reigned between 704-754/55?). From his childhood Tenzin Phuntsog studied classical Buddhist sciences under supervision of the great Buddhist masters and scholars of that time. He obtained authoritity in the three modes of scholarship (teaching, debate and compound) over Sutra, Tantra and other important fields of knowledge from his numerious eminent teachers. It is difficult to imagine in Lagten Cedue future geshe Tenzin Phuntsog practiced as doctor since he was eight years old and according to acarya Pasang Yonten, he already had unique knowledge in many aspects of theory and practice of Tibetan science of healing.
Tenzin Phuntsog was a holder of the geshe degree (a doctor in philosophy). In bibliography, complited by Pasang Yonten, is said, he obtained this degree from the prestigious Drepung Monastic University, in Central Tibet. The author did not give any details about life and studies of Tenzin Phuntsog at the Drepung. Obviously he studied at the philosophical faculty (mtsan nyid) of the Drepung Buddhist University. It could be famous Goman (word for word “Many doors”) datsan within one the biggest monasteries of gelugpa school Drepung. Goman datsan is well known faculty in the area of Buddhist philosophy. It might be here he participated in the final philosophical debate and received degree of geshe.
Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog extensively traveled throughout Tibet, spent many years in the scientific expeditions, learned and analysed rich flora and fauna of his own land. In addition he had put energetic efforts in profound research of mineral resources of many geographical zones of Himalayan region such as coal, borax, chromium, lithium, uranium, gold, silver, iron, copper, mercury and semi-precious stones. Prof. Pasang Yonten in his monograph gave a list of the works, compiling by of Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog. It consists of the 61 titles of works on the most complicated aspects of Tibetan culture, among them 25 texts on Tibetan science of healing and astrology. Traditionally in Tibetan culture those subjects have very closed links. The profound works of Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog still did not lost their value and studied by modern emchis and medical students in Tibet, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Russia and Mongolia. Deumar geshe Tenzin Phuntsog was considered as representative of the many professions in large. He was a physician, philosopher, philologist, mineralogist, geobotanist, zoologist and astrologist. We can tell he was a personality of subtle intellect. Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog left a great number of the most celebrated and competent disciples, who continued his important investigations and recognized as the successors of his medical traditions, the scholars of authority. They did big contributions to the development of Tibetan science of healing and medical literarure. I can say the discilples of Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog continued his tradition in all aspects of medical knowledge.
According to the history of Tibetan medical culture, only at the very beginning of the XVIII century pharmacology and pharmacognozy became independent disciplines of Tibetan medical science. In treatise “Shel phreng” is reflected the historic process of creation of a number of other natural sciences. In the text is available information on such sciences, as mineralogy, botany, zoology, systematic and morphology of the plants, animals and minerals. All mentioned sciences were completely new for Tibetan culture at that time.
The “Shel phreng” compiled in 1727 is the principle source for the present study and research. From the beginning the work of geshe Tenzin Phuntsog was well received by Tibetan specialists in the area of Tibetan science of healing. My study is based on the Tibetan text “Shel phreng”, printed at the publishing - house of well-known Aginsk datsan (Buddhist monastery, Chita area), famous for his high quality printing and paper of the factories No. 6 or 7, named after Sumkins. Before the Great October Revolution those factories were located in Irkutsk. Highly-educated Buryats had good knowledge about the quality of paper and used to go to Irkutsk to buy it at the Sumkin’s factories. Some of the professional Buryat editors became permanent costumers of the Sumkin’s factories and had good experiance, how to select paper for printing of blockprints in Tibetan and old Mongolian.
Xylograph of “Shel phreng” of the Aginsk edition contains 233 leaves (466 pages), size of leave is 54,5 x 8,7 sm, size of the leave’s frame is 48 x 6,5 sm., each leave has six lines. Some specialists talk about the different editions of “Shel phreng” At least five editions are known for me: the Derge (Eastern Tibet), Aginsk, Urga, modern edition, published in Dharamsala and facsimile edition of the Chagpori blockprint of 1905, produced in Leh in 1970.
Derge edition edited by Ogyen Namgyal was republished by the modern Tibetan emchi and skilled publisher Dr. T.Y. Tashigang in Leh (Ladakh). The Derge, Aginsk and Urga editions are available at the Centre of Oriental Manuscripts and Xylographs of the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences in Ulan-Ude. In Transbaikalia region “Shel phreng” of the Aginsk edition was extensively used by the traditional Buryat doctors in their medical practice, especially for the classification of a large number of raw materials. From their point of view “Shel phreng” is a masterpiece in the history of Tibetan pharmacology and pharmocognozy. It is still the significant guidance and reference book for study and correct understanding of the most complicated classification of Tibetan drugs, their physical properties and pharmacological effects. All those aspects are major subjects of study.
Text of Tenzin Phuntsog is the only full work written in Tibetan, where we are able to find the most detailed descriptions of raw materials in general and mineral raw materials in particular. It is the main reason, why I pay special attention to this unique source of Tibetan medical culture. The analysis of the contents of Tibetan text of “Shel phreng” shows that it has quite complicated structure. According to the Buddhist tradition treatise has three parts: introduction, main part, where the author introduced the concept of his deep research and conclusion. It should be noticed the Aginsk edition of “Shel phreng” has not the author’s and publisher’s colophons, therefore we are not able to get important facts, concerned with the reason of composing the fundamental monograph, in which Tibetan monastery was done this titanic work, how many years the author spent to complete this huge in volume guidance. There is no any information, who ordered the working out the“Shel phreng” and who was a donor/donors of this edition. For lack of the publisher’s colophon does not give opportunity to find out the year of publication of the Aginsk edition and names of editor/editors and sponsor/sponsors of edition. Such important data could give us some orientation about the Buryat intellectuals, who took a special interest in valuable source for traditional Buryat physicians and medical students to cure locals suffering from serious sicknesses. Finally we do not know from which edition was republished the Aginsk edition.
I am going to describe the structure of the treatise “Shel phreng” in brief. As it was above mentioned the text is divided into three large chapters. I concentrate my mind on the main one, in the original text is number 4. It is entitled “The contents of the treatise are cleared up the main point of medicinal characteristictics and names of remedies in detail” (f. 12 b.-22 b). Numeration of the leaves is given according to the Aginsk edition of “Shel preng”. Material of chapter 4 is divided into 13 branches (4.2. - 4.2.13). Five branches give descriptions of the vegetable raw materials and seperated branch is contained chatacteristics of a large number of herbs. Five branches deal with mineral raw materials. Hydroparthy and acupuncture are important methods of treatment in practical Tibetan medicine are discussed in the branches 4.2.11 and 4.2.12. Analysis of mixture and herbal potion is done in the branch 4.2.13.
It should be mentioned the composer did many years project to collect, store, study and research a great number of vegetable, animal and mineral raw-materials and introduced their detailed descriptions. Here my special interest goes in the mineral raw-materials. It is widely spread opinion, Tibet as sacred territory is rich in mineral resources, such as natural metals, gemstones and semi- stones, precious minerals, salts and so on. They are analysed in the five branches (from 4.2.1 to 4.2.4 and 4.2.8) of main chapter of “Shel phren”. The branch 4.2.1 has title “Remedies from precious metals” (f. 12 b. - 35 b.); next branch 4.2.2 is entitled “Remedies from stones and minerals (f. 35 b. - 51 a): Branch 4.2.3 has title “Powedered remedies of mineral origin” (f. 51 a. - 55 a.); branch 4.2.4 has name “Extracts of remedies of the vegetable, animal and mineral raw materials (f. 55 a. - 69 a). Branch 4.2.8 is contained the classification of various kinds of salts (f. 183 b. - 191 a).
Based on the authoritative information of Algirdas Kugevicius, my Lithuanian collegue, a highly-learned scholar, famous for his professional translations of Tibetan philosophical, tantric and medical texts into Russian and Lithunian, in “Shel preng” knowledgeable scholar and scientist Tenzin Phuntsog discussed 900 various types and sub-types of minerals, including metals. It means more or less 1/4 of profound book of Tenzin Phuntsog deals particularly with minerals and metals. Algirdas in the collaboration with Donatas Butkus, an eminent Lithuanian pharmacognost translated full Tibetan text “Shel preng” into Lithuanian. The manuscript of the translation consists of 927 pages and now they involve in editing of this bulky work. The translation of Tibetan text of “Shel preng” took more than seven years to complete it. It is honour for me to write introductory scientific article to this brilliant translation of Lithunian specialists.
Unfortunately there is still no translation of this important source (even partly) into any Western language; however this manual is one of the most key reference books for the scientists and practioners who involve in studying and practicing the Tibetan science of healing. Not many specialists know, full Tibetan text of “Shel preng” translated into modern Chinese. I am not a sinologist and I am not able to tell about the quality of translation. In the addition of this translation there is appendix of Latin and Chinese names for each medicament. It is really big contribution of Chinese collegues to the identication of natural raw materials using by Tibetan medical practiciners. It is one of the most complicated aspects of Tibetan Materia Medica. It published by the Shanghai Press of Science and Technology in 1986. In 1975 “Shel preng” was translated into old Mongolian language, which was official literary language of Buryats until 1931. This translation was done by competent Buryat specialists in the area of Buddhist philosophy and emchis L.Ya. Yampilov, Z.Z. Zhapov, M.D. Dashiev and is kepr at the Centre of Oriental Manuscript and Xylographs of the Instutue of Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences. At present two translations into Oriental languages are existed, they are useful sources for description and studies of natural raw materials, analyzing in “Shel preng”.
Detailed descriptions of raw materials in “Shel preng” give a unigue possibility to start deep research of the comparative investigations with depictions of the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine”, consisting of the 76 plates. The set contains about ten thousand paintings, depicted in beautiful colours. Since 1936 this treasure of Tibetan medical knowledge is kept at the History Museum of Buryatia named after M.N. Khangalov (previous name of the Buryat - Mongolian Antireligious Museum, opened in 1937 in Ulan - Ude).
Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog worked out specific system of a detailed description of raw materials. This micro - structure is following: 1). Title of remedy; 2) Thesis from the Root text “rGyushi” with indication of the use of this remedy; 3). Citations from various sources, composed by earlier authorities about pharmacological effectiveness of certain kind of raw materials; 4). Various names of certain raw materials with indication names, synonyms, sacred names, for the imported raw material or adopted from other countries. In such cases the author gave the names of the countries from where raw materials originated, and equivalents in Chinese, Sanscrit, Tokhar, Mongolian and so on. It is important to underline Tenzin Phuntsog knew several foreign languages and had good linguistic attaintment. 5) Geographical dissemination, ecological knowledge, the area of the mining for mineral raw materials (for example gold, its quality, sort, effectiveness and prescription). 6). Inner classification of certain raw materials, names of each type with indication of its outer form of leaves, stems, fruits, roots, rhizomes, colours of flowers and leaves.
I have to tell you very openly, it was not easy to understand the point No. 6, concerning the inner classification. Reading the Tibetan text of “Shel preng” and try to understand it completely I found out this classification deals with such characteristic as for example colour of flowers of plants, trees or minerals. Here I give only two samples: first one is Sandal tree (white and red) and second one is blue, white, and yellow beryl. The author noted, they are different kinds of the same tree and mineral, but he underlined the main difference are quality and effectiveness. The second characteristic connects with geographical spreading; in “Shel phren” are noticed raw materials from India, China, Tibet, Nepal, Dolpo and Kashmir.7).Secrets of time of the collection of raw materials. In this chapter the composer created special instruction for the collectors. The main point of Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog lies in the fact that traditional Tibetan physicians, who participated in the seasonal expeditions, should strictly follow this instruction and learn it by heart.
In fundamental source “Shel phren” classification of the 3470 titles of vegetable, animal and mineral raw materials are introduced. 1176 names we are able to find in the “rGyushi”, “Vaidurya onbo” and “Shelgon”. Last treatise is written by Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog in sloka style for easier memorizing not only by medical students but emchis as well. 2294 titles are classes, sub - classes, types and sub - types of the above mentioned 1176 remedies. A systematic description is based on the created classification by Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog, consisting of the seven key points, noted above. The research of the text shows from point of view of the composer, exacted knowledge of names of remedies, their classes, sub-classes, types, sub-types was necessary for the clinical pharmacology and for practice of medical activities. Emchis should understand that the effectiveness of treatment is depended on kind, sort and colouring of ingredients.
Tibetan medicines show various medical and pharmacological characteristics. I would like to give a sample. It is well-known widely spread mineral raw material brag zhun (shilagit), a mineral of black colour. The most cuirative shilagit is available in the highest Himalayas. In the Tibetan pharmacy are spread the liver, kidney, skin formulaes. Similar recepies were widely circulated in the medical system of ancient India Ayurveda for many thousand years. Last many decades the representatives of a number of modern specialities engage in serious research of this mineral. In “Shel phren” is said in our nature five various classes of shilagit (brag zhun) exist. Each one in its turn has sub-classes, sub-types and sub-kinds. The author Tenzin Phuntsog concludes in total there are 115 different types of brag zhun and physician must be very careful and should be very skilled to select the correct kind of brag zhun as ingredient based on the prescription books, when he composes multi-component medicines for certain pathology.
The second sample is connected with turquoise, national Tibetan stone. In Tibetan culture and literature there are a large number of stories and legends about this fantastic stone and its curative power. In “Shel phren” detailed descriptions of twelve kinds of turquoise are introduced. Tenzin Phuntsog classified turquoise based on the Indian and Tibetan system of classification. In his treatise four kinds of turquoise are classified according to the Indian system, and eight kinds are classified according to the Tibetan classification. However the author Tenzin Phuntsog did not describe the concept of two systems of classification, therefore it is not easy to understand completely the difference of those systems. Probably the Indian classification was borrowed from India, but we don’t have any knowledge about it. For example in the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine” six types of turquiose depicted (plate No. 23, paintings No. 41-46): No 41 - blue turquoise with shot white, No. 42 - blue turquoise with shot red, 43 - poor turquoise, 44 - turquoise of not high quality like turquoise with shot red, 45 - dark blue turquoise reminds turquoise with shot white and No. 46 - Chinese turquoise.
Let’s me tell the third sample. I am going to describe beryl (in Sanskrit vaidurya), the precious mineral. Actually this name borrowed from ancient Greek, beryllos, and word for word means "precious blue-green color". As natural resource beryl is available in Colombia, Africa, Brazil, Russia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India and California. We can say without any doubts, that the geographical zone of the spreading of this mineral is not Tibet. It was imported from other countries. Thanks to this fact we are able to state why this precious stone does not have Tibetan name. In Tibetan literature beryl is known under its Sanscrit equivalent vaidurya, it is considered that is of Dravidian origin, maybe from the name of Belur. Traditionally Mongols and Buryats pronounce the name of this mineral as baidurya and pay special respect to its beauty and quility. Beryl belongs to the silicate class. At the XVIIth and beginning of XVIIIth centuries the chemical formula of this mineral was unknown. In Tibetan culture blue, yellow and white beryls are known. This mineral was a favourite one of the remarkable Tibetan scholar and regent Desi Sangs Rgya mtsho. He created a great number of huge treatises writing on different branches of the medieval Tibetan sciences. He entitled his books as “Vaidurya dkarpo” (“White Beryl”), “Vaidurya onbo” (“Blue Beryl”) and “Vaidurya serpo” (“Yellow Beryl”). Desi Sangs Rgya mtsho wrote his fundamental books “between” 1683-1698. Their titles underline his special attude and respect to this sacred stone which has strong energy and curative effectiveness.
The cult of beryl played special role in the Indian and Tibetan culture. In “Shel phren” is said there are extensive references to beryl as a gemstone in folklore of India and Tibet. For more information about beryl's powers and curative attributes, consult some of the books such as “Vaidurya onbo” and “Shel phren” Legend says that beryl was used to ward off demons and evil spirits. In Tibet there is popular story that beryl is protected travelers from danger and to treat disorders of the heart and spine.
Geshe Tenzin Phuntsog underlined that precious minerals should be detoxified before use as ingredients for the composition of multi-component Tibetan medicines. Each emchi should strictly follow the rules of technology in the preparation of medicaments and bear responsibility for their guility and effective
My premiry studies show, that the most complicated aspect in the field of the investigation of mineral raw material is its identification. It is happened difficult to find correct equivalents for a large number of precious minerals, metals and gemstones. I have a lot of difficulties with various names of the metals widely use in Tibetan pharmacology. For example in “Shel phren” I met more than 70 (probably 73) names for gold, 21 names for silver, 28 names for copper, 25 names for iron, 61 names for mercury and so on. In some cases the author is considered much better to introduce the graphic descriptions of raw materials however difficulties arose to understand and translate, when we do not have enough knowledge of realities of Tibetan culture. It is not easy to find right answer, in which cases and why the composer uses certain sorts of metals. It is possible to get some answers concerning the various sorts of gold from the depictions on the plate No. 23 of the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine”, illustrating the chapter 20th of the second volume of two key treatises “Four Medical Tantras” and “Lapis Lazuli” Here seven kinds of gold (depictions No. 19-26): are painted. I’ll give the names of several types of gold, painting on the plate No. 23: No. 20 golden alloy, No. 22 yellow-red gold available in modern Kham or No. 24 greenish gold of modern Mongolia and so on. Regarding copper (drawings No. 36-39): painting No. 36 is native copper, No. 38 - red soft copper containing gold and etc. I would like to note, the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine” is a unique visual aids on many aspects of Tibetan medical science. Unfortunately in its corpus there is no special plate with depictions of minerals, metals and stones. Total number of mineral raw materials, drawing on the plate No 23 is 131 names (drawings No. 16-147), they illustrate chapter 20th.of the ”rGyushi” and “Vaidurya - onbo”,. The 20th.chapter of “Vaidurya - onbo,” has title “Components of Tibetan Remedies making from jewels“. We can conclude, that the “Atlas of Tibetan Medicine” contains only 1/7 part depictions of mineral raw materials described in the text “Shel phren”.
Now a brief conclusion comes. My primery investigation shows, that serious research and huge in volume work should be done. It is hard and complicated work and is necessary to join efforts of the representatives of many specialities. Tibetologists, Mongolists, Sinologists, Indologists, botanists, minerologists and scientists who have deep knowledge about all aspects of rich Tibetan medical culture, traditional Tibetan doctors, who practice Tibetan science of healing and have enough experience to cure ill people and to compose multi-component Tibetan effective medicines. It is the most important investigation should be done in several stages: first of all it is necessary to translate Tibetan text “Shel phren” into Russian or any Western languages and then step by step do research of the contents of the text. It should be many years project, which could give good results and useful materials for the development of various modern disciplines.
Bris cha (“The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine”), consisting of 76 plates. The History Museum of Buryatia named after M.N. Khangalov. Ulan-Ude: Inv. No. 15. A. 18-79. Sizes of the plates 65x88.
Bris cha (Illustrations on Tibetan Medicine of the Atsagat Manba datsan). The History Museum of Buryatia, named after M.N. Khangalov. Ulan-Ude: OF 8281.
Pasang Yonten. Historical Survey of Tibetan Medical Science (bod kyi gso ba rig pa'i lo rgyus kyi bang mdzod gyu thog bla ma dran pa'i pho nya). Yuthog Institute of Tibetan Medicine. Choglamsar, Leh, Ladakh, India. 1986. (in Tibetan). 313 p.
Tenzin Phuntsog Shel ‘phren. Aginsk Edition, the end of the XIX c. 233 f.
«Атлас тибетской медицины». Свод иллюстраций к тибетскому медицинскому трактату XVII века «Голубой берилл». 1994. Вступительные статьи Н.Д. Болсохоевой, Д.Б. Дашиева, В.С. Дылыковой - Парфионович, К.М. Герасимовой, Л.Э. Мялля, Т.В. Сергеевой. Перевод текста атласа Т.А. Асеевой, Н.Д. Болсохоевой, Т.Г. Бухашеевой, Д.Б. Дашиева. Пояснительный текст к листам атласа составил на основании исследования тибетских медицинских трактатов «Четверокнижие» и «Голубой берилл» Ю.М. Парфионович, из-во «Галарт», М.,592 c..
Bolsokhoyeva N.D. and Gerasimova K.M. The Atlas of Tibetan Medicine. Treasure from the History Museum of Buryatia in ‘The Buddha’s Art of Healing. Tibetan Painting Rediscovered. Foreword by His Holiness of the Dalai-Lama. New York: Rizzoli, 1998, pp. 33-60.
Bolsokhoyeva N. D.Tibetan Medical Illustrations from the History Museum of Buryatia, Ulan-Ude in Asian Medicine. Tradition and Modernity. Leiden. Brill Academic Publishers, vol. 3. No. 2. 2007, pp. 347-367
 The Derge edition was reprinted under title: Dri med śel goṅ and dri med śel phreṅ: Presentation of the Principals of Tibetan Pharmacognosy and Materia Medica Leh, 1983. It is necessary to notice here the editors reprinted two key texts on pharmacology and pharmacognozy together, composing by Tenzin Phuntsog
 Dr. Tashigang originally is Ladakhi; he graduated from the Lhasa Mentsikhan, established on the initiative of the XIII Dalai Lama Nawang Thubten Gyaso (1876-1933) by his private physician Kyenrab Norbu (1883-1962) in 1916. He learned Tibetan medicine under guidance of this of the most eminent emchi Kyenrab Norbu. Dr. Tashigang runs the Tashigang Herbal Centre in New-Delhi. He is a founder of this Centre, director, skilled emchi and authoritative editor of a great number of rare Tibetan Medical texts. He is an outstanding specialist in Tibetan pharmacology.
The doctrines of Buddhism that originated in India more than 2,500 years ago have once again become the hope of human survival in the current world scenario when we are witnessing both the threats and challenges to the very existence of human race. It is more so because the universal relevance of Buddhism as an organised form of knowledge and spiritual force has the proven record of peaceful co-existence with all religions and the people around the world. While emphasising on this very fact a well-known Sri Lankan-born Buddhist monk and scholar Ven. Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda stated that:
Buddhism is a religion which teaches people to ‘live and let live’. In the history of the world, there is no evidence to show that Buddhists have interfered or done any damage to any other religion in any part of the world for the purpose of introducing their religion. Buddhists do not regard the existence of other religions as a hindrance to worldly progress and peace.
At the moment Buddhism has mass followers (an estimated 300 million) in several countries of the world, whether we talk about countries of Asia or beyond its boundaries to far off regions of Europe, USA and Austral-Asia. For quite some times now India, for that matter, has been witnessing several activities for not only reviving Buddhism on its land from where it was once routed out but also providing a common platform for a united voice of Buddhists worldwide. For example, recently on 27-30 November, 2011, the first Global Buddhist Congregation took place in New Delhi in which more than 900 delegates including heads and representatives from Buddhist Sanghas, national Buddhist federations, organisations and institutions from 46 countries participated. The event was marked by a decision to set up a new international Buddhist organisation in India, which will be called the “International Buddhist Confederation”. Thich Quang Ba, the abbot of Sakyamuni Buddhist Temple at Canberra (Australia) stressed that “The Buddhists all over the world, represented by the delegates at the conference feel the need to develop a common platform that will project a united voice and develop a common response based on the collective wisdom of all Buddhist traditions.” Earlier also, in order to revive an age-old tradition of debates and discussions on various aspects of Buddhism and its relevance in the present day world, a two-day International Buddhist Conclave took place at Nalanda in Bihar (India) on 6-7 February 2010. This conclave, which saw the participation of hundreds of Buddhist scholars, monks and academicians from across the world, has been taking place since 2004.
Such global level Buddhist interactions indeed help understand how Buddhism can positively contribute to the establishment of peace and harmony in the world which in the context of international relations could help develop bilateral and multilateral relations. India has a long tradition of having historical and cultural ties based on Buddhism with numerous countries, particularly those belonging to Asia. One such example is Mongolia with which India has a rich legacy of Buddhist linkages that helped the two countries to develop very close and friendly relations in modern times so much so that they are now known as “spiritual” neighbours. It is in this background that this paper seeks to highlight the Buddhist linkages between India and Mongolia and implications of such linkages in the Austral-Asian Region, that is to say, how Buddhism, in the contemporary world including the Austral-Asian Region, would help develop bilateral and multilateral relations taking the example of India and Mongolia. This would also provide some directions for further development of Buddhism particularly in the specific region of Austral-Asia.
Historical Legacy of India-Mongolia Ties
Though geographically far apart, India and Mongolia are the two ancient civilizations of Asia whose spiritual and cultural bonds go back to history spanning over a period of more than 2,500 years. One can find the reference of India in Mongolian historiography as well, such as Monggol-un Niguca Tobciyan (The Secret History of the Mongols) written probably in 1240 AD, which is the earliest survived Mongolian chronicle. In sections 261 and 264 of this chronicle India is referred to as Hindu (Hindustan) and the river Indus (Sindhu) as Shin-muren. However, what is striking to note here is that it was due to the advent of Buddhism that India was well known in the Mongol land long before the appearance of the Mongols into the historical arena. Buddhism that reached there through Central Asia from its original homeland in India played a significant role in the pre-Mongol period in bringing the ancient nomadic tribes or more precisely the barbarian dynasties that ruled the Mongol plateau to get acquainted with the Indian culture. Regardless of their ethnicity these nomadic tribes, such as Xiongnu, also spelled as Hsiung-nu (Hun), Hsien-pi, Tobgatch Turks or Toba Wei, Turks and Uyghurs came under the influence of Buddhism so much so that this religion seems to have made a place for itself at the top level of the then existing society.
Though Asoka was most responsible for the spread of Buddhism in Central Asia if not Inner Asia as a whole, it is commonly assumed among the historians of Buddhism that in the first century AD there were three strong cultural spheres, i.e., India, China and Inner Asia, all of which touched upon each other along the trade route running through Central Asia into Xinjiang and culminating at Dunhuang, which is known as the gateway to Xinjiang situated along the ancient Silk Road in today’s China’s Gansu province. The Xiongnu Empire (3rd century BC - 1st century AD) extended along the length of the road in Turkestan, at least from Turfan to Dunhuang, and that Buddhism spread simply along this road into China and from that point was then carried into the Mongol plateau. According to Mongolian historical sources, Buddhism was spread not only in southwestern part of Xiongnu state but also in the present territory of Mongolia. The travelogues of Chinese Buddhist monks suggest that during Xiongnu rule both Mahayana and Hinayana (Theravada) schools of Buddhism became firmly established in Mongolia. At that time three-meter tall standing golden Buddha statue was the main object of worship for the inhabitants of southwestern part of that state. This fact is attested by the The History of Wei State which clearly states that the Buddha statue was being worshipped at that time. Hor chos ‘byung by Zava Damdin provides yet another evidence of the existence of a Jowo Buddha temple belonging to the Xiongnu period, which was located in the then Bayanbalgad city along the northern bank of the present Selenge river in the Selenge aimag of Mongolia.
Further, Buddhism was adopted as the State religion not only by the Nirun State (330 AD-550 AD) of the Mongolian origin but also by the Toba Wei state (386 AD-581 AD). The two principal policies which had been formulated and adopted by Emperor Asoka and King Kanishka of India to unify the government and Buddhist administration emerged as a state tradition of Mongolia since the time of Nirun. The deep rooting of Buddhism in Mongolia was further got strengthened between the people of Nirun state and India by the visit of the two Indian Buddhist philosophers Sakyavarasha and Narendrayasa to Mongolia in the 6th century AD. Later on, the Sogdians, the Khotanese and the Uyghurs played an active intermediary role in introducing Buddhism to the Eastern part of Central Asia, i.e., the area inhabited by the Mongols. The Uyghurs were one of the most advanced nomadic peoples, who established their own powerful kingdom in the Mongol plateau and ruled it during 8th - 9th centuries AD. During this period both Buddhism as well as Manichaean were the primary religions under the state patronage. At that time, the Uyghur script was widely used to translate the Buddhist sutras and scriptures into Mongolian language. It is noteworthy that after having been adapted to the Mongolian language, the Sogdian-Uyghur script that was originated from the Phoenician-Aramaic system of writing, served as a flexible instrument of learning and literature for many centuries to follow.
Yet Buddhism does not appear to have become so important in the political or religious affairs of the Mongol Khans (Qagans) until after the establishment of the Great Mongol Empireunder the leadership of Genghis Khan (1206-1227) in the 13th century AD. This was the beginning of a most spectacular period of Mongols’ contact with Buddhism, particularly the Tibetan form of Buddhism, though the possibility of direct Buddhist contacts between the Mongol land and the northern parts of India, especially Kashmir cannot be ruled out. The Chinese sources Xin Yuan-shi records that during the reign of Ögedei Khan (1229-1241) the Kashmiri Buddhist monk Namo and his brother, Otochi came to the Mongolian court. He also stayed during the reigns of Ögedei Khan’s successors - Güyük Khan (1246-1248) and Mongke Khan (1251-1259). In 1253, Mongke Khan appointed Namo as kuo-shih, the State preceptor or what we know in India as Rajguru. He was given a jade seal to administer Buddhist affairs and was also assigned to head ten thousand Kashmiri households. Simutaneously, a new period began in India-Mongolia contacts when Buddhism received state patronage under the Mongol ruler Khubilai Khan, the founder of the Yuan dynasty in China. Though both the Chinese and Tibetan varieties of Buddhism were accessible to the Mongol Khan, he preferred to go for the latter one.
Having converted himself to Buddhism as far back as in 1242 AD, Khubilai rewarded this religion by placing a Tibetan Buddhist monk the Phags-Pa Lama Lodoijalsan (1235 AD-1280 AD) as the “State Preceptor” (kuo shih). Significantly, from the Phags-Pa Lama he accepted the concept of a ruling duality in which two spheres- the sacred and the secular, operated co-terminously. Although the concept of the dual principle, i.e., ‘priest-patron’ (Choe-Yon) relationship, ended with the downfall of the Yuan, its ideal was preserved in both Mongol and Tibetan literature. The Phags-Pa Lama also developed a new script called Phagspa script based on Nagari system of India. It is to be noted that Tibet, at that time, had truly become a midstream between India and Mongolia, “transmitting to Mongolia all what they had themselves borrowed from Buddhist India since long ago.” By this time the influence of Buddhism on Mongolia was so strong that the two great Mongolian Khans – Chinggis and Khubilai were considered to be reincarnations of Bodhisttavas; Vajrapani and Manjushri. The years that followed witnessed not only an interchange of scholars and monks between Mongols and Tibetans, but also it was the Mongol ruler Altan Khan who gave the title Dalai (meaning “ocean of wisdom”) to the Tibetan lama Sonam Gyatso in 1577. Thus began the lineage of Dalai Lamas of which the present title-holder is the 14th. It has been revealed that the Tibetan schools of Buddhism (Sa-Skya-pa, Karma-pa, and Gelug-pa) passionately continued their missionary work among the Mongols, and by the end of the sixteenth century most of the Mongols were converted to Lamaism.
Another feature of India-Mongolia Buddhist linkages can be seen through the Mongolian script of Soyombo and Quadratic which were invented by Undur Gegen Zanabazar (1636-1723), the first Jebtsundamba Khutagt, to study Buddhism. The very word Soyombo is of Sanskrit origin, i.e., svayambhu which in a more precise term means ‘self-being’ (svayam means ‘self’ and bhu means ‘being’) or ‘freedom’. Though the script died after a while, the first alphabet Soyombo to which the script owes its name became the national symbol of Mongolia signifying its independence and sovereignty. According to Lokesh Chandra, “the Mongolian flag soyombo is the Buddhist svayambhu with its extraordinary array of mystic symbols arranged vertically.” Thus, Buddhism not only helped the hitherto scattered and nomadic Mongols become united and civilized but also enabled the Mongols to learn about various dimensions of Indian philosophy and science as well as applied knowledge such as astrology, poetry, art, medicine, etc. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Buddhism served the Mongols as a prime source of common identity and an effective instrument for whipping up the Mongol nationalism against the Manchu-Qing rule, the collapse of which provided Mongolia an opportunity to declare its independence in 1911. However, Buddhism saw its worst set back during the whole Mongolian history of Soviet dominance until its revival began to take place in the 1990s following the disintegration of the former USSR. In that sense it is not exaggeration to say that Buddhism has once again become one of the most important decisive factors of Mongol identity apart from a unifying factor for Mongols who live in different regions, such as Khalkhas in Mongolia, Buryats in Siberia and Kalmyks at the Volga River. As regards India-Mongolia ties, nothing could deter them even during the seven decades of communist rule in Mongolia; perhaps spiritual bonding between the land of Buddha and the land of blue sky was working in right direction.
Spiritual Neighbours in Modern Times
Sharing a rich legacy of historico-cultural bonds through interaction, assimilation and exchanges due to their being the southern and northern ends of a Buddhist arch, it is but natural that India and Mongolia are now known as “spiritual” neighbours. Now one may ask as to why India is known as Mongolia’s spiritual neighbour. First of all the fact that India is the land of Buddha provides enough reason for the Buddhist Mongolia to call India as its spiritual neighbour. And secondly, the River Ganga is revered as sacred by the Mongolians in the same way as Indians do. For example, in Mongolia, anybody who keeps ‘Gangajal’ (the holy water from River Ganga) at home is considered as the luckiest one. In fact, there is a group of lakes known as ‘Ganga Lake’, which is located in the eastern part of Mongolia, about 12 kms. from Dariganga Sum (county or district), in Sukhbaatar aimag (province). The legend has it that a long time back a man who was a native of Dariganga visited India. While returning back he brought with him holy water from the River Ganga, which he placed in the sand, thus the formation of Ganga Lake took place. This is the only group of lakes, which is located in desert and is considered as sacred by the people of Mongolia. Besides, India is venerated in Mongolia not only as a homeland of Buddha but also as a country to which the Mongolian people attribute all that have been considered the highest attainments of wisdom and learning. That is to say India is seen as such a divine place, where emphasis is given on Buddhist principles of denouncing anger and hatred, violence and rancor, apart from promoting universal peace and harmony through individual attainment of compassion and serenity. The spiritual linkages between India and Mongolia, therefore, make it imperative for the two sides to cooperate each other in areas of mutual concerns.
Ever since the two countries signed the Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation in 1994, a solid foundation was laid down for further development of bilateral relations and cooperation on regional and international relations. However, before dealing with the extent and pattern of cooperation between the two sides in significant areas of bilateral and multilateral importance, it requires to highlight the Buddhist linkages in the post-Soviet period. The one name which needs to be mentioned here is that of the Ven. Kushok Bakula Rimpoche who was instrumental in not only the revival of Buddhism in Mongolia but also in deepening the cultural ties based on Buddhism between the two countries. In 1990, he was appointed as the Indian ambassador to Mongolia which lasted for more than 10 years until he retired in 2000. When he arrived, Mongolia was still a communist country but soon it became a free country, and Bakula Rinpoche could travel freely and work for the revival of Buddhism. He established monasteries and nunneries, hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama, invited Lama Zopa Rinpoche several times, and granted ordination to many Mongolians. He was often called “Elchin Bagsha”, the teacher ambassador. On 26 June 2001, the Mongolian President conferred on him “The Polar Star”, the country’s third highest state order that was rarely given to a foreigner, for “strengthening Indo-Mongolian ties and for promoting Buddha Dharma in Mongolia.”
It is worth to be noted here that in Mongolian folktales, there was a lore that Bakula Arhat would one day come from India to revive Buddha Dharma, and indeed he came in the person of Kushok Bakula. Under his guidance, Pethub Monastery (established by him in 1999) and Dechen Ling Nunnery in Ulaanbaatar developed into important centres of learning for the Mongolian Buddhists. During his service as India’s ambassador to Mongolia he encouraged more Mongolian monks to come to India and study at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, at the Drepung Gomang in Mundgod or the Sera Monastery in Bylakuppe in Karnataka, and in other places. Due to his efforts, the number of scholarships for Mongolians to study in India extended from just a few to over 100. In 2005, the late Penor Rinpoche’s Kunzang Palyul Choling, in partnership with the Khamariin Khiid in Sainshand Sum (district) of Dornogovi province of Mongolia, began sponsoring Mongolians to study Buddhism in India at the Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe. As of 2011 more than 230 Mongolian student-monks were reported to have been living in Mundgod of India’s Karnataka state. Recently, India has liberalized its visa regime for Mongolian Buddhist monks coming to India for Buddhist Studies. They are now given a straightway 5-year Indian visa. The Buddhist monks were earlier given one year visa and they had to return to their country and come back again with a new entry permit in case the duration of the course was more than 12 months. This Indian initiative has been taken to deepen the centuries old traditional cultural ties and boost bilateral relations between the two countries. This was acknowledged by the Indian President Pratibha Patil at the end of a three-day visit to Mongolia just six-months ago on 30 July 2011. “We have historic relations with each other. There is a strong link of Buddhism. Those monks who come to study here...are very happy. I understand it will give a cordial atmosphere to further our relationship,” said President Patil.
Earlier in January 2004, India and Mongolia also signed an agreement to construct a Mongolian-run Buddhist monastery in sacred place of Bodh Gaya, Bihar (India), where according to Buddhist tradition, Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. The Bihar government provided a free grant of land on which the monastery was to build. During his visit to India the then Prime Minister of Mongolia Nambaryn Enkhbayar personally laid the foundation stone. In order to reinforce cultural links between the two sides a Chair of Buddhist and Sanskrit Studies in the National University of Mongolia was also established in accordance with the agreement concluded in April 2006 between Government of India and the Ministry of Education, Science & Culture of Mongolia. The two sides are now involved in strengthening exchanges in the field of Buddhism, including Buddhist studies, in order to preserve this common heritage. One fine example is the Indian support to the digitalization of precious Buddhist manuscripts preserved at Mongolian State Library.
Buddhist Linkages as Driving Force for Multilateral Cooperation
India being the “spiritual home” in the eyes of the Mongolians and about 92 per cent of them following Buddhism offer a unique opportunity for both sides to further strengthen their civilizational bonds. India has come a long way from 1955 when it became the first country outside the Soviet bloc to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia. In the post-Cold War period, Mongolia is considered to be critical for what several analysts describe “a rising India’s Asian strategy”. Such concerns provided an opportunity for the two countries to upgrade their bilateral ties to comprehensive partnership, and Buddhist factor played an important role to do so in 2009. It was, in fact, during the September 2009 visit of Mongolian President Ts. Elbegdorj to India that both sides acknowledged the ongoing state of political relations based on historical and cultural ties, common democratic traditions and a shared desire for regional peace and stability. However, the most important event that took place during this visit was the decision of the two countries to upgrade the level of their bilateral relations to a comprehensive partnership. To this end, both sides formalized their comprehensive partnership by signing a treaty to cooperate in developing Mongolian uranium mining with a MoU on the “peaceful use of radioactive minerals and nuclear energy”.
Further, recognizing the importance of historical, cultural and spiritual links between India and Mongolia, the two sides underlined the need of nurturing these areas through promotion of all round cooperation beyond bilateralism. The 2011 visit of Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil to Mongolia witnessed an exchange of views on the ways to broaden the bilateral cooperation as well as on the issues pertaining to cooperation on the regional and multilateral arena. Mongolian President himself stressed on expanding the bilateral traditional relations in cultural, educational and humanitarian fields, besides developing mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of trade, economy and investment on multilateral basis. As such both countries have also been focusing on their “geostrategic interests.” On its part, Mongolia as a young democracy, cautious of past subordination to Moscow and China’s hunger for natural resources, sees diversifying its international ties as the best guarantee of not only its political and economic independence but also attracting multilateral forces for supporting its presence in various regional cooperation efforts. The other significant point to be highlighted here is that Mongolia’s strategic location as a geographical bridge between Central Asia and Northeast Asia could provide an impetus for spreading India’s soft power because having more than one strong ally there could be beneficial to Indian interests in the whole region.
Moreover, India’s traditional South Asian centric security policies are being stretched out into East Asia and the Pacific as well as a northward movement into Central Asia. But according to Miliate, “with an ever increasing liberal interpretation of regional security it may well be the case that East Asia as a division could expand into South Asia and northward to include Russia and Mongolia, bringing into question the whole issue of geographical divisions in an increasingly transnational world”. In this sense, Mongolia is not only an economic partner but a strategic and a natural partner in India’s “Look East” Policy, which was designed to strengthen its engagement with the Asia-Pacific as a whole. However, it remains to be seen whether Mongolia-India synergy would indeed benefit New Delhi in its engagement with North East Asia to the extent of becoming a major player in this region to make its worthy contribution especially to the regional integration process. Yet, there is a commonality of views between the two countries on several regional and multilateral issues. They are committed to enhance their cooperation on such issues, particularly those related to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, including through enhanced interaction at multilateral forums such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) and East Asia Summit (EAS).
Thanks to the countries like Mongolia that India has been elected to the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for 2011-2012. Back home Mongolia’s focus today is on pressing socio-economic issues close at hand. Unemployment, poverty, speedy urbanization and the ensuing social displacement pose potential threats to long-term stability and economic prosperity of the country. Moreover, it becomes even more difficult task in the absence of a meaningful regional cooperation framework. India’s ongoing role at least in East Asia, which includes both the South East Asia as well as North East Asia, may have far reaching consequences to the extent of benefiting Mongolia so far as issue of regional cooperation is concerned. Obviously, Mongolia could seek India’s support and certainly in view of the recent developments in India-Mongolia relations due to the upgradation of bilateral ties to cooperative partnership, it seems possible in all sense. As such India and Mongolia have been maintaining closer bilateral ties to the extent of forging them into multilateral cooperation, notwithstanding the physical barriers. The credit, of course, goes to Buddhist linkages which are also attested by the fact that the people of India living in the Himalayan region have racial, cultural and religious affinity; even their food habits and customs are identical with those of the Mongols. Taking the example of India and Mongolia, Buddhism in the contemporary world including the Austral-Asian region would indeed help develop bilateral and multilateral relations.
Implications for Austral-Asian Region
On the website of Australia’s Buddhism one can find a written quotation: “The Weapons of Mass Destruction are Greed, Anger and a Deluded Mind - Find them and Destroy them Now!” That is what everyone in the world today has the responsibility to do, and notwithstanding a tough task, it can be done through combined efforts at global level in which the Austral-Asian region too has a role to play. In terms of definition, Austral-Asia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. Together it forms an enormous area which in recent years saw a significant development of Buddhism; particular mention may be made of Australia. There are now more Buddhists in Australia per capita than anywhere else in the Western world, which is evident from the fact that the number of Australian Buddhists has doubled since 1996. The 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that there are 418,800 Buddhist followers in Australia, representing 2.1 per cent of the Australian population. It is Australia’s close geographical proximity with Asia that has had significant influence on the development of Buddhism in the Austral-Asian region as a whole. Perhaps Buddhism is thriving there because it seems compatible with the perceived needs of an increasingly global society.
As the world has entered into the second decade of the 21st century, Buddhism both as a religion and as part of academic study must be seen in the context of achieving the lofty goals of peaceful co-existence, ensuring friendship from generation to generation, and furthering mutual development through cooperation. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical, i.e., nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. In that sense, Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender. It teaches practical methods which enable people to realize and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, to be fully responsible for their lives. Indeed, the first Global Buddhist Congregation that took place in New Delhi in November 2011 rightly focussed on how Buddhism in the contemporary world can positively contribute to the establishment of peace and harmony among religions and communities, and minimize environmental degradation and economic disparity through a non-violent, environment friendly and sustainable model of development based on the principles of right to livelihood.
The world to remain in peace requires coordinated efforts to resolve disputes which further need to have bilateral and multilateral cooperation among both the nations as well as individuals. Such cooperation between India and Mongolia is the best example of being in the right direction of coordinated efforts. Other examples can be set between India and Australia, both of them have convergence of political, economic and social interests in connection with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and here again Buddhism can prove to be a major factor so far as bilateral and multilateral cooperation is concerned. For, all the three can rely on the binding force of Buddhism. If Australia, India and ASEAN coordinate their regional policies and diplomacy in evolving a common consensus on growing threats to regional stability, peace and development, it may prove to be beneficial not only for the concerned nations but also for others including the whole Austral-Asian region. The fact that Buddhism forms a common identity can further be seen through the initiatives of the regional framework known as ASEAN plus 6 countries, comprising the 10 ASEAN members plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, which are now active in promoting various regional cooperation activities including the economic growth in East Asian countries. Buddhism, therefore, must gather sufficient intellectual resources having a regional and international perspective to carry out more studies in order to contribute to the preservation of world peace and development.
Now the question arises as to what meaningful contribution can scholars on Buddhism make in the Austral-Asian region? In this regard, the following points are to be taken into notice:
(1)There should be enhancement of research on the history of Buddhism in the Austral-Asian region, especially in Australia where it arrived in 1848 with the advent of Chinese immigrants to work in the gold fields. Though the initial Buddhist influence was not in much fervour, it did take root.
(2)While conducting research, there should also be emphasis on commending the people who have made significant contribution to the development of Buddhism in the Austral-Asian region and their remarkable achievements, particularly in spreading Buddhist teachings.
(3)Academic exchange of scholars having expertise on different aspects of Buddhism should be conducted with the outside world, apart from organizing Buddhist Academic Conferences, such as “Buddhism and Australia” in order to exchange ideas among the scholars. This will contribute greatly not only to advancement of research on Buddhism but also in creating a network of Buddhist scholars across the world.
(4)There should be reciprocal visits of scholars through Governmental or non-governmental channels, which includes the academic visits as well as participation in seminars and conferences at universities or research institutes of other countries in order to collect research materials or write academic papers and undertake joint research projects.
(5)The Buddhist scholars should make an effort to promote the next generation of scholars who are capable of continuing and developing studies on Buddhist culture at bilateral and multilateral levels.
The foregoing discussions indicate that Buddhism forms an important factor in reformulating and rebuilding not only the national identity of the Mongolian people but also bringing them more close to the Indians. On the other side, due to its close historical links based on Buddhism India would always like to see Mongolia prosper through strengthening bilateral and multilateral relations in every area in the spirit of comprehensive partnership. It is more so because the Buddhist linkages between the two countries are fascinating, intense and inseparable; transcending all human activities from language, literature, religion, medicine, and folklore to culture and traditions. This really sets an example relevant to other regions of the world as to how Buddhism in today’s scenario becomes a major factor in keeping the bond of trust between the two or more countries alive and what should further be done to uphold the same. The Austral-Asian region too can be seen in that perspective. And herein comes the need for establishing close relationships between not only various Buddhist traditions and communities but also academics who could share and exchange knowledge and wisdom in order to contribute to further development of Buddhism in any region of the world. What is striking to note here is that Buddhism can also be employed as geopolitical tool in regional and international perspectives to meet the varied challenges facing the world in the 21st century.
. P. Stobdan, “Challenges before Buddhism: The way Ahead”, in Suchandana Chatterjee and Anita Sen Gupta (eds.), Contemporary Buddhism: Comparative Studies on Eurasia and South Asia (Delhi: Shipra Publications, 2011), pp.11-12.
. Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda, “The Buddhist Attitude towards other Religions”, 13 March 2009, http://www.knowbuddhism.info/2009/03/buddhist-attitude-towards-religions.html
. Quoted in “India to host new world Buddhist body,” Times of India (New Delhi), 1 December 2011, p.10.
. See The Secret History of the Mongols, translated by Urgunge Onon (Ulaanbaatar: Bolor Sudar Publishing House, 2005), pp. 130-131; Sh. Bira, “Historiographical Relationship between India and Mongolia”, in R. C. Sharma and others (eds.), Mongolia: Culture, Economy and Politics (New Delhi: Khama Publishers, 1992), p.23.
. Inner Asia, or the interior of the Eurasian landmass, comprises in historical terms the civilizations of Central Asia, Mongolia, and Tibet, together with neighbouring areas and peoples that in certain periods formed cultural, political, or ethno-linguistic unities with these regions.
. Turkestan was referred to an extensive region of Central Asia lies between Siberia in the north and Tibet, India, Afghanistan, and Iran in the south, i.e., comprising present-day Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and the Southern part of Kazakhstan, as well as areas consisting of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.
. Rohan L. Jayetilleke, “Buddhist Heritage of Mongolia”, Daily News (Colombo), 16 March 2010.
. D. Tseveendorj (ed.), Mongol Ulsyn Tuukh, vol.1, Ulaanbaatar. 2003.
. Jayetilleke (2010).
. Sh. Bira, “Mongolian-Indian Relationship: Retrospective Look at Buddhism”, in O Nyamdavaa and Gurdeep Singh (eds.), Mongolia and India: Spiritual Neighbours (New Delhi: Himala Publishers, 2000), p.6.
. Ke Shaomin, Xin Yuan-shi, juan 255, Biography 152, “Foreign Countries” 7, “Biography of India”, Taipei, 1969, Kaiming edition, p.484, cited in Sechin Jagchid, “A Retrospective Look at Mongol-India Historical Relations” in R.C. Sharma (ed.), Mongolia: Tryst with Change and Development (Patiala 7 New Delhi: Vision and Venture Publishers, 1997), p.139.
. For more on Khubilai’s religious policy and his relationship with Phags-Pa Lama, see Sh. Bira, “Qubilai Qa’an and Phags-Pa Bla-ma,” in Reuven Amitai-Preiss and David O. Morgan (eds.), The Mongol Empire and its Legacy (Leiden: Brill, 1999), pp. 240-249.
. While Khubilai himself retained the task of ruling the secular sphere, the position of ruler of the sacred sphere was given to the Phags-Pa Lama. See Larry Williams Moses, The Political Role of Mongol Buddhism (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1977), p.78.
. Sharad K. Soni and Reena Marwah, “Tibet as a factor impacting China studies in India”, Asian Ethnicity, (London), vol. 12, no.3, 2011, p. 288. For more details, also see Sharad K. Soni, “Mongolia and the Mongols: From Mongol Yuan Dynasty to Manchu-Qing Overlordship”, in Ts. Ishdorj (ed.), Essays on Mongol Studies (Ulaanbaatar: IAMS, 2007), p. 152.
. Bira (2000), p.9.
. Agata Bareja-Starzynska and Hanna Havnevik, “A Preliminary Study of Buddhism in Present-Day Mongolia”, in Ole Brunn and Li Narangoa (eds.), Mongols from Country to City: Boundaries, Pastoralism and City Life in the Mongol Lands (Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2006), p.215.
. Lokesh Chandra, “Soyombo and Svayambhu : Evidence of Ancient Ties between India and Mongolia”, in O Nyamdavaa and Gurdeep Singh (eds.), Mongolia and India: Spiritual Neighbours (New Delhi: Himala Publishers, 2000), p.2.
. Several scholars are of the opinion that the symbol of Soyombo is based on Vedic thoughts. During his period the Mongolian language and literature borrowed heavily from Indo-Tibetan literature including the Vedic philosophy. See Gauri Shankar Gupta, “India and Mongolia”, in K. Warikoo and Sharad K. Soni (eds.), Mongolia in the 21st Century: Society, Culture and International Relations (New Delhi and London: Pentagon, 2010), pp.108-109.
. Sharad K Soni, “India-Mongolia Relations: Implications for Regional Cooperation in North East Asia”, Mongolian & Tibetan Quarterly , vol.18, no.2, 2009, p. 53.
. Vasanta Iyer, “Cultural Perspectives in Modern Mongolia,” in K. Warikoo and Dawa Norbu (eds.), Ethnicity and Politics in Central Asia (New Delhi: South Asian Publishers, 1992), p.268.
. Ibid, p.267.
. Amitava Dutta, “The Venerable Kushok Bakula”, Bharat Rakshak Monitor, vol. 6(3), November-December 2003.
.“Pethub Stangey Choskhorling Monastery Celebrates 10th Anniversary”, The UB Post, at http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3309&Itemid=45
. “Indian President to Visit Mongolia, Religious Ties to be Strengthened”, Mongolia Briefing, 21 July 2011, http://mongolia-briefing.com/news/2011/07/indian-president-to-visit-mongolia-religious-ties-to-be-strengthened.html
. Ashwini Shrivastava, “India Liberalises Visas for Mongolian Buddhist Scholars”, 30 July 2011, at http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=729507
. The Office of the President of Mongolia, Public Relations and Communications Division, “Remarks of Tsakhia Elbegdorj, President of Mongolia at the Reception in honour of Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President Of India”, 28 July 2011, at http://www.president.mn/eng/newsCenter/viewNews.php?newsId=580
. Ranjan Gupta “India and Mongolia: A Geostrategic Perspective”, Regional Security Issues and Mongolia, no. 6 1999, p.30.
. Brandon Joseph Miliate, India’s Role in Mongolia’s Third Neighbor Policy, SIT Study Abroad: Mongolia, ISP Collection, (2009), p.17.
. Sharad K. Soni, “The Importance of Mongolia in India’s Engagement with Northeast Asia”, in Sino-Indian Relations: Challenges and Opportunities for 21st Century, edited by Sudhir Kumar Singh, New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2011, p.295.
 . Sharad K Soni, “India’s New Role in East Asia: Implications for Mongolia”, The Mongolian Journal of International Affairs (Ulaanbaatar), no.13, 2006, p.41.
. See O. Nyamdavaa, Mongolia-India Relations (New Delhi: Bhavana Books & Prints, 2003), pp.30-33.
. Australia’s Buddhism, at http://www.buddhismaustralia.org/
. Cristina Roca and Michelle Barker (eds.), Buddhism in Australia: Traditions in Change (New York: Routledge, 2011), p.1.
. See “Buddhist Religion”, at http://www.buddhist-temples.com/buddhist-religion.html
. Ganganath Jha, “Australia as a Factor in India-ASEAN Relations”, in Dennis Rumley and D. Gopal (eds.), Globalisation and Regional Security : India and Australia (Delhi: Shipra Publications, 2007), pp.195 and 205.
. Michelle Spuler, “Characteristics of Buddhism in Australia”, Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol. 15, no. 1, 2000, pp. 34.]]>
Development is a marker of Governance and it is being thus looked upon as a process of creating a suitable enabling environment for people to lead long, healthy, productive, and creative lives. In facilitating this, the governance processes need to be effective and efficient. This leads us to the crucial aspect of governance, which is called Good Governance. According to Leftwich (1993), Good Governance involves an efficient public service, an independent judicial system and legal framework to enforce contracts; an accountable administration of public funds; an independent public auditor responsible to a representative legislature; respect for the law and human rights at all levels of government, a pluralistic institutional structure and a free press.
While Governance, on the one hand, deals with collaborative partnership, networking which is necessary for policy formulation, and implementation, Good Governance on the other hand, attempts to make this activity not just efficient and effective but also more accountable, democratic and responsive to the public needs. Through good governance, an attempt is being made to establish an all encompassing relationship between government and the governed.
The concept of Good Governance
The concept of ‘Good Governance’ was formulated by the World Bank in 1992. It was defined as the “Manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development”. In the Report titled ‘Governance and Development’, Good Governance was considered central to creating and sustaining an environment, which fosters strong and equitable development and is an essential component of sound economic policies.
Three distinct aspects of governance were identified:
• Form of political regime (parliamentary, presidential, military or civilian).
• Process by which authority is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources; and
• Capacity of governments to design, formulate and implement policies.
Good governance relates to enhancing the quality of governance through empowerment, participation, accountability, equity and justice. Without transparent and accountable institutions and the capacity to develop the policies and laws to enable a country to manage its markets and its political life in an open but just way, development is not sustainable (Brown, 2000).
The good governance agenda advocates freedom of information, a strong legal system and efficient administration to help the underprivileged sections’ claim to equality; but these have been most successful when backed up by strong political mobilization through social movements or political parties with a clear cut mission. Good governance means bringing about goodness in all the three sectors: government, civil society and corporate world including transnational corporation. Good governance is a tryst with trust, a commitment of the people, for the people, a social contract for the greatest good, the collective conscience of the community (Misra, 2003).
Good Governance as a prerequisite for promoting people-centered development is assuming importance. Good Governance aims at:
• Improving the quality of life of citizens
• Enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of administration
• Establishing the legitimacy and credibility of institutions
• Securing freedom of information and expression
• Providing citizen-friendly and citizen-caring administration
• Ensuring accountability
• Using Information Technology-based services to improve citizen-government interface.
• Improving/enhancing the productivity of employees; and
• Promoting organizational pluralism – State, market and civil society organizations for governance.
Researchers, policy makers, international institutions have attempted to conceptualize the concept of governance and identify its basic characteristics. These include:
These characteristics reinforce each other. A proper governance strategy needs to take cognizance of these features. Many countries in the present times, are trying to bring about administrative reforms to foster Good Governance.
Buddhist perspective on good governance
The word ‘Dhammappasāsana’ (Dharmaprasāsana in Sanskrit) in Pāli means ‘good governance’. ‘Dhammappasāsana’ is made of two words, ‘Dhamma’ (virtue/law/ righteous) and ‘Pasāsana’ (governance) which means law of governance.
Also the teaching of the Buddha depicts the practice of good governance and the promotion of development. As the “Middle Path Approach” continues to inspire us toward new paradigms of sustainable development and peaceful societies. Buddhism always contributed to uplift the spirit of humanity. In Buddhism, a king like all other human beings is born in this world following his past deeds. He is never regarded as incarnation of One and Supreme Creator as believed in the other religious traditions.
At Jātaka I, 132, the Pāli text mentions the word Sammutideva, as referring to a king. The word simply means ‘the conventional god’ or ‘god in the public opinion’, not the god by birth at all. More importantly, once he ascends to the throne, it does not mean that he will be respected or worshiped by all peoples wholeheartedly without obstructions or opponents who may plot to overthrow him. To guarantee that he will be widely accepted and revered by his subjects for many years, the Buddha states that he must strictly follow various virtues as mentioned by him on various occasions in the Pāli Canonical texts.
In the Āgganna Sutta of the Dīgha Nikāya, the Buddha stresses that the evolution of the human society beings as a result of necessity, and not at the will of any divine forces. The rājā or Khattiya are selected on account of their righteousness and ability. People have freedom to choose the most virtuous and able man to be their leader. He may be overthrown from the kingship if he is later known to be immoral and incapable. This means that the virtues and efficiency of a king are important.
At Jātaka V, 378, the Buddha clearly states that a good king has to follow strictly the “tenfold virtue of the ruler” (Dasavidha-Rājadhamma) – that head or chiefs or rulers of people, countries, nation or other organs are purposed to hold. It moves us from ethics to statecraft by using the dramatis personae to expound palace life from a management studies perspective. It provides job descriptions and flow-charts of responsibility for the king and for his subordinates which is stated as follows:
Dāna (charity): Being prepared to sacrifice one's own pleasure for the well-being of the public, such as giving away one's belongings or other things to support or assist others, including giving knowledge and serving public interests.
Sīla (morality): Practicing physical and mental morals, and being a good example of others.
Pariccaga (altruism): Being generous and avoiding selfishness, practicing altruism.
Ajjava (honesty): Being honest and sincere towards others, performing one's duties with loyalty and sincerity to others.
Maddava (gentleness): Having gentle temperament, avoiding arrogance and never defaming others.
Tapa (self restraining): Destroying passion and performing duties without indolence.
Akkodha (non-anger): Being free from hatred and remaining calm in the midst of confusion.
Avihimsā (non-violence): Exercising non-violence, not being vengeful.
Khanti (forbearance): Practicing patience, and trembling to serve public interests.
Avirodhana (uprightness): Respecting opinions of other persons, avoiding prejudice and promoting public peace and order.
Apart from this, at Dīgha Nikāya, II, 196, and III, 223, the king must not have any partiality or slanted views against his subjects as the ruler of the country. He must spread the Brahmavihāra - Four Sublime States of Mind towards all living creatures, animals and humans alike:
At Dīgha Nikāya III,182,288, the king who rules the country must try to avoid the Four Biases or Prejudices (āgati) against his subjects, no matter where they live and what color skin they may have, namely,
This means he must, equally and fairly, take care of every subject in his kingdom.
At Samyutta Nikāya, I, 76, King Pasenadi Kosala performed one of the Hindu Great Sacrifices (yajna in Sanskrit and yannā in Pāli), in which he ordered to be killed five hundreds of bull, five hundreds of male bullocks, five hundreds of female bullocks, five hundreds of goats, and five hundreds of rams, in order to establish himself as a universal monarch. The passage in the Tipiṭaka along with its commentary, explains various kinds of animal and human sacrifices of Vedic origin performed during the Buddha’s lifetime. Upon knowing of this sacrifice, the Buddha rejects all these rituals outright. At Dīgha Nikāya I, 127, Buddha condemns all the animal sacrifices as inefficacious. On the other hand, the Buddha praises all other sacrifices in which no living being is injured, all the labour is voluntary, and no regrets are felt at any stage of performing them. Several sacrifices which are mentioned in the Pāli Canon are traceable to Vedic texts, which were presumed to be the revelation from God.
When the characteristics of ‘good governance’ are compared with the virtues of a good King as explained in Buddhism, we can see that there are many similarities:
1. ‘Participation’ in modern good governance corresponds to what is called in Buddhism ‘the avoidance the four āgatis (prejudices because of like, dislike, delusion or stupidity and fear), because the King of the Buddhist Dhammarāja system must base himself on the merit system, allowing the representatives of his peoples of all colors, ranks, etc. to help him rule the country in one way or another. Everyone with good quality must be provided a chance to work for the king;
2. ‘Rule of Law’ is equivalent to the king’s observation of Sīla (morality), which could refer to the law or the constitutions as well as other rules and regulations in the country throughout his reign;
3. ‘Transparency’ corresponds to Ajjava (honesty), Avirodhana or Avirodha (absence of obstruction) and even Sīla (morality), because the king must be honest and rule the country following the righteous principles; he must not suppress others who do not agree with him sometimes, and he must not transgress the law, constitutions or rules and regulations himself. We have to bear in mind that the word Sīla is divided into three aspects (Sucarita), namely Kāyasucarita (good conduct in action), Vacisucarita (good conduct in speech) and Manosu- Carita (good conduct in mind);
4. ‘Responsiveness’ is equal to loving-kindness (Mettā) and compassion (Karuṇā) towards all subjects without any prejudices or biases. The king must see the suffering of the poor or underprivileged people in the society as his own;
5. ‘A consensus-Oriented Approach’ is the same as what is called in Pāli Yebhuyyasikā, which means that the king must not exercise his power at will (which would fall within the category of Attadhipateyya i.e. holding one’s own opinions as supreme);
6. ‘Equity and Inclusiveness’ is to make decisions which affect the people in the kingdom in accordance with the vote of the majority. It could also mean that he must be honest (Ajjava) enough to accept others’ viewpoints, must be tolerant to what he does not like (Akkodha), must be patient (Ahanti), must not impose obstructions upon others (Avirodha or Avirodhana), and usually listens to that which the majority votes for (Lokādhipateyya);
7. ‘Effectiveness and Efficiency’ corresponds to self-sacrifice (Pariccaga) because the king has to sacrifice his own personal happiness for the sake of others and works hard for the happiness and welfare of the many instead. He must be patient (Khanti) and maintain a good temperament no matter how difficult his jobs and responsibilities are, and he must strive for the betterment of his kingdom by abandoning personal luxuries and self-indulgences, and living a simple, moderate life (Tapa) as an example to his subjects. Literally, the word Tapa means the mortification of the fresh; and
8. ‘Accountability’ corresponds to honesty (Ajjava), moral integrity (Sīla), and patience (Khanti). With these virtues, the king must not impose any obstructions against others, simply because he does not agree with them, and he must not do something against the good traditions and culture in the country too (Avirodhana).
At Dīgha Nikāya III, 61, the Buddha addresses the duties or virtues of an authentic universal king (Cakkavattivatta), or the virtues that makes a simple king a universal one: First, the king must rule the country with righteousness. Second, the king must protect all the people living in his country with the right principles and upholds justice all the times. Third, he must not let immorality spoil his kingdom. Fourth, he must provide financial aid or funds to those who are in need of it to improve their quality of life. Fifth, he must approach, from time to time, learned and virtuous recluses or Brahmins in order to get better understanding of Dhamma for the advancement of his moral practices.
Governance in Modern India
In ancient Indian history, King Asoka the Great is reputed as having followed it strictly. Apart from supporting Buddhist monks in various ways as a real Buddhist should do, the king appointed his officers for propagating Buddhism among the general public. These officers were known as Dhammamahāmāta. Buddhist tradition says he built 84,000 Stupās throughout his empire over the sacred relics of the Buddha. In addition, he observed the first Buddhist precept. Thus, in his first Rock-Edict Asoka clearly states: hida no kicchi jive alabhitu pajohitaviye: ‘Here no living being must be killed and sacrificed’. He is also portrayed as having tried to be a vegetarian by minimizing the killing of animals for his food. The text lucidly says: ‘Formerly in the kitchen of King Devanām Piyadassī many hundred thousands of animals were killed daily for curry. But now, when this prescript on morality is caused to be written, then only three lives are being killed viz., two peacocks and one deer, but even this deer not regularly. Even these three shall not be killed in future.’
One of the major rock edicts of Asoka concerns relationships between religions and beliefs, and contains these words: “But beloved-of-the Gods, King Piyadassī, do not value gifts and honors as much as he values this - that there should be growth in the essentials of all religions. Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one's own religion or condemning the religions of others without good cause. And if there is cause for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honor other religions for this reason. By so doing, one's own religion benefits and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one's own religion and the religions of others.”
Asoka is still remembered today by Buddhists as an ideal example of good governance. This edict goes back to the Buddha who, in a context where acrimonious exchanges took place between different religious groups, encouraged his followers not to feel ill-will when other groups criticized them, but to engage in dialogue, pointing out misunderstandings with reason and courtesy.
In modern India, efforts have been initiated since independence to improve the governmental functioning. Several measures were taken in this direction as the then administrative system suited the British government’s needs of revenue; and law and order administration. The post-independence scenario was more in favors of Welfare State in order to ensure responsiveness to the needs of People. The adoption of the Constitution, Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles of State policy, planning as the means of achieving social and economic development made the reorientation of the administrative machinery imperative. The governance structure and systems had to undergo a major revamping from revenue collection and maintenance of law and order towards socio-economic development, social welfare and citizens’ satisfaction.
During 1950s and 1960s, in order to ensure responsiveness, several committees were set up which went into systematic review of the organizational structure and functioning of the Government of India. These include Secretariat Reorganization Committee (1947), Gopalaswamy Ayyangar Committee on Reorganization of Government Machinery (1949), and Gorwala Committee (1951). In 1953, on the Government of India’s request, Paul H. Appleby of Syracus University, USA submitted two reports on reforms in Indian administration. Bascdon these recommendations in 1964, a separate Department of Administrative Reforms were set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The most comprehensive set of recommendations including that of administrative efficiency, were made by the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) set up in January 1966. It examined the entire gamut of administration at the Centre as well as the states and submitted twenty major reports during its working of nearly four and a half years. Based on the recommendations of ARC, a Department of Personnel was created in 1970, which was later transformed into a full-fledged Ministry of Personnel and Training, Administrative Reforms, Public Grievance, Pensions and Pensioners’ welfare. Several institutions, such as, Central Vigilance Commission, Central Bureau of Investigation, Lok Pal and Lok Ayukta has been also created. These reform measures basically attempted to look into the structural changes that were desired at that time to strengthen and streamline the administrative machinery.
Indian government also had been started numerous programme (educational, economical and welfare) under the planning commission for the development of society. These are as follows:
Even as we address the specific challenges listed, we must deal with the perception that development has failed to bridge the divides that many afflict our country and may even have sharpened some of them. Some of these perceptions may be exaggerated, but they exist nonetheless.
There are many divides. Foremost among these is the divide between the rich and the poor. Poverty is declining, but only at a pace which is no longer acceptable given the minimalist level at which the poverty line is fixed. There is also a divide between those who have access to essential services such as health, education, drinking water, sanitation etc., and those who do not. Group which have hitherto been excluded from our society such as SCs (scheduled castes), STs (scheduled tribes) and minorities and OBCs (other backward classes), continue to lag behind the rest. Another important divide relates to gender. It begins with the declining sex ratio, goes on to literacy differential between girls and boys and culminates in the high rate of maternal mortality. The extent of bias is self evident. Differentials in educational status and economic empowerment are heavily biased against women. Special, focused efforts should be made to purge society of this malaise by creating an enabling environment for women to become economically, politically, and socially empowered. Measures to ensure that society recognizes women are economic and social worth, and accounts for the worth of women’s unpaid work, will be a concomitant of this.
A basic and long standing concern has been: will growth bypass the poor, excluding them from its benefits? There is an extensive literature on the effects of growth on poverty and the general conclusion has been that the proportion of the poor has declined over time but not fast enough. Until recently, the available official data indicated that the percentage of the population in poverty had declined from 36% in 1993-94 to 26% in 1999-2000, though the Planning Commission even then had noted that the 1999-2000 data were collected with a different methodology and give estimates of poverty which are not strictly comparable to 1993-94 estimates. Poverty reduction there was broad consensus that the official estimates had overstated poverty reduction. Whereas the official estimates implied poverty reduction by 1.66 percentage points per year during 1993-2000, much better than the one percentage point per year reduction between 1977-78 and 1993-94, the alternative estimates ranged from 0.5 to 1.1 percentage points per year. Preliminary estimates are now available from the latest National Sample Survey (NSS) large sample survey conducted in 2004-05. This provides data that are fully comparable to 1993-94. On the basis of these and using the methodology of the Expert Group on Estimation of Proportion and Number of Poor 1993, the percentage of population below the poverty line in 2004-05 is provisionally estimated at 27.8% in 2004-05. Thus the average decline in the percentage of population below the poverty line over the period 1993 to 2004 is 0.74 percentage points per year, much less than implied by the official 1999-2000 data. Because of the slower pace of reduction in the percentage of poor, the absolute number of poor, using the Expert Group methodology is now estimated to be approximately 300 million in 2004-05, larger than the official 1999-2000 estimate.
However, although this poverty estimate for 2004-05 is higher than the earlier official estimate for 1999-2000, this should not be interpreted to mean that poverty increased between 1999-2000 and 2004-05. It means only that the 1999-2000 official estimates had underestimated comparable poverty. To deal with this, the 2004-05 survey was carried out in a manner that would also give alternative estimates of poverty, roughly comparable to the 1999-2000 figures. These alterative estimates are much lower. The percentage of poor in 2004-05 that is roughly (but not strictly) comparable to the 26.1% official estimate for 1999-2000 is about 22%. This implies that poverty decreased at the rate of 0.79 percentage points per year during 1999-2005. Using comparable data we find that the reduction in poverty is only about 0.8 percentage points per year which is at best a modest rate of decline. One reason for this could be that the growth rate in agriculture, the sector employing the largest number of poor people, has just about kept pace with the population growth rate during the last decade. Although growth of nonagricultural GDP has been much higher, its benefits do not compensate for a deceleration in agricultural growth. In fact, much of the poverty reduction during 1999-2005 is because food prices hardly increased. The outcomes would therefore have been much better, had agricultural growth been more rapid.
Employment is an area which shows up where our growth process is failing on inclusiveness. The number of workers is growing, particularly in non-agricultural employment, but weaknesses appear in unemployment, the quality of employment, and in large and increasing differentials in productivity and wages. Data from the latest NSS round for 2004-05, the Economic Census 2005 and the Annual Survey of Industry reveal the following:
(i) Employment growth accelerated to 2.6% during 1999-2005 outpacing population growth. But the average daily status unemployment rate, which had increased from 6.1% in 1993-94 to 7.3% in 1999-00, increased further to 8.3% in 2004-05. This was because the working age population grew faster than total population and labour force participation rates increased, particularly among women. We are obviously not tapping the demographic dividend fully. The extent of under-employment also appears to be on the increase.
(ii) Agricultural employment has increased at less than 1% per annum, slower than the population growth and much slower than growth in nonagricultural employment. This is the expected trend in long-term development but a matter of concern is that this has also been associated with a sharp increase in unemployment (from 9.5% in 1993-94 to 15.3% in 2004-05) among agricultural labour households which represent the poorest groups. Also, although real wages of these workers continue to rise, growth has decelerated strongly, almost certainly reflecting the poor performance in agriculture. There are also transition problems in changing employment patterns, and these are probably being exacerbated by our landholding structures and by barriers of caste and gender.
(iii) Non-agricultural employment expanded robustly at an annual rate of 4.7% during 1999-2005 but this growth was entirely in the unorganized sector and mainly in low Productivity self- employment. Employment in the organized sectors actually declined despite fairly healthy GDP growth. This is clearly a matter of concern since only organized sector jobs are regarded as desirable and lack of expansion in this category is the source of frustration for our increasingly educated youth who have rising expectations.
Improvement of Governance
Good governance and transparency should be ensured in the implementation of public programs and also in government’s interaction with the ordinary citizens. The planning process can be viewed as a sequence of formulation, implementation and performance appraisal of a development plan. The core of a plan is a statement giving the allocation of investment in various sectors of the national economy during the plan period, its division between the public and the private sectors and also between the centre and the states, in a federal political system. Corruption is now seen to be endemic in all spheres of life. Better design of projects, implementation mechanisms, and procedures can reduce the scope for corruption.
Much more needs to be done by both the Centre and the states to lessen the discretionary power of government, ensure greater transparency and accountability, and create awareness among citizens. The Right to Information (RTI) Act empowers people to demand improved governance, and as government we must be ready to respond to this
demand. Justice delayed is justice denied. Quick and inexpensive dispensation of justice is an aspect of good governance which is of fundamental importance in a successful society. India’s legal system is respected for its independence and fairness but it suffers from notorious delays in dispensing justice. The poor cannot access justice because delays cost money. Fundamental reforms are needed to give justice two essential attributes: speed and affordability. An action plan was formulated to bring about accountable and citizen-friendly government. In accordance with this, several initiatives were taken by the Union and state governments. Let me highlight some of these measures in the following section:
These are, in brief, some of the key should be initiatives taken by Indian government in fostering responsive governance. Any reform measure to be effective, Has to be sustained in the long run. Similarly, Good Governance can bring results by concentrating on certain key concerns that can ensure its longevity and success. Let us now throw light on these issues.
The Buddhist perspective of governance refers to a sacrifice oriented system of governance which is characteristically a system of good governance based on environmental dynamics, goal, work/functions, perception of human being, behavioral code and institutions with grassroots level system of participation and accountability have practical and historical roots in most of the societies. The self reliant village system and past civilization ‘Good governance’ is an ideal formulated in the West when the Western people wanted to see how a good government in a civilized country should govern a country. What they have formulated, however, is in conformity with the ideas taught by the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. Having explored the meaning of good governance, which is supposed to be a tool for a good democratic statesman, democracy or a just society cannot be possible without strict adherence to the principles of ‘good governance’ or Buddhist Rājadhamma. Lord Buddha also had shown how a whole country could become corrupt, degenerate and become miserable when the head of its government, the ministers and administrative officers become corrupt and unjust. For a country to be happy it must have a just government. Social justice and social welfare are two features of ideal society of Buddhism. It is a society in which all activities including agriculture and industry should be just (Dhammikā) through the righteous means (Dhammena). All social groups such as parents, children, husband, wife, teacher, pupil, employer, employee, friend, companion, the householder and the religious, perform well their perspective duties. Even the King or the ruler of the country also trains himself in righteousness with ten royal duties (Dasa rājadhamma). Lord Buddha has given the path of Purification like: Eight fold path, Brahmvihāra were directly connected to good Governance.
The term “anthropocentric” means to regard humankind as the centre of existence. In this sense Buddhism is a philosophy religion primarily focused on the welfare of humankind in this life. This Buddha’s doctrine places responsibly on efforts of individual and potential of this individual. No divine or supernatural intervention being necessary. Disciplined individuals especially politicians who handle power and money could make terrific impact on governance and also greater a consolatory environment to citizens. Buddhism in this sense is a living philosophy for the living beings and the Nature that could make a tremendous impact on ‘good governance’.
My comments are not based on a thorough research in the subject at stake, but rather on personal observations owed in large parts to my biography: I am German and since 1981 am being trained as a Buddhist nun; in 1997 I began my academic studies and research on Buddhism at the University of Hamburg.
Buddhism in Germany reflects a history of over 150 years. The first Buddhist text available in German was the Dhammapadam, translated by the German Indian scholar Albrecht Weber (1825-1901), which was published in a journal of oriental studies, as early as 1860. We owe the first translation of large parts of the Pāli canon into German to the Indologist Karl Eugen Neumann (1865-1915) who had come to Buddhism through the great philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), who considered himself a disciple of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and who was one of the earliest and probably best known Germans influenced by Buddhism. The famous German poet Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), author of the novel Siddhartha, which was published in 1922, praised the beautiful language of Neumann's translation of the Pāli canon. During the first three decades of the 20th century more important translations followed by Nyānatiloka, Geiger, Dutoit and Seidenstücker. The latter founded the first so-called Buddhist Missions Association for Germany (Buddhistischer Missionsverein für Deutschland) 1903 in Leipzig. However, except for Wilhelm Geiger, Professor at the University of Munich, these first translations were not drawn up at universities, but were accomplished either by adjunct professors or by learned German monks.
The most outstanding and first German Buddhist monk was Nyānatiloka Mahāthera (1878-1957), born 1878 in Wiesbaden as Anton Gueth. Through his great love for philosophy, especially for Schopenhauer, he converted to Buddhism. In 1903 at the age of 25 he was ordained as a sāmaṇera and one year later as a bhikkhu in Burma, where he shared a room with the English Bhikkhu Ānanda Metteyya. Hellmuth Hecker, author of the first chronicle of Buddhism in Germany, refers to this English bhikkhu as the first in Europe, but as Stephen Batchelor has recently shown, the first European Buddhist monk was actually a man called Karlis Tennisons (1873-1962), a Latvian who in 1923 was appointed by the 13th Dalai Lama as the Buddhist Archbishop of Latvia (or perhaps even of the three Baltic states). He was ordained in Buryatia in 1893. But back to Germany: I apologize in advance for everybody and every tradition that will not be mentioned here, but I will restrict myself to only a few very famous persons that stand out with regard to German Buddhist monasticism.
The first Pāli-German translations of Ven. Nyānatiloka, were published in 1905, one year after his full ordination. Beside his many translations, his Buddhist Dictionary is to this day one of the standard references in Buddhist Studies worldwide. Nyānatiloka had many disciples, at least ten ordained by himself in Sri Lanka. Hecker gives a list and short biographies of about 30 German men who, alone in Burma and Ceylon, were ordained as Theravāda bhikkhus between 1910 and the late 1970s. However, it is important to note that none of them became ordained in Germany, but that all left Germany to become a monk. Until today most Germans receive their ordinations in Asia, especially full ordination. This is due to the lack of monasteries, lack of support by Buddhist laity and lack of communities who have the required number of qualified monks and nuns to perform such ordination rites.
The most famous disciple of Nyānatiloka was Bhikkhu Nyānaponika (1901-1994). He received his ordination in 1937 at the Island Hermitage Polgasduwa in Sri Lanka, founded by Nyānatiloka in 1911. In 1910 Nyānatiloka had been invited to Lausanne to start a small Buddhist monastery in Switzerland. But as with Ānanda Metteya in England, this did not work out, and Nyānatiloka returned to Sri Lanka (Batchelor 2011: A Buddhist Voice for Europe). In 1914 he set off to Tibet but due to unfavorable conditions was forced to return to Colombo, just in time before the outbreak of World War I. In May 1915 Nyānatiloka was deported to Australia, where he was interned with Buddhist monks and German missionaries until they were awarded clergy status. I doubt that Nyānatiloka's stay in Australia had any direct impact on Buddhism here, but his publications definitely did. During World War II, in 1941, again he was driven away from his island, interned in India. There, in Dehra Dun, for two years he was interned with Nyānaponika, the later German Lama Anagarika Govinda (1898-1985) and the Austrian Heinrich Harrer (1912-2006), author of the famous book "Seven Years in Tibet". After the Chinese occupation of Tibet and the flight of H. H. the 14th Dalai Lama to India in 1959, the first Tibetan refugee settlement would become established in Dehra Dun.
Tibetan Buddhism in Germany became first known through German translations of the books by the French Tibet researcher Alexandra David-Neel (1878-1969), the English anthropologist Walter Evans-Wentz (1878-1965) and Lama Govinda, who became a Buddhist at the age of 18. As many others who followed, he was mainly influenced by Theravāda literature, but may have also been aware of early Mahāyāna translations into German such as Max Walleser's translation of Nāgārjuna's Mādhyamikaśāstra, published in 1911 (in Heidelberg), and Richard Schmidt's translation of Śāntideva's Bodhicaryāvatāra, published in 1923 (in Paderborn). However, his first book on Buddhism was already published in 1920. In 1928 he moved to Sri Lanka and stayed as a brahmacārin and anagārika with Nyānatiloka. In 1929 he was instrumental in founding the International Buddhist Union. Although he wanted to become a Buddhist monk, he was discouraged by Anagārika Dhammapāla to do so, since then it would become difficult for him to travel. In 1931 Govinda went to the All-India Buddhist Conference in Darjeeling. In nearby Sikkim he met Tomo Geshe Ngawang Kalzang (1866–1936) and embraced Tibetan Buddhism. After the death of his teacher in 1947, Govinda married a Parsi artist from Bombay. Together with her he joined the Drikung Kagyü school.
This leads us to the question: "Where are the women?" As we know the Buddha made a prophecy that he will not pass away until all his four groups of followers (catuṣpariṣat) have come into being: fully ordained monks, fully ordained nuns (bhikṣu/ bhikṣuṇī), and the male and female lay followers (upāsaka/ upāsikā). Only if these four communities have been established, the respective country is considered to be a "central land" (madhyadeśa), not in a geographical sense, but in the sense of a country where the Buddha Dharma is fully established. Thus for the maintenance of Buddhism, monasteries have always been considered essential. Not only men, but also women had the possibility to follow the Buddha's shining example by going forth from home into homelessness in order to seek liberation.
But now, in the 21st century's world, where women are not only playing major roles in all aspects of secular life, but are also keenly interested in participating fully in religious live, full ordination for nuns in the Tibetan and Theravāda traditions has disappeared. Most of the teachers from Asia coming to the West are either monks or laymen. Only in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese Buddhism we find fully ordained nuns. But even there, gender equity is not fully reflected in Buddhist leadership.
Only a few German women made their ways in the chronicles. Hecker writes for example about Else Buchholtz, born in 1888 in Hamburg, who passed away in Colombo in 1982. She had studied music in Berlin, inherited a great fortune but left there for the Odenwald in central Germany to help young people. Here she came across the famous sentence from MN 8 that only someone standing on solid ground can pull out one who is sunk in the mire. She continued reading the Buddha's speeches up to the 10th Satipatthāna Sutta and made this her main meditation. She met Bhikkhu Nyānatiloka accompanied by Bhikkhu Vappo, took them into her home in 1919, and travelled with them to Japan where she became a language teacher. In 1928, under the bodhi tree in Anuradhapura, she became Uppalavannā, a dasasīlamāta, staying for 25 years in a hermitage, established by Lama Govinda. In over 50 years she never fell sick and radiated kindness and clarity. It seems that at that time most German monks were interested in study and translation of Buddhism, while the women were more interested in meditation.
This is also true for Ayyā Khema, another famous German nun, of the next generation, who was born to Jewish parents in Berlin 1923. She escaped the Nazis' persecution during World War II to Scotland and China and moved to the US in 1945. In 1978 she is said to have founded or helped to establish the Australian Monastery "Wat Buddha Dhamma" close to Sydney. One year later she was ordained as dasasīlamāta in Colombo. There she set up the International Buddhist Women's Center as a training center for Sri Lankan nuns, and in 1984 the Parappuduwa Nuns' Island. Ayyā Khema became a famous Buddhist teacher and book author. She was very engaged in interreligious dialogue and became the spiritual director of Buddha-Haus in Germany, established in 1989. In June 1997, a few months before her death, she inaugurated "Mettā Vihāra", the first Buddhist forest monastery in Germany. I met Ayyā Khemā for the first time in 1987 during the First International Conference on Buddhist Nuns in Bodhgaya. Although she was more experienced in Buddhism than myself, technically speaking, I was senior to her. Despite of her increasing age she was still a "de facto novice", while I had become a bhikṣuṇī in Taiwan in 1985. Only in 1988, in the Taiwanese Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles, Ayyā Khema, together with other Theravāda novices from various Asian countries, was able to take full ordination. This was the starting point of the revival of the bhikkhunī saṅgha in the Theravāda tradition.
Another famous female Buddhist teacher from Germany, who left for California in 1967, was Gesshin Myoko Prabasha Dharma Zenji (1931-1999), born in 1931 in Frankfurt, a painter and poet. In 1968 she started her training under the Japanese Zen master Joshu Sasaki. In 1972 she was ordained as Rinzai Zen Master. From 1980 onwards she taught mainly in America and Europe. Starting in1983 she came to Germany for regular Zen sesshins. She became the 45th patriarch or matriarch in the Vietnamese Lam Te Zen Lineage and left behind a large international saṅgha and also a meditation center in the Netherlands. Although she was not a bhikṣuṇī, she always remained celibate.
Long before this, the first Tibetan monastery in Europe had been founded in Rikon close to Zürich in 1967/68. Western monks were not allowed to stay there. The sole purpose of this monastery has remained the same and that is to host Tibetan monks of all four tradtions of Tibetan Buddhism to counsel Tibetan refugees in Switzerland. When the Dalai Lama visited it in 1973, he also came to Germany for the first time. Visits of other high ranking Tibetan lamas followed. This ushered in a boom of Tibetan Buddhism in the 1980s. In the mid 1960s, a shift of focus had taken place from a more intellectual reception of Buddhism towards practice of Buddhist meditation.  Thus Zen sesshins became very popular. Parallel to this and starting in 1966 the Dalai Lama began sending Tibetan lamas to Germany. Most of them returned their monk precepts and became lay teachers. The first was supposed to teach a group of refugees from Kalmykia, but due to a lack of financial support, he started teaching at the university. In 1977 the Tibetan Center Hamburg was founded under the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This was the first Tibetan Buddhist Center that became a member of the German Buddhist Union, which had been founded in 1955 and up to that point had been dominated by German lay Buddhists of the Theravāda tradition, nowadays an umbrella organization that represents 57 member communities. In 1979 my teacher, the late Ven. Geshe Thubten Ngawang (1935-2003) from Sera Monastery in India, was sent to become a resident teacher in the Tibetan Center, a Buddhist study and meditation center in Hamburg, set up by an English journalist and a group of German Buddhists following various traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. In 1982, the patron of Tibetan Center, H. H. the Dalai Lama, visited it for the first time and also gave his first public lecture in Germany at the main hall of the University of Hamburg.
First, let me point out that I would like to emphasize that I distinguish between "monastic community" and "monastery". Although German monastic communities exist or are under development, no monastery or abbey has been erected so far. The establishment of the first German bhikṣu saṅgha and bhikṣuṇī saṅgha did not take place in the Theravāda, but in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and were initiated by my teacher, who passed away in 2003. The bhikṣu ordinations were given by H. H. the Dalai Lama in Switzerland, and the nuns were sent for bhikṣuṇī ordination to Taiwan and Los Angeles, after having received śrāmaṇerikā ordination in the Tibetan tradition. The bhikṣu saṅgha was completed in 1988 and the bhikṣuṇī saṅgha in 1995. It seems that I happened to be the first German bhikṣuṇī. Our present bhikṣuṇī saṅgha consists of five bhikṣuṇīs. We meet for the poṣadha ceremony every half month, but do no longer live in the same house. By now, all German monks in the Tibetan tradition, not only in our center, returned to lay life, and continue to serve as Buddhist teachers or translators.
By contrast Vietnamese refugees, about 80,000 in Germany, have developed pagodas headed by monks or nuns. They are partly supported by the German government and follow either the pure land school or the Lin-chi tradition. The largest pagodas are located in big cities such as Hannover, Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt. Each of them houses about 10-25 monks or nuns. The founder abbot is the Most Ven. Thich Nhu Dien, who today lives in Australia part-time. The most senior abbess is the Ven. Thich Nu Dieu Tam who runs a temple in Hamburg.
In Frankfurt and Berlin there is also a nuns’ community of the Taiwanese Fo-Guang-Shan Order. They emphasize that their organization is not a monastery but an International Buddhist Culture Association.
The oldest Theravāda monastery was founded 1957 in Berlin. Twelve other vihāras and wats followed during the last few years, housing one to three monks each. The first was founded in 2003, close to Heidelberg, by a community from Laos. Three monks are currently living in the Mettā Vihāra founded by Ayyā Khema. In 2007 the only nunnery, Āneñja Vihāra, was set up, headed by a German Bhikkhunī, who was ordained in 2004 in Los Angeles. In 2008 Muttodayā Monastery in Stammberg in Franken was opened. At present it has two monks, one being German the other Czech. For 13 years the senior German monk lived in Bodhinyana Monastery right here in Perth.
So overall it is fair to say that apart from the Vietnamese communities, during the last one hundred years most attempts to start Buddhist monasteries or nunneries for Germans failed or have not been realized yet. And this although by 1997 the German Buddhist Union listed 413 Buddhist groups in Germany and despite the fact that within two decades the number of groups had grown tenfold from 40 to 413 then. The total number of Buddhists in Germany is estimated at around 130,000 German Buddhists and approximately 120,000 Asian Buddhists, mainly Vietnamese and Thais. But altogether there are not more than 70 Buddhist monks and nuns. It is difficult to start a monastery. A saṅgha of monks or nuns consists of at least four fully ordained monks or nuns. To train new comers, a fully ordained monk or nun has to be trained by a senior who him or herself must have been ordained for ten to twelve years. To carry out legal monastic acts you need a minimum of 4-6 fully ordained monks or nuns. A vihāra should belong to the saṅgha itself and used for it.
German as well as Asian monastics in and from Germany, as individuals, have largely contributed to the understanding of the original teachings of the Buddha and its spread, not only in Germany, but also beyond German borders. Through all their activities, the Buddhist monastics have significantly contributed to Buddhism, such as
But despite the fact that for more than 2500 years monasteries have been the main pillars for the preservation of Buddhism, and despite our observation of a growing interest in Buddhism outside Asia, Buddhist monasteries, except from Asians for Asians, have hardly come into being in the West. As a monastic, it is very difficult to live in a modern society, especially outside of Asia. The weakness seems to lie in
In Germany as well as in other Western countries there seems to be a tendency to erect Buddhist centers instead of founding traditional monasteries. The main teachers are Asian monks or laypeople. It is doubtful whether Buddhism in the West in the long run can survive without its own monasteries. This may either lead to oversimplification of Buddhism or to a continuous dependency on Asian monastics. But it will be difficult to establish monasteries that serve as spiritual nucleus for Buddhist communities without adaptation to the needs of societies in today's modern world. Interbuddhist and interfaith dialogues, for example with Christian monasteries, may be helpful to learn how they organize themselves in Germany. German speaking monastics gather for interbuddhist dialogue once a year. Regular Vinaya conferences and training courses discussing issues such as "Vinaya in Modernity" and "Living as Buddhist monks and nuns in the West" could give fresh impetus for monasteries in Asia and help to establish monasteries in the West. In this context it is not only important to discuss how to practice the ancient rules in modern times, but also to provide Buddhist education and leadership training and very practical things such as finance models including provision for old age and those in need of care.
 Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. The article can be downloaded for free here: http://menadoc.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/dmg/periodical/titleinfo/21087 (access January 22, 2012). For further information see Hellmuth Hecker's chronicle of Buddhism in Germany (Chronik des Buddhismus in Deutschland), published in 1985 by the German Buddhist Union (DBU).
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lama_Anagarika_Govinda (access January 22, 2012).
 Lhasa Kanjur, 'dul ba, vol. nga, 53a6-7: dge slong dang, dge slong ma dang, dge bsnyen dang, dge bsnyen ma rnams byung bar ma gyur pa … nga yongs su mya nga las mi 'da 'o. Cf. vol. da, 378a6-b2.
 Cf. Martin Baumann: Buddhismus in Deutschland - Geschichte und Gegenwart (Tibet and Buddhismus 47/1998): http://www.tibet.de/tib/tibu/1998/tibu47/47christ.html (access Feb. 3, 2012).
 Her abbess was Ven. Karuna Dharma, head of the IBMC, who was ordained in the Vietnamese Zen tradition in 1976 in Los Angeles and was the first American bhikṣuṇī. For more information see www.urbandharma.org/ibmc/images/Jpeg/IBMC2004Ordination/index.html(2. Januar 2009).
During the last twenty years general changes in religions situation being developed in Russia were reflected in regions too. But these processes have peculiar characteristics in each region as well as in ethnic Buryatia. This work is based on the results of three sociological surveys conducted under the project “Religions ideas of the Buryat people”.
In 1999 and in 2003 two sociological surveys were carried out in cooperation with the Faculty of Oriental Studies, BSU in ten rural districts of the Republic of Buryatia: Barguzinskiy, Kurumkanskiy, Dzhidinskiy, Zakamenskiy, Selenginskiy, Tunkinskiy, Zaigraevskkiy, Ivolginskiy, Kizhinginskiy, Horinsskiy and also in the capital of Buryatia – Ulan-Ude. Aginsk and Ust-Ordinsk Buryat autonomous districts. In 2011 the author conducted a joint sociological survey together with the Faculty of Humanitarian and Cultural Studies, ESSACA in fifteen rural districts: Bauntovskiy, Bichurskiy, Dzhidinskiy, Eravninskiy, Zakamenskiy, Zaigraevskkiy, Ivolginskiy, Kabanskiy, Kyahtinskiy, Kurumkanskiy, Pribaikalskiy, Severobaikalskiy, Selenginskiy, Tunkinskiy, Horinsskiy and also in Ulan-Ude, the capital of Buryatia.
According to the principal socio-demographic data the selective structure corresponds to the socio-demographic structure of the population on the above-mentioned subjects of Russian Federation at moment of the sociological surveys.
The estimation of cluster and quota extracts was carried on the basis of statistical data of Goskomstat (State Committee of Statistics) of Russian Federation and Goskomstat (State Committee of Statistics) of Republic of Buryatia. Cluster extracts were accepted according to the scheme of administrative districts and towns division of the Republic of Buryatia as well as Ust-Ordinskiy and Aginskiy Buryat districts.
According to the above-mentioned method a certain number of men and women were requested as to the attitude towards religion in 1999. Among them 619 in 1999, 613 in 2003, 700 in 2011 men and women of Buryat nationality at the age of 18 rep to 60 years and older, with both primary education and higher education, working in different spheres of professional activity – solders, students, unemployed and pensioners.
The sociological surveys with respect to the religion of Buryat population of the Republic of Buryatia, Aginsk and Ust-Ordinsk Buryat districts revealed that the most characteristic phenomenon of the quest is that a sharp growth believers was observed in the 90s of the XX th century. The questionnaires in 1999 and 2003 show that the religions situation is becoming more stable and a number of believers does not change practically. The questionnaire of 2011 showed that the number of believers increased considerably.
There are answers to the question: “What is your attitude towards religion?”
I am a believer and observe religions
I am believer but do not observe
I am not sure
It's all the same to me
I am not a believer but I respect the feelings of believers
I think it's necessary to oppose religion
I hesitate, it’s difficult to answer
The data in table 1 make one fall thinking over a lot of things. In the 70s-80s of the XX th century the scientists of the Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences conducted different sociological surveys in respect to religion and atheism in the Republic of Buryatia, Aginsk and Ust-Ordinsk Buryat autonomous districts. The sociological surveys carried out among the Buryat population revealed an insignificant number of believers. The activity of religions organizations was not ob served practically. However the results of quests showed a considerable number of attendance of datsans and obo. Never the less the number of believers participating in religions rituals and holidays was reducing. In the half of the 80s of the XX th century it seemed that the objective social status of a person did not depend on church and religion. Development and consolidation of the socialist culture together with other factors of social reality changed spiritual life of a person. At the same time the materials of questionnaires showed a great percent of such evasive, uncertain answers to the questions like – “I do not know”, “I have no a definite opinion”. If could be explained both by the lack of knowledge of confessional dogmas, non-observance of ceremonies, indifferent altitude to them and by unwillingness and fear to give clear-cut answers about their altitude to religion. At that time it seemed that real crisis, collapse and disappearance of religion was taking place. If sociological surveys carried out by a group of scientific atheism IMBT SB RAS in the 1982 – 1987 s in the Republic of Buryatia showed 3-4 % of faithful believers 5-6 % of believers not observing religions rituals then in the 90s of the XX th century the situation strongly changed. How can it be explained? Probably because the Buryat population living in the spiritual vacuum caused by the crash of the political and ideological system founded on the communist ideals turned to religion hoping to acquire the meaning of life and moral guidance. Many respondents ideality their religious belonging with ethnic one. People stopped fearing and these appeared a real religious liberty a great role in the rebirth of, mass religiosity played a system
crisis of Russia’s economy, collapse of the former country, poverty and misery in which the greater part of the population fell. People began seeking support and consolation in religion. Not the least role was played by an efficient propaganda agitated by various religious organizations that once again confirms the fact how easy is to manipulate mass consciousness of the people in Russia.
These processes lie in the course of all Russia changes in religious situation. The outcome of the sociological studies of A-RCSPO(All-Russian center study of the public opinion), showed that a short period of less than ten years period a number of non-believes declassed approximately up to one third in the society. More over sociologist mark the rise of religious consciousness in Russia beginning already in 1988 when a thousand’s anniversary of Russia was celebrated as a national holiday. During the following four years a certain rise of believers in percent was observed and fixed. The highest growth was marked in 1993-1994s. But later as the studies record, a trend to recession began to show. It can be explained by the fact that for two showing in any society there is in own threshold. It is difficult to say whether it depends on national and ethnical composition of a state or on historical and specific laws of development of the definite country. This question should be studied in detail be studied be specialists in religious studies.[Mihailiuk, 2011 p.1-2]
This is the dynamics of religiosity in Russia during the last decade of the XX century and the early years of the XXIth century presented in the table two according to the results of sociological studies. The data show in percent those who believe in the existence of god as a personality or impersonal supernatural power as well as hesitating between religious faith and unbelief.
Research project “Religion and values after the fall of communism”.
As one can see from the results of above-mentioned surveys obtained by different groups of researchers, although with some incoherence, a number of people more or less considering themselves as believers was increasing in the 1990s and by the end of the century formed from 70 up to 74 per cent of the adult population. Although during the last 3-4 years it has been outlined a certain stabilization at the level of religiosity, that probably illustrates a kind of exhaust of the reserves of its further growth. [Garadzha V.L, 2005, p. 326-327].
However, according to the laws of development of either phenomenon becomes more progressive. The sociological studies carried out in Russia a record that positive dynamics of the level of religiosity of the adult population of the country during the 2000s. At the same time a part of persons considering themselves believers reached 80,9 per cent un 2002 (records of he independent research center RОМIR)[How many believers / SOVA / c.7], 82 per cent in 2006 (data by A-RSCPO)[A-RSCPO/OWL, с.1] According to the data of Saint-Petersburg research Institute of complex studies correlation between believers and atheists was approximately 80 per cent to 18 per cent [Religion in figures and facts – Statistics.ru, c.2]. The data according to our study conform to the all Russian indexes(74,6 per cent in 1999, 69,6 per cent in 2003, 81,1 per cent - 2011) conform to the all Russian indexes.
The sociological studies showed that the dominant religious tradition among the Buryats was Buddhism.
Further an interesting phenomenon of duality of religious was observed: 7,4 per cent in 1999, 9,5 per cent in 2003, 8 per cent in 2011 identified themselves both as Buddhist and Shamanists believers simultaneously.
According to the sociological studies which were carried be the office of the Chairman of the government of the Republican of Tuva in 2004 with participation of O.M. Homushku 58,5 per cent respondents of Tuva population in 2004 identified themselves as Buddhist, 6,7 per cent as Shamanists, 6,7 as Orthodox, 3,4 per cent as Protestants, 4,2 per cent as Christians, 6 per cent are as just believers for 9,6 per cent it was difficult to answer. [Homushku, 2005, p.190]
According to Mongol researcher Tseveniy Tsenbileg 85,8 per cent of respondents of Mongol population confirm themselves to the traditional Buddhist religion: 9,3 per cent to Christianity, 1,3 per cent to Muslim, 3,5 per cent of the population believe in great Heaven or Shamanism, and only 3 per cent claimed themselves as convinced atheist[Tsentsebileg, 2002, p.112]
It may be explained that coincidence of the data obtained by our studies, Tuva and Mongol researches are conditioned by confessional peculiarities of Buddhism and by the number of common conditions of the way of life of these nations.
The results of the sociological research as already mentioned above showed that the predominant religious tradition is Buddhism, The survey results revealed that most of respondents think religion can be useful for moral up upbringing of people. The respondents can be divided into three groups according to their approach to the norms of Buddhist morality:
- The believers of varying degrees of religiosity who were aware that 10 black sins and 10 white virtues are the concepts of religious morality, and in the capacity of being such they are not at variance with the modern notions of happiness and good life.
- The vacillators who do not often see any difference between religious and non-religious morality. These people who don’t often see any difference between religious and non-religious morality. These people often put the non-religious and worldly matter into religious concepts of sin and virtue.
- The non-believes aware that these concepts of sin and virtue are the norms of religious morality, another being such are unauthoritative and unacceptable to them.
If we ask the question, what is in fact the actual influence of religious morality on the value orientations, we can definitely say that for most of those who believe in the norms of classical Buddhist morality, they definitely do play a certain role, but for the vast majority of modern Buryats the value orientations are determined by hard life of the perestroika era. Not the norm of Buddhist morality but the post-socialist existence determine their actual understandings of the meaning of human life, the substance of happiness and the practical ways to achieve it.
The effaced indeterminate concepts, in which there is no definite boundary between religious for these who have not developed a holistic worldview This group of respondents assumed that religion could help grooming good people, honest, kind, well behaved, and who do not violate the norms of human social behavior.
Usually, the believers and nonbelievers of the 10 commandments of sins and virtues remember only those which relate to the simple rules of human social behavior: immorally to kill steal, get drunk, cause harm to people be blasphemy, slander, lie, etc. These moral concepts on submission of man are intended to regulate human relations. Buddhism uses these norms to create and protect its authority, timelessly propagates them in its own interpretation by all forms of ideological influence direct oral and written didactics, by means of artistic expression in parables, proverbs, instructive stories, legends, tales of animals for religious education of children in the family and by means of fine art. The whole theory of religious education is help up by the following ideas, which the Buddhist church aspires to transform into personal conviction as well as to introduce in the value orientation of people:
- Everyday existence is painful because of is transience, unpredictability, instability and therefore per se it has no value and it is useful only for accumulating virtues that will be enable a person to break off the chain of forced rebirth in “sansara”.
- Common man is helpless in this painful world, his only salvation and refuge in his selfless faith in “three jewels”: the Buddha, dharma and sangha. Only they can save person in future rebirth, a man should entrust his body, heart, word only to them.
- A person must realize his non-entity before the sanctity of these treasures caring for prosperity, welfare, religion, church and clergy are highest civic duty and moral ideal of man.
- People are attracted to Buddhist and more subtle philosophical evidences of senselessness in addition in to illusory nature of phenomenal existence. The moral teaching is given out from the standpoint of universal norms and concepts this aspects is also present in popular writings for mass propaganda of Buddhism.
On the basis of the total volume of sociological research in general, one may conclude that they predominating religion among Buryats is Buddhism. The Buddhist religions concepts of worldly existence and destiny of man serve for a part of the Buryat population as a feasible motive that determine life’s planes as well as day-to-day productive and social activities. That’s why the buck of respondents gave positive evaluation enable them to consider their life generally well, despite various hardships. The following were responses to the question “With what frame of mind do you look into the future?”
With hope and optimism
I take it easy, without any particular hopes of illusions
With anxiety and uncertainly
With fear and despair
I find it difficult to answer
However as the conversations show, many respondents agree to the Buddhist dogma that considers suffering as eternal, integral and only real essence of earthy existence and agree to the Buddhist of karma. Many people consider that only the faithful Buddhist are the Bearers of high morality. The majority of the respondents considered that the worship of Buddha, lama and offerings in temples as prerequisites for positive moral qualities of human being all the above-mentioned factors corroborate the decisive importance of social existence for the nature of moral directives and value orientations. All this is probably the major outcome of the impact of the difficult post-soviet reality in the minds of the contemporary Buryats.
The sociological studies conducted in 1999, 2003 and in 2011 showed that the most stable component of the religious complex is house hold religious rites.
Currently, the Buryat population actively participate in datsans, religious rites of common ulus and family. To the question: “Did you have to participate in religious ceremonies during the past 12 month?” the answers were as follows:
I find it difficult to answer
The most popular ritual is still obo-tahilga. In 1999 – 41,5 per cent, in 2003 – 41,2 per cent, in 2011 – 40,9 per cent of respondents took part in this ritual. Assimilate by Buddhism this pre-lamaist cult is a ritual of worshiping spirits-protectors of a definite locality.
In 1999 - 37,7 per cent, in 2003 – 39,1 per cent, in 2011 – 40,7 per cent of respondents took part in the ritual as serzhem. Nowadays serzhem is one of most popular rituals. People perform the ritual of serzhem in many cases. The form of performance of this ritual is Buddhist-shamanist, so the performers of the ritual may be both shamanists and lamas.
Rather a considerable number of respondents took a part in the ritual of sahyuusan – in 1999 - 29,2 percent, in 2003 – 21,3 percent, in 2011 – 34,2 percent. This shaman cult of ongons, family-tribal and personal sahyuusans(patrons) in many cases from the rank of srunina, chouzhins, ordokshist herek - by Buddhist household praying in honour of Sahyuusans. One of the most stable life rituals id khii-morin-an air winged horse. In 1999 – 22 per cent, in 2003 – 22,8 per cent, in 2011 – 43,8 per cent of respondents took part in the ritual as khii-morin. When a person suffers high sleepiness, or is on lour spirits, complain of illness and frequent failures lama usually says that a person has not got sulde and his life strength has weakened. Nowadays the ritual of khii-morin is performer by hanging out of piece of material with a picture of “horse of happiness”, where a person’s nabe(or of the hole family) is written on their behalf. Khii-morin is usually hung on the trees growing near datsans in the peace performing obo and near the healing springs.
The existence revival of the household rituals of natural economic and life cycles is explained by the fact that they are associated with the requirement of daily life.
These phenomena take place in the process of actualization of Buddhist education received in childhood, when the habits of religious behavior are transformed into more or less regular observance of rituals, which in turn, contributes to the emotional setting for the restoration of religious beliefs that often have no holistic worldview.
The process of a man’s approach to religion usually starts from emotional and psychological pre requites for inclusion into stereotypes of traditional behavior, which often leads to the need to participate in religious rite has emotional and aesthetic aspects of influence which to some extent gives vent to physiological needs of relieving tension, consolation and communication on the basis of positive effect. Therefore, the cult practice in with its social function, traditional collectivism of ethnic community becomes of powerful tool of preservation and actualization of the of the Buddhist ideology.
2.Garadha V.I. Sociology of religion – M.: INFRA-M, 2005.
For the first time Oirats – Western Mongols, the ancestors of the Kalmyks, gained access to the Tibetan Buddhism in the XIII century, but during that period Buddhism was not widespread. It took firmer root at the end of 16 - early 17 century, during the rise of Gelug tradition, which came directly from Tibet and partly through Mongolia. A prominent contribution was made by a great teacher, humanist, scientist Lama Zaya Pandita. He studied in Tibet for more than twenty years, took a full course of Buddhist philosophy, and became the founder of national alphabet and translated a large body of Buddhist literature into his native language. On behalf of the Dalai Lama Zaya Pandita began to preach the teachings of the Buddha to his people in western Mongolia, twice he came to the banks of the Volga.
At the beginning of the 17 century, more than four hundred years ago, the ancestors of the Kalmyks separated from Oirats of Dzhungaria and moved into the area between the Volga and the Don to the north of the Caspian Sea. They brought Buddhist religious system, rooted in ancient India. The history of Buddhism in Russia began at that time. Buddhist authority was so great that the secular leaders of the Kalmyk people - Khans - were considered legitimate only from the moment when Khan's authority was recognized by the Dalai Lama from Tibet.
Despite the vast distances between Kalmykia and Tibet, inconvenience and even danger to life associated with poor development of the road system and the primitive means of transport of that time, many of the Kalmyk people considered making pilgrimage to the "Land of Snow" as a sacred duty, because Tibet was a spiritual homeland to Kalmyks. Kalmyk Lamas studied in Tibetan monasteries, and this tradition was preserved until the first half of last century. Some of the best ethnic Kalmyk lamas received the highest academic degrees, and were even teachers of the Dalai Lamas. One of the last Kalmyk lamas, who managed to complete a full course of the Buddhist Sciences before the "Iron Curtain" and received the title of Geshe Lharamba was Geshe Vangyal. He failed to return home, because at that time the Soviet Union pursued active anti-religious policy. He remained in Tibet, visited India, and then on behalf of the Dalai Lama went to the United States, where he founded one of the first Buddhist temples and preached the oldest religion of the world in America. Today many of Geshe Vangyal’s students continue his work, among them there are people known outside the U.S. By the way, the current leader of the Buddhists of Kalmykia Shadjin lama of the Kalmyk people Telo Tulku Rinpoche is an U.S. citizen of Kalmyk origin. He was recognized as the reincarnation of a great Buddhist teacher Tilopa by His Holiness the Dalai Lama 14.
Before the Soviet period, there were more than a hundred large and small Buddhist temples in Kalmykia. Unfortunately, as a result of the ruthless actions of the Soviet regime each and every temple was barbarously destroyed, thousands of lamas were repressed, many of them - were shot. Despite these harsh measures, Buddhism was ineradicable from the minds of people. Very few Buddhist lamas were left, and they were guarding the sanctity of the Buddhist teaching as if it was a flickering flame of a lantern. They had an indisputable authority over simple laymen, who, despite many years of active massive anti-religious propaganda, did not forget the religion of their ancestors. For a vivid example take a well-known fact that even in the days of unchallenged dominance of Soviet power, the Kalmyks annually celebrated their national holiday Zuul - the day when a great Buddhist reformer - Lama Tsongkapa - achieved Nirvana. This is the day when the Kalmyks celebrated and still celebrate the New Year.
In the late 1980-s, as a result of the policies of glasnost and perestroika, associated with the name of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev, after decades of oblivion first legitimate Buddhist communities appeared in Kalmykia. A big role in the revival of Buddhism in Kalmykia at the present stage was played by a visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama 14 to Kalmykia in 1991 and 1992. In 1995, the first Buddhist temple after the Soviet period was built in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia. This was a landmark moment, a clear evidence of the irreversibility of positive changes.
At present there are more than thirty Buddhist organizations at the territory of Kalmykia, 27 of them belong to a Centralized religious organization "Buddhist Union of Kalmykia", headed, as already mentioned, by Shadjin (Head) Lama of Kalmykia Telo Tulku Rinpoche. Over the past two decades more than 50 buddhist temples and prayer houses, over 30 stupas were built by believers, with the support and direct participation of the Sangha of Kalmykia.
During the past five years the main Buddhist religious activity of Kalmykia has been concentrated in the Central khurul "Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni". The Khurul has taken firm leading positions in spreading the Dharma among the population of Republic. For example the Senior lama of Kalmykia, Geshe Tenzin Dugda holds monthly lectures on the basics of Buddhist philosophy, gives blessings of Buddhist deities. Also he has held retreats in the practice of Yamantaka, Vajrayoginya. Teacher Geshe Jampa delivered lectures on morality and secular ethics for students in urban and rural schools, as well as for college students and Kalmyk State University students.
Multiple scientific conferences as well as lectures and training sessions for teachers of "Fundamentals of religious cultures and secular ethics" have been held on the basis of the Central khurul and the Ministry of Education of the Republic. Last summer, an international Buddhist Symposium took place in the "Golden Abode", which brought together representatives of all Russian Buddhist republics and guests from abroad.
In 2006 at the initiative of Telo Tulku Rinpoche, Russian Buddhists for the first time held a Long Life Puja for Dalai Lama 14 in Dharamsala. Upon completion of the rituals the Head lama of Kalmykia requested His Holiness to kindly confer initiation of three major Buddhist tantric deities for Russian Buddhists. As a result, over the past three years the Dalai Lama was giving teachings for Russiain Buddhists in his personal monastery. They became so popular that His Holiness decided to give such teachings annually in the future.
In Buddhism in general and especially in the Gelug tradition a spiritual teacher is highly venerated. Over the years, the Central khurul has been organizing visits of high Buddhist teachers who gave Teaching in Elista, Kalmykia on the various parts of the Dharma. Among them are: the holder of the throne and the abbot of the largest Buddhist monastery in India Drepung Venerable Geshe-lharamba Lobsang Tenpa, abbot of Drepung Gomang, doctor of Buddhist philosophy Geshe Yonten Damcho, Kensur (former abbot) of the monastery Namgyal, one of the leading lamas of the Gelug school Jhado Tulku Rinpoche, the head of the Sakya tradition – Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, the head holder of the Ripa lineage of the Nyingma school venerable Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, a well-known teacher Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, director of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives Geshe Lhakdor, the head of the Department of Translation Studies of the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies Lobsang Norbu Shastri, the head of department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a well-known Sanskrit scholar Tenzin Priyadarshi. Also lectures on the common ground between Buddhism and modern science were read by prominent Western Buddhist scholars Alan Wallace and Barry Kerzin. At various times lectures were given by Alexander Berzin.
In recent years the Central khurul has been developing international relations with Buddhist countries. We organized joint projects with the Dhammakaya Foundation (Thailand), Traditional Sangha of Sri Lanka, established contacts with Buddhist organizations in South Korea. Annually, monks from Gyudmed, Gomang and Gyuto monasteries come for the construction of mandala. In 2010, for the first time after more than 70-year pause, monks of Tantric Monastery Dzonkar Chode held a Tsam mystery in Kalmykia. Last year, 30 monks from Drepung Gomang Monastery were invited for the consecration of the Central khurul of Kalmykia.
Thus, as a result of dedicated efforts of the Head of the Kalmyk Buddhists Telo Tulku Rinpoche and the Sangha buddhism has a new stage of development in our country. At the moment, we have selected a priority for further development of Buddhism in Kalmykia and namely: the expansion and strengthening of the Sangha, the practical application of the Dharma among the laity, an explanation of basic terms and concepts of Buddhist philosophy to a wide range of believers, work with young people.
Central khurul is not only a place of pilgrimage for believers of the southern region of Russia, but because of its architectural beauty it has become a place of tourist destination, visited by tens of thousands of people every year.
The work done by the Head Lama of Kalmykia and by representatives of the Sangha gives us an opportunity to state that Kalmykia is a European centre of Buddhism.]]>
The Buddhism is at the moment one of popular world religions which is practised in many world countries. Latvia in this connection is not an exception. It is difficult to follow after when information about Buddhism came for the first time to Latvia. We can suppose basing on writing sources that the first news about Buddhism came at the end of 19th century. The overviews about work of Cristian mission in other countries were published at this time, where Buddhism was mentioned also, which was called as
„death religion”, which have passivity and lack of life joy. We can explain such a negative attitude in the following way that Buddhism like another religions were valueted from position of Christianity.
In spite of such news the year 1908 is considered for account date of Buddhism appearance in Latvia when the brochure of Platon Lebedyev „Buddha, a Prophet of Ancient Indians” and the translation of H. S. Olkot „Buddhist Catechism” translated by well known Latvian writer Augusts Deglavs were published. The interest about Buddhism and another religions has appeared also among Latvian intellectuals who were not satisfied with given answers of Christianity about life truth. The theme for conversations about Oriental religions and philosophy was widely distributed in the salons since independence in year 1918 where was discussed not only about philosophy of Krishnamurtii, Nietzsche and Schophenhauer but also guests from India were received.
The teaching of Nicholas Roerich (1874 – 1947) is one of main sources where the information about Buddhism was taken where the significant place is showed for Buddhism. The movement centre of Roerich followers was important at that time in Nicholas Roerich. The well-known people in the society existed, for example a poet Rihards Rudzitis (1898 – 1960). The influence of theosopfy was expressed brightly in his works.
We can mention an associate professor of Latvian University Aleksandrs Janeks (1891—1970) as one distributor of Buddhism ideas in Latvia. He popularized the Buddhism as the way of objective cognition in his book „The Basics of Buddhism Doctrine” with the pali canon attached and gave an overview about Buddhism teaching (such themes like suffering, lack of knowledge, the teaching of rebirth and the rule of karma, the eightfold path) and the short information about Buddhism in Europe was given as well therefore by trying to give bigger stress on spreaded ideas of the author. His next book „Life and Religion” was edited in year 1925. If the first book gives an overview into Buddhism then the second book shows eternity, life and religion itself, purity of doctrin.
The first Buddhism monk in Latvia Karlis Tennisons (1873 – 1962) is the brightest and recognized popularizer in Latvia at the beginning of 20th century. K. Tennison is an essential, although controversial figure in the history of Buddhism in Estonia and Latvia. He was the first who disseminated Buddhism in the Baltic countries.
For the first time he stayed in Riga in the period from 1905 till 1914 however his activities are not noticed. The next visit took place in year 1923 when he gained citizenship of Latvia. He has attracted immediately to himself the attention of Latvian society with his behaviour and appearance where he was called as „crazy barefooted” and „fooler of folk”. The attitude of intellectuals against him was also negative, for example professor of Latvian University A. Janeks called him as “cheater of folk” but the professor of Latvian University P. Smidt called him as “Estonian vagabond”.
The Buddhism temple was opened on 15th October 1924 in the result of his activity, in Riga, Balozu street 8 where his learner F.Lustigs from Estonia was ordined in year 1930. The opening of the centre and the spreading of Buddhism ideas has caused a negative attitude in the society and in the press of Latvia what Karlis Tennisons explains educated: “The temple of Buddha belongs to those in Latvia who are not satisfied with indicated places in the skywards and whose soul inclination after higher cognition and truth has not burned out. It belongs only spirit aristocrats”. He wrote in his announcement that “for the simple, dark, uneducated folk mass and for intelligent, educated people and for some scientists as well the right place is Jew synagogue, Muslim mosque, Catholic, Orthodox and Lutheran churces, preaching houses of some sectarians […] and for materialists, internationalists and irreligious people – rooms of different socialistic parties”.
In year 1925 the book of K. Tennison “What does the priest Tennison want to give Latvian people?” was edited in Latvian language what the first of planned 25 books was. However more books were not edited in these series. K. Tennison writes not only about himself, about his started activity in Latvia but also explains some teachings of Buddhism. There is described a temple in St. Petersburg, “life” temple in Tibet and it is mentioned information about Buddha Sakjamuni as well and his written hymn of Latvian Buddhists was published.
Together with immigration of K.Tennison and F. Lustig in 1931 the activities of Buddhists in Latvia have grown calm. The atheism has beeen preached during occupation and all religious activities were limited. It is possible that in the years of „perestroika”, in 1980th years, when the situation has been changed in Latvia and the plateau of soviet regime was observable, the groups of interested people were formed who were searching for new spiritual experience and following to the certain practice of Buddhism. In spite of this, it is doubtful that any spiritual teacher has been visited Latvia in the soviet years. Besides the literature that it is was possible to read about Buddhism was rather literature scientific which was difficult to understood.
A little bit later, at the end of 1980th years, the Buddhism came step by step to Latvia, firstly in the way of spiritual literature where it was possible to get to know brighter about teaching of Buddhism. The summary of lectures of Namkhai Norbu „Talks in Convey” was found among literature. The group of interested people was created in the result in Riga which tried to get in touch with the author of this book which has finished successfully and the first group of Buddhists „The Community of Latvian Buddhists” was registered in 1989 which was renamed into „Padmalinga” community in 1990.
More than 10 years have been passed since creation of first Buddhism community and several Buddhism centres are acting in Latvia at the moment:
In spite of this that communities of Buddhism are represented by different lines and traditions and each community develops apart from each other as well there can be divided similar tendencies in its activity:
By reaching a certain development ethap the communities of Buddhism began to involve into social activities. Exactly through them communities of Buddhism try to address Latvian society, rouse interest among people by offering an oppurtunity in such a way to visit comunities and take part in meditations. One of the main activities of Buddhism communities is a religious practice which connects existent people. In this connection communities of Latvian Buddhists try to hold on main principles of Buddhism and accomplish a practice of Buddhism according to main conceptions of certain Buddhism school. The religious activity, firstly, is made by weekly practices and meditations, secondly, teachings of different way which are organised mostly in the rooms of community during visit of Buddhism teachers or monks. Usually their visit is limited with the giving of teaching in a certain community, but sometimes public lectures are arranged for which needs are rented brighter rooms. These lectures have general characteristics and their aim is to provide information about Buddhism and its teaching, as well its usage in everyday life. As a rule at the end of such lectures there is an opportunity for the interested to ask their questions
The members of community themselves read sometimes lectures. In this manner one from the members of Ganden centre gets masters education already the third year in the institute of lama Tsongkhapa in Italy and by coming to Latvia gives lectures about basics of Buddhism in the rooms of community.
The members of Buddhism comunity practise also lasting retrits which are organised mostly in countrysides of Latvia, for example, Ganden centre has its own meditation centre „Jiga Chodzin” in the countryside of Latvia or they are arranged outside of Latvia. In this manner the representatives of Riga Zen centre go to make retrits to any Kwan Um Buddhism centres from Europe countries.
The healing is especially stressed in the line of Drikung Kagju. In this connection there are also efforts to follow this tradition in Latvia. Near to the Drikung Kagju community in Baltezers is built a Tibetan Yoga and Healing centre where some of community members are involved. The healers from Tibet come there regularly, they make a diagnostic and correction of patients and also take part in educational programs. There also offer different health treatment, for example, various types of massage. The opportunity to get education in various programs is provided there, e.g. “Specialist of Yoga”, “Therapist of Yoga” and “Master of Yoga”. International Yoga Healing Federation, Federation of Baltic Yoga, the representatives of Latvian professional and other leading specialists of yoga on the international level took part in the development of this educational program. The certificated doctors and healers of Tibet lead lessons. The teaching is implemented in the way of practical lessons and seminars; distance and interactive teaching is also applied. The teaching centre of Tibetan Healing and Yoga Education Centre is the first educational establishment in the European Union which has the right to teach specialists of yoga on the state level. The lectures are given by certificated doctors and healers of Tibet. After finish of studies the new specialists get a certificate of professional qualification which allows to work as self – employed person.
There are also layed the foundation for building the stupa of Enlightenment which is planned as 10 metres high two-storey building but because of economical crisis this project is stopped for some while.
The group of Drikung Kagju is not only which is occupied with education. Since 2011 year May of 2th Ganden centre has began 2 years teaching program “Discovering Buddhism” which is a created Buddhism teaching program of many Mahayana traditions teachers and program coordinators. The program last for 2 years. After finish of full course students will get a certificate which is created by 14 themes. Each theme includes from 4 till 5 lectures, meditation practices, and acquaintance with texts and participation in retreats. The aim of the programme is to give a deeper understanding about Buddhism teaching and meditation.
One of educational activities about Buddhism which took place already the 6th time in Latvia is Buddhism Days in Latvia which are organized by the centre of Karma Kagju since 2006. During these days there is a possibility to visit lectures of travelling teachers about different themes, see documentaries made by Karma Kagju and different exhibitions are made as well. Last year there was a possibility to see an exhibition of photos “Happy man” and this one week long activity was finished by two days long course of lectures with lama Ole Nidal.
The centre of Karma Kagju is engaged in translation and edition of Ole Nidal books into the Latvian language in this way by giving an opportunity to get to know with the teaching of Buddhism. By now all meditations and the main book of Ole Nidal “The Way Things Are???? A Living Approach to Buddhism for Today’s world” have been translated.
The main sence is devoted to charity activities in the groups of Buddhism. There are collected clothes and toys which are intended for orphanages and care homes. The communities of Drikung Kagju also pay attention to supporting poor people and orphans. People from the communities of Drikung Kagju and Ganden visit animal’s shelters to donate food and money for them.
These comunities of Buddhism are ingaged also in different international projects which have mostly a charity aim. One of the projects that have attracted the attention of Latvian society is Maitreya project (in year 2007 and 2009) and its organisation was coordinated by Ganden centre but other representatives of Buddhist communities were invited for their help.
Another example is that communities of Drikung Kagju have hosted monks of Tibet Buddhism from Ladaka with concert programme „Himalaya Tour 2010” in September 2010. This programme included the Exhibition of Sacral Buddhism pictures – thanka, the concert of sacral dancing and rituals of Tibetan Buddhism and creation of Dzambala sand mandala.
We must make conclusions about existance of Buddhism in Latvia that beginnings of Buddhism in Latvia must be searched at the beginning of 20th century when budhism came to Latvia step by step in different ways in the way of books and brochures and with the help of preachers as well. In spite of this the big interest was not noticed among people except intellectuals who had more opportunities to follow to new changes in religious field and who engaged in new religious searchings more easily. This can be explained in the following way that firstly the teaching of Buddhism was not almost available for society, secondly christianity took deeply roots in the society. Consequently in spite of this that Buddhism was well-known at the beginning of 20th century but it has not gained the big popularity.
The different situation is watched nowadays when ideas of Buddhism started to revive at the end of 1980s. After fall of USSR Buddhists in Latvia gained religious freedom and their communities were adapted succesefully into multireligious society of Latvia. The great success is gained: several communities are acting in Latvia, different activities are arranged where monks are participating also and teachers from Asia and Europe. We can say that Buddhism has created a stabule place in religious and cultural space of Latvia. It gets the biggest influence together with new religious movements in Latvia. Often visits of communities confirm this, sucessfull activity of groups and dissemination of Buddhism ideas in the society as well.
Browsing the Internet I came across the site of Dharma Drum Buddhist College in Taipei. They have produced the digital version of “The Pentaglott Dictionary of Buddist Terms” which consists of Sanskrit (in transliterated corrected spelling), Manchu and Mongolian (in transliteration, the Mongolian one being a bit unusual for the European way of transliteration) and Chinese (hieroglyphs) but no Tibetan (“so far” as they write). In the preface they say about PTG that it “is probably based on the Mahāvyutpatti, though the exact relationship between the two still awaits further research”.
The connection between these two dictionaries (MP and TRG) is obvious. An important note here: further I’ll refer only to TRG. Which of the two (TRG or PTG) to refer to is irrelevant for comparison but I can analyze only three languages, I worked with TRG and giving examples I only refer to it.
So, the TRG it is not “probably” but it is “for sure” based on the Mahāvyutpatti. In his preface A.Schiefner mentions its connection with the MP. In fact the TRG is not just “based on” but it is an abridged version of MP. Every entry included in TRG can be traced back to MP.
Let’s compare TRG and MP from the three points of view:
1. the structure – the chapter level,
2. the choice of words – within the chapter level,
3. the words themselves – the word level
I). MP has 277 chapters, TRG has 71 chapters. TRG of course is shorter and not all chapters from MP were included in it. The following table shows correspondence between the chapters in the two dictionaries (Table).
Most of the chapters in TRG have one corresponding chapter in the MP, but some chapters from MP were divided to make several chapters in TRG, others, on the contrary, were united. Those united ones were always the adjacent chapters in MP.
When you start reading the TRG dictionary it seems to be almost identical to MP. In the beginning it just follows the text of MP omitting some chapters. But very soon a kind of moving back and forth through the text starts: chapters are chosen from the further parts and then back and again ahead while the steady strive to the end prevails. Evidently the author chose the most important subjects from the MP, organizing the material according to his own model which follows MP on the whole but differs from it in some details. Those who are more experienced in the field of Buddhology should excuse me for rather primitive explanation. The TRG dictionary begins from the Buddha and all the subjects related to him (Chapters 1-7). Next is the bodhisattva level (Chapter 8-18) with the related subjects and Pratyekabuddha’s (Chapter 19) and Śrāvaka’s level. The chapters coming after Śrāvaka deal with subjects relevant to him (Chapter 20-38). Further on in TRG is pudgala and chapters (Chapter 39-45) which help him on his way of self-improvement (such as a chapter of four meritorious actions (puṇya), three chapters dealing with Buddha’s texts and their categories and the Chapter of 12 ascetic practices). After that nine chapters (Chapters 46-54) cover cosmology and then Chapters 55-61 enumerate four elements, colors, forms, smells, tastes and so on. Next chapters 62-68 deal with a human being (places of rebirth, classes of men, relatives, parts of a human body, eight un-free states, six basic afflictions and 20 secondary afflictions. At the end there are two chapters with the names of directions and sub-directions and some useful adjectives. The last 71th chapter has several names for happiness – its position at the end of the dictionary reminds the wish “Mangalam” at the end of many texts.
Evidently the main backbone of the order of chapters is the same as in MP and earlier in Amarakośa dictionaries (Buddha, Buddhist matters, and closer to the end, less-Buddhist part: family members, parts of the human body, classes of men, etc.). The changes in removing parts that were made only touch on the Buddhist subjects.
On the whole TRG is organized in a more rigid way. The titles of the chapters are shorter and clearer. The numbers are used in the titles much more often in the places where in MP there is no numeral definition of the number of entries. There are only 12 titles out of 71 without numerals. These are either chapters which contain names (Buddha’s, Bodhisattva’s, Śrāvaka’s) or chapters containing classes of men, relatives, parts of the human body and some others, which are placed at the very end of the dictionary. The placing of the chapter with the names of happiness is a nice touching peculiarity of the dictionary.
In TRG there are no “surrounding words” which often begin a chapter and which finish it in MP. The only trace of such a possibility is a particle la in the end of the Tibetan title of the chapter. Its concealed meaning is “among the names of an X the following can be mentioned” E.g. sangs rgyas kyi mtshan gyi ming la ‘among the names of Buddha’
II) MP has about 9500 entries, TRG – 1071.
The set of entries within the chapters can be identical to MP when one chapter in MP with all the words is included into TRG as a whole. Obviously, if a chapter title in both dictionaries contains number of entries then there is almost 100% certainty that the entries will be the same in both dictionaries. E.g. Chapter 15 (TRG): Tib. rnam thar gsum ‘three liberations’, Mong. γurban masi tonilqu id.; in MP it is Chapter 69: Tib. rnam par thar ba’i sgo gsum ‘three doors of liberation’, Mong. masida toniluγsan γurban qaγalγ-a id. The same is in the following chapters 16-19 (TRG) – three types of knowledge (prajña), four attractive qualities (of a boddhisatva), the 18 kinds of emptiness, etc. I’ve said “almost 100%” because in one case the chapter title has a mistake: seven objects of touch are declared in the title of chapter 61 (TRG) The title is Tib. reg bya bdun gyi ming la, Mong. doloγan kürelčeküi-yin ner-e inu because in MP (within Chapter 97) there are seven objects named (No 1904-1911) while only six were included in TRG. It happened because in the Sanskrit text of MP two words with close meaning both were translated with one word into Tibetan and then with one word into Mongolian. So one Sanskrit entry was deleted. But the number in the title remained.
The set of entries can be shorter in TRG than that of the corresponding chapter in MP. In this case not all or only some entries are chosen from the corresponding chapter in MP. E.g. Chapter 21 (TRG) only has 19 individual names of Śrāvaka out of 44 in Chapter 44 (MP). Chapter 9 (TRG) has 31 names of boddhisattvas while corresponding Chapter 20 (MP) has 93.
A criterion for choosing this or that word is not quite clear, but those from the beginning of the chapter are more likely to be included than those at the end of the list. The preference is given to words with wide, general meaning rather than narrow. The words with the close meanings are not likely to be included – only one from the several will be. This all means that the choice wasn’t done at random. It shows a profound work of the author whose aim was to make a dictionary which, on the one hand, is much shorter and, on the other hand, gives the most important basic words and expressions. Still the chapter with the names of Śrāvaka poses a question because such well-known names as Kāśyapaḥ, Śāriputraḥ, Maudgalyāyana, Subhūtiḥ and some others were omitted.
III. The word level.
1) Sanskrit words. As I have already mentioned that the Sanskrit words are written using the Tibetan letters – a pattern which is used very often in dictionaries. The Sanskrit words in TRG are often corrupted. Sanskrit visarga and anusvara letters are omitted quite often. Most common mistakes are mixing consonant letters “p” and “s”: e.g. sāṁpukulika (instead of pāṁsukulika No 1128), sraśastaḥ (instead of praśastaḥ No 2746), and letters “t” and “r”: e.g. mahartamam (instead of mahattamam 2698), nāmatūpam (instead of nāmarūpam 2245), bahutatam (instead of bahutaram 2696). Other letters are mixed up occasionally: e.g. “y” and “m” samudamaḥ (instead of samudayaḥ No 1194), “d” and “k” vekanā (instead of vedanā No 2248),”m” and “s” sahikā (instead of mahikā No 1872).
Another often mistake is just omitting of letters. Usually vowel letters which are written under or above the consonants are omitted (but no mistakes of inserting extra ones!), e.g. aśaṣaḥ (instead of āśiṣaḥ No 2740), guratvam instead of gurutvam No 1906). The Tibetan letter “a chung” shows that the vowel is a long one so its absence makes the originally long vowel short: e.g. atapaḥ (instead of ātapaḥ No 1874), it may be mixed with a bottom-subscript consonant: e.g. kaṣyaya (instead of kaṣāya No 1903) (26a:2). Consonants are sometimes missed not only vowels: e.g. śotrendriyam (instead of śrotrendriyam No1853)
More complicated mistakes occur śughyam (instead of ślāghyam No 2751), drusvam (instead of hrasvam No 1879), mistakes may be combined in one word: kuruhalam (instead of kutūhalam No 2745)
There may be other reasons for “miscarvings”. E.g in chapter 61 there are seven names of objects of perception (MP 1904-1911): the first four have suffix -tvam but the fifth doesn’t: ślakṣṇa-tvam karkaśa-tvam guru-tvam laghu-tvam śītam. In TRG letter “v” was added automatically to the fifth word as well and it was written as śītvam.
The number of mistakes increases towards the end of the text. The mistakes show that the pattern used for TRG (or PTG) was the Sanskrit text written not in devanāgarī but in the Tibetan script. It is obvious that all these mistakes are made because of the inattentiveness of the engraver who carved wrong letters instead of similar looking right ones or just did not carve letters at all. All this causes difficulties in identifying Sanskrit words.
It is not the fault of the author who seems to know Sanskrit. He made a few changes in Sanskrit words which can be considered correct (e.g. asama ‘unequal’ is written instead of viśātam id. (No 1883). Still viśātam is better because it is opposed to śātam ‘equal’ (No 1884) while asama should have had the opposition of sama.
One more example is the translation of two Sanskrit words from Chapter 58 (TRG) into Mongolian: Sansk. vṛttam ‘round’ (No 1886) and parimaṇḍalam ‘sphere’ (No 1887), they are translated into Tibetan as lham pa ‘square’ and zlum po ‘round’. The Mongolian translation in TRG differs from that from MP (which is similar to Tibetan). It seems to be made from Sanskrit: Mong. qabtaγai ‘flat’ and mögüreg ‘a ball’. These words show the opposition of the “flat-sphere”.
Some changes in the Sanskrit text are rather strange. The first is replacing a pair of words: samagandhaḥ ‘constant odor’ (MP, No 1896) and viṣamagandhaḥ with the opposite meaning (MP, No 1897), by another pair in TRG: karṇagandha ‘ear+odor’ and akarṇagandhaḥ, respectfully. The Tibetan translation remains intact.
The second change is in Chapter 70 (TRG) where different adjectives are presented. In MP there is Sansk. paurvāparyam ‘former and later’ (MP, No 2702) which is translated into Tibetan as snga phyi id. In TRG it is substituted by Sansk. caramam ‘final’, while the Tibetan (and Mongolian) translation remains the same as in MP. At the same time the word paurvāparyam is used in TRG to substitute Sansk. sūkṣmam ‘small, exact’ (MP, No 2704), which is translated into Tibetan as phra mo ’am zhib mo id. while the Tibetan (and Mongolian) translation remains the same as in MP. The result should be considered a mistake.
One more change is adding of the word “sen” to nine Sanskrit words out of 12 included in Chapter 44 (Names of 12 branches of Buddha’s teachings). sūtrisen geyamsen vyākaraṇamsen gāthāsen dāsenamsen nidānamsen avadānamsen ativṛttakamsen jātakamsen vaipulyam adbhūtadharmaḥ upadeśaḥ (picture) The only explanation I could think of was that sen is a corruptedly written Tibetan word sde ‘section’ which is used in all Tibetan translations of the words.
The translation from Sanskrit into Tibetan in TRG doesn’t differ from that in MP. That means that the Tibetan translation for Buddhist terminology having been worked out and standardized in MP didn’t change from 9th till 18th centuries at least in the dictionaries. Mistakes in Tibetan are very few, either: e.g. Tib. thongs kyi dpon is written in TRG instead of ‘phong gi dpon ‘master in archery’ in MP (No 3744). Only occasional words are translated in a different way (mostly in less-Buddhist chapters). E.g. Sansk. mitram ‘friend’, Tib. mdza’ bshes ‘relatives’ (MP, No 3914) is translated as gnyen bshes ‘relatives and friends’ in TRG.
When the author of TRG dictionary made the Sanskrit word list for it he almost always cut off the synonyms within one entry which occur in MP. One word per entry (or one expression because some entries are expressions) was left. In the Tibetan translation respectively the corresponding translations were cut off.
The Mongolian translation is a more interesting subject. Even the translations in the Buddhist part don’t remain intact, don’t duplicate those in MP. Partly because there exist two Mongolian translations of MP: the text from Tengyur and the Leningrad (present St.Petersburg) manuscript. In TRG the translation may be chosen from either of these two. There is, probably, a slight preference to the Tengyur version but “the Leningrad ones” were used as well. And in some chapters that are Leningrad ones that prevail. A lot of translations in TRG are a combination of both. The impression is that the author had both Mongolian translations of MP at hand and chose the best in his opinion often making a combination of words from the both. At the same time he was free to give his own translation.
While translating into Mongolian he was rather consistent to translate entries in one chapter using one form of the word: all participles, or all verbal nouns, or all finite forms of the verb, e.g. Chapter 26 (TRG), where all Tibetan finite particles with the vowel “o” were translated into Mongolian by the verb ending in -mui.
He replaces the word for word translation into Mongolian given in MP with Sanskrit loanwords (e.g. samadi, viyanggirid, maqabud, which I spoke about at the very beginning).
He uses new words (e.g. domoγ ‘legend’, šinǰilekü ‘to investigate’, tangsuγ ‘exellent’, saγad ‘obstacle’) and the new meanings of the forms.
One of his favorite is suffix -γči/-gči (nomen actoris – designating mainly the person acting) which is used instead of -qui/-küi (nomen futuri – designating mainly the process or the action) in the names of three Śrāvakas(TRG, Chapter 20)
E.g. Tib. shes rab kyis rnam par grol ba, Mong. (MP, No 1027) bilig-iyer teyin büged tonilqui, Mong.(TRG) bilig-yer masida toniluγči ‘completely liberated by wisdom’.
Another favorite is a derivative suffix -či which designates the names of professions and which is widely used in the Chapter 63. Too widely, I would say, because the Mongolian word čindamaniči (translation of Tib. nor bu mkhan ‘jeweler’ MP, No 3789) is his own invention showing his love to Sanskrit words and suffix -či.
He doesn’t like the word teyin büged ‘completely’ (which is usually the translation of the Tibetan rnam par id.) always substitutes it for masi or masida id.
The less-Buddhist part, on the one hand, is less variational. It’s not easy to find variants for translating, for example, the names of colors (blue, yellow, red and white) or parts of human body, or even relatives – these words are basic in any language. On the other hand, there is Chapter 63(classes of men) in this part which is an example of fundamental changes in the Mongolian translation in TRG if compared to MP. These changes show that the translation was made during the Manchu Qing dynasty. The fact is that some Sanskrit words denoting a king, a minister, a warrior with a list of synonyms (or epithets) in Amarakośa lexicon later were included in MP dictionary as separate entries. There they were supplied with a proper (often word for word) translations, and finally, in TRG, they were translated into Mongolian in a completely new way. Only into Mongolian! Well, actually, into Manchu as well – but this language lies out of my competence. It was not a translation at all but an adjustment of ranks of Manchu rulers, warriors and ministers of that period with their Mongolian translations to the words from MP which represent the same concepts but from the ancient India.
No 3670 rājā – qaγan ‘khan’
No 3672 rājā kṣatriyo mūrdhābhiṣiktaḥ – ulus-un eǰen erke ögtegsen ‘the ruler of the state given power’
No 3674 māṇḍalikarājā – öčüken qan ‘a small khan’
No 3675 sāmantarājā – muǰi-yin qan ‘the khan of the province’
No 3677 kotṭarājā – muǰi-yin noyan ‘the govenour of the province’
No 3676 rājāmātyaḥ – terigün sayid ‘the prime minister’
No 3678 mantriparṣadadhyakṣaḥ – dotuγadu sayid ‘minister of the interior’
No 3679 mahāmātraḥ – terigülegči sayid ‘the prime minister’
No 3680 mantrī – bičig-ün sayid ‘a councellor’
No 3681 āmātyaḥ – tüsimel ‘an official’
No 3682 purohitaḥ – tuslaγči sayid ‘minister’s assistant’
No 3683 rājānakaḥ – törül-ün sayid ‘minister-relative’
No 3684 daṇḍamukhyaḥ – vang ‘van’
Some (but not all) of these words with their Tibetan and Sanskrit counterparts are included into the 3 volume Mongolian-Russian-French dictionary by O.Kovalevsky (1844) who had an opportunity to consult the TRG xylograph.
To sum up I’d like to say that the old Indian tradition of lexicons was adopted and preserved in Tibetan-Mongolian dictionaries of Buddhist terminology but its Mongolian part was modified to fit the new stage in the language development and even the political situation.
1. 1v burqan-u ner-e inu (Chapter 1)
1.1.sangs rgyas kyi mtshan gyi ming la
2. 4r γurban bey-e-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 3)
2.1.sku gsum gyi ming la
3. 4r γučin qoyar lakšan-u ner-e inu (Chapter 14)
3.1.mtshan so gnyis kyi ming la
4. 5r nayan nayiraγ-un ner-e inu (Chapter 15)
4.1.dpe byad brgya cu’i ming la
5. 8v burqan-u arban küčün-ü ner-e inu (Chapter 4)
5.1.stobs bcu’i ming la
6. 9r tabun belge bilig-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 3)
6.1.ye shes lnga’i ming la
7. 9r ilaγuγsan-u tabun čoγča-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 3)
7.1.rgyal ba’i phung po lnga’i ming la
8. 9v bodi satu-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 19)
8.1.byang chub sems dpa’i ming la
9. 10r öber-e öber-e bodhi satu-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 20)
9.1.byang sems so so’i ming la
10. 11r biširel-ün yabudal-tu tabun γaǰar-un ner-e inu (Chapter 29)
10.1.mos pa spyod pa’i sa lnga’i ming la
11. 11r arban γaǰar-un ner-e inu (Chapter 28)
11.1.sa bcu’i ming la
12. 11v arban paramid-un ner-e inu (Chapter 31)
12.1.phar phyin bcu’i ming la
13. 12r arban nom-un yabudal-un ner-e inu (Chapter 30)
13.1.chos spyod bcu’i ming la
14. 12r dörbön čaγlasi ügei-yin ner-e (Chapter 65)
14.1.tshad med bzhi’i ming la
15. 12v γurban masi tonilqu-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 69)
15.1.rnam thar gsum gyi ming la
16. 12v γurban bilig-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 71)
16.1.shes rab gsum gyi ming la
17. 12v dörben quriyaqu boda-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 32)
17.1.bsdu dngos bzhi’i ming la
18. 13r arban naiman qoγosun-u ner-e (Chapter 34)
18.1.stong pa bco brgyad kyi ming la
19. 13v pratikabud ner-e inu (Chapter 42)
19.1.rang rgyal gyi ming la
20. 13v siravak-un ner-e inu (Chapter 43)
20.1.nyan thos kyi gang zag gyi ming la
21. 14r siravak-un arqad-un ner-e inu (Chapter 44)
21.1.nyan thos kyi ming la
22. 14v arban qoyar sitün barilduqui-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 109)
22.1.rten ‘brel bcu gnyis kyi ming la
23. 15r dörben ünen-ü arban ǰirγuγan ǰüil-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 51)
23.1.bden gyi bzhi’i rnam pa bcu drug gi ming la
24. 15v γurban surtaγun-u ner-e inu (Chapter 33)
24.1.bslab pa gsum gyi ming la
25. 15v bodi ǰüg-ün γučin doloγan nom-eče dörben duradqui oyir-a aγulqui-yin ner-e (Chapter 35)
25.1.byang chub phyogs kyi chos so bdun las dran ba nyer bzhag bzhi’i ming la
26. 16r dörben üneger tebčiküi-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 36).
26.1.yang dag par spong ba bzhi’i ming la
27. 17r dörben ridi köl-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 37)
27.1.rdzu ‘phrul gyi rkang pa bzhi’i ming la
28. 17v tabun erketen-ü ner-e (Chapter 38)
28.1.dbang po lnga’i ming la
29. 17v tabun küčün-ü ner-e inu (Chapter 39)
29.1.stobs lnga’i ming la
30. 18r doluγan bodi gesigün-ü ner-e inu (Chapter 40).
30.1.byang chub yan lag bdun gyi ming la
31. 18v qutuγtan-u naiman gesigütü mör-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 41).
31.1.’phags lam yan lag brgyad kyi ming la
32. 18v qoyar diyan-u ner-e (Chapter 86)
32.1.bsam gtan gnyis kyi ming la
33. 19r tabun čoγča-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 96)
33.1.phung po lnga’i ming la
34. 19r tabun erketen-ü ner-e (Chapter 97)
34.1.dbang po lnga’i ming la
35. 19r tabun višai-yin ner-e (Chapter 97)
35.1.yul lnga’i ming la
36. 19v tabun uqaγan-u oron ner-e inu (Chapter 72)
36.1.rig gnas lnga’i ming
37. 19v qutuγtan-u doloγan ed-un ner-e inu (Chapter 74)
37.1.’phags nor bdun gyi ming la
38. 19v dörben adistid-un ner-e inu (Chapter 76)
38.1.byin brlabs bzhi’i ming la
39. 20r budγali-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 80+81)
39.1.gang zag gi ming la
40. 20r γurban belge činar-un ner-e inu (Chapter 83)
41.1. mtshan nyid gsum gyi ming la
41. 20v dörben quriyaqu buyan-u ner-e inu (Chapter 89)
42.1. bsod nams bsdub ba bzhi’i ming la
42. 20v qoγosun činar-un ner-e inu (Chapter 90+91)
43.1. stong pa nyid kyi ming la
43. 21r sayin ǰarlig-un ner-e inu (Chapter 61)
43.1. gsung rab kyi ming la
44. 22r sayin ǰarliγ-un arban qoyar kisigün-ü ner-e inu (Chapter 59)
44.1.gsung rab yan lag bcu gnyis kyi ming la
45. 22v arban qoyar sudulqu-yin erdem-ün (Chapter 46)
45.1.sbyangs pa’i yon tan bcu gnyis kyi ming la
46. 23r yirtinčü-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 147)
46.1.’jig rten gyi ming la
47. 23r dörben tib-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 148)
47.1.gling bzhi ba’i ming la
48. 23v γurban oron-u ner-e inu (Chapter 149)
48.1.khams gsum gyi ming la
49. 23v amarmaγ-un ǰirγuγan tngri inu (Chapter 150)
49.1.’dod lha drug gi ming la
50. 24r angq-a diyan-u γurban tngri inu (Chapter 151)
50.1.bsam gtan dang po’i lha gsum ni
51. 24r qoyaduγar diyan-u γurban tngri inu (Chapter 152)
51.1.bsam gtan gnyis pa’i lha gsum ni
52. 24r γudaγar diyan-u γurban tngri inu (Chapter 153)
52.1. bsam gtan gsum pa’i lha gsum ni
53. 24v dötüger diyan-u yisün tngri inu (Chapter 154 + 155)
53.1. bsam gtan bzhi pa’i lha dgu ni
54. 24v dürsü ügei-yin dörben tngri inu (Chapter 156)
54.1.gzugs med pa bzhi ni
55. 25r dörben maqabud-un ner-e inu (Chapter 97)
55.1.’byung ba bzhi’i ming la
56. 25r ündüsün-ü dörben önggö [-yin ner-e] inu (Chapter 97)
56.1.rca ba’i kha dog bzhi’i ming la
57. 25r gesigün-ü naiman öngge-yin ner-e inu. (Chapter 97)
57.1.yan lag gi kha dog brgyad kyi ming la
58. 25v yisün keb-ün dürsü-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 97)
58.1.dbyibs kyi gzugs dgu’i ming la
59. 25v dörbön ünür-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 97)
59.1.dri bzhi’i ming la
60. 26r ǰirγuγan amtan-u ner-e inu (Chapter 97)
60.1.ro drug gi ming la
61. 26r doloγan kürelčeküi-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 97)
61.1.reg bya bdun gyi ming la
62. 26v dörbön töröl-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 113)
62.1.skyes gnas bzhi’i ming la
63. 26v kümün-ü ǰüil-ün ner-e inu (Chapter 180)
63.1.mi’i rim pa’i ming la
64. 31r ečige eke uruγ sadun-u ner-e inu (Chapter 182)
64.1. pha ma gnyes bshes kyi ming la
65. 32r bey-e-yin ür-e kesigün-ü ner-e inu (Chapter 183)
65.1.lus kyi yan lag gi ming la
66. 34v naiman čilüge ügei-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 116)
66.1.mi khom pa brgyad kyi ming la
67. 34v ündüsün ǰirγuγan nisvanis-un ner-e inu (Chapter 100)
67.1.rtsa nyon drug gi ming la
68. qorin noyisqal nisvanis-un ner-e inu (Chapter 100)
68.1. nye nyon nyi shu’i ming la
69. 35v ǰüg ǰobkis-un ner-e inu (Chapter 247)
69.1.phyogs mtshams kyi ming la
70. 36a yeke baγ-a kiged öndür baγun-i-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 129)
70.1.che chung dang mtho dman gyi ming la
71. 37a ölǰei-yin ner-e inu (Chapter 131)
71.1.dge ba dang shis pa’i ming la
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5. W.Heissig. Die Pekinger lamaistischen Blockdrucke in mongolischer Sprache: Materialien zur mongolischen Literaturgeschichte. Göttinger asiatische Forschungen (Vol. 2). O. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1954
6. О.Ковалевский. Монгольско-русско-французкий словарь. Т.1-3, Казань, 1844-1849.
7. Mngon-brjod-kyi bstan-mkhas-pa’i rna-rgyan zhes-bya bshugs-so Tib. B 10437/1
8. Pentaglot Dictionary of Buddhist Terms. Digital version: Digital Archives Section, Library and Information Center of Dharma Drum Buddhist College, http://buddhistinformatics.ddbc.edu.tw/glossaries/
9. Alice Sárközi, János Szerb. A Buddhist terminological dictionary: the Mongolian Mahāvyutpatti. Bibliotheca orientalis Hungarica (Vol. 42). Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1995.
10. A.Shiefner. Buddhistische Triglotte, d. h. Sanskrit-tibetisch-mongolisches Wörterverzeichniss. St.Petersburg 1859. http://books.google.ru/ebooks?id=6xPgMignPScC
11. University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental languages, The THESAURUS LITERATURAE BUDDHICAE (TLB), http://www2.hf.uio.no/polyglotta/index.php?page=volume&vid=78
12. N.S.Yahontova. Oyratskiy slovar' poeticheskih vyrajeniy. Pamyatniki pis'mennosti Vostoka (Vol. 120). Vostochnaya literatura RAN, 2010
Steve Jobs was the creative genius behind the United State’s largest and most world-altering company—Apple. His being was decidedly Zen Buddhist. He was married by Zen teacher, Kobun Chino Otogawa, who was also appointed by Jobs as the spiritual advisor at the corporation. Kobun died in 2002. He dedicated his life to Soto Zen Buddhist meditation practice. There were four themes from the life of Steve Jobs that had the influence of Buddhist virtue as applied in economic development. First was the theme of non-duality, which is evidenced by Job’s combining of the humanities and engineering or design with hardware and software. Second is removing excess thought. This was evident in Job’s focus and the products that Apple produced under Jobs’ leadership. Most recently these are the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Third is the theme of simple living. Living simply was a trait of the teacher Kobun Chino Otogawa and of Steve Jobs. Kobun and Steve brought living simply to their sense of design and aesthetics. Steve Jobs, although a very wealthy man, chose to live simply. His life was not overburdened by things such as furniture. The simple living led to simple design aesthetics, which he loved. The fourth theme is self-reliance, which was also a theme of Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University. Jobs was self-reliant so much so that he didn’t even believe in marketing surveys. He questioned how people could know what they liked until they have seen it from Apple. Anyone interested in how Buddhist virtues can lead to economic development could learn from Steve Jobs’ practice of Buddhism.
Steve Jobs: A Practicing Buddhist, an Entrepreneur, and an Innovator
Steve Jobs, who died on October 5, 2011 at 56 years of age, was a practicing Buddhist in Soto Zen Buddhist meditation. He was also a founder and the leader of Apple Inc., which as of August 2011, became the world’s most valuable company. This essay answers the questions that follow. What do Buddhist virtues have to do with economic development? How did a practicing Buddhist create the world’s most valuable company? What are the virtues and is a there shadow side of Steve Jobs? After explaining a little about Buddhism, we explore four virtues common to the mind of Buddha and which Steve Jobs lived: non-dualism, removing excess thought, simple living, and self-reliance.
First, we will tell a little of Jobs’ Buddhist background. Steve was dedicated to the Soto School of Zen Buddhism. The Soto School was founded by Dogen Zenji who lived from 1200 to 1253 in Japan (Bodiford, 1993; Suzuki, 1970). The school is known for its non-dualism and its integration of enlightenment with practice. After Daisetz Suzuki brought Zen Buddhism to the West early in the twentieth century, Shunryu Suzuki-roshi started the Zen Center in San Francisco, the Mountain Center at Tassajara, California, and authored the book, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” (Suzuki, 1970). Shunryu Suzuki-roshi had an assistant, Kobun Chino Otogawa, who was a Zen teacher to Jobs. After Jobs knew Kobun for 17 years he performed a marriage ceremony for Jobs and his wife, Laurene Powell. Over the years, Steve and Kobun often meditated together. At one time, Steve asked Kobun if he should give up business for meditation. Kobun answered that Steve should stay in business and the benefits of meditation would accrue naturally. Kobun was appointed by Jobs as the spiritual advisor at Apple. Kobun died in 2002. Jobs was undoubtedly close to his teacher who died a year before Jobs found out that he himself had pancreatic cancer.
Walter Isaacson (2011) wrote a biography which was endorsed by Steve Jobs. Although Jobs gave Isaacson many interviews, he said he would not even read the biography before it was published. In the biography Isaacson says that Jobs’ major characteristic was intensity. He also says that Jobs was ambitious to make Apple flourish as an organization after his own death. Isaacson gives the example of the Hewlett Packard organization, which outlived its founders. This is similar also to the mind of Buddha which wanted Buddhism to flourish after the death of its founder, Gautama Buddha. There are many obstacles and people who rise up against the founding of an organization or even a way of being. The ambition to make the way plain especially given opposition is a sign of leadership.
To quote Jobs’ chosen biographer (Isaacson, 2011):
Jobs’ engagement with Eastern spirituality, and especially Zen Buddhism, was not just some passing fancy or youthful dabbling. He embraced it with his typical intensity, and it became deeply ingrained in his personality. “Steve is very much Zen,” said Kottke [a friend of Jobs]. “It was a deep influence. You see it in his whole approach of stark, minimalist aesthetics, intense focus.” Jobs also became deeply influenced by the emphasis that Buddhism places on intuition (35).
The mind of Buddha in Soto Zen is a space of non-duality, which was epitomized in how Jobs treated the humanities and engineering. Now we turn to four themes in Buddhism that enabled Jobs’ success.
“To stop your mind does not mean to stop the activities of mind. It means your mind pervades your whole body” (Suzuki, 1970, p. 41). Steve Jobs was a serious practitioner of meditation retreats at Tassajara, near Carmel, California, founded by Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, which was the first Zen Buddhist monastery in the United States (Silberman, 2011). Jobs faced the wall in typical Zen Buddhist fashion to observe the workings of his mind.
Throughout Walter Isaacson’s biography there are a number of times that the word intersection occurs. This concept of intersection fully describes the theme of non-duality in Jobs’ work. Jobs used the idea of an intersection to describe “the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences” (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 26). Isaacson mentions that in high school Jobs found himself at the intersection of the electronic geeks and those who were interested in literature and creativity. His interest in creativity and technology led him to a successful collaboration with computers and animation in the form of Pixar Studios and his design of Apple’s Fifth Avenue New York store. The store was crafted from large panes of class, and it was another example of simplicity in aesthetics and architecture making contact with leading-edge technology, in this instance glass construction. At his presentation introducing the iPad, Jobs used a slide with a picture of street signs showing the intersection of Technology Street and Liberal Arts Street. For Jobs, his life work was all about the intersection and combination of distinct things that together made something unique and even inspiring: “We believe that it’s technology married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing” (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 748).
How do we reconcile what Isaacson referred to as Jobs’ binary view of the world, the “hero/shithead dichotomy” with the theme of non-duality (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 795)? Jobs reportedly swung wildly between food choices, erasing and then suddenly embracing the suggestions of his colleagues, and peppering his work and personal relationships with emotional expressions of tears and then anger. During early travels in India, his traveling partner recalls him getting into an argument with a local vendor, even while “seeking enlightenment through ascetic deprivation, and simplicity” (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 98). His pursuit of wholeness and humanity in his innovative product design and business practices can seem compromised by his hard-nosed business tactics and his disregard for the well-being of others.
The idea of intersections could be a way of understanding Jobs’ supposed binary nature. Human expression exists at many personal intersections. No one representation of who Jobs was or who we are can summarize that existence. In this way Jobs’ non-duality was also exhibited in the way he understood himself. He was someone who struggled with relationship to others, emotional volatility, resentment but who also stood at the intersection of innovation, genius, and human relationship and went forward moment by moment, faults and all.
Removing Excess Thought
“When you study Buddhism you should have a general house cleaning of your mind” (Suzuki, 1970, p.110). We are reminded of a Zen Master who had a PhD and was erudite. He regarded his learning in the way of a runner would who had excess baggage during a race. His learning was detrimental in getting where he wanted to go.
Steve Jobs had two tenures at Apple. He along with Steve Wozniak founded Apple on April 1, 1976. Jobs commercialized the Apple I computer and led the creation of the Macintosh computer. In September of 1985 Jobs was forced out of Apple because his detractors said he was immature. He went on to found the NeXT company, which focused on a computer which did not do well commercially or technically. Jobs learned lessons from defeat at NeXT.
Jobs was also the major force behind Pixar, a computer animation company responsible for hit movies such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo (Price, 2009). His commercializing role at Pixar overlapped with his going back to work at the company he founded along with Steve Wozniak, Apple.
Jobs’ second tenure at Apple began in January of 1997. Apple had fallen in market share, stock value, and was losing money. Strategically, Apple had purchased NeXT. The point we wish to make is that when Steve Jobs returned to Apple he had focus. He eliminated products that were excess and focused on a few the way a Zen Master would get rid of excess thought. Soon gone were products such as the Newton handheld digital device, and a myriad of products in development. The products left have become household names such as the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad.
Focus and removing excess were an extraordinary talent of Steve Jobs, which we would attribute to having Buddhist training—the ability to focus and rid himself and the company he worked for of excess thought or, in this instance, products. His clear focus and his ability to cut down and achieve excellence with a few products were extremely Soto Zen Buddhist and led to entrepreneurial success.
One of the key examples of Jobs’ role as an innovator and the removal of excess thought is evident in the distinct design of his products. It seems almost certain that Jobs would have been aware of the spatial concept of “ma” (Yang, 2011). In common design parlance, this concept might be known as white or negative space, that is, the emptiness that makes a shape possible, simple and yet distinctive. With “ma”, what is removed is as important as all that remains.
The removal of excess thought also enabled Jobs to focus on his unique direction by steering away from what was purported to be the latest great thing. This allowed him to fit together pieces from many different influences giving strength to his intuitive sense of where the road was going and not where it had already been. This taught him to see that computing was moving desktops to mobile devices which would use object-centred computing (apps) that integrated the traditionally separate domains of software and hardware (e.g. the iPod and iTunes). In Jobs’ mind, it was necessary to clear away what he called the crap, in order to focus on a few beautiful and useful things. While many of the prominent technology companies at the time produced simple beige machines (PC) or industrial looking grey devices (Sony), Jobs had a different and original aesthetic vision. Jobs’ biographer Isaacson puts it this way: “He made devices simpler by eliminating buttons, software simpler by eliminating features, and interfaces simpler by eliminating options” (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 800).
This removal of excess thought did not produce a peaceful man–what people might interpret as a Zen-like state of calm in the common understanding of a Zen state of mind. Jobs was indeed brutally honest, but he insisted it was this intense focus that allowed him to push innovations forward bringing together people and materials to make a product that surprised and delighted people around the world.
Next is the theme of simple living. Living simply was a trait of Master Kobun Chino Otogawa and of Steve Jobs. As already mentioned regarding removing excess thought, Kobun and Steve brought living simply to their sense of design and aesthetics. Steve Jobs, although a very wealthy man, chose to live simply. His life was not overburdened by things such as furniture. His house was simple (for Palo Alto, California, where he located) and bare. He had trouble finding furniture or appliances that he liked because most designs were not beautiful and form did not follow function. The simple living confirmed his simple design aesthetics, which he loved. The stories are many. He could spend hours musing over the design of packaging. He wanted every consumer to be affected by the simplicity and the beauty of the design.
According to some, Steve almost singlehandedly saved the music industry from its own destruction and silos. Jobs had a simple model for an iTunes store, which began small and got huge through time. The model was 70% of revenues for the labels and 29 % of revenues for iTunes. A song would be sold for 99 cents. Jobs grew the iTunes store using a simple model and most people won—the musicians, the involved labels, consumers, and Apple Inc.
Not that Jobs was always perfect. In 1984 Steve had a girlfriend, Jennifer Egan. He used to argue with her about abandoning attachment to material things. Jobs even sent her a tape by Kobun that talked about giving up material things. She would argue that: “Wasn’t he defying that philosophy by making computers and other products that people coveted” (Isaacson, 2011, p. 262).
“The way we’re running the company, the product design, the advertising, it all comes down to this: Let’s make it simple. Really simple” (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 206). Simplicity does not come easily. Simplicity, as Steve Jobs and his head designer Jony Ive contended, is a result of hard work and the embracing of complexity. In order to obtain simplicity, it may be necessary to jettison old structures and traditional ways of knowing. We think of simplicity as coming in slowly even softly but there can be leanness in order to set the creative process free. Jobs and Ive agreed that in order to have beautiful simplicity you must understand things at a very deep level and demonstrate an intimate understanding of the essence of a product (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 501).
Even the company name Apple signifies something holistic and simple but the road to the necessary technological innovation and the amount of labor behind the production process was anything but simple. The phrase attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that was placed on one of Apple’s early brochures “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” illustrates this (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 142). Jobs called his products “bright, pure, and honest” (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 206) and referred to the influences of Zen Buddhism: “I have always found Buddhism, Japanese Zen Buddhism in particular, to be aesthetically sublime” while speaking of being deeply moved by the gardens of Kyoto which he called “the most sublime thing I’ve ever seen” (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 208).
Steven Jobs was not a simpleton; he was a complex man. We shall explore this theme below.
“Zazen practice is the direct expression of our true nature. Strictly speaking, for a human being, there is no other practice than this practice ; there is no other way of life than this way of life” (Suzuki, 1970, 23).
The next theme is self-reliance, which was also a theme of Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, which was Steve’s argument for knowing oneself, or Zen Buddhism, or authenticity. Sometimes Jobs was criticized for being mean or shouting at subordinates. However, Jobs was self-reliant--so much so that he did not even believe in marketing surveys. He questioned how people could know what they liked until they had seen it from Apple.
Self-reliance is a theme in Soto Zen Buddhism. Suzuki (1970) said that, “In the zazen posture, your mind and body have great power to accept things as they are, whether agreeable or disagreeable” (38). Perhaps Jobs’ worst traits were unsettling bombasts of people around him, and his taking credit for others’ ideas. Jobs was not a man of inner peace or mellow interpersonal relationships (Isaacson, 2011). We do not know the reason why he had these traits. Or indeed we do not know if this portrayal is accurate. Perhaps it was his shadow side which complemented his strength as a leader (Khan, 1994). Or perhaps he was just being himself, which he claimed was the cause of his appearing nasty to others. Perhaps, at least at times, he was practicing Zen Buddhism by being true to himself (Guilar, 2008). Or perhaps as Steve Silberman has said he was practicing Zen Buddhism but he had more to learn from his teachers (Silberman, 2011).
Isaacson repeats the phrase “reality distortion field” many times throughout his biography. This phrase is in reference to what fellow employees called Steve’s world–a place where he insisted on what was right, what was possible, and what was perfect. Jobs relied on his version of reality and his intuition of what felt right for the moment.
His coworkers sensed that reality often changed in Steve’s mind and this change sometimes led to undue stress, emotional pain, relational chaos, and sometimes financial loss as when Jobs insisted on painting sensitive factory machinery certain colors to match his vision of that factory’s appearance. Jobs’ reality was often prescient and his reliance on his own vision allowed him to gather pieces from across the technological landscape to produce innovations that went further than the large and established companies that went before him. This focus allowed him to produce an integrated music service (iTunes) and an associated product (iPod) that largely took over the domain of a once dominant and well-established music and technology company, the Sony Corporation.
Self-reliance is also a theme in an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson (Emerson, 1978). Emerson wrote that, “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius” (Emerson, 1978, p. 378). Truly, Jobs founded and created the world’s most valuable company by being true to himself. That was his deeply held goal, which he accomplished through creativity and being a stickler for quality.
Jobs held Apple products to exasperating (and some would say controlling) standards. Jobs wanted to control Apple software and hardware from end to end. Unlike Microsoft and the PC, he did not want hackers in to take the products their own way. Apple stores and iTunes have opened up to new apps but the software and hardware remains under the control of Apple.
His sayings were many for Apple, including the Think Different commercial in 1997, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do” (Isaacson, 2011, p. 329). Surely, Steve Jobs changed the world.
Design as the Integration of the Four Themes
“Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers” (Apple’s One-Dollar-a-Year-Man, 2000). The deep commitment to the hard work of simple living shows itself in the design of Apple products. In fact, all of the themes discussed in this paper, non-duality, removing excess thought, simple living and self-reliance, come together in Jobs’ lifelong search for the perfecting of the design process. Design goes beyond what an object looks like including both its pragmatic function and the way that use is presented. John Lasseter of Pixar and one of the creators of Toy Story understood this. He and Jobs believed that objects and products have an essence, “a purpose for which they were made” (Isaacson, 2011b, p.421). The theme of non-duality in design is expressed in the marriage of form and function and the “total collaboration between the designers, the product developers, the engineers, and the manufacturing team” (Isaacson, 2011b, p 502). There should be flow not separation and this was reflected in the essence of Apple products in which hardware and software were integrated for simplicity of use and form. Removing excess thought finds its source in the beginner’s mind in what Jobs called returning “to the beginning again and again” (Isaacson, 2011b, p. 502) in order to co-ordinate all parts of the design and manufacturing process in a way that the combination of the previously known parts made a new and innovative whole. In turn this essential was manifested in simple living–simple use through the integration of hardware and software processes (e.g., the iPod’s interface with iTunes in order to make listening to music simple), simple and elegant design with fresh uses of material (metal, glass, and moulded plastic) and the outward display of that material–rounded corners, light weight, thin footprint, clean icons, easy and obvious buttons, and the use of either playful or minimalist colors. Self-reliance was expected in this design process. Jobs’ use of designer Jony Ive’s studio helped him get a sense of the upcoming movements of the company by helping him literally see where the company was going. In the studio Jobs could see how his intuitive visual sense looked and felt. He could rely on his way of knowing by actually playing with product models and knowing how they interacted with eye, hand, and as Jobs would contend, humanity. In similar fashion, Jobs eschewed any form of complex visual presentations and schematic design drawings in his meetings. He felt that if someone understood a product they could sit down face to face and make him understand the essence of that product quickly and simply without any traditional business meeting gimmicks.
Jobs felt that this intersection of artistic design and technology could be summed up by the deep current of humanity in our innovation. It would be easy to dismiss this emphasis on look and feel as mere surface concerns, but human history has shown from the design of tombs and tables to the elegance of handwriting and the calligraphy that Jobs studied, human beings instinctively know that there is more to an object than the object itself. The four themes of this paper come together in this deep current of well-designed and well-used technological objects.
Last Words . . . . for Now
These four themes, non-duality, removing excess thought, simple living, and self-reliance, helped Steve Jobs and Apple to achieve extraordinary results. We hear from those who knew Steve that he was also intense and ambitious. The answer of whether or not Steve Jobs was a practicing Buddhist is controversial. We have said in the title to this essay that he was a practicing Buddhist, and yet we do not want to conjecture much on what some would consider his negative traits, except to ask questions. Jobs’ sense of design ties together the four themes in this article. These themes are true to Buddhism and represent Jobs’ study and practice of Soto Zen Buddhism. Anyone interested in how Buddhist virtues can lead to economic development can learn from Steven Jobs’ practice of Buddhism.
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Very little is known in English about the Zimwock (Zimwok, Zimog)Rinpoches, a lineage of remarkable teachers and meditation masters from Nalandra (Nalendra) Monastery in central Tibet. Yet they have had quite a profound influence on all four main traditions of Tibetan Buddhism since the 16th century when the lineage began.
The 6th Zimwock Tulku Rinpoche came to Australia in December 2008 to take up the position of resident teacher of Jamchen Buddhist Centre. In three years he has transformed this small but active centre in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and is strengthening the teaching and practice of Vajrayana in Melbourne. In the spirit of his predecessors, he is challenging conventions and reaching out to all sentient beings – Tibetan Buddhism unbounded.
The 6th Zimwock Tulku was born ina refugee camp in Manali in Northern India. His father was Dzongsar Gang-naTulkuRinpoche, who was a highly respected Rime lama, in exile from Dzongsar Monastery in Kham. The Rime approach Zimwock Rinpoche is considered to be an emanation of the future Buddha Maitreya. He was recognized by His Holiness Sakya Trizin, head of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, and endorsed by many high lamas including HH 14th Dalai Lama, HH 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche. His recognition was significant.
As a young monk, he was given the best education possible at that time, first with his father and his personal tutor, Lama Trinle Choedak, and then at Sakya College in Dehra Dun in Northern India. The Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism has only three branches – Sakya, Ngor and Tsar. The Zimwock Rinpoches were the holders of Tsarpa.
The Tsarpa branch was famous for maintaining all the highly prized uncommon or most esoteric meditation lineages of the Sakya school. The principal monastery of the Tsarpa branch was Nalandra Monastery in the Phenpo Valley, where the Zimwock Rinpoches were one of only two throne-holders. So his education was very important. The other throne-holder the 18th Chogye Trichen Rinpoche, passed away in 2007. Zimwock Rinpoche is the most senior lama of the Tsarpa branch alive today.