Sri Lanka is an multi ethnic society and hence all major religions are equally given prominence and probably the only country in the world along with Singapore, where important days of various religions are official holidays to allow for religious activities. Buddhism, Hinduism, Christian and Islam are freely practised in Sri Lanka and very often hand in hand with other religions. Catholic and Anglican sectors of the Christianity is equally followed in Sri Lanka.
Buddha did not represent another powerful invisible figure to preach his knowledge and was his own master. To the layman he taught how to live a good, sincere, happy and a purposeful life and proposed some guidelines to follow to achieve these objectives. Those who do good deeds are rewarded with positive results and vice versa he said. He also said those who want to improve the mind should practise to eliminate selfishness, hatred, anger and ignorance. He said right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration will lead to cessation of sorrow.
Buddhism and Sri Lanka
Buddhism arrived in Sri Lanka around 2 century BC and has tremendously influenced the lives of the people, their culture and the heritage. Buddhist monuments include many of the remaining ancient ruins ironically though the worship of physical items are not a aspect of Buddhism. The Buddhist doctrine that is taught in Sri Lanka is one of the least diluted form of Buddha’s teaching.
Buddhist Information Centres in Sri Lanka
(by Andrew Quernmore, Reproduced from:
|All Ceylon Buddhist Congress|
380 Bauddhaloka Mw
|Bhikku Training Centre|
|Buddhist Theosophical Society|
203 Olcott Mawatha
|Institute for Buddhist Studies|
(Dhammaratna Memorial Meditation & Foreign Languages)
|Buddhist & Pali University|
71b Huludagoda Road
20 Magazine Road
29 Rosmead Place
Buddha, unlike in some religions did not represent another powerful invisible figure to preach his knowledge. He was his master and preached the knowledge he gained through enlightenment. To the layman he taught how to live a good, sincere, happy and a purposeful life and proposed some guidelines to follow to achieve these objectives. For the intellectuals he said the life is sorrow and taught the way to eliminate the sorrow, by enlightenment. Enlightenment could only be attained through improvement of knowledge thus the improvement of conscious or mind hence some consider it as a philosophy. Worshipping is not a requirement in Buddhism though many do it as a habit and a custom.
Long before Newton, Buddha said every action has a reaction including in all conscious deeds. Those who do good deeds shall be rewarded with positive results and those who do harmful actions (with a evil intension) may experience in adverse results. The results of our righteous or sinful deeds Buddha said shall follow our soul in subsequent lives. Apart from heaven and hell he also said there are other forms of lives after this life.
Just like in thousands of present day books which provide self improvement techniques. Buddha provided an enormous amount of advice to the layman to improve one’s self. He said selfishness, hatred, anger and ignorance prevent one from self improvement. One who want to improve the mind should learn to eliminate these four status of mind. He said right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration will lead to cessation of Sorrow.
Buddha is said to have supernatural powers such as reading others thoughts. We already know some people possess super natural powers and extra ordinary abilities. Such status could be achieved by improving one’s mind thought it is not the ultimatum of the Buddhism. Self improvement or the learning process since the childhood is a way of improving our mind or thinking. It is by improvement of one’s mind that the truth could be understood.
It is not necessary for anyone (including Buddhists) to believe in Buddha or his teaching if they do not wish to. It is up to the individual to understand what he teaches.
Other sites on Buddhism in Sri Lanka