The Buddhist Revival in Sri Lanka: Religious Tradition, Reinterpretation and Response

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Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1992 - Buddhism - 322 pages
In 1956, Theravada Buddhists in Sri Lanka and throughout Southeast Asia celebrated the 2500th anniversary of the Buddha`s entry into Nirvana and of the establishment of the Buddhist tradition. This book examines this revival of Theravada Buddhism among the laity of Sri Lanka, analysing its origins and its growth up to the present-day. Within the spectrum of reinterpretations that have comprised the revival, the book focuses on four important types or patterns of reinterpretation and response. It examines the rational reformism of the early Protestant Buddhists led by Anagarika Dharmapala and the conservative neotraditionalism of the Jayanti period.Particular attention is given to two of the most recent and dynamic reforms, the insight meditation movement, breaking with tradition, has opened the path of meditation to lay people, enabling them to seek Nirvana without renouncing the world. The sarvodaya Shramadana movement has addressed the social context, reinterpreting the Buddhist heritage to derive authentic forms of Buddhist social development. Comprising this series of interpretations and options for lay Buddhists, the Buddhist revival represents a new gradual path to Nirvana.

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Page 83 - Library is based at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London, Europe's largest institution specializing in the study of languages and cultures of Africa and Asia.
Page 114 - The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1 )(e).
Page 54 - Q. What striking contrasts are there between Buddhism and what may be properly called " religions " ? A. Among others, these: It teaches the highest goodness without a creating God ; a continuity of life without adhering to the superstitious and selfish doctrine of an eternal, metaphysical soul-substance that goes out of the body ; a happiness without an objective heaven ; a method of salvation without a vicarious Saviour; redemption by oneself as the Redeemer, and without rites, prayers, penances,...
Page 47 - Protestant Buddhism" in my usage has two meanings, (a) As we have pointed out many of its norms and organizational forms are historical derivatives from Protestant Christianity, (b) More importantly, from the contemporary point of view, it is a protest against Christianity and its associated Western political dominance prior to independence.
Page 121 - Buddha so that its benign spirit of service and sacrifice may pervade the entire world inspiring and influencing the people of the earth and their governments to lead the Buddhist way of life, which is for all ages and all climates, that there may be peace and harmony amongst men and happiness for all being.
Page 94 - Buddha Sasana Act by which it "would create an incorporated Buddha Sasana Council to which may be entrusted all the prerogatives of the Buddhist kings as regards the Buddhist religion.
Page 21 - Boodhoo, professed by the chiefs and inhabitants of these provinces, is declared inviolable; and its rights, ministers, and places of worship, are to be maintained and protected.
Page 72 - Vidyalankara declaration entitled "Bhikkhus and Politics" was issued. It stated that it was nothing but fitting for bhikkhus to identify themselves with activities conducive to the welfare of the people — whether these activities be labeled politics or not — as long as the activity did not impede the religious life of a bhikkhu.
Page 60 - Greater than the bliss of sweet Nirvana is the life of moral activity."57 In a number of articles and in one important pamphlet entitled "The Daily Code for Laity," Dharmapala spelled out the moral requirements of the Buddhist path.
Page 54 - ... with science ? A. Like every other religion that has existed many centuries, it certainly now contains untruth mingled with truth ; ever gold is found mixed with dross. The poetical imagination, the zeal, or the lingering superstition of Buddhist devotees have, in various ages, and in various lands, caused the noble principles of the Buddha's moral doctrines to be coupled more or less with what might be removed to advantage.

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