August 13, 2017

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Only If Buddha Sasana flourishes brightly like the Sun

  • Khin Maung Oo
  • Myanmar is a country in which Buddhism is professed by most of its citizens, to be exact, 87.9% of the country’s population according to the 2014 census. Buddha Sasana, that is, Buddha’s Teachings are greatly valued, and monks and the people, the followers try their best to propagate Buddha’s Teachings by following the noble practices of the Buddha strictly and keeping the precepts.
    In building an edifice in all its grandeur, a strengthened foundation is needed for long-lasting survival. Likewise, it is essential to strengthen the study of Buddhist Scriptures “Pariyatti,” the foundation of Buddha’s Sasana for the eternal survival of Buddhism in this universe. As long as the Buddha’s sermons preached by monks can be heard, we—the lay persons, can fulfill the other two religious duties—Patipatti and Pariveda, practising to liberate ourselves from all sufferings and propagating Buddha’s Teachings in the world.
    Accordingly, Paryatti is of great importance. It is the foundation of the Buddha Sasana. Buddhist monks have to learn the Buddhist scriptures by heart. Buddhist Scriptures includes the Suttas meant to give moral lessons to the people through parables and stories, Vinaya means the code of conduct for monks and Abhidhamma means the deep and profound teachings of the Buddha dealing with “Mind, matter and Nibbanna”. Some western scholars refer to the Abhidhamma as Buddhist psychology. So long as the above said Three Baskets of Buddhism – Sutta, Vinaya and Abhidhamma exist, Buddha’s Sasana will be with us. On the other hand, if they will disappear from our sight, Our Lord Buddha and His Teachings will no longer be seen in this universe.
    In our country, we already have authenticated Buddhist scriptures. Only if there are those who will teach and learn the Buddhist Scriptures in the country, will it flourish for long. Hence, we need to have Sanghas who will conduct lectures on Buddhist Scriptures. We also need to supply our monks with the “Four Requisites” – such as monasteries, robes, medicines and meals (Soon). The people provide the monks with the “Four Requisites” so that the monks can study the Buddhist scriptures in peace and without any worries.
    Being lay persons struggling with daily routines and worldly matters for our survival, we find it difficult to study these Buddhist scriptures by ourselves. So, we have to follow the Buddha’s teachings by keeping the scriptures in mind, after learning from the monks who had learnt a lot. In return, we need to donate offertories to our monks in reciprocation.
    On a careful study about cultures, traditions, customs and language of a country or a race, we will find that the respective religion controls and influences the country and its people. Myanmar culture, language and traditions are very much influenced by the Buddha’s Dhamma. Without it, Myanmar’s cultural heritages will disappear sorrowfully. Being well convinced of it, our successive national leaders have been holding religious examinations at different levels.
    According to the Census and demographic data, Buddhist monks and those who profess Buddhism have decreased. So, we firmly believe that we should donate and support our Buddhist monks with necessary offertories, with a view to having Buddhist monks who can give us religious sermons, the main source of our literature and culture.
    Only if Pariyatti flourishes will Patipatti and Pariveda spread and grow. Then we can be sure that the Buddha Sasana will shine very bright in the universe like the Sun forever.

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