Sunday, June 01, 2014

One Dhamma Many Buddhist Traditions

Complied in memory of K. Sri Dhammananda (1919-2006), this book has two parts, first is recollections essays of people who had known him. Second is about the unity of many Buddhist traditions and various issues.

There's 35 essays in total, so I skipped around and marked a tick on the content page to keep track of which I had read before. The essays in the first part of the book really made me appreciate what can a monk do to propagate the Dhamma. It also outlined for me the history of the spread of English based Buddhism in Malaysia from before independence all the way to his death. It was around my father's generation and the generation before him that he was very much influential and helped the build the strong presence of Buddhism in Malaysia as it exist today. We get to see the founding of Buddhist Missionary Society, which has the parallel in Singapore called Singapore Buddhist Mission. And also Buddhist Gem Fellowship, parallel in Singapore is Buddhist Fellowship, both of them having youth groups in Singapore that I am in contact with.

The second part is really essential reading for anyone trapped in sectarian thinking. Monks, Nuns, Layperson from all traditions come together and affirm that there are more similarities between the traditions rather than differences. This really opens up a non-sectarian approach towards Buddhism, promoting harmony and peace amongst the traditions of Buddhism and it can unite Buddhist to rise up to the Modern Challenge of Buddhism meeting the modern age (or information age by now, Civ player would know). One of them is Buddhism and Science, which I am contributing in my other blog. Another is to appreciate what's culture in the various forms of Buddhism, and what's the common doctrine.

There are just too many articles to count there but I am amazed to see that I have been in contact with some of the authors via INCOVAR Dhamma Camp. It's quite a good book to balance one's view of the Dhamma, regardless of how deep you have learned in your particular tradition.

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