The Buddhist - Vesak Issue, May 2012 Persuasive, Impressive ReadingAugust 17, 2012, 7:21 pm
Editor - Mr. Rajah Kuruppu
Sub Editor - Mr. P.Wattegama
Asst. Editor - Mr. K.Samarawickrama
Reviewed by - Mr. T.B.Ratnayake
The Vesak annual of "The Buddhist", published by the Colombo Y.M.B.A., has an impressive record of continuing uninterrupted for 114 years. The format of this year’s issue has a commendable change from its previous issues. A short history of the Colombo Y.M.B.A. is given immediately after the Editorial, and the readers are made aware of the multifarious activities of this great institution.
In a hard hitting-editorial, the chief editor Rajah Kuruppu points out the alarming deterioration of ethical and moral standards not only of lay society, but also of some misguided Buddhist monks as the reported violent ragging at a University for Buddhist Monks in Anuradhapura demonstrated. He also points out the breakdown of law and order, which perhaps is the result of the close link between the politicians and the underworld.
Dr. Ananda W.P.Guruge, in his article "What in the Teachings of the Buddha Impress me" eloquently discusses the Buddha’s Teachings on the Path of Spiritual Perfection and the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the realization of the blissful state of Nibbana.
Ven. Henepola Gunarathana Thera, the reputed teacher of meditation and author of the well-read masterpiece, "Mindfulness in plain English", writes on "Practical Insight", showing how mindfulness can be developed and how one could learn to live without greed, hatred and delusion through constant training in mindfulness.
The Sir Baron Jayatilaka Memorial Oration delivered by Dr. Anula Wijesundere, reproduced here, is based on a most appropriate and topical theme, Alcohol Consumption and consequences in Sri Lanka’. In a three-quarter hour lecture on the subject, she traces the history of the alcohol consumption in Sri Lanka, the magnitude of the problem, the major causes and the consequences such as diseases, suicide, traffic accidents, and violence against women, quoting relevant figures where necessary.
Claudia Weeraperuma, in her contribution in verse, points out how humans experience dukkha in everything they do or see around them while other living things such as trees do not panic over whatever happens.
Many other well-known Buddhist scholars such as Ven. Bhikku Bodhi, Ven. Bhikku Pasanno, Asoka Devendra, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Ven.Ajahn Punnadhammo, Madawala Hemananda, Deshabhandu Olcott Gunasekera, Susunaga ‘ Weeraperuma, Upali Salgado and Anil D. Goonewardene, have made useful contributions. "How to enjoy a fire at 39,000 feet" copied from BPS Newsletter -January 2003, is an interesting account of the personal experience of Ven. Henepola Gunarathana Thera.
In the Sinhala section, Ven. Pelanwatte Dhammatilaka Thera writing on Buddhist Social Philisophy, says that it is based on two factors, namely, Karuna and Panna. He points out the close connection between individual and society and how this close connection helps in the well-being of each individual in society.
Professor N. A.de S. Amaratunga writes on Buddhist Epistemology and modern Science. He says that there are similarities as well as differences between Buddhist concepts and the concepts in modern Western science, and that both Buddhism and Science have a practical approach to our daily life.
Dr. Siri Nissanka Perera in his article "Buddha Image in Sri Lanka" traces, through historical facts and archeological discoveries, the origin of the Buddha image quoting extensively from several Buddhist texts and recent works of many acclaimed authors well versed in the subject. He discusses in detail, the bronze image of the Buddha, recently discovered in the village of Pallama in the Puttalama district.
The poem by Piyadasa Wattegama, Editor of the Sinhala section shows how every memorable incident in the life of the Buddha is closely associated with the environment and how the Buddha in many of his sermons expressed the importance of preserving the environment.
Noteworthy contributions in prose or verse have been made by many other writers such as Vijithananda Saracchandra, Daya Anhettigama, Ven. Lenadora Soratha, Ven. Koswatte Ariyawimala, Karunadasa Hewamallikage and Jayampathy Algama.
The Editorial Board comprising Rajah Kuruppu, Piyadasa Wattegama and Kusumabandu Samarawickrama merits our gratitide for providing us with useful reading material to improve our knowledge of the Dhamma.
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