The 5th Anniversary of the Passing of the late His Holiness Samdech Dr. Maha Ghosananda
Invitations extended to you, upasaka, upasika, Buddhist devotees and compatriots to join with us in honoring the late Supreme Buddhist Patriarch.
Sunday the 11th Waning Moon of Phagguṇa B.E.2555, equivalent to March 18, A.D.2012 Year of the Rabbit, 9:00am
Wat Kirivongsa Bopharam, The Peace Meditation Center
100A Cave Hill Road, Leverett, MA 01054-9728
Phones: 413.367.9526, 413.367.0280
Ven. Dejapanno Pheap Phorn, Vipassana Buddhist Master and Abbot
978.935.3285, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monks await justice
By Tep Nimol
Tuesday February 28, 2012
Khmer Krom and Buddhist monks gathered yesterday in the capital for a ceremony to mourn the five-year anniversary of the venerable Eang Sok Thoeun’s death, who was found with his throat slit in February 2007.
Khmer Krom and Buddhist monks gather yesterday at the grave of the venerable Eang Sok Thoeun. Photo Meng Kimlong/Phnom Penh Post
The body of Eang Sok Thoeun, a Khmer Krom monk, was found at the Tronum Chhroeung pagoda in Kandal the morning after he protested with some 300 other monks at the Vietnam Embassy in Phnom Penh, demanding improved treatment for ethnic Khmers in southern Vietnam.
Officials and monks from the Khmer Kampuchea Krom Association gathered yesterday at their murdered brethren’s grave in Dangkor district, calling for the government to arrest those responsible for his death.
“The authorities have not arrested the killer,” Kim Sisomna, a leader for the association said.
Dangkor district deputy governor Seng Kun said police officials were still searching for a suspect.
“Police officials have not been careless in attempting to find the killer and punish him through the law,” the deputy governor said.
It is indeed very sorrowful to hear the news that Tripitakacharya, the Most Venerable Kumar Kashyap Mahaasthabir Bhante, the 6th Sangha Anunayaka of Nepal passed away at the age of 85, on Sunday, 26th of February. He was one of the five monks forced to go on exile by Juddha Shamsher, the Prime Minister of Rana Regime, due to propagation of Buddhism in Nepal. He is one of the earliest monks who suffered and worked tirelessly for the propagation of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal. His demise is an irreparable lost for the Sangha and Theravada Buddhism in Nepal. We wish Bhante, may he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.
We also like to announce that on this coming Friday, March 2nd at 6.30 p.m. we are going to have Memorial Services with Buddha puja, paritta chanting and sharing merits to departed bhante and all the Sangha members who dedicated their life for the sake of Buddhism in Nepal. The service will take place at International Shakyamuni Buddha Vihara & Vipassana Center, 140 Cottage St. Lynn, MA 01905. After the chanting prayer there will be tea/coffee and other short eat services. Your participation at this memorial service will be greatly appreciated.
Ven. Dr. Bhikkhu Praghyalok Maha Thera
The abbot/founder president of the ISBVVC
International Shakyamuni Buddha Vihara & Vipassana Center, Inc.
140 Cottage Street, Lynn, MA 01905
Phone: 617-858 4759, Email: email@example.com
Panna Naranam Ratanam = Wisdom is the treasure of human beings
Gulbarga, India — The arrest of Buddhist monk Bhante Bodhidharma and four leaders of Dalit organisations on February 6 in Gulbarga district is snowballing into a major controversy with Dalit groupsand Buddhist monks from different parts of the country increasing pressure on the Government to withdraw the cases filed against them and release them unconditionally.
<< ‘Let them go’:Buddhist monks from different parts of the country and Dalit activists taking out a procession in Gulbarga on Tuesday demanding the release of monk Bhante Bhodidhamma and four other Dalit leaders.— PHOTO: ARUN KULKARNI
On Tuesday, more than 21 Buddhist monks from different parts of the country including Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and different parts of Karnataka including Bangalore, Bidar and Chamarajanagar, extended their support to the agitation, demanding the release of Bhante Bhodidhamma and Dalit leaders Nagendra Jawali, Kishore Gaekwad, Santosh Melmani and Hanumanth Itagi, who were arrested on February 6.
The police slapped cases under sections 153 (A), 295 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code against those arrested, and the jurisdictional JMFC court at Chitapur had remanded all the accused to judicial custody till February 16, rejecting their bail applications.
The bail application of the accused, which came up for hearing before the Fourth Additional District and Sessions Judge on Monday has been posted for hearing the objections of the prosecution on February 16.
State general secretary of the Dalit Sena Hanumanth Yelsangi told The Hindu in Gulbarga that eight Buddhist Monks from Gwalior, six from Nagpur in Maharashtra, three from Rajasthan, three from Bidar, two from Chamarajanagar and one from Bangalore participated in the indefinite dharna launched here on Monday.
<< Bhante Bodhidharma
“We will not rest till the unconditional release of Buddhist monk Bhante Bhodidhamma and four other Dalit leaders, and until the State Government initiates action against the Assistant Commissioner of Sedam Sub-Division D, K. Ravi,” he said. The Government should also initiate action against Police Sub-Inspector Shrimant Illal, who was attached to the Wadi police station at the time of the monk’s arrest.
The Dalit leader demanded that the Government book cases under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes Atrocities (Prevention) Act against Mr. Ravi and Mr. Illal.
‘We will not rest until their unconditional release’
Backdrop of issue leading to Bhante Bodhidharma’s arrest
On February 5, 2012, Bhante Bodhidhamma went to a Buddhist site which was excavated some years ago at Sannathi Village, Tq-Chittapur, Gulbarga, Karnataka State.
Bhante was stunned by the condition of the site, realizing that the Archeological Survey of India was not properly protecting the archaeological monument. Many Buddhist statues were found missing and many ancient monuments were not properly perserved. The artifacts were found to have been eroded by rain, dust, wind and organic debris, causing the monuments to deteriorate.
<<Broken statue of Buddha at the excavated site in Sannathi Village, Karnataka. The Archeological Survey of India was accused of not properly protecting the site
It was also found apparent at the site that the Assistant Collector of Sedam Tahsil and the responsible overseers of Archaeological Survey of India have allowed the installation of an idol of a Hindu goddess. Indian law prohibits such action, as the site is clearly demarcated as a historical Buddhist place of devotion.
Local Members of Legislative Assembly, Assistant Collector of Sedam Tahsil Mr. D. K. Ravi, and Archeological Survey of India local staff were alleged to have allowed the “Hinduization” of the Sannathi Village site in a manner which was designed to provoke Buddhist Dalits.
When Bhante Bodhidhamma protested the desecration by Brahmin forces, he was arrested and jailed without bail by the Chittapur Court under the notoriously misused and abused sections 153 (A), 295 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code.
The fact remains that these are the very statutes that were violated in the attempt to convert the Sannathi Village Buddhist site to a Hindu place of worship by the Brahmin worshippers.
The Buddhist Dalits of Gulbarga district have conducted many protests in different locations. On February 14, 2012, there was a huge rally in Gulbarga City, Karnataka State, where a group of thirty Buddhist monks have stepped forward in solidarity to protest the incarceration of Bhante Bodhidhamma.
Courtesy The Buddhist Channel
China Vies for Primacy Over the World’s Buddhists
by Raymond Lam, Asian Sentinel, February 17, 2012
Religion as geopolitics
Bodhgaya, India — The Buddhist holy sites of Bodh Gaya in India and Lumbini in Nepal – two of the religion’s most sacred pilgrimage locales, are becoming the dual epicenters of a Great Game between India and China.
<<Bodhgaya, where Buddha sat
Bodh Gaya is considered the undisputed heartland of the Buddhist world. However, Bodh Gaya’s eminence is being challenged by the Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Exchange and Co-operation Foundation, which is backing Lumbini as Prince Siddhartha Gautama’s birthplace. The foundation’s executive vice chairman, the Beijing-born Xiao Wunan, has described developing Lumbini into a Mecca as part of scheduled Chinese US$3 billion investment in Nepal.
For hundreds of years the faithful have flocked to Bodh Gaya, a small town some 100 kilometers south of Patna, the capital of the Northeastern Indian state of Bihar, bordering the Himalayas. Known in the Buddha’s time as Uruvela, it is the place where all Buddhas have become enlightened.
It is here where Prince Gautama Siddhartha was said to have sat down under a pipal tree and entered into deep meditation after six years of wandering, becoming The Buddha. The pipal tree, a species of fig, became known as the Bodhi or Bo – enlightenment — tree. The tree now at the site is said to have been descended from the original Bodhi tree. For Buddhists, a red sandstone slab marking the spot of the Buddha’s first meditation is said to be the center of the universe.
Growing Chinese influence is something that New Delhi and Moscow both admire and fear. Chinese displeasure was enough to force the cancellation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s planned speech at the Global Buddhist Congregation conference in Delhi in November 2011 conference (along with all major Indian MPs), although Delhi drew the line at cancelling the event altogether, which was what Beijing really wanted.
Lumbini, 171 km. southeast of Kathmandu, is a key component in the Chinese objective to dislodge Nepal from India’s orbit as a satellite state. The Chinese investment is designed to transform the currently sleepy town into a first-class tourist destination including a new airport and highway, hotels, a convention center, a Buddhist university and place of pilgrimage for Buddhists from around the world.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, in July, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing in Beijing to begin the development of Lumbini.
The Nepalese government was irritated over not being consulted, eventually prompting Beijing to deny reports in the Nepali media of a secret pact with elements of the country’s Maoists and instead saying they had signed the MOU with Tourism Minister Khagda Bahadur, also a Maoist leader. Pushpa Kamal, who goes by the nom de guerre Prachanda, the head of the Maoist party, is a co-chairman of the APEC Foundation along with Steven Clark Rockefeller Jr, a fifth-generation member of the Rockefeller family; Jack Rosen, chairman of the American Jewish Congress, and Leon Charney, a real estate tycoon and former US presidential adviser
Executive vice chairman Xiao has said publicly that he hopes Lumbini will bring together all Buddhist schools — Mahayana as practiced in China, Japan, and South Korea, Hinayana as practiced in Southeast Asia; and Tibetan Buddhism.
Apparently, however, according to media reports, the one Buddhist that Beijing intends to have nothing to do with the Lumbini project may well be the most influential one in the world today – the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, who heads the Gelug, or Yellow Hat branch of Buddhism. It seems thaty no one connected with the Lumbini project has contacted the Buddhist leader’s Dharmasala, India office to invite him to participate. China regards him as an outlaw and a renegade out to foment rebellion in Tibet.
After decades of professing atheism as the state’s official policy by the Communist Party, whose official stance is that religion is the opiate of the masses, President Hu Jintao declared a “harmonious society” policy in 2006. Since that time, Chinese influence in religion has been growing, with the proviso that Beijing effectively gets to pick the leaders, as it does with the Catholic Church branch in China. Thus Beijing’s influence in Buddhist affairs in particular has been growing. The party selected its own Panchen Lama, the religion’s second highest official, after spiriting away the Tibetan religion’s own reincarnated child, and vainly attempting to educate the Karmapa Lama in socialist doctrine until he made his dramatic escape from China and joined the Dalai Lama in India.
This is post-Cultural Revolution, face-saving code for “ally yourself to Beijing, and you will enjoy freedom and benefits.” It has paid off for most Buddhist institutions in China. The bid to co-opt the Buddhist faith is considered a part of dominating the Himalayan region, which Beijing considers essential if China is to continue reaping the benefits of its influence over the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a mutual security organization founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Although Russia is nominally an equal member, Moscow worries that it is losing out to its onetime protégé’s economic allure and soft power.
This is especially so with the establishment of Confucius Institutes in many Central Asian nations save Tajikistan, and training its young, bright and promising youth in Mandarin. In a throwback to the Han and Tang dominance of the Silk Road and the imperialist Qing, China’s hydroelectric and manufacturing clout in post-Soviet breakup countries are prompting Russia to reengage with the Central Asian and Eastern European power blocs.
China also enjoys with the Central Asian countries the benefit of buffering the impoverished zone of Xinjiang, which is likely to be politically volatile in future due to the Tibetan Buddhist and Uighur Muslim mix (China’s elite counterinsurgency forces, the Snow Leopards, are currently deployed in the region).
Buddhism also forms a second front of religious diplomacy between China and a different power bloc, and that is the Pacific-Atlantic superpower of the United States. Since the Chinese occupation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama has been a promoter of “universal” values – a word that translates in Beijingese as “Western” or “American.”
This has resulted in a worst-case scenario for Chinese Buddhists as well as Chinese people who practice Tibetan Buddhism: having to choose between condemning a perfectly legitimate Tibetan religious leader or falling into the media trap of Tibet as an enlightened Shangri-la with bouncing bodhisattva bunnies before the PLA occupation.
This choice grows more agonizing with each Tibetan that sets herself or himself alight. After appointing its own Panchen Lama, all reincarnations of Tibetan Buddhist leaders are now to be approved by the state, raising concerns that this means the future Dalai Lama must be chosen by Beijing. The story on the Tibetan side, of course, is much more complex and private, and the Dalai Lama is far more long-term thinking than Beijing wants him to be.
Seen in this light, China’s paranoia about Tibet is no ill-thought out choice but a reluctant one, made by the party despite knowing it makes them look immature and out of touch. It fits quite well into the bigger picture that we shall see this century.
This curious chess game has led to am ironic observation on my part at the Global Buddhist Congregation conference in Delhi that the Chinese sought to stop, there were plenty of Taiwanese Buddhists there as well as Malaysian, Singaporean, ones, etc., almost all of whom are Chinese Buddhists, but almost not a single Buddhist from the mainland. I was one of the few Buddhists from Hong Kong.
The institution of the temple and monastery – the sangha – is above the ever-fluctuating fortunes of secular politics. 2600 years of watching over sentient beings is what it will forever do. In the meantime, however, innocents are dying as sacrifices in the Great Games of superpowers. Buddhists struggle as much as anyone else to find solutions, having been swept up as diplomatic pawns that could checkmate the king, or at least trap the queen.
Courtesy The Buddhist Channel
The 2555 Kathina Dana Ceremony, presided by the Maha Thera Hiang Uaen, Wat Ratanaram, Bristol, Connecticut United States of America on Sunday the 4th Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2555, October 16, A.D.2011 Year of the Rabbit.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:59 pm
MEDITATION DOCUMENTARY 2016
BUDDHIST MEDITATION CENTER
Videos and Photos of Vipassana classes at our Peace Meditation Center - Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam in Leverett, Massachusetts, USA
A Dhamma Talk on Vipassana and mindfulness meditation by Vipassana Gossalaya Jotannano Hong Keo, Vipassana Buddhist Master during a 10-Day Meditation & Vipassana Retreats at the Buddhist Meditation Center, Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam on the 11th Waxing Moon – 7th Waning Moon of Jeṭṭha B.E.2560 equivalent to June 15 – 26, A.D.2016 in Leverett, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 2016.
ក្រុងសាវត្ថី Sāvatthī or Śrāvastī
Vipassana chanting by Meditation Master Ketodhammo Som Bunthoeun. Footages from 2016 Vipassana classes at the Buddhist Meditation Center – Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam in Leverett, Massachusetts, USA.
SAMDECH CHUON NATH
Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, the Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism. His Holiness was born on March 11, 1883; passed away on September 25, 1969
MAHA GHOSANANDA SERVICES
Extraordinary Funeral and Memorial Services for His Holiness Samdech Dr. Maha Ghosananda