2nd International Dialogue on Vinaya Theravada and Mulasarvastivada (Nalanda Tradition)

2nd International Dialogue on Vinaya;

Theravada and Mulasarvastivada (Nalanda Tradition)

Organised by: International Buddhist Confederation (IBC)

Venue: New Delhi

Time: 28 June - 01 July 2018

 

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) organized the second edition of Dialogue on Vinaya in New Delhi from 28 June to 01 July 2018.

 

It was a historic event that has witnessed two ancient Buddhist traditions the Theravada tradition from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Nalanda tradition of Tibet and the Himalayas.

 

A high powered delegation of monks and religious opinion makers from Myanmar lead by the Secretary General, State Sangha Committee of Myanmar and Most VenSandimarAbhivamsa and Most VenKotugodaDhammawasaMahanayekaThero, Supreme patriarch Sri AmarapuraMahanikaya, Sri Lanka engaged in a “Dialogue on Vinaya” with their counterparts of the Nalanda tradition that included VenKhensor Rinpoche Dawa, GadenJangtseMonestry, India.

 

It turned out to be a very meaningful and fruitful 2 days of dialogue and discussion between these two tradition and on the second day delegation from Myanmar proposed to have similar dialogue next year in Myanmar.

 

The participants in the dialogue were:

 

Nalanda Tradition

 

S.No Name Title Country / State
1 GesheSonamWangchukBeri Sera Jey Monastery Himachal Pradesh
2 Yangten Rinpoche Office of HH Dalai Lama Himachal Pradesh
3 DzongsarKhenpoChhoyingDorje DzongsarKhyentseChokyilodro Institute Himachal Pradesh
4 RinchinGompo Representative, Abbot, GadenShartse Monastery Himachal Pradesh
5 Ven. Tenzin Labsum Translator Himachal Pradesh
6 Ven. Khensur Rinpoche Dawa GadenJangtse Monastery Karnataka
7 TashiPhuntsok Assistant to Ven. Khensur Rinpoche Dawa Karnataka
8 TseringMotup Representative, Abbot, TashiLhunpo Monastery Karnataka
9 TseringChoedhar Managing Trustee, Namdroling Monastery Karnataka
10 Ven. LobsangRinchen Representative, Abbot of Gomang Monastery Karnataka
11 Ven. JamayangGedun Scholar, DrepungGomang Monastery Karnataka
12 Ven. JangchupPhuntsok Scholar, GadenShartse Monastery Karnataka
13 Geshe Tenzin Phuntsok Representative, Abbot, Sera JeyAbboty Karnataka
14 GesheLobsangLekshi Sera Jey Monastery Karnataka
15 Ven. Dr.Dhammapiya Secretary General, IBC Tripura
16 VenKhemacharaBhikkhu Chairman, Siddhartha Buddha Vihara Trust Tripura
17 KhenpoKonchokRangdol Drigung Kagyu Institute Uttarakhand

 

 

Theravada Tradition

1. Most Ven. SandimarAbhivamsa Secretary General, State Sangha Committee of Myanmar Myanmar
2. Most Ven. SumanaBivisa AgghaMahaGanthavacakapandita, AgghaMahaPandita,
AgghaMahaSaddhamajotikadhaja, State Maha Sangha NayakaCommitte
Myanmar
3. Most Ven. CeintitarLinkara AgghaMahaGanthavacakapandita, AgghaMahaPandita,
AgghaMahaSaddhamajotikadhaja, State Maha Sangha Nayaka Committee
Myanmar
4. Most Ven. Dr.AshinNandaka Pro Rector of DhammadutaChekinda University Myanmar
5. Ven. Dr.Candamukha Lecturer of International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University. Myanmar
6. Ven. Dr.Kevala Lecturer of Dhammaduta Buddha University Myanmar
7. Ven. Dr.JagaraBhivamsa PitakattayaParagu Myanmar
8. Ven. Thu Wi Ra Assistance of State Sangha Mahanayaka Committee Myanmar
9. Most Ven. AshinIndaka Dhamma Garden Centre Myanmar
10. Dr.Indobhasha Lecturer, Dhammaduta Buddha University Myanmar
11. Most Ven. KotugodaDhammawasaMahanayakeThero Supreme Patriarch, Sri AmarapuraMahaNikaya Sri Lanka
12. Ven. ShestraSarojThero Assistant to the Supreme Patriarch Sri Lanka
13. Ven. MadiheSugathasiri Thera Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo Sri Lanka
14. Ven. ThichNhatTu Vice Rector, Vietnam Buddhist University & Vice Director of National Department of International Buddhist Affairs Vietnam

Third day followed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with delegates who had participated in a Second Dialogue on Vinaya. They included representatives of the Sri Lankan, Burmese, Thai, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Indian and Tibetan Buddhist Traditions. Among reports read to the gathering was one from a senior Elder of the Thai Forest Monk’s tradition, who approved of the spirit of the meeting, but expressed regret that since proceedings were being held in a hotel it was inappropriate for him as a Forest Monk to attend. Nevertheless, he encouraged delegates by quoting the Buddha’s having told Ananda that after his passing away, the Vinaya would be the disciples’ guide. He added that as long as the Vinaya prevailed, the Buddha’s teachings would survive.

 

 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with elders from Myanmar and Sri Lanka who had attended the Second Dialogue on Vinaya during their meeting in New Delhi, India on July 1, 2018.

Further reports clarified that in their discussions delegates had recognised that although the various Vinaya traditions may vary in the numbers of specific precepts, they shared the seven fundamental divisions of the Vinaya. There are proposals for further such dialogues to be held.

His Holiness opened his remarks by declaring his own status:

“I am a Bhikshu, who received full ordination in 1954, and I belong to the Nalanda Tradition that was introduced to Tibet from India in the 8th century. The person primarily responsible for this was Shantarakshita, one of the foremost scholars of Nalanda University, a Bhikshu, philosopher and logician. He was invited by the Tibetan Emperor. The Nalanda Tradition places great emphasis on the use of reason over mere faith.

“One important question to ask is whether the teachings of the Buddha that are more than 2600 years old remain relevant today.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the gathering of delegates to the Second Dialogue on Vinaya during their meeting in New Delhi, India on July 1, 2018. Photo by Jeremy Russell

“The last century was torn by war and violence, mostly because of the prevalence of old ways of thinking, the inclination to try to solve problems by use of force. One of the continuing consequences is that while we are gathered peacefully together here, at the same time, elsewhere, people are being killed, are starving to death or are being discriminated against on the basis of race, colour or caste. Meanwhile, all major religious traditions counsel love, compassion and forgiveness. They each have the potential to foster peace of mind, which is why I respect them all and seek to encourage religious harmony.

“The spiritual traditions of ancient India in particular have long employed methods for achieving a calmly abiding mind (shamatha) and wisdom (vipashyana), which have produced deep and subtle understanding of the workings of the mind and emotions. Buddhism preserves much of this knowledge, which today also has great appeal to the scientific community. And, as has already been mentioned, the Vinaya is the foundation of all the

 

Buddha’s teachings. On the basis of that ignorance can be eliminated and negative emotions overcome. This is how we can achieve cessation of suffering.”

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with delegates to the Second Dialogue on Vinaya during their meeting in New Delhi, India on July 1, 2018. Photo by Jeremy Russell

His Holiness acknowledged the fundamental importance of the teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Thirty-seven Factors of Enlightenment, as preserved in the Pali Tradition. However, he also noted that the writings of great masters such as Nagarjuna and Aryadeva, who based their insights on the second Turning of the Wheel of Dharma at Rajgir, are also very useful for sharpening the mind.

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