Glimpse into the Buddhist activities in Australia
The life in Australia for Sri Lankans is an outcome of Imperialism.
The fact that both were under British regime experiencing colonialism
later becoming members of the Commonwealth gave them this opportunity of
leaving for Australia for greener pastures. Though confined to the
development of their own interests one cannot deny the fact the country
under British rule was benefited in various ways.
Above all the system of education with pride of place given to
English was a blessing in disguise which paved the way for the above.
The glittering history of Buddhism in Australia for Aussie Buddhists
The Buddha the world teacher, all wise, all compassionate one
appeared in this world for the good of all for the happiness and
emancipation of all from evil and sorrow. His message was to all mankind
irrespective of race colour caste and creed. The Buddha said “go forth
Bhikkus into the world taking the message to them, what I have
This message, the supreme gift was brought to Sri Lanka in the year
247 BC by Ven. Arahat Mahinda. The message thus proclaimed - the Akalika
Dhamma has been brought here to Australia by the Sangha having come so
far across the ocean is, evident from the temples established in various
places particularly in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and other states.
There are several temples in Melbourne alone, namely, Dhamma Sarana
temple in Keysborough, Sakyamuni Buddhist Temple in Berwick, Buddhist
Temple, Dandenong, Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Centre in Cambellfield,
Dhamma Nikethanaya Temple in Yuroke and Western Victoria Buddhist Vihara
in St. Albans. There is also a Bhikkuni Nisala Arana at Dandenong.
These have gradually developed into viharas of great significance.
Besides the spiritual message conveyed, the present temple sites are a
glowing tribute to the dedicated devotion of the Sangha who have arrived
for a selfless service here, a place dominated by the indigene whites
among whom there are also converted whites. It is amazing to see them
protect the supreme doctrine ushering piety and sanctity.
The greatest philosophy embodied in Buddhism conveyed through the
messages of the few Bhikkus who guide the devotees in merit bestowing
activities are really admirable. At the same time the fact that the
Aussie Buddhists revere and respect giving all encouragement and
support, contributes in no small measure to the upkeep and the spread of
Buddhism in Aussieland.
There is clear evidence of all these places being supported by the
present day hardworking Aussie Buddhists. These are quiet peaceful
places adorned by temples built by Dayaka crowd of the Sinhala
The Poya days are of special significance to Aussie Buddhists.
Special days connected to the greatest events in Buddha Sasana such as
Vesak, Poson Esala etc play a vital role in making a tremendous impact
on the busy religious lives of Aussie Buddhists These temples create a
special religious awakening among their offspring regarding their moral
lives. Those not used to Sri Lankan culture, heritage, Buddhist
background and atmosphere, these sacred temples display interesting
facts about the origin and evolution of Buddhism.
The history of the doctrine is clearly unfolded to the children born
and bred here to understand the truth of Buddhism so that the doctrine
and the culture will be preserved to some extent.
These temples perform a magnificient service in this regard by
conducting Daham Pasalas regular meditation classes and Sil campaignes
on poya days. Still another remarkable feature is that it touches life
at all points and covers the entire process of moral conduct keeping the
“growing” away from evil, paving the way for right living-the greatest
aim and wish of the migrant Buddhists.
Poya days are celebrated with much grandeure and splendour combined
with overwhelming Shraddha. Wesak poya was a glittering occasion with
Pandols erected in some temples.
The Wesak Pandol at Euroke temple depicting Chulla Dharmapala
Jatakaya, an outcome of the dedicated devotion of the Sanganayaka and
the devotees of the area reminds you of the exquisite Pandols back in
Sri Lanka. Wesak Lanterns too were among the other decorations. The
traditions coming down from Buddha time brought over here by the Sangha
and the laity are continued to date.
The Bhikkus as well as the laymen get involved in religious
activities including Dana Seela Bhavana. They utilize a major part of
their free time, as well as wealth for punyakarma.
The Aussie devotees visit the temples for religious activities such
as Mal puja and Bodi puja in the evenings and listen to the sermons
delivered by the Bhikkus who take upon themselves in organizing
religious events perfectly fine with the participation of the Aussie
The Poya days of special significance are undoubtedly unique events
in our cultural heritage which should be properly observed and the
Aussie Buddhists should be truly proud of them for the splendid
opportunity provided to them by the temples, to be very close to the
religion of their birth place. As for me temple is indeed a welcome
centre for those who wish to renew the memory of their native place back
in Sri Lanka.
In most of the temples, the three great symbols of the Triple Gem-Chetiya,
Viharageya - the main temple with the statue and the Bo tree are well
placed. The serene Buddha statue in each temple reflecting strong
feelings of compassion and loving kindness is a source of inspiration
and a land mark gift to the present and future generation of Buddhists.
In some newly inaugurated ones the Bo saplings are in their infancy
and the Chetiya is still under construction.
In some the walls are adorned with exquisite paintings depicting the
events of the life of the Buddha, historical scenes resembling the
progress of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The other captivating art include the
bringing of Sri Maha Bodhi by Theri Sangamitta and the Tooth relic by
royalty Dantha and Hemamala.
An outstanding examples for inclusion of all these is the temple at
Yuroke. Another remarkable piece of sculpture seen here is the symbolic
image of God Natha. All the temples are conveniently located and the
scenic splendour flowering trees, wonderfully bloomed multicoloured
flower beds found in all the temples are really refreshing.
The opportunity to meet your kith and kin relatives and friends at
the temple is an experience unparalleled. The visits made to Sri Lankan
temples flows into ones mind. The love and compassion that Buddhism
emphasises has much to do with life today than any other period in
Aussieland where there is a multicultural society.
I am sure Aussie should be grateful to the Bhikkus coming forward
with their expertise in spiritual excellence to perform this noble task.
The temples have become popularly visited sites by local devotees as
well as foreigners who always appreciate this wonder effort. You are for
a moment in Sri Lanka though in an alien country.
Blessed is the birth of Buddhas
One of the cardinal principles of Buddhism is to shower the blessings
of Maitriya or Universal Compassion to all beings. The spirit of
tolerance and understanding has been from the beginning one of the most
cherished ideals of Buddhist Culture and Civilization. Violence in any
form under any pretext, whatsoever is absolutely against the Teachings
of the Buddha.
Out of all the religious leaders in the world, the Blessed One has
made an enormous impact on human civilization by discovering the Middle
Path Buddhism is not only a Religion, but also it is a way of life and a
noble Philosophy it is a doctrine meant for the Wise.
In Kalama Sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya, Buddha stated, not to
believe in anything because you have heard, do not believe in tradition,
just because they have been handed down for many generations, because it
You must carefully analyze and find out whether the substance agrees
with reason. Buddha said, you think clearly and accept it and live up to
it, if it is conducive to the good and benefit all beings.
This clearly proves a point, that there is no blind faith in
Buddhism. His eternal Message has thrilled the humanity, Humans are
their own master. There is no external higher being or power that sit in
judgment. Today, even advance Science and Technology have proved the
Truth expounded by the Buddha.
It is the Religion of Man and Humanity as a whole. The Wisdom and
Light that radiated under the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi at Buddha Gaya, in the
District of Bihar in Northern India more than 2500 years ago is of great
significance to human destiny. It illuminated the way through which
mankind could cross from the world of Superstition, Hatred and Fear to a
new world of Light of True Love and Happiness.
The Heart of the teaching of great being Mahapurusha, contained in
the Four Noble Truths. They are:
a) Dukkha - suffering
b) Samudaya - The arising or origin of Dukkha
c) Nirodaha - the Cessation of Dukkha
d) Magga - the way leading to the cessation of Dukkha
Nor realizing True Nature of One’s Self you cling to things which are
impermanent, changeable and perishable. The failure to satisfy the
desires through these things mentioned above causes disappointment and
Craving is a very powerful mental force present in all human beings.
It can be considered as the Root Cause of Suffering. The Third Noble
Truth points to the Cessesation of Suffering, where there is no craving
when there is no rebirth there is no decay old age, death hence no
suffering, once and for all.
It brings about moulding your character in an inner transformation in
an in-depth study of the Middle Path, considered as noble, is known as
Eight Fold Path.
It consists of Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech,
Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and
Right Concentration. These Path Factors can be categorized in to three
stages of Training, Involving Morality, Mental Culture and Wisdom.
Buddhism is undoubtedly a religion of Wisdom. In this world of storm
and strife, hatred and violence, the message of Buddha shines like a
radiant sun. The immortal message helped us immensely to fashion our
thoughts and actions according to the Buddhist way of life.
Today, the need of the hour is to follow the Message of Buddha Dhamma.
The Knowledge in Buddhism is the key to the higher Path which brings
Calmness and Peace to life. Buddhism can be considered as away of
It will derive the highest benefit from life in the teaching of the
Buddha. The Buddha did not Preach to win Converts, but the Blessed One
always enlighten the listener and wanted his followers to judge
carefully and if he or she is satisfied about what Buddha taught and if
she or he agree to follow His teaching.
There are many instances, where lay devotees had a direct dialogue
with the Buddha. The Blessed One was a great communicator. Once when the
Buddha was residing at Kapilavastu, in Banyan Tree Monstery, a Sakyan
named Mahanama, approached the Buddha and questioned Him, how a lay
follower becomes Virtuous?
Sri Nehru, former Prime Minister of India a firm believer of
Tolerance, Peace, Love stated “If we follow the principle enunciated by
the Buddha, we will win Peace and Tranquillity for the world. Buddhism
taught a life not by rule but by principle it was a religion of
Buddhism is the golden thread that it woven round Sri Lanka’s
When the Buddha was on verge of Parinirvana or Passing Away in the
death bed, the king of the Gods Sakra approached the Buddha and
requested HIM to protect this beautiful island of Sri Lanka.
According to the tradition the Sinhala Race began with the advent of
Vijaya, from Latarata, India.
The great King Dutugemunu brought this country under One Parasol a
United Sri Lanka. Later he constructed Mirisavetiya, Lovamahapaya and
Ruwanmeli Maha Seya, King Dutugemunu laid the foundation stone at the
auspicious “Veesa Nekatha” for Ruwanmeli Maha Seya construction.
Ananda Thera a Cousin of Buddha and the brother of Devadatta, was one
of the great disciples of the Buddha. Ananda Thera passed away at the
ripe age of 120 years.