Struggle today, strength tomorrow | Daily News

Struggle today, strength tomorrow

Maha Nayaka and Religious Leader of the Agonshu Temple sect in Japan Most Ven. Fukada Seia Thera said that the Buddha’s teachings pave the way to create a disciplined society.

Most Ven. Seia Thera expressed these sentiments while delivering the keynote address at the silver jubilee scholarship awards ceremony of the Sri Lanka Agonshu Friendship Foundation held at the BMICH recently.

The Thera, while addressing the scholars, said that Sri Lankans are blessed with noble Buddhism, inculcated high values to produce a valuable person to the society. Therefore, Sri Lankan Buddhists are duty-bound to follow the Buddha’s doctrine while propagating the core values of Buddhism to the world. Speaking on the scholarship programme, the Thera said that more poverty-stricken students of the country will be assisted for their studies in future by the Agonshu Temple, Japan, through the Sri Lanka AgonshuFriendship Foundation (SLAFF).

The Silver Jubilee Scholarship Award Ceremony of the SLAFF was held under the patronage of Mahopadyaya Maha Nayaka Thera of the Sri Rohana Chapter of Siyam Nikaya Most Venerable Udumalagala Sri Mahinda Nayaka Thera and a delegation from the Agonshu Temple headed by Most Ven Fukada Seia Thera.

“The Agonshu sect was founded in 1978 by Most Venerable Seiyu Kiriyama Thera, who was born on January 5, 1921. After becoming a Mahayana monk, Most Ven. Seiyu Kiriyama Thera engaged in extensive research on the Buddha’s teachings. He travelled to a number of countries to pass on the message of Buddha’s teachings.

He combined the traditions of Theravada, Mahayana and Tibet Buddhism and founded the Agonshu sect. Within a short span of time, the Agonshu sect became a traditional instrument propagating Buddhist teachings across the globe. Most Ven Seiyu Kiriyama Thera became an iconic figure among the Buddhists who took up the Agonshu tradition,” Most Ven. Seia Thera said.

“The SLAFF has a number of noble objectives. Foremost among them is to offer a helping hand to Sinhala Buddhist students with financial difficulties. Renovating Buddhist places in remote areas, equipping the youths with vocational education, providing medicines and dry rations to needy patients and improving the infrastructure of temples and Buddhist libraries are the other core activities of the Foundation,” the Thera added.The scholarship programme, which marked 25 years, has produced many valuable persons to the society such as doctors, engineers, university lecturers and other scholars. The scholarship, which includes three sets of uniforms, shoes, socks, and exercise books together with a Malalasekara English Sinhala Dictionary. The scholars receive the scholarship until the holder passes Advanced Level Examination. Medical College Undergraduates continue to receive a voucher. The programme is coordinated by the Sri Lanka Agonshu Friendship Foundation under the supervision of its Director General Somasiri Addarapthirana.

Addressing the gathering SLAFF Director General Somasiri Addarapthirana said that the foundation is reaping the harvest of the scholarship programme.

“The Sri Lanka Agonshu Friendship Foundation was established under the guidance of Most Ven. Seiyu Kiriyama Thera on January 12, 1994.

It can be considered as a landmark in the history of age-old Japan – Sri Lanka friendship. Under the first phase of the scholarship programme, 50 students with economic hardships selected from various parts of the country were awarded scholarships. When the programme marked the 25th year, more than 15,000 scholarships have been awarded,” Addarapthirana said.

“Up to this Silver Jubilee Scholarship Award Ceremony, 13,650 educational scholarships have been awarded.

Thirty-four Medical students have also been awarded scholarships. Besides, 1292 youths have been given vocational training enabling them to be self-employed. It is significant that Grade 5 Scholarship candidates, who fall short of a few marks, are awarded scholarships by the foundation.

Pictures by Saman Sri Wedage


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