Sunday, September 3, 2006

Venerable Dr K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera, RIP

A true giant among contemporary Buddhists is being honored today with a funeral pyre in Malaysia.

An interesting bit from a eulogy:

Another characteristic which have defined Chief was how sectors of the Buddhist community have called upon him as their own. He was rector and spiritual adviser to countless societies and associations, from student associations to community centers and welfare home to funeral services. He was embraced all the same by Mahayana practitioners, Theravada Vipassana meditators and Tibetan Lamas. When it came to chanting at a blessing ceremony, he would be equally at home rendering the Mangala Sutta in Sinhalese, Thai or Burmese. Or listen respectfully to verses of the Heart Sutra chanted in Chinese and mindfully observing the Padmasambhava mantra together with his Tibetan brethrens.

"Remember," Chief once said to one of his student, "the Buddha did not teach Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana or Zen. He taught Dhamma-Vinaya, the teachings and the discipline. This is the essence, the root to what it all means to be Buddhist."