By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka will be taking prompt measures to establish a Maha Vihara University abiding to the traditions of ancient education system of the island nation for buddhist novice monks true to the lord Budhha’s preachings of education to be a noble cause, he advocated teaching only what is necessary with strict discipline, top level official sources disclosed.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed his intention to seek assistance from Japan to establish a Maha Vihara University.
Accordingly, the Head of State stated that, during his upcoming visit to Japan, he intends to seek Japanese assistance to build a Maha Vihara University in which Theravada Buddhism could be studied.
Wickremesinghe made these comments while visiting the Chief Prelates of the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters this morning (20 May), the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.
While it is apparent in the literature that the lord Buddha considered education to be a noble cause, he advocated teaching only what is necessary—in the Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya, he advises his son Rahula to learn only such matters as will be beneficial for the betterment of himself and society.
In this regard, the Buddha considered discipline to be a prerequisite for education, which he viewed as a process in which parents, the clergy, and students should participate equally. As dictated in the Vinaya Pitaka of the Tipitaka, monks are bound by 220 precepts,
The Pirivena tradition dates back to the 1st century CE, when the Mahavihara and Abhayagirivihara were commissioned through royal patronage.
This Buddhist tradition and discipline of monks have deteriorated and the traditional form of education soon died out following the permission given to novice monks to enter local universities several decades ago.
At present most of these student monks have become the utmost unruly and indisciplined group engaging in street fights and protests not under the Buddhist doctrine for each and everything becoming a disgrace for the country and trouble makers for the nation.
This was clearly demonstrated in recent protest demonstrations and street fights of undergraduates backed by student monks where some of those monks were seen jumping from walls without robes inly with andana kada running down the streets.
The disciplined and decent behavior of novice monks further eroded following the setting up of the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka in Colombo 07 and later in Homagama in 1981 and is organized in two faculties.
The student monks of the University had allegedly engaged in rowdyism and various vices , and the hostels had become safe houses for various narcotics, authorities alleged.
The objective of establishing a Buddhist University is not merely offering degree programmes as it is done in any other national university.
This is an institution that has been established, to achieve the aims of disseminating Dhamma in Sri Lanka and throughout the world, to promote the study of Dhamma and Discipline (Vinaya) several vice camcellors claimed.
Let us hope and prey this new Maha Vihara University will not be another Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka.