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Bhattacharya International Buddhist Foundation Announces the Bhattacharya International Buddhist Foundation Oriental Series of Books and Monographs.
Dr. Amartya Kumar Bhattacharya
Pan-Buddhism is an ideology that states that all Buddhists, irrespective of the countries they reside in, form a brotherhood united by the religion they follow, that is, Buddhism. Pan-Buddhism is inextricably linked to Buddhist Ecumenism. A Buddhist Ecumenical Declaration, adapted from the one prepared by Venerable Walpola Sri Rahula in 1981, is given below.
A Buddhist Ecumenical Declaration
1. Whatever our sects, denominations or systems, as Buddhists we all accept the Buddha as our Master who gave us the Teaching.
2. We all take refuge in the Triple Jewel: the Buddha, our Teacher; the Dhamma, his teaching; and the Sangha, the Community of holy ones. In other words, we take refuge in the Teacher, the Teaching and the Taught.
3. We do not believe that this world is created and ruled by a god at his will.
4. Following the example of the Buddha, our Teacher, who is embodiment of Great Compassion (mahakaruna) and Great Wisdom (mahapanna), we consider that the purpose of life is to develop compassion for all living beings without discrimination and to work for their good, happiness and peace and to develop wisdom leading to the realisation of Ultimate Truth.
5. We accept the Four Noble Truths taught by the Buddha, namely, Dukkha, the fact that our existence in this world is in predicament, is impermanent, imperfect, unsatisfactory, full of conflict; Samudaya, the fact that this state of affairs is due to our egoistic selfishness based on the false idea of self; Nirodha, the fact that there is definitely the possibility of deliverance, liberation, freedom from this predicament by the total eradication of the egoistic selfishness; and Magga, the fact that this liberation can be achieved through the Middle Path which is eight-fold, leading to the perfection of ethical conduct (sila), mental discipline (samadhi) and wisdom (panna).
6. We accept the universal law of cause and effect taught in the Patichchasamuppada (Conditioned Genesis or Dependent Origination) and accordingly we accept that everything is relative, interdependent and interrelated and nothing is absolute, permanent and everlasting in this universe.
7. We understand, according to the teaching of the Buddha, that all conditioned things (sankhara) are impermanent (anichcha) and imperfect and unsatisfactory (dukkha) and all conditioned and unconditioned things (dhamma) are without self (anatta).
8. We accept the Thirty-seven Qualities conducive to Enlightenment (bodhipakkhiyadhamma) as different aspects of the Path taught by the Buddha leading to Enlightenment, namely:
Four Forms of Presence of Mindfulness (satipatthana);
Four Right Efforts (sammappadhana);
Four Bases of Supernatural Powers (iddhipada);
Five Faculties (indriya: saddha, viriya, sati, samadhi, panna);
Five Powers (bala, same five qualities as above);
Seven Factors of Enlightenment (bojjhanga);
Eight-fold Noble Path (ariyamagga).
9. We admit that in different countries there are differences with regard to the ways of life of Buddhist monks, popular Buddhist beliefs and practices, rites and rituals, ceremonies, customs and habits. These external forms and expressions should not be confused with the essential teachings of the Buddha.
Nirvana simply means freedom from ignorance, freedom from anger and freedom from lustful desires. It is a consummation worth striving for. Renunciation from all sense pleasure and from all evil is, therefore, Nirvana.
The doctrine that Lord Buddha taught was an analytical ethico-psychology based on the principles of evolution and causality.
The essential principle that Lord Buddha emphasised is ceaseless activity - activity in destroying evil, activity in generating good thoughts, good words, good deeds - thereby achieving the peace and happiness of Nirvana.
To save the world from ignorance by means of wisdom and love was the object of Lord Buddha.
As long as the people of ancient India remained true to the teachings of Lord Buddha, there was happiness in the land.
A cooperative commonwealth working for the welfare of the many and for the happiness of the many is the kind of institution that civilised humanity needs.
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