Message of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
With the long tradition of Buddhism dating back to the arrival of the Arahat Mahinda in the 3rd century BC, Sri Lanka was recognized as an unrivalled seat for Pãli and Theravada Buddhist learning that attracted many scholars and students from abroad. Institutions such as the Mahãvihãra in Anurãdhapura and many other centres of Buddhist learning, have in following centuries, produced scholars of eminence such as the Ven. Buddhagosha, Dhammapãla and other pioneers of this tradition who produced important treatises on Theravada Buddhism such as the Visuddhimagga that stands out to this day.
In India too, which saw the origin of Buddhism, there were great centres of Buddhist education such as Nãlanda and Vickramasilã that were known for their study and teaching of Mahãyãna Buddhism, and the renowned works on this tradition of Buddhism, such as the Mulamadhyamakãrikã and Bodhicaryãvatãra.
Due to changes that have taken place over centuries, the world today lacks such centres of Buddhist learning, for which there is an increasing demand among people seeking to overcome the challenges of materialism through the search for spiritual values.
In this context, I commend very much the vision of the Venerable Dr. Bodagama Chandima Thera, who sees the need for the revival of the great tradition of Buddhist learning in Sri Lanka. In a country that gives foremost place to Buddhism, I consider it my responsibility to support such efforts that will continue the valued tradition of Pãli and Buddhist learning in Sri Lanka, with a wider global impact in the future.
I am, therefore, pleased to send this message of blessings and good wishes to the Nagananda International Buddhist University that is being established to meet this important need in the advancement of Buddhist teaching, tradition and cultural values.
I take this opportunity to express our appreciation of the initiative of Ven. Master Chin Kung to assume the responsibility of Chief Advisor and main sponsor of this noble endeavour.
I wish that this historic enterprise in Buddhist learning will achieve great success with the Blessings of the Noble Triple Gem.