World Fellowship of Buddhists (China) Conference 2014 Resolution to establish Standing Committee on ‘Buddhism on the Internet’
Posted on October 9th, 2014

Senaka Weeraratna Hony.Secretary German Dharmaduta Society

The 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists  will be held in Baoji, Shaanxi Province, China from 14 – 19th October, 2014. This is the first time that WFB will be having a General Conference in the People’s Republic of China.

The German Dharmaduta Society (based in Sri Lanka) being a Regional Centre of the WFB, has submitted three (3) Resolutions to the WFB to establish three Standing Committees on:

1) Animal Welfare

2) Conflict Resolution, and

3) Buddhism on the Internet

The following is the text of the Resolution relating to Buddhism on the Internet.

  THE 27th GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE WFB

 PROPOSED RESOLUTION FORM

 based on Rules of Procedure for General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists

(Article V – Resolutions)

 

  1. Name of the Host of the Resolution (Proposer)

Senaka Weeraratna

Hony.Secretary

German Dharmaduta Society

Email: [email protected]

 

  1. The Title of the Resolution

Proposal to establish a Standing Committee on ‘Buddhism on the Internet’

 

  1. The Conceptual Frame-Work of the Resolution

Buddhism has within it a social dimension that can address global problems, a way to “heal the wounds of the world”. This way is the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path, the practice of which while personal, requiring individual effort has consequences that are deeply social.

The challenge that Buddhism faces today is not with the Dharma itself, the Buddha’s teaching – as the timeless message embedded in the Four Noble Truths maintains its validity – but how to present this ancient teaching as a meaningful alternative to people who have been shaped by the values of the consumer society.

There is a new era of technological innovation sweeping the world, which has spawned a new medium – the Internet and the Broadband a very powerful communications network and learning environment. The Internet should not be seen as just a new way to disseminate or repackage the Buddha’s teachings but potentially as a base for an innovative online Dharma Community.

Buddhism with its ancient teaching and cultures must seize the opportunity and adapt itself so that it can make a meaningful contribution to the social and spiritual needs of the inhabitants of this planet via this new medium. The Internet gives us many opportunities to promote Buddhist values, understandings and Insights on a global scale.

Equally important is the question;  how can one know that what is disseminated  and freely available on the Internet is an authentic Buddhist Teaching or not?

The possibilities for misleading presentations on Buddhism affecting the perceptions of readers cannot be ruled out. In a day and age where there is a clear shift in focus and interest towards the study and learning of  Buddhism in particular by the West as well as the East it is imperative that the custodians of Buddhism realize the dangers of distortion of Buddhist teachings on the Internet and take steps to correct them.

It is therefore proposed that a Standing Committee be appointed and under the auspices of the WFB a team of reputed Buddhist Scholars comprising both clergy and lay people be mandated to go through all Buddhist sites particularly Wikipedia entries on Buddhism and create authentic and accurate Buddhist content and  links that would be appreciated by both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.

Note:  The above text is largely drawn from an article entitled ‘E-Learning Buddhism on the Internet’ by Venerable Pannyavaro and based on a presentation made in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2001.

See

http://www.buddhanet.net/gds-speech.htm

 

  1. How the Proposed Resolution will be implemented if it is adopted by the General Conference

It requires appropriate use of Buddhist Scholarship currently available in tertiary institutions and Buddhist temples and Buddhist institutions of higher learning and strategically directed towards editing Buddhism related content in Wikipedia, among others.

  1. Participation and allocation of the budgets by those concerned for realization of the Resolution.

This is largely volunteer work by Buddhist scholars who would need to be invited to engage in this valuable task by a prestigious body like the WFB

 

  1. Observation and/or recommendation (if any)

Much of learning today including Buddhist learning is Internet driven. Broadband  has brought world wide attention on the discourses of the Buddha resulting in a phenomenal increase of followers of Buddhism on line. The success of Buddhism in the future would therefore largely depend on how the resources of the Internet are handled astutely by the custodians of Buddhism.                                                                                                     …………………………….

Senaka Weeraratna

Hony. Secretary, German Dharmaduta Society

One Response to “World Fellowship of Buddhists (China) Conference 2014 Resolution to establish Standing Committee on ‘Buddhism on the Internet’”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    The following are two links related to Anagarika Dharmapala Uthuma.

    The first is to a video on the Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala in the UK.
    https://www.youtube.com/embed/Wo9WHmG_CVw

    The second is to a video of a rare voice recording of a speech delivered by him.
    https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/148fea753610596c?projector=1

    Enjoy!

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