World needs to return to Buddha’s principles: Tanzania’s chief Buddhist monk at Mahatma’s land
Posted on September 24th, 2017

Ashish Chauhan|Courtesy Times of India

AHMEDABAD: Bhante Pannasekara (53) was 23 when he sold his acres of crop land to become a Buddhist Monk. Pannasekara had worked as a Buddhist Monk in Sri Lanka for around 18 year before moving to Tanzania- another country, like Sri Lanka, hit by violence, poor healthcare facility and poverty. Since then he has been serving as the chief monk of Tanzania‘s oldest Buddhist temple.

Talking to TOI on his maiden visit to Gujarat, Pannasekara said, “When I saw the people being killed in civil war in Sri Lanka during 1989, I had a thought that properties worth millions was of no means as everyone has to die empty handed. I was into agriculture and cultivation of paddy crops and I was also running a rice mill. But the violence had hit me to the core and I decided to become a monk.”
Pannasekara had moved to Tanzania four years ago to work for the poor people and children begging on roads. “I had set up schools for the poor kids to make attempts to free them from the shackles of ignorance and poverty. We have around 400 students in our schools at present,” he said, adding that he had also set up inter-religious committee of peace comprising nine members of different beliefs in Tanzania so that the peace can be restored in the East-African country.
When asked about his visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s home-land, he said, “I wanted to visit the land of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi to feel the sublime peace and the positive vibes here. The modern world now needs to return to Buddha’s philosophy of peace and violence now.”
“I had also visited Ashoka’s edicts in Junagadh to see the philosophy of the emperor who was moved away by Buddhist philosophy after shedding blood in battle,” he added.

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