Author : Martin Wickramasinghe
Publisher : Sarasa Publisher
Fourth Batch 2015
ISBN : 978-955-695-012-0
In this collection of essays Martin Wickramasinghe applies an acute critical mind to probe certain of Buddhist philosophy, culture and literature. The author adopts an aphoristic and suggestive style which provokes the critical reader to explore aspects of the philosophical and cultural problems presented by him.
The craze for the study of abhidhamma, a barren monastic philosophy, has encouraged Buddhists to treat religion as a form of rationalism. Three Buddhist religious terms, punna, saddha, and dhamma have acquired innumerable semantic meanings. One common meaning implied by these three words can be rendered into English as the ” idea of the holy.” One of sources which inspire the idea of the holy in the minds of educated and uneducated Buddhists alike is congregational worship of Buddhist symbols at the temple. The Buddha image, the Stupa and the Bodhi tree on full – moon days, bathed in a continuum of soft silver light, enveloped by the fragrance offerings and the floating ethereal vapour of joss sticks, create the religious and aesthetic atmosphere that instill a collective religious feeling in the minds of men and women, inspiring them to spiritual living.
The author points out that the decay of this beautiful congregational worship, and the undue importance given to the study of dogmatic monastic philosophy, are incompatible with Buddhism, which is the path for the religious wayfarer.
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