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Thứ Sáu, tháng 1 21, 2005

No. 0006 Buddhist practice saved lives in Myanmar's tsunamis

Ở Miến Điện Nhờ Thực Hành Phật Pháp Mà Tránh Được Tai Nạn Nặng Nề Trong Trận Sóng Thần

(KYODO) - Nhờ thành tâm thực hành Phật pháp mà hằng trăm ngư phủ nước Miến Điện đã thoát chết trong vụ sóng thần tsunamis vừa qua - Nhật báo "Ánh Sáng Mới của Miến Điện đã tường thuật hôm thư tư tuần rồi.Ngư phủ Miến Điện đã không ra khơi đánh cá ngày 26 tháng 12 năm 2004 vì ngày này gọi là ngày "Na-daw", ngày Phật tử Miến Điện thành tâm cầu nguyện. Hầu hết mọi người trong ngày này tránh gây tội lỗi như tránh sát sanh hại vật. "Đó là một trong những lý do mà nước Miến Điện bị tổn thất rất ít gây ra bởi trận động đất sóng thần tsunamis ngày 26 tháng 12 vừa qua," theo lời tuyên bố của ông Kyaw Myint, Bộ Trưởng Y Tế Miến Điện.Trận thiên tai khủng khiếp đã làm thiệt mạng khoảng 225 ngàn người trong vùng châu Á. Riêng nước Miến Điện chỉ có 59 người chết và 45 người bị thương. Nguồn tin từ những nhân viên cứu trợ quốc tế trong nước thì ước lượng có tới khoảng 80 người dân bị thiệt mạng.

Phật tử Trí Đạt chuyển dịch

Buddhist practice saved lives in Myanmar's tsunamis

Thursday January 20, 5:39 AM

(Kyodo) _ Hundreds of Myanmar fishermen escaped the deadly tsunamis by sticking to a Buddhist practice, the official daily New Light of Myanmar reported Wednesday. Myanmar fishermen did not go out for fishing in the sea on Dec. 26 because that day, which is called Na-daw, is considered an auspicious day for Buddhists in Myanmar, the paper quoted Health Minister Kyaw Myint as saying Tuesday. Most people on that day try to avoid committing sins such as killing other creatures. "It was one of the reasons why Myanmar had only very minimal damage caused by the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunamis," Kyaw Myint said. The disaster has claimed the lives of an estimated 225,000 people in Asia. Myanmar said only 59 people died and 45 were injured in the disaster. International aid agencies in the country said that up to 80 people lost their lives

No. 0005


The Shwedagon is the greatest pagoda of its kind in the world, comparable in size and grandeur to the Angkor Wat of Cambodia and the Boro Budur of Indonesia. "Shwe" means gold and Dagon is a former name of Yangon. Hence, Shwedagon means the golden pagoda at the city of Dagon, It is believed to have been built nearly 2600 years ago, that is, during the Buddha's life time. According to the legend of the pagoda, two trader brothers from Myanmar, by the names of Tapussa and Bhallika, led a caravan of bullock-carts to India and there they came across the Buddha who had recently attained His Enlightenment or Buddhahood.The two brothers offered honey balls and another kind of cake called Kywet kyit cake to the Buddha and received in return eight strands of the latter's hair. The two brothers and their followers joyfully returned to their native town Okkalapa which was an even older names of Yangon.The Ruler of Okkalapa who had received the wonderful news in advance welcomed the sacred hairs with great pomp and ceremony. Then the hairs were enshrined in a zedi or pagoda which was specially erected for the purpose, amidst . The sacred relics of three other Buddhas of this world are also said to be enshrined in the pagoda .So you can imagine how profoundly Buddhists all over the world revere this pagoda. According to traditional Buddhist cosmology, there are innumerable kalpas or worlds in the universe only some of which are blessed with the appearance of Buddhas.One to five Buddhas may appear in some worlds while none may appear at all in others. Such Buddhaless worlds are known as zero worlds. Those where five Buddhas arise are called Badda Worlds (kalpas) and our world is one of them. So far, four Buddhas have visited our world the last of whom was Siddhartha Gautama of Kapilavastu in India.One Buddha is yet to appear in our world and devout Buddhists are preparing themselves for His Advent. A Buddha means an enlightened one -- a human being who attains Buddha: hood by means of His discovery of the Four Noble Truths. Of course, His realization of ~e Four Noble Truths is at a much higher level than that of ordinary human beings. Buddhas appear in some worlds at certain times to guide erring creatures- to their liberation. D. According to one oft-quoted saying, as many Buddhas as the number of grains of sand in the Ganges River have appeared so far. The pagoda was only 66 feet high when it WAS first built. It attained its present height and shape only in the 14th and 15th centuries when it was overbuilt and enlarged by a succession of Mon Kings and a queen who were rulers of Lower Myanmar in some periods of our ancient history. Of course various Myanmar Kings also made major improvements upon it and around it, installing new "htees" or umbrellas and great bells, gilding it and building rest-houses and "tazaungs " or prayer halls .Today, the pagoda has a height of 326 feet and a circumference of 1420 feet at the base. At first the pagoda was only gilded from top to bottom. But the upper part of the pagoda-- from the "banana bud" at first and later, from the "baung yit" upwards -has been covered with plates of gold each measuring one square foot and weighing five-later six-ticals since 1900.As to the umbrella, it is covered with gold and encrusted with numerous gems so that its value will be very hard to calculate indeed. You are probably aware that the Myanmars are very generous and charitable by nature.Hence, they offer only the very best to the pagodas especially the great Shwedagon -- which are symbols of the Lord Buddha. The result is that the Shwedagon has become a repository of the best in Myanmar culture - architecture, sculpture, arts, crafts and all. In other words, it is a unique museum of Myanmar arts and crafts. That's why the Shwedagon complex has become our chief tourist attraction. From the covered stairways to the numerous structures and the pagoda itself, everything about the Shwedagon is permeated with beauty and art born of loving veneration. The Shwedagon is the holiest place of worship to Buddhists all over the world and practically the whole complex is a work of art. Most of the buildings around the pagoda are decorated with the best specimens of Myanmar painting and sculpture so that a few hours' study of the pagoda and its environs can give you a fairly good idea of Myanmar arts and crafts. Various parts of the pagoda are known by different names describing their shapes. The highest part of the pagoda is the "seinbu" or diamond bud which is a spherical globe of gold 10 inches in diameter and inlaid with 4,350 diamonds and 93 other precious stones. Just below the seinbu is the "hngetmanar" ( meaning where birds do not perch) or vane which is a flag-shaped metal frame.)Some people also call it "hngetmyatnar" meaning a perch for the holy bird.Next come the htee and the "hngetpyawbu",the banana bud. Below the banana bud come the "kyalan" (the up-turned lotus), the "thabeik" (the alms - receiving bowl), the "kya-hmauk" (the downturned lotus), the "baungyit" (the turbanwrapper), the "panswe" (the hanging flower) and the "khaung laung" (the. bell) in that order. The lower part of the pagoda comprises three pyitsayas or platforms namely the first, the second and the third pyitsayas.At the bottom lies the main platform measuring 900 feet from north tc south and 700 feet from east to west. The pagoda is known to have suffered from no less than eight earthquakes since 1564 A.D. and a big fire in 1931.i. One intriguing event in the recent history of the pagoda was the "visit" of a tigress that was found crouching at the lower edge of the bell shaped part in 1904. i. At last, it was shot dead by British soldiers.'. Another interesting development was the long fight waged by Myanmar Buddhists against Europeans wearing shoes at the pagoda. ,.The fight was. won by the Buddhists in the end and no one has been allowed to wear shoes,. socks and the like at the pagoda ever since. The Shwedagon Pagoda is of the utmost interest to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.To foreign visitors, the pagoda represents the best in Myanmar culture - her piety, arts and crafts and so on. The pagoda and its environs constitute a veritable museum of everything Myanmar. In other words, they present Myanmar Naing-ngan -- the land of Myanmar-in a nutshell. There are three symbolic footprints of the Buddha at the Shwedagon, one in a shrine near the northern prayer hall and two in a shrine in the Tuesday Corner. Two big bells of special interest can also be seen at the Shwedagon.One cast in 1778 and donated by King Singumin weighs about 24 tons. It was taken away as a trophy by the British during the First Anglo Myanmar War (1824-26), but sank in the Hlaing River. It was salvaged and replaced in the Rahu Corner of the pagoda in 1926, after a lot of Buddhists. The largest bell at the pagoda is the one donated by King Tharrawaddy in 1841. It weighs about 42 tons and can be seen in the Sunday Corner. This bell has a very pleasant sound which is said to have three tones at least; its name in Pali is Maha Tisadda Ghanta meaning the great three toned bell.
No. 0004 Pali Text Society

Hội Thánh Điển Pali

Hội Thánh Điển Pali được thành lập năm 1881 bởi T.W. Rhys Davids, nhằm mục đích “khuyến khích và đẩy mạnh việc nghiên cứu các văn bản Pali”.

Pali là ngôn ngữ bảo tồn kinh điển của hệ phái Nam Tông hay Theravada. Các văn bản Pali có vị trí vô song trong Phật giáo bởi vì đó là những kinh điển được ghi lại sớm nhất. Trước hết Hội sưu tầm, biên tập và xuất bản các văn bản bằng mẫu tự La-tinh của toàn bộ nền văn học Pali, bao gồm Tam Tạng, chú giải, và các bộ sử. Hội còn xuất bản các tác phẩm có liên quan như tự điển, sách dẫn các đề mục, sách học Pali và một tờ tạp chí. T. W. RhysDavids là một trong ba công chức người Anh được phái qua làm việc ở Sri Lanka vào thế kỷ 19. Hai người kia là George Turnour và Robert Caesar Childers.
Lúc bấy giờ Phật giáo ở Sri Lanka đang phải chống chọi với sức ép của thế lực ngoại xâm và các hoạt động truyền giáo mạnh mẽ của Thiên chúa giáo. Theo đòi hỏi của công việc hành chính, các công chức người Anh phải rành rẽ ngôn ngữ, văn học và nền văn hoá của đất nước nơi mà họ được phái đến, vì vậy cả ba người đã học với nhiều vị sư uyên bác, và dần dà họ rất quan tâm đến Phật giáo.
Hội Thánh Điển Pali được xây dựng dựa theo khuôn mẫu của Hội văn Học Cổ Anh trong đó Rhys Davids dựa vào sự ủng hộ của các học giả châu Âu và các vị sư học giả người Sri Lanka. Công việc biên tập và xuất bản Tam Tạng Pali bằng mẫu tự La-tinh là một việc rất tốn kém, nhưng vẫn thành tựu được là nhờ chư tăng Sri Lanka tài trợ cho việc in ấn. Childers xuất bản cuốn từ điển Pali - Anh đầu tiên năm 1874. Bộ từ điển này được thay thế bởi một bộ từ điển mới đầy đủ hơn do ông T. W. Rhys Davids biên soạn trong suốt 40 năm và được hoàn thành bởi người học trò của ông là William Stede năm 1925. Gần đây một bộ từ điển khác đang được Margaret Cone biên soạn. Tập thứ nhất của 3 tập (từ vần A đến vần Kh) đã được xuất bản năm 2001. Năm 1922, khi T. W. Rhys Davids qua đời, Hội Thánh Điển Pali đã xuất bản được 64 tác phẩm gồm 94 tập, tổng cộng hơn 26.000 trang, cùng với rất nhiều bài báo của các học giả người Anh và người châu Âu. Những người đóng góp nhiều nhất cho Hội Thánh Điển Pali là Thomas William Rhys Davids (1843-1922), người sáng lập và là chủ tịch từ năm 1881 đến năm 1922, Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids (1857-1942), chủ tịch từ năm 1922 đến năm 1942, Isaline Blew Horner (1896-1981), Thư ký danh dự từ năm 1942 đến năm 1959; Chủ tịch và thủ quỹ danh dự từ năm 1959 đến năm 1981.

(Liễu Pháp trích dịch từ tự điển báck khoa Wikipedia)

Pali Text Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pali Text Society was founded in 1881 by T.W. Rhys Davids "to foster and promote the study of Pali texts". Pali is the language in which the texts of the Theravada school of Buddhism is preserved. The Pali texts are unique in Buddhism because they are the oldest collection of Buddhist scriptures preserved in the language in which they were written down. The society first compiled, edited, and published roman script versions of the entire corpus on Pali literature, including the Pali Canon, as well as commentarial, exergetical texts, and histories. It also publishes ancillary works including dictionaries, concordance, books for students of Pali and a journal. [edit] History T. W. Rhys Davids was one of three British civil servants who were posted to Sri Lanka, in the 19th_century, the others being George Turnour, and Robert Caesar Childers (1838-1876). At this time Buddhism in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was struggling under the weight of foreign rule and intense missionary activity by Christians. It was an administrative requirement that all civil servants should be familiar with the language, literature, and culture of the land in which they were posted, so the three men studied with several scholar monks where, along with an introduction to Sinhala culture and language, they became interested in Buddhism. The Pali Text Society was founded on the model of the Early English Text Society with Rhys Davids counting on support from a lot of European scholars and Sri Lankan scholar monks. The work of bringing out the roman text editions of the Pali Canon was not financially rewarding, but was achieved with the backing of the Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka who underwrote the printing costs. Childers published the first Pali-English dictionary in 1874. This was superseded in 1925 by the new Dictionary which had largely been compiled by T. W. Rhys Davids over 40 years, but was finished by his student William Stede. Currently another dictionary is being compiled by Margaret Cone, with the first of three volumes (A - Kh) published in 2001. By 1922, when T. W. Rhys Davids died, the Pali Text Society had issued 64 separate texts in 94 volumes extending over 26,000 pages, as well a range of articles by English and European scholars. [edit] Significant members of the Pali Text society Thomas William Rhys Davids (1843-1922). Founder and President 1881-1922. Caroline Augusta Foley Rhys Davids (1857-1942). President 1922-1942. Isaline Blew Horner OBE (1896-1981). Honorary Secretary 1942-1959; President and Honorary Treasurer, 1959-1981. [edit]
No. 0003
Fate intervenes

Skip Whitney's holiday turned into a disaster relief effort.A missed flight turns into a fortunate opportunity to help Sri Lankan tsunami victims

Leland "Skip" Whitney, an American property developer, and his family had planned to celebrate Christmas in Sri Lanka. The schedule was to arrive at Galle, the city in the South, on the morning of December 26 _ as it turned out, right before the killer waves hit the country.But when he arrived at Don Muang Airport on Christmas to catch a flight to Colombo, he found that he had missed his flight. Whitney had remembered the departure time incorrectly _ he thought the plane departed at 11:45pm, but in fact, that was actually the arrival time in Sri Lanka."I was disappointed," he said. "I'd never missed a plane before. Earlier, I had looked at the tickets over and over again, and I had seen the same departure time."When the Whitneys finally arrived in Galle the following day, after the tsunamis had already struck the country, he found out that the place they were going to go had been devastated."I felt so lucky that we had missed the flight that I felt compelled to help," said Whitney, who is on the Board of Directors of Operation USA, an organisation founded in 1979 with the aim of sending relief flights and sea and land shipments throughout the world. The organisation works with nonprofit partners in each country or through international organisations. In Sri Lanka, Operation USA works with Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), a local relief group active in the devastated areas of Trincomalee and Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. In addition to providing medical aid, the group provides water, hygiene and food.For four days, Whitney and three physicians travelled to the South and the North of the country to help the victims of the tsunamis. His holiday heaven, Galle, was badly hit by the waves and about 5,000 people were killed.Coming to reflect on what happened, Whitney said he feels fortunate that he did not die in the catastrophe and that he was able to help thousands of people."I believe I was blessed," said the man who has a strong Buddhist faith. "I believe I am destined to help others."Every little snip countsOne positive side of the tsunami is that it has brought out the best in people from every walk of life. So many people have tried to do what they can to help out, whether in cash or in kind.One of these has been hair designer Udomchai Pansap, better known as Pode. When he realised the extent of the disaster, he promptly closed down his salon for a week, headed down south, and did what he is best at doing _ cutting hair.Based at Wat Yanyao, where hundreds of volunteers are working, mostly on DNA collection, he set up a makeshift salon and started snipping away. Within a matter of hours, he had a long queue of people waiting to benefit from his services: locals, children, foreign forensic experts and even tourist volunteers. Within a week, he must have cropped some 300 heads of hair. He came back worn out but glowing with the satisfaction that he had done his little bit.Stylish Supornthip ChoungrangseeWorth knowingThis evening, Thailand Tatler launches its annual society publication, known as The Essential Guide to The Social Season 2005. Socialites who don't find themselves among the 500 entries have been seen sobbing into their champagne, while others are making an even greater effort to get noticed. The ones who are listed, however, are usually the ones who don't even have to try.This year, however, there is a special section that lists the "100 people you must know in Asia ... the definitive list of the region's most powerful, wealthy, altruistic and social faces". The Thailand list features prominent names and faces: Tinakorn "Kookie" Asvaraks, Noppadol "Ou" Baholyodhin, Chutinant Bhirombhakdi, William Heinecke, ML Laksasubha Kridakon, Geoffrey Longfellow, Vachara Phanchet, Parnthongtae Shinawatra, Khunying Chodchoy Sophonpanich, Kamala Sukosol and Kurt Wachtveitl.Tinakorn AsvaraksTinakorn only found out about the honour last week when he arrived in Hong Kong for a quick shopping trip and received a huge bouquet of flowers. Despite his high profile in Thailand, he was over the moon to be acknowledged on a regional basis. This feature appears in all the regional Tatlers, as does another feature that lists "Asia's Most Stylish Women" which, incidentally, is the fold-out cover for the Thailand edition as well. Thailand's contribution to this list is our own Supornthip Choungrangsee. No one can argue with that choice.

No. 0002
Vispassana In Japan

Jun writes: "Someone mentioned Vipassana at a party. What is it? It sounds fun." Fun it is not. Joyous in the sense of personally revealing, and a great way to start 2005, maybe. Vipassana (which means, 'seeing things as they really are') is a form of self-purification by self-observation through Buddhist meditation. (The courses, however, are not religious.) The Japan Vipassana Center in Kyoto organizes regular 10-day courses, the next starting Jan. 5. These courses, which "provide universal remedies for universal problems," are not easy. Discipline is strict, with no contact of any kind between students -- physical or verbal -- for the duration of the stay. There is no charge. Donations are invited. Check http://www.bhanu.dharma.org/ in Japanese or English. Send your queries, questions, problems and posers to lifelines@japantimes.co.jp
Viện đại học Phật Giáo đầu tiên tại nước Nga.

Posted by Hello
Moscow, ngày 20 tháng 01(RIA Novosti)

Trong Trang web "All Russia" chúng ta được biết một nhà thông thái về tôn giáo ở nước nga đã tuyên bố rằng Đạo Phật được nhiều người biết tới tại nước Nga.
Đầu năm 2005, mọi người trong nước Nga sẽ có cơ hội được học giáo lý Phật Pháp tại trường đại học Phật Giáo đầu tiên, đó là viện đại học Damba-Dorzho Zayayev.
Vào ngày cuối năm Viện Phật học Dashi Choinkhorlin trong tu viện Ivolgin đã được trường đại học tại tỉnh Buryatia công nhận và cho giấy phép hoạt động.
Sự kết hợp giữa đời sống Âu Châu và giáo lý Phật Pháp là một yếu tố đặc biệt cho những Phật tử người Nga. Trong tu viện Phật giáo quốc ngoại, Giảng Sư thông thường rất ngạc nhiên về sự giỏi dang của người Nga về các môn như toán, thiên văn học, vật lý và hóa học.
Theo những luật lệ giáo dục bậc đại học, trường đại học Phật giáo phải hội đủ ba giai đoạn theo tiêu chuẩn định đặt trong nước Nga: đó là bằng cử nhân, bằng cao học và bằng tiến sĩ.
Một người có thể nhận bằng chuyên môn về ngành thần học Cơ Đốc tại nước Nga trong 5 học đại viện, 26 tu viện, 31 trường trung học, và 4 trường học có tri`nh độ hướng dẫn chuyên môn. Đạo Muslims có thể nhận bằng chuyên môn tại trường trung học tại madrasahs ở Tatarstan và Bashkiria. Bằng hướng dẫn cầu nguyện được cho bởi madrasah cao cấp, hoặc đại học Islamic, là một trường đại học tốt nhất tại nước Nga.
Minh Hạnh dịch

MOSCOW, January 20 (RIA Novosti)

Buddhism is gaining popularity in Russia say experts who studied the possibilities of Russians receiving the diploma of a clergyman, the site, "All Russia", reported. Beginning in 2005, everybody in Russia will have a chance to be educated in the first Buddhist University, which was named in honor of the first khambo-lama in Russia, Damba-Dorzho Zayayev. On the eve of the New Year the Buddhist Institute Dashi Choinkhorlin in the Ivolgin monastery in Buryatia received the license for the university. However, only young men, having a secondary education, will be able to attend this university. This combination of a secular European and religious Buddhist education is a distinguishing feature of the Russian Buddhists. In foreign Buddhist monasteries, the teachers are usually pleasantly surprised on learning that the Russians are well educated in mathematics, astronomy, physics and chemistry. Under the regulations for the higher educational establishments, a higher Buddhist education will also conform to the three-stage system of the Russian standard: bachelor's and master's degrees and doctorates. One can receive a professional Orthodox education in Russia in 5 academies, 26 seminaries, 31 secondary schools and 4 schools which have the status to conduct professional courses. Muslims can get a secondary professional education at the madrasahs in Tatarstan and Bashkiria. Diplomas of imam-khatyb (a person leading a prayer) are given by a higher madrasah, or the Islamic University, which is considered to be the best in Russia.