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Thứ Năm, tháng 7 21, 2005

No. 0426

Team finds Buddhist mural in Afghanistan that survived Taliban destruction


The Asahi Shimbun

Japanese researchers discovered a colorful, centuries-old Buddhist mural in a stone cave in Afghanistan that somehow escaped the destructive rampage of the Taliban regime in 2001, officials in Tokyo said.

The cave, about 3 meters wide, 3 meters deep and 2 meters high, is located at the west end of Bamiyan Valley, according to officials at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.

Parts of the mural are still covered with dust, but the painting is believed to cover all sides of the cave as well as the ceiling, the officials said.

The west wall depicts Buddha and other sitting Buddhist deities drawn with bold strokes.

The style of the mural indicates it was drawn in the seventh or eighth centuries, according to the officials.

"The discovery is extremely significant in attempts to replace the lost Buddhism properties (of the area)," said Kosaku Maeda, professor emeritus of Asian cultural history at Wako University who joined the mission.

The mural features circular patterns typical in Buddhist art and common in Central Asian silk fabrics. This indicates that such motifs might have spread to Asian countries through the Bamiyan Valley, the officials said.

Part of the mural contains lines consisting of gold leaf, they added.

The team's mission, organized by the institute, is to preserve artifacts and other treasures in the Bamiyan Valley. The area was the site of two 1,500-year-old towering Buddha statues that were demolished by rockets and explosives in March 2001 under the Taliban's orders to destroy all statues offensive to Islam.

Vandals and looters have also ravaged the area.

The researchers have discovered other murals amid the debris, including one on the ceiling of a collapsed cave near the foot of the mountainside where the Buddhist statues were carved, the officials said.

"Many stone caves could still be buried under the accumulated earth and sand," said Kazuya Yamauchi, head of the Regional Environment Section at the institute's Tokyo office.

The Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley were inscribed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger in 2003.(IHT/Asahi: July 21,2005)

No. 0425

Buddhists brave terror to mark holy day

Published on July 22, 2005

In an apparent show of defiance against the insurgency in the deep South, Buddhist residents of Narathiwat yesterday evening participated in wian thian ceremonies at temples across the Muslim-majority province.

Narathiwat Governor Pracha Tayrat said most Buddhist temples in the southern border province organised triple, clockwise circumambulations at 7pm to mark Asanha Puja Day yesterday.

Earlier this year, locals in the deep South held two similar vigil walks - to commemorate Visakha Puja and Makha Puja days - in daylight for security reasons in the violence-plagued provinces, where random attacks routinely take the lives of civilians.

Wat Khao Kong in Muang district saw the largest crowd of around 2,000 Buddhist Thais participating in the vigil walk there. A large number of people made merit by giving alms to monks throughout the province yesterday morning - the last occasion monks are allowed to receive alms until the end of the three-month Buddhist Lent, which begins today.

A total of 50 monks have relocated from monasteries elsewhere in the country to stay in 14 temples in 11 districts for the period of Lent at the initiative of Her Majesty the Queen to boost the morale of local Buddhists.

Phra Sunthorn Thammathada, a senior monk from Nong Khai, said he did not detect any palpable signs of danger, and that he was confident tight security measures by police and military personnel would protect monks like him during their stay in the troubled region.

Jaktham Thammasak, director of the Office of National Buddhism, said a large number of monks nationwide had applied for transfers to temples in the deep South, but that senior local monks had asked them not to come en masse.

A small number of monks staying in the three southernmost provinces had in turn asked for transfers elsewhere for fear of attacks against them by Muslim militants, he said.

Several monks have been killed since violence erupted in the deep South a year and a half ago.

Jaktham said enough monks had been willing to remain so that the average number of around 600 resident monks had not changed significantly. He said the morale of monks had remained reasonably stable too.

“Though I cannot tell you now whether morale here will improve any time soon,” he added.

No. 0427 (Hạt Cát dịch)

Chỉ tâm thức an lạc mới có thể tái lập hòa bình

The Rising Nepal, July 21, 2005

Kathmandu, Nepal, ngày 21 tháng 07, 2005- Phụ tá Bộ Trưởng Bộ Văn Hóa, Du lịch và Hàng Không Yangkila Sherpa, đã khai mạc phiên “Triển Lãm Kinh Thư Phật Giáo” tổ chức để kỷ niệm ngày Chuyển Pháp Luân của Ðức Phật ngày hôm nay.

Sách vở về Phật Giáo được phát hành bởi nhiều tổ chức và tu viện khác nhau đã được trưng bày tại phiên hội chợ sách do Ủy Ban Phát Triển Lâm Tỳ Ni và Học Viện Hoàng Gia Nepal hợp tác thực hiện.

Trong buổi khai mạc, Phụ Tá Bộ Trưởng Sherpa nói rằng quốc gia Nepal đang trong thời điểm thiết tha mong mỏi hòa bình. Bà Sherpa đã diễn đạt hy vọng của bà rằng phiên hội chợ sách này có thể giúp người ta nỗ lực tái lập hòa bình.

Bà Sherpa nói “Chỉ tâm thức an lạc mới có thể tái lập hòa bình trong xã hội”. Bà nhấn mạnh rằng đó là lời dạy của Ðức Phật trong Phật giáo.

Cũng trong buổi lễ khai mạc, Phó Chủ Tịch Ủy Ban Lâm Tỳ Ni nói rằng tính chất Phật pháp là sự mô tả những hành vi tốt đẹp của con người trong xã hội, những người đã từng bất thiện nhưng sau đó chuyển hóa để trở thành những con người hoàn hảo hơn.

Trong chương trình, Giáo Sư Suwarna Shakya, người hợp tác thực hiện phiên triên lãm minh định rằng Pali và Sankrist là ngôn ngữ mà hai hệ phái Bắc Tông và Nam Tông sử dụng, hai hệ phái chính của Phật Giáo, và do đó, kinh điển trong tôn giáo được tìm thấy chỉ trong hai ngôn ngữ này.

“Tại Nepal, sách vở về Phật Giáo đã chỉ được viết bằng tiếng Newari, nhưng hiện nay đã được phát hành bằng tiếng Nepal và tiếng Anh. Giáo Sư Shakya nói thêm như trên. Cũng trong buổi lễ, Thư ký Học Viện Hoàng Gia Nepal Keshari giải thích rằng Ðức Phật giáo hóa con người diệt trừ tội lỗi, cải thiện tâm linh và sự cống hiến cho tha nhân, tôn chỉ của Phật Giáo là hỗ trợ phổ biến hòa bình trên địa cầu.

Thư Ký Ủy Ban Phát Triển Lâm Tỳ Ni, ông Govinda Chitrakar nói rằng phiên hội chợ triển lãm sách vở Phật Giáo như thế này được thực hiện lần đầu tiên với hy vọng giúp đỡ cho độc giả và trí giả thu thập thêm kiến thức về Phật Giáo. Trưng bày trong phiên triển lãm gồm có kinh điển, sách vở, tập cẩm nang về Phật Giáo xuất bản bằng tiếng Nepal, Newari, Anh Văn và một số ngôn ngữ khác. Phiên triển lãm kéo dài trong bốn ngày từ 21 tháng 07 đến 25 tháng 07, năm 2005.

Peaceful mind can help restore peace

The Rising Nepal, July 21, 2005

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- Assistant Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yangkila Sherpa, inaugurated ‘Bauddha Book Exhibition’ organised to celebrate Dharma Chakra Prabardhan Diwas, the first day of preaching by Lord Buddha, and Guru Purnima, here today.

Books on Buddhism published by various organisations and monasteries are exhibited at the book fair jointly organised by Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) and Royal Nepal Academy (RNA) in Bhanu Hall at the academy complex.

At the programme Assistant Minister Sherpa said that the country is in dire need of peace and expressed her hope that the book exhibition would help people strive to restore peace.

“Peaceful mind can only restore peace in society”, she said, stressing that the teaching of Lord Buddha is the Buddhism. At the programme Vice-chairman of LDT Omkar Prasad Gauchan said that the tales of Buddhism are the description of splendid deeds of people of societies who were once immoral and Who later transformed into the kind hearted monks.

At the programme Coordinator of Bauddha Book Exibition Professor Suwarna Shakya illustrated that Pali and Sanskrit were the languages used by Mahayana and Theravada, the two major sects of Buddhism, and thus inscriptions in this religion were found only in these two languages.

In Nepal once books on Buddhism were written in Newari language only but now They are published in Nepali and English languages also, Professor Shakya elaborated.

At the program Member Secretary of RNA Geeta Keshari explained that Buddha preached on humanity, the human soul, sin and service and the objective of Buddhism is to help peace prevailing on earth.

Member Secretary of LDT Govinda Chitrakar said that the book exhibition is the first of its kind in Nepal with a hope to help readers and intellects to get knowledge about Buddhism. There are inscriptions, books and booklets on Buddhism published in Nepali, Newari, English and other languages kept at the exhibition and it would remain open till Monday.