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Book sheds light on Theravada Buddhism

Staff Reporter – 
info@indiannewslink.co.nz

A new Book that describes the trials and tribulations of Sri Lankans in practicing their religion in New Zealand is being launched in Auckland on June 18, 2016.

Called, “Establishment and Expansion of Theravada Buddhism in New Zealand,” the Book will be released at a ceremony scheduled to begin at 4 pm at the Auckland Centre for Buddhist Studies, 43, Fairfax Avenue, Penrose. Buddhists observe June 18 as ‘Poson Poya Day,’ the day of Full Moon (Poya) in Poson (June) on which Arahat Mahinda, the son of Ashoka the Great, introduced Buddhism to Sri Lanka during the 3rd Century BC.

Written by Sam Nambukara Gamage, the book provides valuable information about Theravada Buddhism in New Zealand.

The evolution

In the beginning, Sri Lankans invited Buddhist monks from their home country, provided accommodation at their residences and requested them to perform religious services. Later Sri Lankan Buddhists purchased houses and established Temples in various parts of New Zealand.

This was a very tedious process and very difficult task.

The author has chronicled the incidents and also mentions about the various disagreements that have arisen between Buddhist monks and devotees as well as between groups of devotees.

Elders’ doctrine

Theravada is the ‘Doctrine of Elders,’ subscribing to the school of Buddhism that draws its scriptural inspiration from the ‘Tipitaka,’ or ‘Pali Canon,’ containing the earliest surviving record of the Buddha’s teachings.

For many centuries, Theravada has been the predominant religion of Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Sri Lanka.

More than 100 million follow this School today and Theravada is beginning to spread its teachings in the Western world.

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