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Most Reverend Chairman_ Reverend Members of Holy Sangha

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					Most Reverend Chairman,
Reverend Members of Holy Sangha,
Distinguished Delegates from around the Buddhist World,
Dedicated Organizers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


              Please, at the outset, allow me to convey my appropriate reverence, greetings and good
wishes in Dhamma to you all. On behalf of Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha and my own
behalf, I would like to convey my sincere thanks to the organizers of the World Buddhist Forum for
arranging the second summit and inviting me and the delegates from Bangladesh in this grand
occasion. I am grateful to you and feel much pleased that I had also the opportunity of being invited
and participated in the successful first World Buddhist Forum in 2006.


              Reverends and Friends in Dhamma this time I have decided to place the topic titled
“Buddhism and Charity” for the sub-forum of the grand occasion. I wish to forward my topic which is
as follows.


                                   BUDDHISM AND CHARITY


Prince Siddhartha, the son of King Suddhodana had never any lust or fascination to the worldly
enjoyment and merriment. Despite the utmost efforts, the king could not divert the mind of the prince
towards royal pomp and grandeurs. Even after being the father of a sweet baby, Prince Siddhartha was
determined to leave the royal palace and did not feel even for a single moment the probable pangs of
separation of the royal family bondage. After the six years‟ relentless meditation he achieved
enlightenment. He followed the middle path that led him towards enlightenment and he became the
Buddha. Buddhism is the glorious discovery of the Buddha. As Narada described “ The non-
aggressive., moral and philosophical system expounded by the Buddha, which demands no blind faith
from its adherents, expounds no dogmatic creeds, encourages no superstitious rites and ceremonies,
but advocates a golden mean that guides a disciple through pure living and pure thinking to the gain of
supreme vision and deliverance from all evil, is called the Dhamma and is popularly known as
Buddhism.¹

              Now let me elaborate the word “charity”. The word charity came from “Charite” the
French word which means preciousness or dearness or unlimited living kindness to all others. Most
forms of charity, are concerned with providing food, water, clothing and shelter and tendering the ill,
but other actions may be performed as charity; visiting the imprisoned or the homeland, dowries for
poor women, ransoming captives, educating orphans. Although giving to those nearly connected to
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oneself is something called charity – as in the saying “Charity begins at home” normally charity
denoted giving to those not related, with filial piety and like terms for supporting one‟s family and
friends.

            Charity is one of the Buddhist Perfection. Dana is the Pali term for giving generosity and
charity and it is an integral part of the Buddhist ethos. It includes providing material assistance to
those in need, spiritual knowledge to those in despair, love to those who are abandoned and protection
to those who are threatened. Having given away something with the intension of making life easier for
another being, one immediately feels the happiness that fills one‟s heart and mind. Basically the
ultimate aim of charity practice is transformation of individual from a self-centered, greed driven
existence to one that other centered and greed free.

            Every pious Buddhist more or less carries out the meritorious deeds of dispensing charity.
In the daily life the Buddhists perform charitable deeds. Every day they offer different kinds of food,
water, juice, flowers and fragnance and illuminate candles etc. to dedicate to the Buddha, Dhamma
and Sangha. They donate alms food to the members of the Sangha. Sometimes they invite to the
Monks to the residence and donate four material requirements to monks. The charity is the first item of
ten meritorious deeds. We are well aware of the three kinds of charity. Such as Amisha Dana the is
material offering, Abhay Dana that is giving sanctuary and protection to all beings and Dhamma Dana
which means giving doctrinal lectures. In performing the charity we can be able to accomplish three
steps of Volition such as Pubbachetana which means volition that arises before giving, Munchacetana
which means volition that arises while giving and Apara chetana which means volition that arises
after giving. The Buddha praised charity in many ways, such as stairway to celestial realm, support for
the attainment of magga, Phala and Nirvana, capable to producing luxuries ans waslth, happiness, self
protection, etc.

            Dana would mean liberality, generosity-the act of giving. It is very important that
Buddhism begins with Dana as the first virtuous act which one should engage in, in order to put
himself on the correct path, because giving is an act of sacrifice. To be able to give some things to
prepare your mind fully to give up something that you have, something you treasure, something to
which you are attached. Thereby you counter one of the biggest causes of all the problems which,
again in Pali called as lobha or desire or greed. It is very interesting to see how the way of life is
presented to us in a manner that in following it step by step we get rid of some of the human
weaknesses and characteristics that cause tension, and the boredom that           is bothering most of us
today. Liberality is to counteract desires, the greedness, the clinging nature.

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           As The Buddha described „Dana‟ as whatever given without any sorts of interest. The
Buddha had given much emphasis on Dana which provides pleasant happiness in both present and
future life. Among the ten paramies for attainment of the Buddha, the Dana Parami is the most
significant one. During the time of the Buddha we can see the most wealthy women like Jyotik, Jotil,
Ugga, Mendok and Punnakadi who were famous for the charity. They became the owner of the vast
wealth by dint of the influence of the charity during their previous lives. The charity of Great Bisakha
is well known to us all.

           The history of the Buddha begins with the resolve of the ascetic Sumedha who long ago
resolved to become a Buddha in some future birth, that he might spread abroad saving truths for the
sustains of suffering humanity. Countless years ago, he retired one day to the upper chamber of his
house, seated himself and thought : “Behold, I am subject to birth, decay, disease and death; it is right,
then, that I should strive to win the great deathless Nirvana which is tranquil and free from birth and
decay, sickness, woe and weal. Surely there must a way that leads to Nirvana and releases man from
existence.” Accordingly he gave away all his wealth and adopted the life of a hermit in a forest.
During the time the Dipankar Buddha appeared in the world and attained enlightenment. Once while
the Dipankar Buddha was passing the way, the Sumedha laid himself down on the mud so that the
Buddha might walk upon his body without soiling his feet. The Dipankar Buddha in that day predicted
that Sumedha would become Buddha the name of Goutam.

           Giving is the most important requirement for practicing Buddhist way. In summing all the
methods of Buddhists, we would find that all methods accord with six parameters. When we condense
the six parameters, we find that their essence is giving. Selflessly remembering the welfare of others is
the giving wealth. Thus everybody is practicing the giving paramita daily in this way we emulating
“Buddha‟s teachings.”

           In Buddhism, the giving of wealth consists of external and internal wealth. External wealth
is composed of worldly possessions where as internal wealth concerns our body. For example organ
donation is an example of the internal giving of wealth as is helping others physically. If we volunteer
to help others without expectations of benefit, we are again practicing the giving of internal wealth.
We can practice this giving of internal wealth all the time. Only the sense of charity leads men to
practice in such perfect giving. Perfect giving is to let go, to be willing to give all that we possess and
to help all others. Giving and gaining are one. If we have not practice giving, we will not gain. If we



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are able to let go of our affliction, birth and death, then we will uncover the purity, wisdom and
abilities within our self-nature.




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            The charity done by the virtuous is called Sappurisa Dana which are of five kinds. Such as
Saddhadana which is based on the belief in kamma and its results. Sakkaccadana is giving to the
donee with high regards. The third one is Kaladana which dispensed at an appropriate time. The fourth
one is Aniggahitadana which means the charity that dispensed with the mind not attached to the
offering. The fifth one is Anupahaccadana which means the charity that does not harm the donor
himself nor anyone else. All the five Sappurisa dana have unlimited good merits to the donors.

            Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha is the pioneer organization for the socio-
cultural cum religious welfare and upliftment of the Bangladeshi Buddhists. Since its establishment in
1949; this organization under the dynamic leadership of my preceptor Most Venerable Late
Mahasanghanayaka Visuddhananda Mahathero, a vertex Buddhist leader of international repute faced
the acute problems of the Buddhists of the country. He could no more keep silent and moved forward
for the cause of the total welfare of Buddhist community which was lagging behind economically. For
the Bangladeshi Buddhists he was as indispensable leader who had the greatest contribution in
introducing the Bangladeshi Buddhists around the world. His sense of charity was too unparallel. In
order to save the down-trodden society of ours, he established many epoch-making organizations such
as orphanage, schools, colleges etc.

            Bangladesh got its victory and became an independent country after a long struggle of ten
months in December 16, 1971. Just after the victory day, we saw the rootless children in the streets of
the new born capital city Dhaka. I along with my preceptor could not overlook the careless street
children and picked up as much unknown children as we could to accommodate in our limited space
of Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery at Dhaka. We started providing food clothes, medicine and
shelter and subsequently established the Dharmarajika Orphanage. From the mid-seventieth, the tribal
Buddhist people had to face political problems for which reason there were the onrush of children
from Chittagong Hill Tracts who are mostly parentless and from destitute families. This time also,
being imbued on the charity as the first perfection as shown by the Buddha; we gave shelter to
hundreds of tribal male children. Later on we established various organizations in response to the
crying needs. We actively became associated with such philanthropic activities and after the great
passing away of my preceptor in 1994, I had to take over all responsibilities upon my shoulder. At
present we are running one Secondary High School, one Kindergarten, one Pali College, one technical

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school, one mini hospital, one music school, one computer training centre within the Dharmarajika
complex. All these institutes are established aiming at the socio-cultural development of our
community. The paucity of fund has confined us for smoothly running all these establishments.


                                                     Page - 5


           Though Theravada Buddhism stresses on the inescapably personal nature of the ultimate
goal if we carefully examine the Suttas or discourses of the Buddha, we could see that the Buddha was
keenly aware of the problems human beings face in the social dimensions of their lives, and he
formulated his teachings to address these problems just as much as to show the way to final liberation.

           On the above-mentioned delineation, may I sum up with the fact that I, along with
hundreds of the members of my organization are dedicated for the sake of peace, compassion,
humanity and communal harmony in the line of the paths shown by the Buddha. Towards all such
efforts of ours, we always prioritize to extend our assistance for the total welfare of the down-trodden
community of ours. As the Buddha clearly teaches that we must look within to achieve the vital good
towards which we aspire. The Buddha points out that the real happiness, peace, freedom and security
have to be attained overcoming the mental fetters that bind us so tightly to sufferings. The fetters are
the mind‟s defilements; greed and hatred along with their many offshoots such as anger, malice
jealousy, hypocrisy, obstinacy, conceit, arrogance, vanity and heedlessness. Thus to win our goal we
must turn the beam of our searchlight upon the mind itself and invest out energy in the task of self-
purification.


                May all beings be happy,
                May they be joyous, and live in safety
                All living beings, whether weak or strong
                In huge or middle or low realm of existence
                Small or great, visible or invisible, near of far,
                Born or to be born, May all beings be happy.




                                                           Ven. Suddhananda Mahathero
                                                                      Vice-President
                                                       World Fellowship of Buddhists(WFB), Thailand
                                                                        President
                                                        Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha
                                                            (WFB Bangladesh Regional Centre)
                                                                       Chief Abbot
                                                             Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery
                                                              Atisa Dipankar Sarak, Sabujbag
5
              Dhaka-1214, Bangladesh.
    Tele-fax: +88-02-7275665, E-mail: drbb@bangla.net




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                     Short summary of the topic “Buddhism And Charity”


Most Reverend Chairman,
Reverend Members of Holy Sangha,
Distinguished Delegates from around the Buddhist World,
Dedicated Organizers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


           Please, at the outset, allow me to convey my appropriate reverence, greetings and good
wishes in Dhamma to you all. On behalf of Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha and my own
behalf, I would like to convey my sincere thanks to the organizers of the World Buddhist Forum for
arranging the second summit and inviting me and the delegates from Bangladesh in this grand
occasion. I am grateful to you and feel much pleased that I had also the opportunity of being invited
and participated in the successful first World Buddhist Forum in 2006.

           Please allow me to convey my sincere greetings in Dhamma to all the Buddhists of
People‟s Republic of China, Hong Kong Macao and Taiwan for their innovative approach for a super
broad-based platform which enabled us all to be present here. The new six harmonies as mentioned are
pertinent to the present day world.

Reverend Chairman,

           I am overwhelmed with joy and wonder to have the opportunity of witnessing world
renowned Buddhist scholars at a glance in this grand meeting. The great people and the Government
of the People‟s Republic of China deserve enormous appreciation of world Buddhists irrespective of
Theravada and Mahayana.

           Among the prescribed topics of the sub-forums I, being a monk as well as life long shelter
provider of hapless children of our country. I thought is wise to speak a few words of Buddhism and
charity.

           Charity is one of the Buddhist Perfection. Dana is the Pali term for giving generosity and
charity and it is an integral part of the Buddhist etos. It includes providing material assistance to those
in need, spiritual knowledge to those in despair, love to those who are abandoned and protection to
those who are threatened. Having given away something with the intension of making life easier for
another being, one immediately feels the happiness that fills one‟s heart and mind. Basically the
ultimate aim of charity practice is transformation of individual from a self-centered, greed driven
existence to one that other centered and greed free.

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           As The Buddha described „Dana‟ as whatever given without any sorts of interest. The
Buddha had given much emphasis on Dana which provides pleasant happiness in both present and
future life. Among the ten paramies for attainment of the Buddha, the Dana Parami is the most
significant one.

           The history of the Buddha begins with the resolve of the ascetic Sumedha who long ago
resolved to become a Buddha in some future birth, that he might spread abroad saving truths for the
sustains of suffering humanity.

           Giving is the most important requirement for practicing Buddhist way. In summing all the
methods of Buddhists, we would find that all methods accord with six parameters.

           Though Theravada Buddhism stresses on the inescapably personal nature of the ultimate
goal if we carefully examine the Suttas or discourses of the Buddha, we could see that the Buddha was
keenly aware of the problems human beings face in the social dimensions of their lives, and he
formulated his teachings to address these problems just as much as to show the way to final liberation.


           In conclusion, it is my firm conviction that the Second World Buddhist Forum will be a
successful one and the outcome of this Forum greatly contribute to the world peace and harmony.


            May all beings be happy,
            May they be joyous, and live in safety
            All living beings, whether weak or strong
             In huge or middle or low realm of existence
            Small or great, visible or invisible, near of far,
            Born or to be born, May all beings be happy.




                                                       Ven. Suddhananda Mahathero
                                                                  Vice-President
                                                   World Fellowship of Buddhists(WFB), Thailand
                                                                    President
                                                    Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha
                                                        (WFB Bangladesh Regional Centre)
                                                                   Chief Abbot
                                                         Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery
                                                          Atisa Dipankar Sarak, Sabujbag
                                                             Dhaka-1214, Bangladesh.
                                                  Tele-fax: +88-02-7275665, E-mail: drbb@bangla.net


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