Ven. Panyalinkara, Abbot of Chinese Buddhist Temple, Visits Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education

Ven. Panyalinkara, abbot of the Chinese Buddhist Temple in Nalanda, India, visited Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education together with five members of Taiwan’s Dharma Zen Center, at 9:30 a.m. on January 20, 2016. Ven. Changxue (常學) of the Sangha Education Department and Ven. Changji (常寂) of the International Relations Office welcomed the guests on behalf of DDM, who visited the Wish-Fulfilling Guanyin Hall, the Founding History Memorial Hall, and the Grand Buddha Hall, with detailed explanation by Venerables Changxue and Changji about the ideals of DDM as a practice center and its calming and peaceful environment featuring the spirit of Chan.

“The landscape of the DDM complex, including the plants and trees, was so designed as to make the environment into an education tool reflecting the idea of the Three Jewel, to enable practitioners to experience Buddhist compassion and wisdom,” said Ven. Changxue. The venerable also explained about the idea of Protecting Spiritual Environment, the core educational philosophy for the Dharma Drum Sangha University, the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, and the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts, all of which were founded with an aim to cultivate Buddhist academics and Dharma teachers capable of sharing Buddhist teachings at home and abroad.

The Chinese Buddhist Temple was established in 1942. When Master Dong Chu visited India in 1967, he and Ven. Wuqian paid a visit with Fujin Lama, the then abbot of the Temple, who presented Dong Chu three pieces of the Buddha’s relics, which are still kept at the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Culture in Beitou, Taipei. Later, DDM’s founder Master Sheng Yen, when on a pilgrimage trip in India, stopped in Nalanda and learned that it was Ven. Dr. U Panyalinkara that happened to find out the Temple had been left unattended after Fujin Lama’s death and decided to take care of the Temple on his own initiative ever since, for which Master Sheng Yen expressed his great appreciation and admiration.

Ven. Panyalinkara was all solemn during his visit of the DDM complex. He admired the wooden tablet that reads “Original Mind” for a long while; and, while appreciating a calligraphy work entitled “Inaugurating the Mountain,” praised Master Sheng Yen’s words that say: “The meaning of inaugurating the Mountain (Dharma Drum Mountain) lies in developing and exploring our treasure mountain within.” He agreed that when people are willing to cultivate their minds by reflecting on the spirit of Protecting the Spiritual Environment, they will discover a pure land right in front of their eyes. The guests all enjoyed the serenity and cleanness of the complex, and were deeply impressed by the friendliness and kindness of DDM’s monastics and volunteers.

Translated by Frances Liu (劉珮如) and edited by Chiacheng Chang (張家誠)

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