(From 24th October to 1st November 2013)
A workshop on “Orientation & Training Programme for Monks and Samaneras” was held from 24th October to 1st November 2013 at Dhamma Dipa Monastic Institute, Manu Bankul, Sabroom, South Tripura, INDIA. The Workshop was inaugurated by unfurling of Buddhist Flag and Chanting of Mangala Gatha by Venerable monks which was followed by 24 hours non-stop chanting of Patthana Pali that began at 7.00 P.M. on the 24th October 2013. This orientation & training workshop for Buddhist Monks and Samaneras was held for the first time of this kind in the North East, may be in India where several resource persons both monks and lay persons from varying areas of expertise had given deliberations on various subjects concerning the Bhikkhu Sangha, Monasteries, Community Service, etc. in the light of the need of 21st Century.
The Orientation and Training Workshop was jointly organised by Bahujana Hitaya Education Trust, Sabroom, Tripura and Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, Nalanda, Bihar. It was aimed to re-orient the Buddhist Monks and Samaneras to get trained and be equipped for community service through Dhamma service. The present Buddhist Monks in India need to undergo rigorous training in all forms of arts and capacity building, that is, training in Buddhist education, Vinaya Rules, Sekhiya Dhamma, behavioural training, mind training etc.
The Buddhist Monks as teachers of the community or society will have to undertake programmes for community development and overall development of human society. Therefore, exchanges of experiences and resources between different Buddhist organisations and institutions or monasteries are very much needed. Interactions between Buddhist monasteries and institutions and between the Bhikkhu Sangha and lay people will help to unite and cooperate amongst Buddhist organisations and institutions for a common goal to serve community through the spread of the teachings of the Buddha.
The Bhikkhu orientation and training workshop was path breaking where over 145 monks and samaneras have participated. Venerable Dr. Khemadhammo of Mulawa, Maharashtra, Ashin Vannita and Ashin Kavidhajja of Myanmar, Venerable Khemachara of Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Venerable Dr. Dhammajyoti of Nalanda, Mr. Gautam Nikkam of Mumbai, Mr. Raj Basu of Siliguri and Mr. Ramakrishna Das of Kolkata were among those who have given valuable suggestions as resource persons at the orientation and training workshop.
Bahujana Hitaya Education Trust runs a Buddhist Monastic Institute and a CBSE affiliated Secondary School in Tripura where over 120 monks and Samaneras and 530 students are studying both in Dhamma and general education. The Trust, under the leadership of Venerable Dr. Dhammapiya, organises several workshops, training programmes, meditation camps for monks, samaneras, nuns, and lay people every year. All interested people may contact him at E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com (Venerable Khemachara – 09177370888/ 09849973017).
Published in Issue V, April 2014