On Monday 22 February, a group of scholarly Sangha members came for a familiarization visit to Nalanda Centre. The monks are among the best throughout Sri Lanka in Pāli, Sanskrit and Sinhalese languages, having excelled in national Buddhist exams and obtained the first three places in those subjects.
Nalanda founder Bro. Tan and Nalandians warmly welcomed the guests and showed them around the Centre. The venerable monks were keen to learn more about Nalanda’s educational programmes and community projects. This led to a fruitful exchange of ideas between the Sangha members and Nalandians.
Among the visitors was Ven. Vajirabodhi Thera, who excelled in the monastic exam and was bestowed the “Royal Pandit”, an award not presented in 35 years! Ven. Vajirabodhi gave a delightful Dhamma talk entirely in Pāli language, which was later translated by Bro Tan.
Bro. Tan thanked the venerable monks for visiting Nalanda and inspiring our volunteers with their scholarship and discipline. He mentioned that the standard of Buddhist scholarship has dropped over the decades as fewer monks bother to take up long years of serious studies. Still, it is important that enough monks master the Pāli and Sanskrit languages as well as scriptures to preserve the meaning and understanding of Buddhism. In addition, Bro.Tan mentioned that mastering English and other modern languages is vital for monks to spread the teachings beyond Sri Lanka.
The venerable monks were accompanied to Malaysia by a representative of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education, Mr. G. R. Chandana Kumara Kadigamuwa. They were hosted at the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. We thank our guests for their kind visit, and wish them all the best in their endeavours. Sadhu.