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TRIBUTE TO A GREAT MISSIONARY MONK OF OUR DAY - VEN. SARADA, CHIEF PRELATE SINGAPORE

3 December 2013 06:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Five important Buddhist publications will be officially presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, by the Author Ven. Weragoda Sarada Nayaka Maha Thero, Chief Prelate Singapore.

This Venerable, erudite, Buddhist prelate, who has earned himself a world-renowned name, is an outstanding Buddhist missionary in recent history. The five works being launched are 'Treasury of Truth' - Illustrated Dhammapada (The new Sinhala version), 'Parent & children,' 'Key to happiness' (English and Sinhala versions), 'Buddhism for Beginners'(In English & Sinhala) and 'Morals of the young' (Good habits for children). Each of these is a great literary achievement by itself.

The Ven. Chief Prelate makes these presentations of noble spiritual publications to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, not only because he is the highest official in this country, but also because of the unparalleled service he has rendered to his mother country, by ridding the land of a three-decade long scourge, that devastated this island. He gave the people new life, enabling them to breathe freely, undaunted by terrorists to whom human life did not matter at all.

Ven. Weragoda Sarada Nayaka Maha Thero, reflecting the gratitude of the nation and of those who uphold values of peace and harmony, gifted these books in which the words of the supremely enlightened Buddha are sacredly enshrined, as a tribute to the President for saving this land. Ven. Weragoda Sarada Nayaka Maha Thero has dedicated his life to the noble mission of spreading the word of the Buddha, world-wide.

The story of this Ven. Prelate's service to mankind is a spiritual odyssey of absorbing interest. In the Buddhist system, we come upon exceptional personalities believed to have inherited their spiritual zeal from the merit they acquired in their previous birth and Ven. Weragoda Sarada Nayaka Maha Thero too, comes into that category of chosen individuals with a mission to fulfill in their lifetimes.

The Venerable Thero, was born in the South of Sri Lanka, in the village of Weragoda, in the vicinity of the ancient city of Galle. He grew up in the bosom of a Buddhist family, in which the virtues decreed by the Buddha, were always upheld. The little child - the youngest in the family - frequented the Buddhist Temple in his neighbourhood. His association with the monks of the monastery, made him take a deep interest in spiritual matters and Buddhist teachings. Occasionally, this young devotee, won gifts from the monks, who were highly pleased with his knowledge of the religious texts.

He was ceremonially ordained as a novice at the tender age of 12, in 1953, under the guidance of his Ven. Tutor - Rev. Pandit Yatalamatte Vajiragnana Nayaka Thero. He was conferred with his  higher ordination at the age of 22.

The Venerable Prelate then joined the University of Sri Jayawardenepura, where he acquired his first degree.

The path to his destiny commenced with the guidance he received from the erudite Buddhist Monk, Ven. Dr. Kirinde Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thero, Chief Prelate Singapore - Malaysia, under whose supervision, his apprenticeship in global Buddhist missionary services took place.

When he came to Singapore, Ven. Sarada Maha Thero, started his mission on his own. With the assistance of committed devotees, he established 'The Singapore Buddhist Meditation Centre,' which was destined to be the hub from which a series of Buddhist publications began to spread world-wide. At Singapore, Ven. Sarada Nayaka Maha Thero began on a modest scale.

His global recognition came from the Publication, 'Treasury of Truth,' - the English translation of Dhammapada.  

This phenomenal book-launch was reported in "Singapore Straits Times." The work itself is of colossal proportion. A book of nearly 900 - A4 sized pages, it was adorned with 426 special This became a religious tome the world yearned for and its colour illustrations were especially appealing to young readers, who are sustained by books with illustrations in colour. With this epoch-making work "Dhammapadaya" as the standard, the Ven. Monk and his dedicated team went on to bring out a large stream of publications - in a highly appealing typographical modernity. These books were popular world-wide and were eventually translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Sinhala.

Since the Chief Prelate, was capable of adapting his publications in terms of the techniques favoured by contemporary readers, he earned the sobriquet "High-Tech Monk".

To date, he has brought out over 375 printed titles, with millions of copies been distributed free, world-wide. Among these globally favoured books are: "The only path to Nibbana - Maha Sanpatthana Sutta", "The greatest man who ever lived", "Vision of the Buddha" (A classic by Ven. Narada Maha Thero), "Nature of life and death", "The great book of protective blessings". Each of these qualifies to be rated a classic, because of the quality of the content and the typography.

The Chief Prelate, has taken an  initiative that has startled the publishing world. At a time when there is a keen effort to safeguard copyright, Ven. W. Sarada Nayaka Maha Thero indicates that anyone is free to make use of the material in his books, since the supremely enlightened Buddha, is the eternal copyright holder of this timeless content. From the printed book, the "High Tech Monk" transited early to the electronic and the digital media, when they began to assert their power over the traditional print media. He has produced a series of e-books, for the benefit of the electronic and digital generation.

Today, the massive missionary services of Ven. Weragoda Sarada Nayaka Maha Thero are held in high esteem the world over.  In India, where the State had convened a conference of Buddhist leaders, Ven. Sarada, was accorded special recognition. The Venerable initiators of the prestigious Buddhist Summit in Japan, hold this priest in high esteem. With all that, this great son of Sri Lanka, prioritises his dedication to the services of his mother country. It is with that noble sentiment, that this exceptional missionary Prelate focuses special attention on bringing out a Sinhala version of the world-renowned Dhammapada.
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