Dhamma schools render a yeoman service

by M. A. R. Manukulasooriya, Lanka Daily News, March 9, 2009

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- The highest attainment in the academic field will fail if the child becomes spiritually bankrupt, said Ven. Mahauswewa Dhammadassi Thera, Principal of the Sri Mahinda Dhamma school, Baladora.

He was addressing the gathering at the annual prize distribution of the Dhamma school.

Ven. Thera said that there were 11,000 Dhamma schools in the country. The Dhamma schools render a yeoman and dedicated service free. Their services should be hailed and adored by every parent and also by every Buddhist in the country.

Ven. Thera said there was a close link between the village and the temple in the past. The monks in the temple served the people from their birth to death in various spheres. There was a bridge of friendship and religious co-ordination between the temple and the Buddhist public in the past.

This friendship and co-ordination has been hampered today and a big gap has been created between the temple and the Buddhist public.

Ven. Dhammadassi Thera said that the difference between man and animal depends on their behaviour. Unlike man, the animal cannot choose between good and bad. Today our country needs intelligent, peace-loving individuals with humane qualities. The Dhamma school is the only place that produces such citizens. There is a steep decline in ethical values in society.

The Thera pointed out that the time had come for Buddhists to get together and protect Buddhism from anti-Buddhist elements.

He said that there was a great competition in the education field today. Therefore, parents are not so interested in sending their children to Dhamma schools. But they are very much interested in taking their children to tuition classes.