By Philp Denwood, Alexander Piatigorsky
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Additional resources for Buddhist Studies: Ancient and Modern
P. , which swept the board at the general election in 1 956. 28 MONASTERY TO MEDITATI O N CENTRE The religious prestige of Burma in Ceylon has roots deep in history; the reform nikayas founded in the njneteenth century draw their ordination traditions from there; and a Burmese nikaya, the S hwe Jin, has . a very small number of temples in Colombo . One of these attracted a Buddhist lawyer called H. Sri Nissanka1 7 (born Herbert Mendis), who in Burmese style became a monk temporarily at the temple.
C. Television expounding theravada Buddhism (in their ambitious series of programmes ,on religion, 'The Long S earch'), is fully aware of the international dimension of Buddhist activities and is keen to provide instruction in and facilities for meditation t o westerners. In this he is like several other prominent Sinhalese monks and I mention his case precisely because it is typical. When I visited him in 1 976 he was in the process of setting up a meditation centre, intended for foreigners, in an outer suburb of Colombo.
He may have been forced to do so by the lack of meditation experts in the contemporary sangha, but the fact remains that his attitude towards the sangha was highly ambivalent: he once went so far as to refer in print to 'monks who . . exist only fill their spittoons'. Protestant anti-clericalism was one ingredient in his attit�de; another was Protestant fundamentalism. The original scriptures must be the most authentic form of the Buddha's message available: iftradition added to or deviated from them, tradition could only be corrupt.
Buddhist Studies: Ancient and Modern by Philp Denwood, Alexander Piatigorsky