The High Priest of the Buddhist Vihara in Washington, D.C., Venerable Maharagama Dhammasiri, gives his opinion on the human race arduous journey through the past two millennia addressing man’s inhumanity to man, gross failures and miscalculations in the face of astounding and illusionary scientific progress. He explains the role of Buddhism in smashing illusions and how principles of Buddhism can help ease man’s suffering.

Message from the President of the Buddhist Vihara

Since the world has now entered the third millennium, I think that it is quite an opportune time to  analyze and evaluate the performance of the human race during its arduous journey through the past two millennia. It is clearly evident that we have indeed made many giant strides in various fields to enhance the physical and material quality of the human race.

Yet, unfortunately, the last century has had to witness two major world wars and countless inter and intra-national conflicts that have destroyed millions of human lives. The weapons that were invented to defend nations were subsequently used by invading forces to subdue hapless nations. Colossal amounts of money were spent for the research and development of destructive armaments while millions perished from hunger. It is disgraceful, yet true that the last century is replete with examples of man’s inhumanity to man in spite of all the progress we have made.

The question that arises in one’s mind at this point is, “Have we really progressed?” In spite of the great advances made in scientific technology, and the development of many products and services, man has not made any significant progress in his inner development, as individuals, societies or nations. We still continue to be happily governed by the law of the jungle, the law of “survival of the fittest.”

More than twenty five centuries ago, the Buddha recognized that lust, hate, and egotism are the root causes of both evil and suffering in the world. He revealed to the world the problem of existence, in the form of the Four Stark Realities: suffering, its cause, its cessation, and way to its cessation. In this strife-torn modern world more and more people are turning towards Buddhism in an effort to comprehend the meaning of life, evil, suffering, and death. We Buddhists consider it of paramount importance to convey to the world, very clearly and lucidly, the saving message of the Buddha. The Buddha’s Dhamma points out the natural human way to freedom from all evil and suffering, here and now.

It was the most worshipful Maha Nayake Thera Ven. Madihe Pannasiha who pioneered the establishment of the Washington Buddhist Vihara, in the year 1965. His intention was to guide the forlorn modern generation, through the wisdom of the Buddha’s Dhamma, along the way to world peace and to the ultimate peace of Nirvana.

May the Triple Gem bless you all!

Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri

Washington Buddhist Vihara

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