1. Textual Education of Nuns: Ascending Theravada and anagārikas in Contemporary Nepal
This paper considers how the actions of anagārikā in Nepal exert influence on local people’s literacy and lifestyle rituals.
Literary education of women through reading and writing is closely related to which female ascetics or anagārikās (‘homeless-ness’) acquire the textual education by reading Buddhist texts in nunneries. Anagārikās of Theravada Buddhism in Nepal encourage women’s education by means of literacy yet through such literature, they also emphasize personal moral growth.
Theravada was introduced into Nepal in modern times. The monastic tradition of Buddhism in Nepal collapsed when the married clergy were gradually embraced by society during the 11-12th centuries. During a 20th century resurgence of modernized Buddhism, celibate and monastic forms of practice were reintroduced via India and Sri Lanka. Although this modernized form of Buddhism is known as Theravada in Nepal, such a classification may not completely ascribe to traditional view of the term. The years approaching 1990 bore witness to a turning point. Nepalese Theravada grew significantly alongside a democratic agenda promoting Buddhism’s symbolism of equality for ethnic cultures and languages, and through this, also freedom of religion. Since the first Theravada nunnery was built in Kathmandu in 1964, its monastics began teaching courses on pariyatti sikṣā (education about Tipiṭaka) not only for other nuns, but lay women in the Newar society.
2. An overview of Modern Buddhist Movements in India
Dr. Mrigendra Pratap (Savitribai Phule Pune Univrsity)
The background of modern Buddhist movements in India begins with the revival of Buddhism in the middle of the 19th century. The rediscovery of Buddhism in India started with an effort of archaeologists, linguists, academics, and Buddhist leaders. Thereafter, at least four different forms of modern Buddhism emerged in the mid-twentieth century in India.
This includes: (i) Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Navayāna “Modern Vehicle” (ii) Urgyen Sangharakshita’s Triyāna “Threefold Vehicle” i.e., Triratna Buddhist Order (iii) S. N. Goenka’s Vipassana Movement and (iv) His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s Universal Buddhism. This talk will give an overview of these four modern Buddhist movements and it will be covered in three parts:
(a) The background of modern Buddhist movements in India.
(b) The life and works of these four Buddhist leaders in Indian context.
(c) The impact of these movements on Indian society.
Prof. Sudan Shakya (種智院大学)