Dhamananda (58) in Kandy, Sri Lanka: „Buddhism is peaceful. Buddhist people aren’t always. […] Modernization changed how we live and how we think, even for us monks.“

„I chose this life in a very young age: I became a monk in 1972 when i was 12 years old. Back then it was normal, but i’d never regret the decision, i live a happy life. I grew up here but i also made friends all over the world in my buddhist mission for peace and helping others. I’ve been to many places in Germany like Frankfurt, Wurzburg, Munich and many other places. Germany helped Sri Lanka during the big tsunami in 2004 and we monks were working to rebuild everything that has been destroyed. I also been to France, India and many times to the Czech republic.“

Monks preparing to repair the infrastructure of the temple of the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue

„My routine is to stand up every morning at 6:30 morning prayer, at 11:30 we have the next prayer and at 6:30 the evening prayer. In between we fulfill different tasks: I’m in charge of this temple so i’m teaching too, but we also have to work in construction, cleaning the temple, get down to the city and villages and help people.“


„Sri Lanka was under the colonial leadership of india, the netherlands, portugal and the british empire for over 450 years in total. But Sri Lanka always fought back. Monks abandoned the rope and joined the army and came back after the war(s). And those who didnt were hired for political advisors during the war(s). Buddhism is peaceful but not all of its followers are – even today there is an increasing number of buddhist people hurting religious minorities. In the end, it’s always about the people and human behaviour. The Last war was a civil war between the singalese people and rebellious tamil seperatists from 1983 until 2009 where countless people died [i looked it up: around 80.000 to 100.000 died] and where, again, buddhist people joined the army and fought.

A Monk during a Selfie at the most holy temple in Sri Lanka: Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic

„Modernization changed the world, but there is always two sides of the same coin: i think with modernization came so many good things like hospitals, medicine, a better connected world and it made many things so much easier. But with this the mindset changed. People changed. Even Monks changed – there is a huge disput between many capitalist monks and the one who are standing for the traditional easy life of a monk.“



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