Colombo, December 3 (newsin.asia): Commemorating the arrival of Most Venerable Sanghamitta Theri in Sri Lanka from India, the second volume of the Jataka Tales Audio Book in Sinhala was released at the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), the cultural arm of the High Commission of India on December 2.
The Audio Book contains 50 Jataka Tales, selected from Jatakattakatha under the theme of ‘Good Advice’ and is dedicated to the people of Sri Lanka, particularly the visually impaired.
The first volume was released at the sacred Ruwanweli Maha Seya premises in Anuradhapura on the auspicious Poson Poya on June 14, 2022, to mark the 75th anniversary of India-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations.
The Most Venerable Mahasangha, the High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay, the State Minister of Pirivena Education Vijitha Berugoda, Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob, and several senior functionaries and representatives from various organizations including the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind, Ratmalana, and the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies (CCIS), University of Colombo, took part in the event.
The “Jataka Tales Audio Book” project is a collaboration between SVCC and CCIS, University of Colombo, supervised by the Most Ven. Rambukana Siddhartha Thero, several experts such as Prof. Upul Ranjith Hewawitanagamage, Chair Senior Professor of Hindi Studies, University of Kelaniya, Dr W. A. Abeysinha and Ms Wathsala Samarakoon, a popular TV and Radio presenter contributed towards the initiative.
High Commissioner Gopal Baglay interacted with the winners of the International quiz competition on Buddhism and Buddhist Heritage who returned after a successful and enriching 5-day multi-city tour of key Buddhist sites of India.
The winners thanked the Government and people of India for the care and affection they received during their trip to India. Organized by the High Commission in collaboration with the State Ministry of Pirivena Education, the quiz competition had witnessed the participation of about 6000 Pirivena students.
Speaking on the occasion, the High Commissioner described the Audio Book as a Dhamma daana from the people of India to the people of Sri Lanka. He also underlined that the Jataka Tales represent more than two millennia-old close cultural ties between India and many countries, of which Sri Lanka has a very special place as one of the first countries to receive the gift of Buddhism from India. State Minister Vijitha Berugoda thanked the Government of India for supporting the Pirivenas and Dhamma education in Sri Lanka.
Buddhism has been a key pillar binding the people of India and Sri Lanka. The government of India has committed a USD 15 million grant for promotion of Buddhist ties between the two countries.
The inaugural international flight to the sacred city of Kushinagar from Sri Lanka on the auspicious ‘Wap Poya’ day in October 2021; a multi-city exposition of the sacred Kapilvastu Buddha relics from the Rajaguru Sri Subhuthi Maha Vihara of Waskaduwa, in India in October 2021 are among the notable milestones that underscore the abiding Buddhist linkages between the two neighbors in the recent past.