This document is a declaration of friendship and cooperation between Buddhist organizations and communities of Theravada tradition of former Soviet Union countries.
Long-lasting coexistence, common linguistic environment and culture determine mutual understating between our countries. At the same time these causes create similar problems that Russian speaking Buddhists face. We believe that there is a necessity to unify scattered Theravada tradition groups into a single community for studying and keeping Buddha’s teaching in its original form. Today establishing such a community is of utmost importance.
Buddhism as a world religion is not limited only to one nation. It helps people of different nationalities to cope with psychological problems such as fears, strains, frustrations and directing them to seek support in themselves following simple yet deep moral principles. Buddha’s teaching promotes mutual understanding between peoples.
We realize that Buddhism is not and has never been a proselytical and missionary teaching. However let us not forget that Lord Buddha himself never hid Dhamma in tight fist but preached it to everybody ready to accept. We think it is important to give these people an opportunity to know about Dhamma.
At the moment different scattered Buddhist groups have already passed the primary formation stage and exhausted the potential of the stand-alone doctrinal and spiritual existence. Although the Internet offers numerous books and lectures on different topics, we must remember that they can’t supersede a personal contact with a Buddhist teacher.
Only such cooperation can make it possible to feel Lord Buddha’s teaching in all its fullness. A teacher and the Sangha play an extremely important role here as they pass live experience to a student that can’t be replaced with the written words. Taking into account these circumstances we see the necessity of organizing more intensive cooperation between Buddhist organizations and communities of Theravada tradition.
According to the above we define following tasks for mutual cooperation:
Experience exchange and all-round mutual assistance as well as facilitating of
• Buddhist way of life
• Buddhist education
• Inviting teachers
• Buddhist pilgrimage
• Editing and translation
• Library and informational activity
• Buddhist internet resources
This Declaration is a final document of the cooperative work of Armenian, Belarus, and Russian delegations at the Fifth International UN Day of Vesak 2008. It proclaims the formation of the fellowship of Buddhist organizations under the name “Buddhavihara”.
The declaration is open for all Theravada centers, organizations and communities sharing its idea and spirit.
The document signed on 16th of May 2008 in Hanoi by