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Why we don't go out in the rain; Faiths IN OUR CITY.

Byline: JOHN BEARD

TOMORROW, the Dhamma Talaka Peace Pagoda in Osler Street Ladywood will be celebrating its 10th anniversary and the start of the Full Moon of Waso.

Waso is the day on which the monks begin their rains retreat.

Buddhist monks undertake the annual rain-retreat for a three-month period during the monsoon season. The custom of remaining in one place was instituted by the Buddha and arose due partly to the practical difficulties of travel in that season and also to ethical concerns about causing injury to the tiny creatures that become abundant after the rains.

Some people have likened this period to the Christian Lent and need I draw any similarity to our current weather?

The Dhamma Talaka Peace Pagoda is a holy Buddhist landmark and is known to many as the Peace Pagoda (Dhamma Talaka roughly translated means reservoir of truth).

The Peace Pagoda is considered to be a holy pilgrimage site because enshrined inside the Pagoda are relics of the Buddha. These were once in the possession of the former royal family of Myanmar (Burma) and then donated to the Peace Pagoda.

The Pagoda was the vision of the late Venerable Dr Rewatta Dhamma who was born in Myanmar in 1929. He came to Birmingham in 1975 and he established an international reputation as a teacher of Buddhism and Vipassana meditation and he taught in Ivy League universities in the United States as well as Oxford and Cambridge here in the UK.

He also published a number of books and his writings are used as Buddhist textbooks in many Indian universities.

In addition, he became known for his promotion of peace and reconciliation and was invited to address many international conferences and symposia.

The Peace Pagoda was completed in 1998 and three years later the Sangharama Monastery opened on the same site. Dr Rewatta Dhamma was planning to build a Buddhist academy there too, but unfortunately passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning of May 26, 2004.

The Buddhist academy building was completed late last year and was named the Rewatta Dhamma Hall.

Dr Rewatta Dhamma was a humble monk who came from humble beginings but he managed to create a holy pilgrimage site in the second largest city of the UK and was known as a peace maker on the world stage.

Dr Rewatta Dhamma was not only a man with vision he made the vision a reality so who says one man alone can not make a difference?

All are welcome to join our celibration no matter what faith and also those of no faith.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 12, 2008
Words:434
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