The Institute of Oriental Philosophy
Lotus Sutra Exhibition Held in Sri Lanka
The exhibition introduced 106 panels in Sinhala, Tamil and English, featuring excerpts from publications such as the Lotus Sutra Manuscript Series.
Some 300 people attended the opening ceremony, including Speaker of the Parliament in Sri Lanka Chamal Rajapaksa, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and All Ceylon Buddhist Congress President Jagath Sumathipala, along with representatives from the Nepalese, Russian and Thai Embassies and scholars. The ceremony was opened with a traditional Sri Lankan lighting and a traditional dance.
IOP founder Daisaku Ikeda sent a message to the opening, first expressing his deepest appreciation for Sri Lanka's support in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake in Japan. He then introduced three aspects of the Lotus Sutra, saying it expounds the interdependence and coexistence of all life, seeks for that which is "eternal" in life and urges concrete actions to create peace. Mr. Ikeda also spoke about respect for life, based on a profound trust in each person's inherent Buddha nature, a theme which pulsates throughout the Lotus Sutra.
SGI-Sri Lanka General Director Ranjith Rupasinghe spoke about the Sri Lankan people's suffering as a result of the civil war (1983-2009). He shared his determination to uphold the dignity of human life and work toward creating a peaceful and harmonious society that transcends ethnic differences.
The exhibition was aired on over 20 TV stations, including Sri Lanka National TV. Visitors to the exhibition numbered 1,500.