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Ven. Aggamaha panditha Madihe Pagnaseeha Mahanayaka Thero Memorial Museum - Maharagama
Ven. Piyadassee Maha Thero
Piyadassi Maha Thero

History has proved again and again, and will continue to prove, that nothing in this world is lasting. Nations and civilizations rise, flourish and die away as waves upon the ocean yielding place to new, and thus the scrolls of time record the passing pageant, the baseless vision and tfading flow that is human history.

Therefore, said the sages of yore: "The eight great mountains and the seven seas, The sun, the Gods who sit and rule over there, You, I, universe, must pass away, Time conquered all".

This short quotation from one of Venerable Piyadassi's varied writings illustrates the simple, clear manner he presented the Dhamma. Having lived the life of a monk for 64 years and spread the Dhamma the world over for three decades doing 14 global tours, Venerable Piyadassi passed away last Tuesday. His wish was that he be cremated in three days.

Venerable Piyadassi had been in and out of the ICU of the Cardiology Unit of the National Hospital during the past few months. But whenever he was out of hospital he continued to plan and participate in many a meritorious deed at the Sambodhi Vihara at Wijerama Mawatha. That had been his lifestyle for many decades. Illness never bothered him. He continued to preach the Dhamma. He rarely refused an invitation for a sermon. And he continued to write. A little typewriter was his constant companion.

"With bounded Metta for your well-being, from Piyadassi. November 28 2536/1992". These words in his handwriting appear in the back inside cover of a copy of 'The Spectrum of Buddhism' Venerable Piyadassi gave me. It is a much-treasured gift. The book is a collection of essays showing us Buddhism not as an ancient doctrine or a narrow sect, but as a living and universal path to human liberation. It is written in a most readable style, which never tires the reader even when he explains the Abhidhamma. That was Venerable Piyadassi's forte.

Discussing the psychological aspect of Buddhism, Venerable Piyadassi writes in 'The Spectrum of Buddhism': Is Buddhism related to modern psychology, one may ask. Yes, but with some difference. Buddhism is more concerned with the curative than the analytic. Buddhism helps us to get beyond the intellect to the actual experience of life itself.

"Through meditation the Buddha had discovered the deeper universal maladies of the human heart and mind. The remarkable insight into the workings of the mind makes the Buddha a psychologist and scientist of the highest eminence. Admittedly His way of arriving at these truths of mental life is not that of an experimentalist, yet what the Buddha had discovered remains true, and in fact has been corroborated by the experimentalist. But the purpose in engaging these inquiries is quite different from that of the scientist.
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