Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 10

Bangladesh Indebtedness to Myanmar

Dr. Abdul Mabud Khan


12/28/2008

A Study of Reformation Movement in the Buddhist


Sangha of Bangladesh (1856-1971)*+

Introduction

Although a State of the Muslim majority, there is a considerable number of Buddhist population
in Bangladesh. They are scattered in south and southeastern parts of the country. This
concentration of the Buddhists in a particular locality is due to the influence of the Buddhist
country of Myanmar.1 According to the census of 1991, the total number of the Buddhists
population in Bangladesh is about 625,000.

In the 19th century, Bengal witnessed a number of movements for social reforms and these
movements were not limited to the Hindu and the Muslim societies only. Though it is not widely
known, Buddhism of the Baruas also underwent a similar reform movement.

The origin of the Buddhist reformation movement is closely connected with the Buddhist
Sangha2 of South and Southeast Asia. When Buddhism of the Barua community in Bangladesh
was in a moribund condition, Arakan (or Rakhaing, the major portion of it is presently a state in
the Union of Myanmar), situated in the eastern sector, had been maintaining its pristine position
since the earliest time. It was possible due to the ruling class and the existence of a large number
of Buddhist population. The Myanmars including the Arakanese embrace Buddhism, perhaps,
during the days of Asoka who is said to have sent missionaries Bhikkhus Sona and Uttra to
preach Buddhism in Suvannabhumi which has been identified with Myanmar.3 But there is no
reliable account as to the spread of Buddhism in Myanmar before the 5th century A.D. except the
Sona and Uttra legend. Considering the close proximity of Myanmar to India and the existence
of land route between the two countries, the possibility of its entrance into Myanmar before the
5th century A.D. can not altogether be denied.
The archaeological evidence go to explain that Thaton was one of the important centres of
Buddhism. King Anawratha of Bagan (1044-1077) was converted to Theravada Buddhism by a
Mon monk of Thaton named Arahan.4 During this time, there was a war between the king of
Thaton and Bagan in which the former was defeated and a complete set of Tipitaka - the
Buddhist canon, was appropriated along with the famous monk Arahan. Thus, a victor was
completely captivated by the culture of the vanquished. Being converted to Buddhism, the king
of Bagan raised the status of Theravada Buddhism to the rank of state religion. As a result of his
efforts, the whole of Myanmar became the stronghold of Theravada (or Hinayana) Order.5

During the mediaeval period, Arakan developed both political and cultural influences over her
neighbours and exerted them whenever she was powerful enough to do so. For lack of easy
accessibility to Myanmar, Arakan of the past, had always close connection with Bengal (present
Bangladesh) than with Myanmar. D.G.E. Hall rightly says:
"When Bengal was strong, its ruler received tribute of Arakan (Rakhine) at other time, Arakan
(Rakhine) claimed tribute from parts of the Gangetic delta. The fluctuations of power effected
Chittagong which was held alternatively by one side or the other. In 1459 A.D. it came to the
hand of Arakan (Rakhine) which was held until it was annexed to the Mughal Empire in 1666
A.D."6

The impact of Arakan on the religious life of the Buddhists of Bangladesh seems considerable.
The latter had much to draw from the former in respect of religious inspiration. The Arakan
influence over this region helped the Buddhists to get slowly re-assimilated to the Theravada
order of Buddhism.

Since the earliest time, the three Theravada Buddhist countries namely, Ceylon (Sri Lanka),
Burma (Myanmar) and Siam (Thailand) have been working jointly for the promotion of Buddhist
Sangha. Whenever any controversy arose in the Sangha one country used to help others for
maintaining unity and solidarity. It is mentioned in the Sasanavamsa7 that once the Myanmar
Sangha was reformed by bringing monks and Tipitaka from Sri Lanka during the reign of king
Anuruddha (1079-80).8 Since then, the Buddhist Sangha of Myanmar succeeded in retaining its
pristine glory for more than 800 years under the leadership of There Arahanta, Chapada,
Uttarajiva and their disciples.9 During the 14th century, members of the Buddhist Sangha
particularly of Myanmar, Thailand and Kampuchea visited Sri Lanka on a number of occasions
to study canonical texts and monastic discipline.10 After completing their studies, they returned
to their own countries with a view to putting into effect what had learnt in Sri Lanka. Buddhism
was introduced in Sri Lanka during the time of Asoka. Since then, the whole of Sri Lanka
became a stronghold of Buddhism, a position which it still retains after the lapse of more than
2000 years. The Sinhalese Buddhism exercises profound influence upon Myanmar, Thailand,
Kampuchea and Laos where Theravada Buddhism exists today.

II

The period from 13th to the middle of the 19th century may be called the "Dark Age of
Buddhism" in Bangladesh. The Buddhist Sangha has no historical record of its own over the
period under review. During this period, Buddhism presented a very deplorable condition
because the social and political conditions of that time were not favourable for its independent
existence.11

The Buddhist Sangha due to absence of priestly guidance gradually fell into degradation; the
rules of the Vinaya were distorted to suit one's personal viewpoint and many malpractices pushed
its way into the priestly office. At that time, many Hindu, and tantric practices entered into the
Buddhist fold.12 Again, the monks and the laity used to worship many Hindu deities such as
Sani, Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati and even, these deities were invoked with the hope of
getting offspring.13 Contrary to the teachings of the Buddha, even goats were sacrificed at Hindu
Kalibari14, Magadeswari, the guardian deity of Magadha, was also worshiped by sacrificing she
goats at a place called Sebakola, a place was reserved for the purpose outside the village.15
Besides, Vishnu, Siva and Ganesh were considered as Buddhist deities. The image of the Buddha
was placed in the assembly of Hindu gods and goddesses. In violation of the rules of canonical
text, the Buddhist monks like the laity used to participate in social activities and even, used to act
as a Ghatak (the matchmaker). Some of them used to lead family life like Hindu Brahmans. This
class of Buddhist monks, who were called Rauli in course of time, became identical with Hindu
Brahmans.16

In such circumstances, the Buddhist Sangha lost its hold over the masses. Some of them entered
the monastic life of monk-hood before attaining the age of twenty17 while others indulged
themselves in the enjoyment of food and drink at all hours of day and night.18 They were
ignorant of the rules of the patimokkha19, kammavaca20, because, they lost all contact with Pall
scriptures. When the age-old priestly corruption and religious heresy were weakening the very
fabric of Buddhism, Arakan which kept to her Buddhist tenets with many phongis21, pagodas22
and innumerable monasteries for the promotion of Buddhist scholarship; it remained for one
Arakanese monk to inaugurate reformation movement in the Buddhist community of Bengal. He
was Saramitra (Saramedha) Mahastabir,23 the Sangharaj,24 whose name is remembered, even
today, in many Buddhist houses of Bangladesh.

III

In 1856 Radha Charan Mahasthabir, one of the leading monks of Chittagong district came with
Saramitra Mahasthabir while the latter was visiting Buddhist holy places in Northern India.25 He
narrated to Saramitra Mahasthabir about the degeneration of Buddhism and invited him
(Saramitra Mahasthabir) to visit Chittagong whenever possible.26 On receiving the report of
degeneration and moribund condition of Buddhism, Saramitra Mahasthabir resolved to start a
reformation movement in Bangladesh. With this end in view, he came to Chittagong in 1856 to
see the actual state of affairs with his own eyes.27 During this time, he moved from village to
village and saw the corrupt practices observed by the monks and the laity. After several months,
he returned to Arakan.

After the lapse of some years, on the invitation of the Buddhists of Chittagong, Saramitra
Mahasthabir came to Chittagong in 1864 along with some well qualified Buddhist monks.28 At
first, he wanted to re-organize the Sangha because, without Sangha, Buddhism can not continue
its existence. Therefore, he pointed out the irregularities prevalent in the monastic office and
emphasised that only the deserving ones, after being duly ordained, had the right to continue in
the priestly office. Secondly, he objected to the entry of Hindu and tantric practices in the
Buddhist pantheon and asked them to stop the worship of Hindu deities. Pahartali-Mahamuni, a
place 25 kilometres north-east of Chittagong city was chosen as the headquarters of his
missionary activities.29 On realising the importance of the reformation movement, many
distinguished monks expressed their willingness for re-ordination and Hancharghona, a remote
place half a kilometre south of Pahartali-Mahamuni, was selected as the place of ordination (i.e.
Upasampada)30. On this historic occasion, seven monks were re-ordained under the guidance of
Saramitra Mahasthabir.31 It marked a new epoch in the history of Buddhism in Bangladesh.
Gradually, monk after monk., and in groups began to accept ordination almost daily. With the
increase of the number of monks, a Sangha came into being.

Saramitra Mahasthabir contributed largly to the re-organisation of the Buddhist Church in


Bangladesh. At first, he succeeded considerably in removing the Hindu and tantric practices from
the Buddhist fold. Secondly, the yellow-robes of the monks32, and manner of begging33, and
Uposatha34, were reorganised according to the rules as prescribed by the Vinaya. Thirdly, he laid
stress on education in Buddhist scriptures. In this way Saramitra Mahasthabir did a good deal to
restore Buddhism to its pure form. As a result of his efforts, a sect which is called Sangharaj
Nikaya was formed with Saramitra Mahasthabir as its head.35 After two years, he returned to
Arakan.

Saramitra's activities, may perhaps be, described as the first reform movement in the Buddhist
society of Bangladesh. There were few monks who disagreed with Saramitra Mahasthabir and
refused to re ordained under his guidance (i.e. Upajjhaya). The monks were Ramdas
Mahasthabir, Titandas Mahasthabir and Radha Caran Mahasthabir.36 They argued that they were
followers of original Buddhism and must not submit to any foreign influence.37 This group kept
themselves aloof from the reformist group and concentrated in and around Guzra-Noapara in
Chittagong district and formed a sect of their own which is known as Mahasthabir Nikaya. The
Buddhists of Kamalapur Monastery in Dhaka are the descendant and followers of this group.38

This schism in the Buddhist Sangha was not a new thing; it is as old as Buddhism itself. During
the time of Lord Buddha, a relative of Gautama Buddha, tried to create division in the Sangha
but was unsuccessful. One century after the Mahaparinibbana (i.e. Great Demise) of Lord
Buddha, the Buddhist Church was divided into two rival groups over the issue of Ten Demands
(i.e. Dasa Vatthuni)39. For the settlement of the issues, a council of monks was held in Vaisali in
377 B.C. and the council failed to reach an agreement; later on, a split occurred in the church.40

As a result of this split, the two groups established came to be known as Hinayana and
Mahayana. However, even in modern times, quarrel over the minor issues is not rare in the
Buddhist Sangha of Myanmar and Sri Lanka. But some of the issues have been settled while
others still remain unsettled. For instance, the use of fan or the palm leaves as headdress
constituted a subject of controversy and resulted in a split in the Buddhist Sangha of Burma
[Myanmar].41 The Suddhamma Nikaya of Myanmar recommends the use of umbrella, sandals
and chewing of betel-nuts and betel-leaves and smoking in the evening while the Shwegyin
Nikaya does not recommend the chewing of betel-nuts in the afternoon.42 However, at present,
the differences between the Mahasthabir Nikaya and Sangharaj Nikaya are not philosophical and
doctrinal; both groups are followers of Theravada Buddhism and the religious practices followed
by them are almost the same. Yet, some differences are noticed in their day-to-day life. For
instance, members of one Sangha do not perform Vinaya Kamma (i.e. Monastic business) with
the monks of other group. Each order has its own separate Sima (ordination hall) and Bhikkhu
Sangha. Again, the monks of the opposing sect will not stay under the same roof or if invited will
not take food together sitting in the same row. Between the laity, the differences are less
pronounced in their daily life. Inter-marriage between the followers of the two groups may take
place and the laity of one order may even join the religious services conducted by the monks not
of their own Nikaya. But in the matter of representation in various social organisation, the sect
question comes to the forefront and sometimes with utmost bitterness.43

The members of the Mahasthabir Nikaya also carried out similar reforms which virtually made
them indistinguishable in religious practices from those observed by the Sangharaj Nikaya; and
the Buddhist Sangha of Myanmar. Thailand and Sri Lanka, despite this schism in the Sangha, the
Buddhists live in harmony with one another since they are quiet and timid people. Numerically
the Sangharaj order is greater than the Mahasthabir Nikaya.44

While the spirit of reformation was under way, a second phase of movement was started by
Punnachar Dharmadari.45 After Saramitra Mahasthabir, Dharmadari was elected the head of the
Sangharaj Nikaya46 in 1877 and he was, perhaps the first Bangalee Sangharaj of the re-
organised Buddhist Church of Bangladesh. His reform movement was mainly directed to give
strength and solidarity to what Saramitra Mahasthabir had started earlier. At Mandalay, he was
re-ordained in the presence of 76 monks in a grand ceremony.47 Having studied Buddhism in
Myanmar and Sri Lanka for a considerable period of time, and travelling for over a period of 18
years in different Buddhist countries, and when having attained high position spiritually
Punnachar Dharmadhari finally returned home with a view to join the movement started by
Saramitra Mahasthabir. Since the days of Saramitra Mahasthabir, the Buddhists developed a keen
interest in Buddhist studies. Because of this, Arakanese as well as Myanmar monasteries
attracted many scholars. It became a special distinction for a Buddhist monk or sramana (i.e.
novice) to have qualification in Buddhist studies from Rakhaing (Arakanese) or Myanmar
monasteries.48 To have a Buddhist monk for a Buddhist locality, who has been ordained in
places such as, Sittway, Mawlamyine, Mandalay or Kandy is regarded to be a matter of special
pride for the laity. The Buddhist centres of learning in South and Southeast Asia capture the
imagination of almost all and the

fortunate few who had visited those places, earned a great deal of spiritual recognition and
respect of their community.49 Punnachar Dharmadari realised that without the spread of
religious education no reform could last long. As a result of this movement, many Pali-tol (i.e.
religious schools) sprang up in different localities. He at first established a tol at Pahartali-
Mahamuni and afterwards its branches were opened at Rajnagar, East Satbaria and Unainpura.50
Later in 1902 Sarananda, a Sri Lanka monk, founded a tol at Pahartali-Mahamuni51 and a large
number of monks were sent to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand for religious education .52
Now a days, Pali is taught in a number of schools and colleges of Bangladesh.53 As an extension
of this idea, though, at a much later date, Pali teaching has been introduced at the university
level. Pali teaching at the university level owed much to Sir Ashutosh Mookerjee, the then Vice
Chancellor of Calcutta University, who introduced Pali studies from Matriculation to M.A. in
1908. The example of Calcutta University has been followed by other universities particularly
those of Patna, Benaras and Baroda54 Recently Pali Courses in M.A. have been introduced at
Chittagong and Dhaka Universities.

Thus the Buddhist Sangha of Bangladesh was re-organised and it established links with Sangha
in the other parts of the world especially with the Buddhist Sangha of South and Southeast Asia.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Bapat, RV (ed.) 1956: 2500 Years of Buddhism, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
2. Barua, R.B. 1971: The Foundation of Theravada Buddhism in Bangladesh, in Journal of the
Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Vol: XVI, No .3.
3. Benerjee, A.C. 1973: Buddhism in India and Abroad, Calcutta.
4. Chowdhury, S. 1980: Bangladeshy Bouddha Dharma O Samskriti, Calcutta. 5. Dutta, R.C.
1971: A History of Civilization in Ancient India, Vishal Publishers, Delhi (Indian Edition).
6. Dutta, Nalinaksha. 1922: The Mahasanghika School of Buddhism, in 'Journal of the
Department of Letters', Calcutta University.
7. Hall, D.G.E. History of Burma, London.
8. Khan, Abdul Mabud. 1385 (B.E.): Bouddha Dharma O Samskar Andolan, in 'Itihash' Vol. 1-3.
9. Mahasthabir, Dharmadhar.(tr.) 1964: Sasanavamsa, [translated in to Bangla], Calcutta.
10. . Sadharmer Punaruttan, Calcutta.
11. Malley, L.S.S.O. 1909: Chittagong District Gazetteer (old edition), Calcutta. 12. Majumdar,
R.C. (ed.) 1943: History of Bengal, Vol. 1, University of Dacca. 13. Sthabir, Dharmatilak. 1936:
Sadharma Ratnakar, Buddha Mission Press, Rangoon, Burma.
14. Trevarling 1973: The Buddha, Buddhist Civilization in India and Ceylon, New York.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

References

* The paper was presented at the International Conference of History held in Yangon 1999.
Subsequently it was published in the proceedings of the conference. The paper has been
published in this volume with kind permission of the author. Although there are several Buddhist
communities in Bangladesh, this paper deals exclusively with Bama community. Editor.
+ I conducted fieldwork in Buddhist areas of Bangladesh during the period 1982 -83. I am
indebted to a number of scholars, Buddhist friends and colleagues: but none of them is
responsible for the opinion expressed in this paper. The responsibility lies with me. Author.
@ Former Professor, Department of History, Rajshahi University, Bangladesh. 1-Ie is presently
engaged in a research programme on, "Asian Village Life: A Case Study in Myamnar".

The name 'Myanmai is used in this paper for both the country and people, which was formerly
known as 'Burma' and 'Burmese'.

Sangha here it is used to mean a fraternity of monks and nuns. Usually four monks constitute a
Sangha.

Dutta, R.C. 1971: p. 371.

4. Bapat, P.V (ed.) 1956: p. 88.

In Buddhism, there are two principal schools namely, Hinayana and Mahayana. The followers of
Hinayana school do not introduce themselves as Hinayana because, they claim that they are the
adherents of pure form of Buddhism i.e. Doctrine of Theravada.

Hall, D.G.E: p. 37.

Mahasthabir, Dharmadar (tr.) 1964: p. 88-110.

Barua, R.B. 1971: p. 249.

Ibid.

Trevaling.1973: p. 73.

Majumder, R.C. (ed.) 1943: p. 425. After the Buddhist Palas, political power passed to the Hindu
Senas and then to the Muslims. Thus, the Buddhist, not deprived of political patronage but, were
also confronted with hostile faiths. Buddhism which was once a great religion in North-Eastern
India could not have survived with its distinctive features, partly because, there appeared also a
number of sects viz., (1) Vajrayana, (2) Kalachakrayana, (3) Sahajayana, (4) Kaula, (5) Nathism,
(6) Baul, (7) Avadhutas. Each sect got its own philosophy and own way of living. During the
mediaeval period, it had become very difficult to differentiate Buddhism from Hinduism.

Sthabir, Dharmadlak, 1936: p. 334.

Malley, L.S.S.O. p. 67.

A temple for the worship of the goddess Kali.

Malley, L.S.S.O. op. cit.

Chowdhury, S. 1980: p. 19.

According to Vinaya Pitaka, no one is allowed to become a member of the unless he is 20.

It is mentioned in the Vinaya Pitaka that as a member of the monk order, no one is allowed to eat
rice (which Gradually, monk after monk, and in groups began to accept ordination is solid food)
after midday but this to that there should be restriction in was misinterpreted mean no eating
almost daily. With the increase of the number of monks, a Sangha came fruits and other dainty
preparations (as long as these are not boiled rice) outside the permissible hours.

In the Theravada sect, the Patimokkha forms the nucleus of the Vinaya Pitaka. The Patimokkha
consists of two parts namely Bhikkhu Patimokkha and Bhikkhuni Patimokkha. The former
consists of 227 rules while the later possess 311. The Bhikkhuni sasana did not survived long in
the Theravada sect but has been, claimed to be, alive in the some Mahayana sub-sects with lesser
rules.

Rule of the ordination ceremony of the Buddhist monk is called Kammavaca.

It is a Myanmar term, which is used to designate a Buddhist senior monk.

It is a Portuguese word, and is used to mean burial mound erected over the body relic of
Buddhist saints. Sometimes, it is called stupa or zadi. The worship of stupa became a popular
practice among the Buddhists since the earliest time. The worship of stupa is considered a
meritorious act.

Saramitra Mahasthavir was born in 1801 and died in Arakan in 1882. In biography of Sangharaj
Saramitra Mahasthabir publishes by the Sangharaj Birth Centenary Committee, Chittagong in
1956, p. 14.

Sangharaj means 'Chief of the Order'. Sometimes, it is called Sanghanikaya i.e. Chief Abbot.

Chowdhury. S. 1980: p. 25

Ibid.

Ibid.

Ibid.
Ibid.

Mahasthabir, Dharmadhar. p. 29.

The monks were Lalmohon Takur of Pahartali, Lamal Takur, Hari Takur of Dharmapur,
Suckchand Takur of Mirzapur, Dobaraj Takur of Gumanmardhan, Abhoy Charan Takur of
Damdama, Hari Takur of Binajuri. See Choudhury, S. 1980: p. 29

The Buddhist monks wear yellow robes. It is called civara. It is divided into three parts namely,
(i) sanghati, (ii) uttarasangha and (iii) antaravasaka.

According to the Vinaya Pitaka Buddhist monks must live on alms.

Uposatha means day of fasting. The Buddhists observe four uposathn days in a month.

Khan, Abdul Mabud.l385 (B.E.): p. 63.

Although Radha Cann Mahasthabir invited Saramitra Mahasthabir for reformation he himself
remained aloof from this movement because, later on, he realised that to take ordination under
the guidance of Saramitra Mahasdtabir would lapse his seniority. See Ibid., p. 63.

Interview with Sugathananda Mahathero, Principal, Agras.tr Anathalaya, Guzra-Noapara,


Chittagong on 10,10,I975.

During the reformation movement, this group was divided into three groups viz. (a) Desshya
Mather Dal, (b) Radlm Mather Dal and (c) Tinan Mather Dal. Interviewed with Dipankar
Sreegyan Mahasthabir. Principal, Chittagong Buddhist Monastery on 7-10-75. Age 75. Recently
he died. There are three Nikaya in Sri Lanka namely, (i) Sima Nikaya, (ii) Amarapura Nikaya
and (iii) Ramanna Nikaya; in Myanmar, three Nikaya, namely (i) Suddhamma Nikaya, (ii)
Shwegyin Nikaya and (iii) Dvara Nikaya; and in Thailand, there are two Nikaya namely, (i)
Maha Nikaya and (ii) Dhammayutha Nikaya. See Benarjee, A.C. 1973_ p. 192, 200-5.

The ten points are: (1) storage of salt, (2) taking of food after midday, (3) over eating by taking a
second forenoon meal, (4) observance of upasatha ceremonies in various places in the same
parish, (5) taking a sanction for an act from the sangha after it has been done, (6) use of
precedents as authority for an act, (7) drinking butter and milk after meal, (8) drinking of toddy,
(9) the use of seat without border and (10) acceptance of gold and silver. See Dutta, Nalinaksha.
1922: p. 118.

Ibid., p. 40.

Bapat, P.V. (ed.) 1956: p. 137.

Ibid., p. 137.

Now, the two groups are competing for recognition at home and abroad. There are two Buddhist
(Barua) organisations in Bangladesh namely, (a) Bangladesh Bouddha Samity and (b)
Bangladesh Bouddha Kristi Prachar Sangha. The fowmer is dominated by the followers of
Sangharaj Nikaya, while the tatter is run by the members of the Mahasthabir Nikaya. Bangladesh
Bouddha Krisu Prachar Sangha is very active in national and international field since its birth.
These two organisations have been affiliated with World Fellowship of the Buddhists, a famous
international Buddhist Organisation located in Bangkok. The Buddhists of Bangladesh have also
two youth organisations viz (a) Bangladesh Bouddha Yuba Parishad and (b) Bangladesh
Buddhist Youth Council.

There are about 700 monks in the Sangharaj Nikaya while the mamber of Mahasthasbir Nikaya
is about 105.

His real name was Chandra Mohan Mahasthabir. He was born in 1834 and died in the year 1911
at Unainepura, Chittagong. He won the title Punachar Dharmadari for his services to Buddhism
from the Bhikkhu Sangha of Myanmar in 1861. See Chowdhury, S. 1980: p. 28.

It is seen in the history of Buddhism that Lord Buddha was the first chief of the Sangha. After his
demise, members of the sangha elected their own chief. Since then, it has become a practice
among the monks. Nowadays, the head of the Sangha is elected at the annual general meeting of
the Sangha. A profound religious knowledge and age are considered necessary to become the
head of the Sangha and the head of the Sangharaj Nilarya (till the writing of the paper) was
Silalankar Mahasthabir. [Note Venerable Jotipal Mahathera was succeeded at the death of
Silalankar Mahasthebir in 1999 and on his death Venerable Sasanasree Mahathera is the
Sangharaj Nikaya since 2002]

Chowdhury, S. 1980: p. 28. Previously he was ordained at the age of 17 only because, he was
then ignorant of the rules of upasampda ceremony.

Abhoytissya Mahasthabir, former head of the Sangharaj Nikaya was educated in Mahamuni
Monastery of Arakan and also ordained there. He died in August 1974.

Vishuddhananda Mahathero, former head of the Mahasthabir Nikaya studied Buddhism in Sri
Lanka for 8 years. Besides, Jayneswer Mahasthabir, Bangsadip Mahasthabir studied in Sri Lanka
and Myanmar for a considerable period of time and many of them were conversant with
Singhalese, Rakhaing and Myanmar languages.

There are 17 Pali colleges and 26 Pali tols in Bangladesh.

Chowdhury, S. 1980: p. 34 - 47.

At present, many bhikkhus and sramanas have been studying Buddhism in India, Myanmar, Sri
Lanka and Thailand.

In this connection, the name of Sir Ashutosh College, Kanungopara, Chittagong Government
College and Rangunia College may be mentioned.

See Bapat, RV. (ed.) 1956: p. 416 - 42G.

Title: Bangladesh Indebtedness to Myanmar


Author: Dr. Abdul Mabud Khan
About Author: Dr. Abdul Mabud Khan
Date: 12/28/2008
Page Hits: 832