Nirvana for sale: Japanese centre closed down

By Damith Wickremasekera

A so-called temple run by two Japanese monks of the Mahayana sect at Liberty Plaza was closed down by Police yesterday after a group of Buddhist monks staged a protest against it. The foreign monks had been running the “temple” for more than five years and people had paid between Rs. 500,000 and one million with promises that they could attain enlightenment and be absolved of their sins by performing certain religious practices after paying the money.

Police spokesman Maxie Proctor said the two Japanese monks had been questioned along with a Japanese woman who acted as their manager and they were told to stop their activities.

“They have not been charged with engaging in any illegal activities so far but we are recording statements from people who had sought the assistance of these monks for spiritual relief,” SSP Proctor said.

A Peradeniya university professor who had gone in as a decoy to find out how the sect operated told the Sunday Times Rs. 7000 had to be paid just to gain admission to the premises. “I joined about a year ago and since then I pretended I wanted to attain ‘Nirvana’ and attended some of their sessions. The two monks say they have telepathic powers and when a person walks in they give some predictions about their lives. It is only if you are interested that they enrol people for the programme which they say will lead to enlightenment,” the professor said.

The professor said there were no Buddha statues inside the temple but they worshipped a book written in a foreign language. He was told that worshipping the book would lead to Nirvana. The members were also served food and drink at lectures and chanting sessions.

All payments were made in cash and no receipts issued. However those who failed to contribute regularly to the fund of the temple were disenrolled, the professor said. Ven. Akeemana Dayaratna Thera who led the protest said he had lodged police complaints against this centre on earlier occasions also but no action had been taken. “We had to stage this protest to stop this fraud taking place in the name of Buddhism.”

Around 60 monks took part in yesterday's protest following which the police arrived at the scene and asked them to disperse with the promise that action would be taken against the foreign monks and their manager.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other News Articles
Maj. Gen. Silva ready to face US court battle
Nirvana for sale: Japanese centre closed down
Municipal tax on businesses to go up
Herath confirms JVP split amid war of words
Five anxious days for Lanka at UNHRC
Shadow cast over Bandaranaike day
Race course grounds being readied for international rugby
Archaeologists object to pulling down of National Museum boundary wall
Off-screen theatrics puts Mervyn in the limelight
Leave to proceed in businessman’s FR case for alleged unlawful arrest, 28-month detention
Academics object to state-appointed security service at universities
National Policy to fight AIDS to be launched
Minister and GMOA cross swords over medical specialists’ standards
Police come down hard on drunk drivers
Man given up for dead comes alive
What ails the rails?
Karapitiya a beacon for intensive paedriatric care
Gopallawa left out as portraits of ex-presidents and PMs are unveiled
Mount Lavinia hotel car park turns into doggy mobile clinic
UNP backs call for Palestinian state
Lack of essential drugs killing people: Vasu
First-ever Indo-Lanka naval exercise a success despite T’Nadu protest
Handicapped student excels at Grade 5 Exam
Fresh charges against CPC over tender manipulations
Galle: Candidates, constituents polls apart on the common good
Opposition cries foul as Govt. steals the show with State resources
Sinharaja bird wave – On the wings of a wildlife spectacle
Colombo is Colombo


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 1996 - 2011 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved | Site best viewed in IE ver 8.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution