Vihara

In 1975 Dr. Rewata Dhamma, the Found and Spiritual Director of Birmingham Buddhist Vihara and Dhammatalaka Peace Pagod, was invited to England where he established a Buddhist monastery in Birmingham as his base.

Since his arrival in England in 1975, the majority of those who have called on Venerable Dr. Rewata Dhamma for teaching have been English. Impressed by this, and wishing well for the future of Buddhism in England, he realized that the teaching would only become truly established here once the British themselves took responsibility for its development. Buddhism is not a missionary religion in the sense that is usually understood. Religion cannot be imposed from outside; it must develop in line with the culture in which it finds itself and how best to do this can only be truly understood by people who are native to that culture. On the other hand, it is also necessary for these people to have some depth of understanding of Buddhism itself and so they must have training and information available to them which is suitable to their cultural background and age group.

Interest in Buddhism from schools, colleges and universities has steadily increased over the years and the Vihara has become one of the major centres in the West Midlands serving this need. As Buddhism becomes increasingly an accepted part of comparative religious studies so we welcome the many groups and individuals who need information and guidance from us. This encourages further development for Buddhism and practice for seekers of Buddhist knowledge.

In 1998 he accomplished the building of Dhamma Talaka Peace Pagoda, after years of planning, as a suitable resting place for the royal relics.

Pagoda

The pagoda is an oriental style of sacred tower. In Buddhism, it is also called a stupa or caitya. The building of pagodas dates from the time of the Buddha’s passing into Nibbana, around the sixth century BCE. At that time, the Buddha’s body was cremated and only fragments of the bones remained. These sacred relics were divided among the rulers who were his devout followers. They placed them in golden chambers in their respective countries and built pagodas over them so that people could venerate and pay homage.

The pagoda symbolises peace, compassion and other exemplary qualities of the Buddha. As such, Buddhists venerate it everywhere. With the spread of Buddhism, pagodas were built in all those countries where it became established. The pagoda is the earthly manifestation of the mind of the Buddha and, as such, stands as a prime symbol of Buddhism. The Dhammatalaka Pagoda will fulfil three purposes: it will be a shrine for Buddhists to perform their traditional ceremonies; a focus where non-Buddhists can learn about Buddhism; and a sanctuary where both may find peace and tranquillity.

Pagoda-guide

29-31 Osler Sreet,
Ladywood,
Birmingham,
B16 9EU
UK.
Phone: 0121 454 6591


Registered Charity No. 513368
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