Buddhism sprouts in Africa

It’s been pretty gloomy here recently, so here’s some good news! From TheBuddhism.net.

Bhikkhu Bodhiraja who is a Congo citizen ordained only just five years ago, yet he has been a huge service to the order of Buddhism in Congo. He was able to build four Buddhist temples in main cities of Kongo due to his dedicated work. Bhikkhu Bodhiraja is acting with the guidance of Ilukpitiye Pannashekara thero who is currently residing in Tanzania.

Bhikkhu Bodhiraja could gain considerable amount of attention of the Cong people and many who seek spiritual development have become devoted Buddhists already. A Bodhi tree also has been planted in Congo , which is a branch of the bodhi tree in Tanzania planted in 1920.

We wish all the blessings of triple gems, the protection of Devas, physical and mental happiness to be with Bhikkhu Bodhiraja to spread the peace message of the Gauthama Buddha to as much as intelligent living beings.

Buddhism in Congo

Buddhism in Congo

Buddhism in Congo

Buddhism in Congo

Buddhism in Congo

Buddhism in Congo

10 thoughts on “Buddhism sprouts in Africa

  1. Dear Ajahn Sujato,

    Spreading the word of Buddhism in Africa is one of the things we would like to do as a part of our institution in Canberra – exposure to Buddhism, and not conversion.

    Hopefully, this should bring the most needed peace into the region.

    Regards

    Amith

    28 Aug 2013

    _____

    • To Amith

      Unfortunately none Africans coming into Africa spreading one thing or another (mainly what they believe) does nothing more than corrupt Africans away from being African. We have a 2000 year historical experience of this. A computer analogue is given software made for pc generally does not function properly when put into a mac.

      Non Africans coming into Africa have simply given Africans a split personality which normally results in Africans giving up their identity to assume an alien identity, e.g. African becoming a christian needs to (generally) have a christian name and generally assume a euro centric / western persona. An African taking up Islam now incorporates an Arab name and an Arab persona as well as an Arab tongue even to call the creator in an Arab tongue..

      Now you want to come with Buddhism and no doubt those ordained take on a non African name as the persons in this article, language and persona have done. Mean while the ancient African wisdom, language, culture, which predates Christianity, Islam & Buddhism is stripped / erased & made to feel inferior to the point where Africans keeping their ancestral name, language and way of life becomes embarrassing.

      Africans have their ancestral roots which is steeped in our ancestral heritage way before Buddha and therefore what Africans need the most is to be respected, left to live as Africans with (most importantly what has been passed down through generations just like other ethnic groups on planet earth.

      Maybe if non Africans took the time to study Africa’s way of life, which includes our spiritual belief they would realise that our spirituality does not need tampering, adjusting, ignoring or disrespecting.

      African spirituality which is embedded in African life consist of a belief in a divine spirit of which we are all connected to pre birth. we have our sacred rituals to welcome life and guide each person through the various stages of the life cycle into the non physical world. Reincarnation is also part of our belief so in truth. The religions that non Africans want to bring to share / convert us with is really not needed.

      I will close here by simply reminding you and others that human beings have been created by the same source and according to each ethnic groups divine heritage each should be respected to co exist with all humans to live together on the earth with respect.

      Okomfo Akitiwa

    • With respect, I understand your concern re Non-Africans imposing their own beliefs and systems on Africans. However, it also seems that most of North Africa has been lost for a while now to Islamic fundamentalism, while other parts have certainly taken on Christian fundamentalism due to missionary efforts over the last few centuries. Buddhism in contrast, offers no set beliefs in certain gods, no holy “word of God” scriptures, no rules in regards to changing one’s beliefs or customs, and certainly none toxic fundamentalist effects that seem to be permeating most other religious movements. It seems hard to find Buddhist “missionary” groups attempting to convert people as well, as opposed to the obvious missionary efforts of monotheism (Islam, Christianity etc) now fully active in Africa. Although there is still some cultural effect around Buddhism stemming from Asia (its origin), the simple teachings such as the 5 precepts (no killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, or intoxicants) can be taken on by anyone under any culture or “native” belief system. Finally, it is really an individual choice what one person (apart from their culture or heritage) chooses to follow or believe.. as it is said, if it is helpful keep it, otherwise throw it out.

  2. Yes it is good to see, for men, but seriously it look a bit more like a man has achieved his 100 virgins and women have been entrap to a life of obedience and servitude to a man

    • These specious comments completely bypass the integrity of a man, in this case, the respected monk, without prior, careful investigation of his circumstances and those who surround him. It is borne of laziness to question and investigate the facts on your own, at the very least, before putting in writing such careless and rather offensive insinuations. I trust that you realize, that for a Buddhist, your position violates several principles of the Noble Eight-Fold Path.

    • Hi Sudharme,

      That’s very kind, I’m sure they would appreciate it. But I don’t know anything about this other than what is in the article. If anyone has any suggestions, please let us know!

  3. I like this. I like all the comments including those of concern as well. As an Australian Buddhist I can relate to what was said about losing identity when adopting a ‘foreign’ religion. I gave up some of my culture in a way that I thought (at the time) was necessary in order to learn the Dhamma, especially when frequenting South – East Asian temples. Some of my Australian culture I let go was worth letting go of but some was worth keeping. I have had to reconnect with some of the things.

  4. My name is James Williams and I live in the United States, I’am a Practicing Buddhist for 45 years, Self Mastered, and I Practic from The Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom for the last 20 years, I’am so proud to see Black African’s still practing Buddhism in Africa, I have formed an online Buddhist community Center as an online meeting place to discuss Buddhist topics, if there is anything I can do for you order please let me know, if you wish to corespond with me please do, at jameswilliams@nagasage.com please visit my website.

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