Venerable B. Dhammaratana
Founder, Buddhist Library
|What Others Say
“I am very happy to see… the Buddhist Library… grow and blossom into a fine centre of Buddhist learning, with an open and friendly spirit.”
- Venerable Ryugen Tanaka
Bhante chose Buddhist education as his ‘vocation in life’ and forged a path few would venture to take. A man of vision, determination and courage, in 1978 Bhante started his Buddhist education service in Singapore in a garage at 85A Marine Parade Road.
Bhante shares his inspiration on starting the Buddhist Library with this note, “Nostalgic reflections take me down memory lane stretching back to the early 80s, to the time when we started the Buddhist Library in a small rented unit in Tanjong Katong Shopping Centre located at East Coast Road, Singapore in July 1984. … With a vision for the future, we started, on a modest scale, to build a library of Buddhist literature covering all three major schools of Buddhism – Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. We made this the nucleus and around it we built various affiliated activities to promote the learning and practice of the noble teachings of the Buddha.” His vision is that one day the Buddhist Library would earn international recognition as “a Buddhist centre of excellence”.
Bhante considered a library as an important social service to the community and he once said, “To start a Buddhist library in Singapore is better than to start ten temples”. This is not because he does not believe in the benefits of having temples but because he considers education to have “long-term benefits and to be more useful for people to lead a meaningful and purposeful life”. Moreover, Bhante maintains that “knowledge can be passed down from one generation to another. In the long run, education contributes towards fostering a caring and sharing society with less social ills”.
Indeed, the Buddhist Library has accomplished its vision of promoting the learning and practice of Buddhism. the Buddhist Library first started conducting courses in the basic doctrines of Buddhism and then graduated to providing more advanced courses, both of which have helped to extend the horizon of Dharma knowledge of those who are interested in learning Buddhism. the Buddhist Library has periodically been receiving distinguished Buddhist monks and scholars from various countries to deliver lectures and participate in seminars.