The Venerable Kassapa Thera: A Living Symbol of Dedication, Courage, Altruism and Intimate Friendship

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Naimbala Dhammadassi thero

It is with a deep sense of gratitude and honour that I send this message of felicitation and best wishes to the Most Venerable Witarandeniye Kassapa Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Birmingham Buddhist Viharaya and the Director of the International Buddhist Relief Fund (IBRO), United Kingdom.

At this momentous occasion, my memories revert to the 1990s, at which I was destined to read for my Ph.D at the University of Lancaster, England. One of the most cherished opportunities fondling in my memories was, that during this period, I was fortunate to enjoy the adorable association of the Venerable Thera. Since then, we became intimate friends and as a result, I was privileged to learn many lessons from him in terms of my personal and academic life. To be honest, it is with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation, I note that despite his assistance and encouragement I would never be able to complete my Ph.D programme.

In my personal understanding, the Venerable Kassapa Thera is a ‘living symbol’ of utmost dedication, courage, altruism, and intimate friendship. The greatest mystery of his success and achievement is his utmost patience and courage amidst a numerous vicissitudes and challenges. The very fact becomes obvious when we consider his decades long missionary and social welfare activities launched throughout the world. In respect with his missionary activities, nobody could have ever imagined how he involved in his successfully launched missionary functions in a totally different country, prevalent of a totally different culture, like Tanzania, where the majority of population is Muslims. Thanks to his dedicated service, even today, Buddhist religio-social activities are in active practice in the country. Later on, he was invited to extend his dhammaduta activities to United Kingdom by the Indian Buddhists living in that country. The direct and memorable result of his mission to the United Kingdom was the...
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