Lest we Forget: The Defeat of Arahantship in Ancient Sri Lanka and its Lessons for the Future

25 June 2024
  • Day:Tuesday
  • Time:7.00PM - 8.30PM AEST
  • No of Sessions:1
  • Duration:1.5hr
  • Organising Entity:Buddhist Library
  • Event Speaker:Bhante Joe
  • Enquiries:info@buddhistlibrary.org.au or (02) 9519 6054
  • Location:Buddhist Library
  • Attendance Mode:In Person Only Event
  • Contribution:By donation
  • In Sri Lanka, there is a strong cultural memory of the existence of large numbers of arahants. There is a folk tale that so many arahants used to fly through the sky at a monastery in the south of Sri Lanka that farmers found it hard to grow crops in the vicinity.

    The existence of large numbers of Sinhalese arahants is now a thing of the past. What caused the loss of living arahants in ancient Sri Lanka? What can we do to prevent such a thing from happening again in the future?

    In this session, we will explore these questions. To answer them, we will travel back to an ancient event, which would have catastrophic consequences for the entire Theravada world.


    Teacher profile: Bhante Joe

    Growing up in the 1980s with an interest in business and computers, a spiritual vocation seemed extremely unlikely for Bhante Joe. But browsing through a religious book that was given to him as a joke, he came to a description of the Four Noble Truths and was converted. He eventually took up training at the Toronto Zen Buddhist Temple. However, an attraction to Theravada Buddhism pulled him towards the Thai Forest Tradition. At a retreat with Ajahn Viradhammo in 2007, he learned about the Tisarana Buddhist Monastery and made his way there, remaining for eight years.

    In 2010, Bhante Joe was ordained as a bhikkhu with Ajahn Viradhammo as his preceptor. He returned to the Toronto area in 2016, associating with the Toronto Mahavihara and the West End Buddhist Temple. In November 2019, he came to Sri Lanka, where he currently resides.