Monday, October 11, 2010

Sangha Theravada Indonesia


Leading in Service from Period to Period
Begun in 1976 in Indonesia, the Sangha Theravada Indonesia has five Indonesian monks, who lived their monkhood according to the Pali Tipitaka, Buddhist religiosity based on the Pali Scriptures are commonly called Theravada (i.e. the Teaching of the Elders). 

According to the rules/vinaya of monkhood of the Pali Scriptures, the monks are gathered in a brotherhood called Sangha, the members of which are at least five in number.
Its functions like ordination procedures, solving contraventions of the vinaya and other duties of the bhikkhus, have to be proceeded in the Sangha’s forum. Besides the abovementioned functions the Sangha also performs as the spiritual protector and as object of devotion of the Buddhist lay people. As such was the Buddha’s instruction towards 60 Arahat bhikkhus, after having finished their first Rains Retreat.
“Go forth, o wandering monks, for the good of many, for the happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men. Let not two of you go by one way. Preach the doctrine that is beautiful in its beginning, beautiful in its middle, and beautiful in its ending. Declare the holy life in its purity, completely both in the spirit and the letter.
……….are able to know the Dhamma perfectly.”
(Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka)
Considering the facts as mentioned before and moved from conviction towards the Triple Gem, the Sangha Theravada Indonesia was founded on the 23rd October 1976, in the monastery Tanah Putih (formerly “Maha Dhammaloka”) in Semarang, Central Java. Its inspiration originated from the five founding fathers, all Indonesian monks, as they were:
  1.     Bhikkhu Aggabalo
  2.     Bhikkhu Khemasarano
  3.     Bhikkhu Sudhammo
  4.     Bhikkhu Khemiyo and
  5.     Bhikkhu Nyanavuttho
At that time Bhikkhu Sukhemo was doing his Rains in Bangkok, therefore absent at that founding ceremony.
It needs to be noted that none of those five founding fathers of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia have ever been a member of any other Sangha organization, as there existed in Indonesia at the same time.
At the beginning the Sangha Theravada Indonesia was led by a General Secretary. Its first General Secretary was Bhikkhu Aggabalo. In 1977 Bhikkhu Pannavaro and Bhikkhu Subalaratano got their ordination in Bangkok. Being back in his homeland, Bhikkhu Pannavaro in 1978 became the Vice General Secretary of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia.
In January 1979 Girirakkhito Thera was officially ordinated as a member of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia. In 1980 Bhikkhu Pannavaro became the second General Secretary of the Sangha, while the function of Vice General Secretary was taken by Bhikkhu Khemasarano.
In 1988 the 3rd Council of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia was held in the monastery Mendut in Magelang, Centraljava. At that Council 14 monk members were present. One of their decisions made then was the change of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia leading. The Karaka Sangha Sabha (Leading Board) of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia was then installed. Its formation was as follows:
  1.    Sangha Anusasanacariya (Advisor): Girirakkhito Mahathera
  2.    Sanghanayaka (General Chairman): Sri Pannavaro Thera
  3.    Anu Sanghanayaka I (First Vice Chairman, Vinaya Affairs): Sukhemo Thera
  4.    Anu Sanghanayaka II (Second Vice Chairman): Khemasarano Thera
  5.    Anu Sanghanayaka III (Third Vice Chairman): Girirakkhito Mahathera
  6.    General Secretary: Subalaratano Thera
  7.    Assistant of the General Secretary: Bhikkhu Jotidhammo
At the Sangha Council in 1989 in the Brahmavihara Arama in Singaraja, Bali Island, were 14 monks attending. They decided to change the term Anu Sanghanayaka into Upa Sanghanayaka and the assistant of the General Secretary was then called the Vice General Secretary.
The Great Council (Maha Sangha Sabha) of 1992 was held in Semarang. Attended by 16 members, one monk observer and one bhikkhu Sanghanayaka, they installed Cittasanto Thera as Upa Sanghanayaka (3rd Vice Chairman).
The Sangha Theravada Indonesia Great Council of 1994, held in the monastery Dhammacakka in Jakarta, was attended by 15 members and three monk observers. Bhikkhu Thitaketuko was installed as Upa Sanghanayaka (3rd Vice Chairman).
The Sangha Theravada Indonesia Council of 1995 was held in the monastery Saung Paramita in Bogor, Westjava, and attended by 15 members, five monk observers and one bhikkhu Sanghanayaka. Khemasarano Mahathera was then installed as Sangha Anusasanacariya (Advisor), Subalaratano Thera as Upa Sanghanayaka (2nd Vice Chairman) and Bhikkhu Jotidhammo as General Secretary.
The first Sangha Theravada Indonesia Board meeting in 1999 held in April in Jakarta installed Bhikkhu Suddhimano as Vice General Secretary.
The third Sangha Theravada Indonesia Board meeting of 1999 held in December in the monastery Saung Nini in Cianjur, Westjava, installed Bhikkhu Cittagutto as Vice General Secretary to substitute Bhikkhu Suddhimano.
At the Great Sangha Council also held in December 1999 in Cianjur were 22 members present, as well as four monk observers and 1 bhikkhu Sanghanayaka. They decided to make a new Sangha Theravada Indonesia structure, which installation occurred at the Great Sangha Council held in 2000.
At that Council in Blitar, Eastjava, 26 members were present, as well as one bhikkhu Sanghanayaka. The functions installed were:
A. Thera Samagama for the period 2000 – 2005, as follows:
  1.     Sri Pannavaro Mahathera as Mahanayaka
  2.     Sukhemo Mahathera as Upa Mahanayaka
  3.     Sri Subalaratano Mahathera
  4.     Khantidharo Thera
  5.     Thitaketuko Thera
B. Karaka Sangha Sabha for the period 2000 – 2003, as follows:
  1.    Dhammasubho Thera as Sanghanayaka
  2.    Uttamo Thera as Upa Sanghanayaka
The second Sangha Theravada Indonesia Board meeting of 2000 in the monastery Panti Semedi Balerejo, Blitar, Eastjava, installed:
  1.     Jotidhammo Thera as the General Secretary
  2.     Bhikkhu Cittagutto as the Vice General Secretary
  3.     Bhikkhu Atimedho as the Head of the Sanghadana Controlling Institution
  4.     Bhikkhu Suddhimano as the Vice Head of the Sanghadana Controlling Institution
  5.     Bhikkhu Vijito as the Padesa Nayaka Coordinator for West Indonesia
  6.     Jagaro Thera as the Padesa Nayaka Coordinator for Central Indonesia
  7.     Bhikkhu Suddhimano as the Padesa Nayaka Coordinator for East Indonesia
  8.     Sukhemo Mahathera as the Adhikarana Nayaka for Vinaya Affairs
  9.     Saddhaviro Thera as the Upa Adhikarana Nayaka for Vinaya Affairs
The first Sangha Theravada Indonesia Board meeting in 2002, held in the monastery Padepokan Dhammadipa Arama in Batu, Eastjava, installed Subhapanno Thera as the Padesa Nayaka Coordinator for East Indonesia.
The Great Sangha Theravada Indonesia Council in 2003, held in the monastery Dhammasoka in Banjarmasin, Borneo, was attended by 34 members, six monk observers and two Sanghanayaka/Upa Sanghanayaka. They declared the installation of the Karaka Sangha Sabha of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia for the period 2003 – 2006 as follows:
  1.     Dhammasubho Thera as the Sanghanayaka
  2.     Jotidhammo Thera as the Upa Sanghanayaka
  3.     Subhapanno Thera as the General Secretary
  4.     Bhikkhu Dhammakaro as the Vice General Secretary
  5.     Bhikkhu Cittagutto as the Vice General Secretary
  6.     Bhikkhu Vijito as Head of the the Sanghadana Controlling Institution
  7.     Saddhaviro Thera as the Padesa Nayaka Coordinator for East Indonesia
  8.     Jagaro Thera as the Padesa Nayaka Coordinator for Central Indonesia
  9.     Atimedho Thera as the Padesa Nayaka Coordinator for West Indonesia 
  10.     Sukhemo Mahathera as the Adhikarana Nayaka, Vinaya Affairs
  11.     Uttamo Thera as the Upa Adhikarana Nayaka, Vinaya Affairs
 
The Great Sangha Theravada Indonesia Council held 2005 in Bogor was attended by 31 members, six monk observers and two special monk observers (Sanghanayaka/Upa Sanghanayaka). They installed:
A. Thera Samagama Sangha Theravada Indonesia (2005 – 2010) as follows:
  1.     Sukhemo Mahathera as the Mahanayaka
  2.     Sri Subalaratano the Mahathera as Upa Mahanayaka
  3.     Sri Pannavaro the Mahathera
  4.     Uttamo Thera
  5.     Khantidharo Thera
  6.     Thitaketuko Thera
  7.     Urudha Dhammapiyo Thera
B. A team for the perfectioning of the structure of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia organization, which will officially be ratified in the 2006 Great Council.
The second meeting in 2005 of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia Board, held in Bogor, installed Bhikkhu Dhammakaro as Head of the Sanghadana Controlling Institution and Bhikkhu Cittanando as its Vice Head.
In 2006 was held the Great Sangha Theravada Indonesia Council in Singaraja, attended by 32 members, eight monk observers and two special monk observers (Sanghanayaka/Upa Sanghanayaka), deciding:
To amend the Sangha Theravada Indonesia Charter, and
To amend the structure of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia organization.
In that Mahasanghasabha were ordinated for the period 2006 - 2011:
A. Sri Pannavaro Mahathera as the Sanghapamokkha
B. Sri Subalaratano Mahathera as the Upa Sanghapamokkha
C. Dhammasubho Thera as the Theranayaka
D. Jotidhammo Thera as the Sanghanayaka
E. Sukhemo Mahathera as the Adhikarananayaka
While the whole structure will then be as follows:
A. Therasamagama
  1.   Dhammasubho Thera as the Theranayaka
  2.   Dhammavijayo Mahathera as the Upa Theranayaka
  3.   Jagaro Thera as member
  4.   Urudha Dhammapiyo Thera as the member
  5.   Viriyadharo Thera as the member
B. Karakasanghasabha
  1.   Jotidhammo Thera as the Sanghanayaka
  2.   Saddhaviro Thera as the Upa Sanghanayaka for Socio- Cultural Affairs
  3.   Subhapanno Thera as the Upa Sanghanayaka for Education
  4.   Dhammakaro Thera as the Upa Sanghanayaka for Inter- Institutional Relations
  5.   Bhikkhu Cittagutto as the First Secretary
  6.   Bhikkhu Abhayanando as the Second Secretary
  7.   Cittanando Thera as the First Sanghadana Head Controlling Institution
  8.   Bhikkhu Cattamano as the Second Sanghadana Head Controlling Institution
C. Adhikaranasabha: August 2006 were installed for the service period 2006 – 2011:
  1.   Sukhemo Mahathera as the Adhikarananayaka
  2.  . Atimedho Thera as the Upa Adhikarananayaka
  3. . Candakaro Thera as the member
  4. . Suvijano Thera as the member
  5. . Cittanando Thera as the member.
  
Until the 30th anniversary of the Sangha Theravada Indonesia on 23rd October 2006 there were 54 monks in service of the Dhamma in this country. Some of them already passed away, others disrobed and became householders. But none of these monks left the Sangha Theravada Indonesia to move to another existing Sangha organization. Some Sangha Theravada Indonesia monks are attending studies and gaining experience in the Dhammavinaya as well as in meditative praxis abroad. Sangha Theravada Indonesia has surpassed leading period after leading period while doing merit with giving the characteristic cultural performance of the Brotherhood since its installation by the Great Sage Buddha Gotama. The monks observe firmly the Dhammavinaya as well as giving priority to their national identity, amidst the ever developing spirit of the ages.
To live the Dhamma, to spread the Dhamma and to conserve the Dhamma, these are the shapes of service given by the Sangha Theravada Indonesia to the society, the people and the nation of our beloved country, Indonesia.
“Dwelling in the Dhamma, Delighting in the Dhamma, Investigating the Dhamma, Remembering the Dhamma, That bhikkhu falls not away From the Dhamma sublime.”

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