The founder of the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement and Buddhist leader, Dr AT Ariyaratne, has died in Sri Lanka, aged 92.

- through Henry Oudin

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Sri Lankabhimanya Dr Ahangamage Tudor Ariyaratne, 1931-2024. From

Socially engaged Buddhist leader and founder of the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement, Dr AT Ariyaratne, sometimes hailed as the 'Gandhi of Sri Lanka', died on Tuesday. He was 92 years old. His passing leaves a profound legacy of spiritual leadership, social empowerment and compassionate service.

According to media reports, Dr Ariyaratne, a father of six and a devout Buddhist who was active in Sri Lankan politics and community development throughout his life, died at a private hospital in Colombo while undergoing treatment. treatment.

As the most prominent and internationally renowned socially engaged Buddhist in Sri Lanka, Dr. Ariyaratne laid the foundation of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, a grassroots humanitarian organization active throughout Sri Lanka since 1958 and which has grown to become the largest and the largest in the country. Large-scale community development NGO.

Sarvodaya Shramadana, a self-governance movement, adopts an integrated approach to development based on community participation, self-reliance and sustainability, and founded on the concept of "sharing work, thought and energy for awakening of all. By promoting spiritual and cultural development, the movement has successfully implemented a rural economic empowerment program based on microfinance and entrepreneurship development, benefiting over 15 disadvantaged communities in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan media reported that the final funeral rites of Dr. Ariyaratne would take place in Colombo on April 20, with full state honors, in accordance with instructions agreed by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, as well only by those responsible for Sarvodaya Shramadana.

Dr Ariyaratne's remains will lie in state at the Sarvodaya Shramadana headquarters in Moratuwa Municipality until midday on April 20, before being transported by a funeral procession to Independence Square, the Sri Lankan capital. The last religious rites will then take place, followed by cremation at 16 p.m.

In an official statement dated April 17, the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement announced:

It is with deep sadness that the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement informs the public of the passing away of Dr AT Ariyaratne, Sri Lankabhimanya, founder of the Sarvodaya Movement.

The remains will rest at Sarvodaya Headquarters, Damsak Mandira, No. 98 Rawatawatte Road, Moratuwa, on April 17, 2024, from 18 p.m., until Saturday, April 20, 2024, at 12 p.m.

The funeral procession will proceed from Sarvodaya headquarters to Independence Square-Colombo, where state honors will be rendered, followed by final religious rites. Cremation will take place at 16:00 p.m.

We express our gratitude for your kind support and understanding during this time of loss and grief.

May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana!

Sri Lankabhimanya Dr Ahangamage Tudor Ariyaratne, 1931-2024. From

A former high school teacher at Nalanda College Colombo, Dr Ahangamage Tudor Ariyaratne was born in southern Sri Lanka in 1931. He studied economics at university and was later made an honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt. ).

The Sarvodaya Shramadana movement took root during a charity camp in the Kurunegala district of Sri Lanka in 1958, organized by Dr. Ariyaratne with 40 high school students and 12 teachers from Nalanda College Colombo. The workshop organized various social services and led to the formal establishment of the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement, with the underlying objective of fostering a just, sustainable and compassionate social system aimed at meeting the basic needs of the community through individual and collective lighting informed by traditional principles. of Theravada Buddhism. Today, the organization is one of the largest volunteer development movements in the world, with more than 3 paid employees.

In an interview with Dr. Ariyaratne, BDG contributor Shuyin notes that viewing the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement as merely a rural development program or social movement is to overlook its higher goals:

“Sarva” means All and “Udaya” means Awakening. At the heart of the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement is the assertion that all human efforts must aim at awakening on many levels: personal, family, community/group, society and world. Therefore, all Sarvodaya initiatives are conscious of the goals and processes of inner cultivation by which man can transcend his attachment to the lust for material goods, avoid violence and hatred, and overcome ignorance.*

Venerable Pomnyun Sunim (법륜스님). Image courtesy of Jungto Company

In response to the news of the passing of Dr. Ariyaratne, the revered Korean Dharma Master and socially engaged Buddhist activist, Venerable Pomnyun Sunim, founder of the volunteer Buddhist community Jungto Society and the international humanitarian organization JTS Join Together Society, and boss of the international network. of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), shared a public statement:

I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr AT Ariyaratne, founder of the Sarvodaya movement and a global leader in socially engaged Buddhism, and express my sincere condolences.

May he rest in peace.

The influence of engaged Buddhism obtained by Dr. AT Ariyaratne has been a great inspiration to me and to the volunteers of the Jungto Society.

Jungto practitioners and I have long remembered and put into practice the teachings he gave us during his visit to the Sujata Academy in India and the Jungto Society in Korea.

Dr AT Ariyaratne has passed away, but his teaching and practice will remain with us forever, helping many practitioners achieve Buddhadharma.

Please rest in Nirvana.

We will continue his legacy of engaged Buddhism throughout the world.

Dr. Ariyaratne has received numerous local and international honors in recognition of his lifetime of work benefiting others through peacemaking and community development, including: the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1969; the King Baudouin Prize for International Development for 1982-1983; the Gandhi Peace Prize from the Government of India in 1996; and the Niwano Peace Prize in 1992. Dr. Ariyaratne received the Acharya Sushil Kumar International Peace Prize in 2005, and in 2007 the Government of Sri Lanka awarded him the country's highest civilian honor, conferring on him the title Sri Lankabhimanya.

Every human being, especially the Buddhist, must consider the well-being of all as his goal. If we want to realize Bodhi or the highest levels of intelligence that any human mind is capable of achieving, we must serve all living beings and help them overcome physical, mental and emotional suffering. This is truly the ideal of the bodhisattva. This is our highest goal and we can call it total personal awakening. — Dr AT Ariyaratne*

*A moment with Dr AT Ariyaratne (BDG)

See more

Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement

Sarvodaya founder Dr AT Ariyaratne passed away at 92 (Daily News)
Death of Dr AT Ariyaratne (Daily Mirror)
Final rites of Dr. Ariyaratne will be performed with full state honors (

BDG Related Features

A moment with Dr AT Ariyaratne
Being a social architect in Sri Lanka: interview with Dr Charika Marasinghe

The post Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement Founder and Buddhist Leader Dr AT Ariyaratne Passes Away in Sri Lanka, Aged 92 appeared first on Buddhadoor Global.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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