My First Thought
As new comer to India, I paid my casual attention to my friend’s and had responded in the most indifferent way to such association, then. It could possibly be because my attention was very much tied-up with admission formality to the University. Secondly, my past experience with such similar associations, which I got involved with, had produced no benefit at least to me personally. The associations that I had associated with in the past were not well run and well supported publicly.
The associations that I was involved with in the past were in some ways not creditable associations. As such, many of the leaders were of no creditable stature and the associations were disappointedly non-functional. Among the leaders of the association, to my disappointment, some were not true leader, the associations have no by-law or constitution and secondly, the leader could not lead with a set aims and objective of the association. On top of that was said, mishandling and misappropriation of association funds and property real heart breaking experiences. Probably, because of my bad past experience with association, my attention, at this time, was most casual.
My past experience tells me that those leaders of the association should have the quality and understanding of the importance of the success of an association. For an association to function and be successful, there should be unbiased or impartiality of objective. The moment an association deviates from its own written objective, with personal bias coming into play, the association loses its objective.
Our Buddhist teachings also remind us how one could fall into such a pitfall when we allow such factors to come into play: (1) attachment (chanda) (2) hatred (dosa) (3) fear (bhaya) and (4) ignorance (moha). These four are regarded as four ways of falling into injustice.
Every individual, who gets involved with the association, should carefully look into his own self on his thoughts and feelings and reflect deeply and make analysis in order to find out his own bias or motives. One should be able to pass the litmus test of the above four factors when he chooses to work as a leader of an association.
The success of an association depends very much on the one who has taken a lead role in an association. So much is dependent on the leader’s quality and his stature. The leader bears solely the burden of success and downfall of an association. Therefore, it is essential to select a good and qualified leader. So raises the question here how and what type of a person should be a leader. In my personal opinion, there is an acronym (L-e-a-d-e-r) that said it all, when we select a leader. The leader should have the following qualifications:
v L - learned,
v E - educated,
v A - active,
v D - determination,
v E - experience and
v R - respectable.
So the leader should be a learned, educated, active and respectable person with determination and experience. Then only the society with such a leader would succeed and prosper in the long run. With that this is my conviction that if I ever join an association, those leaders of the association should have those qualifications.
When I came to India for the second time after I completed the University formability and got formally admitted to the University as a pre-doctoral student, I got admitted to the M-M-W-A-I as a member. I realized that I could not stay away from the association while I am living in an environment in the community of the local society. Nevertheless, my desire of a good leader of an association still lingers on in the back of my mind.
As a member of MMWAI, after sometime, I was pretty much involved in the contribution of the association literature and at the same time distributing books including its constitution. I was fascinated by those books which are systematically compiled and published for public review. Its operational transparency and its accomplishment have done beyond my expectation. What MMWAI has done is more than praiseworthy, commendable and exemplary.
When I have gone through the book ‘constitution’ and ‘The Forth Anniversary Book’ I have found the aims and objectives of MMWAI and it is systematically and firmly organized. It is recommended and supported by the Embassy of Myanmar with the intention of promotion of Buddha Sasana. Many of the renowned Sayadaws, both from India and Myanmar, are rooting for the MMWAI. This association, MMWAI, has now being well rooted and established in the land where the light of Dhamma was discovered.
Moreover, it is learnt that there are so many Dhamma-comrades from different places of our mother land (Myanmar), staying and studying in different universities of India. They will, sooner or later, secure the degrees from respective universities with new and diverse knowledge on Buddhism.
Furthermore, I come to know that our devotees from different places have strongly supported the MMWAI. Regarding this, there is no an iota of doubt about that the devotees have a strong confidence – a strong confidence that the monk-students who have completed their study would be able to serve as missionary monks for the promotion and propagation of Buddha Sasana nationally and internationally.
If so, looking from the lay devotee’s support of the Buddha Sasana, as far as I know, they could responsibly endorse and bear the burden of support for the missionary work in the past, in the present, and they will be able to take it in the future, too.
Here, my thought on this matter is “how we, monks, look at it, as the community of Sanghas receiving the lay devotee’s supports. How far have we prepared to acknowledge our indebtedness to the lay devotees? Have we worked hard to be worthy of their support by accumulating the knowledge and wisdom to contribute to our new generations of Buddhists in the mother land - Myanmar? To that call of challenge, are we ready to accept this great challenge and the demand of this new era of Buddha Sasana?
This was what struck me, my first thought.