“Work hard- believe yourself- never give up! You should never learn for the paper qualification. Learning per se is not merely for enriching the sheet of bio-data. Learning English is great but learning Buddhism in English is greater. for those who sought for knowledge, both local and foreign in order to pursue their Buddhist studies from the postgraduate certificate up to the postdoctoral level, postgraduate institute of Pali and Buddhist studies (PGIPBS) certainly guarantees for a rewarding academic journey by not only widening your horizons but also to strengthen your personality.” Said the Director of Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies (PGIPBS); Most Venerable Senior Professor Medawachchiye Dhammajothi Thero.
The most reverend Thero enlightened the Sunday Observer ANCL of the ongoing procedure and schedule of work at the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies (PGIPBS) with his immense knowledge and ideology ;highlighting the unique versatility of PGIPBS under important areas.
Journey through dignity
The Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies (PGIPBS) of the University of Kelaniya was known as the Vidyalankara Institute of Buddhist Studies since its inception on 23rd November 1975 until 30th December 1979. Then, it was affiliated to the Vidyalankara Campus of the University of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Its present name, status, and structure derived from the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies Ordinance No.8 of 1977, which came into operation on 1st January 1980. In terms of this Ordinance, the Institute functions as an organization within the University of Kelaniya, under the direction and control of a Board of Management constituted to represent both academic and administrative personnel.
Sri Lankan erudite scholars in the field of Pali and Buddhist Studies; Prof. L. P. N. Perera, Prof. Jothiya Dheerasekare later known as Ven. Prof. Dhamma vihari, Prof. Y. Karunadasa, Prof. Thilak Kariyawasam, Prof. Asanga Thilakarathne and Prof. Sumanapala Galmangoda have engaged in the mission of enlightening the journey of the Institute initiated by Ven. Dr. Havanpola Rathanasara, the founding Director of the Institute. This is a unique place to obtain knowledge with the Buddhist vicinity and contentment in learning. The Institute provides instructions for the courses of study outlined in the Master’s Degree, postgraduate certificate, and short-term programs. It also guides any casual students, especially from foreign countries, who may seek assistance in projects of their own. The research function includes supervision of Ph.D. and MPhil thesis as well as research undertaken by the academic staff and external scholars. It is well known that this Institute has gained international recognition and, is occupying a special forte in Theravada Buddhism, presenting well-structured courses, tracing its long history, highlighting its spread and expansion.
Vision & Mission
Our Vision is to become a centre of Excellence for Buddhist Studies and research in the world and a major focus for the coordination of collaborative study and research in Buddhist Texts, thought and culture throughout the ages. Our Mission is to achieve excellence in providing learners with the best possible opportunities and facilities to develop knowledge, attitude and research skills in the field of Buddhist Studies.
Currently, the Institute has extended its functions over several countries throughout the world. The Buddha Dharma Centre of Hong Kong Limited, Hong Kong, The Buddhist Library Graduate School of Singapore, Singapore and China’s Buddhist Academy of Mt. Putuo, China, affiliated to the Institute; conduct its Taught and Research Programs. We are affiliated with several international Buddhist institutions throughout the world; Especially Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and China. There will be many foreign students who will join us from UK, USA and also from Vietnam.
Departments of studies
Buddhist Source Studies
The Department of Buddhist Sources offers postgraduate courses to students who wish to undertake higher studies and research in Buddhist sources. Currently the following one-year taught courses are offered by the department: Postgraduate Certificate Course in Pali, Postgraduate Diploma in Pali, and Master of Arts in Pali. Additionally, students can enrol for M. Phil and PhD degrees by research on Sources of Buddhism preserved in Pali, Prakrit, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Chinese, and Tibetan languages.
The Department of Buddhist Thought offers the Postgraduate Diploma in Buddhist Studies and Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies Degree Programs (Taught Courses). The courses are conducted both in Sinhala and English. The Department accepts the applications for MPhil and PhD programmes in the fields of Buddhist Philosophy, Buddhist Ethics, Buddhist Social Philosophy, Buddhist Traditions, Chinese Buddhism and Comparative Philosophy. Currently, there is large number of overseas and local research students pursuing their MPhil and PhD Degrees under the supervision of the Department.
The Department undertaking to teach courses in the Postgraduate Diploma in Buddhist Studies and Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies (Taught Postgraduate) Degree Programs entertains the applications of the research students in the following areas of study: Buddhist History, Contemporary Buddhism, Buddhist Arts, Buddhist Civilization, Comparative Religions and Buddhist Psychology and Counselling within the field of humanities. There are large number of Research students enrolled in the Department for Master of Philosophy and PhD Degree Programs.
Department conducts a Postgraduate Diploma and a Master of Arts Degree Program in Buddhist Ayurvrdic Counselling, a new study area introduced several years ago.
The Institute has a very competent academic staff, constituted of reputed and authoritative scholars in the areas they teach. All of them are well versed in primary sources: Pali, Sanskrit, and some even in Chinese. Besides, dedicated and dynamic teachers, they serve also as sociable guides who are of easy access and of much help.
THE COURSES FOR BOTH LOCAL AND FOREIGN STUDENTS
= Postgraduate Diploma in Buddhist Studies (One Year)
= Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree in Buddhist Studies – Full Time (One Year) / Part Time (Two
= Postgraduate Certificate Course in Pali (One Year)
= Prior knowledge in Pali0 is not required
= Postgraduate Diploma in Pali (One Year)
= Master of Arts (M.A.) Degree in Pali (One Year)
= Postgraduate Diploma in Buddhist Ayurvedic Counseling (One Year – in Sinhala
= Medium only)
= Doctor of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies (PhD – 3 Years)
We have started a special course unit for English in order to enhance the English knowledge for students. That is as English for Buddhist studies.
Plans for the
= Conferences and guest Lectures are planned with the imminent participation of lecturers from USA, China and so on.
= Change of venue of the Institute for next year.
= A new Audio-Video Centre for the next year for the enhancement of foreign languages and communication through propagating sermons and speeches.
= More focus on practical side of the syllabus in practice.
= To start a Research Unit in the Institute
= To get a broader number of foreign students