The KBT Library

Bōdhi Gnāna Library complex
Opening ceremony of the Bōdhi Gnāna Library
Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa at the opening of the library

The broad objective of KBT remains the promotion and fostering of the Buddha Sāsana or the Dispensation of the Buddha. One of the far-sighted means of achieving this in institutionalised form was the establishment of a library to which much thought was given and which culminated in the establishment of a library in 2008.

It was named the Bōdhi Gnāna Library in accommodation of a Mahāyāna (Higher Vehicle) concept. Broadly, adherents of Mahāyāna Buddhism believe that one must use the superior vehicle of becoming a Buddha oneself if one were to attain final release or Nibbāna. This is as against adherents of Hìnayāna, or the Lesser Vehicle who believe that an Arahat or Thera, who is ‘lesser’ than a Buddha, could use this ‘lesser vehicle’ to reach the same level of enlightenment.

When the library was declared open it boasted as many as 40,000 books and periodicals on a variety of subjects. A programme was also initiated to create awareness on the use of a library: how to handle books; how to use dictionaries; how to locate books and so forth. The building named Tilina or ʽGiftʼ in which the library is housed was constructed on a property donated by a philanthropist and it was built and furnished at a cost of Rs 25 million.

The building also has an assembly hall that can accommodate 250 people and is used for meetings of the Sāsanārakshaka Mandala (Councils of the Sangha to Protect the Sāsana); events associated with Dhamma schools, contests, examinations, award ceremonies, social service activities, training programmes and so on.

Some training programmes offered are weekly English classes for students from Grade 6 upwards, a Diploma Certificate Course in collaboration with the University of Sri Jayawardenapura for teachers in the Dhamma schools. In February 2010, a Management Training Course for Co-ordinators of Buddhist Affairs, appointed by the Government to each Divisional Secretariat, was also conducted.