Venerable Professor Dhammajoti
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Venerable Professor Dhammajoti
Recipient of Khyentse Foundation's Top Award, The Khyentse Foundation Fellowship, for Service to the Buddhadharma
At a gathering in Hong Kong on February 1, 2015, Venerable Professor Dhammajoti was awarded the 2015 Khyentse Foundation Fellowship, KF's top honor to support the recipient’s continued activity in preserving and promoting the Buddhadharma.
Watch Rinpoche and Venerable Professor Dhammajoti in Conversation
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche headed the committee that selected Venerable Dhammajoti for his long and distinguished teaching career as lecturer and professor in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. He has served on faculties and in centers of education around the world and has especially nourished students from Bangladesh and from his home country, Malaysia. He has published more than 60 research articles, and he edits the annual Journal of Buddhist Studies.
Venerable Dhammajoti is an international figure, known for his publications, teaching, and lectures and seminars in English and in Chinese. In addition to his long activity in Sri Lanka, he has lectured in India, Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada, and Europe. In 2013 he delivered the keynote address, “Samghabhadra’s Contribution to our Understanding of Abhidharma,” at the International Conference on Abhidharma at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Born in Malaysia in 1949, Venerable Dhammajoti is sometimes known as “Kuala Lumpur Dhammajoti” or “KL Dhammajoti.” He became a monk in the Theravadin tradition and studied at Kelaniya University in Sri Lanka, where he earned his MA in 1970 for a study of Skandhila's Abhidharmaavatara and his PhD in 1990 for a thesis on the Chinese versions of the Dhammapada.
His research has been especially devoted to the study of the Sarvastivada Abhidharma, and his book on this topic is now in its third edition. Venerable Dhammajoti has also studied the Pali-Theravadin tradition, and he encourages the comparative study of the Pali and other traditions. He maintains his links with Sri Lanka, and since moving to Hong Kong has invited noted Sri Lankan academics to join hands in the training of a new generation of scholars of Buddhism.
"Venerable Dhammajoti bridges the different traditions of the Buddhadharma, teaching with compassion and without discrimination," said Professor Peter Skilling. "In this way, as Glorious Sun Professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong, he is a shining example of the nonsectarian path for us all."
The KF Fellowship comes with a $30,000 award. Earlier in 2014, Khyentse Foundation supported Venerable Dhammajoti's sponsorship of a teacher for the young monks of the Compassion Buddhist Institute, Chittagong, Bangladesh, which he established and supports.
In recognition of his selfless dedication to the Buddhadharma, we are pleased to award Venerable Dhammajoti the Khyentse Foundation Fellowship. May he continue to work with love and compassion to propagate the Buddhadharma for many years to come.
"Venerable Dhammajoti is a great scholar, but what also impressed me was his being low key, sincere, open and very helpful," said Florence Koh, KF Board Member. "When I first went to him to inquire about Buddhist Studies programs in Asia, his generosity with his time and vast knowledge and insight were truly impressive. I later learned of his great generosity. He supports up to 60 students at a time with his own salary. I am so happy that Rinpoche selected him as the Khyentse Foundation Fellow, and I'm honored to have worked with him on behalf of KF."
Photo: Mazy Kwong, KF Board Member Christine Ng, Venerable Dhammajoti,
Anita Lee, and Karin Liang in Hong Kong.