AMATA FOUNDATION

      “He who serves the sick, serves me."  ~ The Buddha ~


ABOUT AMATA - | What is AMATA? | Formation of AMATA & its Development |

AMATA VISION

What is AMATA?

The pali word, Amata comes from the Sanskrit “amrta”, which means no death or deathless. However, it does not mean eternal life or immortality. Therefore, Amata is a synonym for Nibbana which means the final liberation from the wheel of rebirths or deaths as there is no ageing (old age) and death.

As such, Amata (Nibbana) refers to deathless which means great peacefulness or tranquility of mind. It is a mental state when one contemplates the Dhamma rightly and thus derives joy and ecstasy. This state of consciousness is Amata or dealthless. Amata is the forerunner of Nibbana which one can attain if he strives for it with diligence and faith


The Buddha in His short discourses (The Dhammapada), quoted some sayings to guide us on Amata ( Nibbana):

     Mindfulness is the way to the deathless (Nibbana)
     Unmindfulness is the way to death.
     Those who are mindful do not die
     Those who are not mindful are as if already dead.

          Fully comprehending this,
          The wise, who are mindful,
          Rejoice in being mindful and
         Find delight in the domain of the Noble Ones (Ariyas).

              The wise, constantly cultivating tranquility and insight development practice
              Being ever mindful and steadfastly striving, realise Nibbana
              Nibbana, which is free from the bonds of yoga
              Nibbana, the Incomparable!
                   
- Dhpd. Verse 21, 22 & 23

     The foolish and the ignorant give themselves over to negligence
     Whereas the wise treasure mindfulness as a precious jewel.

          Therefore, one should not be negligent nor be addicted to sensual pleasures
          For he who is established in mindfulness
          Through cultivation of tranquility and insight development practice
         Experiences supreme happiness (that is, realises Nibbana)
         
           - Dhpd. Verse 26 & 27.

     Health is the greatest gift,
     Contentment is the greatest wealth,
     A trusted friend is the best relative,
    Nibbana is the greatest bliss
                   
- Dhpd. Verse 204.

 

Formation of AMATA and its Development

A.  FOUNDER / HONORARY PATRON

Venerable E. Indaratana Maha Thera

AMATA CREED

"We strive in unity and harmony
 Serving mankind unconditionally
 Radiating loving-kindness
and compassion”

 

B. TIMELINE OF AMATA FOUNDATION

1996

Venerable E. Indaratana Maha Thera, Chief Monk  of Mahindarama Buddhist Temple started the Amata Clinic at the Temple’s Monk Quarters.

  

26 Oct 1996

The Amata Free Medical Centre was officially launched by the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Malaysia and Singapore, Venerable Dr K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera and the Penang State Executive Councillor, YB Dato Koay Kar Huah.

  

1998

Venerable E. Indaratana Maha Thera established the Maranasati Buddhist Funeral Service Programme for bereaved family members who are Dayaka members of the Temple. Funds raised will be used to purchase medicine and medical supplies for the Amata Free Medical Centre.

  

12 April 1998

The Venerable Thera upgraded the Amata Free Medical Centre to Amata Free Medical and Diabetic Centre in view of an increasing number of needy people diagnosed with diabetics who could not afford the high medical costs.

 

2000

The Amata Penang had to consider relocating its clinic to bigger premises to accommodate the increasing number of patients every Sunday.  In view of the shortage of space, the Temple Management Committee acquired a new premise at No. 11 Jalan Gunaratana to accommodate the Amata Free Medical and Diabetic Centre and also the Mahindarama Sarana Old Folks Home. Renovation works began immediately and the new premise was completed by end 2000.

 

The new premise facilitated Amata Penang to operate as a medical clinic and a dispensary separately with new medical services, which are professionally managed by a panel of medical professionals and helpers who are all volunteers.

 

1 Jan 2001

The Venerable Thera selected the New Year’s Day to mark the official opening of the new premises and YB Dato’ Dr K Rajapathy, Penang State Executive Councillor of Health, Welfare and Caring Society was invited to be the Guest of Honor witnessed by the Temple Devotees.

 

11 Nov 2001

In view of the plight of the sick and needy in Sri Lanka caused by the lack of public health services as many of them were destroyed by the long civil war, the Venerable Thera then established the first Amata branch at the Gangaramaya Temple located in the district of Kelaniya with a mission to provide free medical care to the sick and needy.  

 

2002

In early 2002, the Venerable Thera further spread the wings of Amata Foundation to Japan with the setting-up of an Amata Branch headed by Mr Ken Suzuki and assisted by Mr Madampe.  Amata Japan was established as a non-profit and non-governmental organisation to support the Amata Foundation and its main activities include making appeals to well-wishers in Japan to donate unwanted items which can be refurbished as equipment for medical relief, collection of funds to purchase medicine and equipment as well as collecting old spectacles, clothes, etc for the needy community in Sri Lanka.

 

In conjunction with the new set-up, Amata Japan and the generous citizens of Narita donated a fully equipped mobile clinic cum ambulance to Amata Sri Lanka. The ambulance is fully utilised as a mobile clinic to serve the sick and needy especially those in the rural districts and villages. In addition, it  provides free transport service carrying patients to the nearest hospital for emergency cases and is always on standby at the Temple.

  

26 Feb 2004

In response to the overwhelming demand for free medical care and to further reach out to the needy living in the rural districts, the Venerable Thera then established a second Amata Branch at the Purana Rajamaha Viharaya (Temple) at Elgiriya, Sri Lanka to serve the needy residents living in the District of Matara. 

 

26 Dec 2004

The District of Matara was one of the many districts in Sri Lanka affected by the Tsunami disaster.  During the crisis, Amata Branch I immediately sent medical aids and the Amata ambulance to render 24-hour medical assistance to the Tsunami victims in the nearby affected areas. The volunteers from the Amata Branch I and II helped to coordinate and mobilise the smooth distribution of the humanitarian aids arranged by the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple to the affected districts in Sri Lanka. A total of 14 containers of medical supplies, food and clothes, which were fully sponsored, by well-wishers and devotees were collected, sorted out, shipped and/or air-freighted.

 

As most of the homes were destroyed in the Matara District, the Temple started the Amata Village whereby 50 homes will be built for the Tsunami victims. The construction costs shall be fully-sponsored by well-wishers and devotees. The Government of Sri Lanka gives the land. An Ad-Hoc Committee was set-up to oversee this special project comprising members from the Amata Branch I and committee members of the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple. Drawing plans were submitted by the Ad-Hoc Committee for Government’s approval.

 

30 Oct 2005

The Venerable Thera decided that it was timely to open the third Amata Branch at the Sri Sunandarama Rajamaha Viharaya (Temple) at Tolangamuwa, Warakapola. Amata Branch III was officially opened on Kathina Day and the free medical services were provided temporarily from the Sima Hall. 

 

In addition to the official launching of Amata Branch III, the Venerable Thera created a historic milestone by launching a new Buddhist Heritage in Sri Lanka - the Peaceland of Sri Sunandarama Rajamaha Viharaya  comprising four main structures namely,

Phase 1 - Garden of 28 Buddhas,

Phase 2 - Amata Medicinal Grove,

Phase 3 - Amata International Meditation Centre and

Phase 4 - Peace Stupa, Peace Buddhist Gallery and International Buddhist Shrines.

  

6 Dec 2005

The Venerable Thera officiated the ground-breaking ceremony  for the building premise of Amata Branch III on the Temple grounds. The construction costs is fully-sponsored by well-wishers and devotees from Penang.

 

8 April 2006

The Venerable Thera will officiate the opening of the Amata Branch III new building premise.

 

In addition, the Amata Village will be officially handed over to the Government of Sri Lanka for allocation to the homeless affected by the Tsunami.

 

Our Mission

To establish free medical clinics for the needy
To set up an education fund for deserving schoolchildren
To distribute free food for old folks homes and orphanages


Serving mankind especially
the needy regardless of race, religion or creed based on the principles of loving-kindness and compassion taught by
the Buddha

COMPASSION TOWARDS
THE SICK

One day, when the Buddha was walking in the Temple, He saw a sick monk (Putigatta Tissa) who was left uncared for because he was suffering from a severe skin disease.

The Buddha ministered the sick monk with His own hands. Later on, in the Four-fold Assembly, the Buddha explained the importance of attending to the sick.

Several discourses were delivered by the Buddha on the nursing of patients. He declared, “He who serves the sick, serves me”.

Following the Buddha’s instruction, the Emperor Asoka for the first time, ...
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Copyright © 2005 AMATA FOUNDATION.     All rights reserved.
 
753, “Gangaramaya” Kohalwila, Kelaniya Sri Lanka