Madawela Punnaji quotes

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Bhante Madewela Punnaji (1929-2018) was from Sri Lanka and a scholar of the Pali Canon and also had extensive studies in science, medicine, and western psychology. He wrote the Foreword to author Dr. David N. Snyder's Buddha's Lists and has written and presented several other articles around the globe as well.


  • When emotion comes in conflict with reason, emotion usually wins.
  • Mankind must solve its problems through evolution. Just as a child solves his problems by growing up, and animals solve their problems by evolving, human beings too have to solve their problems through maturity, growth and evolution. Modern society is plagued with problems like crime, drug abuse, poverty, mental sickness, psychosomatic disease, insanity, suicide, war and many more. All these problems seem to be the result of emotional immaturity. Therefore, maturity, growth or evolution seems to be the only solution. If evolution is the solution to our problems, then it is worth our while to learn how to evolve.
  • This is my message to you too: "keep evolving". If you follow this advice, there would be no doubt about the possibility that you will evolve to the level, not only of superman but also to the superhuman level.
  • The appearance of a variety of schools of Buddhism marked the entrance of dogmatism into Buddhism and dependence on authoritative interpretations. Today, different schools of thought have arisen in Buddhism due to the unquestioning acceptance of authoritative interpretations of the scripture. This new dogmatism goes against the non-dogmatic spirit of early Buddhism, and is therefore the beginning of degeneration. It is important to emphasize that this dependence on authorities and belief rather than on understanding for oneself, is to be regarded as a degeneration of Buddhist practice rather than progress. It is a natural human weakness to depend on others rather than to rely on oneself. But the aim of Buddhism is to overcome this weakness through the practice of Buddhism. Dependence on authority is inconsistent with Buddhist scripture.
  • Use your own judgment. Scripture is only an aid to thinking.