For years, the Swedish-born monk Vello Väärtnou has toiled on two core projects: the opening of a Buddhist Studies institute in Sweden and an online Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia. It brings together Tibetan, Chinese, Sanskrit, and Pali terms in a collection of approximately 81,700 entries explaining the terminology and discourse of Vajrayana Buddhism. I have known him since he visited Hong Kong over a decade ago, and he has always prioritized the Dharma over any other concerns.
He has also disseminated the Dharma in Australia, where he held conferences about Buddhist Studies with guests and speakers from around the world.
His vision for a center of Buddhist Studies center at a Swedish university is a worthwhile one. Buddhism as a phenomenon has already been existed in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries for several generations and it should be researched and preserved. There are thousands of Buddhists from numerous different Buddhist traditions, monasteries, temples and other organizations in Scandinavia, but the academic aspect of Buddhism is missing in Swedish universities.
Furthermore, the Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia requires support from those that share Vello Väärtnou’s vision of a revitalized and thriving Buddhism in Sweden.
As he has told the press, “I’m really more like an Asian in the way of thinking and lifestyle, and I have always buried all my money in Buddhism. I believe that people should get part of this grand cultural heritage offered to us by the East. This is my passion.”
If you find his projects worth supporting, please consider getting in touch with him at [email protected]
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