In 1967, the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC) was convened in Sri Lanka. Prominent Mahayana and Therevada monks from around the world gathered and created a statement that was meant to unify all the different Buddhist traditions. This statement was then approved by the Council without any objection.
The Nine Ponits Meant To Unify Different Schools of Buddhism
- The Buddha is the sole Master, teacher and guide for all Buddhists.
- We all take refuge in the Three jewel of Buddhism the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
- We do not believe that this world is made and governed by a God.
- As similar to the Buddha, who is a personification of compassion and wisdom, we also consider development of compassion for all living being with fairness the purpose of our life. The purpose also is to gain wisdom for the attainment of ultimate truth.
- We accept the four noble truth suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering is achievable and the path leading to the cessation of suffering. We also accede to the universal law of cause and effect as given in pratiitya-samutpaada (Conditioned Genesis or Dependent Origination).
- We understand that as per the teachings of the Buddha, all conditioned things are momentary and dukkha while all unconditioned things are without self.
- We recognise the thirty seven qualities useful for enlightenment as different aspect of path preached by the Buddha that leads to enlightenment.
- There are three options to attain enlightenment as per the ability and capacity of each individual as a disciple, as a pratyeka- Buddha and as a Samyak-sam-Buddha. We acknowledge that it is most appropriate to opt for the career of a bodhisattva and to become a Samyak-sam-Buddha in order to safeguard others.
- We agree that in different countries there are contradictions as regards to the life of Buddhist monks, popular Buddhist beliefs and practices, rites and ceremonies, customs and habits. However, we should not confuse these external forms and expressions with the essential teachings of the Buddha.
The above stated Nine Point formula unifying the different schools of Buddhism was created by Ven. Walpola Sri Rahula. In 1981, he reworked on his original formula and expanded it a bit. The basic points, in the new formula, remained the same, however, expalnations attached with each point were enhanced.