Thanks so much Deepika! All your work is very much appreciated.
Just as some news for all our forum friends, Deepika has arranged a visit to Sri Lanka for me. As usual, I am very disorganized and make everything very difficult! But somehow she manages to get things done despite the very many obstacles I create.
Anyway, right now I am typing in a room at Vajirarama. This is one of the most famous monasteries in Sri Lanka, and is home to a distinguished lineage of teachers and practitioners who shaped and defined Theravada Buddhism in modern times.
Sri Lankan monks like Venerables Narada, Piyadassi, and Vajirañāṇa were among the most influential and astute voices in 20th century Buddhism, establishing Dhamma not only in Sri Lanka, but also through very many trips overseas. If you travel to SE Asian countries like Indonesia or Malaysia, at the monasteries there you can still see mementoes and fond recollections of the visits by these monks, especially Ven Narada.
I learned a new fact yesterday. Ven Ñāṇasīha (Olcott Gunasekera) was showing me around, and he explained that it was in the Dhamma hall here that it was in this hall that Ven Vajirañāṇa invented the modern Dhamma talk. One hour to get the point across; not 3 or 4 hours like in the old days!
The monastery is also home to the succession of European monks that began with Ven Nyanatiloka, and then Vens Nyanaponika, Nyanavimala, Nyanamoli, and Ven Bodhi. So I feel like I am in good company as we work to make the suttas available to even more people!