Here’s some material for light reading
Posted on August 18th, 2010

Sunil Vijayapala Australia

Amidst going through the viccitudes of life here’s something for light reading.  In 2008 I had two meditation sprees in India and Sri Lanka near the Bodhi Trees.  One day in Anu as I was sitting in contemplation few older villagers who came to worship the Bodhi were engaged in an idle chatter which distracted me.  One guy was telling his friends “ƒ”¹…”I went to this public toilet in Colombo one day and there was this man collecting money at the door for the service.  He asked for Rs.10 and I gave him.  When I was doing the job(No. 2) I realized that it wasn’t to my expected satisfaction and on my way out I told the man – I did only about a Rs. 5 job and asked him – can I have my balance of Rs. 5!’  Inwardly I broke into a hysterical laugh.  There is so much humour among the simple village folk which we must be missing. Anyway I am about to embark on another spree in a few weeks and I wish to bring into the forum my “ƒ”¹…”experiences’ in Meditation and I will be away from this forum too during this period. I met some people with wisdom in this forum, a rarity nowadays, not forgetting to mention very few silly characters, highly conditioned, who border on mediocrity.

 Let me share some of my experiences at Uni with you all as this would certainly bring back memories to most people who cherish the Uni life, a vast contrast from School experience. I always felt I was in a Society within the campus and I didn’t have barriers around me when I associated people from different backgrounds and disciplines.  One guy, coming from a village, I clearly remember called us “ƒ”¹…”Sir’ and he became one of my favourites later.  The only “ƒ”¹…”ragging’ I experienced was a verbal assault from a Senior just after the welcome meeting for new undergrads.  He asked me “ƒ”¹…”Kohenda yako uba awe’  to which I replied “ƒ”¹…”From Pembroke’  He corrected me with a harsh loud voice and said “ƒ”¹…” Kiyapan Yako ammage XXXXXX kiyala'(leave it to your interpretation)  So I repeated it and slipped by.

 When we were seniors one incident which I recall was when we ordered a young fellow from a rural school to lock himself up in a cupboard and being very hyperactive those days ordered him to sing a song in Sinhala while my other friends were sitting around ragging “ƒ”¹…”freshers’ and listening to the Sinhala music from this radio coming through the cupboard.  I again demanded him to sing a song in Tamil which he some how did.  When we rag someone and give orders to do something we get annoyed if the person doesn’t comply with it or sometimes even when he does it politely.  I again asked him to “ƒ”¹…”hey sing an English song’ to which a reply came from inside the cupboard “ƒ”¹…”Aney Ingrissie metere kadilaney!’  to which we all burst into a laugh and opened the cupboard welcomed him into our midst.  This dreaded “ƒ”¹…”ragging’ business can be stopped in Unis. if the newcomers are admitted to the Uni. a week before the seniors arrive, as by then the new fellows will be familiar with the campus and also would have their own groups formed, to fortify themselves.  

 I once had a room mate – “ƒ”¹…”rooma’ from Arts faculty and his English was a bit interesting.  One day when we were about to engage with our rival Uni for the big match in cricket he told me “ƒ”¹…” hey I don’t know about this time, last time we managed to “ƒ”¹…”withdraw’ the game’  I realised he meant “ƒ”¹…”draw’ and I shared this with others, who themselves came to our room on the following day and inquired and got same reply. We had a good laugh although admittedly those days we were “ƒ”¹…”Conditioned’ bums who worshipped this English language as sacrosanct, well that’s an entirely different story, and I will not go there.  One day as he was dressing up he was saying “ƒ”¹…”mage folder eka udata avilla shock eka penawa’  I do not need to clarify this to readers as its obvious what he meant.  When he later became an AGA he himself told me one day how he blundered when he met a foreigner telling him “ƒ”¹…”the govt. imposes an exercise tax instead of “ƒ”¹…”excise tax!’

 My Indian colleague use to give me a ride during a period when my license was cancelled (drinking and driving “”…” I gave up drinking ever since) while living in Toronto and one day we were engaged on a topic on cameras and he was telling me he had this JOOM in his camera.  Good lord I was wandering what he was saying and kept on asking what he meant and finally I realized he was referring to the zoom lens.  Most Indians pronounce zero as jero and also the end words with the R accent or emphasis and for poor students it’s a punishment if they don’t!  

  I was with a Bihari group on internet once few years back and I received this cracking joke from one of the forum members.  It goes like this “”…” (for some this could be stale).There had been unusual deaths in a particular room in a hospital in India and mysteriously the deaths occurred at a certain time period and all staff and doctors were baffled.  Finally they sought divine intervention and performed some rituals over night which did not help to overcome the problem.  The deaths continued and now it was time for the world experts to intervene and some foreign physicians were convened and they decided to keep a watch from early morning through a glass panel.  Well now everyone waited”¦. waited and waited”¦”¦ at around 11.00am Indrajith Pratap Singh the cleaner enters the room “”…” UNPLUGS the LIFE SUPPORTING SYSTEM “”…” plugs in his vacuum cleaner “”…” does vacuuming for 10 mts with much noise and by that time the patient is dead “”…” he restores supply to LSS and moves away.  And that’s how the mysterious deaths occurred in a hospital in India!

 On a serious note Mahinda and his men should not be complacent on this current peace situation as still remnants of LTTE are active in Sri Lanka and one disastrous Bomb attack will turn the tables around and make a real mess that will be fodder for the foreign media maniacs.  Everyone must be vigilant and let us hope that never again this terrorism will surface in Sri Lanka. 

 Writers to this forum must be aware of the difficulty in getting an article published else where especially in Observer, Times and Island although they have enough newsprint to show women’s thighs, legs and boobs, they hardly have space for articles of the caliber published here. This site I treat as a pressure release and readers and writers should treat it with respect and also show respect the views of others.

 One must treat articles on basis of merit – personally I have no special respect for Doctorates or specific professions which remind me of some people I know that hold PhDs who’s IQs tilt towards the negative end of the scale.  Milroy Paul, who did sign MBBS certificates few decades ago, was adamant that people should address him as Mister rather than Doctor, and was of the opinion that a person with a Doctorate in Medicine only should be called a Doctor.  Probably some would certainly agree with this. Quoting from a recent article by one Professor at Peradeniya Uni,  “ƒ”¹…”My personal experience of PhDs (from local or foreign universities) at their worst was the illiteracy of PhDs in the Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya, (ten of them), who couldn’t even tell me why their degree is called a Doctorate in Philosophy”

 Before I wind up here’s a touch of Buddhism, moving toward the other end of the spectrum.  Here are some sites which are of immense value. I did cover most of them and I advise those who make an effort to understand Buddhism should go through them.  For some this may not be new information.

 http://www.sobhana.net/ – an audio and video site covering Dhamma talks by Ven. Narada and other eminent monks both from East and West.  Suttra chants by Dhammaruwan, at age 3, is of special interest as he chants what he recalls from a birth during Buddhagosa’s time(5th century AD).  Girimanada Suttra on 10 perceptions is a true gem of deliverance by Thathagata, which I listen often (you can burn it on to a CD).

 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/index.html – Thripitake translations, a store house of wisdom – be aware that some translations are by Monks who were Christians or Catholics and their interpretations may not reflect the correct meaning of Pali terms, although they approach the text in a scholarly manner, sometimes do get immersed in pedantic arguments, a hall mark quality of especially English background people. Rev. Punnaji, who has studied Western Phylosophy, a Sri Lankan monk comments on this in his talks at Sobhana site.  Sri Lankan monks have an advantage in translation, as Sinhala and Pali in my opinion has a 1:1 relationship and Pali and English has a 1:many relationship as English being a very inconsistent language and considered not a primitive language.  Mahanidhana Suttra best explains Patichcha Sammupadaaya (read the book which also carries the commentaries), the inter dependence of Nama Rupa and Vinnyaana, a paradox, which is fundamental to the cycle of death and birth.

 I invite Catholics, Christians and people form other faiths to read Suttras and make an attempt to understand them beginning with Anguttara Nikaye and if they find no merit in them just discard them.  Here I quote an excerpt from Paramatthaka Sutta in Sutta Nipata which is relevant to people who suffer from egotism; “ƒ”¹…”When dwelling on views as “supreme,” a person makes them the utmost thing in the world, &, from that, calls all others inferior and so he’s not free from disputes”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦.. Abandoning what he had embraced, abandoning self, not clinging, he doesn’t make himself dependent even in connection with knowledge; doesn’t follow a faction among those who are split; doesn’t fall back on any view whatsoever’.

 While respecting all faiths and religions and religious leaders, be aware of freaks that attempt to disparage Thathagata and attempts to convince people that pre-Vijaya or pre-Mahinda wisdom in Lankadeepa was far superior to wisdom of a Thathagata(of course they have the right for their views, however pathetic they be, and we should respect that).  Nigantayas, who attempted to overshoot Thathagata, were prevalent during his time and they too had a following and its no surprise that they are still around.  Make use of your human birth to gain a foothold in the doctrine of Buddhism and understand its concepts, not confining yourself only to knowledge, on mind and matter as they really are.  Buddhism is not a philosophy (no rationalism, syllogism etc.) or a religion (non-dogmatic) but a unique doctrine, based on four Noble Truths and sits on its own and has no parallel or has any influence from any other religion or philosophy.  Simply it teaches UNCONDITIONING ending in the unconditioned state of Nibbana.

 Siddharta mastered the Three Vedas and did find no merit in them, the hypocrisy of Brahmanism(modern Hinduism) of promoting inequality of men, and went through other heretics too and still failed to find a solution to suffering.  He found the solution by himself.  Treat Buddhism as a gem(even Westerners now have realized this), protect it and practice it not through Poojas, Bodhi Poojas or Attavisi Poojas, led by Poojakawarus, who call themselves Buddhist monks,  but through Mindfulness(the most difficult to practice), Samatha and Vipassana meditation on a daily basis, preferably alone. 

 Sunil Vijayapala Australia

One Response to “Here’s some material for light reading”

  1. sharpeshooter Says:

    Correction – Rev. Punnaji, who has studied Western Psycology NOT Phylosophy – regret the error – Sunil Vijayapala

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