Bennism – The Joke of the Century
Posted on April 22nd, 2011


Reading and understanding Ben Silva’s article “Religion and its effects” is a difficult task. Many regular readers and writers of Lanka Web have attempted to convince him in many ways, but he seems to have attained enlightenment on this subject, no matter what others say, will have no effect on his profound understanding of his “truth”.

The following paragraph shows my attempted definition of his aim.  Although he claimed to be a Buddhist, he should accept that he is not a fan of religion, without trying to hide the banner of “Sinhala Buddhist”. Once he has done that it is easier to argue on his mini doctorine, that is, whether his goal will be achieved with the abandoning of the “suicidal” concept.

Last paragraph summarises his “truth”, which is the survival of Sinhala nation by confining everyone’s thoughts ,energy and aims in one direction, that is “achieving success with modern science and thus surviving as a nation” without blind beliefs, especially Nirvana.

Ironically this is the same method Buddha advised to those who seek worldly success. He did not even mention Nibbana to them. In the Vyaggapajja sutta, when requested by Dighajanu, he gave the following qualities to be developed in order to achieve worldly happiness.

Utthanasampada – The achievement of persistent effort
Arakkhasampada – The achievement of protection.
Kalyanamittata – Association with good characters.
Samajivikata – Balanced livelihood.

As a Buddha he could never teach something that will bring worldly success only. While Arakkah sampada allows one to fight to protect what they earned righteously, he did add other qualities that would keep them on right track.
Although Ben implied Buddha ran away from the problems in a cowardly manner; Prince Siddhartha left highest worldly comfort and happiness to seek a permanent solution to the main problems of life, namely, aging, sickness and death, not only for him but for the whole world. Bennnism or Ben’s solution to problems of life is not published yet.

Abandoning of Nirvana

If Buddhists are to abandon Nirvana in order to protect the nation from aggressors, Christians too have to abandon “Love thy neighbour” idea, or at least add some adjectives to the “neighbour” which Jesus Christ never did. Otherwise it is difficult to fight the LTTE hard-core living next door. Similarly Muslims have to drop all their compassion, generosity etc. and be kind and generous to Muslims only. All Sinhala Buddhist and Christians should then develop “Rentokil” attitude, that is destroy all “pests”. Then it is up to them to define “the pests”.

Even if one abandons Nirvana, one cannot claim to be disciple of Buddha if one hates his neighbour (even when the neighbour happened to be Prabhakaran). Buddha made it clear in Kakachumapma Sutta that even when one’s limbs are being cut off, one should not develop hatred towards the aggressor. But this is something Buddha advised to monks.

Ben’s confusion

Obviously Ben’s confusion comes from not understanding what is expected in lay life against what is expected in homelessness or monk’s life. Ben’s worry is purely hypothetical. No matter what Buddhas said, only a very few will become real monks to reach Nibbana in this very life. That is the reality and therefore Ben need not worry about “extinction of Sinhala” because of Buddhism. Sunil Vijayapala explained this in his own sarcastic manner but Ben spinned Sunil’s words literally to argue his case.

Preserving of Nirvana

If  Sinhala Buddhists followed the four  “Samapadas” taught by Buddha, Sri Lanka would have been a Singapore by now. There is no need to abandon Nirvana. Instead Sri Lanka can be developed into a “Nirvana Hub”, where people from all over the world will visit to seek “extinction”. For this, pure Buddhism shall be preserved instead, which is  a daunting task, because it is very difficult to find proper Buddhist monks who are true followers of Buddha, who will be sympathetic to even the terrorist who cut off the monk’s limbs.


I am not approving Ben’s understanding of suicide=extinction=nirvana in any way. To me this ( Bennism)  is the joke of the century!

15 Responses to “Bennism – The Joke of the Century”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “If Sinhala Buddhists followed the four “Samapadas” taught by Buddha, Sri Lanka would have been a Singapore by now.”

    Singapore has more human rights violations, less freedom, less democracy than SL. Singapore is a totally money-minded society that would do anything for money. Singaporeans have no regard for any of the noble teachings of Buddha. I wonder how following the four “Samapadas” taught by Buddha, Sri Lanka would become a Singapore! If anything beats Ben’s joke, this must be it.

  2. Dham Says:

    True, Singapore is a money minded society. What Ben was asking was worse. He thought the core of Buddhism is the hindrance to develop Sri Lanka. He is prefers dropping all religious beliefs would give us better chance of survival. He is bringing up this issue after the war ended.

    In his preferred way way Singapore is even worse. The have so many rituals, blind beliefs, supervision etc..For example they burn paper Mercedes Benz hoping it will go to the relatives who passed away.
    Yet , they are much more hard working people ( persistent effort). They have one of the best defence systems in Asia ( plus American alliance). This is the best Arakkha Sampada. They have powerful friends ( cannot say Kalyana Mitta though). They also have a system where every one hard working can have housing easily, can afford a job and Makaan ( food) easily, best and cheap transport and not extravagant spending like Australia and America. ( Isn this not balanced livelihood ?) They survive financial crisis too. These are the basic requirement for worldly success.

    But the alarming issue is not Singapore. Issue is Ben is suggesting Sril Lankans to give up the very heart of Buddhism , thus destroy Buddhism. Lets not move our attention from it.

  3. Vis8 Says:

    Let’s leave Buddhism alone: Buddhism is for one’s own development, and one has to take care of oneself, . Ben’s efforts to counter the ltte’s desperate attempts to resurrect its own corpse is more than commendable. This is not a time to bring Buddhism into the limelight. Our country is being harassed by the ltte-funded Western politicians, and THIS is the pressing matter.

  4. AnuD Says:

    Assuming that Ben Silva is honest and he actually is who he saying is, I mean a buddhist, even buddhists Don’t understand buddhism properly.

    Lord Buddha never preached only to one side, always in the middle, and had talked almost every occasion how to live the life in this wolrd happy.

    Unfortunately, people misunderstand it and think Buddha preached only about enlightenment.

    Again, Ben Silva thinks NOT fighting violence with violence is weakness. I mean he thinks when Other faiths killed buddhists, in turn, buddhists should have killed those killers. That is Ben Silva’s inability to understand Buddhism.

  5. Ben_silva Says:

    Interesting article. I need to state that there is no mini doctrine. I simply observed events and came up with some observation, in order to learn from history.. Instead of joking and being hostile, the author or any other person r should come up with a theory to explain events, learn and indicate ways to halt our decline and make progress in a highly competitive global economy, where survival of the fittest appear to operate. My observations are similar to that obtained by the Oxford academic Needham. Of course, people whose minds are affected by the religion mind virus may be very hostile to alternative views.
    Just look at facts:
    There is clear evidence that Singhalese declined from the Golden era of Anuradhapura. By the time SWRD came to power, the Sinhalese were living as second class citizens in their own country. Learn from what happened to Tibetans If strict Buddhism was followed, Praba could have got his land and eventually, the Sinhalese would have been pushed to the sea and we would have had a repeat performance of Cholas on Malaysia, where many native Malays lost their lives My general writing has been to provoke people to think and see if they can learn from history and not to promote mini doctrines Of course some passive highly religious people would be upset from my comments. Instead of thinking through, they shoot the messenger. Sri Lanka is now a multi ethnic and multi cultural country and harmonious relations between various groups are essential. It has to be appreciated that Praba was defeated due to help from Tamils, Muslims, Christens etc and not due to Sinhala Buddhist effort alone Also contributions to Lanka from various ethnic groups need to be recognised
    I have promoted defence and certainly do not promote killing people. I have promoted an approach similar to the approach of Sikhs. The Sinhalese had to run away from Anuradhapura and the king had t seek shelter in Kandy due to constant external threats.. Even that shelter did not prevent the country falling into the hands of the imperialists. Instead of analysing what went wrong and learning from past events some blind followers of religion, want to hang on to religion come what may Then look at what has happened to the Buddhists in the Silk route. Millions got killed – I do not think they thought it as a joke. Also many passive ethnic groups around the globe has been wiped out. I came up with some theory, which matches with that of Needham as well. We can also see the progress made by countries when they are released from the shackles of religion. . If only hostile remarks are made, then I have to assume that the author is a joker, affected by the religious mind virus. Already the author is recognised as a bigger joker. Please do use the forum to trade insults, but try and show reason and analysis Many thinkers have expressed the opinion that religion is a thing of the past and yet we have many who are blind followers of religion. I suggest that the author instead of joking, attempt to define or describe Nirvana. so that a meaningful discussion can take place. There are already at least six different meanings of Nirvana Should we learn from the wiping out of Buddhists in the Silk route and think of ways of avoiding the same fate or just follow the Buddhists in the Silk route. We had a narrow escape this time, we may not be so lucky if our enemies have another go. We cannot even hide in the hill country now.
    Nirvana Hub is indeed a very clever idea by Anuradhini. Could she please explain what is meant by Nirvana, how to achieve it and if it can be verified by evidence, as people spending money on the Nirvana Hub may want evidence that it actually exist Otherwise you may be taken as a con artist.
    Best idea of Nirvana came from Sunil and I fully support it.

  6. Sunil Vijaya Says:

    I wouldn’t be unwise to describe or define Nibbana, as it is undefinable in mundane terms. Not even Buddha attempted to define Nibbana to unenlightened people as its incomprehensible as its an unconditioned phenomenon. However I shall attempt to write an article on this topic.
    Another observation I have made in this forum is how people attampts to hijack a topic to put forward their own agenda. If one writes about slope of Yoda ela, one would expect some lively dialogue on the topic under discussion but a critique slides down to a cesspit and begins critising past political leaders in Sri Lanka which is highly irrelevant to the topic. If one writes about on getting Moon to appoint a panel to report on war crimes committed by US and UK, a person might attack the Catholic Church which will deviate the discussion to an irrelevant zone. Also professionalism must be shown when agreeing and disagreeing on some view as using low level language and comparing people to monkeys and donkeys should be avoided. Besides I wouldn’t insult these animals.

  7. Dham Says:

    Benś arguments are repetitive. Aboriginal people in Australia did not have Nirvana. Red Indians did not have Nirvana. None of the races almost wiped out did not have Nirvana. Without Nirvana Buddhism is same as Hinduism. Sri Lanka = India = LTTE agenda. Keep doing Pujas, Keep tying pirith nools , that is all. Buddha said don hate the enemy. So give up Buddhism.

  8. Ben_silva Says:

    Anuradhini has given a possible explanation for the wiping of Buddhists in the silk route and our inability to fight off foreign invaders and finally yielding to the British.
    Anuradhini says:
    “Buddha made it clear in Kakachumapma Sutta that even when one’s limbs are being cut off, one should not develop hatred towards the aggressor”. We should have been conditioned to meet force with superior force rather than brainwashed to be passive. We should have been prepared to defend our country rather than prepared to let our enemies cut our limbs. This indicates why my view that Buddhism is dangerous to the Sinhalese as it was to Nalanda Buddhists, as it is too passive. Some NGO’s tried to stop the war by telling us that Buddhism is passive.

  9. Ben_silva Says:

    Anuradhini says “Ben need not worry about “extinction of Sinhala” because of Buddhism.” Is Anuradini aware that millions of Buddhists in the silk route have been killed and does Anuradhini not want to learn lessons ?
    With reference to Nirvana, if it cannot be defined, there is no point of debating it and also without a proper definition, aiming for Nirvana also becomes vague. If seeking Nirvana means seeking heavenly birth, then it is a perfectly harmless aim and is acceptable. However, there are at least six different descriptions of Nirvana and how does any one know which description/definition is correct. Even the Buddhists cannot agree on an acceptable definition and some say it cannot be even be defined
    Anuradhini has used the respectable Forum to trade insults The forum should be used to discuss serious matters and not as a means of attacking patriots. Anuradhini has made comical remarks with reference to Singapore and “ Nirvana Hub “. In deed Anuradhini’s article is so funny that it is fair to call Anuradhini the joker of the century.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    I agree with Vis8.

    There are more important issues than this. Can we please concentrate on them?

    We all know Ben Silva has been a strong patriot for the last so many years. He is not an anonymous writer who appeared (and will disappear) from here time to time. His views and wordings are in disagreement with others on the matter of Nibbana. I think the matter has been settled now. We have bigger issues. Tamil Diaspora funded (US$300,000,000 a year) NGOs are trying to get what LTTE failed to get. Lets put our efforts there. We should protect SL as it is even for us to debate over Nibbana! Otherwise Sunilams and Bengadaramans will be discussing about hell not Nibbana.

  11. Nanda Says:

    Looks like Ben Silva is hurt and Lorenzo trying to pacify him. Probably Ben understands the Dukkha now.
    He can insult the Buddha but cannot take any insult himself.

    “If strict Buddhism was followed, Praba could have got his land and eventually, the Sinhalese would have been pushed to the sea”.

    Sorry, this is pure nonsense by Ben. Buddhism did not change. Sinhala Buddhist still won the war.
    Ben started this nonsense and he is the one who should stop it if he wants to win back credibility.

  12. Ben_silva Says:

    Wise words from Lorenzo as usual My main message was,’ in the struggle for survival, only the fittest will survive’There is a need to develop skills for survival. No supernatural force has ever helped any one Christian faith healers regularly deceive people for money.
    Should we learn from our history and from the history of Buddhists or should we just ignore ?

  13. Nanda Says:

    If there is anything to learn from history of Buddhist it is how the Buddhism survived for 2600 years, more than any other religion or theory ( for eg marxism) or even so called science.
    Ben should shut up and get on with good work rather than touching on subjects he is not qualified to do so ( he may call it ignore) , if he is an honest patriot.

  14. Ben_silva Says:

    It is unfortunate that patriots have to deal with, not only external threats, NGOs, Christians doing conversion work, but also confront naive people such as Nanda, clueless on history and also appear to be completely brainless and unable to think, as Nanda has contributed nothing useful, but only produced abuse What happened to Buddhism in India and also to Buddhists in the Silk route ?
    People suchn as Nanda refuse to learn from the past This is my first response to Nanda although he has hurled abuse before and my last response to him

  15. Nanda Says:

    I accept that I have a smaller brain than you. If I am brainless I cannot write this.
    You called yourself “patriot” two times commenting on this writing alone.
    We judge you from your writing, not from your ego. We judge you whether you are patriot or not.
    Just because you worte a lot of articles in the past against LTTE and supporters will not make you a patriot.
    You are just a kid.

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