The self immolation of the Venerable Bowatte Indarathana Thera and its consequences.
Posted on May 27th, 2013

Mario Perera, Kadawata

The act of self immolation of the venerable monk and the immediate motive ascribed to it are only the tip of an iceberg. The immediate motive brings up the specter of Muslim ambitions. They are even attempting to subvert history to suit their hegemonic purposes (see Dilrook Kannangara: Jilani Never Visited Lanka, No Mention of Kuragala by Ibn Battuta). The immediate motive is mentioned as the issue of cattle slaughter and meat consumption in a Buddhist country. The immediate context was the festival of Wesak with its accent on “ƒ”¹…”ahimsa’. The place of the immolation was the precinct of the Temple of the most sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha, the scene of the some of the most historic events of the country.

As regards cattle slaughter and meat consumption, the issue is more complicated than it would appear to be at first sight. Sri Lanka comprises around 75 percent Buddhists which makes Buddhists the preponderant majority. If this vast majority desists from consuming meat, the problem would literally be solved. In India restaurants are divided into three categories VEG and NON-VEG. while some restaurant are both VEG and NON VEG The first category outnumbers by far the second and third. The net result is that cattle wander around untouched.

In Sri Lanka, especially after the act of self immolation of the monk, a compromise formula will have to be found. One such measure could be the declaration of Buddhist temple areas as meat free areas. Considering the overwhelming number of Buddhist temples in the country, and also the fact that the majority of Hindus are vegetarians, such a measure could act initially as a forceful deterrent to the slaughter of cattle and the consumption of their flesh.

The principal problem that assails Buddhism is the lack of a central hierarchy whose word is law or nearly so. The Mahanayake’s are pure figure-heads who cannot impose their dictates even on the rest of the Sangha. Buddhism does not have a system of laws applicable to its adherents. The principal weapon of the monks is bana preaching but as many exalted monks had said: we cannot mold the country by preaching bana only. The clearest example is parliament composed preponderantly of Buddhists. The presence of monks has not even superficially scratched the varnish coating of parliamentarian immoralities.

Buddhist leaders and institutions do not influence the conduct of individuals as seen among other religious communities. We must remember how great monks of our life time envied the Muslim community for their abstinence from alcohol. The leadership and community structure among Buddhists have no hold on the individual conscience which is the seat of Buddhism. They therefore expect the State to intervene to achieve their goals. Indeed this has been the duty and the obligation of the rulers since the kings. The State government more eager to hold on to the votes of minorities generally turns a deaf ear to the pleadings of the Buddhist leadership.

But the self immolation of the venerable monk goes far beyond that principle motive. It embodies the resistance of the majority community to efforts by ethnic and religious minorities to usurp its land and spiritual inheritance. The issues raised by the self immolated monk are those of security, morality, and gains by minorities at the expense of the majority community. These are times when Buddhist extra parliamentary political formations are engaged in an endeavour to remind the State government of its commitments to Buddhism enshrined, in general terms, in the constitution. The particularities of those commitments are those dictated by particular historical situations and circumstances that should draw the attention of the ministry concerned which is however nothing but a big yawn.

From all appearances, the government has drifted away from its obligation to Buddhism and to the majority community. It has made itself vulnerable to international pressures and got caged in traps laid by adverse outside forces. Fearful of international reprisals the government has turned a complete blind eye to domestic issues be it security or other. From all appearances we are heading towards a 1956 situation where the Sangha is taking the lead to voice the grievances of the Buddhist Sinhala majority and to stir the government awake from its dogmatic slumber. The conflict is sharpening and if left to snowball could eventually be the undoing of the MR regime.

This is the wider context within which the self immolation of the venerable monk took place and hence should not be taken lightly nor viewed as an isolated incident. It is a first in our history, but could very well not be the last. Once the trend is set the pattern will continue. One need not be reminded that the Sangha has made governments and brought down others to their knees. No government is that strong, whatever be its strength, to resist major upheavals unleashed by the Sangha. The self immolation of the venerable monk cannot be considered as being any other but one such major upheaval.

A recent commentator asked a pertinent question. Is MR a politician or a statesman? A politician is a con man, a yes man, who engages himself by saying “ƒ”¹…”yes’ and “ƒ”¹…”more’ for his purposes and then tries to wriggle out of the embarrassing situations of his creation. Such are the games that MR has played with India and the Whites. As regards 13A he said he will even make it 13+. Now the TNA like Shylock will not compromise on its pound of flesh and is relying on India and the Whites to see the deal through.

The present government is caught on the wrong foot as regards several issues. As long as 13A remains in the statue books, the Tamil problem has not been solved at all. The end of the war was the end of the military chapter and not the end of the Tamil struggle for self rule, being another name for separatism. It is 13A that keeps that story alive and kicking with vehemence. The government has compromised itself on all these issues, so much so that the writing would now appear to be on the wall. The hand that is writing is the ominous hand of the Sangha. The self immolation of the monk has now turned that ink into blood. When the Sangha writes with its blood the writings stay like hewn on rock. The images of members of the Sangha confronting the police on the streets are not good omens and can well be interpreted as signs of things to come. That one of them paid the supreme price for his convictions is a stronger galvanizing power than any other. A potent nationalistic Sinhala Buddhist volcano is in the process of irruption and is emitting yellow flames.

The martyred Venerable Bowatte Indarathana Thera could therefore well become the rallying point of the Sinhala Buddhist nation against a regime of proven Indian and white back scratchers. His blood shed on the sacred precinct of the Sri Dalada Temple is supremely more potent than all the coconuts cracked open before shrines of imported Indian Hindu gods.

Mario Perera, Kadawata

21 Responses to “The self immolation of the Venerable Bowatte Indarathana Thera and its consequences.”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Personally, I cannot support killing of an innocent, even the self.

    It is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. No one else should follow him. This is NOT Tibet or Endia.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    MARIO !! You could not have said it better. Yes Mario, coming events are casting their shadows.

    ” All the Kings Horses and all the Kings men, would never put Humpty Dumpty together again.

  3. herman Says:

    Mario,

    Yes, the principal weapon of most SL monks are preaching the bana but if these exalted monks changed tactics from not only Preaching but Practising and Abstaing from eating meat then the issue of cattle slaughter and meat consumption will be better understood by the lay people in and out of the country. Also, not only cattle slaughter but all forms of killing meat for human consumption will reduce, tremendously.

    SL monks must lead by example and since most monks do not go on Pindapata and partake their meals in temple premises, there are no excuses that they cannot mold their disciples !

  4. Dilrook Says:

    Believe it or not, India is world’s largest beef exporter in 2012 (over 2 million MT) and the trend is set to continue. For 4 years since 2008, beef production in India grew by a staggering 44%. India has surpassed Brazil, USA and Australia, all known as prime beef exporting countries.

    India is also the single largest milk producer in the world.

    Milk production and beef production are inter-related for economic reasons.

    Cattle slaughter must not be banned in Sri Lanka. Even India is moving forward where cattle are worshipped. Sri Lankan culture never revered cattle. Unlike in the Hindu culture, in Sri Lankan native culture, cattle are not considered special or a species to protect. Words used for cattle (“haraka”, “gona”, “dena”) are derogatory, not respectful. Wimal Weerawansa’s Thai Pongal example does not relate to Sri Lanka as that South Indian festival has a very short history in the island.

    I invite people to set aside their religious beliefs and biases for an objective assessment of cattle slaughter. Surely the Indians have done it and they are now gaining the benefits. It is better to emphasise Buddhist teachings than the customs and beliefs surrounding it. Buddhist teachings do not require states to ban cattle slaughter. Buddhist teachings follow voluntary personal decisions, not commandments or compulsions as in established religions.

  5. Amarasiri Says:

    Dilrook,

    The number of cattle slaughtered worldwide.

    http://www. indexmundi.com /agriculture/ ?commodity= cattle& graph=total- slaughter

    Rank Country Total Slaughter (1000 HEAD)
    1 India 42,100.00 (Country of Buddha;s Birth, Hindu)
    2 China 40,900.00 (“Buddhist” Country)
    3 Brazil 40,300.00
    4 United States 32,612.00
    5 EU-27 27,300.00
    6 Argentina 12,400.00
    7 Australia 8,100.00
    8 Russian Federation 6,800.00
    9 Mexico 6,300.00
    10 Colombia 4,300.00
    11 New Zealand 4,146.00
    12 Canada 2,985.00
    13 Ukraine 2,390.00
    14 Uruguay 2,230.00
    15 Venezuela 1,550.00
    16 Egypt 1,340.00 ( Muslim)
    17 Belarus 1,205.00
    18 Japan 1,155.00 (“Buddhist”)
    19 Korea, Republic Of 938.00
    Year of Estimate: 2013

    Source: United States Department of Agriculture

    If you go to the web site, there is data on swine as well. I am sure, if chicken, other birds and fish are included, the numbers are quite large. However, now it is an industry, an agricultural industry.

    Man was a hunter gatherer for survival, and so were the Veddahs. If not, humans may have gone extinct. Yes, we need to show more compassion to our fellow human beings, and our species and not go extinct, because we all are infected with the Race or Religion Mind Virus, and not forget that we came out of Africa 70,000 years or 2,000 generations ago.

    The carnivores depend on the herbivores for survival. The lions and tigers depend on the cows, goats and deer for survival. According to Monk Mahanama, Vijays’s grandfather was a lion, and if you believe that, as such he must have killed other herbivores for survival. Tigers, when they become old and find it difficult to hunt deer, they hunt people, and become man eaters.

  6. Christie Says:

    Christie Says:

    May 27th, 2013 at 7:31 am
    May the Venerable Monk attain Nibbana.
    According to ist percept taking life is not a good act, be it your own or others.
    According to Buddhism I learnt when i was young sucide is not an approved act like in Hindinism. In Hindunism a widow has to commit suicide by jumpimg in to the funeral pire of the husband.
    Buddhism does not approve suicide for any reason and I am sure Buddha has said that monks should not commit suicide as they are to carry on with the teachings.
    India is the worlds leading exporter of beef today.
    Buddhism does not prohibit eating of meat let alone beef. The milk most of us drink comes from overseas mainly from New Zealand not from the cows here.
    Stray cattle is a problem in Sri Lanka. I cannot grow any manioc because of stray cattle that roam around the village.
    I read a lot of comments in the WWW and local news papers and I feel sory for myself and others. We are being lead by the Indian hedgemonism and brainwashing.

    Please be realistic and think of our heritage. We are meat eaters for forty thousand years.

    The above is my previous comment.

    1956 was the begining of the end of the Sinhala Buddhists brought about by the Indian colonial parasites, India and the Indian intelligence service the Third Eye.

    During the 1956 election leading monks went around telling lies. One of the lies was that Sir John Kotalawala roasted a new born calf after feeding it milk from the mother cow. This was a blatant lie as it is not possible to roast an animal with liquid in its stomach. Unfortunately most of the Sinhalese beleived it. Sir John Kotalawal is one of the greatest sinhala sons of mother Sinhale. The Kotalawal Defence Academy is on his gardens donated by him to the nation.

    We have so many problems without worrying what we eat or do not eat. First there is not enough food to go around with meat or without meat.

    Sinhalese generally did not kill female animals to eat. Most of the Indian meat exports are old cows after milking them for life and buffolo meat. Killed in appaling conditions compared to Dematagoda abbotoirs.

    Bowatte thero comes from Kahawatte where the mjority population are Hindus in the estates around.

    We can see where things are coming from.

    The simple thing is India is doing what ever it can do to destroy the Sinhale.

    I feel sorry for the monk who killed himself. We have

  7. Senevirath Says:

    MEAT EATERS FOR 40000 YEARS/?
    DO U KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT “”maghatha”””

    DENA MEANS dhenuwa — FEMALE

    WE DONT LIKE OR ACCEPT THAT THE SELF IMMOLATION IS GOOD BUT WHEN SOME BODY DO IT FOR A GOOD PURPOSE LIKE SAVING THE COUNTRY AND THE CIVILISATION WE HAVE TO BE SOME WHAT NUETRAL.

    ONLY FEW CAN DO IT FOR A WORTHY CAUSE. MANY DO IT FOR UN WORTTHY CAUSES
    HASALAKA VEERAYA SAVED HIS FELLOW SOLDIERS. VIET NAM BIKKHUS SAVED THE COUNTRY BY SELF IMMOLATION

    THER ARE PEOPLE WHO WILL DO ANYTHING FOR OTHERS EVEN POSTPONING NIRVANA

    IF WE GO ON CRITICISING THIS THER WILL BE NO MORE HASALAKA VEERAYAS AGAIN

    muslim breeding

    last week my niece was admitted to the kurunegala hospital for a child birth . there were 15 pregnant mothers in the ward
    and out of that 12 were muslims . only 3 were sinhalese. there were muslim doctors giving special attention to muslim mothers and advising them not to do surgeries preventing conception. THEY ARE PURPOSELY INCREASING THEIR POPULATION— THIS IS NO JOKE ——–. WE SHOULD KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OTHER RELIGIONS AND ISLAM. THERE ARE INHUMANS AMONG HUMANS

    sinhala doctors and nurses have now realised.. what is going on in this country…. thanks to B.B.S AND THEY ARE NOW TREATING BETTER TO SINHALA PATIENTS

    EVERY DARK CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINNING

    ”MAHANAKAMATH BANA DAHAMATH EYAY MATA”” TIBETIAN MONK VEN MAHINDA—

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Even Hindu priests do not perform self immolation to stop cattle slaughter. It doesn’t make sense that a Buddhist priest does so. In any case, self immolation is not a Buddhist practice. Buddhism does not allow suicide/self destruction.

    Slaughter of animal and belief systems in religions have always clashed. In modern times, the Economy prevails above all else as it is difficult to feed and take care of large populations.

    If India is a leading beef exporter, then it certainly is not the Hindu folk who are doing the slaughtering. There seems to be some sort of symbiotic relationship developing there between Hindu & Muslim people there for the sake of economic survival.

    Worship of the cow came into Indian culture during ancient times when the cow was indispensable for life there. The cow provided milk and curd, cheese and other milk products. The cow dung was used for fertiliser and dried dung as fuel. When the animals died a natural death due to old age or illness, the skins were used for footwear etc. The cow is featured in the Ramayana too. Times have changed and in the present day Economic activities matter to sustain about one Billion people in poverty stricken India.

    What Hindu & Buddhist people can do is to produce tasty VEGETARIAN food that have a long shelf life, through modern packaging methods. Vegetarian food can provide complete nutrition, provided it is carefully balanced out. In fact, vegetarian food is good/better for human health. Vegetarian food does not harm the environment either. The pluses are many. Vegetarian flavors for meat, chicken etc. can be bought off the internet, and veggie burghers prepared from soy textured veggie proteins. Various beans & rice (starches) make complete proteins equal to meats.

    But people should be left alone to eat as they please. However, it is up to media to point out the benefits of a vegetarian diet.

    Perhaps the monk who committed self immolation has not died in vain, but has brought attention to an important point not only for Sri Lanka but for the health/environmental concerns of the whole world ?

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    I should say ALL people who like vegetarian food (whatever their religion) should get together and produce tasty VEGETARIAN
    food that have a long shelf life …..

    Also soy milk is more healthy than cow milk, and will benefit those especially with allergic reactions to cow milk. In effect, the soy plant can virtually replace the cow.

  10. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Whenever we go to Sri Lanka, we never eat meat or even chicken. I always ask for young jack fruit curry (Polos ambula), Kiri kos (jack fruit cooked with coconut milk and slightly spiced), Bread Fruits curry, Ceylon spinach( only grown in Sri Lanka), Okra ( ladies fingers),Round Egg plant (Thalana Batu), aubergine(Vam Batu) , Eggplant (Small/Pea)(Thibbatu), Manioc (Cassava), Kang Kong (water spinach). snake beans and winged beans and then do you still need meat . The god has given you enough verities that you don’t have to kill animal like other barbarians.

  11. Marco Says:

    The silence from BBS on this most regrettable incident is deafening!

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Amarasiri is a Jihadist.

    OBVIOUSLY they want to KILL and eat whatever!

  13. Leela Says:

    Thank you Lorenzo, I should have known it; I cannot compare Amarasiri better.
    Leela

  14. TheSeal Says:

    First of all Sri Lankan buddhists, and especially buddhist monks, should become vegetarians before preaching believers of other religions on cattle slaughter.
    I have personally witnessed a leading monk suggesting food with mutton and chicken for an almsgiving. From where do these meats come? Plucked from some trees?
    If you visit Nepal, you can notice that the majority among Nepalee buddhists are vegetarians and the majority among Hindus are non-vegetarians. But, in Sri Lanka, it is just the opposite – the vast majority among buddhists are non-vegetarians.
    Just ask for a vegetarian meal from a Sinhala Buddhist, whether at a restaurant or at a friend’s place, you will be served with dried fish or maldive fish.
    This shows the hypocrisy of Sri Lankan Buddhists who preach others’ on killing for food.

  15. Lorenzo Says:

    I read this amazing story about a KEROSENE DANSALA by a person named SADHARANA MUDALALI (Thissa Hewawasam).

    He gives free kerosene oil to poor people in Badulla every Wesak day. He also pays electricity bills of poor temples.

    I think we should trace this person and help him financially to do MORE.

  16. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    All of life is based upon death. It is an unpleasant reality, but try staying alive without eating something that was once alive and then you killed or was killed for you for food. Just because most of us live in cities now and never have to kill an animal because the “Factory Farms” have done the killing for us does not change the reality that life is based upon the violence of killing other life.
    Superstition reigns and blood has a dark authority in the rural villages of India since the mystique of ritual killing is so powerful that even those who actually don’t perform it claim to do so.
    Buddhism has the strongest tradition of non-violence and peace. Buddhism has been a champion of peaceful coexistence and non-violent resolution of problems. Buddhism has among its core precepts a prohibition on killing.
    Buddhists are expected to follow the Five Precepts. The very first precept simply states:” I undertake to refrain from taking life.” The Buddhist monastic, upon ordination, takes on ten precepts, of which restraint from killing is also the first one.
    Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, Buddhists are committed to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. Buddhists are determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in their thinking, and intheir way of life.
    The discouragement of killing is more than a mere statement of belief. Buddhism is a soteriological religion – focused on personal salvation. As such it is based on behaviors that promote actions that encourage salvation. Buddhism inherited from the concept of karma. Karma which is the belief that all actions have consequences; these can be positive or negative. Killing is considered to create the most negative consequence (karma). From this it follows that in the Buddhist tradition killing is inimical to salvation in this life, and brings a promise of negative consequences in any possible future reincarnations.
    The recommendation against killing is not only the first among the rules of Buddhism, but that it is central to effective practice of Buddhism. Avoidance of killing is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism.

  17. Fran Diaz Says:

    Hinduism too embraces Non-Violence.

    Quote from Hindupedia :

    “Ahimsa
    By Krishna Maheshwari

    Ahimsa (अहिंसा, Ahińsā), loosely translated, means abstinence from violence either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand. In a positive sense, it implies compassion and cosmic love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. The scriptures define ahimsa as the true sacrifice, forgiveness, power, and strength. At its core, ahimsa is based on the intentions of a person whose focus is to not harm anyone. Ahimsa was also the name of the wife of Dharma as mentioned in the Vişņu Purāņa.
    Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word derived from the root hims, meaning to strike. Himsa means injury or harm. Literally translated, a-himsa means the opposite of himsa or non-injury or non-violence”.

  18. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    nt just a correction – karma or kamma is not a consequence. it s the cause. it is the action, deed, whatever done. vipaaker is the consequence or you may say karma vipaaker. most don’t get this right as we have been taught the incorrect meaning and is the common parlance. also, Buddhism is not a religion nor a philosophy. it’s best defined as the noble truth.

  19. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha’s period saw not only urbanisation, but also the beginnings of centralised states.The successful expansion of Buddhism depended on the growing economy of the time, together with increased centralized political organization capable of change. Buddhism had seen a steady growth from its beginnings to its endorsement as state religion of the Maurya Empire under Ashoka Maurya (304BCE–232 BCE). It continued to flourish another 4 centuries and spread even beyond the Indian subcontinent to Central Asia and beyond to China.

    Ashoka Maurya banned Vedic sacrifices as contrary to Buddhist benevolence, Buddhism began its spread outside of its Magadha homeland. The succeeding Shungas reinstated the sacrifices. They also built the large Sanchi stupa next to a Shunga capital. The overall trend of Buddhism’s spread across India and state support by various regional regimes continued.The consolidation of monastic organization made Buddhism the center of religious and intellectual life in India. Pushyamitra the first ruler of the Sunga Dynasty built great Buddhist topes at Sanchi in 188 BCE. The succeeding Kanva Dynasty had four Buddhist Kanva Kings.

    The decline of Buddhism in India is the result of the hostility of the Brahmans. The gradual expansion in the scope and authority of caste regulations shifted political and economic power to the local arena, reversing the trend of centralization.The caste system gradually expanded into secular life as a regulative code of social and economic transactions. In ancient times, the four varnas were primarily a categorization scheme and the Vedas did contain prohibitions regarding intermarriage. There were, however, large numbers of castes probably originally tribal lineage groups.

    Pusyamitra Sunga (185 BCE to 151 BCE) was hostile to Buddhism, he burned Sūtras, Buddhists shrines and massacred monks. The Hindu Saivite ruler Shashanka of Gauda (590–626) destroyed the Buddhist images and Bo Tree, under which Siddhartha Gautama is said to have achieved enlightenment. But a steady decline of Buddhism in India set in during the later Gupta era and under the Pala Empire. Chinese monks traveling through the region between the 5th and 8th centuries CE, such as Faxian, Xuanzang, Yijing, Huisheng, and Song Yun, began to speak of a decline of the Buddhist sangha, especially in the wake of the White Hun invasion. By that time, Buddhism had become especially vulnerable to hostile rulers because it lacked strong roots in society as most of its adherents were ascetic communities.

    In 711 Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the Sindh, bringing Indian societies into contact with Islam, succeeding partly because Dahir was an unpopular Hindu king that ruled over a Buddhist majority and that Chach of Alor and his kin were regarded as usurpers of the earlier Buddhist Rai Dynasty – a view questioned by those who note the diffuse and blurred nature of Hindu and Buddhist practices in the region, especially that of the royalty to be patrons of both and those who believe that Chach himself may have been a Buddhist. The forces of Muhammad bin Qasim defeated Raja Dahir in alliance with the Jats and other regional governors.

    Many instances of conversion of stupas to mosques such as at Nerun as well as the incorporation of the religious elite into the ruling administration such as the allocation of 3% of the government revenue was allocated to the Brahmins. As a whole, the non-Muslim populations of conquered territories were treated as People of the Book and granted the freedom to practice their respective faiths in return for payment of the poll tax (jizya). They were then excused from military service or payment of the tax paid by Muslim subjects – Zakat. The jizya enforced was a graded tax, being heaviest on the elite and lightest on the poor.

    The Gupta Empire period was a time of great development of Hindu culture but even then, in the Ganges Plain, half of the population supported Buddhism and the five precepts were widely observed. The Hindu rulers and wealthy laity gave lavish material support to Buddhist monasteries. After the Guptas, the Shaivite kings of Gujarat (as well as Nepal and Kashmir) also patronized Buddhist monasteries, building a great center of Buddhist learning at Valabhi. The Buddhist emperor Harsha and the later Buddhist Pala dynasty (8th to11th Centuries ) were great patrons of Buddhism but it had already begun to lose its political and social base.

    With the surge of Hindu philosophers like Adi Shankara(788 – 820), along with Madhvacharya and Ramanuja, three leaders in the revival of Hindu philosophy, Buddhism started to fade out rapidly from the landscape of India.

    By the 10th century Mahmud of Ghazni defeated the Hindu-Shahis, effectively removing Hindu influence and ending Buddhist self-governance across Central Asia, as well as the Punjab region. He demolished both stupas and temples during his numerous campaigns across North-Western India, but left those within his domains and Afghanistan alone. Hindu and Buddhist statues, shrines and temples were looted and destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni and many Buddhists had to take refuge in Tibet.

    Decline continued after the fall of the Pala dynasty in the 12th century and the gradual Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent. The Buddhism of Magadha was finally swept away by the Islamic invasion under one of Qutb-ud-Din’s generals Muhammad Bin Bakhtiar Khilji, during which many of the Viharas and the famed universities of Nalanda and Vikramshila were destroyed, and thousands of Buddhist monks were massacred in 12th century.

    Muhammad attacked the north-western regions of the Indian subcontinent many times. Gujarat later fell to Muhammad of Ghor’s armies in 1197. Muhammad of Ghor’s army was too developed for the traditional Indian army of that time to resist.

    In 1197 the capital, Bihar, was seized by a small party of two hundred horsemen, who rushed the postern gate, and sacked the town. Further, the slaughter of the “shaven-headed Brahmans,” as the Muslim chronicler calls the Buddhist monks, “was so complete that when the victor searched for a competent person to explain the contents of the library not a soul was alive.

    A similar fate befell upon the other Buddhist institutions, against which the combined intolerance and rapacity of the invaders was directed. The monasteries were sacked and the monks were slain, many of the temples were ruthlessly destroyed or desecrated, and countless idols were broken and trodden under their foot. Those monks who escaped the sword fled to Nepal, Tibet, and South India to avoid the consequences of war and Buddhism was finally destroyed and those areas then came under these Muslim rulers.

    Although the Mithila rulers were Shaivite Hindus, they continued the Pala patronage of Buddhism and offered strong resistance against the Ghurids. They stopped, for example, an attempted drive to take Tibet in 1206. The Sena king (a Hindu) installed defensive garrisons at Odantapuri and Vikramashila Monasteries, which were imposing walled citadels directly on the Ghurids’ line of advance.

    Nalanda escaped the fate of Odantapuri and Vikramshila monasteries. When the Tibetan translator, Chag Lotsawa Dharmasvamin (Chag Lo-tsa-ba, 1197 – 1264), visited northern India in 1235, he found Nalanda damaged, looted, and largely deserted, but still standing and functioning with 70 students.
    A Tibetan monk called Dharmaswamin visited Nalanda in 1235, nearly 40 years after its sack, and found a small class still conducted in the ruins by a 90 old monk, Rahul Sribhadra. Weak and old, the teacher was kept fed and alive by a local Brahmin, Jayadeva. Warned of a roving band of 300 Turks, the class dispersed, with Dharmaswamin carrying his nonagenarian teacher on his back into hiding. Only the two of them came back, and after the last lesson (it was Sanskrit grammar) Rahul Sribhadra told his Tibetan student that he had taught him all he knew and in spite of his entreaties asked him to go home. Packing a raggedy bundle of surviving manuscripts under his robe, Dharmaswamin left the old monk sitting calmly amidst the ruins. And both he and the Dharma of Sakyamuni made their exit from India.

    Many Buddhist monks fled Bihar and parts of northern Bengal, seeking asylum in monastic universities and centres in modern-day Orissa, southern Bangladesh, Arakan on the western coast of Burma, southern Burma, and northern Thailand. The majority, however, together with numerous Buddhist lay followers, went to the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, bringing with them many manuscripts from the vast monastic libraries that had been destroyed.

    Buddhism was in a strong position in Kathmandu at the time. The Hindu kings of the Thakuri Dynasties (750 – 1200) had supported the Buddhist monasteries, and there were several monastic universities. Since the end of the tenth century, numerous Tibetan translators had been visiting these centres on their way to India, and Nepalese masters from them had been instrumental in the revival of Buddhism in central and western Tibet. The early Hindu rulers of the Malla Period (1200 – 1768) continued the policies of their Thakuri predecessors.

    The Musalman invaders sacked the Buddhist Universities of Nalanda, Vikramshila, Jagaddala, Odantapuri to name only a few. They raised to the ground Buddhist monasteries with which the country was studded. The monks fled away in thousands to Nepal, Tibet and other places outside India. A very large number were killed outright by the Muslim commanders. How the Buddhist priesthood perished by the sword of the Muslim invaders has been recorded by the Muslim historians themselves.

    In 1215, Genghis Khan conquered Afghanistan and devastated the Muslim world. In 1227, after his death, his conquest was divided. Chagatai then established the Chagatai Khanate, where his son Arghun made Buddhism the state religion. At the same time, he came down harshly on Islam and demolished mosques to build many stupas. He was succeeded by his brother, and then his son Ghazan who converted to Islam and in 1295 changed the state religion. After his reign, and the splitting of the Chagatai Khanate, little mention of Buddhism or the stupas built by the Mongols can be found in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

    Timur was a 14th-century warlord of Turco-Mongol descent conqueror of much of Western and central Asia, and founder of the Timurid Empire destroyed Buddhist establishments and raided areas in which Buddhism had flourished.

    In Tamilnadu and Kerala, Buddhism survived until 15th to 16th century, as witnessed by the manuscript of the Manjusrimulakalpa. At Nagapattinam, in Tamil Nadu, Buddhist icons were cast and inscribed until this time, and the ruins of the Chudamani Vihara stood until they were destroyed by the Jesuits in 1867.

  20. Senevirath Says:

    some people eat amimal flesh even if they have enough things to eat because they are greedy but they never try to justify it.. they know why they do it and they are ashamed of the greediness.

    they are better than who never think of other living creatures

    believe — survival of the fittest and just wait untill muslims demolish everything like famous NALANDA

    NOW I PERSONALY CAME TO KNOW WHAT MUSLIMS ARE DOING IN SRI LANKA IN THE KURUNEGALA HOSPITAL INCIDENT WHICH I MENTIONED ABOVE

    WAKE UP SINHALESE. CURCHIL KNEW THAT MUSLIMS ARE MURDERES THAN BRITISH

  21. Marco Says:

    I’m not sure if the Author saw the video that was widely shown by certain state media of the Self immolation.
    It can be visibly seen another man clearly lighting the match and setting fire to Bowatte Indarathana Thera (regrettably i cannot call him Venerable as he has gone against the Buddhist precepts)
    I have yet to see a media report or a Govt statement seeking the identity of this “man”.
    Of course we all know a member of the State media was well aware of the Monks intentions and never sought to stop it.

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