Sri Lanka: Its Identity & Constitution
Posted on April 15th, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

The definitions, terminologies, norms and political correctness cannot be determined by people who have built their nations and developed their political influence as a result of plundering, murdering, converting and influencing indigenous nations and people. Nevertheless that is the status quo. It is the will influenced by former colonial power houses who have set up political systems, monetary systems, trade regulations that create the benchmarks to decide how nations should function and what is acceptable or not against what suits their interests. For far too long former colonies given independence have ritually followed rules and regulations determined by the very nations that have brought them to Third World in debt status. The power they yield internationally with their hold over global economic systems networked to show their might have forced national leaders to succumb to their will. Nevertheless, this subservience cannot go on forever. Nations cannot simply lay to rest rich histories, civilizations, discoveries, monumental artifacts and heritage, ancient governing systems that held people and nations together without animosities simply because a handful of profit making nations find it convenient to have a world in conflict. Should the constitutions of these nations be drafted taking stock of these ancient systems without tapping into the colonized versions?

Must we therefore as a nation go by what the West that plundered and destroyed nations determine as the internationally accepted nomenclatures for all that governs the world?

Why is Africa, Asia and Latin America not challenging presenting examples of how their ancient governing systems kept societies and communities together instead of dividing and ruling them? In what ways have these western created Constitutions and systems actually helped foster and generate peace and harmony in this world? How ‘democratic’ has governance been to the People who vote their leaders? What are the achievements against the colossal sums of money spent to keep Western democratic systems afloat? Many of these concepts were created with the aim and objective to keep people subservient is no understatement and becomes reason for the failures taking place. Is there a need to continue destructive liberal ideologies?

We are at a critical juncture. We need to create our own destination and to do that we need to determine who we are to know where we are going. To determine who we are as a nation we need to turn to our history. We cannot determine where the nation is heading by copying what foreign idealists or locals following foreign idealism determine. With nationalism comes the need to protect what is ours and to protect what is ours we need to know what is ours and to be able to do that we need to return to our roots and the timeline of history and appreciate how the nation was built.

Our nation was certainly not built after 1505 by foreign occupiers as some wish to believe. Our people need to know who our real heroes are and who the enemies are and why they are called enemies. We need to all know the wrongs that have been done to our nation and people and in learning those facts we are inspired to realize that individually we too have a role to play in protecting what we have left and determine not to compromise or give up what we have left. It is only people who value cultures and history that were shocked at how US-UK trained ISIS are ruining ancient artifacts and cultures. While US is a created democracy UK is a nation that ruled 90% of the world by adopting strategies to divide people and make them forget their past.

All those who do not know the past are destined to repeat mistakes. This is why the education system must at every level not only for child but for adults alike engrain the history and heritage into the minds of the people.

Thus, the Constitution has to be the soul of the nation for it must protect that history. It is pointless us adopting a Constitution picking bits and pieces of governance credentials relevant to other nations most of which do not even have a history of 1000 years to be proud of. It is those that have no history or whose histories are blood soaked that wish to influence nations that have rich histories to forget or replace their history with common terminologies and nomenclatures which are no doubt fancy words but are hollow in actual meaning. We must learn to carve our own destiny instead of being a nation copying what others want us to.

The Hela civilization history unfolded.

  • 123,000 BC – Oldest human found in Pathirajawala, (Ambalantota) Sri Lanka (estimated population at the time 0.8-1.5 per SqKm in dry zone and 0.1 in wet zone.) The discovery also revealed the existence of flake and stone tool industry 125,000 to 75,000 BC proof of civilizational existence.
  • 80000 BC – 2nd oldest human found in Bundala. Archaeologists discover remains of lions, rhinos, hipps in Ratnapura
  • 30500 BC – 3rd oldest Lankan human found in Fa Hien cave. He was over 150ft in height, 282 ft long. Pahiyangala could accommodate over 3000 humans. Rice, kurahan, salt used. 27,000 years usage of salt. Female body remains found near Bulathsinhala. Proof that Lankans were engaged in agriculture for over 20,000 years.
  • 28,500 BC – Balangoda man discovered. Males were 174cm tall, females 166cm tall. Features are regarded as typical Lankan features. Business activity using shells and beads between inland and coastal inhabitants.
  • 15000 BC – agro substance found 7000 years before world did. Discovery in Horton Plains of herding and farming of barley and oats. Archaeologists discover necklaces and needles.
  • 12000 BC – Maduru Oya world’s oldest findings of use of steel, copper and irrigation technology.
  • 6500 BC – Human remains found in Bellan-Bendi Pelessa near Embilipitiya.
  • 6300 BC – Discovery of geometric microlithic industry and pottery in cave near Kegalle (depicting transfer from Mesolithic Balangoda culture to protohistoric iron age)
  • 6000 BC – Mahamevuna uyana in Anuradhapura remains of a huge city dated 9000-6000BC found in 2001 AD. Proof of horses been used even before their use in North India.
  • 5000 BC – Hambantota site where proof of pre-historic shell midden found suggesting Mahasona beliefs.
  • 4000 BC – pre-historic grave site near Dambulla
  • 3500 BC – Boat with capacity to carry 150 passengers found Attanagalle oya – proving well established water-based transport system. (however the first civilization in the world Sumerians in Iraq was said to be discovered in 3500 BC)
  • 3000 BC – Sigiriya claimed as greatest fortress mansion (Alakamandava of Ravana)
  • 1000 BC – Further proof of Hela people on par with rest of the world is the discovery of iron technology – with own steer factories.
  • 900 BC – Alphabet discovered depicting the Hela people used alphabet by 900BC.
  • 700 BC – Anuradhapura town said to be 125 acres and became home to people who used pottery, cattle, horses, cultivated paddy and used iron technology
  • 624 BC – Prince Siddhartha born – the founder of Buddhism.
  • 564 BC – Lanka known as Sivu-Hela (Simhala) – 4 tribes (Yakshas from Mahiyangana / Naga / Deva & Raksha) Simhala became Sinhala
  • 588 BC – From North India Buddha makes his first foreign visit to Lanka – Mahiyangana 9 months after enlightenment accompanied by 500 Arahath monks. The Mahiyangama dagoba is built on this location.
  • 588 BC – First Buddhist Bana & First Buddhist in Lanka Sumana Saman, a provincial chief from the Deva clan in Sabaragamuwa, attained the state of Sovan” at this first Bana in Mahiyanganaya. He went back to spend the rest of his days in Samanala mountain. Mani-Akkita Na-raju, of Naga clan in the Western Province, also came to listen to the preaching of Buddha.
  • 588 BC – First Dagaba in Lanka When Sumana Saman requested for a relic, Buddha gave him a fistful of hair. He built Mahiyangana Dagaba enshrining this relic. This Dagaba had a priceless gem at the peak (an Indraneela Manikkaya). This will be the first and the only Dagaba built by a local, before the arrival of Vijaya.
  • 584 BC – Buddha’s 2nd visit to Sri Lanka – Nagadeepa (5 years after enlightenment)
  • 581 BC – Buddha’s 3rd visit to Sri Lanka – Kelaniya (8 years after enlightenment)
  • 543 BC – Vijaya lands in Lanka and Buddha expires in North India. Buddha’s 3 arrivals in Lanka shows that Hela people were living before Vijaya’s arrival.

Small as we are, Sri Lanka has much to feel proud of. 180 Sinhala Buddhist kings ruled the nation following the dasa raja dharma which even the South Indian invader kings followed. The conflicts only arose after the arrival of foreign invading occupiers who adopted strategies to divide the people so they could plunder the nation undisturbed. That was 500 years ago, now these nations are back to plunder what they could not by devising ways and means to denationalize our people and distance us from feel pride in our ancestors, our heroes and defending the nation and moreover they are attempting to tell us how our constitution should be drafted.

We are doomed if we do not know our roots and history.

Shenali D Waduge

22 Responses to “Sri Lanka: Its Identity & Constitution”

  1. Christie Says:

    Namaste:
    1951 Indian Empire get Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranayke to be the Governor of the Island Colony and was voted in 1956.
    2005: Empire makes an error of judgment by backing Mahinda Rajapaksa instead of Ranil Wickramasinge.
    2015: Indian Empire corrects its error.
    Jai Hind

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Dear Shenali,

    Few changes to the years.

    » 482 BC – Vijaya lands in Lanka and Buddha expires in North India.

    It has to be 543BC. Buddha lived for 80 years, not 142. (624BC – 80 = 544BC).

    Enlightenment in 589BC if achieved at age 35. The first visit if occured 9 months after, should be in February 588BC.

    » 523 BC – Buddha’s 2nd visit to Sri Lanka – Nagadeepa (5 years after enlightenment)
    Second visit should be in 584BC

    » 520 BC – Buddha’s 3rd visit to Sri Lanka – Kelaniya (8 years after enlightenment)
    Third visit should be in 581BC

    483BC year was based on one school of thought. But it does not tie in with other evidence. Latest evidence proves the Mahavamsa dating to be correct which is around 543BC. 2,500 Buddha Jayanthi was celebrated in 1956 based on which the year should be 543BC (1956 – 2500). In 2011 the 2,600 year of enlightenment was celebrated. Based on that, the year of enlightenment should be 589BC (2011 – 2600).

    The year of Ravana’s death was around 2,387BC which according to the Rajawaliya which occured 1,844 years before Buddha expired.

  3. mario_perera Says:

    Shenali,

    Thank you for your contribution which is abundant.

    However, I am wondering how much this ‘harping on our glorious past’ is going to help us get out of the quagmire which we are presently in? I personally feel that this (standing on our ancient glories) is getting us nowhere. Just imagine a beggar in rags turning up in parliament with all documents and proof that he is Parakrama Bahu’s great great great…grandson. Do you think our parliament will rise to attention and offer him the 21 gun salute? Indeed if the president should ask him: putha what do you expect from us? He will surely reply: a bath parcel Sir.

    This type of self glorification is good within strict bounds. But how does that help us internationally? At least 60% of our population eke out a hand to mouth existence. Do you think they have time, leisure or NEED to think of their glorious past? Do you remember what the Lord said about a man afflicted with an arrow in his body? He said: would such a man be thinking who shot it, from where an why and so on. His cure lies in getting that arrow out and treating the wound.

    The vast majority of our people have arrows of poverty and misery sticking our of their bodies. Is it relevant that we tell them of our glorious past? Should we tell them: do not worry buddy, remember our sigirya alakamanda was built in 3000 BC?

    Shenali, today Politics and business are one and the same. Remember it was East Indies company that build the British Eastern Empire. Just like in business, in politics too there are neither permanent friends nor permanent enemies. It is needs and necessities OF THE MOMENT that create our strange bed fellows. It is give and take. Our endeavour should be to find our what we can give to get the most out of all.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    I’m with Mario.

    What’s the point? We SPLIT HAIRS over this but an INDEBTED POOR country depending on HOUSEMAIDS in the MIDDLE EAST getting hammered.

    SL’s morality has gone to dogs. DOGS! I read a DISGUSTING news yesterday of a man taking a school girl to a jungle to be sexually assaulted and then a cobra had bit that girl and she has died!! In another news 2 brothers had KILLED EACH OTHER over a new year dress!! Female cricketers to play for the COUNTRY have to sleep with selectors!!

    What a coutnry is this!!

    We have 4 BO LEAVES in our flag. The HINDU religion’s orange and Islam’s green on it too. What’s the use?

    We should REALIZE something is VERY WRONG and our GREAT PAST and GREAT religions and philosophies CANNOT save us.

    Our only options are CROOKED Maithripala (and WORSE junk around him) and CROOKED Mahinda.

    WE ARE DOOMED EITHER WAY.

    The only way out is a MILITARY TAKE OVER and intalling a STRICT constitution BASED NOT on religions but on RULE OF LAW that will screww you no matter how BIG your ass is. .

  5. Vimutti Says:

    >>>Lorenzo Says:
    April 14th, 2015 at 12:29 am<<<

    Losing your religion is like losing your oars in your boat – you become directionless, spinning around in a circle until the sharks come and eat you alive.

    The problem is NOT religion, especially Buddhism. The problem is Western divide-and-rule schemes as mentioned in the article above, and Western materialism and selfishness that pre-supposes that the 'individual' is the center of the universe.

    One you understand the history of conquest (slavery, colonialism, etc.), you understand that subjugation is no longer an option and begin to assert the inherent value in your culture that has subsisted for thousands of years. Take pride in your history and who you are, and reject those who seek to alienate you from your glorious past and divide you up into small pieces they can control.

    You don't need some bad ass military government to hold people accountable. You need to rediscover 'values' that have been hidden from you which have been an integral part of Sri Lanka from the very beginning.

    When you hear the Five Precepts being blasted from the loudspeakers all over Sri Lanka, think about where they came from and the extraordinary compassion from the being that brought them to you.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    A few Gems from Shenali’s article which on the whole sums up the problems :

    #1 ‘We are at a critical juncture. We need to create our own destination and to do that we need to determine who we are to know where we are going. To determine who we are as a nation we need to turn to our history’.

    #2 ‘…. without tapping into the colonized versions?’

    History is the second Great Teacher. The first Great Teachers are the Masters of our main religions.

    We must resist re-Colonisation in any form. Freedom to be our best for all of humanity, in happiness and dignity, a must for everyone, everywhere.

    Re-Colonisation may come at us in different forms, dressed up as Fear, easy money, false notions and advertised lies and exaggerations, etc. Resist these we must, Re-form our modes of governance we must. One Lanka, One People.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Vimutti,

    It cannot be seen. Religions FAILED SL and the world to bring peace and prosperity.

    LAW AND ORDER is more important.

    Countries with LAW AND ORDER even without religion THRIVE.

    Countries with religion but no LAW AND ORDER FAIL.

    (Religion includes philosophies.)

    These are FACTS from around the world.

  8. Vimutti Says:

    >>>Lorenzo Says:
    April 14th, 2015 at 1:56 pm<<<

    In these secularized places you talk about, materialism and sense gratification are king. Sure, you can thrive economically on trying to satisfy these insatiable desires for more or better material things or more or greater sensations to please you five senses and your ego, but at some point you realize that you have been tricked. The new and 'better' material objects no longer satisfy you like they did before, and the sensations you feel from the sense objects are not as great as before.

    It is like the child who begs and begs his parents for the new toy, and months later the toy is abandoned and collecting dust in the corner of the room. The 'happiness' the child expected from getting the toy simply doesn't last, and most of material sense-gratification forms of life are the same way.

    These common observations one has in living in these secularized environments were already predicted by the Buddha 2600 years ago. And most of human suffering revolves around 'chasing' the greater high expected from materialism and sense gratification. If you want to get off the hamster wheel and stop chasing the insatiable, the Buddha offers you a way forward.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    “President Maithripala Sirisena appointed his son-in-law Thilina Suranjith as a Public Relations Officer of the Defense Ministry, highly placed political sources said.

    Suranjith is the husband of Chathurika Sirisena, the elder daughter of President Sirisena. He was an active member of the Presidential Election campaign team of Maithripala Sirisena.
    Meanwhile, Rakhitha Rajapaksha, son of Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksha, has been appointed as Media Secretary of the Ministry.

    These appointments are contrary to a key point in his campaign against Mahinda Rajapaksa government since Sirisena continuously accused Rajapaksa of ‘family rule.'”

    -bbc

    Maru Sira is worse than MR. Nepotism!

    Of course then there is his brother at SLT who earns over 10,000,000 rupees a year in salary alone plus cars, phones, petrol, etc.!!

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Vimutti,

    I’m NO fan of sucularism but those countries have BETTER law and order than SL. The reason is NOT secularism but upholding the law no matter who.

    SL is getting worse by the day.

  11. nilwala Says:

    Terrific article, Shenali, bringing to the readers’ consciousness the crisis that is facing this country, and the ignorance and lack of pride in our civilisational heritage that is permissive of what is currently happening. Among the youth, this is especially so among the urban educated… especially those educated in international schools and other denominational schools where the endemic civilisational heritage of this nation is considered unimportant and secularism or even Islam/Christianity is being marketed openly as the preferred option for the globalized world.

    We are at the saddest crossroads this nation has had to meet in the post-colonial period, and our elected representatives are blinded by personal ambitions. We need the MR/GR duo back as the only strengths we have….but how can it be achieved?

  12. Ben Silva Says:

    I am with mario, Lorenzo and nilwala minus military rule suggested by Lorenzo..
    Good to know our roots and heritage. Also we have to respect our Buddhist culture and heritage. Buddhism also has good therapeutic values as it calms a persons mind. Buddhism has to be used intelligently, rather than as a cure for all ills. Buddhism is helpful to bring peace of mind to those past ‘the sell by date’. Young people in my view has to be engaged in economic activities generating wealth, to be able to compete. I also believe we need to have high standards of morality and values. Maintaining law and order and rule of law has to be given highest priority.

    However, we have to learn lessons from our own history and that of others. We need to move forward, rather than live in the past and constantly blaming others for our misfortune. We should not have West as a scape goat and always blame them. We also need to look at our short comings. The unfortunate truth is that we were not fit enough to defend ourselves. If we do not learn lessons, recognise internal and external threats and develop skills to survive, it becomes difficult to be proud of the past . It is difficult to be proud of our achievements, if we have lost most of the coast line, the hill country and now most of Colombo. The Sinhalese appear sell ther land just like the native Americans did and will end up landless and poor unless they acquire skills, needed in the modern world. Let me quote Mario perera “This obsession with religion has been this country’s undoing “ I fully agree with him. In UK, only 33% believe in any religion. So the number of believers in any religion has come down. There is no need to hang on to rejected Indian myths. Some Indians believe that ater death they are born as rats!
    . Singapore acachived development in a short time, without resorting to Buddhism or other ‘isms’. In the case of USA, innovation by Microsoft, Apple and other companies have generated enormous amounts of money, wealth and power. With wealth and power, people get other benefits such as access to information, education and health care etc.
    I agree with the very useful comments made by Mario, Lorenzo and nilwala. However, in the case of Lorenzo, I do not agree with military takeovers as it becomes difficult to remove them. As humans they also make mistakes and there is no mechanism to influence the military.
    Gotabaya’s defence academy is a good starting point to have our own defence capabilities. MR government undertook many development projects, rather sadly not appreciated by some.
    As Lorenzo pointed out, morality has gone to dogs. Morality and rule of the law are very important and has to be established These things could be taught at school,

  13. Nimal Says:

    It is truly folios to look to history of any country as it was full of misery to the people as the expense of few who were nothing but tyrants. Must look to future that matters. It’s only scoundrels, thieves and tyrants that use religion, history and culture to hoodwink the innocent people and supress them at the same time.

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    In my view, the essence of Buddhism is in Dhana, Seela & Bhavana, not necessarily in that order. It is in the practice of one’s religion that one sees the beauty and sanity of it, not just mouthing it in gathas and slokas, or rituals. Then, as one benefits from the practice, appreciation of the Buddhist philosophy comes in as a natural by product. Lanka’s past history will be appreciated and preservation of historic sites natural.

    As things are, an unholy mix of sense pleasures are made predominant. This is true all over the world. Life is certainly to be enjoyed, but with a certain restraint of the senses, at whatever age.

    I still maintain that Colonisation brought confusion of values and loss of self esteem to the masses of Lanka, than bringing in a sound culture and material benefits. The ability to communicate using modern equipment, one of the benefits from the colonial west, ought to be used to enhance and communicate the the perineal values we inherited through Buddhism, and I don’t mean use of loudspeakers blaring out Pirith, Bana, etc. Both young and old will benefit through the practice of Dhana, Seela & Bhavana.

    The Youth of today can enjoy life without the excesses practiced in other countries.

    With practice of some practical Buddhism by whatever age group, Law & Order automatically follows. It is the individual that counts, not forced laws and fear of punishment. In my view, Bhavana enables better self control and is the winner.
    Seela and Dhana follows easier.

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    Regarding Religion and the schools of Lanka :
    As far as I know, there is a mix of local state maintained Buddhist schools and also Christian/Catholic schools (govt pays the teachers of these schools), and also a few private schools. Buddhism is taught in Buddhist schools and Christianity in the others. As for the Muslim schools, I have no idea how they pay their teachers or what is taught in those schools re religion, apart from the Quoran. I have scant kowledge of the Quoran.

    Personal Story : As children of the 50s-early 60s period, we were NOT taught Meditation in the Buddhist schools. We were taught to memorise Pali stanzas of the Thun Suthra and repeat the Five Precepts every day. Also learnt the Jataka Tales which drove many a lesson well into our minds. Rituals and Dhana were included with visits to the Temples. At that post-war period, we experienced an overlay of western films, magazines and books, comic books, etc. which influenced our lives tremendously. I think the post war admiration of the west won the day over admiration of Buddhist teachings. It was much later in life that we turned to the real Buddhism, realising the value of Meditation.

    Meditation: At present, Meditation is taught in the west extensively, especially for health reasons and in correctional facilities. Buddhist Meditation is popular in different parts of the west. There are other forms of Meditation that are gaining popularity in the west.
    However, Christians do not yet emphasize what Christ said : ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is WITHIN YOU’.
    Muslims have not yet realised that Islam means PEACE within.
    Buddhists are overly caught up in western thinking and do not realise that ‘TRUTH is within YOU’ (Buddha). Truth here means the godhead.
    The Indian flag motto reads “Sathya meva Jayathe” which means “Truth wins”. The two great Hindu epic stories, the Ramayana & the Mahabharata are about the inner journey to merge with the godhead within.

    Can anyone tell me if Meditation is taught in Buddhist schools in Lanka ?

    Above thoughts not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings ….

  16. SA Kumar Says:

    Can anyone tell me if Meditation is taught in Buddhist schools in Lanka ? not in NEP also Sinhala Language.
    give We-Tamil opportunity learn Sinhala language Meditation in NEP our Tamil-Sinhala problem disappear itself

    NB/ We-Tamil take any thing free even if you give politol We drink .

  17. Fran Diaz Says:

    Kumar,

    Pressure your Tamil leader politicos to teach these subjects in schools of the N&E. Also pressure them to remove the Tamil language as a National/Official language in Sri Lanka, or else the same old trouble of Tamil illegal migrants from Tamil Nadu may continue bringing war and all the negative baggage. Your Tamil leaders who have been misleading the Tamils of Lanka for so long, may not agree with such suggestions as it may mean they will be without a politico’s job messing up the Tamil folk and others of Lanka. If so, look to other politicos who will help your community.

    If You-Tamils don’t change your way of thinking, we will all end up as C’Fodder (I hope you watched the videos in L’web called “Empire”. Empire is stirring, and will prove to be C’Fodder for the unwary).

    Can You-Tamils change your Tamil leaders earlier mind set ?

  18. SA Kumar Says:

    Fran Diaz
    one at a time , We are divided community since Eelra (Eela Rajah) to VP time so What need united not unity.

    Tamilukku amuthenru oru peyar, antha Thamil engnhal uyirukku mel ! ( there is another name for Tamil is bath(rice) that Tamils is more(upper) than our soil) so please do not touch our Tamil & Saivam !!!

  19. Ben Silva Says:

    To respond to Fran Diaz, if Lanka has only Buddhists and surrounded by Buddhists, then it may be be good to practice Dhana, Seela & Bhavana and lead a happy and peaceful, Buddhist easy, peaceful way of life, minding one;s own business. In the real world, non Budhists are after resources, and they do not care who owns them and only the fittest will survive. If we ignore internal and external threats, we can practice any amount of Buddhism, but we will meet the same fate as Nalanda Buddhists. We are now facing a similar situation, but not to the same degree.
    Dhana, Seela & Bhavana has peace, beauty and all the other good things FD mentioned. No doubt, it is an easy way of life and many would prefer the easy life than competing. Competing in a free market economy, is a ‘dog eat dog; world and only the fittest will survive and the weakest will be eliminated and sent to extinction or nirvana, by nature. What I am saying is that if we want to survive in a free market economy and if we do not want to end up at the bottom of the pile, then we have to be prepared to work hard and develop a different set of skills and different way of thinking. The easy life will lead to a Nalanda type extinction and unfortunately some Buddhist promoters are promoting turning back the clock. However Sri Lanka has to face internal and external threats and deal with the threats. Prabakaran or the imperialists did not care for those people that practiced Dhana, Seela & Bhavana. In fact at Nalanda, well educated people who practiced Buddhism and practiced Dhana, Seela & Bhavana got slaughtered like lamb. The Buddists in the countries in the silk route got wiped out as well. Even Buddhists monks in Maldives got beheaded. Look at the state of Tibet and Bhutan that has Buddhism similar to ours. We practiced Buddhism for over 2500 years and the country has low standards of morality and rule of the law. UK, which is supposed to be a Christian country has higher standards. How ever, a recent poll suggested that only 33 % of UK population believe in any religion. Followers of Christianity say the word of their God is the noble truth, Muslims say Allah’s word is the noble truth, Buddhists say suffering can be ended by terminating the birth/rebirth life cycle and reaching Nirvana.

    Once people have blind faith, they will not shift from their position even by a tiny bit, even in the presence of evidence against their beliefs.
    Fortunately we have a handful of people that can think in a CRITICAL MAMNNER.
    In my view, religion is the main cause why we are still backward and unable to resist foreign domination. This is because we fail to think critically as our brains are affected by blind faith. What is needed is competitive spirit, desires and development of skills rather than practicing only Dhana, Seela & Bhavana. Having a strong sense pf morality and rule of law is also essential.

  20. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dear Ben,

    Thanks for response.

    The ‘dog eat dog’ world is collapsing. The Top Dogs of the Money World : they too are looking for inner peace and solace that billions of $$s will not bring. In the Capitalist structures that exist in some of the countries (with Socialism also in place), there are cracks quite evident for all to see. Pure following of the Money Market will not bring the FEELING of self respect, satisfaction, creative joy, fearlessness, etc. that human beings crave. Take a look at the Empires of the past – they just imploded.

    In the Buddhist world, as an example take Japan : Japan is a Buddhist country that went awry in the past with Fascism and followed Hitler’s principles in the WW II period. It failed. Japan got bombed with the two Atomic test bombs for experimenting with Fascism and Empire building with Hitler – the disasters in Hiroshima and Nagasaki continues to date with nuclear disasters. Though the Economy appears sound, Japan is a nuclear affected area after the bombs and recent earth quake that caused nuclear disaster. In the recent past, Japan pushed her Youth to perform and study, and ended up with the highest suicide rate in the world.

    In the Christian world, in the past Germany is the failed example, now using wisdom to guide the nation.

    The trick is to fit into the existing structures of wealth and power in the world without hindering oneself or one’s fellow beings. That is where Buddhism comes in with the Middle Path living and Dhana, Seela & Bhavana.

    Young people must be taught to Value all human life and life of animals too (if that is possible). It is only when one respects oneself that one can respect another. Self Respect, Self Understanding and Wisdom comes through Meditation. This is Universal trait and can be used by any human being.

    There is much more to write. I may do so later.

    What do you think, Ben ?

  21. Fran Diaz Says:

    contd.

    I am not talking here of just ‘navel gazing’ or living on Dhana from others ! I am talking about dynamic Buddhism. The Buddha must have been a truly dynamic person, don’t you think ? And so was Jesus Christ. I presume that on waking up every morning, such Masters went wherever they felt most needed by people who were accessible to them. Then they engaged in the most dynamic way with all those in need. They spoke of universal Laws that rules the Universe and simplified the teachings so that even the simple uneducated peasants could understand the Laws and practice.

    Who were these people who needed the Masters ? They were people generally in distress, dissatisfied with the way things were and not happy within themselves. In fact, they are us in the modern world !

    Yes, by all means go out in the world and seek a fortune. But do things in a life supporting way. Neither the Buddha or Christ forbade fortune seeking. The Buddha spoke of how money should be made too and how it ought to be spent. He laid down clear guidelines to follow. Christ’s Ministry was only for three short years before the Crucifixion. He would have spoken more of such matters if allowed the time. It must be noted that he went and broke up the money lenders stalls and that I presume was what led to the Crucifixion. There is a theory (which I think is correct) that he survived the Cross and was taken to an area in North India where he lived as St Issa and was loved and respected. All these events must be taken into account by the Christian west.

    I am not well informed enough to speak about Islam except that the word Islam means “Peace”. This one truth speaks volumes and shows the oneness with other religions. Oil has got in the way as well as womens’ rights.

    Buddhism is called purified Hinduism. Raj Yoga, the highest form of Hinduism is akin to Buddhist meditation. The Four Great Yogas are akin to Budddhism.

    I agree that misplaced/misunderstood religion can be dangerous.

  22. Independent Says:

    . . N Silva says “Buddhists say suffering can be ended by terminating the birth/rebirth life cycle and reaching Nirvana. ”

    – Don’t spread LTTE lies in the web. Buddhist don’t say such rubbish. You go and learn Buddhism first without barking.

    Suffering(Dukkha) will end when Ignorance ( Avijja) is eliminated by wisdom in THIS VERY LIFE.

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