The Buddhist view of the external world, the  Chulla-Haththi-Padopama sutta and  Quantum Reality.
Posted on June 20th, 2015

By Bodhi Dhanapala, Quebec, Canada.

One or two of the 40 topics covered by  Dr. Nalin de Silva in just 180 lines-II
We have heard of a Jules Verne tale about  Round the world in 80 days”. But treating 40  arcane topics  in 180 lines was a fete achieved by Dr. Nalin de Silva (NS) in a Vidusara article on 4-June-2015.  He claims that Bodhi Dhanapala’s problem is that he cannot digest – i.e., understand – what he reads …  බෝධි ධනපාල මහතාගේ ප්‍රශ්නය ඔහුට තමා කියවා ඇති දේ දිරවා ගැනීමට නොහැකි වීම  …), without realizing  that an incoherent melange   (මැල්ලුමක්) of 40 leaves, roots and barks produces an indigestible salad  which reflects the cook’s  inabilities.

We look at Dr. Silva’s theories where he claims that the external world does not exist unless it is being perceived by a mind (a solipsist view). Dr. Silva’s solipsist view is also  the view of John Wheeler. Prof. Wheeler  introduced the idea of delayed choice” where the past can be retroactively changed by actions of the present (which are merely mental actions for a solipsist). However, Dr Silva says that he does not accept that the past can be modified by actions of the present  ධනපාල මහතා … කියන්නේ මට අනුව වර්තමානය විසින් අතීතය නිර්ණය කෙරෙන බව ය.  … මා කොහේවත් එවැන්නක් කියා නැත.  But Dr. Silva has mis-understood what he has picked up, and erroneously claims that Wheeler did not accept his own  theory  of delayed choice  ප්‍රමාද තේරීමට අනුව වර්තමානය විසින් අතීතය තීරණය කෙරෙන්නේ යැයි කියැවෙන බව ය. …. වීලර් ඒ අර්ථකථනයට විරුද්ධ විය. ධනපාල මහතා ඒ බව නොදැන…. We should hope  that Dr. Silva would read up  before he rushes to print in the Vidusara.  Giving a false date to the Schrodinger Equation, or  mis-pronouncing  the name of de Broglie”, or  mis-representing how  two photon beams scatter from each other,  and many other physics errors could have been avoided by  Dr. Silva by least looking up the Wikipedia or checking  with a colleague.

The Buddha was a realist and not a solipsist.
The idea  that there is no real world, and that what  seems to exist is a creation of  the mind
is sometimes  presented  as the Buddhist view (“මට මනසින් තොර ලෝකයක් නැත්තේ මගේ ලෝකය මගේ මනසෙහි නිර්මාණයක් වන බැවිනි”,  Vidusara, 29-04-2015).  It  is  really a Judo-Christian idealistic view; the world exists in God’s mind, and we are merely his thoughts. God’s act of creation was to just think about  the world. The Judaic nd  Hellenic worlds, as well as proto-Indian and Chinese civilizations all had such Creators with different names ( Yeheva, Brahma, Shangdi, Tian, etc). By about the 5-6th century before CE, many thinkers challenged this. The  Buddha was a foremost agnostic thinker in India and opposed  the Brahminic-Judo-Christian Idealist  approach presented by Dr. NS and others. Indeed, Dr. NS,  and Basil Mendis, the flat-earth Catholic philosopher, are kindred solipsists. Having rejected evidence-based truth, they can only resort to revealed truth, from God, or from Gods like Natha or Vishnu. In saying අපි පේන අසමු, කේන්දර බලමු, පංචෙන්ද්‍රිය ගෝචර නොවන ජීවීන් හා වස්තු ගැන විශ්වාස කරමු, Dr. Silva pushes out   the Brahmajala sutta to  the back burner.  While Dr. Basil Mendis was true to his Catholicism, Dr. Silva’s  implicit  Judo-Christian thinking   re-interprets  Buddhist Suttas to fit  his solipsist approach.

In contrast to Nalin de Silva’s solipsism, the Buddha in the Chulla-Haththi-padopama sutta  exhorts the people to go to the elephant to observe the creature; an evidence-based approach. Buddha doesn’t ask them, to visualize it in your mind”, as Dr. Silva says,  regarding a straight line (සරල රේඛාවක් අඳිනු තබා සිතෙන් මවාගැනීමටවත් නොහැකි බව ය. 29-04-2015) or the gravitational force.  ANYONE  can observe the Elephant, a fact of the external world.  However, Dr. NS says that there are a few people who have seen this God (Natha) and other spirits  මේ දෙවියන් භූතයන් ආදීන් දැකගත් කිහිප දෙනෙක් නමුත් ලෝකයේ සිටිති”. So he has not gone and seen them by himself, as demanded by the Buddha. Indeed, the Loch Ness monster,  the Abominable Snowman, God Natha  and aliens in flying saucers have also been seen by a few select people!!!!!

We dare not  remind Dr. Silva of the Kalama sutta but Carlo Fonseka and Tchirbatsky do. The Buddha’s strongly empirical approach is  discussed in detail by Tchirbatsky in his book on Buddhist logic (esp., Vol. I), where many examples from Buddhist texts are given. These make sense only in an objective world which exists external to our minds. Tchirbatsky  refers to a Sutta where the Buddha brings up the analogy of the goldsmith who tests various metals to determine if they are base or noble metals”. This testing is done using the touch stone and other methods known to the goldsmith –  i.e., empirical methods rejected by Dr. de Silva. In the same empirical methodology, the Buddha exhorts you to test out the Four Noble truths via your own experience.

When we observe the elephant, we only observe the consequences of an elephant being within our ambit. It occupies space and is heavy to push. He can be seen, and the light reflected onto a camera or a retina,  digitized and recorded show that we are not drunk or merely raving when we saw an elephant and not God Natha. We can record te animal’s skeleton using  X-rays, though not seen by the five senses. Its DNA  confirms it as an elephant and not  a mammoth. All these methods were not available in Buddha’s days, and he did not speak of them. The existence of the elephant is recorded on various instruments as a set of pointer readings accessible to anybody.

Dr Silva asks but a gravitational attraction exists although it cannot be observed by the five senses?  එහෙත් පංචෙන්ද්‍රිය ගෝචර නොවන ගුරුත්වාකර්ෂණය ඇත”?  Gravity IS accessible to the five senses and Dr. Silva gets his physics wrong, as usual.  Just as the existence of the elephant is observed  as a set of digital data or pointer readings visible to anyone,  the  existence of the gravitational field can observed  by anyone as a set of pointer readings.  Since Dr. Silva says මට ගුරුත්වාකර්ෂණය පංචෙන්ද්‍රිය ගෝචර බව පෙන්විය හැකි බටහිර විද්‍යාඥයකු ඇත්නම් මම ඔහුට නාථ දෙවියන් පෙන්වමි, can he show the pointer readings corresponding to God Natha that can be seen by anyone?

In reporting the pointer readings, you can state that there is a gravitational force, or that there is an observable  curvature in spacetime, or that there is a flux of gravitons which are massless bosons carrying a spin of two. One can show that these different reports are all equivalent, up to the accuracy of the experiment. That is, these theories yield the same pointer readings.

Unfortunately, Dr. Silva  knows little about the history or the socio-biology  of God Natha.  So  he says  (you deny)  god Natha because he is ours, while accept gravity because the white people say so ඒ නාථ දෙවියන් නමින් හැඳින්වෙන ප්‍රාණියා අපේ නිසා ද? ගුරුත්වාකර්ෂණය ගැන කියන්නේ සුද්දන් නිසා ද? The God Natha  was the God of the Nagas. He  is really an apotheosis of snake worship. The tradition may appear  Indo-Asian . However, the great zoologist and socio-biologist E. O. Wilson and others  present evidence  that  Respect for Snakes” is ingrained even in our DNA. So Natha is universally deified or feared  in human and even in Simian  cultures.

Dr. Silva implies that whites have told us about gravity. However, any physics student, brown or not, can determine the gravitational constant G occurring in Newton’s equation.  They will get the same value for G, whether having a Portuguese name or not,  although Dr. Silva thinks that  all this is cultural, and not applicable to brown-skinned people  (“ධනපාල මහතා නිර්මාණාත්මක සාපේක්‍ෂතාවාදය ගැන කිසිවක් නොදන්නා බව පැහැදිලි ය. එක් සංස්කෘතියක වලංගු එහෙත් වෙනත් සංස්කෘතියක වලංගු නොවන විද්‍යාත්මක සත්‍යයක් තිබේ දැයි …, Vidusara 17-06-2015)..  His excuse is that these are useful and consistent  lies. So,  the science behind computers and moon landings is a useful lie independent of all cultures.  Clearly, we have to replace the word Lie” in Dr. Silva’s  dictionary with Truth”,  and vice versa, and nothing will change!

Dr. Silva studied mathematics up to the B.Sc and one and a half years of post-graduate mathematics.    The principle of impermanence tells you that nothing is permanent, since each event changes to another. But  there is a definite function of time f(t) of events, produced by the process of  the patticcha Samuthpada.   An event is a nama-rupa entity. These change  but there is a sequence of  such nama-rupa, viz.,   f(t), tb.<t<td  with well-defined boundary condition for birth b and death d, that we identify as Dr. NS or Dutugamunu etc. In fact, Buddhists identify the Buddha even in his past lives, where as Dr NS rejects even the notion of DutuGemunu.?

Wheeler’s Delayed Choice” concept and quantum reality.

But Dr. Silva’s solipsism is unbounded. He has recently pulled out a maverick view expressed by Dr. John Archibold Wheeler (a student of Einstein)  known as the delayed choice principle” where it is claimed that a person can change the past retroactively by an act ion carried out at the present moment. However, for a solipsist, an action is really an act of the mind. The delayed choice”  is claimed as a quantum property of the world.

Dr. Silva has tried to change the history of the quantum theory in several Vidusara articles, stating  that Schrodinger heard of de Broglie’s theory of the wave-particle duality in 1927 at the Solvay conference. Dr. NS claims that no one had even a hint of it till then, and that Solvay inspired him to discover  the famous Schrodinger equation. However, de Broglie’s theory was publicized in 1924.  Apparently Dr. Silva  copied  these errors  from Jim Baggot’s book. Dr. Silva does not seem to know that Schrodinger’s equation was presented  in1925 and published in 1926, before Solvay.  As Dr. Silva says, imitator intellectuals (අනුකාරක උගත්තු) copy  mindlessly, without correction ” අනුකරණය යනු යමක් සංශෝධනය නොකර,  ඒ ආකාරයෙන් ම ලබා ගැනීම ය. However, both Baggot and Dr. Silva might be correct if  the effect (Schrodinger’s equation) came before the cause, as in delayed choice”?

Dr. Silva is a great  imitator intellectual and mindlessly copies stuff not only from Baggot, but from others like  Archibold Wheeler.  Being taught by the  British, Dr. Silva pronounces the name correctly, without making it Achibola Veelaara  ආචිබෝල වීලාර or some such thing,  as happened with de Broolie.  When I mentioned the name Gregory and the form Girigoris a month ago, he did not affirm it, but now, in June he says that he is indeed using a Sinhaliazed form” for de Broglie, instead of the correct de Broy”.

Another imitator action is where Dr. Silva copied an exercise from Wheeler and Taylor to inappropriately apply  to the collision of two photons. As one of his students (Dr. Wansapura) pointed out,  since  photons are quantum particles,  copying from Wheeler and applying it to photons is wrong physics. Wrong physics is Dr. Silva’s forté. He claims that very high energy photons will show their mass and interact. However, instead of showing mass, they will annihilate  into electron-positron pairs, with the excess momentum going to a near by nucleus, and NOT to another photon as the photon-photon interaction occurs only in higher order than the photon-matter interaction. Since photons travel at the maximum speed, there is always some matter nearby” to preserve momentum conservation. But not understanding this,  Dr. NS say “when I said that two high energy photons will interact instead of passing through each other, Dhanapala says that those photons will annihilate  – isn’t  that an interaction? ඉතා අධික ශක්තිය ඇති ෆෝටෝන දෙකක් එකිනෙක පසාරු කර නොගොස් අන්තර්ක්‍රියාවක යෙදෙන බව මා කී විට … ධනපාල  … ඒ ෆෝටෝන උච්ඡෙදනය කරන බව ය! එය අන්තර්ක්‍රියාවක් නො වේ ද? (I have deleted Dr. Silva’s habitual insults to those who attempt to help him out from his muddle).

There is more imitator intellectualism  to come.  Dr. Silva claims that  Dr. Archibold Wheeler did NOT accept that there is a possibility of delayed choice”, i.e., a possibility of retroactively changing the past by an action in the present, and Dr. Silva claims that he too does not believe that an action in the present can change the past. Dr. Silva has not given the reasons WHY he rejects Wheeler’s delayed choice. Is he just imitating Wheeler in his mistaken belief that Wheeler did not support his own theory of Delayed choice?

If Dr. Silva had read Wheeler’s publications with understanding, an encyclopedia or any books discussing Wheeler’s delayed choice” he would have seen Wheeler’s oft quoted sayings like “no phenomenon is a phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon”, which is a very radical position. Wheeler famously said that the “past has no existence except as recorded in the present”, and that the Universe does not “exist, out there independent of all acts of observation”. Unlike Wheeler, Einstein believed in an external reality, and  invented paradoxes to find loop holes in the Copenhagen version of the quantum theory.  All these paradoxes are discussed in detail in Prof. Dharmawardana’s book A Physicist’s view of Matter and Mind”(2013). Wheeler’s radical views can be read in his 1978 writings or from  his discussion in The  Quantum Theory and Measurement, edited by J.A. Wheeler and W.H. Zurek (1983).

What is wrong with Wheeler’s delayed choice? I asked Prof. Dharmawardana via an e-mail for a simple explanation. He says that most of these paradoxical statements (as  in the Delayed choice”, or the two-slit experiment) arise  from the assumption that a quantum particle passes through both slits and not just one slit” when both choices are available,  where as what  is observed depends on the experimental set up right-now. In Bohm’s Quantum Mechanics  there is a well-posed real world;  the electrons or photons pass through one or the other of the slits just like classical particles, and if you take a sufficiently large number of them, and only then, that an interference pattern arises. The past exists, but if the experimental set up is changed part-way through  the motion of the electron (after having gone through one or the other slit)  at some moment Tx, then the electron simply takes a new path consistent with the new set up. The cause always precedes the effect.  This is also clear from the very detailed discussion given by Hiley and Callagan ( ) using Bohm’s Method as well as the more traditional quantum mechanics (where the past, prior to any observation is unknown due to the collapse of the wavefunction”.

It is interesting to note that Dr. Silva has given a discussion of the two-slit experiment (deposited in a pre-print archive, and not published in a peer-reviewed international journal).  He also makes the assumption that any given photon or electron passes through both slits. Thus it seems that although Dr. Silva says that he rejects the Delayed Choice concept”, his two-slit theory will land him directly into the solipsist position taken by Wheeler.

4 Responses to “The Buddhist view of the external world, the  Chulla-Haththi-Padopama sutta and  Quantum Reality.”

  1. AnuD Says:

    For me, Bodhi Dhanapala has some kind of mental condition because he does not have the letters DR in front of his name and the letters PhD after his name. So, he is attacking Nalin De silva from every direction. You are taking revenge for what NAlin DE silva did to you, I mean criticizing you.

    Your article in which you tried to prove that Glyphosate was good for the human body is Crap. There are so many articles to show that glyphosate is toxic because it is an amino acid derivative. Glyphosate is a concern in many other countries. Sri lanka is used to apply Glyphosate with out any reservation. So that ground water table should be highly contaminated with Glyphosate. Generally pesticides are rich with heavy metals. All those should be in the ground water.

    Coming back to this article, you are jumping from issue to issue and badgering Nalin De Silva to Buddhism to Physics every where. There is connection of one sentence to the other. You are every where. Your only objective is revenge from Nalin De Silva. Only you under stand what you wanted to write and not any one else, particularly me as I do not follow you continuously.

  2. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Indeed, the Loch Ness monster, the Abominable Snowman, God Natha and aliens in flying saucers have also been seen by a few select people!!!!!
    Nalin de Silva can visit any psychiatric ward in a hospital and find at least couple of schizophrenia patients who claim that they daily communicate with the god and even take day to day instructions from them. The schizophrenic personality, because of the severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD can become paranoid, thinking themselves to be more important as against their surroundings. This can cause them to contextualize the feeling by associating their inner “certainty” with messages from God or, in extreme circumstances, actually being God.

  3. AnuD Says:

    Neelamaha Yoda:

    The god that you are talking is the Creator, then I agree with you. I don’t think god Natha, if exists, is the Creator.

  4. kavdayako Says:

    AnD is right when he says

    So that ground water table should be highly contaminated with Glyphosate. Generally pesticides are rich with heavy metals. All those should be in the ground water.

    However, all parties who have done chemical analysis of the ground water find that there is NO SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT of glyphosate or metal toxins.

    So the illness is called CKDU, chronic kindey disease of UNKNOWN origin.

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