GANGODAWILA SOMA THERA
Posted on December 10th, 2015

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane CANADA

‘Soma Haamuduruvo’ as he was popularly known, passed away twelve years ago, on December 12, 2003, at the age of 55 years. The unexpected death of this renowned Sri Lankan Bhikkhu, led to a spontaneous outpouring of grief throughout the country. Sri Lankans living overseas were shocked and grieved by the untimely demise of an outstanding Buddhist monk of exceptional popularity. On the day of his funeral in Colombo, the crowds that flocked into the city from all parts of the country to pay their last respects to a bhikkhu have been unprecedented in living memory. This particularly reflected the overwhelming reverence, adoration and sense of gratitude, of people towards an outstanding bhikkhu held in utmost esteem and veneration by most people.

His Past

Soma Thera was ordained in 1974 when he was 26 years of age.  He received training at the reputed Bhikkhu Training Centre, Maharagama, under the guidance of two of the most revered monks in Sri Lanka at the time, Venerable Madihe Pannasiha Maha Thera and Venerable Ampitiye Rahula Maha Thera. He obtained his higher ordination in 1976.

Having entered the Order of Bhikkus through conviction he strived to acquire a thorough understanding of the Dhamma. He knew by heart volumes of dhamma texts and was not second to any other erudite scholars. His sermons, discussions and publications, which include several books and articles, reflect the depth of his knowledge of the Dhamma and his capacity to impart this knowledge for the benefit of people.

After his higher ordination in 1976 he took time off to be in solitude in a monastery in a remote village in the Ampara district, where he practiced meditation. His interest in research and meditation on the special virtues of the Buddha resulted in the publication of  his excellent  book titled  ‘Buddhastupa’,  which is an excellent guide to those interested in the study of the virtues of the Buddha.

He traveled widely throughout Sri Lanka and several other countries including Canada, spreading the message of the Buddha and on how to lead simple lives based on the Five Precepts. He was the Chief incumbent for some time, of Victoria Vihare in Australia.

His Personality

Venerable Soma Thera lived a calm, serene and disciplined life and by his death Sri Lanka has lost an exceptional monk that people could closely relate to. Piety, wisdom and erudition, which are among the main characteristics of a great Buddhist monk, were conspicuous elements in his character. He was an embodiment of Buddhist morality and a shining example of virtue. His rather unmatchable virtue of cheerful equanimity, adorned often with a serene smile, often reminded his followers of the great qualities – Metta, Karuna and Muditha of their Enlightened One.

One of the noblest examples he left to us was his preference for simplicity in all his activities. His simplicity was well displayed in his verbal and non-verbal communications, both in discourses and books he authored. He turned out to be the householder during media discussions, irrespective of the time of the day.

His Service

His dedicated service to Buddhism and to the Sri Lankan nation is unfathomable. Soma Thera will be best remembered as the one and only Dhamma preacher par excellence in contemporary times. Thousands flocked to listen to his sermons, which were delivered in simple language yet most effectively.

His sermons and television discussions drew the undivided attention of the young and the old, Buddhists and the non-Buddhists alike. In his popular TV programmes, “Anduren Eliyata” and “Nena Pahana”, watched by millions, he never trimmed words to express what he frankly meant on a particular subject, nor did he at any time abstain from submitting a positive and viable alternative that could help one get out of an impasse or any problem that plagues someone. In his TV programs along with a well-known psychologist he showed people how Buddhism could help them solve their psychological problems. His role as the leading Buddhist communicator of modern times, social reformer cum defender of the Sinhala-Buddhist identity and its rights, came into prominence during these electronic media and public discussions, debates and sermons.

His Approach

He became a beacon of hope for the common masses since his ocean of knowledge on Buddhist canons, scriptures and literature remained unchallenged, well respected and thoroughly logical. His erudition, enriched with scientific psychoanalytical perspectives, his clarity in perceptions, pitch and intonation in his verbalizations, no doubt prompted his audience to be glued to TV sets. The masses felt that they found expression for their worldly, social and political problems through Ven. Soma Thera, who during many interviews was flooded with a barrage of questions that confront the public at large.

He used the simplest possible language in clarifying and explaining the intricacies of the Dhamma in a manner that was lucid, understandable and most convincing. His simple explanations on difficult and varying Buddhist perspectives and concepts enlightened the public en masse and were fascinating. In some instances authorities had to stop traffic when thousands began to flock to listen to him in temples and other public places where he conducted sermons. He was listened to by many and watched by many and read by many.  He possessed the capacity to be unbiased, conscientious and upright before all national and religious problems.

His Impact 

Soma Thera’s followers admired him for his courage in propagating a pure, superstition-free Buddhism. Soma Thera spoke about the relevance of Buddhism and Buddhist principles for the present day world. He took up day-to-day problems and pointed out how these could be solved by following the pristine Buddhist precepts. His practical approach to the teachings of the Buddha influenced many to change their lifestyles.

In his discourses he often opened a dialogue for us to inquire from ourselves whether we are honestly Buddhists, and what are the characteristics of a Buddhist and by what are we to measure ourselves. One reason for Soma Thera’s immense popularity was that in his sermons he spoke on contemporary secular, social, economic and political problems. He did not hesitate to express, in the strongest terms, the frustrations of the common man vis-à-vis the governments of the day.

His sermons reached the hearts and minds of not only Buddhists but non-Buddhists as well. He respected all other religions and had a very good knowledge of other religions. Non-alcoholism was a key word in him. This itself was a remarkable achievement at national level by this great monk who visited so many remote areas for Dhamma preaching throughout the whole year.

One of his most outstanding missions was to mould the younger generation to live according to the Dhamma. He had the right approach in handling youth problems and soon they rallied round him in an organisation called ‘Tharuna Saviya’ (Strength of the Youth). From every corner of the island, youths dedicated to the unfailing observance of five precepts taught in Buddhism, flocked and rallied round him in veneration and began to follow his teachings.

National Culture

He cherished Sri Lanka’s national culture and heritage with a passion. He spearheaded the cause of reviving Buddhism and Sinhala culture, and restoring a sense of nationalism and pride among the Sinhala-Buddhists. He fought relentlessly for the survival of the Sinhala people and their culture, which were being threatened by Westernisation and a striking lack of nationalism.

Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism was getting eroded by a perceived inability to face up to the challenge posed by minority Tamil militancy and a tendency to give in easily to influences from the West. Theravada Buddhism, the core of the Sinhala identity, was being subjected to an unmitigated and multi-dimensional onslaught from alien forces. The people were aware of these, but they did not, and could not, articulate them, because power was firmly in the hands of a Westernized, comprador bourgeoisie.

It was through Soma Thera that the suppressed feelings of the people found utterance. He personified Sinhala-Buddhism, becoming a “totemic figure”, an “icon”, to use the words of the veteran commentator, Ajith Samaranayake of Sri Lanka’s Sunday Observer. He courageously defended the rights of the Sinhala community and Buddhists at a time when identification with either of them was considered racism and bigotry. With his sermons and interviews on TV, he lifted the spirit and morale of the Sinhala people.

 Jana Vijaya” 

He spearheaded an inexorable effort combined with the sustained campaign to introduce clean politics” by establishing the “Jana Vijaya Foundation”. The objective was to mobilize the well-mannered citizens of the country to have a positive influence on political decision-making. He wanted all patriotic men to resist and make decision-makers drop foul practices for the benefit of the masses in the country. Through Jana Vijaya, he assembled thousands and thousands of youth in the island who were yearning for a morally rich Buddhist leadership.  Through publication of a popular newspaper on Dhamma and Buddhist way of life, he took his message to grassroots level.

Soma Thera, the socio-cultural reformer of our times, to his credit, was explicit in his criticism levelled against corrupt politicians and others undermining the interests of the Sri Lankan nation and of Buddhists. National and religious issues, in his view are interwoven and could not be isolated from the body politic of the country. He maintained that it was the bounden duty of the state to give pride of place to Buddhism, as enshrined in the constitution.  Morality, he said was the key to any righteous society.  Stimulus he gave in this direction was overwhelming and results-oriented. His outright assertions meant to help create a statehood ruled in accordance with Buddhist principles of righteous living, were food for thought for politicians, and some it is known,  accepted what he said in secret.

He awakened the nation with his forthright views on national issues. He opened people’s eyes to the dangers that lie around and ahead of us. Citing clearly and rationally, the socio-economic trends in Sri Lanka, he warned the Sinhala Buddhists of the imminent danger of decimation of the Sinhala race and the adulteration of Buddhism by worship of gods, and moving away from practice to ritual.

Gods and Deities

He challenged the worship of gods and avatars by Sri Lankan Buddhists. He pointed out that such worship was contrary to the teachings of Theravada Buddhism.  His simple advocacy was to encourage the inquirer to seek refuge purely in Buddha and Triple Gem, not in mystic powers appealing for mere worldly gains. This stance in Ven. Soma Thera was unprecedented and unheard but was well received by the masses in the recent history of Sri Lanka. Buddhism tells its followers to be self reliant, and not to depend on Gods and other supernatural forces. Also, the Buddha does not grant boons. Self-confidence taught in Buddhism was the only god for him. In pursuit of his noble ideals, his unswerving efforts revolutionized Buddhist psyche and disposition to such an extent that some Buddhist temples discontinued patronizing deity worship. Also, Soma Thera was very troubled by the Satya Sai Baba cult, which had swept Sri Lanka. The elite of Sinhala-Buddhist society had become ardent devotees of the Baba. He thought it was sacrilegious for Buddhists to get swayed by such gibberish.

Unethical Conversions

Soma Thera campaigned against unethical conversion” to Christianity and the encroachments on Sinhala-Buddhist property by Muslims. He was not against any religion. He was only against poaching of this sort. Conversion to Christianity became a major issue in Sri Lanka when Christian sects, with heavy funding from western countries and South Korea, entered the scene to exploit the poverty, lack of economic development, and the displacement and deprivation largely brought about by the LTTE terrorist menace. They promised instant cures and solutions to problems, and enticements were offered to the poor.

His Last letter from Russia

Here is a segment (translated from Sinhala) of Venerable Soma Thera’s  last letter from Russia:   Christian brethren in Sri Lanka, kindly bear with me without enmity, I will show you the truth. Portuguese introduced Christianity to Sri Lanka in 1505. From that time for a period of 450 years, because of the many atrocities committed by the Dutch & the English invaders up to 1948, only a 4.5% of the people in Sri Lanka embraced Christianity. We are very well aware that those people embraced Christianity did not do so because it is a superior philosophy in comparison to Buddhism, but because of the greed for economical and social benefits from the foreign invaders.

If Christianity were a successful religious doctrine in comparison to Buddhism, Sri Lanka would have been a wholly Christian nation, much earlier. Please consider that you are immorally trying to delude and attempting to convert the simple and poor citizens of this country through material inducements, because Christianity by itself has nothing good to offer.

Wise Christian faithful please think – because of the betrayal of your forefathers you are now a Christian. Or you have done so yourself. A betrayal of a natural law is an unwholesome act, which cause grief. It is evil to betray a wholesome philosophy. Evil will condemn the evildoer. I urge you to return to Buddha’s Dhamma – which is the wholesome philosophy”.

Interactions with Soma Hamuduruvoo

I had the privilege of knowing personally, the Venerable Soma Thera, while I was working in Sri Lanka in the 1990s and had many opportunities of closely interacting with and developing a cordial relationship with this exceptional person. I was delighted with his visit to Canada in the Summer of 2002, and I had the most pleasant opportunity of accompanying him on his visits to a number of Buddhist temples in Greater Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal on speaking engagements, and to several other places of interest in Ontario and Quebec.

During our long driving trips together, we interacted freely on various issues and subjects that were of common interest to both of us. Communicating with him was a breath of fresh air. He spoke clearly, freely and eagerly on many issues pertaining to the Teachings of the Buddha, to Buddhism as practiced in Sri Lanka.  He had unequivocal views and well-defined plans on how to address from the Buddhist perspective, the complex problems and issues that the Sri Lankan nation is confronted with.

We spoke on the increased interest in Buddhism and Buddhist practices in North America and in several western countries, and the strong influence of the Dalai Lama in bringing about this interest. I found Venerable Soma to be well versed not only in the Theravada, but also in other Buddhist traditions such as Mahayana, Vajrayana and Zen, and countries where these traditions are followed. I recall vividly his description of a region in Russia with a large Buddhist community observing the Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. He was well aware of the oldest Buddhist temple in Europe located in St Petersburg. It was shocking and most distressing to me to hear that he died in St Petersburg.

I have had many opportunities of associating a large assortment of Buddhist bhikkhus including well known Mahathera’s, especially during my tenure as lecturer in the late 1960s, at the former Vidyodaya University (present Sri Jayawardenapura) when the late Venerable Walpola Rahula was its Vice Chancellor. Such opportunities continued even during my academic-professional activities in later years, in UK, USA and Canada and in my travels in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. I continued to keep in touch with Bhikkhus that I had respect for, and could relate to. Also, I often obtained information about prominent and popular bhikkhus in Sri Lanka, through the Sri Lankan media and  publications and also from friends living in Sri Lanka and elsewhere.

With this background I am in a position to say with all honesty that Venerable Soma was an exceptional Bhikkhu. He was endowed with a very sharp and clear mind and a highly developed power of reasoning and verbal expression. He was not only well versed in the Dhamma, but had a tremendous capacity to share it with others, with utmost clarity and simplicity. Having known him closely I can say that Soma Thera was definitely an outstanding bhikkhu who lived a calm, serene and disciplined life. Piety, wisdom and erudition were conspicuous elements of his impeccable character. He was an embodiment of Buddhist morality with unmatchable virtue, of cheerful equanimity and a serene face and smile that reflected his inner composure. One of the noblest examples he left for us was his preference for simplicity in all his activities. He led a simple life with the minimum of worldly possessions. He was in every sense a practicing Buddhist bhikkhu with well developed skills in Buddhist meditation. His publications bear testimony to the depth of his knowledge of the dhamma and meditation practices.

Influence and Inspiration

Soma Thera passed away at a relatively young age of 55. Although his life was rather short it has become legendary. He left a lasting imprint on both the Sri Lankan and the international social and religious scene. His death is admittedly an irreparable loss to Sri Lanka at a time his services are required most. The influence of his mission will continue to be felt in the Sri Lankan social scene for many years to come. The impact he has had on the lives of all those who came in contact with him directly and indirectly has been remarkable. Memories of his life, rich with experience, wisdom and dedication will continue to resonate for many more years. His name will be honoured with undying gratitude for many more generations to come.

Ven. Soma Thera will continue to remain a guiding star as long as the much-cherished Buddhist civilization in the country survives. His contribution to the cause of Dhamma and Sinhala-Buddhists in Sri Lanka is eternal and will always be fondly remembered. The aching void left by his sudden departure is unbridgeable and will continue to be felt by millions of Sri Lankans for years and years to come. What his departure reminds us is the fact that time is ripe for Sri Lankan Buddhists to re-evaluate and re-think of our collective stand on national and religious issues of our motherland.

Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

CANADA

December 12, 2015

6 Responses to “GANGODAWILA SOMA THERA”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Soma Thero passed away or killed ?

  2. Nanda Says:

    I have listened to only one of his sermons face to face. I had already had almost the same understanding of Buddhism then as now, I didn’t remember exactly what he said that day. One thing I remember was he did speak about attempts by other religions to undermine Buddhism.
    Nevertheless he brought about a change in understanding of Buddhism to thousands if not millions of Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. I believe it is his influence that gave rise to immense patriotism in Sir Lanka and surely without him we could not have built a strong dedicated tri forces. Therefore his influence was of paramount importance to win the war.
    He had a lot of enemies and BBS rode on his influence to gain popularity.
    However, I also believe behaviour of some monks of BBS as well as some politicians that time completely negate that influence and now we are back to zero now.

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    From Lankacnews

    Church Rules Sri Lanka

    3 posts by 3 authors

    thetruth

    9/22/03

    In the present cabinet all the major misters are Christian or
    Catholics. 93 % of the 95% of the Buddhists and Hindus are controlled
    by the Catholic Church. There is a discrimination in job allocation
    and placement of children to private schools.
    Christian Church Rules Lanka!
    Buddhists for True Democracy

    On Saturday 13th there was an unprecedented gathering at Madihe
    Pannaseeha Mahanayake Thero’s cremation. All over the country there
    were yellow flags on house tops, three wheelers, cars, busses and
    across the roads. This was of course a tribute to the monk. But it was
    more than that. It was a reflection of Buddhists rallying against a
    nearly twenty year campaign to denigrate and marginalize Buddhists and
    Sinhalese. The funerals of equally significant monks Walpola Rahula
    and Ananda Maithriya Nayake Theros did not arouse such deep reaction.
    If they passed away today, they indeed would. The mood is such.

    There is a growing Buddhist defiance in the country today especially
    against the Christian political structure that rules the country
    today. This includes both the President’s and Prime Minister’s
    factions. Significantly both of them, President and Prime Minister –
    symbols of the Christian hold – were absent from the cremation
    ceremony. The 7% Christians today rule over the 93% Buddhists, Hindus
    and Muslims. It is they, who support separatism and have covertly set
    the other communities against each other. It is they who fall over
    each other to invite Norwegians and others to rule over us.

    Who rules us? All the key places in the Sri Lankan government are
    held by the 7% Christians. Please read the bare facts. President
    Chandrika Kumaratunge’s husband was a Catholic and her children are
    widely believed to be baptized. Her grandfather Solomon was the
    leading Christian in the country then. She shows no concern for
    Buddhism. She dissolved the Buddhist Monks’Advisory body.

    The Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe is an Anglican Christian. His
    father was an Anglican Christian and his father’s elder brother,
    Bishop Laxhman Wickremasinghe was actually the head of the Anglican
    Church. Prime Minister’s brother owns the TV station TNL which
    broadcasts in all three languages on Sundays the most fundamentalist
    Christian programme. This TV station allows the Catholic missionary
    Lalith Kotelawala to change Buddhists’ minds away from Buddhism.

    The Interior Minister John Amaratunga is a Catholic. He is also the
    Minister of Christian Affairs. Sri Lanka is the only country in the
    world where the Minister of Christian Affairs holds the key post of
    the Interior Minister. Even before he became Minister, Amaratunga
    sponsored the entry of many of fundamentalist Christian organizations
    into Sri Lanka to convert the Buddhists. In December, as the Interior
    Minister, he ordered the Police to light up all the streets in Sri
    Lanka for one month. The Police compelled Buddhist businessmen to
    light their buildings for one month for Christmas. Before this, by
    government order, lighting for Vesak celebrations in May were limited
    to three days.

    The Foreign Minister Tyrone Fernando is an Anglican Christian. It has
    been reported that Fernando has replaced many Buddhists in the Sri
    Lankan embassies in other countries with Christian staff. The Defense
    Minister Tilak Marapona, born a Buddhist, married a Catholic. His
    children are believed to be baptized, and are Christians. His
    Secretary for the Ministry, Austin Fernando is a God fearing Catholic.
    Defense of the country is once again in Christian hands. The Trade and
    Commerce Minister Ravi Karunanayake is an Anglican Christian. The
    Ethnic Affairs and Rehabilitation Minister, Jayalath Jayawardene is a
    Catholic. The Economic Reforms and Science Minister, Milinda
    Moragoda’s father was a good Christian. Moragoda is married to an
    American Catholic. The Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Johnston
    Fernando is a Catholic. The Speaker of the Parliament, Joseph Michael
    Perera is a Catholic. The Finance Minister, Choksy is a non-Buddhist.
    All key ministers are non-Buddhist, Christians, and have total control
    of the government. In the meantime, Buddhist ministers are assigned to
    perform ceremonial functions without any real power.

    Church Rules Sri Lanka

    3 posts by 3 authors

    thetruth

    9/22/03

    In the present cabinet all the major misters are Christian or
    Catholics. 93 % of the 95% of the Buddhists and Hindus are controlled
    by the Catholic Church. There is a discrimination in job allocation
    and placement of children to private schools.
    Christian Church Rules Lanka!
    Buddhists for True Democracy

    On Saturday 13th there was an unprecedented gathering at Madihe
    Pannaseeha Mahanayake Thero’s cremation. All over the country there
    were yellow flags on house tops, three wheelers, cars, busses and
    across the roads. This was of course a tribute to the monk. But it was
    more than that. It was a reflection of Buddhists rallying against a
    nearly twenty year campaign to denigrate and marginalize Buddhists and
    Sinhalese. The funerals of equally significant monks Walpola Rahula
    and Ananda Maithriya Nayake Theros did not arouse such deep reaction.
    If they passed away today, they indeed would. The mood is such.

    There is a growing Buddhist defiance in the country today especially
    against the Christian political structure that rules the country
    today. This includes both the President’s and Prime Minister’s
    factions. Significantly both of them, President and Prime Minister –
    symbols of the Christian hold – were absent from the cremation
    ceremony. The 7% Christians today rule over the 93% Buddhists, Hindus
    and Muslims. It is they, who support separatism and have covertly set
    the other communities against each other. It is they who fall over
    each other to invite Norwegians and others to rule over us.

    Who rules us? All the key places in the Sri Lankan government are
    held by the 7% Christians. Please read the bare facts. President
    Chandrika Kumaratunge’s husband was a Catholic and her children are
    widely believed to be baptized. Her grandfather Solomon was the
    leading Christian in the country then. She shows no concern for
    Buddhism. She dissolved the Buddhist Monks’Advisory body.

    The Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe is an Anglican Christian. His
    father was an Anglican Christian and his father’s elder brother,
    Bishop Laxhman Wickremasinghe was actually the head of the Anglican
    Church. Prime Minister’s brother owns the TV station TNL which
    broadcasts in all three languages on Sundays the most fundamentalist
    Christian programme. This TV station allows the Catholic missionary
    Lalith Kotelawala to change Buddhists’ minds away from Buddhism.

    The Interior Minister John Amaratunga is a Catholic. He is also the
    Minister of Christian Affairs. Sri Lanka is the only country in the
    world where the Minister of Christian Affairs holds the key post of
    the Interior Minister. Even before he became Minister, Amaratunga
    sponsored the entry of many of fundamentalist Christian organizations
    into Sri Lanka to convert the Buddhists. In December, as the Interior
    Minister, he ordered the Police to light up all the streets in Sri
    Lanka for one month. The Police compelled Buddhist businessmen to
    light their buildings for one month for Christmas. Before this, by
    government order, lighting for Vesak celebrations in May were limited
    to three days.

    The Foreign Minister Tyrone Fernando is an Anglican Christian. It has
    been reported that Fernando has replaced many Buddhists in the Sri
    Lankan embassies in other countries with Christian staff. The Defense
    Minister Tilak Marapona, born a Buddhist, married a Catholic. His
    children are believed to be baptized, and are Christians. His
    Secretary for the Ministry, Austin Fernando is a God fearing Catholic.
    Defense of the country is once again in Christian hands. The Trade and
    Commerce Minister Ravi Karunanayake is an Anglican Christian. The
    Ethnic Affairs and Rehabilitation Minister, Jayalath Jayawardene is a
    Catholic. The Economic Reforms and Science Minister, Milinda
    Moragoda’s father was a good Christian. Moragoda is married to an
    American Catholic. The Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Johnston
    Fernando is a Catholic. The Speaker of the Parliament, Joseph Michael
    Perera is a Catholic. The Finance Minister, Choksy is a non-Buddhist.
    All key ministers are non-Buddhist, Christians, and have total control
    of the government. In the meantime, Buddhist ministers are assigned to
    perform ceremonial functions without any real power.

  4. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    It is a well known fact who killed Soma Hamuduruwo.
    Catholic-running Sri Lanka is not going to be reported it.
    Whoever makes noise about them is quickly ad quietly silenced.

    But we call it Buddhist Sri Lanka. When you have toothless leaders like
    maru sira it is much much easier. To make matters even easier you have a lot
    Buddhists supporting the catholic-run Unpatriotic party’s believing their malicious, diabolical lies!

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Creating a rift between Singhala Christians and Singhala Buddhists is SELF HARMING.

    Together they are 75%. Buddhists alone is 70%.

    Tamils and Muslims will NEVER support ANYONE with ANY patriotism. So we need the entire 75% Singhalese support. If our support base reduces to 70% then it is IMPOSSIBLE to win ANY big election.

  6. Nanda Says:

    Harbouring hatred is not the solution.
    MR tried to stop harbouring hatred too since 2010. In one of the war victory celebrations (possibly 2011 ) he started the speech with “Akkodehena Jine Koodhm ..” ( hatred is won by not hating). It was the correct approach.

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