LETTER TO THE CITIZEN
Posted on April 29th, 2018

 Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent, Gloucester ; Ontario . Canada

29 April 2018

The Editor (Letters)

THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

Ottawa

Dear Editor (Letters)

The  moment the heavy iron rod came down on the neck of the white sitting Buddha statue decapitating it on the front lawn of the Buddhist temple, Hilda Jayewardenaramaya, on Heron Road, on the snowy night of March 16,  2018, the hurt not only lanced through the pious  and compassionate hearts of the local Buddhist community, but also the Buddhist communities across Canada, the States, England, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan.  Since then these foreign Buddhist communities have stretched their hands to touch and comfort us.

Although our hearts were lanced stabbing us with hurt, the spirit of Buddhist compassion was never touched.  So none of us spat an angry word toward this executioner., Yet,.we are still stymied not being able to understand the vandal’s anger to do what he did.  Why? Especially  when we are a peaceful community.

The decapitated Buddha has been restored,which cost us a pretty penny which was prohibitive for a charitable organization operating on donations.  It is now sitting on a. pedestal on the front lawn of the temple.  We  hope and pray that it won’t be vandalized again.

What was established with the unveiling of the restored Buddha statue on Sunday (29) afternoon was that  love, compassion, respect and healing transcended Federal; constituency boundaries when Nepean’s Liberal MP Chandra Arya, our neighbour, honoured us by unveiling the statue which proceeded with the consecrating Buddhist chanting.

For a better appreciation what the Buddha statue symbolizes to our Buddhist community is that it is a symbol of peace of mind, well being and calm. It does not symbolize a God that we worship. Look at its gentle closed eyes and its lips stretched into a serene smile which provides us inspiration to deepen our own practice of developing inner peace.

For the vandal who decapitated the Buddha statue in a moment of anger, let me invite him to sit with me  in Metta (loving kindness) Bhavana (development) Meditation which will help the person to Overcome,anger, resentment and hurt, and also harmonize relationships with  family members, friends, acquaintances and strangers like me.

I request most humbly, please do not hurt us, Buddhists, again in case you wish to  act as an executioner for the second time wanting to decapitate the Buddha statue, on the lawn of our Buddhist temple, Hilda Jawardenaramaya on Heron Road.

And as a Peace Offering I have a gift for you in the colour of Buddha’s saffron robe – a yellow rose symbolizing Joy and Friendship. Let’s meet.

Please accept it.

May you be well, may you be happy, ,may you be peaceful, may you be loved and may no harm come your way, ever.

Sincerely

Asoka Weerasinghe

Coordinator of Outreach Programmes

Hilda Jayewardenaramaya, Ottawa

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