Buddhism, Sri Lanka,Awsadahamy and the dogs who bark!
Posted on March 5th, 2011

Ratanapala

Ben Silva seems to get more adventurous by the day, trying to denigrate Buddhism for the all the ills of Asia. He sounds like a Papist out to get rid of paganism. He will blame Einstein for the Atom Bomb.Einstei just found a truth about matter  – that vast power is locked up within matter. In the same way Lord Buddha found a solution for the ills of the world.  He saw the illusion of existence and the truths that Lord Buddha  proclaimed, remains true to this day.

 The assertion by Ben Silva that Lord Buddha is a depressed person can only come out of a ill informed and demented personality. Ben Silva’s contention that Buddhism is the undoing of the Sri Lankan nation is highly flawed. His misjudgement that Nibbana is extinction shows his ignorance. He sounds more like, probably his mentor Pope Jean Paul II who once said that meditation is auto-eroticism!  We cannot help dogs barking at the moon “”…” can we?

 Lord Buddha proclaimed the Four Noble Truths so that beings can transcend ignorance and achieve happiness. These truths identifiy what ails all beings – unhappiness “”…” Dukkha, the reason for Dukkha “”…” Unrealistic Desire “”…” Greed “”…”Thanha, the abode where Dukkha is not found  – Nibbana and the way leading to Nibbana “”…” The Noble Eightfold Path “”…” the Middle Way. Main emphasis in Buddhism is how to achieve happiness in life and in the end the “”…” Supreme Happiness “”…” Nibbana.  Buddhism is neither pessimistic or optimistic; it is just realistic. This is why they find that Science more and more in tune with Buddhist Impermanence, Non Self, and Emptiness.  I humbly request Ben Silva et al to be more knowledgeable before attempting to undertake childish misadventures “”…” such as denigrating Buddhism for the ills of Sri Lanka.

 The Buddhist Doctrine of Kamma says that Kamma the driver of Samsara are the Intentions “”…” Chethanas either good or bad. These are extraneous to the purpose and pure action, required to fulfill that purpose.  They are ones that discriminate and judgment  and prejudice. Pure action does not result in Kamma and this is the reason the Noble Ones the Arahants do not create fresh Kamma.

 Lord Buddha told us to conquer ourselves before trying to conquer others. Following up on this ethos, Sinhala Buddhist nation gave up the barbarity of invading other countries and nations many millennias ago.  However when the need arose we have successfully defended our nation so that the Sinhala nation can boast of an unbroken Royal lineage of nearly 2400 years; which is much to say about. Can any nation in the Christendom boast of such a long and proud achievement?

 In the same way we can transcend evil, by taking pure action devoid of greed, hatred and delusion to achieve our objectives in life. Elimination of a Prabhakaran need not require hatred. One just goes about it with a clear conscience “”…” to remove an evil which if left alone would cause greater miseries. Sometimes it is a surgical mission; one has to draw blood to save life.

 The problem lies not in Buddhism, but in the way it is interpreted, preached and practiced.The Buddhist establishment today remains because of the people and not because of the high priests who are mainly land lords and mudalalis. I do not intend to denigrate the pious ones who do not play politics with Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

 The Chinese Empire,  the Greek empire, Roman Empire, the Islamic Empires, the French, the British and the Russian empires didn’t crumble because of the religions they profess. However  how and why they disintegrated  – that it was ignorance,  archaic  belief systems, unmitigated greed and decadence is clearly explained in Buddhism.  The rise and fall and the impermanence of all conditioned existence are basic truths in Buddhism. This is true whether in Sri Lanka or elsewhere.

 Every once in a while nations go on testosterone drives and go out to invade their neighbors and later all that they can lay their hands on. Whole of Christendom shivered in their pants when the Mongols came and almost ended their way of life. It happened with the Huns and Goths whom they called barbarians.  All empire builders from the despicable Portuguese, the Spaniards the Dutch and the conniving British are also barbarians who went out to conquer other countries out of greed, hatred  and ignorance.  The ones that become more barbaric end up being the “ƒ”¹…”victor’ till that “ƒ”¹…”victor’ end up being the victim of another barbarian.

 The truth that men would have landed on the moon 500 years ago if not for the so called “ƒ”¹…”Dark Ages’ when Christian barbarism was at its height and when Christian Pagan beliefs overshadowed scientific discoveries is a known historical fact.

 Sri Lankan history is replete with times when we defended our country, sovereignty and our freedoms. Prince DutuGamunu went on the warpath to evict the usurper Elara  and that was to defend Buddhism. Maage me vyayamaya raja sepapinisanewei “¦.!

 To put the record right, it was the Sinhalese  that was able to fight off the invaders the Portugues, the Dutch and even the British. Other countries including Hindu and Muslim India capitulated without much ado. The heroic defense of Sinhale by the Sinhalese against the onslaught of European Powers is without parallel anywhere in Asia. In the end it was intrigue, lies, duplicity of the invader and the jealousy and hatred of our own leaders that led to the demise of the Sinhala sovereignty.

 We have much to learn from our rich history.  A total of 198 kings ruled our country.  Many a transition of power from one king to another happened with political assassinations. I only hope that the present day leaders will have the foresight study and learn from history.

 Our history tells us that it is when we became unrealistically pious and let our guard down, when we were not “ƒ”¹…”awake’ , thatour enemies came and destroyed our priceless possessions and us.  Whatever threats we have, we must go about them intelligently and without hatred to eliminate that threat.; just as hatred is not required to remove the threat of Dengue , Malaria or Smallpox!

 In the Far-East it was Buddhist Monks who founded the martial arts “”…” arts initially intended for self defense. In all actions of martial arts there is pure action without the manifestation of anger or hatred to overcome an enemy.

 This principle can be applied in all life situations and in perfect accordance with Buddhism.  The fact that Buddhism has shaped the thinking and the way of the majority Sri Lankans and mainly the Sinhalese is no secret.

 When Buddhism came to Sri Lanka in 543 BC it was accepted by the populace, because it was a higher creed than was theirs. It was intelligent Sinhala people who became Buddhists. They were the precursors of the Hydraulic Civilization, of  Ravana  ancestry. They did not become Buddhists under compulsion , but oncomprehension and conviction. Whether Awsadahamy’sAyubowan culture was there before Buddhism came to Sri Lanka or not is only of academic interest. It is clear that Awsadahamy’s live and let live culture did not stand much chance against the Aryan Prince Vijaya and his band of 700 followers. The important thing is  that since the advent of Buddhism in the island there was no conflict between Ayubowan Culture and Buddhism “”…” in fact one reinforced the other.

 The Vapi Culture found new meanings and prospered under Sinhala Buddhist Kings. We would not know about a Vapi Culture or about the so calledHela people if not for the history recorded in Mahavamsa. It is very probable that vapi culture predates the arrival of Aryans and later Buddhism. However if not for the arrival in Buddhism in Sri Lanka all Hela Achievements would have ended as just footnotes in history. It is our Buddhist Kings’ compassionate  Buddhist thoughts and actions  that  gave new meanings to the existing vapi culture and led to the perfection of the hydraulic civilization. It was the Sinhala Buddhist culture that produced the first wild life sanctuaries, schools and hospitals for the Sri Lankan population.

 Scientific evidence from remote sensing shows that most of our achievements were destroyed more due to natural disasters than due to man-made blunders. There is clear evidence that Mahaweli changed its course due to such an event destroying much of the man-made river systems, thereby forcing the Sinhalese to abandon Raja Rata and move westwards.

 It is important to realize that we are a nation of people who became Sinhalese over the last 2600 years. We are those who came from many different places and got integrated into the Sinhala Buddhist culture. Just as peoples of many nations go to America and become Americans and speak English, over the millennia many a different peoples came, assimilated  and became Sinhalese, speaking Sinhala; mostly becoming Buddhists. The assimilative force of the Sinhala language and culture has been such that throughout the length and breadth of the island there is not even a hint of a dialect or a different accent in the Sinhala that is spoken. This is in sharp contrast to England where there are so many accents  and dialects of the spoken English.

 Throughout our known history there were many a usurpers Sena, Gutthika ,andElara  to plunderers like KalingaMagha  who sat on the Sinhala throne. There were also  theAryaChakrawarti  and Sankili  kinglets of Jaffna and finally the  5 Nayakkar kings. The common thread that runs through all this is that they always ruled over a majority Sinhala, Sinhala speaking population.  Majority of the present day Tamils in the North and East are those who have been brought into tend Tobacco plantations by the invading colonials. Then there is a minority of Sinhalese  who were the original inhabitants of the North and East who have become Tamils by assimilation.

 Just as it was the reawakening led by  MiguettuwatteGunanadaThero, Hikkaduwe Sri SumangalaThero, AnagarikaDharmapalaThuma and other Buddhist leaders that led to our Independence from the Colonial Powers, it was the Buddhist Nation  conditioned and prepared by the Soma Hamuduruwo movement that brought an end to Tamil Tiger Terrorism and Eelam. It is extremely important that the Rajapakse brothers give importance to this truth.

 It was Prince Gemunu who overthrew the usurper  Elara in Anuradhapura, but it was his father  King Kavanthissa and his brother Saddhatissawho prepared the South, the Army and the food supplies necessary for the war effort. In the same way it is abundantly clear that Sri Lanka needs to be self sufficient in our basic food items if we are to maintain our Independence and Sovereignty. We shall not be blackmailed because we are not able to feed ourselves. The first step in the march towards modernity in Japan started with that country becoming self sufficient in rice at the beginning of the 19th century!

 It is also clear that our armed forces need to be kept in good preparedness and in good numbers. It does not take long to fall into complacency and a sense of false security. This is how throughout  our known history we were surprised by our enemies.  It did not take many years for the Golden Years of the Parakramabahu Era to dissolve into the KalingaMagha disaster.

 There is absolutely no need to fear, as we are today a 20 Million strong country. What is needed is national cohesiveness and pride in our identity as Sinhalese and as Sinhala Buddhists. Sinhala Christians are locked up in a Stockholm syndrome worshipping their captors and shackled to their values! They want to call themselves Sinhalese but cannot be proud of their achievements. This is why  BenSilvas are  still  Ben Silvas and not Piyadasas or Karunasenas! They  are condemned to denigrate their own to remain willing prisoners of false gods “”…” false gods who love the smell of burnt flesh! False gods  and their followers who create bloodshed and misery all over the world. And this they call progress, modernity and development! And this they call promotion of human rights and democracy!

 Subtle attempt by the Papists to denigrate Buddhism by climbing on the Helaband wagon must be nipped in the bud!

 Ratanapala

5 March  2011

13 Responses to “Buddhism, Sri Lanka,Awsadahamy and the dogs who bark!”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sri Lanka was called the “Granary of the East’ in the older times. The entire Great Irrigation System that fed the paddy fields was ‘poetry in motion’, gentle and strong at the same time, in keeping with the natural contours of the land and needs of the people. It was unlike the artificial dams of today and fast moving feeders/outlets, and withstood the test of time.

    Some of the Eastern countries got carried away in awe of the winners of World War I&II. However, both WWI&II were of European make and the East had nothing to do with it till Japan caught the ‘war fever’ thinking Germany was winning the war, with disastrous results for Japan. Western religion really took root in Lanka after WWII. It was like joining the winning side, wasn’t it, and had little to do with the actual belief system itself – something like cheering the winning side in cricket ?

    Now the time has come for Self Sufficiency in Food & Development.

  2. Ben_silva Says:

    I do not criticize individuals including Thathagata. However I would challenge statements, when they appear to be wrong as Buddha has indicated in Kalama Sutra. Thathagata is one of the greatest humans born and I have deep respect. If Ratnapala bothered to read my comments in my previous article, he would have known it. My main point is that we live in a highly competitive world, and we need to have clear objectives inb order to survive. It is better in my view to have as an aim, the will to survive than seek extinction. For example, Muslims want to be rich, be successful, win and be economically active. In contrast if Buddhists seek extinction and want to give up desires then, automatically we will lose. It is not at all surprising that both China and India have dumped religion and are making tremendous progress. It is a fact that Indians have dumped Buddhism and it is also a fact that large number of Buddhists have been wiped out. Buddhism has been wiped out from countries in the silk route, Malaysia, Indonesia and so on. India and China are declared secular countries, which were previously Buddhist. Buddhism is declining in Korea as well. It is reasonable to ask how this happened, learn lessons so that Sinhala Buddhists do not end up wiped out like Nalanda Buddhists. In a smaller scale, Buddhistt Pilgrims at Anuradhapura, Buddhist monks and innocent civilians got killed as no adequate protection or defence was provided. I am a Sinhala Buddhist and I wanted to stop us following the extinction of Nalanda Buddhists. I came up with a theory and was hoping that others could come up with theories so that we can learn. Instead of coming up with theories of his own Ratnapala had an outburst of attack on me. Surely we do not want to follow those that have been wiped out. If Praba had his way, we would have been wiped out. In any case we have lost a large chunk of our only homeland and considerable economic power is in the hands of non Sinhalese. Further I would add, the Sinhala kings were constantly attacked by Tamil invaders that the Kingdom had to be moved from Anuradhapura, to Pollonnaruwa, and finally ending up in Kandy to provide protection from Tamil invaders. The Tamils destroyed our irrigation system and destroyed what was known as the hydraulic civilisation.of the Sinhalese. Ratnapala brags about our achievements when we succumbed to British invaders who came from thousands of miles away. My main point is learn lessons and not to repeat mistakes.
    Needham the Oxford academic, accused the belief systems in China, that included Buddhism, for the decline of China. I merely echoed Needham’s observations.
    However I am not offended by Ratnapala, as his conduct matches very well with that of a person affected by The Mind Virus Called Religion as indicated by. http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/MindVirus.html . Although I am happy to take part in discussions I will not respond to people whose minds are affected by the religion mind virus, who conduct themselves like Tliban. It would be helpful if Ratnapala gets his facts right and is better informed.
    The question we need to ask is do we want to have extinction as the aim or should our aim be survival and win ? If we have extinction as the aim, then there will be our competitors who can replace us.

  3. devamitta Says:

    I’m sorry to say that mr. Ratnapala also has his historical facts wrong. The Dutch did not invade Lanka; they where asked to come and kick out the Portugese. Together with Bengali Pirates they did this. Sorry fact is they never went. The english where handed over Lanka to them by the Dutch (who hadno rights to do so I think), so no invasion there neighter. There where galiant people who bravely stand up against that, but no invasions. The discription of the mkindset Of The Buddha by Mr. Ben Silva is also unsympathic to me that is not the point. He could have put it diferent so people would not have been hurt by it. I agree that the inactiveness is there but I think that has to do also with the nature of people and is not just produced by Buddhism. Many people are keen on easy money and prefere to sit under the coconut tree to wait when one fals and the call their wife to pick it up. Others are stimulated by the Buddha’s teaching and see that if they want something they have to go for it and do things!
    Buddhism is a do it yourself teaching and people should take a lesson from this. With friendly grteetings to the two of you and with Metta – devamitta

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    What is needed here is a Balanced approach to Theravada Buddhism.
    The precept “do not Kill” (one of the 5 Precepts), can be carried on to extremes as in Jain Buddhism, where the practitioner is supposed to wear a mask over the nose so as not to kill germs in the air. But, in actual fact, the practitioner is protected from germs in germ infested India, where dry human fecal matter may be floating in the air. So it is a two way thing, i.e. the germs survive outside, but does not infect the Jain Buddhist ! The mask practice may have evolved really to protect the practitioner rather than the germs. However, to denigrate Buddhism, it might have been said that Jain Buddhists wear a mask to protect the germs !! So look at the truth behind rhetoric.
    Also, we must not compare the trappings of progress as defined by other nations. What is progress to us ? Define that carefully, according to Human Values, (not necessarily according to Buddhism), and come up with a definition of “Progress” ?
    In the answer you will have the direction we should take.

    * In my book, we should imitate the way the Great Irrigation Works of Lanka by our ancestors in every thing we do. These Irrigation works were designed to be one with Nature, Human & Environmental, and withstood the test of time. They are Life Supportive. Our Ancestors were wise within BUDDHIST THINKING, which is one with Nature. Move within the Laws of Nature itself, and we cannot go wrong. Go for GREEN (sustainable) DEVELOPMENT from the outset and set Laws in place to govern the Environment in case of companies/corporations. Dear Ben, this is my answer to you inquiry for alternative ways to go for Lanka.

    * Can anyone think of a way to escape the so called GDP based economic theory and the rampant Profit Motive ? Our Ancestors had no GDP in the old days, and they did very well. They had a balanced view of Life, and a small amount of profit was satisfying to them. Even the del & kos growing on the land was shared among the workers. That was the Buddhist way.

    * Self control & discipline yourself through Buddhist Meditation. There is no other way. The alternative GDP method is the lemming way, going over the cliff together, as shown in Geeth’s cartoon.

  5. Naram Says:

    Reading the respected Mr Ratnapala’s essay, I cannot help sounding out few competing ideas too. For example my cursory obervation after visiting few museums was that Sri Lanka was at her strongest when the international trade was thriving export of Elephants and Gems importofHorses and skills. The Museums of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura are full of materials / coins from far away lands as Eguypt and Rome. In contrast at Ambekke the carving of a soldier on horseback in the European style had been done apparently before Portugese entry in 1505. THere would have been remours of the entry of conquistadores – fierce warmongers. What interested me most was the make of the door. Its hinge was a rounded Kitul bar whoch made me think that the knowledge of metallurgy for casting housing implements even for a major Temple had not been available at the time. Perhaps the skills would have died down with the succssive moves away from Polonnaruwa forced by spread of Malaria and Chola invasions.

    Also we have to accept that however perfect the philosophy of Buddhism is, that alone does not provide a sure formula for worldly success. There were times when Lord Buddha himself could not stand the petty argiments of his many followers; he sought refuge in forst retreats. He had rich followers like Sarath – ‘Ane Pindu’ but he treated intelligent scavengers also with equal respect.

    A Buddhist society does not necessarily mean a rich society. It is on record that Lord Buddha raised his voice against caste practices meaningless offring of animals to bring rain; but I cannot recall any move to spread eduacation, reading and writing skills, or agaist prostitution – Ambapali was a high class cortesan.

    Lord Buddha did not take up political causes.

    In contrast Western religion moved as a part of empire building, education was part of developing servility. THose with a thinking ability like Buddhists were feared as warlike races and were ground to dust or kept down. For example after British entry the education investment was in Jaffna and Colombo not in Wellassa and Hambantota. FIrst major schools were like Uduvil built in Jaffna, followed by COlombo Academy and trade was opened up by encouraging entry of Gujarati merchants as with African colonies.

  6. Nanda Says:

    Thank you very much Ratnapala for this. There is no doubt Ben Silva is an agent – hiding behind Sinhala cause. We must be very aware of his motives.

    Naram should read more Sutta’s before embarking on sweeping statements that British brought education to Sri lanka and Buddhism has no formula to sucess. If so, other religions are the same. Even Einstien rated Buddhism as the religion of the future. There is plenty of advise in Buddhism for personal sucess but it is not a “technological” teaching of science of achieving material gathering of business.

    These people are trying to convert Sinhala Buddhist.

  7. Ben_silva Says:

    I wish to thank Devamitra, Frans and Naram for their useful comments. I never criticized Buddha. I only challenged the Nirvana idea, which is an ancient Hindu/Tao idea. I agree I could have put it in a less offensive way. If I did it less offensive, it would have gone unnoticed .I expected adverse reactions from people with a Taliban attitude, and with a mind affected by the religion virus. Recently a minister in Pakistan was killed for expressing his views. Tamils destroyed our irrigation system so that we could not survive. The British did the same thing in Uva and killed all our young men. Facing such deadly enemies, we cannot survive by seeking extinction. If we do remain passive and seek extinction, then we may go extinct. Ratnapala says with 20 million, we should not be worried. Does this number include Tamils. ? Sri Lanka does not have 20 million Sinhalese . In any case millions of native South Americans got killed by a few Spanish. So merely relying on numbers may not be enough. I wonder if Ranapala knows anything about local history or Global history or even the composition of the Sri Lankan population. We really need to build up a fighting, competitive and survival mentality, as opposed to a mentality seeking extinction. The above are the main reasons for writing my article. Ratnapala has implied that I am a Catholic. If I am a Catholic, then I would promote and campaign for Nirvana so that the Sinhalese seek extinction and go down in numbers and Catholics would be left behind. I would have even promoted Buddhist Universities and TV stations so that the Buddhists remain passive, give up desires and become poor and become easy targets, just like NalandA Buddhists were. I have been campaigning for survival and self reliance, opposite to what a Catholic would have done.
    Ratnapala’s article had a number of incorrect statements and also showed lack of knowledge on local history as well as Global history.
    Ratnapala has gone on an irreverent name bashing mission , bashing Silvas and wrongly implied that I am a Catholic. He has attacked the person and not the idea Let me return some of his compliments. He has shown himself to be a clueless naive comedian, with little knowledge of local or global history..
    Preabakaran supporters seems to get more adventurous by the day, trying to engineer the demise of the Singhalese. Subtle attempt by the golayas of Prabakaran to engineer the demise of the Singhalese by climbing on the Indian/Hindu/Tao Nirvana band wagon must be nipped in the bud!
    I will not be responding to comedians who insult others rather than deal with issues and ideas.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    In the statements Devamitta makes about Lanka being ‘handed over’ each time to foreign countries, it is evident that in the past 500 yrs or so, various trading super powers such as the Portuguese, Dutch & British, handed over convenient ports of call on their trade routes, to each other. We think such ports were handed over as prizes to the winners of wars from the losers of such wars, viz. Canada handed over to the British after France lost a European war to the British (Voltaire, a note worthy Frenchman of that time said in disgust “who wants a backyard full of snow” referring to Canada !). Wasn’t it under similar circumstances that Lanka was ‘handed over’ to various other trading countries each time, over European wars fought in various places and won and lost ?

    Since no European wars are fought now to hand over Lanka as war losses in some cruel Game of Might is Right, who then is Lanka’s enemy now ?
    What do perceived enemies want from us ? Are they really are Enemy, or are they just playing some old Game that has now gone stale and pointless ?

    In order to Survive, we have to ALL (the whole world) think of GREEN (sustainable) Development. Nature is the new Boss here, for the whole world.
    Buddhism is a very practical religion (Dhana, Seela & Bahavana). Through Meditation (Bhavana) wise ways to solve problems arises. Kindness arises through the rule of Dhana. Discipline & Morality arises through Seela. Therefore the practice of Core Teachings of Buddhism is a must, as are Core Teachings of other religions. Our Buddhist priests ought to learn the Martial Arts practiced by Buddhist priests in the Far East.

  9. Naram Says:

    Please Nanada – do read what I wrote. It is about investment in education to fill the lower rung jobs in their empire, confined to few cities inhabited by more servile folks while wilfully destroying the rest. THese are recorded facts by historians Paul E peiris, Colvin R de Silva, Kumari Jayawardena etc. I would like to know from the educated readers here what they perceive to be the percentage of Buddhists in the lands Lord Buddha travelled Magadha, Koshala etc. I would put it in less than 10 % – may be the intelligent part of those societies. Buddha himself had said that the number who can understand his teachings is comparable to the dirt in ones finger, in comparison to earth.

    Yet people had to carry out their livelihoods in the way of the society- learn the trade of the family. Astrology, Reading and writing etc. for Brahmins, Archery, swordsmanshipm horse riding etc for Kshathriyas, metal workers, leather workers, weavers, drummers, etc. etc. THe societies remained almost same for following two millenia.

    One can say the same about Christianity. Early Christianity despised money lending – Usury – a practice abhorred. It is said that became fashionable after Italian money lending family ‘Medici’s’ amassed millions enough to write their own scriptures, glorifying the role of KIngs who came from the East to pay homage with GOld, Frankinscense and Myrr etc. I have heard from Christopher Hitchens – in the Utube debates that none of the contemporaneous historians like Pliny record the existence of a preacher called Jesus.

    Religions evolve to envelop the modes of social production intercourse. That is why Sinhala King sent his emissaries to bring a woman of royal blood from India to cement his own somewhat shaky claim to be of Royal lineage.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Ben Silva is a proven patriot. Not a seasonal one. He didn’t criticise Buddha though I have reservations about a word he used which is not appropriate. But we should read what he said in total without jumping to wrong conclusions. In my view, anything is justified to defend SL. Unless SL is defended, Buddhism will not survive. From what I understood, Ben wants SL protected by all means so that Buddhism will be nurtured within a safe country.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    I am writing on this sensitive subject with some reluctance. Here is what I think … please correct me if I am wrong. Remember in those days there was no air transport or well organised sea transport (except for a few wooden ships). There was no information technology either !

    For the Buddha, who preceded Jesus Christ by some 500 plus yrs., the mode of transport of those days determined the number of people he could reach to teach his discovery of the Self. He travelled mostly by foot, as did Jesus. Naram is right in saying that the number of followers the Buddha had during his time would have been very small, perhaps 5% and 10% of the population where he travelled only (not a percentage of the total population of India at that time, but only where he travelled). Even among this number, there were levels of realisation of his teachings, different levels for different people. The Buddha is supposed to have either travelled to Lanka, or projected his image to three places in Lanka.
    For Jesus Christ, his time on earth was short. His Ministry itself lasted some 3 yrs only and he was a mere 32 yrs of age at the time he was crucified. At the time of his passing away, (I am greatly saddened sand troubled by the manner of of his death and can only accept it as a result of his absorption of the Karma of those he healed), only a relatively few were true followers of Christ, when compared to the total population of the region he walked to spread his teachings. Jesus is said to have learnt to Meditate either in the desert or some say that he was in India during the so-called ‘missing years’. He is supposed to have destroyed the money lenders stalls. The Dead Sea Scrolls are supposed to give an accurate description of his teachings.

    As for Christ chasing out the Money Lenders, here is an extract of the episode from the Net :

    “In this episode, Jesus is stated to have visited the Temple in Jerusalem, Herod’s Temple, at which the courtyard is described as being filled with livestockand the tables of the money changers, who changed the standard Greek and Roman money for Jewish and Tyrian money, which were the only coinage that could be used in Temple ceremonies. Creating a whip from some cords, “he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. But he said to those who sold doves, “Get these out of here! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise” !

    It would be true to say that the real FEELINGS of Bliss & Pure Love one might have in front of the true Teacher/Master/Guru, is not there once the Teacher passes away. Only the words remain to guide and a faint glow of the FEELING remains to those who are truly drawn to the Message. Some people, through mighty self effort/ or with some help from others, attain some of the FEELING behind the words. This FEELING of pure Bliss resides in every human Heart, and it is what people really thirst for. That is the worthiest goal in the life of any human being. Money & luxuries cannot bring that FEELING, nor high education by itself. For a person in pursuit of this FEELING, Material needs in moderation is sufficient.

    Right now, we think we are at the end of Kali Yuga (Dark Ages). So it is an Age of Transition. Can human beings make it through to the Sat Yuga (Age of Truth) ?

  12. Nanda Says:

    Fran,
    Your last two sentences seems to be foreign to Buddhism. Is this hela ? I don’t know. This could be Hindu – not sure.
    But “dark ages” is the time without true Buddhism – the Buddhsim Ben Silva is trying to create.
    Kisagothami story is a good example that Buddha is not there to give life to dead.
    King Dutugemunu was supposed to be fought to protect Buddhism , not only Sinhala race. Ben is saying kick out the very heart of Buddhism ( like killing the true teaching) which is anti-Dutugemunu. “Hela” (not Sinhala) is another idea to create unnecessary trouble.
    Why can’t these stupid pundits allow people to live normally, work, earn money and wealth and protect their country ? Few of them will understand the Buddhism and escape from samsara gradually and that will not harm the army, navy or airforce. If you don’t understand maths you cannot start saying maths is harmful to the country.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nanda: I do agree with you that “Dark Ages is the time without true Buddhism”. In the Dark Ages, even though the Bible says : “the Meek and the Humble shall inherit the Earth”, the early Christians taken prisoners in Rome by their then rulers, were fed to lions. Now we are coming to the end of these days of darkness or ignorance, mainly because of the internet and the Information
    Technology in the world.
    In fact, in my thinking, a true Christian, a true Hindu, or a true Islamist, will also be a true Buddhist. Conversely, a true Buddhist will be akin to a true Christian, a true Hindu and a true Islamist. Also, some people call Buddhism ‘purified Hinduism’. I think that the True/Core Teachings of every religion is the same, though looked at from slightly different angles. However, till all follow the True/Core Teachings of their respective religions, we will have to be aware of what is going on with other groups and our group as well.

    From time to time, in different places in the world, Buddhists are perceived to be ‘sitting ducks’, for people who want to take over the country/area for various reasons. We have to therefore maintain our Armed Forces and use our Intelligence for Survival, for a long time it seems, particularly now, as it is an Age of Transition. Nanda, we are transiting from an Age of Darkness (Ignorance) to an Age of Truth (non-Ignorance). This terminology may sound Hindu, but in reality, it is universal. We are communicating our thoughts and aspirations through the Internet now, unlike in other times. This is a wonderful and peaceful way to bring about mutual understanding, instead of going to war with each other. 500 yrs of Colonial Rule in Lanka and the advent of Technology in the west has brought us all a new way of thinking.

    In the end Truth wins, no matter what other people say.
    The ultimate Truths of any religion have nothing to do with other groups taking over Resources. The latter is perceived as Need; actually, Greed in a GDP based, excessively profit based, economy in the world today. We have not yet learned to tap the resources of sun, wind etc. and still rely on oil, coal etc. which are non-renewable and environmentally damaging sources of energy.

    Current day Buddhists of Lanka have to be aware of what goes on in Tamil Nadu & India, the Churches, Islam, and also the rest of the world. There seems to be a struggle for land, power and other resources. Our easy, laid back days are gone now, and may not return for a long time. The people themselves have to govern Lanka, and safeguard our people AND THEIR NEEDS. This burden has to be borne by the majority Sinhala/Buddhists mostly and not handed over to others. In the long run, people will turn to anyone who helps.

    Also, whatever other people say, Lanka will always be a Buddhist country, as our Ancestors were Buddhists, and true/core teachings of Buddhism is the Truth for the majority of the people. The Truth in Buddhism (or other religions) cannot be destroyed. But, it is up to the Buddhist priests, the educated Buddhists, and the Elders, to revamp and expand our Buddhist organisations to be far more effective in serving the needs of the modern day lay Buddhists, particularly those who are poor and in need. This is an enormous task.

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