Amplified sounds of Azan disrupt proceedings at Maha Bodhi Temple and cause tension at Buddha Gaya
Posted on June 3rd, 2017

Courtesy: Buddhist International

Reciprocity is the hallmark of any relationship. No peaceful co-existence can be sustained if incursions are taking place affecting the sensitivities of the majority populace of a country. The magnanimity of wanting peaceful coexistence has attendant obligations in removing that which are stumbling blocks to peace.

Buddhists in Sri Lanka have always welcomed peaceful co-existence between adherents of different religions. It is indisputably etched in history winning the admiration of the rest of the world. However, as indigenous Sinhala Buddhists we must state that co-existence cannot be one-sided. While preaching peaceful co-existence adherents of other religions that entered Sri Lanka much later in time after Buddhism had become firmly established in Sri Lanka as the national religion, cannot expect to transplant their religions by building their churches and mosques in the vicinity of sacred citadels of Buddhists and expect Buddhists to keep silent. Obligations under peaceful coexistence are mutual and not a one-way street for one religious group only. The growing media campaign to designate historical Buddhist sites as multicultural sites e,g. Sri Pada ( later called Adam’s Peak by colonial administrations) with a view to denying Buddhist claims to exclusivity over a place of worship which has had the patronage of only Buddhists over several centuries, and usurp Buddhist rights in respect to worship and upkeep, is grossly unfair and carries the seed of potential conflict.

There are increasing number of examples of mosques being built close to hallowed Buddhist shrines in highly venerated citadels: Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Kandy, Mihintale, Mahiyangana, Polonnaruwa (former Royal capital), Kelaniya and even in Buddhagaya, Lumbini and Kusinara. There is a new mosque built within a stone’s throw (60 metres) away from the Maha Bodhi Temple premises in Buddhagaya where the Bodhisatwa (Prince Siddhartha) attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree to become the Buddha, 2600 years ago.

To establish a mosque so close to the most venerated site of the Buddhists and then use loudspeakers for the daily azaan knowing very well that these high pitched sounds would disturb the tranquility and peaceful environment conducive to meditation of the Buddhist monks and worshippers, must be considered as a direct affront to peaceful co-existence. Being a  captive audience forced to listen to the sounds of another religion in the central location of Buddhism, we feel humiliated to say the least. The failure of the Government of India to take steps to remove or re-locate this mosque or take steps to withdraw the loudspeakers is tantamount to a dereliction of duty and guarantees given to the Buddhist world by the Government of India to provide a peaceful and noise-free environment surrounding the Maha Bodhi Temple. It diminishes the claim of the Indian Government to protect Buddhism in its birthplace. The silence of the International Buddhist organisations on this critical issue is deafening and a huge letdown and betrayal of the hopes of the world Buddhist community for effective institutional leadership to take up Buddhist grievances.

It is highly unlikely that other contenders for leadership of the Buddhist world such as China or even Nepal (where Lumbini, the birthplace of Prince Siddhartha is located, and now being projected as the Fountainhead of Buddhism) would allow a mosque or any other enterprise using amplified sounds to interfere with the proceedings of a hallowed Buddhist shrine.

It is also a lesson for Buddhist countries like Sri Lanka to ensure that mosques and even churches are not allowed to be constructed anywhere near an important Buddhist Temple because once permission is given it would be near impossible to prevent the Trustees of the mosque from using loudspeakers under the guise of exercise of religious worship and sheer lack of sensitivity to the feelings and fundamental rights of people of other faiths, disrupt the peaceful atmosphere and proceedings of a Buddhist Temple. If it can happen in Buddha Gaya, it can happen anywhere else, including affecting the proceedings of the Dalada Maligava in Kandy, in the future.

The issue of noise pollution and environmental degradation at historical Buddhist sites must be addressed as a matter of utmost urgency.

2 Responses to “Amplified sounds of Azan disrupt proceedings at Maha Bodhi Temple and cause tension at Buddha Gaya”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Putting up eyesore mosques in every corner is another dirty trick used by mussies to drive out non-believers from
    the areas.

    Wherever they go, mussies
    multiply, multiply and multiply. The reason for this multiplication is no human can make any sense of their life style
    and religion. Look at those beards. Birds can nest in those foot long beards. How much rubbish it must be collecting over a long period from eating etc? Look at those goni billa dresses. Look at the goni billa dress plus the grill in front of women’s eyes. Probably they feel secure in a ‘cave’ in which they can see everything, while outsiders can’t see

    So how do you convince people to follow this absurdity? You just don’t have to. You just muliply and multiply. Bingo! The
    whole place (later the country) is awash with mussies. These new mussies mature in just 18 years. Then votes,
    votes and votes. So they take control and wants to put up these eyesore mosques in every corner. Then start
    these call to put your bum up and fire rockets from back sides. Then this becomes a nuisance and non believers
    move out of the area. That’s why this ridiculous call to fire rockets from mussie backsides used.

    Mussies used these
    multiplication dirty trick in old Buddhist iran, afganisthan, pakesthan, bangladesh, maldives, malayasia and
    indonesia and made them into mussie countries in a few hundred years of their arrivals in those countries. Now
    Sri Lanka, Thailand and Mynmar in the firing line of mussie multiplication. xxxxlam isn’t just the religion of utter
    peace it is also the fastest breeding religion. Because of too much breeding, nature intervenes to control numbers
    (Charles Darwin’s natural selection theory). So mussies start killing each other in mussie countries, and other
    countries mussies kill non believers in turn they get killed. Even a tsunami or floods come, vast majority of
    the dead are mussies (nature’s intervention). Maybe mussies should learn to use condoms, follow a true religion to control the damage they do to themselves and to the world?

    Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution should have made all the religions 0 Buddhism 1.

    We all accept without
    a shadow of doubt that human life wasn’t created in one go. It started from .0000000000000000000000000001 (meaning very very primitive form to be 1) and
    evolved over millions of years to be what we are today. Just like what Lord Buddha preached. Do other religions
    accept this proven beyond doubt truth? No, if they do it makes their religions not true. So they carry on. But
    they don’t realise what they are doing in the name of their religions take them to .000000000000000001 (below 1). Just like Lord Buddha preached. Also we all know going on the wrong road will never get to the desired destination
    (just like Lord Buddha preached). People with brains who follow these absurdities should pause for a moment and
    think about these two truths (Theory of Evolution and going on the wrong road to get to the desired destination).

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    What is Endia’s HINDU govt. doing about it? NOTHING.

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