Buddhism – the defining characteristic of Sri Lanka
Posted on November 11th, 2021

Senaka Weeraratna

Christianity is the defining characteristic of Europe. The European Union is a set of countries bonded by Christian culture, heritage, and values. It is Christianity that gives the collective identity of Europe.

Islam is the defining characteristic of 57 countries that call themselves Islamic countries and thereby have acquired membership of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).   Islam has been written into the Constitution of each of these countries. Islam is the State Religion of these Muslim countries but other religions may be followed provided it is done in harmony with Islam (see Malaysian Constitution)  

Hinduism is the defining religion of India with over a 7, 500-year-old history of Sanatana Dharma. The latter is a Hindu appellation for Hinduism itself which translates as “the eternal dharma.”

Almost every aspect of Indian Culture is permeated by Hinduism. Hindus of India have every right to rename modern India in step with Hindu culture and tradition just as much as Muslims have exercised that privilege to rename the breakaway Muslim nation as Pakistan. The monumental lapse of Gandhi and Nehru in not calling the remaining part of Mother India after Pakistan broke away, as a Hindu country can still be undone. Hindus of India have a right to separate identity and nationhood.

So do Buddhists in any country if and when they are in a majority. 

Buddhism is the defining characteristic of Sri Lanka, which has a track record of the longest period of uninterrupted Buddhism (over 2, 300 years) in the world.

Senaka Weeraratna

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