Lankamithra Fernando is Getting lost in the Nationalistic Buddhist-Panacea

By Charles Perera.

The website, Asian Tribune recently had an article by a Dr.Lankamithra Fernando, on ‘Getting lost in the Nationalistic Buddhist-Panacea”. He has, as he says a doctorate on philosophy in technical sciences, from a University he has not mentioned.

He has read a lot about Greek Philosophers and says referring to “.Greek Philosophers such as Xenophanes(570-470BC); Parmenides(510-440BC) and Zeno(490-430) who are considered as pre-Socrates philosophers who were Buddha’s contemporaries….”, that “ …. their knowledge of nature and mankind were much greater and scientific. Their teachings are useful even today in understanding the world.”And about the Buddha, whose philosophy he does not appear to have read much, or not at all, he says, “… Buddhism was created by a human named Siddhartha. Buddhism was the way Siddhartha saw the world. He saw the world within the limits of the knowledge available to him at that time, which was 2550 years poorer. For this reason it has its flaws, its entrapment within the knowledge- limited to the era.”

His studying of Greek Philosophers for his doctorate on philosophy of technical sciences, has given him book knowledge, and that knowledge he should have made the starting point to develop his own mental capacity, first to think, and then to be cautious in commenting on what he does not know much about. The acquired knowledge does not give one the wisdom to fathom the knowledge of all philosophies. Fernando’s arguments boarder a childish assertion of facts which are beyond his grasp.

The display of his ignorance of Buddhism is apparent, when he says, “…….Buddhism as a philosophy is contradictory and illogical within itself.On one hand according to Buddhism this life is nothing but suffering. The reason for the suffering is “Vana” or craving. Get rid of the craving and you will arrive at “Nirvana” the utmost stage in Buddhism the enlightenment and your cycle of reincarnation will stop. The contradiction is-without craving, desires to interact with the world, the mankind will cease to exist. If our ancestors followed real Buddhism, any one of us would not have been here. The world would have ended long back. ”

He with his doctorate in philosophy of technical science, is philosophically an ignoramus. Therefore, no amount of commenting on his essay will help him rid himself of his prejudice towards Buddhist philosophy, and the teachings of the Buddha. The advice one could give him is to come to Sri Lanka and study Buddhism, before he makes further comparisons of Greek Philosophy and the teachings of the Buddha.

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