29 February, 2024


An Insatiable Desire For Power & Ultimate Reality

By Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera

Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera

The Supreme Spiritual Master, the Gotama Buddha compassionately emphasized below mentioned impressive words for the benefit and welfare of mankind twenty-six centuries ago.

Even though we live in an epoch of New Millennium, the Buddha’s words are still fresh and guiding lights for humanity.

“There is one who had turned away from the forest of desire, intent on the life of the forest as a monk. But after being freed from the forest of desire, he runs back to that same forest. Come, behold that man! Though freed, he runs back to that very bondage.” ~ The Buddha

Abraham Lincoln, who was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States said thus: “The ballot is stronger than the bullet” 

People those who are eligible to vote, are on the threshold of the general election which is going to be held on 05th of August 2020.

The chairman of the Election Commission has stated that of holding an election, cost would be between seven and seven and half billion rupees. That cost is not from candidates’ pockets but sadly from innocent citizens of the country. Unfortunately, most citizens never understand it and it is not for the worthy cause. It is wasting public money for electing crooks and rascals to destroy the entire Island. 

So- called politicians have brought pearl of Indian Ocean into a corrupted quagmire, Beautiful Island of Dhamma into morass of numerous crimes, and Treasury of Grains in the East into a desert of foreign debt. Some so-called politicians run intoxicated drugs and alcohol businesses. Numerous criminals, convicted lawbreakers, and offenders who have violated the law and order were released and discharged. Some criminals’ corruption charges have been dropped by political influential authority. One of the Chief Justices publicly apologised for his own wrong judgement. This is what politics have done for the country and created an extremely dangerous atmosphere in the land which Arahant Mahinda brought the message of the Buddha.

Recently one of the disgraceful crooks raised allegation against cricket players and prominent and well- respected players were interrogated. Ultimately case was disappeared, and the crook was nominated as a candidate for the election.

What a disgraceful and despicable act which was fabricated to defame hardly earned reputations of the players. 

Most government officials’ appointments are made by politicians as political appointments unlike other countries. Well-educated and well-qualified personals are out of political peripheries, but henchmen those who have drudged for their victory are appointed as officials. That is why “Brain Drain” rates are increased, and most intellectuals try their utmost to leave the country.

Now for nearly few decades people furiously hate and curse parliamentarians and cursing them to be blasted and blowed up, but somehow, unfortunately people elect same individuals who have been abusing power and committing numerous crimes.

While they deliver sermons about patriotism, unity, harmony, and only one rule of law they hypocritically and furiously fight with each other for the preferential votes even though they are contesting from a same party. Some of them are doubtful and anxious for their victory. It happened in 2015 for some crooks but party leader unethically opened the door for them to enter the parliament. They did nothing except squandering and wasting public fund.

As Samuel Johnson said “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”

Now hypocrites are competitively beating this drum loudly to grab innocent people’s votes.

As a well-known and eminent French writer, historian, and philosopher Voltaire pronounced “It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.”

Albert Einstein, a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics said thus:

“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is a measles of mankind.”

Even though people and party leaders constantly emphasize that we need scholars, intellectuals, and well-educated representatives for the legislature, some personals have revealed the contrary to what they talk about and extremely contradictory to what they say. Well-experienced criminals and well- corrupted scoundrels are also diligently active in this election campaign with their so-called leaders. It reveals that some party leaders and political leaders certainly need criminals, rascals, knaves and rogues to stay in power.

If any leader could establish a society and a country with proper and firm rules and regulations along with unalterable legal factors, it would be beneficial and worthwhile for our young generation.

Law and order, rule of the law and discipline are gravely important for the nation building programme. If the law and order or rule of law or discipline is absent or lack, what is the meaning of Nation Building. Lack of morality and discipline certainly leads to catastrophic disaster and a state of crimes. Every citizen including head of state must obey the law and rule of law.

This is the classic example which Mr. Barack Obama emphasised here.

An unlimited and absolute power is extremely dangerous, and it will definitely lead to a disaster and catastrophe. According to words of the Buddha, it says that will lead to suffering.

The world-famous story of Alexander the Great explains the true nature of absolute power and ultimate reality of life.

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20. 

Alexander the Great, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home. On the way, he fell ill, and it took him to his death bed. With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests, his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence. He now longed to reach home to see his mother’s face and bid her his last adieu. But he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit him to reach his distant homeland. So, the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last.

He called his generals and said, “I will depart from this world soon, I have three wishes, please carry them out without fail.”

With tears flowing down their cheeks, the generals agreed to abide by their king’s last wishes.

1) “My first desire is that”, said Alexander, “My physicians alone must” carry my coffin.”

2) After a pause, he continued, “Secondly, I desire that when my coffin is being carried to the grave, the path leading to the graveyard be strewn with gold, silver and precious stones which I have collected in my treasury”.

3) The king felt exhausted after saying this. He took a minute’s rest and continued. “My third and last wish is that both my hands be kept dangling out of my coffin”.

The people who had gathered there wondered at the king’s strange wishes. But no one dared bring the question to their lips. Alexander’s favourite general kissed his hand and pressed them to his heart.

“O king, we assure you that all your wishes will be fulfilled. But tell us why you make such strange wishes?”

At this Alexander took a deep breath and said: “I would like the world to know of the three lessons I have just learnt. Lessons to be learnt from last 3 wishes of King Alexander…I want my physicians to carry my coffin because people should realize that no doctor on this earth can really cure anybody. They are powerless and cannot save a person from the clutches of death. So let not people take life for granted.

The second wish of strewing gold, silver and other riches on the path to the graveyard is to tell People that not even a fraction of gold will come with me. I spent all my life Greed of Power, earning riches but cannot take anything with me. Let people realize that it is a sheer waste of time to chase wealth.

About my third wish of having my hands dangling out of the coffin, I wish people to know that I came empty handed into this world and empty handed I go out of this world”.

With these words, the king closed his eyes. Soon he let death conquer him and breathed his last.

Dear Citizens……the day has arrived you to decide. Your decision or verdict is very crucial and worthy. This decision or judgement is not for today or for yourself alone. This verdict is deciding the future. It determines your child’s future. If you want to take your country towards prosperity, fortune, and success be very very very wise enough to caste your precious vote to well-disciplined, well-cultured, well-mannered, well- behaved, well-educated, and well-qualified who are in academic realm.

If you make a wrong choice, the whole future and country would be in a catastrophic disaster. If you make a correct choice, you will be the part of  prosperity, success, freedom and peace.

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Latest comments

  • 2

    Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera

    ““There is one who had turned away from the forest of desire, intent on the life of the forest as a monk. But after being freed from the forest of desire, he runs back to that same forest. Come, behold that man! Though freed, he runs back to that very bondage.” ~ The Buddha””

    “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”
    ― Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    I wonder if Jean-Jacques Rousseau plagiarise the work and idea of the Awakened One.

  • 3

    Words of Wisdom from a Learned Monk. But how many will pay heed?

    Our High Literacy Rate notwithstanding, it seems, the More we Read, the Less we Learn. And that is why our country is going from Bad to Worse with Bad Governments Followed by Worse ones.

  • 3

    Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera” Sinhala Rural voters wont understand all this intellectual quotations and name droppings.

    Have you published a shorten version of this article in Sinhala in any of the Sinhala media for the consumption of the rural Sinhala voters?

  • 0

    I hope the “Most Venerable Sanga” of Sri Lanka would read this essay. Ven’ Sir: I heard that “Buddha’s Teachings” would be decimated to only a “Yellow String” and the so-called “Sanga” ( Sinhala Buddhists Priests) would seal the extinction of that Great Teachings. Is this true? This must be the “TRUTH”, because, I see it taking place in this country. I also don’t think any of our “High Priests” would follow, leave alone Gauthama Buddha, even Alexander The Great.

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