11 April, 2021

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An Open Letter To Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa

By Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

Dear Prof. Abhayawansa,

You may regard the following disrespectful, and highly impertinent, but I was educated within a system, where I was encouraged, to challenge my teachers. And the most adamant of them all, was my reverend Guru, the late Piyadassi Maha Thera.

Therefore, though you are not one of my esteemed teachers, I shall nevertheless, regard you as a teacher.

To start with, your post titled “God in the Buddha”  on Colombo Telegraph dated 10thJanuary, 2014, in response to Mr. Shyamon Jayasinghe and Dr. Jagath Asoka, I found quite intriguing, to say the least.

You start with by stating, that you got the idea “to write something revealing the true nature of popular Buddhist practices”. But having carefully studied your post, I find nothing cogently “revealing” of such, except to condone what you term, as “popular Buddhist activities”, introduced to the people of Sri Lanka, as Buddhism, by Buddhist monks, over 2500 years ago. Though these “activities” appear to have been borrowed from Hinduism, they are indeed harmless, but they are nevertheless, contradictory, to the Buddha’s teachings.

Therefore, what I did find “revealing”, is that your archaic views on Buddhism, are not applicable, in today’s context.

You, dear Professor, have cited the Buddha’s words, na āyatkeneva aññārādhanam vadāmi. Apica anupubba-sikkhā anupubba-kiriyā anupubba-patipadā aññārādhanam hoti”.-(M.I. 479), which translates into “I do not say that one can win the final knowledge at the very beginning. It is had from a gradual discipline, a gradual mode of action and conduct”.

Given the context in which you have stated the above, your interpretation of it appears to be, that the Buddha condoned and encouraged his followers, to engage in, what you term as “Popular Buddhist Practices”. You might be aware, that the Buddha categorically denounced such practices, as worshipping of objects, including himself, as a prerequisite to attaining “the final knowledge”.

monks_fighting colombo telegraphYou also go on to state, that most Buddhists, in all Buddhist countries, irrespective of the sect, perform popular ‘religious activities’, “We cannot say that all such activities are based on wrong beliefs”. If so, please do enlighten me and others such as myself, on the ‘right belief’ according to you, of such practices? As far as I know, the Buddha denounced such practices, as he meant Buddhism to be a philosophy and not a religion (Religion, defined as per the Oxford dictionary- “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods”).

Did the Buddha (who was not a God), advocate the offering of flowers to perceived images of him, in order for one to be reminded, of the impermanence of life (anicca)? Similarly, did he advocate lighting oil- lamps, candles etc., in order to remind oneself of “wisdom illuminating the darkness of ignorance”? Also, did he ask of his followers, to keep watering Bo trees, which gave him shade, as he attained enlightenment?

I state once again, these are indeed harmless practices, obviously borrowed from Hinduism, but nevertheless,  have no relevance to the teachings of the Buddha. So why do Buddhist monks and academics, such as yourself, hold such superficial and hollow practices, in such high esteem, and propagate them as Buddhism, instead of the authentic teachings of the Buddha?

You claim, that “originally, such popular practices were introduced to the ordinary people by the Buddhist monks, in order to keep them away from the unrighteous and bad activities which are harmful to both themselves and others”.

Do you think it was ethically correct, of such Buddhist monks, to distort the Dhamma, in order to use it as a disciplinary tool? Perhaps, the people of yore, would have been better disciplined, and refrained “from the unrighteous and bad activities which are harmful to both themselves and others”, had they been taught Buddhism, as the Buddha intended it to be.

However, assuming that these distortions of Buddhism, did have some effect on our ancestors, to keep them in line, thousands of years ago, in today’s context however, such tactics, hold no water, as people are far more advanced intellectually, than their ancestors were, thousands of years ago.

You go on to state, “Moral sense can be implanted in their mind through the symbols. For an example, statue of the Buddha has been taken as an object for veneration as a means to be mindful on the virtues of the Buddha”.

Pray tell me then, why are there so many Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka today, besides those amongst the laity, with no “moral sense implanted in their minds” despite gazing at these ‘Buddhist symbols’, for so long?

By gazing at these ‘symbols’, why are they not “mindful on the virtues of the Buddha”, as they commit rape, robbery and murder, molest children, show intolerance of non-Buddhists and all the rest, that are offensive to Buddhism?

MonkYou go on to state further, “It should be accepted that the masses belonging to any religion do not have deep knowledge about both doctrinal aspect and the practical aspect of their religions. Therefore, they do not know what their religions mean. They merely take the religion only as a means of help in their grievances. On the other hand, only the popular rights and rituals introduced by the religious hierarchy become their religion as well as their culture”.

I am appalled at how you, a Professor of Buddhism, could relegate the Philosophy of Buddhism, to “any religion”. But for the purpose of argument, let me refer to Buddhism as “any religion” as it seems to suit your mindset better.

You say, “….they do not know what their religions mean.” Now, with regard to Buddhism, who is to blame for that? Is it not the Buddhist monks, and learned academics such as yourself, who have lead, and are still leading Buddhists, up the garden path, with your own superficial and hollow interpretations and theories of Buddhism?

With regard to “Popular Buddhist Practices” you add further, “In the real sense they were introduced by the Buddhist monks who were responsible for establishing Buddhism in Sri Lanka as substitutes for the existed religious customs in the Sri Lankan society when Buddhism came to Sri Lanka. They provide the Buddhist masses the way to achieve good qualities introduced by Buddhism as well as cultural entertainment and recreation”.

So you admit, “In the real sense they were introduced by the Buddhist monks who were responsible for establishing Buddhism in Sri Lanka.” Thus, according to you, learned professor, the Monks of yore, devised a concoction which they called Buddhism (NOT the genuine Dhamma, as preached by the Buddha), and introduced it to the people of Sri Lanka. No wonder this country is, in such a sorry state today!

You add further, “They provide the Buddhist masses the way to achieve good qualities introduced by Buddhism as well as cultural entertainment and recreation”.

Now, this statement of yours, coming from a Professor of Buddhism, would be hilarious, if it was not so pathetic. Honestly, are you trying to imply, that Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka, as a source of “cultural entertainment and recreation”?

My dear Professor, since you seem to be living over 2500 years ago, I would like to inform you, that in modern Sri Lanka, we now have, a wide variety of “entertainment and recreation.” Besides night-clubs, casinos and the world’s-oldest-profession, you could also find alcohol, drug abuse and gambling, child molestation, rape, murder, intolerance and burning down places of religious worship of others, and a whole host of others, to keep our people, well “entertained”.

Therefore, we no longer need Buddhism as a source of “entertainment and recreation” BUT, we do need it, as the Buddha meant it to be, in order to salvage our people, from the depths they have sunk to, thanks to an indigenous fallacy, which people like yourself, appear to regard as Buddhism.

As per the rest of your post, I’m sure other readers are sufficiently, ‘broadminded and wise’, to figure it out for themselves!

Yours sincerely,

Sharmini Serasinghe

PS-

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran has suggested Sri Lanka’s history, to be rewritten. Likewise, it would be equally appropriate, to reintroduce Buddhism to Sri Lanka, sans all the idiocy, currently practiced in its name!

*Sharmini Serasinghe counts over thirty years as a writer and a journalist, in both the print and electronic media. She was also Director Communications, of the former Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), under Secretary Generals Dr. John Gooneratne and Jayantha Dhanapala.

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Latest comments

  • 26
    3

    Thanks. Wonderful. Beginning to feel at least a bit at home now. Hope there are more who can see this. The emperor HAS no clothes.

    • 13
      2

      …the emperor has no clothes, and neither do most of the citizens of this country.

    • 14
      2

      Ms Sharmini Serasinghe has made a point-by-point rebuttal of the major assertions and conjectures in Prof. Abhayawansa’s article. Several other readers (comments) have also challenged his article. I wonder what Prof. Abhayawansa has to say.

      • 9
        18

        ABSOLUTELY NOT!

        ANALYZING SHARMINI SERASINGHE’S WRITING ON REFORMING BUDDHISM IS LIKE REVIEWING A PATIENT ON WHOM MERVYN SILVA HAD PERFORMED BRAIN SURGERY BELIEVING HIMSELF TO BE A REAL DOCTOR!

        DON’T INSULT LEARNED SCHOLARS OF SOUND REPUTATION AND STANDING, AND ALSO DON’T DISPLAY YOUR IGNORANCE ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB!

        • 7
          5

          Just M.E.

          Are you Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa?

        • 8
          5

          Hey ‘Just ME’,

          Are you sitting on your brain, that is if you have one?

          Sharmini Serasinghe is not “WRITING ON REFORMING BUDDHISM”, she’s writing on reforming Sinhala-Buddhism, which is a mockery of the real Buddhism.

          Idiots like you should refrain from making comments on intellectual articles like this one, and save yourself the embarrassment of exposing “YOUR IGNORANCE ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB!”

          “DON’T INSULT LEARNED SCHOLARS OF SOUND REPUTATION AND STANDING”-

          1. Exposing one’s ignorance is not insulting

          2. The writer has not questioned Prof. Abhayawansa’s reputation

          3. “REPUTATION AND STANDING” mean the same

          Before attempting to comment in English, learn the language properly.

        • 6
          5

          ANOTHER CLOWN!!!

          LEARNED SCHOLARS OF SOUND REPUTATION AND STANDING (Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa)???

          MY FOOT!!!

    • 14
      7

      WONDERFUL!!!

      Well, this is what I call a scholarly response/rebuttal from an erudite writer. Well done Sharmini, a great response, please keep up your good work in enlightening the so called “Buddhists”.

      Prof. Abhayawansa must be feeling like a cat that crapped on a rock.

    • 14
      2

      Sharmini,well written.Wonderful to read such a forthright article.
      Congratulations in advance to reach 1000+ comments.

  • 28
    3

    Moda putha Sach, Jolly Kirthi, Jim Softy,dump Rohitha and Off the cuff who uses several pen names such as the fraud Leela and Yapa.Please refrain from making irrelevant comments in this thread in response to the open letter of Sharmini Serasinghe to Prof. Abhayawansa.

    • 3
      7

      When I read not only my eyes my mind is also open.

      • 6
        2

        how about your fly ?

      • 4
        2

        You have a mind, Jim Softy? Really?

    • 1
      1

      Modawansa;

      Why are you dragging my name to mockery, when I am nowhere in the discussion or at least near it, even when I haven’t seen the article? You want to wake up unnecessary troubles? If you have anything to settle with me (which I have no any knowledge of), here I am alive and ready, not with pseudonyms. Please put your trumps directly to me.

      Thanks!

      • 12
        0

        Modawansa,
        Let the sleeping dog (Y..a) sly.

      • 12
        0

        You have proved that you are a liar.
        You say you have not read the article but has posted more than 10 idiotic comments.

        • 0
          0

          Posted more than 10 comments? On your as.?

          Thanks!

          • 8
            0

            It is difficult to teach donkeys to count.
            Yapa has posted 15 idiotic comments up to 16th Jan 2013.

            • 0
              0

              So, what even if it is so? I think CT is not yours.

              Thanks!

  • 16
    4

    Sharmini,well written.Wonderful to read such a forthright article.

  • 16
    3

    Bravo.. You are a new generation thinker.. keep going, Hope this could be a constructive discussion….
    But, I just saw AdaDerana video of a mob led by 9 Buddhist monks attacking Christian prayer centre in Hikkaduwa.. Sadly it proves that these types of discussions with elites like Prof. Kapila are heard only by 0.0001% of the population. Rest of the 99.999% are keep believing those retarded monks who are controlled by MR/GR type politicians..
    Anura

  • 15
    2

    Sharmini Serasinghe,

    You are brave, and hitting the nail on its head.

    The so-called Buddhist intellectuals are distorting Buddha’s teachings with the concept of god and other impertinent rituals. Just because they occupy respected positions in society doesn’t mean their views are correct.

    Instead they must spread Buddha’s teachings via exemplary actions. The people who are self-appointed to protect Buddhism (BBS and others) should go round teaching Buddha’s true teachings rather than attacking Muslim, Christian and Hindu religious places. Instead of taking the negative approach, if they are sincere they should earnestly try to spread Buddha’s teachings and bring more people to believe in following the Buddha.

    They should do sincere missionary work to spread the true philosophy of Buddha, similar to what Christian missionaries do to help people.

  • 4
    17

    He is not one of your “esteemed teachers” even though you decided to bother with him anyway! Everytime this robotic woman opens her keyboard I cringe really.

    Is there any value offering flowers to a Buddha statue? Why not do it yourself one day and see. Pick a statue that exude metha, mudhitha, karuna. Smell the fragrance emanating from the burning of incense, the flowers and oil in the lamps. The tranquility, the soft white sand, Daghaba next to a slow stream of water. Notice for a moment a bliss that is generated within when placing the flowers.

    That feeling is one of gratitude. It probably the same feeling generated within Price Sidhhartha when honouring the bo tree that helped him on his journey. You need to stop constanly whining and start doing really isnt it really?

    • 13
      3

      Udhushana, please light your ganja suruttu and relax. You dont have the intellect to participate in fora such as these. Perhaps you should contribute your 2 cents worth at the gnanasara drunken orgies.

    • 3
      9

      If Shamini does some introspection and try to understand herself, then she will understand what she is saying to Prof. Abeywansha.

      What Buddha had told, investigate yourself first and that is the most difficult.

      shamini Is misainterpreting buddhism when she says that Buddha CATEGORICALLY DENOUNCED such practices or what is called “ARMISA POOJA”.
      buddha promoted and values what is called Prathipaththi pooja.

      But, Lord buddha understood humans. Shamini Should understand that building buddhist Statues began abour 150 – 300 years after buddha’s parinirvana.

      On the other hand, even Buddha was living ANANDA BODHI was planted in order to worship buddha when buddha was “OUT OF TOWN”. Buddha also gave some hair to TWO BURMESE – TRAVELLING BUSINESSMEN in order to revere Buddha s they were living far away from India.

      What I say, SHARMINI needs to understand the whole story and not only a part of the story.

      It is true, that some buddhist practices are adopted from other cultures, are not meritorious and only increase Attachment and craving. On the other hand, LIFE IS A SAMSARIC JOURNEY.

      • 1
        2

        Jim Softy,

        I am with you. Serasinghe as with others here want to preserve the dhamma which I think is admirable.

        Prathipaththi pooja is the final goal. I was like her once, a puritan. Thinking Prathipaththi pooja must be followed by all at all times.

        As time goes on however one realises all are not the same. The diversity among people means one size fits all does not work. Idol worship as you say ARMISA pooja works better with children for example. She needs to realise dhamma needs to be drip fed to some people.

    • 0
      1

      I did offer flowers…..unfortunately I got [Edited out], Vibushana !

    • 2
      1

      Vibushana,

      “Is there any value offering flowers to a Buddha statue? Why not do it yourself one day and see. Pick a statue that exude metha, mudhitha, karuna. Smell the fragrance emanating from the burning of incense, the flowers and oil in the lamps. The tranquility, the soft white sand, Daghaba next to a slow stream of water. Notice for a moment a bliss that is generated within when placing the flowers.”

      So you visit the temple, for entertainment and recreation!

    • 5
      2

      To do all these why do you need a Buddha???

      You can go to any Hindu temple or Devale and do it.

      Why spoil Buddhism???

  • 3
    14

    Sharmini Serasinghe in my opinion you have misunderstood what Prof.Kapila Abhayawansa had written and have twisted the words /meaning of what Prof has written… he has spoken of How Buddism was and he has said that Buddha understood that not all people was the same.. in that context you cannot say that everyone is the same as you have tried to convey as per the images shown and also writing as if all are indulging in “rape, robbery and murder, molest children, show intolerance of non-Buddhists and all the rest..”

    Yes, there are issues but not eveyone is a rapist or murder etc

    • 10
      1

      Yeah everybody is different but the message that the true Buddhism conveys should be the same shouldn’t? Isn’t this what Shamini has said?

    • 6
      2

      You are right Suresh ! NOT ALL BUDHISTS ARE LIKE THAT But have we seen any OPPOSITION by any Budhist organization(s) or prominent Budhist leaders against these scum behaviour by Ghota and his dogs ? Not just the church attacks, but attacks on Hindu kovils, Moslem mosques, businesses etc.
      That is an even more relavant point !

      SILENCE BY GOOD BUDHISTS SHOWS INDIRECT COMPLICITY !

  • 12
    3

    Sharmini I did not read Prof. Abhayawansa article. I am sure this posting of yours is probably a brillian article and a point by point rebuttal and counter argument. It’s not my intention to read your article either.

    There is a saying A Picture is worth a Thousand words.

    I watched the video posted here on CT of Sri Lankan Buddhist monks in saffron leading and attacking a Church in Hikkaduwa.

    That says it all about the Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism, no need for 1000 words

  • 16
    2

    Vibushana,

    Given Sharmini’s eloquence, you sound like a wining puppy.

  • 16
    2

    My dear child Sharmini,

    If words could kill, you have the perfect weapon.

    • 6
      1

      And well deserved by the target for his brazen dishonesty!

  • 7
    9

    Sharmini Serasinghe

    1. Are you ignorant of the fact that there is a gap between precept and practice in all religions?

    2. If not, then why do you condemn only the Buddhists for deviating from the original teaching of their canon?

    3. Are you raising the bar for the Buddhists because you secretly resent your cultural heritage for whatever reason and therefore you get a morbid pleasure by using the behaviour of the ‘Buddhists’ to attack the philosophy of Buddhism?

    4. Or, are you raising the bar for the Buddhists because they are the majority in the country?

    5. Or else, are you implying the other religions somehow allow their followers to do whatever you are condemning the Buddhists of doing?

    6. In that case, do you believe any action is moral and acceptable as long as one’s religion doesn’t condemn it.

    7. Or, are you lowering the bar for the followers of other religions because they are the minorities in Sri lanka?

    8. In what way are you different from the Buddhist extremists whom you quite rightly condemn? Don’t you see commonalities in your stereotyping, religious hatred, and overall fixation/obsession with religion per se in your social outlook?

    • 12
      4

      Point man@,

      “4. Or, are you raising the bar for the Buddhists because they are the majority in the country?”

      Is it not clear to any average thinkers that the way so called sinhala buddhist monks react, for example brutal pictures got to see on the screens day before yesterday in Hikkduawa – vandalistic attacks made to that church – ? in a country where majority folks live in poverty, is it correct to run amok in this way, just because they feel they claim all powers to go against fellow folks be them christs, muslims or others. Is this the way that they should go forward if they really follow the buddha^s teachings ?

      Anyway any insane ones would easily get it, it is the folk specific practises of buddhism in SL (which is far from the teachings of Buddha)do all these harms to others. Alas,very same seem to be attacking the muslims accusing of them being fanatic and blind believers, while they those majority buddhist have been behaving worst than seen notimes in the past.

      • 1
        2

        corrections:
        applogies:

        anyway, any sane ones would get it etc.

    • 8
      2

      Buddhism has been institutionalised in Sri Lanka; from top to bottom the Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalist version of Buddhism is being projected and practiced! This is why we need people like Shamini to show the correct path!

      • 1
        8

        Ha! Ha!! Burning_Issue, do you really want people like Sharmini to show the correct path and follow that “correct path”? My God I cannot believe it. Frankly tell me are you kidding or not?

        Thanks!

        • 0
          1

          Sharmini & her “Baby Brigade” wants to fight the Buddha and Sinhalese. My foot!

          Thanks!

    • 11
      3

      By writing an unnecessary and unproductive article Prof. Abhayawansa has made himself a laughing stock. Ms Sharmini Serasinghe has given a fitting intellectual rebuttal. Thanks Sharmini!

      A lot of research and scholarship has gone into her articles but the depth of these writings are unappreciated by the hoi polloi. As someone said Sharmini Serasinghe is casting pearls before swine.

      • 1
        7

        You seems to have seen pearls in a swine’s tooth!

        Thanks!

        • 3
          0

          Another swine stepping on the pearls! LOL

          • 0
            0

            You are welcome!

            Thanks!

    • 10
      4

      Point Man

      1. Why do you want to continue with the gap, why not correct it, that is what she is doing.

      2. Only a true Buddhist can condemn the Buddhists for wrong practices.

      3. What nonsense, she is only attacking the malpractices of Buddhism while praising the true philosophy of Buddhism?

      4. Weather Majority or minority, as a Buddhist it is her duty (duty of every true Buddhists) to raise such issues.

      5. She is not talking (not concerned) about other religions, she is talking about her own religion.

      6. What a joke, you do immoral acts in the name of your religion and since even the monks are immoral/corrupt to the core that they do not condemn it, you think it is OK. Pure ignorance!

      7. She is not talking (not concerned) about other religions, she is talking about her own religion.

      8. Exposing all the bad and immoral practices that the people do in the name of religion is called religious hatred according to you?

      GROW UP Man!!!

  • 1
    11

    Unlike Sharmini the Buddha was NOT a fool . He realized that regardless of time (Akaliko) people and their mental levels will always be different . and there was no one identical path to enlightenment . Some were capable of achieving enlightenment without the help of objects of veneration but most other would not . He could not preach just to the 1 % of the population that would get it and not cover the 99% that did not . While he did say that the mental aspect was the most important he did not denounce the practices . What he was against and denounced outright was the evil practices of Hinduism such as caste and animal sacrifice . Buddha being the enlightened one was first and foremost a REALIST . He understood the reality of the human condition .

    This woman thinks because there is a whole lot more technology and ipads and electronic gadgets human minds and their frailties have changed from 2500 years ago . Well they have not . there were fools like sharmini then and obviously now . :)

    • 12
      0

      Abhaya@,

      You should be proud of her (Ms Sharmini Serasinghe) being a lady born to share the view with those are really interested in the truth..

      as Buddha^s words made it clear:

      the Buddha’s words-
      “Believe nothing, in the faith of traditions,
      even though, they have been held in honor,
      for many generations, and in diverse places.

      Do not believe, a thing, because many people speak of it.
      Do not believe, in the faith, of the sages of the past.
      Do not believe, what you yourself have imagined,
      persuading yourself, that a God inspires you.

      Believe nothing, on the sole authority, of your masters and priests.
      After examination, believe what you yourself, have tested
      and found, to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.” The Buddha “

      So what is wrong with her articles by which she articulate it ?
      If you have constructive arguments, you may PLEASE add them instead of behaving similar to BBS people or others that are on violent mode being in saffron robes.

      • 3
        11

        Sirmal gonwahense .

        if you have really tried to understand where the buddha came from rather than pick one verse and parrot it like a moron you will see his understanding of humanity , fools like you and sharmini think your understanding is the only one . Buddha catered for many rather than a few .

        • 9
          0

          Pigs might fly, if you the ilk would ever grasp it. That is all I wanne to say about your disparaging comments.

    • 3
      0

      Abhaya,

      Unlike YOU, Sharmini and the Buddha were NOT fools!

  • 8
    0

    Excellent Journalism

    • 12
      0

      It is just because she practises the buddhism by heart only respecting the truths in buddha^s teachings. If majority of those who just cry in the name of buddhism could change bit of their style could, unequivocally we could achieve a lot in this country.

  • 1
    9

    It seems that my name has been mentioned by some posters in the comment as a pseudonym of another person(s). I am no other than yapa and no any other is writing or given permission to write on behalf of me. But one thing I can understand from this is that even when I have never on the Colombo Telegraph, my name is appearing there, that I am too is a significant man and my absence is felt in the discussion. I have engaged in many discussions on Groundviews, DBSJ’s forum and on my blog and I have seen many great discussions. According to my experience Namini should get some more maturity to ride on such discussions. Bravery cannot be the only qualification to be a good debater. According to my understanding most ignorant are the bravest. Shamini’s haste to be great will take her to her disaster. Count on time. I am a bit busy these days, I also would like to take on with the baby. However, I would request those who are interested in my presence in the discussion to understand and assess me through my blog. Dreams of the King Kosala seems to have come true in the “kaliyuga Kale”, cows are feeding from calves and dried cow dung is sinking to the bottom while the stones are floating. Ane kale vane vaase!

    Thanks!

    • 8
      2

      Who is this IDIOT blowing his trumpet???

      Looks like another imbecile has joined the group of CT forum jesters of the ilk Jim Stupidity, Sach, Off the cuff and a few other undesirables.

      • 1
        6

        Prasad;

        I am blowing my own trumpet, not anybody else’ trumpet. But just like Piped Piper’s trumpet it has the charming effect to tame rats. Do you like to hear my trumpet? If so I am ready. We can see who the idiot is.

        Thanks!

        • 2
          0

          Looks like another clown has joined the CT forum. Let him blow his trumpet in his blog (if there is one) instead of spoiling this esteemed forum (CT) which is read by broad minded and wise people.

          • 0
            0

            To broad minded or perverted minded people (like you)?

            Thanks!

        • 2
          0

          No Thanks!

          You can blow it somewhere else, there are already enough clowns like you here.

        • 2
          0

          Yapa,

          According to your wife, your ‘trumpet’ is not working anymore.

          • 0
            0

            How is it according to your wife? Ask her about my trumpet.

            Thanks!

            • 2
              0

              I was not in working order for a long time.Don’t hold me responsible for Yapa’s unbecomming behaviour.I need repair and regular service to work properly.Please explain my plight to Yapa and his wife.

              • 0
                0

                It begins to work instantly in front of kattakarawala’s wife. kattakarawala’s wife is marulaella.

                Thanks!

      • 13
        0

        My friend Hon.Wimal_Modawansa’s predictions are always correct.

        His comment of 13th January

        Moda putha Sach, Jolly Kirthi, Jim Softy,dump Rohitha and Off the cuff who uses several pen names such as the fraud Leela and Yapa.Please refrain from making irrelevant comments in this thread in response to the open letter of Sharmini Serasinghe to Prof. Abhayawansa.

        • 0
          2

          He really is nothing but a Modawansa. This status is clearly proven by his statement above. A soldier of Sharmini’s “baby Brigade”.

          Thanks!

    • 9
      0

      Yapa,

      Please stay with your blog and don’t come here.

      We have enough clowns of the likes of Jim Softy, Off the Cuff, Vibushana, Sach and some others, who waste a lot space on CT threads by hitting the fan with their shit.We don’t need yours as well.

      • 1
        6

        Why prefer to crack pots in an abandoned house? Afraid of my coming? Dried grass pieces are nothing for a hurricane. Ready to stand against me?

        Thanks!

        • 3
          0

          Man, reading this comment made my day, I could not stop laughing for hours, almost fell of my chair laughing, LOL.

          This is one of the BEST clowns in CT.

          • 3
            0

            Parakrama de Silva,

            Yapa has been kicked out of other websites he was shitting on. So now he’s doing it here.

          • 0
            2

            I am happy to make a fool laugh. Why only mocking, come for a respectable debate with me. I challenge the whole “Baby Brigade” including Sharmini. It is really a “Powder Baby Brigade”.

            Thanks!

      • 11
        0

        My friend Hon.Wimal_Modawansa’s predictions are always correct.

        His comment of 13th January

        Moda putha Sach, Jolly Kirthi, Jim Softy,dump Rohitha and Off the cuff who uses several pen names such as the fraud Leela and Yapa.Please refrain from making irrelevant comments in this thread in response to the open letter of Sharmini Serasinghe to Prof. Abhayawansa.

        • 0
          1

          He really is a Modawansa. His baseless statement proves the fact.

          Thanks!

    • 10
      0

      Let the sleeping dog(Y..a) sly.

      • 0
        0

        Then lie.

        Thanks!

  • 2
    2

    What Sharmini epouses is Protestant Budhism
    Protestant Buddhism appeals to the more privileged urban middle class and reflects the cultural values of a bourgeois Protestantism. It claims to to be more authentically Buddhist than traditional Theravada no diffrent from the Wahabis of Islam. It drives a wedge between much of the Budhists and Tamil HIndus/Sufi communities based on its puritanism and superiority complex . In the long run I am more worried about this phenomenon than the simple BBS types.
    Here is a wonderfull article about this phenomena by Prof Gananath Obeysekara
    http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/allen.htm

    • 1
      7

      This is what bible teaches but not Buddhism

      “The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man’s bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire . . . Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up. “

      • 1
        0

        Jim Softy,

        Are you a disgruntled Christian?

        Don’t worry, we will ensure that you are not re-converted to a Christian.

    • 7
      1

      Thank you. You have put the discussion in the right context. However I find it surprising that Shamini’s Protestant Buddhism is also applied by Gananath Obeyesekere to Anagarika Dharmapala’s Buddhism, a person Shamini has condemned as a religious bigot.

    • 8
      1

      To claim as Oopla does that Serasinghe’s article alludes to what Gombrich and Obeyesekere termed “Protestant Buddhism” is to misunderstand both Serasinghe and Gombrich/Obeyesekere.Serasinghe is realy addressing the contradictions between TEXTUAL Buddhism and current practises in Sri Lankan society.A reviewer of Gombrich/Obeyesekere that OOPLA cites in fact has observed:
      “FOR THOSE TRAINED IN THE PALI CANON AND THERAVADA, INITIAL ENCOUNTERS WITH SRI LANKAN BUDDHISM ARE USUALLY PERPLEXING AND DISCONCERTING. FOR EXAMPLE, BUDDHIST TEMPLES OFTEN SEEM TO FEATURE DEITIES AND PRACTICES ONE HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN TAUGHT TO CLASSIFY AS HINDU AND NON-BUDDHIST. SINHALESE JUSTIFY ALL SORTS OF MODERN BEHAVIOR BY REFERRING TO TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHA NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN ANY SCRIPTURES AND OFTEN DIRECTLY CONTRADICTING SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE.”
      Clearly,wherever the textual Buddhism was transported,it had to adopt down-to-earth practises to make it palatable to the untutored but I don’t they have gone as far as the Sinhala Buddhist which seems to include nowadays harrasing non-buddhists,burning chuchers and the other non-buddhist– practises that do not speak of karuna or metta– that Serasinghe and others have described.

      .

    • 9
      0

      Oopala sounds like another ignorant who thinks traditional Theravada Buddhism means all the popular Buddhist activities (or rather Anti-Buddhist practices) that is practiced today in Sri Lanka by the so called ‘Buddhists’ (Sinhala-Buddhists) and the true Buddhism that was preached by the Buddha (what Sharmini talks about) is Protestant Buddhism. LOL

  • 1
    1

    What I can not believe, a student of Venerable Piyadassi included words like Soul, God etc., instead of KARMA and SAMSAARA when writing poems about the friend who had some major illness.

    • 6
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      Jim Softy,

      I believe Sharmini’s reference to “soul and god” in her poem to her friend Kamalini Selvarajan struck by Alzheimer’s, is because, Kamalini is a devout Hindu and as such, she Kamalini believes in a soul and a God.

    • 11
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      Jim pappa,

      Why are you referring to Shamini’s friend in this thread.
      Are running short of ideas???

  • 0
    0

    Crucifixtion was the Roman Punishment to Traitors.

    Church is making hay by drinking RED WINE saying that is Jesus’s blood and by crucifying innocent youth reliving the crucifixion.

    Is offering a Flower to the BUDDHA out of SHRADDA that bad in comparison to dangerous and low quality rituals.

    Sharmini Serasinghe needs to OPEN – MINDED. Sharmini is looking at every thing with a negative eye. IF you see the positive side, you can see something positive.

    Remember Lord buddha did not approve rituals and sex to be used in order to achieve enlightenment. But, that is what exactly TANTHRIC buddhism does. tnathric buddhism is not the preferred way of the Lord Buddha.

    Lord Buddha had said, if one work hard in this very life one can realize the Nirvana. Yet, Mahayana buddhism believes living as a BODHISATHWA until the last human being is enlightened.

    The important thing is Lord buddha said every thing and did not keep anything hidden. buddha said buddha’s preferred way. It is upto the humans to use their way.

    So, Sharmini Serasinghe understand things in an open eye.

    • 3
      1

      What is all this “Lord Buddha” business? He was not a member of the House of Lords,as far as I know! It is also not just “Buddha” as in “Christ” or “God”. It is “the Buddha” the enlightened one,the awakened human being.The article “the” is important to differentiate him from those claming to be gods.

    • 1
      0

      Jim Softy,

      Are you a disgruntled Christian?

      Don’t worry, we will ensure that you are not re-converted to a Christian.

  • 11
    1

    There is a Choice now for the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Whether to follow Buddha’s Buddhism or the Sangha’s Buddhism.

    The Buddhist laity should as a first step, stop feeding the Sangha.

  • 0
    0

    Buddha also had said that Four Noble Truths and Noble – Eight fold path is the pure buddhism. when people believing in those, Buddhism also has vanished from Earth until the NExt buddha is born.

    I also believe some of the christian Beliefs which come from ancient people as well most native or Aborigine beliefs are similar to the buddhit thinking. That should be because of the survival and modification of the Buddha dhamma from previous buddhas. They also believe in the GOD and the ancestral spirits. they may have turned Buddha to a god as the generations pass..

  • 0
    1

    Racism met with racism.

  • 1
    5

    when we read in between the lines of what Shamini Serasinghe says,

    they all want to go at NATIONALIST – buddhist monks. Because, that is a good way to weaken buddhism in Sri Lanka.

    I say to shamini Serasinghe, you are not a buddhist. Let buddhists solve their problems.

    buddhist know that they are not enlightened people so that, they are prone to make mistkaes and errors in their lives.

    DID YOU LET DOWN YOUR CHILDREN, IF YOU HAVE, IN ORDER TO MAKE THEM GROW UP ?

    • 5
      0

      Jim Softy, you say ” when we read in between the lines of what Shamini Serasinghe says, they all want to go at NATIONALIST – buddhist monks. Because, that is a good way to weaken buddhism in Sri Lanka.”

      I read Sharmini’s article and found nothing of the sort, between the lines.

      You also say, ” buddhist know that they are not enlightened people so that, they are prone to make mistkaes and errors in their lives”. By this, are you condoning what extremist Buddhists, including monks are doing in Sri Lanka at present?

  • 4
    8

    Wow! Such sweeping generalizations of the whole Buddhist religion, does she portray. For Buddhist iconography is for those lesser than a Buddha to learn on. And Buddha did allow such for the average lay-person. However, for himself and those who understood the purity of religion, it is a linear projection towards Nirvana.

    But this is true for the whole world and all other religions. For example, if Prophet Mohammad’s words were to be taken 100% literally, half the world would be without their right hands. If Chris’s words were to be taken 100% literally, then the Spanish inquisition would be most apt.

    And it was never meant as merely a philosophy by Buddha, as there is re-birth after death. If the Oxford dictionary defines religion as – “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods,” the superhuman controller of the Buddhist religion is the cause and effect factor – superhuman because it takes thousands of lifetimes to realize the Nirvanic path.

    What presumption and equivocation does she use when she says that Buddhist priest look at the icons day and night and yet commit too many offences, for she is talking about 1% of Buddhist priests in this case – bad as they are, they are yet only the 1%. And she does not bring in the factor of instigation by outside forces, and hostile political forces within the country which that seek the division of our Island (e.g. Sarath Fonseka).

    • 0
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      ~If Christ’s (not Chris’s) words were to be taken 100% literally, then the Spanish inquisition would be most apt.

    • 6
      3

      Wow,ramona therese fernando,

      With a name like ‘Therese’ you must be a Catholic.

      For your information, Buddhism is NOT a religion.

      “The word ‘religion’ is most inappropriate to apply to Buddhism
      which is not a religion, but a moral philosophy”- Henry Steel Olcott

      You say, “For Buddhist iconography is for those lesser than a Buddha to learn on. And Buddha did allow such for the average lay-person”. Says who?

      Please note, “Little knowledge is a dangerous thing”- Alexander Pope

    • 8
      3

      Looks like Ramona Therese Fernando has left Sri Lanka in her childhood many decades ago and not returned to Sri Lanka. From her comment it is very clear that she has no clue about Sri Lankan Buddhists and the Buddhist monks.

      Her final sentence, Sarath Fonseka seeking the division of our Island says it all, she is a Rajapakshe poodle licking the bones thrown at her and then licking their feet by writing some gibberish.

      This woman is just singing for a supper and should be ignored.

      • 2
        1

        You two above^^,

        My name, my religion, and my knowledge are immaterial to the argument. Can’t you argue the points more rationally rather than resorting to abusive ad hominem tactics?

        The Thero brought out from the scriptures, the words from Buddha, “na āyatkeneva aññārādhanam vadāmi. Apica anupubba-sikkhā anupubba-kiriyā anupubba-patipadā aññārādhanam hoti”.-(M.I. 479), which translates into “I do not say that one can win the final knowledge at the very beginning. It is had from a gradual discipline, a gradual mode of action and conduct”. .” Now this implies with certainly that Buddha encouraged a culture around Buddhism for the lay-person who is yet many lives away from becoming a Buddha.

        But if that does not convince you, take some example for the way other religions have developed throughout the ages. For example Islam : Now the Koran is the Prophet’s final and concluding word from Allah. But it is yet practiced quite differently in the different countries of the world. In Indonesia e.g., the Islamic government leaves Bali alone, to indulge in Hinduism and other tribal religions because they see the value in keeping traditional trends (besides the money that can be gotten from tourism). In certain parts of Borneo, Islamic tribal people, still praise Allah and eat the pig.

        Now if all these religions are wrong in their culture, there are yet mechanisms and ordinary living-styles which draw people to an even better path (minus the assassinations from Middle Eastern countries in the case of Islam). In Buddhism, it is the quite authority of the 99% good monks which show us the way. And certainly Sri Lankan monks can improve in this. Yes, I am appalled as you are by the way the Buddhist clergy especially behave. I put it down to colonization and also the global order which encourages materialism and capitalism that hardly anyone can escape from. We will hope and wish for good governance which will help Sri Lanka remain true to her Buddhistic path.

        Olcott said that Buddhism is a philosophy. Yes, it is also has good philosophy as all other religions have. But Olcott was also a new convert to Buddhism and did not quite feel the chronological dimension of Buddhism. Probably he would have when he was rebprn. There are also sects of Buddhists that do not concern themselves with life after death. However, Buddha himself spoke about hundreds to thousands of his previous lives. Now this 4th dimension definitely takes Buddhism into the realms of religion.

        Although my name, religion, and knowledge are immaterial to the argument, I would still like to address them. My name is my birth name although I am now a Buddhist convert. Hopefully, if I become an arahant in this lifetime, my name can also become a Buddhist name. I do tally back to the saints and angles every once in a while, but unlike the non-Buddhist, I am yet on my way in about a 100 lifetimes to attain emancipation. I am fortunate to have heard the Buddhist word, or I would have been in a spiritual lockdown for eternity. I am yet a bad Buddhist, but not as bad as the Buddhists who live for themselves and not their country (of over 16 million Buddhists)- they who would rather let the country be removed from Buddhism, and most probably into Hinduism in case of a partition, than give up their 1st world anti-Buddhistic lifestyles.

        My knowledge of Buddhism is not as great as the persons who have been born Buddhists, but is probably far greater in understanding of its principles. Being away from Sri Lanka in many different countries for many decades has given me access to understand a large cross-section of Lankans from all over Sri Lanka.

        Yes, I too am appalled by the way the Buddhist clergy especially behave. I put it down to colonization and also the global order which involves materialism and capitalism that hardly anyone can escape from. We will hope and wish for good governance which will help Sri Lanka remain true to her Buddhistic path.

        • 0
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          ~ In Buddhism, it is the QUIET authority of the 99% good monks which show us the way.

          ~about Olcott : Probably he would have when he was REBORN.

        • 0
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          Corrections:
          In Buddhism, it is the QUIET authority of the 99% good monks which show us the way.

          But Olcott was also a new convert to Buddhism and did not quite feel the chronological dimension of Buddhism. Probably he would have when he was REBORN.

          • 1
            0

            About the Rajapakses, no, I do not speak for them. I am dismayed about the way they have constructed a culture of materialism in Lankan society, and especially with the risk of stoking foreign powers who care none about our ancient Buddhist culture and heritage. We will make good wishes for them.

          • 0
            0

            Corrections:
            Now this implies with CERTAINTY that Buddha encouraged a culture around Buddhism for the lay-person who is yet many lives away from becoming a Buddha.

            Yes, it also has good philosophy as all other religions have

        • 1
          0

          Dear Ms. Ramona Therese Fernando,

          I think you have misunderstood Sharmini Serasinghe.

          Your views “they who would rather let the country be removed from Buddhism, and most probably into Hinduism in case of a partition, than give up their 1st world anti-Buddhistic lifestyles”, are the exact same as Sharmini’s.

          Perhaps if you read her previous articles, especially the last one titled ‘Mahavamsa- An insult to the Buddha’ you will understand her point better.

          • 2
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            Mahadana Muththa,

            I mention these two as the reasons for Buddhism’s demise in Sri Lanka :

            (a) 1st world Un-Buddhistic lifestyles, and
            (2) Partition of our country into 2/3 Buddhist and 1/3 Hindu.

            Sharmini Serasinghe on the other hand feels our country won’t survive because our country does not follow that pure Buddhism that is more suited to a Buddha on the final lifetime of the Nirvanic journey.

            She cannot comprehend that Buddhism is a religion of many lifetimes before final emancipation is achieved, and that it is quite unlike Christianity and Islam of one lifetime (before going to heaven or hell).

            She is therefore impatient with the slow process of Buddhism, and feels that by one lifetime following monotheistic religious principles (within a Buddhist framework), 16 million Buddhists can reach emancipation in a flash.

            Therefore Buddhists (according to her), should Not have a Country Concept, and should live within any religious political system that can intimidate us, (whether Sharia Islam, Catholic Christianity or Eelamed Hinduism), as long as we force ourselves into the Buddha state of the Nirvanic journey.

            She therefore feels it is the honorable Buddhistic thing for Buddhists to cave in to the Hindus, and give them the right to their own country on our island, without any thought to globally-modern and also Buddhistic Democratic principles.

            And she forgets that there is a whole sub-continent of Hindus just 26 miles north of us ready to swab up the true Buddhism that Buddha and his disciples preached of and entrusted to Sri Lanka.

            • 0
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              ramona therese fernando,

              Are you an alcoholic, or stark raving mad?

              • 1
                0

                No, one doesn’t have to be neither ^^ (as above stated) to see that there is an effort to discredit Buddhism for political reasons.

                I’ve just read the Mahavamsa- An insult to the Buddha’ . I agree somewhat that the Buddhist culture is shameful at times, especially that relating to race, caste, and Sinhala-Buddhism. And every once in a while, one would find the priests themselves rubbing the concept in whenever they feel the need to pull down a person. But I’ve also seen it done also e.g. among the American Irish Catholic persons and priests in the USA. A black Catholic for example, can’t come into a church without some ridicule.

                As Sharmini Serasinghe says, it will require some democratic effort by the Gosl to moderate all of these embarrassing things. And also proper education of the Bikkhus. I too noticed the Kandyan perehera being indeed an ego-boosting parade of certain kandyan heirachy (especially some older participants) to show off their somewhat lighter skin tones and hence claim some kind of original Aryan descent. Westerners must be playing on these kinds of psyche with relish at the thought of dividing us further. It good that Sharmini Serasinghe points out all of these things.

                However, I still rest my case that Buddhism with all its embarrassing faults is still the religion for the majority of the people of the Island of Sri Lanka. It is up to the first-family to set the example by uniting in marriage with the Tamil northerners and implicitly letting Buddhism take its natural and harmonious course in safeguarding itself

                • 0
                  0

                  Finally, I can relate to you.

                • 0
                  0

                  either, not neither.

  • 3
    6

    Tolerance Sharmini, tolerance please.

    Violence of the misguided Buddhist clergy that you so decry is well founded. Unfortunately violence is so evident in your invective as well.

    Everyone has an opinion on everything and it is their birthright. Your vitriolic harangue against Kapila Abaywansa at the end achieved very little. You fault him and many others as followers of a Buddhism that is abhorrent, a Buddhism that is bedevilled with Hindu rituals, belief in gods and demons, malevolent spirits and idol worship. Ok, you do have a point here and there. However though your rant is rich and brave as invective go, it is very thin on substance, meaning you never really explain what this true Buddhism you refer to really is.

    If everything that we the laity have said and done all these years about Buddhism is erroneous, please tell us what real Buddhism as per Sharmini Serasinge is. We are listening.

  • 2
    2

    BOOKWORM’S THINKING

    There is a belief that bookworms think that they can destroy great philosophies by eating philosophy books and great histories by eating History books.

    Sharmini seems to have found a potential market to become a writer with the popular demand from the Mahvansa bashers and Buddhism bashers. Bashing is a lucrative business in that targeted market.

    One should think to write something respectable.

    Thanks!

  • 6
    2

    BBS rep/prop?

    Instead of asking Sharmini Serasinghe to teach you “real Buddhism”, go read the Tripitaka. Then you will know what “real Buddhism as per Sharmini Serasinge is”!

    • 0
      0

      Yes, read Trpitaka, Sharmini knows nothing of Buddhism. Anybody who knows Buddhism will not bark at it.

      Thanks!

  • 7
    0

    Very well written, as previously commented on Prof’s article, Buddhism is a philosophy and meant to be followed not believed. Hinduism and the culture of then society has got inter mingled with Buddhism and has been continually passed on to the generations with an additional flavour in the expectation of enhancing and understanding the philosophy, unfortunately it has not and will not take us anywhere. From another dimension -From the day we turned this philosophy into a religion for political reasons, disaster entered not only amongst us but to every inch of our land. I suppose we are still looking for the truth as the enlighten one said, unfortunately we are looking at wrong places and with biased motives.

  • 2
    5

    Mahawamsa is NOT an insult to Buddhism; rather it shows the numerous lessons that could be learnt by those who honestly follow certain teachings of the Buddha, such as respect and compassion even toward an enemy! The author Mahanama was not writing here about Buddhism or the Buddha’s teachings but was documenting the politico-religious history of the island from 543 BC to 361 AD. His chronicle happened to be written in the Pali language, the same language that Buddha’s teachings were written in contemporary Sri Lanka.

    Journalist Ms Serasinghe seems to portray that everything written in Mahawansa is garbage, anti-Buddhist, and anti democratic. This is not true. A few chapters of Mahawansa were part of the GCE A/L Pali Language Syllabus of 1970 and, I, as a Pali Student was so mesmerized by the beauty of the language that I decided to flip through some chapters of the Chronicle at my village temple’ s Reference library. I still remember how the author Mahanama explains the reign of Tamil King Elara with a few interesting incidents. Please pay attention to the phrase in 1st para “with even justice toward friend and foe, on occasions of disputes at law” which demonstrates Monk Mahanama’s clear impartiality in documenting the invader’s rule.
    (Quoted from Mahawamsa):“A Damila of noble descent, named ELÄRA, who came hither from the Cola-Country (Tamil Nadu) to seize on the kingdom, ruled when he had overpowered king Asela, forty-four years, with even justice toward friend and foe, on occasions of disputes at law.
    At the head of his bed he had a bell hung up with a long rope so that those who desired a judgment at law might ring it. The king had only one son and one daughter. When the son of the ruler was going in a car to the Tissa-tank, he killed unintentionally a young calf lying on the road with the mother cow, by driving the wheel over its neck. The cow came and dragged at the bell in bitterness of heart; and the king caused his son’s head to be severed (from his body) with that same wheel.
    A snake had devoured the young of a bird upon a palm-tree. The hen-bird, mother of the young one, came and rang the bell. The king caused the snake to be brought to him, and when its body had been cut open and the young bird taken out of it he caused it to be hung up upon the tree.
    When the king, who was a protector of tradition, albeit he knew not the peerless virtues of the most precious of the three gems was going (once) to the Cetiya-mountain to invite the brotherhood of monks, he caused, as he arrived upon a car, with the point of the yoke on the wagon, an injury to the thüpa of the Conqueror at a (certain) spot. The ministers said to him: `King, the thüpa has been injured by thee.’ Though this had come to pass without his intending it, yet the king leaped from his car and flung himself down upon the road with the words: ‘Sever my head also (from the trunk) with the wheel.’ They answered him: `Injury to another does our Master in no wise allow; make thy peace (with the monks) by restoring the thupa’; and in order to place (anew) the fifteen stones that had been broken off he spent just fifteen thousand kahapanas.”

    My understanding is that Ms. Serasinghe has mixed Buddha’s teachings with traditional Sinhala Buddhist cultural beliefs and traditions that have nothing much to do with the original teachings of the Buddha. A section of the monks (like those on 2 photos) has behaved mischievously even in the Buddha’s time; they were involved in coups d’etat, regime change, criminal activities and other anti-social acts. At one point, Buddha himself left for the forest since quarreling monks at Ghositaramaya (temple of shouters and noise makers!) failed to obey his disciplinary code of conduct (Vinaya).

    Getting back to Mahawamsa, Monk Mahanama notes that the ruler is ‘a protector of tradition’. Remember he is not THE only protector (but one of many protectors only) and today, all responsible socio-religious and political leaders are equally responsible for ‘protecting the tradition’.

    However, with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 this ‘protection of tradition’ was not only seriously challenged and violated but ridiculed and annihilated. Unfortunately, a section of the Sinhalese majority and Tamil and Moor minorities of then Ceylon were compelled to support the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British who violated the TRADITION and that forced support has backfired in a violent manner during the post independence era.

    What is this TRADITION? We all know it! Without attacking it we should discuss it in an open and constructive manner. G. G. Ponnambalam’s 1939 speech in Navalapitiya, attacking this tradition in Mahawamsa ignited riots in some parts of the country including Jaffna, Navalapitiya, Passara, Maskeliya. Sri Lanka belongs to all Sri Lankans. We are of different ethnicities (Sinhalese, Tamil, Moor, Burgher, and/or mixture of any two or more!!!!) with adherence to different faiths (Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim, Christianity, and Catholicism or even atheism!) Due to historical reasons, majority of Sri Lankans are Sinhalese and the majority faith is Buddhism. You can not continue to subjugate them as it was the case in Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial era! If we accept the fact that we are one country and one nation we could even go a step further to protect the rights of Gay and Lesbian Communities within this tradition. That’s what you call the Wonder of Asia!

    I would like to note here that I am positive about the future of Sri Lanka for many reasons which I can not discuss in a limited-space comment. Most don’t know that Sri Lanka as a country and nation is currently in transition hitherto unseen in the annals of our history! Many of us are shocked because we were not and are still not seriously ready for a post conflict era! All these noises, screams and negative criticisms about how to rule and how to be ruled are due to this un-readiness and will be resolved amicably in due course.

    • 3
      0

      Richmond Peiris,

      “Mahawamsa is NOT an insult to Buddhism”.

      If you have read the Mahavamsa and understood it, please tell me why the Buddha is portrayed as a terrorist?

    • 0
      0

      Richmund Peiris:
      You say,” Due to historical reasons, majority of Sri Lankans are Sinhalese and the majority faith is Buddhism. You can not continue to subjugate them as it was the case in Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial era!”The colonial era ended 50 years ago!
      Are you saying that ONLY the Sinhala Buddhists were so subjugated and the Tamils and Muslims were not so subjugated?Were the Sinhala people uniquely selected for this opression by the colinial powers?If you think so,please clarify.
      And also say”You cannot continue to subjugate them”. Are you saying that the Tamils and the Muslims are trying to subjugate them? And if so how since every intitution in the country–political, econonomic social educational and nearly all private enterprises and a standing army and most of media are in Sinhala Budhhist hands?

  • 11
    0

    Sharmini@,
    Thanks, this is an another great article. I have read last 3 articles. No idea about others, but to me, what you add is exactly I feel about lanken buddhist practices. All what you had been describing about alms givings at your ancestor house in Galle were familiar to many of us. I don’t know about today, earlier days (2-3 decades ago) those monks did not like sitting with their fellow monks that practise their Buddha teachings in monasteries. The frequent questions, I raised then were more or less the same found in your articles. I also went to sunday daham pasala and learnt Damma padaya by heart because I was forced to do so. Today, I have no regret to have learnt them though, but many of the questions in terms of Buddhism were not taught to us as we expected from our teachers. It is also very true, we all practised them since were asked to learn them by heart and react like parrots. And truly saying the lack of adequate knowledge in pali and sanskrit led us to believe what the priests just preached. Even today those violent monks seen on tv screens are conversant in pali, Sanskrit is questionable. My last tour to lanka, a year ago, having being able to take part a most recognized Puja at Kelaniya temple, I myself felt how intoxicated some have been. Anyway Buddha Intoxicated or god intoxicated are seen equal to me though that can be different from person to person depending on the capacities.
    Your articles clearly encouraged individuals like me to find more about history of lanken Buddhism. To the question why we call us “Singhalese”, I thought to gather more information.
    Some may be interested in them, so I added below.
    Sinhala Buddhist, in general, make fun of any non-Buddhists believing in unknown god. I am a Buddhist but I belong to the category that also believe in god (any invisible force). I don’t mind him being unknown there should be some invisible forces effective behind each of us. Now, going back to the myth that almost every Singhalese is taught already in the primary school claiming us to be coming from a Lion according to a myth – that says Vijaya – whose grand pa is believed to be a LION, is related to formation of Sinhala folks. Anyway, many among the researchers have not proved that two far different species of living beings could be matted forming survivable offspring (hybrids). However those who believe in hybrid theories e.g , some American researchers like Eugene McCarthy suggests that the human species began as the hybrid offspring of a male pig and a female chimpanzee.
    (http://www.macroevolution.net/human-origins.html ). Eugene McCarthy, who is also one of the world’s leading authorities on hybridisation in animals.

    • 0
      0

      Sun,

      “I have read last 3 articles. No idea about others.”

      Type Sharmini Serasinghe in the ‘search box’ on CT.

  • 1
    6

    Sharmini is pathetic. She is so superficial and has completely misconstrued what the professor has said. She is displaying immaturity, anger, hate, stupidity, etc. etc.

    • 5
      0

      Jackie,

      I don’t believe you are intelligent enough to understand and comment on writings of this nature, so back off without making an idiot of yourself.

    • 5
      0

      Jackie,

      Can you elaborate you point showing exactly where Sharmini is displaying immaturity, anger, hate, stupidity, etc. etc.

      She is very cool in exposing the truth about Buddhism in SL that some fanatics cannot digest.

  • 1
    7

    Sharmini, you have gone overboard trying to attack Prof Kapila Abhayawanse. Prof Abhayawanse is an erudite scholar with a classic grasp of Sanskrit and Pali and the texts. As a Buddhist intellectual resource you can quote only Revd Piyadassi who used to preach to Colombo 7 ladies in Colombo 7 style.
    You have made a good point re Mahawanse distortions, I accept; but then onwards you go to tread a ground where angels fear to tread

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      Melissa De Mel,

      Prof Abhayawanse may be “an erudite scholar with a classic grasp of Sanskrit and Pali and the texts”, but he is seriously lacking in wisdom.

      Go read Prof. H L Seneviratne’s response to Sharmini’s article. Now that gentleman is a genuine “erudite scholar”!

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      Please read what Prof Kapila Abhayawanse has written and also the comments people have made.

      You call such people ‘erudite scholars’??? LOL

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