Basic Social Etiquette For The Buddha

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,MORE OPINION,Opinion |

By Darshanie Ratnawalli

 Darshanie Ratnawalli

Darshanie Ratnawalli

“Buddhaghosa’s role, as well as that of Mahanama, the author of the Mahavamsa, was to translate the available material into Pali (see Mhv. Tika, i, 36, etc., loc. cit., pp. Ivi). As the Tika states, the Mahavamsa was a faithful rendering of the original Sinhalese source-material with the only change that it was put into Pali verse. Compared with the previous clumsy attempt at versification in the Dipavarnsa, Mahavamsa stands out as a work of considerable poetic achievement though it falls short of the elegant poetry of the Canonical metrical literature. The fact that it was a metrical rendering could have placed certain restrictions and limitations on the author as regards presenting a faithful rendering of the original material. In the case of the Bahiranidana there were no such restrictions, and undoubtedly one may suppose that it is even more faithful to the original Sinhalese source than the more elegant literary product, the Mahavamsa. It is partly on this basis that minor discrepancies in some proper names between the Bahiranidana and the Chronicles are to be explained, e.g. Issaranimmana, Kalingakula, Pakundaka, Tavakka, etc. (see notes to Translation). However, the word-for-word similarity between wholesale passages of the Bahiranidana and the Chronicles (see Geiger, the Dipavarnsa and Mahavamsa, 106 ff.) shows that there were no wide divergences between them. This similarity does not presuppose the fact that the chronologically later work was based on the earlier work, but that they go back to a common tradition.” – (p XXIV, N.A. Jayawickrama;1962[i]full text)

‘Holmes, if we were to introduce this lady to the sources of Mahavamsa through carefully selected paragraphs like the above, do you think it would make any difference?’

‘I doubt it Watson’.

‘My thought exactly Holmes. An earnest and passionate lady like that wouldn’t care whether it was a single man or a collective tradition which violated the spirit of Buddhism. She would be equally scathing’.

Holmes sighed. ‘Watch out Watson for the day that you lose the distinction between individuality and tradition. It may be a sign that Elvis has left the building.’

As the reader can probably guess Holmes and I were still on the subject of Which Buddha? Whose Buddhism? an article in the popular press (Colombo Telegraph) by Tisaranee Gunasekara. In typical misogynist fashion Holmes was using the article to dissect the female psyche. The reference to “Elvis” was beyond me.

‘Come, come Watson don’t look so mystified. I’ll explain. I’ll use her own lines with a slight change. In place of her “Mahawansa” and “Bikku Mahanama”, I will use “Sihala atthakatha tradition”. With that change, her key argument reads; The Buddha of the Sihala atthakatha tradition is a totally different being from Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha we meet in the Tripitaka and other Buddhist texts. The Buddha of the Sihala atthakatha tradition is a holy-warrior who uses natural cunning and supernatural force to defeat enemies of faith. Buddha in the Sihala atthakatha tradition does not regard every living being with equal compassion, as the Buddha did.”  Let us also recall why all this is said. I quote the lady with the above change added; “So the Buddha of the Sinhala atthakatha tradition does something the Buddha never did. He comes to Lanka, and instead of preaching to the Yakkas, chases them away”. Do you experience any difference Watson, of perspective now that the center of blame has been shifted from a mere man to a tradition?’

‘I suppose there would be a certain diffusion Holmes, a dilution of one’s emotions when they no longer have in their cross hairs, a lone man with a name, with whom one can get even more personal by giving him a background and all sorts of motivations.’

‘How true Watson women can never resist motivations, just look at this; “And this unequivocal rule would not have suited either Bhikkhu Mahanama or the monarch who is said to have commissioned the Mahawamsa, Dhatusena. Dhatusena was Bhikkhu Mahanama’s patron – and his nephew. The uncle brought up the nephew, in adversarial times. Lanka was under Pandyan rule for almost thirty years; Dhatusena came to the throne after overthrowing the last Pandyan king”. Unbridled excess Watson, even for a woman. Even the most flighty lady novelist would hesitate to attribute this much background to a monk, whose name does not even appear in the work he authored. One would think that the Mahavamsa carried a full author bio with photograph on its dust jacket. Mahavamsa itself Watson does not name its author. There’s another book named Vamsatthappakasini (aka Mhv-tika) written several centuries later as a commentary to the Mahavamsa. Throughout its pages, this commentary only refers to the author of Mahavamsa as “achariya”. It is only in the colophon that Vamsatthappakasini deigns to give us the bare facts about the author of Mahavamsa, just his name and Pirivena. Not enough to weave soap operas from’. “The author of Mhv is a certain Mahanama from the monastery of the general DIghasanda, according to the commentary (Mhv-t 687,4). Nothing else is known about him, and any possible identification with other persons bearing this rather common name is speculative•”- (p90, von Hinuber;1996[ii], full text)

Even though I understood that Homes was trying to de-personalize Mahanama in order to protect him from personal assaults that over determined his role, I still could not see how that helped. Misrepresentation of the Buddha still remained an issue irrespective of whether it was a man or a tradition which did it. All the lady had to do was to transfer her passions from Mahanama to the Sihala atthakatha tradition which being the work of many men, would afford a larger scope for them. I asked Holmes what good a transfer of anger was when the cause still remained.

‘What I intend to do Watson is to assign the cause of her anger, namely the sin of breaching “Social etiquette for Buddhas according to Tisaranee Gunasekara” to its original perpetrator; the Pali Cannon. I hope to spotlight and extract the maximum sense of absurdity out of this disagreement between the Cannon and Tisaranee Gunasekara on ‘what’s done’ and ‘not done’ by the Buddha. I will then use this ‘sense of the absurd’ to show up the chasm that exists between the lady and the texts she is trying to criticize, emphasizing that it’s not only the age of the texts that creates the chasm but her want of sense, which would have alerted her to the perspective adjustments needed before one looks back some 2000 years.

Better sense would have prompted the question; “did the Sihala-atthakatha tradition make a radical break from its parent and cognate traditions in representing the Buddha?” If it did not, if its treatment of the scenes where the Buddha appears is derived from the parent tradition (the Pali Cannon) and syncs with the cognate traditions (non Theravadin literature), then perhaps the traditions represent a Buddhism, which resists confinement within “Tisaranee Gunasekera’s Social etiquette for Buddhas” – basic rules – do not display supernatural powers, do not gad about subduing mythical creatures- why subdue only them? – show equal compassion, act ruthlessly detached-attachments are passé, do not single out groups and regions for special regard, avoid making predictions about particular countries, stay inside boundaries of political correctness as will be determined by certain people of the distant future.

The first European translators of the Pali Cannon Watson recognized the fact that ordinary, modern people may need guidance in processing ancient texts. The complete Mahavagga of the Vinaya was translated into English by Oldenberg and Rhys Davids during the last twenty years of the 19th century. But, you will notice an odd thing. When it comes to the Vinaya rule forbidding ordination of eunuchs, preceded by the story which led to it being formulated, only the rule is translated, not the story, which the translators left in Pali in a footnote (p215, 216, full text[iii]). Ditto the incident involving the hermaphrodite who had received pabbajja ordination, which led to hermaphrodites from being barred from ordination (p222, ibid). About 58 years later Miss I.B Horner felt it safe to offer decorous translations of both stories (p108, 113, full text[iv]). But even she left some Vinaya passages untranslated. Writing the translator’s introduction in 1938, she justified the Vinaya Pitaka as well as her translation filters’; Such lack of restraint as is found may be embarrassing to us, but it must be remembered that early peoples are not so much afraid of plain speech as we are. No stigma of indecency or obscenity should therefore be attached to such Vinaya passages as seem unnecessarily outspoken to us. For they were neither deliberately indecent nor deliberately obscene… Nevertheless the differences in the outlook of an early society and a modern one may easily be forgotten or disregarded. I have therefore omitted some of the cruder Suttavibhanga passages, and have given abbreviated versions of others, while incorporating them in their unabridged state in Pali in an Appendix…”-(p XXXVII in full text[v])

‘Are you drawing an analogy Holmes? Are you saying that as a delicately nurtured lady in 1938 would have had hysterics had she understood those ‘outspoken’ passages, Ms. Gunasekera is having hysterics now, but for different reasons?’

‘I don’t think they had actual hysterics anymore in the 1930s Watson, but in essence that’s what I am saying’.

@ http://ratnawalli.com /  and rathnawalli@gmail.com


[i] N. A. Jayawickrama, 1962, ‘The Inception of Discipline and the Vinaya Nidana’, Being a Translation and Edition of the Bāhiranidāna of Buddhaghosa’s Samantapāsādika, the Vinaya Commentary in Sacred Books of the Buddhists Vol XXI (Full text)

[ii] Oskar von Hinuber, “A Handbook of Pali Literature” in Indian philology and South Asian studies; Vol. 2, de Gruyter, 1996- (full text)

[iii] The Sacred Books of the East, Vol XIII, Vinaya Texts Translated From The Pali By T. W. Rhys Davids And Hermann Oldenberg, Part I- The Patimokkha, The Mahavagga, I—Iv- (Full text)

[iv] The Book of the Discipline (VINAYA-PITAKA), Volume IV (MAHAVAGGA), translated by I. B. Horner, M.A.-(full text)

[v] The Book of the Discipline (VINAYA-PITAKA), Volume I ((SUTTAVIBHANGA), translated by I. B. Horner, M.A- (full text)

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34 Responses to Basic Social Etiquette For The Buddha

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    Dharshanie: You are trying to compare poetry and Gatha. first, I am not an expert in this are. With my little knowledge, Venerable Mahanama would have never written poetry to satisfy some one’e ear’s needs or else. Because, Buddhist Sanghas are asked to stay away from drama, songs, music and playes etc., So, how do you expect great poetry from a monk. Besides verses written in buddhism are called GATHA and those are not poetry. If you find both gatha and poetry the same, then a big mistake. Don’t take Miss TG serious. TG that I know worked for R Pemadasa. she is a mixture of social politics from parents, capiliast politics of UNP and British-christian education system of colombo schools. I don’t think she ever had read tripitaka. She is from a failed post independence – education system of Sri lanka which produced people worshipping the colonial masters and to their judeo-christian culture.

    Jim softy
    August 24, 2014 at 12:57 am
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      Darshanie Ratnawalli – “As the Tika states, the Mahavamsa was a faithful rendering of the original Sinhalese source-material with the only change that it was put into Pali verse. Compared with the previous clumsy attempt at versification in the Dipavarnsa, Mahavamsa stands out as a work of considerable poetic achievement though it falls short of the elegant poetry of the Canonical metrical literature. The fact that it was a metrical rendering could have placed certain restrictions and limitations on the author as regards presenting a faithful rendering of the original material. ” Thanks, but let us look at alternate viewpoints from a “Thomas Paine -Age of Reason”, of Sri Lanka, Dr E W Adikaram. Well, Well, the core problem is the Para-Sinhala-”Buddhism”, Racism and Chauvinism, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho. This was aided and abetted by the Dipawansa and Mahawansa. This is the Core sickness of the Para-Sinhalese “Buddhists”. Isn’t the Nationalist a Mental Patient? http://groundviews.org/2013/10/09/isnt-the-nationalist-a-mental-patient/ Reproducing historic article by Dr E W Adikaram At a time when few practice what they preach, Lankan scholar, writer and social activist Dr E W (Edward Winifred) Adikaram (1905-1985) was an illustrious exception. As a public intellectual, he had the courage of his convictions to speak out on matters of public interest — even when such views challenged widely held dogmas or went against populist trends. As a sceptical inquirer as well as a spiritualist, he always ‘walked his talk’. He never hesitated to take the often lonely (and sometimes bumpy) high road. Adikaram’s worldview was shaped by both science and the humanities. He initially offered science and mathematics at Colombo University College but later switched to Pali and Sanskrit. Having won a government scholarship, he went to England where he obtained his MA and Ph D from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His 1933 PhD thesis titled “Early History of Buddhism in Ceylon” (published in 1946) is still considered an extraordinary body of historical research. Young Adikaram was a contemporary — and personal friend — of leading Ceylonese leftists like Dr N M Perera, Dr Colvin R de Silva and Leslie Gunawardana. While he shared their broad ideals of self rule and equality among humans, he did not join socialist movements as he disapproved of using any kind of force — even for the greater good. Instead, he preferred the (Gandhian) non-violent approach to political and economic independence, and chose a career in education upon return to Ceylon. He became a teacher — and soon, the principal – at Ananda Shastralaya, Kotte, managed at the time by the non-governmental organisation Buddhist Theosophical Society (BTS). Within a short period, he founded several schools including Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda; Ananda Sastralaya, Matugama; and Vidyakara Vidyalaya, Maharagama. He also emerged as a prominent champion of non violence, promoter of vegetarianism and a campaigner against alcohol and tobacco. In the mid 1940s, a chance reading of a book by Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti transformed Adikaram’s life. Krishnamurti was proclaiming a message of inward liberation by understanding the ways of one’s own mind. He rejected the rituals and paraphernalia of organised religion, and saw nationalism as a ‘fatally divisive force’. Isn’t the Nationalist a Mental Patient? By Dr E W Adikaram Are you a Sinhalese? If you are a Sinhalese, how do you know that? I have asked this question from many who call themselves Sinhalese. I have so far never received a satisfactory reply from any of them. I have also asked those who say that they are Tamils, Telegus, etc., as to how they know that they are Tamils, Telegus and so on. From them too, I have never received a satisfactory reply. When this question is asked, some get annoyed. Some ask back why I should ask this question when the reply is so obvious, some consider that the question is asked merely for fun. Still others reply that they have never given thought to this question. Anyway a satisfactory, a logical and an acceptable reply does not come forth from any of them. “I am a Sinhalese because my parents are Sinhalese.” This is the argument of many. This surely is not a reply but only shifting the question a little further, as the next immediate question would then be “How do you know that your parents are Sinhalese?” This shifting can go on further and further, but the question will not thereby be solved. “A person is Sinhalese because he speaks the Sinhalese language.” This is another argument that is usually adduced. But there are people of other nationalities who speak only Sinhalese because they happen to be brought up from early childhood in homes where only Sinhalese is spoken. Simply because they speak the Sinhalese language they do not thereby become Sinhalese. And also there are Sinhalese people who speak a language other than Sinhalese because they were brought up in non-Sinhalese homes. They are not considered non-Sinhalese simply because they cannot speak Sinhalese. It is therefore clear that one is not a Sinhalese just because he speaks Sinhalese. Similarly a person does not become an Englishman simply because he speaks English. If so, how can one conclusively know that a person is Sinhalese, Tamil, English, German or Japanese? There is no reply that could be given to this question. A right reply can be given only to a right question. A right reply cannot be given to this question because the question is wrong. When in truth there is no such thing as a nationality, how is it possible to give a right reply when one is asked to which nationality a person belongs? If you have an infant child, please examine its entire body as carefully as possible. Is there any special part of its body or mark which differentiates it as a Sinhalese child? However much you may search you will never find such a distinguishing characteristic. There are people different in colour of skin such as black, brown, white, yellow etc. That is due to the fact that their ancestors lived for thousands of years in places differing from each other in climatic and geographical conditions. But that colour does not give an indication as to what nationality a person belongs. As that child who is common to the entire human race grows up he will be given a name and will be deemed to belong to a particular race or nationality. That child who at the time is incapable of logical thinking, who cannot discern fact from non-fact and who hasn’t the ability to compare and contrast, accepts unthinkingly and unknowingly the nationality that has been thrust upon him. Having accepted it he gradually comes to believe that he belongs to that particular nationality. Please think over the fact that you become a Sinhalese not because you had some thing naturally Sinhalese but because of the belief created and imposed on you by the environment and society including your parents. Species of birds differ by birth from one another. Between the eagle and the dove, between the quail and the peacock there is a natural difference. Is there such a difference between the Sinhalese and the Tamil, between the Englishman and the German? So are the other animals. They have species differing from one another. There are natural characteristics that differentiate the tiger from the bear and the horse from the bull. Is there such a difference between the Japanese and the Jew or between the Chinaman and the Eskimo? Unlike birds and animals, all human beings in the world belong to one species only, the human species. In truth there is only one human race: what goes as Sinhalese, Tamil, English and a thousand other nationalities are only designations born out of belief and having no intrinsic significance whatsoever. If one sees things that do not exist and believes that they do exist, such a person we call a mental patient. On one occasion when I went to the mental hospital at Angoda to visit a friend who was a patient there, a person calling himself His Majesty Diyasena the King of the Sinhalese spoke to me and got into conversation with me. Not only did he firmly believe that he was King Diyasena but in his behaviour he even showed an affected regal demeanour. If any one told him that he was not Diyasena, he would naturally consider that person a lunatic. If we consider as insane a person who calls himself a non-existent King Diyasena, how can we consider as sane those people who call themselves Sinhalese, Tamils, English when in truth there is no such thing as a Sinhalese nation, a Tamil nation or an English nation. There is only one human race. We are human beings and not Sinhalese, Tamil or English. Biologically this is so. But those who are fettered with the belief that there is racial difference are incapable of seeing this fact. As the idea of nation has come into being by assuming as existent something which does not exist, nationalism has to be necessary considered a form of insanity. Not only here but in the whole world the vast majority of people are tethered with that belief, with that delusion. The main cause for all the wars that took place in the world in the past was this psychological aliment, namely nationalism. Even in the modern world which, due to advancement in Science, has all the opportunities for comfortable living, man has to suffer because of this disease of nationalism and its inevitable political tentacles. In big countries those who suffer from this madness contrive to bring about murder on a big scale with nuclear weapons etc. In small countries like Sri Lanka they kill human beings on a smaller scale and they hurt people’s feelings with various ridiculous mad activities such as the defacing of name boards written in languages other than their own. Mankind today is living in a most critical stage. Many do not understand how dangerous the present situation is. We should understand that the forces that work in the world today are different from those that existed in the past. Even a slight mistake can make the entire human species disappear from the face of the earth. We can avoid that catastrophe and survive this critical period only if we act sanely with the feeling that this is our world and not by murdering each other saying that this is our nation and our country. Shouldn’t we therefore be free of this insanity of nationalism and thereby cease to be enemies of mankind? Nationalism is not the road to peace. Truth alone will bring us peace and freedom.

      Amarasiri
      August 24, 2014 at 9:03 am
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    Ms. Ratnawalli: I appreciate your good intentions in writing this essay. However, you are not likely to get the plebeian readers of the CT to even digest a few lines of it. First, it uses a literary and academic style that CT readers can’t grasp. Had you used plain simple English, you would have attracted many more readers. Second, it lacks context. You presume that everyone knows who Holmes, Watson and Tisaranee are. Develop this article for publication in a scholarly journal. Use plain language, whether Sinhala or English– when writing an opinion piece for a newspaper.

    Village Green Guy
    August 24, 2014 at 5:05 am
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      I know who you are honey. Wait and watch this one too become one of the popular columns in CT and then you’ll see

      Darshanie Ratnawalli
      August 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm
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        Yes Darshanie Ratnawalli, You are exposing some pints about Mahavamsa and Mahanama that don’t go done well with many Sinhala Buddhists for the obvious reason: It destroys their whole hearted faith in Mahavamsa. Please keep writing but always bring out the truth, as bhikkus are well known misogynists anyway – even the most sincere Sinhala Buddhist bhikuni was ostracized and driven away by the male chauvinist bhikkus of Sri Lanka. Most all religious leaders, whether they be Hindu, Christian, Buddhist or Islamic are misogynists: That’s why they keep women away from priesthood. You tell these guys as it is, and keep up your work for the sake of women at least.

        Thiru
        August 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm
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          Darshanie Ratnawalli, and Thiru Misogyny. Yes. Misogyny (/mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women. Misogyny has been characterised as a prominent feature of the mythologies of the ancient world as well as of various religions. In addition, many influential Western philosophers have been described as misogynistic. Read the Old Testament, New Testament, The Quran, the Hadith and the Tripitaka. See what Buddha said to Ananda. Avoid Women, Yes Women.

          Amarasiri
          August 25, 2014 at 2:19 am
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            “See what Buddha said to Ananda. Avoid Women, Yes Women.” marasiri, i am not sure through which opening of yours you utter these diabolical lies. Please provide your source of your quote. Compared to one religion which treats women as mere chattel, Buddhism has an un-parallel record of recognizing and promoting womens’ rights. I can quote from hundreds of sources but I will not bore you. Here is just one. http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/position.htm

            paul
            August 26, 2014 at 5:00 pm
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              You cant love and be wise, moron Shaw said gods second mistake. You need her romantico; Wives are young men’s mistresses, They are companions for middle age men, They are old men’s nurses- (like the Valli above) ___ Love is blind so we have marriages for all to see.!;) In vain without woman. ;)

              Javi
              August 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm
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              paul “Please provide your source of your quote.” http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Buddhism_and_Misogyny Buddhism and Misogyny There are some suttas (discourses) of the Buddha that appear to be misogynistic. But this only at a very superficial first glance. For example, there are passages where the Buddha advises the monks not to pay attention to women, not to look at them, and to avoid their company unless accompanied by other people. Read Buddhism by Ven. Narada Thero. Also Buddhism by Ananda Commarasamy. Check the Index for Buddha, Ananda and Women.

              Amarasiri
              August 28, 2014 at 5:04 am
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      Village Green Guy You are being sarcastic, aren’t you? Please stop insulting the child.

      Native Vedda
      August 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm
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      I would tend to agree with you Green guy. The language used is too heavy for my digestion, and I thought I was alone in this thinking. It is an interesting subject, but is it too scholarly or too complicated to understand, I don’t know which. Glad you pointed it out first.

      Banki Mun
      August 24, 2014 at 7:58 pm
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      Thank you Village Green Guy. As a poor humble plebeian person, I can simply say simple things in my simplicity of understanding of this high- academia article. so i say: Nirvana and enlightenment is full of flexibility. Therefore, this purified state gives flex to bad things done for the higher good of many (there’s a technical term for this, I know……Utilitarianism?). So, when Buddha (truly the very same, one-and-only Gautama), came to Lanka, when he chased away the Yakkas, the fellows were into all kinds of incantations,molestations and mischief. Therefore chasing them away, which was within the flex of Nirvana, resulted in their eventual conversion- if not immediate, it fell on their progeny and rebirthed souls. Same with the blowing out of fire with fire, as in the case of the Naga king. Why, Buddha could not have been burned to death, could he?….i.e. before He(BSG) could have preached the Good News.

      ramona therese fernando
      August 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm
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    Jim Softy:- ….education system of Sri lanka which produced people worshipping the colonial masters and (to)their judeo-christian culture.” I don’t see any difference between the ‘judeo-christian culture’ and the current form of ‘Sinhala/Buddhist Culture’, which requires an ordained Monk, (whatever his Morals are) to intercede between ‘Sinhala Buddhists’ and their Version of the ‘God-like, All-Powerful Buddha’. Buddhist Monks instead of Teaching the Buddha’s Dhamma, have got used to acting like ‘Judeo/Christian’ Priests, and this is what ‘Sinhala/Buddhists’ have come to accept as Buddhism!.

    Rationalist
    August 24, 2014 at 7:50 am
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    Still trying to correct TG are we? I suspect it would be like trying to straighten a dogs tail. Whenever I read her material I see a sad neurotic woman obsessed with all things Socialist, frothing in her mouth stalking one or more Rajapaskes. There is no peace in that mind. This mind fails Dhamma at many levels.

    Vibhushana
    August 24, 2014 at 7:56 am
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    Disclaimer. Thanking the positive commentors, yet emphasizing that comments and the commentors on this site are not connected with me in any way. All the comments are entirely a reflection on the democracy and the discretion of this site. I haven’t solicited those comments in any way, nor am I part of any “circle” consisting of these commentors. They are completely unknown to me and I haven’t submitted my article to them. This disclaimer is to establish the widest distance from and renounce all responsibility for the levels of comprehension of those outside my intended target audience. In other words, this is not my group. Although there are sites out there that are maintained to facilitate discussion within a group, this is not to my knowledge such a group-site.

    Darshanie Ratnawalli
    August 24, 2014 at 8:58 am
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      Then why the hell did you post it here? You should have directly circled/emailed the material among them!

      Someone
      August 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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      Why are you even writing this disclaimer? Who said you are trading and soliciting positive comments from your circle? Now that you have brought this topic up, I am beginning to suspect your integrity i.e I think you could be a fraud or an imposter. To prove I am wrong, list your training, exposure or knowledge of Buddhism.. not what you read/quote from non Buddhist writers who have other agendas in writing about Buddhism.

      paul
      August 26, 2014 at 5:17 pm
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    I think the mahavamsa was a very successful Pali work of poetry written in meter so that it could be memorized. It became a “best-seller” that was taken along the Silk route and translated inot many languages. It was book full of all the right stuff, incest, bestiality, patricide and more, war and court intrigue, all wrappedup in a layer of reverence and morality. What more can you ask? It is one of the greatest literary works of all time. If it had been found during the time of the renaissance, it would have held sway over the Greek Epic poems. Tissaranee G’s writings are merely a continuing part of the anger of the Colombo English educated who found themselves suddenly out of power, with the country having gone to the native dogs who spoke Sinhala – equally resented by the English-speaking native Tamils and the English speaking Bolshevik Leninists who thought that THEY were going to come into power after the British and their compradore caretaker government. Things didn’t happen that way. For Tissaranee G, this writer (DRatnavalli) is just another feminine member of the canine species closely linked to the Sinhala natives, as the Victorians would have put it without using the word “bitch”. Tisaranees writings (full of Merde, not even as Pere Ubu would have it) can have nothing to do with the Victorian sensitivities of Oldenburg, Max Mueller, Geiger, Rhys Days or even Madame Horner.

    Kautilya
    August 24, 2014 at 9:49 am
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      Kautilya sometimes you sound so smart that occasionally I have serious doubts whether as I assume you are Prof. CD, who is capable of sounding addled at times. BTW I was not equating the victorian sensitivities of Oldenberg, Rhys Davids, Horner and co with Tisaranee’s sensitivities. I am equating the ordinary western audiences of those times (before the 1960s) who would have been shocked and scandalized and disgusted by the outspoken style of a different cultural milieu regarding sex with the type of audience that TG represents who just may be(if they are not pretending) similarly outraged by those accounts in the Pali cannon and non theravadin literature of the Buddha and his arhant disciples acting like supermen and gaining mastery over mythical creature.

      Darshanie Ratnawalli
      August 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm
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        CT Readers The child Darshanie Ratnawalli types: “I am equating the ordinary western audiences of those times (before the 1960s) who would have been shocked and scandalized and disgusted by the outspoken style of a different cultural milieu regarding sex with the type of audience that TG represents who just may be(if they are not pretending) similarly outraged by those accounts in the Pali cannon and non theravadin literature of the Buddha and his arhant disciples acting like supermen and gaining mastery over mythical creature.” Could anyone translate, summarise, explain, …. as to what this child is trying to say in gibberish.

        Native Vedda
        August 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm
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          Cant you figure out that she is showcasing her verbal variety reading from norman vincent peal. pun intended poorly!

          manisekaran
          August 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm
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          She is [Edited out]

          Someone
          August 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm
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        Darshni, Please Go Away>! Dement:) It is easy to talk on religion, but difficult to practice it.

        Javi
        August 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm
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    O Noble Vedda First Native in this resplendent island paradise of ours. Please set us an easier task than this on a hot August Sunday. The fragrant one writes, and it is for us, the salt of the earth, to unravel, understand, digest and spew out anything that would give us indigestion. I myself would read her perfumed words twice; the first pass for comprehension, and the second foray to take me to that higher place where only the truly privileged are allowed. Now, dear people, pray silence, I am about to pour my first glass of stout for the day which might also take me to the promised land. O Noble One, may your bees buzz sweetly on the blessed day and always.

    Spring Koha
    August 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm
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    I wish all these commentators (and writers)on CT would write under their real names, so that the readers cab hole them accountable for their words. That way they would not be able to get away with espousing their personal opinions as established facts. A strategy meant to mislead the uninitiated novices who interpret these writings as the gospel truth. Such novices, many of whom have grown up in foreign lands being fed daily doses of prejudice against one group or another, are dangerous for the country, similar to the afghan Taliban who primarily grew up in Pakistan, being fed propaganda about the other ethnic groups in Afghansitan.

    siman
    August 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm
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    I wish all these commentators (and writers)on CT would write under their real names, so that the readers can hold them accountable for their words. That way they would not be able to get away with espousing their personal opinions as established facts. A strategy meant to mislead the uninitiated novices who interpret these writings as the gospel truth. Such novices, many of whom have grown up in foreign lands being fed daily doses of prejudice against one group or another, are dangerous for the country, similar to the afghan Taliban who primarily grew up in Pakistan, being fed propaganda about the other ethnic groups in Afghansitan.

    siman
    August 24, 2014 at 10:43 pm
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      siman “A strategy meant to mislead the uninitiated novices who interpret these writings as the gospel truth.” Are you blaming the child for exposing herself to anonymous commentators or blaming the commentators for putting some sense into vile industry of rewriting history rapped in more myth than any sane minded person could take it? Please let us know who is misleading who? “Such novices, many of whom have grown up in foreign lands being fed daily doses of prejudice against one group or another, are dangerous for the country,” The danger comes from within, the ruling clan directly and the people who think they are discovering new facts of past history from their own imagination, by simply rearranging old lies in a repackaged, incoherent, stylised nonsense. Probably you are a novice, you may not know this, listen, listen good, we love trashing our fellow commentators and authors. Be patient you will begin to enjoy comments rather than the actual article.

      Native Vedda
      August 25, 2014 at 2:27 am
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    Clearly, Tissaranee G objects to common Sri Lankan Buddhism which is not what one would infer from modern western presentations of the Buddha and Buddhism by Christmas Humphrey or Jack Kornfield and such types. What would be the attitudes of Dharshanie Ratnavalli and Tisaranne G to the Sri Lanka Hinduism (be it the versions from Navalar, or the crude village Kovil Hinduism) where even the Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran goes in bare-bodied, but women are not allowed. Also, other types of hierarchic social discrimination, animal sacrifice etc., are approvingly carried out, and presumably sanctioned by our “elite” “high-born” leaders. Ithink Tisaranee has failed to write anything about such vile anachronisms that continue to keep down the Tamil community.

    Manharan
    August 25, 2014 at 12:39 am
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      Manharan “where even the Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran goes in bare-bodied, but women are not allowed.” You are a dirty old man.

      Native Vedda
      August 25, 2014 at 2:35 am
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        Dear Native You are calling Manoharan a dirty old man, when your Vellala mates have free peep shows on poor non Vellala women in the Village if this dress code is still around.

        K.A Sumanasekera
        August 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm
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          [Edited out] sumana According to Jataka katha, buddha gave his hair to Sambutha Sumana, and legend narrates that god sumana built the chaitya in Mahiyangana with the conqueror’s (buddha’s) hair. However you seems to spit venom whenever you get a chance. Your transfixation with vellalas makes me wonder whether you have a crush with vellala men!. I suggest you should research on our ancestors from Rodiya and salagama castes. Modawansa is a prime specimen.

          ken robert
          August 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm
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    Sorry for mis-typing my name. Why should only men be allowed to wear Veddah clothes -what is dirty about that? Bare-bodied (that is, top part nude) women are/were a common thing as far as so-called “low-caste” women are concerned. They are “required” to be bare-bodied and sanctioned so by the religious rules. So the bareness of the breasts cannot be the problem for the prudish attitude. If men and women are equal, they should have the right to wear their usual attire, and what better place than the temple to begin such consideration for the other sex? I think there is no dress restriction in Buddhist Temples requiring men to to be bare-bodied; at least, I don’t see it practiced in the Colombo temples or in the Vishnu or Ganesh or Skandha shrines in those temples. May be Tissaranee G or D Ratnavalli can get Holmes and Watson to argue about this oddity. Or else, the men should cover their bulging bellies and fat-laden chests under sober clothes even in Nallur and such places, still stuck in medieval times.

    Mnaoharan
    August 25, 2014 at 7:08 am
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    The Vedha is understandably jealous of the Vellala who even on his way to the temple is considreabley more dressesed than the naked vedha. but on the other hand the vedha makes a lot more sense than the educated vellala and is trying hard here to educate the child here whoes work will be rejected even by third rate acedemic journals. perhaps what we read here are thise rejected articles.

    Kirri Yakka
    August 26, 2014 at 3:07 am
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