Colombo Telegraph

Burma’s Religious Battleground And The Monks At The Heart Of It

By Peter Popham –

Six years ago, the world cheered the monks behind Burma’s Saffron Revolution. Now, a horrific new eruption of religious slaughter is being blamed on a ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’. So what happened to the mantra of non-violence?

He writes; Professor Jordt explains that the psychological background is that Theravada Buddhism – found in Burma and Sri Lanka, and regarded by its followers as “the pure teachings” of Buddha, as opposed to the supposedly impure developments in the Mahayana branches found in Japan, Korea, Tibet and Vietnam – is thought to be in peril. The Buddha supposedly predicted that his teachings, the Dharma, would remain in human memory for 5,000 years. Burmese Buddhists, says Jordt, “feel their religion is in decline in cosmological terms, and historically under threat. They are preoccupied with the fact that it is already past the 2,500-year midway mark.”

Read more in the Independent

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