19 November, 2018

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Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, And Maduluwawe Sobitha

By Jagath Asoka

Dr. Jagath Asoka

Dr. Jagath Asoka

This article has two sections; the first part is related to my previous articles. The second part is about Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, and Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera.

The recent articles written by Shyamon Jayasinghe, Mahendra De Silva, and Kapila Abhayawansa demonstrate the snowball effect of the conversation that I started on Buddhism. The Buddhist in me constantly struggle not to undress people in public with my words, but if you are trying to tell me that you do not believe in God, first, convince yourself and ask yourself, “Have I ever asked God’s or gods’ assistance; have I ever prayed to the Buddha when I was totally helpless?” God is transcendental, beyond name and form, and beyond human description. God is protean and take many forms. In Shyamon, Mahendra, and Kapila, God has taken the name and the form of the Buddha. I do not have to be a professor or pundit, and have a Ph.D. in God or Buddhism to talk about God and Buddhism. I began my ferryboat journey with Kalama Sutra. As far as Buddhism is concerned, like Christianity and Islam, the truth is that nobody can ever produce the original words of the Buddha, Jesus, or Mohammed with absolute certitude because they were illiterate, and did not write anything for posterity, even though all of us venerate them as if they were God, except Mohammed who is just a messenger of God. All articles are very thought-provoking and interesting and deal with different facets of this subject, but none has the authority due to paucity of authentic texts. We can conduct a scholarly textual analysis or comparison, but we do not know the authenticity of any canonical texts in Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In one of my very first articles, I talked about pseudepigraphy, which scholars have extensively studied in Christianity; most Sri Lankan scholars who study Buddhism are reluctant to open the door of pseudepigraphy in Buddhism because even a mere suggestion of pseudepigraphy evokes a violent reaction in people who suffer from neurosis caused due to the infantile and puerile attachment to Buddhism. My thoughts on Buddhism and politics in Sri Lanka have produced both positive and negative reactions; I have not seen a lukewarm response or an attitude of insouciance when people comment; most people enjoy reading my articles, but that does not mean that they agree with everything that I have to say; that is exactly what it should be. Those who write schizophrenic gibberish are just mental patients. Schizophrenia—the Prevalence Rate is approximately 1.1%—is a serious mental disorder; I have worked on Central Nervous System (CNS)-related diseases for nearly two years. External factors such as reading the articles that I have written can precipitate Schizophrenia, so if you have a vehement and uncontrollable reaction that causes you to spew schizophrenic gibberish when you read my articles, please see a psychiatrist immediately because schizophrenia is highly treatable. So when you are reading my articles, you are inadvertently being tested for schizophrenia.

I am aware of the limitations in any categorical knowledge, and its affirmation or negation. Most scholars, pundits, and professors want “to take their stand upon” the knowledge that they have “grasped,” but I on the other hand am aware of the limitations of human knowledge, its boundaries, categorical affirmation, or negation. There is an unbridgeable gulf and schism that exists between the transcendental level of experience and the level of sense-experience. We are having this experience—this discussion—at our sense-level, not at a transcendental level. Our ongoing discussions are similar to the parable of the blind men and an elephant. We are blind, but not stupid enough to punch each other in the groin. As the commenter “Bruz” has said, like Bruz, I too, “appreciate the different ways of looking at things differently and with a positive, practical approach.” Reading these different ways of thinking gives me enormous, inimitable pleasure. Bliss can be due to stupidity or wisdom; the difference is, with bliss of wisdom, you can float in your bliss, but with stupidity, you will drown in your own bliss.

Rig-Veda declares: Truth is one; sages call it by many names: we are told that the Buddha has said the same thing. And in Dhammapada, we are told: Speak the truth; yield not to anger; when asked, give even if you only have a little. By these three means one can reach the presence of the gods; if you speak or act with a corrupted heart, then suffering follows you; those who mistake the unessential to be essential and the essential to be unessential, dwelling in wrong thoughts, never arrive at the essential; though all his life a fool associates with a wise man, he no more comprehends the Truth than a spoon tastes the flavor of the soup; just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame; a few among men are those who cross to the farther shore. The rest, the bulk, only run up and down hither the bank.

Well, there are more verses in Dhammapada that are pertinent to our ongoing discussion, but I will let you read Dhammapada; there are only 423 verses; when I studied at Nalalnda,  I had to memorize about one-third of the Dhammapada for my GCE/OL. Here is my own thought: Those who think that Buddhism is infallible and cannot see beyond Buddhism are born idiots; those who know that Buddhism is fallible and can see beyond Buddhism are wise. This is true for all other religions and dogmas.

The commenter, who identifies as Punchisingho, asked the following question:  “Dear Jagath! Kalakarama Sutra or kalarama [sic] Sutra?

Dear Punchisingho, I think you meant Kalama. I was talking about Kalakarama Sutra, not Kalama Sutra in my previous articles. But I have made a plethora of allusions to Kalama Sutra in all of my articles. All my articles are based on both Kalakarama and Kalama Sutras. It is also true about the rest of the teachings of the Buddha, even though we do not know the authenticity of Buddhism: It is also true of other Sutras and other religions.

I think most Buddhists are aware of Kalama Sutra, so that is why I have made numerous allusions to Kalama Sutra to evoke a subliminal reaction: One of my favorite Sutras in Buddhism. The Buddhists who constantly seek for truth, wisdom, and knowledge—but vehemently oppose blind faith, dogmas, and circuitous, specious reasoning—always refer to Kalama Sutra as their source of authority.

Here is the basic question: How are you going separate truth from untruth. The Buddha’s answer was: Rely on your direct knowledge, experience, and constant questioning and testing to identify and separate truth from untruth.; furthermore, the Buddha had admonished not to make your decisions on the veracity of any dogma merely because of history, traditions, hearsay, scripture, supposition, opinions, pundits, and teachers. Even though I have not directly articulated my approach to my own life, it is pretty obvious that I have been following Kalama Sutra since I left my childhood; particularly, since I became a teenager.

Here is Today’s Question: If we are a true Buddhist nation and the protector of Buddhism, why cannot we elect a Buddhist monk as our President? There is only one Buddhist monk who cannot be intimidated by the Rajapaksa clan: Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera. Everybody knows where Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera stands when it comes to our constitution and corruption. He is not only a Sinhala Buddhist, but also an erudite Buddhist monk: a two in one situation. So, what is the purpose of reelecting Mahinda Rajapaksa for the third time? Let’s elect Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and change our corrupt democracy into a clean theocracy.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently invited Pope Francis—an erudite, decent, wise, spiritual leader like Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama is to Buddhism as the Pope is to Catholicism. So why cannot Gotabaya invite Dalai Lama at the same time so that Pope Francis and Dalai Lama can have a spiritual discussion in Colombo about the plight of Sri Lanka. I would love to be in that audience. I think Mahinda and Gotabaya—there is a possibility that both are working for the American government—are scared of China and have become China’s slaves, sycophants, and brown-noses.  Think of what China has done to Tibet. Sri Lanka is a strategic harbor and an airport for the incipient Chinese hegemony, so Sri Lanka will end up like Tibet because we have borrowed so much from China: our next step is slavery. All Sri Lankans should think about this possibility. Do you want to keep borrowing from China to build unnecessary airports and harbors for Sri Lankans but useful for China in the future when we become their slaves? Of course, China is giving unlimited amount of loans to Sri Lanka because, soon, Sri Lanka is going to be next Tibet, and we will have a plethora of Sri Lankan children who look like Chinese men and women: If it is fine with you, then it is fine with me, too. So our only hope is America. I am certain that the chameleon American eyes are fixed upon on our nation.

I have been following politics in Sri Lanka, and it seems to me that the Buddhist monks have enormous political power. Whether it is water in Weliweriya, cocaine of D. M. Jayaratne, or Packer’s casino complex, when Buddhists monks are involved even Gotabaya cannot shoot them. I think the UNP must seek the support of the Buddhist monks—not Mangala Samaraweer’s stick; it is not a good idea for Ranil Wickramasinge to depend on Mangala’s and his sycophants’ sticks; you cannot change a government by using your stick, use your brain, instead; organize massive Satyagrahas (“soul force” or “truth force,”) to protest against corruption and nepotism and challenge the Rajapaksa regime. It seems to me that the Buddhist monks can cow and defeat the Rajapaksa clan; there is no need for another Somarama incident, but Sobitha Thera can defeat the Rajapaksas using his “soul and truth force.” Even the JHU will jump ship; JHU, like the rest of the UPFA, is eagerly waiting for an auspicious occasion while keep fooling the Rajapaksas by giving them the false impression that the JHU is fully behind Rajapaksas. Remember only politics can turn chicken shit into chicken fillet in a picosecond.

Soon, Dalai Lama and Pope Francis will have a public discussion. I have been following both traditions. Pope Francis can learn from Buddhism and Dalai Lama from Christianity. Dalai Lama is the only Buddhist monk who genuflects in front of his followers and devotees. Have you ever seen a simple monk like Dalai Lama in Sri Lanka since Mahind arrived in Sri Lanka in the third century BCE?

I know that most Sri Lankans are very intelligent and they know what the current regime is up to. So, most Sri Lankans are enjoying this charlatan-toad eaters—and their magic show knowing that they are watching an illusion, a maya; only the brain-dead, in a coma like state, keep supporting, yapping, prating, and prattling absurdities with the greatest seriousness about the current regime.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Jagath Asoka ANAGATHTHA this time, He is getting from every side. Because of that, there is no point of further commenting.

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    I feel sorry to say this.

    If you are playing Tennis every day, You are most probably live in a Housing -Community or some sort of community housing.

    Similar word for those in Sri Lanka is “LIVING IN FLATS”, AM I CORRECT ?

    That says a lot.

  • 1
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    Most irritating thing in this article for lot of S. Buddhists is JA’s praise on Dalai Lama..
    Even though there are NO direct Sinhalese Buddhist comments about Dalai Lama here, one of the ugly truth I am convinced is irritation, face colour changes of most S. Buddhists get when somebody praise Dalai Lama… Somehow, they think it is an insult.
    Hindu India gave Dalai Lama residence from 1959 and Hindu India is taking care of this great Buddhist. Dalai Lama expressed his wish of visiting Sri Lanka many times in the past (when China was not big friend of SL??), but he has never visited/invited to Siri Lanka.. Why, what is the truth behind this….
    Anura

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      You are hallucinating avb. Do you think Buddhists are killing each others like the Muslim sects or behaving like the Christians who consider those belonging to other Christian sects as outcasts? Far from it mate.. People world-over respect humane leaders like Dalai Lama and Pope Francis no matter what their religions affiliations are. It is the pea-brained bigots like Jagasoka and Sharmini who are spreading hatred here..

  • 0
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    Jagath Asoka’s writings are not flowing articles which are written logically and are intended to prove a certain point or points.

    His articles always focus on ridiculing buddhism, blaming buddhist monks, and he spices that by blaming Rajapakses and politics.

    Because of that there is nothing in your articles to read because they are not flowing.

    YOu just pick different pieces from here and there and is trying to support, and not to prove what you are trying to say.

    Here you want us to read the whole article which is simply garbage.

  • 0
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    A good article even though lots of negative comments. What most of these gentlemen should do is to take valuable points of this article, after all it is a dissertation and the author takes responsibility for what he writes. It is no point challenging it for sake of doing so, criticize it by all means but with different views and quotes which then is worth the while for readers, just because the author does not fit into our frame work doesn’t mean that he or she is useless, disagree with respect without writing ridiculous comments!, no wonder most of our Sri Lankan brains are pre-set and self serving and cannot see beyond our selves , so is our national question. All are champions in this forum, but who bells the cat would be a Million dollar question. ( My apologies to those are balance minded and most of all to those who listens to the views of the others).

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      Thank you.

  • 1
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    Madihe manayka thero said need to build fence around Buddhist for protect their culture like this dollar beggars…. time come for Buddhist build ruhuna rajadania back..

  • 2
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    Dear Dr. Jagath Asoka,

    What exactly is the message you are trying to convey?

    I get the impression, that you want to attract more attention to your impressive vocabulary, than to the message you want to convey.

    Perhaps you should take the advice of the famous, as follows-

    “The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words”- George Eliot

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”- Leonardo da Vinci

    “Writing, is largely a matter of application and hard work, or writing and rewriting endlessly until you are satisfied that you have said what you want to say as clearly and simply as possible. For me that usually means many, many revisions”- Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring

    “Words in prose ought to express the intended meaning; if they attract attention to themselves, it is a fault; in the very best styles you read page after page without noticing the medium.
    Works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are, the more necessary it is to be plain”- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction”- Albert Einstein

    “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say”- F. Scott Fitzgerald

    “Any one who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid”- H.W. Fowler

    “The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you can’t understand them.
    The best sentence? The shortest”- Anatole France

    “The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words”- Hippocrates

    “A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who instead of aiming a single stone at an object takes up a handful and throws at it in hopes he may hit”- Samuel Johnson

    “Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood”- William
    Penn

    “Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found”- Alexander Pope

    “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people”-
    William Butler Yeats

    • 2
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      I am look for attention, and I am getting it. Are you jealous?

    • 0
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      You are spot on Kattakarawala. Thank you for enlighten us about the intentions of this Author very clearly by writing just three short paragraphs with many appropriate quotes, for us to be able to understand without going through the English dictionary.

      The best sentence is the shortest without using unfamiliar words. This is the advice given to us by our English teachers. One can find so many synonyms in the dictionary but using the appropriate word is an art. I think Jagath Asoka lacks that.

  • 3
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    The missionaries who invaded Sri Lanka found Buddhist monks to be the mill stone hanging from their necks.. Islamic invaders who invaded Buddhist countries felt the same, destroying places of worship and killing Buddhists monks in the same way they kill chooks and goats. It is no surprise some contributors on this page could be praying day and night for a repetition… .

  • 3
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    I strongly advice you to see a doctor and get treatent for Schizophrenia. If the doctor ask you for any evidence/symptos please show him your CT articels.

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      I asked the doctor; he asked me for your address; please send your address to me and your phone number, and he will visit you; I will pay all the expenses;he will treat you for free; he will cure your Nurosis, but he said there is no cure for your stupidity. Sorry, cannot help; I ma working on a cure for stupidity; may be in your next birth; let me know, and I can fix that for you. You know that I can help you;I am very selective; you are not at that point where I would say “hopeless.” You still have a chance before they come and take you to the place where you want be able to come out, once you go in.

      • 2
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        you are hearing voices again

  • 0
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    “I have been following politics in Sri Lanka, and it seems to me that the Buddhist monks have enormous political power. Whether it is water in Weliweriya, cocaine of D. M. Jayaratne, or Packer’s casino complex,”

    also…when it comes to minority rights …

  • 3
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    Dr Jagath Asoka’s title itself (“Dalai Lama Pope Francis and Maduluwawe Sobitha”)demonstrates considerable confusion in the writer’s mind. Naturally, nowhere in the article does he tell us the link between these personages. This jumbled caption certainly succeeded in rousing my curiosity but then the substance gave a painful anti-climax to the whole long essay.
    Being a medical personality, Jagath should desist from harsh reaction to his critics. Shyamon Jayasinghe- a pretty decent writer- didn’t deserve Jagath’s wild attack. SJ merely pointed out that Jagath had been incorrect in imputing a God belief on him.

  • 1
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    Dear writer;

    “God is transcendental, beyond name and form, and beyond human description. God is protean and take many form.”

    How do you know? Can you substantiate your claim?

    Thanks!

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      I can, but the best things cannot be told, and I have told this before in one of my articles.

      • 1
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        Dear Dr. Jagath Asoka;

        Again there is no any logic in your present statement as well.

        How do you come to the conclusion that “the best things cannot be told”. What is the basis?

        I challenge you cannot show any sign for the existence of such a God. It is nothing more than your conditioned idea/belief, which has no any basis to believe by a sensible person. I would say it is just a blind belief of you.

        But I can prove that there cannot exist such a God. I will do it in the discussion while you engage in substantiating your claim that there is such a God. Would you like to take the case with me?

        Thanks!

        Thanks!

        • 0
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          Dear Dr. Jagath Asoka;

          Will you please substantiate your contention so that I can give mine on it?

          Thanks!

          • 0
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            Dear Dr. Jagath Asoka;

            Can you back you your statements if you are a responsible writer?

            Or are you writing what comes to your confused mind at random basis to achieve something not deserved to you (a writer/philosopher). I think you better practice your “practical Science”, give some medicine to patients, on the basis of what you were taught at the Medical College and crammed on. Providing vision for a nation and society belongs to intellectuals and scholars, not to those who only have skills. Physician is a skilled man not a learned man or a scholar. Soon a Mason Bass will write a better thesis on Buddhism and social matters.

            It is always better to do what you know than what you don’t know.

            Thanks!

  • 0
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    Dr. Jagath Ashoka!
    1 Yes. I meant Kalama Sutra.It was a spelling mistake.
    2 By responding to some of the comments you are communicating with your readers.That is a good initiative.It keeps the dialogue alive.
    3 Is the Buddha illiterate? Buddhist literature says that prince Siddhartha was taught at his palace by teachers.In addition to that he had been taught the skills a future ruler should have known.
    4 Rev. Maduluwave Sobhitha Thera as the presidential candidate.
    You have proposed him as the best candidate at the next presidential election.I do not for a minute believe that you seriously believe in this proposal.
    Do you believe that Muslims and Tamils will vote him?
    My view is it is only Chandrika who can pose a serious challenge to Mahinda at the next presidential Election if she contests as the common candidate with the active support of the UNP, TNA, Muslim Congress,JVP, LSSP , Communist party of Sri Lanka and Sarath Fonseka’s party.As she can garner a lot of votes from the SLFP she has a good chance of defeating Mahinda .If she is going to contest she must come to the scene immediately.If she comes to the stage at the last moment she will have no time to win people to her side. One reason Sarath Fonseka lost was that he was presented as the common candidate by the Opposition just a few weeks before the nomination date.
    If she comes as the common candidate she has to tell the people how she is going restore democracy,rule of law, independence of judiciary,and how she is going to bring real lasting peace .Of course she has to say how she is going to provide relief to the common man and woman who went hungry due to the unbearable cost of living.

    • 1
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      You are pretty good. I cannot tell you what I really believe. I need to hold those cards closer to my heart. Thank you for your response; always enjoy your thoughts.

    • 2
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      Instead of CBK, why not throw in God Kali or the Devil himself as common candidate against MR?

      I’m pretty sure they have a much better chance of success than CBK or SF given their superhuman abilities aided by dark magic.

      Most importantly, the the fate of Sri Lankan population in the aftermath of the election victory will not be any different!

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
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    Hi All
    in Sri Lanka Buddhist Monks are attacking Churches, Mosques etc. These are well organised attacks supported by the Regime. The ultimate aim may be to bring Military rule/dictatorhip.

    Lets have som articles about this with sense of humour and joke about it and some light hearted humourous solution from the CT intellectuals and debate over them and LOL

    Nero was fiddling while Rome burnt

  • 0
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    Dear Dr.Jagath Asoka;

    You say;

    “Those who think that Buddhism is infallible and cannot see beyond Buddhism are born idiots; those who know that Buddhism is fallible and can see beyond Buddhism are wise. This is true for all other religions and dogmas.”

    Can you give some examples with regard to your statement above, from the Buddhist Doctrine?

    Thanks!

    • 0
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      I think those who think Buddhism is fallible are born idiots.

      I stand my statement above against anybody. Do Dr.Jagath Asoka or anybody else would like to take the challenge?

      Thanks!

  • 0
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    This writer’s writing is totally irrational. He jumps into highly incredible assumptions, uses wild arguments and arrive at invalid and unsound conclusions. That way he he creates insane ideas to support his hatred contentions. The best service people like this writer can do is to put a plaster across his mouth and have a long sleep.

    What illogical nonsenses these people create. The dreams of king Kosala seems to have come true.

    Thanks!

  • 0
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    Good Idea Ashoka,

    Yes, Maduluwawe Sobitha is the best bet to oust the hegemony. However, like the Venerable thero has said, he should win the presidency only for the purpose of abolishing it, and re-establishing the power of the parliament and the Prime Minister. I believe he will not say ” We need the executive presidency to protect the nation and budhism” after he is sown in as President. So,something to think of for every Sri Lankan.

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    JESUS IS GOD. “I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE”…and THUS SAYETH THE LORD, ‘THERE IS NO OTHER”. “No one comes to Me unless they are Enabled by The Father” JESUS By WHOM ALL THINGS WERE MADE and NOTHING WAS MADE THAT WAS NOT MADE APART FROM HIM…SAID: “I AM THE TRUTH”.. and I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE. That leaves us with no question about it.

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