30 October, 2020

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God In Buddhism? A Response To Dr Jagath Asoka

By Shyamon Jayasinghe –

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

I read with profound interest the long piece written by Dr Jagath Asoka (JA) captioned “From Siddhartha Gautama to God,” that appears in the Colombo Telegraph today.

JA displays a creative ingenuity that is a consequence of a mind that has got off the hook of the conventional framework he had inherited. JA suggests a pertinent point, namely that popular Buddhism hasn’t done away with the concept of an almighty God. I like to develop on that idea and assert that early Buddhism failed to take root in India and disappeared from the land of its birth due to its rational rejection of a Brahma who supervises us from the sky and who gives us good return for being good while punishing the bad.  The masses were not ready for the Kalama sutra. How many of them are ready for that now? People reverted to the Hindu gallery of deities as that gave them solace, which pure reason could not deliver. Buddhism survived later and spread to other lands only by reincorporating the spiritual vacuum filled by the lost divine.

Sri Lanka practices a popular form of Buddhism that seems to assume a spiritual subtext. Buddha is worshipped as a God in our temples by the vast majority of the population. Our people say: “Budu Saranayi,” as the Christians invoke: “God bless!” How could a mortal Buddha who is dead and gone give us protection or sarana?

In many temples monks have added a kind of divine appeal after the pansil by pleading forgiveness from the Buddha:  “mata kama karanu mena.” (Forgive me for my wrongs). This might evolve into a Christian kind of confessional someday and we may have to confess before the BBS Gnanasara! Furthermore, temples preach that the Buddha was all-knowing (like God). The Buddha himself did not claim such knowledge while he encouraged his followers to think for themselves and test for themselves if what he said was right. In iconic image Buddha is represented with a Christian-type halo.

Popular Buddhism also refers to miracles occurring. When I was working at Polonnaruwa the rumour spread that golden rays were emanating from the historic Somawathie Chaityaya, which I also joined in restoring. Thousands flocked to see and worship what later was found to be the reflection of the glass of a car!

Look at the depth of veneration that people give the Buddha. It is certainly not the detached genuflection that one gives a Guru, which is what Buddha basically had been. Again, just as Christians believe that Christ will come to earth Buddhists believe that the Buddha, too, will manifest again. At temple we give ‘Buddha poojawa,” namely samples of food to the statue. Examples and illustrations are many that go to bolster the point suggested by JA. Commentators can, perhaps, help this discourse by adding to such illustrations.

On a more serious and philosophical plane I wonder if the doctrine of Karma and rebirth presupposes a God  or spiritual agent who does the job of assigning the dead to his/her subsequent post-mortal states as frogs, Kings or princesses?

I write as an atheist and a Buddhist minus rebirth

However, I feel a bit nonplussed to note how JA, having made such a valuable finding ends justifying a kind of miscellaneous eclecticism by supporting all religions and even accepting a God! From clarity he slips on to confusion. Would like to see him clarifying this U-turn.

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  • 2
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    Shayaman jayasinghe:

    IF you became honest and if you told to which sect of Christianism to that you belong, we could have helped you a lot.

    I say, simply you [Edited out] don’t know what you are talking.

    Remember, Buddhism is Agnostic. Buddhism believes in gods but they are not the CREATORS of the Universe as the THIESTIC religions say.

    We can not explain these things to you idiots every day. Just Read ASian history about India, china and other Asian countries. Those all were buddhist at one time. Just like Christians or muslims Brahmins were also against buddhism because they threatened their livelihood and their existence.

    You people are just brown-whites who knows about European history, Shakespear and christian culture and not the Asian culture.

    It is not worth arguing with people who wants to remain all-knowing idiots.

    • 3
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      Shyamon Jayasinghe,
      It is not ‘The All Powerful God the Creator’ of Christianity and Islam, that we Humans appeal to, when things are not going our Way.

      Why are there so many sects of Christianity, eg Catholics, Protestants, Methodists, Puritans, Baptists, etc. etc.

      Why are there so many sects of Islam, like Sunni, Shia, Sharia, Wahabi etc.
      If ‘God’ is All Powerful and All Knowing, why does he allow people to believe in so many ‘Incarnations’ of God? and then go to war against each other, about these interpretations?

      I think that if there is a NEED for Something, Someone, beyond ourselves, it is better to turn to Hinduism, which allows people to choose their own Gods, Devas to appeal to when things are not going their Way! Hindu believers do not fight over their beliefs, They have so many Gods to choose from!

      Let us all become Hindus!

      • 0
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        I thought you are a rationalist, you are doing a Dr Jagath Asoka too!

        • 1
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          Thiru, there is a difference between Belief in an ‘All Powerful God’, and praying to Hindu Gods or Deities, or the Sun or even the Moon, who give us Mortals, consolation when the ‘APG’ seems to forsake us.
          As a Rationalist who practises Loving Kindness, I can see that most of us frail Humans, need something/someone to pray to, when we meet with Life’s seemingly insoluble problems.
          Just consider why Hindus are broadminded enough to let people worship the Deities of their choice, and so avoid fighting religious wars among themselves.

          • 0
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            I agree with you Hindus don’t fight among themselves like Sunni and and Shiite Muslims do. I never thought about it until you mentioned it.

            • 0
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              Yes Thiru, If Humans want something to worship it is better to have the freedom to worship a Deity/God of their choice, and leave the Buddha’s Dhamma to those ‘With Little Dust in their Eyes’

      • 0
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        ‘I think there is a need for Someone, Something..’

        “Thou hast made us for Thy Self, O LORD, and our hearts are
        restless until they find their rest in Thee”.

        – St.Augustine –

      • 2
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        Rationalist….over to you,

        You’ve said: “Let us all become Hindus!……”

        and then to worship the cows, goats and the human phallus???? What a moron you are. If you are rational, how come you become a Hindu?????
        It is far from rationalism you bongo….

        • 1
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          What a Dirty Busy Mind you have!

        • 0
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          Busy Minds – You are welcome to “worship the cows, goats and the human phallus” if those are the Gods that give you comfort! Each Man to his own version of God!

          • 0
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            Rationalist: Come on! you are behaving like a Nationalist not as a rationalist.

            You cannot call anything and everything a God. These are satan’s handy work. He made you even the worst thing look like divine for divinity. How come you don’t apply rationalism on your own thinking???

            Because, the pseudo Gods like the pseudo leaders of our nation leave their followers in the lurch at the last minute in life and death situation.

            So when I point out the reality in a phallus considered to be a god you call me of having a dirty mind…What is dirty?

            Look MaRa’s are stealing, looting and murdering people and this giving them SUPER COMFORT to them, so according to your theory and understanding it can be accepted as their god….?

            MaaRa lokayak…..

            • 0
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              Busy Minds, – Why do you believe that other People’s GODS are ‘PSEUDO GODS’, and only your IDEA of GOD is the REAL GOD? If everyone were to think like you, the result would be War, to decide Whose GOD is the REAL GOD! This is what is happening in the World NOW!

              • 0
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                Look did I ever said anywhere what I consider as God??? NO! My God is my own rationalism applied with facts on the ground and checked with reality and tested with God’s ability of performing HIS task independently without any human intervention, support or favours – That is my GOD.

                All your gods need human help & support. Like what BBS is doing to save their god by destroying others. Killing to protect replicas of “god” like what happened in Trinco (Killing of 5 students for revenge of locals protesting of erecting the symbol of death “Street Buddha Statues” and fighting to protect those immovable, helpless gods.

                WHAT A WORLD AND WHAT A RATIONALISM!!!!

      • 2
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        Rationalist,

        What is the Issue here?

        The God Delusion. However, Delusion is all right as long it is harmless, to the other fellow humans. Unfortunately, those who follow their version of God Delusion and their own Dogma, aided and abetted by the hegemony seeking Priests, Monks and Mullahs will give no room for others.

        The teachings of Buddha and God.
        God in Buddhism

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Buddhism

        Gautama Buddha rejected the existence of a creator deity,[1][2] refused to endorse many views on creation[3] and stated that questions on the origin of the world are not ultimately useful for ending suffering.[4][5]

        Rather, Buddhism emphasizes the system of causal relationships underlying the universe (pratītyasamutpāda) which constitute the natural order (dharma) and source of enlightenment. No dependence of phenomena on a supernatural reality is asserted in order to explain the behaviour of matter. According to the doctrine of the Buddha, a human being must study Nature (dhamma vicaya) in order to attain personal wisdom (prajna) regarding the nature of things (dharma). In Buddhism, the sole aim of spiritual practice is the complete alleviation of stress in samsara,[6][7] which is called nirvana.

        The God Delusion.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FiHRVb_uE0

        Published on Jun 16, 2012
        http://www.facebook.com/ScientificUnity

        The Root of All Evil?, later retitled The God Delusion, is a television documentary written and presented by Richard Dawkins in which he argues that humanity would be better off without religion or belief in God.

        The documentary was first broadcast in January 2006, in the form of two 45-minute episodes (excluding advertisement breaks), on Channel 4 in the UK.

        Dawkins has said that the title The Root of All Evil? was not his preferred choice, but that Channel 4 had insisted on it to create controversy. The sole concession from the producers on the title was the addition of the question mark. Dawkins has stated that the notion of anything being the root of all evil is ridiculous. Dawkins’ book The God Delusion, released in September 2006, goes on to examine the topics raised in the documentary in greater detail. The documentary was rebroadcast on the More4 channel on the 25th August 2010 under the title of The God Delusion. (Wikipedia)

        • 0
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          Amarasiri, the issue here, is as I have said earlier,

          “If Humans want something/Someone to worship/appeal to, it is better to let them have have the freedom, to Worship/Appeal to, a Deity/God of their choice, and leave the Buddha’s Dhamma to those ‘With Little Dust in their Eyes’. It is not everyone who has the Wisdom, Strength and Courage to follow the Buddha’s Dhamma. We have to use Meththa and Karuna,(important aspects of Buddhist Practice) to understand and accommodate, the needs of those people, who have still to start on the ‘Noble Eightfold Path’. We cannot force our views on anyone else.

    • 8
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      Jim Softy,

      Why is it that you are unable to comment without insulting the writer so crudely?

      I saw similar comments by you addressed to Sharmini Serasinghe on her article ‘Mahavamsa- An Insult to the Buddha’ on CT.

      You don’t seem to know how to address a gentleman or a lady.

      Jim Softy, you are an uncouth man!

    • 1
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      “..supporting all religions and even accepting a God! From clarity he slips on to confusion. Would like to see him clarifying this U-turn…”

      Great!, I agree.

    • 2
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      Hey Jim [Edited out] Softly,
      I told you many time that Budhism is SATAN, that create Homosexuals and Going againts the normal nature, Lord Buddah had sex with 40,000 women then asking all other men not to Marry. So that is one of the reason Hindu’s chased Budhism away and then,Islam and Chritianity also same as you people worship the damn Devils and Dogs….
      Cheap Class religon.. You always take up Islam..[Edited out]

  • 6
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    Shyamon,

    I myself have had a myriad difficulty trying to winnow the chaff from the grain when it comes to Buddhism. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the Buddhism that was taught to us and that which is practiced by the Sinhala populace and what is preached by the Bikkhus is tainted beyond repair.

    I have difficulty in digesting even the most basics of the Buddhist philosophy.

    I have not come across an iota of evidence to prove reincarnation. If reincarnation is true when and where did the souls originate from? And how many souls came into being. How do we reconcile the soul theory with the theory of evolution, the latter which is stacked with so much evidence?

    If Karma is true most humans will never come back as humans for the horrible crimes we continue to commit. And yet the human population is growing and the animal kingdom keeps diminishing. Do ants have souls or for that matter lions. Lions born have to kill to eat and will keep accumulating bad kamma. So a lion is forever doomed – hah.

    Is the story of Siddhartha Gautama true or is it a case of – a lie often told, repeated and retold becomes the truth. There is a theory that Buddha had to be elevated to the highest caste to make Buddhism acceptable to the caste conscious Hindus. There is no historical evidence that Buddha was really born to royalty.

    And the list goes on and on.

    I agree with you Shyamon, JA often digresses from his otherwise coherent arguments.

    • 3
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      May be the animals are now being born human, since the habitats are diminishing exponentially ! This may be why humans are showing exaggerated animal tendencies. The combination of the human form and the less evolved animal soul appears to be lethal combination. I also tend to believe that the total ‘ mass’ of the souls is a constant , but its distribution in different physical forms varies depending on various circumstances, However, the question of what is the soul remains largely unexplained. Is it a life force that expresses itself through advanced genetic mechanisms being slowly understand now. It may be possible that this life force itself evolves in response to how the existing body. + life combination leads its life in in accordance to what nature dictates and tits thoughts and actions. An example we are all familiar with is the dog. It is generally a loyal, intelligent, affectionate and loveable animal that will defend its master by both threat and violence. But there are specimens that have a minimum of the desirable traits, but violence in abundance!

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • 0
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        Dr Raja,

        You have a point that all animals are being born humans and are showing exaggerated animal tendencies – hehe.

        On a serious note the atheists do not buy into the soul theory nor God and heavens theory. They say that humans just evolved and upon death will wither away just like any other animal or plant. No pre birth history nor after death continuity.

        Godmen created fantastic imageries of heavens, hells, purgatories and souls and when the idea of a good god failed to stack up, conveniently concocted Satan responsible for all human ills. All such inventions were based purely on imagination and not on evidence. It is a good indicator as to how rational human beings are, for one way or another, humans are sucked in by the whole story of god or some parts of it. Besides the godmen, self serving priestcraft through history have a lot to answer for stultifying the evolving human brain, me thinks.

    • 0
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      BBS rep no wonder you had a myriad of difficulty in comprehending what the Buddha taught if you thought reincarnation is a Buddhist concept. please read Rev Narada Thero’s What the buddha Taught” or his “The Buddha and his teachings” to clear your mis-conceptions. After you do that come back to this forum – we will give it another go.

      • 0
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        Paul, I did read Narada’s book and do have a copy at hand at home. He makes much sense however when he wrote how Buddha on his deathbed moved from one level of heaven to the other, I just gave up.

        • 0
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          Please read it again.. there is no reference to Buddha moving to Heavens in the books I mentioned. It says that his mind wondered through number of stages before finally passing away-the realms of: infinity of space, consciousness, nothingness, cessation of perceptions and sensations, realm of neither perceptions, nor non-perceptions etc…. Granted these are not the concepts that are easy to comprehend unless you make a serious attempt ..

          • 0
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            Paul,

            I admire your persistence. We are both talking about the same thing. Your conclusions about Narada are one and mine another.

            As far as I am concerned and what most rational people need is hard evidence before we believe in something. Esoterics is not hard evidence.

            In this day and age or for that matter at any historical time the need to provide our daily sustenance takes precedence over everything else. Talking about serious attempts, spending hours on end meditating in a monastery or a forest is a luxury most of us can’t afford. Furthermore one never comes across any human being either in Sri Lanka or in the Himalayan Mountains who has done so and attained the so called ‘nibbana’. The more I delve on the teachings of Buddha, and having spent most wakeful hours sifting the grain from the chaff in Buddhism, the more I come to believe, Karma, rebirth and Nibbana, are all figments of imagination. These concepts were well entrenched among the Hindus long before Buddha came to being.

            Having said that I do admit there is a lot of benefits to derive from Buddhism such as universal compassion, cessation of hatred etc, especially pertinent in the Sri Lankan context.

      • 0
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        Rev Narada Thero’s What the buddha Taught. wrong, it is written by Dr. Walpola Rahula Thera.

    • 0
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      BBS Rep

      It is customary to question the exsistance of any and all ancient historical figures. From reading ancient Indian history, I came to the conclusion that there is a high lkelyhood there was a person alive around 2500 years back or so that was given the moniker of Buddha.

      I am Agnostics so I do not believe in reincarnation or heaven or hell or divine knowledge. The elites in the world don’t believe this crap either but they act like they do to fool the masses, especially the case in India and Muslim countries.

  • 1
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    You say you are buddhist minus Rebirth.

    which means you don’t know what buddhism is.

    Anathama and Rebirth do not go together. when buddhism talk about anathma, how can talk it about rebirth.

    On the other hand, understand the Noble price was awarded to two scientists, one the father, the other to the son. One said that electron was a particle while the other said that the electron was energy. Can you understand what I say ?

    buddhism is so deep, people with a little bit of brain cannot understand it.

    • 4
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      Jim [Edited out]Softly,
      Islam is easy, that is why spreading easyly while DEEP Ship Budhism is hard to understand so people walk away. your religon is Tropical, you have to have lot of Fruits and vegitables for worship, unless islam is so easy where ever its clean you can pray. Look at any monks in Sri Lanka, most of the mothers are scred to send their kinds to Temple as they know the Rectum will be splitted by Gay monks… not one single Mother like to send their kids to Tample, I bet you if you say, more than or several millions budhistt mother reject go to Temple. Jim [Edited out], [Edited out]

  • 5
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    Thank you very much for your edifying article. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Please share your thoughts with us as often as you can. Again, thank you.

  • 5
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    SJ, like Jagath are not run-of-the-mill chauvinistic Buddhists. They are what Lord Buddha intended: the enlightened ones. Shining the torch inwards and recognising our ownn fallibilities is the first step towards enlightenment.

    As a Catholic I was drummed by our nuns that only Catholics could enter the Pearly Gates and Hindus and non-believers would be sent to hell for their atheism. I sincerely and truly believed these nuns and I faithfully visited the confessional to admit sins I never committed such as beating up my my younger brother or pilfering the tiffin before it was served at 4.00pm.

    Relegions are the opium of the people and it is far better to spend some quality time pondering on our existence than belive in heresy.

    I would rather feed a hungry person (no questions asked) than pay subservience to a Hindu Priest who vows to bring me good fortune at a price of a poonool costing me an arm and a leg.

    By the way, a Tamil homeless died in a car park in London a few days ago since he could not afford the rent in Greater London and his family abanadoned him. The police and ambulance took him away and he would have been buried at the expense of Socila Services.

    His name is Patrick and he spoke Tamil.

    Punsiri like many Sinhalese are working for £3.00 an hour since he is an illegal immigrant and changing places to avoid being netted by UK immigration.

    When it comes to homeless people Tamils and Sinhalese come together. Why cannot we do the same in our own land?

    • 4
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      Sad to hear about the death of a homeless tamil in London in that way. Here in Germany, many help those homeless specailly in high winters. Anyway, homeless these days in Europe should have very bad time.Specially in heavy Winters, the homless are the ones who are vulnerable to health problems; after all without having a proper place to sleep. I think those live homeless in Europe should better return to srilanka. At least they can save their lives from freezing temperatures. But we cant advise these people to get back to their countries easily. Some have become alcoholic or drug addict – I have seen them roaming in main railway stations in Switzerland, Germany and France.

    • 1
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      Thank you Pearl Thevanayagam for a sensible non insulting comment.You said “When it comes to homeless people Tamils and Sinhalese come together. Why cannot we do the same in our own land?”. May be it is because we are not homeless. Sometimes it is adversity that brings people together.And adversity is around the corner.

  • 1
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    From the sublime intellectual depth of Shyamon Jayasinghe to the one of the well-meaning Jagath Asoka. The latter, admittedly, likes to play with English words – “an otiose super-abundance of poly-syllabic vocables” as Dr. Samuel Johnson would castigate. Prince Siddartha of the Sanatha Dharma tradition, Hinduism – if you like, was blessed with a brilliant mind far ahead of his time and was searching for the cause of sorrow – a wonderful quest even by today’s standards. That is, after 2 millennia and a half. In his mind, there were many contradictions in Hindu society dominated by scheming Brahmins. He was not entirely wrong there. That is not to suggest everything the Brahmins did then, as now, were wrong.
    Re-appraisals come in different form and different times of history in a world that is fastly changing as Shri M. Karunanidhi, in his earlier incarnation of Marxist, anti-Hindu writer portrayed in that great epoch-making Tamil movie “Parasakthi” – that brought in the Dravida Munnetra Kalagam revolution in the present Tamilnadu. The movie catapulted into great fame its chief star Shivaji Ganesan. Much of the DMK reformism stays. Paradoxically, close kith and kin of the former CM seem to have elevated their social status by marrying into Brahmin families of established fame and fortune.

    R. Varathan

  • 4
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    SJ@,
    Thanks for the good article.

    I think many buddhists in SL would not ask themselves,why they offer kiribath, sweets and flowers to buddha statues. Muslims in general believe, as I know from my north african friends, that their Allah has created them. But we the buddhists would not even think of the very question. I asked my aged parents, they were not interested in that. We just genuflect to those statues and go on reciting those gathas like parrots start to speak and sing. Lanken buddhists, as I see them, just follow up their fellow buddhists. I guess all these because buddhistic langauges are not familiar to lanken buddhists. Only bikkus and the students learn them while others not.

  • 0
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    The difference is between the philosophy and the religion . It is not just the Sinhalese Buddhist version but also the thai butanese japanese or vietnamese versions . The bells and the whistles of religion the institution is different to the philosophy , no where is it more of a contradiction then Buddhism .

    • 5
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      Lanken buddhists just belong to the paper only. Many seem to know nothing about buddha but the phrase – Budusarani even if they are on their way to kill someone upon the next contract of Rajapskses.Best example would be Mervin – he has been telling that he is a buddhist, but it is an insult to entire buddhist image.

      • 0
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        gona

        every human being BORN in to a religion does not fully understand it . not just lankans . Italian Catholics are the same . but the level of charity and kindness of the AVERAGE lankan Buddhist people exceeds that of any other people anywhere in the world . isnt that more than enough ?

        • 3
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          Yes indeed, this the rulers (representatives of the nation – specially rural folks) proved to you and me and others by figures to this day:

          a) Crime rates have gone up exponentially
          b) We are alleged war criminals – not a secret to anyone
          c) Crime investigations often end up in favour of the criminals
          d) Politicians under MR administration maraud even poor folks for their selfish schedules

          have we the buddhists (average) followed up buddha teachings, as you add : “the level of charity and kindness of the AVERAGE lankan Buddhist people exceeds that of any other people anywhere in the world ” why should have the folks become what they are today ?
          It is high time to think about..

          For me, religions in general help building up a civilised society; example few decades ago in SL – we the folks had good qualities in terms of respect and dignity of life. But to this day, even moronic monks that are proved criminals (best example: BBS leader-Ghanasara?)but let go give a lead to buddhist folks.

    • 1
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      Well said Abhaya (for once we are in agreement!).

      Unfortunately ALL religions have been hijacked by those seeking power over those unfortunates, gullible enough to follow blindly. Buddha’s philosophy is pristine in its original form of the Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path, but look at where it is today in its myriad forms.

      ‘God’, as envisioned by most as some entity ‘up there’ with ineffable power over everything has nothing to do with Buddhism as the Buddha described.

      I would agree with Shyamon’s POV.

  • 3
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    There needs to be some linking or bridging between the positions of Asoka and Jayasinghe. I can only suggest some words I heard long ago, which may serve as a guide or beginning in thinking on the subject:

    I was in a theatre to participate in a play by Howard Brenton, called ” Paul”. It was about Saint Paul of the Bible. At curtain call Brenton spoke these words:

    ” My view is that Jesus will never return and there is no God. But if Paul had not believed and had not written to the Corinthians and the Romans we would all be immeasurably impoverished. He was profoundly wrong but also mysteriously right.”

    Azdak

  • 0
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    Shyamon,
    You mentioned that Buddhism was rejected because its “rational” rejection of Brahma’s rules of good and bad from sky.. I guess you haven’t read the Krishna’s Baghawad Gita which was preached 500 years before Buddha..
    Do you know that concept of Apaya (hell) is a Buddhist concept but not a Hindu one? Common Buddhist belief of punishments (Apaya) are more savage than Hindu God punishments. Hindus always reborn as Humans, they can’t go down, stays at the same or moving up.. In Buddhism literature and ancient Buddhist temples, this Apaya is well depicted to scare followers, I guess this could generate worse fear than Brahma’s or other omnipotent God’s fear.
    Jesus talked lot of about Heaven but very little about Hell…. Jesus, Krisna talked to common people, average people.. Their teachings are to minimize suffering of commoners.. They compromise the truth… Taught people about forgiveness and get forgiven by omnipotent God by accepting one’s own wrong doings (sins) and promising to be good in the future…

    Whereas, Buddha refused to teach even learned Brammacharies at that time, because he was talking about ultimate truth, total release of suffering.. truth was not compromised.. Buddha predicted that his teaching could not be understood by commoners like us or people lived in India.. Buddhism was/is for wise people who developed Emotional Intelligence.. This could be real reason for old India to be continued with Hinduism… and unwise commoner like me to become Hindu-Christian..
    Anura

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    Well said, Shyamon Jayasinghe.

    You have echoed the same thoughts as Sharmini Serasinghe, through her article “Mahavamsa- An Insult To The Buddha”

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    We Sri Lankans have nothing to worry as we are protected by 330 million DEVAS.

    But the sad story is what we see in media now a days. Bhikkus who should only have pathra(bowl),perahankada( piece of cloth to filter water) and tun sivuru(three robes), now build castles like siri sambudu maligawa + a tv channel called SHRADDA, several places called mahamewnawa( Kiribathgoda Gnanananda), Sambodhi mandira + a tv channel called The Buddhist(Daranagama Kusaladhamma).

    Some even use filthy words at public rallies (galabodtte gnanasara of bodu bala sena),(aturaliye rathana of hela urumaya),uvatenne sumana selling pirith nool at pettah paying Rs. 4000/- per day as kappam to thugs who protect the business,chanting slogans ,joining parades at Embilipitiya against Kudu PM Jayaratna,Ratupaswala against a rubber factory,Ravana Balakaya against slaughter houses, BBS against HALAL,guiding supporters to demolish other places of worship,declaring as attained arahanthhood by siri samantha badra or pitiduwe siridamma( whose pictures can be seen wearing a red cap, a T shirt and with a girl.
    The donations to the temples were invested in the collapsed Golden Key by some priests( Bellanwila Wimalarathana – reported in Sunday Leader)

    buddhism we see today is like achcharu,pot pourri.

    How a buddhist monk should behave is explained in MAHA RAHATHUN WEDI MAGA OOSE – athhareema 1 , a booklet containing some articles published in Irida Divayina by DSI group. iT IS WORTH READING BY ALL LAYMEN AS WELL.

  • 1
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    You wrongly write “Our people say: “Budu Saranayi,” as the Christians invoke: “God bless!” How could a mortal Buddha who is dead and gone give us protection or sarana?”
    Please correct yourself. Buddhists never ask for ‘blessings’ from the Buddha like other religious observers expect from their God(s or God’s reps. ‘Budu Saranai’ (Dam Saranai and Sanga Saranai) means ‘May you go to the Buddha [then, Dhamma, and Sangha]for refuge!’By going to the Buddha [his teaching and his Sangha community] you get the opportunity to learn his teaching. If the TEACHINGS fit you you could then practice (through Samatha and Vidassana meditation)until you realize the true meaning of your existence! This very realization is the Enlightenment, nothing more; nothing less!
    it is wrong and misleading to translate/interpret ‘SARANAI’ as ‘BLESSING’. You don’t see even a distant similarity in meanings between these two expressions. Neither writers nor readers should melange these two popular traditional expressions: Budu Sarani and Devi Pihitai which have two different meanings! In short, Buddhists do not expect any ‘blessings’from the Buddha (who they all know had passed away 25 centuries ago) but only guidance (which is his teachings)since they also know very well that a teacher can teach you but that teacher can not sit the exam for you!

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    No where in buddhism it accepts that the GOD is an All knower.

    I havn’t seen any where in buddhism Confession on Sins.

    this is all made up by Shyaman Jayasinghe.

    He can just talk he needs to give examples in order to prove. If not he becomes just another LIER writing CRAPS.

    First Shayamon Jayasinghe can tell why there over 38000 versions of Christianity to believe in the same god and the same Jesus.

    Christians who don’t know history of the Sinhala – buddhist culture and MAhayana, Tantric buddhism are just creating myths.

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    Discipline in life is very important and all religions teach us that. Life is worth living only when we have some rules and regulations to lead a peaceful existence. Religion is just a guide book and generally following it will only help us lead a mentally healthy life.Too much of anything is not good, be it religion, medicine, pleasures or even food.
    Strong religious involvement will only make a person a Fanatic and useless to any society. Just be a normal human, whether you believe in god or not, i doesn’t matter. There is no point in arguing about God or Buddha. Buddha was a super human and we all give him the due respect for what he became and for his noble philosophies. Everything what he preached cannot be practiced by any so called Buddhists of today. They don’t have to do that and it’s not at all possible. Just be a good human, as much as you can. Pray or not pray as you like. Good things cannot be explained, but has to be experienced. Dr Jagath Asoka has his own points and so has Shamon J. Just enjoy reading everything they say and please give respect to their views. They are not attacking, bashing Buddhism or any religion. There is no blasphemy and stop attacking them.
    Don’t be serious about these things when no one practice pure Buddhism, including the so called prelates of all Buddhist sects. Take it easy !

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    Wish to share some thoughts that come to mind…

    The First commandment of Islam in it’s first part says…..” There is no God / Deity..”
    second part says …..”…except the One sole, supreme power…”

    This power is later described as The most compassionate, the most merciful, All knowing, independent, the creator, the maker, the originator, the giver, most holy, giver of form and shape, the provider, all hearing, all seeing, the judge, the ever living, the first, the last …………. (http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/99names.htm)

    The power is not a human, not a male or a female, no form. no start no end, it is cause and effect at the same time, ……..

    My personal view… today when the word “God” is used the picture that comes to most of our minds is mostly guided by what we have seen, heard and witnessed in our short life or the faiths we have been following.

    It is almost fact that Humans will never know more than what they do not know. And the knowledge we will always have will be not more than a drop in the ocean. So we humans trying to form conclusions on what we do not know has all probability of being in error. We need more than knowledge if we are to form an accurate opinion on the unknown and need support from the unknown to form that opinion.

    It is the duty of the parent to help and guide the child where ever possible. If we humans ever had some start and their was some sort of parent it is the duty of that so called parent to guide the children.

    For the pondering mind…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CWb1NiLpPA

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      ” I Will be a FATHER to you.

      and you will be my sons and

      daughters:

      says the Lord Almighty ” – 2.Corinthinas.6.18

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    Can you please read these two articles

    This one is by Ven. Ananda Maithreya Thero

    http://buddhismnow.com/2011/10/28/forest-and-the-way-out-by-ananda-maitreya/

    This is by Ven. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

    http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/B%20-%20Theravada/Teachers/Buddhadasa/No%20Religion/NORELIG.HTM

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      Thank you Chandima. Most Enlightening!

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    To Richmond Peiris and others interested.
    Thanks for your valuable input, Richmond.
    You are right that “saranayi” is employed to mean following the path. However, as I see it this is just one usage context. Why is it that when you are about to set out on a long journey your fond ones say “Budu Saranayi?” or “Thrivida Saranayi?” In this very commonly used context what is expressed is clearly a wish or blessing tantamount to “God Bless! It is such a contextual usage that I refer to. It is getting pretty common nowadays as is clear when you watch teledramas. In these TV shows a telephone conversation concludes with “Budu Saranayi!”
    The bow tree is now regarded as being able to help you get a child or pass an exam or rid yourself of cancer. This is why Bodi poojas are resorted to very widely. At the foot of this tree food offerings are made-all hoping that the required wish is fulfilled.
    I hope my explanation is clear

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    Shyamon, where the devil is god in Buddhism. Even Dalai Llama has publicly declared that he is an atheist. Buddhists who identify lord Buddha’s great philosophy with religion are deceiving themselves. However belief in God,a philosophy or a religion gives one a sense of focus. Benson

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    Interesting observations.

    Buddha Dhamma has five qualities: 1) akaliko – the quality that all phenomena in the universe are governed by a set of laws (dharmatha) that do not change with time, 2) Sandittiko – the quality that all these universal laws can be seen here and now, or in other words, the quality of omnipresence of these laws. One can see the whole set of universal laws working in one’s own body, 3) Ehipassiko – the inviting quality of these laws to somebody who stops to look at them. For instance, in meditation, one gets absorbed into a state of mind where the working of these laws becomes apparent (paccatta), 4) Opanaiko – the quality of leading inwards than towards outward symbolic items, for somebody who investigates dhamma, and 5) Paccattan veditabbo vinyuhi – the quality of being able to see through experience for somebody who investigates dhamma.

    One can say that these qualities describe the qualities of an almighty God believed in other religions. Ex. Omnipresent, in charge of all phenomena in the universe, etc. Well, this is true, except that in Buddhism, there is no God separate from us because we are part of the field of dharmatha that govern the universe.

    A deep realization that we descend as part of this flux of Dharmatha – how our parent’s genes gave rise to our genes following a set of laws (bija niyama), how we got used to a language following laws of verbal conditioning (vag sankara conditioned in mind according to citta niyama and kamma niyama), how we got cultural traditions following laws of how mind gets conditioned upon the environment (citta niyama), how people got skin colors over millennia of adaptation to climatic conditions (mix of utu niyama (seasonal weather patterns), bija niyama, kamma niyama) – and not as people of different social labels (sakkaya-ditti) like ethnicities, tribes, colors, etc, brings one to the first entry point of the path towards nibbana. At this entry point, one realizes that all of us have a deeper belonging in dharmatha than in labels invented by the society. So, somebody who believes in God may also say that we belong in God than any other thing. This is where we make peace.

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    ” Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” -Jeremiah ch.33.3 Holy Bible

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      What is the number to call Sandy?. I bet it is a premium service run by the Church..;-)

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    Sandy why don’t you call Him and tell us the tale?

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    Sri Lanka Muslim,
    Pl.refrain from insulting Buddha and the bhikkus. Does your religion, Islam, that is if you are really a Muslim, as I suppose, condone that? You talk of Buddha marrying. Where did you hear that? Buddha never married. You must be thinking of a situation before Buddha came into being, a Bodhisatta stage, as they call, but not even in this life but in a previous life perhaps told in a Jataka story.40,000 females is an exaggeration anyway. That would take over 100 years to have sex with each of them, on the basis that he was such a virile man having sex everyday. Do you believe that? You are dragging the discussion to worst depths than Salman Rushdie did and got the Fatwa for that blasphemy. How do you feel if people re-surfaced what was said in the days of controversy about Mohamed? Why Muslim women began to wear the Hijab, following what Mohamed’s mother did.That sort of thing is bad, Isn’t that so? You will be furious hearing of it, wouldn’t you?
    Bhikkus as Rectum-splitters. That is your word. You havn’t perhaps heard of the accounts of Mullas circulating in Islamic countries. At public baths they preferred to be the last man in line for the massage. Lo!Poor massage boys! Man, go and do some research. Step out of this country and go out to any Islamic country starting with Iran, stay in a hotel near a bazaar where people meet and listen to their stories about Mullas. You are a shame to the good Muslim community which has very descent people.

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      FOR BUDDHISTS WHO DO NOT KNOW THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA AND THAT HE MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      There was a small country in what is now southern Nepal that was ruled by a clan called the Shakyas. The head of this clan, and the king of this country, was named Shuddodana Gautama, and his wife was the beautiful Mahamaya. Mahamaya was expecting her first born. She had had a strange dream in which a baby elephant had blessed her with his trunk, which was understood to be a very auspicious sign to say the least.

      As was the custom of the day, when the time came near for Queen Mahamaya to have her child, she traveled to her father’s kingdom for the birth. But during the long journey, her birth pains began. In the small town of Lumbini, she asked her handmaidens to assist her to a nearby grove of trees for privacy. One large tree lowered a branch to her to serve as a support for her delivery. They say the birth was nearly painless, even though the child had to be delivered from her side. After, a gentle rain fell on the mother and the child to cleanse them.

      It is said that the child was born fully awake. He could speak, and told his mother he had come to free all mankind from suffering. He could stand, and he walked a short distance in each of the four directions. Lotus blossoms rose in his footsteps. They named him Siddhartha, which means “he who has attained his goals.” Sadly, Mahamaya died only seven days after the birth. After that Siddhartha was raised by his mother’s kind sister, Mahaprajapati.

      King Shuddodana consulted Asita, a well-known sooth-sayer, concerning the future of his son. Asita proclaimed that he would be one of two things: He could become a great king, even an emperor. Or he could become a great sage and savior of humanity. The king, eager that his son should become a king like himself, was determined to shield the child from anything that might result in him taking up the religious life. And so Siddhartha was kept in one or another of their three palaces, and was prevented from experiencing much of what ordinary folk might consider quite commonplace. He was not permitted to see the elderly, the sickly, the dead, or anyone who had dedicated themselves to spiritual practices. Only beauty and health surrounded Siddhartha.

      Siddhartha grew up to be a strong and handsome young man. As a prince of the warrior caste, he trained in the arts of war. When it came time for him to marry, he won the hand of a beautiful princess of a neighboring kingdom by besting all competitors at a variety of sports. Yashodhara was her name, and they married when both were 16 years old!!

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    Very confused writer and the people who comment use utter filth to come across as very stupid-this is the singhala budhist way.
    There is only one allah-creator of the universe and what u see and dont see.before the before after the after all things are created by allah
    the supreme.Allah is above all physical laws and above time/place and matter as well as antimatter a being which the human interlect cannot comprehend in power and mercy.Allah has given humans the Quran to recite and ponder over the meaning.
    Quran is a manual for a human existance on earth,
    Do not worship stones or cows which wont benifit you or harm you.
    Worshiping statues made of wood/stones what interlect does some one possess-statues cannot do you any good,it can be broken,and it cannot even defend itself if some one strikes it with an axe.
    ponder and just think can a statute protect any one- its a big no
    Learn about AllAH and come to Islam

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    Jayasingha
    you have done a good job. Dr.Asoka is a victim of God belief. Criticizing Buddhism he ends in a worse place than teachings of Buddha.

    Burtrand Russal says that religion has done nothing to the civilization other than creating a calender.When Dr. Asoka says there is some place for the God in our mind he thinks it is natural.No it is a creation of rulers which is concreted in the mind.
    I humbly suggest to read a book written in sinhala titled Karmaya punarutpattiya nivana saa vidyawa( Karma,reincarnation , Nirvana and science) by Susila Dodangoda.

    Responding to the other comments I may say please think of the wars and disasters that have been gifted by religions in the world. Do not your angry comments reflect same thing? If you all commentators meet physically each other what will happen because of the religion?

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    ‘THE HOUND OF HEAVEN’ – BY FRANCIS THOMPSON.
    ——————————————-

    ‘I FLED HIM DOWN THE NIGHTS AND DOWN THE DAYS;

    I FLED HIM DOWN THE LABYRINTHINE WAYS OF MY OWN MIND;

    AND IN THE MIDST OF TEARS I HID FROM HIM, AND UNDER RUNNING LAUGHTER.

    ….ADOWN TITANIC GLOOMS OF CHASMD FEARS, FROM THOSE STRONG FEET THAT

    FOLLOWED, FOLLOWED AFTER.

    BUT WITH UNHURRYING CHASE, AND UNPERTURBED PACE,

    DELIBERATE SPEED,MAJESTIC INSTANCY,

    THEY BEAT – AND A VOICE BEAT

    MORE INSTANT THAN THE FEET – – –

    ” ALL THINGS BETRAY THEE, WHO BETRAYEST ME.”

    ….” AH, FONDEST, BLINDEST, WEAKEST,

    I AM HE WHOM THOU SEEKEST…! “

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    The article as well as most of the comments reflect extremely poor understanding of what Buddhism is…..

    Buddhism, in short, is a continuous mind purification process to understand the true nature of existence, the ‘anitya, dhukka and anatma’ through ‘pragna’, ‘sila, and ‘samadi’ and achieve final synchronization of mind with nature through meditative absorption s thereby ceasing ‘sasara’ on achieving ‘nirvana’.

    This process is for everybody. It has no barriers based on religion, caste, ethnicity, race, nationality, etc., etc.

    I have used Pali words since word-to-word English translations will not give proper understanding of whats meant by Pali words. Interested parties can get the descriptive meaning of these words – plenty on the internet.

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    BBS rep,

    The life force that I mentioned may be the soul. The explanation of how the DNA regulated genetic mechanisms trigger this life force may be the next breakthrough in genetics. The big question then would be the explanation for the concept of an evolving soul in the theory of rebirth.. How would the life force in a dog for example become that of a man at some point in the cycle of rebirth?

    Theory of transmigration of the soul as a separate entity from the body is probably an easier explanation, though difficult to reconcile in the face of the evolving understanding of genetics and evolution.

    I am intrigued by the whole concept, considering the fact the genetic configuration we are born with is now understood to be constant flux, responding to our environment and how we choose to live.

    We are a long way off understanding what life is and what it means. In the meantime our belief in a a God, who is a master architect, super engineer, a great designer , a master operator and a master controller is easier to conceive and believe.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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      Dr RN, I think the Buddha gave the answer to your contemplations in the above Post, in his Discourse The Kalama Sutta:-

      “Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another’s seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, ‘The monk is our teacher.’ Kalamas, when you yourselves know: ‘These things are bad; these things are blameable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill, abandon them.”

      Therefore good Dr, Keep Questioning, till you know for yourself!

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    Nano Tina, you have got it all wrong. The article and comments are about popular Buddhism and not canonical Buddhism that you refer to. Some comments are stupid beyond measure but that is another issue

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    Come on Deep Thought…this guy who is using a title “Sri Lanka Muslim”is not a muslim. Anybody can use any name just poke the others to arouse fighting a blind war. He’s trying pit one against the other ( A Muslim & a Buddhist) That’s all.

    Look he says in the above in one of his comments:
    “So that is one of the reason Hindu’s chased Budhism away and then,Islam and Chritianity also same as you people worship the damn Devils and Dogs….”

    Does he sounds like a Muslim???? I don’t think so. Even a BBS clan member is using a name FATHIMA FUKUSHIMA just to insult anybody he deslikes and then the others can blame a Muslim blindly.

    No one in this thread knows who is behind a monitor and typing what under what name whether relative to the names represented or not.

    These are all shadow games.

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