9 December, 2019

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God In The Buddha: An Open Answer To Sharmini

By Kapila Abhayawansa

Prof Kapila Abhayawansa

Prof Kapila Abhayawansa

Dear Sharmini Serasinghe,

I respect your attitude so as to challenge even the teacher because of the fact that I also belong to the tradition which maintains that a good thing  even of the enemy and the mistake even of the teacher should be spoken (sastrorapigunāvācyadosāvācyāgurorapi). Therefore, in our tradition to which I respect, anyone has the right to criticize what one thinks as wrong.

I am really thankful to you for writing an open letter to me as I get the opportunity to clarify my opinions expressed in my letter and also to reply to the questions appeared in different comments to my article. I would like to mention here that my article entitled God in the Buddha has been written to publish in a newspaper considering the space available. So, I deliberately made it short and script. Though it was short, there were enough clues for a patient reader to understand my stand points over the present activities occurring in the guise of Buddhist activities. On the other hand, I do not like and also it is injustice in my opinion, to ascribe all the rubbish in the present society either to Mahawamsaor to original popular Buddhist activities.

You raised many questions in your letter on what I said about the popular Buddhist practices introduced by the ancient monks in Sri Lanka in order to implant the Buddhist virtues in the mind of the common people. Almost all your questions finally leads to a main question expressed as follows:  “Pray tell me then, why are there so many Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka today, besides those amongst the laity, with no “moral sense implanted in their minds” despite gazing at these ‘Buddhist symbols’, for so long?”

To this question what I have to say is already said by the Buddha himself to a question raised by a Brahamin called GanakaMoggallan. The question was “What is the cause, good Gotama, what the reason that; since nibbana does exist, since the way leading to nibbana exists, since the good Gotama exists as adviser, some of the good Gotama’s disciples on being exhorted thus and instructed thus by the good Gotama, attain the unchanging goal — nibbana, but some do not attain it?”

Dear Sharmini, do you know the reply given by the Buddha to that question?. The answer was “Even so, brahman, nibbana does exist, the way leading to nibbana exists and I exist as adviser. But some of my disciples, on being exhorted and instructed thus by me attain the unchanging goal — nibbana, some do not attain it. What can I, brahman, do in this matter? A shower of the way, brahman, is a Tathagata.” (M. III. I.).

I think that you can know very well how this answer of the Buddha is relevant to your question. Therefore, I believe there is no need to say anything more about it.

From most of the issues raised in your article I understand one thing. That is that you are not living in this world but in an ideal world. It seems to me that you think that when the pure teaching of the Buddha is given to the people, they at once highly embrace it and live in accordance with it. Though you and others in your caliber cannot understand the nature of the people, the Buddha correctly understood their nature in relation to his doctrine. The Buddha revealed it in the Ariya-pariyesana-sutta in the following way:

“This that through many toils I’ve won

Enough! why should I make it known?

By folk with lust and hate consumed

This dhamma is not understood.

Leading on against the stream,

Deep, subtle, difficult to see, delicate,

Unseen ’twill be by passion’s slaves,

Cloaked in the murk of ignorance.” (Translated by I. B. Horner)

I know the value, beauty, effectiveness of the real teachings of the Buddha. It makes us noble (sutavāariya-sāvaka) when it is really practiced. I am one of those who try their best to live in accordance with the Dhamma. But we have to face the reality. When someone reveals the bitter truth, it is the nature of many that they try to label him as a villain.

If you want to know my stand on present monk’s activities in Sri Lanka, read my article entitled “Activities Of Monks In The Guise Of Protecting Buddhism” appeared in Colombo Telegraph on 7th October 2013.

You may not be aware the fact that behavior of certain monks, specifically Assaji- punabbasakas, a group of monks amounting to 500 even during the life time of the Buddha were not so much of different from that of the present day yellow robed thugs. It is reported in the Vinaya that there were some groups of monks as well as nuns during the time of the Buddha who have given much of trouble to the Buddha by engaging frequently in mischievous activities. Chabbaggiya (group of six) monks and the nuns and Sattarasa-vaggiya (group of seventeen) monks were famous for those activities. They were not only miscreants and rebellious but also they openly protested against the disciplinary measures adopted by the Buddha. Anguttara-nikaya records a monk known as Kassapagotta of Pankadha protested at a discourse of the Buddha in which he advised with a monastic discipline. The Buddha himself admitted in the Laţukikopama-sutta that there were some monks who cause dissatisfaction to be nursed against him when he asked them not to do something. According to that sutta the Buddha himself reported this situation to other good behaved monks in the following way:

Udāyi, some foolish persons here, on being told by me: ‘give this up’, speak thus: ‘But what of this trifling insignificant matter? This recluse lays too much emphasis on (exertion).’ But they do not give it up and they cause dissatisfaction to be nursed against me and against those monks who desire the training.”

This situation perhaps led the Buddha to decide to announce that he would permit deviation from minor rules if the monks’ desire were for him to do so.” (Mahaparinibbana-sutta.)

Though there were rebellious monks in the Sāsana, no one can say that all the disciples of the Buddha lived in the same way. There were thousands of monks who lived in accordance with the advice of the Buddha. It seems that you and many others like you are in the habit of killing all the bugs when one bites you.

Though you do not know but I know very well that there are many monks in Sri Lanka who are earnestly and honestly engaged in many welfare activities for the benefit of poor people while being themselves good behaved monks. I am proud to say that there are more than three four thousand monks all over Sri Lanka who studied Buddhism under me in their postgraduate studies. Avoiding inappropriate activities they really serve the people for their material and spiritual betterment. We are not Buddhist if we are ungrateful to the monks who sincerely engage in diverse philanthropist movement without publicity. Do you know how many schools are there in Sri Lanka in the name of Buddhist monks? If they did not start those schools against so many difficulties, most of the people in rural villages would have been victims of illiteracy and ignorance. In many cases the monks had to beg the people for money to pay the salaries to the teachers in the schools begun and run by them. Sharmini, you blame the monks as if they misled the people throughout the history of Sri Lanka. If you do not know services rendered by the monks in Sri Lanka read the book entitled NũtanaTherāpadānaSangrahaya (in Sinhala) authored by me.

In my letter I mentioned that early monks in Sri Lanka introduced practices such as Bodhipuja, Buddhapuja, cetiyapuja, dathupuja and so on to the ordinary people as a preparatory step to reach the subsequent step on the path of wisdom acknowledged by the Buddha. This is not the only thing that the early monks have done for the Sri Lankan people with regard to Buddhism. You may be aware that Venerable Mahinda preached Cula-hatthipadopama-sutta, Sacca-samyutta and many more discourses which contain the real teachings of the Buddha to the king Devanampiyatissa and to his royal crowd. They were not the ordinary people. It is reported that KaluBuddharakkhita has preached the Dhamma from Kālakārā-sutta near Kaludiyapokuna at Mihintale. These two ways of propagation of Buddhism were at work side by side throughout the history.

Quoting my article you say “Though these “activities” appear to have been borrowed from Hinduism, they are indeed harmless, but they are nevertheless, contradictory, to the Buddha’s teachings”. I say no, not at all.  They are not borrowed from Hinduism and they are not contradictory to the Buddha’s teaching. It is true that there was a system of seeking the refuge of trees, gardens and so on in Indian society in order to get rid of suffering.  That did not belong to Hinduism or Brahamanism. That system was practiced by some ascetics in the Sramanic movement. The Buddha refused to accept it as a refuge leading to cessation of suffering. It was recorded in the verses of 188 and 189 of Dhammapada as given below:

“When threatened with danger, men go to many a refuge, – to mountains and forests, to parks and  gardens, and to sacred trees. But such a refuge is not a safe refuge, not the best refuge. One is not liberated from all evil consequences of existence (dukkha) for having come to such a refuge”

Remember this system is a kind of seeking refuge. If you want to know it in detail refer to Dhammapada commentary to verses 188 and 189. In Buddhist practice of Bodhipujā, Dhātupũjā and cetiyapũjā no any Buddhist go refuge of Bodhi tree  Dhātu or Caitya. Really they were introduced not to seek refuge but to respect them as something that belonged to the Buddha.

The following is a remark in your letter:  “Given the context in which you have stated the above, your interpretation of it appears to be, that the Buddha condoned and encouraged his followers, to engage in, what you term as “Popular Buddhist Practices”. In my letter I mentioned only some of the popular practices. Offering dāna to monks in order to transfer merit to the departed ones, religious activities in funerals, going to the temples to listing to Dhamma, respect to the respectable people, spending the life at temples in the poya days with the observance of Atthanga-sila, reciting pancasila in important occasions etc also should be added to the list of popular Buddhist practice introduced by the monks.

Though you don’t know, the Buddha encouraged the people to engage in all such virtues that led to such practices. Examine the duties of the children to their parent, and of the householders to religious advisers shown in the sigalovada-sutta. The purposes for which one’s wealth should be utilised are spelt out by the Buddha in the PattakammaSutta (AN). They are (i) taxes to the State (raja bali), (ii) gratuities to relatives (ñātibali), (iii) hospitality to guests (atithibali), (iv) donations to recluses (devatabali) and oblations in the name of departed relatives (pubbapetabali). In this list of bali what do you mean by devatā-bali and ñātipeta-bali. Is it not the encouragement by the Buddha to engage in those kinds of virtues?

Take for example offering flowers to the Buddha. Did you think even for a moment how effectively the monks utilized the practice of offering flowers to the Buddha in order to reflect the Buddhist virtues in the mind of the lay people?  Pay your attention to the meaning of pali verse reciting at the time of offering flowers to the Buddha. All the Buddhists in Sri Lanka know that Pali verse and its meaning.

Pũjemi Buddham kusumenenanena – puññenametena ca hotu mokkam

Puppham milāyāti yathāidamme – kāyo tathā yāti vināsabhāvam

(I respect the Buddha with this flower. I may obtain the liberation by means of this merit; just as the flower fades away my body too is going to decay.)

You can realize even from this example what the Buddhist monks intended when they introduced the popular Buddhist practices. You request me to do enlighten you and others such as yourself, on the ‘right belief’ according to me of such practices.. I would like to ask you whether impermanence which is contemplated with the offering flowers is a right belief or a wrong belief. Do you think that respect to the worthy ones such as Buddha, Dhamma and the Sanghais based on a wrong belief? Then what is the meaning of the Buddha’s saying “pũjā ca pũjaniyānam etammangalamuttamam?. As a pupil of Ven. Piyadassi you may be knowing that even the Buddha made use of such type of tactics to compel the people for contemplation of impermanence. Example for that is the story of Cula panthaka. He was a neglected Samanera who was unable to recite even a single stanza by memory. Buddha has given a piece of white cloth only to rub on it. Ultimately seeing dust on the piece of cloth he was able to contemplate on impermanence. That is the purpose of introducing offering flowers to the Buddha.

To have a pleasant mind is itself a virtue according to Buddhism, looking at the face of the Buddha one may be able to have a pleasant mind. If one does any action verbally or bodily by the pleasant mind considered to be wholesome action according to Dhammapada. It says that manasā ce pasannena bhāsati vā karoti vā tato nam sukham anveti. Then is true to say that to have a pleasant mind is going against the teachings of the Buddha?

You further states, “You might be aware, that the Buddha categorically denounced such practices, as worshipping of objects, including himself, as a prerequisite to attaining “the final knowledge”.Dear Sharmini,  denotation of the word worship of your usage is quite different from that of mine. I use the word worship in Buddhist context to denote the meaning of pũjā such as in the phrase “pũjā ca pũjaniyānam”. In Buddhist practices there is no way of worshiping objects. Objects are taken as the symbols. They symbolize the Buddha. Symbolizing the Buddha in the heart of the ordinary people Buddhist practices try to generate the Saddhā in the mind of the people. One who does not have saddhā cannot be a Buddhist. Here Saddhā does not mean blind faith. Contemplating on the virtues of the Buddha which are mentioned in the passage starting from ItipisoBhagavā people are compelled to have a truest on the Buddha without which one cannot becomes a Buddhist. You say that the Buddha categorically denounced such practices as a prerequisite to attaining the final knowledge. Direct prerequisite for the final knowledge is the noble eight fold path. Even for the practicing of noble eight fold path there is a prerequisite.  It is none other than being a Buddhist. One can be a Buddhist by way of going refuge of the Buddha. Trust (saddhā) on the Buddha is the precondition for a being a Buddhist. Now, you may realize the causal relation between the Buddhist practices and the final knowledge of Buddhism.

When I consider the amount of questions that you raised in your letter, I would have to write a book. Though I do not want to drag this further, I would like to bring to the kind notice of  you and others like you one important fact which is intentionally neglected or forgotten by so called broad minded people, .I put forward it in this way:

Ordinary people who perform the popular Buddhist practice are far more behind than the so called broad minded people who know Buddhism well comparing to the amount and the gravity of the crimes occurring in the Sri Lankan society. They are the master minds of different kind of crimes such as human rights violations, genocides, bribes, exploitations, cheating, false promises, and corruptions, abuse of power, women and child and so on. There is nothing that they do not do for the money and the power. We are trying to close the holes of ants while opening the holes for the elephants.

*Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa, Vice Rector, International Buddhist College, Thailand

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Latest comments

  • 5
    4

    can you please replace the word “Buddhism” and “Buddhist” in this article with Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism” and “Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist” so as to not to insult the Reiligion practiced in other countries such as Japan , China, etc

    • 6
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      The Buddhism practised in eastern Asia is Mahayana. Sinhala Buddhists like to think of the local version as Theravada, but it’s actually closer to Hinduism than Buddhism.

      • 4
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        Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa is a ‘Pothe Gura’. His ‘lecture’ above is good for university students of Buddhism, not for the average Buddhist who is already confused about what Buddhism really is.

        On the other hand, what writers like Prof. H. L. Seneviratne, Shaymon Jayasinghe and Sharmini Serasinghe have to say, are far easier to relate to.

        • 3
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          confusius,

          “..Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa is a ‘Pothe Gura’. His ‘lecture’ above is good for university students of Buddhism, not for the average Buddhist who is already confused about what Buddhism really is. On the other hand, what writers like Prof. H. L. Seneviratne, Shaymon Jayasinghe and Sharmini Serasinghe have to say, are far easier to relate to..”

          You appear to be very confused in your comment. The attitudes of those you find easier to relate to ALONE would completely finish Buddhism in Sri Lanka in 10 years! We must have a balance of both so that our most hallowed customs and beliefs are questioned relentlessly and expose their fallacy or truth and at the same time the balanced and conservative people bear and carry the teachings under whatever circumstances.

        • 2
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          Could it be that Cofusionist, Buddha thought about the likes of you when he wondered ““This that through many toils I’ve won Enough! why should I make it known? By folk with lust and hate consumed This dhamma is not understood. Leading on against the stream, Deep, subtle, difficult to see, delicate, Unseen ’twill be by passion’s slaves,Cloaked in the murk of ignorance.” ?

    • 7
      9

      Sharmini is talking cheap politics, but professor is talking Buddhism.

      • 7
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        And John is talking GIBERRIH!

  • 5
    4

    here we go again….why dont you both from now on email each other…no need for public replies…

  • 5
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    Good grief, there you go again with this interminable public debate on SL Buddhism! You guys really need a hobby.

    • 1
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      ha ha ha !

  • 13
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    Prof Abhayawansa…..re Sharmini ‘you are not living in this world but in an ideal world’. From what I have been reading, Sharmini appears to be living in the REAL world and you learned Professor has sought refuge in cloisters. The point is that nobody is disputing the laudable work done by the many, many, excellent Buddhist priests and laymen/laywomen BUT that should NOT prevent us from defending Buddhism from the shysters and deviants who are hell bent on polluting the Dhamma and those who have and would increasingly syncretize the noble philosophy. Another point Professor; you take a neat swipe at ‘master minds’ and no doubt you can recognise them from those similar in the various nikaya’s who know a thing or two about ‘power and money’.

    • 6
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      Well said Spring Koha!

    • 3
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      Finally [Edited out] Professor is trying to come to terms with Sharmini.

  • 8
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    Prof. Abhayawansa,

    All I could understand from your academic paper above, is that you mentioned a lot about many types of ‘sutta’.

    Could you tell me which ‘sutta’ in Buddhism condones what Buddhist extremists are doing today, to people of other faiths?

    • 1
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      Today (Wednesday)is/(was) Duruthu Poya that reminds the faithful that the Lord Buddha came to Sri Lanka over 2500 years ago.

      If he knew what our monks are up to, he is probably regretting why he ever set foot in Sri Lanka.

      • 5
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        Chandra,

        “Lord Buddha came to Sri Lanka over 2500 years ago.”

        The Buddha never came to Sri Lanka. That is a figment of Monk Mahanama’s vivid imagination.

      • 5
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        PLEASE COME WITH YOUR PROOF HE EVER VISITED SRI LANKA.

        IT IS LEGEND.

    • 0
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      good one !

  • 7
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    Bravo sharmini… even though she is not a Professor is still making the headway in this debate. In Sri lanka rituals/practices have rationally converted the Buddhist philosophy into a religion of God. it then needs objects symbolizing the Buddha. there are empirical evidence to the fact that ritualistic Buddhism has been inspired from Hinduism.

    • 1
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      well said Saman !

  • 1
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    Sharmini [Edited out]

    • 6
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      Yapa-Ko?

      • 3
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        Yapa – a famous clown!

      • 1
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        Hanging from the grape bunch and looking down, at times he removes his cap to cross the samsara river.

  • 9
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    I find both Sharmin and Prof KA explain the truth. Also what Prof HL added in his last article on ritualism was also not untruth. Above all the incomplete Mahavamsa written by Mahanama thero being based on limited sources to have misguided all buddhist folks since then is also but the truth.
    However, from what frequently seen in present day lanka, we must not make a picture about the entire Sanga. There are still good monks that work hard for the nation. But they are not honoured since they dont seek the publicity and thus they are just neglected.
    It is also true that in the past, buddhist monks contributed a lot more to build up the society specially in village corners across the country. I experienced all these by myself having had the chance to see them there. There were no schools specially in rural areas of the country. Buddhist monks took the lead establishing schools across the country then. Had not they worked hard for that, lanken folks would not have gained higher literacy rates. Srilanka is a the only country in the country, though comparably a small nation that maintains higher literacy rates which the statitians compare with those of the developed nations. It s sad that lanken ministry of buddhist affairs seem to be paralized – stay blind, not doing their due like holding open discussions through media to send the message across the nation. More awareness programs are there, much better the public will be aware of the ground realities giving no rooms BBS or akin segments to harm the nation further.

  • 7
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    I believe that both Sharmini and Abhayawansa are sincere in their attempts to mould public opinion on this forum with explanations of their respective interpretations.

    It is unfortunate that they also submit to not so subtle digs at each other’s credibility, which could be avoided.

    One plus in Sharmini’s argument is that despite the best efforts of Abhayawansa using academic rigour is the fact that “popular” Buddhism has failed to develop maturity and discipline in Sri Lankan society and is therefore high time that a more robust version of “original” Buddhism be contemplated by well-intending community leaders.

    • 2
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      Excellent ! very well stated Lasantha !

  • 5
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    Prof. Kapila Abhayawansa after having tried to defend Mahanama for concocting untruths now he is trying to defend saying that there were the BBS types even during the time of Buddha, who distorted Buddhism. Then what assurance the public has today as to what was preached by Buddha and what has been distorted by the followers that goes as Buddhism today? These Moda Buddhists are preparing for lives after, without living this life they have meaningfully, as no one can offer proof for any belief. How if these Jokers had power over our thinking? bad enough they are trying to design other’s life patterns.

    Where is Buddha’s super human powers if he could not rein in the ones who revolted while he was living? Oh! to be living in a society without division and belief of false Religions is truly an experience.

    • 2
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      ha ha ha ! V Funny !

  • 4
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    The tamils (yes they take sinhala names to mislead and the christians here dont know what the hell is being talked about . They are just happy this fool Sharmini wrote something bad about the religion .

    Sad sad indeed

    • 6
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      Some foolish Sinhala Buddhists like Abhaya,Yapa,Paul,John,Jackie, Fathima Fukushima (yes they take on Sinhala and foreign names to confuse readers and the like minded foolish Sinhala Buddhists here fall into their trap. They are just happy to think and live as fools, while regarding Sharmini’s writing something bad about the Buddhism.

      “Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.” ― George Gordon Byron

      “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain–and most do.” ― Dale Carnegie

      “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

      • 4
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        some suckers here love to quote from those from the westerners in the hope that will make them look “well read”….

    • 1
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      So can you Enlighten us oh ALL Knowing One ? !

    • 3
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      Abhaya and many among the villagers have been suffering from perception disorders to see things twisted.

      This is sad indeed.

      How many more years they need to realize the bits ?

  • 6
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    Sharmini, shame on your extremely poor knowledge on Buddhism. [Edited out]! Thank you professor, Kapila for clarifying issues for poor Sharmini.

    • 6
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      Jackie, shame on your extremely poor intelligence and inability to comprehend the views of Sharmini and others like Prof. H. L.Seneviratne and Shyamon Jayasinghe.

      • 3
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        This is what we call -heterogenous forum.

        Some are miles away from getting things :(

        So that alone shows how their reglious levels have been.

  • 1
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    “He was a neglected Samanera who was unable to recite even a single stanza by memory. Buddha has given a piece of white cloth only to rub on it. Ultimately seeing dust on the piece of cloth he was able to contemplate on impermanence. That is the purpose of introducing offering flowers to the Buddha.”
    Professor is spending lot of time in nitpicking. Whatever the form, whenever, by whomever it could have brought into existence, ritual is a ritual. For example offering flowers is harmless as long as child labor is not used to pluck flowers used for praying. That is why the question is as the rituals, more the time they stand there more they become stagnant and ailing for the society, are they can contribute to the modern society.

    These messages which could have been heard only at the temple on occasional visiting in the olden days now can be studied at school, heard at radio, watched at TV,read on the news papers, exchanged through e-mails, tweaked through twitter. When such an strong reinforcement is present, the message must be vetted really carefully. Because of The existence of the redundancy, there is a chance that the people will react on everything they come across. The true nature of SL Buddhism is no policeman can arrest a criminal monk. Even the BBS will not be able to criticize BBS.Such a dangerous situation the SL Buddhism is in. Without realising what he is doing professor should not try seperate one ritual from the other and substantiate those.

  • 2
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    Too bad that Sharmini did not get a chance to sit at a table with prof. Kapila, instead of Ven. Piyadassi.

    Sharmini is not worried about Buddha or pure Buddha. [Edited out]

    • 1
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      Sharmini [Edited out]

      • 1
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        Fathima Fukushima [Edited out]

    • 5
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      Too bad that C. Wijeyawickrema cannot live his dream of *”bathing naked Tamil brides” and *”Hindu women tonguing/or rubbing against his stone Linga (penis)”

      C. Wijeyawickrema, you need to be looking at porn-sites instead of CT, you might get a better thrill there.

      *Quotes from C. Wijeyawickrema’s previous articles on CT.

  • 1
    0

    I think if there was no Sinhalese Buddhism there is no country called Sri Lanka. So all you r living in this country would live in some other country where there is no culture or tamil culture as Chola want to invade whole country. Can u please tell your idea on this ?

  • 8
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    An absolute gem of an analysis, thank you Kapila for this. Almost as good as an A grade Dhamma sermon.

    An advise to Colombotelegraph: Please do some background check on the writers to your publication and try and ascertain whether they know what they are talking about..Sharminis and Jagasokas are absolute disgrace when they attempt to talk about matters they have no knowledge of. Compared to Kapila, they resemble the proverbial monkeys hanging out in a burnt out jungle!

    • 7
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      Advice to Colombotelegraph,

      Please carryout some background checks on the COMMENTATORS like PAUL on CT threads, and try and ascertain whether they know what they are talking about.

      The Pauls,Wijeyawickremas,Jackies, Abhayas,Yapas,Johns etc.,are an absolute disgrace when they attempt to comment on matters they have no knowledge of.

      Compared to H. L. Seneviratne, Sharmini, and Shyamon Jayasinghe, they resemble the proverbial monkeys hanging out in a burnt out jungle!”

  • 6
    0

    Prof,
    You discussed common S.Buddhist practices with sincerity. I wish to know how do you analyse following common practice by S.Buddhists..
    *) A mother get her child to say “Panathipata Veramani..” (abstain from killing) in the morning.
    *) An hour later, the mother “pay” a butcher to kill an animal, bird or fish, and get her child to eat this dead body of bird or fish.
    *) When these S.Buddhist grow up with confusion to see the relation between “killing animal” and paying money to someone else to “kill animal” , how they could they relate and understand complicated Buddhist teaching you discuss here?
    *)It is not about killing animal/fish correct or wrong, question is making small children to make this vow, then adults get somebody else to kill animal for them….
    Anura

    • 1
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      good Q !

  • 5
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    Kapila and Sharmini are writing at two different levels; but I believe both essays are rather complementary to each other and that they are not in antipathy. Kapila is a scholar of the texts and he has made the point that what is no called popular Buddhism had been deliberately invented in Buddha’s time. Sharmini, being a journalist tends to be down to earth. I don’t think the wretched BBS types prevailed in Buddha’s times. This is a Gota brand driven by the crisis in UPFA politics.

  • 5
    1

    What a patronizing and egotistical article ! Unfortunately typical of the teachers’ in today’s university system who think themselves demi gods.

    You know one of the most important things in the teachings of the Thathagatha – “there is no self” and the “I” that is used so often in this article only serves to prove that the writer’s understanding of the doctrine is convoluted.

    May God Vishnu (the protector of Buddhism in our land)intervene to prevent this distortion of Buddhism that is being propagated through the official learning channels of this supposedly “Dharma Deepaya”.

    • 0
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      Don Quixote has clearly not gone to university, if he has I wonder whether it was in Thauthisa. Or was Herculis was his teacher. I talking of demi gods. At least learn appreciate a good academic commentery.

  • 1
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    “[T]he good Gotama exists as advisor”.The question is”Did he in fact exist”?Historically?

    • 2
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      Yes, his place of birth was found recently and confirmed. And if he did not exist who do you suppose preached the Dhamma millions followed for two and a half thousand years, but you don’t seem to know nothing about.

    • 0
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      You can answer your question in a way it pleases you septic, because to the rest of us it is irrelevant. The fact remains there is something called living dharma which originated somewhere, somehow and it makes sense to a large section of inhabitants on this planet..

  • 0
    0

    Nak,

    What makes you think that that the structure found at Lumbini recently is Buddhistic?You certainly would know there were places of worship belonging to other religions during this period.How is one to distinguish a Buddhist temple from these various other temples?Coningham`s findings are not conclusive.

    Your next argument that the doctrine pre- supposes a single preacher is refuted by Hinduism which has no such authorship.Itis a body of accumulated knowledge of numerous teachers.

  • 0
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    Paul,

    I suppose when you say whether or not the Buddha existed is”irrelevant” what you mean is that the issue is unimportant.

    If it is unimportant why the hell is Coningham doing that dig in freezing Nepal?Why then was the Buddha`s biograhy written at all?And why do Buddhist schoolchildren in Sri Lanka still learn the Buddha life story stuff – stuff like how the prince Siddharta was born into a royal and a high caste family and how his mother was destined to die seven days after she gave birth because no other child should be conceived in her womb etc. etc.

    That there is a sophisticated dharma is quite another matter.But does the dharma make much sense “to a large section of inhabitants of this planet”? I doubt.

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    i salute you madam for you forthright and gracious letter. I am glad you expressed your sentiments boldly. Thank you Sharminie. I am also aware that there are thousands of Sri Lankans who are Buddhists who are good people and very tolerant, as your
    Faith teaches, around in our country whom I respect and have a great affection for. We get along with mutual respect and caring for each other. It is only a minority of extremists or badly misguided folk who indulge in harassing the minorities. Even in the black July of ’83 a small coterie of racialists who orchestrated the attacks over months before by getting Tamil addresses and even marking out those houses, were a microscopic minority, who instigated even school boys in their uniforms to pillage and burn Tamil property
    I hope there will be many others like you who will speak up and turn around the trend and mindset from the politicized racialism towards THE TEACHINGS OF THE NOBLE ONE and that we will come back to the Sri Lankan concept of being one nation and one people in this beautiful land, as we used to know it in our school days.
    Canon Lakshman Peiris. Cathedral Precincts. Baudhaloka mawatha .Colombo.7.

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