By Ayathuray Rajasingam –
The period during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime was a massive violation of human rights with his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Defence Secretary, and a threat to the peace and happiness of the public. Life was not easy for any one as it was a struggle made of lessons which continue to be a mixture of Good and Evil. However, countries in Asia are fortunate to have great religious teachers at intermittent periods who had preached that Life is a Gift of God for peaceful living. Yet the political, economic and social had great impact on the lives of the people. The egoistic politicians and their stooges made inroad and affected the concept of peace in the people. Though there are various views on the concept of life, Hinduism is of the view that no sooner the Soul emanates from the Supreme Soul (God), God also gives the Soul an impeccable body to fulfill its noble mission on earth. Life has challenges in its journey and has to overcome such obstacles with patience. Peace and happiness lies deep at such patience.
When Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed power, he issued orders reducing the prices of goods, increase the taxes on imported items, to attend to the affairs of the public, etc., at the inception, while taking political revenge on his rivals and there were instances of planned abductions of officials with the view to deviate the attention of the public. Yet it is a surprise why Rishard Badurdeen and Hisbullah were not arrested when both were closely associated with the Islamic terrorist Saharan of National Thowheed Jamaath. In fact, there was a news item to the effect that a challenge was thrown by Rishard Bathiudeen to arrest him. Further, a Tamil officer named Thavapriya (who is a mother & attached to the Agricultural Services at Sammanturai) was assaulted by a superior officer named J.L.A.Karcik while on duty. Moreover, a Buddhist monk had assaulted a Christian father in the presence of police officers. Peace and happiness are in question when reinforcing Sinhalese hegemony in his regime in addition to the looming of political revenge. Though the policies of Gotabhaya Rajapakse appears to be good, he has avoided the burning issue of the Tamils, while mentioning that he would preserve the unitary character of Sri Lanka and abiding by the wishes of the majority Buddhists, there should be some hidden agenda which is likely to affect the harmony of all races and the rule of law is at stake. Moreover, when Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that the 13th Amendment cannot be implemented, he should have been aware that the 13th Amendment was a bi-product of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord which was signed by two countries and cannot be abrogated unilaterally and this should have been explained to the Mahanayakas. He has failed to give reasons for not implementing the 13th Amendment.
But Gotabaya Rajapaksa has forgotten that happiness and peace relate to state of mind and are closely interwoven. Happiness that lasts can lead to blissful state of mind that would be similar to peace. Happiness is in the Soul and not where else. The Soul is the highest heaven and greatest temple of worship. Religious scriptures mention that If a person is evil, the whole world appears to be evil to him.
There is a difference between peace and happiness. Peace is everlasting whereas happiness is temporary. Happiness seeks company whereas peace is content with alone like Lord Buddha on meditation. Happiness is mindless like some politicians seeking revenge on rivals whereas peace is mindful and more matured. However, a good state of mind which leads to new thoughts for the benefit of the people will lead to success – thus implying happiness to maintain a person’s good state of mind. But the reluctance of releasing the Tamil political prisoners who are languishing jail, Gotabaya’s good state of mind have become a question mark at a time he wants to give foremost place to Buddhist teachings. Had Lord Buddha been alive what would have happened to the Tamil political prisoners who are languishing in prisons?
Gotabaya Rajapaksa has to bear in mind of the concept of Karma – What goes around, comes around. The theory of Karma is a major belief in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc. Each person has a mission in his or her life, which is the result of all his or her infinite past karma. When a person has more than his needs, try to help and distribute the excess and not to build a higher fence to protect them. Getting back up is living. Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. What is send out it comes back. What is sown it will have to be reaped. What you give, you will get it. What you see in others, it exists in you Even in the case of the arrest of Ranjan Ramanayake one ponders whether he has any CDs provided by a woman as there is a news item about a beauty parlour in Wattala which was patronized by prominent politicians. (Photos show Policemen smiling & Ranjan Ramanayake hugging police officers when arresting). The great secret of true success, of true happiness is the man who asks for no return, the perfectly unselfish man, is the most successful.
Swami Vivekananda and Jesus Christ focused on the subject of ‘faith in God.’ Swami Vivekananda said that the three essential of Hinduism are belief in God, in the Vedas as revelation, in the doctrine of Karma and transmigration. Jesus said ‘Give God your weakness and he will give you his strength’. Jesus also stressed on the importance of ‘Faith’. ‘Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness’. There is nothing wrong in allowing the Christian missionaries to spread the spiritual teachings of Jesus Christ that would penetrate the hearts of the people. Likewise the teachings in Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism will stress on the importance of peace and happiness in life and will not harm the people. It is not sufficient to carry the pinnacle in Buddhist ceremonies but should demonstrate his genuine faith in Lord Buddha.
Peaceful living denotes happiness. There is happiness when the needs of a person is fulfilled to his satisfaction. Hence happiness is a feeling of contentment. Happiness and enlightenment are interwoven with satisfaction of a person’s needs. Needs differs from person to person. Lord Buddha said ‘Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.’ Lord Buddha discourages revenge from the very inception. Forgiveness is the best remedy instead of taking revenge. All religion focused on the concept of forgiveness which is a powerful weapon for happiness and peace.
The political witch-hunt by Gotabaya Rajapaksa over shadowed the concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a ‘no’ to vengeance, a promise to the future and a ‘yes’ to peace. It is a mistaken belief of falling into the habit of seeking revenge and not a better option. Vengeance is the passion to get even using bad intentions. It is the burning desire to reciprocate the pain someone gave – an eye for an eye. ‘An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind’ Gandhi said.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa has yet to realize that forgiveness has the power to move us from a past moment of pain and unshackle us from our endless chain of reactions. It creates a new situation in which both the wrongdoer and the wronged can begin a new way. Forgiveness lightens the load of past wrongs and pains that we are burdened with. It frees us for whatever fairer future lies amid the unknown potential of our tomorrow.
Revenge is about retaliation. The motive of revenge has mostly to do with expressing rage, hatred, humiliation, etc. Revenge is a transformation of shame into pride. Revenge cannot be morally justified. However, revenge and justice should not be confused. In some countries justice is utilized to take revenge. This is a real lesson that all politicians should bear in mind when they are in power. Instead of taking revenge or being anger or jealousy or being superiority, it is better to learn that no one is stranger and make the world as his own along with others. This is the best way to get rid of ego. This is a self-culture that mould a life of purity, perfection and nobility in the phenomenal world. It is then a person can be peaceful and happy
Lord Buddha said desire and ignorance lie at the root suffering. The basic cause of suffering is the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have aversion. When he yields into his desires, he become a slave to these which eventually denies peace and happiness in life and this is what has happened to Gotabhaya Rajapakse. Even Swami Vivekananda said ‘all we can do is to shed down all desires, hates, differences, put down the lower self, commit mental suicide as it were. Keep the body and mind pure and healthy, but only as instruments to help us to god.
It is not the question of the popularity of Gotabaya Rakapaksa’s father or his relatives were members of the State Council, but the efficiency according to change of time that matters. No doubt Napolean I brought glory to France and was great, whereas Napolean III who became President after a Referendum failed to bring glory to France due to lack of diplomacy. The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for every one to live with the CHANGING WORLD as ideas are changing, technologies are changing, life style is changing, etc.
Even though the inner lust for revenge remains, the rulers should not give in to it, because it can lead them deeper into endless repetition of the old unfairness. It is time for rulers to realize that and once ego comes, wisdom leaves … only knowledge is left behind.
In a world where periodic circumstances, loss, sabotage, protests, etc have become daily occurrences amidst shame and disgrace, disappointment and failures, history has shown that the former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as a mighty person because of his will power and determination. But in Sri Lanka with the corruption of politicians, history has shown past actions race discriminated people, religion separated people, politics divided people and wealth classified people. In the circumstances, can Gotabaya Rajapaksa be a successful President, if he has noble character, commitment, conviction, courtesy and courage.