26 May, 2022

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Governing A State: The Buddha’s Approach Is Not What Buddhist Rulers Are Practicing Today

By W.A. Wijewardena –

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

A useful discussion on Buddha’s approach to government

Last week, two erudite Buddhist monks, Rev. Galkande Dhammananda of the University of Kelaniya and Rev. Dr. Uduhavara Ananda of the University of Colombo in their Poya Day discourse series discussed an important and timely topic for contemporary Sri Lanka. That was how the Buddha’s teachings could be used for governing a modern state. Rev. Dhammananda, in addition to teaching at the Kelaniya University, functions as the director of the Walpola Rahula Institute of Buddhist Studies, an outfit started by the erudite Buddhist monk by the same name.

Buddha did not want to intervene in political affairs

One may be puzzled how the Buddha being a great personality who came up with the path to end suffering of all beings could involve himself in governing a state. During his lay life, he was a prince and an heir to a kingdom. He may have personal experience in how his father, King Suddhodhana, ruled the kingdom. But after renouncing all this and becoming a wandering ascetic and later the Buddha, he should not have an interest in becoming a politically alive person.

At the beginning of the dialogue, Rev. Ananda clears these doubts in his viewers. He says that the Buddha’s mission was to help people to seek final release from suffering by following the path he has shown. During the Buddha’s time, there were two types of governments in India: absolute monarchies and republics. The rulers of both had paid homage to the Buddha and sought his advice on numerous matters concerning the administration and governance of a state.

The Buddha’s response has been to lay out an ethical code of governing a state which would help the ruler as well as the ruled. Other than this advisory service, the Buddha did not involve himself in ‘king making’ or ruling a state through a king. This was the practice adopted by his disciples too. Hence, what the Buddha has said about governing a state is an exception to the substance of the main dhamma he has preached. Rev. Ananda says that matters found in Buddhism in running a state should be read in this context.

The Buddha posited evolutionary theory long before Darwin

How has the state come into being? This was a question posed to Rev. Ananda by Rev. Dhammananda. Rev. Ananda drawing on the Aggañña Sutta in the Diga Nikaya gives a detailed elaboration of how the state and its ruler came into being, according to the Buddha. This is completely in contrast with the accepted wisdom at that time under Vedic beliefs that the state and the ruler were a creation of an almighty god.

Since the king or the ruler had been created by God and he has derived his powers from God, it was generally accepted that there was nothing wrong in his acting like a god. But the Buddha’s version, according to the above discourse, was that both the state and the king evolved into form over many thousands of years. Some 19 centuries later, Charles Darwin posited the same in his evolutionary theory.

According to the Buddha, the state as we know of it today evolved after the human beings were evolved. After human beings were evolved from gatherers of rice to cultivators of paddy, there were thefts of paddy by some unruly elements. When this became unbearable and the agriculturists could not spend time to eliminate those thefts, they elected the most suitable person as ‘Maha Sammatha’ or one elected by popular vote to resolve these issues.

Taxes were the payment for king’s services

As payment for his services, the agriculturists agreed to share a part of their crops with him. This is the origin of the modern-day taxation with only one difference: Those days people shared their crop with Maha Sammatha willingly because they received an equivalent service in return. Therefore, there was no attempt by anyone to evade the payment. But today, it is an involuntary payment and there is no guarantee that an equivalent service is delivered to them by the government. Therefore, there is every incentive for people to evade the payment.

This ruler was called Maha Sammatha because he was elected by popular vote. Since he worked in the field or kshetra, he belonged to Kshatria caste. When he started adjudicating these issues to the pleasure of people, he was called Raja or people pleasing man. As such, he does not derive powers from God but from people. Therefore, the king is not above other people, but one among them. He has to use those powers justly, independently, and impartially, as being laid down in an ethical code, called the Dhamma.

But the Buddha did not present it to rulers to intervene in the political affairs of those states, says Rev. Ananda. Those rulers had the habit of paying homage to the Buddha and seeking his views on different aspects of lay life. In answer to those queries, the Buddha came up with the ethical code that was universal at that time and is universal even today. The Buddha and the Sanga who are his disciples were simply advisors to rulers if they sought their advice.

The ruler draws power from people and not from parental heritage

Rev. Ananda’s description of the ruler, according to the Buddha, is very important today. He says that the ruler being the person popularly elected by resorting to the democratic principles of the contemporary society does not enjoy absolute powers. He should rule the state according to the Dhamma or the ethical code and if he breaks those principles, he has no right to remain as the ruler. Quoting another discourse of the Buddha, Chakkavatti Sihanada Sutta, Rev. Ananda says that the ruler does not inherit the kingdom as a right from his father. He gets it if he performs the duties of kingship in accordance with the ethical code of the people. This code says that the ruler should apply laws equally to all the people in the state, a principle known as the Rule of Law today.

The ruler should never apply the law partially, namely one law to his friends and another law to his opponents. This is an inviolable code. Any ruler who violates it is not entitled to be the ruler of that state. But when it is applied to modern Sri Lanka, it is found that there is multitude of laws being applied by the rulers: one rule to family members, another to close associates, a vicious law to enemies etc. What this means is that though Sri Lanka is claimed to be a Buddhist country ruled according to Buddhist principles, in practice, what is being done is exactly the opposite of what the Buddha has taught.

The ruler should follow established laws

The code of ethics which the Buddha has recommended to rulers will help establish a Dharma Rajya or a State governed by fair, just, and impartial laws. According to Rev. Ananda, this code could be found in different discourses. However, all of them can be summarised to four basic principles of fairness, justice, and impartiality as the main functions of a ruler. The important requirement is that these functions should be performed by rulers by following the recommended code of ethics and not by violating the same. In modern language, he should deliver them in accordance with the laws of the country.

In the first place, the ruler should provide protection to the nation from invasions by foreign elements. Second, within the state, crimes should be properly managed by following laws and not by using illegal methods. This is important for modern-day Philippines and Sri Lanka.

In the Philippines, the ruler has ordered that drug addicts should be eliminated by killing them openly in streets violating the legal protection available to citizens. In Sri Lanka, it is a common occurrence that those linked to the underworld gangster groups are shot dead by Police when they are taken out to show concealed weapons. Such things cannot happen in the administration of crimes according to the Buddha’s teachings. That is because after arresting a criminal, the ruler and his officials should deal with him in accordance with the accepted code of ethics or established laws.

The third function of the ruler is to implement economic development measures to improve the material wellbeing of people. The fourth function requires rulers to seek advice from all religious leaders, shramana-brahmana, and not from Buddhist religious leaders only. And what the ruler should inquire from those shramana-brahmana is what is good and what is bad for the proper governing of a state. Rev. Ananda says that this purpose is different from the purpose of visiting religious places by rulers today. Those visits are marred by the need for self-glorification or seeking the help of those in charge of the religious places concerned to wash off one’s dirt. Rev. Ananda says that the religious leaders too have an obligation not to become a yielding hand to those orchestrations of crafty rulers.

Listen to bad advisors and adopt bad economic policies

The Chakkavatti Sihanada Sutta, according to Rev. Ananda, highlights failed economic policies of rulers. In this Sutta, the king finds that his country is marred by a wave of robberies and thefts. His advisors tell him that people resort to such criminal activities because they have no means of living. If funds are supplied to them to start income earning self-employment enterprises, the king is told, that they would stop such activities.

Taking this advice, the king opens his treasury and distributes free money to robbers to start new enterprises. After some time, the robbers realise that if they commit more robberies and thefts, they can get more money from the king. Therefore, instead of thefts and robberies decreasing, they in fact start rising. Such human behaviour is known in modern economics and ‘moral hazard problem’. It is a bad economic policy implemented by the king consulting bad advisors.

Good advice leads to good economic policies

In the opposite, Kutadanta Sutta highlights the nature of successful economic policies, according to Rev. Ananda.

In this Sutta, Brahmin Kutadanta had asked the Buddha how he should perform the sacrifices of animals correctly. The Buddha in reply had narrated the story of King Mahavijita who had reigned a kingdom a long time ago. This king also had wanted to make a great sacrifice of animals to improve the welfare of people. But the sacrifice needed additional money which could be raised only by increasing taxes. When he asked his advisor Brahmin how to raise taxes to perform the great sacrifice, the learned advisor gave the correct advice to the king. He had said that in the kingdom, there had been robbers who had been in the habit of robbing farmers and therefore they are unable to pay additional taxes. Therefore, while tackling the problem of robberies through normal legal means, the king should improve the earnings of the farmers too.

To do this, the advisor had told the king that he should provide all facilities to farmers like providing them with seeds, fodder for animals and facilities for trading of agricultural products. The public service should be improved by providing foods and higher wages to public servants so that they can deliver these services to farmers and traders efficiently. When people start working hard, the king’s revenue also will increase. There will not be a necessity to perform the big sacrifice because people are now happy with the improved economic conditions. This is a successful economic policy because it targeted not the robbers but the people who are actually at work in the field. It is also based on sound economic advice.

Overnight organic transformation: Bad advice?

What this means is that rulers should consult good advisors and not bad advisors. Bad advisors will ruin both the state and the ruler. But the good advisors will help the ruler to make the state prosperous, improve the living conditions of people, and establish his power not by coercive laws but by people’s votes. An example of how bad advice can lead to catastrophic results is found in Sri Lanka’s recent attempt at converting its agriculture to organic farming overnight. Had it been implemented over a period with necessary facilities provided to farmers, it would have been a successful economic policy.

Gilgamesh Problem in Buddha’s teaching

Intervening in the discussion, Rev. Dhammananda had observed that the government and religion should be separate from each other because they have two different objectives. The government should seek to improve the worldly life of people. The goal of the religion is to help people to search for the meaning of life beyond this worldly life. Hence, when the rulers and religious leaders begin to depend on each other, the result will be the establishment of two corrupt institutions, the government and the religious centres. Both will then ruin the lives of people.

This problem has been referred to as the Gilgamesh Problem by two leading economists, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson in a recent book titled ‘The Narrow Corridor’. The Gilgamesh Problem refers to 4,200-year-old Sumerian epoch in which the despotic ruler Gilgamesh was violating all principles of human rights for his personal benefits. The citizens who could not bear this injustice any longer complained to their chief deity Anu for redress. Anu’s solution was to create a double of Gilgamesh by the name of Enkidu to counter his every unruly action.

This is similar to the modern day ‘checks and balances’ introduced to constitutions of nations. But after some time, both Gilgamesh and Enkidu realise that if they get together, they could improve the welfare of both. As a result, instead of helping the people, the solution became a problem. The same Gilgamesh Problem occurs when the religious leaders and religious centres get together to advance their personal goals.

Citizens should be more informed

Rev. Ananda’s lucid presentation quoting original discourses of the Buddha should be an eye-opener to both the rulers and the citizens alike. The Buddha’s message to rulers had been that they should treat all people, irrespective of their origin, ethnicity, language, caste, or religion, equally and impartially. This is what is lacking in the modern world, including Sri Lanka. But if citizens become more informed, both rulers and religious centres will amend their ways to avoid these pitfalls.

*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at waw1949@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 1
    1

    So here is the thing. The human civilization does not begin when a monkey evolves into a human being in Africa! A living being is a collection of procossors and activties. The living beings who live as fine matter beings without a physical body. The begining moment of this process cannot be fathomed. Its has a infinitely long history. Clusters of living beings are concentrated at different locations in the universe. Their mind activity emits an aura that turn into particles that form the enviorenment they live. The star system we live was formed this way. There are so many such star systems in the universe. When the planet was formed in such fashion it is completey covered by sea. As they yearn for more, the envirenment which they live adapt to the conditions they desire. The first location where human beings adapt the earth is the island known today as the island of Siri Laka. A ruler emege from the first human civilisation. He is Maha Sammatha.

    • 2
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      Jambu,
      “When the planet was formed in such fashion it is completey covered by sea.
      A ruler emege from the first human civilisation. He is Maha Sammatha”
      So, he must have had scales and a tail, eh?
      Did he taste better fried or boiled?

  • 3
    9

    This is a waste of time and space.
    Nothing about Langkang’s quagmire, but only about why the Brahmins were inferior to Buddhists those days.
    The authors’ whole dream is to capture the entire country and convert it into a Buddhist Kingdom. This CBAG’s exact story is what Annathurai had written in his book as the dispenser who, when people go to to pick up medicine, sends them to an exorcist to seek exorcism. It is the CB executives stealing the preaching job from Bald heads, pathetic!
    Langkang’s Viyathmaga as well as educated are seemed to be at the same wavelength in feeding the Sinhala Buddhist Modaya, the 2500 years old spoiled wine, putting in new feeder bottles. This author is never ready to accept that the extremism practiced by enforcing Sinhala Buddhism in minorities is the one that reduced Langkang to this status. He is saying that Buddha told the king to consult other religions also and rule. What a gimmick man! Did Buddha say anything about that if the other religions don’t want any religions consulted in ruling ,then what to do in that situation?
    These puny brains are not able to go back and envisage that about 70 years ago, Britain with its Christianity, had kept this country as one of the richest in the hemisphere. Why couldn’t Buddha tell Langkang politicians to follow the useful “British Religion”?

  • 5
    1

    How can anybody expect a country to be run on ethical principles? Can the author name one such country? When Putin is massing his armies do you expect Christian Ukraine to ‘turn the other cheek’?

    • 6
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      Svenson,
      Putin is just as Christian as Ukraine. Almost as Christian as Hitler in fact.

      • 7
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        old codger

        Hitler was an Aryan as well as Vegetarian.
        So is Gota.
        Is that why Asgiria blessed Gota for being a benevolent dictator?

        I could never understand as to why 6.9 Million voted Gota.
        Do you have any idea that you could share with us?

        • 2
          0

          Native,
          “Is that why Asgiria blessed Gota for being a benevolent dictator?”
          The ability to chant suttas all night means you have a good memory. But even though a smartphone has even better memory, can you accuse it of being wise?

          • 4
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            old codger

            One more question.
            When Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed (2001?) by Taliban, why Pakistan ( all weather mango friend of Sinhala/Buddhists which had immense influence over Omar of Taliban ) did nothing to prevent it or preserve it? What does this say about this country’s close relation with Pakistan or any other country?

            Immediately after the destruction Omar said, “These statues are there to be worshipped, and that is wrong. They should be destroyed so that they are not worshipped now or in the future.”).

            What did Mahanayakes do to stop the destruction?

            When Egodamulle Amaramoli Thera decided to construct the Buddha statue why did he engage Thamil Nadu master craftsman Muthiah Sthapathi and his crew the responsibility the entire project?

            Why couldn’t Amaramoli Thera find expert sculptures among Sinhala/Buddhist Aryans who were capable of carving the Samadhi Buddha statue at Rambadagalla, or a Chinese one?

            • 2
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              Native,
              Do you think all our ancient monuments were built by contractors from you-know-where?😳😳
              Champa???

    • 0
      2

      S
      What is happening in Ukraine is the consequence of Russia turning the other cheek too often and for too long since Gorbachev was duped by the US.
      What is the need for NATO to expand, let alone exist after 1991?
      Had the Russians and Chinese stood up for Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, US aggression may have still taken place, but that would have inspired the anti-war movement.
      *
      When rulers slip up in ethical matters, corruption and crime flourish to their own peril.

  • 15
    1

    Dear Dr. W A W,
    Excellent.
    I wonder whether the Mahanayakas of the 3 Nikayas follow these erudite discussions. May be you could kindly send your article in print or the link to the discussion if available.
    Last week I saw some monks at two functions fawning over the VVIP and praising him to (no high heaven in Buddhist Philosophy) so may be to Nirvana, saying what a great job he has done !
    It was a pathetic display of subservience.
    Have we not had enough of this hypocrisy where Buddhism is sold for political gain.

    • 5
      1

      ……May be you could kindly send your article in print or the link to the discussion if available….
      to the Mahanayakes for their further action on their errant flock.

  • 8
    1

    Mr. Wijewardena, this is something which has puzzled me for a long time. There are hundreds of excuses explaining the deviant voting behavior of SB. That includes the re-election of the mafia family based on Gotha’s promise “born, educated, lived as a true Buddhist and if elected , will serve the Buddhist people living in a Buddhist country as their President”. Our SB may be naive and ignorant as many say, but don’t they know the real teachings and practice of their great teacher Buddha??? Is there a need for social media, news papers and TV to know the real Buddhism ??? If they are ignorant or unaware of real Buddhism, what were they practicing until now??

    • 10
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      Dear Chiv,
      Very pertinent set of questions. Let me give my stance on them and hope others will enlarge on them.
      ……..but don’t they know the real teachings and practice of their great teacher Buddha……
      Very few know because the “organised hypocrisy” called the Maha Sangha preached a ‘religion’ which stressed on worship as a source of material advancement for their own gain. Gift a golden fence and you get merit. Worship a Bo Tree or put a saffron robe on a branch, and you get merit. Who really benefits but the Sangha, and the gifter is pushed further down the greed of material advancement.. The shift from the spiritual advancement of one, to one’s material advancement was preached.
      ….Is there a need for social media, news papers and TV to know the real Buddhism…..
      Yes because the Sangha has forfeited it’s moral stature.
      ….If they are ignorant or unaware of real Buddhism, what were they practicing until now…..
      It is a form of convoluted doctrine that hopes to give either instant relief or self-advancement materially and far removed from the original Buddhist Philosophy.
      …Myanmar and Sri Lanka has brought shame and embarrassment to Buddhism, and in our case we have no one but our leaders to blame……

      • 1
        2

        MV
        People respond to issues that seriously bother them.
        The SB saw in the civil war of 1983 to 2009 a threat of terrorism.
        They saw in MR in 2009 a man who redeemed them: that belief persists.
        They responded (not overwhelmingly) to his corruption and dictatorial conduct.
        What did the alternative that succeeded in defeating MR achieve? Bitterness led to the return of the family. MR was blocked and his son too and we have GR, based partly on absolutely mythical achievement and mostly on faith in MR.
        *
        Religion is no more than a group identity and comes to the fore if the face of fear of an enemy, real or imagined

        • 3
          0

          Dear SJ.
          Yes true, that…Religion is no more than a group identity and comes to the fore if the face of fear of an enemy, real or imagined…
          For that matter all concepts put into ones head in the formative years, as ethnicity and other forms of bias, all divide us and are there ostensibly, to protect each of us for external imagined or real enemies, to protect the tribe and oneself.
          Though outdated it still persists as a control to our advancement as human beings.

  • 4
    2

    “Buddha did not want to intervene in political affairs”

    There is no politics without Buddha!

  • 4
    3

    old codger

    Hitler was an Aryan as well as Vegetarian.
    So is Gota.
    Is that why Asgiria blessed Gota for being a benevolent dictator?

    I could never understand as to why 6.9 Million voted Gota.
    Do you have any idea that you could share with us?

  • 6
    6

    I wish Buddha was never born.

    Oh! the crimes committed in his name!

    • 9
      3

      Dear NF.
      That is like throwing the baby with the bathwater. Instead of following his teachings, remove the teacher.
      I am sure you did not mean that.

      • 3
        7

        MyView’

        I meant what I said.

        Tell me one country where Buddha’s teachings have done good? ……… just one?

        Reality and wishes are different.

        Buddha’s, Christ’s, Mohamed’s ……… names have given cover to such heinous crimes ……… more harm is done in their names than good …….

        In the absence of God, man is CONDMNED to be free. …….. with freedom comes responsibility ……. for each and every action ……….

        “Religions” absolves man from responsibility.

        • 2
          0

          …“Religions” absolves man from responsibility……
          Yes because Religion is basically the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power. Prayer & worship.
          But Buddhist Philosophy is not a religion and the teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering, and by your own effort. You undertake YOURSELF initially, not to engage in the five vices and finally to higher precepts. You undertake the responsibility. In that context Buddha’s enunciation of his philosophy is not a religion, but due to loose usage of language, it has been classed as a religion and called Buddhism.
          And the organised hypocrisy of the Sangha has corrupted the values, and by establishing rites and even prayer and worship, made it like a religion.
          …Tell me one country where Buddha’s teachings have done good….
          Absurd. A country is an amorphous entity of people. How can a religion or philosophy help a country if the people do not follow the teachings. But the philosophy not being followed is not a fault in the teaching but in the people who have not followed it. How can any religion or philosophy do good to a country if the people are vile. Just calling that a country is Buddhist, (or whatever), is meaningless, unless all people subscribe to that.
          We call ourselves a “democratic socialist etc” country, but are we democratic or really socialist? Labels only.

          • 3
            0

            MV,

            I don’t dispute anything you have said because I don’t have to …….. and they are true.

            But we are approaching this, from 2 different aspects. You are looking at it from the conceptual ……… I’m from the practical.

            Mine is purely numbers and percentages. How much good Buddha (with his teachings) done in Lanka?

            Unbeknown ( not to blame him :)) ) to him, he has done more harm than good. Do you agree? If you don’t, then show me what good he has done in Lanka. If you can’t ………. then show me another country where he has done good.

            Now, to this, you would say (rightly) that one can’t blame Buddha for people’s vile acts. …… Although, one can’t blame Buddha for people’s vile deeds, what about vile deeds/acts committed in his name?

            The point I’m trying to drive home is, if Buddha was not born then people can’t commit vile acts in his name …….. and will be compelled ……… left without any other option …… but to take responsibility for their own vile acts.

            It’s the next-step (evolution) of man beyond religions and philosophies ………… to discard bad-faith and take full responsibility for their actions.

            Do you get …….. what I’m trying to say?

            • 0
              0

              Dear Nimal
              …Do you get … what I’m trying to say?……..
              Regret. Irrational statements like holding Buddha responsible for the actions of vile people in his name, long after his demise, are over my head. His teachings have given solace to so many.
              ‘’’ It’s the next-step (evolution) of man beyond religions ….
              Next Step ?? May be, I say, may be religions. But Philosophy – Buddha’s philosophy was to discard faith in anyone but oneself, and take full responsibility for one’s own actions. That “step” was taken 2500+ years ago.

              • 1
                1

                MV,

                This is not about Buddha but Buddha’s influence in/on Lanka.

                Sorry, I can’t leave you no escape routes. :))

                So, please answer me one very simple question.

                Has Buddha’s teachings (hence Buddha) done any good in Lanka?

                Even a simple yes or no would suffice.

                The way you answer that simple question …… I will construct my reply to prove my initial point.


                “Next Step ?? May be, I say, may be religions. But Philosophy”

                Please read the discussion here (in the first page) ……. between me and Old Codger and others …….. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-secular-state-is-best-for-sri-lanka-marxs-core-propositions-on-religion/comment-page-1/#comments

                • 0
                  0

                  Dear Nimal,
                  You said at one stage above ……”This is NOT about Buddha but Buddha’s influence in/on Lanka”……
                  Now you are lumping them together in your question.
                  Firstly you confuse yourself by thinking that there are Yes or No answers to complex questions such as influence on citizens in a country.
                  …Has Buddha’s teachings (hence Buddha) done any good in Lanka?…
                  Quite an irrational question.
                  Lanka as I said Lanka is a country, and you cannot evaluate or answer your meaningless question, just because some people call Lanka a Buddhist country. His teachings have helped many individuals but as I said there are a majority of Lankans who are vile.
                  Also you are confusing and lumping together two entirely different things “(Buddhas teaching)” “ (hence Buddha)” does not follow or string together.
                  Buddhas teachings and Buddha who you wish not have been born, are two different things.
                  BTW I read your link of ramblings in that article too.
                  Since you arrogate to yourself as the last word on the subject, I leave you in your cocoon.

                  • 1
                    0

                    MV,

                    Even for you – an intelligent Buddhist, who understands most of Buddha’s teachings, I’m sure – it’s hard to be a good Buddhist and give a honest/sincere answer!

                    That’s how little effect Buddha’s teachings (hence Buddha) has on an individual …….. let alone collectively on a nation.

                    The question I asked is a very simple one. If Buddha’s teachings (hence Buddha) has done any good in Lanka it would have been very easy for you to have boldly said “Yes.” ……… You are using every means at your disposal to avoid giving a honest answer. See how difficult it is to follow Buddha’s teachings!

                    If I asked the question “Has free education done any good in Lanka?” ………. most rational people will say “Yes.” ……… The influence/effect of free education on Lankan society and Kannagara are two separate things. But Kannangara did good in Lanka and should have been born. ……. It’s the same thing I was attempting to do with Buddha.

                    • 1
                      0

                      continued

                      “ramblings” …….. sure sign of inability to construct an effective rebuttal. ……… Some “Buddhists” are very good at it ……. especially the clever ones! :))

                      Why cant you follow Buddha’s teachings and be honest enough to admit Buddha’s teachings (hence Buddha) has had next to no effect on Lanka?

                      Nothing personal …….. I have to safeguard/protect Buddha’s legacy from charlatans.

                      “Buddhists” won’t do it …….. so someone else has to.

  • 6
    2

    Just like Myanmar this Buddhist nation has disrespected Buddhism, and only uses it as a tool, to implement racist policies, discriminate the minority, physically get them harmed, their places of worship attacked and burnt, and incite violence against them and their properties, by encouraging extremist Buddhist monks to spread fake news. Lord Buddha did not like violence, discrimination, or hurting others, and spoke of tolerance, compassion, and kindness, we have seen none.

    In Myanmar thousands of innocent people have been killed, women raped, and babies thrown into the fire, because they were not Buddhists, and they became the most persecuted people in the world.
    Myanmar and Sri Lanka has brought shame and embarrassment to Buddhism, and in our case we have no one but our leaders to blame.

  • 2
    2

    To practise Buddha’s approach, the rulers should be Buddhists. Those who ruled Ceylon since 1948 were not religiously Buddhists and those who ruled Sri Lanka since 1972 were/are only Buddha marketeers (except late President DB Wijetunga).
    .
    You quote Rev. Ananda, saying “During the Buddha’s time, there were two types of governments in India: absolute monarchies and republics.” Well, there wasn’t a country called India in the time of Lord Buddha.
    .
    The non-Buddhist British and Sri Lankan rulers who ‘take pride in restoring Buddhist stupas’ have caused irreversible damage to them. British documentary evidence shows that the original facial features of Samadhi Buddha Statue in Anuradhapura was recast. Another devastating example is Ruwanmali-Seya. The original shape was completely altered. The much venerated Lord Buddha’s Sacred Footprints have been repurposed as ‘walkway paving stones’ at Ruwanmali-Seya which proves that those who were in-charge of the restoration of Buddhist archeological sites were not Buddhists. Although there is a Minister-in-charge of National Heritage and a Special Task Force on Buddhist Sacred Sites headed by the Defence Secretary, no action has been taken to remove Lord Buddha’s Sacred Footprint pavers at Ruwanmali-Seya.
    Courtesy: “Yathartha” Youtube Channel.

    • 4
      1

      Champa

      “To practise Buddha’s approach, the rulers should be Buddhists.”

      Hence you should convert yourself from being a Sinhala/Buddhist racist to a Buddhist benevolent humble soul.

  • 2
    1

    No one is preaching Christianity or reminding words of Jesus to the Europeans and Americans.

    Soma

    • 5
      1

      soman

      “No one is preaching Christianity or reminding words of Jesus to the Europeans and Americans.”

      Maybe true, similarly Buddhists are not preaching Buddhism to Sinhala/Buddhists. On the contrary Sinhala/Buddhists have been trying to convert Sinhalese and Buddhists into Sinhala/Buddhism (whatever it is).

  • 1
    3

    Maha Sangha is under constant attack as they are the backbone of Buddhist heritage and the Sinhalese Buddhists.
    Undoubtedly, Maha Sangha was/is the world’s most powerful benevolent social movement. Irrespective of ethnicity or the province, they donate blood, food, clothes, essential items to pregnant mothers, cows to dairy farmers, building materials, school stationery, etc for the needy.
    I challenge anyone to name a single Tamil or a Muslim who made above-mentioned donations to Tamils and Muslims in the North & the East, other than our Maha Sangha (and the military, of course)!
    Maha Sangha has come a long way from being put to death by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British and destruction of their great monasteries to a constant campaign of discredit, after independence. No other religion, religious leaders, a civilization or a culture in the world has been brutally destroyed than that of the Sinhalese Buddhist heritage in Sri Lanka. Nonetheless, Sinhalese Buddhists are not discouraged.
    Maha Sangha has been holding the power of choosing rulers in Sri Lanka for a myriad of years. Nobody can undermine their power. I hope they will be more cautious, thoughtful and strategically foresighted when choosing the next set of Sinhalese Buddhist Leaders.

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      There is talk about a ‘Sumana Sutta’ in social media in Sri Lanka and in India that a Tamil will take over the country after 2500 years, which is a lie. Gotama Buddha never delivered a discourse called ‘Sumana Sutta’.
      ‘Sumana Sutta’ (interestingly in the Sinhala language except the first line, obviously copied from other Suttas) is the Malabari version of ‘Parakumba Siritha’, concotted by Malabari Jains who posed as Sinhala Buddhist monks in the Kandyan era.
      .
      Also, the ‘popular’ notion that Buddhism will prevail in only 5000 years is a strategically planned myth. I hope that I will be able to prove that the Sacred Footprint in Makkama a.k.a. Makulana Raja Maha Viharaya in Kurunegala is not of Gotama Buddha but of either Kashyapa Buddha or Konagama Buddha, which will debunk the 5000 year myth and also prove the existence of one of the Rawana Kings (still trying to figure out which one) who protects ‘Makhula or Maha Kula’ sacred rock mountain.

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        Champa
        Is there a candle with a box of matches in your room you can grope and get hold of?

        Soma

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          soman

          “Is there a candle with a box of matches in your room you can grope and get hold of?”

          You didn’t mean dynamites with a box of matches, did you?

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            Native Vedda
            .
            “Weak people revenge
            Strong people forgive
            Intelligent people ignore” — Author unknown

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          “Great minds discuss ideas
          Average minds discuss events
          Small minds discuss people.” — Eleanor Roosewelt

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            This was from Roosevelt to Soma.

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    Observing the dualistic nature of so called sinhala buddhists is a puzzle which needs an answer for the specific reason that all their craving including robbing the state is to acquire dollars and wealth. Two sangha in this article are seen as discussing religion and politics. But the major heart reason of the non earning jobless migrants is to become a citizen in a christian country called America. It is a love hate non compassionate emotion. Yet, they want to bomb the churches in Sri Lanka, with full knowledge of karmic justice.

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      davidthegood
      Sinhalese Buddhists did not bomb churches. It is the Muslim terrorists. I don’t think they believe in Karma.
      For over 450 years, Settler Colonists plundered ancient Sinhaladwipa (Sri Lanka) committing unforgivable atrocities. It is the same with other Asian countries and Africa. Even to this day, the colonized countries still feel the effects of what the colonists did. Western countries, which did not have resources, built their empires on the riches of the countries they colonized. It sounds absurd when you criticize the ‘colonized’ migrating to the countries of the ‘colonists’ totally forgetting the severe impact the colonists had on the colonized countries.
      Migration could happen for many reasons. For example, in the 2020 US election, citizens were so afraid that Donald Trump would be re-elected and cause destruction in their home country, they started to talk about and make plans to migrate to countries such as; Australia, New Zealand, etc.
      Recently, the Defence Ministry of Sri Lanka had to introduce a new law to curtail the influx of prospective foreign husbands seeking Sri Lankan women in ‘marriages of convenience’ purely to migrate and settle down in Sri Lanka!

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