14 April, 2024

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Is It Religious Extremism & Propagated For What?

By Vipula Wanigasekera

Dr. Vipula Wanigasekera

I came across a touching post in Sinhala on Facebook page of Srimathi Walpola, dated March 13, 2024 which I give below in English with the help of Google Converter and AI correction.

Quote – I presented a creative  version of PATACHARA to a gang of so called Buddhists who out of ‘Patriotic Panic’ accused me of defaming. True. Being naked is magic, a video that needs to be watched in hiding. A thing that everyone knows, they call it ‘secret‘ and if PATACHARA is confronted, she would be auctioned!!

For many, religion means Merits and Demerits, filling tilts with the hope of ending up in Heavan. Women devotees offer Necklaces, Earrings, land and build concrete structures. Stanzas is chanted in a country without knowing how to live as per meaning of the contents. They conduct religious rituals extravagantly where devotion is sold at a price!! while crimes, corruption, murders are rampant.

Religion means Humanity, Love, Life, Happiness, and should be a greener pasture in which Peace is being conveyed from mind to mind. It can offer advice to meaningful politics without being a political weapon.

Statues, Trees, high walls, have you found Nirvana. Or Did you get a visa for a package tour in Heavan. Or did you collect Sarees in Dambadiva pilgrimage. Did you touch Buddha nature or will Nirvana become accessible if Buddha was born in Sri Lanka.

One who sees Dhamma sees Buddha. Dharma is the true friend. No Buddha was born anywhere. Buddha nature is seeing that no one was born and that is seen through wisdom.

Under the Bo Trees, Maara was defeated and all ignorance was uprooted. But they tie weights on every Bo tree. This demented state is aggravated by Kapuwas dancing the deval making eye and ear candy.

There is no salvation  in the vicinity, no desire to get out of this trap , with the desire or Thanha  that the mirage might have little bit of water left. – Unquote

The boldness of a female to express these sentiments, (her audacity may be cushioned by the fact that she resides in the UK), and yet the post is commendable. Given this freedom, there may be hundreds, if not thousands, in Sri Lanka who will speak out.

But in the new developments, there have been incidents leading to the arrests of individuals for allegedly disrespecting Buddhist philosophy. This trend is likely to persist, fueled by those who claim authority.

The individuals labeled as ‘culprits’ were subjected to the usual procedures with a spell in the remand custody following complaints from members who assert themselves as guardians of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. To observers, except for those deemed ‘saviors’, it is sheer rage and hatred driving these actions leading to courtroom hearings.

Interestingly, the concept of loving kindness appears emerging from the high chair from the legal proceedings when the accused were granted bail or released upon issuing an apology.

The expressions of these so-called free thinkers on social media may have hurt the feelings and offended devotees, so these cannot be taken lightly. The question arises whether Sri Lankans, especially the agitated clergy, are practicing Metta they rigorously preach followed by Metta meditation.

There could be several alternatives to find remedies for these issues. But the saga continues, as at the time of writing this, another monk and his followers are being targeted for saying Sri Lanka was Buddha’s birthplace. The campaign may persist until this monk is stripped of his robe and imprisoned.

While the notion that Buddha was born in Sri Lanka may sound absurd, true Buddhists and genuine spiritual speakers respond with indifference, emphasizing that Buddha’s message transcends borders and that archaeological matters should be addressed by archaeological experts that can be endorsed by Authorities.

This form of extremism, often associated with nationalistic and political agendas, has fueled conflicts between religious groups. The case of Dr. Shafi serves as a reminder, not to mention that there has not been an apology from the media (unless slipped the eyes of the writer) that propagated the false story until truth and justice prevailed through official inquiries and legal processes.

I wonder if it is the minority of Sri Lankan Buddhists who accept that Buddhism is founded on nonviolence and compassion. Buddha forgave Angulimala, who killed 999 humans, and turned him into an Arahath. He also granted enlightenment to Ambapali, a high end prostitute, and sought no retribution towards Devadatta, the arch rival of the Buddha. The examples are numerous if people are willing to turn their attention to themselves.

*Writer is former Diplomat, Head of tourism authority and currently an Academic and Meditation teacher

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Latest comments

  • 15
    10

    The real crisis right now seems, New Year fixing. LOL.

    • 0
      2

      who is protecting HORU, stealers ?
      .
      Is it Anura or

      Is it Ranil ?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yrey47gIJEw

      • 0
        2

        Time for Douglas to make the proper arguments.

        NPP promoters please act rationally. AKD is caught being unable to act properly. Please discuss this in this forum.

      • 0
        0

        Bravo! Mr Sisira C. Withanage,
        .
        I suggest that Mr Douglas should appear and acknowledge the brilliance of Mr Withanage. Having listened to the 11 minutes and 54 seconds of Mr Withanage that has been provided for us above, you all must spend only 9 minutes 33 seconds on “The Macbeth Murder Mystery by James Thurber”.
        .
        Here it is:

        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxBHCprF9KU

    • 8
      0

      “This form of extremism, often associated with nationalistic and political agendas, has fueled conflicts between religious groups. The case of Dr. Shafi serves as a reminder, not to mention that there has not been an apology from the media “
      Dr. V.W is both a Sinhalese and a Buddhist, not a Tamil imposter.
      Are there no true Sinhala Buddhists willing to condemn Vipula Wanigasekera, a traitor to their cause?

      • 1
        3

        There was no difference between Mahendran’s case and Dr. Shafi’s cased. Further Mahendran was discharging his duties right under the watchful eagle eyes of the cabinet ministers. Unlike, Dr. Shafi, who kept all the money he earned, but Aloysius and Mahendran shared with the cabinet ministers. Mahendran was saved by Singapore or otherwise, by this time, his eyes might have been plugged in the precision.

  • 8
    0

    Dr. V.W, You end by saying that Buddha forgave the murdering Angulimala into an Arahath, enlightened Ambapali the prostitute, and no retribution for his rival Devadatta. He did not believe there was a god who required a right standing like this as death meant anaththa. Please enlighten on this.

  • 8
    0

    Hello Dr. V.W,
    I think you would have been better translating the article from Srimathi Walpola by yourself. I have seen many translations by Google, even at Dissertation level, that have turned into Kunu. The translation will make no sense to English speakers, even those that have read Patacara’s story. If your point is that Srimathi Walpola would probably have been arrested in Sri Lanka then I agree with you.
    Personally, I have never seen the point of the Patacara’s story. I think whoever translated it has missed something, or only Buddhists can see the moral of the story.
    Best regards

    • 1
      1

      Lankascot,

      If you see it as a story, you need a moral behind it for it to be carried on with the other Buddhist Materials. But if it is a true history you don’t need a lesson behind him/her, for their story to be carried on with the other materials. Would you ask why Mayadevi’s name is mentioned in the Buddhists’ Materials? If Patacara was the first female disciple-arhat of Buddha, her history begs a mention within the Buddha’s other narrations. The Westerners’ eager to see too much into the shape of Siva Linga only turned it into a Phallus. Other than that, it is nothing. It is just extremely simplistic, low level, rudimentary posture of a man meditating. So, for a common man, Linga is only like a child’s toy. For a highly demanding philosopher, it is Phallus. For meditating sage, it is an easy simple thing to focus and concentrate on. For a pundit or language expert, it is the Shiva Model (That is the meaning of it when translated from Sanskrit), just like a car model made before starting its production on assembly line. Writers don’t just hide many truths but add fibs too. By going to ask for the missing part, we don’t want anything new added, do we? Already Sinhala Buddhism is overloaded with Lion Grandpa’s history, now to build on a prostitute too?

  • 0
    0

    Is a religion necessary to exchange love and affection between people and animals?

  • 2
    0

    What is the point of a religion that came to curb greed but could not end the greed of the followers, even after 2500 years. Where is its miracle power hiding? Here is a board-certified gynecologist who doesn’t want to take care of the women in pain! Then what is the value of the paper he carries as a certificate? This is where systemic change is needed. Sinhala Buddhist as one unit should correct themselves instead of playing cunning and adding up with lies. In Langkang, there are all kinds of laws, but the judges put in the prison a girl who stole a coconut and said that she needs that to pay for her school fees. The Judge put her in prison for 7 years. What did fail here, Sinhala Buddhism or justice or Appe Aanduwa’s self-help politics. But the Rowdy Royals are, even after depositing $30B in their foreign bank accounts, still stealing. Do these judges ever walk into a temple? How did their soles feel when they were embracing the steps of the place called Buddha Viharas?

  • 1
    0

    What kind of money Rowdy Rambo stole? The money India lent as a last resort to the bankrupted Langkang’s people, who are dependent on government hospitals. Then that man was remanded, falsely he went and slept in the prisoner’s hospital on the government’s money. Is the IMF being a shameless institution to lend to Evil who is saving all these criminals without any hesitation. All know Appe Aanduwa exists only for kleptocracy elites. But if there is justice of Karma in Buddhism and it cannot punish the heinous rascal like Rambo in front of those all who suffered by him, then what is the point of the commons feeding the Bald heads 365 days in a year with free meals. Aren’t those able-bodied men’s hands never refusing to take those meals from plates to mouth? Every employee in the Appe Aanduwa service is a greedy bugger, taking something from each person he/she services! Aanduwa will not; Law and Justice will not; Hamathuruwe will not. If even the Karma is with crooks, then who will take care of ones lost justice!

    • 0
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      IMF is not concerned about the honesty of the governments concerned. They are only concerned about whether the government will toe the line of the US government.

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