4 October, 2022

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Is Sri Lanka A Buddhist Country? – A Critical Reflection Of Sri Lankan Buddhism

By Rehan Fernando

Rehan Derrick Fernando

Sri Lanka is known as a Buddhist country and its heritage speaks of so many Buddhist traditions as well. However, this article will be a critical evaluation to see through whether Sri Lanka as a country owns real philosophy of Buddhism or it just pretend to be Buddhism in outer appearance. 

Buddhism is a way of life, a life that leads us toward satya (truth). Buddhism is never or cannot be considered as a religion, whereas it is a philosophy. Buddha never invented any religion as such during his lifetime, instead, he reflected about the primary realities of life and showed a path in which we could attain liberation. Unfortunately, Sri Lankan Buddhists are living in a wrong turn (a superstitious mythological life setting) that shows religious violence and religious superstitious. The article aims not to explain what Buddhism is, but to critically show how Sri Lankan has manipulated its Buddhism. 

Buddha praxis

Buddha’s praxis is none other than detachment. The unnecessary attachments in our life, therefore, will not help us to experience true liberation. It is a bondage that we carry willingly. The depth-values of Buddhism’s holiness (sara dharma) will never teach us to lead a life of superfluous attachments. Understanding Buddha-Dhamma is very important in this context. In my opinion, all religions have failed, especially its rituals, rubrics, and regulations have nothing do with human desires. Hence, what matters is Dhamma in which we must make an option to live according to the teachings of the sacred texts. 

Regrettably, the majority of Sri Lankan Buddhists never know what Buddha praxis is. They have not properly applied themselves and their lifestyle in the basic teachings of Buddha. They have become mere worshipers of buddha but not true followers. The primary misleading conception is that Sri Lanka is a mere worshiping-nation but not a thinking-nation. In such a situation, I do not think that people would make efforts of reflecting or understanding of true Buddhism and its rich philosophy. It must be well articulated and arranged in our primary education. Sri Lankans have destroyed Buddha praxis with their ignorance, religious fundamentalism, and nationalism. These are the major sicknesses of this nation and they have become a uncurable cancer today. 

Supermarket-Buddhist Temples

Buddha led a life of self-emptying. It was His praxis of liberation. He never built anything that is permanent. If such thing happens today, it is against the basic teaching of Buddhism. In Sri Lanka, we come across so many Buddhist temples that have become a type of supermarket. The property in which temples are built are full of mega buildings, colorful light systems, attractive Buddha statues, expensive materials, and so on. These items remind us of a supermarket but not a place for worship or a charm place to exercise Buddhism. Temple must be place of simplicity if we have grasped the true Buddhism as such. If a place of simplicity goes to the level of a palace, then there is something radically wrong. Most of the Buddhists monks live like supermarket owners but not as Buddha’s disciples. For an instance, they are supposed to beg for their daily meals, which is an ancient tradition of this way of life. Instead, today, Sri Lankan monks send the menu for their daily meals so that ordinary people would supply it. This type of life pattern shows how Siddhartha’s self-emptying praxis has been distorted by Sri Lankan Buddhist monks with permanent residential palaces. 

Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka do not show metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha (loving, kindness, compassion, and gladness). These are the major operative forces of Buddhism. They guide us for our well-being. The pansil (five precepts) further shows the essence of Buddhism to maintain a balanced and healthy spiritual life. Monks are supposed to give life examples through these primary teachings and conducts. Unfortunately, they are only concerned of their well-being. So, temples have become black-markets. Instead of a self-denial life, they lead a self-gaining life. 

Bo’ tree as a sign of selflessness

Bo tree is so popular, and it can be seen every nook and corner in Sri Lanka. But the fact is that whether we have realized the message of this tree is a huge question. Buddha reflected a lot of realities of life under this Bo tree and attained Nirvana eventually. It is a sign of selflessness and emptiness. 

However, what we see in this country especially in the temples is a tree that is being decorated and covered with even gold fences. On one way it looks very odd, on the other hand, this is not the spirituality that is to be promoted in seeing the Bo tree. This tree can also be a sign for us to reflect on sila, samadhi, and prajna (morality, contemplation, wisdom). It is the way of liberation of Buddha praxis. 

But where can we find this basic spirituality in Sri Lanka? Bo tree has been a mere symbol to pretend peoples’ so called Buddhist religiosity, ritual fulfillment, worship, and pretended holiness. The real holiness comes from self-emptying life and selflessness. 

Buddhism for religion or against religion

This is a very controversial topic. But it is anyway not complicated to understand. Buddhism does not deny any religion as such. Here, the point is Buddhism is a philosophy, a way of life, and a liberational praxis. It is Sri Lankans especially, uneducated Sri Lankans who have created a superfluous problem in applying Buddhism with religious atmosphere. They have presented a pretending spirituality for their own sake. That is not the liberative praxis of Buddhism. For instance, there are statues of Hindu gods and goddesses in Buddhist temples. Does it make sense with true Buddhism? Because it is a better commercial trend to earn money, Buddhist authorities support and promote such versions of Buddhism.

Buddhism + Religion= national sickness

Buddhism is being commonly used as a religion in this country. Buddhists want to show a pretended religiosity within the premises of Buddhism. The danger in this process is that nationalism has become an outcome politically and religiously. This is a sickness of Sri Lankans. Buddhism cannot be appearing as a religion according to the will of people. It is a mask created by many political and religious authorities in this country to promote nationalism, which has brought sad memories for the last four decades. 

Buddhism must be a way of life where different communities are welcome, and diversity is respected. Its teachings can be exercised and shared with others in order to foster brotherhood and sisterhood. What prevails in Sri Lanka as a Buddhism is a national sickness. It has widespread among people just like a cancer. The only solution to get rid of such a crisis is to educate ordinary people beginning from primary education methods, which must be a village-level effort. And it is going to be a huge learning process rather than a teaching methodology.

Conclusion

If the above-mentioned elements are taken into serious considerations, it is obvious that Sri Lanka can never be a Buddhist country. There is no better qualitative gesture to prove real Buddhist practice in Sri Lanka. Buddhism is being sold out daily for mere political and religious agendas in promoting violence. In fact, I am quite tired of seeing Buddhists who act and pretend their business type of religious conduct through mere rituals (same with other religions too). The present version of Buddhism has even led us toward civil war fares and massacres in this so-called Buddhist-Sinhala country. If so, what is appeared to be good in the form of fake goodness must be immediately changed. Thus, people will have to decide how to do that, and when to do that. 

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Latest comments

  • 6
    22

    Sri Lanka is as much a Buddhist country as Italy is a Christian country. There is hypocrisy everywhere. Compare the rituals and wealth of the Vatican with the simple life and teachings of Jesus. Russia is an Orthodox Christian country. Does any Russian complain that that Putin is not behaving like a true Christian? No way. Christian priests bless his tanks before they roll into Ukraine.
    Critics may dislike him but they will never bring his religion into it.
    .
    The target of the Church in Sri Lanka has always been the Sinhala Buddhists. The Roman Catholic writer follows the trend.

    • 13
      5

      S
      “Christian priests bless his tanks before they roll into Ukraine.” Do they?
      But I have seen on the telly US troops blessed by Christian preachers.
      People forget these things.
      *
      Target of which church?
      Can you explain how any Sinhalese Buddhist has been targetted.
      Christianity has generally been a proselytizing religion.
      They convert even in the death bed.
      There is running down of all rival faiths, including rival christian faiths.
      The writer is not at all hostile to Buddhiusm. He regrets what is happening, as many good Buddhists will do.
      The way you put it makes it look even personal.
      *
      There is religious bigotry here. Remember Soma Thero? If not think about Gnanasara.

      • 15
        3

        Was Siri Mao a practicing Buddhist or Sinhala/Buddhism was her political accessory, a cover for her bigotry, stupidity, ….. public racism, to hide her mistakes, …. ?

        Even after a Saffron murderer killed her husband, she made Buddhism almost as state religion.

        Aryan Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala manufactured a new religion, Sinhala/Buddhism. It is neither Sinhala nor Buddhists, a new identity, ….. full of his rhetoric, like Rap Music, and lyric,
        Kill Demela,
        Kill Thambya,
        Kill that,
        Kill this,
        Sunday Sill Monday kill
        Dead Demala is a Good Demala
        ….
        ….
        Kill the Veddah, Rob the Buddha, Blame the Suddha

        • 1
          4

          The ranting has lasted a little longer than usual?
          Are you OK?
          (I hope that I have not triggered a fresh round.)

      • 1
        5

        “Christian priests bless his tanks before they roll into Ukraine.” Do they?
        .
        Yes SJ, they do. https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/06/24/russian-church-seeks-to-ban-blessings-of-weapons-of-mass-destruction-a66116

        • 8
          1

          Svenson

          What seems to be your message from above clip?
          Are you telling your political crooks to avoid seeking blessings from bigoted members of saffron brigades?

        • 0
          3

          S, you cite:
          https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/06/24/russian-church-seeks-to-ban-blessings-of-weapons-of-mass-destruction-a66116
          The date of the report is 24 June 2019.
          The blessing must have been done 32 months in advance.
          Pretty impressive Google search!

    • 17
      3

      No SRILANKA is not.
      Because over 80% are pro-violent than anti-violent.

      Back then, the people of our motherland did not tolerate criminals, but today they can do without them. Criminals are held like gods and anti-criminals die
      – Media – Criminals
      – Judiciary – Criminals
      – Department of Health – Criminals
      – Supermarket – Criminals
      – Schools and Universities – Criminals

      All the parties mentioned above are kept aloft by Buddhist monks who tie pirith strings on their wrists regardless of criminal records.
      Not only the politicians, people are all crime-promoters. A tiny fraction dont seem to digest crime-culture. That is why this goes on circles.
      They kneel before an idol to show others that they are religious. Kelaniya plans the next murder-theft while at the temple. Then they continue the rest once they return home.
      So the problem of Sri Lankans is related to their “limited thinking mentality”. So now you will understand why our people are on the edge of a precipice.

    • 10
      1

      Svenson

      “The target of the Church in Sri Lanka has always been the Sinhala Buddhists. “

      What is Protestant Buddhism?

    • 3
      0

      Dear sensitive readers,
      .
      Mahinda Rajapaksa should be given all these punishments given when Ranjan was in jail because everyone knows that MR is the most powerful criminal in this country. If MR had died of COVID; This country could be able to see a good future. Unfortunately, COVID 19 did not help the nation.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPnd8mN_xbA

      MR s records are yet to be fully revealed, but now is the time to put the man in jail. If we Sri Lankans respect “law and order” at all he should have breathed his last in a prison cell.
      Why should he be exempted from due punishment?

      • 3
        0

        There is a huge gap between the court decisions in Europe (we know very well that ministers cannot influence such mistakes) and Sri Lanka. As Ranjan makes clear, the Prison Management Minister has absolute powers over specific prisoners at the behest of certain powerful politicians. This is the basic reality of Sri Lanka’s judiciary, prisons and how they enforce law and order in the country. Let all powerful nations be aware of the ongoing injustices in Sri Lanka.

        • 3
          0

          The fundamentals of every religion are noble. It is not limited to “Buddhism”: however, people, some emotions have changed religions. Over time it has changed the fate of “Sinhala Buddhism”: today it has become a mixture of salad style. I see more Hindu principles in Sri Lankan Buddhism. So I don’t want to be a part of Sri Lankan Sinhala Buddhism. My goal is to find out more about true Buddhism. I have met strong Buddhist monks in Europe (of European descent) who are thousands of times more knowledgeable than I have ever met in my home country of Sri Lanka. Today I have stopped offering “free meals” to monks in Sri Lanka, but I continue to offer them to “genuinely needy” such as “elderly in old age homes” and “openage children”.

  • 23
    5

    the Sri Lankan Buddhism is known as Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism.
    Its not Buddhism of Buddha but politicised corrupted Buddhism to instil a fear among the Sinhala masses.
    Sinhala Buddhist Monks get drunk openly and scream in filth at the minorities, they lead racist attacks on minorities.
    The Monks and the Military work in collusion and take over private lands to build ugly looking Buddhist Stupas and lions and elephants.
    Sri Lanka buddhism is a filthy Buddhism

    • 14
      12

      “…and take over private lands to build ugly looking Buddhist Stupas and lions and elephants.”
      Will it be all right if the stupas and animals are built to be elegant?
      *
      “Sri Lanka buddhism is a filthy Buddhism”
      Can one not say such things about any other religion?
      Such comments are designed to whip up hatred.

      • 10
        4

        “Sri Lanka buddhism is a filthy Buddhism”
        Can one not say such things about any other religion?
        Such comments are designed to whip up hatred.
        =============.
        CT Editorial did not censor the comment.
        I am not commenting about Buddhism.
        My comment is directed at Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism
        A bastardised version created and used as a vehicl to whip up racial hatred.
        There are so many videos available in the social media of drunken Sinhala Buddhist monks screaming in filth at Muslim and Tamil minorities , and video of monks leading Sinhala mobs to attack properties owned by Muslims and Tamils. While the police looks on and the MahaSanga stay tight lipped without condemning these monks but tacitly approving such acts

        • 5
          6

          R
          CT allows many more things that whip up ethnic hatred.
          Using adjectives like filthy to describe faiths is in itself unclean.
          Sinhala Buddhism is no worse than Indian Hinduism then, that is if we define the latter as Hindutva.
          Look at the intolerance and physical and verbal violence against Muslims and Christians. Why are Tamils silent about it?

          • 5
            0

            Agree with SJ on this. Racism, violence , intolerance and hatred should be condemned in any form, regardless of it’s origin. One way to do so is to bring stricter laws and punishment. Other includes educating children at a very young age. Unfortunately kids learn from their condoning parents and other irresponsible adults.

            • 6
              0

              SJ, Chiv,

              I have a slightly different take on this. As a practical matter, any established faith won’t go away quickly, so societies promote secularism, which is about leaving religion as a private matter for individuals.

              But the educated classes should seek to go beyond secularism and advance truth-telling, which means making clear that internal contradictions render all religious beliefs false. That there may not be a God at all; if somehow there is one beyond all human understanding, religions have no way of understanding such a God.

              • 0
                4

                Can one who is unable to make up his/her mind about the existence or otherwise of God be ever certain of the truth even when he/she is confronted with it?

                • 6
                  0

                  SJ,

                  Who says anything about people being “unable to make up [their] mind about the existence or otherwise of God?”

                  You may be misinterpreting what agnosticism means.

            • 8
              0

              chiv

              “Other includes educating children at a very young age.”

              Actually first those saffron brigades about 70,000 of them, Karaka comittee, Mahanayakas, police and armed forces, and local thugs, …….. should be educated, first they should be made to realise this country/island cannot and should not have religious branding, this is not a Sinhala/Buddhist (whatever that is) country, competitive racism should not only be banned but strictly enforced, …………

          • 2
            0

            CT allows many more things that whip up ethnic hatred.
            – That is for CT to answer
            —————-
            Sinhala Buddhism is no worse than Indian Hinduism then, that is if we define the latter as Hindutva.
            The discussion is about Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism and not about India
            ——
            I stand by my comment that “Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism” is not based on Buddha’s principles, its a hijacked version and further bastardised by the Sinhala politicians in particular the Rajapaksas. They have corrupted and tempted the Buddhist Monks with materialism, luxury , sex, alcohol you name it.
            There are genuine Buddhist Monks in Sri Lanka – no doubt – but they are the silent minority.

            The curse of Sri Lanka is the saffron thugs – tacitly encouraged by the Maha Sangha

            Even moderate Sinhala Buddhist are now sick of this

    • 12
      1

      Rajash

      “Sri Lanka buddhism is a filthy Buddhism”

      No Malwattus and Asgiriyans are pure and clean Buddhists as they do not allow Dalit Sinhalese to ordain as Monks.
      Although Govies reluctantly allow their children to marry from members of Dalit some parents completely refuse permission.

      • 4
        2

        How do you identify a clean Buddhist and a Dalit Sinhalese?
        Does Clean Buddhist lead Dalit Sinhalese Mobs to racially attack minorities and their properties and keep racism simmering in Sri Lanka

        • 2
          6

          “Dalit Sinhalese Mobs”
          A Dalit is something that the Sinhalese do not have, but Tamils have in plenty and treat badly.

          • 5
            0

            Looking through rose-coloured glasses and selectively seeing only what you want to see and attacking others. Chingkallams do have Dalits. They are the Berewa ( descended from the Thamizh Pariahs who traditionally beat the Para Melam now called Bera in Chingkallam. Parai in old Thamizh to speak or spread, hence in Jaffna village Thamizh and Malayalam Paraiyum to speak/talk. Berai/Bera in Chingkallam) and Rodiya the so-called untouchable or outcastes. Even now many Kandyans consider the low country Chingkallams, especially the ones from the coastal areas and the recently Chinkgalized South Indian origin, non-Govigamma castes, as non-Chingkallams and called them Demala Jarawa.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodiya
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/caste-and-exclusion-in-sinhala-buddhism/
            This article is from the Colombo Telegraph itself, written by a Chingkalla lady.
            You are very selective in your criticisms and observations. very quick to criticize and attack the Thamizh and defend everyone else, especially the ones who marginalize the Thamizh. Sorry, this is what I observe. Not impartial but very biased.

      • 2
        5

        That particular corruption Native, is the result of our Hindu past.

        • 6
          1

          Svenson

          “That particular corruption Native, is the result of our Hindu past.”

          I don’t understand.
          Buddhism has a history of more than 2500 years while the Sinhala/Buddhists are proud Sri Lanka being a Buddhist country. How come Hinduism is able to influence Buddhism, particularly in Sri Lanka even after 2300 years?

          Is it because people are forced to practice a perverted, twisted, elaborated political lie, ….. ?

    • 5
      1

      Rajash

      Did you participate in the previous protest in London?
      I hear Friday there is going to be protest.
      Must be a jolly good experience.

      • 3
        1

        Hey Native How are you getting on.
        I have no time for protests.
        But I did watch the Play “Counting and Cracking” at the Birmingham Rep theatre.
        Have you heard of it ? it was a great play.

  • 10
    7

    The authir is rather misinformed to say “It is Sri Lankans especially, uneducated Sri Lankans who have created a superfluous problem in applying Buddhism with religious atmosphere.”
    Like Christianity compromising with pagan practices in Africa to spread, Buddhism too made compromises.
    Very few follow Buddhism as ‘a philosophy. Do Christians follow any “Christian philosophy”?
    Regardless of literacy level, people need something to lean on. Besides, many Buddhists communities were not initially Buddhist but switched to Buddhism while retaining much of their traditional beliefs. Thus some are more Hindu than a Hindu.
    *
    Check with Jaffna Christians about their faith in Hindu astrology.
    *
    Education is not necessarily formal education. The latter assures no wisdom or worthwhile knowledge.
    Is not Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) said to be an illiterate?

    • 7
      0

      SJ,
      Morning
      “Besides, many Buddhists communities were not initially Buddhist but switched to Buddhism while retaining much of their traditional beliefs. Thus some are more Hindu than a Hindu.”
      I fully agree.
      Add to that Tamils and other minorities who converted to be Sinhalese over a period of time in Sri Lanka over the past 600 – 750 years are the Sinhalese, who depending on the occasion, become most ardent promoters of divisiveness in Sri Lankan society??!!
      It’s sad but true and a reality to contend with and work towards a saner, compassionate and liberal social group of Sri Lankans for the betterment of this country

      • 4
        3

        M
        Good Evening.
        Ask why those Tamil people adapted a Sinhala identity when there was no pressure at all to do so.
        Has the Jaffna Tamil elite ever considered Tamil speakers along the West coast as part of the Tamil community? What was the attitude towards Hill Country Tamils?
        People somehow found it easy to integrate with the Sinhalese.
        Should we not think about these things before blaming others for our failings?
        The Salagama did not consider themselves to be Sinhalese early last century.
        One reason for the communalism could be that they felt a need to assert a Sinhala identity. But what did the Tamil leaders do to help?
        There is too much history that needs observing for which there is too little space here.
        We are full of self pity while being cruel to other people living among us.

        • 9
          2

          What have the Jaffna and other northern and eastern Tamils elite and non-elite got to do with Tamil speakers along the western and southern littorals integrating into the Sinhalese identity? Other than the north-west coast, these people were brought into the island from South India during the Portuguese and Dutch eras and settled along the western and southern littorals to do menial service work or to work as slave indentured labour in the huge Southern spice estates. The indigenous Tamils from the Jaffna kingdom or the east would have never have been aware of their existence and these poor downtrodden Tamil immigrants from South India would never have been aware that there were native thriving communities and homelands a few hundred miles to the north or east of the island. By the time they became aware, the Sinhalisation process has already become quite advanced. The British and Dutch classified them as Sinhalese and accelerated the Sinhalisation process by only providing Sinhalese education to them.

          • 9
            3

            It was the same with ancient/medieval Tamil invaders and immigrants from South India, who settled in the Sinhalese south. Lived amongst the Sinhalese and gradually assimilated into them. Nothing to do with the attitude or treatment of the native Tamils from the northeast, who never interacted with them in any way. Would have been the same when the British brought in the Tamil estate workers to the Hill country. Even now how many Jaffna Tamils have any sort of contact with them, as most of them 70% live in the north and east and very few native Tamils live in the central parts of the country. It was only in the 1920s onwards when Jaffna Tamil teachers and government employees moved to the hill country, that they would become aware of these South Indian origin estate Tamil population and their existence. Yes we did look down on them, due to their lowly immigrant status and caste but we never had the power to illtreat or discriminate against them in any other way, as we did not have the power during the British era, and later under Sinhalese rule after the so-called independence.

            • 9
              3

              This sort of treatment and looking down due to their caste and low economic status would have happened in their original South Indian homeland. Even the Tamils and Sinhalese on the island discriminated against their own people on the basis of caste region and economic status. Not the Sinhalese treated these estate Tamils any better. Therefore can you explain why the Hill country Tamils are still staunchly Tamil and Hindu in their identity, if the Jaffna Tamils whom they hardly meet, other than teachers of other public servants, treated them badly as you alleged? When the hundreds of thousands of Tamil speakers who were imported into the island by the Portuguese and Dutch colonials and settled along the western and southern littorals, whom the Jaffna Tamils never met or even know of their existence, until centuries later, converted themselves to the Sinhalese identity. Yet you blame the Jaffna Tamils as usual.

              • 4
                10

                SSS
                When did the so-called Tamil leadership care about people outside the peninsula (but for their Colombp based families). The sole exception was P Arunachalam who spoke for the Hill Country Tamils, but there was no follow-up, until after the leaders betrayed them in 1948. That too was brief.
                I need not go further than the offensive terms that you use to describe people of other identities to make my point about attitude.
                *
                I blame no people but an arrogant elite political class and a group of bigots.
                Jaffna produced some outstanding progressive thinkers and deserves to be saluted for that.
                Tamil nationalists? They have been as bigoted as their Sinhalese counterparts.

  • 16
    0

    Misinformed followers of any ideology (or religion) are not only common in Buddhism, but each and every ideology (and religion). These are the people, who destroy everything that the fellow human deserves for

    • 7
      0

      AN
      Words of wisdom.

    • 4
      1

      Ahmad Nadvi

      “These are the people, who destroy everything that the fellow human deserves for”

      When, where, how, why and who empowered them?
      Please let me know before those who suffer from mild cognitive impairment jump in to defend their favourite racists.

  • 8
    1

    The Sinhala Politicians have been changing their religions to Buddhism in order to get the votes of the majority race.It is shameful to drag religion in to the Politics. Media whether it is that of Government or Private should not show the videos of them visiting various buddhist temples.
    Hoodwinking the voters in trying to portray that they are very pious and pure by going to temples should cease. GoSL had also been hoodwinking the world when it comes to suppresion of the minorities. The upcountry Tamils have been miserably treated with low pay and living conditions while the Tea Traders make huge profits. Lack of empathy is evident in our barbaric country.

    • 4
      0

      Naman,
      Evening.
      “The Sinhala Politicians have been changing their religions to Buddhism in order to get the votes of the majority race.”
      Not only Sinhala Politicians, but Politicians of other communities, aren’t spared either??!!
      Case of Tamil Christian, excelled in their domain as exemplary Minister, Oxfordian, brought Sri Lanka fame, Prominence, then subject to “FORCED CONVERSION TO BUDDHISM” and no options whatsoever??!! This happens, if and when they depart to next ‘world’ and from this ‘Thrice blessed Land of Buddhism’ – the egoistic belief that only “BUDDHISTS AND BUDDHISTS ALONE, COULD ACHIEVE SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS AND HONOUR IN ACADEMIA AND PROFESSION IN THIS WORLD AND NONE OTHER!!???
      There are numerous and countless instances???
      I would sight only one, that of late Hon Lakshman Kadirgamar, Foreign Minister, Sri Lanka – 9+ years from1994 to 2001 – August 2005, sadly/unfortunately assassin struck him fatally.
      A practicing Christian and unfailingly attends Cathedral Mass on Sundays weekly, unless away from Sri Lanka due Ministerial duties!!
      He was deprived long cherished desire, be buried in Cathedral Grounds as proud Christian; Instead cremated under Buddhist rights??
      Daughters Protests – NO AVAIL
      WORKS OF CHARLATANS – NOT EVEN RELIGIOUS FAITHFUL??!!??
      ACCEPT BUDDHISM ISN’T RELIGION!!??
      IT’S ONLY A WAY OF LIFE!!!??

    • 1
      0

      N
      People have changed their religion to find a job in Canada.
      Should we blame them?
      GOD I suppose is more understanding us humans.

      • 0
        0

        …more understanding than us humans

  • 6
    0

    Religion is a personal belief; practice. It should be confined to the individual.
    Debating merits and demerits of religions is no more ethical than debating sex.

    • 4
      0

      N
      We should tell that to our friend Narendra Modi and the BJP as well.

  • 6
    1

    SJ,
    Morning
    “Besides, many Buddhists communities were not initially Buddhist but switched to Buddhism while retaining much of their traditional beliefs. Thus some are more Hindu than a Hindu.”
    I fully agree.
    Add to that Tamils and other minorities who converted to be Sinhalese over a period of time in Sri Lanka over the past 600 – 750 years are the Sinhalese, who depending on the occasion, become most ardent promoters of divisiveness in Sri Lankan society??!!
    It’s sad but true and a reality to contend with and work towards a saner, compassionate and liberal social group of Sri Lankans for the betterment of this country

    • 3
      0

      M
      Good evening.
      See response to earlier insertion.

  • 13
    3

    My Malaysian mother when in Colombo in 1959 said buddhist monks were leading the sinhala looters and arsonists attacking the ceylonese tamils. During 1983 July a buddhist monk was involved in the killing of a tamil girl in Havelock and there is a photo of this on the internet somewhere or it is published in a publication. There are numerous documented instances of similar behavious by sinhal buddhist monks. Further buddhist monks use filthy language on minorities in sinhala land including in usurping traditional hindu places of worship. It was with great difficulty I had to restrain myself when I saw a bunch of sinhala buddhist saffron rogued thugs in the country where I live but I suppose the manner in which I looked at them (the bunch looked thuggish) seemd to have cause them some apprehension I noticed. These sinhala saffron rogued crooks and sinhalas overseas cry racism and hurt when they are targets of minuscle negative behavious compared to what they meet out to minorities in sinhala land.

    • 5
      2

      I generally don’t agree with everything you comment on CT, but I do agree with what you added below.

      “My Malaysian mother told me in Colombo in 1959 that Buddhist monks were leading Sinhalese looters and arsonists against Sri Lankan Tamils.”
      This is literally true.
      :
      Soon after, who directly or indirectly supported or led the insurgency in the country?

      Wasn’t that Ghanabalusara born to a mother in a village not far from Galle? Who was behind the Galbodaatte gang? Who stood up to Mad Dog? What did the media do to prevent it? He must have come from an animal background to react that way in Aluthgama, I might look back.
      All this is in front of the eyes, but no one speaks. In the elephant’s cabin, … people behave like “perpetual constipators”:

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      “My Malaysian mother when in Colombo in 1959 said buddhist monks were leading the sinhala looters”
      1959?
      Did she see any even the previous year?

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    I’m appalled at the generalised ill-informed racist comments about Buddhists. There are many monks in over a hundred forest monasteries following the way of the Buddha. https://www.bps.lk/olib/mi/mi008.pdf The Buddhists also are among the highest number of cornea donors in the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka_Eye_Donation_Society
    The moderators appear to be following the Sri Lankan tradition of doing nothing unless forced to.

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      Paul
      The political visibility of the Buddhist clergy is a factor.
      Also, the ones that receive publicity are the like of Soma Thero and Gnanasara.
      I am aware of the recluse monks. I am aware of very serious Buddhists who do not even declare that they are Buddhist.
      Politicizing any religion is bad.
      It will do well to note that the parochial Sinhala Buddhist cry is far less raised by the clergy than by politicians.

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      (PART I)
      Paul,

      1. I’M APPALLED AT THE GENERALISED ILL-INFORMED RACIST COMMENTS ABOUT BUDDHISTS.
      2. There are MANY MONKS IN OVER A HUNDRED FOREST MONASTERIES following the way of the Buddha. https://www.bps.lk/olib/mi/mi008.pdf The Buddhists also are among the highest number of cornea donors in the world.”
      Agree with your sentiments on that score wholeheartedly – the 2nd sentence – in particular but disagree with the 1st??!!
      Whilst despising racism in all its forms, I am confident that the majority of commenters, have taken into account the fact that “Monks in monasteries, meditating and the Mahanayaka’s of various ‘Nikayas’ and Sects of Sri Lankan Buddhism are “Miniscule and outnumbered”, to the extent that they aren’t heard or smothered, if not threatened by mainstream SB’s??!! There are silent Buddhists, who aren’t inclined to be confrontational or thuggish in portraying their feelings and needs in public, which according to Buddhist precepts is very minimal, including food, which the ‘Dayakas’, provide willingly and VOLUNTARILY as ‘Dhana’!!!
      Well that too ISN’T VOLUNTARY NOWADAYS, with recipients’ MENU CARD specifically detailing on Daily basis THE CONTENTS, OF THE DAILY ‘FEED’ differing each day, by monks??!! These are disciples, who are supposed in disseminating the HOLY PRECEPT of Prince Siddhartha – ‘Gautama’!!!???

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        (PART II)
        The Buddha – the enlightened – message was humble and peaceful, being devoid of avarices and greed!!! Is this the path to enlightenment, Lord Buddha prescribed?? DEFINITELY NOT
        THAT SHOWS HOW THE GOOD WORK OF ALL THE MONKS IN MONASTRIES AND LEADERS OF NIKAYAS IS CAST INTO OBLIVIAN BY ILL-EDUCATED AGRANDISEMENT SEEKING PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE GARB, MISTAKENLY AS DISSEMINATING BUDDHISM???!!!
        Not at all Holy or following the noble precepts of Buddha, but acting counter to his much valued precepts, which INTELLIGENT people could discern and dissenting with disgust!!??
        Apologies, being unable agree on this part (1st Sentence), DOESN’T MEAN, RACISM ISN’T BAD??!!
        It is abhorring in the proper context though!!
        What respect do they envisage, that they deserve, after committing Sacrilege, all in the name of Holy Precept, but acting against the Holy Order??!!

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      Paul,
      .
      This is the problem we have in Sri Lanka, they do not tolerate criticism. We do not see more than 80% temples across the country hiding behind the Sangha uniform from child abusers and other criminals. In the months to come Nimal Lanza and other drug kin pins would surely hire ” child monks” as their drug traffickers with applause coming from the ” sadu sadu ” promoting stupid srilankens. That will also get passed in a bill in parliament, because most of them in parliament are real high criminals.

      Numbers are important. Surely there is a small section of good monks behind the Vanusi temples. During the short time I spent in my native land I visited them as often as I could: but there are also many criminals there. That’s Ghansara and they only promoted a fascist culture in the name of Sinhala Buddhism: You should finally be able to separate Buddhism from “Sinhala Fascists/Racist Buddhism”.

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    Buddhism is a beautiful religion including the culture around it…….lights on the bo-tree included. Very spiritual indeed. One contemplates life after.death (rebirth), and the JWT images…..(no, actually JWT images is more Hindu…..like gods and goddesses).

    Yet there are some curious creatures found in no other religion that makes one wonder if it is the religion or race that make a up such shallowness of psyche. Consider this: someone does not like you and still they owe you. So they send you a plethora of love and kisses emojis every day on FB. It then becomes every hour and increasing. One asks them if everything is ok, then requests them to stop, but to no avail. So, one has to block them. The idea is that their karma is now secured eith mere emojis, and they owe you none……and they have one up over you as you did the ignoble deed of blocking them…..’ve encountered a few SB’s like this.

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      Dear RTF,
Buddhism is a beautiful religion including the culture around it.. Bodhi also includes lamps. Very spiritual indeed. One contemplates life after death (rebirth).
For me, any religion with peaceful practices is the same. I don’t feel anything special inside the premises of a temple compared to what you feel inside a highly respected mosque or mosque. Everything you think causes your mood to feel. There are no invisible ghosts depicted in Sinhala Buddhism, but I do not deny the invisible forces behind people.
      However, have Sinhala Buddhists promoted more violence and hatred towards our fellow Sri Lankans than all other religions combined? Definitely yes. We had a civil war, but it was not based on religion. So we can say that religion divided the nation – however, elements of Sinhala Buddhism and its separatist chapters destroy everything in this nation. People have been made blind believers. Witchcraft and sorcery reject other disciplines for no good reason. Most of them are frauds living off their hidden tendencies, but that’s their job. I recently watched a YT video where a man from Badulla – Swami was boasting that a handmade cotton doll had the invisible power of boiling water. When the doll was placed in a pot of cold water, it began to boil … this is simple.:
      tbd

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        continuing.
        The science behind this…. why our researchers keep their mouth shut or the media doesn’t take this in their eyes ??????
The thing behind it is that the doll is made using “trace” which reacts explosively in water.
–
However, no other religion has such curious creatures that one wonders whether it is religion or race that produces such shallow spirituality.
Even today, our people imitate what others do, if they ask why they lit a “clay lamp”, don’t they know what goes through their heads while doing so? I now question why our people are like that
–
The best examples are provided by the world’s largest population, the Chinese, who are not religious, but atheists have achieved the highest levels in technology, medicine, astronomy and other fields. If you question young Chinese, they respond that they have no religious beliefs, but their goals are material acquisition for a better future. They work hard, obey the rules, maintain law and order, and have a high level of discipline.
Consider this: Someone doesn’t like you and still owes you. So they send you a lot of love and kiss emojis everyday through FB. Then the hours increase. Someone asks them if everything is okay, then pleads to stop, to no avail. Therefore, one should block them.

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      ramona therese fernando,
      A simple observation:
      The Sinhalese make everything abnormal.
      See Democracy in their hands!

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        N
        If such things were said of Tamil conduct in the heyday of VP and his followers, what would have been your reaction?

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    Anagarika Dharmapala [The Homeless One ] founded the new version of Buddhism practiced today in Srilanka. Political Buddhism.Its neither Mahayana or Theravada,or Zen Buddhism.Pure and treacherous Political Buddhism Full Stop.

    The new Home Secretary in the Cabinet of PM Liz Truss took her oaths on the Dhammapada [ Hope my spelling is OK ]. yesterday.

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    The author is a very simple-minded person who does not understand the difference between the essence of religion and the culture of religion. there is nothing to be gained by arguing with such a person.

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    Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist country but not a Buddhist nation. First of all large parts of the island the northeast and even the north-west coast where the native Eelam Tamil nation lives, have hardly been Buddhist, there were thousands of ancient Tamil Buddhists both from the Mahayana and Theravada sects and the ancient Buddhist ruins in the north and east, belongs to them and not to the Sinhalese as now being falsely claimed, but they were a minority and even they by the 10Th century, like the rest of South Asia, reconverted back to Hinduism. The north and east from ancient times have been Hindu or Saivite and still, are predominantly Saivite Hindu and the religion fostered in these regions by all monarchs and rulers was Saivaism and not Buddhism. Even in the parts of the east that later came under the loose control of Tamil Sinhalese kings of Kandy. In the rest of the country, Buddhism was the predominant religion and was fostered and protected by kings and rulers. However, ad to say, the so-called Buddhism practised and preached by Sinhalese is not proper Buddhism, as it is a very beautiful religion or philosophy but an Ethno-centric chauvinistic intolerant religious philosophy called Sinhalese Buddhism.

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    Buddhism is a beautiful religion? Wonder how the Rohngya babies in Myarma were thinking when the beautiful buddhist including buddhist monks through them alive Rohinya babies into burning houses or just burnt them in their hiouses alive! Great religion. Just now news of high buddhist monk sexually abusing buddhist baby monks!! LOL buddhist is a beautiful religion. The Dalai Lama is anorther HUMBUG when he turns a blind eye to the sinhala buddhist and burma busshist saffron robed THUGS!!!!

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      gusssey boy is you one a beautiful religion . how many massacres have been done in its name?

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        I meant to say is yours.

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