23 October, 2017

Mahavamsa- An Insult To The Buddha!

By Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

Caution- The following is more suitable for the broad-minded and the wise. Others are kindly advised to pass!

Wonder if ours might have been a wiser, and a more ‘humane’ society, had our ‘ancient’ history, been based on Aesop’s Fables, instead of the Mahavamsa. For if not for the Mahavamsa, the Sinhalese may not have been endowed, with the reputation, of “Sinhalaya Modaya (The Sinhalese are Fools)”!

In this “wonderland” called Sri Lanka, and in this day and age, one still comes across ‘academically’ educated, and supposedly intelligent ‘Buddhists’, but sadly lacking in wisdom, who reverently believe, that the Buddha walked out of his mother’s womb, and walked seven steps, while lotuses blossomed, under his feet!

These very same supposedly educated, and intelligent ‘Buddhists’ also believe, that the enormous indentation, resembling a footprint on a boulder, at Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada to ‘Buddhists’), to be that of the Buddha. This would be in keeping with the conviction that the Buddha, was as tall, or perhaps even taller, than the Avukana Buddha statue, which stands above 40 feet (12 meters) in height!

Then, there is the ‘Dalada Maligawe’ in Kandy; most Buddhists believe, the tooth relic housed within, belonged to the Buddha. Some adorn the ‘tooth casket’ with mounds of gold jewelry, fervently believing, that they would earn merit, to the value of the gold they offer. The thought of donating the value of this gold, to feed and help, the poor, sick and the needy, that would be far more meritorious, never cross their minds!

There hangs a controversial question, over the authenticity of this ‘sacred tooth’. But then again, to those ‘educated and intelligent Buddhists’, devoid of wisdom, if the Buddha, was taller than the Avukana statue, and had a giant footprint, as on Adam’s Peak, then this ‘huge tooth’ could be his!

However it does not matter, if the tooth is over-sized, belonged to the Buddha or not, because he the ‘wise one’ asserted, that his followers must not revere, nor worship, any part of his physical self, nor idolize him. Had the Buddha wanted otherwise, he would have left not just a tooth, but his entire skeleton, for his followers to worship.

The annual Esala Perahera, in Kandy, is yet another case in point. This colourful and spectacular ‘parade’ of the ‘tooth relic’, atop a magnificent elephant, is nothing but an ego-boosting exercise, of small minded men of yore, and now, a tradition of small minded men of the present. The ‘Esala Perahera’ therefore, is no relation of Buddhism!

Then there are also those ‘Buddhists’, who on Full Moon (Poya) days, make a bee-line draped in white, to the temple, to ‘pray’ to ‘God Buddha’. They piously recite the ‘Five Precepts’ and other Buddhist verses, as in ‘praying’, facing a perceived image, of the miracle performing ‘God Buddha’. The Five Precepts- the basic code of ethics that the Buddhist laity, is required to abide by, cease to hold any value, beyond the temple gates!

They offer flowers, to clay and stone images of the Buddha, and light oil lamps, as it is an idée recue; believing by doing so, one earns enormous merit. Little do they understand the significance, of such customs; they fail to connect the similarity of flowers and the oil lamp, with their impermanent life – ‘anicca’.

Then they also go on to bathe the ‘Bo tree’ (Bodhi Puja), with pots of water, thereby encouraging tree-rot, expecting the ‘holy’ tree’ under which ‘God Buddha’ attained enlightenment, to bestow merit upon them to. During trying times, unable to accept their ‘karma’, they once again flood the ‘Bo tree’, expecting deliverance from their misery.

When this unique ‘brand’ of Sinhala/Mahavamsa-Buddhism fails to deliver, they next make a bee-line, to a Hindu kovil, break coconuts, praying for miracles, as well as cursing and damning to hell, fellow human beings. Then off they go, to a Christian church and light candles and then, to Sai Baba or even a Mosque (I have no idea what they do there). At all these places, promises (vows) are made, to various Gods, on a quid pro quo basis. Some, even resort to animal sacrifice!

Then, there are also those who believe, that the Mahawamsa was authored, by the Buddha himself!

All that the Buddha asked, of his followers, was to lead a life according to his noble teachings. But this, most find so hard to do, especially the ‘simple’ minded, Mahavamsa-Buddhist!

Mahavamsa Lies and Deceit

Perhaps nowhere in the world, might one find, this strange practice of Buddhism, other than by most Sinhalese; for it is neither a religion nor a philosophy. It is a unique ‘culture’, passed off as Buddhism, in Sri Lanka!

Who and what distorted the Buddhist philosophy, in Sri Lanka? I say firmly, the blame must be laid fair and square, at the feet of Mahanama thera, and his ‘book of Buddhist tales’- the Mahavamsa. For, it deals mostly, with mythical and supernatural tales of so called, Buddhist history, with some borrowed from the ‘Mahabaratha’ and ‘Ramayana’.

Through his Mahavamsa, Mahanama portrayed Sri Lanka, as the ‘Dammadeepa’; the chosen land of the Buddha, to protect and propagate his Dhamma. He, Mahanama said, (NOT the Buddha), that Buddhism will prevail, for five-thousand years, and the Sinhalese alone, must “protect” it.

Perhaps at a time, when Buddhism began to lose its popularity in India, The monks of the Mahavihara, especially Mahanama, might have panicked, and therefore decided to make Sri Lanka a ‘Buddhist Country’, in order to ‘protect’ Buddhism.

Thus, he created the Sinhala race, by bringing together, those from various tribes and ethnic groups, to create this one ‘supreme’ race- Sinhala-Buddhist; Buddha’s chosen people, Mahanama said, to protect Buddhism, for five-thousand years!

The Buddhist scriptures, Tripitaka, (Viniya, Suttaand Abhidhamma), and the Mahavamsa, were both written in the Pali language. Therefore the average Buddhist laity, who was not au fait with this language, would not have understood the difference between the Tripitaka, and the Mahavamsa. Hence when Buddhist monks preached the Mahavamsa, the laity accepted all that the monks said, as the true words of the Buddha.

From that day forward, 2600 years ago, the Buddhist clergy of this country, transformed the Buddhist philosophy, into an ‘ethnic’ religion of the Sinhalese, and propagated it as such, as per the Mahavamsa. Thus, over the past 2600 years, Buddhists, in this country, have been misled, misguided, led astray and lied to, by our Buddhist clergy, and their ‘bible’- the Mahavamsa!.

By converting the philosophy into a religion, Buddhist monks, also converted the Buddha, into a ‘God’, and themselves, as his ‘Messengers’, who must be revered and worshiped; totally disregarding the Buddha’s words-

Believe nothing, in the faith of traditions,
even though, they have been held in honor,
for many generations, and in diverse places.


Do not believe, a thing, because many people speak of it.
Do not believe, in the faith, of the sages of the past.
Do not believe, what you yourself have imagined,
persuading yourself, that a God inspires you.


Believe nothing, on the sole authority, of your masters and priests.
After examination, believe what you yourself, have tested
and found, to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.”
The Buddha

A case in point, as it is recorded nowhere, of the Buddha having said, is that alms must be offered to monks, in one’s home or at a temple, seven-days, three-months and one-year after a death, in one’s family.

This practice perhaps, originated through a custom, followed by our ancestors, that has today become sine qua non, for Buddhists-

2600 years ago, a Buddhist temple was the only venue, of social gathering, activity and entertainment, in a village. Hence, when a ‘Rite of Passage’ i.e. death in a family occurred, it was only natural, for the entire village, including Buddhist monks, to visit the bereaved family, and offer words and deeds of comfort and consolation, to them .

Sinhalese hospitality being such, all gathered, would be offered a meal, by the bereaved family, and the monks too, would partake of that meal. This, over the years, became part and parcel, and a ‘religious ceremony’, of the Sinhala- Buddhist ‘religion’.

With time, the Buddhist clergy, introduced a sense of ‘guilt’, to the Buddhist laity, that if such ‘alms-giving ceremonies’, were not held, the departed will be reborn, in ‘hell’. So once again, ‘debunking’ the Buddha’s theory, of ‘karma’ (unavoidable results, of our intentional actions), the monks carved a path of convenience, and reverence, for themselves.

So, according to Sinhala/Mahavamsa-Buddhism, even a murderer, rapist, child molester, and others as such, could circumvent their bad ‘karma’ and be reborn in ‘heaven’, courtesy alms and gifts, offered to Buddhist monks.

Coming from a family regarded as ‘pillars’ of the Buddhist temple, I have observed and been made to participate, in this ridiculous practice, of alms-givings, since early childhood. My paternal grandmother, in Galle, held an annual alms-giving, at her home, for a hundred corps d’elite of Buddhist monks. She had the best of the most expensive crockery, brass ‘padikkamas’, (spitting pots)’ et al, set aside, for the exclusive use of each of these monks. My grandmother, in Kandy was no different.

Today, no event of significance, for a Sinhala-Buddhist is held, without the patronage and ‘blessings’ of the ‘Maha Sangha’ (Buddhist monks). And our foolish laity, continue to believe, that the more you feed and spoil these ‘people’, the more ‘merit’ they, and their dearly departed, would receive!

Who will convince them otherwise, certainly not the Buddhist clergy!

Mahavamsa- a Sinhala-Buddhist Political Guide

If one was to go by the Mahavamsa, the Sinhala race came about, through a mythical union between a lion and a human princess. Perhaps that explains why, Mahavamsa-Buddhists, are so lethargic and bloodthirsty!

But in reality, the Sinhalese race, was a creation of the Buddhist monks of the Mahavihara, who themselves originated from India (unless they were aboriginal Veddhas).

The Mahavihara monk, Mahanama, projected himself as the Messenger of the Buddha- a 1000 years after the passing away of the Buddha himself.

The Mahavamsa was written at a time, when all Sinhalese were Buddhists and all Tamils were Hindus, long before other religions, were introduced to our country.

So, author Mahanama, designed the Mahavamsa to be, instead of a historical record of the Sinhalese and Tamils of Lanka, as a Buddhist canonical text, for the descendants of a Lion!

He took ‘bits’ and ‘pieces’ from Hinduism viz the caste system, idol worshiping, astrology, superstition etc., and projected the Buddha as a superhuman, or a God. This made it more appealing, to the average human psyche; as a religion is far easier to deal with, than a complex philosophy like Buddhism.

So today, we have Sinhala-Buddhists running around in circles, when facing a crisis, between, temples, kovils, churches, mosques and ‘others’ such, as Sai Baba.

Though the author intended the Mahavamsa to be, for the “serene joy of the pious” it contradicts itself, by condoning and equating the killing of human “invaders”, with “sinners, and wild beasts”.

He, Mahanama, in his Mahavamsa justifies, and glorifies the murder by Dutugemunu, of thousands of Tamils he called “invaders”, by equating them with “sinners, and wild beasts”. So, where is Buddhism in that? Thus, how can one regard the Mahavamsa, as a Buddhist guide?

If the Maha Sangha had been sincere, and honest from the outset, they would have disassociated the Mahavamsa, from Buddhism. Had they done so, Buddhism in Sri Lanka today, might have been practiced as the Buddha meant it to be; as per the Dhamma.

Therefore it is the linking of Buddhism with the Sinhalese, this text stands for, that has over the years, formed the mentality of the Sinhala-Buddhist psyche. It became a cast or a mould, of the Sinhala-Buddhist racist; a psychological tool, and a political guide of the Sinhala-Buddhists.

The Curse of the Caste System

What made all those Sinhalese who were originally Buddhists, turn to other religions?

The caste system, denounced by the Buddha, has been fostered by none other, than the Buddhist clergy of the Mahavamsa, themselves. They divided themselves between Nikayas, based on caste, and banned those Buddhists, they called ‘low caste’, from entering the temples, they administered.

Therefore, is it any wonder, that those Sinhalese Buddhists, would turn to a more compassionate faith, where caste, creed or ethnicity, has no place? Perhaps those Mahavamsa/Sinhala-Buddhists, like the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), their sponsors and supporters, ought to reflect on what they say and do, and ask themselves, why these Sri Lankans, who were originally Sinhalese Buddhists, renounced Buddhism, and embrace other faiths?

Strangely, in India, it is the ‘low castes’; Harijans/Dalits, once called “untouchables” or “pariahs”, who are Buddhists, and not the Brahmins of India, despite the Buddha, being a Brahmin himself.

To the Brahmins of India, one’s caste was a matter of vital importance, but one of utter indifference to the Buddha. He strongly condemned, the degradation, of the caste system. In his Order, Monks of all castes were united, as do the rivers in the sea. They lost their former names, castes, and clans, and came to be known, as members of One Community– the Sangha.

Once, the Buddha, while begging for alms, approached the house of the Brahmin, Aggikabharadvaja. The Brahmin, seeing the Buddha at a distance, shouted out: “Stay there, you shaveling, stay there you wretched monk, stay there you outcast.” The Buddha, gently asked the Brahmin: “Do you know, Brahmin, who an outcast is, and what are the conditions, that make one an outcast?”

To the dumbstruck Brahmin, the Buddha said, “”Birth makes not a man an outcast, Birth makes not a man a Brahmin; Actions make a man an outcast, Actions make a man a Brahmin.” (Sutta-nipâta, 142)

Thus, the Buddha admitted freely, into the Buddhist Order, all those he deemed fit, to lead the holy life, from all walks of life, castes and classes. Some went on to distinguish themselves, in the Buddhist Order. The Buddha was one, who united all those torn apart, by man-made differences, of caste, creed and class.

Today, save a few, where does one find these wise words, of the Buddha, practiced by our Sangha, of the Mahavamsa?

Mahavamsa Indoctrination-

I recall my first, school Buddhist text book, as a six-year-old in Grade-One. The cover of the book was illustrated with a picture, of a fully clothed infant Buddha, walking on lotus blossoms. After querying its significance, I was informed by my ‘Buddhism’ teacher, that the Buddha walked, soon after he was born and informed all, that he would be the greatest. And because of this, lotuses blossomed, with each step he took.

For a child, who was constantly seeing her newborn cousins, not capable of such miracles, this seemed like magic to me. So I asked my teacher, if the Buddha was a magician. I was severely admonished, as a “pow kareya” (sinner), and punished for being irreverent.

From that day forward, I became extremely cautious, of whoever tried to talk Buddhism to me, until I became a lay disciple, from childhood to adulthood, of the late Rev. Piyadassi Maha Thera. My ‘guru’ taught me Buddhism, in its original form, as per the Dhamma, and not its corrupt, Mahavamsa version!

From an early age, the innocent and pure minds, of Sinhalese Buddhist children, are ‘brainwashed’, by foolish parents and teachers, with Sinhala-Buddhist racism; Mahavamsa Buddhism!

They are taught, to regard, the ‘other’, who is not a Sinhala-Buddhist, as “an invader”. They are taught, not to trust this ‘other’, who does not belong to Sri Lanka, and is only a ‘guest’, of the ‘benevolent’ Sinhala-Buddhists.

Thus, they are taught, at an early age, that all Tamils, Muslims, Hindus, Christians (Sinhala Christians included) and others, must be chased away, from Mahavamsa-Buddhist Sri Lanka, just as in ancient times, when King Dutugemunu, killed or  chased away the “invaders”, to Tamil Nadu.

In Mahavamsa Buddhism, there is no place, for the Buddha’s Dhamma, of tolerance and compassion!

My ‘Accidents’ with Mahavamsa-Buddhism

My first school was a Convent, in Galle. Here, I was a very happy child, amidst a mélange of others, of various ethnic groups, and religions, including Buddhism.

With time, my Buddhist family thought it essential, for me to change to a Buddhist school. So there I ended up in an exclusive Sinhalese Buddhist private school for girls, in Colombo.

As an eleven-year-old, coming from a Convent, I was most unprepared for the ‘culture shocks’ that awaited me, at this private Buddhist school!

Coming from a family background, where displaying one’s wealth, was regarded as vulgar, as exposing one’s body, I was horrified, at the liberties afforded to the students, and teachers of this Buddhist school. Some tended to favour, students who displayed, their recently acquired family wealth; decked in gold, and dressed in ‘mini’ uniforms, and flashed money freely. They laughed and ridiculed those who appeared less privileged.

For instance, my father once dropped me in school, in his jeep, on his way to Galle. A teacher seeing this, (ironically it was my ‘Buddhism’ teacher), announced in class, that I had come to school that day, in a lorry. Of course as to be expected, I was ridiculed and made fun of, by most of my classmates. I wondered how they might have treated me, had I come to school, by bus!

The horror of studying ‘Buddhism’, in a Buddhist school, is a story by itself!

What was ‘taught’ as Buddhism, and passed off as ‘teaching’ was in fact, a self-teaching exercise, where we the students, were ordered to memorize, Buddhist verses in Pali, with no meaning of the verses offered, while the teacher napped, at her table.

This is how they ‘taught’ Buddhism, in a Buddhist school, that charged exorbitant fees, from unsuspecting parents, who believed their offspring were receiving, a ‘sound Buddhist education’. All this happened, thirty-five years ago (late 70s), and I sincerely hope, this situation has changed, for the better now.

Severely traumatised, by my horrifying ‘Buddhist school’ experience, my parents moved me back, to a Convent. And once again, I happily found myself amidst, a mélange of girls, of various ethnic groups, and religions.

With Mahavamsa-Buddhism, I seem to be accident-prone!

As a young adult, I came across many, who regarded the iconic Sinhala-Buddhist-Anagarika Dharmapala, as the next best thing, to Lord Buddha. Their hypocritical practice, of Mahavamsa-Buddhism, left a bitter taste, in my mouth, I yet feel to date.

Yet another ‘unfortunate accident’ I met, with Mahavamsa Buddhism, was when I tried to have my young son of eight years, admitted to a ‘Buddhist Sunday School’, at a leading Buddhist temple, in Colombo. The person in charge, of new admittance, was a short-tempered ‘gentleman’ of the Buddhist laity.

This ‘gentleman’ informed me, in an angry and loud voice, that I had no business, as a woman, admitting my son, though I was his mother, to a Buddhist Sunday School. He demanded that my son, be accompanied, by his father, if I wished to have him admitted, to this Buddhist Sunday School!

I wondered how, widows managed to admit their sons, to this Buddhist Sunday School.

Teach Comparative Religion in Schools

As a lay-student, of the world renowned most Venerable Piyadassi Maha Thera, I consider myself privileged, to have had such an eminent Guru, of the Buddhist order. Rev. Piyadassi, as I referred to him, had been a close friend of my family for generations, with whom we, as a family, had frequent interaction.

Here was a highly educated, intellectual Buddhist prelate, who would insist that we sit with him at table, and have lunch along with him, while I, as a curious teenager, bombarded him with questions on Buddhism, which he answered patiently and clearly. This type of interaction, with such teachers, is what is required today.

With Rev. Piyadassi’s demise in 1998, in my eyes at the time, he left shoes too big to be filled. But now I know better. For there are many Buddhist prelates and monks of his caliber out there, who are worthy of being revered and worshipped, as the true messengers of Lord Buddha’s philosophy, and they are those, who can guide Sri Lanka’s future Buddhist generations, away from Mahavamsa indoctrination, and on to the correct path.

Alas, such genuine Buddhist prelates and monks, never make news, and are often found in jungles, in deep meditation.

If Sri Lanka’s incumbent President, sincerely wishes to safeguard and foster Buddhism, in its pristine form, then it is his bounden duty, to bring forth a system, whereby our impressionable younger and future generations, are taught the Dhamma, by intelligent and educated Buddhist prelates, as opposed to those stick-in the-mud, Mahavamsa-Buddhist monks, who by no stretch of one’s imagination, are pristine models of Buddhism, to do the job.

The incumbent President has assured more than once, of “religious freedom for all communities, by enhancing interreligious harmony and tolerance”. If he is sincere, then he ought to consider introducing the subject of ‘Comparative Religion’, to all schools, whereby all would understand, the religion of the other.

This would ensure, from an early age, a deeper understanding of the fundamental philosophy of different religions, practiced in Sri Lanka, and that no religion, is above the other.

A child, who has undertaken such a course of study, will undoubtedly have a much deeper understanding of human beliefs and practices, and therefore be more tolerant of each other; not feel threatened by the religion of the other.

This would ideally lead, to our ultimate dream, of a peaceful Sri Lanka, for one and all!

However, the question begs, are our politicians selfless and sincere enough, to take up such a challenge?

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Latest comments

  • 3
    1

    Dear His story man,

    Here is a link to “Genetic affinities of Sri Lankan populations Human Biology”, by Kshatriya, Gautam Kumar.

    http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2007/6/15923_space.html

    Though the name is different to the one I used, the contents are the same. I found the earlier one in an archive somewhere else that I have lost track of. I will find it eventually and will keep you informed.

    Best Regards,
    OTC

    • 2
      0

      OTC,

      There’s an article titled “God In Buddhism? A Response To Dr Jagath Asoka” by Shyamon Jayasinghe.

      It’s very similar to what Sharmini has written.

      So, why don’t you take your s–t there, and hit the fan with it?

      • 0
        0

        Dear Kattakarawala,

        Thank you for bringing it to my attention I will read it and comment.

        The previous info about exposing Pitaduwe is not an article that has an argument. It just has some pictures and Videos.

        Hence though I do not respect Pitaduwe’s behavior the person who posted it has not made any worthwhile argument to base a debate.

        Thank you anyway

        Kind Regards
        OTC

    • 0
      4

      Off the Cuff,

      Now I’m convinced you are a senile old donkey.

      you accused me of using “an unprintable expletive against someone called Bandu de Silva…..”

      The comment on Bandu de Silva was made by Mahadana Muththa (Jnr) NOT me!!!!!

      Here it is-

      Mahadana Muththa (Jnr) January 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      “Bandu de Silva, Are you really a career diplomat? Seriously?

      If you are, then the examiners who passed you must have made a very serious miscalculation!

      You have obviously crammed your way into becoming an academic, but despite your advancing years, wisdom has evaded you. No amount of cramming nor advancing years can give one wisdom! People like you are living proof of that.

      There is nothing ‘diplomatic’ nor even gentlemanly about the uncouth rubbish you have dished out as a comment. It is all about vulgarly insulting the writer (and a lady at that)based on your stupid assumptions.

      You display all the attributes of a racist Mahavamsa Sinhala-Buddhist, who resorts to insults when unable to put forward a wise and intelligent counter argument. Perhaps you are too stupid and senile to do that.

      I hope this is not how you ran the diplomatic missions you headed.

      Since you yourself have admitted ” I do not belong to the ‘broad-minded and wise’ group….” you should have taken the writer’s advice and passed, without embarrassing yourself here, with your inane comments.

      You say “one like this would have to pay by receiving a Fatwa for blasphemy,-to be put to death by stoning”. What kind of a human being are you? Honestly Bandu Silva, don’t you know the definition of “blasphemy”?

      If you are accusing the writer of “blasphemy” because of her criticism of your Sinhala-Buddhism where you regard the Buddha as a God, then yes her article is blasphemous of the Mahavamsa Sinhala-Buddhist ‘religion’.

      But is her article blasphemous of the Buddha and the Dhamma? The answer is an emphatic NO!

      You say “Her assertion is good for an Evangelical school run by American missionaries, where probably she is a part now as her writing demonstrates.One would not be surprised if she is not part of that circuit. That is an opinion.”

      Is this an “opinion” of a a so called career diplomat? Seriously?

      It sounds more like a comment made by the BBS and its ilk.

      Good grief, no wonder our foreign service is down in the dumps with ‘diplomuts’ like you.

      There is so much hatred and venom in your comment that only proves you are anything but a sincere and genuine Buddhist. You are the epitome of an irreverent, racist Sinhala-Buddhist.

      Once again, you should have taken the writer’s advice and passed. Her message is too deep and advanced for a pea-brain like you to grasp.

      Mahadana Muththa (Jnr) January 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Bandu de Silva, Are you a diplomat? Really? If you are a ‘diplomat’ then I should be the UN Secretary General!”

      Off the Cuff, you too seem to be a pea-brain like Bandu Silva, hope you are not a “diplomut” too!

      Pandit Koralage

      • 0
        0

        Dear Pandit Koralage,

        You have posted this comment twice.

        January 6, 2014 at 9:36 am
        January 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm

        I replied your earlier comment on January 6, 2014 at 10:03 pm, but here it is again.

        Dear Pandit Koralage,

        You said “Now I’m convinced you are a senile old donkey”. “You have even used an unprintable expletive against someone called Bandu de Silva…..” “The comment on Bandu de Silva was made by Mahadana Muththa (Jnr) NOT me!!!!! ”

        You are an imbecile to make such a statement when the evidence is not far away. You should be ashamed of blaming someone else for your misdeeds. Even though I don’t see eye to eye with Mahadenamuttha I don’t see the CT moderator intervening to edit what he has written in the post you have reproduced. In your case the moderator has intervened and deleted your expletive because it was UNPRINTABLE.

        Your comment starts with

        “Dear Mr/Ms Off the Cuff,
        After reading your two comments above, I’m sure Mr.Carl Smith is now not sure if the Sinhalese descended from a lion, Tamils, Veddhas, Bengalis,Yemenis or Iranians.”

        and ends with

        “Off the Cuff, I’m now convinced that you and that confused [Edited out] Bandu de Silva are one and the same!”

        Pandit Koralage January 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm

        Emphasis mine

        You wrote that comment though like a coward you are trying to blame Mahadenamuttha Jr. because he used Bandu de Silva’s name earlier.

        I wouldn’t know whether you are a senile old whatever but certainly you look a backstabber. That’s what you have done to Mahadenamuththa to save your skin!

        Where is you honesty and Integrity?

        BTW you have not yet told us how to tell Religiosity from Ethnicity!

        Kind Regards,
        OTC

  • 10
    1

    Dear Sharmini,

    Read your article on the Mahawamsa. It was very factual and very bold too!.

    In my view the Mahawamsa has to be seen in a historical perspective. It may have served a purpose at one point of time, but it does not suit the present day, when the need is to build a democratic, multi-ethnic Sri Lanka, where diversity is both accommodated and celebrated.

    Divisive ideologies do not help the process of nation building in a multi-ethnic context. They do not promote ethnic reconciliation after a 30 year violent conflict.

    The Mahawamsa was written for a purpose. It stemmed from the need to establish the Sinhala-Buddhist identity at a particular point of time when pressure from Tamil-Hindus with closer links with South India was mounting on the Sinhala-Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

    But now, the primary task is to build a multi-ethnic and democratic nation state. The non-Sinhala Buddhists cannot be wished away or subjugated now. They have to be accommodated in an acceptable way. This means that the Mahawamsa must be treated only as a document about a certain period in the history of Sri Lanka and not as a Holy Book embodying the “ideology” of Sri Lanka for all time.

    Bala

    • 3
      2

      Dear Mr. P.K. Balachandran,

      Read your article on the Mahawamsa. It was very factual and very bold too!.

      Bold it is but Factual No.

      However it does suit your propaganda.

      You say “Mahawamsa must be treated only as a document about a certain period in the history of Sri Lanka and not as a Holy Book embodying the “ideology” of Sri Lanka for all time”

      Mahavamsa is no Holy Book though interested parties want to make it so.

      “The Ceylon Tamils had no written document on the lines of the Mahavamsa to authenticate their singular and separate historical authority in Sri Lanka, a fact which Ceylon Tamil communalists found very irksome” (Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution, Tissara Publishers, page 131 by the British historian Dr. Jane Russell).

      The Dutugamunu-Elara story was used by “Ceylon Tamil agitators as historical justification for the sense of grievance which they were so carefully nursing, and it was used to suggest that Sinhalese perfidy in the name of Sinhalese Buddhism would be the accepted practice in the future as well as in the past” (Russell, page 154).

      Please read the Hindu Organ published in Jaffna by Jaffna Tamils in 1939 to get a good idea of how the first Tamil Sinhala Riot of the 20th century was instigated by Mr GG Ponnambalam.

      The Riots before that happened to be Caste Riots amongst Tamils themselves.

      My Ideology is complete equality amongst all SL Citizens. Without Exclusive Homelands or special privileges.

      Kind Regards
      OTC

  • 10
    2

    I am proud to be the 1000th contributor to this thread.

    I am also thankful to Moda putha Sach, Jolly Kirthi, Jim Softy and of course dump Rohitha who enabled Shamini to reach this unprecedented achievement although Sharmini Cautioned the Arm Chair Critiques by mentioning clearly ” The following is more suitable for the broad-minded and the wise. Others are kindly advised to pass!”.

    To sum up Sharmini has brilliantly stated the truth.

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      “To sum up Sharmini has brilliantly stated the truth.”

      And has gone underground unable to defend that “brilliance”, never to appear on this thread ever again.

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        Off the Cuff,

        “…….never to appear on this thread ever again.”

        Did she ever appear on this thread?

        Honestly man, you need to polish up you English.

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          Yes Goofy, when she started the thread.
          It did not start by itself Goof?
          Is it because you don’t you have ANY counter to the arguments made that you focus on irrelevancies?

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        Dear Over the counter,
        “To sum up Sharmini has brilliantly stated the truth.”
        Please read this aswell-
        One day Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake.” Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?” The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.” The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.” “If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead. When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy. But when you love others, everyone is happy.”
        You have made a wise decision to go underground unable to defend your position and to never to appear on this thread ever again.

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          Dear Wimal M,

          You have a problem reading and comprehending.
          First identify the subject before you even attempt to discuss the predicate, lest you make a fool of yourself as you have done now.

          No wonder Sharmini could fool you with her complex prose.

          Counter the rebuttal with logic and fact (if you can do that).

          Kind Regards
          OTC

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            You have not made the wise decision to go underground unable to defend your position and to never to appear on this thread ever again?

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            Dear Over the counter or Off the cuff or whatever the other name,
            You were none other than the fraud LEELA. You also came under several pen names at different instances. I remember once you were YAPA.
            Now you better made a wise decision to go underground reappear under a different name since you are unable to defend your position and never appear on this thread ever again making a fool of yourself under the name OTC.

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    Dear CT Readers,

    Apparently we have a dishonest person assembling bits and pieces copied from other peoples essays, doctoring and prostituting the Original Author’s work.

    This patch work quilt is presented without any indication that it is a quote.

    I am referring to a comment made by Mr. Prasad posted on January 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm. on this thread.

    His post is in fact a dishonestly re-assembled bits and pieces of an essay written by Mr. JL Devanada in the Sri Lanka Guardian at the following URL

    http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/01/response-part-1-mahavamsa-mentality-can.html

    Sri Lanka Guardian is not viewable from SL (unless you go through a proxy site).

    The original essay by Devanada states

    “The ancient Tamil literature and the excavations (archeological findings) in Jaffna proves the existence of Tamils including Tamil Buddhists (Theravada and Mahayana) but there is no evidence what so ever to prove the existence of a separate Tamil Kingdom in Jaffna before the 13th century AD and the same goes to the Sinhalese.”

    The emphasised section has been deleted and replaced by “….in the island from very ancient period” in the first paragraph of his post.

    The reason is obvious.

    Do we have an Expert Fraud, misleading the CT Readership by misquoting and doctoring other peoples work?

    What do you have to say in your defence Mr Prasad?

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      OTC,

      Which lunatic asylum did you escape from?

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      Off the cuff,

      I know nothing of Mr. Devanada or any other. I am only interested in the message and not the messenger. Every article I read, if I find any sentences or paragraph or sometimes even the whole article worth I copy and keep that important message (I have also taken several paragraphs from this article). I have a huge collection of such bits and pieces which I keep for future use. When I comment, there are places where I add such important messages in addition to my own opinion. If I were to quote the source, it will be cumbersome and unnecessary, what is required is only the message.

      Now, let me come to your accusation (calling me an Expert Fraud) of misquoting and doctoring other peoples work.

      Please compare what I have written and what Devanada has written,
      Devanada talks about ancient Jaffna and about Tamil Kingdom in Jaffna.
      I am talking about Tamils living in the island (nothing about Jaffna).
      These are two totally different things.
      Are you confused or pretending to be confused?

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        Dear Prasad and CT Readers,

        Prasad, you have copied word for word from different places in the article.
        You do not have the integrity to admit it and is now attempting to mount a challenge. That is downright Foolish as the EVIDENCE against you is formidable.

        I discovered Mr JL Devanada’s essay by accident (he is a Tamil) while I was searching for an essay by Dr Rajasingham Narendran (his name was mentioned by Carl Smith) on the Mahavamsa which I knew he had written. I was shocked to see the uncanny resemblance of your post of January 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm to Mr JLD’s essay.

        You are an Expert Copy and Paste artist in addition to being a Fraudster.

        You now say “I know nothing of Mr. Devanada or any other.”

        Why are you adding more lies to what you have already done?

        You say “I am only interested in the message and not the messenger.”

        That’s another Lie. Your posts here on CT are full of Ad Hominem attacks. You even accuse others of “Cut and Pasting” when all the while that’s what you do

        You say “Every article I read, if I find any sentences or paragraph or sometimes even the whole article worth I copy and keep that important message (I have also taken several paragraphs from this article). I have a huge collection of such bits and pieces which I keep for future use. When I comment, there are places where I add such important messages in addition to my own opinion. If I were to quote the source, it will be cumbersome and unnecessary, what is required is only the message.”

        By your own admission you have a “HUGE COLLECTION” of snippets. Selecting them to compose an intelligible post would be a HUGE TASK even with a computer and an INDEXED DATABASE. (btw without the source that collection is useless)

        In this case you have assembled your post from a SINGLE source, the essay of Mr. JL Devananda, and you claim you don’t even know him! What is CUMBERSOME about naming a SINGLE source and using quotation marks?

        339 words in your post are IDENTICAL to and is a Word for Word copy of Mr. JL Devananda’s. Your contribution is a paltry 18 words reproduced below!

        …. “in the island from very ancient period. ……The Mahavamsa speaks ONLY of Theravada Buddhists and NOT Sinhala Buddhists.”

        I hope that you will learn from your mistake and be honourable in the future
        As I have said before on this thread, taking Sharmini’s word about Sinhalaya being a Fool is Foolish. As a Tamil you should uphold the honour of your race. Most Tamils are honourable people do not disgrace them.

        Let’s examine your first paragraph in detail

        This is what you wrote

        History is basically the capacity of the society in remembering the past. The mode of exerting this capacity differs from society to society. Anthropology and Archeology (ancient artifacts, ruins, potsherds, burials, coins, stone inscriptions, cave writings, rock edits, writings on Ola leaves, etc), ancient literature, chronicles, cultural anthropology, folk stories, historical linguists, etc are some of the tools to understand the history of a society. The ancient Tamil literature and the excavations (archeological findings) prove the existence of Tamils including Tamil Buddhists (Theravada and Mahayana) in the island from very ancient period.

        This is from Mr JL Devananda’s essay

        1. Is Mahavamsa the History of Sri Lanka?

        History is basically the capacity of the society in remembering the past. The mode of exerting this capacity differs from society to society. Archeology (ancient artifacts, ruins, potsherds, burials, coins, stone inscriptions, cave writings, rock edits, writings on Ola leaves, etc), ancient literature, chronicles, cultural anthropology, folk stories, historical linguists, etc are some of the tools to understand the history of a society.

        1.4. Tamil Buddhist Epics

        Paragraph 3

        The ancient Tamil literature and the excavations (archeological findings) in Jaffna proves the existence of Tamils including Tamil Buddhists (Theravada and Mahayana) but there is no evidence what so ever to prove the existence of a separate Tamil Kingdom in Jaffna before the 13th century AD and the same goes to the Sinhalese. The temptation to consider that everything Buddhist in Sri Lanka is necessarily Sinhalese has to be resisted, as it must be remembered that the Tamils, Andhras, and Kalingas, also were at one time Buddhists, and had a very large share in the dissemination of Buddhist culture in the countries of South-East Asia.

        As anyone can see, the emphasised and italicised text is a word for word patch work reassembly of Mr JL Devanada’s Essay. Only the last sentence of the first paragraph has been written by you and it is an intentional corruption of Mr Devananda’s message.

        He emphatically states there is NO EVIDENCE of a separate Tamil or Sinhala Kingdom in Jaffna earlier than the 13th Century AD. You completely obliterate it and replace it with “in the island from very ancient period.”

        Mr JL Devananda’s article has subheadings numbered from 1 to 1.9. Here is how you have assembled the second paragraph of your two paragraph post from his essay. Please note the emphasised and italicised text

        1.0. The Chronicles

        The Mahavihara monks of Anuradapura maintained Pali chronicles in Sri Lanka which were intended primarily to record the activities of the Theravada Buddhists. There are two sets of Chronicles on which the historians of Sri Lanka have placed their reliance for the study of the Island’s story. The Dipavamsa (5th century A.D), the Mahavamsa (6th century A.D), and the Culavamsa (12th century A.D) were written in Pali, while the later chronicles the Pujavali (13th century A.D), the Rajaratnakara (16th century A.D), and the Rajavali (18thcentury A.D), generally considered to be less reliable as historical documents than even the earlier Pali chronicles were written in Elu/Helu (Sinhala-Prakrit). There is also a commentary to Mahavamsa written in Pali by an unknown Buddhist monk in the 13th century AD known as the ‘Tika’ or Vansatthappakasini to explain/interpret the verses in Mahavamsa. It is the Tika that talks about a mysterious “Sihala atthakatha” (Vamsa text known as original source) that has disappeared after the Mahavamsa was written, the main reason for calling the Pali chronicle of the Mahavihara as the chronicle of the Sinhalese. (What is believed to be “Sihala Attakatha” is nothing but the Indian Epics and Puranas written in Sanskrit).

        The Pali chronicles were written long after the events described took place (some of them more than 1000 years). Therefore these cannot be considered as accurate records of the events. These were written by Theravada Buddhist priests who mainly tried to convey a religious message using the events to illustrate the importance of the Theravada Buddhist religion, hence a very biased version. The description of the events had a very heavy religious flavor and the history was modified to glorify those kings who patronized and supported Buddhism and those who did not were portrayed as “bad kings”, or “invaders”. There was also a tendency to remain silent on the issues which did not portray Buddhism in a favorable light.

        1.2. Bias towards North India

        It is also clear that the Mahavamsa is biased towards North India against the South. This may be because Buddhism and Pali came from there. It has been trying to minimize the South Indian component of the Lankan culture, adopting an anti-Tamil attitude and trying to maximize on an imaginary North Indian component of Lankan culture. Brahmanic revival, Bhakthi movement and extinction of Buddhism in India and the South Indian dynasties intervening in Sri Lanka may be the underlying reason for the formation of a Sinhala-Buddhist identity. To create the Sinhala-Buddhist society in the 5th century AD, the Mahavihara monks have imagined/visualized a mass ‘Aryan migration’ from North India during the proto-historic period. This myth created the foundation for the authoritative history of the island, conditioning the minds of the people from generation to generation and it still continues to the future generation. In reality, there is no objective evidence of an Aryan migration from North India; the ethnic structure in Sri Lanka is quite South Indian with close affinities to Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Many renowned Historians, Archaeologists, Geologists, Epigraphists, Genealogists, Anthropologists, etymologists and Linguistic Scholars have engaged in research, on the ancient history of Sri Lanka for more than 30 years, conducting Archaeological excavations. The latest Archeological and Genealogical discoveries in Sri Lanka using modern technology show that not only the Flora and Fauna but the people of South India and Sri Lanka are of the same stock. This has been further established by findings relating to their culture, language and religion which show that the people of these two regions were closely connected. The recent excavations in Rajarata (Anuradapura) by Dr. Siran Deraniyagala and a team of archeologists discovered a very large number of inscribed potsherds with Brahmi writings going back to the 4th century BCb, very clearly indicating that Anuradapura was settled by people who have adopted the South Indian Megalithic culture. Nevertheless, the modern archeologists and historians accept that the ancient people of Sri Lanka belonged to the Dravidian Language family and followed the Dravidian (Megalithic) culture. The findings also show that there was a strong similarity between the ancient people of Sri Lanka and those of South India. The geographical proximity of Sri Lanka and South India with 22 miles of shallow sea could have been the reason.

        On the other hand, even the South Indian great Pali scholar Buddhaghosa who came to Sri Lanka from Tamil (Chola) country in the 5th Century AD and made a remarkable contribution to Buddhism was depicted (in the Mahavamsa) as a Brahmin from North India and born near Bodh Gaya showing a clear bias towards North Indians (Magadhi) against South. It also failed to mention the other South Indian Tamil Buddhist scholars such as Buddadatta and Dhammapala who worked with Buddhaghosa and contributed to the Pali canon.

        Kind Regards,
        OTC

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          Off the cuff,

          A Great discovery, you deserve a Darwin award.

          BTW, are you Devanada? If not, then why the hell are you crying and screaming? Have you gone MAD or what?

          Man, my comment is not an academic essay or a research paper to check for plagiarism/academic dishonesty. You are only supposed to counter argue and not look for the source. If you call it cut-and –paste, it is fine with me, I have no objections, so why do you worry? What difference is it going to make to the readers if the comment is original or duplicate as long as the message is clear? Who gave you this policeman job of evaluating other people’s comments for originality?

          If I had written an article/essay on CT, I would have definitely given a bibliography/references/original source. Here, I have simply made some comments. For every comment I make, if I were to quote the source (one or many), it will be very cumbersome and unnecessary. People who read comments are not interested in the messenger, they only want the message. They are not concerned if it is Devanada or Prasad. That is why you find so many commenters here with anonymous/pen name (just like you). You can also be called a fraud for using pen names instead of your true name. If you see the comments here, 95% of the commenters have written against you. Instead of counter arguing, you are wasting your time looking for originality in comments. What a joker you are?

          I do not need to index my collection, when I need supporting material I know how to find it (either from my collection or from the net).

          You must be a Jobless vagabond, have nothing to do, simply waste the cyber space provided free by CT to write utter rubbish and do witch hunting on those who write comments here to see if it is original or copied.

          You are a real sicko, please seek medical advice, you also sound like a mentally retarded, grow up and get a life man. I really feel sorry for you. Go get a life!

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          Off the cuff,

          A Great discovery, you deserve a Darwin award.

          BTW, are you Devanada? If not, then why the hell are you crying and screaming? Have you gone MAD or what?

          Man, my comment is not an academic essay or a research paper to check for plagiarism/academic dishonesty. You are only supposed to counter argue and not look for the source. If you call it cut-and –paste, it is fine with me, I have no objections, I do not consider it as a mistake and dishonorable so why do you worry? What difference is it going to make to the readers if the comment is original or duplicate as long as the message is clear? Who gave you this policeman job of evaluating other people’s comments for originality?

          If I had written an article/essay on CT, I would have definitely given a bibliography/references/original source. Here, I have simply made some comments. For every comment I make, if I were to quote the source (one or many), it will be very cumbersome and unnecessary. People who read comments are not interested in the messenger, they only want the message. They are not concerned if it is Devanada or Prasad. That is why you find so many commenters here with anonymous/pen name (just like you). You can also be called a fraud for using pen names instead of your true name. If you see the comments here, 95% of the commenters have written against you. Instead of counter arguing, you are wasting your time looking for originality in comments. What a joker you are?

          I do not need to index my collection, when I need supporting material I know how to find it (either from my collection or from the net). The “HUGE COLLECTION” of snippets what I have does not indicate the source.

          You must be a Jobless vagabond, have nothing to do, simply waste the cyber space provided free by CT to write utter rubbish and do witch hunting on those who write comments here to see if it is original or copied (even counting the number of words).

          You are a real sicko, please seek medical advice, you also sound like a mentally retarded, grow up and get a life man. I really feel sorry for you. Go get a life!

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            Dear Prasad,

            Ha ha haa got caught with your pants down! Now you have removed any that remained.

            First you did not know anyone called Devanada.
            Now you are blowing your top.
            You are posing as a learned person by stealing and prostituting the work of others. Collection of snippets indeed!

            I have uncovered more than a Liar and a Fraud.
            I have uncovered an uncouth Separatist Terrorist to boot!

            You have brought shame on the Tamils who are mostly your diametrical opposite. No wonder you were singing hosannas to Sharmini. She made it easy for you to bash the Sinhala race and the Buddhists. But you did not count on getting uncovered. That was foolish.

            As you can see Sinhalaya is no Fool. Prabahkaran thought so to his detriment and so did you.

            With compliments
            OTC

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              Off the cuff

              You keep on blabbering utter rubbish over and over. Pants down and blowing the top and what not. Stand in front of a mirror and uncover yourself if you are so concerned about uncovering. You will be ashamed of yourself.I never posed as a learned person. It is you who is trying to do so but very unfortunately everybody is laughing at you. In fact you are a disgrace to the Sinhala race. I am sure when the Portuguese arrived, they must have seen a few Modayas like you, and that is why they called the Sinhalayas as Modayas. I will throw a bucket full of kavum for you to gobble. Once you finish, go to sleep you modayass or go and fly a kite. Get a life you Modaya, go get a life.

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                Dear Prasad,

                You claim “I never posed as a learned person”

                Using other peoples intellectual work without giving due credit to the source or without any indication that they are quotes is Intellectual thievery and is a disgusting attempt at posing off as a learned person when one is just an empty headed copycat.

                You claimed you did not know Devanada when you in fact prostituted Devanada’s work by selecting a few sentences from here and a few sentences from there and presenting it as your own to the CT readers. The 357 word post of yours contained only 18 words from you all the rest was Devanada’s and here you are trying to justify such intellectual thievery by thuggery.

                However much you scream and shout and pull your hair out, you cannot escape the fact that You are a Liar, a Thief and an opportunistic Separatist Tamil.

                Anyone who reads my post of January 8, 2014 at 2:28 am, exposing your perfidy and note the rowdyism exhibited by you after that, will know who the Fool and the Thug is.

                The language you use confirms that you are not an ordinary Fool but an ill bred one, to boot.

                Kind Regards,
                OTC

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      Off the cuff is none other than the fraud LEELA. He comes under several pen names at different instances. I remember once he was YAPA.

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        Dear Anthony,

        Another Crystal Ball gazer. CT is getting flooded by them.

        Mr Yapa does not use a Pseudonym and unlike you he does not depend on Ad hominems and heckling. He is a scientist by training and makes highly logical arguments. You can contact him on his blog Discoursions on Wordpress.

        A word of warning though, his knowledge of Buddhist Philosophy is extremely high. I was hoping that he would see this misguided Essay of Sharmini and contest it.

        Good Luck with debating him on Buddhist Philosophy or Science.

        I would sure like to see Leela’s arguments here on CT. If the comments from the gallery is anything to go by, she sounds to be a good logical debater herself.

        BTW, no amount of name calling will deter me from challenging half truths, untruths, evangelism and propaganda. You are better advised to make a logical and truthful counter argument.

        My Pseudonym has been around for over 5 years. It has grown old but has not changed. It will remain to be a thorn to people of your caliber for a long time more.

        Kind Regards,
        OTC

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        Anthony;

        I never was anybody else. However, if my memory is right you were many people in DBS’ forum some time ago in the discussion about Dutugamunu’s ethnicity in a article written by one Devananda. I think the lesson you have learnt from me is long lasting. Are you the same Anthony and “the many people” there?

        Want yo learn more?

        Thanks!

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    Bravo, Sharmini. Why wait longer? Let us celebrate now that you have earned the Evangelist Crown. Good Work. Far better than all the baby schools they run here and the evangelical churches they maintain here.

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      Evanngelist,

      We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.

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        Dear American Evangelist,

        Does that “we” include Ms. Sharmini Serasinghe?

        Of course, they shine like the Star of Bethlehem.
        btw who did the telling?

        History is replete with the loose cannons that were fired to keep the light shining, to keep the Sun ans stars circling the flat Earth and all that.

        Kind Regards
        OTC

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    NPC Chief Wigneswaran Wants Sri Lanka’s History Rewritten

    Against this background, Wigneswaran referred to an article published in the Colombo Telegraph, titled ‘Mahawamsa- An insult to the Buddha’ by the Sinhalese journalist Sharmini Serasinghe, saying it was an exceptional article that portrays the truth.

    WELL DONE and congratulations Sharmini for your GREAT service to the people of Sri Lanka.

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      Dear Prasad,

      Please take note and reflect.

      Quote
      Reinforcing these doubts is the perceived relationship of the TNA with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE)that spearheaded the military campaign for a separate state.Though the tigers were defeated militarily , TNA politicians continue to fuel suspicion by engaging in provocative “tigerish” rhetoric. Some also maintain links with LTTE and pro-LTTE elements in the Global Tamil Diaspora.In such a situation suspicion and hostility will prevail in Colombo and even the most innocuous request or action is likely to be perceived as sinister or diabolical.

      It must also be remembered that the TNA engaged in pro-LTTE rhetoric during its recent provincial poll campaign.Wigneswaran himself shocked and disappointed many by indulging in such talk.After hearing several cases under the Prevention of Terrorism Act(PTA) and imposing sentences when serving as a Judge, the Sitar playing Wigneswaran strummed a different melody by saying the tigers were freedom fighters and not terrorists.He also called LTTE leader Prabhakaran a great hero.

      The TNA has also contributed to and even aggravated the current confrontation with Northern Governor General(retd)GA Chandrasiri.The TNA notably Wigneswaran made an issue out of it on political platforms during the provincial election campaign.Instead of handling the matter deftly and adroitly by resorting to quiet diplomacy the TNA indulged in confrontational sabre rattling against Chandrasiri describing him unfairly as “military governor”.Now the TNA finds it has no sword in its sheath or scabbard.

      Under these circumstances the TNA in general and Wigneswaran in particular would do best by altering their confrontational course. The long sought meeting with the President could be the prelude to either a new cooperative relationship or an uneasy calm before a destructive political storm. The onus however is on Wigneswaran to personally initiate a fresh , positive,pragmatic approach that could remedy and rectify matters.If that happens the meeting with Mahinda could prove a harbinger of hope for the Northern provincial council.
      Unquote
      Emphasis mine

      DBS Jayaraj
      http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/27398

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    According to Mahawamsa Buddhism it is believed that Maithree Buddha is yet to come. This is like the belief of the second coming of Jesus among the Christians. Now the issue is when? Is it going to be during the time of the present Humans or after the present Human Race perish and another Human Race is born? If the Mahawamsa Buddhists believe that there were Buddhas prior to Gauthama, what happened to the Buddhism that existed prior and those Humans that lived at that time? Were the societies divided then as well and were fighting like the Sinhalese and the Tamils? Is it the same Philosophy that Gauthama preached or is it something different? What is the source of evidence to prove the existence of such Myths? What were the Nationalities of the previous Buddhas? What will be the Nationality of Maithri Buddha? What if Maithri Buddha is born as a Tamil and the Tamils hijack Buddhism as Tamil Buddhism? What will happen to the Sinhalese without Buddhism in the future? Will they have to look up to some other person?

    Reading the comments above, I am truly amazed at the Intelligent, Educated FOOLS in this society, who try to defend the indefensible, that is Mahawamsa, which has been exposed rightly by Sharmini Serasinghe’s article that has drawn over One Thousand Comments so far and yet growing. She must be damn proud of it and why not? My Congratulations to you.

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      Gamini, Will those who believe that MR is their Saviour, be able to recognise the Maithree Buddha when he arrives?
      What characteristics are we looking for in the next Buddha?

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    Dear Shamini

    I read your article and you seem to be having a very strong opinion about certain Sri Lankan Buddhist practices. However the connection your draw between Buddhism and Mahavmsa to the best of my knowledge is not quite accurate. Mahavamsa is nothing more than a mere document or record used to make out the History of Sri Lanka and not the teachings of Buddha. The teaching of Buddha is the “Thripitakaya” and not the Mahavansa. If people choose the use Mahavamsa as a guideline for their religious views thats very subjective and is not a fault of the teaching or the culture for not all of us consider it as our bible. After all even in Christianty having one Bible still has many denominations.
    As for you mocking the beliefs of the Buddhist about the birth of the Buddha, the Sri Pada and the toothe relic its again mere opinion. Don’t the world think Jesus Christ was conceived in a Virgins womb and rose from the dead after three days pushing away the stone that coverd it and appeared in front of the deciples? I don’t think you have the right to mock any such beliefs for those are held by people who find consolence in it and you are free to take it or leave it but who are we to say its happned or didn’t happen when we our selves have no proof to say it didn’t as much as those who believe it have no proof to say it did. Isn’t that why we call them “beliefs” and not facts? and it is and inevitable part of every culture and every religious practice

    ANd you also have mocked the Esala Perahera which is a Jewel and a very strong tourist attraction of our country. Do you have any idea as to how much talent and careful organizing that gose in to that and how many middle to low income families survive on it regardless of what intentions its done for. Its a cultural identity and not a Buddhist teaching and is in line with “Amisa Puja” indicated by Buddha though he valued “Prathipaththi puja” more. You are free to offer any form of Amisa Puja as long as you don’t violate the percepts and I don’t think that is doen unless someone tries to make money of the same which is again a fault of Economy and the era. What is not exploited?

    As a final thought we have no right to tell people what they do with the Gold they bought with their earned money. Some may decide to wear it and some may offer it to the tooth relic. Its a freedom of choice. Are you going to tell people to give away the jewelery they have to treat the poor?

    Its interetsing to read such and article but Ithink you should pay more attention to get your facts right. Every country has a culture of its own and by no means is it always fair or right. Please don’t mix it up with the spiritual practices be it a religion or Philosophy. The deepeset teachings of Buddhism requires a certain level of Intelligence (pracncha)as said by Buddha and people who may not have that level may practice it in which ever way they understand and according to the common practice and the implied thing just as your parents wanted to get you to a Buddhist School and you wanted to get your Son to a Sunday school.

    We are all free to have our oipnions but we have no right to mock that of other especially when we have mixed up our onions in the first place. This is a Free Land.

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    Gamini

    It is necessary for us to recognize that the authorities on the teachings of the Buddha are no more reliable than those sources we have concerning his life. None of the 3 pitakas can at present be satisfactorily dated before the council of Ashoka held in Patna about 250 BC, more than 2 centuries after the passing of Buddha.

    Hence, we do not have sufficient proof to assert that the doctrine of the Buddha as now represented did exist in the time of Buddha, or that it formed a part of his actual teaching, nor is there enough evidence to state that it arose after the Buddha’s passing.

    It is, nevertheless, clear that immediately after Buddha’s passing a strong reaction did set in against the high standard of the Buddha’s ethical teachings, and this opposition was further reinforced by the growth of the legends which sprang up rapidly regarding his life.

    Hence, the question will always remain whether the pali texts of the Theravadians represent the oldest traditions which approach the actual teachings of the Buddha, or do we have to look to the scriptures of the other old schools and also of the Mahayana for a more correct and comprehensive picture of the Buddha and his message.

    The assumption that only the Pali scriptures of the Theravadians can give us an adequate idea is untenable, since the Pali canon is merely the work of only one Sect, besides which many others existed at the time.

    What I believe is, the Buddhists should be open to other Buddhist sects as well, including the Mahayana because the Theravada Buddhism is no longer able to provide any vision or guidance or constructive power but it only occupies in maintaining its own petty position in an already atrophied hierarchy resting on a rapidly crumbling society from which the spirit has long since departed.

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      Silva,

      The basic message of the Buddha is the same, be it Theravada, Mahayana or any other sect.

      It is best, for the average man to understand and practice that basic message, instead of trying to define which sect is right and which is wrong.

      Centuries after Buddha’s demise, how is one to know who introduced what into Buddhism, in order to claim that one sect is superior to the other.

      Perhaps, if the basic message of the Buddha was given prominence, the average man wouldn’t find Buddhism so hard to comprehend.

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    Forgive my ignorance, please.
    What is the difference between Buddha and Saibaba. Both were humans, born Hindus and had a upper class life. 500 years later, I believe that Saibaba will be treated like Buddha is being treated now.
    Am I wrong?

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      Please forgive this person’s ignorance.

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    Tamil Nadu boasted of outstanding Buddhist monks, who had made remarkable contributions to Buddhism thought and learning. Three of the greatest Pali scholars of this period were Buddhaghosa, Buddhadatta, and Dhammapala and all three of them were associated with Buddhist establishments in the Tamil kingdoms.

    Buddhadatta or Thera Buddhaatta as he is called lived during the time of Accyutarikkanta, the Kalabra ruler of the Chola-Nadu. He was a senior contemporary of Buddhaghosa. He was born in the Cola kingdom and lived in the 5th Century AD. Under the patronage of this ruler, Buddhadatta wrote many books. Among his best known Pali writings are the VINAYA-VINICCHAYA, the UTTARA-VINICCHAYA and the JINALANKARA-KAVYA. Among the commentaries written by him are the MADHURATTHA-VILASINI and the ABHIDHAMMAVATARA. In the Abhidhammaratara he gives a glowing account at Kaveripattinum, Uragapuram, Bhutamangalam and Kanchipuram and the Mahavihara at Sri Lanka. While he was at Sri Lanka, he composed many Buddhist works such as Uttara-viniccaya Ruparupa Vibhaga Jinalankara etc. Buddhaghosha, contemporary of Buddhadatta also composed many Buddhist commentaries.

    Buddhaghosha is a Tamil monk, who made a remarkable contribution to Buddhism in Sri Lanka. He stayed and studied Buddhist precepts at Mahavihara in Anuradhapura. The Visuddhimagga was the first work of Buddhaghosha which was written while he was in Sri Lanka.

    After Buddhaghosha, the important Theravada monk from the Tamil Nadu was Dhammapala. Dhammapala lived in the Mahavihara at Anuradhapura. He composed paramathadipani which was a commentary on Buddhaghosha s work on Khuddaka Nikaya and Paramathamanjusa, which was a commentary on Buddhaghosha’s Visuddhimagga. A close study of the three Buddhist monks viz Buddhadatta, Buddhaghosha and Dhammapala shows that Tamil Buddhists were closely associated with the Sri Lankan Buddhists around the 5th century AD.

    The author of NETTIPAKARANA is another Dhammapala who was a resident of a monastery in Nagapattinam. One more example is the Chola monk Kassapa, in his Pali work, VIMATTI-VINODANI, this Tamil monk provides interesting information about the rise of heretical views in the Chola Sangha and the consequent purification that took place.

    There are so many other Tamil monks who are attributed to the Pali works some of them were resident at Mayura-rupa-pattana (Mylapore) along with Buddhagosha. The well known Tamil Buddhist epics, on the other hand, were MANIMEKALAI and KUNDALAKESI.

    The 6th century Tamil Buddhist work Manimekalai by Sattanar, is perhaps the most famous of the work done in Tamil Nadu. It is a work expounding the doctrines and propagating the values of Buddhism. The interaction between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan monks finds mention in Manimekalai, which is set in the Tamil towns of Kaveripoompattinam, Kanchi, and Vanchi.

    There is mention about the presence of wondering monks of Sri Lanka in Vanchi, which was the capital of the Chera Kings of Tamil Nadu. The Chinese traveller, Tsuan Tsang, wrote that there were around 300 Sri Lankan monks in the monastery at the Southern sector of Kanchipuram.

    As Buddhism was one of the dominant religions in both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, naturally there were very close relations between the two regions. The monks from Sri Lanka, too, went across to the Tamil kingdom and stayed in the monasteries.

    There was NO Buddhism in Sri Lanka until Emperor Asoka’s missionary monks led by Mahinda converted the Hindu Naga King Tissa into a Buddhist in the 2nd century BC. Similarly, there was NO Sinhala race/tribe in Sri Lanka until the Mahavihara monks created it in the 5th century AD. When Hindu/Brahmanical influence posed a serious challenge to Buddhism and when Buddhism started to lose popular support and the patronage from the rulers, the Buddhist institutions in India came under attack. The Mahavihara monks of Anuradapura including Ven. Mahanama, the author of the Pali chronicle Mahavamsa and a close relative of the Buddhist Naga king Dhatusena witnessed the decline and disorientation of Buddhism in India. Events that took place in India against Buddhism prompted the Mahavihara monks in Sri Lanka to come up with a strategy to protect Buddhism. Due to their strong devotion to Buddhism and desire to consolidate and protect this religion in Sri Lanka they have decided to write the Pali chronicles Deepavamsa/Mahavamsa making Sri Lanka a Dammadeepa – chosen land of Buddha where Buddhism will prevail for 5000 years) and creating the Sinhala race by integrating all the Buddhists from different tribes/ethnic groups into one race and making them the sustainers of Buddhism (Gautama Buddha’s chosen people) to protect Buddhism in Sri Lanka for 5000 years until the next Maithriya Buddha arrive. With the patronage of the Buddhist Kings, it is the Mahavihara monks who assimilated all the Buddhists from many different tribes together and called them Sihala. There is NO historical evidence what so ever to prove Vijaya’s arrival with 700 men or to say there were Sinhalese during the Early Historic period. The term ‘Sihala’ itself first appeared ONLY in the 5th Century AD Pali chronicles Deepavamsa/Mahavamsa and that also ONLY twice in the beginning chapters. To date, no archaeological evidence has been found to prove ‘Hela’ or ‘Sihala’ or ‘Sinhala’ existed before that or anything about Vijaya’s arrival.

    Only the Mahavamsa Tika that was composed very much later to interpret the Mahavamsa, mentions that it was adopted from the mysterycal ‘Vamsa texts’ known as ‘Sihala Atthakatha’ (collection of Sinhala verbal stories). Very strangely, most of the mythical/supernatural stories from the so called ‘Sihala Atthakatha Vamsa texts’ are very similar to those found in the Indian Epics and Puranas such as the Mahabaratha/Ramayana. Ultimately, the Mahavamsa has transformed the Buddha into a special patron of Sinhala-Buddhism, an ethnic religion created in Sri Lanka.

    The Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka is different from the Theravada Buddhism practiced in other countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and so on. The Buddhists in these countries follow only the Buddhist scriptures Tripitaka (Viniya, Sutta, Abhidhamma), whereas in Sri Lanka the ‘Mahavamsa,’ which was written by one of the Mahavihara monks (Ven. Mahanama) more than 1000 years after the passing away of Lord Buddha is also considered as a part of the Buddhist scriptures.

    Although it deals mostly with mythical or supernatural Buddhist history, some episodes of which are copied from the ‘Mahabaratha’ and ‘Ramayana.’ Since the Buddhist scriptures (Tripitaka) and the mythical Buddhist history (Mahavamsa) were both written in the Pali language, a Buddhist layperson who does not understand Pali cannot understand the difference between the two and, therefore, he/she believes everything that the Buddhist monks preach, to be the true words of Buddha.

    Due to ignorance, even the present day some Sri Lankans still believe that they are blood relatives of Buddha because, according to the Mahavamsa, their forefather Pandu-Vasudeva belongs to the Sakya clan, and is a relative of the Buddha where as the historians believe that the term ‘Pandu’ in Pali means Pandyans.

    According to Buddhism, a person ordained as a Bikkhu should practice Ahimsa (non-violence), Karuna (compassion), Metta (affection), and Maithriya (loving-kindness) towards fellow humans, (irrespective of race or religion), not only by words but also in his thoughts and action.

    There are enough of ancient archaeological evidence in Sri Lanka such as Brahmi stone inscriptions, cave writings, Pali chronicles, etc where the terms ‘Dameda’, ‘Damela’, ‘Damila’, ‘Demel’ are mentioned as a group of people living in the island. Even in the Jataka stories such as Akitti Jataka, there is a reference to Tamil country (Damila-rattha), where as there is NO evidence what so ever about the terms ‘Hela’, ‘Sihala’, ‘Sinhala’ before and even a few centuries after the Pali chronicles were written. Even the Mahavamsa says, the missionary monk Mahinda Maha Thero preached Buddhism to the people of the island in Deepa basa (language of the island) but it does not say that the deepa basa was ‘Elu’ or ‘Helu’ or ‘Sihala’.

    Some scholars argue that the ethnic name of the dominant group does not occur in these records for the very good reason that there is no need to distinguish any person by referring to him/her as such when the people as a whole are entitled to that name (Sihala). This argument could have been accepted if the terms ‘Hela’, ‘Sihala’, ‘Sinhala’ was found at least somewhere outside Sri Lanka such as in any of the ancient literary works and/or the stone inscriptions/rock edicts of neighbouring India (either South or North) that was always associated with the island’s history, but unfortunately nothing has been found until now.

    The kingdoms of Anuradapura and Polonnaruwa were NEVER known as Sinhala kingdoms and the Naga kings who ruled these kingdoms never called themselves ‘Hela’, ‘Sihala’, or ‘Sinhala’. Subsequent to the Chola domination of Sri Lanka in the 10th century A.D, people who identified themselves as Buddhists and Sinhalese shifted their seats of rule from the ancient kingdoms of Anuradapura and Polanaruwa towards South and Central of the island. It was only after the 13th century AD that the kingdoms of Kotte and Kandy were known as ‘Sinhale’ even though some parts in North and East also came under the Kandyan rule but Kandy was mostly ruled by the Kalingas of South-East India and the Nayakkars of South India.

    The term ‘Sinhale’, appeared only in the 13th Century AD Chulavamsa and NOT in Deepavamsa/Mahavamsa. In the 16th century, the Portuguese and in the 18th century, the Dutch who occupied the island brought in tens of thousands of people from South India (presently Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andara) and settled them in the Southern parts of the island as menial labourers (for growing/peeling cinnamon, growing tobaco, pearl diving, coconut planting/plucking, toddy tapping, and for many other jobs).

    Within a few centuries, the Sinhala population increased exponentially when these people assimilated with the local Sinhala population by adopting the Sinhala language and the Buddhist religion. Today their decedents (6th generation) are not only claiming the ancient Sri Lankan civilization as their own ‘Sinhala’ heritage but have also become the patriots and champions of Sinhala-Buddhism.

    It was the British who re-discovered the Mahavamsa in the early 20th century and their so called European ‘Pali Scholars’ misinterpreted it, thereby creating another myth known as Arya-Sinhala. Since the Sinhala (Elu) language (mixture of Sanskrit, Pali, Tamil and Malayalam) was more of Indo-Aryan in nature, the British declared that the Sinhalese were Aryans from North India and the Tamils were Dravidians from South India.

    It is said in MAHAVAMSA CHAPTER VII – THE CONSECRATING OF VIJAYA, “But the king Sihabahu, since he had slain the lion (was called) Sihala and, by reason of the ties between him and them, all those (followers of VIJAYA) were also (called) Sihala.”

    If Sihabahu whose father had slain the lion was called Sihala and his eldest son Vijaya and his followers were also called Sihala, then what about Vijaya’s twin brother Sumitta and his followers in Sinhapura, India? Why they were not called Sihala? That itself proves that Vijaya and the Sinhala race was a creation of Ven. Mahanama and the Mahavihara monks.

    Another good example of the myths, fantasies, superstitions and fables from the Mahavamsa is the Elara/Dutugemunu episode. Just around ten lines/verses in the Pali chronicle Deepavamsa about the Elara/Dutugemunu was blown up into 11 chapters in the Mahavamsa just to glorify Buddhism and the Buddhist kings against the Hindus which gave birth to “superior race”, “Bhoomiputhra (sons of the soil)”, “Sinhaladivpa” “unitary state” and “Dhammadivpa” theories. The Mahavamsa author being a Buddhist monk and justifying the killing of around sixty thousand Tamils/Hindus (aka invaders) by Dutugemunu is one reason why others (non-Buddhists) think that Sinhala-Buddhism is somewhat of a violent barbaric form of Buddhism where killing Tamils is justified. The Mahavamsa equates the killing of the invaders as being on par with the killing of “sinners and wild beasts”, and the King’s sorrow and regret are assuaged. This is considered by some critics as an ethical error. However, Buddhism does recognize a hierarchy of actions as being more or less wholesome or skillful, although the intent is as much as or more important than the action itself. Thus the killing of an Arahant may be considered less wholesome and skillful than the killing of an ordinary human being. Buddhists may also assert that killing an elephant is less skillful and wholesome than killing an ant. In both cases, however, the intent must also be considered. An important thing to note is that Dutthagamani regretted his act, and this was also true of King Asoka, who became a pacifist after a series of bloody military campaigns.

    There is a clear record of all the main events of Buddha, the places he visited, with whom he was, where and what he preached and to whom he preached, in the Buddhist scriptures Tripitika, but nowhere it is mentioned that the Buddha visited or even spoke about the island of Lanka. In order to protect Buddhism in Sri Lanka from those powerful South Indian Hindu kingdoms, Ven. Mahanama wrote the Mahavamsa, by added his own imaginations and myths. He has introduced many events concerning Buddha which never took place, things that Buddha has never said or done, events which are not mentioned in any of the Buddhist scriptures (both Theravada and Mahayana).

    For example, according to the Mahavamsa, Buddha made three magical trips to Sri Lanka, each time colonizing another area of the island, in preparation for the formal introduction of Buddhism two centuries after his death. One of these trips was to settle a dispute between the Yakkhas and Nagas at Naga Divipa (Ninathivu) where the Buddha tamed the Yakkhas, the non-human inhabitants of the island.

    There is no evidence whatsoever to support this claim (Buddha’s 3 visits), other than the three chaithiyas (Buddhist structures) built in the recent past at 3 different locations to say, ‘This is where Buddha came.’ Even the footprint of Buddha at Sri Pada (Adam’s peak) is nothing but an obvious myth.

    According to the Mahavamsa, just before passing away, Buddha has called the Sakka (King of Gods) and told him,

    ‘My doctrine, O Sakka, will eventually be established in the Island of Lanka, and on this day, Vijay the eldest son of Singha Bahu king of Sinhapura in the Lata country lands there with 700 followers and will assume sovereignty there. Do thou, therefore guard well the prince and his train and the Island of Lanka. On receiving the blessed one’s command, Sakka summoned God Vishnu and said, ‘Do thou. O lotus-hued one, protect with zeal prince Vijay and his followers and the doctrine that is to endure in Lanka for a full five thousand years’.

    It should be noted that in Buddhist scriptures, Buddha has never mentioned about any Hindu/Brahmanical Gods, he only talks about Devas and Bramahas from different worlds who have no connection with any Hindu/Brahmanical Gods.

    Ven. Mahanama has created an imaginary link between the three elements, Country-Race-Religion and made it into one unit similar to the Holy Trinity, whereby Sri Lanka (Dhamma Deepa), Buddha’s chosen people (Sinhalese), and Buddhism (Buddha Sasana) should be protected for 5000 years. This is known as the Jathika chintanaya or the Mahavamsa mindset.

    What we witness today is a kind of political Buddhists trying to promote their interest rather than Buddhism as a path for personal salvation.

    Ven Mahanama, the author of the Mahavamsa refers to three visits by the Gautama Buddha to Sri Lanka. To ascertain whether the description in the Mahavamsa has any basis, one has to study the life of the Gautama Buddha, as revealed in the Pali Canon.
    Immediately after Enlightenment, the Gautama Buddha walked from Bodh Gaya to Sarnath. From Sarnath, He set out to wander by stages to Uruvela. At that time three ascetics with matted hair — Kassapa of Uruvela, Kassapa of the River and Kassapa of Gaya — were living at Uruvela. When the Gautama Buddha was living at Uruvela, Kassapa’s sacrificial ceremony fell due.
    The Mahavamsa says, “Now, since a great sacrifice by Kassapa of Uruvela was near at hand, and since He (the Gautama Buddha) saw that this latter would fain have Him away .., the Conqueror in the ninth month of his Buddhahood, at the full moon of Phussa, Himself set forth for the Isle of Lanka…
    “To this great gathering of the Yakkas went the Blessed One and there in the midst of that assembly, hovering in the AIR over their heads, at the place of the future Mahiyangana Thupa, He struck terror to their hearts, by rain, storm, darkness and so forth. The Yakkas, overwhelmed by fear, besought the fearless Vanquisher to release them from fear. Then, when He had destroyed their terror,… the Master preached them the doctrine.”
    The suttas display the Gautama Buddha, as the incarnation of patience and peace, capable of working the miracle of transformation by His unshakeable equanimity and impeccable wisdom.
    The Gautama Buddha would never have struck terror to their hearts. This idea that the Gautama Buddha struck terror to their hearts by rain, storm and darkness, Mahanama has taken directly from the Vedas. The Vedas tell us that Indra wields the thunderbolt and conquers darkness. He brings us light and life, gives us vigour and freshness. Heaven bows before him and the earth trembles at his approach “Yes, when I send thunder and lightning” says Indra “then you believe, in me.”
    According to the Mahavamsa’s description of the first visit of the Gautama Buddha to Lanka, the visit should take place between the sacrificial ceremony and the deliverance of the fire sermon at Gayassi.
    The Mahavamsa says the Gautama Buddha came by AIR to Lanka. The description of the first visit of the Gautama Buddha goes against the fundamental teachings of the Gautama Buddha. In Mahasihanada Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 12) Sunakkata made this statement before the vesali assembly: “The recluse Gautama does not have any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. The recluse Gautama teaches a Dhamma hammered out by reasoning, following his own line of reasoning as it occurs to him, and when he teaches the Dhamma to anyone, it leads when he practices it to the complete destruction of suffering”.
    Bhikku Bodhi in his commentary to this sutta says “Apparently he (Sunakkhatta) believes that being led to the complete destruction of suffering is, as a goal, inferior to the acquisition of miraculous powers”. In His rebuttal of Sunkattha’s assertion the Gautama Buddha says “the recluse Gautama teaches a Dhamma hammered out by reasoning, following His own line of reasoning as it occurs to Him-Unless He abandons that view, then he will wind up in hell”.
    In the Kevaddha Sutta, The Gautama Buddha says, He dislikes, rejects and despises the miracles of psychic power and miracle of telepathy. The Gautama Buddha was possessed of a quality of compassion, seldom seen among men. His sympathy was all embracing and spontaneous. The Gautama Buddha’s teaching is based and built on a conception of universal love and compassion for all living beings.
    In the Vatthupama Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 7) the Gautama Buddha says, “he abides pervading that all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving kindness, abundant, exalted immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will. He abides pervading one quarter with the mind imbued with compassion.”
    “In the Lakkahan Sutta (Digha Nikaya Sutta 30) it is stated, “the Tathagata rejects harsh speech, abstains from it, spoke what was blameless, pleasing to the ear, agreeable, reaching the heart, urbane, pleasing and attractive to the multitude.”
    Therefore, if the Mahavamsa is to be believed, when Mahanama says, “He struck terror to their hearts by rain, darkness and so forth. The Yakkas overwhelmed by fear… we have to accept that the Gautama Buddha abandoned the fundamental tenets of the Dhamma merely for the sake of converting a set of ‘uninstructed wordings.’ He was, of all the historical personages of whom we possess any knowledge, one of the most consistent in thought, word and act.
    He not only placed little value on the supra-rational knowledge and ecstasy to which ascetics and mystics were supposed to have access, but actually described their mental acrobatics as “the thicket of theorizing, the wilderness of theorizing, the tangle, the bondage.”

    The Mahavamsa goes on to say that it was on His first visit that the “Master preached the doctrine”. There is no record of the doctrine the Gautama Buddha preached to the Yakkas. However, there is a record of the two earlier sermons the Gautama Buddha delivered at Saranath.
    According to the Mahavamsa, the Gautama Buddha’s second visit to Lanka was in the fifth year of His Gautama Buddhahood “He set out to Lanka from Jetawana.” If the Mahavamsa account of the Gautama Buddha’s second visit is to be believed He should have come to Lanka before He left for Kapilavasthu.
    In His second visit, the Mahavamsa says the Gautama Buddha brought about a reconciliation between the Naga kind Maniakkhika and Mahodora by preaching the “the doctrine that begets concord.” King Pasanedi was one of the most devoted lay followers of the Gautama Buddha. Pasanedi says “The dhamma has been made clear in many ways by the Blessed One, as though He were turning upright what had been turned upside down. (vide Kosalaamyutta in the Samyuta Nikaya.)
    Yet the Gautama Buddha was not able to prevent King Pasanedi going into battle with Ajasathu. In the Paranibbana Sutta we find Ajasattu sending his chief minister Brahamin Vessakara to the Gautama Buddha to seek advice as to how he could attack the Vajians and bring them to ruin and destruction. The Gautama Buddha told him, “the Vajians will never be conquered by force of arms.” Still the Gautama Buddha was not able to dissuade Ajasatu resorting to various stratagems to destroy the Vajians.
    It is strange therefore, that while the Gautama Buddha was not able to prevent His disciples from waging wars, He could bring about reconciliation between two kings in a foreign country.
    The doctrine that “begot concord” is not found anywhere in the Pali Canon. It is also strange that this doctrine was not delivered to Kings Pasanedi or Ajasatu and thereby dissuade them from going to war.
    According to the Mahavamsa, the third visit of the Gautama Buddha to Lanka was in the eighth year of His Gautama Buddhahood.
    The Gautama Buddha “set forth surrounded by five hundred arahats on the second day of the beautiful month of Vesak..” Again the doctrine He preached on His third visit to the island is not found in the Pali Canon. The Gautama Buddha’s famous statement in the Paranibbana Sutta, “I have taught the Dhamma, Ananda, making no inner and outer. The Tathagata has no teacher’s fist in respect of the Dhamma,” makes it clear that there is no esoteric teaching in Buddhism.
    On a plain reading of the Gautama Buddha visits to Lanka as recorded in the Mahavamsa, it becomes clear that this account is not only false but goes against the teachings of the Gautama Buddha.
    It is also established that from the day of His enlightenment till He passed away at Kusinara, the Gautama Buddha walked barefoot from Gautama Buddha Gaya to Kusinara. At the little village of Beluva the Gautama Buddha said (Paranibbana Sutta), “Ananda, I am now old, worn out, one who has traversed life’s path, I have reached the term of life which is eighty.” The version in the Mahavamsa that the Gautama Buddha came by air from Jetawana to Lanka should be rejected.
    One other matter that should be considered in delving into the veracity of the Gautama Buddha’s visit as narrated in the Mahavamsa is that there was an intellectual awakening in India about a thousand years before the Gautama Buddha. Therefore, we find in India at the time of the Gautama Buddha’s birth the tendency of man to think rationally, to reduce the chaotic universe of his sense-impressions and intuitions to a coherent and logical order, was ingrained in the Indian mind. The Gautama Buddha tore away the Dhamma from His ancestral stem and planted in a purely rational soil.
    Even in such an intellectually fertile soil as in India in the 5th century B.C, soon after enlightenment the Gautama Buddha experienced an inner conflict as to whether He should ever teach the Dhamma because, in the words of Bhikku Bodhi, “He reflected the density of the defilements of beings and the profundity of the Dhamma. In the Brahmasamayutta in the Samyutta Nikkaya we find the following statement, “This Dhamma I have discovered is deep, hard to see, hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, not within the sphere of reasoning, subtle, to be experienced by the wise.”
    While there is a record of the very first sutta preached to five ascetics, we do not find in the Pali Canon any reference to the three discourses delivered to the Nagas and Yakkas.
    Mahavamsa is a conscious and intentional rearrangement of the Dipavamsa as a sort of commentary to this latter. In the absence of any sources, the Dipavamsa must be considered as standing unsupported on its own tottering feet. Therefore no historical value can be conceded to the Dipavamsa nor to the Mahavamsa.
    The account given in the Mahavamsa has no historical evidence to support the proposition that the Gautama Buddha ever visited Sri Lanka. Ignorance is the first requisite of the historian. Ignorance simplifies and clarifies, selects and limits, with a placid perfection unattainable by the highest art.

    Millions of people for thousands of years believed that the earth was flat. And also millions of people believed the following in the seventh chapter of Mahawamsa for hundreds of years :
    Vijaya’s arrival in Sri Lanka coincided with the passing away of the Buddha. The very first ‘person’ that Vijaya encountered on the island was the ‘Lord of the Gods’, Lord Vishnu, who was charged by the ailing Buddha with looking after Vijaya and his descendants.
    The second encounter was far less auspicious – a Yakkinni, or demoness, who ‘appeared in the form of a dog’. Vijaya’s men, surmising that ‘Only where there is a village are dogs to be found’, followed the creature, only to come upon the Queen of the demons, Kuveni. Though the protection of Vishnu prevented Kuveni from devouring the hapless man, it did not prevent her from hurling him – and all of Vijaya’s other companions – into a chasm.

    Vijaya eventually comes upon Kuveni and threatens her with death unless she releases his men. When this is done, Kuveni supplies them with food and clothing, and, ‘assuming the lovely form of a sixteen year old maiden’ seduces Vijaya. Then, in a complete reversal of her allegiances, she states that she ‘will bestow Kingship on my Lord Vijaya’ and thus ‘all the Yakkhas must be slain, for else the Yakkhas will slay me, for it was through me that men have taken up their dwelling (in Sri Lanka)’. This Vijaya goes on to do, vanquishing the demons and driving them from the island, all the time with Kuveni at his side.
    Though Kuveni bears him two children, a son and a daughter, Vijaya eventually rejects her with the words ‘Go now, dear one, leaving the two children behind; men are ever in fear of superhuman beings’. Despite begging Vijaya not to send her away, a heart broken Kuveni eventually leaves the palace, taking the two children despite being ordered not to. Arriving in one of the few surviving Yakka cities she is killed by her own people for her betrayal. One of her uncles takes pity on her children and tells them to flee before they, too, are killed. They eventually flee to Malaya rata where they settle and become the ancestors of the Pulindas. And alternative tale is that Kuveni flung herself from Yakdessa Gala, imploring the Gods to curse Vijaya for his cruelty – which they do by preventing any of Vijaya’s children from ever sitting on the throne of Rajarata.
    The Kuveni-Vijaya story evokes some similarities with the encounter of Odysseus with Circe. Circe is also an enchantress and a witch. The Kuveni myth is also remarkable for being so violent and tragic. Both the demon Queen and Vijaya are portrayed as being deeply treacherous and unfeeling – Queen in betraying her entire people, Vijaya in betraying her in turn so callously. Indeed Vijaya’s reason for rejecting Kuveni is his desire for a ‘a maiden of a noble house’ to be consecrated Queen with him. This desire could have had a political aspect – in marrying a princess of an established noble house he would essentially have established himself as a legitimate monarch in his own right, on a par with the other rulers of the subcontinent’s kingdoms.
    Kuveni, on the other hand, is regarded as a descendant of the demons of the Ramayana and of Ravana, who also dwelled in Sri Lanka. A common folk tale was that her children did not, in fact, flee to Malaysia, but instead remained in Sri Lanka’s jungles and became the Veddas – Sri Lanka’s aboriginal population. This may indeed be the explanation for Kuveni and her people, as early Indian settlers would almost certainly have come into contact and conflict with indigenous Sri Lankans. The Yakkas are referred to occasionally as ‘invisible’, and indeed would have appeared so to the newcomers unused to Sri Lanka’s jungles, through which the Veddas even today can move in near-silence and with barely a trace. Interestingly the Dipavamsa, on which the Mahavamsa is based, makes no mention of Kuveni whatsoever.
    In the Mahavamsa, or in the ancient Pali or Sanskrit literature for that matter, the Nagas are never represented as human beings, but as a super natural being that inhabited a subterranean world, whose natural form was a serpent but who would assume any form at will.
    As responsible leaders, not only the government and the opposition but the moderate Sinhala media personnel, educated and intelligent Sinhalese people and moderate religious leaders/Buddhist clergy should educate the people to think rationally and distinguish/differentiate Buddhism from Sinhala-Buddhism, and Myths from Facts, explaining the reason why the Pali chronicles were written during that period of extreme danger to Buddhism.

    During that turbulent period when Buddhism was under threat, the Mahavamsa author Ven. Mahanama and the Mahavihara monks had a genuine reason for the above mythology but unfortunately today due to ignorance and lack of rational thinking, some Buddhists still believe the Mahavamsa as the gospel truth.

    BTW Ceylon Lion – Panthera leo sinhaleyus is only known from two teeth found in deposits at Kuruwita in Ratnapura District. Based on these two teeth, a well known naturalist Mr P.E.P.Deraniyagala erected Panthera leo sinhaleyus in 1939. Mr Deraniyagala did not explain explicitly how he diagnosed the holotype of this prehistoric subspecies as belonging to a lion, though he justified its allocation to a distinct prehistoric subspecies of lion by its being “narrower and more elongate” than those of recent lions in the British Natural History Museum collection. According to Mr Deraniyagala, Panthera leo sinhaleyus was endemic to Sri Lanka, became extinct prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans about 40,000 years ago. There is insufficient information to determine how it might differ from other subspecies of lion. Further studies would be necessary because it is extremely difficult to differentiate a canine tooth of similar species of animals. Even the Ratnapura rainforest habitat is most suited for tigers than lions.
    In 1982 a sub-fossil right middle phalanx was found in a 17,000 years old prehistoric midden at Batadoma in Ratnapura District and tentatively considered to be of a tiger. Tigers arrived in Sri Lanka during a pluvial period during which sea levels were depressed, evidently prior to the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago. Since Sri Lanka was separated from the Indian subcontinent by rising sea levels in the early Holocene, now there are no tigers in Sri Lanka.
    A leopard subspecies – Panthera Pardus Kotiya is native to Sri Lanka and it is the country’s TOP predator. The correct Sinhala term for leopard is Kotiyā .
    The term Diviyā was in use for centuries in Sri Lanka to refer to smaller wild species of the cat family such as Handun Diviyā or Kola Diviyā. The correct Sinhala word for tiger is Viyagraya. Mistakenly we started to use Kotiyā to mean tiger and Diviyā to mean leopard.
    To complicate and confuse the matters , Tigers led by Veluppillai Prabhakaran who were also known as Koti (the plural form of Kotiyā) – once ranged widely across Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka, now extirpated from Sri Lanka. Since we do not have lions or tigers in Sri Lanka we should have Kotiyā in our national flag and not lion or tiger.

    I know truth hurts….

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      Is this the grandson of T M Sabaratnam?

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    Buddha walking after birth is like Jesus being conceived without sex. They are symbolic to identify great religious leaders of faiths. Both are impossible.

    Sharmini don’t get carried away with this.

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    Shamini Serasinghe, you call yourself a Buddhist and a Sinhalese. So when you attack your own Sinhalese people with the mud you sling at them, you are throwing the mud on yourself. You are looking up and spitting and the spit falls on to your body. Why do you attack Mahavamsa and Mahanama? The Buddhist scriptures were not written in Sinhalese. They were written in Pali and most of the Buddhist priests in Sri Lanka are not well versed in the dead language Pali. So for 2600 years the Buddhist priests preached the Dhamma in the Sinhalese language, for everyone to understand. For a lay Buddhist, it is not necessary for him to understand Mahavamsa or Mahanama. What is important is to know the basic precepts as spoken by the Buddha. You say that your ‘guru’ was Rev. Piyadassi, I believe he was from the Vajirarama Temple, who taught you the ‘real Buddhism’. So why is it that if Rev. Piyadassi was true to his belief in the Buddhist religion, he disrobed himself at night adorned a European dress and ventured himself to houses of ilrepute? At a time when the LTTE Tamil terrorist rump in the west are fighting to separate themselves from a unified, one nation Sri Lanka, have you been approached by them to write anti Sinhalese Buddhist garbage gibberish to appease them, with their financial solicitations? You must be ashamed of your self to call a Sinhalese Buddhist, but a traitor in the first degree.

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      If we to talk honestly and straight, this is the most appropriate response due by Sharmini Serasinghe.

      Thanks!

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    I agree with Sharmini that what’s passed off as Buddhism today is nothing but a mockery of it with ritual, materialism and hypocrisy being the main drivers, not the true teachings of the Buddha.

    The Buddha never told anybody to worship him. In fact the Buddha was never physically represented in Buddhist temples until about the 3rd century or so, and that too was probably due to Greek influence coming by way of Northwestern India. Prior to this it was an empty asana(seat) that represented the Buddha. Any good archaeologist will tell you.

    And yes I also agree with her that Christian schools give a very broad, holistic education. My daughters study in one such Anglican school in Colpetty and I still have fond memories of this particular school where I studied as a little fellow (despite being one of the few boys in a largely girls school), unlike the school in Deal Place named after the author of the Mahavamsa where I had my secondary education.

    The place pitched itself as a Sinhala Buddhist school despite having a few Muslims and Christians and always seemed to focus on the wrong things, such as proudly boasting of a golden statue of the Buddha. As I would later find out, it was a particular low country caste that ran the school with one leading official being heard to say that he wanted to see the school confine itself to admitting Buddhist students from this particular caste only.

    The way its going, the Buddhism taught by the Buddha is fast disappearing from our country with a sham Buddhism taking its place.

    Little wonder we have such a high rate of crime!

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    The best summary of “Sinhala Buddhism” that I have ever read. Well done Sharmini.

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    Hmm a very interesting read. Much of it I agree with where cultural tradition seems to have become progressively perverse and ultimately confused with religious doctrine, therein tarnishing what should the true practice of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. However, the author treads on dangerous ground in some of her assertions without knowing fact from fiction but instead surmising what she thinks might be the truth for example her suggestion as to the origins of priests seekings alms and the practice of offering alms at death anniversaries. Overall I fear she is out to ruffle more feathers than to set the record straight, which is a shame, because someone really needs to.

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    Sinhalese are negligible community under entire human race. looking for origin of this tiny race does not benefit the world community.I have read a book which states origin of mankind and as to how origin of writer’s kind created by a bone taken from a man while he was at sleep.since more than half of world population accept it why not write about it.

    It does not carry much weight writing about something written in many centuries ago as some kind of tribe originated from a Lion than scientist in 21st century accepting entire mankind originated from a monkey.

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    Beautiful article madam. I really hope more people reflect on the real dhamma of finding the right balance. You are a true dhamma friend!

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    I read the Mahavansa often.I see so much of Sinhala Traditions, it is more of than attains the aims of the author which say
    Attend ye now to this Mahavansa that is free from such faults[ repetitions , long drawn out etc], made easyto understand and remember, arousing serene joy and emotions in you at passages awaken serene joy and emotions”.
    The emotions awakened in this pretty lady is the opposite.

    I read it often, I feel that is Military History book[ all 3 parts], it has recorded 1300 battle in all parts of the country. It gives for an example ,the topography of the whole country for Kings to fight wars, it gives the tactics for the used by the Commanders.

    It is more factual[ Has less Gods Dragons and Sea monsters than Greek or Roman History] and its verses may be interpreted by many in as many ways.
    It tell of the great humanitarian methods adopted by our kings, gives detail of what the Sinhalese ate. The first meal was rice and condiments[ Gieger interpretation]. It saya when Vijeya separated from Kuveni he said Dear one, take a thousand silver pieces , leave the children behind etc. This was the rules according to Arthsastra in them days.It say Dhatusena burnt his sister for ,,,,,. or Kalani Tissa boiled a Buddhist monk for…. These were the code of law in them days according to Arthsastra of Kautiliya.The history of Asoka was based on this book
    I can go on and on, perhaps this lady has read between the lines too and what struck in her mind was ugly and insulting remarks.Beauty is skin deep.

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    It is the king’s responsibility to protect the state and its people from invaders. You know what happened to Buddhism in India. The decline of Nalanda is concomitant with the disappearance of Buddhism in India. he final blow was delivered when its still-flourishing monasteries, the last visible symbols of its existence in India, were overrun during the Muslim invasion that swept across Northern India at the turn of the 13th century.In around 1200 CE, Bakhtiyar Khilji, a Turkic chieftain out to make a name for himself, was in the service of a commander in Awadh. The Persian historian, Minhaj-i-Siraj in his Tabaqat-i Nasiri, recorded his deeds a few decades later. Khilji was assigned two villages on the border of Bihar which had become a political no-man’s land. Sensing an opportunity, he began a series of plundering raids into Bihar and was recognised and rewarded for his efforts by his superiors. Emboldened, Khilji decided to attack a fort in Bihar and was able to successfully capture it, looting it of a great booty. Minhaj-i-Siraj wrote of this attack:
    “Muhammad-i-Bakht-yar, by the force of his intrepidity, threw himself into the postern of the gateway of the place, and they captured the fortress, and acquired great booty. The greater number of the inhabitants of that place were Monks, and the whole of those Monks had their heads shaven; and they were all slain. There were a great number of books there; and, when all these books came under the observation of the Musalmans, they summoned a number of Hindus that they might give them information respecting the import of those books; but the whole of the Hindus had been killed. On becoming acquainted [with the contents of those books], it was found that the whole of that fortress and city was a college, and in the Hindui tongue, they call a college [مدرسه] Bihar”.
    The other great Mahaviharas of the age such as Vikramshila and later, Jagaddala, also met their ends at the hands of the Turks at around the same time.
    Do you want that to happen?

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    I see there is a trend to discredit Buddhism by whatever forms it takes the author completely ignores the holy bible having eaten the forbidden apple we are all brothers and sisters (incest to say the least)

    There are Christian relics such as pieces of flesh to this day in caskets shown to the public in Italy, are we to dispute these or for what purpose are they being exhibited?

    Mahavansa recorded history long before Jesus was born by literate monks even India has rediscovered its history based on facts written in the mahavansa.

    IF WE COMPARE THE OLD AND THE NEW TESTAMENT (CHANGES AS AND WHEN IT PLEASES THEM)WITH THE GREAT MAHAVANSE – THE BIBLE IS A COMPLETE FAIRY TALE.

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      Mahavamsa may have faults. But it is the book of the Sinhalese people. It is our book.

      Does anyone say to drop the Koran to Muslims because it calls to kill non muslims?

      All attacks on Buddhism. what about koran? It has lot of bad stuff compared to Mahavamsa.

      How come we dont ask Muslims not to read those books?

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    Essentially every child is a Buddha, but child’s buddhahood, child’s innocence, is natural, not earned. Child’s innocence is a kind of ignorance, not a realization. Child’s innocence is unconscious — Child is not aware of it, Child is not mindful of it, Child has not taken any note of it. It is there but Child is oblivious. Child is going to lose it. Child has to lose it. Paradise will be lost sooner or later; Child is on the way towards it. Every child has to go through all kinds of corruption, impurity — the world.
    The child’s innocence is the innocence of Adam before he was expelled from the garden of Eden, before he had tasted the fruit of knowledge, before he became conscious. It is animal-like. Look into the eyes of any animal — a cow, a dog — and there is purity, the same purity that exists in the eyes of a Buddha, but with one difference.
    And the difference is vast too: a Buddha has come back home; the animal has not yet left home. The child is still in the Garden of Eden, is still in paradise. He will have to lose it — because to gain one has to lose. Buddha has come back home…the whole circle. He went away, he was lost, he went astray, he went deep into darkness and sin and misery and hell. Those experiences are part of maturity and growth. Without them you don’t have any backbone, you are spineless. Without them your innocence is very fragile; it cannot stand against the winds, it cannot bear storms. It is very weak, it cannot survive. It has to go through the fire of life — a thousand and one mistakes committed, a thousand and one times you fall, and you get back on your feet again. All those experiences slowly, slowly ripen you, make you mature; you become a grown-up.
    Buddha’s innocence is that of a mature person, utterly mature.
    Childhood is nature unconscious; buddhahood is nature conscious. The childhood is a circumference with no idea of the center. The Buddha is also a circumference, but rooted in the center, centered. Childhood is unconscious anonymity; buddhahood is conscious anonymity. Both are nameless, both are formless…but the child has not known the form yet and the misery of it.
    It is like you have never been in a prison, so you don’t know what freedom is. Then you have been in the prison for many years, or many lives, and then one day you are released…you come out of the prison doors dancing, ecstatic! And you will be surprised that people who are already outside, walking on the street, going to their work, to the office, to the factory, are not enjoying their freedom at all — they are oblivious, they don’t know that they are free. How can they know? Because they have never been in prison they don’t know the contrast; the background is missing.
    It is as if you write with a white chalk on a white wall — nobody will ever be able to read it. What to say about anybody else — even you will not be able to read what you have written.
    If you write on a white wall even you yourself will not be able to read it, but if you write on a blackboard it comes loud and clear — you can read it. The contrast is needed. The child has no contrast; he is a silver lining without the black cloud.
    Buddha is a silver lining in the black cloud.
    In the day there are stars in the sky; they don’t go anywhere — they can’t go so fast, they can’t disappear. They are already there, the whole day they are there, but in the night you can see them because of darkness. They start appearing; as the sun sets they start appearing. As the sun goes deeper and deeper below the horizon, more and more stars are bubbling up. They have been there the whole day, but because the darkness was missing it was difficult to see them.
    A child has innocence but no background. You cannot see it, you cannot read it; it is not very loud. A Buddha has lived his life, has done all that is needed — good and bad — has touched this polarity and that, has been a sinner and a saint. Remember, a Buddha is not just a saint; he has been a sinner and he has been a saint. And buddhahood is beyond both. Now he has come back home.
    That’s why Buddha said “There is no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path. There is no cognition, no knowledge, no attainment, and no non-attainment.” When Buddha became awakened he was asked: “What have you attained?” And he laughed, and he said: “I have not attained anything — I have only discovered what has always been the case. I have simply come back home. I have claimed that which was always mine and was with me. So there is no attainment as such, I have simply recognized it. It is not a discovery, it is a re-discovery. And when you become a Buddha you will see the point — nothing is gained by becoming a Buddha. Suddenly you see that this is your nature. But to recognize this nature you have to go astray, you have to go deep into the turmoil of the world. You have to enter into all kinds of muddy places and spaces just to see your utter cleanliness, your utter purity.
    Only a perfect ego has the capacity to disappear, not an imperfect ego. When the fruit is ripe it falls; when the fruit is unripe it clings. If you are still clinging to the ego, remember, the fruit is not ripe; hence the clinging. If the fruit is ripe, it falls to the ground and disappears. So is the case with the ego.
    Now a paradox: that only a really evolved ego can surrender.
    Ordinarily you think that an egoist cannot surrender. That is not the observation of Buddhas down the ages. Only a perfect egoist can surrender. Because only he knows the misery of the ego, only he has the strength to surrender. He has known all the possibilities of the ego and has gone into immense frustration. He has suffered a lot, and he knows enough is enough, and he wants any excuse to surrender it. The excuse may be God, the excuse may be a master, or any excuse, but he wants to surrender it. The burden is too much and he has been carrying it for long.
    People who have not developed their egos can surrender, but their surrender will not be perfect, it will not be total. Something deep inside will go on clinging, something deep inside will still go on hoping: “Maybe there is something in the ego. Why are you surrendering?”
    In the East, the ego has not been developed well. Because of the teaching of egolessness, a misunderstanding arose that if the ego has to be surrendered, then why develop it, for what? A simple logic: if it has to be renounced one day, then why bother? Then why make so much effort to create it? It has to be dropped! So the East has not bothered much in developing the ego. And the Eastern mind finds it very easy to bow down to anybody. It finds it very easy, it is always ready to surrender. But the surrender is basically impossible, because you don’t yet have the ego to surrender it.
    You will be surprised: all the great Buddhas in the East have been kshatriyas, from the warrior race — Buddha, Mahavira, Parshwanath, Neminath. All the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas belong to the warrior race, and all the avataras of the Hindus belonged to the kshatriya race — Ram, Krishna — except one, Parashuram, who was, accidentally it seems, born to a brahmin family, because you cannot find a greater warrior than him. It must have been some accident — his whole life was a continuous war.
    It is a surprise when you come to know that not a single brahmin has ever been declared a Buddha, an avatara, a tirthankara. Why? The brahmin is humble; from the very beginning he has been brought up in humbleness, for humbleness. Egolessness has been taught to him from the very beginning, so the ego is not ripe, and unripe egos cling.
    In the East people have very, very fragmentary egos, and they think it is easy to surrender.
    They are always ready to surrender to anybody. A drop of a hat and they are ready to surrender — but their surrender never goes very deep, it remains superficial.
    Just the opposite is the case in the West: people who come from the West have very, very strong and developed egos. Because the whole Western education is to create an evolved, well-defined, well-cultured, sophisticated ego, they think it is very difficult to surrender. They have not even heard the word surrender. The very idea looks ugly, humiliating. But the paradox is that when a Western man or woman surrenders, the surrender goes really deep. It goes to the very core of his or her being, because the ego is very evolved. The ego is evolved; that’s why you think it is very difficult to surrender. But if surrender happens it goes to the very core, it is absolute. In the East people think surrender is very easy, but the ego is not so evolved so it never goes very deep.
    A Buddha is one who has gone into the experiences of life, the fire of life, the hell of life, and has ripened his ego to its ultimate possibility, to the very maximum. And in that moment the ego falls and disappears. Again you are a child; it is a rebirth, it is a resurrection. First you have to be on the cross of the ego, you have to suffer the cross of the ego, and you have to carry the cross on your own shoulders — and to the very end. Ego has to be learned; only then can you unlearn it. And then there is great joy. When you are free from the prison you have a dance, a celebration in your being. You cannot believe why people who are out of prison are going so dead and dull and dragging themselves. Why are they not dancing? Why are they not celebrating? They cannot: they have not known the misery of the prison.
    These seven doors have to be used before you can become a Buddha. You have to go to the darkest realm of life, to the dark night of the soul, to come back to the dawn when the morning rises again, the sun rises again, and all is light.
    But it rarely happens that you have a fully developed ego.
    If you understand me, then the whole structure of education should be paradoxical: first they should teach you the ego — that should be the first part of education, the half of it; and they should then teach you egolessness, how to drop it — that will be the latter half. People enter from one door or two doors or three doors, and get caught up in a certain fragmentary ego.
    The first is the bodily self. The child starts learning slowly, slowly: it takes nearabout fifteen months for the child to learn that he is separate, that there is something inside him and something outside. He learns that he has a body separate from other bodies. But a few people remain clinging to that very, very fragmentary ego for their whole lives. These are the people who are known as materialists, communists, Marxists.
    The people who believe that the body is all — that there is nothing more than the body inside you, that the body is your whole existence, that there is no consciousness separate from the body, above the body, that consciousness is just a chemical phenomenon happening in the body, that you are not separate from the body and when the body dies you die, and all disappears…dust unto dust…there is no divinity in you — they reduce man to matter.
    These are the people who remain clinging to the first door; their mental age seems to be only fifteen months. The very, very rudimentary and primitive ego remains materialist. These people remain hung up with two things: sex and food. But remember, when I say materialist, communist, Marxist, I do not mean that this completes the list. Somebody may be a spiritualist and may still be clinging to the first….
    For example, Mahatma Gandhi: if you read his autobiography, he calls his autobiography My Experiments With Truth.. But if you go on reading his autobiography you will find the name is not right; he should have given it the name My Experiments With Food And Sex. Truth is nowhere to be found. He is continuously worried about food: what to eat, what not to eat. His whole worry seems to be about food, and then about sex: how to become a celibate — this runs as a theme, this is the undercurrent. Continuously, day and night, he is thinking about food and sex — one has to get free. Now he is not a materialist — he believes in soul, he believes in God. In fact, because he believes in God he is thinking so much about food — because if he eats something wrong and commits a sin, then he will be far away from God.
    He talks about God but thinks about food.
    And that is not only so with him, it is so with all the Jaina monks. He was under much impact from Jaina monks. He was born in Gujarat. Gujarat is basically Jaina, Jainism has the greatest impact on Gujarat. Even Hindus are more like Jainas in Gujarat than like Hindus. Gandhi is ninety percent a Jaina — born in a Hindu family, but his mind is conditioned by Jaina monks. They are continuously thinking about food.
    And then the second idea arises, of sex — how to get rid of sex. For his whole life, to the very end, he was concerned about it — how to get rid of sex. In the last year of his life he was experimenting with nude girls and sleeping with them, just to test himself, because he was feeling that death was coming close, and he had to test himself to see whether there was still some lust in him.
    The country was burning, people were being killed: Muslims were killing Hindus, Hindus were killing Muslims — the whole country was on fire. And he was in the very middle of it, in Novakali — but his concern was sex. He was sleeping with girls, nude girls; he was testing himself, testing whether brahmacharya, his celibacy, was perfect yet or not.
    But why this suspicion? — Because of long repression. The whole life he had been repressing. Now, in the very end, he had become afraid — because at that age he was still dreaming about sex. So he was very suspicious: would he be able to face his God? He was a very primitive materialist. His concern was food and sex.
    Whether you are for it or against it doesn’t matter — your concern shows where your ego is hanging. A capitalist’s whole concern is how to gather money, hoard money — because money has power over matter. You can purchase any material thing through money. You cannot purchase anything spiritual, you cannot purchase anything that has any intrinsic value; you can purchase only things. If you want to purchase love, you cannot purchase; but you can purchase sex.
    Sex is the material part of love. Through money, matter can be purchased, possessed.
    The communist and the capitalist both in the same category, and they are enemies, but their concern is the same. The capitalist is trying to hoard money, the communist is against it. He wants that nobody should be allowed to hoard money except the state. But his concern is also money, he is also continuously thinking about money. It is not an accident that Marx had given the name Das Kapital to his book on communism, Capital. That is the communist Bible, but the name is Capital. That is their concern: how not to allow anybody to hoard money so the state can hoard, and how to possess the state — so, in fact, basically, ultimately, you hoard the money. The communist mind is basically a capitalist mind; the capitalist mind is basically a communist mind. They are partners in the same game — the game’s name is capital, Das Kapital.
    Many people, millions of people, only evolve this primitive ego, very rudimentary. If you have this ego it is very difficult to surrender; it is very unripe.
    The second door is self-identity.
    The child starts growing an idea of who he is. Looking in the mirror, he finds the same face. Every morning, getting up from the bed, he runs to the bathroom, looks, and he says: “Yes, it is I. The sleep has not disturbed anything.” He starts having an idea of a continuous self.
    Those people who become too involved with this door, get hooked with this door, are the so-called spiritualists who think that they are going into paradise, heaven, moksha, but that they will be there. When you think about heaven, you certainly think of yourself that as you are here, you will be there too. Maybe the body will not be there, but your inner continuity will remain. That is absurd! That liberation, that ultimate liberation happens only when the self is dissolved and all identity is dissolved. You become an emptiness….
    That idea that the child has of self-continuity is carried by the spiritualists. They go on searching: from where does the soul enter into the body, from where does the soul go out of the body, what form does the soul have, planchettes and mediums, things like that — all rubbish and nonsense. The self has no form. It is pure nothingness, it is vast sky without any clouds in it. It is a thoughtless silence, unconfined, uncontained by anything.
    That idea of a permanent soul, the idea of a self, continues to play games in your minds.
    Even if the body dies, you want to be certain that: “I will live.”
    Many people used to come to Buddha…because this country has been dominated by this second kind of ego: people believe in the permanent soul, eternal soul, aatman — they would come to Buddha again and again and say: “When I die, will something remain or not?” And Buddha would laugh and he would say: “There is nothing right now, so why bother about death? There has never been anything from the very beginning.” And this was inconceivable to the Indian mind.
    The Indian mind is predominantly hooked with the second type of ego. That’s why Buddhism could not survive in India. Within five hundred years, Buddhism disappeared. It found better roots in China, because of Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu had created really a beautiful field for Buddhism there. The climate was ready — as if somebody had prepared the ground; only the seed was needed. And when the seed reached China it grew into a great tree. But from India it disappeared. Lao Tzu had no idea of any permanent self, and in China people have not bothered much.
    There are these three cultures in the world: one culture, called the materialist — very predominant in the West; another culture, called the spiritualist — very predominant in India; and China has a third kind of culture, neither materialist nor spiritualist. It is Taoist: live the moment and don’t bother for the future, because to bother about heaven and hell and paradise and moksha is basically to be continuously concerned about yourself. It is very selfish, it is very self-centered. According to Lao Tzu, according to Buddha too, and according to me also, a person who is trying to reach heaven is a very, very self-centered person, very selfish. And he does not know a thing about his own inner being — there is no self.
    The third door was self-esteem: the child learns to do things and enjoys doing them.
    A few people get hooked there — they become technicians, they become performers, actors, they become politicians, they become the showmen. The basic theme is the doer; they want to show the world that they can do something. If the world allows them some creativity, good. If it does not allow them creativity, they become destructive.
    The criminal and the politician are not very far away, they are cousin-brothers. If the criminal is given the right opportunity he will become a politician, and if the politician is not given the right opportunity to have his say, he will become a criminal. They are border cases. Any moment, the politician can become a criminal and the criminal can become a politician. And this has been happening down the ages, but we don’t yet have that insight to see into things.
    The fourth door was self-extension. The word “mine” is the key word there. One has to extend oneself by accumulating money, by accumulating power, by becoming bigger and bigger and bigger: the patriot who says: “This is my country, and this is the greatest country in the world.” You can ask the Indian patriot: he goes on shouting from every nook and corner that this is punya bhumi — this is the land of virtue, the purest land in the world.
    India is the only country where so many Buddhas were born, so many avatars, so many tirthankaras — Rama, Krishna and others. Why? – if in the neighborhood you see that in somebody’s house a doctor comes every day — sometimes a vaidya, a physician, an acupuncturist, and the naturopath, and this and that — what do you understand by it?”
    Simple! That the family is ill.
    That is the case with India: so many Buddhas needed — the country seems to be utterly ill and pathological.
    So many healers, so many physicians. Buddha has said: “I am a physician.” And you know that Krishna has said: “Whenever there is darkness in the world, and whenever there is sin in the world, and whenever the law of the cosmos is disturbed, I will come back.” So why had he come that time? It must have been for the same reason. And why so many times in India?
    But the patriot is arrogant, aggressive, and egoistic. He goes on declaring: “My country is special, my religion is special, my church is special, my book is special, my guru is special” — and everything is nothing. This is just ego claiming.
    A few people get hooked with this “mine” — the dogmatist, the patriot, the Hindu, the Christian, the Mohammedan.
    The fifth door is self-image. The child starts looking into things, experiences. When the parents feel good with the child, he thinks: “I am good.” When they pat him he feels: “I am good.” When they look with anger, they shout at him and they say: “Don’t do that!” he feels: “Something is wrong in me.” He recoils.
    A small child was asked in school on the first day he entered: “What is your name?”
    He said: “Johnny Don’t.”
    The teacher was puzzled. He said: “Johnny Don’t? Never heard such a name!”
    He said: “Whenever, whatsoever I am doing, this is my name — my mother shouts: ‘Johnny don’t!’ My father shouts: ‘Johnny don’t!’ So I think this is my name. ‘Don’t’ is always there. What I am doing is irrelevant.”
    The fifth is the door from where morals enter: you become a moralist; you start feeling very good, “holier than thou.” Or, in frustration, in resistance, in struggle, you become an immoralist and you start fighting with the whole world, to show the whole world.
    Either the child is accepted — then he feels good, then he is ready to do anything the parents want; or, if again and again he is frustrated, then he starts thinking in terms of: “There is no possibility that I can receive their love, but still I need their attention. If I cannot get their attention through the right way, I will get their attention through the wrong way. Now I will smoke, I will masturbate, I will do harm to myself and to others, and I will do all kinds of things that they say ‘Don’t do,’ but I will keep them occupied with me. I will show them.”
    This is the fifth door, the self-image. Sinner and saint are hooked there. Heaven and hell are the ideas of people who are hooked there. Millions of people are hooked. They are continuously afraid of hell and continuously greedy for heaven. They want to be patted by God, and they want God to say to them: “You are good, my son. I am happy with you.” They go on sacrificing their lives just to be patted by some fantasy somewhere beyond life and death. They go on doing a thousand and one tortures to themselves just in order that God can say: “Yes, you sacrificed yourself for me.”
    It seems as if God is a masochist or a sadist, or something like that.
    People torture themselves with the idea that they will be making God happy. What do you mean by this? You fast and you think God will be very happy with you? You starve yourself and you think God will be very happy with you? Is he a sadist? Does he enjoy torturing people? And that is what saints, so-called saints, have been doing: torturing themselves and looking at the sky. Sooner or later God will say: “Good boy, you have done well. Now come and enjoy the heavenly pleasures. Come here! Wine flows here in rivers, and roads are of gold, and palaces are made of diamonds. And the women here never age, they remain stuck at sixteen. Come here! You have done enough, you have earned, now you can enjoy!” The whole idea behind sacrifice is this. It is a foolish idea, because all ego ideas are foolish.
    The sixth is the self as reason. It comes through education, experience, reading, learning, and listening: you start accumulating ideas, and then you start creating systems out of ideas, consistent wholes, and philosophies. This is where the philosophers, the scientists, the thinkers, the intellectuals, the rationalists are hooked. But this is becoming more and more sophisticated: from the first, the sixth is very sophisticated.
    The seventh is propriate striving: the artist, the mystic, the utopian, the dreamer — they are hooked there. They are always trying to create an utopia in the world. The word “utopia” is very beautiful: it means “that which never comes.” It is always coming but it never comes; it is always there but never here. But there are moon-gazers who go on looking for the faraway, the distant, and they are always moving in imagination. Great poets, imaginative people — their whole ego is involved in becoming. There is somebody who wants to become God; he is a mystic.
    Remember, “becoming” is the key word on the seventh, and the seventh is the last of the ego. The most mature ego comes there. That’s why you will feel, you will see a poet — he may not have anything, he may be a beggar, but in his eyes, on his nose, you will see the great ego. The mystic may have renounced the whole world and may be sitting in a Himalayan cage, in a Himalayan cave. You go there and look at him: he may be sitting there naked — but such a subtle ego, such a refined ego. He may even touch your feet, but he is showing: “Look how humble I am!”
    There are seven doors. When the ego is perfect, all these seven doors have been crossed; then that mature ego drops on its own accord. The child is before these seven egos, and the Buddha is after these seven egos. It is a complete circle.
    Buddha has moved into all these seven egos — seen them, looked into them, found that they are illusory, and has come back home, has become a child again. That’s what Jesus means when he says: “Unless you become like small children, you will not enter into my kingdom of God.”
    Ego starts growing as the child grows. The parents, the schools, colleges, university, they all help to strengthen the ego for the simple reason that for centuries man had to struggle to survive and the idea has become a fixation, a deep unconscious conditioning, that only strong egos can survive in the struggle of life. Life has become just a struggle to survive. And scientists have made it even more convincing with the theory of the survival of the fittest. So we help every child to become stronger in the ego, and it is there that the problem arises. As the ego becomes strong it starts surrounding intelligence like a thick layer of darkness. Intelligence is light, ego is darkness. Intelligence is very delicate, ego is very hard. Intelligence is like a rose flower, ego is like a rock. And if you want to survive, they say – the so-called knowers – then you have to become rock-like, you have to be strong, invulnerable. You have to become a citadel, a closed citadel, so you cannot be attacked from outside. You have to become impenetrable. But then you become closed. Then you start dying as far as your intelligence is concerned because intelligence needs the open sky, the wind, the air, the sun in order to grow, to expand, to flow. To remain alive it needs a constant flow; if it becomes stagnant it becomes slowly a dead phenomenon. Happiness is threatening and misery is safe – safe for the ego. Ego can exist only in misery and through misery. Ego is an island surrounded by hell; happiness is threatening to the ego, to the very existence of the ego. Happiness rises like a sun and the ego disappears, evaporates like a dewdrop on the grass leaf. Happiness is the death of the ego. If you want to remain a separate entity from existence as almost everybody is trying to do, you will be afraid of being blissful, cheerful. You will feel guilty in being blissful. You will feel suicidal because you are committing suicide on the psychological level, on the level of the ego. It almost always happens that people enjoy a few moments and then afterwards feel very guilty. The guilt arises because of the ego. The ego starts torturing them, “What are you doing? Have you decided to kill me? And I am your only treasure. Killing me? You will be destroyed. Killing me is destroying you.” Try to understand the ego. Analyze it, dissect it, watch it, observe it, from as many angles as possible. And don’t be in a hurry to sacrifice it, otherwise the greatest egoist is born: the person who thinks he is humble, the person who thinks that he has no ego. That’s what the religious people have been doing down the ages – pious egoists they have been. They have made their ego even more decorated; it has taken the color of religion and holiness. Your ego is better than the ego of a saint; your ego is better, far better – because your ego is very gross, and the gross ego can be understood and dropped more easily than the subtle. The subtle ego goes on playing such games that it is very difficult. One will need absolute awareness to watch it. Misery has many things to give to you which happiness cannot give. On the contrary, happiness takes away many things from you. In fact, happiness takes all that you have ever had, all that you have ever been; happiness destroys you. Misery nourishes your ego, and happiness is basically a state of egolessness. That is the problem, the very crux of the problem. That’s why people find it very difficult to be happy. That’s why millions of people in the world have to live in misery, have decided to live in misery. It gives you a very, very crystallized ego. Miserable, you are. Happy, you are not. In misery: crystallization; in happiness you become diffused. If this is understood then things become very clear. Misery makes you special. Happiness is a universal phenomenon; there is nothing special about it. Love and ego cannot go together. Knowledge and ego go together perfectly well, but love and ego cannot go together, not at all. They cannot keep company. They are like darkness and light: if light is there darkness cannot be. Darkness can only be if light is not there. If love is not there the ego can be; if love is there the ego cannot be. And vice versa, if ego is dropped, love arrives from all the directions. It simply starts pouring in you from everywhere. The Ego Feeds off Your Desire to Be Something Else. Where does the ego get its energy? The ego feeds off your desire to be something else. You are poor and you want to be rich – the ego is absorbing energy, its life-breath. You are ignorant and you want to become a wise one – the ego is absorbing energy. You are a wretched nobody and you want to become powerful – the ego is absorbing energy. Understand the process of the ego. How does the ego live? The ego lives in the tension between what you are and what you want to be. A wants to be B – the ego is created out of this very tension. How does the ego die? The ego dies by you accepting what you are. That you say, “I am fine as I am, where I am is good. I will remain just as existence keeps me. Its will is my will.” When you have dropped all the tension about the future – that I should become this and I should become that – the ego evaporates. The ego lives on a base of the past and the future. Understand this a little. The claims of the ego are of the past, “I did this, I did that” – it is all in the past. And the ego says, “I will definitely accomplish this, I will definitely show you that I can accomplish that.” That is all in the future. The ego simply does not exist in the present. If you come to the present, then the ego disappears. That is death to the ego. Coming to the present is the death of the ego. The ego exists through friction. Have an ideal, and you will become an egoist. The idealist is an egoist. Have a bigger ideal, and you will be a bigger egoist. The greater the ideal, the greater the ego, because the greater is the friction. The ego is created by friction between the real and the ideal. Now you may have the ideal of egolessness – that doesn’t matter. You may say, “But I have the ideal of being egoless” – it does not matter, the ideal brings the ego. Now your idea of egolessness will bring great ego. So the real egoists are those who think they are humble people, who pretend that they are egoless.
    The man who is egoless is the man who has no ideals. Let this be the criterion, and you have stumbled upon a fundamental. The man of no ego is the man of no ideals. Then how can the ego be created? – the very energy is missing. The energy comes out of friction, conflict, struggle, will.
    When you accept your life – when you take your breakfast, and when you sleep and when you walk and when you take your bath – how can you create an ego out of these things? Sleeping when feeling sleepy, eating when feeling hungry, how can you create your ego? No, if you fast, you can create ego. If you are on vigilance for the whole night, and you say, “I am not going to sleep,” you can create the ego. By the morning, the person who has slept well will have no ego, you will have a great ego. But the ego does not want to be whole; because once you are whole the ego cannot exist. The ego exists only in the split. When you are fighting with yourself, the ego exists. The ego always exists through conflict; conflict is its food, nourishment. So if you are whole, the ego cannot exist. You can watch it. You can go and watch the criminals – they have their ego, you can go and watch your saints – they have their ego: the ego of the good and the ego of the bad. But if you can find a man who has no ego, he will be neither a sinner nor a saint, he will be very simple. He will not claim anything good or bad; he will not claim at all. The ego is created by the rift. When you are fighting, the ego comes in; when you are not fighting, the ego cannot come in. Ego is a tension. If you want the ego, then divide yourself as fully as possible – become two persons. That is what is happening to many people, that is what has happened to whole of humanity. Everybody has become two persons: one voice says “Do this,” the other voice says “Don’t do that” – then the ego arises. Out of friction ego arises, and ego is very intoxicating; it makes you unconscious. This is the whole mechanism.
    I am’ is nothing but another name for the ego. Now you will be getting into trouble. If the ego is convinced that the only way is to drop the ego, then who is going to drop whom? And how? It will be like pulling yourself up by your own shoestrings. You will look just silly. Watch each word that you use. ‘I am’ is nothing but the ego.
    The second thing: nobody has ever been able to drop the ego because ego is not a reality that you can drop; anything to be dropped at least has to be real, substantial. Ego is just a notion, an idea. You cannot drop it, you can only understand it. Can you drop your shadow? You can run as fast as you want but your shadow will run at the same speed, exactly the same speed. You cannot drop the ego. Once you start trying to drop the ego you will get in a very deep mess; you will become more and more worried and puzzled. And this is not the way to get rid of the ego. The only way to get rid of the ego is to look at it.”
    So when you do something, watch, be alert. And if it leads to misery, then you know well that it was ego. Then the next time, be alert, don’t listen to that voice. If it is nature, it will lead you towards a blissful state of mind. Nature is always beautiful, ego always ugly. There is no other way but trial and error. Life is subtle and complex and all criteria fall short. You will have to make your own efforts to judge. So whenever you do something, listen to the voice from within. Make a note of it, of where it leads. If it leads to misery, it was certainly from the ego. If your love leads to misery, it was from the ego. If your love leads to a beautiful benediction, blessedness, it was from nature. If your friendship, even your meditation, leads you to misery, it was from the ego. If it were from nature everything would fit in, everything would become harmonious. Nature is wonderful, nature is beautiful, but you have to work it out. Always make a note of what you are doing and where it leads. By and by, you will become aware of that which is ego and that which is nature; which is real and which is false. It will take time and alertness, observation. And don’t deceive yourself – because only ego leads to misery, nothing else. Don’t throw the responsibility on the other; the other is irrelevant. Your ego leads to misery, nobody else leads you into misery. Ego is the gate of hell, and the natural, the authentic, the real that comes from your center, is the door to heaven. You will have to find it and work it out. Before you can lose your ego, you must attain it. Only a ripe fruit falls to the ground. Ripeness is all. An unripe ego cannot be thrown, cannot be destroyed. And if you struggle with an unripe ego to destroy and dissolve it, the whole effort is going to be a failure. Rather than destroying it, you will find it more strengthened, in new and subtle ways. This is something basic to be understood – the ego must come to a peak, it must be strong, it must have attained integrity – only then can you dissolve it. A weak ego cannot be dissolved. And this becomes a problem. In the East all the religions preach egolessness. So in the East everybody is against the ego from the very beginning. Because of this anti attitude, ego never becomes strong, never comes to a point of integration from where it can be thrown. It is never ripe. So in the East it is very difficult to dissolve the ego, almost impossible. In the West the whole Western tradition of religion and psychology propounds, preaches and persuades people to have strong egos – because unless you have a strong ego, how can you survive? Life is a struggle; if you are egoless you will be destroyed. Then who will resist? Who will fight? Who will compete? And life is a continuous competition. Western psychology says: Attain to the ego, be strong in it. But in the West it is very easy to dissolve the ego. So whenever a Western seeker reaches an understanding that ego is the problem he can easily dissolve it, more easily than any Eastern seeker. This is the paradox – in the West ego is taught, in the East egolessness is taught. But in the West it is easy to dissolve the ego, in the East it is very difficult. This is going to be a hard task for you, first to attain and then to lose – because you can lose only something which you possess. If you don’t possess it, how can you lose it? When you are in anger, in passion, violent, aggressive, you feel a crystallized ego within you. Whenever you are in love, in compassion, it is not there. That’s why we cannot love, because with the ego, love is impossible. That’s why we go on talking so much about love, but we never are in love. And whatsoever we call love is more or less sex, it is not love; because you cannot lose your ego, and love cannot exist unless the ego has disappeared. Love, meditation, godliness, they all require one thing – the ego must not be there. That’s why saying that Love is Lord Shiva is right, because both phenomena happen only when the ego is not. The child is born with a Self but not with an ego. The child develops the ego. As he becomes more and more social and related, ego develops. This ego is just on your periphery where you are related with others – just on the boundary of your being. So ego is the periphery of your being, and Self is the center. The child is born with a Self, but unaware. He is a Self, but he is not conscious of the Self. The first awareness of the child comes with his ego. He becomes aware of the “I”, not of the Self. Really, he becomes aware first of the “thou”. The child first becomes aware of his mother. Then, reflectively, he becomes aware of himself. First he becomes aware of objects around him. Then, by and by, he begins to feel that he is separate. This feeling of separation gives the feeling of ego, and because the child first becomes aware of the ego, ego becomes a covering on the Self. Then ego goes on growing, because the society needs you as an ego, not as a Self. The Self is irrelevant for the society; your periphery is meaningful. And there are many problems. The ego can be taught and the ego can be made docile and the ego can be forced to be obedient. The ego can be made to adjust, but not the Self. The Self cannot be taught, the Self cannot be forced. The Self is intrinsically rebellious, individual. It cannot be made a part of society. Everybody, even a religious man, has his own ego. Even while declaring, “I am just dust underneath your feet,” you are gathering ego. The ego and the personality have to be dropped, then you will find individuality arising…a feeling of uniqueness. Yes, you are unique. Everybody else is also unique. In this world only unique people exist, so comparison is just stupid, because you alone are like yourself. There is nobody like you, so how to compare? There are only two states of consciousness that exist – the state of the ego and the state of love. The ego is the narrow state, the seed-form, the atomic stage; love is all encompassing, love is God. The center of the ego is I; the ego exists for itself. The nectar of love is the universe. Love exists for all. The ego is exploitation; love is service. And the service that flows from love, freely and spontaneously, is non-violence.

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      Please dont add the lkind of so lenghty comments, that can only block the webspace.. and annoying the readers only

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    Dear Sharmini,

    I am a Sri Lankan. I am also a Sinhalese and a Buddhist. And I am proud to be all three!!!

    The Mahawamsa was written by Bhikku Mahanama of the Mahavihara of Anuradhapura, in the 5th century AD, nearly 1000 years after “Prince Vijaya” landed in Sri Lanka. No body knows whether there was a Prince called Vijaya or whether he landed in Sri Lanka or not. No body can prove it. Either you believe it or not. Beliefs cannot be proved. There are no right answers or wrong answers in respect of beliefs. Beliefs cannot be termed as “correct” or “false”. One just believes it or not. No body can be found fault with for having “beliefs”. No body has seen a “God”, but many believe in a “God”. Do we find fault with such people saying, “those are idiots”? The Hindus believe in many Gods, the Christians believe in a God who created the world, and the Muslims believe in a God……and it goes on. Those are believers in a God and we can’t ridicule them for having such belief.

    When the Mahavamsa was written, the Bhikku Mahanama was not writing a “Dhamma” book or a “history” book. He wrote about the Kings and what the Kings did during their reins. At the time when he wrote the Mahawamsa, our island was being continuously attacked and invaded by the Cholas from South India. The reason behind his writing would have been to prop up Buddhism and to maintain Buddhism in this country. The Sinhalese Kings mainly did two things during their rein, one was to develop the economy by building tanks and reservoirs and cultivating paddy and the second was to develop the man, spiritually, by building Buddhist temples. That is how the “Wewai-dagobai” concept came to be.

    It would be noteworthy for you to understand that the Mahawamsa is not an accurate account of the history of Sri Lanka, due to the very fact that it was written nearly 1000 years later, after “Prince Vijaya” landed in Sri Lanka. But if you take the period starting from the 3rd Century BC, when Buddhism was officially introduced to Sri Lanka, I believe, we can accept most of the things stated in the Mahawamsa at least thereafter. The British scholars used the Mahawamsa to identify the exact period of King Asoka’s rule and up to date such details and information are accepted as correct.

    One has to study the real Dhamma to understand what it is. The Buddha preached during his life time, but nothing was recorded in the written form while he was alive. It was the Bhikkus who took it forward after he passed away, orally. We have to be thankful for that, at least we have some thing to study right now, called “Dhamma”, due to their actions. We cannot condemn all the Bhikkus in this country……some are good and some are bad. We need to identify who they are and learn the correct Dhamma from the Bhikkus who know the real Dhamma.

    No body is perfect, and no body can be, in the eyes of another. Every human being is criticized and condemned whether he does good or bad, by some body. Even Buddha was criticized heavily and insulted by others, during his life time. And he didn’t care. We need to appreciate the differences in others.

    Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country. We cannot change the status quo of the country. But,it is high time for all ethnic groups and all religious groups in this country to become one nation now, and to call it Sri Lanka, where every body shares this country together. The Sinhala-Buddhist will always believe that this country is a Sinhala- Buddhist country, because of the Mahawamsa or because they simply believe it that way. That is their “belief”. And as stated by me before, a “belief” is neither right nor wrong. But we Sri Lankans should have one identity now, and it should be “Sri Lankan”.

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      Dear THilini,

      even if the comment is specifially focused at Ms Serasinghe..

      may I add mine to this as a silent buddhist. Quoting from yours..

      “That is their “belief”. And as stated by me before, a “belief” is neither right nor wrong. But we Sri Lankans should have one identity now, and it should be “Sri Lankan”.

      At the end of the what matters is the way HOW we srilnakens (regardless of our race religion) behave… if Mahanwansa is the reason them to behave like what we got to see yesterday at the arrest of PSEUDO monk- Ghanasara – there we the silent buddhist have every right to rise and go against.

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    Mahavamsa may have faults. But it is the book of the Sinhalese people. Does anyone say to drop the Koran to Muslims because it calls to kill non muslims?

    All attacks on Buddhism. what about koran? It has lot of bad stuff compared to Mahavamsa.

    How come we dont ask them not to read those books?

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