27 October, 2020

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Necessary Ethos For Reconciliation: Paththini Or The Buddha?

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Paththini is the symbol of feminine chastity in Sinhala culture, among other values (fertility, health etc.), and Kannagi is the same in the Tamil culture. Therefore Sunil Airyaratna’s new film ‘Paththini’ may convey a message or a sentiment of reconciliation emphasising the meeting points or commonalities. I use the term ‘may’ because I still have not seen the movie. There are many more commonalities and meeting points between the Sinhalese and the Tamils and the emphasis of them may go a long way in forging reconciliation in the country. Films or other forms of Art might be best suited for this purpose.

My concern however is about the review by Ranga Kalansooriya about the ‘Paththini’ film. It was published with a neutral title “Conveying the message of reconciliation through films” in Daily Mirror (3 June 2016) but when it came to the Colombo Telegraph on the same day it was titled provocatively as “Paththini Breaks Sinhala-Buddhist Monopoly.” Here the claim is not about the film but about the real Paththini herself. For my (provocative) title, ‘Paththini or the Buddha,’ I would go for both.

A Misconception

I am not sure whether justice to the Tamils or the Muslims could be done by castigating the Sinhalese or the Buddhists, let alone building reconciliation between all of them. It is my submission that Kalansooriya’s review unfortunately falls into this category of castigation while I admit that there are instances where one needs to strongly criticise extremism and nationalist bigotry of all sides when they occur and are expressed. But it should not be done in general terms, except in dealing with a particular theme, and it should not be done particularly when a film intends to be for reconciliation is reviewed. This is strange to me and my ethos for reconciliation. “Paththini” by Professor Sunil Ariyaratne

There is no question that Buddhism like all other religions are universal doctrines but unfortunately there had been times (not all times) where different religions had come into conflict (still do) for mainly extra-religious reasons. These reasons are mainly political in the past as well as at present.

I have no objection to accept a notion of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ or an identity of ‘Sinhala Buddhists’ preferably in a soft sense. I don’t need to castigate them to be reasonable to the Tamils or the Muslims. I was myself born in an ‘Anglican’ family although being a so-called Sinhalese. For various historical reasons many religions are even today identified with ethnic/national communities or past empires/kingdoms. Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, Greek Orthodoxy, and Armenian Christianity are some examples. Don’t we call Tibetan Buddhism what is preached by Dalai Lama? Don’t we identify some special features of Thai Buddhism?

After referring to a discussion that he participated in Yangon, Kalansooriya states “The wealth of knowledge of the monks on pure [sic] Theravada Buddhism enriched the deliberations where they sighted the doctrine of The Buddha in the universality of ownership of his noble teachings.” He contrasts this proposition with what he calls the ‘mythical misconceptions of the Sinhala Buddhists specifically on their authoritarian ownership of Buddhism.’

Of course the ‘universality of ownership’ of Buddhism or any other religion is admirable. This is something even Aung San Suu Kyi has emphasised in her ‘Freedom from Fear.’ If this universality can be established, for example, not only between ‘English’ Anglicans and Irish Catholics or Sunnis and Shias, but also between Theravada and Mahayana advocates, the world could be a better place for peace and reconciliation although there is no overt conflict between the latter two groups.

‘Justice’ or ‘Revenge’

On the other hand, if one needs to neutralize the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist monopoly,’ the best way might be to refer to the Buddha Dhamma or Buddhist philosophy and not so much to Paththini. Because Paththini can be controversial as a symbol of reconciliation compared to the Buddha. Even in doing so, there are some historical facts, or at least perceived ones, that cannot be ignored. Apart from Paththini as a symbol of chaste, she is also considered as the symbol of ‘revenge’ which some may call ‘justice.’ It was not by accident that the Joint Opposition went to the Seenigama Devale to crack coconuts to bring curse to the Yahapalana government. It was previously a Paththini Devale!

This revenge aspect is abundantly there even in the original Kannagi story of ‘Silapathikaram.’ I have never been impressed by it for various reasons, the duality of ethics for men and women being one. As the story goes, “Outside the palace, Kannagi tore her breast, cursed the city where her husband had been wrongfully executed, and invoked the gods to burn it. Fire broke out in Madurai.” I am quoting from J. Pandian (‘Caste, Nationalism and Ethnicity: An Interpretation of Tamil Cultural History and Social Order,’ p. 52). It was in Chera kingdom (modern Kerala) that Kannagi became destined as a goddess. It is a good story for a film anyway, with dramatic emotions.

It is said that the king Gajabahu I (113-135 CE) from Lanka participated at the consecration of the temple to Kannagi by the king Senguttuvan. This was a period of amity and interbreeding of different faiths. It was since this time that the Paththini cult became popular in Sri Lanka which shows considerable interaction between Hinduism, Buddhism or even Jainism both in South India and Sri Lanka which was a positive history to emulate. However, to draw lessons for reconciliation the best might be to go back to the Buddha himself than to Paththini.

‘Sinhala Buddhism’

There are some other historical matters, perceived or actual, relevant in examining Kalansooriya’s review. Before I migrated abroad in 1984, I had come across the notion of ‘Sinhala Baudhaya’ (Sinhala Buddhist) as an identity but not so much of ‘Sinhala Baudhagama’ (Sinhala Buddhism) as an ‘ism’ or a denomination. Of course the identity was mixed up with religion, which is very common in many other countries. I first came across the latter notion or the term sharply in my interactions with the Cambodians, originally in late 1980s and later during my research on Cambodia in early 1990s. I was surprised and when said there is nothing called ‘Sinhala Buddhism,’ they said ‘no, that is what came to Cambodia.’ Of course they were actually meaning Theravada Buddhism that came from Lanka but why did they say ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ with an ethnic adjective, I wondered.

I was also intrigued to hear that during the Lon Nol period (1970-1975) the communists were derogatorily called ‘Thimil’ to mean the ‘enemies of Buddhism.’ As the word was similar to ‘Thamil’ I once asked Professor David Chandler, an expert on Cambodia, whether it is possible that the word derives from the Buddhists’ perception of Tamils as enemies of Buddhism. His answer was in the affirmative.

It should be noted that this perception was created during certain periods of Sri Lankan history and not always. How did it go to Cambodia then? Later I also came across more authoritative sources regarding the exportation of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ to Burma, Thailand and Cambodia beginning from the twelfth century. George Coedes (‘The Making of Southeast Asia,’ 1962), a reputed French historian on Southeast Asia, among others, used the term probably for some historical reasons. He said:

“In 1190 Burma received a new contribution from the world of Indian culture – Sinhalese Buddhism, which was introduced by a Mon monk. This new stimulus within a society already profoundly impregnated with Buddhism had the happiest results” (p. 121-22).

It is important to note that Coedes considered, through his studies, the ‘Sinhalese Buddhism’ to be a part of the broader Indian culture, of course with variations. It is not only once that he used the term ‘Sinhalese Buddhism.’ He used it various times interchangeably with what he sometimes called ‘the reformed type of Buddhism from Ceylon.’ What was this ‘reformed type’ that he talked about? In his own words, “This reformed Buddhism was introduced by the Mon monk Chapata, who had been to Ceylon to be ordained anew according to the rites of the Mahavihara sect, regarded from that time on as the only valid ones. The Sinhalese doctrine at first led to a schism in Burmese Buddhism, but it gradually ousted all others. Its orthodoxy was not, however, finally established until the end of the fifteenth century.” (p. 115, with my emphasis).

There is no doubt that there was some rigidity or dogmatism in this ‘reformed Buddhism,’ perhaps conditioned by the circumstances, which Coedes also remarked. I refrain from elaborating on the matter.

Resurrecting Buddhist Cosmopolitanism

It may be true that with the emergence of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ during king Parakrambahu I (1153-86), plurality and ‘cosmopolitan’ approaches of Buddhism became subdued if not disappeared. This is history I believe. But this has happened under powerful threats from the Chola empire (i.e. Raja Raja and Rajendra) for its survival. In contrast, there were no such threats from Pandyan kingdom however. This is also history I believe. This dynamic has to be understood even today in dealing with ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ or more correctly strong ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ identity. The mere castigation will not work.

On the positive side of history, the Buddhist cosmopolitanism became resurrected after Polonnaruwa (or soon even during the same period), and culminated during the Kotte period or under Parakramabahu VI. I am rushing my thoughts to keep this article at a reasonable length. Then there were strong ebbs during the colonial period due to the overbearing nature of the Christian proselytization, yet there was no resurrection of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ as such, in my opinion, other than the positioning of a strong ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ identity. The Buddhist Sangha or the existing Nikayas even today are quite plural although not very philosophical or ‘cosmopolitan’ like the ‘golden’ days, if we discount the rabble rousers in robes.

It is this cosmopolitan aspect of Buddhism that needs to be resurrected and promoted in addition to its philosophical foundations which are, in my opinion, useful for reconciliation, peace and even as effective tools for conflict resolution. In the promotion of cosmopolitanism (in Buddhism), the practice of Paththini culture among the Sinhalese may be important but not the castigation of ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ identity or ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ whether the latter actually exists or not. The mere castigation of ‘Sinhala monopoly of Buddhism’ or ‘Mahavamsa mentality’ or the ridiculing of the ‘legend of Sinhabahu’ might not work. I conclude this piece with a certain remorse because compared to many others, Ranga Kalansooriya’s aberration is quite mild. However, it was a pointer to clarify certain matters as discussed.

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Latest comments

  • 6
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    A great example is Paththini-Hennadige… Selestina Dias, SL’s greatest lady philanthropist, a major contributor to the Panadura Vivadaya, the mother of freedom-fighter, Buddhist revivalist and nationalist Kos Mama aka (Sir) Arthur V Dias and grandmother of equally great Wilmot A Perera.

    Nilaperumal Kallu-Kapuge Bandaranaikes are also associated with Pathini, Buddhism and the Sinhala-Tamil issue, positive or negative is a matter of debate…

    • 9
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      Dear Prof. Laksiri Fernando,
      Most Tamils are not seeking revenge for the atrocities committed on them by Sinhalese. They are demanding justice as a priority, but this justice seems to be not forthcoming. If justice is granted to Tamils to live in dignity and safety ruling their homeland without any interference, they are prepared to forgive and forget all what happened. This is exactly what happened in South Africa, East Timor and South Sudan, where there were no investigation of crimes against humanity by international courts. It appears that Sinhala leaders as before are cheating Tamils, and they are trying to hoodwink the international community in both political solution and war crimes investigation. How can you say that by following Buddha’s teachings you can bring about reconciliation, when the very adherents of that religion are behaving in such manner.

      • 3
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        Most Tamils are not seeking revenge for the atrocities committed on them by Sinhalese. // LOL what atrocities?

        A community who gave birth to brutal terrorism talks about revenge and justice. What an irony. The tamils is the single most reason the communities all over the country had to suffer, to be more specific it would be Vellala tamils.

        It was the Sinhala gov that fed, paid for medical, welfare and administrative affairs for a people who tried maximum to destroy the very nation that gover was supposed to protect.

        SL must be the only country that fed and protected terrorism that sought to kill it. And that is the sole reason we had to take 2.5 decades to finish the war

        When you read the comments by tamils here their ‘we are always correct everyone else is wrong’ mentality

        • 7
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          Sinhala terrorism was unleashed on Tamils in several ways:
          1. Legislative terrorism – Disenfanchisement and deportation of Tamils of recent indian origin, Imposing of Sinhala language on Tamils by the passage of Sinhala Only act.
          2. Executive terrorism – Discrimination in employment in public service (recruitment,promotions,scholarhips), discrimination in economic development of Tamil areas, destruction of Tamil economy.
          Discrimination in admission to universities ignoring merit.
          3. Judicial terrorism – Unleashing of violence on life and properties of Tamils and failure to bring to book any Sinhala perpetrators. Imposing of laws with the cockeyed vedicts of the judiciary, violating section 29 of the soulbury constitution.

          As a resident of Colombo for 44 years, I am an eye witness to the three major state sponsored riots against Tamils, where none of the perpetratiors were convicted, leave alone arrested and tried in courts, and none of the Tamil victims compenstated. Also as a medico-legal officer in the war zone, I am a medical witnes to the murders and other atrocities committed by the security forces on non-combatant Tamils, where none of the perpetrators were convicted, while in some cases sham trials were conducted in Colombo under Sinhala judges, who without any shame allowed the criminals to go free as cases of collateral damage or justifiable homicide, and none of the victims compensated.

          Sinhalese are afraid of any international investigations, as it will result in coviction due to the pressence of unassailable evidence of crime, and want an internal investigation to cover these up by corrupt and racist judges. Why be afraid if you had not committed any crime and face it bravely. Even this regime which promised the international community of fair trial of the criminals and justifiable treatment of Tamils appears to be faltering due to the pressure exerted by Sinhala racists, trying to appease them in order to stay in power.

          • 3
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            1. Deporting labour brought into the country by the British as way of doing their business and to indulge in ethnic engineering is not wrong. Actually Wiggie’s proposal to establish an autonomy for Upcountry tamils proves the point the sinhala leaders yesteryear were right in their thinking in deporting them.

            2. Though Tamils did face issues due to language policy and resultant difficulty to get top of the ladder in civil service, most of them were rectified with time. For example Sirimavo’s university standardisation policy was reversed after few years. At the same time due to nationalistic economic policies of Sirimavo the Tamils in north did enjoy economic development. The Jaffna farmer was rich. At the same time Sirimavo’s many ill advised policies did affect the sinhalese badly especially in areas of land ownership.

            Tamil areas got developed and the government did help development in these areas. If Jaffna went back in time that was the sole result of Tamil terrorism.

            3. You may have had a point if Tamils did not support tiger terroism. To the last moment tamils did support LTTE terrorism, they enjoyed when people were killed in suicide bombs, they enojoyed when sinhala babies were thrashed on tree trunks when innocent villagers , monks were massacred.

            You enjoyed every bit of terrorism the LTTE unleashed upon the people of SL and paid the bill until the last moment. Having done all that, look we were killed in 1983 hole no value as an excuse.

            And dont think you are a victim

            • 3
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              such,

              Go and fly a kite and do not bother people with your stories!

              We are all still waiting for you to show as to where Samapura is found on Dutch map of Ceylon that you claimed exist.

              May be that cheap prof. Chandra Dharmawardena is busy concocting a new map for you to brandish!

              • 2
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                Burning Issue

                We will discuss the film some other time after you finished with sachoooo the stupid II.

                I can come back in two months time and still you be struggling to get common sense into a public racist’s head. You know why, stupid sach is standing on her head and sitting on her brain.

          • 5
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            Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,

            You are not serious, are you.

            Are you serious when you say that ‘this regime which promised the international community of fair trial appears to be faltering due to the pressure exerted by Sinhala racists’. Or, is your sugar-coating of your displeasure, an effort not to irritate some in the IC.

            Go the full mile. Racists are not a separate breed of Sinhalese. The regimes have all been racist. This regime is no exception.

            It is the mounting pressure of the world community that has forced the present regime to promise (not agree!) to look into steps to reconcile.

            The world community is nothing but US (and perhaps UK for its role in being a part of our plight). US has nothing to gain by working for our liberation, even though US has a genuine interest in being on the side of India, when it comes to denying China a foothold in SL.

            The manoeuvres of the present regime in Sri Lanka is a balancing act. SL will not want to lose its intimacy with China, for obvious reasons. At the same time, SL does not want to appear unresponsive to US (read, India) demands.

            The racists are none other than the political henchmen of regimes of SL. They are a permanent entity, in SL politics. SL uses that trump card of theirs with utmost efficiency, (and) every time.

        • 0
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          [A community who gave birth to brutal terrorism talks about revenge and justice]

          A community who gave birth to brutal state terrorism talks about reconciliation and buddhism

  • 11
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    Ilango Adigal, the author of Silappathikaram says he wrote it to drive home the following. We may call them verities.

    1) Aram – meaning approximates dharma – terminates a governance in grievous default.
    2) Adoration by the greats for a lady of impeccable chastity. Author uses the word PATHTHINI (circa 2nd century AD).
    3) Fate is inexorable in its pursuit.

  • 10
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    The cult of the Goddess Patthini by Prof:Gananath Obeyesekere- Emeritus Prof:of Anthropology-Princeton University is,I am told,the first and probably the last of the authoritative work on Patthini. The Tamil epic Silapathikaram the story of Kannaki,Kovalan and Mathavi indeed has a Buddhist ethos interwoven in the story.

    Interestingly,Kannaki Amman temples are found in several places in the North-East region and its ceremonies coincide with Wesak of the Buddhists.
    Political issues have destroyed the Sinhala-Tamil ethos on several fronts.

    • 1
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      As far as I am aware Pathini or Kannagi worship is only prevalent in SL but not in S. India or even in Kerala.
      Would some one comment on this?

      • 2
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        Wiki says
        “Kannagi or Kannaki Amman is eulogized as the epitome of chastity and is worshiped as a goddess in select regions. She is worshiped as goddess Pattini in Sri Lanka by the Sinhalese Buddhists, Kannaki Amman by the Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus and as Bhagavathy in the South Indian state of Kerala.[1]”

      • 0
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        Brahmins wouldn’t tolerate a lady of non Brahmin caste being deified. That is the simple reason why the Kannagi Amman temples got ‘baptised’ as some other Amman in Tamilnadu!

        Sengodan. M

      • 0
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        The Mangala Devi Kannagi temple is located on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is located about 7 km from Pazhiyankudi in Theni district and 15 km from kkadi of Idukki District, Kerala. Cheran Chenguttuvan, the king of ancient Tamilakam, had erected the temple for Kannagi around 2000 years back at Vannathiparai and called it Kannagi Kottam or Mangaladevi Kannagi temple and performed regular pujas. Its sits at an altitude of about 1337m above the sea level. It is surrounded by lush greenery and is closed throughout the year except during the Chitra Pournami festival. At other times tourists can still view it by getting a special letter from the forest ranger. The view from the temple premises is spectacular and one can see part of eastern ghats and some villages from adjacent state of Tamil Nadu.

        http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/thousands-visit-kannagi-temple

  • 10
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    Thank you Dr. Fernando. Finally an article on CT that challenges the petty-mindedness of many writers and commentators here who try to belittle the sinhalese in any way, shape or form.

    I happened to be born sinhalese, buddhist, male, sri lankan. I also happen to be hairy, brown complexioned and tall. None of these attributes are things that I had control over. All identities and labels we use are temporal and contextual, and do not have any permanent significance. That recognition is in fact the basic message of buddhism.

    Therefore fighting with each other about who “owns” this island (or part there of), who was here before whom and killing and destroying lives and property is ALL MEANINGLESS. No god, prophet or buddha (it is only a title, remember) will condone such wanton evil.

    So why not figure out a peaceful way to co-exist?

    • 5
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      sinhalese buddhist

      “So why not figure out a peaceful way to co-exist?”

      Very interesting question.

      What countries are most peaceful? The least religious countries.

      Key: Get rid of the Monks, Ulama, Priest,Mullah’s and then there is nobody to brainwash the masses.

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

      http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

      • 5
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        “What countries are most peaceful? The least religious countries.”

        “Key: Get rid of the Monks, Ulama, Priest,Mullah’s and then there is nobody to brainwash the masses.”

        Unfortunately, this has to happen in the course of natural social evolution. It can’t be force on.

        Societies in all the countries have not evolved at the same pace. In the societies that have evolved further than the others, religions have taken a back-seat.

        In backward societies like the former Soviet Union and China, where attempts were made to eradicate religion, the moment they gained some freedom people have gone back to embrace religions.

        Even pockets within the same country evolve at different pace. This is the case with the Bible Belt within the US of A.

  • 7
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    Paththini is another name for Kannagi of Silapathikaram one of the ancient Tamil classic .

    Worship of Paththini was introduced in SL by king Gajabahu returned after participate in the inauguration of first Kannai temple in Sera Naddu (today kerala)

    Every village in North-East of SL has got Kannagi temples in different names viz: Marri Amman, Pechchi Amman,..Dropathai Amman etc.,

    The first Paththini temple in Eastern province was built in Pandiruppu and it was financed by a Sinhala King the copper plate ABOUT this donation still available .

    There is no place for Paththini worship in Buddhism OR Sinhalese it was purely copied from Tamil Hindus like Sinhala New Year and Kandy Perahara.

    Please don’t parade your ignorance here

    Cheers

  • 4
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    Kannagi was a symbol of chastity – for women.

    Poet Subramanya Bharathy said that ‘chastity’ should be a common way of life for both men and women.

    Every religion too, is a way of life laid down by the founders of each religion.
    Every rational human being knows what the correct way of life should be.
    But, ritual now dominates the practice of each religion, and, it varies in each religion too, as time goes by.
    In the eighties, All Night Pirith Ceremonies were common – now rarely held.

  • 4
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    It is somewhat refreshing to see this gentleman now talkingsabout buddhist principles. He should realise that unlike Chritians, Islamists that Buddhists have accommodated other religious faiths. We do not have to be reminded by a western propagandist to be told what buddhism stands for.

  • 7
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    Buddhism as far as I know is a philosophy. Hindu temples were built in Buddhist sites long after the constructions of these Stupas were completed because Hinduism is a religion and there are, according to Hindu beliefs, Deities to be addressed in prayer. I guess one must live by the teachings of the Lord Buddha but pray to the Hindu gods. Man is frail and has to have a Divine source to give strength.

    On the other hand, one may pray also to the one God who is the great Creator, and who said “My peace I give unto you, My peace I leave with you……. Not as the world gives.” This is not an anachronism.

  • 6
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    Kumaran:-
    “Buddhism as far as I know is a philosophy.”

    Philosophy as Far as I know is not Just a Dry Philosophy to be Studied and Dissected by Erudite Scholars

    The Buddha Meant His Dhamma to be related to our Everyday Lives, so that we could Practise, Meththa, Karuna, Muditha and Upekkha the Four Brahma Viharas or (Divine Abidings), to bring Peace into our Lives!

    • 4
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      Hamlet, you are absolutely correct. But are we really practising the teachings? We see lines painted on trishaws, buses, trucks etc. exhorting the Buddhist way of life yet they are so careless about other road users. Do we practice tolerance, which is one of the principal teachings of Buddhism?! What about the politicians of the Joint Opposition who broke hundreds of “nuts” in order to curse the current government? Most of them were Buddhists!! The temple at Seenigama is just before Hikkaduwa on the Galle Road. I suggest you find out what they practice there.

  • 6
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    A common sense guide to the origin of Kannaki and Paththini.

    World over man dominates or tries to dominate women. For example Islam allows a man to take four wives and the right of the husband to divorce a wife verbally. In the South Asian sub-continent most women for all practical purposes are treated as chattels. Hindu temple trustees comprise majority men.Some temples deny entry to women. A female Pope? Unthinkable! Higher rungs of Buddhist monkhood are always men.

    Silapathikaram is among super-literary work in Tamil. The plot is common or garden. The men created chastity as a virtue. Women are expected to be chaste but men can be lecherous. Kannaki (aka Paththini) was accorded divine status to stress the mindset of men.

    Is the story a necessary ethos for reconciliation? Not at all. Lankan politicians created the ethnic divide to acquire power. The returns are too good. It will be stupid to kill the ethnic divide goose which has been laying golden eggs for seven decades.

    The film the film the film.
    Nanda Pethiyagoda has reviewed it in “The Island” of 04 June. He says that there is the Bolywood mix of flamboyant dance sequences. There was the Buddhist nun with heavy mascara! Evidently in the film Kannaki prophesies she will be reborn a man in preparation for gaining Buddhahood. So is nirbhana for men only?

  • 2
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    It is most unfortunate, even tragic, that the Gautama Buddha’s foundation for his philosophy – ie: the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path, has been turned into a mish-mash by those seeking to use it for their own selfish purposes.

    As a result we have Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan, Tamil, Sinhala, etc, etc, ‘Buddhism’. This has resulted in all manner of ritualistic practices that have little to do with what the Buddha taught.

    For instance, the practice of ‘Poojas’, worshiping priests, loudspeakers blaring ‘bana’ from temples, etc, are methods used by many of our Sinhala Buddhist priests to gain power over their ‘flock’ and live their (anything but austere) lives. The recent BBS took this one step further with their particular brand of racist / militant actions.

    Time for the ‘flock’ to wake up to what the Buddha actually taught and practice living according to the Eightfold Path.

    The rest of the bullshit is meaningless.

    PS: The same is true of all other ‘organized’ religions.

  • 5
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    I have not fully comprehended on what dimension the movie playing the reconciliation role between Eelam Tamils and Sinhalese. I believe it is on that the goddess Paththini deviyo and Kannagi Amman are one and the same, and the both races, (as only specific these two races, not as a cosmopolitan feature) until now, unified-ly has been treating her as goddess. Praying of Kannagi Amman is not available in TN. TN Tamils do not treat her as a goddess. And it is nowhere available in Kerala, where her statue was installed by Chera King Senguttuvan. Paththini or Kannagi goddess is only in Island Ceylon.

    The Marina beach statue is not a goddess portrayal, but a heroine portrayal. The statue installed by Karunanidhi in 1968 was removed by Jayalalithaa, cited as her anti-Tamil sentiment. (It could have been because of her anti-Karunanidhi feeling). The current TN feeling of Kannagi is Tamil sentiment and Ceylon Tamils’ (beyond TE Tamils) feeling is only as goddess. This is what the feeling of Sinhalese, too. They see her as a goddess not as a Tamil heroine. There is ground of commonality exist. But it should remind the Sinhalese that their brethren Tamils should be treated as one with in them and they should extend the same justice they received after JVP upraising.

    The story runs among three Kingdoms, associated with three features, i.e. “Tamil (Sangam), Justice and Bravery”. It is not a story between races, but it was purposefully written to unify (connect, join) three Kingdoms with the name of a language (The Tamil). Some of attributes appears in epics like Chilapathikaram always raise the doubt about the historical value of these myths. But let’s not get stuck there. So the towns selected for each scenes by Sage Illango adding the additional spices to the story. As her birthmark, the Chola wealthy trader or the duchess was inclined to seek justice, which has been categorized by the learned professor as revenging. “she is also considered as the symbol of ‘revenge’ which some may call ‘justice” The professor who worked with Old King during the genocide days advocated for Doctorate as an impunity for the crimes committed by the Old King, sees Kannagi story as an story of revenge seeking, but a not winning of justice, which was the nature for Cholas. The Ceylon King Elalla was said to have the Aaraachchimani(Bell of justice or intelligence against crime), that is only because he was Chola King.
    Further, the narrow minded intellectual is evaluating the character Kannagi as revenging person, by considering a part of the story, but the sage Illango who brought the story, did not built her character on that way. Here is a song the poet is eloquently y argue how graceful she was when she excused her husband. (The Ganga is mixing with the Ocean somewhere else, just because of it Kaveri not rejecting him is her high end nature) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwVYnuof_98

    That is an unswallowable pill for the professor who is worried about the UN Electric Chair for his past master. “The mere castigation of …… or the ridiculing of the ‘legend of Sinhabahu’ might not work After sanctifying the Bestiality story he is jumping to castigate Kannagi :”Kannagi tore her breast, cursed the city where her husband had been wrongfully executed……..This revenge aspect is abundantly there even in the original Kannagi story of ‘Silapathikaram.’ I have never been impressed by it…..” After spreading his own hate he sought his impunity from: ” I am quoting from J. Pandian. The story is not about “the duality of ethics for men and women being one”.As a matter of Ilango wanted to point out that Madurai was not close enough to Chola Kingdom in its justices. So he left the injustice part in Madurai. That is where Kannagi had to seek her justice. Kannagi did not get involved in any violence inside the palace or outside the palace. Kannagi is not communist as the learned one compared her to the Joint Comedians ( “It was not by accident that the Joint Opposition went to the Seenigama Devale “). New King once claimed he may be murdered like Lincoln. That does not compare him with Abraham Lincoln. The Joint Comedian’s perception is not what Goddess Kannagi is. Kannagi Amman is treated by Jaffna Tamils (them I know for sure) as more graceful even than Parvathi Amman. There is a chance the communist professor and the communist violent crime Joint Comedian might have misunderstood Paththini Deviyo to Kali Amman, who is many times associated with violence, revenge and sacrifice.

    With name of fighting terrorism, the learned professor worked with old king to kill 145,000 in 5 months without difference or duality between man, woman or Child, elderly. To control Japan, America used atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Dead on that were mainly innocents. When allied troops bombed Germany to rubble to subdue the unrelenting Hitler, many of the dead were innocents. The professor is calling the seeking of justice as revenging. But he is in short of understating the invoking and cursing. Kannagi invoked the Gods to punish the criminals in Madurai. When Madurai started to burn, her graceful heart went to Gods and asked them to spare the women, children and elderly, who were not in the active administration of the corrupted Madurai. It was not a man woman division. Further Sage Illango did not make a mistake of Kannagi designating the male shape as criminals. She wanted to clean the Madurai. She set it up on fire. But she spared children, elderly and Women in that. Seeking justice is not revenging. But excusing women and elderly (children not treated as criminals) is symptom of sympathy, but certainly unlike Sihabhhu killing only his man- father but taking his woman-mother with him. (It was not an advice of this type that our learned professor gave to Old King and now there are 90,000 war widows left in the North. Where men are killed and women left helplessly) The learned professor who wanted to see the terrorist (in his definition) be destroyed without root, with the innocents too. There are circumstances one separate man and woman in his analysis, but the learned professor does not have correct feeling on that. Sangam period is knows in Tamils history for its equality of the genders. If lack of that knowledge only made the leaned professor to pull a wrong card of a Man-woman difference out of a Sangam story, then it is excusable. But that was not his motive; rather it was saving his old boss from UN electric chair by looking for a loop hole in a story and makes it as revenging and man-woman injustice. It is always easy to point the finger at others if the crime blood is on their hand.

    The Tamils asked for Transitional justice. The first part of it is finding the truth. That where the learned professor’s community is stuck. Revenging is mainly about retaliating. This PhD has a difficulty in understanding the difference between the two.

    Finding the truth (the genocide took place) is important for Tamils to receive solution, that bring the reconciliation.

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    Watching Pathtini I enjoyed the drumming and devil dancing. No more. I didn’t take anything home. Some of the problems the world is facing today and in the past have been due to religions. Thirty year wars Etc. If we can live with out religions it would be better. Finally I quote Carl Marx ” religion is the opium of the people.”

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      “Religion is the opium of masses”.
      That is quite true. Colonial europeans who ruled this country for 550 yearsdestabilised this nation by using their christianity by persecuting the buddhists.
      Muslims today are persecuting in a religious war in the nam their Allah and are engaged in genicidde, mass murderand theocracy.
      Muslims where ever they live have no loyalty to th country of their birth and refuse to assimilate with the society at large.
      The Pope as the head of catholic church does his utmost to through its vast network of NGOs decimate other local religions. It is a fact that catholics voted en-mass in last 2 elections to defeat Mahinda Rajapakse. not for any thing else but due to their hatred of the ancient religion called buddhism
      Buddhists have nver waged war against others in the name of religion, because budhists donot belive in a create called God who rules human life.

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