19 June, 2021

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Our Buddhist Sanga Are Spiritually Exhausted

By Shyamon Jayasinghe –

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“All great truths are based on blasphemies”- Bernard Shaw

From the year 590 to 1517 the Roman Catholic Church had dominated the Western World.  Securely entrenched in power the pope and the priests had successfully brainwashed an ignorant population to accept everything the hierarchy did. Having got this power and hold over its followers the Church unleashed a regime of corruption that was designed to pamper the senses of the Holy Rulers. This was a period when the Catholic Church was absolutely sick. The eventual recovery came during the period of the reformation that saw revolt from the bungled and the botched below who couldn’t tolerate the developments any longer. Until that liberation the people did have a hard time. I begin to wonder if similar developments are now taking place in the Buddha sasana of Sri Lanka.

It may be instructive for us to recall the full scale of corruption in the Church of the Middle Ages. This will serve as an analogy for the contemporary Buddhist situation in Lanka and help us in properly modelling the possible size of the trend that’s on now over there.

The root of the corruption in the church was a conveniently enabling ideological theory concocted by the pope. In the 14th century Pope Boniface the v11 declared: ”we declare, state define and pronounce that for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pope is altogether necessary for salvation (Caper, The Church in History). People followed suite on the theological basis that the Pope was God’s representative on earth. What more, but to do or die? Those who disobeyed were damned Salvation.

“Salvation, taken from the hands of God, fell into those of the priests, who set themselves in the place of our Lord. Souls thirsting for pardon were no more to look to heaven, but to the Church, and above all to its pretended head. To these blinded souls the Roman pontiff was God. Hence the greatness of the popes – hence unutterable abuses” (D’aubigne).

Among the myriad corrupt practices introduced was the system of indulgences that prevailed whereby the church could grant individual forgiveness for any sin by charging the offender a fee “Incest, if not detected, was to cost five groats; and six, if it was known. There was a stated price for murder, infanticide, adultery, perjury, burglary, etc. ‘O disgrace of Rome!’ exclaims Claude d’Espence, a Roman divine: and we may add, O disgrace of human nature! For we can utter no reproach against Rome that does not recoil on man himself. Rome is human nature exalted in some of its worst propensities” (D’aubigne

Celibacy for clergy became Roman Church law in 1079. This mandate tempted all kinds of immorality. The abodes of the clergy were often dens of corruption. It was a common sight to see priests frequenting the taverns, gambling, and having orgies with quarrels and blasphemy. Many of the clergy kept mistresses, and convents became houses of ill fame. In many places the people were delighted at seeing a priest keep a mistress, that the married women might be safe from his seductions.

“In many places the priest paid the bishop a regular tax for the women with whom he lived, and for each child he had by her. A German bishop said publically one day, at a great entertainment, that in one year eleven thousand priests had presented themselves before him for that purpose. It is Erasmus who relates this” (D’aubigne).

Crossing over to the present scene in Lanka let us remind ourselves that there is an ideological root here, too, inasmuch as there was a theological root for the church’s corruption. That ideology is that the sanga are the ultimate saviours of the Buddhist Sinhala nation. The sanga bears a prime responsibility to go to the streets, and to do what they think is right just in order to “save” our nation. The nation or ‘jathiya ‘here is the Sinhala and the ‘aagama’ or religion is just one-Buddhism. This ideological root flows from the great con in the Mahawamsa that journalist Sharmini Serasinghe so eloquently explained to CT readers. The call to ‘rata, jathiya, aagama” is a reflection of the Mahawanse myth. It is totally out of line to the reality of the multicultural Sri Lankan social fabric we have today. It contradicts the workplace experiences of young men and women in Lanka.

Besides this ideological root, one observes that our politicians keep manipulating their electorate by using these saffron saviours. This compares well with the politicians of the Middle Ages who similarly exploited the powerful priests in order to keep themselves in power even as second fiddle to the priestly order. The politico-religious combination is deadly dynamite. The installation of monks in parliament on a legitimate basis began seriously with the UPFA regime. Most of these parliamentary clergy have little qualms about partaking in every power and perk dished out to them by lay politicians in the political partnership- cars; luxury houses; and often playing the role of power brokers or lobbyists for big business and so on.

We remember how the politico-sanga axis had been first formed under SWRD’s misguided xenophobic parochialism. The power of the sanga as power broker was then symbolized by Buddha Rakkhita who ended up in jail over the murder of SWRD. The public emotional outcry had been so great then that for many a decade a monk was not seen on the political stage, The nexus was revived by the Mahinda Rajapakse during his election campaign for presidency. While Rajapakse survives on the ideological belief that he (single-handed) “saved” the country from the Tiger terrorism the political clout of the monk thrives on the Mahawanse myth. The hold of power is founded on myth.

The vast mass of the Buddhist population would say little against abusive monks for one reason, namely that they respect the saffron cloth or sivura. Oftentimes, we cling to the self-delusive myth that the sivura has to be respected even if its wearer is a scoundrel. Didn’t we see how some religious folk worshipped the London Sangha Nayake just before the latter was cast into jail for sexually abusing a child? The court heard the minor say how the monk had dragged her to the inner sanctum of the temple and penetrated her with one painful force ‘like the shaft of a knife’ right in the presence of the Buddha image. A similar incident had taken place in Perth some time ago. Another one recently in Sri Lanka. What happens daily in Lanka is quickly shelved before reaching authorities. Even if it reaches authorities (like the ganja case) it is disregarded by an immaculately independent justice system!

If you think that the above were isolated instances just take a look at the body language of politically protesting monks in Colombo today. Didn’t you see the video of the attack on a church when a monk simply threw a stone and tried to surreptitiously hide his gruesome act? I once witnessed a young monk walking out of a video parlour in Bamabalapitiya with something under his arm. As I walked in to rent-out a video the shop owner told me that that monk had carried away a porno video!

The unfortunate thing is that unlike in the case of the church there is no hierarchy controlling or disciplining monks. Such a control is inimical to the freedom in Buddhism. However, all Buddhists should be alerted to ensure that our Sanga will not take the full course of the path of corruption outlined above in the study case of the church of the Middle Ages. In the last analysis it is only an alert population that could save any institution. Such an alert population significantly exists in the developed West so that lesser pranks are seen from church personnel today. Will a Lankan socially conscious elite grow up and initiate a similar Reformation in the sanga? High time it did.

In a lot of what I have stated above I may be accused of blasphemy but accusers beware of the Bernard Shaw quote. To cleanse and clean a wound one must have the wound exposed in the full light of the day.

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Latest comments

  • 22
    3

    It’s a few prominent monks like the great Ven. Sobitha thero who guide the Sri Lankans and Buddists today.

    Cardinal Ranjith does his part, yet it is less effective on the Buddhist majority.

    These Sanganayakas are useless, or perhaps they are silent supporters of Buddhist supremacy & Buddhist fascism, which may be acceptable to the ‘Sinhala’ mentality, but certainly not to the Buddhist mentality at least according to it’s founder Sidharta Gautama.

    • 13
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      Shyamon Jayasinghe forgot one thing ,i.e; Pope Bennadict resigned first being after 600 years due to uncontrollable Child Sex in Catholic church

      • 9
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        Enlightened Sinhala Buddhists must bare the myths and falsehoods of Mahavamsa for the laymen and let the follow the true teachings of the Buddha.

        This is the first step needed to cleanse the mind sets.

        • 0
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          “The FINEST FUTURE FOCUS is:
          Perfectly formulated is this Buddha-Dhamma, visible right here & now, immediately effective, timeless, inviting each & everyone to come and see for themselves. Leading All towards perfection. Directly observable, and realizable by each intelligence…” Anguttara Nikaya 1:16.1 + 6:10

          • 0
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            Forgot to mention Bishop Dulip De Chikera

            Sanganayakes have more important things to do like pointing out some differences between a tapper and a peeler, a craftsman and a confectioner, a fisherman and a farmer

            That is their maturity

  • 0
    3

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 5
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      Rattaran

      It is a great comment.

      I do agree with you none of the readers in this forum has the intellectual acumen to understand the difference between Buddhism and Sinhala/Buddhism.

      • 5
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        Our Buddhist Sanga Are Spiritually Exhausted BY SHYMON

        Its joke don’t u think vedda…

        • 6
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          J.Muthu

          Perhaps they are sexually frustrated.

      • 0
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        pray enlighten us. what is the difference.

      • 1
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        Veddah, may I suggest that what the Buddha taught is not an ‘ISM’ It is a Path He showed us, by which we could attain True Salvation. We don’t even need to say we are ‘Buddhist’!

        • 1
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          Rationalist

          It is a very good reason for us to liberate Buddha’s teaching from Sinhala/Buddhism.

          Thanks for your support.

        • 0
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          sophists’ rhetorical techniques, the Hippias major and the Hippias minor

  • 12
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    “To cleanse and clean a wound one must have the wound exposed in the full light of the day” …there be light!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jsw_r0hILQ

    ◕‿◕
    Given the ambiguity of geographical references in writings of this period, Mahawamse statement should not be taken too seriously they are JamBoys!! Buddha Siddhartha as a historical person may even never have actually existed.
    ◕‿◕
    Got to be practical; It would be hilarious to suggest a used Elastoplast as the next candidate as they expect more spadework so ideally the media should start a presidential election candidate fund and nominate the best betwho would honestly “chew the constitution” installing a new like the best we have experienced ++ and resign in record time just like the now prosperous Czechoslovakian’s.

  • 8
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    It is a sad indictment that we in Sri Lanka will have to re-invent the wheel to learn the lessons of history and apply them in our little paradise on earth. For all our learning and erudition we are still steeped in ‘custom and tradition’. Deference continues to be forced on us (from childhood) and sycophancy has become second nature. The Sangha have revelled in the restoration of their ‘ancient’ position as kingmakers and so we now have the tail wagging the dog. No serious politician in Sri Lanka will take up a position without carefully calculating how the Sangha will react. Nowadays, politicians also need to placate the ‘alternative Sangha’ made up of the BBS, Sihala Ravaya and other mushrooming imitations up and down the country. All this is possible because of the deeply entrenched conservatism, especially within the Sinhala-Buddhism community. Change may come one day; soon if there is a revolution, but otherwise be prepared for a long, long wait.

    • 4
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      I agree with all what you say, except about “our little paradise on earth”. Sri Lanka was never a paradise to anyone at any time in history. It has always been a hell hole.

      • 0
        1

        “Sri Lanka was never a paradise to anyone at any time in history.”

        That is your privacy just stick to it.

      • 3
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        BBSRep: I am delighted we have consensus on much, I am saddened you disagree with my “our little paradise on earth”. I use that description with all sincerity and based on two facts; one, being born on a beautiful sunny April morn a very long time ago in the De Soysa Lying-in-Home at Borella, and, two, having travelled extensively around our shrinking world and discovering that evil and bad people abound everywhere. I have learnt to look for the positives that make a place better, and I can personally vouch for the fact that Sri Lanka has more than a fair share of good, decent and kind people. Through all our upheavals and tribulations, we must recognise and cherish this. Throwing the baby out with the dirty bath water was never a good option! I will not hesitate to expose the thugs, crooks, conmen et al but I will continue to call this little island home “our little paradise on earth” in honour of the friendly, generous and warm-hearted folk amongst us.

  • 4
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    The clergy or the select few are supposed to be those dedicated to the achievement of higher spiritual and religous values far divorced from the mundane pursuits of life and existance. By virtue of their knowledge, worship and sacrifice they are supposed to ascend to a higher spiritual plane of enlightenment.

    Celibacy and abstention from worldly pursuits, desires and pleasures are part of the rigourous path to enlightenment. The mind and senses are disciplined to focus on the eternal truth. The truth can be achieved only by the sincere strivers in the path who are prepared to sacrifice their lives to attain enlightenment. Having achieved enlightenment they can then become a guide and teacher for others.

    Unfortunately the clergy is now enmeshed in the wordly life. They crave and demand what ordinary people desire. They crave for fame and prominence. They hobnob with the rulers and the rich. They live in luxury and opulence. So what can be expected from such clergy who have lost their way? When such misguided clergy preach it like the blind leading the blind.

    • 1
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      There is nothing called ‘Truth’ it is only a figment of imagination because it is forever elusive.
      It cannot be captured,contained,nor can one give expression to it and advance his interests.
      The moment it’s captured it,it ceases to be the truth.
      It’s like stepping into a flowing river at a point of time and being in it after that, because it flows continuously and is not the same river one stepped in.

  • 5
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    Hitler exploited the blatant anti-Semitism mentioned in the New and old Testament to mass slaughter Jews. The British used homophobia mentioned in the bible to enact laws in many parts of world. None of this made the Bible a “con” did it really?

    Similarly some interpret the Mahavamsa to bash Tamils. The archaeology department of Sri Lanka says it uses both the Mahavamsa and archaeology to understand history. Surely they do not think the Mahavamsa a “con”. Its all in the interpretation isn’t it really?

    One day Serasinghe caught a school teacher napping. She interpreted it as his “Mahavamsa Mindset”. I am not really sure how the connection was made but nevertheless hot on her heels Vingeswaran wants to re-write Sri Lanka history and this guy Shymon also seems now seems to have a problem with the Mahavamsa.

    Clinically depressed should read Mahavamsa before critisising. Despite all the critisim most Tamils continue to work and live among Sinhalaese. I attribute that to “Mahavamsa Mindset” too.

    • 6
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      Vibushana,

      “One day Serasinghe caught a school teacher napping. She interpreted it as his “Mahavamsa Mindset”. I am not really sure how the connection was made……”

      Are you purposely misinterpreting Sharmini’s article on ‘Mahavamsa-An Insult to the Buddha!’to create mischief, or are you such a dimwit, that you couldn’t understand the context in which she refers to her Buddhism teacher napping?

      For the purpose of those you are try to mislead, the following is what Sharmini Serasinghe said,

      “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.”

      • 2
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        Hey there, Gooofy is it?

        Tell me Goofy, how is an incompetent teaching a fault of Ven Mahanama or his work 400 years ago?

      • 7
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        Bhikku Mahanama came from Tamil Nadu. He was from the Pallava Royal house.

        Sinhalese who are in support of Mahavansa, never talk about the origins of Bhikku Mahanama.

        Further the Mahanayake positions were created during the british rule.

        The Sinhala Buddhism is a copy of Catholic Church. That is why Monks need BENZ cars and other worldly comforts. I never see a Sinhala monk go with the begging bowl.

        • 1
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          There are certainly issues with monks behaving badly and their abuse of Mahavamsa. Its the few misbehaving monks that need to be disciplined. Mahavamsa itself is not the problem.

  • 1
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    Tired guess after all the violence.

  • 3
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    Shyamon Jayasinghe,

    My thoughts, exactly!

    • 0
      0

      They may have blocked CT for today. I see only few comments being added to CT today.
      Do you know anything in this regard ?

  • 4
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    The Buddhist Monastic Code provides for the expulsion and punishment of utterly corrupt monks.It may appear that the Leaders of the Sanga Community is maintaning an inexpicable inaction regarding the implementation of the Rules to the letter. Why ? one may ask.

    • 4
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      Oh, you can’t punish or expel any monks from the Sanga community. Ask any one in Anuradhapura how a sanganayaka gave away his daughter in marriage with a dowry. These are public secretes. There are just a handful of monks who really live upto the vinaya pitaka.

    • 3
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      There are too many Nikayas and not enough leaders.

  • 3
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    Salvation, taken from the hands of God, fell into those of the priests, who set themselves in the place of our Lord. Souls thirsting for pardon were no more to look to heaven, but to the Church, and above all to its pretended head. To these blinded souls the Roman pontiff was God. Hence the greatness of the popes – hence unutterable abuses” (D’aubigne)…………

    To cleanse and clean a wound one must have the wound exposed in the full light of the day…………..

    The Catholic Church is beyond redemption. Now, the CIA depend on the Catholic Church.
    But, in Sri Lanka now that the wound has been exposed, we could correct or arrest this situation further festering.
    We need to force upon the monks a code of conduct on all those wearing a saffron robe. Confine them to Temples and study. No luxuries.
    They need to find their food through daily alms.
    Those found outside these perimeters & involved in crime & politics need to be disrobed.

    • 1
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      Malabari Percy is an innocent pure Buddist.

    • 0
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      You are right. Catholic Church and CIA goes hand in hand to create problems.

      Catholic Church distributed money to all Tamil groups. Later the “unwanted”, “pro-Indian” or “pro-Lankan groups were destroyed.

      CIA camped in Jaffna as NGO. Douglas Devananda arrested them. USA/UK wanted an EELAM under Catholic Church but it was defeated.

      Now the supporters of LTTE criminals bark for HUMAN RIGHTS. What a criminal Catholic morons!

      If Mahinda take no action against the catholic church, he will be swallowed one day by the same catholic criminals!

      • 1
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        SL is just a speck in the ocean involved in tittle tattle and is no match for Royalty from South of Europe to Norway as they are related because of the Catholic Church. It was started by Isabella the Catholic of Spain. Then Jesuits with military background 112 nations on six continents can be diplomats too using the influence they carry via being the leading alma mater of most nations.

  • 3
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    Makes very good sense. Either we keep quiet and let Buddhism perish in the hands of a few racist ‘(so called)monks’ and their followers or speak out and act for the sake of our country and the greatest teachings of all time.

    • 4
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      Walter, the people who write and understand English are a minority in SL. It is the Sinhala speaking majority that respect the Saffron Robe!
      Shyamon could publish his articles in Sinhala for free distribution.

  • 2
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    You are quite right when you say that people worship the ‘sivura’.

    The main reason for this is, People don’t know the qualities that should exist in a true “Bikkhu”. If one can go through the ‘Karaniya metta Sutta’ and understand what is teaches, he/she will be able to differentiate true bikkhus from the fake.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.08.amar.html

  • 1
    0

    The Sangha has been reformed and purified many times in the past. Perhaps it is time for another reformation where the original Vinaya rules can be used.

    The politicians will not do this, they need corrupt monks for themselves. Nor will the Mahanayakas do anything, they do not live according to the Vinaya themselves. So nothing will be done at present.

    Those monks practising the cleansing of the mind in the forest aramayas and centres all over the island, they are the true followers of Gautama.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/ariyesako/layguide.html

    • 3
      3

      Who cares about what the Buddhist Sangha does as long as the Tamil invaders are defeated and completely subjugated, the Sinhala are collectively satisfied. This is the doctrine that JRJ operated on and MR now fulfilling with earnest!

  • 3
    1

    The behaviour of the Saffron brigade is a demonstration of the rule of law coming from the “Raaja head”. As in the the Christian Church, every single buddhist priest must be accountable to their seniors and their congregations. They are not gods to do what every they please.
    I find it amazing that they do not eat meat (officially of course) but do mind attacking human beings. I guess in their eyes animals are more sacred than human beings, hence their animal behaviour.
    Also why sit on a white cloth when their devotees have to sit on the ground in the dirt. To be honest their devotees would be more pius than the thugs we see on tv.

    As we say beware o saffron knights for “anunta kala day thamanta pala dry” (what you do to others it will come back on you)

    • 1
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      Very ignorant comments. Ask a Buddhist what the white cloth means and stop tarring everyone with the same brush.

      • 5
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        Teller for your information laying of white cloth for Buddhist Priests on chairs they sit and washing their feet before entering a house was done through necessity then, although they have become custom or tradition, which has no meaning now. Buddhism grew with the peasant society who lived in wattle and daub houses and not the present day palatial houses. In the old wattle and daub houses there were not many furniture except a chair or two on which played the children with their dirty feet and the cat/dog slept. Therefore the necessity to lay a white cloth for a Priest. Today laying white cloth for Priests for well cushioned, clean chairs has no meaning. Similarly washing the feet of Priests were done at a time when the Priests then, wore no foot wear and had to wade through Paddy fields on muddy ridges as there were no vehicles to transport them. Today the Priests being afforded super luxury transport with good foot wear, no wonder some refuse the custom as it must be damn annoying, cold water being poured after traveling in Air Conditioned comfort, especially the old.

        There are many similar rituals and customs practiced yet at weddings and funerals that has no meaning whatsoever in today’s context.

  • 3
    1

    Shyamon, a courageous and cautiously fair comment. Sometimes the chauvinist activities and the agenda of such monks in question remind one of the Taliban and their activities. Take for instance the wanton destruction of the historic Bhamhiyan Buddhist statues in Afghanistan.Bensen

    • 3
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      The Muslims are well known for the destruction.
      By the 10th century Mahmud of Ghazni defeated the Hindu-Shahis, effectively removing Hindu influence and ending Buddhist self-governance across Central Asia, as well as the Punjab region. He demolished both stupas and temples during his numerous campaigns across North-Western India, but left those within his domains and Afghanistan alone, even as al-Biruni recorded Buddha as the prophet “Burxan”.
      Hindu and Buddhist statues, shrines and temples were looted and destroyed, and many Buddhists had to take refuge in Tibet.

  • 2
    0

    Self seeking politicians are making use of this category of unruly priests for their political gains. These politicians should reaslise the damage they are doing to the religion

    • 0
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      The power hungry do not care. Only mass public protests will stop them. But whatever replaces them may be even worse.

  • 3
    2

    Who cares what the sangha does or says, we are triply blessed so we have carte blanche to do anything we like, including killing minorities and attacking minority places of worship as we just saw with 2 churches!

  • 5
    1

    Its time for all real Buddists to come forward without any fear in order to save Buddism from radicals. As far I am concern these people who react violently are terrorists not Monks. Buddism will fade away slowly if we allow them to go ahead. I wonder if there is any hidden hands of Norway here with a some hidden agenda to dissolve Buddism in the long run. Why should Norway, one time LTTE sympathizer, support BBS? Are those so called leaders Buddists? Married to Buddists? What are their real background? what is their motive and ultimate goals? We cannot tolarate this atrocities. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gota Rajapaksa upto no good. Its crystal clear that they busy trying another uprising. the yare pushing Catholics and Muslims to make a wrong move. so far these two communities are wise but for how long? There are angry, emotional, impatient, stupid people everywhere. What did Mahinda regime brought to this country after five years? Building a few highways a namesake airport a namesake shipless harbour is not development. This regime has to go and go fast. having night races with BBQ stands and Beer stalls neither development nor Buddist style. Why this double standard? mahinda portray himself as a real Buddist but involved in every non Buddist acts. Its Criminal!

    • 1
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      This should reach the “sinhala only audience. They are unaware of what is happening in the country.

  • 2
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    Christian churches have learned lessons from the past,and have now made entry of men and women to the religious orders a long process of selection,and only those fit in mind and body and educated to a fair level are chosen after a rigorous selection process.Even then, many priests have fallen prey to their emotions which they could not control and have commited sins on those of the laity who trusted them as “Men of God”.

    Codes of celibacy and poverty are very tough to adhere to,lifelong as human behaviour is controlled by hormones and nerve impulses.
    Boys of 10 years who are yet to mature and attain the “Age of Reason”,are “recruited” by the sangha in temples – and these go astray when mature,succombing to ‘temptation’ – sexual and financial – as they lose the ‘will power’ to adhere to the tough life of the clergy.
    The sangha should lay down strict criteria for selection of males to be nurtured and educated into transformation as monks of the future, and,enforce them..
    Blaming those selected though unfit, for their later behavior is pointless.

    • 0
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      Mistakes like this will continue. There should be an organisation to “rehabilitate” those young bikhus who were forced into monk hood because of poverty or parental compulsion to leave the saffron robe and should be trained to find a livelihood and lead “normal life” May be Gota should do this instead of “rehabilitating” the “NORMAL TAMILS”. (rehabilitating the “normal Tamils” is to set Tamils against Tamils. That is his dirty idea)

  • 7
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    We must all remember that the 83 Pogrom was a day after a poya day and Thondoman Sr is said to have quipped-“Sunday Sil Monday Kill” how true it is 30 years later.

  • 1
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    Dear . jayasingha .
    I agree with your accountability and if you really interesting I can bring to your awareness of so pathetic , outrageous and venomous religious history of the whole world . I suppose that is only will be sufficient to shut you up .as far as I concern to your article , it tries to point out the vicious side of some Buddhists followers in Sri Lanka comparing to what happened in Christians in millennia . It is a ridiculous comparison , because the Buddhists in Sri Lanka or elsewhere have never ever committed crimes namesake of religion like other religions have done through out the whole world history . I challenge you if you can name me . But last year in Burma an unfortunate incident happened which I admit . Apart from that just know me any thing else , but we know what happened to Buddhists around the world , therefore do not just become a brainless scaremonger . I admit there are few stupid people try to creat problems , but do not look at these in blind eye , as there are massive things operating behind other religions to create problems and blame Buddhists , because they know that majority Buddhists supported to break the backbone of LTTE , we must very careful with what is happening in Sri Lanka now . Even there are May be some monks who hired by some people to create problem deliberately and to blame the whole Sinhala Buddhists ,as it can be the easiest way to ease the unrest in the country . If government interfered to find out how the other religions are operating in the country that they can accuse the goverment in the name of freedom of religion and takes it to international level , Assembly of God church is an example . What are they really doing in the country , we know about them ,but we cannot do much about . We know lot of money comes from Middle East countries to certain people to escalate what they want , and I would mind to ask you , what is happening in Africa now , Muslims and Christiants are killing each other , and Middle East Muslims and Muslims killing each other ,,therefore we would never go for such a level which is for sure and the best thing that I request from cynics and crooks , please do not do things that people would push into such inferior level .

  • 2
    2

    The reformation in Christianity that Shyamon talks about is but skin deep. The Church is still powerful; own a lot of property and money and the men in purple silks are still holding sway over vast tracks of subjugated humans around the world. The indulgences are still being applied in various forms. Even today in the Philippines the Catholic priest has to be paid the equivalent income of 3 years of hard labour of a farmer for the christening of a child alone. Divorce has to be sanctioned by the Vatican and can easily take over 6 years. The altar boy culture is still thriving in almost all parts of the Christian world despite the highly publicised child abuse cases.

    Any religion once entrenched is next to impossible to dislodge. With the collapse of the Russian communism orthodox Catholicism has come back with a whirlwind force and all the former revolutionaries are scrambling over each other to touch the priest’s cassock. Polpot’s murderous rampage against everything including Buddhism changed nothing. He is gone and Buddhism is back in all its glorious corrupt forms.

    No chance in hell in reforming any religion, Buddhism included, actually.

    • 0
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      `Any religion once entrenched is next to impossible to dislodge. With the collapse of the Russian communism orthodox ….. Buddhism is back in all its glorious corrupt forms.¬

      Men are funny people they have toys throughout their lives!

  • 0
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    “Our Buddhist Sanga Are Spiritually Exhausted” and morally bankrupt.

    • 1
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      shankar

      “Our Buddhist Sanga Are Spiritually Exhausted” and morally bankrupt.”

      and sexually frustrated.

      • 2
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        and therefore should be castrated.

        • 0
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          ;) kali may attend to that for you, I suppose so!

  • 1
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    Hi Shyoman,
    By reading the above article, first & foremost I can see that you are a Buddhist & probably you have a sentiment of a radical Buddhist & wanted to cover all garbage in Sri Lankan Buddhism involving monks. The reason I emphasize this first, Your article’s header is “Our Buddhist Sanga Are Spiritually Exhausted” So which means you talk about Sanga & Buddhism. First question I will raise from you is, Why on earth you talk about Christianity in the first place in an article you write about the garbage of monks???? This clearly shows you wanted to cover up unethical deeds of Monks in Sri Lanka & to justify all acts by passing the buck to another faith. This shows you have a problem with the integrity of Christianity. There is no reason what so ever to talk about Christianity or as a matter of fact any faith other than your topic of Monks & Buddhism. All I can tell you is that, people of your caliber are the once that try to cover garbage which monks do in sri lanka. Well at the same token, you writing more than half the article about Christianity, you should have highlighted the other evil acts of Myanmar monks did for Muslims few months back, Monk committing suicide in front of temple of the tooth in Kandy etc, instead you talk about a Christian incident which happened in 500B.C, well you were not even born then, yet you were born when the monks kill & burned the Muslims in Myanmar last year, when Monk committed suicide, When Monks Burn religious places other than Buddhist temples etc… Am I correct saying this???
    Com’on you Buddhist, majority of you are very insecurred of your faith. No different than of radical Muslims. Highlight & accept all evil acts your monks do for innocent people right now. write about the persecution of muslims, hindu’s,christians by Buddhist in Sri Lanka happening right now, Don’t be a hypocrite. Forget about what happened 500B.C back then.

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      Mario De Silva, You have read Shyamon Jayasinghe’s article with a biased Christian eye which is why you have missed the wood for the trees. Jayasinghe is in fact critiquing Buddhism and is only using the Christian experience several centuries ago, to ask whether Buddhism too is experiencing the same pangs of catharsis. If you cared to research you would have found that Jayasinghe has in fact written extensively previously on the subjects you allude to. You need not be ashamed that the faults of Christianity have been highlighted, for they are common knowledge; in fact it is the critical examination of the Christian doctrine and it’s practice that made it possible to shed some of it’s more evil influences and become a progressive force. Where has Shyamon Jayasinghe covered up the faults of Buddhism?

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        Wickramasiri, I think you are absolutly wrong in your judgement. I dont see Mario DeSilva is being biased in his opinion. I think if Shamon Jayasingha is biased. I agree with mario desilva’s comments as a buddhist, This article should have in no way included any other relegion other than of our own relegion. we have too much and too many problem with monks & buddhism in sri lanka. i think we have to clean up our very own back yard rather poiting towards others. Example, we talk & boast about the great Sigiriya, but we never talk about that Kashyapa killed his own father brultally.

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      I don’t think it is right to generalize in this way. There are a significant fraction still among us the Buddhists that practise Buddhism without harming to other adherents. This is common to monks and lay people too. But these masses are very silent and intelligent too and are not reported on media. The minor fractions that join those violent segments that are on violent modes lead those violent activities; the fact that the rulers do nothing or not ENOUGH make the picture becoming worst hour to hour.

      And agree with the fact that the mind sets of the average in the country are typical to them.
      Many of them would not EVEN raise the question “why” they should go ahead with any agenda passed to them.
      If one would closely study the way how those ADULT monks (sometimes that earn high respect in that those areas) had guided their samanera monks and the lay people to vandalize those church properties in Hikkaduwa lately, it was more similar to a violent wave (not far away from repeat it Sadu Sadu, or kiribath eating after the war victory against LTTE – though knowing but not thinking PROPERLY that later stage war offensive DID kill innocent civilians in uncountable numbers; and not thinking that those were also SRILANKENs that were killed).

      Any govt should invest more to people’s building projects rather than investing for SHOW OFF over night car races or the like, then only we can see people have improved their standards adequately.

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    Dear. Jayasingha .
    I do no believe religions are bad , but I believe they are no fit to us today . Without naming a particular ones that many religions are absolutely base on delusion , delusion had an opportunity to thrive freely like breeding Mosquitos in the world , and today we see the best result of it . I do not have to tell you this , and I request you to watch Aljazeera tv programs daily where you will find what is happening in the Middle East and Poor Africa . To my knowledge the humans are reaching their doomed day. I know It will come one day as we consider to the nature , as we are surviving millions of years , But this is not some happening spontaneously ,where we see immaculately, it Is due to the fault of humans as HUMAN HAVE LOST FOR THE HUMANS in their journey as they have been driven to answers their questions in religions . Therefore ,all these crises that we face today because of we lost the opportunity to address our problems rationally , we never allow to think freely , we never allowed to think that why it happens in certain way , instead , we always forced by religions to believe those miraculous things happened in thousands years . It is quite like many people believe in own political party . We are divided by religions as much as divided by politically in there we have become extremely blind and deaf, our way out is not thinking about that religion is better than that religion , it is filled with bold primitive habits and ideas ,it doesn’t matter what religion you are with , our way out is irreligion . We must congregate to renounce the religion from earth first .This is the challenge we face today . This delusive gamble must stop , no one win in gambling . It is a deluded business. If you are rich in thinking that way , you will benefit being a human and strengthening the dignity . Until then these religious riots and tensions between us would not end .

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    TO MARIO
    Thanks for your comment. Can you read para (2) of my article please? That gives the reason for my referencing the corruption example in the Catholic Church.
    I am an essentially non-religious person. I like Buddhist philosophy (not B/religion) if rebirth is taken away from it.

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    The images of the BBS monks show them up as real scoundrels- rough and ignorant looking.

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    He has left out non-RC Christians and relevant denominations. Would the author reveal his religious preferences? That might reveal his religious-politics and indicate the levels of personal religious exhaustion! As for Sharmini’s eloquence and the Mahavansa reference, Darshanie Ratnawalli has dealt with the adequately. That particular choice of reference also reveals the author’s politics and outcome preferences. This is great stuff. A good Buddhist-bash couched in academic terms with lots of absences that are well hidden. :)

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      “As for Sharmini’s eloquence and the Mahavansa reference, Darshanie Ratnawalli has dealt with the adequately.”

      Hey Linda control freek preek preek!!

      stop sitting on ice cream.

      Have you ever wondered why, in Sri Lanka there are hardly any Tamil Buddhists, even after 2,600 years of co-existence, whereas in India every State has a few percent Buddhists? Sinhala Mahanama Buddhist Racism?

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    The writer is a fake Buddhist. Ask him to recite any of the Buddhist Sutras by heart, he would fail. Ask him to recite any of the Christian prayers – the Lord prayer perhaps- he would do so eyes closed… the point is he is critiquing Buddhism without any real knowledge of it. He might as well do so with Islam , Judaism or Hinduism as well..

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      Paul, You raise an important aspect of current Buddhist practice, namely, reciting “gathas”. Perfectly okay, provided you practice metta, mudhitha, upekha,etc.etc. in your life. If you do not, the mere act of reciting “gathas” does not make you a Buddhist. You do not need to fight for Buddhism, you only become a Buddhist by practicing what the Buddha taught. In Sri Lanka, the ritual is fast replacing Buddhist practice, and that, for Buddhists is a frightening prospect. If that happens, Buddhism will become another run of the mill religion. Why is it so difficult to make people understand this? My advice is to live as the Buddha taught. That to me is a Buddhist.

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        The problem has been: most buddhist adherents are not clear what buddha^s real teachings were. Jathaka kathas are narrated stories comparably to ones found in bible or holy Quran. What most lanken buddhist monks have been spreading are from Mahawamsa. If Mahwamsa is not complete/half written and was based on limited resources at the time Mahanama thero drafted it, so how can you rely on that holy script ? And why the buddhist intellectuals paid NO further efforts/ attentions to complete it since 6th CE ? Today they should have more sources based on archaeology and other searches. As you and the prof HL described it it is the versions of ritualism that have been practised to this day; that has nothing to do with real teachings of Buddha. I read somewhere, buddhist practices in terms of a death of buddhist monk or layman have not been as it is being practised today: 7th day alms giving, 3months after alms giving etc.

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          ‘Pansakula’ after one’s death, is another ritual that the Buddhist Priests have developed over the last three to four hundred years, claiming to transfer merit to the dead and departed. For that matter burial and the use of Coffins and caskets were introduced to this country after the British rule. Except the Nobles the rest after death has been wrapped in cloth and mats, tied to a bamboo and disposed in the Jungles for the vultures to feed. This practice has been known as ‘Kaley Gahanawa’. Once the British introduced the Coffins, Burial became common to all. Then started the ‘Pansakula Business’ to transfer merit.

          If Merit, (Pin)), can be transferred to the dead it could be argued logically that another can transfer Demerit, (Pau) also. To transfer Demirit (Pau), one has to commit it and it can not be transferred to someone else. Similarly Merit too can not be transferred. However today the Buddhist are caught by the Priests for their services to perform Pansakula for the dead, which again is only a ritual that has no meaning and there after for the Seven day, three months and the annual Dhanas to transfer bogus merit for the Sangha to live on the laity. I for one have asked my family to desist from calling any Buddhist Priests and no Pansakula at my funeral to issue me Visa to my dead body.

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            You and everyone else are free to practice or not practice any religion in any way you or the other persons like. However, in fairness to the readers, people who attempt to analyse and critique any subject – be it physics, literature or religion – must have a sound understanding of the subject matter otherwise you are not only misleading but also displaying your ignorance. Shayamon’s and Jagath Asoka’s analysis of Buddhism , unfortunately, fall into this category. It may be good enough for the Colombotelegraph readers – many of whom are anti- Sri lanka, anti- Buddhist and anti-Sinhala but not to any wider audience…

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              Paul,

              What is your rationale that we are Anti- Sri Lankan, Anti- Buddhist and Anti- Sinhala? Who is a Patriot, Sinhala Buddhist in your view? A blind follower who believes and follow whatever Religion, without question like yourself?

              You claim for us to question, we should have a sound understanding of the subject matter, otherwise we are only misleading and displaying our ignorance. To understand one must clarify and affirm what is said is the Truth. When we pose questions, you not only can not answer but also are unable to prove us wrong. Then who is it who is not having a sound understanding on the subject, You or Us? If you are so naive what can we expect from the average citizen in the country? Pathetic indeed!

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                1 It is comments like these that led me to that conclusion:
                “Our Buddhist Sanga Are Spiritually Exhausted and morally bankrupt and sexually frustrated -(native veddha) and therefore should be castrated- (shanka)r

                liberate Buddha’s teaching from Sinhala/Buddhism.- native veddha

                Sri Lanka was never a paradise to anyone at any time in history. It has always been a hell hole. BBS rep

                people who write and understand English are a minority in SL. It is the Sinhala speaking majority that respect the Saffron Robe! –rationalist

                This should reach the “sinhala only audience. They are unaware of what is happening in the country-truth

                why sit on a white cloth when their devotees have to sit on the ground in the dirt. To be honest their devotees would be more pius than the thugs (i.e Sangha).- sangakkara
                “Our Buddhist Sanga Are Spiritually Exhausted and morally bankrupt.”-shankar

                2 I did not claim “for you to question, you should have a sound understanding of the subject matter, otherwise you are only misleading and displaying your ignorance”. It was meant for the writer of the article. You are entitled to question everything. That in fact is the foundation of Buddhism..Read Kalama suthra for details.

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              Paul,

              “……Colombotelegraph readers – many of whom are anti- Sri lanka, anti- Buddhist and anti-Sinhala……”

              So you must be one of them, as you are not only reading Colombo Telegraph, but commenting as well!

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            I always respect your comments. Nice to read from you.

            Gamini please Tell me why the many thre in a view to cremate the dead bodies in SL today ? My paternal grand mother was cremated (in 1975)while grad f was buried (in 1969). And many among our family circles (buddhists)they believe as buddhists we should cremate the dead. I am totally against to this. I dont know how I could share my view in terms of our aged parents.

            I really dont like cremations. Tell me please why many of them today are into cremations than simple decay to the soil.. is that a buddhist ritual at all ?
            I have not come to read Mahanwamsa yet. Since I read all 3 articles written by SS, I thought I should read it atleast once in coming days.

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              With Population expansion, burying the dead will be a problem in the future, if not already due to lack of space. It was an item of News recently that the Anderson Golf Link is to be acquired as a Burial site to expand Kanatte at Borella. Unless the Rajapaksa siblings are made life members at the Golf Club, they will have to kiss good-bye to this picturesque land area abutting the City of Colombo.

              Burying the dead was considered a safe practice then to avoid contamination of deceases and so was burning the dead. Besides, certain Religious beliefs that one day the dead would arise led to the practice of burial. Then again burial allowed a sense of presence, to visit the grave for those who grieved, unable to bear the loss at least for some time. But today with a fast moving world and people scattered the world over from one’s place of birth and family, it makes little sense whether the dead are buried, cremated or interred in a tomb, left to identify, because many prefer the ashes to be scattered in water as they do not want any monuments. I strongly believe in the latter because once we are dead we are gone for good and there are no attachments thereafter. That is the Reality.

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            “Once the British introduced the Coffins, Burial became common to all.”
            Gamini, where have you been all your Life?

            Buddhists do not bury their Dead, they Cremate them, as has been the practice in India for the past millennia!

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      Paul,

      Why betray your ignorance to the whole world?

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    this is an interesting thesis on Buddhist evolution
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1e7Zysfkj0

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      dawn,to accelerate the process of spreading bhuddhism to the west king mahinda just like his namesake arahat mahinda,should send the BBS monks especially its highly articulate and energetic head, gnanasera thera to the US with all expenses paid and tell them not to come back until bhuddhism has been firmly established in the US.Otherwise it might take too long if king mahinda relies on the natural process.A bit of push is needed and these fellows instead of concentrating on the christians here can focus on spreading bhuddhism in the west and be gainfully employed.

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