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The Practice Of Honour Killing In An Early Buddhist Society

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – If you told me that Buddhism causes dilemmas to rulers who are required by tradition to uphold social norms that enshrine killing such as war, hunting, judicial homicide and honour killing, I will snigger. As I snigger, I’ll be thinking of the earliest Buddhist societies such as the Vajjis[i] and the […]

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How The Buddha Coexisted With War

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – Buddhist war studies, those that investigate the compatibility of Buddhism and war, have an awful potential for sanctimony. With the best intentions in the world, I don’t see how they can avoid it. I used to think that “How can Buddhists go to war” was on par with “How can Buddhists […]

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Why A Peace NGO Might Not Employ The Buddha

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – In western as well as oriental cultures, Superheroes conquer rebellious mythical creatures and win their territory for humans. The heroes of more muscular ancient traditions get to kill their creatures, while those of the early Buddhist tradition, the Buddha and his arahat disciples triumph through a different methodology, as killing of […]

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Basic Social Etiquette For The Buddha

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – “Buddhaghosa’s role, as well as that of Mahanama, the author of the Mahavamsa, was to translate the available material into Pali (see Mhv. Tika, i, 36, etc., loc. cit., pp. Ivi). As the Tika states, the Mahavamsa was a faithful rendering of the original Sinhalese source-material with the only change that […]

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Generations Of Men Lady – Ain’t Just One Man

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – I heard Holmes chuckling to himself. In reply to my inquiring glance he said “Here is a lady Watson who should distribute her frenzy among hundreds of men instead of saving it for a single man”. I was astonished, for vulgar insinuation was the last thing I’d have expected from him […]

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Lord Buddha Comes To Nagadipa

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – A picturesque Sinhalese belief, almost certainly sired by the Hela-havula movement has it that the term ‘Sihala’ has no relation to lion killing as that 10th century AD authority, Dampiya Atuva Gatapadaya claims[i], but is derived from the ‘Siv Hela’ or the quartet of Hela tribes; Yaksa, Deva, Naga and Raksa. […]

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Sailing South And Meeting The North

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – Gautama Buddha, the pride of the Sakyas, c. 460-380 BC according to the latest consensus[i], was no empiricist. He lived in a wondrous world populated by myriad fantastic beings of the Indo-Aryan myth pool. A passage in the Chullavagga, an early text in the Pali Cannon gives us the Buddha’s eye […]

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Nagas Come And Pitch Their Tents In Naga-Dipa Of Lanka

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – What if a part of Sri Lanka in the centuries before Christ had been named after a personage, a creature or a deity from the Celtic myth pool? We’d know that a people who were immersed in the Celtic myth pool were responsible for the naming. At the very least we’d […]

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Are You Perhaps A “Naga?”

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – I had a dream. Professor K. Indrapala was standing before me in a supplicating attitude. I asked him sternly “Are you perhaps a Naga?”, whereupon a bashful, almost hunted look flitted across his face and in the fraction of the second it took me to flick my eyelids over my stern […]

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Concerning Us And The “Naga”

By Darshanie Ratnawalli – Just last week my mother shouted me down when I told her that the god “Sakra” of the Buddhist canon was the same as the Aryan god Indra. “Indra, the most vividly realized Vedic god, embodies the powerful Aryan warrior…the continuing popularity of Indra, which is reflected in a large number […]

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