18 November, 2019

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Sinhala Buddhists: Recognize Slavery To Embrace Freedom

By Sajeeva Samaranayake 

Sajeeva Samaranayake

Ego is truth

Darkness is light; and

Others not self

For a people bathed in ignorance

Half baked concepts

The bread and butter

Of violators and their opponents

Will not feed our hunger

A moral death must be feared more

Than a physical one

Sri Lankans today must face up to a stark historical insight. Those past glories we see in abundance at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruva were founded on the self-organizing capacity of a free and autonomous people.

P.B. Rambukwelle (A study of Sinhala Kingship from Vijaya to Kalinga Magha) observed:

The Sinhala State was the sum and result of a slow but steady settlement of Aryan migrants blending their experiences among themselves and the earlier peoples, not the messianic adventure of a mighty conqueror, a law giver, superman or plain bandit.

Kingship emerged therefore as a seedling germinated in the bosom of the people, its upward thrust towards absolute power associated with kingship, a long drawn out process. Almost at the very beginnings the innate mystic arousing awe and obedience to kingship was diluted with the humanity of the Buddhist religion and village democracies.

However, when Parakramabahu the Great ascended the throne of Lanka as the 138th regent in a dynastic line that had already lasted 1500 years, a sea change was in store. This dynamic leader centralized all power in his person as a chakravarty monarch (following the emperor mode) and the hallowed principle of village centered freedom received a body blow. The people of Ruhuna opposed this constitutional change in three wars that left them devastated. Within 30 years of the death of Parakramabahu in 1186 CE Lankans faced the irreversible closure of their irrigation civilization. Rajarata fell to the hammer blows of Kalinga Magha, never to stand again.

The 600 years since then was a period of drift where survival was the paramount objective.

In 1815 we handed over our rights to self-governance to the British in the vain and foolish hope that they would solve our problems. We know now that they had their own agenda. Almost 200 years since that unthinkable capitulation we are still confronted with the same status quo and dynamics. We are trapped within a top down system of governance which was foisted on a conquered, subjugated people.

Ever since Polonnaruva the Lankans had become used to a reduced light, a state of semi-darkness or relative freedom that was disguised by the slavish imitation of rituals that assured them of being heirs to an ancient and proud identity. This culture of imitation was effortlessly transferred to the imitation of the white man’s way of life. Consequently, whether we are observing Buddhist rituals or democratic rituals those essential elements of genuineness and sincerity are absent.

The history of this country has thus been a march from authenticity to mediocrity. The difference between our past and present is simply that we inherited a tradition of freedom – only to choose slavery.

The reference to slavery will elicit objections. We have become so attached to the chains that bind us – that we fear freedom. The German monk Ven Nyanaponika who made full use of the tradition of Theravada Buddhism in this island once said:

True freedom places on us the uncomfortable burden of ever fresh responsible decisions, which have to be guided by mindfulness, wisdom and human sympathy. Few are willing to accept the full weight of such a burden. Instead they prefer to be led and bound by the rules given by others, and by habits mainly dominated by self interest and social conventions. With the habituation to a life of inner and outer bondage, there grows what Erich Fromm calls “a fear of freedom.”Such fear, if allowed to persist and take root, inevitably leads to a stagnation of our inner growth and creativeness as wee as to a stagnant society and culture. In a state of stagnation, toxic elements will endanger mankind’s healthy progress – physical and mental, social and spiritual. Then William Blake’s words will prove true: “Expect poison from stagnant water.” (Emphasis added)

Just as nirvana is not attainable except through the realization of suffering, freedom is not possible without the acknowledgement of slavery – past and present.

Today we have replaced an enlightened Buddhism of critical inquiry nurtured in the independent schools of Mahavihara, Abhayagiriya and Jethavanaramaya with blind imitation and unquestioning obedience.  Political masters have changed from time to time – but the core mentality of insecurity, self interest and materialism have remained. These weaknesses have now robbed the Lankans of their autonomy – as individuals and as a collective. Most third world countries have experienced this ‘second loss of freedom’ after colonizers left.

British will was imposed on the inhabitants of this island through violence. Having established their sovereignty on a foundation of barbarism, particularly after the war of 1818, they super-imposed a more civilized system of governance to be operated by an English speaking elite, born and nurtured in the British way of thinking and living.

This reality of domination and oppression at the deepest levels of our society was partially addressed and partially ignored during the first 40 years of liberal democratic governance in the island from 1931 to 1971. Unfortunately the elite feudal pretenders who monopolized political and economic power in the country did not permit this liberal and peaceful trend to continue. A flawed foundation kept cracking and exploding in different places throughout the next 40 years from 1971 to 2011 as Sri Lankans assumed full control of a new republic after more than 2000 years of monarchical government.

What we have succeeded in doing after the historic success in eliminating the first terrorist organization to spring from this soil is to strengthen that original foundation of violence laid by the British. In this process we have disowned and dismantled all vestiges of civilized power in this country.

The famous 17th century dictum of chief Justice Coke that “the king is subject to no man but is subject to God and law” was introduced to many colonies including Ceylon by the British. We can now see this bedrock fundamental being overturned in favour of absolute and untrammeled power.

Such absolutism is unprecedented here. Alan Strathern who has written on the turbulent Kotte period has observed that even during the reigns of Sitwaka Rajasinha and Wimaladharmasuriya – two warrior kings, the Lankans remained a free people. As such we are now moving into unchartered waters without any safeguard for the rights and liberties of our citizens.

The re-creation of an ethical foundation demands personal sacrifices that very few Sri Lankans seem prepared to make. What cannot be done within cannot be supplied from outside.

In fact the international community has done more harm than good to Sri Lanka, especially at the political and diplomatic levels. Most mediators, starting with Rajiv Gandhi failed to appreciate the true character of the LTTE. It is in fact the moral confusion at the highest levels of international organizations that ensured the final radicalization of the Sri Lankan regime. Extremism when encouraged in any form helps its replication by others. What is evil is evil – irrespective of the form in which it is couched. Whether governments or rebel groups all sides are groups of human beings. The inability to discern the substance from form led diplomats on a futile quest where signatures on paper by immoral men became more important than morality itself. When no one stands up for truth – violence prevails.

Both sides to the war understood the weak spots of the international community and manipulated affairs to ensure that political or military objectives would be pursued with ruthlessness. The sovereign people of this country remain vulnerable in the middle today as those wielding power, both here and abroad whiz around like misguided missiles uttering their hackneyed top down rhetoric.

Given this prognosis it is now left to intelligence and non violence to undertake that work which institutions have failed to even understand. There is a need to move in a totally open, pro human and anti structural way to establish and nurture new connections and links to meet the challenges of violence – both physical and structural. It is time for the citizenry to step out of their boxes and recognize the humanity of each other. Destiny and political adulthood beckons, and it is not for the faint hearted or those lacking clarity and resolution. The time for vacillation is over.

There are enemies of freedom within our self and without – both here and abroad. We must pray for wisdom and clarity to see through the motives of those who seek our recruitment and slavery in the guise of democracy and human rights, free enterprise, socialism, patriotism or religion. Instead of seeking the causes of our enslavement in a totally dispassionate and detached way we have simply ended up fighting each other. Since mankind is one there are no victors after any war – much less after a civil war. The choices are simple: we can either swim or sink together. Unless we wake up in this struggling and traumatic present we shall remain where we have been for the last 800 years – a nation of divided, squabbling non starters.

The Sinhala Buddhists in particular must realize the well springs of undefiled pure energy that lie deep within themselves. The more they can do this – the less they will be enslaved to external symbols and monuments of the past and more grounded in the living present. A Buddha is born every moment – if only we can bring ourselves to relate to our birthright – the pure and awakened mind. This was the true source of power of our impressive ancestors. Becoming enslaved to the idea of an abstract and fixed identity puts us in the same mode as Prabakharan’s LTTE. To such a group their very ‘success’ becomes the measure of their failure. Nature has never tolerated such groups for any length of time. This fixed identity is simply a creation of the anxious mind and it runs counter to the truths of anicca, dukkha and anatta.

The other citizens must also work harder than ever before to re-assert the common ground we all share, transcending the private space of separate religiosity. This personal space is simply another fact of life as much as your own spouse, family, relations and workplace. Respecting each other’s personal space is a pre-condition of public life. I apologize because this is not a time for any more words. It is a time to demonstrate by example that we as a society still retain values of moderation, humility and kindness and that we recognize these essential human qualities over and above other insignificant details.

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    The path to enlightenment prescribed by buddhism is very clear, the four noble truths and the eightfold path. There are no complicated ideologies and philosophies. Race, Clan, Wealth and Riches are not a qualification as epitomised by the renunciation of a princly life by Siddharta Gautama.

    Just as Buddhism is a way of attaining the truth so is prescribed in the other religons. Hinduism is one of the oldest religons of the world and also teaches the path to spiritual advancement. So does Christainity and Islam.

    In the past there have been many invasions and interventions. Evil will always tempt man in the form of envy, greed, desires and hatred. Fortunately we are at a point where there is the opportunity to reconcile and rebuild the nation. Let us not squander this opportunity by giving in to our baser instincts. If we can conquer our selves this will be the biggest victory. Those educated and privileged must give the lead to the masses. To do otherwise and fan the flames of racism would be a great dis-service to the entire nation.

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      Totally agreed.

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    – More theoretical nonsense from bleeding hearts. These theories don’t work in real life.

    – There are predators out there and they have to be stopped before they eat you.

    – Can deer preach theory on humility, moderation & kindness & stop tigers from eating them ?

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      So Mama the enlightened path is SINHELLISM (BBS/JHU/SR)

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        – The enlightned path is “talk softly but carry a big stick.” Like USA Russia China India etc..

        – REad more. Social Darwinism perhaps.

        – How was Hitler stopped from gobbling up Europe ? bY preaching humilty moderation and kindness ??

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          American Mama

          “How was Hitler stopped from gobbling up Europe ? bY preaching humilty moderation and kindness ??”

          How did Ganthi kick the imperial power out of South Asia? Not by violence but by preaching the importance of non violence to his people.

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            Gandhi did not kick the British out. Gandhi was this funny little man just running around and making things difficult for them

            It is the war with Hitler that broke UK and made them give up the empire.

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              American Mama

              You have just confirmed that you belong to stupid Sinhala/Buddhist people by rewriting another revisionist history.

              Please feel free to continue your endeavour, being a Yankee Pimp makes you Rambo winning lost wars on screens.

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          AMma, Sinhellist are talking dirty and carrying match sticks to light up a another fire.

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      @American Mama

      The predators out there that have to be stopped are the Rajapaksa family and extremist organisations like Balu Sena, Sinhala Rawaya and Jathika Hela Karumaya. There will be no lasting peace or prosperity until these monsters are around.

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        Depends on who you talk to

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      actually yes. have you seen a picture of a deer playing with several cheetahs in africa? wish i could send you the picture….

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      That’s why Sir John Kotalawela told SWRD Bandaranaike not to unleash the dogs he leashed and to keep in their place.

      But unfortunately SWRD unleashed them and they knocked him down.

      Now Rajapakses have again unleashed them for their political power play. Very soon Rajapakses will face their dynasty.

      Predators could be judge by their talk and action and the education they have and also their family back ground.

      Time will separate Unga from kavayiya.

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      That’s why they are labelled as animals as against us, the humans.

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        @kalu malli
        Humans are animals too ( Animal kingdom )They are just worse than other animals.

        @ Jayantha
        Predators are in every human race including Sinhalese Tamils and Muslims.

        @Native Vadda
        Run along now kid. Your momma is waiting. We are all grown ups here.
        Rewriting history is not my exclusive territory. You seem to be pretty good at it too.
        I am not a Budhhist or a hindu or a muslim or a christian. So more objective than you perhaps ?

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          American Mama

          “So more objective than you perhaps ?”

          Stupid cannot afford to be objective. They continue to remain stupid.

          You wrote:

          “It is the war with Hitler that broke UK and made them give up the empire.”

          Ganthi returned to India in 1915 and became important part of Congress. Hitler declared himself as the Fuhrer in 1934 and destroyed Germany within 11 years.

          The revenue British government generated in India was more than sufficient to maintain its armed forces in India and contributed the war effort elsewhere.

          My elders tell me Americans are weak in Geography and history, as a Sinhalo Buddhist Americano you have just proved them right.

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            Aww… So sentimental..So lovey dovey….aren’t we all ?

            What did Gandhi do except preach satyagraha while the British were hanging Bagat Singh, and shooting women at Jalianwalabagh?

            Next you will claim thet the British were scared of D.S Senanayake & thats why they left Sri Lanka .

            Don’t fool yourself with idealistic nonsense. The world respects only power. How did USA get Saddam out of Kuwait ( Non violence ?)

            I already told you I am a free thinker

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              American Mama

              “How did USA get Saddam out of Kuwait ( Non violence ?)”

              By fooling the stupid Americans, like you.

              They found Saddam and hung him who used to be a close chum of the Americans. However the American also found ships loads of WMD ready to be fired towards USA and its allies.

              Iraq is a very peaceful country now.NO bombs, no killing, Sunnis, Shias, Kurdis, … and others are living amicably. Great achievement for a country which won a war with Vietnam, oh by Rambo.

              Afghanistan is another success story.

              You should be concentrating on gun culture in mighty USA than other parts of the world in order to save your elder’s life and your children.

              You may be free thinker however with a irredeemable stupid mind which suits very well to fit in with local people.

              This is what Einstein had to say about Gandhi:

              “”I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time.

              We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.””

              “”Respected Mr. Gandhi !
              I use the presence of your friend in our home to send you these lines. You have shown through your works, that it is possible to succeed without violence even with those who have not discarded the method of violence. We may hope that your example will spread beyond the borders of your country, and will help to establish an international authority, respected by all, that will take decisions and replace war conflicts.
              With sincere admiration,

              Yours A. Einstein.

              I hope that I will be able to meet you face to face some day.””

              “”Mahatma Gandhi’s life achievement stands unique in political history. He has invented a completely new and humane means for the liberation war of an oppressed country, and practised it with greatest energy and devotion. The moral influence he had on the conciously thinking human being of the entire civilized world will probably be much more lasting than it seems in our time with its overestimation of brutal violent forces. Because lasting will only be the work of such statesmen who wake up and strengthen the moral power of their people through their example and educational works.
              We may all be happy and grateful that destiny gifted us with such an enlightened contemporary, a role model for the generations to come.””

              “”Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.””

              Unlike you, Albert Einstein was not highly educated nor known to the world outside his home town.

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    A wonderful article Sajeeva Samaranayake! It is so sad to know the real state of mother lanka. Our people are so full of jelousy and hate and prejudice so much so the phrase “as vaha katta vaha” is imprinted in our psychology. Even I am prejudice to an extend and even I am trying my best to see things with an open mind but it is hard as this sickness breeds from our so called ‘culture’. It takes to go out of mother lanka and see other nations to truly appreciate how forward other nations have progressed. Both economically as well psychologically.

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      more theoretical BS

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    Dynastic line of succession to the throne means that kingship passed peacefully from father to son/daughter or to another member of the family.
    Or from brother/sister to brother/sister.

    There is no evidence of such peaceful succession.
    Such process is specifically not mentioned in the Mahavamsa which only gives names of a long line of rulers.

    What really happened was that each ruler murdered his predecessor to ascend the throne.
    eg. Kassyappa killed his father Datusena, and in turn was killed by his brother Mogollana.

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      There were rules on succession – and at times they were violated. The Polonnaruva Period was particularly volatile due to two foreign houses – the House of Kalinga and House of Pandya being locked into a continuous rivalry. However there were other periods of stability. Rambukwelle identifies the second lambakarna dynasty that began with Manavamma in 684 AD as being exemplary in their discipline, orderly succession and moderation. This period of nearly 300 years represented the final consolidation of the A pura culture. The rulers of Polonnaruva were confronted with a new and different set of challenges. While A pura was a holy city Polonnaruva was not and the shift to Polonnaruva denoted a paradigm shift in international relations – economics and local politics.

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    The real lesson is this. How was Prabakaran stopped? and then what happened? what was missing in the ideology of sri lankans so that even after winning the war they botched everything?

    You guys need to understand that stopping the train is one thing. living together after that another. unless the second skill is learned the first skill is useless

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    It is unfortunate that we have got so mixed up. Religon is plain and simple. Primarily, religon is meant to reform ones own self. People want to wield the big stick and impose their religon on minorities.

    The actual reason is not religon, it is to subjugate others due to a fear phsychosis or inferiority complex deep within our own phsyche. This is brought about by harbouring greed, jealousy and hatred against others who are percieved to be doing economically better than ones self. The root cause is greed or thanhawa, we will never be satisfied with what we have.

    This can only be overcome through the practice of true religon, meditation, contemplation, right thinking, right action etc. Since these principles are taught in buddhism and other religons as well it is question of putting into practice. First on ones own self.

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    Excellant article by Sajeeva Samaranayaka. ” Fear of FREEDOM ” lurks in the mind of everyone without them knowing it.The term FREEDOM OF THE WILD ASS is the habitual behavior of a people dominated by self interest,and social conventions which have come down to us for millenia of years. This article should be read and re-read.Thank you for enlightening us.

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    MY DEAR SRI LANKAN BUDHSHISTS………FIRST OF ALL COMPELL THESE BUDHIST BIKKU
    TO BE AS TRUE BIKKU AS BUDHSA TAUGHT…… BIKKU ( pali ) means
    BEGGER…Budha taught these Bikku to beg door to door for food…but our
    BIKKU – BEGGERS , not live as budha beggers but live in a luxurious
    life styel… first of all STOP giving food and alms to these BIKKus instead COMPELL THEM TO COME HOME TO HOME TO BEG FOR THE FOOD….Then these FREE FOOD EATERS WILL REALIZE HOW DIFFICULT TO EARN TO HAVE ONE TIME FOOD IN OUR COUNTRY WHICH IS UNDER FAMILY RULE……..BODU BAUL SENA MUST BE ORDERED BY THE SRI LANKAN BUDHISTS , TO BE THE FIRST BIKKU-BEGGER TO START THIS …

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    Some of our problems are new. Others are very very old. The oldest lesson of history seems to be autonomy. Once this is lost it takes a looooong time coming back. So those who get carried away with Geneva and criminal courts and other panaceas for our ills should note that we are dangerously close to a repeat of 1815 in some form.

    For the Americans messing up another third world country is no big deal. They are becoming pretty adept at it. For us who live here the current engagement is vital. Everyone will engage at different levels. In India while Gandhi taught nonviolence Hindus and Muslims slaughtered each other. That is how there is engagement at different levels. The important thing is to work for a normative change and focus on the re-establishment of an ethic of self governance. Without a deep and personal response (which is the typical Buddhist response in places where it is practiced) the causes will remain.

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    IF THEY TURN TO THE REAL BUDDHIST TEACHINGS, THEY WILL BE
    THE “BEGGING BUDDHIST SENA”.
    ANOTHER POINT.THE OTHER DAY ON TV,THE BBS VITHANAGE SAID WHEN THEY WERE HANGING FOOD ITEMS FOR A BODHI POOJA,THEY FOUND THE HALAL STAMP ON ALMOST ALL FOOD ITEMS.THIS IS WHAT WORKED HIM UP! THIS IS HIS IDEA OF
    PRACTICING BUDDHISM.
    ATTACK MOSQUES, MUSLIM BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS ETC.
    WE SEE NO PROTESTS OUTSIDE BROTHELS, CASINOS HOOCH JOINTS ETC
    COULD SOME KNOWLEDGEABLE BUDDHIST TELL ME WHETHER, HANGING THESE FOR POOJA,. PLACING ROBES ON A TREE.LIGHTING 64,000 OIL LAMPS,POURING MILK ETC., IS MENTIONED IN THE TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHA.

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      A packet cigarette carries a visual warning of the health hazard, people still buy. They have all the democratic freedom to do so. This is what separates man made law from Divine degree. The Sinhellists are atheistic similar to Zionists.

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    A brilliant, well researched article. Please keep on writing

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    @ Native Vedda

    You side stepped the issue. I was trying to show that non-violence doesn’t help against predators via the kuwait question.

    Gandhi was an idealist. He wouldn\t have lasted a day in Hitler’s Germany or in todays Saudi Arabia/Iran. They would have hung him out to dry.

    Non violent religions like Buddhism , Zoroastrainsm etc were wiped out by other aggresive religious movements. It is survival of the fittest NOT survival of the nicest

    Comprende smart guy !!

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      American Mama

      “It is survival of the fittest NOT survival of the nicest”

      Survival of the fittest- Mighty Dinosaurs could not survive however tiny rats are thriving.

      Survival of the fittest – means adapt and change.

      I didn’t discover this.

      I overheard when my elders were discussing this important matter/idea.

      “Comprende smart guy !!”

      Please note I am bit thick.

      We can discuss about Hitler and Gandhi an important topic some other time. Gandhi was confident nonviolent noncooperation struggle could be applied to all situation.

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        – Kid how old are you ? You should start thinking for yourself instead of insisting on listening to your elders. They only know how to make beef jerky in Bintanne.

        – Dinosaur vs rat situation does not apply to human societies for your info. Evolution works differently.I worked as a Population Biologist for long years and generally know about random variation, natural selection, adaptation, etc etc.

        – ” I am a bit thick ” = I know that already.

        – BTW how is Tisahamy these days :))

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          American Mama

          “Dinosaur vs rat situation does not apply to human societies for your info. Evolution works differently”

          VP sat like a Dinosaur for nearly thirty years and could not adapt and change, eventually extinct.

          Communist parties did not or could not adapt and change, almost extinct through out the world.

          Social evolution dictates human societies move thorough adapting from simple to more complex forms of organisation.

          If it is too much for you, according to my elders Joseph Schempeter’s Creative Destruction is the best book for dummies.

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    We are drifting further & further away from the original discussion.

    I was trying to show that non-violence, peaceful coexistence, humility kindenss etc do NOT work if the other side is bent on taking over your assets & resources. You have to be able to defend yourself.

    Buddhist theory applies only in ideal situations.
    If a tiger is attacking you the only way to escape is to get a weapon and kill it. You cannot show compassion and loving kindess to the tiger

    In Certain situations in human society the only option is to resort to violence to protect yourself aand win your rights. Therefore this writer is just writing meaningless nonsense which looks good on paper

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    American Mama

    “I was trying to show that non-violence, peaceful coexistence, humility kindenss etc do NOT work if the other side is bent on taking over your assets & resources. You have to be able to defend yourself.”

    Perhaps you need to try harder. Today, more Americans than ever before have realized the fallacy of these simplistic views. Many americans are at the cutting edge of an evolutionary movement and they have been inspired by tibetan buddhists and zen among other things. refer the Shambhala Book Zen under the Gun by John Cleary.

    “Buddhist theory applies only in ideal situations.”

    You have to be joking here. No serious religious teaching was ever intended for ideal situations where your stomach is full and you are satiated. Quite the opposite. It is when pushed into extreme situations – physically and morally that you get the opportunity of practising spirituality. Both Nelson Mandela and Thich Nhat Hanh applied non violence to their own conditions. So did Aung San Sukyi.

    Forgive me for being blunt – but your ideas will soon become outdated in the US itself very soon. Imitating the Roman Empire has been the shadow of americans and this led them away from their anti-imperialist origins.

    What has happened in Sri Lanka is perhaps the perfect answer to the claim that force and violence can solve everything. Well after May 19, 2009 here those approaches became inappropriate.

    There are 2 sides to every conflict. And you can change the other side by changing yourself first. This is the logic of non violence. Non violence has been practiced on the streets in the 20th and 21st centuries. There is an established praxis. Check it out.

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      Dear Sanjeewa

      1. “Today, more Americans than ever before have realized the fallacy of these simplistic views. Many americans are at the cutting edge of an evolutionary movement and they have been inspired by tibetan buddhists and zen among other things. refer the Shambhala Book Zen under the Gun by John Cleary”

      Try telling this to the Chinese occupying Tibet. Besides this is just another theory taken from a book.The Dalai Lama has tried your way already & failed.

      2.”You have to be joking here. No serious religious teaching was ever intended for ideal situations where your stomach is full and you are satiated. “

      Really ? Keep these Buddhists hungry for a week and they will be at each others throats trying to steal food etc to feed themelves and their loved ones.

      3. “Forgive me for being blunt – but your ideas will soon become outdated in the US itself very soon. Imitating the Roman Empire has been the shadow of americans and this led them away from their anti-imperialist origins”

      Is that why the Americans spent $350 million or something like that to produce the most advanced warplane ever (F 35 ??)unveiled just last week

      4 ” What has happened in Sri Lanka is perhaps the perfect answer to the claim that force and violence can solve everything. Well after May 19, 2009 here those approaches became inappropriate.

      There are 2 sides to every conflict. And you can change the other side by changing yourself first. This is the logic of non violence. Non violence has been practiced on the streets in the 20th and 21st centuries. There is an established praxis. Check it out”

      I wish that was true.The only thing keeping world peace right now is the fear of mutual destrucution

      Conclusion : What you say applies at the individual level only. Not at population level.
      .

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        American Mama
        says with a pride:

        “Is that why the Americans spent $350 million or something like that to produce the most advanced warplane ever (F 35 ??)unveiled just last week”

        What does it show?

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          @native Vaddah

          It shows that that peace flows through the barrel of a jet plane gun !!

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            American Mama

            “It shows that that peace flows through the barrel of a jet plane gun !!”

            Where?

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              Oh No. It’s that annoying vadda again !! :)

              Where ? YOu will find out soon enough when the F35 is staring you in the face !!

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    1″Perhaps you need to try harder. Today, more Americans than ever before have realized the fallacy of these simplistic views. Many americans are at the cutting edge of an evolutionary movement and they have been inspired by tibetan buddhists and zen among other things. refer the Shambhala Book Zen under the Gun by John Cleary..”

    Try telling that to the Chinese occupying Tibet. Besides this is more theory from another book. The Dalai Lama has already tried this method and failed.

    2.” You have to be joking here. No serious religious teaching was ever intended for ideal situations where your stomach is full and you are satiated”

    Keep those nice Buddhists hungry for a week and I assure you they will be at each other’s throats tring to stael food, water etc to feed themselves & their loved ones.

    3. “Forgive me for being blunt – but your ideas will soon become outdated in the US itself very soon. Imitating the Roman Empire has been the shadow of americans and this led them away from their anti-imperialist origins”
    I like blunt. but the US last week unveiled the most advanced war plane ever ( F35 ?) at a cost of several million dollars per unit.

    4.” What has happened in Sri Lanka is perhaps the perfect answer to the claim that force and violence can solve everything. Well after May 19, 2009 here those approaches became inappropriate.There are 2 sides to every conflict. And you can change the other side by changing yourself first. This is the logic of non violence. Non violence has been practiced on the streets in the 20th and 21st centuries. There is an established praxis. Check it out”

    Easy for you to talk now, after Mahinda mama and the army cleared the problem at the cost of 6000 soldiers.

    CONCLUSION “: What you say about kindness & all that other nice stuff applies at the individual level only. Not to populations

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      American Mama

      “Where ? YOu will find out soon enough when the F35 is staring you in the face !!”

      Are you related to Dr Strangelove?

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    Dear American Mama

    I dont know in which country you are – but “after the army cleared the problem at the cost of 6000 soldiers” it is more difficult to talk now.

    Once you accept that something applies at the individual level we have reached common ground – the rest can rest. If I say that all human beings are connected etc – you will simply dismiss that as more poppycock:)

    wont you?

    We are all struggling to find answers. In that struggle we are both correct from our unique perspectives. What is important is to develop our thinking and ideas more in association with each other. When you say people must defend themselves i agree wholeheartedly. But the question is HOW? There are many ways of self defence from simply using your body to using your mind and intelligence – from generating more violence to neutralizing the violence of the other. When you move up from the genitals to the stomach and then to the heart and mind you are making a journey from animal to divine.

    We have to move deeper from superficial responses to real thinking. Even saying nonviolence and gandhi can be a simplistic answer to a complex reality. No one and no idea is exempt from a thorough examination.

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      Hi Sanjeewa

      ” dont know in which country you are – but “after the army cleared the problem at the cost of 6000 soldiers” it is more difficult to talk now. “

      – Why? I was in Colombo recently & everybody looked pretty relieved and in good spirits as opposed to my earlier visits when people were very AFRAID to go out even due to fear of getting their bums blasted by suicide attacks. If the war was on, no one would even care to listen to your theories on kindness etc. KILL THE TERRORISTS was the motto then

      – Once you accept that something applies at the individual level we have reached common ground – the rest can rest. If I say that all human beings are connected etc –

      Really ?? I don’t think so. Buddha was one NICE individual but Buddhist populations are pretty nasty ( 1983 riots – a good case in point ) Same goes for Gandhi and the Hindus. Populations have a separate bunch of parameters operating underhand which can be shown statistically.

      Sanjeewa my friend, all I can say is don’t fool yourself by repeating all this book stuff about “journey from animal to divine” etc etc. Don’t get carried away by idealistic mumbo jumbo and try to save the world. Just look after your family and kids first , duck those bullets and carry a big stick in case you need it.

      It’s a jungle out there my friend.

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        American mama!

        we made progress from the way we started didn’t we? I got you to be kind to me….

        good enough uncle sam! good enough!

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    Sajeeva

    I salute you for your wise counsel.

    You have stated the truth as preached by the Buddha and all major religions: what appears to our senses is not real, nama-rupa is only an illusion; there are no entities and identities; there (is?) only nothingness and groundlessness, and because of this human beings feel existential anxiety or ontological insecurity and seek solace in fictive realities and identities and they kill each other to sustain these competing fictions (myths, history, culture, tradition, ethnicity, nation, etc). But unfortunately, built into this truth (Dhamma) is also the phenomenon of ignorance. It is the very condition of our existence/reality to be ignorant, unless we make superhuman effort like the Buddha to overcome it. The truth is logically self-evident to any average human being. But to accept it emotionally (as Krishnamurti would say) and experience nothingness as living reality one has to be enlightened. Thus history has shown humanity will always be in a touch-and-go relationship with the truth.

    So Sajeeva with due respect, repeat as you may the message, as has been done over thousands of years by enlightened people, sadly the situation will not basically change. Please don’t take me for a pessimist. I am a realist. I am not craving anything. I am just accepting the “reality” where “I” has no meaning or ground.

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    Thank you Ajay but when you say the situation will not basically change – is that not an opinion and generalization?

    Every generation has its share of ignorance (another generalization) but nobody keeps count of those individuals who strike out on their own or in small groups to achieve liberation. And while a minority does this others around them will undeniably benefit. Again we cannot say how many…I have personally benefited greatly through these indirect channels

    You are blessed not to crave anything – it is a lesson for us all

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