27 September, 2020

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The Buddha Introduced The Pragmatic Way Of Life 

By Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera –

Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera

Twenty-six centuries ago, an unprecedented and extraordinary epoch was dawn in our human history which a multitude of people still respectfully commemorate and spiritually celebrate, not blindly but realistically.

An incomparable birth, the full enlightenment and great passing away of the Son of Shakya clan (Shakya Putta) are the most significant events which are commemorated by millions of people through the practice of giving, moral conduct and purification of the mind.

As the aspirant of the Buddha; the Bodhisatta, who enthusiastically sought the ultimate truth, an incomparable noble search was implemented and actuated with indefatigable endeavour and indefinable determination till he reached the beacon of the conclusion of the aspiration of his spiritual purpose, the full enlightenment.

Inconceivable challenges and ineffable difficulties were enormous and excessively inundated in his life, but he patiently overcame and assiduously conquered them with courage and perseverance. With his unique dedication and paramount persistency, he conquered the battle of defilements and impurities; ultimately by treading the Noble Eightfold Path or Path of Purification which he attained by his spiritual accomplishment, the bliss of Nibbana.

As the Perfectly Enlightened One, the Gautama Buddha made his foremost statement and solid proclamation by presenting the following confirmation.

“Through many a birth in Samsara, have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of his house of life. Repeated and continual birth is indeed suffering! 

O’ house-builder, you are seen!
You will not build this house again. For all your rafters broken and your ridgepole shattered.
My mind has reached the unconditioned! I have attained the destruction of cravings.” 

Though we pompously speak and make observations with excessive pride with others about worldly-minded achievements of science and Nano technology along with digital revolution in this New Millennium, still none of the scientists or technologists can guide humanity to eradicate and eliminate his/her mental agonies and miseries the way the Master the Gautama Buddha trained and led mankind without any discrimination or prejudice.

Modern science and Nano-technology have created competitive commercial culture in our human society today. Profit based multinational companies have influenced innocent people towards less happiness based life style.

 Numerous countries struggle to improve their own Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but never introduce and concentrate on Gross National happiness (GNH). This is the catastrophic situation in Sri Lanka today. Back in 1970s 04th king of Bhutan famously pronounced that for Bhutan “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product”. This is an unprecedented pronouncement and very impressive statement which we rarely hear from heads of state in other part of the world today.

Today, emotional disturbances and mental traumas are overflowing in our human society. Unfortunately some members in our society come to an end with catastrophic conclusion due to their inconceivable agonies. Mental distress, frustration, stress, anxiety, grief, misery, sorrow, despair and depression which are widely known and prominent maladies and afflictions which we daily experience and encounter around the globe today.

The significance of the Buddha Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha is opening the gateway to find and scrutinize the underlying tendencies of the mind and removing the cloud of ignorance which tremendously covers the human mind. The great Master, the Buddha has prescribed many techniques to apply and train ourselves to win the battle of hidden tendencies. This is why the Buddha Dhamma is widely accepted and appreciated in our human society today.

It is methodical and precise; it is practical and pragmatic. The vital factor in the Buddha Dhamma is training and discipline. This is why many members in our society diligently follow and practise meditation. The Gautama Buddha has clearly emphasised the way to get rid of and root out all impurities that victimize the human mind in his numerous discourses during his forty five years ministry as a Fully Enlightened One.

Majority may believe that building monuments, decorating shrine rooms, constructing colossal ramparts, gigantic domes and giant arches, organizing massive parades are the factors that one should perform and complete to achieve the true spiritual goal. Of course they are the supportive factors to maintain the dispensation of the Buddha. But, in order to cultivate and develop inner spiritual faculties one should wisely and honestly practice meditation. Practice of meditation truly helps one to detect and discover the true nature of one’s mind. An extensive period of concentrative process will be in conclusion of the detection and disclosure of true nature of the mind. The constant effort and the resolute dedication is the key factor to achieve innermost peace.

Some may firmly believe that aggressively working and fighting to preserve and protect their nationality and culture was what the Gautama Buddha asked and encouraged us to practise but none was included in his discourses at all. Once, when his disciples assembled, the Buddha precisely emphasised thus;

“Bhikkhus, there are these four means of sustaining a favourable relationship. 

What four? Giving, endearing speech, beneficent conduct, and impartiality. These are four means of sustaining a favourable relationship.” 

Unfortunately, many people have completely forgotten the authentic approach to find the true peace and innermost happiness that the great Master, the Buddha compassionately asked to achieve. There are numerous unacceptable and disgraceful activities are visible in the vicinity of the island of the Dhamma and political movements are gravely apparent and undeniable in our society today.

These provocative pursuits will constantly lead and create a very violent and hostile environment in our peaceful society.

Some people, both so called monks and laities have politicised the Three Refuges (The Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha). Lack of true knowledge, lack of correct practice, lack of true leadership qualities and inadequacy of discipline and training are the well known facts and distinct reality. Cultural values and religious ethics are utterly forgotten. The current unscrupulous demeanour of some monks is very dangerous example for our future generation.

This may drive to ruin and damage the authenticity of the Buddha’s words. Millions of followers listen to numerous sermons; preachers competitively verbalize and prattle with their own interpretations to entertain unwise listeners. But crime rates and other despicable acts are brimming and horrendously overflowing.

Unfortunately, the deplorable and distressing fact is that individual branded credos and dogmas are proliferated and multiplied in the name of the Buddha Dhamma. No authority in the community of the Buddhist monks or responsible government to take any decisive and conclusive action to protect and preserve true doctrine and discipline (Dhamma –Vinaya).

The quality and standard of the monkhood has been drastically changed. Many monks have embraced and engaged in party politics. The life style, the way of life, behaviour as a disciple of the Buddha, deportment of monkhood, duties and responsibilities as a monk is completely disappeared and absent in certain individuals.

Unacceptable behaviour and disgraceful acts of so called monks lead drastically changed people’s respectful attitudes and deep rooted devotion. The way they speak and express their antagonistic ideas and inimical views is completely dangerous and catastrophic. Our future generation will be in a vulnerable situation and true spiritual practice will be dramatically disappeared.

The Buddha declared that “Vinayo Naama Sasanassa Aayu” Discipline is the lifespan of the dispensation of the Buddha. Numerous well-disciplined and well trained monks have guided our Buddhist community with outstanding examples but now it is in topsy-turvy.

Some mentally retarded and psychologically damaged individuals attempt to repair and renew their blemished reputations by using their own political views and racial provocations. Some of them have mixed the doctrine and are asking lay people to practise what monks should practise and monks are doing on the contrary to what they have to practise.

Vinaya or discipline is a very crucial fact in Buddha Sasana or dispensation of the Buddha. As a monk or Bhikkhu, he must be trained under his teacher or senior monk for at least five years after higher ordination. If teacher or senior monk does not allow him to perform activities such as delivering sermons, conducting meditation programmes or holding discussions, he must remain till he is given permission. Unfortunately currently what has happened is catastrophic. No training or probation period for novices or Bhikkhus, therefore people are confused and following wrong dogmas.

The current propensity and inconceivable proclivity in the Sinhalese Buddhist community around the globe is indescribable. Listening to multitudes of sermons and taking part of meditation programmes are widely spread and a fast growing cult of personality.

Time has arrived with the pure and pragmatic message of peace and harmony which is 26 centuries old but is still fresh and applicable to all without any impediment. We all must honestly and truly implant the correct and unblemished seeds of Four Sublime Qualities such as Metta ( Loving Kindness), Karuna ( Compassion) Mudita ( Appreciative –joy) and Upekkha (Equanimity) and genuinely cultivate and diligently develop them to achieve the true peace within.

Hatred, jealousy, craving for power, lust, all defilements and underlying tendencies are the driving forces which lead humanity to disharmony, warfare and conflicts. That is the true nature of external environment, but their innermost atmosphere is horrendously defiled and dreadfully corrupted.

Everyone must be very mindful of this grave and serious inner environment. The Buddha Dhamma is the very pragmatic guide and captain that directs us to the right path to meet the ultimate indescribable innermost peace and inner happiness. The practitioner must be very patient, humble, determined, effortful, ambitious, efficient, skilful, competent and courageous. The practitioner who is endowed and equipped with these spiritual devices and funds will definitely offer the true ingredients and elements for the reconciliation of our human society.

Antagonism and animosity are the burning issues in the globe today. World recognized organizations indefatigably work hard to implement and execute numerous programmes to resolve and to find the solid and long-lasting solution to this smouldering matter of contention. Until members of our human society accept the inner failure and start with the fresh thoughts of loving kindness and compassion, none can reach the destination of unity and harmony.

An antagonistic and hostile manner or approach never comes to the conclusion of goodwill and amity at all. The history of ours and others has clearly proved that failure. This is not an easy task in action, but this definitely will pave the way to reconciliation.

Hope this reconciliation will be in action rather than in word.

“He who is friendly amidst the hostile,
Peaceful amidst the violent,
And unattached amidst the attached
Him do I call a Holy man”

(Gautama Buddha)

“When I meet a man I never think of his race, colour or religion but I feel that I have met another member in my human family”
(His Holiness The Dalai Lama)

May all beings be well and happy!

*Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera -Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Centre – Victoria – Australia.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    0

    Rev. Sir: A very timely presentation and thank you. May I draw your attention to one more important aspect in relation to the word “PRAGMATIC” you used in the title of the essay. If I understand the meaning of “Pragmatic”, used as an adjective, “it is concerned with practicalities or expediency rather than theory or dogma; realistic.” In this respect, The Gauthama Guddha, very clearly laid out a “PATH” for all to follow through in this very life to achieve success, not only in day to day life activities but also towards the ultimate goal of achieving “Freedom” from all sufferings. That “PATH” was called the “Eight Fold Path” – ARIYA MAGGA. In your essay, you emphasized “Meditation” and that is no doubt is the means to an end. But in today’s context, if the people of all walks of life and especially the “Buddhagama Priests” are reminded and directed to follow that “Eight Fold Path”, most and all of our sufferings in the hands of administrators of public affairs could be eliminated. Unfortunately, this very “Path’ that was introduced to us has been: FORGOTTEN” and OVERLOOKED in order to ACHIEVE very unrealistic and transient goals in life. The worst “OFFENDERS” are the “Saffron Clothed” in Sri Lanka who claimed to be the “Disciples” of the very Great Teacher Gautham Buddha. They are the “Architects” of the break down of the “Buddha Society” in Sri Lanka.

  • 8
    0

    Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera is a learned man, indeed! Learn from him.

  • 6
    4

    If one says so it is and will continue to be the joke of the century.
    =
    The way his followers the saff#fron clad thugs or uncouth uneducated rowdies better known to the swabasha sect as rowdies in good old English as ganankara IRC in Sinhala.
    Am happy to grade the rajapuks and their fellow uncouth horu boru SLPP comrades along with their followers all into this waste of a human life category.?
    =
    It is a philosophy and not a religion as professed to be.?
    =
    I must also emphasize that most of the followers of this philosophy are decent folk like my good self and a real treat to mingle with.
    I too for the last 42 years or so follow diligently the philosophical ahimsa precepts of the great philosopher Lord Buddha even thong I am a practising Roman Catholic and will be done till I get the call from good old Saturn.?
    Cheers, R. J.

    • 5
      12

      They are better than shameless cowardl mulattoes throwing stones at this advanced philosophy (the mulatto can’t understand), from behind rubber stumps in stolen lands.
      =\
      Samsara will be one long hell for you, myth believing Jew shit.

      • 5
        2

        Helios the belies.
        Are you calling me a Jewish shit.?
        =
        Till today am an illustriously polished refind proudly a Ceylonese Tamil Roman Catholic who will be one till death do me part.
        =
        My comment was truthful uncouth uneducated ruffian vile yak infidels who are easily misled by the petty racist having sex with the young apprentice monks seducing men women and committing many a heinous crime which cannot be published on this forum as it runs into many a long mile.
        Their misdemeanours are covered up and pardoned by all the Sinhala maioca eating politicians who are afraid of upsetting their chances of being reelected to earn more and more hora salli.
        =
        As I do not know anything about this Buddhist priest I never in my affecting to the hora racist like bellyful so I never uttered a letter either praising him or any negative comments about him.?
        =
        All your Klu Klux petty disgusting racist terminology you have more dislikes than likes.?
        Why I ask as an illiterate uneducated Tamil.?
        Cheers, R. J.

        • 4
          4

          Helios the male pufta belly dancer,
          =
          Till 1956 the balance sheet of Ceylon was in the black.
          Now after 64 short years the once monied rice exporter to the world is now going around the globe with one of Lord Buddha’s begging bowls on their knees worshipping the affluent rich countries for loans even at high rates of interest.?
          =
          Now with the human right malpractices and other criminal acts sad sorry shitty Lanka stands to be a pariah like the racist looting murdering raping both men women and committing many a despicable act that’s too gross to be published.
          Many a decent peace-loving folk might pass away with utter shock at the doings of the always docile Lord Buddha’s men and women.
          Cheers in disgust and absolute sadness, R. J. the lone forthright crusader.

        • 3
          7

          Yes, I am calling YOU Jew Shit.
          Because I have your number.
          Deserving shit needs to be called shit.
          \
          Only a non-human piece of shit born out of wedlock would use the Sinhala people and Buddhism the MF terms you use against them.
          \
          Couldn’t care less whether a coward like you are Tamil, Roman or other Catholic.
          \
          I call shit, shit, because that is the only word that describes you.

          • 6
            0

            Helios in hell.
            =
            My late parents were married in a Catholic church in Jaffna have seen their certificate of marriage and in my birth certificate, both their names are mentioned on this very important document.
            =
            So you insist on referring me as a Jewish shit, yes being born a Roman Catholic the worlds largest religious faith you being born in either a loose or well-wired connection must be belonging to the Buddhist philosophy which is only practised in a handful of nations.?
            =
            If you have my number please use it to call me or if you need it I can willingly hand it over to you to call me in Melbourne, Australia where I happily abode in.
            If you are one of the Rs. 5,000.00 recipients, you can call me if not please let me either yours or your neighbour’s phone numbers which will enable me to use my one funds to communicate with a Buddhist big-time SHIT.
            =
            By any chance in your early age were you a samneera an apprentice Buddhist monk who was sexually abused all the time and you are trying to take out your revenge of frustration for being brought into this wonderful planet as a high-class high-quality well-bred Roman Catholic. ?
            =
            Sour grapes on your inferior birth legally or illegally, jealousy will not take one anywhere and it will only make you a sick weirdo who needs continuous 24-hour mental treatment tied to a bed at the Angoda Mental Synagogue where all kinds of shits go to.
            Cheers, R. J.

    • 2
      9

      Mr. rj1952,
      /
      Start from kindergarten. Try to learn some English first.

      • 5
        1

        Pasky the dislike rejected by all ?’
        =
        I come from an English scholarly family and if there’s any discrepancy in my choice of words or terminology please inform me I will beg to borrow or steal the funds needed to attend a night school to remedy my errors that you still not have pointed out.?
        =
        If you are not able to please immerse yourself into the rajapuka’s own personal bog in the medamulanna cesspit where very soon the entire clan will have to jump into.
        =
        Cheers, R. J.

        • 0
          3

          Mr.
          /
          You are already begging and borrowing and stealing living as a second class citizen in a white supremacists society.
          So don’t bother.

          • 1
            0

            Pesky the serial pest.
            =
            Due to my being targeted as an LTTE financier on the verge of being arrested I with my then young family abandoning my very happy and contend with me all Sinhala work folk both business and domestic had to outsmart the draconian nasty CID and vanish into thin air.
            =
            Till do date I have not contributed one cent to the LTTE.
            =
            I am an Australian and a New Zealand citizen and am enjoying a very high-quality lifestyle similar to what I had In sad sorry Lanka.
            I have personal domestic attendants who look after my every whim and fancy.
            Was granted New Zealand citizenship 1 1/2 years before the due time due to because of my business acumen of successful exporting NZ products to Australasia.
            =
            Now having retired due to medical reasons, I still live a life of high-quality and have a fleet of 8 vehicles for my personal transport
            I have staff who cook Lankan cuisine on a daily basis.
            =
            I belong to the same colour as the original owners of this land and your vain assertion that I am a second class citizen is bunkum and came out of your evil squatting latrine of a mouth.
            Rohan. J.

  • 7
    0

    My humble compliments to the Venerable Thera for a well written article. It does indeed put down what the Buddha actually taught.
    But even on this holy day, why don’t we hear more of this message in Sri Lanka ? I note the Ven. Thera is in Melbourne. What we hear in SL is racist rants from “monks” who don’t need naming. I would also mention the Cardinal who seems unaware that many of his flock are not Sinhala, and then grumbles when they are poached by fundamentalists. And of course the Muslim mullahs who, forgetting their Tamil roots, call on their flocks in a tropical country to dress like desert Arabs.

  • 4
    1

    A truly great Sage who,s teaching are to help us gain wisdom. But Lankan SB,s have exploited such teachings to suit them and hence came up with multiple of their own contrarian versions (to suit the occasion) claiming it to be original which neither helps the reputation or the message.

  • 8
    2

    Dear Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera,
    In my opinion, Lord Buddha’s Buddhism is not practiced in Srilanka. In Srilanka Lord’ Buddha’s Buddhism is replaced by Mahinda Putha Family. Almost 70% of the Sinhala people including those monks belong to Asgiriya believe in this Buddhism which completely against to Lord Buddha’s teachings.

  • 2
    4

    I write this with not anger but sadness.
    When a Chritian priest writes his annual Christmas article or delivers his annual Christmas sermon on Jesus Christ , Love and God everyone – athists, non Christians all – understand that it is just impolite to take THAT occation to peddle hatred against a particular community or a particular Church. We Buddhists in Sri Lanka have to stomach this bull shit at every turn. I have never come across a gathering of hate filled, uncivilized devils like some of those commenters who have called Colombo Telegraph home. I beg of Colombo Telegraph editorial board to spare one day for a year, just ONE DAY out of 365 , for the Sinhala Buddhists of this this country. Let us agree that day to be the commemorative day of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away.

    Soma

    • 1
      0

      Soma,
      Your own petty racist Sinhala comment writing pariahs have to be held responsible for your wails.
      =
      One has to give respect to gain respect.
      =
      Therefore please plant sense into the gadol brains of your petty racists which at times you too belong too.
      =
      As Buddhism is only philopatry it cannot be compared to real religious faith.
      Remember that your fellow Buddhist comrades who along with the wild out of control rampaging uncouth monks in saffron amudes classless as they are are by their racist misconduct in all respects have helped Buddhism to be a no class not welcome in decent society.
      Cheers, R. J.

      • 0
        0

        rj1952
        I was begging for just one day out of 365.

        Soma

    • 1
      0

      Soma,
      You seem very upset by criticism of the Ven. Sathindriya.
      I personally have criticized all three major religions, being a person who questions leaders rather than worshipping them.
      Why is it impolite to question religious leaders ? Are they not human? You know perfectly well the common opinion about “Bana Katha”.
      Respect is something that has to be earned, not something that is given because one wears a particular robe or hat. As an institution, can the local Sangha be respected? Its members are better known for describing Allah’s genitals and making money than anything else. Is the coarse and vulgar Gnanasara a monk in any sense? How many shave their heads? Ignoring these things and giving respect is downright hypocrisy.
      I address this to you as one of the more educated on this forum. If you really take Buddhism seriously, it’s up to you to make the preachers actually practice it.

      • 1
        0

        Old codger
        “When a Chritian priest writes his annual Christmas article or delivers his annual Christmas sermon on Jesus Christ , Love and God everyone – athists, non Christians all – understand that it is just impolite to take THAT occation to peddle hatred against a particular community or a particular Church.”

        Soma

      • 0
        0

        Soma,
        Criticism of the message does not amount to peddling hatred. I have not criticized Buddhism, but only clergy who preach one thing but do the opposite. Do you have the guts to name any errant monk? I think not.

  • 1
    0

    Soma,
    Your own petty racist Sinhala comment writing pariahs have to be held responsible for your wails.
    =
    One has to give respect to gain respect.
    =
    Therefore please plant sense into the gadol brains of your petty racists which at times you too belong too.
    =
    As Buddhism is only philopatry it cannot be compared to real religious faith.
    Remember that your fellow Buddhist comrades who along with the wild out of control rampaging uncouth monks in saffron amudes classless as they are are by their racist misconduct in all respects have helped Buddhism to be a no class not welcome in decent society.
    Cheers, R. J.

  • 0
    0

    Soma,
    You say:
    “– understand that it is just impolite to take THAT occation to peddle hatred against a particular community “.
    I feel your pain, but I would really understand if you yourself hadn’t written this about hapless plantation workers:
    “I suggest we allocate land for them around Jaffna and give them a choice ( I repeat voluntary CHOICE, not forcible relocation”

    • 0
      0

      Old codger
      I certainly believe that these hapless people must be given some choice that may help them come out of that slavish set up. What better way than an opportunity to live as equals in an environment of their own language, religion and culture? And that as a voluntary choice. You don’t seem to have visited the tea estates.

      Soma

      • 0
        0

        Soma,
        If you think dressing up racist rants in seemingly reasonable language makes you sound clever, you have no right to call yourself a Buddhist, let alone whine about criticism.

        • 0
          0

          old codger
          I know your difficulty and why you feel uneasy.
          You don’t want to live close to them.
          I am confident that they would rather suffer the present predicament than living close to you.

          Soma

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