21 October, 2017

Why We Haven’t Seen Another Buddha, A Christ, Or A Miracle Since? 

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Yes. Its been 2,500 years since we have seen a Buddha and, a little later, a Jesus Christ. Such considerable and towering personalities lived in times before recording took place. We know they lived. We are far less sure about what really they precisely said as we only have word-of mouth coming down over a 500 years since their departure from this world. Around such a time after that, faithful followers had, at last, been able to put it all together in writing. What is on record, however, is the thread of word-of-mouth and this, we know, can be hopelessly inauthentic.

Christmas Humphreys, in his classic Penguin on Buddhism said,”We do not know what the Buddha taught, any more than we know what Jesus taught.”

The important thing for me, however, is not the issues of authenticity. I am prepared to accept tentatively as authentic what theologists and scholastics later wrote about the teachings of these great religious leaders. On the other hand, what arouses my curiosity on a constant basis is why great personas such as them or even close to them have never appeared thereafter. We have not had any religions after Christianity, Jewish, Islam,Hinduism, and Buddhism. We certainly have had and do have sects of these religions since but sects are subsets. The era of religion has dissipated; not disappeared. It is also a matter of curiosity why only these religions erupted and why at that time and not before or afterwards.Why didn’t anyone emerge to guide man before? Why not after? In other words, the timing raises a host of questions. I am aware that there have been other faiths around the same time but the latter are too minor for consideration. We have the Jehovas Witnesses knocking at our doors today but they are not a distinct religion.

I also ask myself why we hear less and less of the kinds of miracles attributed to Jesus and to his early apostles since the latter passed away. And what of miraculous claims by Buddhists about an ability (Iddi Balaya) to travel through space unaided by a device? For thousands of years we haven’t heard of a miracle taken seriously. Turning water into wine? Multiplying bread, raising the dead back into a state of living-before our eyes? How wonderful if I can have the lives of some of my own relatives who were so dear to me resurrected? Tragic -struck parents would give anything to have a dead child restored to live again-wouldn’t they, surely? The world would be much free of unfair suffering. And then, if someone could multiply bread for Somalians dying of hunger these days-leave alone doing that miracle for our benefit? We watch in TV and become traumatic when scenes of starving kids are on display,-dying without food to eat. We shudder thinking of cancer patients struggling with their lives.

Why oh why cannot someone with divine power perform miracles by intervening in all such instances? We divide into groups and argue whether God as a creator and supernatural supervisor does exist. Arguments and rhetoric flow on both sides of the intellectual divide.In the Middle Ages we had the Christian scholar, Thomas Aquinas who came out with “proofs for God’s existence.” Since then, there have been refinements to such arguments. With the march of science, many intellectuals took to rebutting Aquinas. The theory of evolution by Charles Darwin seems to undermine the whole traditional belief that this world of ours had been an act of vast creation. That was science’s serious deathblow to the belief of Abrahamic religions-Christianity, Jewish, and Islam. Findings of genetic science since Darwin only confirm and elaborate what Darwin had found. Yet, the scientific position is being denied vehemently by creationists. It is a war with science that we observe today in many fields of cognitive understanding.

My position is that this war need not go on and that we need not fight to death over such disputes if only the presumed God can intervene and show his miracle or muscle for the whole world to see. That would be the most convincing sure -shot. Wouldn’t that be? But it is not happening.

Perhaps, it is safer to get back to what science says: Miracles cannot happen in nature as they constitute a violation of the very laws of nature. Miracle claims are not common today because the the burgeoning numbers of scientifically thinking, modern, people are on the watch to ask questions and to pry and question any given claim. There are a number of stories of miracles but they lack wide enough testimony and they typically are personal experiences. David Hume famously said if one were to accept a claim of a miraculous event such a claim must have testimony that looks more probable than the optional scientific view that it can be explained in terms of the natural laws of the universe. Such tall stories are the product of mankind’s sense of wonder. The sensations of surprise and wonder lead us to irrational beliefs. To make matters worse for the believers, social media has grown and is growing in an exponential speed undreamt of before. A simple claim of a divine apparition can be caught on a tiny mobile phone and disseminated in lightening speed to the entire world. Be careful, supernaturalists, you are being watched. People all over the world are getting far too sophisticated to arrive at supernatural beliefs of any sort. The days of early religion were pre-scientific days and they were inhabited largely by barbarous and ignorant populations.

The religious explanation having become less and less attractive, the chance of a religious leader claiming divine association is getting bleak.A convincing affirmation of a God, miracle and religion being unavailable, it is unlikely for the world to have another Jesus Christ who claimed to be the Son of God. On the other hand, there are the non- divine aspects in the personality of Christ, which to me is most admirable. Jesus spoke to the poor and spoke against social injustice. He was capable of unbelievable feats of sacrifice. Jesus Christ had been a most compassionate and inspired human being as far as I am concerned. It is possible for us to have more of that kind of extraordinary human being; but not of a divine Jesus. Hopefully, we will as our world needs them.

What of the Buddha? According to popular Buddhism many more Buddhas are to come. But we haven’t seen a sign of that and we are unlikely to see that. There is an undeniable supernatural assumption about the theory of Buddhas to come that is devoid of any testimony or evidence. Perhaps, once again, it is more an outcome of the human sense of wonder that was referred to above.A Buddha with this kind of dimension will also not come again because belief in the supernatural is waning fast.

On the other hand, the world has already witnessed great men and women of wisdom and insight like the Buddha. We are likely to see more of them in the future. However, that is not the Buddha of folklore who could perform miraculous feats and alight and walk immediately after birth.Once again to cite Christmas Humphreys, “Buddhism is a spiritual philosophy whose attitude to life is as cool and objective as that of the modern scientist.” The philosophy that is Buddhism will live on to produce new dialogue and fresh scholars in the future; but the religion that we know as Buddhism will continue only in name sake. So will Christianity. Islam will take a much longer time before nominalisation.

In the war with science, religion will eventually lose. It is only a matter of time.

*The writer can be contacted at sjturaus@optusnet.com.au

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Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    Saparamadu, it is not the problem of the world that the blind can’t see!

    Your inability to see good from the bad is your misfortune. Billions of people who believe and accept the good words and deeds of the Buddha and CHrist (without being religious fanatics) are much happier than miserable souls like you on this earth.

    They will pity you.

    • 2
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      Well said. Happy to know there are still some sane people in Sri Lanka!!

      • 1
        1

        Well said Shyamon Jayasinghe! Happy to know there are still some sane people in Sri Lanka!!!

  • 5
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    I like to think the commonsense practical advice in Sigaalovaada sutraya is pertinent to everyone. I am not one to believe in things in blind faith but things that are explained via logic, rational thought and science should be the course of debate and discussion. We cannot do that as soon as blind faith and the absolute insistence of “my god is bigger than your god, my god is greater and is the only true god or my god can beat your god” ideologues invade thinking space. We also cannot have a rational discussion when people who claim to be buddhists go around intimidating and beating people up for having other faith systems. Just like we cannot have one capitalist based religio-economy going around and claiming some sort of divine right to bomb the shit out of nations and invade and do whatever they please in arrogance, thus creating global terrorism. Each his own.

    I reject the fanatics of all types. I reject those who try to tell me “my way is the only way; you will not be saved if you are not my way”…That defies logic and rational thinking. But each his own from multiple deities in Hinduism to no deity reliance in Buddhism to mono-theistic faiths of the Judeo-Christian Asian Far West; namely C, M and J faiths can be comfortable and be happy as long as we do not go around maiming people, burning people or killing people or persecuting people or think we have some sort of manifest destiny as Sinhala Buddhists or Christians or Wahabi Islamists to intimidate people.

    Logic triumphs, Scientific fact and observation triumphs. Steven Jobs is a new messiah and so is Trump to his ardent followers. Why look back 2,500 years back. Adolf Hitler was a maniacal messiah too; so was Lenin, Mao, Stalin, PolPot, Pinochet, Galitieri….,

    • 2
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      Mano,
      All current messiahs/teachers /prophets/gods appeared within the last 3000 years. We tend to forget that Mankind is much older. Even Egypt is over 5000 years old. So what about the gods of ,say, 15000 years ago?

      • 1
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        Codger,
        You are talking about Chemistry; even more narrowly – Organic chemistry. Body is made up of elements. The man you talk about is the appearance straight walking animal on the earth. You talk about it because you don’t know, if one was, when a single cell animal/plant appeared in universe and where was it. Evolution can go only up to that.

        You think elements are made of atoms, god did not make them. (I am not telling god made them). You think atom is electrons and protons and neutrons. Electron may be made of god (unknown) particles. What would it be, you think, the god particle is made of? Is it touching zero (not nearing?) Where was it how it came there before Big Bang? Bing Bang happened in this universe. But where this universe is?
        You may be sitting on the chair in front of your computer, right now. It is in your room. Room in your house; House in the village; Village is in earth and Earth is in Star system and them in Milky Way. The Milky Way is in universe. Do you know what is holding the universe? Is it the head of snake or back of man? If the universe is ending on eggshell like wall, is that possible to drill that wall and peek out too, just to quench the curiosity? You think universe is hanging not ending or resting on something unlike you chair needs the room floor?

        We yet to have to find out what a zero is in universe, what infinity is in universe.

      • 0
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        We do not know when and where those zero and infinity came from. But we like to have the 15,000 years explained. Our interest in that is to see if the Man can be equated with god. We don’t like to have him compared with the infinity and the zero, those we could not comprehend. In that case we cannot comprehend God too, so that we cannot reject or accept God. We are looking forward to accept or him, and attach him to us, like our girlfriend or boyfriend, who we expect not to leave us. This attitude infilling our mind, we are going to form teams and fight for the girlfriend, whether one of she ever exist or not. Aren’t we very enthusiastic in fighting out if God exist or not?

        First, Brahman comes out of zero. He generates the Maya, the prabancham. Then he destroys the Maya. He then vanishes. He doesn’t go out anywhere, but vanishes into zero. Maya doesn’t vanish into zero. When it becomes zero it dies out. With one cycles of Yugas, he cycle the process one time. That is the birth and death of the time too. Brahman is not man. He is not a man. There is no word to denote him. You get the perception of a man when English word “He” creates a man’s reflection in your mind.

        Piousness, religion, God & enlightenment all terminologies appearing in the manmade language, English. There nothing with him. He doesn’t owes or disown anything. He doesn’t have property or trait associated with or disassociated with him.

        Evolution, human birth & 15,000 years all are auxiliary theories. There is no day or night in his existence. There is not creation or abolition in his jobs. He doesn’t act or relax to perform a job.

    • 1
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      Mano,
      Don’t depend on logic always. Buddha said it in Kalama Suththra. Depend on always on rationality. But people who are on blind faith (includes Buddhist as well)do not fit to any of this.

    • 0
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      Hitler, Lenin, Buddha, Mohamed never raised the dead or claimed to having done miracles of healing. I thought the topic was miracles and why they are not seen. People who want miracles get them even today.

  • 3
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    Transcending is not strange to man. It is very normal human brain function. Transcending bring into brain a supernormal understanding. I am using a word “supernormal understanding” without defining, because I am not sure if Buddha or Jesus reached that level which somebody claims as god status. The problem is history is corrupted. Other than some psychiatric patients or ADHD Patients, possibly, transcending is present in all people, at various scales. In some people it just flashes very rarely; that’s all. In some people, every time when their brain is activated, it sets in and eases out when thinking is relaxed. Some, like Jiddu Krishnamurti, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda it is observed that they descend into it and carry out their normal life, including eating, drinking…. Transcending has nothing to do with miracle, at least at ordinary people. Again I do not if Jesus or Buddha did any miracle. The (Supernormal) understanding that comes from transcending is not connected with fear. Transcending might have been high at a certain era and poor at another era or not all. Again this is mythology, not perfectly recorded history like Jiddu or Ramakrishnan, but during Thervara Kaalam(period), it was observed all over everywhere one pious sage or Nayanar lived In Tamil Nadu. That era never existed before or after in Tamil Nadu.

    Fear might have induced praying and begging, associated with rituals. Prayer might have contributed to accept a god. Transcend has no part in that. In reality Transcending sets in only all body feeling and mind activities are resting. In other word, fear is an enemy of transcend.

    Extreme understanding remind to the mind of the emptiness of life. One starts to rescind when their mind is empty and could not see purpose for actions.

  • 1
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    Still people have to believe in creation as Scientists couldn’t create a living organism from the basic elements. They copied the DNA patterns and try to create a living organism in the laboratory but they failed. Now they are spending billions and billions of dollars to find out whether life came from outer space.

    Until science create a living organism religions will survive. (Because humans are afraid of dying and religions are giving them some comfort)

  • 5
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    Shaymon J
    Even Buddha couldn’t give life back to Parachara’s son by a performing a miracle. Millions die, but gods are asleep.
    Sri Lanka protected by 330,000,000 so called gods couldn’t prevent the deaths on Sinhala Tamil new year eve.

  • 6
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    I am also thinking why all 26 Buddhas, who were born before Gauthama Buddha, are having Indian names?? That means all Buddhas were born only in India..

    • 0
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      Duminda

      Did anyone tell you these Buddhas, including Gautham, were born here
      in Sri Lanka? They took Indian names because Gautham, the Buddha was
      born on Bharat soil.

      Beware of bogus experts in Sri Lanka bent on twisting history
      suggesting everything Buddhist happened in Ceylon/Sri Lanka. Are you aware many significant events took place in recent years in Buddha Gaya where Thailand, Burma, India, China, Japan, Cambodia and other countries were present. Sri Lanka was absent reportedly because of their suspect claims to virtually own Buddhism.

      Devanam Piyadasa

  • 2
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    Is not all the good that exists in the world BECAUSE of these great teachers, miracles or otherwise? Why do we demean them>

  • 2
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    Dear Mr Jayasinghe

    Please read through your own article again and again to comprehend fully what you have written. People of such caliber will not sprout like mush rooms. Please do not insult the enlightened.
    Just ignore the miracles which could be excesses or exaggerations WHILST passing on through word of mouth. READ THE CONTENTS WITH MINDFULNESS AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND FOR YOUR OWN WELL BEING.Read some books on Buddhism and the Bible but not the literature which you mainly highlighted.Read the core of such teachings.

    Do not be misled.

    • 3
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      You say to read core of books. Bible is a miracle written by 40 inspired authors, in a time span of 1600 years, written in 66 books, covering the beginning before time, floods of judgments when Lucifer fell through disobedience and then polluted the created human DNA after man’s disobedience. After 4000 years, Jesus came and redeemed man and now 2000 years after Jesus, bible says He will return in the resurrected spiritual glorified body to be seen by all. This plan is difficult to believe except for the fact that the whole bible foretold this future history BEFORE it happened. So there is a confidence that the rest too will happen exactly as told. That is the supernatural miracle, and not just a blind faith as understood by most people who have not read a bible.
      It is this same inspiration responsible for wiping out not just intentional sins, but also the karmic principle of bloodline sins of ancestors repeated generation after generation and which people cant understand and get rid of. Inspirational flashes of karmic sin come to mind to deal with, but people accept them as previous births and don’t cut off the roots so that they persist and torment, preventing the abundant life of liberty/freedom Jesus promised here and now. Power released through cross is saving/healing/deliverance miracles now.

      • 2
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        “Power released through cross is saving/healing/deliverance miracles now”
        What power of cross you are talking about. Divine power? That is what exactly this article writer challenging. He was telling those who have divine power to show it. So why don’t you or your priest take the cross to Mahargama cancer hospital and cure all. Even Buddhist priest can go there and tie pirith thread to cure. Hindu priest too can go and dash cocconut and recite manthra to cure. Whoever win then we know their power is true.

        • 0
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          The answer to your very valid question, Yes, I refer to divine power over sickness. Available to all humans are the natural medicines which cure sickness in a healing PROCESS which has limitations and may end in death. The topic here is instant or quickened healing called MIRACLES for those who cry out to God for divine intervention even on medication. Many become believers after the event. A believer is defined not according to religions but bible as one who believes that Jesus is the son of god of the bible, since there are many other gods as well 1Jn.5,5 It is this faith in the resurrected Jesus that releases power, which has to be received as a choice. Other conditions too apply. God gave man free will and will not violate. He heals because of his great love and compassion for man and not show off. No revenge. Jesus called back the spirit to the body of Lazarus only, inside a cemetery of the dead. Final judgment calls all C,H,O,N,back.

          You asked about the power of the cross. It is the basis of Christianity. In brief, the power of karma or ancestral sins embedded in our impure DNA through family bloodlines tempts us to do intentional sins as well. God’s preplanned solution was to send son the sinless to offer sacrifice like innocent blood of animals, laid all sin on him at the cross which he carried away in death. His pure spirit put back into his body in resurrection power, proving his innocence. He asked that man be forgiven. This pledge of exchange at the cross (issues) releases resurrection power. Humans with sin cannot be sacrificed to reach heaven, without accepting the cross to wipe out karma. Not my plan. We are free to believe or not. Miracles seen only by people present at spot only and done not by human will or rational arguments. That many now receive unexpected miracles is well documented.

          • 0
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            Okay tell me if the Romans did not punish the criminals at that time on cross and used hangman noose, will the noose have the power of cross? And the christians will be hanging a noose with an image of Jesus around their neck and a noose with Jesus hanging in all churches. Holy cross with Jesus was a cunning plan of Jews so all Christians will worship this and they become the chosen people of god.

            If Jesus is god, he could have come down from the cross in front of all the people and proclaimed he is god and indestructible. Have you got any explanation.

            • 0
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              If Jesus came down from the cross, he could not have carried sins away into death and beyond to pay its price, to defeat death and rise again in resurrection life. Because of the pledge at the cross to receive forgiveness of sins and come right with god, the divine exchange of poverty for prosperity, sins for righteousness, peace for confusion, healing for sickness, deliverance from demonic oppression, liberty from bondage, light for darkness and all other issues he was able to impart, imprint, impact humanity willing receive reality of spiritual experience. In any case they could have said it was a cunning plan which also was to be told that his dead body was stolen, rather than resurrection from the empty tomb. He appeared alive to disciples many times (once to 500) till he went up in a cloud, promising to return in like manner to the mount of olives at end of age.

              • 0
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                Citizen, you are talking mumboo jumboo. Sai Baba’s followers too have such miracle stuffs. I put to you straight questions so you must give a believable and justifiable answer. Okay now tell me, if he is god why should he die on cross to carry away the sins. He could have told his followers he had forgiven their sins, including Pontius Pilate and his troops, and disappeared over the clouds. God have supernatural power, that is no past, present or future for him so he can appear anywhere anytime in the world even now. The best place now to appear is Sri Lanka. If he appear in the sky for everybody to see and proclaim that he is son of god, come to forgive all their sins and request to live peacefully like brothers, then every body will follow his religion and there will be peace in Sri Lanka. Or he can appear in worst sin cities in the world and forgive their sin. You know nothing like that will ever happen so everybody needs the mumboo jumboo talks to keep their religion alive.

                • 0
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                  Good you want a believable answer. I’ll try, though all don’t believe the same things. You ask “why die on a cross, why not appear in Sri Lanka etc” as this is how you could rationalize and come to terms in your own mind.
                  Christian spirituality is different and is based on belief in written word in bible From the beginning of creation, God said what was going to happen with warnings, and his solutions to the weaknesses and failures experienced by humanity down all generations and finally the appearance of a redeemer/savior to bring reconciliation to God once again. Jesus birthed sinless said he came to do the Father God’s will and laid down his will, to do ordained destiny. The cross depicts “sacrificial lamb slain before the foundation of the world” and he fulfilled that scripture, and also all the other scriptures. I wont detail as you don’t want ‘mumbo, jumbo” But all he did was written beforehand as God spoke it. His future coming is written as the mount of olives and not Sri Lanka. Since 95% written in bible happened, it is not difficult to believe the rest too will happen.

            • 0
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              Coming down from the cross would have defeated the Lord’s purpose. To pay for my sin. And your sin. ( John.12.27. ” now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour”.

            • 1
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              You foolish Islamist fanatic. Jesus never claimed that he was God. He said he was the son of God sent to rescue human beings. What Jesus said about blind can see and lame can walk is going to happen with electronics and stem cells. In contrast Muhammed said that he is the messenger of Allah, who told him that earth is flat. Do you still believe that earth will ever be flat. Of course all Islamic countries will be flattened by USA, Russia and China.

              • 0
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                Okay Al-fucqurlah after Russian and USA flatten Islamic countries I shall believe earth is flat, until then you keep your stinking mouth shut.

            • 0
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              “Okay tell me if the Romans did not punish the criminals at that time on cross and used hangman noose, will the noose have the power of cross? “
              Very interesting idea, Ralli. You seem to be an unusually imaginative Muslim. Keep it up.

  • 2
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    Miracles do take place in the world and in one’s own life even today, unfortunately we do not recognize or believe them as such and we dismiss such experiences or occurrences as normal happenings. For instance being prevented from a fatal injury or accident which on our own capabilities could never have been averted. We have heard of many
    a terminal ill patients getting recovered overnight to the utter bewilderment of the physicians themselves about whom they were unable
    to explain the sudden recovery. In a few rare occasions this writer himself has heard physicians saying that it is only an act of God could save such a life. These are the present day Miracles. Therefore it is clear to the Believer that Miracles do happen even today in all
    parts of the Globe, clearly manifesting the living presence of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ.

    • 3
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      What about such miracles happened before the birth of Jesus?

      • 0
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        Jesus became sinless man in time 2000 years ago to save humans from sin and the karmic generational iniquity by paying the price as the sacrificial lamb of God. He is eternal even before he came. The unseen eternal is the supernatural realm of God who is Spirit and all he does supernaturally are miracles from eternity. So miracles happened before and after the birth of Jesus Christ

  • 6
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    Shyamon, I have some hot news for you: There will be NO appearance of any of the great figures of religion. Jesus Christ, Prof. Muhammed, Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva, Buddha, Guru Nanak, and the God yet to be relieved to our Jewish brethren. Not today, not tomorrow, never ever. So put away the garlands, the rosary beads, the candles, the cow’s milk, everything.

    At a particular time in human development we sought the answer to our troubles in the supernatural, and that gave rise to the growth of the main religions. The Largest main World Religions in order are:

    • Christianity: 2.1 billion.
    • Islam: 1.3 billion.
    • Hinduism: 900 million.
    • Buddhism: 376 million.
    • Sikhism: 23 million.
    • Judaism: 14 million.

    Over 95% of their followers today have been born into their religion, and taught to follow family custom and tradition. Reason and common sense takes a back seat. It will be long time before the most stubborn cuckoos are weaned of this drug.

    Nowadays religion is big business, and no religious leaders want to let go of their power base. Even governments elected by people rush to protect
    religions created by gods; know any?

    But sometime in the distant future, Reason and common sense WILL ultimately triumph. Be very fearful of that day when it comes.

    • 5
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      Spring Koha

      “But sometime in the distant future, Reason and common sense WILL ultimately triumph. Be very fearful of that day when it comes.”

      I agree with you.

      In the mean time don’t you think we will have to deal with our contemporary born again religious nutters, including our friends who seemed to have found god in their respective religions?

      • 0
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        Fearful day is coming and be warned that Jesus will return for those who accept him. When eternity begins and time and space end in judgment in the light of his glory nullifying sun and moon and rational minds leading to the supernatural, all thoughts will bow to that reality. Judgment day is not flippant. Right side is good.

  • 2
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    It is a very good presentation of facts with scientific knowledge.Hope many will read in between the lines and learn a
    Lesson for the rest of their lives
    Thank you very much for the presentation

  • 1
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    It is a very good presentation of facts with scientific knowledge.Hope many will read in between the lines and learn
    a lesson for the rest of their lives.
    Thank you very much for the presentation.

    • 0
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      Weerasinghe

      You look like a donkey in human body.

      • 4
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        jimsofty the dimwit

        “You look like a donkey in human body.”

        I am happy you are able to see him through a secure website. Its a miracle.

        Take up magic or astronomy. You have a bright future in Sri Lanka or India.

        • 4
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          Jim could be Rajapakse’s new astrologer

      • 0
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        jimsofty,

        You are not making any sense…take it easy..all you need are good values, not dogma

  • 1
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    “In the war with science, religion will eventually lose. It is only a matter of time”

    Still it is a religion’s appeal that it offers security in an uncertain world that seems to be the reason why we see more religious people in developing or third-wrold countries than in developed countries.

    Science can answer how, but not why in most cases is where people’s last resort seems to be religion. For example, seeking reasons, relief and peace of mind of people suffering (for example, from cancer in the hospital beds or in disaster zones around the world).

    Technological advancements and inventions and human progress had always been there since thousands of years, but religions too lived along or new ones founded during the same time. What more, even after discovering that the earth wasn’t flat, people did not reject those religions that had contradictory views.

    Likewise, technologies will keep on coming and better ones will replace older ones and this seems to be the trend, but religions will stay

    At the same time, I believe that science and religion, they both cater for different but essential domains of human life; one functionality, the other spirituality – Fundamental needs.

  • 3
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    Buddha, Jesus and Prof Mohamed came founded religions and went. We only see their good sides. What about the other side? Dividing the human being?

    Please don’t want a new division (just a reply to title question)

  • 1
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    Simon,

    Another load of nonsense from you. The article is very immature. Don’t write for the sake of writing!!!!

    • 0
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      True, not much researched

  • 1
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    Now its the turn of Shaymon jayasinghe.

    • 0
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      thondamannay:

      As I said in another comment in the very same thread, Shyamon Jayasinghe – the wanna be Rationalist – writing crap without knowing that the readers are more informed and more inlligent than him.

      I think his relatives are christians and he is trying to be intelligent by making ahima make-shift rationalist and it is a failrue.

      • 1
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        I think your relatives are donkeys

  • 0
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    you are talking of religions and the personalities related to religion.

    However men are born even thereafter not to find another religion to divide the mankind but for creating a civilised cultured society.

    for example Shirdi Sai, Bagawan Sathya Sai

  • 1
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    Feeling proud to see some very liberal, progressive and rational views expressed here.

    Some Archie Bunkers try to say that they know enlightenment much better than those who crawl on this here earth.

    Will there be another Buddha? No.

    There may be social reformers but during the immediate past such reformers get seduced by wealth and publicity. In the US some cults use the name “Jesus” to mint millions. In SL self-proclaimed protectors of religions create havoc. India is taking several backward steps through cow-vigilantes and the like.

  • 1
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    God is an invention of the human mind. Primitive man had no idea what causes lightening, thunder, earth quacks, landslides, volcanoes floods, fire, rain etc. He thought natural disasters are “acts of God” and “mysterious dispensations of Providence.”
    He has also worshiped about everything imaginable in the sky and beneath the surface of the earth. Primitive man feared all manifestations of power; he worshiped every natural phenomenon he could not comprehend. The observation of powerful natural forces, such as storms, floods, earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, fire, heat, and cold, greatly impressed the expanding mind of man. Out of fear of unseen power, mortal man worshiped everything on the face of the earth, including himself. In Hindu religion everything is worshipped, including snakes, trees, rivers, mountains, spears.
    The statement man created god after his own image very true. Suppose the monkeys wanted to create a god, he will be created to look a money. As proof of man made gods, the Babas of India have are worshipped as gods. Of all the religious leaders, Buddha stands out as a rational human. He did not believe in a creator, that is a personal god who is responsible for everything that happens in this world. He did not believe in hidden causes. But later day Buddhism was highly influenced by Hinduism. The weak minded will continue to believe in gods and demi-gods as along they feel powerless and helpless over hostile elements. It is interesting to note that the mythical gods of Greeks and Romans are now kept in museums.

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    Every possible permutation of the mind has already come about on this earth. When life on another planet has been found, Scientology will have a field day of it.

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    Shyamon,
    A good question that has been asked by many others.

    Here are two thoughts ( not necessarily answers)

    1. The Catholic Church calls for two authenticated miracles during the process of beatification and canonization of a holy person.

    2. Gospel of John – Ch 14. V 12.
    Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

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    Every human-being is UNIQUE and ORIGINAL by itself. They are not DUPLICATES of each other! They have resourceful BRAIN to think independantly on their own, irrespective of any physical conditions.
    Religions are not founded or initiated by Buddha, Christ or anybody who found/felt the TRUTH/HUMANITY/SOUL/ENLIGHTENMENT…..! Their so-called desciples/followers created the groups called as ‘Religions’ and now they are thriving mainly for the selfish motives including making money etc. Presently, the governments have taken control of the networks thus controlling the public politically (another type of Mafia-style).
    Under this set-up, who can talk freely, think freely and talk the ‘TRUTH’ openly? Only, the “terrorists” can do it! Hence there are no chances for another Buddha or Christ or anyone who can say that “TRUTH”? No chances for SONs of GOD but enough spaces for “SONs of DEVIL”!!– This is my personal opinion.

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    Reading Shyamon J on any contemporary topic inspires interest and intellectual curiosity. Here he dares one of the more delicate – religious belief. This is a subject of much of today’s animated debates. Why have we not seen in the recent millenia the wonders supposed to be performed by the Buddha, Christ and others. This is not blasphemy but genuine enquiry. No divine being worth our respect will punish Shyamon for initiating the interesting discussion.

    Shyamon J also raises the intellectual quality of CT through his refreshing quest. I am confident serious readers will participate in the debate bringing a wide catholicity of views to the benefit of us all.

    Kettikaran

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    Why so Many?

    A few years back, while passing Kalutara, as is the custom of Buddhists, I stopped at the Bodhiya. At the Dagoba, there is a small Bodhi tree, around which 24 statues of the past Buddhas have been placed a mother and a boy of about 12 were offering flowers and I overheard the boy asking the following question:

    “Mother why are all the 24 Buddhas having Indian sounding names?”

    The mother got angry and admonished the son “Son, do not ask stupid questions. Are you trying to go to Apaya?” I am sure, if not for our presence there the boy would have been rewarded with a good ‘kaney’ also.

    On rethinking about this after the incident, I found it to be a valid and logical question, opening up many doors.

    Why aren’t there names such as Chun Chin, Kiekergard, Polanski, Lumumba or even Trump? It is said that a Buddha is given a new name once enlightenment is attained. Thus Siddhartha became Gotama. Perhaps the Buddhas would be localized to the India and countries around it at all times. The reasons could be as follows:

    1) Buddhas arise at times when there is a lot of suffering in the world and only this area can have that level of suffering..

    2) This is just legend.

    All we know for a facts are that 2500 years ago a Prince named Siddhartha became aware of the emptiness and purposelessness of existence (Dukkha) and left his comfortable life in search of a way out of it. Finally, he found the cause, the way out of the problem, and followed it to it become Gotama the Buddha. Most of the rest is just inconsequent folklore.

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      Edwin,
      This is the problem with all religions. What they (or your elders) tell you is: “Don’t ask questions. Just believe what you are told”
      Imagine what would have happened if science worked this way? Not that it doesn’t sometimes.
      At one time even Bibles were restricted in churches, in case the hoi polloi started interpreting it by themselves.

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    Old codger, you are right. These restrictions come from over zealous Buddhists. If you take what Buddha preached, the freedom to question is enshrined in his Dhamma. It is much better than certain other religions where questioning is taboo not only for the adherents but even for non adherents, who face death if found out doing that.

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    Miracles and Buddhism

    The author asks “And what of miraculous claims by Buddhists about an ability (Iddi Balaya) to travel through space unaided by a device?”

    It is quite clear that Buddha held such demonstrations of miraculous powers in low esteem as may be gleaned from the following story, which sounds quite authentic.

    Buddha, on one of his numerous journeys spreading the word of Dhamma, was once waiting with his companion Rev. Ananda for a ferry to cross a river, when another ascetic came and just walked on the water and briskly crossed the river. Buddha waited patiently waited for the ferry and after crossing the river, paid the ferryman with a few Kahavanu (coins).

    Ananda was upset about this whole episode and asked Buddha, why he did not do the same as the ascetic and exhibited his powers to others by walking on the water and Buddha answered as follows:

    Buddha: Ananda, how much did we pay for the ferryman?

    Ananda: One Kahavanu each, Blessed One.

    Buddha: Then Annada, that is how much that miracle was worth.

    On many other occasions too, Buddha avoided performing such miracles, though he is said to have such powers. He treated them as cheap magic tricks. In the recent past we had Sai Baba performing such tricks on a daily basis, one of them being, producing Swiss made Rolex watches, complete with serial No., out of thin air and giving them to devotees.

    Of course they were worth much more than one Kahavanu.

    P.S.: I have no idea how much the going exchange rate for Kahavanu is.

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      Edwin,

      The so called Miracles in Buddhism are irrelevant to a Buddhist. They are inconsequential to the vast majority unless one can do it themselves or at least understand it.

      Thus “Iddi Balaya”, “Yama Maha Pelahara” and other such “Miracles” should not carry any weight.

      Hypothetically, lets say I see the Buddha performing “Yama Maha Pelahara” or “Iddi Balaya” to teleport himself and appear in multiple place at the same time. As Buddhist, if I can’t understand those “acts” let alone perform them myself, they should be totally disregarded.

      There is an interesting story behind “Yama Maha Pelahara”. It is never a performance to impress the followers. “Yama Maha Pelahara” happens because there is one person in a crowd that can actually understand it. That person looks at it and goes “Ah, so that is what is ACTUALLY happening” and opens that persons mind towards ‘Anatta’. But the rest of the crowd, most of them will be worshiping chanting “Lord Buddha Performing Miracles!” while another group will be shouting “Lord Buddha is a fraud! He is faking all this”.

      So you see there is meaning behind “Yama Maha Pelahara”. Whether it is real or not is irrelevant. The key message to us ordinary people is that neither blind faith or rabid skepticism will get you answers. It is always the moderate/balanced path.

      PS:

      Somewhat related, I witnessed something when I was at “Ruwanweli Maha Seya” many years back. I saw this large beautiful very symmetric lotus like apparition floating on top of the “Stupa”. I was like WTF!? Am I seeing something supernatural? Something miraculous? I almost fell for it, but then I had that moment of “Ah, so that is what is ACTUALLY happening”.

      I let the rest of you speculate on what I might have seen!

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    1))
    An excellent article written by one who is no doubt seeking the Truth, and the release from suffering for fellow men. My humble views on this:

    “On the other hand, what arouses my curiosity on a constant basis is why great personas such as them or even close to them have never appeared thereafter.”

    Could it be because there has always been only one religion which was revealed by the One Necessary Being, the Primary Cause for all the Effects? God?

    Could it be that this Primary Cause revealed these codes of conduct in stages, with the Final Code of Conduct being revealed in the middle ages, and expected to be followed through the guidance of righteous leaders?

    Would it not be required of us to study all the currently practised religions, not just the one we have been born into, to come to the conclusion that:

    “The era of religion has dissipated; not disappeared. It is also a matter of curiosity why only these religions erupted and why at that time and not before or afterwards.Why didn’t anyone emerge to guide man before? Why not after?”

    Could the reason for the existence of many religions be that they could have been revealed to the people of a specific region and era, with explicit instructions for following generations to accept the next Messenger/Buddha and the amendment of the original code of conduct. Even though they appeared in another region.

    If these instructions were not followed to the letter, then we have the main single religion being passed down, but not being followed by a certain faction of the followers of the previous religion, like what happened between the followers of the middle-eastern religions. 285

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    2))
    “My position is that this war need not go on and that we need not fight to death over such disputes if only the presumed God can intervene and show his miracle or muscle for the whole world to see. That would be the most convincing sure -shot.”

    If the above were to happen, then what is the difference between the ordinary creations the animals, and the highest of creations Man?

    Man has been given the attribute to choose between right and wrong, good and evil. If people are oppressed, then it is because the oppressors have chosen the wrong and the evil.

    The most significant feature of any religion has to be Social Justice.

    Of course, this would not make sense if one does not believe in resurrection and soul moving on from the mortal body at death, to be questioned about its actions.

    But have not all religious leaders preached this principle? Even so people still disbelieve in this.

    “What of the Buddha? According to popular Buddhism many more Buddhas are to come. But we haven’t seen a sign of that and we are unlikely to see that.”

    Maybe there were Buddhas in other areas who have preached the basics of Buddhism in keeping with principles of the Single Code of Conduct revealed by the Primary Cause.

    Perhaps he was not called a Buddha, due to the language used in the new region/era. This could have been called a new religion. Perhaps only a study of all versions of these religions will bring an understanding of how to end suffering.

    The Primary Cause is the Ultimate Perfection. Man has the potential to reach this Perfection. Not striving to reach this according to the revealed Code of Conduct results in imperfection and thus evil. 297

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    Dear Mr. Jayasinghe,

    This is an excellent article but its best left to historians to decide. The problem of the present world are political and not religious.

    The point I want to make is that you fail to pay more attention to the world’s fastest growing religion. Even after 1400 years it is still growing faster than any other religion. No miracles of the sort what we expect from it. Its a simple way of life that is preached. This is what Lamartine said in 1854 of the founder of the religion:

    “If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men in one-third of the then inhabited world; and more than that, he moved the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and souls… the forbearance in victory, his ambition, which was entirely devoted to one idea and in no manner striving for an empire; his endless prayers, his mystic conversations with God, his death and his triumph after death; all these attest not to an imposture but to a firm conviction which gave him the power to restore a dogma. This dogma was twofold, the unit of God and the immateriality of God; the former telling what God is, the latter telling what God is not; the one overthrowing false gods with the sword, the other starting an idea with words.
    “Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images; the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”

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      Chintaka

      The growth of Islam, I think, is because there is the degree of compulsion, at the pain of much physical punishment. For example, if anyone asks even a simple question seeking simple clarifications he is harshly dealt with and disgraced with the charge he is an infidel. Once a society becomes Islamic it remains so – for all time. People in the rest of the world value their freedom and rights. People want the world – religion, beliefs, customs – to change with the evolving world and times. That is how the rest of the world progressed into today’s scientific and free (thinking) world. Islam does not allow that.
      Adherents are kept down by force, threats and at the pain of torture and
      death. To use a crude term – it is a mafia. But men of learning in such captive societies will rise and rebel. We recall here the case of the Muslim intellectual Salman Rushdie who came from an Indian background, where there is both religious freedom and of thought. Modern Islamic societies in Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan also will refuse to go by questionable medieval practises, thought and theological diktat. Islam, like Christianity in the post-17th century, will be forced to change and permit pluralism to their followers.

      A.D.J. Perera

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    Dear Mr Jayasinghe,

    I recommend what Professor Ramakrishna Rao said about the Prophet of Islam. He is given the least prominence because our education is euro-centric. You will be a changed man if you take his advice:

    “The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad, the Protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. All in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activities, he is alike a hero.”

    Today after a lapse of fourteen centuries, the life and teachings of Muhammad have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. They offer the same undying hope for treating mankind’s many ills, which they did when he was alive. This is not a claim of Muhammad’s followers but also the inescapable conclusion forced upon by a critical and unbiased history.

    The least you could do as a thinking and concerned human being is to stop for a moment and ask yourself: Could these statements sounding so extraordinary and revolutionary be really true? And supposing they really are true and you did not know this man Muhammad or hear about him, isn’t it time you responded to this tremendous challenge and put in some effort to know him?

    It will cost you nothing but it may prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in your life”.

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      What about Mohammed the liar who said Allah told him that earth is flat.

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        I am preparing a fartwa for Alfaqu.death to the infidel.

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          God is the source of life. You might manage to kill the body which will be resurrected, but soul/spirit goes to paradise/heaven forever and you have no say in that. God’s people belong to God, not to your judgment

          Another deception of Mohamed in cave is that another Gabriel said man came from blood clot. The real Gabriel told Miriam that Jesus as the son of God will save mankind from sin and return in resurrection for final judgment at the end of the age. Be ready.

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