A brief note on Buddhism, Ethnicity, and Peace

chakra

A walk through the archeological and artistic ruins in the North central province is not complete without a stop by the Sandakada pahana (the moonstone) that gives an artistic depiction of the milestones one may go through while practicing the eightfold path. The outer ring of flames depict what we experience in the society – sense of insecurity, urge to become something else, paranoia, jealousy, hatred, etc., that are wrapped up in one word called suffering. The next ring of animals depicts the causes of these sufferings. The convoluted ring of vines below it illustrates the illusive and confused state of mind that underpins the first two layers. The next layer of swans represents a state of wisdom in the mind that allows one to separate the good from the bad. The next layer of orderly vines illustrates the state of mind in harmony with the world-giving rise to a sense of comfort. The final lotus refers to the ultimate bliss of nirvana. In fact ancient kings were wise enough to slightly adapt this artistic presentation of a summary of Buddhist practice from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa eras to maintain social harmony between Hindus and Buddhists, because they knew that the survival of the fundamental teaching is more important than its symbolic or artistic representations.

Buddha expounded the eightfold path in his first sermon, Dhammachakkapavattana sutta. That essentially consists of some recommendations to establish self-restraint known as sila, a set of recommendations to develop concentration and insight known as samadhi, and an articulation of the notion of wisdom one needs to develop known as pragnya, to see Nirvana-the total freedom from compulsions to become. The above sutta elaborates that once this eightfold path is set in motion, it works like a wheel, gathering momentum, to take one towards the fruits of the eightfold path. Thus it is known as a Dhamma Chakra (wheel). In other words, pragnya helps to further establish sila, and so on.  Somehow, this practice takes one through few milestones. One becomes aware of the passing through these milestones because it has been well explained in the suttas. Though the outside world views these milestones as some graduation from one level to a higher, with Nirvana at the pinnacle, the one who follows the path feels the opposite – with a humbling feeling accompanied by more an more unconditioned comfort, security, fullness, freedom from compulsions, and stillness of happiness.

In this note, I wish to focus on the first milestone, known as the stream entry, for it directly defines social harmony in a society with Buddhists. Somebody who practices the eightfold path may enter the path of healing, knows as Sotapanna. Sota in pali refers to suvapath, or healing, and apanna in pali refers to arrival. At this arrival, one breaks three fetters out of the ten fetters that bind us to a journey trough the universe known as samsara. These three fetters are 1) Sakkayaditti, 2) Silabbataparamasa, and 3) Vichikichcha. Out of them, I want to focus more on breaking of Sakkayaditti in this brief note. Sakkayaditti refers to the personality view conditioned by the society (Sakkaya or samajaya), like how one might identify himself as a Sinhalese, Asian, or as a Brown man, etc. This self-identification with social labels is one fetter that binds one to the samsara. When one breaks it, one realizes that we have a deeper belonging in a set of Dharmatha or a set of natural laws than to these socially conditioned labels.

For instance, I am called an Asian. But who identified Asia as Asia? Planet earth didn’t have an Asia in its development. Global society put that label. However, on the surface, we see a set of traditions, thought processes, cultures, or value systems in this so called Asian region, that are somewhat different from the rest of the World. Well, true that they are conditions I was born into, and no wonder my thought process should be conditioned by it. However, what is more important is not my being an Asian, but the fact (Dharmatha) that the environment can condition me, or that my brain is a plastic organization (chitta niyama) that can be conditioned by my encounters with the environment. While growing up in Asia, I may have been conditioned by some traits, and life in other countries must have done the same. So, where is the Asian in me? Well, some programs in the mind may still be subject to natural laws of change and further conditioning. Take another example: one might say that I am Brown. There too, what matters is not my being Brown, but the Dharmatha that my parents’ genes do affect my genes (Bija niyama). Similarly, my being a Sinhalese derives more from a social conditioning of my tribal history than some unalienable fact of ethnicity in my blood. I may follow Sinhalese traditions, because of how my parents and relatives conditioned my values. A boy from another “ethnicity” adopted by a Sinhalese family would do the same. Therefore, such social labels of ethnicity are so superficial that somebody with mixed ethnic origins may still be identified as Sinhalese for social convenience. Therefore, at stream entry, one realizes the true value of clinging onto such superficial labels, and begins to appreciate the fact that natural laws of Dharmatha like citta niyama, bija niyama, dhamma niyama, utu niyama, and kamma niyama have a more unalienable and fundamental influence in the trajectory of somebody in this life and samsara than social tags like ethnicity. The realization that all other human beings also have a more fundamental belonging in these Dharmatha than their superficial social labels and appearances gives a sense of comfort, security, and brotherhood.

One may appreciate now that encouraging oneself and others to cling on to social labels like skin color, geographical region of birth, or ethnicity, directly causes to delay the entry into the path of healing (sotapanna), that a Buddhist must go through in the path to Nirvana. There is no use wishing somebody “Suvapath veva (may you be healed one day)”, or “Nivan dakithva (may you see the bliss of Nirvana)”, if one actively engages in further reinforcing sakkayaditti that dissuades others from entering the first milestone leading to Nirvana.

On this backdrop, I wish to urge Buddhists in Sri Lanka to take at least one weekend in every month, or a week or two in every year to retreat to a forest monastery to meditate under the guidance of a practicing monk. It is said that there were hundreds of thousands of lay people who had entered the stream (sotapannas) during the time of the Buddha and even in the Sri Lankan society when monasteries like Jethavanaramaya were active with practicing monks. Through my experience from a couple of such annual retreats in some forest monasteries in England, I can guarantee you that you will truly experience a difference in your feeling of comfort if you practice meditation with a confession of the true state of your present mind. I also urge the Government to build more forest monasteries to help people do such retreats, than using Buddhist monks to do ethno-centric politics. My feeling is that shortsighted exploitation of Buddhist monks to instil a sense of insecurity, paranoia, and even hatred towards other ethnic and religious groups by politicians is taking a dangerous turn towards irreversible damage to the society.

I leave it up to the wisdom of people to choose the right practice of Buddhism if you are a Buddhist in Sri Lanka.

  • ordinary lankan

    Sinhala Buddhists are going back to raja kale accompanied by the loudspeaker chanting of aggressive priests. They have learnt that the way to be ‘buddhist’ is to hold on tight to their fixed identity. Nirvana has been achieved by ‘apey buduhamuduruwo’ and there is little need for individual contemplation or responsibility. The herd is all. Buddhism is a collective show. And it is all about white clothes and coulourful flags and grand old monuments and merit making ceremonies.
    hum drum life is not the place for religion – only impressive ceremonies and functions.

    There is not a single internal bone in mainstream buddhism here.
    organized religion is all about subverting spirituality. I would advice genuine Buddhists to look elsewhere – India, Tibet, America, UK – any country but Sri Lanka….

    • Brahma

      “On this backdrop, I wish to urge Buddhists in Sri Lanka to take at least one weekend in every month, or a week or two in every year to retreat to a forest monastery to meditate under the guidance of a practicing monk. ”

      Well Said.

      But remember, Sri Lanka was a Hindu Country before Buddhism.

      It is a tragedy for Sihala Buddhism as to what is happening now. They are acting like the Hindus who destroyed Buddhism in India. After all it WAS a Sinhala Buddhist Monk who killed a Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, and the subsequent events that lead to the Tamil Separatism and Terrorism. If the true Sinhala Buddhists will bot rescue Buddhism from the fringe Terrorist Buddhists, then they will have the SAME problem Muslims have with the Fringe Terrorist Muslims.

      Is that what the Lord Buddha taught?

      • Off the Cuff

        Brahma,

        “But remember, Sri Lanka was a Hindu Country before Buddhism”

        If your intention is to insinuate that Indian Tamils were in Lanka before Indians from Bengal came, Where is your proof?

        India was a Hindu country before Buddhism.
        Buddhist history acknowledges that.

        You seem to be Very proud of being a Hindu looking down at the rest of the world from the top.

        Are you writing about the Hinduism where each had it’s own station in life with the Brahmins at it’s Apex Brahma?

        Where the lower casts were treated as human excreta.
        Where even a drink of water was refused to them.
        Where High cast wells had to be flushed out if a low cast had the effrontery to defile it by drawing water to quench his thirst.
        Where the low casts could not worship at Temples.
        Where they could not travel in public transport as equals without getting assaulted or their houses burnt and the women raped with impunity.
        where they could not attend a school as equals and had to sit on the ground while the Brahmins and the Vellala sat on chairs

        Is that anything to be proud of Brahma?

        Please remember that Hinduism as practised in Jaffna was the cause of Tamil Tamil riots in Lanka.

        1871 riots with Tamils fighting Tamils (first known caste/race related riot in Lanka).

        1923 Tamil Tamil cast riots.
        1929 Tamil Tamil riots (equal seating in schools).
        1931 Tamil Tamil riots (use of drummers at a funeral procession by low cast people)

        The MAJORITY of Tamils could not even travel by Public Bus in the North, till the govt stepped in to outlaw this inhumanity perpetrated on the ordinary Tamils by the Tamil ruling (Land owning) class by enacting the Prevention of Social Disabilities Act (1957).

        Tamils were fighting Tamils in Jaffna nearly 70 years before the first Tamil Sinhala riots occurred in 1939, after Tamil politician GG Ponnambalam, incited the Sinhalese by making a racist speech at a public meeting in Navalapitiya.

        In 1847, Arumuga Navalar, the Tamil Nationalist, REFUSED to teach a Low Cast Tamil student admitted by the principal Peter Percival and left Jaffna Central College.

        The Majority of Tamils were dehumanised by the Brahmins using the ingrained Cast system of Hinduism.

    • Off the Cuff

      Ordinary Lankan,

      Looking from your view point would you say that your description would fit the practice of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam or any other major religion as well?

      BTW there were no Loudspeakers in Raja Kale.

      Do you profess any religion?

  • common sense

    One need not practice Budhism, meditation or any other religion to be a better person.

    Simply listen to your heart and put yourself in other people shoes before you do anything!! Think how your action will harm or benefit the others!!
    Unfortunately the Sri Lankan leaders are just “bulldozing” anyone who stands in their way of personal gain!!Not only that they are promoting their “stooges” to do the same thing.

    There is no point in going to temples abroad, or installing Budha statues in every junction, when they rob the livelihood of the unfortunate people living around them!! Do you think Budha will be happy to be there among the starving, maimed people who have lost everything? He would be happy if the people were looked after like human beings than erecting concrete structures for him when the people don’t even have a roof over their head!!!

    I find that the best non-religious book available for man kind is the Thirukural. People, especially children should be encouraged to read it. The book has advise to all category of people, including how Kings, leaders, children, husbands, wives, friends should behave.

  • Lankan Observer

    I very much appreciate this article and its suggestion that attention to the Buddha’s words might offer instructive paradigms for thinking about different ways of belonging socially. However, I am increasingly perturbed at the number of articles I see on Groundviews advocating a ‘return’ to textually-based, cognitive, frankly copacetic Buddhism (“the right practice” as the above article says) as an answer to Sri Lanka’s social and political ills. To explain away the ways in which Buddhism is used in political projects as greedy monks who have forgotten ‘true Buddhism’ is, I think, to ignore the long, complex history of Buddhism’s entanglement in political discourse. What I have appreciated most about Groundviews is its willingness to meet these complexities head on. We might better ask, then, what kinds of historical and social conditions allow for certain ‘versions’ of Buddhism to be authorized as ‘true’ and ‘right practice’?

  • Jayalath

    Hello Thishantha.

    It seems to me you are twiddling your thumbs ,You are speaking about a suthra which failed To line up people in 2600 years, wouldn’t you think so ? When some one comes from a society and a culture where is based on ingrained superstition and mythology TO a society where has rich culture and advance social structure and when he is not well In psychologically to understand the differance these two world and the nature of behaviour of all living things that I would not suprise why you have tempted to think this way to look at life .
    Infact. I must say I do not know about the Suthra and moonstone that you have explained it quite well, which is interesting and inspirational .
    But what I concern is , where is human’s stance today after following the religious teachings for 2500years .this is we must concern .

    However, the idea of preserving and coservating what ever monuments and sculptures has been left from our great ancestors to the future generation is imperative , and the meditation has been found very usefull method of relieving and healing of hectic mind . there are no arguments about initiating to do so by any one .

    In this moment , The Humans are struggling to survive than thinking of Sansara , for the mistakes have been committed by them due to the lack of rational understanding about life. ( I do not believe the teaching of life is suffering because i believe the life is just a fact like any other live and die , and we leave and go what ever we invented or discovered when we die to our future generation which is the LEGACY)
    And ( Also these thoughts of sufferings will ruin and distract the ability of people to think rationally to face the reality of life and discover new things)
    Therefore, your request to contemplate over building forest monasteries for thevpeople to feel comfort and reviving what really are not benefiting now as a whole society that i strongly believe which could be similar of thinking now to revive the STEAM machines of James Watt to do the most for the contemporary world .

  • common sense

    “Practicing monks” are a rare commodity in Sri Lanka. Children ordained early in life because of various reasons except piety!! They grow up without their heart in the monastic life. They are there by compulsion and convenience!! For their survival they dab into politics aided and abetted by the “Pseudo Budhist Leaders” who play the Sinhala Budhist card and have ruined the whole country into a mess with blood and bones scattered all over the place!!!

  • common sense

    “I also urge the Government to build more forest monasteries to help people do such retreats”

    People are more worried about where the next meal is coming from!! majority of Sri Lankans live below poverty line, or just scrape an existence. They have mouths to feed and do not have the time or the means to go to retreats!!!

    Instead of building monasteries, and statues, the government should try to improve their standard of living!! The government is busy encouraging hatred among communities, so that the leaders can make money on the arms deal and land grabbing!!!I am positive we will never have a leader who will think about the country and the people first!!!

  • Jayalath

    To thrishantha.

    I thought to point you out one more example with regard to your consideration of Eightfold path, because I understand how you have embraced to those primitive paths and as a salvation your bright future .

    4th noble truth path to the cessation of suffering .

    1 samma Ditthi ( right understanding ) do we have these as a country or individual ? I believe none of our politician has this , so this is not some thing we can reject but we don’t have this teaching quality of Buddha , honestly if we have Samma Ditthi which is good and this is the way to do ,then we at least would have better place than we are now .

    2 Samma Sankappa ( right intention ) do we have these ? Europeans have these .

    3 Samma Vaca ( right speech , speaking truthfully , avoiding slander , gossip and abusive speech . ) do we have these ? I don’t believe even you have these qualities , but trust me these are having in Europe more than necessary , I must say this and if any one want I can prove , but None of us have these qualities , especially Samma Vaca is poision in south Asian countries. Do you agree ? If some one said some thing a lie . I tell you go to a government hospital in Sri Lanka to get some free medicine if you cant afford , you will find this being violating from Dr to Attendant . Have you experienced how some Dr . Speak to people ?

    4 Samma Kammantha ( ( right action) behaving peacefully and harmoniously , refrain from stealing , killing and over indulgence in sensual pleasure )

    My goodness , do you think our politicians have these qualities ? Or even some monks ? No way . Majority of us and 95% per of politicians do not have this principle but they have opposite for that . I do not need to tell you this my friend if you have a brain size of a peanut that you will know this .

    5 Samma Ajiva ( avoiding of making a living in way that cause harm , such as exploiting people or killing Animals or trading in intoxicants or weapon .

    Goodness , who has this quality , none , do you know I can’t believe this , we are doing exactlly opposite to these. Don’t we ?

    6 Samma Vayama ( right effort ) Cultivating positive State of mind .

    7 Samma Sathi ( Rightmindfullness ) developing awareness of the body , sensations, feelings and state of mind .

    8 Samma Samadhi ( Right concentration ) Developing mental focus necessary for this awareness.

    So , this eight fold path to a mean to enlightment . Which has preached by Buddha to follow all humans , regardless any race or faith . Actually there is nothing wrong with them if we can follow , but problem is that no one has these qualities and I must explain you in other words , just imagine the PANADOLS , we take PANADOLS when we have pains inthe body which is very normal , but what will you do if you still have pains after taking PANADOLS , you will definitely stop taking the PANADOLS if you are not a nutter and go to a doctor asking for some thing else don’t you ?
    So, my opinion is not to be a nutter taking PANADOLS even if they do not work for you .

    My friend the life is complex and useless if you did not think about it .,firstly needs to realise the nature of every thing , and how can we be evolved . ( not like some stupid religions try to fool you ) You can think about teaching of all religions , no problems , but think very seriously before you believe them , and weather are they possible to practise and whether are they existing among us .

    I believe many things in religions are wrong and unacceptable. If you really think about the facts of universe and natural selection of evolution that you will revoke the religion . Trust me you will . The life is awesome , and worth , we need to explore it , we need to make it worth , make a good market for it . Not about worrying thinking of it ,just imagine our animals , trees , lakes , oceans and fish , landscapes , land marks , different countries, Papua neugenea alone has unique birds and animals nowhere else live them . Amazon forest the scientists call it lung of earth , the same size of Australia . So, think about life , not about the death . That will happen one day , all living things will decay one day , it is the nature .we need the law and Equality among us to restore the peace in the world and share the resources each other without fighting and be intelligent to explore the boundaries in this universe . not like thinking of being selfish to life end .

  • http://Www.iciafs.org Thrishantha

    Jayalath,

    I don’t understand what you are trying to point out. Do you mean, it is useless to follow the eightfold path because it is not being practiced by the politicians?

    Those who practice it, reap its benefits, and I am totally comfortable with my practice. And a lot of successful people follow it. The main point of the article was not that.

  • Jayalath

    To thrishantha ,
    No, I have mentioned about the politicians to highlight that they should have those qualities first place , because they are the people who implement the rules and regulation in a country to go forward , therefore ,it is more important them to have those qualities . And when it come to public it becomes individual , whether the public follow or not , because there is no system in our society to force some one to follow any thing instead of teaching them about the value of following those. So, I never meant we should not follow those path , instead I tried to point out the that there are not many who can follow or who follows due to some circumstances in life .

    Next one is , yes of course there are people who benifit of it , I mentioned it pervious comment and I have no hesitation , but I pointed out , many people out there seriously suffering difficulties of financial (about 80% per) so , they need different therapy , the meditation therapy would not work for them .

    And the main point of your artical is to build the feeling of comfort of mind and fullness ,peace , harmony at last happiness by placing people in following of Eightfold , is that right ?

    • http://Www.iciafs.org Thrishantha

      Jayalath,

      The main point in the article is the danger of using monks to do ethno centric politics, that consolidates sakkayaditti, blocking the first entry point to the fruits of the eightfold path. When people are confused, no wonder they struggle and find no time for meditation. I am glad at least 20% are not, according to your statistics.

      • Jayalath

        To thrishantha.

        I don’t see wrong of doing politics by monks or any one else, what wrong would be doing wrong things .you may aware how the Buddhists monks took part in the history , they were our prime guides of day to day life , and I agree with you they are not now where they should be .,which is a great tragedy.

        And i see there are lot reasons for that ,, policians are always been as crooks to use the monks to increase their votes level in particular constituencies giving them assets ,, and one more thing needs to consider , some of monks come from serious poverty backgrounds and still they have family member at home lack of essential living needs , therefore they are bound to look after them as much as these monks could , like others do , where they fall in a situation against their boundaries .

        This is how it happen , but it is unacceptable . The next reason I see , the dramatically changing in the world . The world we live now is computer and amazing technology , and distinguished discoveries of science where we have given an opportunity to understand the real behaviour of all living things . As an example , if you look at why the isunami is , it can kill million of people in a few minuts , we didn’t know how Isunami happen before , we might have thought , it is a punishment of god or by any one else unknown in few decades ago , but we know now why the Isunami happens , and thats why we have now placed a warning system to take precaution before it fall land . (only one example in million)

        In such a circumstances they have realised the most things we were taught in the past in the religions are not true or real , so what they are doing now is staying on the religions for the name of religions or just because it is inherited to them like some people devided into political parties as im UNP , Im JVP .

        It seems to me there are good side and bad side , the good side is that chances of people to look into things in scientifically or in advance level , ( we have good example from Buddhist countries in the world , Korea , Japan , Thailand , Taiwan , Singapore , China , vietnam , hongkong , these countries are well developed now , not because of religion , because of they turned things to science and technology , japan is pure buddhist and now people use the religion only at the fuendrals . However i do not believe they follow the Eightfold path ) and the worst side i see is creating unwanted conflicts in the name of religions between the communities . An example , the Muslim fanatics atrocities around the world is one example , they are not suppose to murder people in this way but it happens . They claim as the name of the religion and the Buddhists are not suppose to behave the way they do , but they are .

        . How many people in the world eat none Halal meats ,our early ancestors didn’t eat Halal , but it is compulsory to modern Muslims as a part of religion. But we never heard of having a different illness or problem among the none Halal eaters than Halal eaters or even As Halal Eaters Live longer than none Halal eaters . this is how we can weigh things had been said us in the religions .

        Therefore, I Suggest we should consider about these things quite wider and rational level . Because when the circumstances change that we got to change , if one thing does not happen in certain way , we got to try it in other way and comprehend Where the problem is and where it comes from .

      • http://groundviews.org/2013/02/17/a-brief-note-on-buddhism-ethnicity-and-peace/?replytocom=51079#respond Thusitha

        Dear Thrishantha,

        ‘Ethno-centric’ is YOUR label. There is nothing wrong in principle in Buddhist monks being in politics. In fact throughout the history of Lanka Buddhist monks have taken leading roles in the political landscape of the country. Had this not been the case you and I would be reading about Buddhism as a foreign religion that had existed in Lanka very briefly.

  • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

    After reading the article and the subsequent comments, here are some of the thoughts came into my mind.

    1. The writer has elaborately described the state of Sothapanna, especially about one of its attributes; “sakkayaditti”. According to the writer,

    “Somehow, this practice takes one through few milestones. One becomes aware of the passing through these milestones because it has been well explained in the suttas. Though the outside world views these milestones as some graduation from one level to a higher, with Nirvana at the pinnacle, the one who follows the path feels the opposite – with a humbling feeling accompanied by more an more unconditioned comfort, security, fullness, freedom from compulsions, and stillness of happiness.”

    The opinion of the outside world that is justified as the Suttas claim such “milestones”, however, humble feeling of a practitioner does not proves such an existence to the outside world. Further, that feeling is subjective and I don’t think one can objectively assess his own feeling and come to conclusion about it, and therefore my view is that no any feeling is a testimony to such milestones.

    Further, one cannot be aware of passing through these just because it has been well explained in the suttas. A claim never becomes a proof. Buddha never advised anybody to accept anything even if Buddha himself said. How can any body say that anything isacceptable just because it is mentioned in suttas? This is nothing more than a circular logic, just like the statement “I accept that the God created the universe, because god himself has said so.

    2. The writer is trying to indicate that our ancient kings had the “philosophy of sandakadapahana”, he has described in details. I think undue praises do not do any good to anybody. Does the writer have any evidence to say that our kings had that knowledge? According to my knowledge that version the writer described about the sandakandapahana was only an interpretation by Senarath Paranavithan and there are many who do not agree with his opinion. Does the writer say that our ancient kings knew about the Paranavithana’s opinion several hundred years before he was born?

    3. The writer and some of the posters seem to want Buddhist minks to strictly stick to what is said in Buddhist suttas. According to the Buddha, the dhamma he has taught was similar to some leaves in a palm compared unsaid dhamma to the all leaves found in “Sinsapa forest”. So, is there anyway the writer or anybody can say that only way to practice dhamma is to stick to what is said in suttas? I think the dhamma is not limited to suttas, which is just a summary of what Buddha has preached. When the dhamma is not limited even to what the Buddha has preached how can one say that the dhamma is limited to a summary of it?

    4. It seems that the writer values the doctrine of the Buddha or the Buddhist dhamma very much. So he must value its existence a lot without diminishing it for a long time even to practice by practitioners like him. But does the writer think that practitioners he values much can protect the Buddhism from diminishing? Buddhism in India was diminished because, there was no one there to protect it, after king Chandashoka became Dharmashoka. Does the writer approve diminishing of Buddhism by all the Buddhists sticking to what is said in Suttas and become inactive in social life?

    Martin Wickramasinghe, in one of his books laughs loud at such idiotic practitioners. He mentions about an ascetic who indulged in a deep practice of meditation. This ascetic who was practicing the deep “mouna vrutha” hears the scream of the girl who was raped by a thug, but does not stand up in fear of breaking his deep meditation. Amidst the loud screams of the girl(Buddhism)who is being raped, do our spotlessly clean practitioners want to stick to their “mouna vrutha”? I don’tunderstand what they have realized though their practice.

    Thanks!

    • http://Www.iciafs.org Thrishantha

      1. Not an issue to those who practice it. It has always been a vichikichcha for those who don’t.

      2. Arts is always for interpretation. Yes, there can be many interpretations. I chose the one that makes sense to me.

      3. Depends on what the practitioner wants to achieve. If the goal is seeing the bliss of nirvana, the recommendations are clear.

      4. Lord Buddha himself predicted that Buddha sasana will diminish down depending on the strength of the vinaya of those who practice it. And once it is fully gone, another Buddha will come and preach the same thing, because one quality of Dhamma is akaliko (doesn’t change with time). This will go on and on. So how far it goes depends on those who truly pràctice it, but not on those who go to the parliament.

      I would appreciate if Martin Wickramasingha could suggest a solution to that situation. What would you do, if you were there unarmed, without a cell phone to call the police? With due respect to his ability to imagine, a meditator would do everything possible to avoid harm to the girl in the least harmful way, and take very far fetched measures to heal the society and himself.

      • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

        Dear Thrishantha;

        “Not an issue to those who practice it. It has always been a vichikichcha for those who don’t.”

        I think “vichikichcha” arisen here is justifiable. “Vichikichcha” is not always bad and undesirable, even according to Buddhism. In Kalama Sutta The Buddha praises Kalama for his vichikichcha, arisen with the various versions of the truth preached by various recluses and brahmanas. The Buddha never kept away addressing vichikichchcas(doubts) branding or indicating them as bad. Vichikichcha is the root of any question, do you say the Buddha avoided questions and are you suggesting us to accept things without clearing doubts?

        This is what Kalama inquired from the Buddha and how the Buddha praised Kalama for his vichikichchcas.

        ” “Reverend Gotama, who by yourself have understood clearly through direct knowledge, there are some monks and brahmans who visit Kesaputta. They expound, explain and glorify their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they deprecate, revile, show contempt for, and disparage. As a result we are in doubt about the teachings of all of them. Which spoke the truth and which falsehood?”

        Buddha said, “Of course, under such circumstances it is only natural to be uncertain and in doubt, Kalamas. When there are reasons for doubt, uncertainty is born.”

        (According to “What the Buddha Taught” by Verarable Valpola Rahula, the version is “Yes, Kalama, it is proper that you have doubt,that you have perplexity,for a doubt has arisen in a matter which is doubtful”.)

        Further the Buddha said’

        “Do not go by reports (repeated hearing), by legends, by traditions, by rumours, by scriptures, by surmise, conjecture and axioms, by inference and analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by specious reasoning or bias toward a notion because it has been pondered over, by another’s seeming ability, or by the thought, ‘This monk (contemplative) is our teacher.”

        However, Kalamas, when you yourselves know: “Such and such things are unskilful (bad); blameworthy; criticized by the wise; and if adopted and carried out lead to harm and ill and suffering,” you need to abandon them.”

        Dear Thrishantha;

        Do you advise the outside viewers of Buddhism to go by reports (repeated hearing), by legends, by traditions, by rumours, by scriptures, by surmise, conjecture and axioms, by inference and analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by specious reasoning or bias toward a notion because it has been pondered over, by another’s seeming ability, or by the the thought, ‘This monk (contemplative) is our teacher?

        Do you think your advice is in accordance with the teaching of the Buddha? I doubt, I think I have a “proper (doubt,perplexity, vichikichchca” about it.

        Thanks!

      • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

        “Arts is always for interpretation. Yes, there can be many interpretations. I chose the one that makes sense to me.”

        Has it been your practice to bring forth interpretations which are doubtful and full of vichikichchas in support of serious issues to reiterate them?

        Why did you bring forward such an uncertain example to reiterate a point related to Buddhism?

        Thanks!

        • Thrishantha

          I clearly noted “In fact ancient kings were wise enough to ……, because they knew that the survival of the fundamental teaching is more important than its symbolic or artistic representations.” So, what is important is Buddha’s teachings, not the artistic depictions of their interpretations. But there is no harm in arts and writing interpretations on them that makes people reflect on the teachings.

      • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

        (Please post here, not below)an advice.

        Thanks!

        Dear Thrishantha;

        “Depends on what the practitioner wants to achieve. If the goal is seeing the bliss of nirvana, the recommendations are clear.”

        What s the evidence you have to say that the practice you recommend is the way to supreme bliss of nirvana, other than just the claim? Has your practice or some others practice led somebody to achieve that goal? If not, I think Jayalath;s Panadol analogy is well fit to the practice you recommend.

        Can your practice achieve that supreme goal, or in another vein has your practice produced such a person? If not what is the good reason you can give for us to continue that practice further? If the methodology doesn’t give the intended results don’t you think that the methodology has some flaw? In such a scenario, do you think it is proper for you to advise others to give up all other practices and to stick to your methodology? On the other hand what made you come to conclusion that the other methods do not have any positive results?

        If we cannot assess the veracity of our own methodology, how can we advise others to be refrain from other practices and embrace our one? I don’t see even the presence of common sense in such an advice.

        Thanks!

        • Thrishantha

          Please continue to practice what you are comfortable with. The Eightfold path is for those who feel comfortable with it.

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Thrishantha;

            How do you ensure that what you are following is Eightfold Path?

            All those different sects in meditation in Sri Lanka claim that they are following Eightfold path?

            If you say that your path is correct, do you say the paths the others follow are wrong?

            I think the first step in Eightfold path is “Samma Ditti”, which means right view. If you are not sure about what the right view is you will never follow the eightfold path. However, from your article above it is evident you are holding wrong views (Michcha ditti)about many things, one of them being your ditti about Sanadakadapahana (moon stone). It seems you have not yet achieved the ability to think without biases, which shows your attachments to your (own)desires. Biased diitis can never become samma ditti, which proves that you are not on the eightfold path.

            The posture and just keeping silence with closed eyes are not the essence of meditation or following eightfold path. It needs more ingredients. Following eightfold path today has become a easygoing fashion. All want to achieve the zenith, but no one is there to be obedient to five percepts or to offer a flower to the Buddha statue in the village temple. They are too small goals for these fashionable mediators.I have never seen a single mediator who achieved what they are “longing for”, but have seen many who have gone insane and broken their family lives going through these fashionable meditations. In my view this is not Samma ditti, but just ignorance. The most wonderful thing is these mediators who claim to go alone the eightfold path are finding fault of the Buddhist monks. Are eightfold path followers are entitled to find fault of others, especially of monks?

            Thanks!

      • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

        Dear Thrishantha;

        “I would appreciate if Martin Wickramasingha could suggest a solution to that situation. What would you do, if you were there unarmed, without a cell phone to call the police? With due respect to his ability to imagine, a meditator would do everything possible to avoid harm to the girl in the least harmful way, and take very far fetched measures to heal the society and himself.”

        Do you think unavailability of cell phones and police is a good reason/excuse not to act wisely in a crisis situation?

        Buddha is a person who sacrificed even his life for others help them. As a rabbit he jumped into fire help a person who was in hunger.

        The sole aim of Buddhism is to get rid of “self” or “selfishness”. If we value our “self” and give our thought only to protect it in front of a grave crisis of others, and do not act to help others, I don’t think anybody would be able to get rid of self and attain the supreme bliss of nirvana. I think going forward to help others it self is a way to deplete the love for self and offering excuses not to act for others benefit is not what the Buddha taught.

        The Buddha taught us to spread “maha karunava”(great compassion) and “maithriya”(loving kindness)to all not “self” alone.

        I think we should try to get rid of “self desire” if we want at least think of achieving the supreme goal of Buddhism says and not to keep on concentrating our “self” alone giving any thought to others’ suffering. I can still hear the loud laughter of Martin Wickamasinghe on who got hold of the dhamma by its tail.

        Thanks!

        • Thrishantha

          “I can still hear the loud laughter of Martin Wickamasinghe on who got hold of the dhamma by its tail”.

          Please do enjoy that laughter if it helps.

    • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

      Dear Thrishantha;

      I think you have failed to answer the questions arisen from your views in your article.

      When you put forward a hypothesis you must be ready with enough evidence to address issues arising from it. Otherwise it is better to refrain from doing it. Otherwise you do a harm to the prevailing hypotheses related to the relevant subject matter. You must have an overall knowledge before you put forward a hypothesis. You cannot construct the Victoria dam with a single pack of cement.

      Thanks!

      • Thrishantha

        For the benefit of others who may get confused by Yapa’s questions,

        1) Buddhist practice of following the Eightfold path does not start with any hypothesis or proof of any hypothesis. It starts with a personal encounter. It can be a visit to a monastery, where one notices some difference in the monks who follow the eightfold path, it can be some experience in one’s own life, or it can be something written somewhere that makes sense to somebody. It is purely personal. Nobody can prove Buddhism, or the fruits of the eightfold path to somebody else. This is one quality of Dhamma known as “Pachchattan Veditabbo Vinyuhi – can be seen for themselves by the wise”. So, fruits of the Eightfold path are deeply felt and internalized experiences, that goes way beyond intellectual understanding.

        2) Nobody who has seen the fruits of the Eightfold path will boast or try to prove it to others, because it does not work that way. If you wish to test the validity of the eightfold path, the only way is to practice it for sometime and see for yourself whether it makes you feel better. It will automatically convince you about the end result at some point. Till then, you have to have Shradda. Lord Buddha said. Shradda is like a boat. It is needed till you cross the river, but having crossed, you leave it at the river bank.

        3) I never wrote this article to convince anybody. It was written for your wise reflection on the emptiness of Sakkayaditti.

        • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

          “Nobody who has seen the fruits of the Eightfold path will boast or try to prove it to others, because it does not work that way. If you wish to test the validity of the eightfold path, the only way is to practice it for sometime and see for yourself whether it makes you feel better. It will automatically convince you about the end result at some point. Till then, you have to have Shradda. Lord Buddha said. Shradda is like a boat. It is needed till you cross the river, but having crossed, you leave it at the river bank.”

          This is the traditional and popular jargon everybody is used to tell. Everybody in different practices claim that they got that inner feeling, but most of them do not exhibit any change in their lives towards the better side but many show some decline in their family lives and their mental health. As I have said earlier a personal feeling cannot be considered as a good way to convince somebody, and the experience works the other way around.

          I accept that what is achieved in Buddhist practice is something internal, but I do not believe that it will not show any difference to the outside world, and it makes no any outward changes in the person. All the “milestones” were visible during the Buddha’s time. A milestone completely changes a person, there is no reason why he cannot be identified by that difference. I think the internal feeling claim is an excuse to cover up their wrong practice, “the past track to nirvana”, avoiding all the social obligations due from them.

          Thanks!

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Correction……

            “I think the internal feeling claim is an excuse to cover up their wrong practice, “the past track to nirvana”, avoiding all the social obligations due from them.”

            here “the past track to nirvana” should be “the fast track to nirvana”

            Thanks!

          • http://discourssions.wordperss.com yapa

            Dear Wije;

            Will you please answer my post of 02/27/2013 • 6:20 pm as well?

            Thanks!

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Thrilakshana;

            ““Nobody who has seen the fruits of the Eightfold path will boast or try to prove it to others, because it does not work that way.”

            This is the latest excuse of the people to cover up their inability. It is obvious that they would not boast, but what is the big reason to say that they will not prove it?

            Just after the the enlightenment the Buddha himself declared to the world that news by chanting “Udana vakyas” and proved that he was enlightened. The Buddha again proved himself to the Shakyas when he first came to Kimbulwathpura, by showing them “yamamahapelahara”, to clear the doubts(vichikichcha) of proud relatives. The achievements in “Magga” by Pasvaga mahanun” was not kept a secret. Even first 60 Arahanth were sent by the Buddha for the benefit of the people only after they became Arahanth, and it is well known by everybody. It was never kept as a secret and it was openly declared that the were Arahanths. I think they would never keep it a secret and there is no reason to be so.

            Further, I don’t know you have heard of Thera Gatha and Theree Gatha and Udana vakyas of Pachcheka Buddhas. They are the Udana vakyas by the Arahants and Pachcheke Buddhas which described their mental conditions and their joy because they became enlightened.

            Once the Buddha made Anurudda Thero to vividly reveal the others that he was enlightened and he was an arahanth. But these days “barren women” say that they will not prove where they have given birth to children.

            Dear Thrilakshana; are you also telling me that you don’t want to reveal it and don’t want to prove it?

            May be you haven’t heard of people who declared enlightened, may be you were in the forest without knowing about the outside world. But one Siriwardana recently declared that he was the Maithree Buddha and there were even professors as his disciples. I have met several people who have declared themselves enlightened. All those people say that they followed the Buddhas path (invariably must be the Eightfold path). But eventually it was found that they were all nuts. How do you prove that you belong to a different category?

            Do you think you don’t need to prove it?

            Thanks!

        • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

          “Buddhist practice of following the Eightfold path does not start with any hypothesis or proof of any hypothesis.”

          The hypothesis is not about the Eightfold path, but you tried to build up a hypothesis to say that “the government is using Buddhist monks to do ethno-centric politics and shortsighted exploitation of Buddhist monks to instil a sense of insecurity, paranoia, and even hatred towards other ethnic and religious groups by politicians is taking a dangerous turn towards irreversible damage to the society” and to establish it and to suggest an alternative to say the monks’ activities should confine to forest monasteries. That was the dangerous hypothesis you were trying to establish, without a proper understanding complex social issues.

          In our past experience in the discussions in this blog clearly proved that it was the very thing the anti-Buddhists wanted to do in this country. I think there is a conspiracy to send all the Buddhists to forest monasteries to meditate and indulge in their personal matters alone taking them away from their social activities, so that others can achieve their goals easily. I think some of the “ignorant Buddhists” too have become a prey of this conspiracy.

          Thanks!

          • http://Www.iciafs.org Thrishantha

            Yapa,

            That is your hypothesis that brought Buddhism in Sri Lanka to current situation. Only time and wisdom of the practicing Buddhists that can judge who the conspirators are. In fact, Devadatta tried your approach. Luckily, the practice was very strong at that time, and Buddhism in its true sense survived. I will not argue with you on this anymore. I leave it upto the wisdom of the people who wishes to experience true Buddhist practice to decide. Personally I am very comfortable with the opportunity for the lay community to get involved in monastic life in where I live.

          • http://Www.iciafs.org Thrishantha

            For the benefit of those who do not know who Devadatta was, he was somebody who wanted to protect Buddhism from Lord Buddha. Devadatta was related to Prince Siddhartha who became Lord Buddha.

          • Wije

            Yapa seems have gasped few concepts from Suttas and claims to be an expert, He contradict himself in many places. Before answering those, let me counter this outrageous claim. Mr Yapa, you seems to argue that Monks who does not practice the Buddha’s teachings are the one who actually protect the Buddhism and if the monks were following the Sila, they are part of the anti-Buddhist conspiracy. What nonsense mister! Without Sila, you cannot even begin to understand the rest of his teachings. You can sit in front of a computer and write nonsense all day long but you wont understand a single bit of eight fold path. People have been misinterpreting the word Suddha. Suddha means not to have faith in his teaching rather is a system of acquiring knowledge, you start from the basic of Buddha’s teachings and start practicing and confirming what he has taught, this will lead to Nibbana. And all this starts with Sila and specifically 5 precepts, which you are break right here with outrageous lies!

            Conspiracy is your ignorant view! Buddhism doesnt need any protection from anyone including the so called people wearing the yellow robes, and nor from you. What you are basically saying is that Newton’s law need protection from Scientists and governments and Science students! Can an argument get stupider than that?

            And Where does it says that, Monks are suppose to engage in social activities! Monks are suppose to be dedicating their life for the search of the Dhamma leading to Niravana.

            I think it is your ignorance which is displayed in here!

            You dont need to read these long suttas to understands the basics of what Buddha is saying.. Just look at these verses from the Dhammapada:

            381
            A monk with a manifold joy, with faith in the Awakened One’s teaching, would attain the good state, the peaceful state: stilling-of-fabrications ease.

            382
            A young monk who strives in the Awakened One’s teaching, brightens the world like the moon set free from a cloud.
            I will end this with this verse from Dhammapada

            I will end my reply with this verse from Dhammapada:

            “A fool with a sense of his foolishness is — at least to that extent — wise. But a fool who thinks himself wise really deserves to be called a fool.”

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Wije;

            “Yapa seems have gasped few concepts from Suttas and claims to be an expert, He contradict himself in many places.”

            I never claimed to be an expert, still Thrishantha or you have so far failed to answer the questions I raised.

            I think the best way to answer me is to address my questions.

            No fool will argue that Monks who do not practice the Buddha’s teachings are the one who actually protect the Buddhism and if the monks were following the Sila, they are part of the anti-Buddhist conspiracy.

            Conspiracy is very clear and does not need so much to argue, think naturally without thinking in terms of what you were taught and believed without any sense.

            Do you say, if all the monks go to monasteries do you think the Buddha sasana will prevail? If so,

            1. Tell me the reasons why the Buddhism vanished from the country where it was born?

            2. Is it wrong to protest against destruction of Barmian Buddha statues?

            3. Do you think what Dutugemunu did to protect Buddhism was wrong and didn’t the Arahanth of the time approve his actions? According to your opinion is Dutugemunu is in heaven or in the hell?

            4. Why Nagasena thero went to argue with king Milinda, he could have meditated in a forest monastery instead?

            Dear friend you have confused yourself, trying to give answers to all social problems through meditation. The monks’ reaction in here is a reaction to some social problems the answer to that is not to go to monasteries. Monks are a social group in the society and the particular issue should be answered addressing the particular cause, not averting the question by going to forest. To heal the ailment you will have to treat the cause. You are asking to treat the backside for the aching in the leg.(Paya baravayata pitikara beheth bandinava). For the Buddha meditation was not the “kokatath thailaya”. He didn’t go to meditate while Puthigaththto thero was ill, but went personally to treat him. What the Buddha recommended to a king for the unrest in the society is to alleviate poverty, but did not advise him to go to a forest monastery. Buddhist doctrine is a contingency theory, you will have to act according to the situation, it didn’t recommend a “kokatath thailaya” every problem.

            The Buddha didn’t go to forest when he became ill, but got the advice of the physician Jeewaka. Going to forest was not the healer for his stomach ache. Same way the meditation is not a recommended way to heal social problems, they need social/sociological/political answers. Buddha recommended meditation to solve problems in “self”, but the monks are involved in a social problem arisen from a cause in a society. The monks are asking for a answer to that particular question, none can behave as ostriches who deny the existence of storm after hiding their heads under the sand and recommend to meditate like Nero who played his instrument while Rome was on fire.

            One should not try to reduce Buddhist Philosophy, just to a lone activity in a forest. It teaches us an active way of life to live. The ascetic in Martin Wickramasinghe’s story only didn’t go to save the girl from rapist, but the present day ascetics obstructs others too going from saving her, quoting a sermon or two from here and there without understanding the totality of that philosophy.

            I think many have taken ignorance(avijja/moha) in the name of Samma ditti. Naming “avijja”, samma ditti doesn’t make it samma ditti. Buddha expect us to be broad minded, act according to the situation (you need “sthanochutha Pragna”, not a “kokatath thailaya”) not to chant/repeat what he has said, with ignorance. Dhamma is for wise, not for imitators.

            Thanks!

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Wije;

            “You can sit in front of a computer and write nonsense all day long but you wont understand a single bit of eight fold path.”

            Have you understood it? Tell me directly are you an enlightened one? In my case I declare I am not, may be because I am writing nonsense all day long. I think you are not doing what I am doing and hence the question.

            Thanks!

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Wije;

            Can you also tell me “the Thripitaka writing project” undertaken by the monks in Dambulla during the period of king Walagamaba was a project supposed to be done by monks?

            I ask this just because you say “And Where does it says that, Monks are suppose to engage in social activities! Monks are suppose to be dedicating their life for the search of the Dhamma leading to Niravana.”

            Do you think those monks did a wrong thing, could they have dedicate their lives for the search of the Dhamma leading to Niravana, instead of undertaking that project to protect the Buddhism? You think wring Thriptitaka was a waste done by the Monks and they could have used their energies in a better way if the engaged in Sila in the forest, for the purpose of protecting Buddhism?

            Tell me which was the one served more effectively to protect Buddhism in Sri Lanka, is it the Thripitaka writing project or the act of a forest monastery monk lived in those days?

            Even “bakathapas” protect their sila, still achieve nothing.

            Thanks!

          • http://Www.iciafs.org Thrishantha

            Yapa, with metta, please try to understand two things:

            1) Please don’t think every question you ask deserves an answer. You are not going to get what you are trying to get from this discussion. However, I wrote answers not to satisfy you, but to avoid any confusions caused to others.

            2) Devadatta thought Lord Buddha was the biggest hurdle to do politics out of Buddhism. He didn’t get that while Lord Buddha was alive, even after several attempts to kill Lord Buddha. However, that political faction continued to grow after Sambuddha Parinirvna. If Devadatta called the Buddha as the biggest conspirator against Buddhism, his followers could easily blame the Arhats who did the first Dhamma Sangayana, to be the conspirators, and could do politics till Buddhism was rejected by the Indian society that had other alternatives. Obviously Hinduism was their choice partly because Hinduism absorbed many practices in Buddhism, and partly due to the confusion caused by friends like you.

            By the kind of assertions like how Martin Wickramasingha took Dhamma by its tail, you demonstrate that you are confused about Buddhism. But ironically, like Devadatta, you have a plan to protect Buddhism from the Monks who practice Dhamma. Good news is that you are not alone in Sri Lanka. The bad news is that you and those groups have contributed to lower the public confidence in seeking refuge in Buddhism to a level prevailed in India not so long ago. But luckily, a few have understood the value of taking few days out of their busy schedules to do retreats in monasteries in Sri Lanka. We are happy and satisfied with that.

            Anyway, thank you for asking questions. As I said, I answered to avoid confusion to others. Nothing is a waste. May this discussion be useful to anybody who wishes to study the current situation in Sri Lanka, or those who wishes to reflect on Buddhist practice itself.

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Sorry!

            Thripitaka was written in Matale not in Dambulla.

            Thanks!

          • http://discourssionswordperss.com yapa

            Dear Thrishantha;

            I don’t think reason for not answering my questions is not the excuses given by you but your inability to address them. Labeling somebody a Devadatta may help to satisfy yourself with a victorious feeling. But that won’t help, you couldn’t justify your hypothesis, that Buddhist should go to forest leaving all the social activities they got to address. I think it is running away from questions, not facing and addressing them.

            Yours is a failed and popular and fashionable hypothesis which you cannot justify. It is a unjustified personal opinion of yours which is “Anusothgami” in nature. Buddha didn’t preach to undertake “mentally pleasurable convenient” pathways. Buddha’s teaching is “patisothgami” and does not respect to popular demands.

            I would like to re-ask the question, what is the proof you can give with regard to your achievement in your practice others’ (not you alone) can understand?

            I have met many people who claimed they have achieved so many “palas”, but close examinations proved that they were disillusioned. What is the evidence you have to say that you are different?

            Thanks

          • Wije

            Yapa,

            Your version of Buddhism is way beyond the teaching of the Buddha! You seems to distort very basic teachings of the buddha and are very good at it.

            Thripitaka writing project you label it as a Social activity? Then discussion dhamma with Budhha is also a social activity? Doesnt make sense! And those activities wont lead to breaking any of the Silas which a monk should follow. Buddha always said to discuss and talk dhamma otherwise stay silence. So writing these Tripitaka would have expanded their knowledge and there is nothing wrong with that and I dont consider it a social activity! Social activities are they monks run around like Animals insulting others! These are the activities which will definitely harm Buddhism! Notice I used the word Buddhism!

            So let’s now go beyond the tripitaka writing project, is the worst example to take as a Social activity for monks in the past.

            Seems like you are way beyond even the Buddhism! Bakathapas is following bakathapas sila and not the sila preached by the Buddha.

            These monks get Upasaka and Upasika to follow ata sil and dasa sil. So they are doing this as a joke? Monks has more than 200 silas in the Vinaya pitakaya vs the 8 and 10. Upasaka and Upasika during the Poya acts more restrained that the Monks who as 200 silas to follow everyday. Seems like you think this is all a joke?

            You can follow any Buddhism or teaching as you wish but if you are not following what Buddha taught, then it wont lead to any Niravana or any stage described by the Buddha. It will only lead to these outragous claims which can be disproved with simple logic.

            In my view you could possibly be the one who is anti-Buddhist and anti-buddha’s teachings. To come disguise as a person verse with the Buddhism to misinfo, mislead and confuse the people who are very much at the early stage of understanding any of the buddha’s teachings.

            Or you could be that “Bhakapanditha” who knows a little from here and there and have good aarticulate mind who can come up with these nonsense. I think you should search deep down yourself to really see what your selfish goal is and I hope you find it and finds inner peace within. Sorry, I dont think you will be able to since your theory is to skip Sila and you seems to think you can find those other leaves in the forest which Buddha didnt tell us about! Good luck to you!

          • sabbe laban

            Yapa

            You say: “think what Dutugemunu did to protect Buddhism was wrong and didn’t the Arahanth of the time approve his actions? According to your opinion is Dutugemunu is in heaven or in the hell?”

            This is a very good reason to say that they are not “arhanths”, but some monks suffering from a dilusional disorder!

            Yes, I think Dutugemunu must be deep in one of the hell now, if Buddha was right!

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Saban;

            It is a pleasure hear from you after a long time.

            But this time you have jumped into hasty conclusion in a case where you have no enough reasons/evidence to conclude and also below your level of intellect.

            I posed those questions to some people who believe things in “texts” without any critical examination and bravely/assertively advise others to blindly follow them, while finding faults with the people who are engaged in complex social issues without an iota of knowledge about them.

            The subject matter in the questions are also coming from a “text” and Those questions were posed to the people who believe texts in their entirety without reservations. Those questions are not for you or me.

            I think you should not involve in matters which lie far below your level of consideration. Here is a game between a rat and a mouse, not a mouse to mouse game.

            Thanks!

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Saban;

            If you like I think there is fodder for your thought in my blog. You may argue a worth while case there.

            http://discourssions.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/can-materialists-explain-this-phenomenon-through-their-ideology-or-through-science/

            Thanks!

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa
  • Jayalath

    To thrishantha

    Please read the Tale of two countries of this site and see what people are upto . What We have to do now is keep all the sharp tools and equipment ready for tomorrow not mobilise people into the forest , this is our Legacy has been imported by reckless behaviour .

    • Thrishantha

      Jayalath,

      Did you read that article? did you notice this part? “We are twenty years on from those horrible riots that sent the country down a treacherous path because it is exactly the same scenario where toxic Anti Tamil propaganda was pumped out in the years preceding the final riots of July ’83. Lessons should be taken from history. However it is obvious as Georg Wilhelm Hegh said “what experience and history teach is this – that people and governments never have learnt anything from history or acted on principles deduced from it.” If we want to aspire to the first vision for the country (as articulated above), then the challenge for us is to actually learn from what has happened in order to have a county that respects its diversity and is united in its principles and values (that are influenced by Buddhism); otherwise we condemn future generations to the vicious cycle of hated, intolerance and violence that can only destroy the country and not unite it.”

      So, sharpening the mind is what is required, not sharpening the tools and equipment. Looks like a dangerous explosion of hatred is eminent. Please don’t do that in the name of Buddhism please.

      I am not going to debate with you anymore on this.

      • Jayalath

        It wasn’t my choice , the choices had been already given by some commentator , did you read them ? I said reckless behaviours have imported them , not me .
        Anyway , I learnt lot over your artical , thank you for that .

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Thrishantha,

    Though I understand that you wrote this article with good intentions, in my opinion you have made two grave errors.

    The first error has been pointed out by Yapa in his post of 02/25/2013 • 10:31

    The second is to lay blame at the feet of the Sinhalese without sufficient historical knowledge.

    You wrote “We are twenty years on from those horrible riots that sent the country down a treacherous path because it is exactly the same scenario where toxic Anti Tamil propaganda was pumped out in the years preceding the final riots of July ’83. Lessons should be taken from history.”

    The first Sinhala Tamil Riots were instigated by a racist Tamil politician (G.G. Ponnambalam) who incited the Sinhalese by making a racist speech in very derogatory terms at a Public Meeting in Nawalaptiya in 1939. There were no Sinhala Tamil Race Riots before that.

    However there were Tamil vs Tamil Riots long before that in 1871.

    1871 riots with Tamils fighting Tamils (first known caste/race related riot in Lanka).
    1923 Tamil Tamil cast riots.
    1929 Tamil Tamil riots (equal seating in schools).
    1931 Tamil Tamil riots (using drummers at a funeral procession by low cast people)

    The root cause of the above riots was Hinduism and its ingrained cast system that dehumanised Humanity.

    Jaffna Central College was established by the American missionaries and it’s Principal in 1847 was Peter Percival. Arumuga Navalar, a cast conscious Tamil Nationalist, was a teacher there. Mr Percival admitted a low cast Tamil child and Navalar refusing to teach a low cast resigned his post and started a school on his own where ONLY High Cast Tamils were welcome.

    You see Thrishantha, the Ruling Class of Tamils (High cast property owners) had a massive superiority complex partly due to their religion, Hinduism and partly due to their overwhelming majority position within the govt Bureaucracy.

    While the High Cast Tamils were getting easy housing Loans from Bank of Ceylon headed by Mr Loganathan (a Racist Tamil), a Low cast Tamil could not even open a Bank account at its Wellawatte Branch even with a govt pay cheque. These facts have been related by a Low cast Tamil who got himself an education under very dehumanising conditions. He states that the Teachers treated him and another Tamil boy as Human Excreta and that he had to sit in a low stool which he carried from class to class.

    The Bank of Ceylon Headed by the Tamil racist Loganathan was Bank rolling Tamil purchase of property through it’s Wellawatte (Colombo 6) branch. No wonder that Wellawatte in the midst of a Sinhala majority, became predominantly Tamil.

    This type of misuse of state power was not limited to the Bank of Ceylon.

    Mr Sebastian Rasalingam, Toronto, Canada says

    “I too moved from Jaffna to Mannar, and from there to Hatton, and finally to Colombo in the 1950s. Coming from a “low-caste”, and having married an Indian Tamil woman in Hatton, I was truly an out-caste paraiah among the Tamils. Although most Tamils could readily get a housing loan from the “Bank of Ceylon” run by Mr. Loganathan, especially at the Wellawatta branch, I found that I could not even open an account even with a government pay cheque. However, although I was an outcaste among the Tamils, I found that my Sinhalese mates invited me to have tea with them – a strange experience for a man who was always spoken to by Tamils in the curt “inga va” Tamil” (http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/06/sinhalization-of-north-and-tamilzation.html)

    You cannot look at Racial tensions, which are very complex and give simplistic answers.

    Even today, what stands in the way of racial harmony is the attempted Land Grab in the North and East in the guise of historical exclusivity. The East never had a Tamil historical exclusivity as the Kandyan Kingdom, even During Dutch occupation in the 17th Century, extended up to Elephant Pass at the upper extreme of the mainland.

    http://www.atlasofmutualheritage.nl/detail.aspx?page=dpost&lang=en&id=682#tab2

    The real problem is the inability to share Lanka’s resources on equitable terms.

    • Thrishantha

      I didn’t write “We are twenty years on from those horrible riots that sent the country down a treacherous path because it is exactly the same scenario where toxic Anti Tamil propaganda was pumped out in the years preceding the final riots of July ’83. Lessons should be taken from history.” This was written by the author of the article “Tale of two countries” Jayalath wanted me to read. I asked him if he noticed that part. Please see my full response to him. Now do we agree that we can benefit from meditation?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Thrishantha / Jayalath / Brahma,

        “Now do we agree that we can benefit from meditation?”

        There was never a disagreement about that.
        As a practising Buddhist, I know its value.

        Sorry about the misunderstanding.

        Since you were referred to the Tale of two countries by Jayalath, I believe he will respond to what I wrote. I also hope Brahma who made a comment on 02/19/2013 • 2:04 am will also respond.

        Best Regards
        OTC

  • Cas Shivas

    I am a Hindu.As a Law student I borrowed a book on Buddhism from my good friend L.A.W.Wickramasinghe-Tony (not Martin)to know about Buddhism.In the dawn of my old age I again came across a book,’Mind Unshaken- A Modern approach to Buddhism’ by John Walters.I made some notes.
    Buddha expected ordinary people to understand the Four Noble Truths and to model their lives on the eightfold path.The four noble paths being,
    1.The noble truth concerning suffering.
    2.TNTC the arising of suffering.
    3.TNTC the cessation of suffering.
    4.TNTC the way to the cessation of suffering.

    And the Eightfold Path being,
    1.Right view
    2.Right resolution
    3.Right speech
    4.Right conduct
    5.Right livelihood
    6.Right effort
    7.Right mindfulness
    8.Right concentration

    Human life and indeed all life is dominated by suffering.This suffering is caused by craving,greed,attachment or desires that are never satisfied.This suffering can only cease when craving and other appetides of infatuation are stopped or strictly controlled. And this is made possible by following what the Buddhists call the Noble eightfold path of conduct.Then will come peace and eventually a hazily defined state of being or non-being known as Nibbana.On the other hand wandering from the eightfold path and a cohabitation of attachments and cravings will lead only to rebirth with more of the intolerable suffering of existance.
    Is this then my dear experts a proper summary/understanding of ‘Buddhism’?

  • Thrishantha

    I would like to thank those who left comments under the above brief note on Buddhism, Ethnicity, and Peace. For those who wish to clarify anything about the practice of Buddhism, an online Tripitaka can be found at: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/

    On the top right hand corner of the above site, you can search for any term you need to be clarified more. Of course, if you wish to read the Pali version, it can be easily found in hard copy in any country.

    For those who are particularly concerned about what to do to sustain Buddha Sasana in any country, I recommend you to read the Maha-Parinibbana Sutta in Diga Nikaya: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html

    I quote a paragraph from Maha-Parinibbana Sutta that might shed light on some of the discussions we had above: Lord Buddha said – “The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment, that is: mindfulness, investigation into phenomena, energy, bliss, tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity. So long, bhikkhus, as these seven conditions leading to welfare endure among the bhikkhus, and the bhikkhus are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline.”

    Finally I caution everybody that even Devadatta who was utterly confused about Buddha Dhamma had a political agenda to protect Buddhism. He believed it so much that he saw Lord Buddha as the biggest obstacle to protect Buddha Sasana. He even made several futile attempts to kill Lord Buddha in the name of this so called “noble cause”. So, please take extreme care before contributing to various political causes to protect Buddhism. Sometimes, what they really want to protect is their political fort, not Buddhism. They may use Buddhism as a shield. I hope the above discussion gave some evidence for reflection. Reference to suttas, practice of the eighfold path, and insightful reflection (Vidharshana) developed through the Eightfold path – Sila (Right speech, Right conduct, Right livelihood)-Samadhi (Right effort, Right mindfulness, Right concentration)-Pragnya (Right view, Right intention)(Please see in the Suttas: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/waytoend.html ) – can help you to steer clear of dangers any attempt to help sustain the practice of Buddhism.

    Thank you again.

    • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

      In the name of Buddhism or in the name of anything else, foolishness is no different. Some religions ask people to follow their religion because it was revealed by (some unknown) god. Those religions never justify their request to follow them than telling them that its a divine revelation. Followers have to follow those religions nothing but on blind faith.

      Buddhism is not a revelation. It justifies almost all its doctrines through live examples or through reasoning. It explain all its claims and justifies them. Buddhism never leave room for anything to be taken for granted. It has its explanation to all what it says. In Buddhisms nothing is just a narration, request or a compulsion, without justifications. If something cannot be justified, I don’t think it belongs to Buddhism. Buddhism is not mysticism. A elite class belong to mystic religions, priests take undue advantages by deceiving their followers. But in Buddhism every action is justified with good reasons. There is no place in Buddhism for “blind faith”. I think that is the difference between Buddhism and most of the other religions.

      Now if somebody asks others to follow some practices in the name of Buddhism, but fails to justify that request, really he cannot be a person who have understood the core of Buddhism. He may be doing it with good intention, but good intention alone doesn’t do good, king’s friendly monkey didn’t do any good the king.

      Now these advocates who ask people to go to forest monasteries fail to

      1. justify the result they offer to the followers(fruits of their practice as they say), other than asking them to accept it with some mystic feelings they would come across.

      2. They claim the great changes taken place in a person with the achievements of four “palas” (four milestones as they say)cannot be identified. Buddhism vividly describes the differences in mental conditions of “sovan, sakurdagami, anagami and arhanth status but these people claim that these vastly different mental conditions cannot be identified from the outside by outsiders. Isn’t this a case of “emperor’s clothes”? We can easily distinguish a person in anger from a person in a joyful mood. But these people claim that the mental conditions of an Arahanth cannot be distinguished from an average person’s. To cover up their barrenness what they say is they
      (achievers) would not disclose it, for some unknown mysterious reasons. This is really a a mysterious Buddhism! Thy say Arahanths keeps secrets from their followers!!

      3. They cannot site a single example for their achievement, but still advocate to follow. I think results should not be assessed through claims but through performance, as even I can claim I achieved Buddha hood. There were many claimed to have achieved various levels of the achievement, like, Siriwardana who claimed him to be Maithree Buddha, the very famous Bikkhu who claimed he achieved Anagami and changed his name to suit it, the famous cricketer who was respected by the English speaking elites of Colombo, and many many, all these people what ultimately did to their followers? They ultimately proved that they didn’t have a clear vision or path or knowledge to guide their followers, now what has happened to their followers, now they are all dismayed. What is the guarantee that the requests of these new advocates will not lead to the same destiny or a similar destiny? Other than catastrophes mentioned as above, I don’t think the advocates can cite a single success story the people.

      I think the best idea is if you don’t know please do not persuade people, if you are not very sure about the path and the destination do not persuade people to go in that path. “Daena giyoth kKatharagama and nodaena giyoth atharamaga”. My advice to all the Buddhists is don’t run like the “cow whose tail is short” (duvannan vale keta eladenath duvanavalu). There are many people who don’t know but like to preach. They not only fall them selves but put others in to the same pit fall with ignorance. They criticize everything other than what they do with ignorance. Buddhists not only have to be careful from the well known enemies but from unknown friends as well. I think known devil is better than an unknown fairy.

      Thanks!

      • Thrishantha

        Yapa,

        I must particularly thank you for leaving comments under this article. You contributed a lot of information for the wise to reflect upon in order to stay safe.

        For those who wish to know the answers to the questions posed by Yapa’s above comment, I recommend to read the Maha Satipatthana Sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.22.0.than.html

        You will notice in that sutta, that somebody who wishes to go to point E via points A, B, C, and D, should first trust that point E exists based on wise reflection on the suttas preached by Buddha who affirmatively stated that he reached point E (Nirvana) by practicing the eightfold path. Then, one, while practicing the eightfold path should check for themselves whether they in fact pass through landmarks A, B, etc. When you experience the landmarks in the above Maha Satipatthana Sutta, you gain more and more confidence to a point that you totally get rid of any doubts (vichikichcha) about the existence of point E (Nirvana). Nobody can do that for you through debating. It has to be a personal experience.

        In conclusion, I remind the readers what I wrote at the end of the article – “Through my experience from a couple of such annual retreats in some forest monasteries in England, I can guarantee you that you will truly experience a difference in your feeling of comfort if you practice meditation with a confession of the true state of your present mind. I also urge the Government to build more forest monasteries to help people do such retreats, than using Buddhist monks to do ethno-centric politics. My feeling is that shortsighted exploitation of Buddhist monks to instil a sense of insecurity, paranoia, and even hatred towards other ethnic and religious groups by politicians is taking a dangerous turn towards irreversible damage to the society.”

        With Metta,

        Thrishantha

        • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

          Dear Thrishantha;

          “Nobody can do that for you through debating. It has to be a personal experience.”

          My question was, “nobody has done that through other means as well, why is that?

          And also many famous people ended up with delusioned minds doing what you recommended.

          What I am asking is not what is mentioned in Suttas. I and anybody can cite where such and such things are mentioned in Suttas. My questions are the practical problems arisen when practice them,

          Can you answer why those practical problems arisen and can you prescribe definite remedies to them and can you also assure the practitioners that they would not end up like Siriwardana or Siridhamma or Weththamuni, when they follow your recommended practice?

          I think it was Karl Marx said that an ounce of practical is better than a ton of theory.

          Can you solve those practical issues?

          Thanks!

          • http://Www.iciafs.org Thrishantha

            Yapa,

            I have already said what I can say with my experience. Please carefully read my article and all replies. It is useless asking what should be asked from a noble being like venerable Nagasena, from a lay person like me. If you live in Sri Lanka, please go to a monastery like Kanduboda, or Lahugala, and ask your questions. Advanced practitioners in such monasteries maybe able to help you out. The focus of my article is a far more simpler one.

            I will stop with this. Take good care of yourself.

            Thrishantha

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Thrishantha;

            “It is useless asking what should be asked from a noble being like venerable Nagasena, from a lay person like me.”

            This is a clear case that you have no the required knowledge about what you are advocating others to take part. If you don’t know do you think it is reasonable for you to recommend/advocate it to others?

            If you have no knowledge, it shows that you have no Samma ditti the first step of eightfold path. Instead of persuading others what you should do is to achieve samma ditti gaining knowledge about it before hand. Knowledge is the most essential component in Eightfold path, Samma ditti in Buddhism means “the knowledge of Four Truths”, which is not and easy thing to achieve as many think. It is the knowledge about Suffering, cause of suffering, secession of suffering and path to secession of suffering. To achieve Samma ditti one must have a fair knowledge of all of these, which is not an easy task. In Milinda Prashna, Venarable Nagasena describes with an example how difficult one to understand Four Noble Truths,giving an example how difficult even the first of them, suffering, to be understood.

            Venerable thero gives an example of some people suffering in hell for innumerable period of time in the flames of the hell. The thero says that if those people are taken out from those flames for a while and ask them “You have been suffering in these flames for thousands of years, I can end your suffering if you want, if you like I can kill you then you will not be in this world any more and your suffering in the flames would be over. Shall I do it to you? It is said that the those “convicts” of the hell started appeal not to kill them.

            In his example Venerable Nagasena shows how difficult a person to understand life is suffering. Even the the people living perpetually living in flames do not think that life is suffering. Even those people cannot understand life is suffering. So, how can I believe that a person who cannot answer has a fair knowledge of Four Noble Truths, and to have Samma Ditti?

            I think many people don’t know that they don’t know. Who is prepared to to take their advice? I think hunters (veddhas) know dhamma better, but they never trouble others to follow them. I think Veddhas are some civilized people.

            Thanks!

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Thrishantha;

            “I also urge the Government to build more forest monasteries to help people do such retreats, than using Buddhist monks to do ethno-centric politics. My feeling is that shortsighted exploitation of Buddhist monks to instil a sense of insecurity, paranoia, and even hatred towards other ethnic and religious groups by politicians is taking a dangerous turn towards irreversible damage to the society.”

            Do you think Buddhist monks are engaged in those activities you are critical of without valid reasons? I think you are critical of them on that preconditioned prejudice. If you are ready,I can show you that recent actions of Buddhist monks are justifiable, they have foreseen a future danger looming over them and the nation, may be by intuition. But many bookworms/imitators who have killed their intuition through vain education cannot understand things as they are used to look through the dark glasses of traditional/conventional thinking.

            I think monks actions have good reason they have understood though intuition and future insecure feeling. They have sensed a future danger, that danger is looming over our nation. If the correction measures are not taken immediately another catastrophe for the nation is inevitable. In such a scenario you will not be safe to be in peace even in a monastery in the forest.

            You blame them only with ignorance.

            Thanks!

      • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

        Dear Thrishantha;

        When king Milinda asked a few hundred questions from Venarable Nagasena, he didn’t cite a Sutta and ask the king to read it, but he himself described, explained the answers giving his own examples.

        Surely no specific answers for my questions are mentioned in Suttas as Suttas were written prior to my questions. I think if you have a good understanding you must be able to answer the question with your own examples and elaborations. That is the only way to provide specific answers to the questions.

        I think you better take my questions one by one and answer them separately and specifically. Those who have vichikichchas like me would benefit from your answers. Be another Nagasena in Buddhasasana. (Do you also think that king Milinda another Devadatta, as he has raised more serious questions than me?)

        Thanks!

        • Wije

          Thrishantha,

          No point in replying and arguing with Yapa! The Dhamma is not up for arguments! It cannot be explained nor taught with arguments. That person must be truly dedicate their life to in search of the Nibbana for that he must follow the teaching of the Buddha as it was told! It is like if you want to calculate the force using the Newton’s law, we cannot be applying other equations or change it to different variable or operators because we have a feeling that it is different. We must follow the equation then we get the result. It is the same with the Dhamma which is the teaching and words of the Buddha and it will be the only source for it.

          What Yapa is following is his path, which will lead to nothing and probably take few other people with him in a journey which will never lead to Nirvana nor any real understanding.

          It is simply how the world works! It is a world full of Avidy?!

          Is it also this which leads to these arguments! :-)

          • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

            Dear Wije;

            Dhamma is not for arguments, Ha! Ha!!, then is it for blind belief?

            You must have heard of “amulika Shradda” and “akarawathie shradda” in Buddhism, I suppose.

            The Buddha never advocated for “amulika Shradda”(blind faith) but advised to takes things in justified faith (akarawathie shradda).

            The Buddha has vividly described the eightfold path and if somebody is knowledgeable of it there won’t be any questions left that cannot be answered in it. But you advocate it and cannot answer them, which shows that you have no knowledge of it, though you can repeat the term by heart.

            If you like and want to know about it I can explain it to you and to Thrishantha. Eightfold path is not what you are trying to mould. There is no place in eightfold path take in blind belief and there is hardly nothing that cannot be explained through arguments.

            Its your inability, not the inability of the dhamma to answer questions, many of the things in dhamma can be explained through arguments. Please do not induce your inability on dhamma. It is an insult and contempt to dhamma.

            The main problem in Sri Lanka about Buddhism is that incapable people thinking that they know the dhamma and their desire to own it and preach it to others.

            Please leave the dhamma alone and do some business you are capable of.

            Thanks!

  • Thrishantha

    Yapa,

    Please go ahead and write your experience about the eightfold path. Before you begin, I have to caution the readers.

    1) In Buddhism, critical reflection plays the most central role. However, it is different from a debate in the parliament. It is through gradual development of a critical mental tool called “Vidharshana” through meditation (please refer Maha Satipatthana Sutta for details). Through my experience, Even as a beginner, I can say from my experience that it requires diligent effort to cultivate the four Brahma viharas – metta, karuna, muditha, upekka – that in turn gives the bedrock to cultivate the rest. It is not a linear path, but one that involves many subtle concurrencies of sila, samdhi, prangnya.
    2) Due to this subtleness of causes and conditions leading to the development of Vidharshana, Lord Buddha recommended people to go to a silent place free from social disturbances to start the practice. Due to some reason, Yapa discourages people to go to the forest monasteries as Lord Buddha recommended, and he identifies those who encourage that way of practicing the eightfold path as conspirators against Buddhism. So, I suspect he likes the approach of starting the practice of the eightfold path from going to the parliament on promises like “we will put a full-stop to drinking alcohol, we will save Sinhala-Buddhists from threats from other religions….etc”, that sometimes leads to the urge to hurt people of other religions, to the urge to associate Buddhism with ethnicity, and the urge to take law to one’s hands, etc.
    3) With the unconditioned critical mind known as Vidharshana, one then reflects upon the true nature of things. This is how one sees the Dhamma, or the way things are in the nature. That in turn provides conditions to further sharpen Vidharshana, that in turn helps to ask sharper and radical questions. This goes on as a wheel gathering momentum – thus the reason as to why it is called a Dharma Chakra (wheel). Vidharshana emboldens one to ask questions like “oh, what is this thing called ethnicity, how solid is that?”, “how solid is this thing called I? if the mind can develop anger against something, and that something and the feeling of the existence of an I can reside in the same mind, how absolute and real is that notion called I?”, “Oh, look at what kind of visualizations are there in the mind when such and such feelings are present. Does that mean, things arise together and one cannot survive without the illusion of the other?”…Starting from such gross questions, one may continue to ask more sharper and subtle questions that might look odd to a normal restless mind. Therefore, the mind that sees the Dhamma through deep criticality of Vidharshana is different from a debating mind in the parliament where people argue while hiding things (conditioned mind). Vidharshana is a more unconditioned way of asking questions that can sometimes shake one’s own foundations of social conditioning. Very often, the answers that come up as a result of questioning through Vidharshana are very counter-intuitive to the restless mind. Very often, a realization is limited to a mere “oh, that was always like that. I didn’t discover anything new”…

    So, this is my experience with the eightfold path as a novice. The direct result of improved sense of comfort is what motivates me to take a break from work to go to the monastery. The time spent at the monastery further helps me to be succeful at work, to be kind at people who work for me, and to build good harmony among a team of people who come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. I don’t see how this can be done by laughing at meditators in a forest, by laughing at those lay people who take a break from their busy schedules to spend a retreat in a forest monastery, and by calling those who encourage such retreats as Conspirators against Buddhism.

    So, Yapa, please go ahead with your version of practicing the eightfold path. Again, I leave it to the wisdom of readers. I hope I did my duty by cautioning.

    • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

      Dear Thrishantha;

      Why don’t you use that “critical tool” for other issues as well, for issues such as the involvement of the monks in social activities? Do you think that “critical tool” is inappropriate for issues?

      Thanks!

    • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

      Dear Thrishantha;

      Why didn’t you use that critical too to know the truth about the “Sandakandapahana”, rather than choosing the one that makes sense to you, which is really not more than just an opinion of a person?

      Are your critical mind and the development you achieved through your practice limited to the activities in forest monasteries? Didn’t you achieve any competencies which can be used outside that domain? (Or you don’t like others to know your achievements, and that is why you don’t use them in other instances like in the case of Sandakadapahana, as milestone achievers don’t like to disclose them as you had said earlier?)

      Thanks!

  • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

    Dear Thrishantha;

    A school girl who went to rescue a drowning boy “without a cell phone or police”.

    http://yhoo.it/YJdawN

    What would you do if you were meditating in a place, near to the incident took place?

    Thanks!

  • http://discourssions.wordpress.com yapa

    Once Buddhism accepts that it has no element of verifiability, it will mark the end of that great philosophy. It will lose its distinction from other religions and it will become another faith.

    I think Thrishantha and others like him want that to happen to Buddhism!

    Thanks!