Image via Newston
Last time I am writing opened letter. Peoples are reading it and telling me, The Silva, you are writing very intelligent things in support of Our Majesty and his country. We are proud of you. Even His Majesty is sending text message early in the morning saying well done! It is true that my neighbour and his neighbour are also getting same text message even if they are not doing anything like I am doing. And to be telling the truth, I am very suspicious that the whole neighbourhood is getting similar message because Our Majesty is in the habits of getting up in the mornings and playing with his phone and our numbers. But I am proud to be thinking the message is for myself only. As my wife is always reminding me, in Our Majesty’s country we are entitled to be misled. Therefore and because of this, this time I am writing article, hoping I will get more textual contacting from the palace.
The article is about two things that are very important for Our Majesty’s country: the Buddhism and the Tourism. In the month of the Wesak in Particular, it is important to be talking about the Buddhism. However, please be notified that in the Sri Lanka when we are talking about the Buddhism it is not just one religion we are talking about. There are at least three different kinds of Buddhisms in Sri Lanka all living under the one and same roof. Firstly there is the Buddhism of the Buddha himself. This is the good and pure Buddhism coming straight from the Buddha’s own mouth. But it is having one big problem. It is very difficult to be following, mainly because of the mettha part. How to be practising the mettha when what is worth half the salary today is worth double the salary tomorrow? How to show mettha when the school is asking for donation every month to give the child the free education? Even showing the mettha occasionally is sometimes getting you into trouble. Once I am showing the mettha to Muditha at work and my wife is finding out and storming into the office demanding an end to mettha and Muditha both. I am thinking this kind of Buddhism is good only for some people. Like the Buddha. Not for us.
The second kind of Buddhism is the Sinhala Buddhism. Here is also there is metta but much easier to be practising because it is only for the Sinhalese peoples. If you are having problem you can always say it is because of some peoples other than the Sinhalese and get nasty and bitter towards them. Other ethnic peoples can not be having mettha from the Sinhalese Buddhists. Only mercy, and that is also if they are asking nicely and properly, like by going down on their two knees.
There is also third kind of Buddhism. This is the Buddhism preached by the most venerable and completely holy Gnansara or the Ganansara Buddhism or simply the GB. This is very easy Buddhism to be following. Whatever the most pious Ganansara is saying or doing is immediately becoming the GB. Drinking and driving, driving and drinking, threatening the Islamic’s head with the ipad, threatening the ipad with the Islamics head, everything is acceptable if the most honourable Ganasara is doing it. And there is absolutely no difficulty with practising the mettha because there is no mettha in the GB. Not even to the Sinhala peoples. And only few words also, mostly, holy words like paraya, para balla, ado, moosalaya. It is so very much different to the other Buddhisms that when the GB peoples and other Buddhist peoples are talking it is like having the interfaith discussion. And usually the GB is having only one word for the other faiths including other Buddhisms: katawahapiya! All this is making the GB the easiest Buddhism to be following. It is also the healthiest because not following it can be very harmful to the health also. Therefore it is now very fastly and furiously becoming our main religion, going past even the Sinhala Buddhism.
That is about the Buddhisms. There is not only Buddhisms in Sri Lanka but tourisms also. In Sri Lanka tourism is not religion but very fast becoming like one. In many parts of the country hotels and roads are coming up fast, like temples to the new religion. Big casino-like temple also coming up in the Colombo side. This is because our Majesty’s government is very correctly assuming that after his Majesty’s conquest of Sri Lanka the only way to be making the money is to be selling the country to the foreigner. But we cannot be thinking of developing the tourism without thinking of the Buddhism. Why, you are asking? This is because the Buddhism and the tourism are very closely and happily interconnected and related also. First of all, let us be thinking, how is the Buddhism coming to Sri Lanka? The most holy and completely venerable Mahinda is bringing it. Who is Mahinda? Tourist. From the Indian side. Not only the Mahinda but his equally venerable and totally enlightened Sangamitta who is bringing the sapling of the holy tree is also tourist from the Indian side. After all, is the Budhha also not from India? The very first Indian tourist and the first to be visiting the Adam’s peak to be putting the foot down strongly and firmly for all of us to be going and wondering how on earth someone can be coming and doing that all those many centuries ago. This is very simple to be understanding: that the tourism and Buddhism are closely and firmly connected and bound together also. This is not all. Today, so many years after the Buddha and Mahinda and sister touring the Lanka many more tourists are visiting the country – and many are still coming from the Indian side – because and only because of the Buddhism, to see the broken temples and take picture next to the Buddha’s statue.
Therefore and because of this it is very important to be promoting the Buddhist tourism. Who is knowing, some other touris maybe coming soon with something to be replacing the GB – with the permission of the most worthy Gnansara of course. However, because our main Buddhism these days is the GB we must be very careful and cautious also because some tourists are nowadays coming inside the country with things on their bodies which are unnecessary and totally offensive to the Buddhism of most enlightened Gnanasara. Like tattoos for example. As we are all knowing, recently very white lady from imperialist country coming to the Lanka with tattoo of the Buddha on her arm. This is completely against the GB because the highly educated and informed Gnansara has not said anything in support of this tattoo and is not calling the paraya anybody who is against it. This is why we are capturing, imprisoning and then the kicking out the imperial woman who is then making the very offensive remark that she is never returning to this holy land. Good riddance of bad tattoo!
And if somebody is saying the tattoo is not against the Buddha’s own Buddhism let me be explaining this, while the GB peoples are looking for these fools to be giving them the Katawahapiya treatment. What is the essence of the Buddha’s Buddhism? Impermanence. What is tattoo? Permanent ink! So having the tattoo of the Buddha himself is like giving the Buddha the slap in the face saying I am making your own image permanent! So I am also saying to these fools who are complaining: katawahapiya!
However, every bad thing is not always so bad. Some peoples are saying every dark cloud is having the silver lining also. Through the dark and nasty cloud of the Prabhakaran our Majesty is coming, piercing the darkness like lightning and falling on us like the clap of the thunder. Like that, there can be something good in the tattoo thing also. Why? As we are knowing there are many different types of tourisms. There is the eco tourism where the tourists are going deep into the jungle to look at the animals and the foliage not minding getting sucked by the leech and bitten by the reptile. There is the cultural tourism where the tourists are going to the ancient city and taking pictures of the broken temple and overturned statue. Now there is also the war tourism with lots of people visiting the North to be taking the photograph in front of the bulldozer the Hasalaka Weeraya is stopping with his bare hands. So why not be introducing new kind of tourism called the tattoo tourism? What is tattoo tourism you are asking? Let me be telling you.
Instead of banning the Buddha tattoo, we can be encouraging the imperial men and women to be coming to Sri Lanka with their Buddha tattoos so that they can be having the unique experience of becoming arrested and put in Sri Lankan jail and then touched up and down by security apparatus people before finally released in to the freedom of their own countries. If tourists are paying good money to be bled by the leech and bitten by snake in the jungle, if they can be paying good dollar and pound to be having the adrenalin rushing into all corners of their bodies by climbing the mountain and rafting in the white water why not be paying for having the thrill of getting captured with tattoo and put in prison for a night or two? Any other country giving this experience? I am not thinking so. They can all be going back and telling their peoples what a hair raising experience they are having, spending the daytime in the Sri Lankan court and the night time in the Sri Lankan prison. We can be building up whole new industry around this new tattoo tourism. All kinds of new jobs and positions also: tattoo police, tattoo catchers, tattoo judges. Even Ministry of the Tattoo. We can even be having tattoo parlour at the airport itself to be promoting the new tourism, asking the tourist to be getting Buddha tattoo in unwanted place and then be captured after they are leaving the airport. The tourist can even be selecting the kind of tattoo they are wanting: sleeping Buddha or standing Buddha, sitting Buddha or walking Buddha. And also the place for the Tattoo: on the arm, up the leg, down the throat, around the waist, frontside or backside, upside or downside.
In this manner, we are keeping the Buddhism and tattoos under the control while making the money also. However, we must be remembering that some tourists are allowed into the country without any tattoo control. Like the young Packer. The James can be coming inside the country covered from the hair tips to the toe tips with the Buddha tattoo and he is to be allowed to go anywhere anytime. One Packer covered with half the dozen Buddha tattoos is worth more than a million other tattoo tourists because as everybody is knowing, it is not the tattoo on the man that is important but the man with the tattoo.
Sadhu, sadhu and also sadhu!