Today – 23 November - millions all over the world celebrate the birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. To me Sri Sathya Sai Baba is God. It is my sovereign right to express this belief.
A knowledgeable Sinhalese wrote in relation to discussions on the 2015 Presidential Elections:
[In time to come, or perhaps already, even Prabhakaran may be identified as an Avatar of Skandha by some zealots]
After some discussions a politically driven member of that group declared:
[Velupillai Pirapaharan is "God" for the present generation of Sri Lankan-born Tamils living the world over]
To this I responded as follows:
[This is not true. My family and I are part of the group you describe as – “present generation of Sri Lankan-born Tamils living the world over”. There is not even one member of our family to whom VP is god. To majority Sai Baba is God. In fact when the two ethnicities meet to celebrate the life of Sai Baba – there is higher commonness. To me this is yet another avenue through which we would continue to become Common. But those who are looking for separations would fail to recognize and value this path. It is no coincidence that I am saying this on Swami Sai Baba’s birthday. ]
These manifestations in a home environment confirmed to me also the limitations that exist for Sri Lankan Buddhists to express themselves as political leaders. Buddha renounced political loyalty and became spiritual royalty. To my knowledge in the mind of Sri Lankan Buddhists there is no Avatar – like Hindu Rama or Krishna - to follow. The more Hindu inclusiveness Buddhists demonstrate – the more common they would become – not through the Political path but through the religious path.
The latest developments in Sri Lankan Politics – have manifested a ‘Common Candidate’ to stand against President Rajapaksa who is the closest form of Political avatar Sinhala Buddhists have. Mr. Rajapaksa achieved for current generation Buddhist Sinhalese – a combination of political and military leadership that no other Sinhalese leader achieved since independence from the British. Mr. Rajapaksa has also earned the respect of Hindus through his open and humble participation in Hindu ceremonies. Between the common candidate Mr. Maithripala Sirisena and Mr. Rajapaksa – Mr. Rajapaksa demonstrates greater commonness with Hindus than does Mr. Sirisena. Those of us who do not have majority power need to be driven by these natural powers developed through other angles of governance.
Like laws – Avatars regulate our conduct. They are the lords of the subjective path. If therefore Gautama Buddha is the Avatar followed by Sri Lankan Buddhists – then there is no direct blessing from Buddha in political governance. Yet Buddhism has been brought in as part of the Administrative responsibilities of the Sri Lankan government. The Common Candidate has promised the dilution of the powers of the Executive Presidency. That would indeed be very sad including for Tamils – for that would be to dilute the powers of the Avatar available to Buddhists of Sri Lanka. A weak opposition would weaken the Tamils also.
To remove that Political form of an Avatar would be to deprive Buddhists of a path through which to express their political leadership – especially against groups such as the JVP and the LTTE. Tamils – through TNA – have worked out that Commonness between ITAK (Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi) which followed along Gandhi’s path of non-violent non-cooperation on the one hand and LTTE military action on the other. The LTTE at best is the parallel of Prince Bhima within the good side of Mahabharatha war. Lord Krishna did not give us the Hindu Bible – Bhagawath Geetha – through Bhima but through Arjuna – who had the right combination of belief in leadership, focus and courage – the Common Candidate. LTTE needed ITAK to represent the whole of the Tamil Community.
Likewise, MR produced that combined leadership for the Sinhalese. In my article ‘Elections – what they mean to me’ at http://austms.blogspot.com.au/, I state: ‘The combination of political and administrative powers in the Natural Basket were not high enough to defeat Mr. Howard in 2004 – not only due to the same political opposition at the local electorate as it was in 2001 - but also due to Mr. Mark Latham being a weak opposition in Administration. Mr. Mark Latham was highly emotionally driven which weakens administration. The manifestation of Truth would be such that it must satisfy investors in Truth from all angles.’
The parallel of Mr. Mark Latham in the current Sri Lankan Political leadership is Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. To me it is no coincidence that the Avatar discussion happened under the heading ‘Presidential Elections 2015’.
Australians as a whole have been able to uphold the value of Transparency in electing leaders and hence we the common citizens are able to complete our experiences by working out the ‘gap’ between human effort and completion. To me that is the Spiritual gap. To those without belief it would be ‘coincidence gap’. Australians as a whole are Spiritual due to facilitating this for the individual citizens – including migrants. Now it is Sri Lanka’s turn to demonstrate that Spirituality – through Transparency – so that the deeper investors could complete the experience of self-governance. My vote is for Mr. Rajapaksa – so whatever happens – he would enjoy the value he added to Sri Lankan governance. That would be real value underpinning Sri Lanka’s development.
Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 23 November 2014