11 November 2021
to be Common
How does one know whether one’s contribution has made reached
the destination? When someone responds and / or someone in charge by effect
confirms it. The Daily Mirror report headed ‘Task Force for One Country,
One Law; new members included, references amended’ confirmed the latter in relation
to my contribution to Oppose to make it Common. Three Tamils have been added to
My article headed ‘BUDDHIST UNIVERSITY - OTHER SIDE OF
UNIVERSITY OF JAFFNA?’ brought an
opposing response from a Buddhist Engineer (BE) to which I responded:
BE: The Elara Dutugamunu war was not for
Gaja: Then you agree
that Elara was part of the land that we now call Sri Lanka.
BE: As I heard Elara is an extremely
religious person. He even killed his own Son because he killed an
innocent baby cow.
Gaja: As per my inherited wisdom
Ellalan was a Just King who had the One law of Dharma including for animals.
BE: Elara believed Jaina Religion. He
wanted to spread that religion in Sri Lanka overlapping Buddhism
which follows a middle path. . Dutugamunu launched a war
to stop that spiritual invasion with permission of Buddhist Maha Vihara in
India. There were even major level officer of the Dutugamaunu Army who got
ordained as a Buddhist Monk after the war]
Gaja: Ellalan is part
of my Sri Lankan ancestry. If it is true that he was of Jain religion – I take
that that is part of your ancestry. But as a just king Ellalan would have had
the belief not to interfere with others’ belief of a different form. Hence if
your account is true – then it was Dutugamunu who tried to grab the position
that Ellalan held and used the religious pathway - as the current
government is also doing. The name Dutta confirms that Dutugamunu did not respect his
ancestry. It is also noteworthy that he did not get to complete Ruwanwelisaya –
the Buddhist monument after the war. To my mind the Truth of Buddha would have
prevented him because – the weapon to defeat Ellalan came not from Buddha but
Lord Muruga of Kathirgamam who is a war Lord. As you can see in
Thileepan’s case – by surrendering at Nallur Murugan – he is now a hero amongst
LTTE supporters. Not so Prabhakaran who did not surrender to Murugan.
Prabhakaran worshipped Marxism. His god would be in that form.
BE: However LTTE wanted to grab lands and
establish a separate kingdom to be used as a base to invade South India.]
Gaja: If you think so
and it is based on your belief – then you are my opposition. Prabhakaran wanted
to fight and he got the opportunity to fight. Given that he and I have more in
common than he and you – I conclude that your expression – if belief based – is
about your own side – Buddhists. Otherwise you are trying to ‘grab’ my mind –
which is far worse than land grabbing.
Further response was received as follows:
BE: I am sorry if I disturbed your
mind. What I tried to express was a possibility, only according to my
vision. It could be wrong. I also attached a Technical Paper about the Vision I
assumed as Buddhist in managing our land rights. Critical comments are
appreciated. I believe that my response below would address some problem areas
highlighted by Easwaran Rutnam published by Daily Mirror under the heading -- “Attacks on Muslims
were part of a conspiracy” - Dilantha Withanage (Former BBS CEO) -
My conversation with the Buddhist Engineer continued as follows:
BE: How to define a middle path in relation to economic
development is a research need. Conventional Middle path is a person specific
point of view and therefore the middle varies from person to person, from
nation to nation and even politically within a nation.
Gaja: Agree. It is like the personal
god in a person or group. In a person we refer to this as our conscience
BE: However the middle path meant in Buddhism for
development is universal and common to all the living beings.
Gaja: Disagree. The middle path
professes moderation in enjoying pleasure as well as pain. This eventually
leads to Absolute Nirvana. As an engineer you would appreciate that reaching
the absolute infinity happens more quickly through the exponential pathway,
than the simple multiplication which is faster than addition. Hence when you act
as per your own personal conscience, you have still mind. But most of us live
in groups – as families, communities and nations. To live as per the group’s
common conscience is not easy. Say in a Buddhist family it is difficult for all
to follow Buddhism that the head of family demonstrates. But where belief as a
family is strong that belief structures the family as per each one’s needs.
Likewise in a nation. As per article 9 of the Sri Lankan Constitution, it is
the responsibility of the government to use Buddha Sasana . This means only
Buddhists can be in government. This means that non-Buddhists are natural
Opposition of the government. Hence the victories in politics whereby Tamils
became leading opposition in 1977 and in 2015. The 1977 manifestation upheld
that right to be equal by a non-Buddhist group. The 2015 manifestation confirmed
the Sovereign powers of Tamils who stopped reacting to the 2009 pain. They took
the middle path which was facilitated by the Sirisena-Wickremasinghe coalition.
JVP uprising was a threat to
Buddhism. This possibly contributed to Buddhism foremost being specially
mentioned . But it also confirmed relativity instead of absolute value of
belief. It separated communities on religious basis which is effectively
recognising each religious group as a sovereign entity. It required also for
all secular laws to be tested through all religions to ensure that they did not
contradict each other.
That would have meant accelerated travel
to realising Peace as a nation.
BE: Though the
Buddhist middle path is conventionally explained in relation to spiritual
development, material development focusing physical health is also stressed as
a necessary pre-requisite for spiritual achievements. In order to understand
this universally common middle path applicable to both spiritual and material
development, design features of projects already implemented by the planners
equipped with Buddhist Vision in its right spirit, could be used as an
Gaja:Only the path of Truth is Universally
common. Through sustained belief – common path is promoted. But to be Universally
common - there can be no time or place
based particularities. A Sri Lankan Buddhist’s path is different to that of
Tibetan Buddhist’s pathway due to their diverse experiences.