Monday 22 August 2016

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
22 August   2016

The Car of Juggernaut, as depicted in the 
1851 Illustrated London Reading Book

Response to Theravada Buddhism only came at Thirupathi from Hindu Vishnu

On 19 August I published under the subject heading ‘Sri Lankan President promises Separation!’ my analysis of the following:

[President Maithripala Sirisena says that the Theravada Buddhism is the only religion to heal the restless minds of the people who are living in this stressful contemporary society.]

Today I received the return confirmation that the Sri Lankan President was disciplined at Thirupathi Hindu Temple:

[Driver keeps Lanka President waiting as guards grow tense]
TIRUPATI: A major security lapse came to the fore during the visit of Sri Lanka  president Maithripala Sirisena to Tirumala on Sunday. He was forced to wait  for 12 minutes for his car after a darshan atop the Tirumala hill, giving  jitters to the staff of the Tiruumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD),  especially the security.  An inquiry has been ordered into the lapse.    SiriSena reached Tirumala late on Saturday night for a two-day pilgrimage. 
Upon arrival, the Sri Lanka president was received by TTD chairman  Chadalwada Krishnamurthy, executive officer (EO) Sambasiva Rao, Tirupati  joint EO Pola Bhaskar and other officials. He made a night halt at the Sri  Padmavathi guesthouse and arrangements were made for a visit to the temple  of Venkateshwara at Tirumala early Sunday morning.   
At 3 am Sunday, the president along with his wife Jayanthi Pushpa Kumari  Sirisena, son Daham Tharaka and other family members attended the Suprabhata  Seva. When they came out of the sanctum sanctorium, the driver of their car  was not in the seat.   
Sirisena and his wife waited for about 12 minutes inside the car as his  security stood guard around it. Even as TTD staffers scurried around, the  driver coolly returned from his own darshan of the deity. Immediately,  Sirisena was driven at speed to the guest house

The above reminded me of my own experience in Colombo – at the Hare Krishna Temple in 2004. I had just arrived for the 25th year anniversary celebration of Air Lanka and was staying at Galadari Hotel at Galle Face. I then heard the sweet music of chanting by Hare Krishna devotees. I quickly went out of the hotel and took a tuck-tuck to the Hare Krishna temple in the suburb of Pettah, I joined those who were waiting for the chariot to arrive. The celebrations were for Lord Vishnu as Lord Jaganath – the Lord of the Globe – without a beginning; without an end.  How I got even with the ‘us only’ women – who upset me is in Appendix. It happened through my faith in Lord Vishnu.

This article is significant due to its timing. I wrote the response and went back to Australia. There my struggle to free myself of the white-only mindset resulted in me being arrested and sent to Prince of Wales Hospital where I was formerly Revenue Manager – for assessment for mental fitness. I doubt that the Judge would have resorted to this had the lady educated herself about my real performance which was not shown through my status allocated by the Administrators University of New South Wales.  But the Lord knew. The hospital which was ‘home’ to me due to my investment beyond my position duty. The confirmation that I was examined on the same day this article was published is in the following excerpt:

Mrs. Paramasivam is a 55 year old lady originally from Sri Lanka and currently resident in Coogee. She has been resident in Australia since 1985.

She states she was previously employed as an accountant with the University of New South Walesuntil 1998. Following a disagreement with her employers she resigned, although she subsequently returned on a casual basis. She feels that she was dismissed on racial grounds and that her former employers should be jailed. (instead of her). She has appealed her case to a number of organizations but has not been reinstated.

She has not worked with this organization since 1998, she states, (Gaja’s note: I did not because I did do consulting work thereafter – but Dr. O’Neil was speaking to someone on the phone and hence wrote his own imagined version) but nonetheless states she writes to her former employers on a daily basis for the past seven years to advise them on policy matters. She feels the Police, University and Judiciary are colluding against her. She states that eventually the truth will be revealed and likens her predicament to that of Mahatma Gandhi. (Gaja’s note: Dr. O’Neil asked me specifically whether I thought I was reincarnation of Gandhi and I said ‘NO – but I identify with some of Gandhi’s work’).

She denies any previous contact with psychiatric services other than a recent assessment at Prince of Wales Hospital (1/11/2004) in which no evidence of mental illness was discovered. She denies any history of self harm.

At interview today, Ms Paramasivam was courteous, pleasant and appropriate. She was neatly dressed. She denied depressed mood and there were no biological correlates of affective disorder.

Speech was normal in rate and volume. She described a number of unusual religious experiences in recent years.

She described a number of “visions” of a Hindu deity, Sai Baba. He has appeared to her in the sky. “He had an orange glow and He showed me the gap in His teeth”. She states that red dust miraculously appeared on the hand of an image of Sai Baba in a picture in her house in 1998. She states that as recently as yesterday she saw Sai Baba and that He spoke to her calling her “daughter”. She states she was able to touch His Feet.

There was no evidence of formal thought disorder or cognitive impairment. She feels strongly that she must continue her current course of action in the name of a “higher truth” and that her religious experiences are not unusual. (Gaja’s note: They are not unusual  to millions of Hindus or even to Christians who celebrate Easter).

She denies any thought of harming herself or others, in particular University staff members.

Based on my interview with Mrs. Paramasivam and perusal of a lengthy letter addressed to the Registrar and Prosecutor of Waverley Local Court dated 18-11-2004, I believe it likely that Mrs. Paramasivam meets criteria as a mentally ill person within the meaning of the Mental Health Act. She describes a range of beliefs meeting the definition of delusions and hallucinatory experiences.


For non custodial disposition:
·                     That Mrs. Paramasivam be transferred for assessment and possible admission under Section 33(1)(a) of the Mental Health (Criminal Procedures) Act 1990

For custodial disposition
·                     She will be referred to the prison mental health services.

Dr. Conor O’Neil MB DPM MRCPsy
Senior Registrar in Forensic Psychiatry
Statewide Community and Court Liaison Service

To me it was no coincidence that this article was published on the say day when the mental health specialist at Prince of Wales declared that I was following in the footsteps of Gandhi. That confirmed the way our real karma comes to support and protect us through our own minds.

All those to whom Australia was not ‘home’ failed to identify with me and hence used the weapon available to them to downgrade me.   Likewise – those who fail to identify with Tamils like myself as being natural leaders of Sri Lanka – would use weapons available to them to demote the Tamils to disadvantage them. But the Lord knows and hence the warning at Thirupathi – where like the driver I also prayed as a lay devotee – taking my order in the long queue. It was an opportunity to accumulate credits in the real world.

The relevance of Ahimsa - a rejoinder
I read with interest, the excerpts from the keynote address by Justice C. G. Weeramantry, former Vice President of the International Court of Justice, when he spoke about the Relevance of Ahimsa on World Peace Day. You captured this in the Daily News on 04 October - two days after Gandhi's birthday.
Justice Weeramantry says 'We cannot lose sight of the fact that one of the richest parts of the intellectual and cultural inheritance of all humanity consists of the great and sublime teachings of all the religions and we have no right to deprive our children of a perspective of religions other than their own'.
Following elders
I agree. Reality is that majority Sri Lankans do not 'intellectually' learn religion, but follow their parents and elders, mostly intuitively. Where rulers/governments had/have direct involvement in religious activities, there was material value in learning religion top-down.
To that extent, the value of religions needs to be realistically and practically assessed through visible objective measures. Otherwise, we risk further loss of value of our respective religions.
I asked Gamage, the driver who took me to Galadari Hotel from Katunayake, on my recent visit to Colombo, as to how he practised Buddhism. Gamage said that he went to the Temple on Sundays with his family. He highly recommended the temple near my hotel. I asked him about Kalutara Bohdi Temple and he did not seem to know much about it.
I asked in particular about Kalutara Bodhi because of my plans to visit Kalutara with the SriLankan Airlines team, for its Commercial Conference. I remembered with appreciation, Sir Cyril De Soysa, for whom I worked many years ago and who I understand established the Kalutara Bohdi Temple.
Yet, Gamage did not know about this even though he is educated up to G.C.E (Ordinary Level). Likewise the new graduates joining SriLankan Airlines did not know about Captain Rakitha Wickremenayake the founding chairman of Air Lanka when it was formed 25 years ago, Mr. Kula Kulesekaram the founding General Manager and Mr. Colin Martinus the founding Commercial Manager.
A big part of my contribution to the Commercial Conference was to connect the young ones to their ancestors in the Airline religion. That is how we share their wisdom intuitively.
Religion need building up
Religion, like law, needs to be built into our daily life so that when the structured system that we intellectually follow fails us, we could take solace in the Truth that resides within us as our personal God - however humble and simple that Truth may seem to be.
On my recent visit to Colombo for example, I had clear and direct evidence of this 'invisible' Force. On the first day of my arrival, when I set out to buy a pair of flat slippers, I ended up at the Hare Krishna temple, waiting for the arrival of Lord Jagannath (Juggernaut) who was being taken on Procession. I realized that I was not accepted by the ladies amongst whom I was seated.
It's an intuitive feeling which was later confirmed by a lady who asked me to tie my hair up. I obeyed orders even though I noticed other young girls with their hair down. I took the first opportunity to go outside and wait for the Chariot and when the Chariot did arrive the priest threw a packet of sugar candy towards me. I followed the girls who were dancing and ended up right in front of the altar and enjoyed a glorious Dharshan of Our Lord Jagannath.
Lord Jagannath
I felt that He approved, based on the feeling with which I went to the temple. As if to confirm this, the Indian Priest included in his discourse, a story about how Lord Jagannath rejected the services of the priest who had rejected, Vibheeshana, the brother of Ravana - the king of Lanka, on the basis that he was a foreigner and the brother of Lord Rama's enemy.
The Indian priest giving the discourse said that the Lord recognized the feelings with which we served rather than the form. I felt that the Lord spoke to me through the priest. These are everyday miracles for those who do have faith.
These are examples of how, with all my success in the material world, I am still intuitively led by Divine messages in knowing rights and wrongs and that I am not alone when I feel right even though the whole community might seem to think and/or say I am wrong.
The lady who asked me to tie my hair up may also feel likewise as per HER system. If I do not do the work to reconcile her system with mine, I would have conflict within myself. Likewise that lady for whom it would be more difficult to understand my "minority" system. I was a minority in that group. At the physical level, majority vote must be respected in a system of democracy. This was why I plaited my hair even though I did not feel that it was righteous.
Respect to Buddhism
Taking Sri Lanka as a whole, Buddhism must be respected and accepted as the leading religion if we are to rely on our intuition and conscience to realize Peace.
Majority Sri Lankans are physically driven. Hence they need to 'see' to believe and follow. Towards this they need to 'see' their leaders consciously and expressly following their religion in everyday life.
I was heartened to note that most public expressions included their Tamil versions, thus giving the feeling that Sri Lanka is a multicultural country requiring the Objective system at the lower levels of management. Within each group one could be driven by intuition and subjective measures - as if we were family following one religion.
Buddhism is a powerful connector not only within Buddhists but also across religions, especially with Hindus who often connect Buddha to Lord Vishnu. God comes to us in the Form that we genuinely give Him.
One of my colleagues asked me after the Sri Lankan Commercial Conference, whether I truly believed in God. I said yes. He asked me whether I believed in One God or many gods.
I said that the One God came to me in many forms as per my genuine beliefs at the particular moment of need. If we believe Truth is God, as Gandhi did, God comes to us in the form of Honest people. If we are honest, we will invoke honesty in the other person. If we believe in finding Truth through Justice and the Legal system, God comes to us through the highest practitioner of the Law.
The Judiciary, which Justice Weeramantry is a part of, has failed Sri Lankans. Our Judiciary have separated themselves from the PEOPLE instead of separating themselves from the Government, as per the Doctrine of Separation of Powers in a system of democracy.
The Doctrine of Separation of Powers has been used and abused as per the convenience of the Judiciary. Hence there is NO Common Law recourse for the ordinary citizen, but each one is for himself - with his own sense of Justice.
In people intense countries it is inevitable to a large degree that the person at the bottom would not see and read the law the same way as the person at the top.
Gandhi's best service
The best Service Gandhi did to India and therefore to the whole world was to do this translation THROUGH HIMSELF. Where Gandhi knew that a law was being interpreted differently by himself on behalf of the ordinary Indian, compared to the British, he first tried to bridge the gap through education - usually interpreting the law into everyday household language. It was after this that he acted in breach of the law when he felt the law worked against all Indians as well as the British.
Anyone who truly followed Gandhi's mind, would realize that Gandhi made himself into a feeler. Mothers are feelers and Fathers are thinkers in a traditional family.
When representing the whole family/group one has to feel. This is how a member of a democratic parliament is elected. When leading the family/group, one has to think-as is the role of a government ministers so that there is vertical growth. Eventually, until the thinkers also feel, they are not complete.
It's by feeling one with the people that we hurt when the people hurt. Gandhi felt with the British also by renouncing the benefits from his work in Politics. Hence Gandhi became the Law. Any law that Gandhi could not identify with was counter-productive and/or wasteful.
Loss of loved ones
Gandhi's Ahimsa was essentially to absorb the losses of his loved ones. Towards this Gandhi accumulated good karma/social credits through his self-sacrificial ways, the basis for which he acquired from his mother.
By renouncing the benefits but doing the WORK, Gandhi followed Krishna's Geetha. Krishna commands Arjuna to fight, but to do so without attachment to the fruits of his work.
The Arjuna in Gandhi actually fought the British mentally. Had Gandhi truly followed Krishna and I believe he did, he would have eventually separated himself from the British and fought a physical war - as per the rules of Dharma. Towards this he would have needed to be a doer like Arjuna. But because the British felt the Truth in Gandhi - there was no need for the separation - but instead independence.
AHIMSA is not absence of physical war. It is absorbing other people's mistakes by doing extra work to make up for their unearned benefits and absorbing losses through one's personal credits - to become the whole.
Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam

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