Wednesday 2 November 2016

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
02 November    2016

Sole & Soul Power

Today is All Souls’ Day. It’s also the Remembrance Day of our Mother Mrs. Sironmani Navaratnam to whom Burma was Motherland, Sri Lanka was Family Land and Canada Commonwealth. Last night our nephew Arun Sachidanandan rang after a hard day’s work – to talk and remember. Why do we need to remember instead of focusing on what we have now? I find that in Hindu culture – remembering at family level is more of a practice, relative to Christian culture of collective remembrance on all days such as today – All Souls’ Day. To me personally – remembering the person who cannot physically reward us helps us to transcend our own physical bodies and relate mind to mind. This is what Common Law is about.

This morning I thought about Mr. Malinda Seneviratne’s email in response to my article ‘Stopping the Boats and Buddhism Foremost’. Malinda’s response was:

1. refer the document conceding control to the British.
2. Buddhists have not benefitted in any way courtesy the 'Buddhism clause'.  
3. Check 'secular' constitutions of countries whose leaders give us tuition on constitutional affairs and check it against realities of religion-based identity assertion including key elements in the official narrative.
4.  have fun.
5. have a nice day.

I took the last two as Malinda saying ‘Thank you for the work you do in respect of 1,2 & 3’. The balanced mind would do that.

My response went as follows:

Thank you Malinda.
1.       Why should I refer to the document conceding control to the British or anyone else? We are a democracy currently.
2.       If Buddhists have not benefited in any way – then why have the clause?  A law must project – cost and benefit in the mind of the user. These would be Equal if time or  place  difference is zero. The higher thinker pictures both at the same time. The more you sacrifice now – the higher the enjoyment and hence we transcend the changes at the physical.  When we enjoy excessively when young – as individuals  and/or government – we feel vacuum in senior government/age. This is why Buddha transcended the physical. I do not see that being reflected in this clause being included as a mandatory clause for Buddhists.  In fact, those who take advantage of this – would tend to be ‘attached’ to the ‘foremost’ status and not seek deep within to find real Buddha. Eventually all these are for each citizen to realise her/his own Sovereignty. Some do not need collective power of politics towards true ‘freedom’ – which is from the benefits/pleasures. Many do. Laws help collective power through ‘Grouping’.  Grouping helps us to  balance inwardly – the strengths and weaknesses within the group and take only the consolidated value to wider world – as in rebirth albeit at the highest level.    Article 9 is cultural groupings’  opportunities as well as responsibilities.  Are you saying that it does not place higher responsibilities on Buddhists? If used against someone – including a Buddhist – who has realized Sovereignty – it would invoke the other side exponentially. I believe this to be the case – through my own experiences here in Australia.
3.       As for Secular Constitutions – Australia’s is.  Who gave you tuitions? Americans? Which American leader?  The closest to Sri Lanka is Tamil Nadu. As Karunanithi reminded us today – it was 60 years ago on this day that Tamil Nadu’s borders were redefined on the basis of language, through the States Reorganisation  Act. Sri Lanka, like all other countries  will continue to redefine its internal borders. Those that help us feel Independent  with least interference from the Government are positive internal borders. The challenge for Sri Lanka is also – from South India – including from Kerala which culturally is very similar to Jaffna. The Government cannot monitor all this top-down. It needs the cooperation of the People. Like Australia – Sri Lanka is also an Island. The problem of boat arrivals to and from Northern Sri Lanka cannot be effectively monitored by the Government.  That’s the natural protection that Northern Tamils have from interference by other cultures. Eventually all of us contribute to sovereignty of the Land that we live on.   Whether it is called  Sri Lanka, India or Eelam – is secondary.

Borders are drawn through a combination of  the physical, cultural and belief level investments. Legal borders need to include all three aspects. In terms of Northern Province of Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu is like England  taking the physical position of Indonesia relative to Australia.   Viewed from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka’s Northern Province could be read as being part of Tamil Nadu to one who has no knowledge of the Legal borders. Culturally – the Tamil mind is more connected to Tamil culture than Sinhalese culture of Southern Sri Lanka. Most Tamils watch Tamil TV programs and not Sinhalese programs nor English TV programs. English has been more an economic opportunity language for majority Sri Lankans. In terms of religion there are hardly any Tamils who are Buddhists and hardly any Sinhalese who are Hindus – the only exception known to me is  Kathirgamam in Southern Sri Lanka where the Deity in the main shrine is Hindu and ceremonies are held as per Sinhalese culture. Kathirgamam is also the source of hope that Hinduism is foremost  in parts of Sri Lanka – even parts where Sinhalese is the predominant language. If Buddhism foremost is practiced in Kathirgamam – the people of that area become like Soorapathman – driven by brawn-power. This could be prevented by transcending the physical to the higher mind level.

Here is an example of the mind power is elevated through common work: The other day I asked my husband to place the vegetable drawer of the fridge back its place. I was too tired to do it myself. My husband happily agreed. The next morning the drawer was still outside and so was its lid. I asked my husband and he said he could not work it. I then quickly put it back in place. It was not simple but I was more comfortable with it than my husband was. The reason is that to me that fridge is the mind of all those who worked on it until that day. Through my work of cleaning and maintaining as well as remembering the work value in the makeup of the fridge - I talk to the fridge more than my husband does – because I work more in the kitchen than he does. Our children forewent some other pleasures to present that fridge to us – when they noticed that we were continuing to use the old one despite its old-age diseases. That replacement was confirmation of the consolidated mind of our children to whom also this house is ‘home’. To us parents there can be no greater reward than this ‘consolidated’ mind of our heirs. It confirms good parenting. Likewise it is the consolidated mind of the citizens that confirms good governance and commonwealth of a nation.

To my mind, becoming global means, we need to broaden our mind to lose consciousness of legal and cultural borders. That is the earthly parallel of  Soul connection. Sole and Soul mean One. The former is most visible and the latter is invisible at the physical level. When we believe in our work  the soul power is strengthened to ultimately connect us to the Commonwealth.  
There are Soles in Sri Lanka’s North as well as South. There are followers of Common Souls also in these areas. Both Muruga and Buddha are recorded as having being  born on the full-moon day in May / Vaikasi.  But at the individual level – Lord Buddha achieved Soul level through meditation whilst Hindu Muruga reestablished the Universal power of the Soul by defeating Soorapathman – the king who was driven by brawn-power who had imprisoned the then leaders who were expected to have had  higher minds. That is like Politicians imprisoning academics and/or media leaders.

Soorpathman represents various forms of ego. During the war between Murugan and Soorapathman – the latter takes various forms – one of which is Lion form – denoting territorial leadership ego . Others are Elephant denoting intellectual ego;  Tree – denoting ego based on Tradition etc. The forms of ego vary as per the time and place but they are all ‘attachment’ to sole-power.

I note that an Australian of Sri Lankan origin – Professor Suri Ratnapala is reported to have stated  as follows in relation to his role in crafting the amended constitution of Sri Lanka:
There is no magic in a Constitution;
What maintains a Constitution is the conduct of the people in power, the general attitudes of the citizens and other constraints;
The political culture has to be changed in order to make the Constitution work.’

If we expect Professor Ratnapala to have paid his dues to his parents  - we would expect that heritage to be included in the above words of wisdom. At family level Professor Suri Ratnapala is expected to carry the heritage of family governance as indicated  below:
[His father Amaradasa Ratnapala was a medical doctor of repute, a brilliant schoolboy cricketer, a member of Parliament and renowned scholar of Buddhist Philosophy, whose book on Abhidharmartha Pradeepeka is a highly regarded commentary on the doctrine] Wikipedia

With the above in mind, let’s examine the response to ‘Buddhism foremost’ by the Professor:

[Sri Lanka in my opinion is a Secular State in practice although the Constitution gives Buddhism a special place and casts a duty on the State to foster the Buddha Sasana. However, the Constitution also forbids discrimination against other religions.
I personally favour a Secular State. The question whether the Constitution should continue to give a special place to Buddhism is one that has to be resolved by agreement among all religious communities. In my meetings I have attended, I have heard differing views on this question.]

To my mind the above is from a person in power connected to the group described by the Professor as ‘the people in power

‘I belong in the other group – the citizens group’

The attitude by the ordinary people I am part of is that this part of the Constitution is Soorapathman in Traditional form.  This would be manipulated by various sole-powers with ‘attitudes’, to their advantage as LTTE leadership did with Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976.

Given that Parliament is the model to be followed by citizens – the structure of a Democratic  Parliament has to have members of each of the other religions as part of the Opposition leadership. At the moment – we have Mr. Sampanthan only and that is Hindu leadership. In structure the Opposition even though smaller in body is the  Equal other half of the Government. TNA cannot agree to a statement in the Constitution that the government alone can approve a law. It took the belief of Tamil leaders to suggest the 50:50 power-sharing which is needed when majority Sri Lankans are driven by the physical including at cultural level. It’s simple logic that ‘foremost and equal’ cannot be in the same entitlement. Hence the need for Devolution if Article 9 is to remain as is.

Had Article 9 been written  on the basis of Belief – it would have been worded differently. The person who drove the 1978 Constitution is exposed to have been less than pure through article ‘MR was paid by JR to divide SLFP- CBK’ where it is revealed by one former President – of minority gender - about two others – one bribing the other. So, we could expect the conduct of those in that position to be as per majority who occupied that position. Where do we then find the people of good conduct in power?

Sri Lankans need alternatives that they can work better. Hence devolution based on the most common aspect of each province. I wonder whether the Professor would accept that the Medical Faculty of the  University of Queensland, has foremost status within the University? At the University of NSW it was common ‘attitude’ that the Medical Faculty had fatter ego than other faculties. It was during such a medical academic as Vice Chancellor  that the University underwent challenges to its conduct through allegations of scientific fraud – similar to the allegations against the previous government of Sri Lanka, which was seriously allergic to devolution of power. This happens when money which is the most visible form of power becomes sole-power. One who renounces money and status – realizes Soul-power.  

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