Monday 14 January 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
14 January 2019

Buddhist Matter or Buddhist Energy?

They're trying to kill me," Yossarian told him calmly.
No one's trying to kill you," Clevinger cried.
Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked.
They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "They're trying to kill everyone."
And what difference does that make?” 
Joseph Heller, Catch 22

I learnt at Holy Family Convent – Jaffna, about the three states of matter – solid, liquid and gas. Now use the parallel to manifestations – as matter, process and Energy. In terms of resources, this is cash, Human Resource and Ownership. To the extent we Believe, we are confirming that our investment is positive Energy. To the extent we ‘damage’ the expressions of belief  we acquire negative Energy. They are respectively the gods and the demons.

The common Jaffna citizen is the parallel of Yossarian in the above manifestation by Joseph Heller in Catch 22 which I read for the first time, when it was school text book for my children here in NSW, Australia. Much later in 1998, when Australian politician Ms Pauline Hanson ‘asked migrants who could not assimilate, to go back to their countries of origin’  I took that as an attack directed at me. If the common ownership of all believing migrants had been recognized by Australians who had ‘custody’ of ownership authority,  Ms Hanson would not have stated as she did. In turn, like Yossarian in Catch 22, I would not have felt that Ms Hanson was asking me to ‘go home’. If Ms Hanson said it – all disobedient migrants were entitled to receive the arrow / bullet on behalf of that community. I did so and resigned from my substantive position at the University of NSW – the next day – 11 August 1998.   I knew intuitively that I owed it to Democracy to do so, even though back then I did not know why I renounced my earned opportunities to be economically progressive. All I knew was that it felt right and the time was Nallur festival time. Lord Murugan – the presiding deity at  Nallur  is the Lord of Democracy.

All migrants enjoying equal rights as the community to which the rulers belong naturally, owe the system of Democracy. Likewise all rulers who on their own are not able to function autonomously as a Sovereign group.

I knew all this intuitively by not overriding my Sri Lankan qualifications with Australian qualifications. Last night I received a message from Facebook that one of their members liked by contribution in this regard:

[As an Australian of Sri Lankan Tamil origin, I believe that the Lindt Café tragedy would have been prevented if the Australian armed forces had actually practiced the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, at least to the extent they were found fault with through this legislation. I found fault with them, including on the basis of evidence that they listed me as Sri Lankan despite my claim that I was Australian by law. If they were driven by the Law, and they did not believe me, they ought to have called for documentary evidence to prove that I was Australian by law. If they did believe me then they had the duty to change the records to read that I was Australian National. It was sheer disregard for the law that led them to carry on with the ‘habit’ of naming ONLY others like themselves as ‘Australians’ when they think they are in a ‘free’ environment. They were ‘free’ with me because I was stripped of my earned status as a professional. Truth is facilitated to surface in such an environment. Truth then surfaces to support one who made the greater sacrifice not necessarily to win in the eyes of others but certainly towards confirming her/his Sovereignty to her/himself.]
This morning I read the following report by Ms Sulochana Ramiah Mohan who engaged passionately with Ms Shenali Waduge as an Opposition force:
[Newly appointed Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan said Buddhisisation in the North and East with political motives should be stopped and that he would be meeting the Mahanayaka Theras to discuss the issue soon.

In an interview with Ceylon Today, he said the practice was ‘un-Buddhistic and undemocratic’ He also noted he would engage in serious dialogue with those promoting these activities.
The above mentioned exchange between the two reporters happened when Ms Shenali Waduge attacked Mr Wigneswaran under the heading ‘Racism of Chief Minister Wigneswaran of TNA’
One of the reports on which Ms Waduge based her reading of Mr Wigneswaran was headed :
[Tamils lived in N/E before Buddhistic Era – Wigneswaran]

Mr Wigneswaran is already reported to have expressed his endorsement of Dr Ragavan’s appointment as Governor of Northern Province. Should Dr Ragavan not have reported on who was influencing Mr Wigneswaran’s mind in this regard? The above report continues as follows:

[I am sure with the blessings of the Mahanayaka Theras we can find out who was behind these acts. This practice is undemocratic and un-Buddhistic.”  
“Not only as a Tamil  am I concerned about it, but as a Governor and as a person who respects Buddhist philosophy I think that it is not right.” He said a true Buddhist will never violate anything and would never want to hold onto anything.
“A true Buddhist will never want to expand anything or to cut a chain in anything.   Denouncing and renouncing is fundamental to Buddhism. So, Buddhisization in Tamil areas needs to be stopped if it is carried out with a political motive”, he said.
Raghavan said where there are Sinhala settlements like soldiers in the camp for a long period, they should be able to have a private place of worship. We cannot stop that.  ]

Let us now take a look at the following excerpt from  Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne’s article ‘Truth Must Prevail’ – published by Daily News on 05 January 2019:

[Tamil National Alliance and Tamil Progressive Alliance (led by Mano Ganesan) have interpreted the principle that the same party cannot be in Government as well as lead the Opposition and hence Mahinda Rajapaksa was not eligible to hold the position of Opposition Leader – despite his party, which is also the party of the President holding second highest number of seats in parliament. Clearly, the flaw is in the law – according to which the President was part of the Parliament. There is nominal acceptance that Buddhism is the senior religion as per the Constitution – that in no way indicates those who expressly promoted Buddhism in politics can only be seniors and not be Equal opposition. The Buddha never worked in that unjust manner to restore Dharma in Lanka.]

Since Buddhism is part of the Constitution it is automatically part of politics. As per the order of  solids, liquids and gas – politics is the solid part of governance and still-governance/no-governance  is the Ownership Energy of governance. By identifying with the above, I make the Common liquid (Human Resource) connection with Dr Wickramabahu Karunaratne. But those who possess Buddhism including through ‘Buddhism foremost’ article are not likely to make this liquid connection.

‘Buddhism foremost’ article in the Sri Lankan constitution was given birth by those to whom Buddhism was ‘matter’ and not ‘Energy’. At matter state – we possess for personal reasons as individuals. At process/law  state Buddhism helps us make connections with other Buddhists. At Energy state – Buddhism takes care of the whole  - whatever their religion or no-religion. They say in Tamil – about stone statues of deities -  that one who sees the stone does not see the god and v.v. Be it Hinduism or Buddhism – we offer flowers as part of the process of worship. Tomorrow, on Thai Pongal day, Radha Aiyar – the priest of our temple in the toddy-tapper village of Thunaivi would chant mantras and make such flower offerings. To those without belief – they would be mere rituals. To those with belief in Hinduism – such mantras invoke the Energy in that place / village.
I have facilitated for junior castes to go into the altar for specific jobs. But I have firmly ruled out them performing the rituals that the Aiyar / Priest has been performing. We the owners of the temple go into the altar  and I also perform the rituals that the priest performs. I do so because my family has done it from my grandmother’s time and I believe in my grandmother’s independence. If and when I find someone of toddy tapper lineage demonstrating natural respect for me without any discriminative thinking of rights and wrongs – they would become my heir for the purposes of that temple.  Until then each one would merely represent me for that part of the activity and not the whole. Likewise, in my family.

Applying that to the Parliament and more specifically the Northern Provincial Council in this instance, those who stagnate at political level would confirm selfishness and low level of sharing when they think they are ‘free’ / unsupervised / beyond accountability. So long as Article 9 is part of the Constitution, one cannot lawfully find fault with Buddhists ‘telling’ junior Buddhists and/or  non-Buddhists.  As per the above report – Dr Raghavan respects Buddhism. This means he is an Equal outsider / observer and not a Buddhist. Dr Raghavan would be acting in breach of Article 9 structure if he ‘tells’ Buddhist monks. If Dr Raghavan were say Hindu, he would be acting  in breach of Article 14(1) (e ) if he  is ‘told-by’ Buddhist monks. Article 14(1) (e ) states as follows:

[Every citizen is entitled to – the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;

Where belief is in different forms – they would not inter-relate.  In terms of the Constitution and therefore the Parliament and Provincial Council – we can relate to each other only to the extent the secular provisions are NOT covered by Buddhist tenets. This is very slim or may be even zero in the case of those driven strongly by religion at political level.

No comments:

Post a Comment