04 April 2019
Australian Cows Teaching Sri Lanka
When our son in law bought a cattle-farm I said to our granddaughter – ‘you are not Hindu’. Ten year old Kali was confused. Back in Sri Lanka’s North, at Thunaivi where we have our family temple for Vairavar-Kali, I undertook expensive fencing construction to block a vehicle involved in cattle-trade from parking in our temple compound. Like Kali, those folks also did not understand my reasoning. Back then I myself felt the urge to distance them. Now I realise that I needed the consciousness of higher cultural values to protect myself from the folks to whom cattle slaughter had become livelihood. If they are Hindus – they were primary level practitioners of the religion. Scientifically beef may or may not be better for us than mutton. But if our ancestors considered it to be of negative value then when we connect to their mind – as if they were part of our team – we also would consider beef to be of negative value. That is when we would access the fullness of their minds – as if we were them and they were us.
These are some of the reasons why the junior castes were not allowed into Hindu temples such as Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple, built out of Royal commitment. Even though our temple is situated at the cusp of Thunaivi where majority are of junior Toddy Tapper caste – and Sangarathai where majority are of senior Farmer caste – its ownership is with us – the senior caste who have invested in higher levels of common Hindu culture and secular education. With the war, the risk was takeover by locals – as if it was their heritage – like the Sri Lankan Armed forces. Those in Thunaivi who sought to come out of the ‘toddy tappers only’ mindset – need folks like me who are capable of structuring common secular hierarchy. The amazing discovery I made through my service there – is that I was being actively supported by a force at the temple which intuitively drove me in terms of when to stay and when not to stay there but work from Jaffna or Sydney which to the folks of Thunaivi are of higher status than their own village. I needed to show this elevation to diffuse their own relatives from the Diaspora paying to ‘buy’ status cheaply. Such buying is the parallel of plagiarism and I needed to eliminate it to facilitate true development of common systems bound by faith.
To majority Australians, cows are not connected to their emotions. But to majority Hindu Sri Lankans cows are sacred and hence the need for cows to be protected towards such higher structural values. Australia sending cows to Sri Lanka’s Tamil areas would have protected such sharing. At the same time, when cows are sent for trading purposes to a nation that carries the curse of Hindu farmers seriously affected by the war – such failures are to be expected. Southern folks need to learn a lesson through this experience – that Tamil farmers are closer relatives and Australian farmers are traders only. Where the mutual trust is weakened, the side that represents the perpetrators needs to have strong merit based current power to override past karma which in this instance is negative.