11 November 2021
Oppose 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 the Taskforce.
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 grabbing lands.
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 exploration ground.
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.