05 December 2021
Indigenous belief v Science
Asoka ('S.B.Asoka Dissanayake' ) referred us to the article ‘Why punish a scientist for defending science? At
I am not a medical scientist and yet Asoka included me in the list. It probably was due to Nada ('Kasinathan Nadesan' ) of the Jaffna Hindu College Alumni. In the meantime another Sri Lankan doctor of Sinhalese origin shared his appreciation of yesterday’s article as follows:
How right you are. Yes Mahinda DOES look very sad and he has been appearing thus for sometime now. The forces of Khamma do play their part and one needs to be conscious of, that which many are not. I also agree that this most unfortunate man got himself into trouble when he should have been far more careful and respectful of the main religious force there. I am unaware of exactly what went on but say as above as per what I hear from various sources. Hence I may be wrong on what exactly occurred there to result in this shameful tragedy.
Lessons to learn and correct behaviour and lifestyles!]
My response was as follows:
[I do believe that when we function as one-minded group – one’s weakness is naturally balanced by another’s strength. The leader represents that strength. Usually, those who are in pain become one-minded. By celebrating victory as if Tamils were ‘outsiders’ Mahinda lost that power from Tamils except from a few of us who took the middle path and disciplined the LTTE also. If the Tamil community does not recognise this – but try to take revenge they too would end up feeling sad.
In terms of that guy, he could have become the political victim of Muslims whose reputation has been seriously affected by the Easter bombings. Instead of playing politics and dragging the punishment – if this government had quickly resolved the matter through the judiciary – this would have been prevented. Those who play politics – get political outcomes. At individual level – if the guy did not deserve the punishment – then the pain was merely physical. If those who ‘positioned’ him learn where they went wrong – Nature / Truth will bless them with better life. I know this from my own experience with rebels in my family]
Like Asoka this Sri Lankan also went through the Medical college. But where he did not get the answers he is using the system of Karma which to my mind is the mother of all sciences. Then came to my attention the sharing of the above by another Sri Lankan of Tamil origin – who is also a medical expert.
Toby Young, the author of the above mentioned article , presents the essence of the issue as follows:
[For background, Professor Cooper is about as eminent as you can get in his field. He is professor of biochemistry and clinical biochemistry at the University of Auckland, where he also leads the Proteomics and Biomedicine Research Group. He’s principal investigator in the Maurice Wilkins Centre of Research Excellence for Molecular Biodiscovery, a member of the Endocrine Society (USA), and he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) in 2013.
So why is this distinguished scientist at risk of being expelled from New Zealand’s most prestigious academic society? Several months ago he was one of seven signatories to a letter in the New Zealand Listener that took issue with a proposal by a government working group that schools should give the same weight to Maori mythology as they do to science in the classroom. That is, the Maori understanding of the world — that all living things originated with Rangi and Papa, the sky mother and sky god, for instance — should be presented as just as valid as the theories of Galileo, Newton and Darwin.]
As per the above, Mr Young has pictured Rani and Papa heritage as ‘mythology’. To me it is a legend. The following Wikipedia account of Man Proposes and God Disposes uses both words – mythology and legend:
[It is well-documented that students at Royal Holloway believe the painting is haunted. It comes from the urban myth that a student sitting their exams in the 1920s or 30s stabbed a pencil into their eye, writing "The polar bears made me do it" on to their exam paper, in reference to the painting, and committing suicide. There is, however, no university record of a death in the picture gallery. A legend among students dating back to at least the 1960s is that anyone sitting in front of the painting during an exam will fail it. ]
That which happened in 1920s is considered a myth and that which happened in the 1960s is considered a legend. The actions based on latter are presented as follows:
[Due to the perception that the painting is a bad omen, there is a college tradition that requires temporarily covering the painting with a Union Jack when student examinations are ongoing. This is due to an incident during the 1970s where an exam invigilator hurriedly covered the painting with the first thing they could find that would be large enough, as a student refused to sit their exam by the uncovered painting. ]
To most the Union Jack may have seemed ‘coincidence’. But whoever covered it gave credibility to the fear of the current student as a valid reason. Hence it is referred to as legend.
As per Wikipedia:
[Man Proposes, God Disposes is an 1864 oil-on-canvas painting by Edwin Landseer. The work was inspired by the search for Franklin's lost expedition which disappeared in the Arctic after 1845.]
[Franklin's lost expedition was a British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin that departed from England in 1845 aboard two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and was assigned to traverse the last unnavigated sections of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic and to record magnetic data to help determine whether a better understanding could aid navigation. The expedition met with disaster after both ships and their crews, a total of 129 officers and men, became icebound in Victoria Strait near King William Island in what is today the Canadian territory of Nunavut. After being icebound for more than a year Erebus and Terror were abandoned in April 1848, by which point Franklin and nearly two dozen others had died. The survivors, now led by Franklin's second-in-command, Francis Crozier, and Erebus' captain, James Fitzjames, set out for the Canadian mainland and disappeared.]
[Indigenous peoples have continuously inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years. Beginning in the 16th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled along the Atlantic coast. As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom.]
Even though as per the above record the core purpose is presented as ‘a better understanding could aid navigation’ – the two ships - HMS Erebus and HMS Terror – were war ships.
[Erebus, is Greek personification of darkness and one of the primordial deities. Hesiod's Theogony identifies him as one of the first five beings in existence, born of Chaos.]
As per the effects, the core purpose of the expedition was war against Nature and/or Canadians. One who sees this connection – without any disturbance – is a believer or observer. The painting therefore belonged in a temple or museum and not in an exam hall where logic of the mind through contemporary measures is being measured for relative purpose. The uncovered painting is the parallel of ‘Buddhism Foremost’ article in the Sri Lankan Constitution.
The New Zealand political proposal is considered by some scientists as elevating ‘Maori mythology’ . Using my religion – Hinduism – some in the medical group ridicule as mythology, the worship of male phallus – known as Lingam - and female vagina – known as Yoni. But if they do so in the presence of a believer and that believer is hurt – the result is suicidal – meaning - the higher reasons of the belief which leads to Love is lost to the person so mocking. Usually those without formal education tend to believe as they ‘see’. Hence when sexual organs are used in worship the worshipper would fear them and then respect them. This seriously reduces over-indulgence in sex which prematurely kills sense prematurely and more importantly leads prevention of rape and promotes the joy of consensual partnership resulting in mind-merger.
The parallel of this in Christianity is wine and bread being treated as the blood and flesh respectively of Christ
In Sri Lanka, the LTTE actively promoted suicide due to the same reason as to why the student committed suicide. They went back to the time of Ellalan to ‘show’ bravery. As per Wikipedia, Ellalan’s commitment to Justice is presented as follows:
[Ellalan received the title "Manu Needhi Cholan" (the Chola who follows justice) because he executed his own son to provide justice to a cow. Legend has it that the king hung a giant bell in front of his courtroom for anyone needing justice to ring. One day, he came out on hearing the ringing of the bell by a cow. Upon enquiry, he found that the calf of that cow had been killed under the wheels of his son's chariot. In order to provide justice to the cow, Ellalan killed his own son, Veedhividangan, under the chariot as his own punishment i.e. Ellalan made himself suffer as much as the cow. Impressed by the justice of the king, Lord Shiva blessed him and brought back the calf and his son alive.]
As in the case of indigenous stories – we do not know what actually happened. But to the extent we believe – the nuclear energy gives us a current structure of that energy. It is like in positions. When we believe in a position – say that of Queen we invoke the queen in us or in someone in that environment. Lady Elizabeth and the local queen would look different but to the extent we believe in the position – the power of the original would mutate and appear in a form that satisfies our need.
In Hindu wedding ceremonies the couple are elevated to Shiva-Parvathi level to invoke this power. Accordingly they state that the bide was so and so (divine wife) in previous life. Some misinterpret this and get offended by taking it literally. To them it is myth. But to believers like me – it is a source of support and confidence that we are heirs of such divine personalities. Then we become that – as in Tat Tvam Asi / Thou Art That which confirms merger with the Absolute.
Indigenous beliefs that have stood the test of time can only be taught to those who believe in indigenous powers. Those who consider Maori culture as mythology, do not have the authority to teach or learn that culture. If enforced for political reasons – such universities would become like the University of Jaffna which continues to worship soldiers as their mentors. This automatically kills the pure academic in the community. This suicidal pathway was confirmed by the LTTE choosing the Karthigai Flower as their National flower :
[Gloriosa superba is also the state flower of Tamil Nadu state in India. It is also considered the state flower of Eelam, the Tamil-dominant region of Sri Lanka.]
Tamil Nadu became what it is today, due to its own People. Jaffna People are independent of Tamil Nadu and this was seriously damaged by the LTTE whose leader referred to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as Big Brother and copied their state flower as its own. When even one believer in the independence of Jaffna feels hurt by this their cost of belief invokes itself as the ghost and leads the causal power to commit suicide. In junior caste villages in Northern Sri Lanka, they call this as Kala Vairavar who causes suicide when they shorten their physical life by undertaking activities to do which they lack the skills. Foremost of such is the conversion of the intellectual to physically strong activities such as armed fighting. The parallel in Maori culture seems to be ‘Wairua’. As per my understanding ‘Taha Wairuwa’ means spiritual wellbeing. Its parallel is quite common in Northern Sri Lanka.
The problem we often face is taking Equality at the physical level. Different cultures are parallel and not equal. When they meet – the left side of that meeting point along the lateral plane is Equal to the right side – however small or big it may be. Then the powers of the apparently shorter side balance the two side powers. This gets lost when we seek to ‘show’ Equality or majority at physical level. This is the fundamental principle underpinning democratic ownership.
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