Transgressing the Dhamma

The Maha Nayakes have not only let themselves down but also Buddhism, the Sangha, the country and our people. This is certainly NOT what we had expected of the two Maha Nayake Theras.

Let us recall here, what the Buddha himself said of monks:

Monks should lead simple lives, and not live in luxury.

Their attitude towards life should be filled with tolerance and contentment.

They should live in monasteries. It is leading a holy life that makes a monk.

A monk should do away with all passions and the desire to possess.

It is the elimination of all depravities that makes a true monk.

Let also recall the discourse of the Buddha on Kindness, Love and Compassion.

The Karaneeya Meththa Sutta or the discourse of the Buddha on Kindness, Love and Compassion:

"Whoever wishes to attain a serene disposition should act thus, he/she should lead a moral life, be upright in all his/her dealings, amenable, gentle and calm, contented, easily supportable, with few duties, of light livelihood, discreet not impudent, controlled in his/her senses; he/she should practise awareness and commit no wrong that others would chastise them. They should practice unconditional love towards all beings.

May all beings be well and happy and may their hearts be wholesome!

Whatsoever living beings there be, feeble, strong, short, tall, thin, stout or medium, seen or unseen, those living far or near, those born, those yet to be born, May all beings, without exception be well and happy.

Let none deceive another nor despise any person in anger or wish them ill.

Just as a mother would protect her only child, even at the risk of` her own life even so may one should cultivate boundless love towards all beings; May these thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world, above below and across, without any hindrance, without any hatred or enmity. As long as one is alive may they cultivate this mindfulness / awareness.

May all beings be well and happy."

(From the discourse on compassion, kindness and love towards all beings or ‘Meththa’ preached by the Buddha at Saranath near Varanasi, India in 500 BC.)

The current issue which has shocked the country, namely the snatching away of the two baby suckling elephants from their mothers, and the defence of this horrendous, heartless action not only by the Minister but also by the Maha Nayakes of the two chapters of the Buddhist clergy, opens up a whole can of worms.

The Buddha preached "Athahi attano natho, khi natho parosia" (you are your own salvation, no one else can help you…) but some have adopted Hinduism though they claim to be Buddhists. Not only do they accommodate the Hindu pantheon of Gods in their temples but the ceremonies / rituals conducted for instance at the Maligawa have their genesis in the Kovil. Occultism has also invaded Buddhism which is wholly rational.

The forced separation of the baby elephants from their mothers and the beating them with poles, captured on camera is something that all those involved will live to regret.

I have no doubt that we shall live to see the ‘vipaka’ before too long.

K. Godage

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