Thursday, October 16, 2008


Sinhala Hindus
I am a Sinhala Hindu and I make no apologies for admitting it. I consider Lord Buddha as the tenth Avatar of Lord Vishnu and I worship him daily as I do Murugan (Kataragama Deiyo) Ganesh whose blessings I seek and I have indeed been blessed in abundance. Human nature needs religion just as the human body requires food. It is the spiritual hunger of men that has driven man in every age to seek God in whatever form. The idea of God has changed through the years and today the concept of a creator God is not being accepted as it has been debunked by the march of scientific inquiry. Civilised man has a more exalted and worthy conception of God. Man’s social and spiritual needs are represented through our concept. For example, Learning is represented as a female Goddess –Lakshmi, Music by Saraswathie, Wealth by Ganesh, Preservation and All that is Good by Vishnu, Power by Karthikeiyan or Murugan or Kataragama and so on. This concept of God is profound. If we have faith and belief, our minds will do the rest as the first stanza of the Dhammapada tells us.
It is an undeniable fact that 90% of us Sinhalese who call ourselves Buddhists also worship the pantheon of Hindu gods. Not only ambitious politicians, but children before examinations, adults who have problems matrimonial and otherwise, there are no exceptions; almost every Buddhist temple has a Devale. Thousands flock to Bellanvila and Kupiawatte; the Kapurales at Kataragama and elsewhere, other than in the North, are all Sinhalese. Let us therefore accept the fact that ours is a Hindu country or at the least a Hindu-Buddhist country.

A synthesis of our two religions is possible only when there is agreement on their essentials or fundamentals, and there is much in common, including the Kammic theory and re-incarnation; in this regard I should state that linguists or those in allied fields such as Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology should seek to create a standard language which would unify this country and end strife for all time.

It is a most challenging project which President Rajapaksa should initiate which would make us great and remembered as Dutugemunu and Parakrama Bahu. I am indeed grateful to CB who commenced this debate and SA, in particular, for his contribution. Incidentally, the latter has left out the following verse from his translation of the Metha Sutta immediately before the ‘verse’ "Just as a mother would protect her only child even at the risk of her own life even so may I cultivate a boundless love for all beings" — come the following ‘verse’ which has been inadvertently left out. "Let none deceive another nor despise any person in anger or wish ill-will; Let us not wish harm to another".

This is followed by "Just as a mother would protect..." It is indeed a beautiful and meaningful Bhavana, with which Iam in entire agreement, if that’s the word, with every Hindu concept and the Dharma.

Ananda Silva


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