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SOMA HAMUDURUWO AND THE SINHALA BUDDHISTS

Hundreds of thousands of people who flocked to Maharagama and Colombo to pay their
last respects to Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thero or Soma Hamuduruwo as the Ven. Thero
was known to the general public should have reminded those totemic figures in the fourth
estate and other pundits who know only to vomit the so called theories that they had
learnt from their masters and mistresses in the Christian west that this country is foremost
Sinhala Buddhist. It is not only the numbers that has been taken into consideration in
making the above statement. The behaviour of the crowds, their patience, their gratitude,
the spontaneous "dansals" that they organised to serve those who came to pay their last
respects to the Ven. Thero and moreover the unanimity that was shown as a nation and
many other qualities have shown to the world that this country is Sinhala Buddhist. The
Sinhala Buddhists, except for those totemic figures and others (In any event they
consider themselves to be internationalists and not Sinhala Buddhists, though it is
impossible for internationalists to exist without nationalists) grieved the occasion and in
general wanted Soma Hamuduruwo to be born among them again, and to redress the
imbalance against the Sinhala Buddhists in the country.
The death of Soma Hamuduruwo brought to the notice of the so-called leaders of the
Sinhalas that the latter can be united to fight against all the injustices from which the
Sinhala Buddhists suffer, provided that there is a genuine leader of the masses. The
Sinhala Buddhists in the country are helpless as there is no political leader/leaders to
represent them in the corridors of power. While the communities such as Tamil, Muslim,
Malay and Burgher have their own respective political leaders, the Sinhala Buddhists
have been forbidden by the NGO pundits not only to have their own leaders, but even to
identify themselves as Sinhala Buddhists. Those who speak on behalf of Sinhala
Buddhists are considered to be Chauvinists, racists, fundamentalists, extremists, war
mongers etc., forgetting conveniently, the racism of the Tamil racists, the
fundamentalism of many Christian churches, extremism of the LTTE and of course the
attitudes of war mongers such as Bush and Blair.
Soma Hamuduruwo had his own style of Dharmadesena, like the other Bhikkus who had
earned a "reputation" for "Bana" in the recent past. In the early period the Ven. Thero
was more rationalist in approach and criticised the "devas" in Sinhala Buddhism. The
Ven. Thero had even criticised certain rites connected with the "Sinhala Avurudda" and
had been influenced by the "rationalist" thinking of the urban rational Sinhala Buddhists
who had confused "hethupalavada" with rationalism, forgetting that there are 'a priory'
concepts in the latter. Though space and time of Kant are the most well known a priory
concepts in rationalism many tend to forget that these concepts stem from the most a
priory concept of God in Judaic Christian culture. While rationalism has been created
within a linear chinthanaya with a beginning, "hethupalavada" is associated with cyclic
chinthanaya.
The Ven. Soma Thero, as a "nagaravasi" bhikku who had gone through the british
education that has been enforced on us, could not see the difference not only between
"hethupalavada" and western rationalism but also between the gods in Sinhala Buddhism and those in pre Vedic, Vedic cultures, and later Hindu gods. Sinhala Buddhist culture that absorbed gods in other cultures, in the process saw to it that these gods went through a metamorphism before they became Sinhala Buddhist gods. Sinhala Buddhist god Vishnu is not the same as the god Vishnu in India, as the former is not immortal, not connected with Brahman but is a mortal being who goes through the "sansara" before he attains Buddhahood in a future date. This aspect of Sinhala Buddhism, that speaks volumes for the creativity of the Sinhala Buddhists, and that goes back to the days of Arhant Mahinda who was responsible for the introduction of "Bodhi vandana" following "vrksha vandana" of the Sinhalas, has not gone into the heads of sterile "data cutter" sociologists who have managed to become (rewarded being appointed as) professors in American universities. It is to the credit of Soma Hamuduruwo when the thero was shown by some other Bhikkus that it was not appropriate to attack certain cultural aspects, the thero refrained from doing so. The vast majority of Sinhala Buddhists who went to listen to Soma Hamuduruwo were not followers of a "rationalist" Dhamma. They did not stop going to the "devales" while listening to the "dharmadesana" by the Ven. Thero, and an "intellectual" trained in the western system with its two valued Aristotelian logic would see a contradiction here. Fortunately most of the Sinhala Buddhists are not educated up to the advanced level where they are converted to Christian academic culture, and they are very happy with these contradictions according to two valued logic. The Sinhala Buddhists, apart from the style of the "dharmadesana" had another reason to be attracted to Soma Hamuduruwo. The Ven. Thero, true to the tradition of Sinhala Bhikkus "mediated" in politics, if I am to use a word that has been familiarised by the Norwegian "mediators". However, unlike in the case of the Norwegians, mediation does not mean involvement and the third rate "intellectuals" (even third rate "intellectuals" could become professors in universities here and abroad) who have been rewarded with professorships for the service they render to the Christian west, continue to write rubbish on the so-called political bhikku. The Sinhala Bhikkus from the Anuradhapura period have "mediated" in politics, without being directly involved in politics as in the case of Komainies in Iran. It is the mediation in politics for the welfare of the country, nation and the sasana, that became the "heritage" of the Sinhala Bhikkus. The hypocrisy of the third rate western trained "intellectuals" is exposed when one observes that they always refer to the Bhikkus who mediate in politics from a nationalistic position as political bhikkus, but never to those such as Rev. Baddegama Samitha who are directly involved in politics within the western Christian political framework. It is time that the western "political scientists" and sociologists and their imitators in the country understood the differences between Buddhist politics and Christian politics. The Sinhala Buddhists suspect foul play with respect to the death of Soma Hamuduruwo. Whether these suspicions are well founded or not, the question could be asked as to why people suspect. The answer is simple. The Christian west has not hesitated to kill people and make sure that the general public get the impression that these killings are due to "natural causes", in order to maintain their hegemony in the world. The west rules the world not only through politics and economics but also,I would say mainly, through their knowledge system consisting of theories and concepts created within the Greek Judaic Christian Chinthanaya. In this country the Sinhala Buddhists are mainly suppressed by the use of western Christian concepts such as secular state, pluralism and objectivity of knowledge, meaning of course western knowledge. It is very unlikely that neither the westerners nor their imitators in the non western world would accept the concept of Chinthanaya that has been created in the Sinhala Buddhist culture. There are some people making an attempt to crucify the Sinhala Buddhists for their so called violent behaviour during the period that led to the creation of the body of Soma Hamuduruwo. The Sinhala Buddhists were exemplary in their behaviour, waiting for long hours in queues, organising "dansals" to cater to those who came to pay their last respects to the Ven. Thero, and in the independence square where the cremation took place. The anti Sinhala Buddhists who had to accept that fact then went on to accuse "a minority of extremists who tried to instigate the ordinary man in the street", but failed. The instigation could have come from the anti Sinhala Buddhists elements themselves who are hell bent on discrediting the Sinhala Buddhists. Even to date it is not known who was responsible for the incidents in eighty three even though the blame is put on the Sinhala Buddhists. When one realises that the anti Sinhala Buddhist bandwagon earned lots of political mileage as a result of these incidents one has to think very hard on who was ultimately behind them. After the death of Soma Hamuduruwo, I myself was worried as any such incidents resulting from instigations by anti Sinhala Buddhist elements would have branded the Sinhala Buddhists as the most barbarian people in the whole world. At the funeral of Soma Hamuduruwo the crowd behaviour was excellent chanting "sadu sadu" according to the Buddhist traditions. However, towards the end some leaflets had been distributed accusing Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero and the Desha Hithaishee Jathika Vyaparaya for the death of Soma Hamuduruwo. The interesting question is who was behind the leaflet and why it was necessary to accuse the Vyaparaya and the Thero for the untimely death of Soma Hamuduruwo. One is reminded of accusing the JVP for the incidents in eighty three and there are close parallels. Then the question arises as to the use of tear gas by police at the funeral. These incidents have to be investigated thoroughly, and in the meantime full credit has to be given to the Sinhala Buddhists for their behaviour under trying circumstances. It is unfortunate that the NGO pundits and the westerners who maintain them are always on the lookout for something to discredit the Sinhala Buddhists. Even the president when she instructed the police on possible religious clashes was hinting that the Sinhala Buddhists were up to mischief. I for myself would not have expected anything more from this "rational" being who had had her education in an entirely western Christian background. These NGO pundits and others never praise the Sinhala Buddhists for the way they behaved after the attack on Dalada Maligawa. In India if something similar had happened what would have been the result. In England if Westminster Abbey is attacked the people would not do anything for the simple reason that the "secular" state would do the needful. We all know how America reacted after November eleven attack on a "secular" building. The so called biometric identification of visa applicants is another step that the American government has taken as a result of the attack. In Sri Lanka in the name of secularism the government negotiates with the attackers if they are of non Sinhala Buddhist origin. The Sri Lankan state came hard only on the JVP in 1971, and 1989- 1991, but not on the others. It is well known that in spite of rhetoric on Marxism the rank and file of the JVP come from Sinhala Buddhist families. Ven. Soma Thero and other Bhikkus and several lay people had been critical of the so called unethical conversions of Buddhists, Hindus and even Muslims to Christianity. This has been brought to the notice of the government with a minister on "Buddha Sasana" but nothing has happened so far. In more than one sense it has been an exercise in playing the violin for the deaf elephants. They are being made deaf by concepts such as secularism, objectivity and knowledge based on these concepts. In my opinion all conversions are unethical. There is a difference between propagation (dharma prachara) and conversions. There are ignorant "intellectuals" who accuse even Buddha of conversions. Buddha through "Mahakaruna" was interested in propagating Dhamma. The attitude of Buddha to conversions could be seen from the incident of "Gahapathi" Upali who wanted to become a "upasaka" leaving the sect of Nighanta Natha Puththa. Arhant Mahinda did not convert the Sinhalas to Buddhism. The conversion as practiced today is a western Christian concept. The Portuguese converted Buddhists and Hindus to Catholicism by force then Dutch and British converted them to Christianity by force as well as deceit and today American funded churches are in big business converting Buddhists to Christianity. There had been some incidents against these conversions, before the death of Soma Hamuduruwo, but compared to what is happening in India these incidents were minimal. However, the Indian Hindus are not blamed to the extent the Sinhala Buddhists are blamed for the simple reason that the Indian state is against these conversions in spite of its "secularism". The BJP government cannot be called a secular government by any stretch of imagination and the Indian state, though secular in words in the constitution, is a Hindu state for all practical purposes. There are no secular states in the world. They can be found only in the textbooks of "political science" and the so called learned papers published by "political scientists" in research journals. All the states in the west and also in some other countries such as Sri Lanka are Christian by culture whether the prime ministers and the presidents go to church or not. The Catholic church in a statement on "alleged conversions" make an attempt to point the finger at those who are responsible for some incidents. The Sinhala Buddhists have an experience with the Catholic church extending to a few centuries, and we know that when "the bull turns its head it wants to eat the coconut plant". The conversions are not only unethical they are aggressive. Why erect churches in places where there are no Christians? The western Christian culture is one of the most aggressive cultures and the government has a duty to intervene to stop these conversions. The Sinhala Buddhists cannot be fooled anymore by textbook knowledge created in the Christian west as we also now have our own theories and concepts to "understand the world". In particular we refuse to be taken for a ride in a "secular state". Ven Soma Thero knew what pluralism is and the Thero was not against Tamils, Muslims, Christians and others living in this country. However, the Sinhala Buddhists know that there are two pluralisms. One is the weak pluralism where there are many cultures but with one culture being the prominent. In the western countries though there may be Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, the various Christian cultures are not only the prominent but the dominant as well. In India it is the Hindu culture that is prominent, as it should be. In Malaysia the Muslim culture is the dominant culture and as long as they had leaders such as Mahthir Mohammed the west could not accuse them for not practicing so called secularism. Even in Maldives the Muslim culture is the dominant culture. However, in Sri Lanka we have the most westernised (Christianised in culture) leaders in the non western world and they have been brainwashed to practice strong pluralism where all cultures are treated on the same footing. This is the problem in Sri Lanka. The Sinhala Buddhist culture is not given its due place. The Tamil racists, Christian NGOs and others want to make sure that strong pluralism is practiced here, and whenever, the Sinhala Buddhists want Sinhala Buddhist culture be given its due place they are accused of Chauvinism, racism, sectarianism, tribalism, exclusionism etc. There is no point having a section in the constitution on protection of Buddha Sasana if it is not practiced. The Sri Lanka state is Christian in culture and a section in the constitution is useless as has been shown during the last thirty years or so. The western theories and concepts have made the imitators who are called leaders and intellectuals in the country to adopt western attitudes. The Sinhala Buddhists are without leaders and helpless as a result. It is under these circumstances that the Sinhala Buddhists look up to the Bhikkus who mediate in politics according to a tradition that goes back to Anuradhapura period. Soma Hamuduruwo was one of those Bhikkus who had the "vasana" to have a unique style of "dharmadesana". Soma Hamuduruwo has in death shown that the Sinhala Buddhists could be united and has shown where the strength of the Sinhala Buddhist culture is. In spite of theories of political bhikkus by third raters and their imitators, the Sinhala Buddhists at large who unlike the so called leaders given to them by the British education, have no regard for these theories, knew who Soma Hamuduruwo was.

Source: http://www.kalaya.org/files/i031231.pdf

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