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Independence – what it means to me

"If even one person feels Independent citizen of Mother Lanka – Mother Lanka has earned the status as an Independent Nation at the level at which the declaration is made. Given that I believe I am Tamil – I conclude that I am confirming the Independence of Sri Lankan Tamils as a Community."

by Gaja Lakshmi Paramasivam

A person bound by objective desires will try in various ways to fulfill them. He will be a slave to his senses and their pursuits. But if one withdraws the senses from the world and gains control over their master, the mind, and engages that mind in thapas (penance), then one can establish Swaarajya or Self-mastery - independence over oneself. Bondage means to allow the senses to attach themselves to objects. When the mind that flows through the senses towards the outer world is turned inwards and is made to contemplate on the Atma, it attains Liberation or Moksha. - Swami Sai Baba - Bhagavatha Vahini, Chap 31

(February 04, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) I refer to your (Subramaniam Masilamany) article published under the caption ‘God has spoken who said there is no God’ in yesterday’s Sri Lanka Guardian. I have chosen to respond to it on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day. I was not going to respond to it until I received from Mr. John Gurusamy of Malaysia, the above Sai message last night. I had registered yesterday, the Independence Day message to Sri Lankans from American Secretary of State Mrs. Hilary Clinton as published in the Guardian on 02 February. Combining all these within me – I felt the urge today to respond to you in the consciousness of the need for true Independence for all Sri Lankans.

You say in your message “We understand that Mahinda rajapaksa has cancer. We don’t know. When there is no other way to find justice for his atrocities an incurable disease is the right punishment”

First of all, one cannot ‘understand without knowing’. Hence I take it that your article is based on ‘hearsay’ and not knowledge nor belief and belief alone. Belief based expressions are subjective and would be accepted naturally by all those bound by common belief – even though we may not see or know each other. That is Divine Power. Unless you have renounced all - seen, heard and known benefits – that are likely to come through your statements - and still feel the effects of the alleged atrocities by President Rajapakse – when you are on your own - your expressions are not purely Belief based.

In other words, you must start with zero base in relation to expectations from others. That leaves you with an assessment of costs/losses within your own custody, including in the past and the foreseeable future. Then the benefit in the custody of others becomes Maya / Illusion. When we renounce this, we start seeking the means through which to balance that cost from within. That is when the path to self-sufficiency opens. To me that is the way to Independence. To the extent I am not able to reward myself through benefits – I feel connected to others in similar situation. I am no longer alone. Hence I lose benefits and gain people. Some/few are people known to me and are in that environment. Most are not known and yet I feel connected – deep within me. They surface and show themselves to me when I need their support in another place and / or another time. In other words costs have become investments. To me that manifestation without me making any obvious attempts, is the Power of Truth which is realized when we are truly Independent.

All spiritual elders have in one form or the other said that there is God within us – that each one of us is god. It’s when we fully realize this that we feel truly Independent.

In other words, unless you renounce / have lost sight of all ‘objective desires’ as Swami Sai Baba says above – you have not entered the world of your inner Truth. That urge to be self sufficient needs to be greater than our desire for the benefits in the custody of others.

I entered that world of my own Truth - after Central Administrators of the University of New South Wales, headed by the Vice Chancellor, punished me when I sought to claim my benefits through Due Process, as per my work performed. As I wrote to the Management of our School of Human Values in Sangarathai-Vaddukoddai – (the District where the first declaration of Tamil Independence was made by Tamil politicians ) – my work is my God (Seyyum tholliley Theivam) and the Common Codes of Conduct of that job are my Righteous paths of conduct (Ahra Nehri). As per my Professional Codes – my conduct was ‘right’. Hence the punishment I felt was due to me giving form to my faith in my work values, through the wrong people – people who did not share my faith in those Professional Codes. Hence by complaining against them through legal avenues, despite knowing from ‘history’ that I was likely to lose, I was renouncing the benefits in the custody of others. That confirmed to me that I was using the path of Ahimsa – Non Violence as Gandhi did. I cannot consciously hurt those from whom I do not expect direct benefits. Hence there is no violence on others. In return, I felt rewarded for my genuine work – through feelings of ownership in this work and the institutions / people who also carried those values. Truth makes us Universal. That is Independence.

You say “Character produces Faith; Faith produces Hope”

To me, we make decisions / complete our experiences in two ways –

(1) Through our thoughts and

(2) through our Faith.

Thoughts stem from two sources –

1.1 Surface Memory – which is a register of the raw information taken in by our senses. The net effect of it is the picture produced through majority raw information – as in majority vote. There are no rights or wrongs but mere identification with the picture shown by raw information / hearsay.

1.2 Deeper Memory which has already processed the raw information with deeper values / Truth within ourselves. To me that is commonly called ‘knowledge’. This is used in Administration and Management

Faith is developed largely in two ways:

2.1 Faith through Zero base work by ourselves. This usually happens when we seek and find – as in Research

2.2 Faith in others by combining our work with theirs without producing the outcomes of our work. The best example I can think of is Learning and then Teaching. Most of our academics follow this kind of Teaching rather than first make their own discoveries from zero base.

The system of Democracy relies heavily on 2.1 whilst the system of Autocracy relies heavily on 2.2

My way is to do what I can as per (1) above (thought basis) and take the rest to ( 2 ) above (Faith basis). Within Faith – I first use 2.1 as per my work and then seek the most appropriate person as per 2.2 to fill the gap. So long as I have faith – when no one comes and I still realize fulfillment – God has come from within. If I do not feel that fulfillment – I am not yet Independent.

In the case of President Rajapakse only he could legitimately claim such independence. The rest of us can only place ourselves in that position and give the answer. In other words, if you have an ailment and someone has accused you of a wrong doing just before that – you would conclude that God has punished you.

So, as per my assessment – do I believe that God punished President Rajapakse for the suffering of Tamils? No.

My faith in my work is the basis of my assessment. What happened during that time – happened to me through the Public Administrative system of Sri Lanka, which facilitated for me to work with the IDPs. There was no political influence from either side. There was common faith - in Sai Baba as well as genuine Public Administrative work by all concerned. Between the two sides - Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE – the former has deeper investment in Public Administration than the latter. The LTTE itself confirmed this through a UNDP project.

Using 1.1 above - In terms of losses and pain, the accounts I heard about ‘who’ caused the suffering – until the last war – it was the Government. But during and soon after the war – it was the LTTE.

Hence if we say that President Rajapakse is suffering at physical level due to his excesses, we need to also say that Prabakaran who openly declared his independence of and therefore Equality with the President – also died due to his attacks on fellow Tamils, who are part of our community by virtue of being Tamil. Most of them believed they were Tamils. Through his death – Prabakaran hurt many Tamils. Hence even if we are to say that Prabakaran did not suffer – but died a hero – all those who hurt and felt/feel let down are suffering due to their dependence in him to handover the benefits of Independence. Hence President Rajapakse is also entitled to say that those Tamils are suffering due to alleged LTTE atrocities.

As for me – using my belief in the Tamil Community as a whole – for better or for worse, I have absorbed the LTTE as part of the Tamil Community and hence my strengths are enough to cover their weaknesses. That is the deepest way through which I believe I can protect the Tamil community from any negative karma. To that extent – as per the path of Dharma, I have the responsibility to not give thought or form to the negatives of the Sinhalese leadership also. Hence at the leadership level – I am an Independent citizen of Mother Lanka.

If even one person feels Independent citizen of Mother Lanka – Mother Lanka has earned the status as an Independent Nation at the level at which the declaration is made. Given that I believe I am Tamil – I conclude that I am confirming the Independence of Sri Lankan Tamils as a Community.

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