| by Sripali Vaiamon
( January 19, 2015, Brampton, Sri Lanka Guardian) New President has pledged on the 18th instant to reconcile national and religious conceptions in the country. In view of this it is paramount look into the religious misconception involved in the Buddhism due to unbelievable historical misadventures procreated by authors without paying any heed to evidence and facts.
Buddhists should fully realize what is Buddhism is. It is a profound philosophy of the Buddha who treated everyone alike, irrespective of their religious differences, ethnicities or political affiliations. To Buddha everyone is alike. All are human beings to him.
At the inception of the new Government it is very appropriable to look into the history of our little Island which has been obtusely mislead the people and made them ignorant masses to believe all what ancient historians written without evidence and facts are historical relations. We all must live in this little island in unity irrespective of ethnic, religious or political susceptibilities. But we must have a clear and acceptable history of the country for our children to familiarize with. Now it has been taken out from the school curriculum. Although Lanka is supposed to be a country with a long documented history, it is not being taught in school.
IT IS TIME TO APPOINT A PANEL COMPRISED WITH ERUDITE SCHOLARS TO INVESTIGATE THE HISTORY OF THE ISLAND AND REFORM IT IN CORRECT PERSPECTIVE.
This is something imperative and should be reformed in such a way not to hurt the susceptibilities of masses, particularly that of Buddhists but fully convince them representing the truth to a possible extent. In future they will observe the history in a correct perspective. Now it is left to the veteran politician, Hon.Karu Jayasuriya, the Minister of BuddhaSasana and religious affairs to take correct step in consultation of the President. People in the country should be proud to have a sober and understandable veteran politician as the Minister of this profound subject. Buddhists in the country who are majority should live with other citizens amicably and in broad unity. Present President of the country definitely wish to live with everyone of them more closer in executing all the functions in good governance.
Buddhists should fully realize what is Buddhism is. It is a profound philosophy of the Buddha who treated everyone alike, irrespective of their religious differences, ethnicities or political affiliations. To Buddha everyone is alike. All are human beings to him. His ardent follower, who sent his son and daughter to Sri Lanka to establish Buddha Sasana,King Dharmasoka in his Piller Edicts # 6 and 7 where he had given specific instructions to his administrators to allow and help others to profess their religious views in their own way and further he has engraved in the Girinar Edict #12, by an aphorism that whoever honour his own religion and condemn the religions of others wholly from devotion to his own religion, in acting thus, injurs more gravely his own religion. Every Buddhist must bear this in mind more profoundly and teach BBs and other unholy crowd how they should treat the other religions in the country..
Present President completely willing to govern the country according to King Dharmasoka’s aphorism and be with all the citizens in the country as his own supporters, whatever the political affliations they bind with. All are his own citizens.
For their sake he wills readily willing to present the religion he professes as truly as possible. In this regard his Buddha Sasana Minister, an honest personality will involve in it deeply.
A veteran politician and a well known honest man thorough with the statecraft Honourable Mr.Karu Jayasuriya, was in the previous government too, Now he is holding a better fortfolio where he can render a better service to the country. He is such a character who would be able to assist the country to establish the truth and lead the younger generation particularly to eradicate ancient myths that had been established minus evidence and beyond salient truth by those who were engaged in folkloric situations. Mainly due to these ambiguous orchestrations in the ancient history of our country, which we are boasting constantly as a country with longest documented history in the world, this sanctified subject has been totally withdrawn from the school curriculum. Thereby not only general population in the country but the present generation in the education slot is also totally ignorant of the authentic situations of the Island’s history. High time that it should be rectified. Therefore the younger generation to come out with truth and nothing but truth this crucial subject should be re-established in correct perspective. Whatever the ambiguous myths inculcated by our forefathers should be totally expunged from the old ola leaves and introduce the correct facts with evidence and recreate confidence among the younger generation on their well stressed ethnicity.
Buddhism is mainly based on two prime discoveries explored by the Buddha,i.e.FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS AND EIGHT FOLD PATH. If you just inquire 1000 devotees flock to a temples, I have my doubt only 1% would be able to answer. Because, all of them have been misled with folkloric embellishments and myths. But not with the truth in the Religion.
TERM SINHALA IN MAHAVANSA.
Prof. Hema Ellawala, who made an extensive research on Mahavansa, the great chronicle, affirmed as an established historical document but Mahavansa’s fallings are many and it contains much is myth and legend. Wilhelm Geiger who did a yeoman service to SL history comments in his,’The Culture of Ceylon in medieval times,’- It would be too rash simply to set aside these ancient legends which contain a kernel of history wrapped up in the tales and inventions of pious traditions.
As a matter of fact, Mahavansa has given more prominence to create adventures and legends on religious basis in order to create more piety. As the author was a Buddhist monk he promulgated Buddhist aspect of adventures formed in order to create piety. At the end of 37 chapters of Mahavansa he boldly made a notion to say he compiles this for the serene joy and emotion of the pious- That suggests not to establish any fact or evidence but to create some pious fulfillments. Ancient kings who were the very embodiment of piety highly taken this up as truth as crystal. This has grossly misled the public and ultimately removed “History” from school curriculum a few decades back Now no history as a subject in Sri Lanka schools! Those who come out from educational institutions are lack of historical knowledge. It is much better rather than learning myths as history.
Let’s take a few points for the attention of the veteran politician, Hon.Karu Jayasuriya who could do justice to this sanctified subject, although it will take time.
Origination of term Sinhala from Vijaya is not at all justifiable. Mahavansa made him the progenitor of the Sinhala community. He goes as the FIRST king in the country according to Mahavansa..When Vijaya met Kuveni it was discovered that there was a king of yakka tribe who was known as Mahakalasena and his kingdom was Sirasawasthu. Then he should be the first king in the country. Yakka was one of the tribes out of the four ancient Sinhala tribes, viz. Yakka, Deva, Naga and Raksa.
Vijaya was supposed to be a son of Sinhabahu and Sinhaseevali, both were the products of a lion and a woman. The author didn’t know a lion and a woman cannot procreate human children. Late Dr.Ananda Guruge and historian, John M Senaviratna revealed it was not a lion but a human being who had a name Sinha. Then why on earth, it was taken so seriously to stabilized a community as Sinhalese. Mahavansa says, Sinha lunathi Seehalo.It was the reason the author adduced. Author was Rev.Mahanama of Deegasanda Senapathi Pirivana, Anuradhapura. Veteran archeologist, Siran Deraniyagala revealed from his recent excavation at Anuradhapura that there was a civilization 300 years prior to the advent of Vijaya. In several ancient Sanskrit literature before Vijaya the term Sinhala has been given explicitly. .Markadyapurana, Brahath Sanghitha, Bhagawatha, much prior to that in Mahabaratha more prominently.
I came across the term Sinhala in the second parva (bk) of Mhabharatha. Mr.K.M.Ganguli who translated all the 18 books of Mahabharatha says Sinhala is given in bk2,ch33,and ch51, bk 3 ch51and in bk 7 . According to Monier Monier Williams who compiled the very first English Sanskrit Dictionary, commented Mhabaratha commenced its compilation in 1200 B.C.Intrnet says it was in 900 BC. Dr.B.J.Perera who contributed an article to Ceylon Historical Journal vol 2, says Sinhala is mentioned in the Sanskrit Commentaries of Jaina Canonical works. Ravana in Ramayanaya authored by Valmiki, had written several books in Sinhala, the language obviously seems to be Sanskrit.That suggest the language used by the people of the country at that time probably could be Sanskrit which was known as Sinhala..Perhaps it could be surmised thus: when Panini introduced his grammar book, Asthadayi with three thousands odd grammatical rules even in India the flaw of writing became lethargic. Writers may have thought involving in literary work without grammar is not congenial. Thereafter releasing of books became very slow. In Lanka instead of jaw breaking terms they may have introduced Illu as a simple language in place of Sanskrit.This is my vague presumption.
Ravana who was supposed to be a king of Lanka according to Valmiki had written a few books in Sanskrit such as Nadi Pariksha,Uddisa Chikithsa, Rasarathnakaraya, KumaraTantra, Vatika Prakarna and Herth Chikithsa.( late M.H.Sirisoma,Commissioner of archaeology)
Dr.Paranavithana in the foot note of his Seegiri Gee affirmed the term Sinhala is Sanskrit, in Pali it is Seehala, in Prakrit Sainhala and the term Hela occurred in the Graffiti as an equivalent of Illu or Elu. The late Mr.Arisen Ahubudu had expressed that the four tribes,viz. Deva, Naga, Yakka and Raksa in the Island earned the term Siv+hela=Sihala and that was the equivalent of Sanskrit Sinhala.
Our archaeologists reveled the first discovery of a human bone in Sri Lanka was 125,000 years old and it was discovered from Pathirajawela, down south. Second was 80,000 years. At that era there were lions in this country. So our archaeologists should make further research to find out whether there was any relationship to lions and whether they were called Sinha at that epoch. Thereby Sinha concept crept into to our language.
Sinha names were given to some kings in Akkad in Babylonia where there was a Sinha Dynasty. In 2488 BC. There was a great ruler in Akkad, known as Narang Singh,and another king by the name Bhur Sinha who was in Akkad in 2331, Gimal singh was in 2222 BC. Today nearly 95% of males in Punjab have Singha title at the end of their names. Because these people are the descendants of those who came to Mohanjo daro around 2500 BC. from that region.
OTHER MAJOR CONTROVERSY IS ON BUDDHA’S THREE TRIPS TO LANKA
There is no evidence whatsoever to prove it. Nothing seems to be in Tri Pitaka. This has been originated in Deepavansa,The idea may have been taken from Kurundi or Mahattakatha that have compiled by Poranikas.The author of Mahavansa procreated it in adventurous form, which have highly taken up by ancient kings. As such all Buddhist devotees completely believed and hitherto followed with confidence.
If the Buddha has called over here and preached his doctrine it would have been definitely gone in to the Buddhist Canon. If that is true he may have introduced his doctrine to the Island. We can’t stress it was by Rev.Mahinda.It would be a great contradiction.
Dr.Senarath Paranavithana’s view had published in the Daily News, sometimes back as thus: Some people in this island get annoyed and hurt if we say Buddha did not visit this Island, Therefore we will say he visited Sri Lanka and keep them in eternal happiness and satisfaction.
Dr.G.P.Mallasekara in his “Pali literature in Ceylon,” categorically stated that it is a significant fact that the Pali Canon itself gives a fairly complete account of the Teacher’s activities in the first few years of his ministry, does not make any mention of his visits to Ceylon.
Dr.krishna Swamy Iyanger says Buddha’s visits beyond historical recognition.(Ancient India and South Indian History and Culture)
Sir Dr.D.B.Jayatillake, a prominent Buddhist scholor, published in the Vajjirarama Publication of BUDDHIST of October 1st,1921, where he asked why Tri Pitaka is silent on Buddha’s visits to this island.
Esmee Rankin in ‘In the Island Interlude’ quotes Dr.Paranavithana where he says no inscription referring to the worship of the foot print has been found earlier than the 11th century, anywhere in the Island.
According to Mahavansa, when Buddha visited Kelaniya with 500 Arahaths, Sumana Saman the guardian God of Mount Samanola, came over and invited Buddha to implant his foot print on the peak of the mount for them to worship. So he flew and kept his left foot print and proceeded from there to Yonakapure Makkama, that is in Soudhi Arabia and kept the right footprint at Makkama, that is Mecca. During my school days I have climbed eight times and I may have recited the Gatha composed by a Buddhist monk where it depicted the above as …..Yonaka pure Muninocha Padang.
You should know how this idea crept in. It was in Afganistan for the first time Buddha’s footprint was structured. Both feet were together with a healing Chakkra and lot of other symbols. Dr.Waldhem Sailor who spent 25 years to study the meaning of symbols revealed that the idea of Buddha’s foot print was borrowed first by Sanchi, then Sri Lanka and Burma and several other countries. Historian says Buddha kept his foot print on a sapphire and for the safety sake it was covered with a rock.
History revealed king Valagamba when he was in exile discovered the foot print. If it was covered with a rock how on earth he discovered it? when he was exiled It may have been a thick jungle. Steps were cut only in 1881.
A few centuries ago devotees made this pilgrimage by transferring their properties to others. Because they were not sure that they would be able to return. Now of course for younger generation it is a pleasure trip. In time to come perhaps CABLE CARS may be installed for the sake of tourists.
Several decades back when I had written a simple article on this I asked one of my tutors, Venerable Dr.Rahula, if Buddha has not visited Ceylon how it has been established so strongly ? Well there is absolutely no evidence. I can’t give a satisfactory answer, no answer! He evaded!
It is paramount an erudite Panel, including archeologists to search an answer for this!
At the beginning of the new government, a Panel could be appointed to investigate this and record the truth for the benefit of the younger generation and include HISTORY into the school curriculum. Hon.Minister, please expedite! You are a straightforward matured politician and a good Buddhist like your President.