Extremist Buddhists, ‘Nonviolence’ Be Damned, On The Rampage In Sri Lanka.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


Anura Guruge

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I am coming up with a new expression and acronym.


What Would Buddha Say?

I somehow do not think that Gautama Buddha would somehow condone what is now being done in Sri Lanka, by the Sinhalese, in the name of Buddhism.

I wonder how many of the Sinhala Buddhist that took part in this bloodshed were vegetarians?

And that to me is the sad irony of all of this. Buddhist will squirm if they see somebody killing a worm BUT this violence is, their equivalent, of the Crusader’s, “God’s Will”, though, Buddhists, thank God, have no God to pin this inexcusable stuff on.


Plus, I am sure, the mechanics of the Buddhist reincarnation, i.e., repeated rebirth, being something that I was an expert on, that there is nothing in Buddhism that says that hurting or killing a human being, in the name of Buddhism, is NOT a demerit. I will contend, that per the “Anura Guruge table of reincarnation points” (and I really should publish this because it is the ONLY table of its kind) killing a human, irrespective of the circumstances, has to be -1,560,320 points. So eating an egg is -15. Putting a white sheet on a chair for a monk to sit on is +15. [That is why I was golden. I had it all worked out. First thing in the morning. Run out to the verandah. There was sure to be monks visiting to beg favors from the ‘Big Boss’. Whip out the sheets, from the ‘almara’, put them on the chairs. Worship the priests (which was +45 each) and I was all set to have my two eggs for breakfast. Two sheets for the monks wiped out the two eggs. And I was already +90 ahead for the day. Spanking the monkey was not a sin or a merit. So there was no points associated with that, thank God. It was a normal physical function like eating — rice or dahl.]

The new acronym you need to know IF you are in any way interested in this stuff.

BBS — and no, it does not, alas, stand for Blithering B.S., as it should. Maybe if we all start thinking of BBS as Blithering BS that might help given that in my opinion that is what it is.

BBS = Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force).

I only learned about BBS yesterday! People just don’t believe that I don’t follow Sri Lankan news or politics. Well, I don’t. I learned about BBS because I saw that the U.S. had refused to grant a visa to a BBS priest. I am 100% with the U.S. Foreign Service on that. They did the right thing. He was only coming here to raise money and ferment trouble.

I couldn’t read their original manifest because it is in Sinhalese. That annoys me sometimes. Sinhalese was my mother tongue and I read Sinhalese like a native. I had to look them up on Wikipedia. Here is the entry. A phrase in their raison d’être, viz. “… claiming it was not militant enough in protecting Buddhism”, told me all I needed to know. I think, though not 100% sure, that the Buddha and I will be one on this: ‘militant‘ and ‘Buddhism‘ is not something you expect to see in the same sentence.

Radical nationalistic Buddhism in Sri Lanka bothers me — just like ALL religion-based unrest and animosity bothers me.

I haven’t had a Sri Lankan passport since 1983. I gave up on Buddhism c. 1971, because after years of studying Buddhist reincarnation, the real basis of Buddhism, very, very carefully I came to the conclusion that it made absolutely no sense. The last time I worshipped a Buddhist monk was in 1992 and that was mainly because I was hugely jet-lagged and it was habit. These days I thrust my hand out to shake hands with them — which confounds them no end.

This Radical nationalistic Buddhism bothers me at multiple levels on multiple fronts. It is crazy. It is NOT the Buddhism that I grew up in. I grew up in a society that was tolerant where a person’s religion, ethnicity or color made no difference. Yes, there was and is a color issue in Ceylon/Sri Lanka! White! Burghers (descendents of white colonists)! We did NOT discriminate against the whites. I had an uncle, by marriage, my surrogate father, a man who I have taken after more than anyone else, who was white and a Baptist. He was my uncle. I spent half my young life with him. And I was a brown, Sinhalese Buddhist. We never spoke religion. Yes, I celebrated Christmas and Easter at his house — which he left to me (and I then gave it, kind of stupidly, to an aunt, because I tend to be like that). I made out like a bandit at Christmas to the intense resentment of my other cousins. I can’t help it if they were not the anointed. Actually the whole extended family, about 60 of us, would celebrate, lavishly, sans alcohol, of course, Christmas and Easter at his house. Meat, imported lamb from NZ for an aunt, galore. 90% of those that attended were Buddhist.

Hence my annoyance. Yes, some of my relatives, people that used to celebrate Christmas and Easter with my uncle the Baptist, are involved in this radical nationalistic Buddhism. That upsets me. They should NO better. We all have at least ONE cousin who is Christian. Different side of the family. My uncle the Baptist, a lawyer, the lawyer for the Ceylon Ministry of Food, had no children — just me. No. Our Christian cousin is from another uncle who married a Christian. Their daughter, their only child, was brought up a Christian. Now I have cousins into this Nationalistic Buddhist garbage — spouting stuff like Buddha was born in Sri Lanka. Yep, I just saw a pig fly. This was not how we were brought up. That is my gripe. We made no distinction. Buddhist marrying Christians and we lived next door to Tamils — and they were very much family.

Well I have covered some of this already in this post. I have to go. Have to finish a chapter on Pope Celestine V (#193), one of my favorite popes. Let me finish with a funny story as to HOW conflicted these radical nationalistic Buddhists can be. When I told a cousin in Sri Lanka, in 2008, that I had written a book, “Popes and the Tales of Their Names”, he sent me back an e-mail asking me why I had INSULTED the family bu doing something like that. I had never realized that writing any book, especially one that broke new ground on papal research and will be referenced in years to come, would ever insult any family. He died a few months ago. Wonder what he would have said when I publish my first book on sex. I guess that would be OK. It is not about Catholicism. But, wait for it. This Buddhist cousin, my marriage, that said I insulted the family … his wife … my cousin … her paternal grandmother was a devout Catholic! This cousin, who said I insulted the family, when he married into the family, lived in a big house, with his wife and her family, which contained a Catholic shrine with all the works. Red candles, pictures of hearts, icons of the Virgin Mary. And I insulted this family by writing a book about popes! That, my friend, is why I worry about radical nationalistic Buddhists. I do not think that they know what they are doing.


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