Reflections on righteous rule | Daily News

Reflections on righteous rule

People of past generations believed in gazing the new moon which appears 14 days before this day as a good omen. On a Bak Full Moon day, in the fifth year of his enlightenment, the Buddha perceived a dispute brewing between the two Naga Communities in Northern Lanka led by two Kings Chulodara and Mahodara. Buddhism with a message of Peace for all humankind—the Buddha, preached his doctrine to the warring parties at Nagadeepa on his second visit to this land. Buddha quoted from several Jatakas to illustrate the evils of conflict and the value and benefits that one can accumulate from unity and peace.

Hovering in mid-air, above the battlefield and creating darkness and then illuminating the whole area infrequent intervals the Blessed One aborted a war between the uncle and nephew over a magnificent gem-studded throne.

We exist in an age of change. Impermanence is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism. In this state of transiency, we must strive to transform for the better and not for the worse. The Maha Sangha is established by the Master for the continuance of the Sasana. He has proclaimed 311Pratimoksha for nuns and 215 rules for monks in the Vinaya Pitaka, for virtuous living. Buddha permitted the Sangha, at a future time, to change certain rules in keeping with the ideals of his Dhamma-Vinaya, according to the Maha Parinirvana Sutra. Changes adopted not according to the whims and fancies of individuals, but brought forward by way of a proposal by the Sangha Nayake of the country at a Sangha Council, debated, adopted to be binding on all.

History records three Sangha-Councils held at Polonnaruwa, Dambadeniya and Kandy under the patronage of Kings Parakramabahu I, Parakramabahu II and Kirti Sri Rajasingha respectively. The Kings were the protectors of the religion and administrators of the decisions of the Sangha Council.

Buddha never taught any 'ism', or a sectarian doctrine. He educated people of every background, every religion, race creed and caste. He taught the way one can live a life full of benefits. He didn't give empty sermons saying, "You must live like this, or you must live like that". The Buddha taught practical doctrine, the real way to live a good life. Hatred can be compared to an enemy, an internal enemy; this inner enemy has only one function; that is causing us harm—our true enemy, our ultimate adversary. It has no other purpose than simply wipe out us, both in the instantaneous term and in the long term. Dhamma is so simple, so the true-a law of nature, so scientific, applicable to everyone everywhere. Whether one is Christian; Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim, whether one is American, Burmese, Indian, Russian or Italian: it makes no distinction; a human being is just a human being. Dhamma is a science of mind, matter, and the relations and interaction between the two. It should not be allowed to become a sectarian or theoretical belief.

The great scientist worked to find the reality of the connection between mind and matter. In discovering this truth, Buddha found a technique to go beyond mind-matter. Not for the sake of exploring reality or satisfying his curiosity, but to find a way out of suffering. So much unhappiness and despair in every society, in every family, in every country, in the entire universe. The Buddha found a way to come out of this desolation.

So many academics and scholars repeatedly cite the close similarity linking of Buddhist thought and the conclusions of modern science. There is no reservation that Dhamma, in proclaiming the self, the human species, is in parallel with scientific biological theory; but blinding with such comparisons would do more harm than good. Our only aim is to bring these discussions to the knowledge of the people and to encourage a free exchange of observations on a question of primary importance.

The evils of race and racism, spring from assumptions, consciously or unconsciously made, which result in mankind as being separated on biological, or even sociological basis into a hierarchy of combinations, among whom the supposedly ‘superior’ groups do no immoral acts in discriminating against the allegedly ‘inferior’ groups, thus impeding or preventing an amusing association between human beings as a whole.

The Dhamma is often twisted, misinterpreted, turned to suit commercial tendencies. Laymen, quacks and authors or a going bureaucrat enlighten the Dhamma and Ethics. Early morning TV and radio channels broadcast Dhamma and high principles, for which cheques are drawn from public money. Even sermons by monks have reached the level of stylish habit. Interdependence, respect for life, non-separation, and practice of sympathy, empathy and mindfulness are the basic principles of Dhamma. We are living in highly racialized times; conducting the separation that has traditionally existed within our extremely diverse societies. Indeed, our own observation of Buddhism as nonviolent and liberal may itself contribute to a worldwide discourse has represented Muslims as less than first-class citizens.

The Buddha’s political thinking does not by any means encourage dictatorship or autocracy. It does not approve individual's rule. Even in a monarchical rule, Dhamma stresses the importance of conference with others. The king has to be firm, determined and well dedicated, he also has to be kindhearted and compassionate. Thus, the basic principle in Buddhist political attitude is that the state represents and defends the common will of the citizens. Put into practice measures to maintain the will of the citizens the state was expected to stick to certain specific norms, and these are well specified in the concept of the Universal Monarch.

This view is based mainly on the above seven conditions. The Vajjins followed the Satta-Aparihaniya-Dhamma which the Buddha promoted for the monks to follow. However, this is not sufficient evidence to come to a conclusion, for these conditions of development were taught to the Vajjins who already ran a republican government. Buddha told Venerable Ananda Thera that the Vajjins would remain invincible, as long as they pursue the Satta-Aparihaniya-Dhamma.

During a time when kingdoms of huge territorial coverage were coming into being, the Buddha was more concerned about the way of government than about the system adopted; we can conclude. The Buddha taught that the system of government should be chosen according to the prevailing conditions.

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