Category Archives: Dhamma

Buddhism (Dhamma) Made Simple

The Common misinterpretations of a Pali Verse that states the body decays but the Name and the Tribe does not

This verse I have heard many politicians of yesteryear utter in tandem with political speeches, I often wonder from where it originated.

This has nothing to do with Buddhism or Dhamma.

Somebody with knowledge with Pali had coined this verse and all politicians of yesteryear and present use this as a phrase to propagate his or her name and tribe. This is how the post-colonial culture and politics developed.

Rupam Jirati Majjanam (Body decays)

Nama Gottam Najirathi” (nmae and tribe do not)

The face value seems all Buddhist in nature but its implication in modern day is really disruptive to the nature of Dhamma as stated in the Tripitaka (the Three Baskets).

There is no problem with the first statement.

The second statement destroys the whole tenet of Dhamma in its entirety.

In Buddhist phenomenology self (Nama or Soul) does not exist and the tribe (Gothra) is an illusion that originate from the above wrong premise.

I have to restate the same with my own invention as below.

The meaning I am trying to derive at is that the Mind State does not vanish at death but (Patisandhi) re-link with the next Bhava using Kamma as the vehicle or the driving force.

Rupam Jirati Majjanam

Nama (means Mind here) Kittam (means Kamma) Najirathi

(The Gotham is substituted with Kittam-Kriya)

 

In Abhidhamma context it is realistic to use the above version of the verse (even though I am not a Pali scholar) to express the conditional existence of Bhava. The term Nama Rupa (stated above in first chapter) occurs frequently in Abhidhamma and Nama is used interchangeably with the Mind. The term for body is corporeality and not Rupa in Pali context.

Who perpetuated this myth is immaterial but the damage it has done is enormous. In that context writing something of my own contradicting the statement is appropriate even though it is a departure from the original tenets of this book.

This I think originated with the British rule. It is common for us to blame the British for every little mishap we are going through in our modern history. But this one is a direct antecedent. They are the one who started naming the streets even in Kandy with British names of inheritance and their Governors. All the streets in Colombo have some relevance to British authorship. In their tradition it is a normal and is all welcome by every British administrators big and small.

What went wrong was that we adapted this tradition without scrutiny in the post-colonial period and continue to do so even now. Instead of naming the street with some meaningful road traditions like main street, cross street, first lane or second lane we started adapting our own names. Politicians in turn for their gain started naming these streets with the names of their kith and kin. They invented and used the above jargon riddled Pali verse for the propagation of the political agenda.

Even though the tradition is British the wrongful doing is our own ill vision, political patronage and heritage.

No Entry

World Cup Football (fever) is over and the Maha Brahma (really his assistant) tells me that few of the earthly beings ended up in his salvo with request to change the honour’s list which he declined until such time the inquiry into the head butting is over. He was annoyed that he gave a big brain to the humans expecting them to use it wisely but not in combat as in head butt. He has set up a commission to investigate how to reduce the brain to a size (manageable in sport) needed for the current century that man including politicians can use  prudently.

Maha is also worried about the free entry of politicians including French Presidents to sport events which they do not have a clue in administering let alone enjoying.

Until such time I have to pen down a current story circulating in the heaven.

It is about a Paraya Dog of Sri-Lanka.

This Paraya Dog of course is a resident of Kandy.

He had been frequenting a large temple, a doctor’s clinic and a lawyer’s residence in his active life. In actual fact he was visiting the rubbish heaps of those concerned.

Unfortunately he is terminally ill from a disease he contracted from the doctor’s rubbish dump.

I am not sure whether it was a dog’s dream or in fact a divine story but it goes on like this.

In his deja-vu state he happened to address the Brahma and the Brahma politely asked him what he wants to be in his next life. The Sandy (the adopted name for this canine specimen because of his muddy colour) of course asked can I be a High Priest in my next round.

The Brahma asked why you want to attain high goals?


Sandy promptly said no Sir, judging by the type of food he eats, his likings are no different from mine he said. Then Brahma said that is not what was intended by the Buddha if you want to be a high priest the minimum code is Dasa Sil and higher and listed all the pre-requisites.

Then Sandy declined saying that I was so faithful in my life I cannot do that.

What about a doctor he asked. That is OK but there is a problem. The doctors have a Code of Conduct and they also tell you don’t eat this and that (cholesterol), don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke and don’t have sex without a condom.


“But my experience is different” by the doctor I was frequenting and Maha promptly said that is typical of Sri-Lankan doctors and they do not practice what they preach just like others.


Then Sandy asked why not a lawyer?


It is OK but there is a hitch. He went on elaborating that lawyers have to frame and pass laws to combat all the vices the doctors and high priests claim and he is inundated with such claims and there are pressure groups claiming that some are violating human as well as animal (if a man want to be an animal like Zidene  Zidane be that so) rights.

Life is not easy on this sunny island he said.


Then Sandy asked can I be your assistant?


Well that is no problem but there is a bit of a problem. As soon as you come here I have to take leave and you are in charge and you have to wait till the Maha comes from his leave of absence.


I thought you are the Maha.


No I am his assistant and I was a Pedigree Dog not worldly wise like you and I promptly accepted his offer as an assistant. Moment I came here he went on vacation but you must know that the vacations here are counted in eons and not in days.


So you are stuck with your faith of the master!

In that case can you cancel my life entry and no entry at all for next round like the next world cup?

It is possible but there is a long waiting queue and you have to wait for at least the next Poya.

Is that OK?


Then Sandy asked why such a delay?


I am in a hurry.


You know I have to check each entry carefully and especially the CVs of all Sri-Lankan applications. There are lot of errors and false declarations it is some what of a dull job. To tell you the truth even my entry had a long list of Pedigree dogs and Maha Brahma had to scrutinize each generation and told me “you not that pure as it claims”.


I told him it is not my fault it is the fault of the master.

He promptly accepted my innocence.


How long is your CV?


Only 4 entries in all Sandy told the Maha’s assistant.


How come?


Paraya, Paraya, Paraya and Faithful are the only entries.

I am sure of my mother but not sure of the father.


Why the hurry?


In a short while the Kandy Perehara is due we would be rounded up and sent to hell by the Kandy Municipality.


Brahma’s assistant asked no more questions and the Sandy’s request was granted promptly and he successfully attained Nibbana.

Who says an intelligent, faithful and trustworthy dog cannot attain Nirvana.

This is not the first in record, the Brahma’s assistant tells me.

PS. Zidane name was incorporated to celebrate the French Independence and no offense to him or France was intended.

14th July 2006
Dr.S.B.Asoka Dissanayake

How to forward a dead man’s (women excluded) email

Internet is a bustling with activity and it has spawned new avenues for recreation. I have been specially appointed from both Apaya and Devlova (Heaven) coordinate activities and I have been asked to formulate a formula to prevent Apaya MySQL Web Server getting jammed.

As an initial remedy I have instructed them to have new server for Sri-Lanakns but Apaya does not want to vandalize limited resources on Sri-lanka and that is why they need a special formula.

Since I am in regular contact with Sackra’s assistant which I have from the time of registration of Hela Urumaya as a political party (that appointment was to give a resume of all Hela Urumaya voters who gets a call of nature through Devalays before their demise).

Sakcra himself handles the party stalwarts and he does not believe their own well cooked up resumes leave alone any comments that I have made about them in web publications. Unlike Apaya. They have enough memory in all the servers with my good offices I have made an arrangement to provide a server on IMF loan facility to Hell which can be paid back while in hell to Apaya accounts.

You may wonder how I got the appointment. On merit and that is due to my intense interest in Linux and the number of publication in the web by any Sri-Lankan.

They have just typed asoka and linux and lately asokaplus and got hold of my web counting. Then they have looked at the impact it made in Sri-Lanka which was almost zero and connected me wirelessly to ask why this discrepancy.

I promptly said I publish only in English to which they said why don’t you make an attempt to improve English. I said Sir I am doing it right now by writing and that is the reason for me posting in the web.

They were quite happy and impressed with my answers but said your extensions will be based on your daily writings and that is why I have to post at least one a day at wordpress.

When I was at writeclique it was once in three days and at Google once in 2 to 3 days and now once a day like a poor National News Paper Editors.

I am told by the Web Administrator of the Apaya (Hell in English) a new super powered Server to handle the demand from Sri-Lankans was installed this year (immigrants specially from Colombo 7, Hela Urumaya type who sell electricity for an exorbitant price -they have a special sub-system for Hela Urumaya).

Nobody can contact the President and the Head of Apayas since he is 24 hour on call and cannot sleep.

He was elected recently unanimously without a contest and he can go for re-election at lib.

His crime was sleeping while on call duty at President’s Office and giving false promises to the visitors and giving false statements to a judicial inquiry (perjury not punished here).

You may wonder what is the difference between becoming head of Apaya or Devlova.

Sackra has four hours of sleep and he can delegate some of activities to the assistant and the assistant can delegate it to me. It looks as if one becomes a President of this country he can easily take up a position in Apaya since there are no delegated activities now in Apaya and super-computers have taken over mankind (beingskind- a new word coined by me for Apaya use) there.

 

My duty is easy to forward dead man’s emails either to Apaya or Devlova or safe house in between for scrutiny. By doing that all email holding companies will benefit by releasing their precious space for new comers.

I am currently doing the test run on the formula I have developed on Senior Ministers’ profiles (I am duty bound not to disclose test runs to the person while they are alive) on my computer and it got stuck due to overload and may have to update the RAM and speed.

Unfortunately I am not paid any allowances even though I requested 10% on testing and another 50% on running.

If you have any suggestion please forward it to me without any delay so that I can include them on the revised version. I have decided not to make the formula public since the Central Bank of Ceylon (Now SIRI LANKA) and IMF would get bright ideas to change roles and divest their energies in Apaya Investment Limited (newly formed company by me)

Mind you there is a vacancy for-How to forward a dead woman’s email post- any man or woman can apply by passing me.

Details are at Apaya Investment Limited website if it is in operation without any untoward attack by Sri-Lankan Government.

 

Mind you I did not tell the Apaya Web Admin that there is cloud computing on the offing thinking that they might reserve space on cloud farms for future use and we might not have anything left for poor souls like me.

Granny Award

I intend to award a “Granny Award” in my mother’s name in her early nineties to any person who come with an English Drama based on the stages mentioned below.

The contents are Open Source and are generally under the Linux GPL Convention.

1. Originator Unknown Sri-Lankan Author in his late Nineties (I claim he is not my late father)

2. Recent Rendering by a Bookshop Assistant in Kandy who wishes to be anonymous

3. This Edition is by Me (MINIME VERSION) and BABA (one of my dear friends who is no more with us), SAMBA, BIMBA, ZIMBA, SINHA BAR (Lion BAR), ALI (KANDY ELEPHANTS, THE TWO LEGGED VARIETY) and any HORA-BABA (fatherless baby) or any unborn Sri-Lankan Baba (baby) can participate in future developments of this  humane animal story(copyleft).

Currently the Pothe-Guru (story Teller) is me, the current author.

The big DADDY VERSION (the language  of communication could be from simple to vulgar depending on the alcohol content) is only for private consumption of my friends especially after a suitable beverage except the Sri-Lankan dust TEA (not Tiger Wood’s recent TEE) which I use as manure for ornamental plants.

Evam Mesuthan Ekam Samayam (So, said and so heard).

1. I was a privy to Relay Carnival (passing the bucks relay, really fast, like the hedging deal) in the Animal (they are more humane and eat only when hungry) Kingdom.

I was the only Sri-Lankan selected by an island wide Lottery conducted by the Hela Urumaya (or Karumaya) Surakumu Foundation (HUKU-SUMU for short).

2. I was on holiday in a Forest Reservation (JUNGLE HABITAT).

3. I observe an elderly (prostate enlarged) Peter Rabbit grazing.

4. Jack the Jackal (with financial interests in Sri-Lanka) greedily waiting for an innocent prey.

5. Scene of Jackal (both hip joints and knee joints are replaced (by bionic prosthesis delivered by a Sri-Lankan TELESHOP GIANT on a Plate made of unclaimed Credit Cards-because of his Royal Ancestry) chasing the Rabbit.

6. BLIND forest (Hermen) hermit descend from heaven and lands on a busy Junction (Thun-Man Chinthana Handiya) for free dhana.

7. Rabbit approaching the hermit with break neck speed without a Crash Helmet.

8. Rabbit jumps over hermit visibly shaken up and annoyed.

9. Lands a squirt of Holy (Medical) Water (Urine for short) right on the nose and mouth.


10. Hermit really thinks the water is holy and ascends to a higher Jhana.

11. Jackal approaches the hermit with a bionic speed and put on breaks instantaneously.

12. Jackal licks the nose and face of the hermit.

13. Hermit rudely awakened from his Transient Trance(Transient Ischaemic Attack-TIA).

14. Jackal reprimands the hermit with a nasty comment; Why don’t you stay a few feet above the ground?

15. Well, I was thinking about my Bank Balance of Merit (PIN-Numbers) in Seylan Bank and settled where I ought to be, was his reply.

16. Well then, did you see a rabbit running this way?

17. Yes, Yes I heard some animal running but I cannot say what species he was but I can very well tell you that he was a male.

18. You say you are a hermit and blind.

How can one see the SEX of an animal running fast in a Meditative Mode?

19. Didn’t the Master tells you, it is an illegal task to think about sex in Meditative Trance?

20. We animals think about sex, only when we are in full sexual flow and not otherwise, he proclaimed.

21. Can you tell me how the BLIND HERMIT instantaneously guessed the SEX of the fast moving passerby?

Help;
Nothing to do with his urine or prostate and it is due to some other reason.

Only a Sri-Lankan would be able to guess the ANSWER and it is a common saying when a policeman is chasing a politician who has committed a traffic offense.

Postscript
Purva-Bhava Connections
1. The hermit was a Traffic Warden (an active member of Hela Urumaya) who went to heaven instantaneously when hit by a Guy from the Presidential Escort.

2. The rabbit was a monk who went in search of emancipation in Sri-Lankan Parliament and deposited his hard earned money in a private bank.

The Jackal was a Sri-Lanakan Private Banker, better than an American swindler.

I was of course the CNN Reporter Assistant (only doing the editing) of iReportes, using a stolen mobile telephone.

Corollary
Only a male Jackal with large prostate can squirt a healthy vigorous stream while running, and a man cannot.
The rabbit in this story did it due to fear and the anger (monk standing on his getaway flight).

A female (liberal woman) will never be able to perform this act even when standing, the future Female US President or probable female candidates included.

Asoka with special Urine Test for the prostate and prostrated Sri-Lankans without a fee.

Old Age and Survival Beyond

In Buddhist history one of the signs Buddha saw in his outing outside the Royal Castle was an ambling old man.

It is certain that now all of us will live up to old age (with one proviso which I will enlarge open later) now that the war is over and it will probably never surface again (but another war will emerge to replace it and it is showing all the evidence all over the world) for a decade or so.

Another sign Buddha saw was debilitating sickness (no age difference).

Unfortunately in old age sickness is common accompaniment and many of us have no coverage for sickness while working or in old age. (The other two signs are not for worldly gains but for visions beyond worldly dreams and it is inappropriate and contextually not relevant here).

It is true that we have free medical services but the delivery system has major imbalances but geared to emergency service (O.P.D) and supportive.

Services are not proactive and health education (preventative) is of low priority.

For example cost of renal transplantation and open heart surgery are prohibitive.

What is important is that the quality life falls below what was maintained drastically in old age and especially when one is a pensioner.

I cannot see any country that does not discriminate due to age, be it is childhood, young or old age.

It is enshrined in U.N.O. protocol that there should not be any discrimination due to age, sex. race or (and many other elements) religion.

But in practice no country enforces these principles that are written in black and white on paper.

This is the sad part of the story and only a few can prolong the life while maintaining the standards they enjoyed as young.

That is the reality of life and there is always some discrimination especially when old and very young.

Now I should say what happened in U.K. three decades ago with Mrs. Thather (she was in for power for three terms) in full swing.

She embraced the American Policy and Dream and propagated that every one can become very rich provided one works hard.

She systematically destroyed collective responsibility by destroying the miner’s strike and introducing various reforms including in Education and Health.

She changed the universal right to protect life (It is the Government’s Responsibility) and in good quality too.

She pruned the Health Service and introduced the Private Pension Scheme (which was more attractive than the basic government pension).

Now 30 years later who were attracted by the economic boom and the eventually bust in 2009, are living in absolute poverty (in European terms) and government have no funds to support them and they are increasing the pensionable age to 67 and more years.

I was one who believed I should work as long as possible not at the same pace as young but moderate and steady pace (not many think like me though) since not doing any work is anathema to me (having worked all my life without any consideration for day or night).

But like in cricket (except intellectual activity) one has to throw the towel like Flintoff (classic example of Burnt Out Syndrome -like the hard working miners of Sheffield of yesteryear) when one is not able to perform (intellectual capacity falls dramatically from the age of 30 years and at much faster rate after 60 unfortunately but the Ego and hanging to life increases at an amazingly fast rate but inversely proportionate to former).

This is where I feel is it worth doing a bypass and prolong the life for another 5 or 10 years and living a quality of life hand to mouth in old age and be a burden to self and to the immediate family.

This is the choice one has to make but I have seen very few of individuals that are prepared to face life bravely and without much attachment to name and self.

There was a saying what I heard but never believed (this is the belief inculcated in politicians irrespective of the party of origin- G.O.P or not) in childhood.

Mind you this not a Buddhist saying (statement) but words are in Pali.

Jivitham Annitham (Maranam-jiratham) sa Nama Goththam Nijirathie.

Life is impermanent but name and creed will last.

The first part of the statement is philosophically true and hence the second part cannot be true.

So some time ago as a kid I changed it to

Jivitham Annitham (Maranam-Jiratham) sa Nama Goththam Jirathie.

That is the only Buddhist Concept I learned by myself and follow it to this day.

I am very insignificant in numbers game if I compare myself to the millions of life forms on this planet.

All life forms love their life but how many bacteria I killed and how many mosquitoes I killed cannot be estimated in numbers.

Fortunately I cannot kill viruses including AIDS virus.

I have a theory that viruses are essential to evolution on this planet including AIDS Virus and H1A1 and ultimately viruses will determine the final outcome of the human race (man had been developing biological agents for warfare) and the planet earth will produce one virulent virus to eliminate humans species one day.

If we are so selfish like what we are today and rest of all the humans who inhabit this planet I do not think that the 3rd or 4th generation of mankind SURVIVING.

I THINK OF MY SURVIVAL ONLY.

IS IT REASONABLE?

Doom and Gloom, that is if we do not control the expansion of human race and protect the extinction of resources that man needs for his survival including quality of drinking water.

The same principle applies to me too in my old age.

In old age I do not need a bypass or or kidney from another. This is what I believe for myself but can I convince anther soul to this conviction?

I do not think so!

I had been an enough contributor to dwindling resources and saying good bye to this planet should not be an offense but should be dear commitment!

We are too consumerist like all Americans, Indians and Chinese!

Africans are also following suit where the human race believed to have originated for the first time.

Our selfishness will lead us to our extinction one day!

That is the universal truth!