Monday, November 12, 2007

Why some animals are more equal than others? Episode I

Buddha and universal brotherhood

Once Buddha was alone at the Gittzagoat mountain, looking at the world in his enlightened wisdom. All over the fragmented countries of the India Continent, people were relentlessly pauperized, tortured and down-trodden by the unedifying rulers (Maharajas) who didn’t have any scruple for their own existence, selfish and avaricious interest. Buddha’s heart was filled with a glimpse of compassion towards those sufferers.

He thought to himself, “Instead of going on to live as Buddha, should I become an emperor to deliver the people from torture from those wicked kings, to give peace and prosperity to the people whose entitlements are robbed from their Big Enemies that were their unlawful kings?” When Buddha was at the Jetavona Temple, a young man called Suba came to him asking a series of questions: “ O’ Buddha, I have a question that I couldn’t think out: in this world, some people are long-lived, some have a short lifespan nonetheless; some are healthy all the time, some are always struggling with diseases nonetheless, Some are wealthy, some are in poverty nonetheless, Some have a great number of entourage, some lack of them nonetheless…”, he mentioned in total, a sequel of questions for fourteen dialectic stratified differences of the society, “ O, Buddha. Could I know why are there such differences existing between the people?” Buddha’s answer to all these 14 questions was only one. “Suba, this is Karma that creates all these happenings. Suba, in this world, people have an illusion that they have the parents. In reality, they only have the Karma as the parents. Suba, the worldly people have another illusion that they have the relatives. In reality, they only have the Karma as their relatives. To cap, there is no refuge for the people except their Karma”

When Burmese people have been walking through these nightmares of the military dictatorship, whenever they see the people who are aristocrats, barons, tycoons and good in shape, they usually think and probably Burmese Buddhist monks may help them to think, “they have done very good deeds in the past lives, that is why, they soared the fruits of Karma in this life”. Whenever they face non-affordability, difficulty, poverty and diseases, they blame themselves, “your Karma in the past-lives was not strongly good enough to make you comfortable in this life. Try to do good merits in this life to become better in next life for avoiding those sufferings”. When they see a beggar on the street, they think “this guy is not good enough in doing well for his Karma in the past life or even the present life. That is why, he becomes a beggar”. When they face a mad person on the street, they think “this guy could probably have committed atrocity against his own parents in the past lives. That is why; he becomes a mad man in this life”. When he meets a person with Hansen’s disease, he thinks again “this person is sure to have committed a lot of bad deeds in his past lives, that is why he becomes a lepromatous person in this life”.

Tun, my friend, a political science graduate from London and a very innovative entrepreneur, had once a skirmish against my being as a devout Buddhist as well as all the Burmese. “Leonard, you and all Burmese Buddhism is radically wrong. All Burmese think that what happened to your life and your social fields are related to your Karma.This is really non-sense. You all attach to a ridiculous principle, Karma and heap every happening in your life on it. Burmese become never proactive to fight for their life by clinging to this unsound principle”. I answered him “No, the Karma interpreted by Burmese society today is not the principle Buddha intend to mean. Buddha never says that your inferiority or your prosperity is related to Karma. What Buddha actually means is the principle of volition; volition is conglomerated happening at the mental level. If you know the principle of dependent origination (Parissa Samuputta), the Karma, the volition again, is in another dimensional point, a diversified and interdependent happening of all worldly creatures”. I began to realize at the same time there is a great need to clarify misinterpreted fallacies in Buddhism.

The collective wisdom could probably be quite smart in framing the society, however, it will not be good to say a cow as a buffalo just merely following the collective decision of the people. At his enlightenment time, Buddha himself was a revolt man to collective wisdom for the India Hindu people to accept the discrimination in their caste system. Buddha said, “There is neither royal caste, neither merchant caste nor neither servant caste in my system. As if five hundred rivers, whether they are big or small, long or short, they come together at the Great Ocean to become one, all my disciples are equal to come together at this Way of Enlightenment (Sarsana)”. Buddha also told his followers, the monks, “After I die, only the Dhamma principles will be your teacher to guide you. You call each other by the name of “my brother”; you need to pay homage to each other according to the seniority of your practice as a monk”. Buddhism can probably be the first religion to combat any discrimination in society and apparently aiming at the universal brotherhood.
(To be cont..)


Anonymous said...

you are drawing a piece of string from the snakes' nest!


Naw Pearl said...

Ko Burmakin,

This is a very challenging topic to the way of thinking of Burma and also the world Buddhism. I am expecting to read more.

BurmeseGoldBull said...

Dear Burmakin,

u said, "the Karma interpreted by Burmese society today is not the principle Buddha intend to mean."

I would like to read more on how this wrong interpretion came into burmese mind.


Anonymous said...

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