He who makes his living by serving his master(s) is a slave, not a Bhramin.
He who makes his living by stealing or robbing is a thief, not a Bhramin.
He who makes his living by holding the weapons is a soldier, not a Bhramin.
He who makes his living by governing the wealth and resources of the soil is a king, not a Bhramin.
He who makes his living by priestly craft is a ritualist, not a Bhramin.
Just by his ascriptive status of either heredity or inheritance, I don’t call he is a Bhramin. Yet, he is still flinched from the dart of fear and is merely a coward.
He who doesn’t have fear, who doesn’t have a seizing (free from dogmatism, violence, arrogance), I call him a Bhramin.
Burmakin: Your majesty, I could agree with you that there is no Burmese spirit or peacock spirit as such. Nevertheless, I have a question for you. The term Burmese might not be real or perhaps mere stupidity to incite arrogance. However, I think there is a merit to still maintain that I am a Buddhist. Buddhist is the character of wisdom, modesty and serenity. The latter is the opposite of the irrational grasp of the former vocabulary. A sort of rational grasp shouldn’t be permissible, your majesty?
King of Angels: This might be but most probably it might not be. My son, do you remember what Buddha’s answer is in his response to Vasettha‘s question, “what is prevailing in the world?”.
Burmakin: I remember. Our Teacher responded that “Name is prevailing in the world”. Am I correct?
King of Angels: Correct, my smart son. There comes another question to test your knowledge. Have you ever heard another teacher, Lao Tzu’s famous critical challenge about the name?
Burmakin: This is a child play for me, your majesty. The answer is also the core philosophy of Taoism that advocates withdrawing our life from any social institutional structure for realizing our ultimate liberty of mankind. Teacher Lao challenged that if an institution is named after a word, the name of this institution is true if and only if the institution could display the attributes and fulfill the functionality as the name indicates.
King of Angels: Correct, my well-learned son. For Lao Tzu, there is no social institution that could really act and fulfill the qualities as their name indicates. They are just the shams as in the case of your current Burmese government’s deceptive creative structures for their hierarchical slavery plan or endless struggle complexes for equity and efficiency as in the Western statecraft democracy. If you still live with a social institution, you are always living a virtual life and not able to realize your actual self of the nature. Human constructs will drive human farther and farther away from the real human nature.
But my point is not to instruct you to follow Teacher Lao’s conclusion of the need of withdrawal from the human constructs for closer living with nature. What I will highlight is the ignorance of your fellow Burmans in grasping the names as real.
Your human tendency is that before reality is able to be figured out, you grasp what you think as real. That is not a serious problem. Everybody has a lot of time for working hard for reality. The grave problem happens when you live forever at this deadlock point, just by grasping, and never try to be a Buddhist.
Burmakin: It is still difficult for me to grapple with your heavenly thought and finally agree with you, your majesty. For me, it might be simpler to think that a person who supports Buddhism is a Buddhist whereas a person who doesn’t support this religion is not. It might be a more usable definition for practical life, your majesty. Is this not that simple as such?
King of Angels: Hey my son, your evil military government members are donating heavy sums of money to your Buddhist monks the whole year round in Burma. Are they Buddhists or devils?
Burmakin: No, they are not. You are right, your majesty. Of course, they are devils. I have no suspect on that.
King of Angels: What make you lead to this conclusion that even if they are worshipping saffron robe guys and Buddha king statues and also always take part in rituals of your Buddhist traditions?
Burmakin: They don’t have moral conscience, the essential quality of Buddhism. They don’t possess two guarding principles of Loka(universe), your majesty. These two great principles are utter shyness and utter fear from doing the wrong things – Lokapala Dharma (essential principles for cohesion of the universe). In modern political terms, those tyrants don’t have any restraint, any educated thinking of justice as fairness, and any critical reasoning capability in their judgment. Hmm, I begin to understand how it is difficult to become a Buddhist, your majesty.
King of Angels: You are absolutely right, my son. Now you come to understand what make you distinguish as a Buddhist. To be a Buddhist is neither by wearing the saffron robe, nor by worshiping Buddha’s stupas, nor by showing your benevolence to Buddhism. For our heavenly people’s strict definition, we don’t define a person without moral conscience as a Buddhist. This is all or none laws, my son, without any exemption.
Burmakin: I have a very important question for you then, your majesty. How come you know that your moral conscience is true?
Of course, a human being has his own freedom for his moral conscience development. Neither the God nor supernatural power nor priest has the right to impose him to do so in any special way that a rational human mind can’t agree with. In the historical declaration of religious freedom in the Virginia statute, Thomas Jefferson started his argument by saying that freedom of mind is the natural right. The philosophy of Thomas Jefferson of the freedom of mind is also the basis for the admission of the freedom of expression as the first amendment of the US constitution.
Then this becomes both a theoretical and practical problem of moral relativism. Everybody has his natural freedom to assert that his own conscience is true. It is hard to believe that any such claim from our fallible humans granted by the right to freedom of expression is by and large true. On the other hand, I will completely agree with Mr. Jefferson for his proclamation of freedom of mind. Otherwise, mankind has to forever live under the mercy of the mental tyranny of others.
In any event, this question is to be pushed forward. Should we trust our own moral conscience, that may be too various, shaky, whimsical and unreliable?
King of Angels: Good question. Well, there is a typical legal case example in US, my son. In one of the courts, the hooker argued that he had freedom to wave his fist in any direction he wanted. The judge said your freedom to wave your fist in a direction you wanted was limited by the position of your neighbor’s nose.
Burmakin: Pretty funny, your majesty!
King of Angels: My unambiguous answer for your question is yes, we can trust our own moral conscience if we exert our natural right to freedom of mind with reason.
You are a bright guy, my son so you could know that the exercise of reason is never an ending process to be vigilant against yourself and circumstances. The need of reason for the practice of freedom is also your strong acknowledgment of your fallible judgment.
You can have a notion that Lokapala Dharma is to be exercised FIRST BEFORE ALL in the direction of not doing the wrong things, and not necessarily in the direction of doing the right things. You have freedom to do any kind of right thing that you want it to be but the most important point is to act with prudence.
Burmakin: Prudence! Did I ever see this word somewhere else?
King of Angels: You certainly have seen it. This is the most important principle of founding fathers of America in their bringing out of the change in civilization as a social change process. Exactly, this is the same principle with our Teacher’s Lokapala Dharma. This is the quintessential control device for your human fallibility in your work for the progress of freedom.
Burmakin: My understanding is that the difference of the American Revolution from those of our Eastern countries was that the American Revolution didn’t attempt to make a social change process. However our Eastern revolutionary despots did as in the case of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, that became the worst genocide in human history.
King of Angels: The real difference is, my son, without the practice of prudence (Lokapala Dharma), your Eastern revolutionary despots attempted the social change with their irrational heroism and irrational Bodhisattva mind set.
In fact, their social change process was self-arrogance of a despot or group of despots who were immersed in too much vanity to see your mutual interdependence of mankind and natural processes. There were also serious problems with their deficiency in learning strength and spirituality for understanding and sympathizing with humanity. Are you aware that how many hours Thomas Jefferson studied a day for his progress of spiritual knowledge?
Burmakin: Fifteen hours a day, your majesty. Nobody on earth seemed to be as brilliant as this author of declaration of independence and declaration of religious freedom and the founder of Virginia University for the public education. America had been so fortunate to possess such kinds of geniuses. The East has been always unlucky to have nonspiritual heroes and sham Bodhisattvas as their leaders.
King of Angels: Perhaps, the real Bodhisattvas were born in the West. We don’t have a lucid definition in Heaven to conclude somebody as a Bodhisattva. But we have very clear definition to rule out the people who cannot be Bodhisattvas. Somebody without prudence, we are sure he is not a Bodhisattva because he is not called a Buddhist. If he is not a Buddhist, he can also not be that of a higher rank, Bodhisattva. It does make sense, my son?
Burmakin: It makes sense, your majesty. In that case, how you will call Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln? Can they be Buddhists and possibly eligible for a nomination of Bodhisattva?
King of Angels: Absolutely they are Buddhists because they have great essential qualities of a Buddhist savaka (disciple, who follows the moral rule). Most probably, they might also be Bodhisattva as I am currently in the East.
Burmakin: Today is a big surprise for me, your majesty. I can’t believe my ears to hear Jefferson and Lincoln were Buddhists or we can even expect them higher to be Bodhisattvas. As per your heavenly all-or-none law definition, many Buddhists in the East are not Buddhists in reality. Paradoxically, many people in the West from any religion or any atheistic standpoint are already naturally inalienable Buddhists. I willingly agree that the demarcation between a Buddhist and non-Buddhist does not depend on the race, color or heritage or kind of worship but on prudence and love for freedom.
King of Angels: In the meanwhile, I am also extremely embarrassed at seeing the current condition of your Buddhist country. Drown in their irrational judgment, ravenous greed, and hyper arrogance, the government of your nation has now officially declared their rebellion war against the greatest rule of our universal Dharma.
This insurrection against the noblest universal Dharma means the revolt and humiliation against Buddha, we Bodhisattvas and Buddha's Savakas. The sad news is not only your government, the non-enlightenment and irrational reasoning prevailing in your Burmese society finally dispatched the whole lot of your Burmese people to be entangled in this kind of your devil government’s worst sedition against our heaven and the rule by which heaven and human world are connected.
Burmakin: What is this noblest principle of Buddha, you Bodhisattvas and Buddha's savakas, your majesty? Is this related to the fate of the last havoc of the Cyclone Nargis? We certainly don’t want to quarrel with your majesty’s heaven or Buddha's savakas? I beg your pardon for not to be angry at our innocent Burmese, your majesty.
King of Angels: I as a live Bodhisattva have no reason to be angry with your race, so are my fellow Bodhisattvas and lofty Buddha's savakas. However, as we are genetically connected with the pure nature of the universe, I certainly feel this disturbance of natural equilibrium arisen from your harassment upon our noblest Dharma principle. Of course, nothing is coming and nothing is going my son. Only cause and effect are there.
Burmakin: Let me know what this cause is, your majesty. What could be this noblest rule of Dharma against that we have seditious clash by our irrational reasoning and unenlightenment?
King of Angels: This is the cause Thomas Jefferson had to struggle that hard for the whole life. This is the cause Abraham Lincoln had to carry forward this unfinished work until he had to give up his life. This is the cause I as Marga strived with my thirty two comrades in standing against the brutal king without any cowardice lest we would lose our lives. This is the cause Swami Vivekananda had to endure so hard to give up his life so early. In fact, this is not a rule but the inalienable promise to your humanity from our Bodhisattvas and Buddha’s savakas to bring forth the message and unfinished task of our Teacher!!
Burmakin: Liberty you mean?
King of Angels: EQUALITY!
(To be cont.)