Peace through cohabitation between Buddhism and Hinduism

When one examines the fundamental concepts like karma, maya, reincarnation, sacrifice, social order etc. one sees that Buddhism doss not strive to establish a new order to restore the old order that prevailed in India. Hinduism & Buddhism are not contradictory but the one is a development out of the same tree as it was so in India it remains so in Sri Lanka today..

Hinduism as a metaphysical discipline that has survived with an unbroken tradition & that has lived and understood by millions of people consisting of peasants and learned men in Jambudeepa. There is provision in Hinduism to deny the existence of anything unique peculiar to itself, apart from the local colouring and social adaptations where nothing can be known expect in the mode of the knower. The history of the religious literature begins with Rigveda (2000 B.C.) and ends with Upanisads often repeated daily from memory by persuasions as a compendium of Vedic doctrine and the basis of all subsequent religious developments can be focused to this industry.

Even in Hinduism human error is regarded as a failure to hit the mark in life or in the profession. Skill is virtue, whether doing or in making. Yoga is skill in works. By no mistake every man shall enable to become what he has to become. Sacrifice demands cooperation of all arts;. Visva Karma example, in music, architecture carpentry or war. The pattern of heavenly politics is revealed in Hindu scripture and reflected in the constitution of the autonomous state and that of the man who governs himself. In Hinduism, work is sacrifice and a priest in every vocation from that of the King to Scavenger. There builds up the "Professional Ethics."

The more one studies Buddhism, the more it seems to defer from Hinduism in which it originated & it is more difficult to distinguish Buddhism from Hinduism. Buddhism is really unorthodox. Buddha has fully penetrated the Eternal Law (akalika dharma) and verified all things in heaven or earth. No true Philosopher ever came to destroy, but only to fulfil the Law. These two closely related & concordant bodies of doctrine, both of "forest" origin are not definitely opposed to one another.

The scriptures in which the traditions of the Buddha’s life and teachings are preserved fall into two classes, those of the Narrow Way (Hinayana) and those of the Broad Way (Mahayana). It is with the former, and on the whole older texts that we are concerned. The books pertaining to the "Narrow Way" are composed in Pali, a literary dialect closely related to Sanskrit. The Pali literature ranges in date from about the third century B.C. to the sixth A.D., the Canon consists of what are called "Three Baskets", respectively of monastic regimen (Vinaya), Discourse (Sutra) and Abstract Doctrine (Adhidhamma). Buddhism in its purity ignored the existence of a God; it denied the existence of a soul; it was not so much a religion as a code of ethics.

We see two main forms of Buddhism to which have referred are often spoken of, rather loosely, as respectively Southern and Northern. It is the Southern school that now survives in Ceylon, Burma and Siam. Buddhism of the Northern school passed over into Tibet, China, and Japan, through the work of Indian teachers and native disciples who made translations from Sanskrit. Indian culture reached & profoundly influenced the Far East through Buddhism as shown by research.

In the Brahmanical doctrine, our immortal, impassible, beatific inner Self and Person, one and the same in all beings, is the immanent Brahma, God within you. He dose not come from anywhere nor became anyone. "That" is; but nothing else that is true can be said of it: "Thou canst not know the maker-to-know what is known, who is your Self in all things". Just as God himself does not know what he is, because he is not any what. The Buddhist doctrine proceeds in the same way, by elimination of the concept of God.

Buddhist gospel is resumed in the often and triumphantly repeated words.

Of all things that spring from a cause,

The cause has been told by him "Thus-come";

And their suppression, too,

The Great Pilgrim has declared.

In this chain of causes, to understand which is to have come Awake, it is emphasised that nothing whatever happens by chance but only in a regular sequence - "That being present, this becomes; that not being present, this dose not become". To have verified this is to have found the Way. For in "all things that spring from a cause" are included "old age, sickness, and death"; when the cause is known it is possible to apply the cure as explained in the philosophy in a nutshell.

The word Nirvana, is "desperation", which plays so large a part in our conception of Buddhism, where it is one of the most important of the many terms that are the referents to "man’s last end", demands some further explanation. The verb nirva is literally, to "blow out". In the same way Buddhism stresses the going out of the fire or light of life for want of fuel.

It is timely that a reflection of these thoughts are highlighted at a time when his ideas are wanted to our motherland. These thoughts are firm in a background of the present circumstances where the whole fabric of peace is banished with selfishness, misdirection, misunderstanding ignorance and hartedness. It is only by proper understanding these deep sentiments that help to put the vast majority of our population enriched with wisdom and solace. The two largest segments of our population have been deeply rooted by these schools of thought that has kept them together and as much as they are parted for centuries. There cannot be true peace in Sri Lanka unless there is a genuine interaction of these thoughts between the Buddhists & Hindus who are natured by these philosophies.
(The Writer is attached to the Human Resources Development Division of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board).