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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Dalai Lama: Is the Cessation of suffering delayed?

August 8, 2008

By Dr. Edward Perera
Asian Tribune
August 6, 2008

One of the acute problems in the Buddhist world is that there are so
many Pundits with extensive Dhamma knowledge but their conduct is
extremely contradictory to what they preach. In the past, the pious
monks travelled from village to village, state to state, on some
occasions also from country to country to carry the Dhamma message.

So-called Buddhist scholars talk on Buddhism to make themselves
popular or if possible to have more money in their pockets. It is
quite interesting to listen to the speech delivered by the white
gentleman on Four Noble Truths and I am pleased to hear this sermon
from someone brought up in the West. ( Buddhist Society of Western
Australia - Forum)

There were so many genuine Buddhists, who have done a great service
without expecting a cent from the rich. No one can deny the fact that
Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace in 1989 not because
he is converting Catholics and Christians to Buddhist faith but
mainly because he does a world wide political campaign against China.
Dalai Lama was not a religious figure but a political figure from his
childhood in Tibet and in exile.

In Sri Lanka, we have people wearing robes and do business.
Nevertheless, people worship them as if they direct descend from
Buddha. Buddha never sanctioned possessing wealth as a mean of
convincing his doctrine. He abstained from material well being as he
was disillusioned with worldly bonds. He gave all what he possessed.
He was the successor to his father's kingdom but discarded the desire
for political power.

The main argument of the pro-Dalai Lama "Buddhists" is that he is
carrying the Buddha's banner across the western world. The trend in
the western hemisphere is to understand the philosophical aspect of
the Buddha's doctrine but not the rituals like what the Mahayana
Buddhist perform.

"They called their new Buddhism, the "Greater Vehicle" (literally,
"The Greater Ox-Cart") or Mahayana, since it could accomodate more
people and more believers from all walks of life.......Finally, the
Mahayanists completed the conversion of Buddhism from a philosophy to
religion. Therevada Buddhism holds that Buddha was a historical
person who, on his death, ceased to exist. There were, however,
strong tendencies for Buddhists to worship Buddha as a god of some
sort; these tendencies probably began as early as Buddha's lifetime.
The Mahayanists developed a theology of Buddha called the doctrine of
"The Three Bodies," or Trikaya. The Buddha was not a human being, as
he was in Theravada Buddhism, but the manifestation of a universal,
spiritual being. This being had three bodies. When it occupied the
earth in the form of Siddhartha Gautama, it took on the Body of
Magical Transformation (nirmanakaya ). This Body of Magical
Transformation was an emanation of the Body of Bliss (sambhogakaya ),
which occupies the heavens in the form of a ruling and governing god
of the universe. There are many forms of the Body of Bliss, but the
one that rules over our world is Amithaba who lives in a paradise in
the western heavens called Sukhavati, or "Land of Pure Bliss"
(Mahayana Buddhism)an illusion or emanation in human form provided by
the divine Buddha to guide humans to
Enlighten...............Bodhisattvas--humans and celestial spirits
who sacrifice their imminent liberation (Buddhahood) to help all
others to become liberated--are revered or worshipped as gods or
saints by some........( Beliefnet Presents a Comprehensive Look in to
Mahayana Buddhism ...)

"Mahayana Buddhism as opposed to Theravada Buddhism is much closer to
Abrahamic religion, and various European scholars who studied it
commented on its similarity......Similarly, in some major traditions
of Mahayana Buddhism (the Tathagatagarbha and Pure Land streams of
teaching) there is the notion of the Buddha as the omnipresent,
omniscient, liberative essence of Reality, and the idea of the
Buddhas as generators of vast "pure lands", "Buddha lands" or Buddha
Paradises, in which beings will unfailingly attain Nirvana....." (God
in Buddhism)

The Christian world confronts the risk of loosing its believers as a
result of growing liberalism in the modern society. Individuals are
more free to decide what to believe in and what to follow. The
changing attitude in the modern society from monotheism to atheism
could bring adverse effects to the Christian belief. If the future
society adopts atheism, that could be the end of the Church.

Mahayana Buddhists are not embarrassed with the belief of single God
or Gods as they see Buddha as an incarnation of God. Strategically,
this is very important to the Christian/Catholic Church to keep their
disillusioned believers further within the existing frame work of
theism until they find a long-term solution to minimize the
desertion. The desperation of the Church has lead to a new strategy
to use Dalai Lama to inspire the enthusiasm of the Christian
believers not to deviate from the Church. Most of the Westerners who
admire Dalai Lama do not convert themselves to Buddhists immediately
as it is yet comfortable for them to pendle between Mahayana rituals
and Christian faith. A few German friends of mine, who followed
Theravada tradition became Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka.
Intellectually, they were above average. The disillusioned younger
generation in the West are easily attracted by the colourful and
fanciful Mahayana rituals than by ascetic way of life in Theravada tradition.

Some years ago, Dalai Lama was invited by a Catholic organisation in
Switzerland to deliver a sermon. I watched this event on TV. A
Christian believer raised a question to know whether Dalai Lama
believes in God. I was very anxious to know the answer what Dalai
Lama had. He first laughed loudly as he always does and uttered in an
erratic manner "yes" and consequently „no" and finished the answer by
continuing his typical laughter. I am sure the person who may had
doubts on this phenomenon wanted some intellectual and spiritual
assistance to verify his doubts on subjective cognition of God.

I know, it is ethically wrong to come to a conclusion that Dalai Lama
was dishonest with his reply. He may have thought about a certain
diplomacy in this particular moment to show his solidarity with the
believers of God by saying "yes". His "no" to God was nullified
immediately with his "yes" and this response can only be attributed
to a politician but not to a spiritual leader. He acted like a
cunning businessman whose motto is: "The Customer is a King". He knew
that it is the Christian world that nominated his name for the Nobel
Prize and without their acceptance he hardly can have this much of
adoration. He cannot disappoint any Christian Westerner as he is well
aware of the repercussions.

It is primarily a matter of politics based on world economy. The
whole Western world is fear of China's economic growth and this is
also a challenge to India. India is drifting towards Western economic
model and does attempt to defeat China in the competition. It is a
disguised blessing to India when Dalai Lama's cause is justified and
favoured by all the western political, economic and religious powers.
These powers have an unprecedented long history of human right
violations than what China had done or doing at the moment.

Dalai Lama preaches on Four Noble Truths and want others to practise
them. The cessation of suffering lies in Individualist hand but not
in the hand of world super powers and Dalai Lama knows it clearly. No
world leader deprived of political power suffered unparalleled time
period of endurance like Dalai Lama experienced.

My humble opinion is, it is yet not too late for him to begin with
the cessation of suffering after 49 years of struggle. He can set an
example only by negation of worldly power no matter political or economic.
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