Practicing Dhamma, devoid of noise | Daily News
Ill Poya reflections:

Practicing Dhamma, devoid of noise

What one’s mind holds, at a given moment, is Dhamma. One has to begin to understand Dharma through realization. It is free from all sectarian dogmas, beliefs, rites and rituals. Even sectarian names are not needed. You may or may not call yourself a Sinhalese, Tamil or a Muslim, but you should be a Dharmic being, a person existing with a life of Dharma. This means that you should remain pure. If your mind remains uncontaminated, then all your other dealings, vocal or physical, will obviously become pure. On the other hand, if you learn the art of Dharma, you start understanding peace and concord within yourself

Dhamma is a very simple procedure, which is taking place everywhere and every moment in every being, which anybody can comprehend as soon as it is uncovered of the veil of mystery in which it was encircled by the attitude, thinking and way of life. –Engels: (In Dialectics of Nature)

For example, Buddhism de-emphasizes individualism by highlighting anatta (no self) and anicca (impermanence) as two of the three symbols of existence. All beings are a mere combination of the ever-changing aggregates. Thus, a Buddhist cannot concede individuality because concepts like “I,” “me, mine” and “you, yours” are only illusions of such composites, which erroneously encourage us to consider that people are independent, static beings. We use these provisions only as a matter of convenience in as much as verbal communication does not have the capacity to describe a persistently changing “being.”

Ill and Katina

The Katina Cheevara is brought to their respective temples in processions and offered to the resident Upasampada monks, who observed Vas [rainy retreat] for nearly three months.

The offering of “Katina Cheevaraya” is considered as a highly meritorious act, which take place in most of the Temples during the month of Ill. Another among other significant thing that had happened on the Ill full moon Day is recorded in the Buddha scripts has been that a deputation of 60 Arhants were launched from Dhamma preaching to a huge crowd of people.

Oh! Bhikkhus for the Welfare of the many, for the Happiness of the many, through Compassion to the World, Go Ye Forth, and spread the Doctrine of Buddha Dhamma for the benefit of Devas and Human Beings. In this manner, the first Buddhist Missionaries commenced their journey on Il Poya day to various directions.

What one’s mind holds, at a given moment, is Dhamma. One has to begin to understand Dharma through realization. It is free from all sectarian dogmas, beliefs, rites and rituals. Even sectarian names are not needed. You may or may not call yourself a Sinhalese, Tamil or a Muslim, but you should be a Dharmic being, a person existing with a life of Dharma. This means that you should remain pure.

If your mind remains uncontaminated, then all your other dealings, vocal or physical, will obviously become pure.

On the other hand, if you learn the art of Dharma, you start understanding peace and concord within yourself.

Keep your mind pure, full of love and concern; the tranquility and harmony that is generated within infuse the mood around you.

Anyone who gets in touch with you at that time establish experiencing peace and concord. You are doling out something good that you have.

This is Dharma, the art of living.

Practising Dhamma

We desire to discover for ourselves, with certainty, what is the purpose of life.

To do this we must be rid of all dogmas, religions, philosophies, creeds, races, nationalities and rites, because we cannot discover our purpose in life with all these hindrances.

So long as there are restrictions, there is grief and it is from sadness that all men would escape.

They are trying to find a way out of anguish, out of their entanglement in the wheel of sorrow and pain. In the attainment of excellence is Liberation to be found...grief and joy, pain and happiness, light and shade are the same thing.

True conception is the outcome of concord which is perfection, the fragile poise of reason and of life...Have no fear of life and you will have no fear of death.

The world is in an awful state where the men are caught in many a social and environmental influences which narrow their intellect and therefore limit their viewpoint and their contentment.

Surely, perception ought to take the place of our abstract thinking. The unconditioned mind can be associated with insightful mind. Life is not so very easy and the persons must have the strength and the ability not to be caught in the influence of unevenness. To find out for oneself what is right, all influence must end. There is no ‘good’ conditioning or ‘bad’ conditioning; there is only liberty from all conditioning. There are all kinds of things in life. Life is like the deep sea, which is tremendously deep, having vast currents and is teeming with all kinds of life. And self-determination from the very structure of thought is to be a light to one. To know yourself you need not read a book, go to a priest, to any psychologist.

The whole wealth is within yourself. In this light all action takes place. There are no ‘how’, no arrangement, and no practice. There is only the seeing which is the doing. One has to see, not through the eyes of a different person. As a mirror reflects all things held facing it, so when one’s mind-mirror is quiet, one will be able to see a replicate in it the true quality of oneself and of other one’s mind can discover what is true only when it is liberated from all conditioning, not when it merely repeat certain words or quotes the books called scriptures. Such a mind is not free. It is only the free mind that can be imaginative and it can be creative only when it is open, free from conditioning like the following of a pattern, a principle, or a tradition set up by an organised religion. It is only the free mind that can find out or perceive the truth of something. One has to discover it every instant of the day as one is living.

Sariputtha Thera

Among other significant events of Ill; Jatila monks Uruwela Kassapa, Nadie Kassapa and Gaya Kassapa who followed a different religion and living in Neranjala village, after listening to Buddha’s preaching understood the dhamma. Saripuththa Thera told Buddha that he was weak and feeble and he would not be able to return after seeing his mother at his native place and he would attain Parinirwana there. Thus Saripuththa started his sojourn to see his mother. He lastly preached Dhamma to his mother, who realized dhamma.

Extreme poverty verses Hidden Psychic Disorder

Coming back to Katina ceremony; majority of the villages are living in extreme poverty; the funds collected for organising wasteful spectacular pageants could be used to worthier causes in improving the living standards of these dayakes.

The Nayake Theras should take serious note before they organise their next Katina ritual and prune down on generous spending. People spend millions to perform rituals and they expect in return mercy from Gods; there is competition to sponsor colourful shows at temples.

These festivals and other religious events are crossing limits when there are deprived poor people suffering without proper food, shelter, clothes and treatment. The motive remain behind such behaviour is to get a desired purpose and expectations. Psychologists attribute this sort of activity to hidden psychic disorders and nothing else.

Let us follow Melbourne example

A couple of years ago I happened to be at a Katina Pinkama in a Theravada temple at Dandenom, in Melbourne. The simple procession moved serenely with around 500 flag carrying Sri Lankan Buddhists joined by a few Australians, all shouting Sadhu, Sadhu. There were no hired drummers, dancers, horns, whip-crackers, fireball acrobats and lighting of crackers.

A few schoolchildren were riding their bicycles with flower decorations that added colour to the procession, while two of them cracked whips. The procession started around 10 am and reached the temple in half an hour, where they offered alms and the Katina cheewara. It is a pity, the following year back home; in wee hours of morning around 3.45 am a flow of unbearably loud sound of drums, horns, whip cracking and crackers put me up on my feet out on the road. I saw a Katina pageant- with few elephants, loud-speaker-mounted vans announcing the names of chief dayakes and the names of organisers; with another van chanting Pirith.

May all beings be happy!

- [email protected]


Add new comment