Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Buddhist & Racism: Let's Overcome!

I am not sure if the earlier posting made sense, blogging in the middle of the night and overdose of caffine may not be a very good time to blog ;-(

Anyway, I have been rather upset by the racial slurs over the past couple of weeks.  I am really concern about the growing religious intolerance happening in our country. I am glad many grass roots leaders have spoken up on this matter and acted with calm, wisdom and faith.

What I am disturbed with is what's happening within our Buddhist community. I have been told that in a particular Buddhist Temple, senior Buddhist leaders decided to throw out Dharma books of different sects, sects that did not agree with these leaders. What's more disturbing is when some found these leaders found out that other people practicing other religions attended activities at a particular Buddhist center, a ruckus was raised. Why? When did Buddhism so exclusive?

When well-meaning people with mutual respect for one another's religious practice participates in each other religious activities we should encourage it. This promotes understanding and appreciation of one another. If one acts otherwise against this we will become the same narrow-minded politician who use race and religion to garner support.

If these so-called Buddhists are ordinary members, there's mot much that can be done. However, if these are our Buddhist leaders of some standing, they need to seriously rethink our position - and our practice. We have a duty to preserve our community in the spirit of the Maha Mangala Sutta
Patirûpa dêsa vâso ca pubbê ca kata puññatâ Atta sammâ panidhi ca êtam mangala muttamam (Sn 2.4)
I sincerely hope that Buddhists and their leaders will stand-up and make a difference to build a harmonious relationship with one another. In the spirit of metta, karuna, mudita and upekkha. That we practice what we preach. We CAN do our part to reduce and prevent racism in our society. For the sake of our children and the future generation, we have little choice.

I dedicate the Maha Mangala Sutta and metta to all being on this independence day, that we all be liberated - in one way or another.

Selamat Hari Merdeka! May ALL Malaysian be Happy.


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