5/11/2010

Stampede in Somawathi of Sri Lanka and Lord Buddha's ban on miracles

(May 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lankan W. Podi Appuhami, a 70 years old farmer of Welimada went to Somawathi in a goods transport truck to see the ancient pagoda emanate the light rays of Lord Buddha came home as a dead man. Media says that the man was killed when he fell from the lorry.

Forty two years old M.P. Lionel Samarawickrama of Galewela and 53 years old M. Karunawathi of Rajagiriya were dead in heart attacks at Somawathi. Media want to say that they were not killed in a stampede. But they could not be taken to a hospital due to traffic jam and torrential rains.

A stampede is a sudden, frenzied rush or headlong flight of a herd of frightened animals or people. The incident that took place in Sri Lanka's Eastern Province Somawathi is none other than a stampede although some elements are in need of hiding that reality. At least 25 people were injured in this stampede. Some are still disappeared.

This kind of accidents are rare in Sri Lanka. During war, people did not gather in such large numbers such as around 800,000 in more than 30,000 vehicles in a remote Buddhist shrine that is situated inside a forest reserve. This place is forest-locked and totally inadequate in facilities for such a huge crowd. The devotees were lured their by persons that publicized they would show the devotees the rays of Lord Buddha's body emanate from the pagoda there.

In Sri Lanka, there is a group of business minded persons that are disguised as monks that perform false miracles and attract crowds. They earn millions of rupees in hours by selling books, magazines, cassettes and CDs etc. to the crowd and even evade tax payments. The other religious businessmen that provide venues for these miracle performers also profit in various ways such as till and commissions from small businesses that sell various goods to the devotees.

These persons subtly manipulate media for their lucrative business and one can observe that they have already started false propaganda to hide themselves from the actual crime they committed and to mislead devotees further even before the dead persons were buried.

Many Buddhists that flock to see miracles do not know that Lord Buddha banned performing miracles for personal benefit.

Six years after attaining the supremacy, Lord Buddha stayed in Rajagahanuwara in the rainy season. By this time, a nobleman in the city that met with a Sandalwood trunk that came floating in a river made a bowl out of it. He placed it on a very tall post and challenged the monks in the city to perform miracle and take it. As all the other monks failed, a Buddhist monk called Pindola Bharadwaja took it.

When Lord Buddha came to know this incident, he banned performing miracles for personal benefit.


23 comments:

  1. Did you write about the two deaths occurred at a praying session held at Viharamahadevi park? Those death may be holier than these? right..............

    ReplyDelete
  2. We very well can understand the hidden motives of your post.As Buddhists we will not hate you or your post,but just wish -"By the power of triple gems may the wisdom prevail on you".
    "Theruwan Saranai"

    ReplyDelete
  3. We respect religions in their true meanings. Fundamentalism either in Christianity or Buddhism are lucrative businesses led by fanatics and other unscrupulous elements that mislead blind devotees for their personal gains.

    This Buddhism is not what preached by Lord Buddha. We respect Lord Buddha's teachings but not the doctrines of today's Lords.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Facts are facts. Interpretations is the view of the individual. Facts can be twisted and interpretations too can be twisted. So having a debate over interpretations is waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ANOTHER CHRISTIAN MUDSLINGER!!
    SHAME ON YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This person (Writer) doesnt know his/her English properly!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hiran Kulatilake, thanks for being a judge on the use of your queen's language. We do not give a damn to 'good English'. We are people that think in Sinhala and write in English. What we are doing is a struggle for positive change in Sri Lankan society.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I totally agreed. I'm a pure Buddhist who practice what Buddha preached and I'm not part of any Christianity movement. I personally don't like these so call special monks who charge Rs 25,000+ for a 1 hour "Bana". They take it as travel expenses and only businessman who has money can afford these Monks. Anyway, people should know that they can never ever become nirwarna by worshiping or having Bodhi Pooja to the Lord Buddha(Buddha told this by himself), it is the individual who meditate and build up their mind can become enlightened.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Whatever may be the reason there was stampede and some died, some were injured and some suffered immensely. Media gave publicity to the event in such a way that people would flock to see this event eagerly. In a way it is not fair to put the entire blame on present day media. The so called organizers would have made arrangements with police and army to control the flow of devotees. If proper control of influx was there this sort of situation would have been avoided.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Editor, My question was that did you write about the two deaths occurred at a praying session at Viharamahadevi park conducted by a Fundamentalist Christian group few months ago?

    The point here is that you treat the two religions in two different ways contrary to what you preach.

    ReplyDelete
  12. MrSL,

    Those deaths may not be "holier" but there may not have been a "commotion" and a vast number of people affected.

    ReplyDelete
  13. A Christian-turned Buddhist, I must edit a certain paragraph like this:
    In Sri Lanka and all over the world, there are groups of business minded persons that are disguised as Catholic/Christian priests that perform false miracles and attract crowds. They earn millions of rupees in hours by selling books, magazines, cassettes and CDs etc. to the crowd and even evade tax payments. The other religious businessmen that provide venues for these miracle performers also profit in various ways such as till and commissions from small businesses that sell various goods to the devotees.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The following statement is hateful and un-journalistic:

    "Sri Lankan W. Podi Appuhami, a 70 years old farmer of Welimada went to Somawathi in a goods transport truck to see the ancient pagoda emanate the light rays of Lord Buddha came home as a dead man."

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is true and this type of money making out of the gullibility of our villagers' should never be condoned.
    I am a Basnayake Nilame and have more credential with regard to preserving and propagating Buddhism than most of these misguided posters' who have used the anti buddhist card !
    This is NOT BUDDHISM and before what was done to Islam by the Ayatollahs' happens here, this type of nonsense MUST STOP !

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is a Buddhist Cult building up an empire from donations of businessmen and ignorant devotees. Use mind control techniques in the name of Buddhism/Meditation etc. to get followers, specially aiming at the educated young crowd. Once brainwashed,you never know what happens to you and blindly follow the leader and his principles. Masses of devotees are necessary for the propagation and survival of the cult. So the ignorant devotees are lured into these ceremonies referring to miracles.
    Ex. Photos taken at these ceremonies which shows bright spots which are interpreted as the Gods arrived to listen to the sermon. Actually these spots are illuminated water particles on the camera lens. Mehemath Harak.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear SL, the questions you want the answers from the writer seems targeting to know if the writer is a follower of any such evangelical cult. The writer is a follower of Lord Buddha, but not the Olcott Buddhism that is popular in Sri Lanka.

    You may understand that we have not reported each and every incident that took place in Sri Lanka. We totally deny the kind of religious practices you have mentioned.

    But, we deliberately remain silent when the majority chauvinists attempt to manipulate such incidents to sow hatred against the followers of minority religions of the country.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We have a justice system in our country , and the full weight of the law should be brought upon these unscrupulous elements, irrespective of whichever religious denomination they are representing, to stop these crooks from preying on the vulnerable.

    ReplyDelete
  19. True 'Lord Buddah' was a nobal man (just ordinary) but never claimed divinity as a "GOD". Singhalese should not get offended to know this fact and for how long they will be ignorant like this!
    Come on wake up Guys !!!
    A well-wisher of All Srilankans

    ReplyDelete
  20. Editor, I just want to get your response to that incident where two women were "killed" following the trauma they underwent after the paster and his helpers assaulted a group of participants. it is a pitty that you find it a normal incident compared to the three seemingly natural deaths occurred at the Somawathie gathering where an estimated crowd of 800,000 people participated. The tone of your article imply that organizers deliberately put the participants in danger. You conveniently ignore the fact that the torrential rains have made havoc of the organization of the even and the road conditions become impassable. What I want to point out is that you take these series of unfortunate event to sling mud at the majority Buddhist and their religious practice, while keeping meekly silent when the fundamentalist Christians assault the participants that lead to two deaths. Thanks for revealing your TRUE MOTIVE of DISCREDITING SRI LANKAN BUDDHIST PRACTICE.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Christianity is a minority religion in Sri Lanka. But is funded by affluent international Christian evangelist mafia.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Christians, like the editor, hate Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera, since the this venerable monk is a Christian-turned-Buddhist, like myself.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would like to highlight the following points.

    1.Even 1000s of years back also Somawathiya had been a "miraculous land" for buddhists due to the fact that the left tooth relic of Lord Buddha is safely kept and venerated there.

    2 Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera did never tell that he is going to do any miracles there.
    He just said "as it had been happening in the past you MAY be able to see "Budures" at or after the pooja.

    3.There is a segment of the society who are trying to criticize and condem the monks.At an era when the Buddhist are converted to other religions monks like Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera is a obstacle to them.

    4.It is true that this pooja should have been organized better.But one who criticize the organizer should understand the practical difficulties at Somawathiya.
    At the same time bad weather conditions are difficult to predict.

    5.If some one want to learn about the "ban of miracles by Lord Buddha",I invite him to read some more.The ban is not applicable to Lord buddha him self.
    Hence the miracles are not done by Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera but had been happenig at Somawathiya for 1000s of years by the power of the triple gems that alligation is not relavent in this case.

    At last-what we have to say is "Let the dogs bark"-more they bark more they get exposed.

    ReplyDelete

 
Powered by Blogger