.by Anura Guruge
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I am not (or should properly say ‘no longer’) a Buddhist though I was born into a very devout (and influential) Buddhist family in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Given the total immersion I had when young, I still know quite a bit about Buddhism. So there are times, like now, when I feel obliged to pipe-in particularly when the western media starts talking tripe about Buddhism.
Non-violence is deep-seated and fundamental precept in Buddhism. The Buddha, all his life, was a very non-aggressive, prone to peace person. Though Buddhism does not prohibit the consumption of meat many Buddhist recognizing the emphasis placed on non-violence choose to be vegetarian (though few are vegan).
Though I know Buddhism quite well, I am not an expert in Asian history (given that history only started to intrigue me when I too was ‘history’, i.e., when I turned 55). But, from what I do know, in major contrast to Christianity and Islam, Buddhists never resorted to violence to spread the word; i.e., there were no Buddhist crusades. Buddhism was propagated in peace. As the story goes, Buddhism arrived in Ceylon, more than 2,000 years ago, just as a Ceylonese king was pulling the string on his bow to shoot a deer. He was interrupted in mid-pull by the missionary from India. So right there you get a gist of the Buddhist aversion against violence.
I would like to say that Buddhists are not into violence, but can NO LONGER say that with a straight face. Buddhists in Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand, over the last three decades, have been far too trigger-happy for my liking.
Now bloody Alexis’ fascination with most things Thai is more germane (though I, as a out-and-out male, would fully appreciate if his interest was mainly devoted to Thai women and food). Thailand, alas, has a history of unprovoked violence. I have lived in Thailand in the early 1970s — during the latter part of the Vietnam war when (the appropriately named) BANGcock (was that Freudian) was the #1 center for U.S. R&R. Thai taxi drivers would have an Uzi under their seats. Thai men, at least in the 1970s, would shoot first and think later. Thai women had a propensity for chopping off penises — which I think is an heinous crime. Every morning you could scan the English paper in Bangkok and read numerous stories of irate Thai women chopping off penises and sometimes throwing them out of the window. There was one story that I read that did have me in stitches. Women throws penis out of the window. Chicken picks it up in its beak and starts running around. The poor man, bleeding profusely, one hand trying to staunch the blood, is chasing around the yard trying to catch the chicken to get his wiener back. Thai hospitals had a lot of practice and success in sewing severed peckers back on — and I gather most of the time they would even work (without a splint on the side). I know that some of you think that I make this stuff up. I really don’t. But, I Googled it for a reference. How is this, from the respected U.K. Guardian — and it is from 2012. Q.E.D. (though I am sure most of you have no idea what I mean by that).
Click to access original Guardian article.
So, to even mention that this crazy idiot had an interest in Buddhism is stupid.
It is totally irrelevant. It is like saying he went to MacDonalds or spanked his monkey. Nothing to do with him going around shooting innocent people.
The Thai connection, on the other hand, might have some relevance — and it looks pretty patent that he had some sexual issues.
So, stop the mentions that he was interested in Buddhism.