Any religion is the phenomenon which is believed to deliver messages of moral issues to the world community. Still, as contemporary society is highly concerned with economical, social and political questions, religions become the objects of speculation. Buddhism is not an exception.
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There is a simple fact which is known to every Buddhist: although Buddha was beyond routine, still, he gave guidelines concerning good government. It was naturally, because Buddha was a successor of warriors’ caste and was familiar with rulers, princes, and ministers. (Oxtoby and Segal 2007) Despite of the fact that Buddha was a noble man, he had never applied to political power in order to promote his philosophy. The thing is that the essence of belief is morality, inner purity, and wisdom. At the same time, politics are guided by power (Bailey and Fisher 2007). Nowadays, many politicians try to use the name of Buddha for their aim. As a result various political conflicts emerge. When religion is used for political purposes, a religion has to change its moral norm to some extent, which causes its degradation as the aftereffect of routine demands of political power. Thereby, the first who suffer are believers.
As the Times say, such accident happened in Kilinochchi, the abandoned capital of the Tamil Tigers where a new Buddhist shrine was found standing among the bombed-out ruins. Nearby one could find only soldiers as long as all civilians went away.
Officers affirmed that the building was damaged by Tigers forces and thereby, the army decided to renovate the shrine. Volunteers fulfilled all reconstructive works. Major-General Prasad Samarasinghe asserts that the shrine is very ancient though many experts in the history and archeology of Tamil do not concur with this statement. The reasons of the possible deception may be both, political and religious: “Many Tamil community leaders fear that the shrine is part of a plan to “rediscover” Buddhist sites and settle thousands of Sinhalese across the north to undermine the Tamils’ claim to an ethnic homeland” (Page 2010).
Tamils are afraid of building permanent dwellings for soldiers colonizing the area in Northern Sri Lanka by Sinhalese under the lee of shrines renovation. At the same time, there are several doubts of the ancient history of the country.
The politics, which authorities try to push through, is absolutely opposite to the main principles of Buddhism. There are no excuses for the usage of the religion as justification of conquests. Dharma is not intended for the establishment of new political authorities and the establishing of new political courses. The main principal for a good ruler, according to Buddha Dharma, is to become righteous and just governor, and thereby influence ministers and other high and mighty people. Personal example is the main persuasive factor in such situation. Jattaka tells that the ruler who punishes oppresses innocent people, is not worthy of his/her post. All Buddhists rituals are intended to self-development and self-analyses and the first who should critically think of his/her acts, is a ruler.
Buddhists social life is regulated by laws, and economical situation in the country they live. At the same time, it is guided by rules, which are set up by governmental establishments, which are influenced by current political situation. In any case, if Buddhists want to participate in political life, they should not use religion for the benefit of private interests.
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Bailey, W. Lee and Mary Pat Fisher. (2007). Anthology of Living Religions, An (2nd Edition). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Print.
Oxtoby, Willard G. and Alan F. Segal. (2007). A Concise Introduction to World Religions. New York: Oxford University Press. Print.
Page, Jeremy. “Archaeology Sparks New Conflict Between Sri Lankan Tamils and Sinhalese”. The Sunday Times, 2010. Web.