By Mass L. Usuf –
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ~ Adolph Hitler, a man who learned how to lie effectively.
This person Gnanasara (with my highest regard to those sincere and respectable monks) is incredible. How on earth, I wonder can a person in robe who everyday takes the pledge of pancha sila (the five virtues) and who also administers it to the laymen, utter blatant lies. The fourth of the five virtues states:
Musāvādā veramaṇī, sikkhā-padaṃ samādiyāmi.
I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from false speech (lying).
The Judaeo-Christian commandment is “Thou shalt not lie”. The Quran states: “…surely Allah does not guide him aright who is a liar, ungrateful.” (Chapter 39 Verse 3)
At a recent meeting with H.E. The President Maithripala Sirisena and several others, matters relating to the preservation of archaeological sites were discussed. At this meeting was also present Galagoda Atthe Gnanasara among the other members of the Buddhist clergy and Officials. The President said that the problem of archaeological preservation is not a new one and has been there for quite some time. He acknowledged that the Department of Archaeology could not provide adequate security because it is understaffed. He further said that it is necessary for the places especially in the North and East be given priority in addressing this issues.
Polowa Pelena Boru
Gnanasara who was also present at that meeting had this to say, among other things. This is the English translation.
“Have we ever harmed any mosque or kovil or any other place of worship in the South anywhere? The Tamil people very rarely lay their hands on an archaeological site. However, Muslims are not like that. For them, in their religious teachings it is instructed to destroy such places. That is where the problem is.”
In my view, this statement of Gnanasara clearly points to the:
1.Continuation of his meaningless vitriolics against Muslims;
2.The spreading of blatant lies about the religion of Islam;
3.Providing false information with regard to no harm done to mosques and other places of worship.
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) has documented 241 anti-Muslim attacks and 69 anti-Christian attacks in 2013. These include attacks on places of religious worship of the Christians and Muslims. Against Gnanasara himself there are around 40 Police complaints pending investigation in relation to his role in the Aluthgama riots. There are also several other complaints against him which are not related to Aluthgama.
His lie that Islam teaches Muslims to destroy archaeological sites is aptly describable using the Sinhala phrase, ‘polowa pelena boru’. I do not know the English equivalent of this. A literal translation, I guess, would be “earth sundering lies”.
Quran And Archaeology
Quran is rich with several references being made to history and archaeology. I wish to refer to one Quranic verse only which amply demonstrates the importance of archaeological sites.
“To every nation, We sent a Messenger who told its people: Worship Allah and shun false gods, idols. Then some of them God guided, and some were justly disposed to error. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for those who rejected the truth!” (Chapter 16 Verse 36)
The implication of this verse is that to every nation a Messenger has been sent. For example, the advent of Prophet Abraham was around five thousand years ago. Obviously, predating even Buddhism. Such Messengers/Reformers appeared at different times and, to different peoples living in different regions. They had been sent with the message to worship Allah and shun other gods, idols.
If Islam instructs the Muslims to destroy archaeological sites, how can the Quran ask mankind to travel in the land and see the consequences of what had happened to the people who lived thousands of years ago? How can Gnanasara, sitting face to face with the President of this country, tell such humongous lies to the President of the nation that Islam teaches the Muslims to destroy archaeological sites?
His success depends on people believing his lies. Lies ranging from the “little white lies” to huge, “pants-on-fire” lies to deceive the innocent and peace loving Sinhala people. Especially, the youth. Lying is Satan’s primary weapon against the people. He uses the tactic of deceit to influence people away from the truth. There is a beautiful description of Satan in the Bible, where speaking to a group of Jews, Jesus says,
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
The Satan also “masquerades as an angel of light” or “the saviour”, so that what he says and does sounds good and seems reasonable. But it is nothing more than a false appearance and deceit.
“Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.”
(2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Gnanasara is a person who donned the robe to seek the path of enlightenment. Is he not aware of the Maraya (demon) who is described as “the personification of the forces antagonistic to enlightenment? (Thera, Nyanaponika (2008). The Roots of Good and Evil). Is he not aware of the three daughters of the Maraya identified as Taṇhā (Craving), Arati (Aversion/Discontentment), and Raga (Attachment/Desire/Greed/Passion)?
One wonders if Gnanasara is in the fold of Buddha or Adolf Hitler. In his book, Mein Kampf (1925) Hitler tells about the use of a lie. A Big Lie always has a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted. A Big Lie will be believed by many since it will not be considered as a lie. The repetition of such lies over time will make it the truth and, then, even the real truth will be doubted.
It is an explicable tragedy that H.E. The President is involving such a person to discuss issues relating to the preservation of archaeological sites.