BE A ROMAN TO DO AS ROMANS DO
Just because you are in Rome, you can't do as Romans do......
I was born to Buddhist Parents. Thus, by birth right, I became a Buddhist.
With that I got a huge opportunity...Not only to learn Buddhism..
But to learn and even to practice other religions as well.
"Do not accept the philosophy that I preach, just because......
your parents want you to accept,
your relatives admire,
your friends follow,
your teachers honour...........
Think, argue, debate, question.... in your mind with the aid of your own knowledge base....
And if you decide that it is logical, then accept it".
My parents took these words seriously.... and let me go
So, I roamed...all over the heavenly spheres..
As a pre-teen I was brought up in an Islamic neighbourhood
All my first few friends were Muslims. I used to go to the Mosque with them,especially during the nights of Ramadan Season.. Even without my knowledge during these sessions my inner-mind has collected a lot of information....
BROTHERHOOD, the foremost.which helped me a lot latter in my career.
Most of my cricketing-mates were altar servers at St. Mary's Church, Dehiwala..
I was with them, and soon became one of them..
I think Father Chikera (hope that my spelling is correct) baptized me in a special way..
It is at that time I read the bible for the first time, which I re-read several times latter in my life
When I was small, My mother used to observe Sil at Vajirarama temple on every Full-moon day..I was her companion.
Almost every Wednesday we went to the temple and used to listen to Bana, preached by famous Most Ven. Naradha Thero..
My mom believed that I have special blessings from Lord Ganesh and the Lord directs me towards being an academic.... I am talking about mid 70s. when I was 10 years old
After the rituals at Ganesh Temple we step into Dr. Pilley's Home, a building very close to the Kovil, where we attend singing Sai Baba Bhajan.
Thursday evening was always sweet , 'cause the Bhajan ends up with distribution of sweets.
My mom, dad, sister and aunt (who used to be with us since I can remember) and I were there in all these visits.
As time passed by I used to read a lot; Bible several times, Al Quran twice and many other books on religious philosophies. I am still looking forward to read Bhagawath Geetha, for which I did not have the opportunity yet.
I am not a stranger to church, mosque or kovil. And also not a stranger for praying and bowing or kneeling in front of altar or mihrab, or any religious idol.
I have no difficulties in psychologically transferring from one sphere to another.
Thus, When I read Bible, I read it as a Christian and Al Quran as a Muslim.
Only then you see the light. The real light...which you can never see, for an example, by looking at Islam, staying within a Buddhist frame of reference and vice versa.
Not only in religion, it applies everywhere; especially in political spheres, in the present context. If you look through coloured glasses, you will see the colour of the glass, not the colour of what you are looking at.
In my never ending journey, I regularly visit my home, "Buddhism", to get re-emphasized that I have to discard the "ego" and be gradually distant from all those what I call "mine". And one day, I have to shed even the concept of "my home".
If you are a fan of 70's music, you may now be hearing, from a far distance, the voice of late John Lennon.."Imagine all the people living in harmony..."
BE A ROMAN TO DO AS ROMANS DO
Then you will see the light at every dark corner...
The light that brings you HAPPINESS, the most precious