Honouring Ven. Sobitha Thera

The editorial of a daily English newspaper in Sri Lanka on 14 November 2015, under the caption “Honouring Ven. Sobitha” seemed apt, forceful and conveyed a message to the nation that all those eloquent eulogies and glowing tributes paid to the late monk at the funeral, from a very place the great monk held in contempt, would have disappeared to the skies above along with the smoke that emanated from the pyre as no promises the ‘champions of good governancemade to the people before the January 08 Presidential election and the August 17 Parliamentary polls to the Ven. Sobitha  had not been fulfilled completely at the time of the venerable monk’s demise.

The monk had always emphasised the fact that on the day of his death, he detested pomp and glory but expected only a simple, humble and a modest funeral. As much as the promoters of virtuous governance who backed and supported the venerable monk to dislodge ‘sleaze and exploitation that existed and to scrap the Presidency that gave gargantuan powers to a single individual, have so far failed hopelessly to achieve the venerable monks aspirations; Along with all such matters, it was heartbreaking that the monks last wishes too had to be ignored!

It was common knowledge now that ‘Ven. Sobitha Thera had been disconsolate towards the latter stages of his life, after all his arduous attempts to bring about good governance remained unaccomplished. This very fact, indeed, may have lead to the monks anguish, sorrow and pain that could evidently have heightened and exacerbated of his health.

The late venerable Sobitha Thera should have lived for many more years to come, and seen that all his attempts and dreams of yahapalanaya bore its fruits, which would have given him immeasurable contentment after transforming the whole nation towards a just society.

According to Buddhist beliefs though, let console ourselves in the fact that once born one must leave this impermanent sojourn in human life according to the very laws of cause and effect, while letting those politicians who benefited from his campaign for social justice, out of the hard work done by  the late Sobitha Thera in bringing about a change in Sri Lankan politics, at least towards the threshold, harbour a guilty conscience in their heart of hearts for the untimely death of this great Buddha Putra that Sri Lanka ever produced.

Tilak S. Fernando 

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