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A wonderful beginning to a new life

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THE POLICE TRAINING SCHOOL

by Senior Retired DIG Edward Gunawardene

In the year 1957 I sat two public examinations conducted by the Public Service Commission, the constitutionally created independent body for recruitment to the Public Service. My father gladly gave me the examination fee of Rs. 250/= to apply for the Ceylon Civil Service examination. But it was with reluctance that he gave me Rs. 150/= to sit the examination for the selection of Assistant Superintendents of Police.

Finding a job then did not appear to be a problem. By the time the results of the Police examination were announced I had received several letters of appointment to various jobs at staff level. The three that I remember are: Assistant Assessor of Income Tax, Assistant Superintendent of Surveys (Geological Survey) and Assistant Superintendent Government Stores.

However, with my coming first in the Police examination by ever 100 marks I had little choice. Everybody, especially my brothers, said “Take it”. The man I had beaten to second place ‘Brute’ Mahendran was a triple international having represented Ceylon in Athletics, Rugger and Boxing. I had only taken part in games. At the interview ‘Brute’ and I had been asked the same question, “Can you tell us where the game of Rugby originated?” The man who was playing rugger for Ceylon was not able to answer.

The Board of Interview appointed by the Public Service Commission for the Police examination was chaired by Gunasena de Zoysa, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs. The Minister was the Prime Minister himself, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. The other members of the Board were Brigadier Anton Muttucumaru, the Army Commander, and C.C. Dissanayake, DIG, who was then acting as IGP.

When I walked in dressed in a white satin drill suit with the words ‘good morning’ in my mouth, the entire board looked at me. They were all smiles. Perhaps they were amused at this small but confident looking youngster. As soon as I sat down the Chairman spoke, “you have an excellent degree, a geography second”. Mr. Dissanayake looked at me and said, “I find that you have played rugger at Peradeniya, but you have not played rugger for your school.”

“St. Josephs is not a rugger playing school. Soccer is their game”, interjected the Army Commander who was an old Josephian.

After a short pause Dissanayake asked me where the game had originated. I replied that it began at Rugby, the famous British grammar school during a game of soccer. “What else do you know about this school?” was his next question. I then mentioned the name of Arnold, the famous principal, and explained to the Board that he is still remembered as a stern disciplinarian. That was the end of the interview. The final results showed that I had received 350 out of 400 marks.

It was on February 1, 1958 that I entered the Police Training School. Mahendran and David, the other two Probationary ASPs, accompanied me from Colombo. We were picked up at the Kalutara railway station by my friend Nehru Goonetillake and driven to the Training School. At that time Nehru had received his LLB degree from Peradeniya and was following lectures at the Law College in Colombo. His father P.F.A. Goonetilleke was a leading citizen of Kalutara. He was not only the Crown Proctor but also the President of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust. Over 50 years later, Nehru at the time of his premature death was not only a leading President’s Counsel but the President of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust.

As we stopped at the Training School gate a constable approached the car. When I told him that we were the new ASPs, he stood to attention and saluted smartly and directed us to a place called the Charge Room. As the three of us entered this room an officer shouted, “Charge Room, Attention!” Simultaneously, a young constable escorted us to an open area with seats of cement slabs where there were several persons in informal dress as well as police uniforms.

The most impressive of the lot was a handsome, middle aged, blue eyed gentlemen dressed in a white shirt and blue shorts. Smoking a pipe he looked very relaxed. “Here come the new Probs”, he told the others there. By ‘Probs’ he meant Probationary ASPs. He then walked up to the three of us and warmly shook our hands saying “Welcome to the Police, Gentlemen”. He introduced himself as Fred Brohier, Assistant Director of Training. He apologized for the absence of the Director, Stanley Senanayake who was attending the funeral of his sister, Mrs. Wanasundera.

With Brohier were three other ASPs Murugesupillai, Terry Wijesinghe and Van den Driesen. They were all introduced to us. Whilst these introductions and pleasantries were taking place there was also chatter behind. An oldish man in shorts was heard to remark (referring to me) “the short fellow looks a tough nut.” I later came to know that he was Inspector Suraweera of Monte Cristo fame. The story current at the time was that Suraweera had taken an armed police party to Monte Cristo estate to quell a riot; and the man leading the mob had dared to advance towards the police raising his sarong and exposing his person. Suraweera himself had opened fire, with a shot gun blasting the genitals of the mob leader! The latter had not succumbed to his injuries. The labour unrest on the estate ceased; and Suraweera had been commended by Sir Richard Aluvihare who was the IGP then.

Soon the Asst. Director commanded a mustacheod uniformed officer, “Major, take them round on a whirlwind tour of the school.” Boarding a hood less jeep we set off. “I am Sergeant Major Nallawansa. You see, like the IGP there is only one such officer in the police,” was how he introduced himself. He then suggested that we could go to our lodgings first, the SSM (Senior Staff Mess), do a change etc. before doing the full round of the school.

The SSM had many rooms including a spacious dining room and lobby with a regulation size billiard table. Most of the rooms were occupied by a new batch of trainee Sub-Inspectors of Police. A few rooms were also occupied by staffers. Alex Abeysekera and Terry Amarasekera were two of them. The three of us were allocated rooms in different areas of the building. After lunch we were met by Inspector Ekanayake, the Chief Lecturer. He explained to us the daily routine of training. For three young men just out of University it was a rigid program indeed. However before long we began to enjoy the healthy mix of physical exercises, parades, lectures on law, criminal investigation, Police role in the maintenance of public order etc. More than even Mahendran and David, I took a special liking to the riding of motor cycles and horses. A probationary ASP had to be competent in the riding horses for confirmation in the rank of ASP.

On my second day at the Police Training School (PTS) Feb. 2, 1958, whilst taking part in Physical Training exercises dressed in blue shorts and white shirts, my colleagues and I were intrigued to see a handsome gentleman dressed in riding trousers and polo shirt riding a chestnut coloured horse on the perimeter of the parade ground. Sub-Inspector Somapala who was the P.T. instructor was quick to announce to us that the gentleman on horseback was the Director, Stanley Senanayake. That moment I thought that I had selected a great job.

 

That same evening at about 7′ O’Clock the three of us were picked up from our lodgings and driven to the Director’s residence for dinner. As we entered the verandah we were warmly greeted by Stanley Senanayake and his charming wife, Maya. From the moment we met this couple I realized that life in the police will be pleasant and rewarding. We were indeed fortunate that Stanley and Maya were at the helm during our stint at the Training School.

Stanley had been an outstanding student at the University, and had chosen to join the Police as an ASP prior to graduation. Maya was an honours graduate. She was the daughter of P. de S. Kularatne. Even before joining the Police, Stanley had earned recognition as a handsome sportsman and an accomplished horseman. In fact in 1948 during the independence celebrations I had seen him and Sydney de Zoysa act as Dutugemunu and Elara in that epic Pageant of Lanka enacted at the Colombo racecourse.

Others present at this dinner were Fred Brohier, Terry Wijesinghe, Murugesupillai and their wives. From the following morning for more than a week continuously we were shuttling to Colombo and back with the Asst. Director, Fred Brohier. He had to get our uniforms ready as a matter of priority. Orders for the tailoring of uniforms were placed at Millers, Fort. This up-market department store, owned and managed by Englishmen, was the traditional uniform maker for senior Police officers. Several types of uniforms had to be turned out:

Ceremonial White Uniform consisting of tunic, long trousers and cross-belt. A white pith helmet with a spike and large silver badge and a ceremonial sword accompanied this uniform.

Ceremonial Riding Uniform The difference was that instead of white trousers dark blue serge pantaloons and riding boots with ceremonial spurs were worn.

No. I Khaki Uniform – White shirt with black tie, khaki long trousers, tunic coat and Sam Browne belt.

The Normal Working Uniform consisted of a light khaki tunic and long trousers.

The riding boots had to be specially made. This was an expert job undertaken by a boot maker on Hospital Street in Fort.

The Headgear – The white pith helmet, braided peak cap and a felt slouch hat with a broad puggaree; the crossbelt and Sam Browne belt; and insignia, epaulets, nickel plated buttons and officer’s baton had to be obtained from the Inspector-General’s stores at Police Headquarters.

After equipping the three young ASPS with their uniforms, Brohier had to perform a traditional task of a different but pleasant nature. This was by appointment to introduce the three of us to the Governor General, Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Army Commander and the IGP. Of all these meetings the meeting with the Prime Minister, SWRD Bandranaike, turned out to be the most informal.

He was completely relaxed. He asked only one question from each of us, “Who is your father? What is he doing?” He was pleased at our frank and forthright replies. When I told him that my father was the Assistant Manager of the Fountain Cafe, his immediate response was, “I am sure, I’ve met him”. Fountain Cafe was Colombo’s leading restaurant. My father who had been there since its inception, had befriended even Caldecott, Sir Geoffrey Layton and Oliver Goonetillake. As a schoolboy I have seen leading jockeys Fordyce and Cook talking to him. Bandaranaike was certainly more pleased at meeting and conversing with three young graduates of the University of Ceylon rather than three new ASPs.

I was to meet this great man twice in 1959 before his cruel assassination in September the same year. Whilst attached to Colombo Division for practical training I once accompanied the Supdt. of Police Colombo, H.K. Van den Driesen to the Prime Minister’s Office. Van den Driesen had to brief the Prime Minister on the labour unrest that was prevalent in the Port at the time. My final meeting with him was when he had to officially open the new Kelani bridge. I was the only Senior Officer present. It was not a grand show. Mr. Premaratne, the Director of Public Works was present with a few officials together with the workers who had taken part in the construction. The Prime Minister had to cut a ribbon that had been strung across the bridge. Mr. Premaratne received him with a sheaf of betel while another official offered him a pair of scissors on a silver tray. The Prime Minister took the scissors, paused a while and handed them over to one of the workers to do the honours. Once the ribbon was cut, the Prime Minister himself led the applause. At the time of his assassination I was the ASP, Batticaloa.

(Continued next week)

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Olga Sirimanne (1923 – 2021)

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In memoriam

My darling beautiful angelic wife Olga (First batch of Air Ceylon stewardesses) and I commenced a partnership of love in Holy Matrimony on 17th June 1954. We loved each other deeply, enjoyed a blissful relationship for over 66 happy years with each other. We devoted our lives to give love and happiness not only to each other but also to all those who came to know us during our delightful almost 100 years. Beautiful incidents and memories are portrayed in several photo albums. Our friends and family loved listening to Olga’s exciting experiences and stories laced with humour and laughter as she was an excellent story teller.

Olga was blessed with three loveable children, Sunil, Laksen and a beautiful daughter Minoli; adorable grandchildren, Shelana and Sanjev, Rahel and Sariah, Kaitlyn and Taylor; great grandson, Sevan and darling niece, Ashie whose mother (Olga’s only sister) passed away some years ago. Ashie considered Olga, her ’Loku Ammie’ as her surrogate mother. Her son-in-law and daughters-in-law too loved her deeply with great respect and love. She held them fondly close to her heart with pride.

Her lifelong heart-throb was me. She always called me ‘darling’ but never addressed me as ‘Siri’ though all her friends did. Since I was ‘Thathie’ to our loving children, she too affectionately called me ‘Thathie’ even when she was on the verge of passing away. I too enduringly called her ‘Ammie’ as I loved her as much as our children.

Her gentle protective care and devotion helped me to maintain youthful looks and excellent health to celebrate my 100th birthday on 31st January 2020. She and our daughter had arranged a Holy Mass at home followed with a surprise birthday party attended by a few close friends and relations. She too received Holy Communion with blessings for the peaceful and happy years of coexistence with me. I too responded to her caring ways and helped her maintain her health and beautiful charming looks to the end.

Her 98th birthday was on 12 January 2021. She was greeted by me first thing in the morning, with loving kisses, hugs and prayers to God for giving us another year of peace and happiness. She received with warm wishes lots of beautiful bouquets and baskets of flowers, birthday cards and a countless number of telephone calls from children, grandchildren, relations, friends and loved ones here and scattered around the globe. It thrilled her to know that so many remembered and loved her.

Deep within our hearts, there was this chilling fear of the unbearable sorrow if one of us was left without the other. As age was creeping into our lives, every night we started reciting together a prayer to God before going to sleep, kissing each other and whispering, “I love you darling, God Bless you.”

The inevitable happened on 3rd February 2021 when my darling (Olga) passed away in my arms to the Kingdom of Heaven to be with Jesus. Thus, ended our happy and peaceful partnership, me afflicted with sorrow and yearning for her presence. I love you darling, my love. Rest in Peace.

Our children, Sunil, Laksen, Minoli and I wish to thank all those who attended the private funeral, sent floral tributes and messages of condolences and regret our inability to thank you individually . Please accept our heartfelt gratitude.

 

D.L.Sirimanne

leosirimanne@gmail.com

 

 

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Divided people in a distorted democracy

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The Geneva Calamity comes more from the thinking of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, than that of the former Chilean politician who is now the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

It is such thinking of disaster advancement that made our Foreign Minister tell the Geneva meeting in his virtual address that Sri Lanka acted in ‘self-defence” in the fight against the LTTE’s terrorism. Was it self-defence that led to the actions of the armed forces or the fundamental right to safeguard the unitary state, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Sri Lanka – whether Democratic Socialist or not?

The debate will go on in Geneva about our actions for self-defence, that defeated the LTTE, and what has taken place after that assurance of self-defence, that relates to wider reaching issues of Human Rights, with emphasis on responsibility and accountability.  Now that Yahapalana is no more, it is the task of the Powers of Fortune, or Saubhagya, to make its own case on how Sri Lanka relates to the international community.  This is certainly no easy task as we see the unfolding of the politics and crooked governance in Sri Lanka.

As the echoes of Geneva goes on, we are much more involved in the Easter Sunday carnage and the Presidential Commission report on it. The people are certainly puzzled as to why the planners and directors of this hugely bloody act of Islamic terrorism have not been revealed. We have the unique situation where the person who appointed this Commission of Inquiry, none other than former President Maithripala Sirisena, is to be legally punished for this carnage. 

Are we to have special satisfaction on the possibility that future Heads of State, who appoint such commissions of inquiry, will be the first accused, even in the much-delayed reports of such commissions?  There is not much hope for such satisfaction. The Head of State is the emblem of supremacy, with all the powers of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. 

The families of the victims of that terrorist attack at the Katuwapitiya -Negombo, Kochchikade – Colombo, and Batticaloa churches, will certainly remain in search for the exposure and punishment of those who planned and carried out these situations of carnage. What we are shown is the true purpose and meaning of a Presidential Commision of Inquiry – PCoI.

We have certainly gone back to the origins of such inquiries, and the powers of Saubhagya at Rajavasala, have shown their honour to J. R Jayewardene, who brought the Presidential Commission as the show of the five-sixth majority Jayewardene Power.  Mr. Sirisena may remember how the first PCoI of the Jayewardene era, ensured the removal of civic rights to Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the defeated Prime Minister and Mr. Felix Dias Bandaranaike, former Minister of Justice.  

Punishment of one’s political opponents is the stuff and substance of Presidential Commissions of Inquiry, and Sri Lanka is now showing the whole world how much this is a part of a Distorted Democracy. A show of power that was enabled by 69 lakhs of voters in the presidential election, followed  by the parliamentary two-thirds gained through those who bowed their so-called critical heads on ‘Dual Citizens” coming to Parliament, and the huge Muslim MP cross-over – for the benefits they must have gained – as all such cross-over politicians always obtain.

The Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, who certainly prevented the Easter Sunday carnage leading to even more bloodshed, by a few timely words of caution and Christian thinking that tragic day, must be now wanting to know why he was so keen to get the report of this Commission.  Who were the planners, the funders, the trainers and leaders of this carnage? What will the people know in the weeks and months to follow, and how much can the feelings of the families that were the bloody victims of this massacre of the innocents, be brought to some relief?

This PCoI is the answer to the political prayers of those manipulating power today. It is the answer to the continually rising Cost of  Living, the protection to those who keep destroying our forests and jungles, the safeguard for all those who keep reducing the Alimankada pathways of our elephants, it is the whistle blow of  go ahead to the forces of urban destruction, and the show-piece managers of Presidential visits to the rural people. 

The rising voices of sections of the Maha Sangha against this PCoI, the call from Christian voices to expose and deal with the planners and movers of this carnage, and the louder voices for the protection of nature and the environment, will be the cause of joy to the powers of a Deadly Dominant Democracy. It is the message of power to those who take pride in killings of the past – be it the Tigers of the LTTE, or the cases of killed, injured and missing journalists, and the abduction of children.

 The powers that be will continue to sing loud about how we acted in self-defence against the LTTE terror. The echoes of Geneva will keep ringing in the ears of manipulative politics and power. But this and other PCoI reports that are seen as the substance of crooked power, will soon lead our people and country to an Age of Disaster – an age of new confrontations and calamities. How much worse can we become than the JRJ manipulation of anti-democratic power?

 How much can we allow our people to be divided, and thus supportive of a Distorted Democracy?

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HOW REBIRTH  TAKES PLACE

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The passing away of the consciousness of the past birth is the occasion for the arising of the new consciousness in the subsequent birth. However, nothing unchangeable or permanent is transmitted from the past to the present.

(From THE BUDDHA AND HIS TEACHINGS by Venerable Narada Mahathera)

“The pile of bones of (all the bodies of) one man
Who has alone one aeon lived
Would make a mountain’s height —
So said the mighty seer.”

— ITIVUT’TAKA

To the dying man at this critical stage, according to Abhidhamma philosophy, is presented a Kamma, Kamma Nimitta, or Gati Nimitta.

By Kamma is here meant some good or bad act done during his lifetime or immediately before his dying moment. It is a good or bad thought. If the dying person had committed one of the five heinous crimes (Garuka Kamma) such as parricide etc. or developed the Jhānas (Ecstasies), he would experience such a Kamma before his death. These are so powerful that they totally eclipse all other actions and appear very vividly before the mind’s eye. If he had done no such weighty action, he may take for his object of the dying thought-process a Kamma done immediately before death (Āsanna Kamma); which may be called a “Death Proximate Kamma.”

In the absence of a “Death-Proximate Kamma” a habitual good or bad act (Ācinna Kamma) is presented, such as the healing of the sick in the case of a good physician, or the teaching of the Dhamma in the case of a pious Bhikkhu, or stealing in the case of a thief. Failing all these, some casual trivial good or bad act (Katattā Kamma) becomes the object of the dying thought-process.

Kamma Nimitta

or “symbol,” means a mental reproduction of any sight, sound, smell, taste, touch or idea which was predominant at the time of some important activity, good or bad, such as a vision of knives or dying animals in the case of a butcher, of patients in the case of a physician, and of the object of worship in the case of a devotee, etc…

By Gati Nimitta, or “symbol of destiny” is meant some symbol of the place of future birth. This frequently presents itself to dying persons and stamps its gladness or gloom upon their features. When these indications of the future birth occur, if they are bad, they can at times be remedied. This is done by influencing the thoughts of the dying man. Such premonitory visions of destiny may be fire, forests, mountainous regions, a mother’s womb, celestial mansions, and the like.

Taking for the object a Kamma, or a Kamma symbol, or a symbol of destiny, a thought-process runs its course even if the death be an instantaneous one.

For the sake of convenience let us imagine that the dying person is to be reborn in the human kingdom and that the object is some good Kamma.

His Bhavanga consciousness is interrupted, vibrates for a thought-moment and passes away; after which the mind-door consciousness (manodvāravajjana) arises and passes away. Then comes the psychologically important stage –Javana process — which here runs only for five thought moments by reason of its weakness, instead of the normal seven. It lacks all reproductive power, its main function being the mere regulation of the new existence (abhinavakarana).

The object here being desirable, the consciousness he experiences is a moral one. The Tadālambana-consciousness which has for its function a registering or identifying for two moments of the object so perceived, may or may not follow. After this occurs the death-consciousness (cuticitta), the last thought moment to be experienced in this present life.

There is a misconception amongst some that the subsequent birth is conditioned by this last death-consciousness (cuticitta) which in itself has no special function to perform. What actually conditions rebirth is that which is experienced during the Javana process.

With the cessation of the decease-consciousness death actually occurs. Then no material qualities born of mind and food (cittaja and āhāraja) are produced. Only a series of material qualities born of heat (utuja) goes on till the corpse is reduced to dust.

Simultaneous with the arising of the rebirth consciousness there spring up the ‘body-decad,’ ‘sex-decad,’ and ‘base-decad’ (Kāya-bhāva-vatthu-dasaka).

According to Buddhism, therefore, sex is determined at the moment of conception and is conditioned by Kamma not by any fortuitous combination of sperm and ovum-cells.

The passing away of the consciousness of the past birth is the occasion for the arising of the new consciousness in the subsequent birth. However, nothing unchangeable or permanent is transmitted from the past to the present.

Just as the wheel rests on the ground only at one point, so, strictly speaking, we live only for one thought-moment. We are always in the present, and that present is ever slipping into the irrevocable past. Each momentary consciousness of this ever-changing life-process, on passing away, transmits its whole energy, all the indelibly recorded impressions on it, to its successor. Every fresh consciousness, therefore, consists of the potentialities of its predecessors together with something more. At death, the consciousness perishes, as in truth it perishes every moment, only to give birth to another in a rebirth. This renewed consciousness inherits all past experiences. As all impressions are indelibly recorded in the ever-changing palimpsest-like mind, and all potentialities are transmitted from life to life, irrespective of temporary disintegration, thus there may be reminiscence of past births or past incidents. Whereas if memory depended solely on brain cells, such reminiscence would be impossible.

“This new being which is the present manifestation of the stream of Kamma-energy is not the same as, and has no identity with, the previous one in its line — the aggregates that make up its composition being different from, having no identity with, those that make up the being of its predecessor. And yet it is not an entirely different being since it has the same stream of Kamma-energy, though modified perchance just by having shown itself in that manifestation, which is now making its presence known in the sense-perceptible world as the new being.

Death, according to Buddhism, is the cessation of the psycho-physical life of any one individual existence. It is the passing away of vitality (āyu), i.e., psychic and physical life (jīvitindriya), heat (usma) and consciousness (vijnana).

Death is not the complete annihilation of a being, for though a particular life-span ends, the force which hitherto actuated it is not destroyed.

Just as an electric light is the outward visible manifestation of invisible electric energy, so we are the outward manifestations of invisible Kammic energy. The bulb may break, and the light may be extinguished, but the current remains and the light may be reproduced in another bulb. In the same way, the Kammic force remains undisturbed by the disintegration of the physical body, and the passing away of the present consciousness leads to the arising of a fresh one in another birth. But nothing unchangeable or permanent “passes” from the present to the future.

In the foregoing case, the thought experienced before death being a moral one, the resultant rebirth-consciousness takes for its material an appropriate sperm and ovum cell of human parents. The rebirth-consciousness (patisandhi vijnana) then lapses into the Bhavanga state.

The continuity of the flux, at death, is unbroken in point of time, and there is no breach in the stream of consciousness.

Rebirth takes place immediately, irrespective of the place of birth, just as an electromagnetic wave, projected into space, is immediately reproduced in a receiving radio set. Rebirth of the mental flux is also instantaneous and leaves no room whatever for any intermediate state (antarabhava). Pure Buddhism does not support the belief that a spirit of the deceased person takes lodgement in some temporary state until it finds a suitable place for its “reincarnation.”

This question of instantaneous rebirth is well expressed in the Milinda Panha

The King Milinda questions:

“Venerable Nagasena, if somebody dies here and is reborn in the world of Brahma, and another dies here and is reborn in Kashmir, which of them would arrive first?

“They would arrive at the same time. O King.

“In which town were you born, O King?

“In a village called Kalasi, Venerable Sir.

“How far is Kalasi from here, O King?

“About two hundred miles, Venerable Sir.

“And how far is Kashmir from here, O King?

“About twelve miles, Venerable Sir.

“Now think of the village of Kalasi, O King.

“I have done so, Venerable Sir.

“And now think of Kashmir, O King.

“It is done, Venerable Sir.

“Which of these two, O King, did you think the more slowly and which the more quickly?

“Both equally quickly, Venerable Sir.

“Just so, O King, he who dies here and is reborn in the world of Brahma, is not reborn later than he who dies here and is reborn in Kashmir.”

“Give me one more simile, Venerable Sir.”

“What do you think, O King? Suppose two birds were flying in the air and they should settle at the same time, one upon a high and the other upon a low tree, which bird’s shade would first fall upon the earth, and which bird’s later?”

“Both shadows would appear at the same time, not one of them earlier and the other later.

The question might arise: Are the sperm and ovum cells always ready, waiting to take up the rebirth-thought?

According to Buddhism, living beings are infinite in number, and so are world systems. Nor is the impregnated ovum the only route to rebirth. Earth, an almost insignificant speck in the universe, is not the only habitable plane, and humans are not the only living beings. As such it is not impossible to believe that there will always be an appropriate place to receive the last thought vibrations. A point is always ready to receive the falling stone.

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