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The mind won’t let you take clear and independent decisions if you become a slave to attachments

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Tomorrow is Nikini Poya Day

Take the letters A and B in the English alphabet. It’s because of A that B exists. If A doesn’t exist, there’s no B. As A was born, B exists and when A disappears, B also disappears. We cannot talk of B without A. B exists until A exists. B vanishes when A vanishes. All these are relative to each other.

There is a Sutta called Nala Kalaapa in Sanyuktha Nikaya. Nala Kalaapa means a stack of firewood. If there are two stacks of firewood leaning upright together, if the right side stack is removed, the one on the left will fall. I reset the two stacks and remove the left one and the right stack falls. Now, do you understand that both are relative to each other? They exist only until they are together. If one is taken, the other falls.

That is the enlightenment. Now, realize that everything is interdependent. It is same even in the physical world. The fan is rotating due to the flow of electricity. When there is no electricity, the fan stops. Devotees listen to sermons because it is necessary to them. That means there is something behind each and everything, an interconnection. Everything functions in a circulatory system. Lord Buddha has explained in Nala Kalaapa Sutta about physical and mental recognition. These two are interdependent. They have a reversible reaction. Living beings exist due to this factor.

I preach on how to look into these two factors within yourself. Consider your own thoughts. Let’s assume one of you feeling hungry. Why am I feeling hungry? Because, I did not eat yet. What do I feel as hunger? There exists a memory in my mind about an occasion of having a full, half full and empty stomach. Compare them now. After the comparison, my mind says, the current situation differs from the previous situation of a full stomach. That is what you feel as hunger. The intention of the fullness is the cause for the emptiness. This is how you practice the cause and effect method.

I have a glass of water. Someone says the glass is full of water. I reduce the amount of water in the glass. Then the person says, “There is some water in the glass.” His reply is relative to two things. Make a response consciously. What are those two? The answer of that person is relative to the glass and the water. Now, I transfer the same amount of water to a smaller glass. Then, he says the glass is full. Here, he answered considering only the water. That is wrong. The answer should be given by considering both the water and the glass.

I talk about the activities of day-to-day life. Make responses by comparing both. My vision is clearer than yours. I see two when you all see one. That is the clearest vision or the reverse thinking pattern. One who perceives, see not only Dhamma but also the exterior more clearly. He is far-sighted. That means he sees everything in advance.

We go to a well around twelve noon and look inside. If the water is clear, then the bottom is seen clearly in the light. All of you have seen it. We stir water in the well by using a stick and look inside. Now, will the bottom be clearly seen? No, because the water is agitated. Think of yourself. You should understand that you cannot see yourself better because your mind is unclear. The reason is the ego.

You think that many things exist in the world should belong to you, they should behave as you wish etc. Such a person does not realize the reality of himself. Not only that, you form attachments to various things. As a result, your mind does not let you take independent, clear and accurate decisions as you have become a slave to the attachments. Think clearly and break all the gyves in your mind. Learn to think like a noble person without being confined to the traditional frames.

When searching for a set objective in life, keep the highest expectations, not the lowest. But, we don’t think that the maximum should be gained. We accept what we gain. Wish for the greatest. Work for the greatest. If it is not fulfilled, at least a lower level will be achieved. That is my idea.

The greatest gift you can give someone is the noble path, which emerges through the exploration of the meanings of Suttas preached by Lord Buddha. When you observe Suttas with wisdom, you will find the noble path in it. Go deep into the meanings of Suttas, only then you will be able to understand it. You cannot find them without a deep investigation. Walk through the path way. It is a different path. Everything exists in a reversible way.

– Ven. Sri Samanthabadra Thera

 



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About Rs 3 bn paid as OT during past few months

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Overtime gravy train for CPC refinery workers:

By Saman Indrajith

About Rs. 3,000 million had been paid as overtime for the employees of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation oil refinery, during the past few months, Parliament was told yesterday.

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said that he had asked for a detailed report as to whom and on what grounds the overtime payments had been made and it would be submitted to Parliament.

Fielding a question asked by Chief Opposition Whip, Kandy District SJB MP Lakshman Kiriella, Minister Wijesekera said instructions had been issued to regulate overtime.

MP Kiriella demanded to know why overtime had been paid to employees of an institution that had been shut down. “There are reports that over Rs 4,000 million has been paid as overtime to the workers of the refinery that was not functioning owing to the non-availability of crude oil. This is a crime,” Kiriella said.

Minister Wijesekera: “I made inquiries after I saw newspaper reports on payment of overtime to refinery workers. I inquired from the Finance Manager of the CPC. I was told that a sum between Rs 2.5 billion to Rs 3 billion had been paid as overtime. The refinery was not closed during the months of March and April. It was closed only during the last month. They had issued refined fuel on all seven days of the week continuously. When an institution operates full time in such a manner the employees would have to be paid for their overtime work. However, I admit that could have been done with some level of management in the payment process,” the Minister said.

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Wigneswaran claims RW accepted all his demands

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Head of the Thamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani (TMTK), C. V. Wigneswaran told the media recently that President Ranil Wickremesinghe had agreed to all demands he had made, including the release of Tamil ‘political prisoners’, to secure his vote during last month’s Parliament election, to elect a President.

He made this statement following a meeting with the President in Colombo to discuss the establishment of an all-party government.

“We have made several requests and if the President is ready to comply with them, we will consider taking part in the all party government,” he said.

“We met him when he was Prime Minister. Before the parliamentary vote to elect the President, I made these demands and he agreed to them. That is why I voted for him. Now, it is for him to keep his promises. I am here to remind him of this,” Wigenswaran said.

Wickremesinghe, as the Prime Minister in the yahapalana government, vehemently denied that there were Tamil ‘political prisoners’ in the country. (RK)

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MPs are not immune from country’s laws – SJB

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By Saman Indrajith

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa told Parliament yesterday that the MPs were not immune from the Penal Code despite the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act.

Premadasa said Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardane had claimed that incidents in Parliament could not be dealt with under the regular law.

“This claim sends the wrong message to people. Aren’t the provisions of the Penal Code or the Offences against Public Property Act applicable to the MPs? There were incidents in this Chamber during the 52-day coup conspiracy; some MPs damaged public property. There were investigations by the CID and also by Parliament.

The Secretary General announced the cost of the damage. When the process was on to prosecute those MPs responsible for the damage, political influence was exerted on the CID not to file cases against the culprits. It is against this background that Minister Gunawardane, in his position as the Cabinet spokesman, makes this false claim. His statement is sending a message saying that there is one law inside the Parliament and another outside it.

“He also claims that the Speaker decides whether these laws are applicable to Parliament or not,” Premadasa said.

Colombo District SJB MP Mujibur Rahuman said that people were already against the MPs and this new wrong message would further exacerbate their anger against elected members. “The Cabinet Spokesman says that the MPs have a different set of laws while the people are dealt with by the country’s laws. That is wrong. We are also liable for criminal offences that we commit,” Rahuman said.

“The CID conducted an investigation and was prepared to file cases, but that was prevented through political influence. The Cabinet Spokesman’s statement is fueling public hatred towards the MPs. Please, request the Cabinet Spokesman to refrain from making such statements,” he said.

Minister Gunawardane said that he was only responding to a question raised by a journalist and the question was about fairness of cracking down on protesters for destroying public property, during anti-government protests, when MPs, who damaged Parliament, property under the former government, are yet to be apprehended.

Minister Gunawardane said as a public representative in Parliament for the last 33 years he had only explained that the law would be implemented against those engaged in violent activities during peaceful protests.

“I said MPs had Parliament privileges and the Parliament law. I also explained that MPs attending Parliament cannot be arrested as they are engaged in legislative activities,” he said.

Chief Opposition Whip, Kandy District MP Lakshman Kiriella, said that the MPs had no such legal immunity. and Parliament privileges only cover MPs from being arrested while they are on their way to attend and when they leave Parliament. “Therefore, there is no law that says they are exempt from other laws of the country,” Kiriella said.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, agreeing with Chief Opposition Whip Kiriella, said that all other laws in the country applied to the MPs.

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