Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
The Maoist path to enlightenment,Annapurna Post


The Maoists have had two chances to rule this country, and they have squandered both. They have flouted the rule of law, failed in governance, and their public support base is eroding. Senior civil servants and secretaries are resigning because of pressure from ministers, cadre and power-hungry Maoist unions. It is therefore stupid to expect a party like this to give people their rights or improve their livelihoods. Worse, the Maoists are openly coddling those found guilty of murder and other crimes and granting mass pardon to 367 people facing such charges. It's as if the Maoist prime minister wants to convey the message that his party can do anything, commit any crime and get away with it. Such impunity has further tarnished the domestic and international reputation of the party. It took a German minister to draw attention to this during a recent visit, and warn that aid to Nepal may be affected if the general amnesty proposal went through.

It is now clear that however much the Maoists talk about their 'people's war' for societal transformation, all they have tried to do in the past four years is demolish democracy and support authoritarianism. The party still seems to think it needs guns to ensure victory in elections and doesn't want to disarm, and its leaders keep threatening to return to the jungle, wage a people's revolt or unleash rivers of blood.

In the midst of all this, the supreme leader of the Maoists, Prachanda, after waging a war that killed 15,000 Nepalis, disappeared and displaced thousands more has suddenly decided to become a follower of Gautam Buddha, the prince of peace and compassion. This could be considered a positive move if Prachanda suddenly had pangs of conscience about the suffering he unleashed, or because he is scared of being dragged to the war crimes tribunal. All the world's religions and laws prohibit the taking of human life, yet leaders who celebrate violence and boast about their killings want to be seen as believers of non-violence. But first, the Maoist leader and his followers have to prove to us that they really mean it.

Why don't the adherents of Prachandapath mark the next auspicious full moon day by meditating for enlightenment under the Bodhi tree? Let the former guerrillas in the camps and YCLs also shave their heads, dress in monks' robes and chant "Buddham saranam gachhami, dhamam saranam gachhami, sangam saranam gachhami"? And let them say that they have forever forsaken the path of violence. Only then will it suit Prachanda and his disciples to lead the committee on Lumbini and welcome Ban Ki-moon. The UN chief's visit may have been cancelled for now, but at some point he should come and bear witness to this transformation of the Maoists to a truly non-violent party.

1. Ven. Bhaddamanika, Panditarama, Lumbini International Vipassana Meditation Center
The Buddha's Teachings or the Dhamma is for everyone.  Every person can follow what He taught tirelessly during His 45 years of missionary. Regardless of age, spiritual interests, regardless of nationalities, statuses of the people Buddha's Teachings are still flourishing, and can be discerned even after His demise more than twenty five hundred years ago.  The occurrence of the Buddha is for the welfare and happiness of the many.
The virtues or the inherent qualities of the Dhamma includes ehipassiko, that means, to invite everyone to practice or study the Dhamma, for the benefits could be achieved immediately, akaliko
 The Buddha's Teachings is likened to the taste of ocean water which has the same taste, a taste of salt in every depths, "a taste of freedom".   As ocean water belongs to anyone, the Buddha's teachings can be practiced by anyone, it belongs to humanity.  If they want to follow the Buddha's Teachings they have the right to do.  
Lumbini a place where the Buddha was born, and is a place of cultural heritage that belongs to all, and the Dhamma taught by the Buddha is also the spiritual heritage that everyone has the right to preserve it by following, practicing for the future generations.  
The past belongs to the past.  
 When we are looking for the possible future of the nation it is of great importance to focus the present and be prepared to look at the positive points, and to march ahead.  While forwarding ahead, looking back into the past, recalling the dark days, blaming, finding faults, etc. would make the journey hindered.  
 Where is the end? 
Buddha taught four illimitable wholesome mind states, which are
 boundless: Metta, loving kindness, Karuna compassion, and Mudita, appreciative joy, and, Upekkha, equanimity.  None of the problems can be solved without one of them.  
Adding fuel is easy, but as the citizens with a sense of ownership to this irreplaceable cultural heritage, Lumbini, where the Buddha was born should be totally aware that planting the seeds of hatred is not a solution.  

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)