Godage Mahattaya and his Bana Poth contribution | Daily News


Godage Mahattaya and his Bana Poth contribution

The well known local book publisher Deshabandu Sirisumana Godage has entered into the writing of small-sized books that he aims as beneficial to the common reader of lighter vein of religious material. Having gained sufficient experience in the book trade triggering off from being a book binder and a book distributor, Godage is currently is a more relaxed personality. He is seen in his little cubicle upstairs in the Godage Poth Medura, Maradana closer to my alma mater, Ananda College.

The term Deshabandu is an honorary title given to Godage for his yeoman service to the local book industry. Whenever we enter his little cubicle, we see him today surrounded by his own printed materials on religious and popular psychological material in the form of mini books. As the discussions ensue, Godage will hand over to you the new contributions made by him taking time off his hum drum life of a busy business of dealing with the book trends, local and foreign.

Though not very old, he has taken time to read eliminating desires as to relax, from the humdrum life of books in order to write his own views on religious teaching. He continues to write and declares that he had not delved deeply into either the metaphysics of any religion or linked to any particular religious ideology as a dedicated scholar. But he emphasises that he had an inner urge to pen his views in the way that he so desires via his own experiences as a keen observer of social events. He had already contributed his self expressions in a few books numbering to about eight. These works so far published have gone into several editions and cover such areas as getting to know merits and demerits (pin, pav handunageneema), Mind, Mind functions and religions, Gettin grid of doing demerits in order to achieve happiness, knowing the mind, What the Buddha Taught and A Handbook of Values for Children. The work is their spectrum of contributions comes as titled Citta Niyama Dharma or how the mind works or regulates. On reading the contents that go into the making of 13 chapters long and short, I found that the writer Godage is seen as a sharp observer and a listener who has taken note of the link that exists in the working of the mind and how the sensory perception is read to it. In order to explain the regulatory concept of the working of the mind, he takes into account the five senses that include the eyes, the cars, the nose, the mouth and the touch. Like a primary communication lesson, he investigates what happens when one sees an object or sights that capture the eyes. A good sight may be pleasing; a terrific sight may be displeasing and/or repulsive.

In the same way what one hears may pass on to a wider range of feelings regulated by the mind. Then the mind may decide the type of ‘sound’ that reached the ear. Is it a pleasing sound or displeasing noise or a repulsive sound that resulted in hatred, ill-will and displeasure? Then comes the mouth or the verbal component that results in many more changes than the sight and the sounds.

The verbal communication is attempted to elevate into the realm of religious teachings and doctrines. The most essential factor that is underlined comes as the evil or sinful utterances as well as the good and esteemed utterances that result in both evil and good. It is the goal that the mind determines the good and the bad.

The fifth sensory perception is the feeling through the touch commonly known by the term, ‘sparsha’. The touch or feeling possesses several dimensions that are explained in the commonest possible way taking into account several day examples of human living conditions. The touch as explained sends a mental pleasure that is decoded in the mind into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ depending on the individual.

There are controversial areas such as ‘passion’, love, kindness, caring, sharing, intimacies, revolts, rebels, warfare and killings which result due to the phenomenon. Godage then looks at each of this sensory perception in detached view of a searcher, who in turn kindles a glow of light in the mind. This light is significant in one’s actions good and bad deeds. As pointed out in Dhammapada, mind is the forerunner of all good and bad or evil actions. Our writer Godage goes a step ahead in his interpretation. He believes that the action in this birth and the thinking process in one birth may result in the same in the next birth. This factor is discussed in the chapter on Satvotpattiya or the birth of living beings. It is only in one instant that the writer refers to Samyutta Nikaya as compiled by the late scholar Dr AP de Zoysa, and later published as a second edition by himself. The salient point illuminated in this entire text is that all mind-created feelings result in one’s actions. Several experiences from his own life are included and reference is made to the fact that even reading immoral books may lead to an unsanctified way of a chaotic existence in one’s life.

In conclusion, as a reader, I had the feeling that the contents through are not newly found research material, may help soothen one’s mental disarrays like depressions of varying types, stresses and strains. As such, the interpretation of the age-old Buddhist teachings may help on individual to gain new insights into his or her lifestyle. I am not too sure the ultimate evaluation is going to yield any verdict. But may it be said that this kind of contribution leads to one’s wider findings that will pave the way to a certain degree of depth in the subject areas of cognition, vision and sensory perception in psychology and metaphysics. The interpretation on this part of Sirisumana Godage could be a starting point in one’s own findings for a better existence and a better state of living.

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