The advent of a new era is for all mankind an age of positive thinking and hopeful adventure. We dream of a time of fruitfulness and yeomen courage to step in to the future. But all our wishful thinking is not possible in a world of enmity and disparity. We fail to visualize how the past mournful events have undermined the courage and ardent hope that was inherent in the minds of men and women of the nation; to a stand still. Past happenings have dumbed the cry of the nation to march forward.

Stuck in the quagmire of the tinsel world of innumerable wealth and luxury, entangled by the strings of lust and egoism, mankind lost the hope and luster of honesty, integrity, truthfulness and love. The strength of sharing, respect for others and patriotism lost their value. Not only the infiltration of workers to the big cities but the upsurge of negativity and despair became rampant. The innate dwindling characteristics were augmented by the overt glamour and low copied uncultured style of living. Millions of poverty stricken men and women bury their lives in mines and factories. Millions and Billions are spent on producing or assembling medical equipment in factories, but millions die of non-communicable and communicable diseases.

A lot of money is spent on night clubs and other entertaining centers, while the vibrant youth emerging from the “fresh bosom” of our beautiful island foolishly indulge in unlawful activities and lose their lives in hell-holes after wasting the sorrowfully earned meager sum of money earned by their parents. Some of our youth are compelled to steal rob and engage in unlawful activities to meet the demands of their wanton lives. The greed for unlawful pleasure and gain have subjugated our innate powers and potential to become mere stunted “Human Guinea pigs” in the hands of the “bourgeois corporate economy” of the factory owners and business magnates.

Now we have come to the core of the grave situation. The wings of destruction have spread to the periphery and the people have lost their potential to raise their heads up to stand and protest. The iron clutches of the tarnished hands of the corporate economy have buried our rich golden cultural heritage inside the very sands of our glorious nation. We are blind to this calamity. The only remedial measure lies in our own unique religion – the Buddhist doctrine – which can save us from this slow yet devastating canker which is the gigantic destruction of “nature” and also of “nurture”.

Buddha does not talk only of personal emancipation but social emancipation too. The rudiments of Buddhist thought enlightens us on the three defilements that pollute our minds – they are greed, hatred and delusion. The unquenchable thirst for wealth and luxury overshadows the moral value of love and compassion and thereby deteriorates social ethics and undermines global unity and growth. Greed inculcates hatred and delusion stunts understanding. The only remedy for the “Pandemic” is the education and guidance of our youth who are the crusaders of our virtuous and cultured life. The time has come for us elders to understand that Buddhism is not a Dhamma to be shelved neatly in locked cupboards but to listen, read and digest, seek and practice accordingly. It is not a code of ethics but a way of good virtuous living.

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