1. Sri Lanka -- Bodh Gaya
Sri Lanka -- Bodh Gaya:
And, did Those Feet -- in Ancient Times
Walk upon Thambapanni's Shores?
And, "Thus Have I Heard, the Blessed One"
On Serendip's Sri Pada was Seen?
And, did His Prabhashvara
Overflow Brightly our Treasure Island?
And, was Mahiyangana Builded Here
Among those Nagas and Yakkhas?
Free me from Dukkha of my Worldly Realm:
Free me from Samudaya of Taṇhā:_
Free me with Nirodha: 'O Nirvana Attain!
Free me with our Sangha of Dharma.
I will not Cease from Samsara,
Nor shall I Stray -- from Magga
'Til we have built Bodh Gaya
In Sri Lanka's Divine, Sacred Land.
Written by Lehan Edirisinghe
Based on the Poem "Jerusalem" by William Blake
1. Thambapanni is an ancient times name of Sri Lanka.
2. Alludes to story where King VIjaya famously walked upon Sri Lanka's shores to meet inhabitants.
3. Many stories in the Tripitaka begin with, "Thus Have I Heard" and reference Buddhas as "The Blessed One".
4. Serendip is an old name for Sri Lanka, it predates Ceylon which the British called Sri Lanka.
5. Sri Pada is Adam's Peak, where Adam laid his feet upon his fall from the Garden of Eden -- Buddhists claim it is where Buddha landed his feet, with his footprint upon his ancient times visit to Sri Lanka.
6. Prabhashvara is the light emanating from Buddha's head, which is said to have spread a lengthy distance.
Unlike Christ, this was seen as a real phenomena, and also, Buddha is referred to with capitalised H as a pronoun.
7. Sri Lanka can be equated to a nonfictional Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is a famous classic.
Lehan would like Sri Lanka to be considered a true Garden of Eden Paradise and also Treasure Island.
Moreover, it is possible to change this to "Ceylon", but Sri Lankans have an embittered view towards this term.
The word Ceylon is a derogatory slur to symbolise British colonising Sri Lanka, similar to how the vulgar rude word "n-gg--" is an insult reference for blacks.
8. Mahiyangana was a temple that was built during the time of the Buddha. This was built to honor him for his help solving a conflict between the Nagas and Yakkhas who lived over 2,500 years ago, according to folklore, in Sri Lanka--
Nagas are snakes, and Yakkhas are demons, alluding to Bible's Genesis and possibly Serpent Lucifer and Satan.
* The following are complicated Buddhist terms which require deeper reading and study to explain fully *
9. Dukkha is the Hindu Buddhist Jain concept suffering:
10. Worldly realm is because Buddha taught there were many realities and realms
* These concepts refer to the Four Noble Truths of Suffering. *
11. Samudaya is origin of conceptual suffering.
12. Taṇhā is desire or more accurately, attachment which leads to cycle of rebirth:
13. Nirodha is a way to escape suffering:
14. Nirvana is the full release of worldly attachment:
A concept of Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is to be considered, where "like G-d", you cut off karmic actions, an impossibility in defeatist Hinduism --
to permanently end further suffering--
Nirvana or Nibanna is akin to Japanese concept of Kenjataimu to be 'free of sexual desires', save, it is to be 'free of any attachments' permanently.
In original Theravada Buddhism, only Buddha may attain Nirvana, known as "Parinirvana" whereas in Mahayama Buddhism, a monk may too escape cycle of rebirth.
15. Sangha is Monks, Nuns, Laymen and Laywomen, but in a general colloquial sense, refers to the Monks.
16. Dharma is the teachings of the Buddha (and Hindus).
In Buddhism, there is an equivalent to Roman Catholic Father, Son and Holy Spirit/ Ghost:
The Noble Triple Gem:
Lord Buddha (G-d), Dharma (Gospel/ Teachings of Buddha, akin to writings of emissary Prophets) and Sangha (Saints, Disciples and Followers of Buddha akin to Christs).
17. Samsara is what the cycle of reincarnation is known as in Buddhism:
The Noble Eightfold Buddhist Path, explains how to end or cease consciousness existence in Samsara:
A rather depressing, foundational belief in Buddhism is that "life is suffering" because of the impermanence or temporary nature of all things.
18. Magga is a Buddhist key and distinct concept which distinguishes Buddhism from Hinduism and Jainism--
it means, "Middle Path" or "Balanced Way", where you stray away from extremes.
This is similar to how the Hindus work together to maintain a sense of order and fairness.
19. Bodh Gaya is the most sacred site in Buddhism as it is where Buddha attained enlightenment.