‘Message of peace on earth has relevance to world today’
“I am pleased to share the joy of Christmas with all who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a Christmas message.
The message: “The story of Christmas has great meaning to all humankind. The birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in a stable in Bethlehem, is a powerful reminder of the message of humility, love and sharing that is spread with the ringing of Christmas bells in this festive season.
“The sheep in whose midst the Child Jesus was born and lay on a manger, and the shepherds
who first paid tribute to the Son of God, shows us that Christian love has strong bonds with the poor and the common people and should also extend to all other beings that share this world with us.
“In this season of loving and giving Christians seek to break the barriers that divide people, whether by race, ethnicity, religion, caste, wealth or social status.
“The message Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all that came with the first Christmas has relevance to the world today as it faces increasing challenges of hatred, terror, national rivalry, economic crisis, climate change and food insecurity. The prayers of Christians in this Season of Goodwill seek to ease the burdens of society with the love that is re-kindled with the nativity of Jesus Christ.
“Sharing the hope in these prayers I send my warmest good wishes for a Christmas full of joy, peace and goodwill to all Christians in Sri Lanka.”
Courtesy: Daily News / Pix by AFP / Getty Images
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Dear Demala Chelvam,
I am addressing you by your full name this time, to wish you a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful, Prosperous New Year!
You have been a gentleman and never insulted other bloggers or used abusive language. This means you are a spiritual person with sense of self respect, who respects others’ dignity.
I am heartened/encouraged by your admission that 99.99% of SL Tamils do no want separatism/nationalism but dignity with their human rights respected. This is valid for all SL citizens of all communities, whether rich or poor. It is enshrined in our Constitution. However, I agree it has not been observed in the past by extremist Sinhalese leaders through their weakness. Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa is a different leader. He is determined to redress this past mistakes to the minority communities. In his MC Idiri Dekma, it is given high priority, in order to forge ONE NATION ONE COUNTRY.
In India, despite its 8% GDP, with a population of 1.2 billion, nearly 200 million live below poverty line in dire deprivation, with no dignity. It is a crying shame that 5% enjoy extreme wealth while a substantial large percentage have to struggle for their daily livelihood in utter misery. They dwell in slums with no sanitation, denied of basic needs such as food, clothing, proper housing, healthcare, education, employment, water, electricity etc.
Vast stretches of India are barren, rocky, arid land. It cannot be cultivated as there is no water. People have no firewood to cook food. They collect cow dung of stray cattle daily, which they dry on the ground and rock faces, to be used in place of firewood. The noxious fumes from them are harmful to health. Their life spans are short. Some of these poor communities are treated as ‘outcastes’ by the Hindus. Mahatma Gandhi was appalled by this and opposed this practice, by calling them Harijans (Children of God). He wanted their dignity and human rights restored. It is many years since MG was assassinated. But there is little progress in restoration of the human rights of Harijans and other minority poor communities in India.
My guru was Rev Fr Peter Pillai, Rector of St Joseph’s College. For his PhD in Philosophy, his thesis was, “The Concept of God in the Vedantha Philosophy of Ramanuja”. Ramanuja was a Tamil Philosopher who was born in Madras and lived in mid 11th C. According to him, God is Paramathman (Primary Spirit, First Principle). He, the Ishvara, created the universe and our souls (Jivathmans). Jivathman is eternal and will return to Paramathman to live in eternal bliss, depending on how we have lived on earth. If we led a righteous life according to our conscience, the voice of God, then we will merit eternal union with God, on liberation from our body. However, if we led a life satisfying our desires and lust, we will be born again and again according to karma to purify our athman. This cycle of birth is samsara. People who lead evil lives will grow in the image of the devil and will live in hell for all eternity ultimately, if they fail to purify themselves through repentance and atonement.
Our life on earth is therefore, a journey to become ONE WITH GOD, THE PARAMATHMAN. One has to lead a righteous life by abiding with one’s conscience, the voice of God. God will then abide in such a person as he/she in God. This is heaven on earth, as you experience the wonderful presence of God in your athman, peace and joy. You trust God entirely to lead you in the right path and to protect you. Death is liberation to become ultimately ONE WITH GOD FOREVER IN ETERNAL BLISS.
Instead of fighting over territory, nationalism and separatism etc we should strive to live as one human family, loving and caring for one another, caring for our environment, to make the world a better place for all to share. All the trillions spent on military hardware and wars, to grab other nations resources, are better spent on caring for one another, the environment and to combat our real enemies, hunger, disease, poverty, ignorance etc.
This my message to you DC, and to the Hon President of SL, and infact to the whole wide world and Leaders, this Christmas. Stop all wars! Live in peace! Respect our human rights, for all to live in dignity!