Religious influence over the global power struggle
Ven.Professor Niso R. Fukoka Thera,Viharadhip-athi of Kofuji Temple, Kobe, Japan.Lakbimanews.lk
Interviewed by Manjula Pradeep Weerasooriya.
Q. Certain countries in the world are engaged in a struggle for power and building up power blocks, turning the entire globe into a battle field. What are the causes of this power mania?
A. There are three major religious beliefs that have flourished internationally. These are Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. Among them Buddhism is a religion of free thinking and non violence. No other known religion is more conducive to the peaceful coexistence of religions and social harmony than the philosophy of the Buddha. Most other religious beliefs are characteristically fundamentalist in approach. Any action, utterance, or criticism contradictory to the concept of their religion is met with contempt. They are prepared to pursue any action deemed necessary in such events even to the extent of waging war.
The leaders of those countries use their religion as a weapon to safeguard their own interests. George Bush of America adopted this policy to confront the incident of September 11 in this manner. The authority of power is based on religion. Sadam Hussain, throughout his political campaign and after his arrest, during the trial period began every sentence of his speech with the preposition “Allah”. This is a manifestation of the competition to win public support.
The human species never attains contentment under any circumstances. He is always more intent upon acquiring that which he is not in possession of than what he has already acquired. The spirit of domination is always present in his mind. These are primary feelings of a worldly human being. It is the external social factors that govern his behaviour to build up a cordial social structure. His conduct is governed by religion, culture, education, family background, associates, law, rules and regulations, political and economic forces and state and social penalties. But under modern social conditions, religion is openly made use of to implement personal worldly aspirations.
These political leaders attempt to dominate the global community by promoting the cause of one religion on the basis of a religious power block. This is a global tendency to perpetuate power in the hands of one individual prompted by political and economic greed. This is the cause of war the world over. Iranian and Iraqi petroleum monopoly is the objective of global war. This war of political and economic supremacy is waged in the name of religion.
Q. Is not Buddhism totally different from other religions that are used as a weapon to wage war ?
A. Buddhism is a peace loving religion that respects freedom and admires pleasant feelings. It looks at people with utmost compassion. It has no ambition to create power blocks and dominate the world. Theological religions believing in a single almighty creator expect to bring the entire human race under the umbrella of one god which is an alien concept to Buddhism. Buddhism does not advocate a policy of a single administrative authority for the entire human race. Buddhism promotes individual welfare through material and spiritual progress.
The contradictory conditions among nations are the products of different ideologies reckoned as religions. Buddhism treats all individuals with equality while other religions give priority to the people of their own belief. Equality among individuals is a serenity that transcends the bounds of barriers such as creed, caste or power and an essential feature of a philosophy not discernible in any other religion.