The Buddha’s impeccable wisdom | Sunday Observer

The Buddha’s impeccable wisdom

“In this world of storm and strife, hatred and violence, the message of the Buddha shines like a radiant sun. His eternal message has thrilled humanity through the ages. Perhaps, in no time in past history, was his message of peace, more needed for a suffering and distracted humanity than it is today. Let us remember that immortal message and fashion our thoughts and actions in the light of that teaching.”

Shree Nehru – First Prime Minister of India

A serene and tranquil Vesak atmosphere usually pervades our “Island of Righteousness” (Dharmadvipa) at this time of the year. In this thrice-blessed sacred season, the Buddhist devotees celebrate three auspicious events, in the life of the Supremely Enlightened Buddha. Those three are the Birth of Prince Siddhartha, the attainment of Supreme Enlightenment by Ascetic Siddhartha and the Great Demise of the Buddha.

At this stage, in order to focus keenly on the central theme of the present discussion, let us shift our attention to an unprecedented global carnage, that claimed more human lives, than any other war, in the whole of human history. This ugly instance in the evolution of human life is known as “World War 2”. This abominable devastation of lives and property went on for six dreadful years – from 1939 to 1945.

At the end of this period of demonic destruction, peace was reached. The victorious nations were in a relentless rage, against the opposing nations who unleashed attacks on them in the days of the war. The winner was fuming. They were all out to avenge the losses they suffered, by imposing the most harrowing of punishments on the “enemies”, who inflicted pain.

An international peace conference was held on September 6, 1951, in San Francisco, US. Many expressed in uninhibited terms, that the worst possible reprisals should be agreed upon. The totality of the peace assembly was overwhelmed by harsh vocalisms of extreme hatred. Peace did not seem to have much of a chance. In the midst of these widespread chaotic waves of profound indignation, a tall person stood up quietly, and in clearly articulated, sonorous words delivered a Pali stanza. The exotic, soothing feel of the chanting, made the agitated assembly, calm, silent and alert. These are the words: “In this world, hatred cannot be overcome by hatred. It is only by non-hatred that hatred can be defeated. This is the timeless law.”

This stanza was communication on peace, delivered by the Supremely Enlightened Buddha 20 centuries ago. This timeless communication came to the peace assembly, through the long chasm of time, and was delivered to the international delegates, by Sri Lanka’s Representative – former Sri Lankan President, J R Jayewardene. The miracle was peace prevailed. Hatred diminished punishment was nominal.

This, invariably proves, that the Supreme Buddha is a timeless communicator. But, extensive research is necessary to become fully aware of the Buddha’s Communications Enlightenment and the techniques he utilized.

The Buddha was mankind’s first spiritual leader, who recognised the need to train communications.

He sent out his early disciples, to communicate his spiritual message to the masses. This was his instruction to his Pioneering Religious Communications: “O monks, travel forth, for the well-being of the many – for the happiness of the many.” To my mind, this is an extremely suitable motto, ever for today’s sophisticated communicators – both print and electronic. The Supreme Buddha, advised them, that, two persons should not travel along the same path. This was to conserve limited human resources.

As a psychologist of communication, he was aware of the need to understand the audience, well.

We could appreciate the Buddha’s keenness, about the state of mind of his audiences.

The scripture, statues a routine, the Buddha adopted.

Just after his mid-day meal, the Buddha takes a brief rest. Next, he walks across to the auditorium, where the disciples are waiting for him.

Routinely, the Buddha asks them a question: “O monks, what were you talking about before I came in?” The bhikkhus respond.

The real implication of this regular question is to delve into the state of mind of the disciples.

When the Buddha becomes aware of the topic of the main conversation of the monks he can adapt the topic of his exhortation, to what is predominant in the minds of the Bhikkus. This gives the Buddha an idea of “the heightened awareness of the monks.” Then he can present a sermon utilizing the “heightened awareness” of his listeners. Since the topic of the sermon is about an issue, of which they have a “heightened awareness”, the content will get firmly recorded in their mind.

The scriptures, referring to the communications strategy of the Buddha, often declare, that the audiences listen to the Buddha with unusual keenness. They had what the Buddha preaches in “Sakaya Nirattiya” (one’s own idiom). This way, each listener thinks, that the Buddha addressed him or her – specifically.

Even if the audience is multi-lingual, the members fully understand the Buddha’s words, because of their ‘intimate’ feel.