With an year passing out after the war with Tamil Tigers, former Indian Supreme Court Judge Krishna Iyer in a letter addressed to President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, has made a very philosophical appeal saying [quote] the new Sri Lanka is a transformed country under your Presidentship. For heaven’s sake and out of reverence to Lord Buddha, eliminate the militarized situation and restore freedom for every Tamil to enjoy fundamental rights and feel that there is no iron curtain between the glorious Buddha and the universal Shiva on the other side.[unquote]
The full text of the letter follows.
V.R. Krishna Iyer
(Former Judge, Supreme Court of India)
KOCHI – 682 011
Fax and Phone : 0484-2370088
His Excellency the President
His Excellency President Rajapaksa,
I write this letter to you, as you are the President of Sri Lanka, who deserves high homage from an Indian like me, who has occupied responsible positions in India. I have been a legislator, a minister of home, law, prison, etc., in the Kerala State and later a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. I have visited your beautiful country which has a large community who are followers of Buddha. Lord Buddha is one whom I claim to be noblest personality in the world. Vivekananda said of him:
Let me tell you a few words about one man who actually carried this teaching of Karma-Yogi into practice. That man is Buddha. He is the one man who ever carried this into perfect practice. All the prophets in the world, except Buddha, had external motives to move them to unselfish action. The prophets of the world, with this single exception, may be divided into two sets, one set holding that they are incarnations of God come down to earth, and the other holding that they are only messengers from God; and both draw their impetus for working from outside, however highly spiritual maybe the language they use. But Buddha is the only prophet who said. “I do not care to know your various theories about God. What is the use of discussing all the subtle doctrines about the soul? Do good and be good. And this will take you to freedom and to whatever trut there is.” He was, in the conduct of his life, absolutely without personal motives; and what man worked more than he? Show me in history one character who has soared so high above all. The whole human race has produced but one such character, such high philosophy, such wide sympathy, yet had the deepest sympathy for the lowest animals, and never put forth any claims for himself. He is the ideal Karma-Yogi, acting entirely without motive, and the history of humanity shows him to have been the greatest man ever born; beyond compare the greatest soul power that has ever been manifested. He is the first great reformer the world has seen. He was the first who dared to say, “Believe not because some old manuscripts are produced, believe not because it is your national belief, because you have been made to believe it from your childhood; but reason it all out, and after you have analysed it, then, if you find that it will do good to one and all, believe it, live up to it, ad help others to live up to it.” He works best who works without any motive, neither for money, nor for fame, nor for anything else; and when a man can do that, he will be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a manner as will transform the world This man represents the very highest ideal of Karma-Yogi.
A majority government whose cultural foundation is Lord Buddha will certainly give freedom to every citizen. Herbert Spencer has summed the importance of universal freedom and you as President of Sri Lanka, surely accept as a cultural foundation the teachings of Lord Buddha who remained non-violent so that everyone may be free from compulsions by the authoritarianism of the State or theological compulsions.
‘No one can be perfectly free till all are free; one can be perfectly moral till all are moral; no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy’.
As a leader of a great country I entreat you to make every Tamil feel that he is a free citizen and not in thralldom with military supervision. Military control is deprivation of human rights. I know the explosive situation in Jaffna and neighbouring areas which Prabhakaran a misguided terrorist had organized. But the situation has changed and the new Sri Lanka is a transformed country under your Presidentship. For heaven’s sake and out of reverence to Lord Buddha eliminate the militarized situation and restore freedom for every Tamil to enjoy fundamental rights and feel that there is no iron curtain between the glorious Buddha and the universal Shiva on the other side. The people down to the humblest Tamil is proud to be a Sri Lankan entitled to the great constitutional rights of your country.
(sgd) V.R.KRISHNA IYER