The tragedy at the 'Temptation 2004' Concert

by Asela Jayasinghe, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Not up in the air, nor in the middle of the sea, nor going into a cleft in the mountains -- nowhere on earth --  is a spot to be found where you could stay & escape your evil deed.  - Dhammapada 127

A terrible Saturday night. A sleepless night for us islanders. As a Sri Lankan, and as a Buddhist, I am utterly shocked and dismayed at what took place at this musical show.

My thoughts and prayers are with the two innocent victims and those who were injured by this callous act of brutality. The funeral of the two innocent victims will be held on Wednesday, and I hope very much that their journey through Samsara will be short, and that they will realise supreme freedom from bondage as soon as possible. Let us send them and their families thoughts of Metta and Karuna in this hour of darkness.

How true it is - the world we live in is so unpredictable and how true that death can come upon us in the most sudden and horrible of ways. The perpetrator/s of this terrible crime must know that their unskillful action will not go unrepaid. Nowhere can they hide from the consequences of their evil deed. What is sown shall bear fruit. Our feelings of anger and aversion are stayed by understanding that.

If, by any chance, there is any Buddhist connection to this brutal act of terror, then we Sri Lankan Buddhists must hang our heads in shame for allowing forces of intolerance to stand tall. At this point in time however, it is too early to point fingers as investigations into the
tragedy are continuing and speculation is rife over underworld elements, business tycoons and political parties.

Even though this is a terrible tragedy, as Buddhists we can make use of this incident to reflect upon the uncertain nature of our life and how unskillful thoughts can give way to unskillful actions and cause tremendous pain to others. At any moment the branch can break and we can fall a long way. Let us be mindful of that.

May all living beings be happy, healthy and well and may the perpetrator/s of this terrible crime see the error of their ways.