OLD DIARY LEAVES, Sixth Series (1896-98)
by Henry Steel Olcott
A BUDDHIST TRIPLE ENTENTE
IT is rather a coincidence that Dr. Maxwell’s great work on metaphysical phenomena should have come to me for review just when the course of my historical narrative should have brought me to the consideration of the official report of Eusapia’s séances at Choisy-Yvrac (at which Dr. Maxwell, himself, took a prominent part) sent me for publication by Colonel de Rochas. Whereas Dr. Maxwell’s narrative gives a general view of the incidents, that of the Colonel puts us in possession of all the details. Some of these are very interesting, among them those which corroborate the statements as to the transfer of sensitiveness from the psychic’s body to measured points in space around her. To make my meaning clear I will explain that the psychic being at the time mesmerically reduced to insensibility to external influences—touch, smell, hearing, taste—at this very time these faculties are found to
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be transferred to what one might call an astral enlargement of the body, and while the sleeper can neither feel a pin-prick or a touch, nor hear a pistol-shot, nor smell acrid ammonia, nor taste the sweetness, bitterness, salinity, acidity or pungency of any substance, yet if one pinches or pricks the air at measured distances from the body (the measurement determined by a course of experiments) then the psychic immediately cries out and shows that repercussion upon her physical body has taken place.
The points made by Colonel de Rochas at the first séance, in the presence of M. et Mme. Maxwell, Comte de Gramont, Baron de Watteville and Colonel de Rochas, were the following:
(1) Eusapia is suggestionable (i.e., can receive hypnotic suggestion). As soon as the state of credulity is reached, hallucinations of sight, smell and hearing are caused with the greatest ease and she then presents the common phenomena of insensibility of the skin.
(2) A few passes on one of her hands create the externalisation of sensitiveness at the distance of three or four centimetres from the skin; but when Colonel de Rochas continues his passes and withdraws his hand in order to test the sensitiveness at greater distances, his hand is followed by Eusapia’s, which is attracted by it. If one prevents the hand
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of Eusapia from following Colonel de Rochas’, one can recognise the existence of a second sensitive stratum in the air, perceptible at about ten centimetres from the skin. One may consequently say that the externalised sensation in this subject transforms itself into movement.
(3) Colonel de Rochas puts Eusapia to (mesmeric) sleep to see how, in her case, the fluidic body is formed, the existence of which he has noticed in other subjects. After two or three minutes of passes on the head and chest, Eusapia, asleep, declares that she sees appear at her right side a kind of phantom, and we notice that it is in the place of this phantom by her indicated, that all her sensitiveness is localised. She makes signs of pain when we pinch the air where the phantom is, but shows no reaction when her skin or any other points of space are pinched.
At the sixth séance held with Eusapia the phenomenon of the levitation of the table occurred under circumstances which entirely support the statement of Dr. Maxwell about it in his book. The official report says:
“The medium, who has not been magnetised again, remains somnolent and perfectly dumb. The table lifts itself first on the side of the medium, resting on the two opposite feet. Then it twice lifts its four feet and remains suspended in the air.
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All hands, including Eusapia’s, are removed from the table which nevertheless remains suspended. Several persons try to make it fall by pushing on it, but without success—they meet with much elastic resistance; after a few seconds it falls of itself, with a crash.”
It is a great pity that all intelligent persons who have read the S. P. R. report on Eusapia’s phenomena at Cambridge could not read this official report of séances at Choisy-Yvrac by one of the most respected scientific men of France. If any doubts had lingered in their minds as to the futility of the Cambridge observations and of Mr. Hodgson’s theory of Eusapia’s frauds, they would surely be dispelled. It will be found, translated into English, in the numbers of The Theosophist for April and May, 1897.
A long letter received on the 20th March from the ex-royal Prince of Siam, formerly Prisdamchoonsai, but now the Buddhist bhikshu, Jinawarawansa, of Ceylon, opened up a subject of gravest importance. The life of this scion of the Royal house of Siam has had at least one episode of a most romantic character. When diplomatic relations were established with the Treaty Powers, his cousin, the King, sent him as his first ambassador to Europe. His credentials accredited him in that capacity to Great Britain, France, Germany and other countries
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and he spent a number of years on these missions. While in England he connected himself in his personal capacity with one of the great engineering firms, passed through their works and perfected himself in the profession of engineer. Returning, at last, to Siam, a combination of circumstances led to his retirement from the world and his entrance into the Buddhist Sangha of Ceylon as a yellow-robed bhikshu. According to the rule of Ordination (upasampada) he was brought into the presence of a Council of senior monks, clothed in all his ambassadorial state—gold-laced uniform, silk stockings, varnished pumps, dress sword, plumed helmet, and all his jewelled orders pinned to his breast. His sponsors presented him as a postulant whom they could recommend, and he, corroborating this when questioned by the presiding monk, received the desired consent, returned to the anteroom, was stripped of all his finery, had his head and face shaved, his shoes and stockings removed, and was clothed in the simple underrobe of the order and reconducted before the Council. Here he was put through the usual catechism, and answering satisfactorily, was accepted into the Order. Thereupon he made the usual obeisances, was invested with the yellow robe and other appanages of his calling, received the name of “Jinawarawansa”, and entered upon his new career.
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Recollecting that this ceremony is 2500 years old, does the reader now see whence the Roman Catholic ceremonies of Consecration and Ordination were derived? And is it not amusing to read how the Church tried to minimise the effect of Huc and Gabet’s discovery that the ceremonies, holidays, feasts, usages and paraphernalia peculiar to their worship had been used in Tibet by the Buddhist priests for many centuries, by saying that the Devil, foreseeing the arrival of Christianity, had tried to forestall its influence by setting up a mock system of worship?
The friendship between Jinawarawansa and myself has been cordial ever since the time when he first addressed me upon the grave subject above alluded to, and which I shall now explain.
It is known to all who have studied Buddhism that it is nominally divided into two schools, the Northern and the Southern: the countries covered by the former are China, Tibet, Mongolia and Japan; those belonging to the other group are Ceylon, Burma, Siam, Chittagong and Cambodia. Between these latter nations there is very little if any difference as to forms of belief. In all these countries, in times past, there has been for each a Superior Council, composed of the senior monks, to whom all questions of monastic discipline and the punishment of offenders were referred for settlement;
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if this Superior Council failed in its duty, appeal would lie to the Sovereign, whose opinion was law and who had the power to inflict any punishment, even that of death, upon the offenders. This was the state of things in Ceylon before the advent of her several European conquerors, the Portuguese, Dutch and English. When the last vestige of Sinhalese Royalty was destroyed at Kandy, in the treaty made between the British General and the revolting Kandyan nobles, it was stipulated actually that the religion of Buddha, its temples and priests, should be protected and kept sacred. Inferentially, of course, the implication was that the British Sovereign, when mounting the throne of the King of Kandy, put himself in his place and assumed his obligations towards the state religion: that the Superior Ecclesiastical Board, or Committee, should be kept up, and the King would dispose of cases of ecclesiastical discipline coming to him on appeal. All went smoothly until some clamorous bigots, organizing through Exeter Hall, a campaign of public intolerance, forced a weak-kneed government to throw over its religious responsibilities in Ceylon, which included the administration of the large landed estates of the Buddhist Sangha, and to fling them all into the laps of the ordained priests, who by their ordination are not allowed to have anything to do with money or money values. Naturally this brought
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on something like moral chaos; the priests were placed at the mercy of their lay adherents, corruption spread among the latter, the moral tone of the priesthood was sadly lowered, the mandates of the superior priests lost their weight, and it actually grew so bad that monks who had been convicted of debauchery, embezzlement, the coining of false money, and other crimes, for which they had been, sent to prison, defiantly resumed the yellow robe after their release and there was no hope of redress. When I first went to Ceylon in 1880 the High Priests of the two Royal temples at Kandy, the Asgiriya and the Malwatte, complained to me bitterly of this state of things and of their official impotence to restore order and discipline. It was to try and find a remedy that the “Prince-priest” wrote me in 1897.
Naturally, he came out of the garish splendor of Courts into the Buddhist monastery in the hope of finding the spirit of brotherly unity and religious calm, the very things to soothe his world-beaten spirit; this is exactly what I had looked forward to finding when I became a Buddhist at New York and was laying my plans to emigrate to the East. But the Prince-priest, like myself, found himself in an atmosphere of personal bickerings, childish sectarian squabbles, ignorance of the world about them, and incapacity to fit themselves to the ideals which
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the Lord Buddha had depicted for the government of his Sangha. My way out of the difficulty was through a comprehensive system of mixed secular and religious education for the young, and the gradual evolution of a public opinion as to the duties and ideals of the priesthood which would focus itself upon the inmates of the pansalas and compel them to reform. Jinawarawansa, coming out of the kingly order, and accustomed to see things settled by the force majeure of the Royal will, entertained the hope that he might get the leading priests of the Siam, Amarapoora and Ramanya sects to agree to a coalition into a single “United Sect” which should embrace the whole Buddhist community of Ceylon. Then he proposed to similarly arrange for one ecclesiastical coalition for Burma, and that these two national bodies should then coalesce with the whole national body of the Siamese priesthood: making, as will be seen, a vast international tripartite Sangha, tria juncta in uno. The Supreme Council would be composed of the elder priests, ranking in order of seniority of ordination, who should regulate the government of the three national Sanghas: over all, as religious patron and final source of ecclesiastical authority, would be the King of Siam, the sole remaining Buddhist monarch.
This was a great scheme and one which seemed to me practical, but one which, at the same time,
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would involve an enormous amount of working up of details. The Prince-priest wished to seize the occasion of his cousin, the King of Siam’s impending visit to Colombo en route for Europe, to bring the thing to a head. With his natural impetuosity he threw himself into the business with zeal and enthusiasm; wrote to the leading priests of Ceylon and their chief lay supporters, got pledges from many, but soon ran against that awful inertia which pervades all Asiatic countries (Japan now excepted) and bars progress. The personal factor everywhere obtruded itself, and the poor fellow, finding himself at a standstill with the King’s visit near at hand, despairingly appealed to me as “the only man who could awaken the slumbering Sinhalese”: he prayed me to come at once and see to the organization of a Reception Committee and the drafting of an Address. Of course, the grandeur of the scheme and its apparent practicability were visible at a glance, and an urgent invitation to come, reaching me on the 23rd March from our Buddhist Standing Committee at Colombo, I closed up my office business and, on the 24th, sailed for that place on the French steamer, arriving on the 27th.
Besides attending to the business of the reception of the King of Siam, I had to go over the Sinhalese version of the new edition of the Buddhist Catechism with the High Priest, get his assent to the alterations
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that I had made in the text, and a fresh certificate recommending it for use in Buddhist schools. This was finally accomplished, but not without some sparring with that critical gentleman, Hiyayentaduwe, Assistant Principal of Sumangala’s College at Maligakhanda.
The Buddhist General Committee met at the College on the 29th to discuss details of the reception. They elected me a member of the General Committee and also of the Executive Committee. At a meeting on the following day they accepted my views about the reception and we agreed upon the details. The King had sent on in advance one of his high officials, the Marquis Phya Maha Yotha, with his Private Secretary, Luano Sunthorn Kosa, to arrange with the local Committee about the details of the Royal visit. With these two and the Prince-priest I had frequent consultations, among others on the subject of the Committee’s Address of Welcome to His Majesty. The Executive Committee deputed me to draw it up, and at their meeting on April 1st unanimously accepted my draft; at the same time authorizing me to have made in silk two copies of the Buddhist flag which, as will be seen on reading the Address, we asked His Majesty to consent to have adopted and protected as the Buddhist flag in Siam, common to all Buddhist nations and quite devoid of political significance. For, as the reader
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must have perceived, the scheme of Prince Prisdan and myself implied no political connection, whatever, between the three separate nations which we wished to unite in the bonds of international religious relationship.
Following is the address in question:
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
The undersigned, a General Committee representing the Buddhist priests and laymen of Ceylon, and duly chosen at a public meeting at Colombo, respectfully offer to Your Majesty a heartfelt and joyful welcome to this ancient cradle-land of Buddhism, made holy by the touch of the lotus feet of the TATHAGATA and by the residence of many holy Arahats in different centuries. We offer our homage to the last independent reigning Buddhist sovereign and pray Your Majesty to grant the blessing of your sympathy and kind aid in the work for the revival and purification of Buddhism in this Island, which we have been carrying on these past thirty-five years with encouraging success.
All Buddhist nations honour Your Majesty for your memorable and most praiseworthy work, of publishing the Tripitakas in thirty-nine bound volumes; thus protecting the Siamese version from every evil chance and accident, and giving the best proof of your interest in Pali literature. The Sinhalese have had the further striking proofs of Your
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Majesty’s kindness, in your gifts for religious education and the restoration of an ancient Dagoba at Anuradhapura.
From Ceylon the Arya-Dharma of the BUDDHA was extended to Siam and Burma, and in our time of political upheaval and religious distress Siam repaid her debt of gratitude by sending us her most learned and pious bhikshus to help to restore our religion and revive the courage and the efforts of our scattered priesthood. At another time we received like sisterly aid from Burma. So our three nations are linked together by the strongest and purest of international ties—that of a common religious interest. They are, in fact, three sisters who have kept pure the primitive teachings of BUDDHA, as finally fixed and defined by the Vaisali Council of the Emperor Dharmasoka. But, while through political changes, Ceylon and Burma have been deprived of the Royal Protectors of their Sanghas, Siam is still in possession of this inestimable blessing; while their Sangharajas have lost their proper authority over their Sanghas, happier Siam has still her Ecclesiastical Council in unweakened authority, and with the help of her Gracious Sovereign, can enforce discipline and guard the people against the evils of scepticism and disunion. The visit of Your Most Gracious Majesty would be forever memorable in Ceylon history if it should result in a unification of the Buddhists of
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the three sister nations under one international Ecclesiastical Council with Your Majesty’s august patronage and protection. This would be a far more noble monument to your memory than any that could be built by us. The General Committee, your humble memorialists, speaking on behalf of the Sinhalese Buddhists, pray Your Majesty to give this serious questien the consideration which its importance deserves, and to earn the eternal gratitude of our people by co-operating with our best bhikshus and dayakyas in perfecting a plan for its realisation. We are founding many schools for the education of our children under Buddhistic auspices, publishing books and journals, and encouraging the spread and deepening of the religious spirit among us. But without the loving help and sympathy of our co-religionists of Siam and Burma, we find the way obstructed by many difficulties that might be removed if the three nations were closely united in the common work.
As humble gifts, we offer Your Majesty two copies of this flag, the proper Universal Symbol of Buddhism, as its colors are the six bright rays—the Buddharansi—which streamed from the Body of the TATHAGATA with extreme splendour when he became BUDDHA and when he passed into Parinirvana. As the Cross is the common symbol for all Christians, so this Flag of the Six Rays, will
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serve as the non-political, most appropriate symbol of all Buddhist schools, sects and nations. Beginning in Ceylon, it has spread to Japan and Burma, where it is flown on temples and houses on the day of Vesâkha Punnâmi, and is carried in religious processions with other religious flags and with the royal insignia. We pray Your Majesty to graciously consent to its adoption and protection in Siam as the Buddhist flag, so that the three nations may, on the days of religious observance and national holiday, march and worship under the same emblem of the Founder of their religion.
It is our desire and intention to further keep alive the memory of Your Majesty’s first visit to Ceylon, by founding and endowing an Orphanage for parentless Buddhist children and, with permission, calling it by Your Majesty’s Royal name.
Invoking upon Your Most Gracious Majesty the blessing of the Tri-Ratna, and a long, a happy, and a glorious reign;
We are, Sire, Your Most Gracious Majesty’s
co-religionists and obedient, humble servants.
The Ceylon authorities had received orders from the Home Government to show His Majesty every courtesy and so the task of the Buddhist Committee was comparatively easy. The authorities had the spacious landing jetty splendidly decorated with flags and greenery, and also the inclined pathway
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which mounted up to the street level. At this point was erected a spacious pandal (shed) where the Buddhist Committee as laymen, were to receive the King while distinguished priests would also be present and welcome him by reciting the well known Jayamangala Gâtha. Naturally, these preparations involved a good deal of running about, committee meetings, and visits to the Government officials and the Siamese Ambassador and Siamese Consul. At last all preparations were completed and we were ready for our distinguished visitor.
The Royal yacht cast anchor in the harbor at daybreak on the 20th April, receiving the customary salute. His Majesty landed at ten o’clock, was greeted by the highest officials, and escorted up the inclined way to the Buddhist pavilion where the Committee offered their respects. I was posted just at the head of the inclined way and made him my best bow. He stopped, looked inquiringly at me and asked my name. When I mentioned it his face suddenly lighted up and he said in a most friendly tone: “Are you that man? Oh, I know you very well as a friend of Buddhism. I am glad to see you.” He then extended his hand and gave mine a warm grasp. With his permission I then presented the members of the Committee and introduced him to Sumangala and the other High Priests. He then went to
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a small altar which had been prepared at the request of his Ambassador, and made reverence to the image of the Buddha; lighting some small yellow wax candles and sticks of incense, which he received from the hands of one of his suite. Having lighted the candles and incense-sticks he then, with folded hands in the usual way, recited a Pali sloka (or Gâtha, as it is called in Buddhism). He took from me a garland on behalf of the Committee, which in their name I put over his neck, while the Hon’ble Mr. Ramanathan, on behalf of the Hindu community, showered flowers and rice over him; he listened and replied to two addresses, received the tilak and a garland from Mr. Coomara Swamy, the Brahman of the Hindu temple, and acknowledged the cheers of the multitude, evidently most sincerely friendly. He then drove to Queen’s House under escort, where he gave audience; his time being mostly taken up by deputations of monks from many different temples.
The next morning he left Colombo for Kandy to pay a visit to the temple and see the Tooth Relic. At the station he gave me another proof of his goodwill by crossing over to where I stood and shaking me cordially by the hand. The Kandy visit had very unfortunate results, for the treatment he received in the tower where
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this world-famed object is kept, under the protection of four locks, of which the keys are kept by the Government Agent—the Devanilami, a Kandyan noble, who is the hereditary custodian of the precious object—and by the High Priests of the two Royal monasteries at Kandy, above referred to, was most unpleasant. In Volume II of Old Diary Leaves,1 give a full account of the Relic and its most romantic history, so I need not repeat the details; suffice it to say that it is about the size of an alligator’s tooth and bears no resemblance whatever to any tooth that ever grew in the jaw of an animal or man. It is slightly curved, about two inches in length and nearly one in breadth at the base and rounded at the extremity. An exact duplicate of it, painted to resemble the original and mounted on a gold wire which springs from the heart of a silver lotus flower, which came into my possession several years ago under very peculiar circumstances, may be seen in the curiocase in the Adyar Library. Dr. Gerson Da Cunha tells the whole story about the Tooth,2 and the destruction of the original by the Archbishop of Goa, under the mandate of the local representatives of the Holy Inquisition, who forbade the Viceroy,
2Memoir of The Tooth Relic of Ceylon.—London, Thacker & Co., 1870.
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D. Constantia de Braganca, to accept a fabulously great sum—no less than 400,000 cruzados—a coin worth 2s.9d.—offered by the King of Pegu as its ransom. The story is that they ordered it to be destroyed. So the Archbishop, in their presence and that of the high officers of State, pulverized it in a mortar, threw the powder into a lighted brazier kept ready, and then the ashes and charcoal together were scattered into the running river, in sight of a multitude “who were crowding the verandas and windows which looked upon the water.” Dr. Da Cunha is very sarcastic in his reflections upon this act of vandalism. He says: “If there ever was a point where the two extremes met it was this. The burning of a tooth for the glory of the Almighty was the point of contact between the sublime and the ridiculous.”
Bigoted and ignorant Buddhists account for the size of the alleged tooth by saying that in the days of the Buddha “human beings were giants and their teeth kept pace, so to speak, with their larger stature.” Which, of course, is all nonsense. It is asserted that the present object of adoration was made out of a piece of deer’s horn by King Vikrama Bahu, in 1566, to replace the original, burnt by the Portuguese in 1560. Other Buddhists believe that this is really a substitute only, that the real tooth is concealed in a sure place, and that a substitute
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was what fell into the hands of the Portuguese. However, visitors to our Library can see for themselves what the Kandyan relic really looks like and form their own opinions. It will be remembered that as a mark of the very highest respect the tooth was shown to H.P .B. and myself during our visit to Kandy in 1880. His Majesty, the King of Siam, was naturally anxious to see so far-famed a Buddhist relic, and when he was admitted to the room in the Dalada Maligawa, wanted to take the Relic in his hands, but two Kandyan aristocrats, with the worst possible taste and ignorant fatuity, protested, although the King’s brother, Prince Damrong, and even the Christian Czarewitch (the present Czar) had been allowed to handle it on the occasion of their visits to Kandy. The King was naturally indignant at so palpable an affront and left the temple; he returned the presents that had been made to him by different High Priests and came back to Colombo.
Of course the Committee met him at the Railway Station, where he once more greeted me with entire cordiality. He disappointed two great crowds that had gathered according to programme at the Maligakanda and Kuppyavatte temples, bade farewell to the Government officials, and re-embarked on the Royal yacht, which sailed that day. With the rest of the Buddhist Committee I saw him off
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at the jetty. As we were aligned at the opposite side of the platform, not wishing to thrust ourselves forward, as soon as he caught sight of me he crossed over, gave me a parting handshake, and desired me to express his thanks to the Buddhist community for the pleasure which he had derived from their kind, popular welcome.
One incident which occurred during our brief intercourse gave me real pleasure. Learning that his Private Secretary, Phrayah Srisdi, was buying watches, scarf-pins, rings and other articles of jewellery, to be given as presents to those who had been active in organizing his welcome, I went to Queen’s House and informed that gentleman that I should not accept any such souvenir, as my interest in His Majesty was not caused by his being a King, but because he was the only remaining Buddhist sovereign: I had received all the benefit I could have desired in having been able to testify my respect on the occasion. “But,” said the Secretary, “if His Majesty wishes to make you such a present what would you do?” I told him that if it was forced upon me in such a way that I could not, without breach of good-manners refuse, I should certainly give it away to somebody after His Majesty’s departure. It is more than likely that he told this to the King, for on that day, before leaving Queen’s House for the jetty, he sent me a
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full-length photographic portrait of himself in full uniform, signed with his name and with my name and the date written beneath. It hangs on the wall in my private office. In it he appears as a well-formed, refined and soldierly-looking man, with a high-bred face and an expression of calm dignity. He stands there with his hands leaning upon his sword and his breast covered with jewelled orders.
When the news of the Kandyan incident got to Colombo and spread among the masses, there was an outburst of indignation against the stupid Kandyan aristocrats who had thus spoilt the harmony of His Majesty’s visit. There was no possibility whatever of mistaking the genuineness of this feeling. The Committee at once organized a sub-committee, consisting of Mr. H. Don Carolis, Dr. Perera, of Perak, and myself, to go to Kandy, investigate the facts, and report to a public meeting which was called for Sunday the 2nd April at Maligakanda. We went there, took all available testimony, and fastened the responsibility upon the real culprit, the late Mr. T. B. Panabokke. At the mass meeting, the Committee, in submitting their report, made the following points:
(1) That Mr. Panabokke and no one else is guilty of the offensive remark at the Dalada Maligawa on the 21st instant, which so vexed His Majesty and caused him to change his benevolent
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intentions with respect to gifts to our temples and Bhikshus.
(2) That his refusal to allow His Majesty to hold the Relic and take away the ancient book to have it copied, were unauthorised by either the High Priests or his colleagues of the Special Committee of three who were clothed with the official functions of the Diwa Nilame for that occasion, and that he alone is responsible for all the unpleasant consequences which have ensued.
(3) That his statement to the District Judge that he was but interpreting the wishes of the High Priests is contradicted by their signed declarations to the contrary, as well as by that of his fellow committee-man, Mr. Nugawela Ratemahatmeya.
(Signed) H. S. Olcott, D. B. Perera, and H. Don Carolis (Hevavitarana, Muhandiram).
The CHAIRMAN and Vice-Chairman addressed the meeting on the subjects to be considered. Mr. Dullewe Adigar made a long speech during which he strongly condemned the action of Mr. Panabokke in refusing the King his wish. He stated that the Tooth Relic had been handled both by Christians and Buddhists high in authority, and the only Buddhist King now living should have been allowed his wish. He submitted that the Buddhist community should condemn the action and submit the true state of affairs to His Majesty
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the King. At the end of his speech he moved the following resolution: “Whereas the Buddhist community of Ceylon have been deeply pained by certain acts of disrespect offered to His Majesty the King of Siam, while visiting the Dalada Maligawa on the 21st April, and whereas an inquiry made into the facts by the Executive Committee charged by the Buddhist community to organise the reception of His Majesty on his arrival at Colombo, has resulted in proving beyond question that the responsibility for the said acts rests on Mr. T. B. Panabokke, President, Provincial Committee, Central Province, under the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance, and upon no one else; now, therefore, be it resolved that the Buddhists of Ceylon protest against and condemn his conduct as discourteous, uncalled for, and wholly unwarranted.”
MR. SIMAN FERNNDO seconded the resolution. He also made a few remarks condemning the action of Mr. Panabokke. The resolution was then put and was unanimously adopted.
After a resolution warmly thanking the Executive Committee for their efficient services, the following resolution was, on motion of Mr. A. Perera and seconded by Mr. D. C. Pedris, unanimously and enthusiastically adopted:
“That this mass meeting of the Buddhists of Ceylon do instruct their Chairman and Secretary
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to forward copies of these resolutions and reports relating to the Tooth Relic incident to His Majesty, the King of Siam, through the proper channel, for his information, with the prayer that he will hold the Buddhists of Ceylon entirely innocent of blame in the matter and accept their unanimous declaration of personal respect and affection for himself and his royal house and of their love for the Siamese people, their co-religionists.”
Thus an incident, inexcusable in itself, toppled over the house of cards which Prince Prisdan and I had so carefully constructed in the matter of the proposed international brotherly union of three Buddhist nations, and which we had hoped to be able to bring about. Of course it did not affect the main question in the least but only the King’s momentary attitude towards the subject. When he parted with me on the jetty he said that he would give the question full consideration, at the same time adding, however, that it would be a very hard thing to accomplish. I ventured to call his attention to the fact that quite as difficult a thing had been successfully carried through in the foundation and happy culmination of the educational movement in Ceylon and that I was persuaded that it was possible to realize our scheme for international Buddhistic unity.