'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Desi Techie In Lanka

A Certain Desi Techie is visiting Sri Lanka these days. Here is a thinly edited version of some of his impressions. Note that he always refers to the island country as simply 'Lanka' - and that is no act of disrespect. Over to him!


Lanka is a good tourist place, with lots of interesting things to see, and it costs little to visit Lanka from India...

Hardly any signs of Diwali out here. Of course, flights to India are overfull, with all the Tamils rushing there to celebrate the festival with relatives.

The Ramayana connection lives on. There are some places which have preserved those memories; like for example, the place where Sita was held captive -it is now a deep forest.

The name 'Ravana' still commands a lot of respect here - people say he was a very good King. To this day, people are given the names of Rakshasas. In fact our client Mr.Indrajit shares his name with Ravana's son. I looked into a book of names for children; amazing, one never imagined the names of so many Rakshasas are still known!

Hanuman is a hated figure, as he destroyed Lanka. But then, there is a temple of Hanuman too here!

And there is a temple where Buddha's tooth is kept; as is well-known, Buddhism is the main religion; you will see a lot of monks, here and there.

And another interesting experience: we went on an 'elephant safari'and came to know several interesting things about elephants...
For example, they have their own language. I was told a word by the handler, and when I spoke it, the elephant lifted it's trunk... :-)
Our guide told us there are several several hyper-sensitive spots on an elephant's body, and with a well-aimed punch, even a human can kill it instantly!

We also went on a boat-ride in a river/Lagoon. The boat was so tiny, you feel you are sitting on the water; and the place is infested with crocs - it was real scary. And there are some densely-forested islets in that area; many monks go there and meditate.

I did a quick study of Buddhism. Buddhist cosmogony describes ten realms of existence, each marked by beings which inhabit it...

1. Hell (the extreme sinful among men)
2. The realm of Pretas (Hungry Ghosts)
3. Beasts (Animals)
4. Asuras/Rakshasas, who embody violence.
5. Human beings - the run of the mill variety.
6. Angels (small-time divinities)
7. The Sravakas (those fortunate souls who were direct disciples of Buddha)
8. The Pratyeka Buddha ( a mini-Buddha, whose enlightenment sustains himself but not others)
9. Bodhisattava (a full Buddha in terms of potential, but staying on on earth to help others evolve)
10 Buddha (the Ultimate)

In each of us, all these 10 realms and natures exist, but in different proportions...

And after some serious reflection, I have identified the intrinsic nature of our s/w community as belonging to the second level; the Pretas ( Ghosts tormented by unfulfilled desires).


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