A very wise and kind man died yesterday, Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara. I was taken aback that Yahoo of all places included an article on his passing. Then I was reminded of the lack of empathy and respect for Eastern culture by Western people, especially those of Western religions. Almost half of the comments on this article (only 19 primary comments over the course of 7 hours) are by some denomination of Christian self-proclaimed preacher, talking of heathens and false teachings and Satan. People pitying this man for never changing his ways, acting as if it is too late for his soul and he will be damned to fire just because he didn’t have a cross around his neck.
This was a good man. He was a kind man, generous, polite, honorable. I’ve seen him speak (unfortunately only online), nothing more, and obviously that doesn’t leave much for me to say, but his words were polite and respectful toward all people, not just the Buddhists he was directly addressing. I’m sure he wasn’t perfect, no man is. But he died happily, he died content, and he deserves reverence, not pity and damnation at the mouths of pompous fools.
I don’t know what comes after this, and I won’t know until I’m there and gone. But I hope, if my hope counts for anything, that this man comes to what he was hoping to find, even if it isn’t exactly how he expected it. I wish his soul peace, however that can come to him.