By Yin Nwe Ko (Linn)
Ko Kyaw Kha recalled his teen-age days.
Especially, they were those days on which he was in University. He had high opinion on the teachers who were demonstrators and lecturers of his major and the wardens and hall-tutors from his hostel, whom he had close relationship, from having respect for them. As his parents were Buddhists, Ko Kyaw Kha was also a Buddhist of hereditary succession. But during his days in University, the shades of the teachers he had great respect for influenced him a lot, it was his recollection.
Among the intimate teachers, some of them were atheists. They were walking in their lives as atheists and completely satisfied themselves with their lives assuming that they were free from the ties of religions. The teachers whom Ko Kyaw Kha had high opinion were Master’s Degree Holders and those who have graduated from abroad as well as those whom Ko Kyaw Kha silently emulated.
When Ko Kyaw Kha was a third year student in University, on one of the holidays, he and his dad discussed a subject about religion while talking about this and that at home. Ko Kyaw Kha argued his dad’s talk about the destruction of life as that rice eating was also consummated of the destruction of life. Ko Kyaw Kha explained to his dad that rice came from paddy plants and paddy plants were organisms in Botanical view and as cutting the paddy plants and eating their fruits by boiling and arranging them to be eaten was also a kind of killing the others, it was also consummated of the destruction of life.
At that moment Ko Kyaw Kha heard the words of grief from his dad. It was “I have done great mistake for that I sent you to University.” Their chat ceased with those words that day. Ko Kyaw Kha was proud himself of being an atheist a lot. He was pushing twenty then.
Ko Kyaw Kha did not know the atmosphere of University could influence a youth very well at that age. It was powerful enough to change a youth to transform into an atheist like Ko Kyaw Kha, a politician, a leftist, a businessman and a bookworm.
While he was going on his life temerariously, he became a responsible person in an economic society of his township. While working there, he was in charge of vehicle branch. On the day after he had been in charge of vehicle branch, a cargo truck from that society loaded with broken rice left for Pyay. According to the decision of the E.C., the truck had to return after it got to Pyay. However, the driver and the broker who hired the truck made agreement themselves without the permission of E.C. and continued the trip to Yenangyaung with that truck. In Yenangyaung, they loaded the truck with the bags of onion and went back. But on its journey home, the truck turned over at Daungthay creek.
At that time, Ko Kyaw Kha did not go along with the truck but stayed at the town as he was ordered to carry out a duty assigned by the township authorities. However, when the responsible person concerned with the truck were arrested, Ko Kyaw Kha was also arrested as he was in charge of the vehicle branch. Then he was set free from the police custody after staying a period of over a month. During that period, the thoughts he did most was the reason why he was arrested like that when he had just taken the duty for one day only, without any misuse. He wanted to know the answer of that question.
Though he was an atheist at that moment, he had been thinking the cause and the effect in relation. Arrest was the negative effect. Negative effect might be caused by negative or wrong doing. He began to think if he had done wrong doing either at present existence or past existence. In his thought, the past existence got included and he started thinking about the three existences – the present, the future and the past – and their interrelationship.
While he was in the custody, some of his intimate friends came to meet him and gave some
‘Ghathãs’ considered good and ‘Dharana Paritta’ in order to recite himself and free from his being arrested. As he had to do nothing there, he recited them again and again day and night and night and day, he learnt them by heart before he was set free. He was also accustomed to the habit of saying prayers in early morning and late evening.
On the day he was set free from the custody, he washed his hair with charmed holy water mixed with traditional ‘Mingalar’ shampoo and ascended the house. From then on, he started doing the task of offering light, water, flowers and rice (‘Swam’) to Lord Buddha. To say the truth, Ko Kyaw Kha could not even keep the ‘Kammasakkata Sammadithi’ the lowest belief of a real Buddhist, in his heart, which means that if one does good deed, he must get good effect and if one does wrong deed, he must suffer bad effect. His saying prayers was just in a state due to no wish to encounter the undesirable objects he had experienced in the custody.
About ten years later, Ko Kyaw Kha distinguished the reasons of his being arrested vividly on the base of the admonition of Dhamma. In reality, his being arrested was not due to the overturn of truck. He became perceived clearly in his intellect.
During those ten years, Ko Kyaw Kha got many chances to study Buddhism. In belief and worship of Buddhism, there should not be due to (1) ‘Lãba’ – the worship of expectation for money and materials (2) ‘Baya’ – the worship due to the fear to encounter the danger and (3) ‘KulãÇra’ – the worship of hereditary succession. They were just the degrading worships. He gradually attained the higher state of worship that was based on the entire belief on the attributes of the Three Gems – Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.
In certain years, Ko Kyaw Kha received the ordination of ‘Dullaba’ monk or went to meditation centers as much as he could. He could practice and shift into ‘Vipassanã Sammadithi’ from ‘Kammasakkata Sammadithi’, the most fundamental right view of a Buddhist out of the five steps of ‘Sammadithi’ . Recollecting the past twenty years passing as an atheist, he became realized that he had been a blind. He got frightened and the thought he daren’t think whether he would die at that period often appeared.
Ko Kyaw Kha is now able to see the differences of two real human classes – ordinary human being and ‘Ariyã’ – and the directions they will go in the next existences. However, he wants to know something. That is nothing but if the teachers who were atheists one day and to whom he had high opinion in his University student’s life are alive now, they will be in their 70s as they are about ten years older than him. He has not met them for nearly forty years. Ko Kyaw Kha wants to know the answer of the question whether those atheists namely Sayar U San Tint (Botany), Sayar U Tin Than (Zoology) and Sayar U Sein Win (Chemistry) are still atheists as before.