I was heading home after an early morning friendly water polo match today. My wife wanted me to pick up 2 'Maalu Paans' (triangular buns with a fish-based stuffing) for the daily help who would be coming to help clean house. As it was on the way and, I thought, an opportunity to feed someone without perpetuating the cycle of killing some poor animal to replace the flesh I might otherwise have to buy, I stopped at the hole knocked into the wall of the All-Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) on (of course) Baddhaloka Mawatha ("Buddha's Light" avenue).
Diya Rakusa: You have veggie stuff, right?
Salesperson: No, everything's non-veg except for the seeni sambal buns.
Diya Rakusa (after taking a step back to check the shop sign): This is the Buddhist Congress, right?
Salesperson: Yes, but evryone asks for fish...
Of course if that shop is supposed to make any money for the ACBC they must respond to the market. Right? But what about the basic principles of non-violence or the First Precept of not taking life? I don't consider myself any great Buddhist - I'm still working on the basic first five precepts - but shouldn't the patrons of that ACBC shop think twice before going there looking to lock not only themselves but the salespeople, bakers and fishermen into the same karmic cycle that they then spend a good amount of time and money trying to pray their way out of?
Don't even get me started on the buses proclaiming "mey Bauddha deshayai", the clerics who don't seem to preseve the first five precepts let alone their stricter super-set... Wake up and smell the holy abattoirs