The Common misinterpretations of a Pali Verse that states the body decays but the Name and the Tribe does not
This verse I have heard many politicians of yesteryear utter in tandem with political speeches, I often wonder from where it originated.
Rupam Jirati Majjanam
Nama Gottam Najirathi
It should be stated as
Rupam Jirati Majjanam
Nama Gottam Jirathi Va
The face value seems all Buddhist in nature but its implication in modern day is really disruptive to the nature of Dhamma as stated in the Tripitaka (the Three Baskets).
There is no problem with the first statement.
The second statement destroys the whole of Dhamma in entirety.
In Buddhist phenomenology self (Nama or Soul) does not exist and the tribe (Gothra) is an illusion that originate from the above wrong premise.
I have to restate the same with my own invention as below.
The meaning I am trying to derive at is that the Mind State does not vanish at death but (Patisandhi) re-link with the next Bhava using Kamma as the vehicle or the driving force.(The Gotham is substituted with Kittam-Kriya)
In Abhidhamma context it is realistic to use the above version of the verse (even though I am not a Pali scholar) to express the conditional existence of Bhava.
The term Nama Rupa (stated above in first chapter) occurs frequently in Abhidhamma and Nama is used interchangeably with the Mind.
The term for body is corporeality and not Rupa in Pali context.
Who perpetuated this myth is immaterial but the damage it has done is enormous.
In that context writing something of my own contradicting the statement is appropriate even though it is a departure from the original tenets of this book.
This I think originated with the British rule.
It is common for us to blame the British for every little mishap we are going through in our modern history.
But this one is a direct antecedent.
They are the one who started naming the streets even in Kandy with British names of inheritance and their Governors.
All the streets in Colombo have some relevance to British authorship.
In their tradition it is a normal and is all welcome by every British administrators big and small.
What went wrong was that we adapted this tradition without scrutiny in the post-colonial period and continue to do so even now.
Instead of naming the street with some meaningful road traditions like main street, cross street, first lane or second lane we started adapting our own names.
Politicians in turn for their gain started naming these streets with the names of their kith and kin.
They invented and used the above jargon riddled Pali verse for the propagation of the political agenda. Even though the tradition is British the wrongful doing is our own ill vision, political patronage and heritage.