Buddha, The Light Of Asia. Earnest O. Haucer Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.


Buddha, The Light Of Asia. Earnest O. Haucer Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.


By PSRemeshChandra, 1st Aug 2011.  Short URL http://nut.bz/1kg0sufh/
Posted in Wikinut Essays


Monks fighting invaders, attackers, aggressors, robbers, daylight thieves and foreign legions is not a new thing. It has been done innumerable times in the past ages and monks in monasteries, temples, pagodas, pavilions and caves were specially trained to defend and protect the places of their worship which also served as seats of learning and centres and stores of knowledge. Remember the Cultural Revolution and cleansing which gained nothing but was a waste of human lives. It is happening again.

Dedicated to the monks undergoing international persecution in Tibet and Nepal.

A Mural From Thailand.

What do China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Tibet, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka have in common? It is Buddhism. Started from the awakening and enlightenment of North Indian prince Siddhardha Gauthama, fighting the evils and killer attacks from Hinduism, Monarchism, Autocracy, Democracy and Communism, it is continuing its journey through centuries, guiding human souls in Continents, to the right path of living. This article which was originally written by Earnest O. Haucer is reintroduced here in the light of new developments and is dedicated to the monks undergoing international persecution in Tibet.

The Golden Age of Philosophy in which three great teachers lived in three corners of the world at the same time.

Invisible God protecting extreme ascetic practices

Buddha in India, Confucius in China and Socrates in Greece lived during the same age, i.e. during the Sixth century B.C. Because the world was blessed with the presence of three great philosophers in the three corners of the world during this period, it is called the Golden Age of Philosophy. There are about 270 million Buddhists in the world. This article illustrates how Prince Siddhardha Gauthama became the Light of Asia. Kingdoms were offered as alms at his feet but he wandered through North Indian States with his begging bowl, teaching the world the philosophy of Right Living.

A prince wandering, begging and searching for the meaning of life.

Teaching always in the lap of Nature.

Siddhardha was a prince in the Himalayan kingdom Kapilavasthu. He was married and had a child. In the midst of princely happiness and pleasures, he remained thoughtful. Old helpless men, dead men and holy men troubled his thoughts. During days and nights, the picture of the sufferings and pain of his people haunted him. Gradually he decided to give up all earthly pleasures and material wealth which his kingdom and the world offered and search for the true meaning of existence. One day in the dead of night he slipped away from the castle.

There have been so many Buddhas in the past, and Gauthama has not been the last.

A Buddhist Temple in Dali, Yunnan, Chine.

The runaway wandered through the Northern and the Eastern Indian kingdoms as a homeless beggar with a begging bowl, seeking the true meaning of existence. He studied with famous Hindu teachers and fell among ascetic monks. After this long wanderings and learning, he meditated for seven days and nights under a Bo tree in Bodh Gaya in Bihar at the end of which he began to see things in a different way, with a new outlook. He had become a Buddha or ‘The Enlightened One.’ It is believed that there have been so many Buddhas, so Siddhardha was the Gauthama Buddha.

When we die, our soul enters another body, human or animal, moving the Wheel of Life a little.

Golden Temple in Kyoto Japan. Photo Ellywa.

Buddha became a moral teacher. He found material life the source of all pain and evil. Therefore he trained his followers in spiritual life. It is believed that our soul, upon our death, enters another body-human or animal. This repetition is known as the Wheel of Life. One can escape this prison of rebirth through Nirvana. For this, Buddha set forth Four Noble Truths. They are: Life is painful. Pain is caused by the craving for pleasure. Pain will cease when a person becomes free of desire. There is a way leading to the stopping of pain. This way is the Noble Eight-Fold Path, namely, right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right thinking and right concentration.

Pain from an evil act follows us like a wheel follows the hoof of the beast that is drawing the cart.

A Korean Buddhist Temple. Photo Richardfabi.

We are the result of our thoughts. If we speak or act with evil on our minds, pain follows us just like a wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the cart. For about 45 years, Buddha wandered through North and East Indian regions teaching these philosophies to people. The spiritual life, especially under so lovable a teacher appealed to many and as a result, there were so many mass conversions into his religion. His followers were not allowed to have too many possessions. Most often they were satisfied with a long single robe and a begging bowl.

A friend of monkeys, snakes, elephants, human beings and the birds.

A Simple Buddhist Temple in Sri Lanka.

Buddha was notably friendly with monkeys, snakes and elephants, a result of long rest and life in the forests. He did not like noise. He spent his time either inside the monasteries or out in the forests. He would often withdraw for periods to some lonely spot, allowing just one monk among his followers to bring him some food. His meditation added to this. Buddha passed away at the age of 80. “Strive earnestly,” was his last message to the world.



Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.


Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:


Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.



Appreciations, Articles, Asian Religions, British Writers, Buddha, Buddhism, Earnest O Haucer, English Essayists, English Literature, English Writers, Essays, Gauthama Buddha, Literature And Language, Oriental Religions, P S Remesh Chandran, Prose, Reintroductions, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Siddhardtha Gauthama, The Light Of Asia

Meet the author

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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Steve Kinsman
2nd Aug 2011 (#)

Excellent article – awesome photographs. Thank you PSRemishChandra.

rama devi nina
2nd Aug 2011 (#)

What fabulous pictures you’ve found for this! Always wonderful to read about Buddha. Blessings, rd

2nd Aug 2011 (#)

Dear Steve Kinsman,
I am troubled by the harassment and persecution the Buddhist monks face during the present times, especially after the United States consenting to China claiming Tibet for them. China has a great economy and trade with the Sino is very lucrative. Therefore assuring support to China in whatever they do is the present fashion and trend even among countries with proven democratic and socialist commitments. U.S. and France once were synonyms of protest against international violation of human rights. Signing export and import pacts with China and embracing Dalai Lama at the same time is the present diplomacy. The world nations do not feel any shame in it. For decades, India has been publicly supporting the cause of Tibetan monks and for the same reason, China has been making united moves with Pakistan to weaken India’s position in this matter. As the land of origin of Buddhism and also as a land of fearless opinions and political stand, India has been doing good and right in defending the Buddhist monks’ cause, whatever be the world opinion in this regard. India’s firm stand with the Buddhists’ cause is exactly similar to America’s firm stand with and support to the existence, endurance, integrity and sovereignty of the Jewish nation of Israel. Thank you dear Steve Kinsman for your going through the article and adding your views.

2nd Aug 2011 (#)

Dear Rama Devi Nina,
I wrote this article years earlier, after teaching Earnest O. Haucer’s essay to a band of graduate students. It rested with me all through these years. In the light of the present international political developments and special circumstances, I thought publishing it would be relevant and good. No one is nowadays going to read Haucer’s writing, especially this one. But it is a must that people should go through this article again. That is why I published it. Buddha taught his disciples to endure and suffer. They are now suffering silently everywhere. They deserve international sympathy and the world’s support. Not only in Tibet, but in China itself they are mercilessly hunted and tortured, the details of which someday will surely come out, just as atrocities in Russia came out and their nation crumbled. All know that world communism limited and shrunken to just one nation in this world cannot stand against the loftier ideals of Buddhism. It is so because the present day communist leaders are steeped up to their necks in splendour, opulence and luxury. See the serenity in the face of Buddha and in everything that is associated with him. Feel the tranquillity in the pictures. It is this serenity and tranquillity that is now disturbed by petty puny little-minded mean politicians. Why can’t they stand aside, appreciate and tolerate?



No More Hiroshimas. James Kirkup. Appreciation.


No More Hiroshimas. James Kirkup Poem. Appreciation by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books,Trivandrum.


By PSRemeshChandra, 23rd Mar 2011   Short URL http://nut.bz/c-q37yc7/
Posted in Wikinut  Poetry, Drama & Criticism


Mankind hates to destruct, in spite of the destructive traits inherent in man. In his heart, man is a good being who likes to preserve mankind’s achievements intact for the posterity. But politics is often not led by men, but by mobs and crowds. Wars when fought by single persons have always turned to be good to this world: Socrates, Tolstoy, Louis Pasteur. When fought by people, they turned hell loose in this world.

292 years free of war in a history of 5500 years.

US bombers moving to Japan over Mount Fuji.

In the history of mankind, one will find no desire which is older and stronger than the desire for a world without wars. For centuries, peace in this world meant only the interval between two wars. Swiss historian Jean- Jacquess Bebel calculated that out of the 5500 years’ history of the world, only 292 years remained free of any kind of wars. Two World Wars emanated from the soil ofGermany. But in Europe the guns are silent now. People hope that the clock of history won’t be turned back again.

Sumee-Ko, War And Peace and The Flowers Of Hiroshima.

Had it not been Imperialism!

Arms-Limitation, Anti-War Literature and Detente brought about this favourable situation. Countless novels such as War And Peace, Sumee-ko and The Flowers Of Hiroshima, and dozens of plays including Henrik Ibson’s Ghost moulded human minds to remain synchronized with upheavals and outbreaks of political profiteerism and in the midst of chaos, practise the negative virtue of tolerance. Wilfred Owen and James Kirkup were just two of the hundreds of committed poets who added the influence of poetry too to the goodwill of this world-wide movement.

Three-headed fishes and children with no head at all : The balance-sheet of a mega ton blast.

The pre-war serenity in Japan.

The atom-bomb which blasted inHiroshimain the Second World War wiped out millions of people from the face of the earth for ever. Millions more survived only for being subjected to life-long agony. Three-headed fishes and children with no head at all were no wonder in the affected areas for so many years. Radio-activated patients overcrowded hospitals in the cities and villages, the sustaining and affording of whom became a national problem, stealing into the already scant national resources. Catastrophe continued through generations. Destructions of war were great, the relics of which were, and are, exhibited in Museums and War Memorials to remind the world that wayward politicians no more care for humanity.

The poet and traveller who finally arrives in Japan to settle.

Hiroshima City before the bombing.

James Falconer Kirkup was a poet, translator and travel-writer who was born inEngland. His poems, plays, novels and autobiographies made him a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. After a few years of an eventful life in the island, he travelled through and resided in Europe,America, Far East and finally reached Japan where he settled for 30 years and taught English Literature in several Universities. He was very skilled in writing Haiku Poems and was much respected by the Japanese. Even the Emperor of Japan and the Empress invited him to recite poetry in their presence and he was presented with many prestigious awards there. ‘No More Hiroshimas’ is his famous poem in which he reveals to the world the commercialized post-war faces of Japan.

A river once polluted, refuses to be rehabilitated and remains sad.

Hiroshima after the atomic blast.

In the poem we see the poet arriving at a railway station in the reconstructed city ofHiroshima. He quite forgets which city it is, since all looks similar in the post-warJapan. It resembles any other town inJapan, since all towns are noisy, muddy ramshackles alike after the war. In the dim dew-falling evening, he walks towards the city proper. Neon exhibits of traders attract his attention. They are advertising Atomic Lotion for hair fallout. It looks ridiculous to the much travelled poet, but who knows the pain and frustration of those whose hair fallout rapidly daily? Just as Oliver Goldsmith said in hisDesertedVillage, ‘trade’s unfeeling train had usurped the land and disposed of the swaine.’ Whatever had remained unsellable for centuries in the pure and proud tradition of the Japanese were being made sellable to attract tourists, the sustaining revenue of a wrecked nation. He passes the rows of fruit stalls and meat stalls, observing the scenes around him on his way and finally reaches the river. The face ofHiroshimawas changing. Losses were recompensed and destructions repaired. Everything was being restored or rehabilitated to its former position. But the river alone ‘remains unchanged and sad, refusing any kind of rehabilitation.’ The river symbolizes the stream of life in the city. Once polluted, it can never be rehabilitated into its former position. ‘It was the pride of a bold peasantry that was broken and hurt.’

A traveller and a poet fights in a dilapidated hotel room.

A melted down clock from the Ground Zero.

In the city proper, the poet finds life splendid, busy and ornamental. People seem to have forgotten what have happened. In some shops, cheaply decorated mini models of the famous, bombed Industry Promotion Hall are on display for sale. The indecent modernity of the tourist hotel in which he stays displeases him. The very twisted stair cases which have witnessed the heavy blast appear that they may collapse and fall anytime. He feels ‘the contemporary stairs treacherous, the corridors deserted and peopleless, his room in the hotel an overheated mortuary and the bar, a bar in darkness.’ It should be specially noted here that the traveller poet is uncertain as to whether he should grieve or relish the unrepaired state of the heavily damaged and dilapidated hotel of his stay. The traveller in him craves for comfort and the poet in him longs for nostalgic status-quo.

The power to forget is the greatest faculty of the oriental mind.

Japanese surrender before the U.S.

When a nation and a people feel that they are wronged, it is common consensus that they have a right to be angry. But in the city ofHiroshimathe poet sees that it was evident that the people forgot everything too soon. Their sorrow seems short-lived. He has his own European logic in such matters and is angry that their anger too is dead. He is plain to speak that anger should not die and should be kept alive till war-destructions are avenged. ‘To forgive is to cut branches of the tree; but to forget is to lay axe to the very roots’: though not his lines, it reflects his philosophy. It has to be noted here that the poet was born and brought up inBritain, had travelled through and lived for years in Europe,Americaand the Far East and had only arrived inJapanrecently. He knows nothing about the workings of the Oriental Mind. Oriental Mind means magnanimity, deliquescence and tolerance. Had it been otherwise, great philosophies such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism would not have originated from there. Also if it had not been so, those places would have become the vast burial grounds of the colonial British. Had man remembered everything from his birth, his brain would have become overcrowded to the point of bursting itself. That is why Nature provided man with the power to forget as a pressure-valve, the very essential to the oriental mind.

‘How times are altered, trade’s unfeeling train usurps the land’.

Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima.

But in Japan, instead, atomic peace was seen geared to meet the demands of the tourists’ trade. War relics were renovated for promoting tourism industry, adding new charm, loveliness and nobility to those relics. But the poet feels that this renovation is a shame and indignity to those relics. As indignated already, they are beyond all hope of further indignation by anyone.

Who will not weep if they see it?

Tranquillity restored.

It is when he reaches the ParkOf Peacethat the emotional poet finds something perfectly appealing to his orthodox tastes. It is the only place in HiroshimaCitythat rouses respect in his mind. It is a monument for the children who were blasted away by mankind’s crime. The various exhibits in the War Memorial Museum moved him and he wept. Melted bricks and slates, photos of various scenes after the blast and other relics of the explosion were arranged there for all the world to see. The other relics which made the poet weep were stop-watches all stuck at that destined time, burnt clothing, charred boots, twisted buttons, ripped kimonos, atomic rain-perforated blouses and the cotton pants in which blasted boys crawled to their homes to bleed and breathe their last. According to the poet, they are the only memorials of the war, worth viewing. When we come to this part of the poem, we are not inclined but forced to agree with the poet in that war remains shall not be sold and grief commercialized, however poor we are. The poet has perfectly convinced us of this. War relics are the properties of our dead, those people who lived and played and laughed with us. When death occurs in a house, it is when we see the clothes worn by the gone person hanging there that a lump is caused in our throats and we weep. It is a feeling which shall not be written, told, expressed; a feeling so sacred and private to the very soul of humans that even its utterance is a crime.

Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.


Dear Reader,

You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:


Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.



Appreciations, Atomic Disasters, Atomic Fallout, British Poets, English Poets, English Songs, James Kirkup, Japan In War, Literature And Language, No More Hiroshimas, Nuclear Blasts, Nuclear Hollocausts, P S Remesh Chandran, Poetry, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, Second World War

Meet the author

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.

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31st Mar 2011 (#)

Great tribute to James Kirkup, the compassionate poet.

Also let us hope for no more Fukushimas.



August 2020