Slightly disturbing Buddhist Poster
Gangarama Temple is one of the weirder places on earth. I like it, but it is essentially the storage shed of a strange, eccentric and extremely worldly monk called Podi Hamuduruwo. The temple contains antique cars, about twenty printing presses, thousands of statues, artificats, coins and cabinets full of watches, lighters and assorted knick-knacks. My favorite temples are usually empty and isolated, but Gangarama goes to the opposite extreme. It is crowded and in downtown. Except for the poor elephants chained by two legs, it is an interesting place.
Lately, however, they have started putting up these posters (upstairs) describing Buddhist heaven and hell (eh?) in some detail. I believe one panel talked of a lady who observed sil once and god a retinue of a hundred maidens to serve her in heaven. Another described, with pictures, the horrible hunger and thirst of hell. In the past they had illustrated sayings of the Buddha which I thought were enlightening, but these latest are perhaps the opposite. As per the image above, I quote a comment from its Flickr page, by Deshan10:
If I understand it correctly, a deer holding a roulette wheel can not only deflect an atom bomb launched at it, but also transmogrify it into a disembodied hand that will shoot roulette wheel juice into starving and pregnant alien babies.
Generally, I enjoy Gangarama for its kitsch value, but I think it veers farther and farther from demure Buddhist practice as time goes one. What a collection of wrist-watches has to do with faith I don’t know. Perhaps Sai Baba could explain. Nice place to visit.