by Erin Solka

Current Events

Sri Lanka, August 2014: The BBS (A Buddhist nationalist group populated by monks) was accused of stirring hatred that led to deadly riots against Muslims. During the incident, 52 people were injured, 3 dead, and 12 arrested. Muslim businesses and homes were attacked. Anti-Muslim chants screamed out. The riots were said to be started by an alleged assault of three Muslim teens just days earlier. The BBS felt threatened that Muslims would proselytize their believers. After the conflict finally died down, the towns and popular tourist destinations were ordered to a strict curfew. Sri Lanka government officials are aware of the recent events and are investigating further.

The Buddha and it's Beliefs

The word Buddha means "enlightened one" or "awaken one". Many people have become Buddhas, and many will in the future. To be a Buddha is to see the world as it really is and to be completely free of all judgments of others. Buddhists wish for Buddha's blessings throughout life by meditating and calming themselves. By practicing Dharma (law and order), Buddhists believe that their overall quality of life will get better and more peaceful. People practice Buddhism to find their inner peace, which will eventually lead to outer peace.


Buddhist Mandalas are sacred circular figures that represent the universe in its ideal form. They are used to unite deities, forces and the universe when completed. Mandalas can be made out of paper, bronze, or stone. When creating a Mandala, monks are carrying out Buddha's teachings, therefore practicing Dharma. Dharma improves the quality of a Buddhist's life, so creating these have become an important ritual in Buddhism. Mandalas were first created in the 4th century B.C. by Buddhists in India.

Music and Chanting

If you have a problem
Don't worry, hand it over to the Buddha
Just listen to Him and you will see the light
to all the darkness and miseries
Gautama Buddha, He's here for you and me
By your side
Day and night
Rain or shine
Gautama Buddha, He's here for you and me
Welcome Him to our hearts till eternity

Buddhists wish for Buddha to watch over them and protect them throughout life. These lyrics represent how followers depend on Buddha to help them fix all of their faults. They always have faith that Buddha will assist them when they are in need. Sometimes instead of directly singing their songs, followers chant the words repetitively to a rhythm.