In the interview with S.N. Goenka in our last issue, we quoted him as saying that both Hinduism and Buddhism were “madness.” Goenka felt there was a possibility that his words could be misunderstood, and he has given us the following clarification of that statement.
For me, Buddhism in its true nature is not a sectarian religion. Under the name of Buddhism, many sincere people teach the precious gem of pure dhamma—morality, concentration and insight. Any sensible person will have only praise and appreciation for their work. But also in the name of Buddhism, and of Hinduism and other “-isms”, organized institutions have developed which teach fanatic sectarianism, inciting people to murder, arson, theft and other crimes against humanity, on the spurious pretext that such actions somehow protect and defend their religion. Certainly this is madness and no sensible person can have faith in such an approach.
Even as we were conducting our interview for Inquiring Mind, just twenty miles away from Dhammagiri there were riots in which Hindus and Buddhists massacred each other. Tension was still prevailing. Certainly all those engaging in this fratricide were equally mad.