Saturday, January 20, 2007

Thought for the Day

Dharmacari VishvapaniRegular listeners to the BBC's radio 4 will know that every weekday morning there is a three minute slot known as Thought for the Day, when someone from a faith community comments on a topical issue. FWBO News has already reported that Vishvapani has done a few slots on TFTD, but it seems that his thoughts struck the mark for one UK author. Dorothy Rowe is a psychologist and writer of self-help books. Ms Rowe's response to Vishvapani is in the context of another program in which John Humphries, the sometimes curmudgeonly and pugnacious BBC interviewer, sought out faith leaders to see if they could convince him to believe in god. They could not. And Ms Rowe found herself in sympathy with Humphries in his critique of religion. What she found in Vishvapani was a very succinct reason why religions as they stand do not measure up. Vishvapani quoted the old Buddhist definition of what is Dharma: it is that which promotes the welfare and happiness of oneself and others. Not even Buddhism, as a religion, has always followed this dictum of the Buddha. And yet, says Ms Rowe:
"Vishvapani speaks with a calm, quiet reasonableness that gently chides yet encourages us all to find the courage to live with uncertainty and not to take refuge in some imagined absolute truths which in the end bring nothing but suffering to us all."
Vishvapani's thoughts for the day are on the BBC Website as both text and sound files.

Nagaraja has a regular slot in the Pause for Thought on BBC2 which is similar to TFTD.


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