Five Rupee Coin

Jan 20, 2024Blog, Inspiration

Raised in a diverse inclusive atmosphere in the mountains of British Columbia, Ceylon was merely a topic in a geography book in a distant land far away.

By virtue of living in Japan, came the good fortune to travel distant lands—an extension of acquainting with the foreigner community, all of us strangers in a strange land, or as Patrick Lafcadio Hearn saliently noted—fairyland.

Patrick Lafcadio HearnMany moons ago, a Sri Lankan Buddhist temple was established in our rural town of Japan—along with it came friendly Sri Lankans, leaving behind their cherished loved ones in a distant homeland, seek a better life for their clan

In the early 90’s my dear Sri Lankan friend, then in his early 50, found work as a stableboy on a nearby horse farm, and is where the encounter occurred with this devoted Buddhist Sri Lankan man in Japan.

Sri Lankan Man in JapanCommon among foreign nationals originating from developing lands is their sacrifice, building their homeland clans in culturally remote isolation, only temporary guests in the insular homogenous nation of Japan. 

By happenstance, a serendipitous opportunity came to visit the island nation of Sri Lanka—an interpreter for a Japanese entrepreneur, a chance to visit my friend’s family in the breathtaking city of Kandy in the center of Ceylon.

Ceylon Map Interestingly enough, inside the ‘Temple of Sacred Tooth’ resides the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha, embodying deep spiritual significance—one of the most sacred religious artifacts in all of Buddhism.

So, what does this all have to do with five rupee?

Raised in the essence of empathic humanity, the stark dark, abject poverty common in Sri Lanka was far too visceral and startling to see.

Shocked into an instinctive conundrum—how to go about alleviating this wretched suffering and to once and for all end human misery.

Hand out five rupee coins
A bag full of 5 rupee coins will initiate the planetary poverty alleviation protocol the world will change forever and for certain, just wait and see.

The line for the 5 rupee coin was as far as the eye could see, all of the sudden it was clear as dawn—after handing out the last 5 rupee coins—once all the money is gone—a new beggar born, now looking for a free coin and a free lunch juicing life along.

An old book once proclaimed—give humankind fish, feed them for a day—teach humankind to fish, feed them forever and a day.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish and you feed him for lifetime

My Sri Lankan friend was no beggar at all—he left his beloved wife and three daughters in a far away land—forging his way in the world—raising up his clan—a saint at the feet of Buddha, on his own as a sovereign man.

All stories come to an end, where this deeply devout Buddhist exited this mortal coil having never touched the sacred ground of his cherished homeland of Sri Lanka again.

One can only surmise when observing the loneliness in his eyes, he died of a broken heart—his final earthly chapter—a stableboy in Japan. 

Buddha and disciple
While transitioning to the land of Buddha, is when he make a courtesy stop to say goodbye to this Incidental Occxie, who loved this Fellow Traveler from Sri Lanka for his devotion to his family and dedication to advance his clan.

Continuing on his infinite journey, took a special seat at the table as an enlightened Buddha, his essence and spirit uniting once again with his family in his beloved homeland of Ceylon.

Sri Lankan man in orange buddhist monk robes sitting at his feet looking at the face of the Buddha