A striking feature of the ethnic conflicts that beset Sri Lanka as it does in many other parts of the world is that they are embedded in ‘totalising ideologies’, that is, all-embracing belief systems that have little tolerance for dissent or opposing views. The Buddhist text that this chapter examines ‘The Tale of the Demoness Kali’ from the Saddharmaratnavaliya, the great compendium of Buddhist stories written in Sinhala rather than in the sacred language of Pali and meant for lay audiences or readers. Buddhist values do enter this world, but they are not the lofty values such as compassion that quenches vengeance but the more practical values of duty, obedience and merit-making, all of which have a situational base in everyday life. People believe that by seeing the Buddha they can achieve instant nirvana. Hence the popular rebirth wish that they be born in the time of the next Buddha Maitreye and achieve nirvana by listening to his sermon.