Monks in private jets pass test

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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:03 am

gavesako wrote:If some of you remember, more than 15 years ago there was a similar case involving the famous Ajahn Yantra. He faced similar charges and eventually fled to USA where he coninues to live and dress as a kind of Buddhist rishi.

:rolleye:


Apparently he refused to disrobe (not that he had a choice in the matter but nevertheless) - Thailand attempted to extradite him back to Thailand from the States on criminal charges of impersonating a monk, but they were refused it would seem. I wonder if he still wears the robes?

:rolleye: indeed.
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby binocular » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:26 pm

I think that one of the core problems around these jet-set monks (or the radical Buddhists in Burma etc.) actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves have about the Dhamma - but which they refuse to face and deal with, so they take out their frustration on those they perceive as "underperforming Buddhists."
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:17 pm

binocular wrote:I think that one of the core problems around these jet-set monks (or the radical Buddhists in Burma etc.) actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves have about the Dhamma - but which they refuse to face and deal with, so they take out their frustration on those they perceive as "underperforming Buddhists."


That's an interesting concept. Can you provide an example of such things occuring? I cannot think of one. But my mind is far from perfect.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby binocular » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:40 pm

When seeing monks in private jets, thoughts such as these might occur to a person:


"When I see monks in private jets, I get doubts about the Dhamma. I get doubts about whether renunciation of any kind is valid or worth it."
"When I see monks in private jets, I lose all interest to meditate or to do any Buddhist practice."
"When I see monks in private jets, I feel I am in a catch 22, because I know that on the one hand, I am supposed to trust the monastics and cannot make progress without trusting them, but on the other hand, it feels repugnant to trust jet set monks - and what they officially represent, namely Buddhism."
"When I see monks in private jets, I think that if this is Buddhism, then I don't want to have anything to do with it. But if I give up Buddhism, then what am I going to do about my suffering?"
Etc.

However, these concerns may be so painful or overwhelming that the person who has them will fall into denial, and instead just lash out at the jet set monks or other Buddhists they deem offensive. Because, after all, if all the monks (and all the other Buddhists) would behave properly, then one wouldn't be aware of one's doubts about the Dhamma and could - seemingly - carry on as a happy camper.


That said, I'd like to see what would happen if those who are critical of those jet set monks would go and visit them and personally tell them what they think about the whole matter, how they find that seeing monks living in such luxury or sin affects their outlook on the Dhamma and their practice thereof.


Edited for spelling.
Last edited by binocular on Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:01 pm

binocular wrote:When seeing monks in private jets, thoughts such as these might occur to a person:


"When I see monks in private jets, I get doubts about the Dhamma. I get doubts about whether renunciation of any kind is valid or worth it."
"When I see monks in private jets, I lose all interest to meditate or to do any Buddhist practice."
"When I see monks in private jets, I feel I am in a catch 22, because I know that on the one hand, I am supposed to trust the monastics and cannot make progress without trusting them, but on the other hand, it feels repugnant to trust jet set monks - and what they officially represent, namely Buddhism."
"When I see monks in private jets, I think that if this is Buddhism, then I don't want to have anything to do with it. But if I give up Buddhism, then what am I going to do about my suffering?"
Etc.

However, these concerns may be so painful or overwhelming that the person who has them will fall into denial, and instead just lash out at the jet set monks or other Buddhists they deem offensive. Because, after all, if all the monks (and all the other Buddhists) would behave properly, then one wouldn't be aware of one's doubts about the Dhamma and could - seemingly - carry on as a happy camper.


That sad, I'd like to see what would happen if those who are critical of those jet set monks would go and visit them and personally tell them what they think about the whole matter, how they find that seeing monks living in such luxury or sin affects their outlook on the Dhamma and their practice thereof.


While I think you've made a decent case, and I'm sorry because I feel like I'm nitpicking: I was hoping for an actual example, given the fact you stated categorically that one of the core problems is something existent, and yet you gave no such existent examples of such things happening - Just hypotheticals. That'd be perfectly fine if your previous post hadn't been so definite in saying:

I think that one of the core problems around these jet-set monks (or the radical Buddhists in Burma etc.) actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves have about the Dhamma - but which they refuse to face and deal with, so they take out their frustration on those they perceive as "underperforming Buddhists."


I think a better phrasing might have been 'one of the core problems people might face
Or 'actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves might have about the Dhamma.

Again I'm sorry, because I get the sense that I'm acting like a bit of a prick here calling you out (especially after our tango in the other thread), but I have taken exception to the way you tend to speak quite categorically of your thoughts as if they are solid truths when they are by no means a definite thing, but are 'potentials' and hypotheticals as opposed to concrete things that are occuring.

I take solace in the fact that this niggle I seem to have with your posting style is not personal by any stretch, and I can say honestly that I have nothing against you and there is nothing but friendliness on my end right now.

As to the actual meat of what you had to say there, I don't find anything much to disagree with, it certainly is troubling that some people might experience doubts as a result of seeing corruption within the Sangha, or that they might feel disillusioned. And I think you are right that in such a case where a person might accost said monk they would in fact be much better off dealing with their own doubts, even if it was the incident that brought them to a head. I know I certainly have had such experiences of doubt in the wake of seeing unbecoming behaviour from bhikkhus when I went to Sri Lanka and it's never fun. But one must come back to the fact that Dhamma practice is a personal undertaking, for one's own wellbeing primarily, and as such you have everything you should need at your disposal already. That and a quick reminder of the fact that there are still a lot of good practitioners in this world who legitimately are striving is all I have ever needed to settle my doubts about the veracity of this Dhamma.

metta
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby binocular » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:15 pm

BlackBird wrote:While I think you've made a decent case, and I'm sorry because I feel like I'm nitpicking: I was hoping for an actual example, given the fact you stated categorically that one of the core problems is something existent, and yet you gave no such existent examples of such things happening - Just hypotheticals. That'd be perfectly fine if your previous post hadn't been so definite in saying:

I think that one of the core problems around these jet-set monks (or the radical Buddhists in Burma etc.) actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves have about the Dhamma - but which they refuse to face and deal with, so they take out their frustration on those they perceive as "underperforming Buddhists."


I think a better phrasing might have been 'one of the core problems people might face
Or 'actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves might have about the Dhamma.

Again I'm sorry, because I get the sense that I'm acting like a bit of a prick here calling you out (especially after our tango in the other thread), but I have taken exception to the way you tend to speak quite categorically of your thoughts as if they are solid truths when they are by no means a definite thing, but are 'potentials' and hypotheticals as opposed to concrete things that are occuring.

I am usually textbook-style assertive.

But as I've been noticing, some people don't see this, and instead tend to interpret the "I think," "In my opinion" etc. that introduce my sentences, either as claims of superiority or some such, or simply don't see them at all (and then jump to conclusions).
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:04 pm

BlackBird wrote:
binocular wrote:I think that one of the core problems around these jet-set monks (or the radical Buddhists in Burma etc.) actually has to do with the doubts that the critics themselves have about the Dhamma - but which they refuse to face and deal with, so they take out their frustration on those they perceive as "underperforming Buddhists."


That's an interesting concept. Can you provide an example of such things occuring? I cannot think of one. But my mind is far from perfect.

I think it's an interesting point. I'm not sure if I'm jaundiced, or simply realistic, but personally I'm not particularly surprised by such revelations. I've not personally encountered such completely outrageous activity, but it seems to me that anyone who has spent some time with monastics could easily deduce that there are a wide variety of levels of seriousness of Dhamma practice amongst the Sangha. This problem was mentioned even in the suttas.

My interpretation of what Binocular is saying is that one option is to wring our hands in despair about Broken Buddha, Burning Monk, Jetsetting Monk, or Terrorist Monk stories, lose confidence in the Sangha as a whole, and plunge into doubt about the Dhamma. Another option is to accept that we have to take responsibility for seeking out Sangha with an acceptable (perfection is extremely unlikely) level of Dhamma competence.

:anjali:
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby suriyopama » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:49 am

binocular wrote:When seeing monks in private jets, thoughts such as these might occur to a person:


"When I see monks in private jets, I get doubts about the Dhamma. I get doubts about whether renunciation of any kind is valid or worth it."
"When I see monks in private jets, I lose all interest to meditate or to do any Buddhist practice."
"When I see monks in private jets, I feel I am in a catch 22, because I know that on the one hand, I am supposed to trust the monastics and cannot make progress without trusting them, but on the other hand, it feels repugnant to trust jet set monks - and what they officially represent, namely Buddhism."
"When I see monks in private jets, I think that if this is Buddhism, then I don't want to have anything to do with it. But if I give up Buddhism, then what am I going to do about my suffering?"
Etc.


When seeing others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, thoughts such as these might occur to a person:


"When I see others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, I get doubts about the Dhamma. I get doubts about whether renunciation of any kind is valid or worth it."
"When I see others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, I lose all interest to meditate or to do any Buddhist practice."
"When I see others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, I feel I am in a catch 22, because I know that on the one hand, I am supposed to trust the monastics and cannot make progress without trusting them, but on the other hand, it feels repugnant to trust others pointing wrong-doing on the monks"
"When I see others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, I think that if this is Buddhism, then I don't want to have anything to do with it. But if I give up Buddhism, then what am I going to do about my suffering?"
Etc.

;)
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby suriyopama » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:57 am

mikenz66 wrote:My interpretation of what Binocular is saying is that one option is to wring our hands in despair about Broken Buddha, Burning Monk, Jetsetting Monk, or Terrorist Monk stories, lose confidence in the Sangha as a whole, and plunge into doubt about the Dhamma. Another option is to accept that we have to take responsibility for seeking out Sangha with an acceptable (perfection is extremely unlikely) level of Dhamma competence.


A third option is to point wrong-doing in order to eradicate it. Not only in the Sangha but everywhere (e.g. from Assagne to Snowden). After this scandal, many thai people is denouncing and presenting evidences of many other things that are happening but were kept in secret. From misuse of money to pictures of transsexual novices having "affairs" with other novices. It seems that there was the need of a general cleaning.

There is only one monk, Luang Pu Isara, that has dared to criticize the wrong-doing of Nengkham and the attitude of the high-ranking monks of the Thai Sangha that are protecting him (money and power seem to be involved), and he has made a call for responsibilites. He has also pointed several examples of wrong teachings on their dhamma. Luang Pu has received some “threats” since he started speaking about this issue, and today he is going to present evidences for a case in the court. (he already sent them through a messenger but they were rejected with no reason, so today he going to personally deliver them on the court)
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:43 am

suriyopama wrote:A third option is to point wrong-doing in order to eradicate it.

Sure, if it is possible to fix things, that's great. However what I was addressing was a loss of faith in the entire Sangha, and possibly the Dahmma, which I don't think is a very useful reaction.

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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby BlackBird » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:01 am

suriyopama wrote:There is only one monk, Luang Pu Isara, that has dared to criticize the wrong-doing of Nengkham and the attitude of the high-ranking monks of the Thai Sangha that are protecting him (money and power seem to be involved), and he has made a call for responsibilites. He has also pointed several examples of wrong teachings on their dhamma. Luang Pu has received some “threats” since he started speaking about this issue, and today he is going to present evidences for a case in the court. (he already sent them through a messenger but they were rejected with no reason, so today he going to personally deliver them on the court)


Good on him for standing up and fighting the good fight. Much mudita and metta to him :)
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby suriyopama » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:47 am

mikenz66 wrote:
suriyopama wrote:A third option is to point wrong-doing in order to eradicate it.

Sure, if it is possible to fix things, that's great. However what I was addressing was a loss of faith in the entire Sangha, and possibly the Dahmma, which I don't think is a very useful reaction.


I agree. That is a dangerous risk.

On another post I expressed some personal disappointment with what I have found so far, but I have cleared my doubts about the meaning of "Refugee in the Sangha" after reading this excellent teaching from Ajahn Lee:

A Refuge in Awakening by Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/refawake.html

After many years devouring hundreds of books, now I am reading very little, almost nothing. But on this days, I am amazed to observe how often it is happening that I am finding the appropriate teaching at the right moment. :)

I believe that this forum, and places like Access to Insight, are also part of a Great Sangha :namaste:
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby suriyopama » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:22 am

Whatever happens, we can always learn a positive lesson from fecal matter: a deeper understanding of how everything is subject to decay, sickness and death, according to the First Noble Truth.

That is precisely what Ajahn Lee says in that teaching "A refugee in Awakening”:

To take refugee in the Triple Gem “on the level of the individuals” can be helpful in a temporary basis. All buddhas are mortal, memorizing Dhamma is inconstant, and sanghas are also inconstant and subject to decay, therefore they can not provide us any true refugee and we should seek for the refugee “on the level of the inner qualities” through the practice.

As my dusty 2011 Buddhadasa Bhikkhu’s desktop calendar says: “Look well, there is only profit”. I understand that saying as this: no matter how nastily everything decays and decompose, take it as a good lesson.

From that point of view, there is no risk in losing faith on the teachings, but rather to encourage our practice to be released from the cycle of nastiness.
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby gavesako » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:01 am

พระ On Excellence (Vara, Phra)


Being excellent is mind unfettered by defilement,

Observant, sober, heedful, and sagacious.

Restrained and careful guarding heart without fail

To avoid the three dangers following and pestering.

In matters of food, fun, and fame,

Seeing the trap in hot and cool, foul and fragrant.

Not delighting nor slighting nor beating around the bush,

However much pressured by kilesa, not falling.

Mind clean, heart bright, intelligence calm,

Accompanied with proper body and speech.

Being phra thus wins out over sense objects.

As these are popular and pleasing in the world, bows.

(Buddhadasa Bhikkhu)


:buddha2:

“Venerable sir, what is the reason, what is the cause, why formerly there were fewer training rules (sikkhapada) but more bhikkhus were established in final knowledge, while now there are more training rules but fewer bhikkhus are established in final knowledge?”311

“That’s the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are deteriorating and the true Dhamma is disappearing there are more training rules but fewer bhikkhus are established in final knowledge. Kassapa, the true Dhamma does not disappear so long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma (saddhamma-patirupaka) has not arisen in the world. But when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma arises in the world, then the true Dhamma disappears.312

“Just as, Kassapa, gold does not disappear so long as counterfeit gold has not arisen in the world, but when counterfeit gold arises then true gold disappears, so the true Dhamma does not disappear so long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma arises in the world, then the true Dhamma disappears.

“It is not the earth element, Kassapa, that causes the true Dhamma to disappear, nor the water element, nor the heat element, nor the air element. It is the senseless people who arise right here who cause the true Dhamma to disappear.

“The true Dhamma does not disappear all at once in the way a ship sinks.313 There are, Kassapa, five detrimental things314 that lead to the decay and disappearance of the true Dhamma. What are the five? Here the bhikkhus, the bhikkhunı̄s, the male lay followers, and the female lay followers dwell without reverence and deference towards the Teacher; they dwell without reverence and deference towards the Dhamma; they dwell without reverence and deference towards the Saṅgha; [225] they dwell without reverence and deference towards the training; they dwell without reverence and deference towards concentration.315 These, Kassapa, are the five detrimental things that lead to the decay and disappearance of the true Dhamma.

(Kassapa Samyutta 13)
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby gavesako » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:58 pm

BlackBird wrote:
gavesako wrote:If some of you remember, more than 15 years ago there was a similar case involving the famous Ajahn Yantra. He faced similar charges and eventually fled to USA where he coninues to live and dress as a kind of Buddhist rishi.

:rolleye:


Apparently he refused to disrobe (not that he had a choice in the matter but nevertheless) - Thailand attempted to extradite him back to Thailand from the States on criminal charges of impersonating a monk, but they were refused it would seem. I wonder if he still wears the robes?

:rolleye: indeed.



Yes, there are pictures of ex-Ajahn Yantra on the web where he dresses as a kind of monk carrying a bowl, but wearing long hair and beard like a rishi. Other monks are following him on pindapat, he is leading them -- somewhere in a Thai or Lao temple in America. Some of his followers refused to accept that he was really parajika ("defeated") and thought it was an intrigue against him led by the Sangharaja.

Now Luang Pu Nenkham, another Dhammayut monk, has been nailed down with solid evidence:

http://bangkokpost.com/news/local/35856 ... of-romance
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/nationa ... 09839.html

I think this is the final nail in LP Nenkham's coffin (parajika), but other high-ranking monks and laypeople supporting him might be dragged into the scandal as well, because they obviously neglected their supervisory duties and allowed this kind of 'mafia' activity to go unreported for a long time.

It is the same as Ajahn Yantra scandal about 15 years ago. He might ask for asylum in France, because according to French law he did not commit any crime by fathering children, and they don't recognize 'Buddhist law' as such.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:08 pm

This 'Luang Pu' Nenkham had a ferrari and a roles royce, fathered many children to 7 different women. How is it possible that he could get away with all of this for so long?

Good riddance to bad rubbish :)
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby binocular » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:36 pm

suriyopama wrote:When seeing others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, thoughts such as these might occur to a person:

"When I see others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, I get doubts about the Dhamma. I get doubts about whether renunciation of any kind is valid or worth it."
"When I see others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, I lose all interest to meditate or to do any Buddhist practice."
"When I see others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, I feel I am in a catch 22, because I know that on the one hand, I am supposed to trust the monastics and cannot make progress without trusting them, but on the other hand, it feels repugnant to trust others pointing wrong-doing on the monks"
"When I see others pointing wrong-doing on the monks, I think that if this is Buddhism, then I don't want to have anything to do with it. But if I give up Buddhism, then what am I going to do about my suffering?"
Etc.

Of course.


suriyopama wrote:A third option is to point wrong-doing in order to eradicate it.

Sure, and there are effective ways to do that, and not so effective ways to do that.

Like I already said, the right person to whom to complain is the person who is in the position to actually do something about it. That may be the offending monk himself, the monk's teacher, the abbott of the monastery that the offending monk is staying at, the monk's parents, grandparents, other family members, his friends, the local police officer, etc. etc. - depending on the nature of the situation.

Then, of course, there is the task of seeing to it that oneself isn't guilty of the same offences that one accuses others of.
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby binocular » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:44 pm

mikenz66 wrote:However what I was addressing was a loss of faith in the entire Sangha, and possibly the Dahmma, which I don't think is a very useful reaction.

I don't think one can choose to have or to lose faith.

And in one sense, such a loss is good, because that faith was probably an immature, irresponsible, fanatic faith - and one is better off without that kind of faith.
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:24 pm

binocular wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:However what I was addressing was a loss of faith in the entire Sangha, and possibly the Dahmma, which I don't think is a very useful reaction.

I don't think one can choose to have or to lose faith.

And in one sense, such a loss is good, because that faith was probably an immature, irresponsible, fanatic faith - and one is better off without that kind of faith.

Of course. That sort of faith is not very stable, as it is based on unrealistic expectations of perfection.

As I said in the post that I was commenting on:
mikenz66 wrote:Another option is to accept that we have to take responsibility for seeking out Sangha with an acceptable (perfection is extremely unlikely) level of Dhamma competence.


:anjali:
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Re: Monks in private jets pass test

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:28 pm

Hmmm the only issue I have here is the sunglasses (classed as jewellery?) and the ipod

However if the monk was listening to a dhamma talk on the ipod I see no problem, but if he was listening to Trance music then...


However monks are meant to give a good image of the sangha to the wider world and I dont think jetting around in jets is the way to do it
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