Ajahn Brahm for sale?

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Mr Man » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:53 am

Charity has now actually become a commodity and a business (or was it always?) as has the propagation of dhamma. Monks are seen a teachers of systems and personalities as "retreat leaders" and "talk givers" ahead of being mendicatnts. "Ajahn Brahm for sale" is a reflection of all of us. In my opinion it is profane and it really is not a question of me being humourliss or a finger wager.

Ajahn Brahmali said "to me this is just a clever and fun way of raising money. That it is clever is clear from the level of interest, even controversy, that the idea has already created". Does the BSWA thrive on controversy?

Pragmatic Buddhism?
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:55 am

:goodpost:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:15 am

SDC wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I am wondering what the purpose of this thread is?

Have you written to Ajahn Brahm, Cittasanto? That would be useful.

Other than that, it just sounds like a whole lot of conceit to believe one's take on Vinaya and the Dhamma to be superior to an outstanding monk ordained for nearly 40 years, especially for one who's been on this earth for barely half this long?

I mean questioning is great but it's got to be open-minded and respectful and this seems to be increasingly rare these days.


Good post, Dan

no it is not, it is pathetic.

Dan you would need to ask the thread starter the purpose of this thread.
You are assuming I have not written or attempted to make contact in some way? how do you know I haven't? let alone not made an attempt in two ways?
I have said I object and why, basing my objection in two baskets of the actual canon, in a way that can be rebutted. yet instead of dealing with points, or rebutting in some way what I or others have said, some have chosen accusations of intent, mud slinging comments of dourness, conciet... yet no point is actually being damaged in any way through this.
I am not trying to make things personal unlike others with off-topic comments about conciet, age... which only show nothing.
I have not claimed to be a vinaya authority, but I do have a degree of vinaya knowledge. I am not saying "I am correct and everyone else is wrong!" with no explanation, I am saying why I believe something is wrong and if any rebuttal comes along I consider it on its merits and if need be ask for references so I can see the source. That is being open and respectful.
I am somewhere in my 30's BTW over half of his monastic age, not that that is relevant to truth or anything else.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:16 am

Mr Man wrote:Charity has now actually become a commodity and a business (or was it always?) as has the propagation of dhamma. Monks are seen a teachers of systems and personalities as "retreat leaders" and "talk givers" ahead of being mendicatnts. "Ajahn Brahm for sale" is a reflection of all of us. In my opinion it is profane and it really is not a question of me being humourliss or a finger wager.

Ajahn Brahmali said "to me this is just a clever and fun way of raising money. That it is clever is clear from the level of interest, even controversy, that the idea has already created". Does the BSWA thrive on controversy?

Pragmatic Buddhism?

:anjali: :anjali: :anjali:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:19 am

Mr Man wrote:Charity has now actually become a commodity and a business (or was it always?) as has the propagation of dhamma. Monks are seen a teachers of systems and personalities as "retreat leaders" and "talk givers" ahead of being mendicatnts. "Ajahn Brahm for sale" is a reflection of all of us. In my opinion it is profane and it really is not a question of me being humourliss or a finger wager.

Ajahn Brahmali said "to me this is just a clever and fun way of raising money. That it is clever is clear from the level of interest, even controversy, that the idea has already created". Does the BSWA thrive on controversy?

Pragmatic Buddhism?


Idealism is great. Wouldn't it be wonderful if monks didn't have to think about the money? While we, the lay, are mired in worries and financial anxieties, we look up to the pure Sangha who is just the opposite.

Well, it doesn't work that way. Especially in the West, monks often have it very hard and people disrobe because of lack of support. On the other hand, there are monks like Ajahn Brahm who is very good at raising money. Very good at disseminating the Dhamma and supporting people who want to take it further, all the way up to ordination and beyond. What an amazing service this guy is doing!!!

I am neither a disciple, nor an acolyte or even a fan. I respect the man for his tireless service. For his dedication to what he believes. By all accounts I've heard he is a mature and genuine monastic with no small insight and wisdom. This fundraiser may not be everyone's cup of tea, but maybe we can turn around and see whether we are projecting our aversions here? Perhaps profane is in the eye of the beholder..

PS Cittasanto, just saw your post. Mudslinging was not my intention, I am sorry if I caused offense. I will withdraw from this thread.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:48 am

Hi MP
Modus.Ponens wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote: Ajahn Chah also read the palm of the hand of a disciple, breaking a vinaya rule.

Ajahn Chah had his palms read once, but I have never heard of him reading palms, he had this strange scoff apparently when asked to see his palms so it is strange!
can you provide a reference?


I remember this story beeing told by one of his disciples. I've googled it, but didn't find a reference, because it was on an audio file. It was basicaly like this. It was when a generous benefactor of Ajahn Chah's monastery received a dhamma talk on the importance of gratitude. The next day the benefactor went to Ajahn Chah and asked him to read his palm. Ajahn Chah declined. The benefactor reminded Ajahn Chah of his previous dhamma talk on the importance of gratitude. So Ajahn Chah was kind of forced to read the benefactor's palm.

That would of been an infraction, if it was between monks I am not sure if it would of been or not, but I side with it being included because it is inappropriate way to spend ones time. If you come across the talk I would like to hear it. I have read the Biography by Ajahn Jayasaro and it only recounts the occassion when Ajahns palms were read.
Ajahn Did still have the choice to explain it is against the vinaya to him, so...
I'm not judging Ajahn Chah here. I wish I had 1 hundreth of his discipline. I believe he was an arahat. What I'm saying is that even an arahat can break the vinaya. I'm not defending a lax behaviour either. Obviously good monks do the best they can to mantain the vinaya. But the best they can is not perfect. There is a reason for there being punishments in the vinaya: monks break it. Different monks break different vinaya rules and there is a procedure for overcoming those faults. This is basicaly a monks' issue, so I think we should abstain from making public judgement, such as saying that Ajahn Brahm is prostituting his time. What a horrible way to put it!

is it not also accurate?
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16465#p234922

James nailed it when he reminded the Devadatta's schism. Monks holding other monks with higher standards than those the Buddha himself laid down for his Sangha. What to say then of lay people, who don't have experience with living everyday with the vinaya, judging the monks who don't live with a higher standard than that in the vinaya?

although this isn't schismatic nor the situation, there are no extra rules being added, or removed for such comparison. But can you show how any of the vinaya explanation is actually at a higher standard than the vinaya itself?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:52 am

only just seen this one, and yes, being truthful isn't always fully transparency.
manas wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:...
that is correct to my knowledge.
it was the story of Nanda, who basically said when he went to the Buddha after that he wouldn't know what to do with them and declined the "prize".


I can recall another occassion. where (as I recall) the Buddha promised to (heal or bring back to life?) the child of a grief-sticken mother, if she could bring him a mustard seed from a house (ie, in those days, family) in which no-one had ever died. Note the presence of the word 'IF'...which meant that the Buddha was never going to have to fulfil that one, because there is no such house / family.

So once more, that was a clever, yet truthful, use of words, was it not? :anjali:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:33 am

Mr Man wrote:Charity has now actually become a commodity and a business (or was it always?) as has the propagation of dhamma.
This is nothing new, as studies of thupas/stupas show. And let us not forget that it was not unknown for monasteries in India to be both land holders and slave holders.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:38 pm

Hello Cittasanto

I'm not even going to respond to your question regarding acuracy. If I would deny it you would argue that Ajahn Brahm is prostituting his time, only causing bad kamma for you.

You seem to be very focused on wether your vinaya interpretation is correct or not. What is the consequence of it being correct? Do you have any power to, through this forum, change the assessment of Ajahn Brahm's behaviour by his Sangha? There is a thing in the western justice, that started in England, that is called presumption of innocence.

My intention here was to defend Ajahn Brahm and to try to cool down the situation. Clearly I've failed on the second part, so I will try not to post here anymore.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:43 pm

Hi Modus.Ponens
Like I have said previously, I would far prefer to be corrected, the errors pointed out, but if you think assertions about malighning or ill-intent and whatever else has been infered to people who disagree is in his defence then I am sorry but it is not. we can see a difference & issues where others don't so if it is "perfectly fine to question whether what Ajahn Brahm is doing is appropriate or even in accordance with the vinaya" as Ajahn Brahmali said, then defending him would be to correct and point out the errors, not inferring what is not there, as has happened from the start of this thread.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby pilgrim » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:48 pm

Clearly we see the conservatives and the liberals. :thinking:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Mr Man » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:55 pm

pilgrim wrote:Clearly we see the conservatives and the liberals. :thinking:


I don't see it like that.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Mr Man » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:02 pm

There is the possibility that Ajahn Brahm made a mistake or has been badly advised or has not been open to advice or advice has not been forthcoming. It is another kind of idealism that would not be open to that possibility.

As Ajahn Brahmali said "Just to make the obvious clear: it is of course perfectly fine to question whether what Ajahn Brahm is doing is appropriate". Also worth noting that Ajahn Bramali said "I am pretty sure this will be the one and only time he does such a thing.". It would be okay or possible for Ajahn Brahm to make a bad decision wouldn't it?
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Anagarika » Wed May 08, 2013 9:01 pm

fivebells wrote:Seems like Ajahn Brahm isn't shy about raising money. :)


Here is the latest bid for the week with Ajahn Brahm, all of the dollars go to the construction of a Bhikkhuni's monastery.

Current highest bid :
Bid : A$ 60000
Perth Time: 16:08:44
2nd May 2013
**** ******,
Perth, West Australia, Australia

Ajahn Bramali answered questions about the fundraising in a Q&A section, and said this, in part:

attano bhandam parahatthagatam parabhandam attano hatthagatam, nissaggiyam hoti. What Ajahn Brahm is doing is giving up some of his time for anyone willing to support the nuns' monastery. He is not receiving anything in return himself and thus the conditions for "trade" are not fulfilled. There is no problem here from a vinaya point of view. From my perspective, Ajahn Brahm is simply doing charity work, and charity work is an important part of monastic life: any talk or teaching is essentially just that.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 08, 2013 10:14 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote: Ajahn Brahm is simply doing charity work, and charity work is an important part of monastic life: any talk or teaching is essentially just that.
Good on him.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby James the Giant » Thu May 09, 2013 12:29 am

Maybe if someone is going to post where the auction is at, the name of the bidder could be removed? Since it's on a private website and all.

EDIT: thanks for removing the name. The bidders might not mind, but it just seems better. Cheers :anjali:
Last edited by James the Giant on Thu May 09, 2013 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 09, 2013 1:40 am

James the Giant wrote:Maybe if someone is going to post where the auction is at, the name of the bidder could be removed? Since it's on a private website and all.
done
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby pegembara » Thu May 09, 2013 6:56 am

Who speaks the truth?

Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, "The flag moves." The other said, "The wind moves." They argued back and forth but could not agree.
The Sixth Ancestor said, "Gentlemen! It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves." The two monks were struck with awe.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Kusala » Thu May 09, 2013 8:16 am

I wonder if this post applies to Ajahn Brahm :thinking: http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2010/03/p ... hamma.html
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Paribbajaka » Thu May 09, 2013 6:12 pm

To be honest I find it funny that this is such a big issue. I support and attend several Lao Theravada temples in my home area, and I consitently see monks holding their own money, being directly donated money by the lay community, riding in and driving cars, and hanging around listening to music. My primary teacher not only keeps food overnight, but has TWO refrigerators to accomodate what he has. It is my impression based on researcha nd experience that this is not a local phenomenon but typical of modern monks.

Why is no one decrying their vinaya offenses? Why is this so accepted and yet a western monk making a bit of a joke (for a good cause) is being put under such scrutiny?

This is obviously in addition to the widespread market of monks selling amulets, selling blessed bracelets, telling fortunes and giving lucky lottery numbers, etc. etc. etc.
May all beings be happy!
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