Ben wrote:Yes, Jack, a picture can speak a thousand words.
Hence, it is important to treat any photograph removed from important contexts with due caution.
What contexts can you imagine that could vindicate monks who are flying in a private jet sporting luxury sunglasses, with headphones on? I cannot imagine one. It's one of those cut and dry situations in my mind. But then my mind is far from perfect.
I mean no disrespect, but I don't think there's any need to be cautious in saying that the Buddha would have categorically condemned such luxury for his Bhikkhus. It's a sad state of affairs, but something that is becoming more and more common, and I think it's very wholesome that this picture has sparked a serious debate in Thailand about what is acceptable conduct from monks. The laity have since the Buddha's time acted as a safety valve in holding monks actions to account, indeed many of the vinaya laws were formulated because the laity complained to the Buddha about certain Bhikkhu's behaviour. I believe
that it is for the good of the sasana as a whole that such debates occur and that where monks have acted in ways that run against the Buddha's teachings, that they should be condemned for such actions.
That's just how I feel about it anyway.
Here's the video that the picture comes from, perhaps it can provide more context.