A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

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budo
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A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by budo » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 pm

Whenever I stay at monasteries it seems like the monks spend more time attending to people who know nothing about buddhism moreso than the lay people who live there and have pretty good knowledge and are closer to enlightenment. The monks love spending hours debating with people who don't know anything about buddhism, but won't give the lay people, who always bow down and say sadhu to the monks and who have studied the suttas well, the time of day. It's like they don't care about the people who actually respect them and wish to learn from them and instead waste time on people who want to debate and argue with them. This is pretty disheartening.

You can also see this in the suttas.

In MN 38 the Buddha really admonishes and verbally attacks the monk Sāti, the Fisherman's son, calling him worthless and foolish. When Sati is sad and regretful, the Buddha kicks him while he's already down. All the monk did wrong was misunderstand a teaching.
When this was said, the monk Sāti, the Fisherman's Son, sat silent, abashed, his shoulders drooping, his head down, brooding, at a loss for words.

Then the Blessed One, seeing that the monk Sāti, the Fisherman's Son, was sitting silent, abashed, his shoulders drooping, his head down, brooding, at a loss for words, said to him, "Worthless man, you will be recognized for your own pernicious viewpoint. I will cross-question the monks on this matter."

What terrible behaviour coming from the Buddha, where's the compassion? And yet when a really bad guy like Aṅgulimāla the serial killer tries to murder the Buddha, the Buddha bends over backwards to help him and teaches him all the way to enlightenment.

What is that reinforcing both from the monks and the Buddha, that if no one is helping you maybe make some noise? get aggressive? debate? argue?

Something to think about

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cappuccino
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by cappuccino » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:51 pm

budo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 pm
where's the compassion?
The compassion is being clear and obvious about the wrong & right.

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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by santa100 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:28 am

budo wrote:You can also see this in the suttas.

In MN 38 the Buddha really admonishes and verbally attacks the monk Sāti, the Fisherman's son, calling him worthless and foolish. When Sati is sad and regretful, the Buddha kicks him while he's already down. All the monk did wrong was misunderstand a teaching.
I'd thoroughly read the suttas first before lumping together the Buddha's behavior with that of some modern-day monks, if I were you. The context to MN 38 showed that the monk Sati apparently needed some "strong medicine" to cure his pernicious viewpoint and the Buddha gave hime exactly what he needed:
MN 38 wrote:Then those bhikkhus, desiring to detach him from that pernicious view, pressed and questioned and cross-questioned him thus: “Friend Sāti, do not say so. Do not misrepresent the Blessed One; it is not good to misrepresent the Blessed One. The Blessed One would not speak thus. For in many ways the Blessed One has stated consciousness to be dependently arisen, since without a condition there is no origination of consciousness.”

Yet although pressed and questioned and cross-questioned by those bhikkhus in this way, the bhikkhu Sāti, son of a fisherman, still obstinately adhered to that pernicious view and continued to insist upon it.

Garrib
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by Garrib » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:00 am

Check out this sutta (Kesi sutta)

SarathW
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by SarathW » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:27 am

This is pretty disheartening.
Agree.
I would have asked the question like Sati.
I still do not understand why Sati is wrong.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=31692&hilit=
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

paul
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by paul » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:39 am

Almost certainly the monks would feel they have more chance of influencing beginners than those who are entrenched in their views, where debating is just a waste of time.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:02 am

Maybe it's like Triage in a hospital... the people who are in danger get the most attention from doctors.
I dont know, I'm just taking a guess.

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budo
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by budo » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:04 am

Thank you all for your replies. Kesi sutta is interesting thanks for linking that.

As for the triage metaphor, I thought about that for a while but this is why I disagree. The goal is stream entry right? Once you enter the stream you are forever safe. The way I look at it is like a forest fire. Some people are deep within the forest fire and cannot be saved, some people are on the edge of the forest fire and just need a little push and they are saved. The people who are advanced and practice meditation very seriously and daily are on the edge of the forest fire. The non-budhists who don't care about training are the ones deep in the forest fire and cannot be saved at this time.

If I was outside the forest fire I would first help those on the edge of the forest fire. Therefore I can only conclude that those monks didn't help the guests living at the monestary who were very advanced but still needed help, because the monks are unenlightened themselves and cannot help them, the monks are also in the forest fire.

I spoke with the most serious and advanced lay person at the monestary, this guy literally memorized all the chants, practices meditation at least 4-6 hours a day, and is very learned, and yet the monks don't help him when he clearly does require help. I have seen this happen before. So the only conclusion I have reached is that the monks themselves are blind and do not know the way out of the forest fire.



@Sarathw,

Even if he is 100% completely wrong, kicking him when he has shown regret is not useful and is cruel in my opinion. But I will study the Kesi Sutta that was linked in this thread and try to understand the situation better.

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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by DooDoot » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:07 am

budo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 pm
In MN 38 the Buddha really admonishes and verbally attacks the monk Sāti, the Fisherman's son, calling him worthless and foolish. When Sati is sad and regretful, the Buddha kicks him while he's already down. All the monk did wrong was misunderstand a teaching.
Well, it would seem Sati had obviously heard the teachings many times & also had the Sangha try to set him straight. It appears Sati showed lack of trust in the Sangha; but instead; clung tenaciously to his own idiosyncratic view.
budo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 pm
And yet when a really bad guy like Aṅgulimāla the serial killer tries to murder the Buddha, the Buddha bends over backwards to help him and teaches him all the way to enlightenment.
Aṅgulimāla never heard the Dhamma before and immediately developed faith.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by salayatananirodha » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:26 am

If you've heard the dhamma and come to accept it, even without the removal of doubt fetter, you will benefit from dhamma talk, but you won't end up in the lower realms without it. I don't know enough about these venerables, I think it is okay to talk to newer people who may or may not be converted or return for more dhamma. It's almost by chance that we've come into dhamma ourselves, so it is good to have sympathy with skeptics and naysayers; pokkharasati and bharadvaja come to mind.
Here mahākassapa engages a skeptic using simile after simile, even though this person insists on their views. www.palicanon.org/en/sutta-pitaka/trans ... adhur.html
I've also received the impression that buddha in some discourses was ruthless or something like that, it might be a fault of translators. But I know it as such that the lord buddha did not use harsh speech, did not speak unbeneficial speech and as such would not say or do anything cruel or harmful. If the people in this thread are correct, it seems no matter how much dhamma was given to sati, he would not taste it, like the spoon to the soup. It's concerning that you would speak so ill of the saṅgha; even impure monks are worthy of reverence and offerings, as I understand it. If you don't correct this view, I think you will experience a lot of suffering based on that.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Sam Vara
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:31 am

budo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Whenever I stay at monasteries it seems like the monks spend more time attending to people who know nothing about buddhism moreso than the lay people who live there and have pretty good knowledge and are closer to enlightenment. The monks love spending hours debating with people who don't know anything about buddhism, but won't give the lay people, who always bow down and say sadhu to the monks and who have studied the suttas well, the time of day. It's like they don't care about the people who actually respect them and wish to learn from them and instead waste time on people who want to debate and argue with them. This is pretty disheartening.
I don't know the specific circumstances which vary between monasteries, but maybe the monks are just responding to the questions which are being asked. New people often ask the most questions, and many of the other longer-established lay supporters are content to just help out or engage in devotional practices, or just be there with the monks. Often new-comers have lots of questions like "What are you doing here?", "Is this a religion", etc., whereas the old-timers have gone beyond this. I myself don't ask monks a lot of questions.

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budo
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by budo » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:41 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:31 am
budo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Whenever I stay at monasteries it seems like the monks spend more time attending to people who know nothing about buddhism moreso than the lay people who live there and have pretty good knowledge and are closer to enlightenment. The monks love spending hours debating with people who don't know anything about buddhism, but won't give the lay people, who always bow down and say sadhu to the monks and who have studied the suttas well, the time of day. It's like they don't care about the people who actually respect them and wish to learn from them and instead waste time on people who want to debate and argue with them. This is pretty disheartening.
I don't know the specific circumstances which vary between monasteries, but maybe the monks are just responding to the questions which are being asked. New people often ask the most questions, and many of the other longer-established lay supporters are content to just help out or engage in devotional practices, or just be there with the monks. Often new-comers have lots of questions like "What are you doing here?", "Is this a religion", etc., whereas the old-timers have gone beyond this. I myself don't ask monks a lot of questions.
Perhaps, but I always have questions, just my questions become more complex and more advanced, and I will always have questions until I become enlightened, that's just the learning path. I am constantly trying to learn and improve.

Actually I was a bit upset because I came to this monastery hoping to ask advanced questions and the monks instead had meetings with lay people over random worldly discussions that are not relevant at all for several hours. On the last day I spoke with the most advanced lay person and he told me none of the monks attained stream entry yet. So I guess they only teach what they know and that is why they focus on people who don't know much.

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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:49 am

budo wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:41 am
Perhaps, but I always have questions, just my questions become more complex and more advanced, and I will always have questions until I become enlightened
Maybe. I've noticed an odd phenomenon when visiting the monastery. I might have a question or an issue which is perplexing me, and then that issue is addressed in a dhamma talk without my asking, or seems to be otherwise resolved just by my being there.
On the last day I spoke with the most advanced lay person and he told me non of the monks attained stream entry yet. So I guess they only teach what they know and that is why they focus on people who don't know much.
I have often been helped by people who have not attained stream-entry; indeed, I don't know before-hand how I would recognise it. Novices and lay people have often given me useful answers.

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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by justindesilva » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:09 am

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:07 am
budo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 pm
In MN 38 the Buddha really admonishes and verbally attacks the monk Sāti, the Fisherman's son, calling him worthless and foolish. When Sati is sad and regretful, the Buddha kicks him while he's already down. All the monk did wrong was misunderstand a teaching.
Well, it would seem Sati had obviously heard the teachings many times & also had the Sangha try to set him straight. It appears Sati showed lack of trust in the Sangha; but instead; clung tenaciously to his own idiosyncratic view.
budo wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:38 pm
And yet when a really bad guy like Aṅgulimāla the serial killer tries to murder the Buddha, the Buddha bends over backwards to help him and teaches him all the way to enlightenment.
Aṅgulimāla never heard the Dhamma before and immediately developed faith.
I always stick with the idea that Lord budda acts purposefully on knowledge analysed in a situation. Hence with sati lord budda would have tsken the most appropriate situation with compassion towards sati.
When reading Angulimala sutta it is quite clear that the effort of lord budda to stop sngulimala is based on buddas knowkedge of the past births and the kamma. Lord budda is confident that by using the proper language angulimala can be stopped before trying to slay his own mother. Budda tells angulimala to stop , while he had already stopped running. Lord budda says I have stopped but you have not. This later is realised by sngulimala that it is not the action of running which he means but the action of the mind.
Lord budda always read the minds of the people when an answer was sought from him. It is well explained in sutta where lord budda is involved.

dharmacorps
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Re: A theme I noticed among buddhism and monks

Post by dharmacorps » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:26 pm

If you have encountered the dhamma in this life, you are very fortunate. If you have some understanding of it, you are even more fortunate. If you are able to practice it, you are extremely fortunate. Most people are lucky enough to just encounter it, so as has been said, this is probably triage. The biggest obstacle I have seen is people misunderstanding the dhamma once exposed to it. Anything that can be done to help people utilize this opportunity is important. Sometimes people with wrong view draw a lot of attention to themselves, too.

Also, its important to remember that Buddhas know a lot more than we do. They know people's potential and kamma. So what may seem bizarre, illogical, or unfair, is none of those things.

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