Wat Dhammakaya

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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exonesion
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by exonesion » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:24 am

Hey DMN, thanks for the post. :anjali:
DMN wrote: (1) It is clear to me that Dhammakaya members are hiding the abbot and I question whether they are doing right or wrong?
(2) I also question if this siege and the hiding of the abbot could be the downfall of the temple?
Hiding the abbot, right or wrong?
To address your first niggling concern, here are three facts already established:
1. A forced disrobe scheme
2. Extrajudicial use of article 44
3. Baseless and unproved accusation of money-laundering against the abbot

If an influential, well-respected monk in the forest lineage has been targeted by the Thai Junta. He may be unjustly forced to disrobe. And I believe his disciples will do the same to protect him.

Hiding of abbot = downfall of the temple?
I don't know the answer to this question. But I know that the junta's hard-handed approach to WPD and the media's one-sided, personal attacks on WPD has invited unsubstantiated attacks on WPD. And this has caused other people, even other Buddhists, to denigrate WPD using harsh words like "brainwashing", "cult", etc.
DMN wrote: Sorry Dhammakaya members but I want to know and I want to see whether I need to abandon Dhammakaya or not. This is very important to me.
You don't have to be sorry DMN. :smile:
Keeping a distance from the Dhammakaya temple or its lineage shouldn't be a problem.

What truly matters, however, is that we practice Buddhism and follow our Buddha's lineage by:

(1) Avoiding all evil
(2) Doing good, and
(3) Purifying our minds.

Being Buddhists, we should help each other as kalyannamittas, regardless of Buddhist traditions,by encouraging one another to further our practice in Buddhism.

May you and other readers be happy. :anjali:

Warmest regards
Exonesion
“Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later.”
The Buddha - MN 152

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gavesako
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by gavesako » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:05 pm

DMN wrote:Thanks to those that have replied to my query. First thing for me is to say is that if any temple even has the slightest association with an extremist then I'm walking away and I won't want to know. Extremism and Buddhism are two things that should not even need to be contemplated.

What we can see now happening in Thailand with the Dhammakaya case is the use of "Buddhism" as an idol to be worshipped and anyone who claims to be doing things "for Buddhism" should be able to get away with murder -- sometimes literally, as in the case of the Ma Ba Tha nationalist group in Burma:
After Burma’s home affairs minister dismissed suggestions that Buddhist nationalists had played a role in the killing of the ruling National League for Democracy’s legal adviser U Ko Ni, infamous ultranationalist monk U Wirathu thanked those suspected of involvement in the murder. ... The following day, U Wirathu, a leading Ma Ba Tha monk from Mandalay, posted on his Facebook to say that he thanked all of the suspects identified in the case, and expressed his sympathy for the families of the suspects. “At this time, I feel relief for the future of Buddhism in my country. If not, the destruction of Buddhism, like in Thailand, would have gained a foothold here in five years,” he wrote.
https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/u-wirath ... urder.html
“We are showing solidarity with the Buddhist monks of Dhammakaya and praying peace will come upon Dhammakaya and Phra Dhammachayo,” said Ma Ba Tha leader U Wirathu, who later claimed that 200 people attended the demonstration. ...
“I believe the incident is politically motivated as the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluk were disciples of Phra Dhammachayo,” U Wirathu told The Irrawaddy after the event.
“I know Phra Dhammachayo and his Dhammakaya well, they are Buddhist monks with strict discipline and I believe he has no relation to the money laundering,” he added.
Dhammakaya Temple organized a mass donation in 2015 to strengthen religious ties between Burma and Thailand and awarded Buddhist nationalist group Ma Ba Tha an honorary award for safeguarding religion in 2016.
“The accusations of the government of Thailand are a great insult to the abbot who is enthusiastically working for the flourishing of Buddhism and nationalism which is vital for the country,” said U Wirathu.
“We condemn the government of Thailand for this ugly action against Buddhism and request the government of Thailand to leave Dhammakaya and let Phra Dhammachayo, who is innocent, live in peace again,” he added.
https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/u- ... emple.html
DMN wrote:The thing that is clear to me is the human rights violations by the Thai Government. I think that government forces have however been restrained so far and the situation could have been much worse. I also attend a Forest Sangha monastery and I would feel the same with regards to human rights violations if a forest temple was raided or any other Buddhist or non-Buddhist establishment for that matter.
That has in fact happened recently with the infamous Tiger Temple which is (or was) part of the Dhammayut forest tradition:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/featur ... 32073.html
http://www.khaosodenglish.com/featured/ ... er-temple/
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

TRobinson465
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by TRobinson465 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:52 am

DMN wrote: There is one thing that is niggling away at me. It is clear to me that Dhammakaya members are hiding the abbot and I question whether they are doing right or wrong? I also question if this siege and the hiding of the abbot could be the downfall of the temple?

I don't usually post on forums as everyone gets my raw thoughts and I am always getting myself into trouble especially when I write! Sorry Dhammakaya members but I want to know and I want to see whether I need to abandon Dhammakaya or not. This is very important to me.
Well they believe hes innocent and is being persecuted so i think thats the reason for protecting him. But really, a large amount of the ppl there are older ppl because they want to protect the temple. They spent much of thier lives building and contributing to the temple and they dont want the dictator to just take it.

As stated here. "We searched the entire temple, every building, every room, and didn't find the individual under arrest warrants."

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/t ... 11943.html

DSI already searched the whole temple. But instead of looking for him elsewhere the Dictator ordered everyone to leave. The Junta isnt exactly known for being honest or noble, so followers were afraid they were trying to seize the temple. It would be the downfall of the temple if the followers didnt resist because as stated one of my previous posts, the Junta stated its intention is to remove the abbot (before a trial, so b4 even determining guilt) and replace him with thier own pawn so the dictator can "reform" the temple.

Also, think about it. if this wasnt political, why would the dictator put so much effort into trying to arrest someone for questioning in a victimless crime? (money laundering and 300 other random "regulatory violations"). Putting so much resources so they can get someone to hear charges isnt exactly logical if it was just for justice. if they had enuff evidence they should try him in absentia to see if hes actually guilty or not first. but they wont even do that. To the dictator he must be found (and therefore defrocked) first, and then determined whether guilty or not after. clearly an agenda there.

And yes. Wirathu does make a good point. Prime Ministers Thaksin and Yingluck were both Dhammakaya followers, and both were also political enemies of the Dictator and his allies. Just another reason for the Dictator to get rid of us.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism"

slimdabuddhist
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by slimdabuddhist » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:08 am

Lol I'm not even an evangelist, I just don't like how wpd runs their temple. Azusa dimc proves how corrupted and distorted wpd is. Nobody even wants to go there anymore because all the monks there including the current abbots just want lay people to donate to them and bring them good food. I don't agree with what the Thai govt is doing, but if you believe in karma then you should know why wpd is getting scrutinized. And just because I don't agree with wpd doesn't mean yall are perfect buddhists lol.

paultraf
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by paultraf » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:19 am

Hello,
DMN wrote: ...! Sorry Dhammakaya members but I want to know and I want to see whether I need to abandon Dhammakaya or not. This is very important to me.
I would like to suggest that you need to stay centred, keep purifying your mind at the centre, clear and bright. That's how one sees. Don't rely on hearsay. Spend more time in meditation, allowing answers to come from within as extremity comes from a mind that dwells externally.

Best wishes,

Paul.

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Jojola
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Jojola » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:26 am

exonesion wrote: One scriptural support is the use of a light kasina
I don't see harm in using a light Kasina to develop concentration under good intentions (I'm not going to touch, however, the practice of prescribing it, that's a whole other matter), but there is danger in calling the Visuddhimagga scripture when it is not.
Regards,

- :heart:
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha’s Teaching." - Nanavira Thera (1920-1965) :candle:

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exonesion
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by exonesion » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:05 pm

Jojola wrote: I don't see harm in using a light Kasina to develop concentration under good intentions (I'm not going to touch, however, the practice of prescribing it, that's a whole other matter), but there is danger in calling the Visuddhimagga scripture when it is not.
Yes, you're right.
The Visuddhimagga isn't part of the pali canon, but a highly-respected commentary by Venerable Buddhaghosa that has been used by many meditation masters and Buddhists.

On the topic of light kasinas and the Visuddhimagga, Wat Phra Dhammakayaram, one of the three Dhammakaya temples, has a publication called:
The study guide for right practice of the three trainings.
In this publication, they linked meditation on the light kasina with the attainment of the Dhamma sphere, as seen here:

Warmest regards,
Exonesion :anjali:
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“Meditate, Ānanda, do not delay, or else you will regret it later.”
The Buddha - MN 152

R1111 = rightviewftw
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:04 pm


TRobinson465
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by TRobinson465 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:41 am

Idk what slim is talking about. im assuming he hasnt been there in a while. I know ppl from the azusa branch and have been there myself as well as several other branches in the US. plenty of ppl go there and from what ive seen the emphasis on meditation is very high. This good food thing sounds like hes just sticking to some story thinking no1 can verify it. Can you even name the current abbot of Azusa? I can. In fact 2 of my friends from california go there, both foriegners who converted to buddhism from another non-dhammakaya temple and they chose to go to the dhammakaya branch in azusa regularly because they put so much emphasis on meditation and direct experience. In fact the Azusa branch is a temple thats attended quite regularly, far more than other temples in the area. I went to a 9 temple visit with them and noticed this firsthand.

I have no problem with ppl who dont like our methods, a lot of ppl dont and i understand why they dont. That doesnt justify the Nazi arms dealer BS ive seen throughout most of the thread. and yes karma is real and effects good ppl also, the buddha himself suffered from bad karma on several occasions. But using that logic, dhammakaya, being the richest temple in thailand, also has the most merit of any temple (im not claiming this, im just pointing out the parallel logic).

If the #truebuddhists, especially the monks here who seem obsessed with destroying dhammakaya want some alms or to explain WPD's wealth you should consider these suttas. u dont exactly need to invest in secret weapons companies nobody has ever heard of to get money.

https://suttacentral.net/en/an5.31
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Also notice how the #TrueBuddhists here have completely given up on trying to say the abbot was somehow guilty of the 300 completely random charges.

Anyways. some recent news. The Dictator is more incompetent than i thought. Not only is he incapable of managing a country or the economy, hes incapable of managing a persecution.

A Dk follower died the other day of an asthma attack because emergency services were held up at the Junta's barricades (we're holding a merit dedication ceremony tomorrow). This would normally just be a tragedy that DSI could apologize for and try to amend in the future, but instead they tried to blame Dhammakaya. A DSI official tried spreading false news that the deceased follower actually died 5 hours before being found and that the temple called an ambulance after the fact to make DSI look bad. DSI had to run away from this claim however when the temple showed the news LINE messages that clearly proved that the temple's account of what happened (she was messaging for help about 2 hours b4 being found, and therefore could not have already been dead) was right.

Even the anti-democracy yellow shirt BKK Post had trouble trying to make DSI look justified after DSI got caught in the lie.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general ... nt_1817959
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1208133
http://www.khaosodenglish.com/news/crim ... -disciple/

Also the Dictator is so paranoidly antidhammakaya that a short piece on Dhammakaya by Al Jazeera was actually blocked from being aired on TV.
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https://twitter.com/wayne_hay/status/837536767020392448

If you want to see this so called treasonous threat to national security the Dictator had blocked, you can find it online here.

https://twitter.com/wayne_hay/status/837632467939037188


Also, a few more sources on recent events for those interested.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asi ... -stand-off

http://www.voanews.com/a/thai-authoriti ... 43269.html
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism"

ManEagle
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by ManEagle » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:40 am

Although Amnesty International's report doesn't have anything to do with what's going on at Dhammakaya it does make for interesting and somewhat depressing reading. I am guessing that most Thai citizens and foreigners alike may not be affected too much by what the Junta is doing but I for one would feel extremely uncomfortable living in a country where many freedoms are being restricted and where free speech can apparently get you locked up in prison for up to 15 years!

I cannot help but feel great sympathy for all those affected by this despotic pathetic ruler.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/as ... /thailand/

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dhammafriend
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by dhammafriend » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:19 am

...I have no problem with ppl who dont like our methods, a lot of ppl dont and i understand why they dont. That doesnt justify the Nazi arms dealer BS ive seen throughout most of the thread. and yes karma is real and effects good ppl also, the buddha himself suffered from bad karma on several occasions. But using that logic, dhammakaya, being the richest temple in thailand, also has the most merit of any temple (im not claiming this, im just pointing out the parallel logic).

If the #truebuddhists, especially the monks here who seem obsessed with destroying dhammakaya want some alms or to explain WPD's wealth you should consider these suttas. u dont exactly need to invest in secret weapons companies nobody has ever heard of to get money...
I think what we've seen on this thread has been a steady seeding of misinformation, rumor and hyperbole. The level of commitment to this divisiveness has also been astounding. And I think, TRobinson465, we know who the main culprits are, and it's a real shame.

But this has been purposeful in my estimation. You see, if you can dehumanize WPD followers and monks, no one will shed a tear when they are brutalized and worse. Why? because: " they're not #TrueBuddhists", "they're brainwashed Nazis", "they're building an army", "they're building a Deathstar". Honestly, reading this thread feels like I'm in a Terry Gilliam movie.

And of course it's all #True because the Bangkok Post says so. :rofl: It's so #True, we don't even need evidence! :rolleye: In fact asking for evidence is proof you're a cohort of WPD and need to be spirited off to the nearest prison camp! I mean, who needs critical thinking abilities, when you have #TrueBuddhism right? :woohoo: I'm sorry but, who, is actually brainwashed here?
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Metta
Dhammafriend

Natthi me saranam annam buddho me saranam varam
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.
Etena saccavajjena vaddheyyam satthu-sasane
By the utterance of this truth, may I grow in the Master’s Way.

TRobinson465
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by TRobinson465 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:52 am

Heres a recent source from an Australian Professor who has studied Dhammakaya extensively.

Dr James L Taylor is Adjunct Associate Professor, Anthropology & Development Studies, University of Adelaide. He has written extensively on Thammakai (Dhammakaya) since the late 1980s and 1990s including in his book Buddhism and Postmodern Imaginings in Thailand.

He provides some very interesting insight and background information into the current situation. I was familiar with a lot of the points he made before regarding Thai Buddhism in general but he really mended it together well. For those who dont know WPD is part of Mahanikaya, the larger of the 2 branches of Thai Buddhism. Despite the other branch, Dhammayut, being like 6% of Thailand they have like half of all royal titles and positions in Thailand. Dhammayut is by far the favored branch by the Thai elite class, the anti-democracy class the Dictator caters too.

For info on that whole branch thing check this out.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asi ... 11816.html

I heard some rumors that one reason this case is happening is so the Dictator and his thugs can steal our "famous" wealth. It sounds silly but consider this. Its widely known Thailand has faced some bad economic times recently thanks to the Dictator not having any idea what hes doing, while at the same time the Dictator has given himself and his Military Mafia goons tons of bonuses and perks since overthrowing democracy. So its not unreasonable the reason they want the temple is to fill the nations coffers the Elitist Generals have been stealing, especially since the Junta has publicly stated they want to replace the temple leadership and "reform" it as they see fit.

I know this argument sounds silly on surface, but this is simplified, check out the full piece from Professor Taylor, he makes a very in depth analysis of the situation for this argument and touches a lot on the background of Thailand in general. He also points out numerous points about the case that ive been pointing out on the thread for quite some time that the anti-dhammakaya ppl ignored.

Check out Professor James L Taylor's piece here. its very insightful for and gives great understanding into Thailand's Buddhism politics.

http://www.newmandala.org/perplexing-ca ... hammakaya/
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism"

TRobinson465
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by TRobinson465 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:25 am

Im not gonna watching this thread for a bit. I will drop in occasionally to provide some sources on current events as they come in tho.

Before i leave i do wanna share my thoughts on the piece from Professor Taylor. Professor Taylor's piece is great for providing background info into some of the politics of Thai Buddhism. While people like to think Buddhism is all about practice and suttas it isnt. Like anything, politics gets involved and people in power meddle with faith. this has happened not just with the current Dictator but also in the past. Whats great about Taylor's piece is it really provides a good summary the politics that has pervaded Thai Buddhism. If any1 is interested, another scholar, Duncan McCargo, has also written about this stuff, its quite fascinating.

I do however disagree with Dr. Taylors conclusion. He covers many reasons why the Junta is putting so much resources into trying to destroy Dhammakaya and I agree with his explanations, it matches what ive researched regarding Politics and Buddhism in Thailand. What i disagree with is the money intention. The temple is famous for being wealthy so im sure thats a reason, the dictator even said he wanted to "inspect" our solid gold statues for himself. But in my opinion and the based on the evidence ive seen the primary reason seems to be power and crushing dissent. Something the Junta has been doing quite openly since the coup.

Obviously this is only speculation, I do agree with the many points Dr. Taylor brings up but he says its primarily to take the temples wealth. From what ive seen, i would say its primarily for crushing dissent and controlling the country in a more iron grip. Just my own thoughts.

Interestingly enuff Dr. Taylor claims its a dash for cash by the Junta but provides a wide range of reasons for the assault lol. So I guess the only real difference in opinion here is what we speculate the "main" reason is.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism"

form
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by form » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:59 am

Many churches also accumulated a lot of wealth but dun seem to get into such trouble. I wonder why?

I am not going to speculate about the abbot or the temple as I think they teaches good from my short experience with them. That is just my opinion.

Turmeric
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Post by Turmeric » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:49 am

It's amazing how people support a prime minister that literally puts people in prison for disagreeing with him, over a sick old monk that tells his followers to love the people that hate them.
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