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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:12 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings Terry,

It's a bit like modern-speak for "this post hits the nail on the head".

Retro. :)

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:26 am
by suriyopama
Thank you for the good post, Terryshine!
terryshine wrote: Non self does'nt mean that you have one and need to get rid of it, it means you don’t have one to start with! Therefore the idea of giving dana which they encourage to the hilt, is undesirable. Someone who wishes to attain a true knowledge of reality does’nt want any kamma –good or bad, both of which keeps one in samsara! Furthermore to pursue the dana aspect in this manner can endorse the self-view that is there already. Who is it that gives the dana and who is it that receives the benefit? Getting right view is important for your practice.
That is the precise reason why Dhammakai are replacing the word "annata" for "atta" at their own version of the Tipitaka!!

You need a very strong sense of "atta" in order to believe that, if you devote to their cult, you will be rich and beautiful in your future life. That is their mechanism to exploit and profit poor souls. :(

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:24 pm
by Sokehi
terryshine wrote:
Sokehi wrote:
terryshine wrote: Furthermore many Theravada groups including monks encourage lay people to meditate and it’s ludicrous to say otherwise.

It means I agree strongly :anjali:

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:33 pm
by gavesako
This should be interesting:

Constructing a Buddhist mega‐church and the development of Buddhist fantasy art the case of Wat Phra Dhammakaya
Pinyapan Potjanalawan

(12th International Conference on Thai studies ณ The University of Sydney ระหว่างวันที่ 22-24 เมษายน 2557) ... panels.pdf ... _K6C0C6H6H

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:11 am
by suriyopama
After his Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of the Thai Sangha, passed away last week, it seems like his successor will be a Dhammakaya. :(

Critic at the Bangkok Post: ... o-for-good
Sangha feudal hierarchy has to go for good

Published: 30/10/2013 at 12:00 AM
Writer: Sanitsuda Ekachai

Before Pope Francis was named head of the Catholic Church, the search for a new pontiff triggered much excitement as well as honest criticism of the church system, and hope for reform.

How I wish I could say the same thing about the search for a new Supreme Patriarch.

Here, there is no excitement whatsoever. The rules according to the Sangha Bill have made it very clear that this top position goes straight to the most senior monk in the ecclesiastical ranks.

There is an urgent need to fix the centralised, authoritarian system that is deeply corrupt and out of touch with the modern world. But when hierarchy reigns supreme in the clerical gerontocracy, there is no hope whatsoever for Sangha reform no matter who the next supreme patriarch is.

We almost don't need to ask the "who" question. All roads are already leading to the temple of Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen.

Its 88-year-old abbot, Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn (Chuang Vorapunyo) was named caretaker Supreme Patriarch by the National Office of Buddhism on Monday. We can be sure his stature will be further cemented when the mourning period is over three months from now.

It should have been a moment of nationwide joy. But it won't be. The Dhammakaya factor is why.

Wat Paknam, you see, is closely linked to the all-powerful Wat Phra Dhammakaya and its highly controversial abbot Phra Dhammachayo, who basically teaches you can buy "boon" or merit _ and even a place in nirvana, which he describes as a celestial abode.

Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn is Phra Dhammachayo's preceptor.

Phra Dhammachayo and his Dhammakaya movement have long been mired in controversy. Stories abound, for example, about his followers facing pressure to donate and subsequently going bankrupt because of the temple's excessive focus on donations as a principal way to make merit.

He is also under fire for teaching that nirvana is a celestial place with atta, or material self, which goes against the core Buddhist teachings on anatta, or non-self.

Buddhism teaches that all things are impermanent, non-self, and in a constant flux of beginning and passing away. The realisation of this ultimate truth is key to one's ability to let go of attachment to self and greed.

Interestingly, Phra Dhammachayo's capitalistic version of Buddhism meshes well with the rich and powerful, and others who think it is simply great to be able to buy a place in heaven.

At the height of the controversy in 1999, the late Supreme Patriarch issued an ordinance declaring that Phra Dhammachayo must be defrocked for distorting the Buddhist canon, dividing the Sangha, and for fraud and embezzlement.

It is no secret that the Pheu Thai-led government supports the Dhammakaya abbot. And it came as no surprise that the public prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against him in 2006.

The Dhammakaya movement has since grown steadily. Monks nationwide are receiving scholarship support from Dhammakaya. School teachers are ordered by their bosses who are Dhammakaya followers to attend Dhammakaya meditation courses. The elders, pampered by gifts and recognition, are happy to equate Dhammakaya's propagation overseas as an expansion of Thai Buddhism.

Critics of Dhammakaya often express concerns that this ambitious movement will soon take over the Sangha Council.

That used to be my concern. Not anymore, though.

A visit to a museum in Japan totally changed my view on the Dhammakaya matter. There, I saw hundreds of Buddha images in different forms as shaped by their different cultural origins.

Suddenly, I came to realise the truth and beauty of diversity.

Indeed, we may not agree with the Dhammakaya movement, but is it a threat in itself if the social environment is open to competing views?

The real threat, in my view, is the closed and authoritarian system of the Sangha itself.

By monopolising power, denying its mistakes, punishing dissent and preventing change, the current system _ if left in the hands of incompetents _ will produce the dysfunctional clergy we now see.

In the hands of the efficient power-hungry, however, the destruction will be immense.

If we can open up the Sangha system, say goodbye to its feudal hierarchy, and return it to the community, there is no need to fear Dhammakaya.

Sanitsuda Ekachai is Editorial Pages Editor, Bangkok Post.
Photo from: ... ion/page17

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:34 pm
by Sokehi
suriyopama wrote:After his Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of the Thai Sangha, passed away last week, it seems like his successor will be a Dhammakaya. :(
Another step forward towards the decline of the Buddhasasana it seems to me :/

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:34 pm
by gavesako
BECAUSE of the position left vacant by the passing away on October 24 of the late Supreme Patriarch, His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, at the age of 100, the Sangha Supreme Council would soon nominate his successor, the director-general of the National Office of Buddhism Nopparat Benjawatananun told Matichon Online yesterday.

In accordance with the 1992 amendment to the Buddhist Order Act 1962, the council-endorsed nomination would be selected from the eligible most-senior monks in the hierarchy, based on the amount of time the monk has held the title "Somdet". The name would be forwarded to the prime minister, who would then submit it to His Majesty the King, he added.

The appointment of the new Supreme Patriarch will take place after the royal cremation of the former Supreme Patriarch, according to Nopparat.

The monk nominated could come from either of the country's two Buddhist sects: Maha Nikaya or Dhammayutti Nikaya. "In the past, we have seen Supreme Patriarchs from both sects," he said.

Seven possibilities

There are seven "Somdet-titled" monks, with various degrees of seniority, according to the Matichon news report. First among them is Somdet Phra Maha Ratchamangalacharn, the 88-year-old abbot of Wat Pak Nam Phasi Charoen, who belongs to the Maha Nikaya sect. He is the most senior monk, as he received the title in 1995.

The other six monks are Somdet Phra Maha Wirawong, 96, abbot of Wat Samphantha-wong of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2001; Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong, 86, abbot of Wat Ratchabophit of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2009; Somdet Phra Wannarat, 77, acting abbot of Wat Bowon Niwet of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2009; Somdet Phra Buddha Kosacharn, 83, abbot of Wat Suthat Thepphawararam of the Maha Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2010; Somdet Phra Thirayarnmuni, 66, abbot of Wat Thep Sirin of the Dhammayutti Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2010; and Somdet Phra Buddha Chinnawong, 72, abbot of Wat Pichaya Yatikaram of the Maha Nikaya sect, who received the title in 2011. ... 18341.html

Somdet of Wat Pak Nam, who recently replaced Somdet Buddhajahn as the acting Sangharaja, could now also become the real Sangharaja because he is the most senior in line and belongs to Mahanikaya. (Previous Sangharaja was Dhammayut.) But his connections with Dhammakaya are clear, he says in a quote that "Wat Pak Nam and Wat Phra Dhammakaya are one and the same". He also presided over the Dhammakaya "tudong" in the streets of Bangkok.

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:52 am
by chownah
How much does the Supreme Patriarch influence Thai Buddhism as compared to others near the top? What can the Supreme Patriarch do that others can not?

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:08 am
by Dhammanando
chownah wrote:How much does the Supreme Patriarch influence Thai Buddhism as compared to others near the top?
With a title like “Supreme Leader of the Universal Greater Saṅgha” ( Sakalamahāsaṅgha-pariṇāyaka), obviously the man's omnipotent. :jedi:

But seriously, the Sangharaja's formal power, as I understand it, is vastly less than the Pope's but perhaps slightly more than an Eastern Orthodox patriarch's. In practice, however, the office-holder will usually find himself so busy blessing aeroplanes, opening hospitals, receiving royalty, politicians, foreign diplomats, etc., that there'll be little time left over for actually exercising it. As a consequence, responsibilities will normally be delegated to his underlings (i.e. the senior monks residing in his own monastery), and it's upon these that real power tends to devolve.

This state of affairs might prove to be good news for those who would like to see Wat Dhammakaya reined in, for although Somdet Ratchamangala seems to be a rather emollient character, some of his underlings at Wat Paknam are not. Moreover, the latter include a number of disaffected former Wat Dhammakaya monks, including one of Phra Dhammajayo's most vociferous critics.
What can the Supreme Patriarch do that others can not?
When there's a gathering of saṅgha bigwigs, he can sit on the poshest seat in the house, while making use of all the following paraphernalia of office (เครื่องยศประกอบพระอิสริยยศ):

• พัดยศสมเด็จพระสังฆราช
• พระแท่นภายใต้เศวตฉัตร 3 ชั้น
• บาตร พร้อมฝาบาตร เชิงบาตรรมปัด
• พานพระศรี ถมปัด
• ขันน้ำและพานรอง ถมปัด
• คณโฑ ถมปัด
• พระสุพรรณศรี ถมปัด
• พระสุพรรณราช ถมปัด
• หีบตราพระจักรี ถมปัด
• ปิ่นทรงกลม 4 ชั้น ถมปัด
• กาทรงกระบอก ถมปัด
• หม้อลักจั่น ถมปัด
• กระโถน ถมปัด

I don't know what most of these items would be called in English, but you can look them up in Google images if you want to see what they are.

But as for the man's actual power, like most substantive power in Thailand it lies principally in access, rather than in the official documents listing what his office entitles him to do. As Patriarch he has a hotline to royalty, politicians, senior civil servants, police chiefs, and numerous other influential figures in Thai society. When he contacts these people asking for favours, he can be fairly confident that they’re not going to turn him down unless they’re subject to some more pressing imperative (e.g. when the late Sangharaja ordered the abbot of Wat Dhammakaya to disrobe, nothing came of it because the latter had more powerful politicians etc. in his pocket than the Sangharaja did. But it's unlikely any other monk in Thailand would have been able to ignore such a directive from the Sangharaja).

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:44 am
by gavesako
If you want to learn more Thai terminology in connection with the life of the Sangharaja, see ... iarch-dies

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:56 am
by chownah
Thanks for the information. Seems like a job that not all monks would aspire to.

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:06 pm
by suriyopama
Dhammakaya monks participating in a Red Shirts demonstration (10 November 2013) to show their support to the Shinawatra´s Government and the Graft Amnesty Bill.


Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:20 am
by Miyoko8456

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:47 am
by dagon
Miyoko8456 wrote:ขอบคุณสำหรับข้อมูล
I think this translates as "thank you for your information"


Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Posted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:43 pm
by robertk
the monks I can see in the front rows are not from Dhammakaya I think