Rob1980 wrote:Thank you for sharing that information with us Nirosh. Can I take it then that you disrobed? Are you able to reveal your Pali name when you were a Bhikkhu? You mentioned you were in a previous tradition before, did they have the same problems there too?
Yes, I disrobed after being given and ingesting a considerable amount of sleeping tablets without my knowledge. This happened to me when I was in Na-Uyana. Who likes to put their lives at risk. Sorry Rob, I will not show my Pali name, if you ask from Sri Lankan monks by my Pali name, they may say he is a very good monk. No, not the same problems, at Kanduboda, their severe problems are more related to lust (unsuitable behaviors with women, young monks, and boys), and these issues mainly harm those who engaged in them. Other than that there were issues related to money and food, which is common to any tradition. In Na-Uyana, issues related to women are few, but lot of homosexuality exists, food and money related issues also exist, but the dangerous thing is those issues related to hatred, such as beating, poisoning, killing. Such hatred and control freak mentality can harm many.
Rob1980 wrote:did they ever manage to find the author of the book?
The author of the second email is still unknown, but Ven. Ariyananda tried to hang it on the neck of many monks during this two-year period. Ven. Ariyananda created a lot of new problems by his immature and adhamma way of reaction to the book, which made many good monks to leave Na-Uyana and even some to disrobe.
Rob1980 wrote:You mention good monks in Sri Lanka, and I have met some very good and inspiring monks in Sri Lanka too, where would you suggest people who are interested in ordaining to go to in Sri Lanka? Who are good monks to associate with in Sri Lanka?
That means you stayed in Sri Lanka. Were you ordained? Have you ever been to Na-Uayana?
It’s better to divide the foreigners who wish to ordain in Sri Lanka in to two groups. First, those who seek some religious experience, regardless of being long or short-term. Second, those who wish for a life time commitment with a serious spiritual goals like Nibbana.
For the first type, there are many places according to there preferences, but better to keep in mind that some monasteries don’t allow their students to go to other teachers. This prohibition is not aligned with the Teachings as if unsatisfied a student can go to another teacher whom he finds more qualified.and beneficial for his spiritual development. There is another problem which is visa endorsement. According to visa regulations a monk can’t extend his visa via a different monastery, but some kind and open head monks will let foreigners to stay in different monasteries but will allow to renew visa from the original.
Keep in mind that foreign monks are a good advertisement to a monastery and some head monks might use these two points to control monks. Therefore, better clarify things before getting into restraining bonds.
For those who wish to ordain with serious spiritual goals, I might suggest Ven. Katukurunde Nyanananda’s place, Potgulgala Monastery. However, I am really helpless when come to recommending monasteries to someone. Keep in mind that most huge monasteries are infested by control freak abbots, corruption, power struggles, and politics. A small monastery with a simple and a genuine abbot will always be a good and a safe choice.
I know some good monks who sometimes help foreign monks sincerely, but I am reluctant to mention their names as they seek no publicity and don’t wish to keep students.
Rob1980 wrote:Perhaps for western layman who interested in meditation, Na Uyana is a good place? As they are not aware of all these underlining problems within the Sangha? Na Uyana, from what I remember, is a huge place, 5000 acres; and there is good facilities there to practice alone in one's kuti?
What you say is true, when you are a monk you are in the system, and the abbot or the senior monks can use that to control or pressure the Sangha, this can become a very stressful or depressing for residents, and can lead to disrobing or even to commit suicide. When a place is huge seniors try to fill the place by ordaining in large numbers, unlike Lord Buddha’s time this means more opportunity for scallywags to join the Sanga. In fact, spoiled abbots need such monks, this is proven in the case of Na-Uyana. Yes, facilities like good food and kutis in a huge place like Na-Uyana can be beneficial for a western layman. Having said that, a western layman when leaving Na-Uyana informed me that he do so after escaping an attempted sexual harassment by two monks who are close to the abbot, which is very unfortunate. All these depend on many conditions.