"The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
perkele
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by perkele » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:17 pm

Dear Nirosh,

thank you very much for sharing your inside perspective, and the helpful advice that you have given to others here.
:anjali:
I am sure this will be of great value for many.

May you find peace and happiness and the freedom of Nibbana.


And thank you Rob1980 in the same vein, for contributing with consideration to such an important dialogue.

I would however caution that perhaps there is a more skillful way to speak to the Venerable Gavesako, since he is both virtuous and accomplished.
A rebuke is often the most skillful, and motivated by much helpfulness. We all make mistakes and often some help is needed. So there should not be any bad feelings towards Bhante Gavesako from not knowing. We all have cherished opinions and imaginations. I am not free from such for sure.
:broke:

It speaks of integrity though, that you are cautioning towards more friendliness.

I also think he is a good character.

And thank you for starting this thread and discussing with much consideration and mindfulness, so creating the conditions that someone can arrive here to make a knowledgable contribution. :anjali:
Sadhu!

May it be of help for many.

:bow:
:buddha1:
Last edited by perkele on Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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forestmat
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Surin monk accused of B56m fraud

Post by forestmat » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:47 pm

Surin monk accused of B56m fraud:

"Villagers have pressed charges against an abbot and a nun at Pa Sri Pracha monastery in Surin's Sikhoraphum district, accusing them of swindling them of cash and assets totalling 56.6 million baht."


http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews ... rs-of-b56m

Although have to ask yourself why its taken 3 years for this to come to light...

"Paweenut Nawongsri, 52, said Phra Baideegasamai asked to borrow her six-baht-weight gold necklace to pawn for cash for the purchase of construction equipment.

She lent it to him because she had faith in the abbot. Three years had past since then and she still she does not have her necklace back."

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Rob1980
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Rob1980 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:36 pm

Why it created lot of paranoia within the community? Is it true what I heard, it’s not the book but the way Ven. Ariyananda and some elders handled it created much suffering to the residents.
As you can imagine there was a bit of witch hunt to find who was responsible, but the problem was they didn't know who was behind it. Needless to say, rumours would surface about who was responsible, and then that person being suspected, like myself would find out and begin to worry about their welfare. I went and spoke directly with the elder monks, including Ven. Ariyananda to ask whether I was being suspected and he said I wasn't and that he knew who was behind the book. Though I wasn't sure whether this was the case, as I kept hearing new stories about who they believed were responsible.

Anyway, it was enough for me to be extremely disillusioned with monasticism in general and I disrobed in August 2011, just before the end of the vassa. The only viable option I saw was to live alone in the forests, as do a quite a few forest monks away from all the politics, but I did not have a strong enough foundation in meditation. So along with another monk, who also felt the same, I disrobed. In some ways it has been a blessing, as I have found a very good teacher in the UK. But I always envisioned myself living out the rest of my days as a monk, living a pure and simple life. And when it came to an end, there was an incredible sadness surrounding it.

I felt slightly hesitant to give my pali name, as I have friends at Na Uyana, and I thought if the elders read what I have said, perhaps I may not be able to go back to Sri Lanka to visit them. But there is nothing that I have said which is harmful to the sangha and not true, therefore I don't mind giving my name. Anyone who wanted to find out who I am and was at Na Uyana could probably work it out anyway. I was given the name 'England Sumana'. What years were you at Na Uyana? Did you not think about reporting the incident to the police? Do you have any friends still at Na Uyana?
Last edited by Rob1980 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BlackBird
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by BlackBird » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:48 pm

Thank you for your kind words Perkele and thank you both Nirosh & Rob for your contributions, I feel vindicated in making the original post because of your supporting anecdotes. I too have witnessed quite a bit of corruption in the Sangha during my time in Sri Lanka, but surely nothing on the scale that you have.

I am utterly disgusted by the actions (murder, poisoning, sexual activities, corruption, misappropriation of funds etc etc) that have been detailed. Thank you for coming forward, it is for the long term good that you have done so.

Eventually it would be nice if the parajika men were to be investigated and forcibly disrobed (given their reluctance to remove themselves from the robes that they have no right to wear), but I know all too well that such an occurrence would be a pipe dream given the permeation of corruption at all levels. It gives me pause for thought in my own intentions to ordain in future, and I shall certainly be much more careful about selecting the right place than I was during my last attempt (in Sri Lanka).

with metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Rob1980
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Rob1980 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:55 pm

BlackBird wrote: Eventually it would be nice if the parajika men were to be investigated and forcibly disrobed (given their reluctance to remove themselves from the robes that they have no right to wear)
I would not be too quick to judge everyone who had a parajika offense levelled against them in the book as 'parajika men'. It may well be that they are parajika, in which case they are no longer Bhikkhus anyway. But it maybe that some of the incidents reported may come from a misunderstanding or might not be entirely accurate. In a monastic community which doesn't have access to worldly news, there is a tendency for rumours and stories to take on a rather too fanastic turn. I am not denying what the author in the book wrote but I would say there is one inaccuracy that I am aware of, and there may be more. For example, the monk that Ven. Ariyananda beat with a stick was not a senior monk, but was actually a samanera. Though it could be argued that he was a senior monk, as he had taken pabbaja before Ven. Ariyananda. But he was not a bhikkhu, yet by saying he was a senior monk gives the story more weight. Though that is not to excuse beating another human being with a stick.

I should also add that although Ven. Sanghasobhana did have a bit of a temper, he has a very good heart; I found the comments about him in the book quite childish and naive. He worked tirelessly for other monks and for the sangha when I was there. It was sad to see the book portraying him in such a negative light.
Last edited by Rob1980 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Nirosh
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Nirosh » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:00 pm

Dear perkele, thank you for your kind and emollient comments. They prove a firm maturity.

And Rob1980, it must have been painful, bringing those memories back. But you did so not to make another goes through the same suffering. Thank you.
perkele wrote:And thank you Rob1980 in the same vein, for contributing with consideration to such an important dialogue.
Yes BlackBird, when the intention is pure it creates good and beneficial results. We felt that you are genuinely seeking answers, that’s why my friends informed me and I decided to give. Sadhu! Sadhu!
Rob1980 wrote:As you can imagine there was a bit of witch hunt to find who was responsible, but the problem was they didn't know who was behind it.
Since you mentioned “witch hunt”, Ven. Ariyananda said that he and Ariyadhamma Mahathera went to several fortune-tellers for this purpose. What an embarrassment! Soon after the book became public, Ven. Ariyananda knew this time there is no escape and wrote a letter to send to donors admitting guilt for the things mentioned in the book. Unfortunately, couple of his companions encouraged him not to do so. If he admitted guilt publicly at that time and left the robe, it would have been a loss for his henchmen (as mentioned in the book), but surely a great benefit for Na-Uyana and good monks. And Rob1980 may have been a 5 vassa bhikkhu.
Rob1980 wrote:Anyway, it was enough for me to be extremely disillusioned with monasticism in general and I disrobed in August 2011, just before the end of the vassa.
It’s always good to break harmful cultural trances. If take this break skilfully with a still mind growth is assured.
Rob1980 wrote:The only viable option I saw was to live alone in the forests, as do a quite a few forest monks away from all the politics, but I did not have a strong enough foundation in meditation.
I know you had good friends who left Na-Uyana at the same time, should have asked their help without disrobing. At times oceans can be very rough, but not difficult to find a safe boat. Anyway, the situation would not have been ideal for the proper decision-making.
Rob1980 wrote:I felt slightly hesitant to give my pali name, as I have friends at Na Uyana, and I thought if the elders read what I have said, perhaps I may not be able to go back to Sri Lanka to visit them. But there is nothing that I have said which is harmful to the sangha and not true, therefore I don't mind giving my name... I was given the name 'England Sumana'.
I remember you, the tall Englishman from London. And the other monk who disrobed with you was Ven. Yogananda, who was labelled as a heretic by the elders due to his admiration towards Ajahn Sujato as a scholar.

Unlike Lord Buddha’s time, nowadays monks tend to hide the filth or even try to rationalize it. Actually, this is rejoicing the evil deeds of another and not the way Lord Buddha reacted in such situations. It is brave for you to raise the voice, even though you are safe in UK, far from Na-Uyana thugs.
Rob1980 wrote:What years were you at Na Uyana? Did you not think about reporting the incident to the police? Do you have any friends still at Na Uyana?
Since several years before you I was in Na-Uyana and left just before 2011, during that period I stayed in other monasteries too. As I mentioned earlier, I was a very virtuous monk, and did not want to engage in legal battles. As Ajahn Brahm says, “no need to take revenge, kamma will get the bastards anyway.” I do have a few friends there. Many of my good friends left Na-Uyana already. Actually good monks don’t stay in Na-Uyana in the long run.

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Rob1980
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Rob1980 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:23 pm

Dear Nirosh

Thank you for your comments.

I wasn't aware that Ven. Ariyananda was about to send a letter to reveal his guilt regarding the incidents in the book, how were you able to come by such information?

I am curious as whether you went to Australia as a monk, and if so, why did you decided to disrobe?

Did you ever stay at Ajahn Brahm's monastery as a monk? If so, would you recommend it?

And finally, what keeps you in Australia?

With metta

Rob
Last edited by Rob1980 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mr Man
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Mr Man » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:22 pm

Enough is enough.

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appicchato
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Re: Surin monk accused of B56m fraud

Post by appicchato » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:42 pm

Dhamma Wheel turning tabloid?...why not stick to the good stuff...

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Ben
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Re: Surin monk accused of B56m fraud

Post by Ben » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:43 pm

appicchato wrote:Dhamma Wheel turning tabloid?...why not stick to the good stuff...
Indeed.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

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forestmat
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Re: Surin monk accused of B56m fraud

Post by forestmat » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:12 am

Apologies Ven Appicchato and Ben,

have I posted something that I shouldn't have in the Lounge forum? - "Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends"

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Ben
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Re: Surin monk accused of B56m fraud

Post by Ben » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:20 am

Its ok, forestmat.
My concern is that threads like this can degenerate into shaudenfreude and we've had a few threads of late that have focused on the alleged indiscretions of some monks.
I am sympathetic to the fact that we have ordained members here and the last thing I want is for them to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome here.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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BlackBird
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by BlackBird » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:24 am

Rob1980 wrote:
BlackBird wrote: Eventually it would be nice if the parajika men were to be investigated and forcibly disrobed (given their reluctance to remove themselves from the robes that they have no right to wear)
I would not be too quick to judge everyone who had a parajika offense levelled against them in the book as 'parajika men'. It may well be that they are parajika, in which case they are no longer Bhikkhus anyway. But it maybe that some of the incidents reported may come from a misunderstanding or might not be entirely accurate. In a monastic community which doesn't have access to worldly news, there is a tendency for rumours and stories to take on a rather too fanastic turn. I am not denying what the author in the book wrote but I would say there is one inaccuracy that I am aware of, and there may be more. For example, the monk that Ven. Ariyananda beat with a stick was not a senior monk, but was actually a samanera. Though it could be argued that he was a senior monk, as he had taken pabbaja before Ven. Ariyananda. But he was not a bhikkhu, yet by saying he was a senior monk gives the story more weight. Though that is not to excuse beating another human being with a stick.

I should also add that although Ven. Sanghasobhana did have a bit of a temper, he has a very good heart; I found the comments about him in the book quite childish and naive. He worked tirelessly for other monks and for the sangha when I was there. It was sad to see the book portraying him in such a negative light.
Right, this is why I did not give a specific name of those who may or may not be parajika. What I am saying is if there are parajika men (and it would seem given the account of Nirosh that that is the case), then in an ideal world, these former monks would be stripped of their robes, and forced to stop being imposters. If a former monk is parajika and is pretending to be a monk he is bringing harm upon the Sasana and an incredible amount of harm upon himself.

I'm sure that some of the monks mentioned in the book are nice people, but I am also aware (given my own long history with akusala acts) that good people can do bad things.

I hope that clarifys things somewhat Rob :)

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks

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forestmat
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Re: Surin monk accused of B56m fraud

Post by forestmat » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:25 am

Certainly no schadenfreude (which is what I think you meant to write) on my behalf Ben - but I do live in Thailand and these are currently big stories here.

The development and practice of Mudita is a far more appropriate virtue.

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Ben
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Ben » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:29 am

Dear all,

This thread is closed until further notice while the mod/admin team review the content.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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