"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?
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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

Post by form » Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:12 pm

I actually told Ven Dhammika personally before I enjoyed reading this book of his the most.

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Re: "The Broken Buddha" by Ven. S. Dhammika

Post by JMGinPDX » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:57 pm

poto wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have seen, in the USA, Tibetan and Zen groups just as culturaly rigid as the Thai group in the photo and I have seen Theravadin groups as relaxed as the Tibetan group photo. What basis do we use for making a generalization?
I didn't mean to present it as universal.

There are other Theravadin groups locally that are much better and more relaxed. Perhaps I should have mentioned that as well. I didn't mean to represent it as only or all Theravadin groups, just as an example of a widespread problem that exists here and that I have encountered personally.
As others have pointed out, I think it really depends on who is providing the primary support for and regularly attending the center. If the center/monastery serves primarily a Thai or other ethnic group (Burmese, Sri Lankan, etc.) then you're more likely to see those cultural traditions. I attend a Thai Forest center that caters to Westerners primarily (we have a few Thai practitioners) due to the fact that we don't have a large Thai population in this immediate area, and the Thais that do live here likely go elsewhere to practice in a more familiar environment.
At PFOD, we also have the casual dress and less emphasis on ritual offerings and ceremonies, but we DO have an Upasika program where those who have officially taken the Precepts will wear white/black for monastic visits but dress normally other times.
For me personally, this tradition had just enough ritual/ceremony without going overboard, but more than I would find in secular Insight Meditation traditions. As Ajahn Sona said the last time he visited our center "we in the Thai Forest lineage are the least bow-y of any tradition!" :thumbsup:
Right now, it's like this...

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

Post by voitsberg.graz48 » Sat May 27, 2017 3:01 pm

I tried to read "The Broken Buddha". Dhammika is complaining that Theravada scriptures are so dry and boring. But the same can I say about his own writing: complaining and complaining, and citing criminal cases of monks. I just stopped reading.
If Theravada is so bad don't become a monk. He wrote that in Thailand people just give to the monks but don't practice meditation . That is wrong. Just take Suan Mokkh monastery. Half of the month is reserved for Thai practitioners.
What happens to Theravada happens to all religions. After some time they became an empty shell. So create your own path.

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

Post by Manopubbangama » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:44 am

Just read it.

Seems to be common in Australia, this dire need to remake Theravada from them-who-know-better.

The 80 odd page polemic glorifies the Tibetan Wizards and the Roman Catholic Church and suggests that Theravada can learn so much from them to avoid.....scandlous behavior? And demographic decline???

He also whines that women are too devoted to Buddhism and give the monks too much food and attention......

The most cringeworthy part was when he said he couldn't believe there were Evangelicals in Cambodia and blamed this on the Asian monks who were not as intellectually profound as him....I guess he didn't realize that the entirety of Theravada was, um...eradicated 50 years ago? :shrug:
He says we should learn about "love" from Christian history....ya....

He also slanders many venerable monks and attempts to suggest a coup d'etat against Theravada (which will never happen) in favor of his own egalitarian vision of how things should be. Where men and womynne will be part of a...'new world order,' as the author sees things as they should be.

All in all, I found him to be punching way out of his league, as he seems to be of average intellect, nowhere near the people he scourges such as Mahasi Sayadaw.

Just another pathetic polemic from a power-hungry dude who wants to take over Buddhism for him and his clique.

I think it takes a very special person to be invited to another country, eat the food of poor people, and then tell them how to run their society and spiritual institutions.

Theravadan countries are prospering in terms of demographic fertility and keeping their percentages and dominance of religion in their nations, unlike places like Australia that basically have no religion at all and who are declining demographically and culturely in their own land.

I would guess that in 500 years Theravada will still be here, and to his disdain, more or less how it is now, whereas the tibetan wizard fad will be long dead and this polemic absolutely forgetten, whether or not it was leaked (like a sex tape) according to the auther, or if he really wanted to attempt to damage Theravada as much as he could.

Theravada is one of the oldest and most energetically followed religions today in the entire world.

The author can bemoan this fact all he wants, but it doesn't change the fact that the Buddha's word is alive and being practiced.

The Mahasi method is alive and dwelling in every single continent in the world and will continue to grow, while the author will never be capable of replicating this phenomena.

Other criticisms:

Statues not aesthetic enough:
. On the left of the main north bound road
out of Rangoon is one of the strangest Buddhist mon
asteries to be seen anywhere. It looks like a
cross between St Peter’s in Rome, Lunar Park and a
LSD trip in cement. It is so bazaar and in such
hideous taste that it is actually worth driving all
the way out to see.
He should see the Christ statues in Brazil!

Statues way too aesthetic:
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon is
sheathed in more that sixty tons of gold and crowne
d with a umbrella encrusted with thousands of
diamonds and other precious stones. This in turn is
topped with a huge seventy six carat diamond.
Every year the lower portions of the pagoda and its
accompanying shrines are covered with twenty
eight thousand pieces of gold leaf. The effect of a
ll this is to create one of the most enchantingly
beautiful religious monuments to be seen anywhere.
Nonetheless, one cannot help thinking that the
Buddha, a man who refused even to touch gold, might
prefer being honored by having this wealth
used to help alleviate some of Burma’s appalling poverty.

Tibetan wizard manuals that teach 75 year olds to seduce 12 year old girls as superior to the words of the Buddha:
If further evidence is needed for the richness of the Tibetan contemplative tradition and the poverty
of its Theravadin equivalent, one only need look at
the literature produced by each.
More embarrassing adulation for the "the good-asians"
But it is when comparing teachers that the differences between Tibetan and Therevada Buddhism
are most pronounced. The average Tibetan monk is friendly, accommodating and good humored.
Yes, we have seen how friendly they can get with their vajra sticks!
In 1966 a Taiwanese Buddhist nun named Cheng Yen witnessed a critically ill woman being
refused admission to a hospital because she was too poor to pay the bills.
This is the kind of 'chick-lit' you would expect a 12 year old to write; not someone even remotely aquanted with the most basics of logical fallacies. Theravadan monks even risk their lives to save the lives of animals.

All in all I would say the guy is a bitter malcontent and if he had gone to a Tibetan monastery he would come out again, empty-handed, disallusioned, and with far more than 80 pages to whine about!
Last edited by Manopubbangama on Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by SDC » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:20 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:44 am
...
I agree that Ven. Dhammika goes a bit overboard in this work. However, everyone needs a good dose of reality when it comes to the contemporary Sangha, or even the ancient Sangha for that matter. The bar is set way too low in terms of what is respectable and worthy of veneration. People will devote themselves fully based on hearsay and assumption and that tends to be an excuse to be a lazy practitioner and/or devotee. If nothing else, Ven. D challenges the reader to question the value of reputation and that seemingly inherent nobility that so many grant those in the yellow robe without question.

I think every practitioner should read this book at least once, let half of it go out the other ear, but heed the call for becoming a responsible listener/reader who does not follow blindly.

For the record, I haven't read it since it was published, so this opinion is dated. I doubt I'd feel differently though.

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

Post by Manopubbangama » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:37 pm

SDC wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:20 pm
Manopubbangama wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:44 am
...
I agree that Ven. Dhammika goes a bit overboard in this work. However, everyone needs a good dose of reality when it comes to the contemporary Sangha, or even the ancient Sangha for that matter. The bar is set way too low in terms of what is respectable and worthy of veneration. People will devote themselves fully based on hearsay and assumption and that tends to be an excuse to be a lazy practitioner and/or devotee. If nothing else, Ven. D challenges the reader to question the value of reputation and that seemingly inherent nobility that so many grant those in the yellow robe without question.

I think every practitioner should read this book at least once, let half of it go out the other ear, but heed the call for becoming a responsible listener/reader who does not follow blindly.

For the record, I haven't read it since it was published, so this opinion is dated. I doubt I'd feel differently though.
Oh, I love criticisms, but this guy to me is neither 'venerable' nor intelligent; he slanders many truly venerable monks in his quest to glorify all other religions other than the small-cruddy vehicle. I think this one was a spiritual tourist who got lost and then got culture shock and freaked out, irrationally.

By far the best anti-Buddhist polemic I ever read was Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India.

This book is enough to make a wide-eyed idealist about egalitarianism cry themselves to bed.

Its also written by a real scholar who has a criteria of viewing things (Marxism!), unlike a tourist who whines that statues are too ugly and then in the next few paragraphs whining they are too elegant (apparently not realizing like what a wuss he sounds like).

Also, if these Australian critical theorists are going to try to tear down the history of Theravada, why can't we give them a bit of this treatment and see how anti-fragile they are?

How about I go to Australia with my palms open asking for food, clothing, medicine, and shelter, and then write little tracts about how they are effeminate chumps and their buildings are ugly and they need to be changed?

Lets see how much they love me for that!

I think it mostly amounts to a feeling that he didn't get enough prestige compared to their asian counterparts. The fact that he whined about monks being 'effeminate' because they were 'well-fed' pretty much sums this up; I would love to see this soft-handed chump get in a lethwei ring for 30 seconds (many Burmese men spend time in both the monkhood and training in Lethwei).

I think he wanted to see poor, filthy Asians who venerated him, and when he found out that he couldn't do much in the way of scholarship nor meditation he freaked out and had culture shock.

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

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:13 pm

Hilarious Writings of ven. Dhammika #0001
Sariputta and the other monks indignantly brush the blossoms off saying as they do, ‘We monks are not allowed to decorate ourselves.’
After all these years, he didn't even know which are the meaningless words while trying to be in the shoes of an arahant? :thinking:

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  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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

Post by Manopubbangama » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:13 pm
Hilarious Writings of ven. Dhammika #0001
Sariputta and the other monks indignantly brush the blossoms off saying as they do, ‘We monks are not allowed to decorate ourselves.’
After all these years, he didn't even know which are the meaningless words while trying to be in the shoes of an arahant? :thinking:

🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Yup he a venerable goofball alright who ate the people's food in vain.

Here is the book I was writing about: its a Marxist critique of Buddhism, but its at least logically coherant:

https://www.amazon.com/Bones-Stones-Bud ... 0824818709

Here is a shortcut for getting his arguments:

I don't think most Asian Buddhists would be offended by this (let me know!) but many left-wing Westerners with an interest in Buddhism are indeed offended by it.

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

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:29 pm

Hilarious Writings of ven. Dhammika #0002
Critical Reflections on Theravada and a Plea for a New Buddhism
...
...
...
Some of my observations might apply equally as well to Mahayana, especially Tibetan Buddhism.
Oh, you're shooting three birds with one stone, yet pleading for the half-breds.

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  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:49 pm

Manopubbangama wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Here is the book I was writing about: its a Marxist critique of Buddhism, but its at least logically coherant:

Here is a shortcut for getting his arguments:
He's a good speaker: Deep, yet with frequent funny derailments. Clearly more coherent than me, though. I'll watch it later in whole, or the book.

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🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐
  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:14 pm

Hilarious Writings of ven. Dhammika #0003
In the southwestern suburbs of Mandalay is a temple enshrining one of the most famous and revered Buddha statue in the world, the Mahamuni Image
...
...
They led me through a hall crowded with devotees and eventually we entered the sanctum sanctorum. It was something of an anticlimax. Rather than the graceful image I had expected, a squat and somewhat ungainly form loomed up before me.
Oh, ven. Dhammika, do you really think the reason it being "one of the most famous and revered Buddha statue in the world" is we Burmese's successfulness in making it ungainly? :thinking:

This clearly shows significant deficiencies in your ability to see the Buddha with your heart.
May I ask, "How do you practice Buddhanussati? That is the question.


🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

ps: oh, I'm enjoying the book even more than "the science of enlightenment' :D
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  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:48 am

Hilarious Writings of ven. Dhammika #0004

Since that time I have often thought that the Mahamuni Image could be a metaphor of what has happened to the teaching of the Buddha itself.
I see now. You are a metaphorical generalizer. Are you a skillful one at that?





The Eightfold Path Summary I: The Wisdom Element | White Hall Meditation
https://www.whitehallmeditation.org › th...
Thoughts are fabrications of our mind. All thoughts share the common characteristics of impermanence, dissatisfaction and selflessness. They can be skillful or unskillful.
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  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:32 pm

Hilarious Writings of ven. Dhammika #0005
What also are we to make of Bhaddali’s interesting observation that when there was less Vinaya there were more arahats (M.I,444)?
Oh, poor Ven. Dhammika!

Even though you have not been successful in one-sided monologic patriotic blind support for your view that Theravada is wrong, Buddha the Blessed One have been successfully attacked for "unintelligently" laying down the Vinayas, OMG!

Of course, We are to make of your most cherished Bhaddali’s interesting observation thus:
.... "SMDH, Bante, SMDH!"

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🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐
  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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

Post by Dan74-MkII » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:17 pm

What kind of vedana is giving rise to this speech, SDA?

Is it wholesome? The Bhante has been a monk for decades, living a renunciate life, dedicated to the Dhamma. Do you have similar experience, the seniority to disrespect him like this?

Critiquing what he writes is one thing, but it seems to me that the sarcasm and the scorn is not really what we should be proud of.

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

Post by SDC » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:31 pm

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:17 pm
What kind of vedana is giving rise to this speech, SDA?

Is it wholesome? The Bhante has been a monk for decades, living a renunciate life, dedicated to the Dhamma. Do you have similar experience, the seniority to disrespect him like this?

Critiquing what he writes is one thing, but it seems to me that the sarcasm and the scorn is not really what we should be proud of.
I have to agree. Is it that serious, S_D_A?

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