Purge of Thai sangha

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
chownah
Posts: 7473
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by chownah » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:41 am

robertk wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 8:28 am
Mr Man wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:07 am
There is another article here -
Purging the Thai Sangha
http://www.newmandala.org/ncpos-purge-thai-sangha/

Is this correct?
King Asoka of Maurya India set an example when he tried and executed monks who failed to satisfy his standard of Buddhist knowledge and behaviour
of course it is not true.
What happened is that the sangha was going through a schism - with new sects breaking away from the Theravada: the only one upholding SaddhaDhamma.

Asoka thought it was worrying that the monks were not in concord so sent one of his ministers with instructions to try to get them to reconcile.

The minister - a man of great experience in martial activities- was not pleased when the Theravada would not agree to to recite the patimokka with the wrong viewers.
so a group of monks were sitting in a line and he worked down the line: asking them to agree and then beheading them one by one( as the good monks could never reconcile with those schismatics). then a monk who was known to the minister, I think it might have been Mahinda, asoka's son, went and sat in the line. the minister then stopped and went and reported to the King, who was horrified by the report.

( i am reciting by memory- might have a couple of small details wrong)
I guess we should know the source of this story and find corroborating evience before accepting it wholely. It might be fake news (heavily biased historical recount).
chownah

rolling_boulder
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:01 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by rolling_boulder » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:36 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 3:10 am
i dont know the in's and out's of the vinaya, but how is it a government's right at all to regulate the saṅgha?
The Thai gov't and Sangha are interwoven. The Sangha actually allows the government to regulate it by compliance with the ID system discussed below, which helps them keep a lid on cults, false monks and so on.

As to how they do it, since some were curious:
AFAIK:
In Thailand each monk is given a "monk ID" at their ordination. It's essential to them as each monk is required to display their ID when they enter a monastery.

That ID is Thai government property.

The government doesn't disrobe monks. But they can detain them and demand that the monk either return to dependence on his preceptor (very embarassing,) or return his ID, which is tantamount to disrobing because he will be turned away at every Monastery without an official ID. If he doesn't do either, he will remain in jail as a monk.

Presented with this dilemma most false monks will just disrobe.

So this is how they get around it as I understand.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

rolling_boulder
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:01 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by rolling_boulder » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:46 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 2:38 am
Hi James
Considering that you had the first hand experience, is it possible a monk in modern day to live without handling money?
Indeed I have met many monks who do not handle a cent, even when traveling alone, it is surely possible.
The world is swept away. It does not endure...
The world is without shelter, without protector...
The world is without ownership. One has to pass on, leaving everything behind...
The world is insufficient, insatiable, a slave to craving.

paul
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 11:27 pm
Location: Vietnam

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by paul » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:05 am

In DN 16, the conditions of a nation’s welfare and the welfare of the bikkhus are treated as two separate issues, an indication of the separation between conventional and ultimate reality:
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .vaji.html

“Buddhist scholar Vichak Panich said the embezzlement cases reveal the deterioration of institutionalised Buddhism in Thailand.
"Thailand never divides the temple and the state because both have relied on each other for strength," he told The Straits Times.
"As a result, monks have become like state officials, with ranks bestowed by the state, which leads to Buddhism being politicised and the temples' focus being on materialism.
"The arrests of the monks... are not so much about individual misconduct but politics, born out of the system that is deteriorating and outdated.
"Buddhism, in its very essence, should be free from state control in order to maintain Buddhist teachings that relate to the community and the people.”—-Straits Times

WorldTraveller
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:07 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by WorldTraveller » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:31 am

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 3:33 am
According to vinaya the government has absolutely no right to control or regulate the sangha. Governments do make laws though, and the Buddha instructed his monks to obey the law.
In Thailand I think it was King Mongkut about 150 years ago, who decided the government could disrobe monks and kick out bad monks, even though the vinaya doesn't allow for this.
Buddha instructed his monks to obey the law:
Now at that time King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha, desiring to postpone the rains, sent a messenger to the monks, saying: “What if the masters could enter upon the rains at the next full-moon day?” They told this matter to the Lord. He said: “I allow you, monks, to obey kings.
- Vinaya - Rains
But the government getting into the job of disrobing monks or fining them over Vinaya matters can become silly. For example the monk who gave me the above answer told me that the Sri Lankan gov. tried to legalize some cherry-picked Vinaya rules for the ruling party's benefit, so they can silence the opposing monks. The well known scholar monks who made this cherry-picking for the gov. forgot to pick "accepting money rule" regardless, it's one rule that lead to most of the corruption! :lol: Of course, about 95% of Sri Lankan monks accept money directly including these scholars.
“Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a canonical tradition, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’”
- Buddha

User avatar
Grigoris
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:43 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:31 am

2600htz wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:47 pm
Hello:

Is it true that most Asian monasteries are now cultural centers with little to no interest in practicing what the Buddha taught?.
If that is true western monasteries or forest traditions are a better option at this time?.

Regards.
:rofl: Now that is a white western convert wet dream if I have ever seen one!

(And racist to boot).
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

User avatar
Mr Man
Posts: 3358
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by Mr Man » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:35 am

There is another article in relating to this in todays Bangkok Post
Buddha's path must guide reform of clergy
https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opi ... -of-clergy

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4234
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:13 am

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:31 am
2600htz wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:47 pm
Hello:

Is it true that most Asian monasteries are now cultural centers with little to no interest in practicing what the Buddha taught?.
If that is true western monasteries or forest traditions are a better option at this time?.

Regards.
:rofl: Now that is a white western convert wet dream if I have ever seen one!

(And racist to boot).
The issue might be a little more nuanced.
Thai people – local villagers at first, and subsequently more cosmopolitan folk from Bangkok – were impressed by the presence of Western bhikkhus who had given up the wealth, university education and conveniences of Europe and America to live a sweat-soaked life that was austere, even by the rustic tastes of North-East Thailand. Accordingly, the monastery, Wat Pah Nanachat ('International Forest Monastery'), became well supported and acquired a wealth of sponsorship that far exceeded the expectations of its Ajahn. More importantly, within a couple of years the modest foundation of four bhikkhus swelled to a sizeable group of bhikkhus, samaneras, por kaos and maechees
(Ajahn Sucitto: http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... SUSSEX.htm)

Ajahn Chah
once said that Buddhism in Thailand was like an old tree that had formerly been vigorous and abundant; now it was so aged that it could only produce a few fruits and they were small and bitter. Buddhism in the West he likened in contrast to a young sapling, full of youthful energy and the potential for growth, but needing proper care and support for its development.
https://www.amaravati.org/biographies/ajahn-chah/

I've no idea of whether the Ajahns got it right or not, or how one might make a correct judgement as to the merits of different monasteries and traditions, but it is worth remembering that such judgements don't have to have anything at all to do with race.

User avatar
Grigoris
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:43 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:20 am

Yes, western converts tend to be less jaded and more starry eyed than their "Asian" counterparts. This, in part, comes from a different motivation for ordaining. So there will obviously be significant differences. At the same time I think you will find that convert monastics will also be more susceptible to de-robe when the novelty and the shading of their rose tinted glasses start to wear out.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4234
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:24 am

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:20 am
Yes, western converts tend to be less jaded and more starry eyed than their "Asian" counterparts. This, in part, comes from a different motivation for ordaining. So there will obviously be significant differences. At the same time I think you will find that convert monastics will also be more susceptible to de-robe when the novelty and the shading of their rose tinted glasses start to wear out.
True. A good point well made.

WorldTraveller
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:07 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by WorldTraveller » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:02 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:20 am
At the same time I think you will find that convert monastics will also be more susceptible to de-robe when the novelty and the shading of their rose tinted glasses start to wear out.
If one lives long enough with the association of the western monastics, it easily becomes evident that the number of de-robe incidents are very high among the non-Asian converts and easily falls for secular Buddhism in the guise of the so-called "practising only what the Buddha taught".

Thinking this or that side is greener is just a biased view due to the quantitative difference of the two sides only.
“Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a canonical tradition, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’”
- Buddha

User avatar
Grigoris
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:43 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:34 pm

WorldTraveller wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:02 pm
Thinking this or that side is greener is just a biased view due to the quantitative difference of the two sides only.
If this remark is aimed at me (given you quoted me, it seems to be the case), please show me where I said anything about greener lawns.
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

WorldTraveller
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:07 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by WorldTraveller » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:17 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:34 pm
WorldTraveller wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:02 pm
Thinking this or that side is greener is just a biased view due to the quantitative difference of the two sides only.
If this remark is aimed at me (given you quoted me, it seems to be the case), please show me where I said anything about greener lawns.
Oh dear! Actually, I wrote agreeing with your comment. :)

"Greener lawns" aimed at those who think the Western Buddhism is better. Westerners think, "This is not yet spoiled." Asians think, "That is not yet spoiled." And one day both bumped into Sogyal Rinpoche! (that's a joke, if allowed)
“Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a canonical tradition, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’”
- Buddha

User avatar
Pseudobabble
Posts: 704
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:11 am
Location: London

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by Pseudobabble » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:53 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:31 am
(And racist to boot).
TOS 2.d wrote: Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions - including psychoanalyzing other members, and predictions or threats of kammic retribution
Amazing how you can detect racism in comments which don't mention race..
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

User avatar
Grigoris
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:43 am

Re: Purge of Thai sangha

Post by Grigoris » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:15 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:53 pm
TOS 2.d wrote: Unsubstantiated allegations against individuals or traditions - including psychoanalyzing other members, and predictions or threats of kammic retribution
Amazing how you can detect racism in comments which don't mention race..
Is it true that most Asian monasteries are now cultural centers with little to no interest in practicing what the Buddha taught?.
If that is true western monasteries or forest traditions are a better option at this time?.
facepalm.jpg
facepalm.jpg (5.41 KiB) Viewed 292 times
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests