samseva wrote:chownah wrote:ManEagle wrote:..........
............ I am in no way purporting to be an expert onThai mentality but all the same I am not surprised to hear about stories of Thai people being sucked into the Dhammakaya mentality of donate what you can in the promise of improving your life and paving your way to Buddhist heaven. This aspect of any religion makes me sick.
Donating to the temple what you can in the promise of improving your life and paving your way to buddhist heaven is to a great extent what thai buddhism is all about and from what I gather from hearing what other people say about other places in asia it is what asian buddhism is to a great extent. If this makes you sick don't just hang it onto dhammakaya.....hang it onto a large segment of thai society.
With over a million followers it is inevitable that a few will have a lack of proportion about how much to give....and in thailand that percentage will be larger than many westerners expect because giving to the temple is considered not only of religious benefit but of social benefit as well.
Trying to paint Thai society and pretty much the East as a whole in bad light regarding religion (and general personality) is being biased. For any country or religion, there is a whole spectrum of people who study and practice the religion which those people follow, and some which only practice their religion superficially or, more precisely, socially. Pretty much for all religions, the largest portion of followers are people who don't know much about the teachings in and of themselves and follow rituals and social practiced activities more than anything else.
So, it's not just a Thai thing. Just look at how Christianity—or more precisely the church and its followers—evolved over the past few millenniums, it's not that different. Giving money, going to heaven, bad priests, blind faith, ecclesial power, followers who don't even understand or study the teachings—not that different, no?
Since I am certainly not "Trying to paint Thai society and pretty much the East as a whole in bad light regarding religion (and general personality)" I guess you like my post and are just emphasizing the point I am making. Is that right? I agree with everything you are saying but that first sentence makes me think that you are disagreeing with my post and have misconstrued what I posted.