"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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lyndon taylor
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by lyndon taylor » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:45 am

I've tried reading this account it seems highly biased, almost made up, all you've proven is some monks in the country in Sri Lanka either don't trust or know a lot about western medicine.

By the way, most Therevada monks are not extensively taught or practise meditation, no one meditated for more than 5 minutes at my temple, when I was a monk, and they were very devout people, excessive meditation is more common in the west, meditation is just using your mind, and you can do that standing or sitting. Not that I don't recommend meditation, but not meditating does not make you bad or lazy buddhist, sleeping with students and doing drugs and alcohol, thats more what I think of when I think of bad buddhists.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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BlackBird
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by BlackBird » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:55 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I've tried reading this account it seems highly biased, almost made up, all you've proven is some monks in the country in Sri Lanka either don't trust or know a lot about western medicine.
I'm not trying to prove anything.
lyndon taylor wrote: Almost made up
How can you almost make something up? Either you make it up or you don't. And if you wish to accuse the author of 'making it up' I would suggest that you do so with some degree of logic/reasoning. But that is merely a suggestion, and you are welcome to think as you wish.

I think it's important to remember:

When accounts of the Holocaust first surfaced during the war thanks to the hard work of members of the Polish underground, nobody believed them, because the whole situation sounded so outrageous, so terrible, so extreme that it couldn't possibly be true. I do not wish to compare monks at Na Uyana with the Holocaust, but the point I am making is that just because something is outrageous and terrible, just because it is extreme does not mean that it isn't true. Just because the book does not present an alternative 'positive' account of the monks in question doesn't discredit the 'negative'.
"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

alan
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:15 pm

Agreed. It's clear to me now that there is an undesirable element at work in the monasteries, and the Asian traditions are often moribund, filled with hangers-on and layabouts. It won't improve until the truth gets out.

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pilgrim
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by pilgrim » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:48 pm

No monastery is perfect, but if one goes about only looking for the imperfections, then any monastery would seem to be a disaster. The accounts of this book appears to me to be written with a malicious intent. It should not be compared with Ven Dhammika's objective critique.

alan
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:55 pm

Examples of malicious intent?

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BlackBird
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by BlackBird » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:15 pm

It is becoming all too obvious that nobody is willing to evaluate the criticisms presented within the book on any objective basis, but instead willing to chalk it all up to 'nobodies perfect' and 'the books biased' and 'it seems to be written maliciously'

Again, I come back to this point:

That does not discredit the very serious allegations made by the author of the book.

Disregarding the points the author has made on the basis of bias, or that the author (and myself for some odd reason) is merely fault finding, or that it's malicious, does NOT discredit the allegations made. We're not just talking about the odd monks not meditating here nor a monks liking of alternative medicine, we're talking about allegations of widespread parajika incidents. I'm not defending the author and what is a very fiery and negative book, in my eyes there appears to be a heavy negative emotional investment on the part of the author. But I'll say it one final time: That does not discredit the allegations made by the author. There have been plenty of grumpy, angst ridden biased individuals throughout history who have blown whistles, their whistle blowing needs to be evaluated on the content itself, not upon the author's feelings.

If you are going to level a fair criticism of the allegations, and I more than hope somebody does, it needs to be on a logical basis, not a knee-jerk reaction.

I
Last edited by BlackBird on Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"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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pilgrim
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by pilgrim » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:21 pm

alan wrote:Examples of malicious intent?
The mocking cover and the derisive "Expected Comments" pretty much sets the tone for the book. I did qualify my statement to to say that it "appears to me" so no arguments if you disagree.

alan
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:28 pm

It's therefore not a convincing argument, just another opinion based on emotional reactions.

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BlackBird
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by BlackBird » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:36 pm

I have updated the original post to include my previous post - Emphasis on challenging the allegations themselves rather than the bias/intentions of the author, furthermore I have added that the book itself is vitriolic and highly critical, yet the serious claims leveled against some monks are nevertheless worthy of investigation to ascertain whether there is any truth to the matter.

I know the discussion is a very negative topic, but let's try and keep this civil :)

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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Dan74
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Dan74 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:46 pm

The web is replete with all sorts of "information", not all of it, factual. Before any sensible response can be given, one has to ascertain the facts, otherwise all we do is see what we want to see, or refuse to see what we don't want to see. But we don't even know what is there to be seen, so why proceed further?
_/|\_

alan
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:51 pm

Huh? Not sure I'm on your wavelength.

binocular
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by binocular » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:02 pm

BlackBird wrote:Emphasis on challenging the allegations themselves rather than the bias/intentions of the author, furthermore I have added that the book itself is vitriolic and highly critical, yet the serious claims leveled against some monks are nevertheless worthy of investigation to ascertain whether there is any truth to the matter.
/.../
Sometimes you read about teachers who turn out to be major disappointments. They do really horrible things to their students, and the students complain that they've been victimized. But in nearly every case, when you read the whole story, you realize that the students should have seen this coming. There were blatant warning signals that they chose to ignore. You have to be responsible in choosing your teachers, choosing your path. Once you've chosen the path that looks likely, you have to be responsible in following it, in learning how to develop your own sensitivity in following it. Because after all, what is the path that the Buddha points out? There's virtue, there's concentration, and there's discernment. These are all qualities in your own mind. We all have them to some extent. Learning how to develop what's in your own mind is what's going to make all the difference. The Buddha's discernment isn't going to give you awakening; his virtue and concentration aren't going to give you awakening. You have to develop your own. Nobody else can develop these things for you. Other people can give you hints; they can help point you in the right direction. But the actual work and the actual seeing is something you have to do for yourself.
/.../

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Adult Dhamma

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gavesako
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by gavesako » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:12 pm

Compare with the recent "scandal" in the Thai Sangha:


Nothing new about monks living it up

Monks living in a cocoon of luxury is not news. Just drop by the dwellings of any elders in the clergy to see how they live. Monks owning or commuting in luxury cars is not news either.

- by Sanitsuda Ekachai
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... ving-it-up
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations

alan
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:17 pm

Excellent reference binocular.

alan
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:25 pm

Don't get me wrong, I like Thailand. But the monk thing is out of control. Most Thais seem to be unthinking in their devotion. Amulets and rituals, blessings, etc. It's no surprise to see the system corrupted.

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