"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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pilgrim
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by pilgrim » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:15 am

I know a few monks who have practised there including at least one Thera. So far, they have good opinions of the place and of Ven Ariyadhamma. I have no reason to think they are lying and they are certainly more credible than a "disclosure" which appears more like an anonymous poison pen letter from a disgruntled employee.

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BlackBird
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by BlackBird » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:38 am

pilgrim wrote:I know a few monks who have practised there including at least one Thera. So far, they have good opinions of the place and of Ven Ariyadhamma. I have no reason to think they are lying and they are certainly more credible than a "disclosure" which appears more like an anonymous poison pen letter from a disgruntled employee.
That's a fair cop Pilgrim, I would think no differently in your situation.
"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 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:14 am

BlackBird wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Every person or persons has a mixture of positive or negative traits, if we only focus on the negative we could almost make anyone look bad, does this writer say anything positive about any of the monks in this book, if not then there has to be a strong bias, because I'm sure they have their positive points.
Parajika is no small crime. I don't know how you can say "if we only focus on the negative..." when faced with very very serious allegations. I think you should read this text, perhaps beyond the one or two pages I suspect you've read.
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Jack,
BlackBird wrote: Really, the reason is to let people who might be intending to stay there or ordain there (as I once was intending) know what might be taking place there. It's important that they know that this account exists, and there is a value in attempting to find out if there is any truth to the matter.
I know very little about the Sri Lankan monastic scene, but this is a reasonably well-known place, isn't it? Doing some googling, I saw that Ajahn Brahm has given at least one talk there.
From a quick scan, there seemed to be two distinct aspect to the book. One aspect is specific criticisms of the particular monastery, which, if true, are clearly unacceptable. The other aspect seemed to be the author's analysis of Pa Auk's teaching, which is a matter of opinion. It seems a strange mixture...

:anjali:
Mike

Yes I agree, it is a strange mixture. It seems whoever has written this has been really hurt by someone. It almost seems like revenge. It's really hard to make an educated decision on this. But I keep coming back to the fact that it just seems far too detailed, there are far too many details about the monastery itself and the monks involved for it to be all made up - That's what I cannot disregard. It just seems too detailed to be fiction.

But then again perhaps the author just has a really good imagination, and spent enough time at Na Uyana to learn all of the monks names and habits and cliques.

I don't know...
Jack, it could've well been written by a person who stayed there (in fact, why would anyone with no connection to the place bother?) But it doesn't follow that it is true or accurate.
_/|\_

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Mr Man
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Mr Man » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:26 am

A couple of questions: Is the book aimed just at the culture within a specific monastery or within the "Pa Auk tradition" as a whole? Isn't Na Uyana a "Ramañña Nikāya" temple where at present they teach "Pa Auk" style meditation rather than part of a Burmese monastic tradition? Is the "Pa Auk tradition" a monastic grouping with it's own monastic culture or is it just a system of meditation?

We do all need to be circumspect when we place our faith in particular institutions. Misconduct should really not come as that much of a surprize - why would it be otherwise?

alan
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by alan » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:58 pm

Sad, but true--all religions attract losers, those emotionally empty, and layabouts. It's even worse in cultures that encourage Monk-worship.
Take off your blinders, friends. We have a real problem here. Buddhism is dying because of people like these.

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Hickersonia
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Hickersonia » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:24 pm

BlackBird wrote:
Hickersonia wrote:what precisely are we to do about it? I don't see how any facts will be gleamed on the matter
Really, the reason is to let people who might be intending to stay there or ordain there (as I once was intending) know what might be taking place there. It's important that they know that this account exists, and there is a value in attempting to find out if there is any truth to the matter.
OK. If that is the case, I'd say this is a case of "mission accomplished," then.

I agree that the allegation should be known to potential long-term visitors. I just wasn't sure if you were proposing something more dramatic should be done when we really can't do anything except raise awareness to the possibility that there is chaos going on there.

Thanks you, friend.
Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

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Dan74
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Dan74 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:39 pm

alan wrote:Sad, but true--all religions attract losers, those emotionally empty, and layabouts. It's even worse in cultures that encourage Monk-worship.
Take off your blinders, friends. We have a real problem here. Buddhism is dying because of people like these.
I am sure there are corrupt monks and even whole temples, Alan. Here in Australia, the temples I know a little about seem to be doing quite well. As for Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc, what can we do?

About this particular case, I have been around long enough to know that not everything that circulates around can be trusted and I would really hate for people to be unfairly depicted. These stories can spread very quickly and ruin people's lives, if the laity turns away from the temple due to rumours, for instance.

To give some context to my skepticism, just the other week I was visiting a prison here. A middle-aged respectable looking inmate came to the Buddhist service and proceeded to reveal horrific things about a respected Thai monk resident in Melbourne. He knew a lot about him, rolled off many details, but mixed in with the fact, what gradually emerged was nightmarish fantasy. Along with me, there was a Zen monk there who knew the monk in question quite well. Bit by bit it became clear that the inmate was not mentally sound and was likely there for stalking and harassing the poor bhikkhu.
_/|\_

alan
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by alan » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:57 pm

One crazy prisoner does not discredit the thesis.

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Dan74
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Dan74 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:04 pm

alan wrote:One crazy prisoner does not discredit the thesis.
Which thesis?
_/|\_

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Crazy cloud
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by Crazy cloud » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:34 pm

old saying by Lou Reed - not a buddhist to my knowledge, but then again; it's really up to you and to your own heart - just keep it open!
belive none of what you hear, and half of what you see ..
:heart:

Some really silly monkeybusiness will never ever make me loose my own experience and taste with the truth og these teachings, and there are numerous outstandig ajhans and laypeople, and not the least, all of those living creatures you experiences througout every day and every moment - who you can find all the inspiration you need. How about this; http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=17616 - I loved it, and thats buddhisme to me

I remember Ajhan Brahm saying this; let the karma get those bastards .. :tongue:

So let it go! :console:

:candle:
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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BlackBird
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by BlackBird » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:30 pm

Dan74 wrote:
alan wrote:Sad, but true--all religions attract losers, those emotionally empty, and layabouts. It's even worse in cultures that encourage Monk-worship.
Take off your blinders, friends. We have a real problem here. Buddhism is dying because of people like these.
I am sure there are corrupt monks and even whole temples, Alan. Here in Australia, the temples I know a little about seem to be doing quite well. As for Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc, what can we do?

About this particular case, I have been around long enough to know that not everything that circulates around can be trusted and I would really hate for people to be unfairly depicted. These stories can spread very quickly and ruin people's lives, if the laity turns away from the temple due to rumours, for instance.

To give some context to my skepticism, just the other week I was visiting a prison here. A middle-aged respectable looking inmate came to the Buddhist service and proceeded to reveal horrific things about a respected Thai monk resident in Melbourne. He knew a lot about him, rolled off many details, but mixed in with the fact, what gradually emerged was nightmarish fantasy. Along with me, there was a Zen monk there who knew the monk in question quite well. Bit by bit it became clear that the inmate was not mentally sound and was likely there for stalking and harassing the poor bhikkhu.
It is entirely possible this text has be written by a person in a similar circumstance. For all we know the author could have been an absolute nut case, but obviously a very cunning one with a great imagination and attention to detail.

All the more reason to be having this discussion, because if enough attention is drawn to it, we might get an answer from someone who has personal knowledge of the veracity of these claims.

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

binocular
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by binocular » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:04 am

BlackBird wrote:All the more reason to be having this discussion, because if enough attention is drawn to it, we might get an answer from someone who has personal knowledge of the veracity of these claims.
And then we'd have to unconditionally trust that person ...

BlackBird wrote:Really, the reason is to let people who might be intending to stay there or ordain there (as I once was intending) know what might be taking place there. It's important that they know that this account exists, and there is a value in attempting to find out if there is any truth to the matter.
I would think that anyone who is interested in staying at a monastery would first check it out personally. Such as by first staying at a hotel and visiting the monastery for a week or so. And only afterwards, if everything seemed alright, go to stay at the monastery, if such accomodation is possible.

If something awkward is going on at a place, there are usually signs of it visible, even to the casual visitor.

householder
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by householder » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:17 pm

Haven't read yet, but do any of the allegations top evidence of certain Myanmar monks (ostenibly, at least, they're monks) running around with swords or preaching anti-Muslim hate speech?

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BlackBird
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by BlackBird » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:45 am

binocular wrote: I would think that anyone who is interested in staying at a monastery would first check it out personally.
People often travel great distances for the express purpose of staying at a particular monastery, to study under a particular teacher or method. So you would think wrong my friend ;)
"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

binocular
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Post by binocular » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:58 pm

BlackBird wrote:People often travel great distances for the express purpose of staying at a particular monastery, to study under a particular teacher or method. So you would think wrong my friend
If people think that a Buddhist monastery is much like a tourist destination, and that if they're not happy with it they can demand some kind of refund or compensation for their dissatisfaction, that's their thing ...

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