Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

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binocular
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by binocular » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:40 am

Bankei wrote:I knew one monk who had a woman come and visit him everyday in his kuti - outside and not alone. She would ring him every night.
Isn't there a principle against that?
Ie. that a person ought to protect another person's status and spiritual practice?

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gavesako
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by gavesako » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:21 pm

Here is a good article addressing the issues raised above:

Abusing my religion

Patcharawalai Sanyanusin

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... y-religion
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by lyndon taylor » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:58 pm

I'm sorry but I completely fail to see where there's a scandal in any Therevada monk that's keeping his vows leaving the monk hood and quickly getting married, although it doesn't happen very much with the older monks. As a short term Therevada Buddhist monk myself, I was taught that Thai/Cambodian/ Lao/ Burmese tradition was that every devout Buddhist youth was strongly encouraged to become a monk for a minimum of 3+ years to 3+ months, after which they decided whether to stay a monk if they didn't have a strong interest in marriage, or leave the monkhood and get married, usually in a very short term, At one temple I attended the young monk was dating the woman he was to marry, non physically meeting with her on an almost daily basis, this was not looked down upon, or frowned upon, in fact it was the traditional way in their cultures.

As soon as I did my three weeks as a monk and quit (because they wouldn't give me a medical exemption for my illness to eat after 12), My best monk friend, the one in my avatar picture set out to find me a Cambodian wife, he even had me lined up with the owner of a Cambodian Donut shop(free donuts for life!!!) but it was my awareness that marrying an American was a huge loss of face for a Cambodian woman to her family, I decided it just wasn't a good idea, though I would have loved to meet the Donut shop owner!!

Unlike Mahayana Buddhism, where some say you go to the lower realms if you ever quit being a monk, in Therevada tradition there is absolutely no teaching of negative karma for leaving being a monk(given you're keeping the precepts). Now of course most of this leaving the monkhood and quickly getting married occurs with monks in their 20s, for a respected teacher who has been a monk for 38 years it would be unexpected, but not a bad thing unless he had physically broken his vows while still a monk, and very quickly getting married does not classify as evidence he had broken his vows in my book. It can obviously be taken as evidence that he hadn't fully conquered sexual desire, but I don't think that's a crime, is it???

There are bigger monk fish to fry in this scandal business, This poor monk, Mitsuo, definetly does not deserve to be classified as scandalous the way some of these other monks obviously do.
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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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by gavesako » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:15 pm

If you read the article to the end, it is clear that she does not put him in the same category as the other "scandalous" monks -- these incidents just happened to coincide and that is why they are being discussed on the same page.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by lyndon taylor » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:23 pm

Sorry, my bad,I did read the article, I was responding more to the tone of the thread, I did think there's maybe 50 monks mentioned in the article out of how many monks in Thailand?? 10,000??? 100,000??? so perhaps we're not doing so bad, even the Buddha had to throw monks out of the order, didn't he??
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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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by Thanavuddho » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:39 am

Greetings,

I just read the news today. I knew Ajahn Gavesako from Thailand (not very well...). Watching that photo of him and her riding those horses made me laugh. Not in a contemptuous way... We where just talking about senior monks disrobing back in Australia. I think some of us are quite used to this kind of a thing already.

:smile:
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by hermitwin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:30 am

I am really puzzled by this. can someone esp Bhante Gavesako (small) explain?

As I understand it.
If a person is sotapanna or sakadagami, will the person
still leave monkhood?

or is it only arahants who will never leave monkhood?

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by forestmat » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:57 am

Maybe to 'clear' his/her name, two books are due out next week in Thailand

"Mitsuo Shibahashi, formerly known as Phra Mitsuo Gavesako, will launch two new books that promise to tell all about why he left the monkhood after almost 40 years to pursue a married life."

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/3 ... es-memoirs

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by nibbuti » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:50 am

hermitwin wrote: As I understand it.
If a person is sotapanna or sakadagami, will the person
still leave monkhood?

or is it only arahants who will never leave monkhood?
Hi hermit. As I understand it. If a person is anagami (non-returner) he has abandoned the fetter of sensual desire (which is a main reason for disrobing), but sotapanna and sakadagami are still bound by coarse sensual desire and dukkha.

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by gavesako » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:46 pm

The other side of the story
The marriage of Suttirat Muttamara & former monk phra Mitsuo Gavesako

8/10/2013
Arusa Pisuthipan

Phra Mitsuo Gavesako, the abbot of a famous monastery in Kanchanaburi left the monkhood where he had served Buddhism for over 40 years and assumed his former identity as Mitsuo Shibahashi and then flew to his native Japan and married the 52-year-old businesswoman Suttirat Muttamara.

Suttirat was immediately bombarded with questions and accusations from not just the public but also many of the former monk's devoted followers.

Shibahashi has written two books [Kwam Nai Jai Ajarn Mitsuo (Message From The Heart Of Ajarn Mitsuo) and Bot Tes Wan Sud Thai Nai Phet Banpachit (The Last Sermon In The Saffron Robe)] to tell the truth behind his decision to leave the monkhood

"When the scandal broke, he [Shibahashi] said if we keep responding to criticism it would become a never-ending argument And it would appear like we made up excuses He said it is better to write a book because in a book you can explain things in detail. And I think now it is time to speak," said the 52-year-old businesswoman. Admittedly Suttirat is an attractive gentle-spoken woman and it is no wonder ... has a glowing complexion given that she owns a beauty business and has a master's degree in anti-ageing medicine.

But on the flip side it was perhaps this attractiveness that was regarded by many as the thing that enticed the former forest monk - who once announced he would never leave the monkhood nor get married for the rest of his life - to choose the worldly route he had never thought of taking before.


Apart from Shibahashi, no one will ever know if it might truly have been something more than just such physical beauty.

"She [Suttirat] is likely to have been my soulmate in past lives - my supportive partner " said Shibahashi in his first online videoclip filmed in Japan after his marriage

"Everyone might not understand why I decided to leave the monkhood So they had many questions in mind Some of my followers said that I was drugged and blackmailed and this has brought about a disgrace to Buddhism.

"Therefore, I have to explain the truth so that everyone understands and is not consumed by criticism from some certain groups of people who use the social network as a tool to destroy the faith people have towards myself," Shibahashi wrote in the foreword of Kwam Nai Jai Ajarn Mitsuo.

From Suttirat's side, her relationship with Shibahashi can be summed up as stemming from her managing his Budd-hist affairs during the two months she was appointed by the then Phra Mitsuo as his personal secretary, handling some of his work, transportation arrangements for his invitations managing his Facebook page and providing him with health treatments

And the then Phra Mitsuo's touching teachings were also where Suttirat sought emotional solace

''I always believe in his teachings,'' she said. ''Back then I was in misery because of my business difficulties. He taught me about the uncertainty of suffering and of happiness. His guidance was full of kindness and compassion With him, I learn dhamma everyday.''

And then came what can only be described as a life-changing moment

''One day he told me he would leave the monkhood '' Suttirat recalled ''I was shocked because this was not what I was expecting. But at the same time I was glad He told me he felt as if we had some sort of connection in our past lives ... and he said if he left the monkhood and we were meant to be each other's supportive partner we will still be able to contribute to Buddhism and spread dhamma.

''From Phra Mitsuo Gavesako to Ajarn Mitsuo Shibahashi, he will definitely keep on promoting Buddhism,'' she added.

But wasn't all this a wrong, if not sinful deed?

Suttirat asked her would-be husband this very important question and wondered if what they were about to pursue would block his road to enlightenment And for her, the answer was apparently a relief

''He said, 'You committed no sin You were not the cause My mind was the cause And you were just a factor' ,'' she said, adding Shibahashi always says he had never before thought of getting married nor having a family of his own. But she said now that they were happy about one another in many ways, they had some sort of vision as to how it would be if they were together like a family.

''So when the mind changes, he said he only wanted to secure the 'true monkhood' . If a monk has a feeling of love towards a woman and he still remains in the saffron robe that is simply inappropriate - a disgrace to Buddhism. If that person continues to live as a monk, he is not a true monk,'' Suttirat said.

So after the scandal broke, she was branded and accused of doing many bad, improper things to lure Mitsuo out of the monkhood

One rumour involved Suttirat arranging a private van for the former monk to travel from his temple in Kanchanaburi to Bangkok for diabetes treatment She was accused of staying with him alone during the ride in the passenger zone partitioned off from the front seats where his followers were all placed.

But then again the public response might be justified given Suttirat herself was also active in revealing her relationship as well as posting photos of herself taken with the former monk on her Facebook page, which caused a major stir especially among Buddhist followers countrywide

''After the scandal broke, I kept checking news from the internet every day until he [Shibahashi] told me to stop doing so because it only made me stressed out,'' she recalled

Now, as a husband, Mitsuo has responded to such accusations in his new book.

''I would like to reconfirm that I have been fully aware of the choice I made to leave the monkhood I made this decision myself without being drugged, blackmailed set up consumed by black magic or anything. I would also like to confirm that I had been a perfectly-behaved Buddhist monk until my last day in the orange robe And my departure from the monkhood is my willing and voluntary decision. The disrobing ceremony was carried out properly according to all Buddhist disciplines '' he writes.

The controversy apparently involved a lot of social networking being used as a weapon

In one of Shibahashi's new books, he also commented on an issue regarding the use of such weaponry.

''Digging out other people's private business and posting it on Facebook - some true, some not, some fabricated with an aim to break other people's families - are all detestable behaviours which lead to disagreement and the destruction of peace in the society rather than creating harmony,'' he wrote.

''This is the downside and danger of the social network that can distribute any information or accusing someone without any evidence

''A person's reputation can be severely attacked only by rumours from some certain groups of people. The mind is, by nature, subject to self-protection.

''We see other people's mistakes as huge as a mountain. But our own is as tiny as a needle' s eye. Other people's farts smell so foul but we do not mind the smell of our own.''

Four months into their controversial relationship everything is turning out to be just like Suttirat expected. Living with a man who spent almost 40 years in the monkhood is indeed fortunate she said. Shibahashi's health has also improved. The future is not ours to see but for now the couple plans to keep on promoting Buddhist education by holding dhamma classes both in Thailand and in Japan, where they have rented a house in Tokyo.

''We plan to stay both in Thailand and in Japan and will contribute to Buddhism through the approach he is good at, which is teaching,'' Suttirat said.

"What has happened increases the love and compassion I feel towards my wife," Shibahashi writes in his book, ''and we will hold our hands more tightly so that our minds will not be shaken by pressure from the outside."

:hug:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/3 ... -the-story

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/lea ... of-a-woman
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

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by robertk » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:31 am

The black magic beliefs crack me up. I remember a woman in bangkok who told me never to show my passport to a Thai woman - as she might take the information to a witch doctor who would use it to make an irresistible love spell.

I told her vipassana was stronger than magic but she looked doubtful.. :lol:

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by hermitwin » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:38 am

Here is my take.
It is a prerogative of a monk to disrobe.
However, why not just tell the truth.
For example, I fell in love with a woman
and I want to marry her.
To say that it is a previous life connection is probably true.
But the Buddha said we had countless spouses in our previous lives.
So, not a very good reason.

The whole teaching of Buddha is how to leave samsara.
For someone to spend a lifetime as a monk and then get
married, all I wish for is the truth.
Dont give excuses.
Everyone has the right to live their life the way they like.
Just Spare me the b***sh*t.

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by Hickersonia » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:14 pm

I honestly hope they are very happy together and experience as little stress as possible in their marriage. Perhaps they both might yet put an end to suffering in this life? Who knows? :anjali:
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by manas » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:04 am

Hickersonia wrote:I honestly hope they are very happy together and experience as little stress as possible in their marriage. Perhaps they both might yet put an end to suffering in this life? Who knows? :anjali:
If a husband and wife were both practicing, and supported each other in the practice, they could both benefit. It's complicated and has it's challenges, but I don't see romantic love as the big scary bogeyman it is often made out to be, anymore. It could be that, some folks are better of in a relationship, than alone - even for the cultivation of the practice. Which is better: sitting in a monastery thinking about women all day while you are trying to meditate, or, getting married and being with a woman, then meditating so you can have a break from her? Out of these two alternatives, I would choose the latter. (I'm not implying that the Venerable Ajahn had to make this choice, however.)
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Post by chownah » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:10 am

Maybe he just didn't want to continue with his life at the temple.....perhaps he was no longer inspired by it......perhaps he felt that he was no longer having a beneficial impact there, like a musician who no longer writes music......maybe the couple are just compatible in life style and there is no sensual component at all.

Has anyone here ever retired from their career? Has anyone here ever changed careers?
chownah

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