Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

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Re: Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

Postby Sokehi » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:38 am

I certainly appreciate his honesty, he is a very good writer too. But the way he tried to find cracks within the vinaya to watch at pornography (especially... strange to say the least on computers he doesn't own) to express his very special fondness to the priestess incl. getting undressed, touching etc. etc. is irritating to say the least. If he were a layaman I'd say well done. Experimenting with ones lust, trying to find new ways of becoming friends with women on a deeper "spiritual" level... but as a monk he is the heir of a very long tradition and should be not only careful but strict in his observance. He was constantly putting down his fortification of the vinaya with trying to stay within the allowable. I guess trying to be clever in playing around with the vinaya to find ways to be a bit more easy going with ones conduct is shameless.

As Ajahn Jayasaro said: the Vinaya and even the most minor rules are like concentric rings of an inner fortification. If you keep the minor rules strict the most major rules would be kept easier if even tested.

Some things shouldn't become public too. In german we call it "Bärendienst" when one causes damage to something. He is honest and that in itself is great, but has he been asked to spread it to the WWW? Discuss it with fellow Bhikkus, very close Layfriends or Familymembers. For some people who are not as understanding or coming from a more informed background this testimony is another proof that something is really wrong with celibate monks (or nuns). That he violated the trust of the boyfriend by watching porn and being thrown out of the shelter is a saddening event. This man surely will most probably never ever again trust a buddhist monk.

The damage done to the buddhasasana can't be evaluated. But even the slightest scratch that a celibate monk causes especially when public attention is given is a desaster.

Although, as I say, I feel no real remorse, I am concerned that my behavior, and my subsequent writing about it, may harm the reputation of the Bhikkhu Sangha, an institution to which I am very much indebted. If so, I sincerely apologize for that.


Indebted indeed. If ... then he apologizes. Why not do all this in the first place or at least keep it for himself, learn skillfully out of this for ones own benefit in practicing a celibate renunciate lifestyle? No he writes publicly about it - why does he needs to? what drives him to make it public? - and risks all the possible outcome out of it. If he would really feel indebted and would be really concerned about the reputation he wouldn't have done it in the first place.

In some places ordaining is as easy as disrobing. Monk in a day. So if any monk feels the urge to engage in some tantric adventures like he did he should follow the advice of that canadian monk: disrobe, do what you think you need to do and if you've gained that oh so valuable experience ordain again - or become a good respectable lay person. Every monk who disrobes deserves respect since he honestly noticed he can't live that life. This I call being truly honest.

I don't think Theravada Buddhism needs millions of monks. A few good ones are good enough.

This story makes me feel even moreso confident that the practice for example of the western Ajahn Chah Sangha of the threefold training (Anagarika - Samanera - Bhikkhu) is best for many. Check out the lifestyle, the rules, bit by bit until you can make a decision based on experience.

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone here.
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

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Re: Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

Postby pilgrim » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Good post.. :clap:

Sokehi wrote: Why not do all this in the first place or at least keep it for himself, learn skillfully out of this for ones own benefit in practicing a celibate renunciate lifestyle? No he writes publicly about it - why does he needs to?


Perhaps he enjoys the reputation of being an "honest" monk. In another post he writes about his experimentation with psychotropic substances at a religious ceremony and then when queried about it in the Comments section, he dismisses the breach of rule as no more serious than a monk opening a door while holding a bowl. He may be technically correct, but it tells a lot about the way he relates to the rules.
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Re: Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

Postby gavesako » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:08 pm

Someone's comments on this case which are spot-on:

This is typical American, i.e. making a public confession and repentance. Famous people such as Lance Armstrong who have done something shameful go on the Ophrah Whitney show and tearfully confess and repent. (See e.g. http://thecripplegate.com/its-just-oprah-not-metanoia/ and http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=4617) Americans, with their strong Protestant roots, love the public display, and forgive. The sinner can then make a new start, and when he crawls back up again to the top, fulfilling the American Dream, Americans love it even more. God's forgiveness has worked, and the former sinner is saved and becomes an American hero again through hard work.

See Susan Wise Bauer, The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America,
Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2008

I have mixed feelings about Ven. Panyobhasa's confessions. I don't know him but it seems that he finds himself very clever, but his cleverness, as often happens with clever people, turns into cunningness and it seems to me that he is deceiving himself and others.

Although I referred to the American habit of publicly confessing one's sins and repenting, there is something more going on too, i.e. that the distinction between private life and public life is increasingly fading away. All aspects of one's life, which before the rise of internet and reality TV would have been private and limited to one's immediate community, are now shared globally.

Ven. Paññobhasa would certainly be an interesting guest for Oprah: “American forest monk who sinned after returning to America repents: 'My love affair with her was the happiest time of my life, but I now see the suffering of it!'.”

The Sangha is to be a moral example, and a monk such as Panyobhasa writing about sleeping with a woman without actually falling into Parajika, however courageous , authentic and interesting it might appear, makes many people lose their faith and could be used by those opposed to the Sangha such as Christian missionaries or those nationalists in the Sangha who don't like Western monks. According to the Vinaya, offences are to be confessed within the Sangha, not to lay people. To expose the Sanghadisesa offence of another monk to a lay person is a pacittiya offence. One could argue, by extension, that to expose one's own Sanghadisesa offence to laypeople is an offence too.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

Postby Mkoll » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:52 pm

pilgrim wrote:Good post.. :clap:

Sokehi wrote: Why not do all this in the first place or at least keep it for himself, learn skillfully out of this for ones own benefit in practicing a celibate renunciate lifestyle? No he writes publicly about it - why does he needs to?


Perhaps he enjoys the reputation of being an "honest" monk. In another post he writes about his experimentation with psychotropic substances at a religious ceremony and then when queried about it in the Comments section, he dismisses the breach of rule as no more serious than a monk opening a door while holding a bowl. He may be technically correct, but it tells a lot about the way he relates to the rules.

It doesn't get much more intense and crazy than ayahuasca in my experience. A Buddhist monk who's willing to try such mind-blowing substances is not a good role model.
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Re: Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

Postby Shaswata_Panja » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:57 pm

To be frank though Buddhist monasticism is against drug use, Hindu monasticism (at least the Yoga Sutras) are not..May be with his getting inspired from Hinduism has a lot to do with Ayahuasca experience

I find the breakage of celibacy as serious a offence perhaps more serious than the acid trip

I am beginning to wonder whether it is even possible to be sexually continent for a considerable amount of time (like several years without an orgasm/emission in the waking state)

Do monks EVER get rid of the sexual desire? There was this story on BuddhistGeeks about a very strict and earnest 92 year old Thai monk whose mind would frequently wander towards sex (if it ever wandered off at all)

and mind you Bhikkhu Pannobhaso was very heoric in his practice..he spent 18 years in the forest..for a year he never entered any building..alone in the forest battling ghosts! he said the meditation had become kind of like trench warfare----Nobody can convict him for his lack of earnestness...it seems however which way he tried to kill the sex monster, it came back


What is the average duration of celibacy streak that serious monks manage to achieve on a regular basis? (1 month? 2 months? 6 months? 1 year? 3 years? b4 another waking state orgasm/emission)



The Sangha in Bhutan is less hyprocritical though the "thigh sex" of elderly monks with young boys is kind of rampant there..The Government has started distributing condoms to the monks

Unbroken Waking State Celibacy is the defining factor of any monastic order....


It seems whichever religious order it might be, monks have been failing heavily to stic to celibacy the past 100 years?

Was the Prophet of Islam right then? Is celibacy unnatural? Questions Questions I have in my mind......and this is because I am an aspiring celibate (though not an aspiring monk)
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Re: Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

Postby cooran » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:17 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

Postby boris » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:58 pm

Shaswata_Panja wrote: Questions Questions I have in my mind......and this is because I am an aspiring celibate (though not an aspiring monk)


Good! :smile: Sensual desire is just mental sickness very hard to remove and only non-returners and arahats rooted it out, although some persons may temporally be free from sensual desire not being in fact non-returners.

Below non-returner it is like AA idea - where one's should keep in mind "I am an alcoholic". Reduction of sleep, reduction of food, contemplation of body's ugliness help a lot and make celibacy quite easy in the most cases. But the fundamental rule is:

Avoid casual association with members of the opposite sex. Never be socially alone with a member of the opposite sex. This is an absolute. Make no exceptions based on seemingly spiritual character, age, or intention. When an older woman tells you that she is your “mother” run away! The same thing applies when a man tells a woman that he is her “father.” This goes on in both India and America, including close–and private–association of men with female gurus and of women with male gurus. No one knows what impulses carried over from previous lives–many even from centuries past–are lying not far beneath the surface of the conscious mind, waiting to manifest. “Spiritual” friendships with members of the opposite sex are doors to disaster. I have seen it over and over. Even in my early teen years I watched “spiritual” associations inevitably turn into sexual associations. And that had usually been the intention from the first moment. If what I have said does not convince you, at least I have discharged my responsibility.

http://www.ocoy.org/original-yoga/twelv ... hmacharya/

"Lord, how are we to treat women?"
"Do not see them, Ananda."
"Lord, if they are seen, how should we treat them?"
"Do not address them, Ananda."
"Lord, if we do address them, how should we treat them?"
"Mindfulness should be maintained, Ananda."

D 16

Shaswata_Panja wrote: and mind you Bhikkhu Pannobhaso was very heoric in his practice..he spent 18 years in the forest..for a year he never entered any building..alone in the forest battling ghosts! he said the meditation had become kind of like trench warfare----Nobody can convict him for his lack of earnestness..


Well, I would say that there is nothing heroic in living in the forest, it is rather more pleasant then heroic :smile: It could be also very supportive to wisdom, but it seems it was not helpful for Ven B.P. Forest rangers also are known as forest dwellers :smile:
The man who wants to avoid grotesque collapses should not look for anything to fulfill him in space and time.

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Re: Paññobhāsa Bhikkhu's Blog

Postby rowboat » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:30 am

Ven. Gavesako: Although I referred to the American habit of publicly confessing one's sins and repenting, there is something more going on too, i.e. that the distinction between private life and public life is increasingly fading away. All aspects of one's life, which before the rise of internet and reality TV would have been private and limited to one's immediate community, are now shared globally.


Hello, bhante. See contemporary German-Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han. From his Transparency Society - original title Transparenzgesellschaft: The imperative of transparency makes us slaves to visibility. A transparent society is a pornographic society, an exhibited society.

I've talked with Ven. Paññobhāsa and there is no doubt he is of a certain type. But he is very earnest, and I believe he has seen the other side of the problem.

“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” - ― Blaise Pascal
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
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