salmon wrote:I was reading the buddhistchannel.tv when I chanced upon this article on how a Buddhist monk had to don layman's wear to receive a title.
I don't quite know how to react.
Freedom of religion is enshrined in the the Malaysian Constitution. First, Article 11 provides that every person has the right to profess and to practice his or her religion and (subject to applicable laws restricting the propagation of other religions to Muslims) to propagate it. Second, the Constitution also provides that Islam is the religion of the country but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony (Article 3).
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:According to the Vinaya rule, it is allowable to obey kings.
Even if it is an offence, it is a minor one, and a personal choice that one can make.
As a young monk, I remember meeting the Queen at an Opening Ceremony for some cultural event, along with Venerable Dr Hammalawa Saddhatissa and some other senior monks. We all shook her hand — an offence of wrong doing for a monk, but refusing to shake her hand would have resulted in many non-Buddhists getting a negative impression of Buddhism, so it was the right thing to do in the circumstances.
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