Monk criticizing another monk. Would that cause a schism ?

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heshan86
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Monk criticizing another monk. Would that cause a schism ?

Postby heshan86 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:21 pm

If a Buddhist monk criticizes another Buddhist monk would that be a schism in Sangha, if it affects the relationship between the monk that was criticized and other Buddhist monks living in the same Monastery ?

Also is it bad karma if a person who is not a Buddhist monk criticizes the behavior of Buddhist monks with other Buddhists (But not monks). I'm currently learning Buddhism and a person that I know (He's not a Buddhist monks) says that a majority of the Buddhist monks that live in Monasteries in big cities can not be trusted.

When I asked him why he said that, he says that many of them break the precepts that Buddhist monks are supposed to follow. So if a person says something like this to another Buddhist (Not a monk) because for some reason he had the idea that most Buddhist monks living in Monasteries break precepts. Then would that be a serious karma like creating a schism in Sangha (If what he said affected the way the other person thought of Buddhist monks) ?

Even I would not totally disagree with the fact that some Buddhist monks do break precepts sometimes but I felt he made a mistake by generalizing. So is it a serious karma if a person says something like this to another Buddhist (But not a monk).

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PsychedelicSunSet
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Re: Monk criticizing another monk. Would that cause a schism

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:53 pm

the Vinaya wrote:To qualify as a schism, the division has to meet five criteria:
1) The Community is originally united, which means that it is composed
of bhikkhus of common affiliation living in the same territory.
2) It contains at least nine bhikkhus.
3) It becomes involved in a dispute over any of eighteen grounds for a
creating a schism. In other words, one of the sides advocates any of the
following positions, explaining:
Dhamma as not-Dhamma;
not-Dhamma as Dhamma;
Vinaya as not-Vinaya;
not-Vinaya as Vinaya;
what was not spoken by the Buddha as having been spoken by him;
what was spoken by the Buddha as not;
what was not regularly practiced by him as having been regularly
practiced by him;
what was regularly practiced by him as not;
what was not formulated by him as having been formulated by him;
what was formulated by him as not;
an offense as a non-offense;
a non-offense as an offense;
a heavy offense as a light offense;
a light offense as heavy;
an offense leaving a remainder (i.e., not a pārājika) as an offense
leaving no remainder (§);
an offense leaving no remainder as an offense leaving a remainder (§);
a serious offense as not serious; or
a not-serious offense as serious.
4) There are at least four bhikkhus on either side.
5) The dispute reaches the point where the two sides conduct separate
Pāṭimokkha recitations, Invitation ceremonies, or other Community
transactions within the same territory.


So that would not be considered a schism in the Sangha. As for if it creates bad Kamma, more often than not we create "Black and White Kamma with Black and White results". Intention plays the biggest role in creating Kamma. So if that persons intentions were to warn you so that you don't learn Dhamma from people he believes to be teaching non-Dhamma, it would be better Kamma then if he did it because he just doesn't like those monks and doesn't want them to have more followers. Either way, Kamma is rather complicated, and it's hard to say exactly what kind of Kamma we're creating with any real certainty. Hope this helps.


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Monk criticizing another monk. Would that cause a schism

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:42 pm

All such critical talk is the unwholesome kamma of divisive speech, unless it is said with good intention, e.g. “Take care when visiting monks. Not all are virtuous. If they ask for donations without being invited, don't feel obliged to give them anything. They are not permitted to ask for anything unless they are first invited.”

The weighty kamma (garu kamma) of causing a schism can only be done by fully ordained monks, so you don't need to concern yourself with that.
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Bakmoon
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Re: Monk criticizing another monk. Would that cause a schism

Postby Bakmoon » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:47 pm

heshan86 wrote:If a Buddhist monk criticizes another Buddhist monk would that be a schism in Sangha, if it affects the relationship between the monk that was criticized and other Buddhist monks living in the same Monastery ?

Also is it bad karma if a person who is not a Buddhist monk criticizes the behavior of Buddhist monks with other Buddhists (But not monks). I'm currently learning Buddhism and a person that I know (He's not a Buddhist monks) says that a majority of the Buddhist monks that live in Monasteries in big cities can not be trusted.

When I asked him why he said that, he says that many of them break the precepts that Buddhist monks are supposed to follow. So if a person says something like this to another Buddhist (Not a monk) because for some reason he had the idea that most Buddhist monks living in Monasteries break precepts. Then would that be a serious karma like creating a schism in Sangha (If what he said affected the way the other person thought of Buddhist monks) ?

Even I would not totally disagree with the fact that some Buddhist monks do break precepts sometimes but I felt he made a mistake by generalizing. So is it a serious karma if a person says something like this to another Buddhist (But not a monk).


The Buddha himself mentioned in the Abhaya Sutta the criteria on which he based his own speech:

Abhaya Sutta wrote:[1] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... l#criteria


In other words, you should only speak in ways that are true and helpful, and if what you are going to say is something the hearer will not like, then you should have a sense of when and where it is appropriate to speak up.

Based on these principles, not all criticism is wrong according to the Buddha's teachings. If you criticize out of dislike for someone, that isn't good, but helpful constructive criticism is in fact very healthy. In fact, at the end of the three months rains retreat of the Monks hold a ceremony called the Pavarana in which they invite one another to criticize their conduct.

The key point to make is that you should carefully ask yourself if you are criticizing out of a sincere desire to help and correct mistakes or simply criticizing out of pride and superiority.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

KumarS
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Re: Monk criticizing another monk. Would that cause a schism

Postby KumarS » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:17 am

PsychedelicSunSet wrote:
the Vinaya wrote:To qualify as a schism, the division has to meet five criteria:
1) The Community is originally united, which means that it is composed
of bhikkhus of common affiliation living in the same territory.
2) It contains at least nine bhikkhus.
[..]


I long though that Buddhism is a religion based on experimenting and see things by ourselves rather than rely on "Higher Truths" as taught us by someone else.
This is why I find it hard to understand why questioning what the Buddha said and claiming that Buddha did say or did not say something may be bad.
After all, we were not here when the Buddha was speaking and his teachings passed from mouth to ear so many times for centuries that it is hard to believe that they represent faithfully the words of the Buddha (I hope I am not breaking any Buddhist precept myself by saying this..)


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