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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Ajahn Brahm for sale?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:49 pm

Instead of focusing on what you think people are doing try correcting the points if they are in error! :focus:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:24 pm

As I said before, I don't know enough about the actual Vinaya to be certain about this. However, I do think that monks should perhaps avoid doing things that are certain to appear as Vinaya violations. It seems that Brahmali had this explanation cocked and ready, and something about that really bothers me. I agree with Tilt that there is a bit too much finger-wagging here, but I also feel as though monks should err on the side of caution instead of doing things that really do seem to be rule-breakers, justification at the ready.

I like Brahm, and Brahmali, and I don't really care about this either way. Something does seem off though. Perhaps this could have been handled better.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:56 pm

I was extremely reluctant to comment on this thread and I haven't even read it all, but I'll give my 2 cents.

The worst case scenario is the scenario where Ajahn Brahm broke a vinaya rule. Although I think this is very unlikely, is it such a terrible thing? It wasn't a parajika. Ajahn Brahm is human so he is bound to break the vinaya. Even the Buddha, when he promised a heaven full of consorts to a disciple if he practiced the path thaught by the him, the Buddha (in my interpretation; I may be wrong) lied. The Buddha, the supreme example to all of us, wasn't exempt of breaking the vinaya. Ajahn Chah also read the palm of the hand of a disciple, breaking a vinaya rule. So this, I think, is such a subtle issue that it should be left to bhikkhus to decide the best course of action, if any at all. We, as lay people who haven't experienced what it is living acording to the vinaya should only express indignation if the situation is severe, like a parajika, or a schism, or a big event like the bhikkhuni ordination, for example. I would even understand comments if there were bad intentions in Ajahn Brahm's heart that were discernible to us. This is clearly not the case. When we're not even sure if it was a breaking of the vinaya, why be judgemental?

As a member already said, Ajahn Brahm deserves better.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Stephen K » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:01 pm

Does anybody lose anything from this? Does this lead to harm and suffering for anyone? Does it lead to anyone's benefit? Is there any unwholesome intention involved here?

Something is unwholesome if (1.) it springs from greed, hatred, or delusion and (2.) it leads to harm and suffering for oneself or another or both.

I don't see any unwholesome intentions here and I don't see any harm for anyone involved.
With metta,
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby manas » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:29 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:Even the Buddha, when he promised a heaven full of consorts to a disciple if he practiced the path thaught by the him, the Buddha (in my interpretation; I may be wrong) lied.


Hi Modus,

I know your intentions are good here, but that wasn't a lie; crafty or even a little bit tricky, maybe ;) but I am quite sure that, had the said disciple practiced assiduously as instructed but not attained any state beyond stream-entry, that he would indeed have ended up in such a heaven. with such consorts. So, the promise would have held true. But something happened on the way to heaven...and I think the Buddha knew about that, as well. But either way, He still would not have been lying. But maybe, being just a little bit crafty, to save yet another being from the perils of samsara...

(I also am hoping that if I'm mistaken here, that someone corrects me!)

:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:39 pm

manas wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote:Even the Buddha, when he promised a heaven full of consorts to a disciple if he practiced the path thaught by the him, the Buddha (in my interpretation; I may be wrong) lied.


Hi Modus,

I know your intentions are good here, but that wasn't a lie; crafty or even a little tricky, yes, :) but I am quite sure that, had the said disciple practiced assiduously as instructed but not attained any state beyond stream-entry, that he would indeed have ended up in such a heaven. with such consorts. So, the promise would have held true. But something happened on the way to heaven...and I think the Buddha knew about that, as well. But either way, He still would not have been lying. But maybe, being just a little bit crafty, to save yet another being from the perils of samsara...

So, when the Buddha said, "I am your ticket to 500 dove-footed nymphs" he was speaking truthfully. He just didn't mention that the desire for the 500 nymphs would fade and utterly cease along the way :lol:

(I also am hoping that if I'm mistaken here, that someone corrects me!)

:anjali:

that is correct to my knowledge.
it was the story of Nanda, who basically said when he went to the Buddha after that he wouldn't know what to do with them and declined the "prize".
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby manas » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:52 pm

Cittasanto wrote:...
that is correct to my knowledge.
it was the story of Nanda, who basically said when he went to the Buddha after that he wouldn't know what to do with them and declined the "prize".


I can recall another occassion. where (as I recall) the Buddha promised to (heal or bring back to life?) the child of a grief-sticken mother, if she could bring him a mustard seed from a house (ie, in those days, family) in which no-one had ever died. Note the presence of the word 'IF'...which meant that the Buddha was never going to have to fulfil that one, because there is no such house / family.

So once more, that was a clever, yet truthful, use of words, was it not? :anjali:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:59 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote: Ajahn Chah also read the palm of the hand of a disciple, breaking a vinaya rule.

Ajahn Chah had his palms read once, but I have never heard of him reading palms, he had this strange scoff apparently when asked to see his palms so it is strange!
can you provide a reference?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby SamKR » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:25 pm

No doubt about Ajahn Brahm's good intentions and no doubt that he has contributed a lot and that he is just trying to work for the benefit of many. Also, this may not be against Vinaya.

But would the Buddha (Gotama) approve this? Probably not.
Just an opinion based on a handful of suttas I've read so far.

:namaste:
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby James the Giant » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:10 pm

This debate reminds me of the Devadatta schism...
A group of people holding monks to a higher standard than what the vinaya actually requires.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Gena1480 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:48 pm

where does a Bhikkhu go
when breaking a rule
does he go to the support of the Sangha
that ordain him.
i know its not of any of my Business,
but remembering the sutta where even Arahant didn't have inclination to teach ordain Bhikkhunis
only from direct instruction from the Buddha they change their mind.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:27 am

I am wondering what the purpose of this thread is?

Have you written to Ajahn Brahm, Cittasanto? That would be useful.

Other than that, it just sounds like a whole lot of conceit to believe one's take on Vinaya and the Dhamma to be superior to an outstanding monk ordained for nearly 40 years, especially for one who's been on this earth for barely half this long?

I mean questioning is great but it's got to be open-minded and respectful and this seems to be increasingly rare these days.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby SDC » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:40 am

Dan74 wrote:I am wondering what the purpose of this thread is?

Have you written to Ajahn Brahm, Cittasanto? That would be useful.

Other than that, it just sounds like a whole lot of conceit to believe one's take on Vinaya and the Dhamma to be superior to an outstanding monk ordained for nearly 40 years, especially for one who's been on this earth for barely half this long?

I mean questioning is great but it's got to be open-minded and respectful and this seems to be increasingly rare these days.


Good post, Dan
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Gena1480 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:45 am

where do i go to write
i'm interested
maybe i
will learn something.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:59 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Modus.Ponens wrote: Ajahn Chah also read the palm of the hand of a disciple, breaking a vinaya rule.

Ajahn Chah had his palms read once, but I have never heard of him reading palms, he had this strange scoff apparently when asked to see his palms so it is strange!
can you provide a reference?


I remember this story beeing told by one of his disciples. I've googled it, but didn't find a reference, because it was on an audio file. It was basicaly like this. It was when a generous benefactor of Ajahn Chah's monastery received a dhamma talk on the importance of gratitude. The next day the benefactor went to Ajahn Chah and asked him to read his palm. Ajahn Chah declined. The benefactor reminded Ajahn Chah of his previous dhamma talk on the importance of gratitude. So Ajahn Chah was kind of forced to read the benefactor's palm.

I'm not judging Ajahn Chah here. I wish I had 1 hundreth of his discipline. I believe he was an arahat. What I'm saying is that even an arahat can break the vinaya. I'm not defending a lax behaviour either. Obviously good monks do the best they can to mantain the vinaya. But the best they can is not perfect. There is a reason for there being punishments in the vinaya: monks break it. Different monks break different vinaya rules and there is a procedure for overcoming those faults. This is basicaly a monks' issue, so I think we should abstain from making public judgement, such as saying that Ajahn Brahm is prostituting his time. What a horrible way to put it!

James nailed it when he reminded the Devadatta's schism. Monks holding other monks with higher standards than those the Buddha himself laid down for his Sangha. What to say then of lay people, who don't have experience with living everyday with the vinaya, judging the monks who don't live with a higher standard than that in the vinaya?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby santa100 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:35 am

It'd be great if more monastics could provide their take on the matter: Thanissaro, Bodhi, etc. The Sangha should operate in an open and transparent manner and the voices of the monastics as well as lay communities are extremely important in keeping it that way. Thank you Ven. Pesala for being the first monastic to give an opinion. But we need more. It's no coincidence that monks at the end of the summer retreat have to gather together and ask one another to point out any mistake they've made. The tradition needs to be kept alive to maintain the health of the Sangha. Ven. Bodhi actually already voiced his objection to Ven. Brahm once back in 2009:

...I have been regretfully forced to the conclusion that Ajahn Brahm and yourself were at fault for proceeding in the hasty and secretive way in which you conducted the ordination. In my opinion, in view of the fact that Ajahn Brahm had been an important and much respected member of this community, he should have discussed the issue openly and fully at a meeting with all its prominent representatives, and patiently attempted to prevail upon them with the art of persuasion... ( http://sujato.wordpress.com/2009/11/08/ ... -response/ )
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:48 am

Dan74 wrote:I am wondering what the purpose of this thread is?

Have you written to Ajahn Brahm, Cittasanto? That would be useful.

Other than that, it just sounds like a whole lot of conceit to believe one's take on Vinaya and the Dhamma to be superior to an outstanding monk ordained for nearly 40 years, especially for one who's been on this earth for barely half this long?

I mean questioning is great but it's got to be open-minded and respectful and this seems to be increasingly rare these days.


:goodpost:
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:57 am

santa100 wrote:It'd be great if more monastics could provide their take on the matter:
Why? Is what Ven B doing that grave of an action?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby polarbuddha101 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:15 am

It certainly isn't some horrible thing Ajahn Brahm is doing and he has the best of intentions. I just think that the Buddha would disapprove of the way Ven Brahm is going about it, which of course is of no consequence since he isn't around anymore anyway so that's just my take on it. I apologize for the way I wrote my second comment on this thread and I deleted it a couple of days ago, it came off sounding worse than I wanted it to. I don't think it's dour though to have an opinion on how bhikkhu's should go around acquiring requisites (shelter in this case) either for themselves or for their fellow samanas when the opinion is at least somewhat educated but anyway, enough said. I hope the bhikkhuni's in Australia get to have the planned monastery and may they all realize nibbana in this very life.

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Ajahn Brahm for sale?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:24 am

polarbuddha101 wrote: I don't think it's dour though to have an opinion
Of course not, though the
selling of "Ajahn Brahm" as a way of doing things -- the "ad" -- was meant to be funny. Some of the responses to the ad were, indeed, a bit dour.

But, again, why would we need to turn this into an international incident involving other well known monks?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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