"The Broken Buddha" by Ven.Dhammika and other scandals

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby lyndon taylor » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:45 am

I've tried reading this account it seems highly biased, almost made up, all you've proven is some monks in the country in Sri Lanka either don't trust or know a lot about western medicine.

By the way, most Therevada monks are not extensively taught or practise meditation, no one meditated for more than 5 minutes at my temple, when I was a monk, and they were very devout people, excessive meditation is more common in the west, meditation is just using your mind, and you can do that standing or sitting. Not that I don't recommend meditation, but not meditating does not make you bad or lazy buddhist, sleeping with students and doing drugs and alcohol, thats more what I think of when I think of bad buddhists.
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 that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:55 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I've tried reading this account it seems highly biased, almost made up, all you've proven is some monks in the country in Sri Lanka either don't trust or know a lot about western medicine.


I'm not trying to prove anything.

lyndon taylor wrote:Almost made up


How can you almost make something up? Either you make it up or you don't. And if you wish to accuse the author of 'making it up' I would suggest that you do so with some degree of logic/reasoning. But that is merely a suggestion, and you are welcome to think as you wish.

I think it's important to remember:

When accounts of the Holocaust first surfaced during the war thanks to the hard work of members of the Polish underground, nobody believed them, because the whole situation sounded so outrageous, so terrible, so extreme that it couldn't possibly be true. I do not wish to compare monks at Na Uyana with the Holocaust, but the point I am making is that just because something is outrageous and terrible, just because it is extreme does not mean that it isn't true. Just because the book does not present an alternative 'positive' account of the monks in question doesn't discredit the 'negative'.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:15 pm

Agreed. It's clear to me now that there is an undesirable element at work in the monasteries, and the Asian traditions are often moribund, filled with hangers-on and layabouts. It won't improve until the truth gets out.
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby pilgrim » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:48 pm

No monastery is perfect, but if one goes about only looking for the imperfections, then any monastery would seem to be a disaster. The accounts of this book appears to me to be written with a malicious intent. It should not be compared with Ven Dhammika's objective critique.
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:55 pm

Examples of malicious intent?
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:15 pm

It is becoming all too obvious that nobody is willing to evaluate the criticisms presented within the book on any objective basis, but instead willing to chalk it all up to 'nobodies perfect' and 'the books biased' and 'it seems to be written maliciously'

Again, I come back to this point:

That does not discredit the very serious allegations made by the author of the book.

Disregarding the points the author has made on the basis of bias, or that the author (and myself for some odd reason) is merely fault finding, or that it's malicious, does NOT discredit the allegations made. We're not just talking about the odd monks not meditating here nor a monks liking of alternative medicine, we're talking about allegations of widespread parajika incidents. I'm not defending the author and what is a very fiery and negative book, in my eyes there appears to be a heavy negative emotional investment on the part of the author. But I'll say it one final time: That does not discredit the allegations made by the author. There have been plenty of grumpy, angst ridden biased individuals throughout history who have blown whistles, their whistle blowing needs to be evaluated on the content itself, not upon the author's feelings.

If you are going to level a fair criticism of the allegations, and I more than hope somebody does, it needs to be on a logical basis, not a knee-jerk reaction.

I
Last edited by BlackBird on Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby pilgrim » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:21 pm

alan wrote:Examples of malicious intent?

The mocking cover and the derisive "Expected Comments" pretty much sets the tone for the book. I did qualify my statement to to say that it "appears to me" so no arguments if you disagree.
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:28 pm

It's therefore not a convincing argument, just another opinion based on emotional reactions.
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:36 pm

I have updated the original post to include my previous post - Emphasis on challenging the allegations themselves rather than the bias/intentions of the author, furthermore I have added that the book itself is vitriolic and highly critical, yet the serious claims leveled against some monks are nevertheless worthy of investigation to ascertain whether there is any truth to the matter.

I know the discussion is a very negative topic, but let's try and keep this civil :)

metta
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"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:46 pm

The web is replete with all sorts of "information", not all of it, factual. Before any sensible response can be given, one has to ascertain the facts, otherwise all we do is see what we want to see, or refuse to see what we don't want to see. But we don't even know what is there to be seen, so why proceed further?
_/|\_
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:51 pm

Huh? Not sure I'm on your wavelength.
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby binocular » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:02 pm

BlackBird wrote:Emphasis on challenging the allegations themselves rather than the bias/intentions of the author, furthermore I have added that the book itself is vitriolic and highly critical, yet the serious claims leveled against some monks are nevertheless worthy of investigation to ascertain whether there is any truth to the matter.

/.../
Sometimes you read about teachers who turn out to be major disappointments. They do really horrible things to their students, and the students complain that they've been victimized. But in nearly every case, when you read the whole story, you realize that the students should have seen this coming. There were blatant warning signals that they chose to ignore. You have to be responsible in choosing your teachers, choosing your path. Once you've chosen the path that looks likely, you have to be responsible in following it, in learning how to develop your own sensitivity in following it. Because after all, what is the path that the Buddha points out? There's virtue, there's concentration, and there's discernment. These are all qualities in your own mind. We all have them to some extent. Learning how to develop what's in your own mind is what's going to make all the difference. The Buddha's discernment isn't going to give you awakening; his virtue and concentration aren't going to give you awakening. You have to develop your own. Nobody else can develop these things for you. Other people can give you hints; they can help point you in the right direction. But the actual work and the actual seeing is something you have to do for yourself.
/.../

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Adult Dhamma
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby gavesako » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:12 pm

Compare with the recent "scandal" in the Thai Sangha:


Nothing new about monks living it up

Monks living in a cocoon of luxury is not news. Just drop by the dwellings of any elders in the clergy to see how they live. Monks owning or commuting in luxury cars is not news either.

- by Sanitsuda Ekachai
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... ving-it-up
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:17 pm

Excellent reference binocular.
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby alan » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:25 pm

Don't get me wrong, I like Thailand. But the monk thing is out of control. Most Thais seem to be unthinking in their devotion. Amulets and rituals, blessings, etc. It's no surprise to see the system corrupted.
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:41 pm

alan wrote:Huh? Not sure I'm on your wavelength.


I am just saying, how do we know what's in this account is true? I would be careful not to spread slander against the Sangha until checking it out.
_/|\_
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby perkele » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:24 pm

binocular wrote:/.../

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Adult Dhamma

:goodpost:
Another quote from the same:
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:When he taught his young son, Rahula, about truthfulness, the teaching was also pretty harsh. If you feel no shame in telling a lie, he said, your goodness is empty. It's thrown away. You can't be trusted. Then he taught Rahula to apply truthfulness in looking at his actions, to learn from his actions. That is basically what it means to become an adult.


Related to that - a quote from the book which is the topic of this thread (by some bhikkhu mentioned there):
"It is useless to practice in Pā-Auk, since Sayādaw cannot read my mind. He just gave me the instructions according to what I provide, even when I was lying."


Judging from what I have read so far, I do not think that the book is overly biased. It does seem to give quite a realistic account of what happens when people are insincere, hungry for holiness and "attainments" and all such things and their reputation, but cannot handle it and sacrifice their honesty. When such development becomes commonplace it is hard to stop.


This book is a warning. As for its "inflammatoriness", one should be careful not to read it with an inflammatory mindset, I guess.
We should not be sad, or angry. Today it often seems we have "too much information", more than we actually want to know. Must be some kind of bad karma for us. :lol:

"Gotami, the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to passion, not to dispassion; to being fettered, not to being unfettered; to accumulating, not to shedding; to self-aggrandizement, not to modesty; to discontent, not to contentment; to entanglement, not to seclusion; to laziness, not to aroused persistence; to being burdensome, not to being unburdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is not the Dhamma, this is not the Vinaya, this is not the Teacher's instruction.'


Thanks for sharing.
Last edited by perkele on Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:09 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:53 pm

Dan74 wrote:
alan wrote:Huh? Not sure I'm on your wavelength.


I am just saying, how do we know what's in this account is true? I would be careful not to spread slander against the Sangha until checking it out.


I knew it was coming, but all the same, I do take issue with the idea that I am 'spreading slander'.

You say it's slander, but no, I don't think so. Firstly, I think the author would need to be lying for it to be slander against the Sangha. For the claims directed against a number of these Bhikkhu's within the book are that they are parajika for a variety of reasons, and thus not part of the Sangha. Furthermore, does it not have to be a lie for it to be slander? Otherwise is it not merely a report of a truthful event, made according to the author, for the purposes of warning those who might seek to visit or ordain at Na Uyana?

And to answer your previous comment about it being impossible to ascertain the truth: Might it not be possible for someone to happen upon this thread who has been to Na Uyana and can back up at least one of the hundreds of instances of corruption detailed in this book? I think it is entirely possible.
Last edited by BlackBird on Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:57 pm

Hi Jack. I didn't say that you were spreading slander, I don't know. But you are risking it but putting this out without first ascertaining the facts.
_/|\_
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Re: The Nude Monk's Burning Robes

Postby BlackBird » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:01 am

Dan74 wrote:Hi Jack. I didn't say that you were spreading slander, I don't know. But you are risking it but putting this out without first ascertaining the facts.


Dan, I am putting it out there in order to ascertain the facts.

I'm sorry I accused you of accusing me of spreading slander, it just seemed logical when you said "I would be careful not to spread Slander against the Sangha" that my posting of what could be considered slander was whom it was directed at, considering nobody else has done anything close to that here.

with metta
Jack
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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