Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby manas » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:20 am

purple planet wrote:
That is why he was so popular with laypeople, but not with monks.
I think this important to whoever reads this story and gets doubts - that he was a bit controversial even before leaving


The teachers I most respect are also regarded as 'a bit controversial'. Sometimes I wonder who is there, who is totally free from any controversy? (Other than the Buddha himself, that is!)

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby purple planet » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:40 am

Ohh what i wanted to write but decided to leave it - that even the buddha had lots of critics and haters

its just a little comforting to know that some monks have an explanation to how a monk that was a monk so long and was a teacher of others just leaves it - and that the reason would be because he didnt meditate the right way
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby gavesako » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:29 pm

A woman, who has been the subject of speculation in previous weeks as the reason for renowned Japanese abbot Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leaving the monkhood, has introduced herself publicly through her Facebook page.
A single mother, 51-year-old Suttirat "Ann" Muttamara runs a widely known medical beauty centre. Her Facebook page carries a number of undated photos showing her posing with the former monk, now wearing normal clothes. ...

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/nationa ... 09337.html

There are still some rumours going around about the disrobing circumstances and her role in it. :spy:
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby Bankei » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:34 pm

Mitsuo while a monk wrote many books which became popular. I recall one with the title "Thais are Kind". I wonder what will happen to the royalties from these books and the other wealth he built up as a monk.

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby chownah » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:36 am

Does anyone know what the difference is between a regular beauty center and a medical beauty center?
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby gavesako » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:48 pm

Bankei wrote:Mitsuo while a monk wrote many books which became popular. I recall one with the title "Thais are Kind". I wonder what will happen to the royalties from these books and the other wealth he built up as a monk.
Bankei


It is a bit unfortunate that his disrobing coincided with other scandals involving Thai monks recently. But they should be kept well apart, after all Ajahn Mitsuo was never accused of any wrongdoing against the Vinaya while he was a monk, just the opposite: he was one of the inspiring monks of the forest tradition who tried to help various social projects as well. They did not sell his books, they were always sponsored for free distribution as is the rule in Ajahn Chah's monasteries. He could not amass personal wealth in private accounts either, although he probably still has his old followers who will now supprt him if he continues to teach as a layman.
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby gavesako » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:25 pm

This is a really good reflection on the current events in the Sangha:


The problem with getting attached to things
Veena Thoopkrajae


The latest controversies involving monks have made many Thai people despair. Is Buddhism deteriorating because of the increasing number of misbehaving monks? Is the Lord Buddha's philosophy failing to enlighten the current generation of monks?
Before we all jump the gun, let's dig into the issue and seek the answers in simple dharma. Maybe the scandals are a blessing in disguise, if we adhere to the basic rule of karma - whatever happened, happened for a reason, and is the consequence of our collective actions, of our good and bad karma.
...
Many people express their sorrow and frustration about Mitsuo on social media, and many portray his wife as the villain. The thing is, the matter has gone beyond the point of return. "Live in the present," is another of the Lord Buddha's teachings. We may have to re-examine ourselves: if the monk was a car carrying us along the path to enlightenment, the car has broken down. All we have to do is take another car on the same path. Using plain Buddhist philosophy, you detach your thoughts of him as a monk, and move on.

Non-attachment is at times a rather tricky Buddhist concept because it seems so easy to follow as a principle; but in reality it can be so difficult to follow. The sadness of losing a teacher like Phra Mitsuo can well demonstrate the consequences of such attachment. "Whenever we attach, we are unhappy, and when we can detach, we are free from suffering," the late Buddhadasa has said.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion ... 09812.html
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:54 pm

some journalist wrote:if we adhere to the basic rule of karma - whatever happened, happened for a reason, and is the consequence of our collective actions, of our good and bad karma.


I don't think that's what the Buddha taught about Kamma one little bit. That seems like fatalism to me, if not well intentioned fatalism.

It is Pubbekatahetuditthi nevertheless, and that is a wrong view. I have sent the author a nicely worded email asking for a minor correction.
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby gavesako » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:57 pm

I think people might have misunderstood what she wants to say: She is addressing the kind of 'guru worship' that tends to happen in Thailand, whereby great numbers of Buddhists 'empower' a single individual (with expressions of their faith and financial donations, this is the 'collective karma') and then, when that individual falls from grace, they inevitably reap despair and disappoinment.
Last edited by gavesako on Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby Bankei » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:54 am

Yes, I agree the Mitsuo and Nenkham matters are completely different.

It is interesting, though, how fast Mitsuo married after disrobing. I have seen this happen, or similar happen, a few times with Thai monks. There is nothing wrong with this sort of thing, but I imagine the woman starts to get 'close' to the monk, going to see him often, talking often. They may get to know each others personal situation a bit from talking. The monk then starts to think, what if I disrobed... perhaps nothing is said to the woman until after they are a layman again and then suddenly they are a couple.

I knew one monk who had a woman come and visit him everyday in his kuti - outside and not alone. She would ring him every night. He disrobed and suddenly they were together within hours. About 6 months later I went back to that temple and the guy was a monk again. I think the girl dumped him, probably broke his heart too!
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby binocular » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:40 am

Bankei wrote:I knew one monk who had a woman come and visit him everyday in his kuti - outside and not alone. She would ring him every night.

Isn't there a principle against that?
Ie. that a person ought to protect another person's status and spiritual practice?
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby gavesako » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:21 pm

Here is a good article addressing the issues raised above:

Abusing my religion

Patcharawalai Sanyanusin

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... y-religion
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:58 pm

I'm sorry but I completely fail to see where there's a scandal in any Therevada monk that's keeping his vows leaving the monk hood and quickly getting married, although it doesn't happen very much with the older monks. As a short term Therevada Buddhist monk myself, I was taught that Thai/Cambodian/ Lao/ Burmese tradition was that every devout Buddhist youth was strongly encouraged to become a monk for a minimum of 3+ years to 3+ months, after which they decided whether to stay a monk if they didn't have a strong interest in marriage, or leave the monkhood and get married, usually in a very short term, At one temple I attended the young monk was dating the woman he was to marry, non physically meeting with her on an almost daily basis, this was not looked down upon, or frowned upon, in fact it was the traditional way in their cultures.

As soon as I did my three weeks as a monk and quit (because they wouldn't give me a medical exemption for my illness to eat after 12), My best monk friend, the one in my avatar picture set out to find me a Cambodian wife, he even had me lined up with the owner of a Cambodian Donut shop(free donuts for life!!!) but it was my awareness that marrying an American was a huge loss of face for a Cambodian woman to her family, I decided it just wasn't a good idea, though I would have loved to meet the Donut shop owner!!

Unlike Mahayana Buddhism, where some say you go to the lower realms if you ever quit being a monk, in Therevada tradition there is absolutely no teaching of negative karma for leaving being a monk(given you're keeping the precepts). Now of course most of this leaving the monkhood and quickly getting married occurs with monks in their 20s, for a respected teacher who has been a monk for 38 years it would be unexpected, but not a bad thing unless he had physically broken his vows while still a monk, and very quickly getting married does not classify as evidence he had broken his vows in my book. It can obviously be taken as evidence that he hadn't fully conquered sexual desire, but I don't think that's a crime, is it???

There are bigger monk fish to fry in this scandal business, This poor monk, Mitsuo, definetly does not deserve to be classified as scandalous the way some of these other monks obviously do.
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: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby gavesako » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:15 pm

If you read the article to the end, it is clear that she does not put him in the same category as the other "scandalous" monks -- these incidents just happened to coincide and that is why they are being discussed on the same page.
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:23 pm

Sorry, my bad,I did read the article, I was responding more to the tone of the thread, I did think there's maybe 50 monks mentioned in the article out of how many monks in Thailand?? 10,000??? 100,000??? so perhaps we're not doing so bad, even the Buddha had to throw monks out of the order, didn't he??
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: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby Thanavuddho » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:39 am

Greetings,

I just read the news today. I knew Ajahn Gavesako from Thailand (not very well...). Watching that photo of him and her riding those horses made me laugh. Not in a contemptuous way... We where just talking about senior monks disrobing back in Australia. I think some of us are quite used to this kind of a thing already.

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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby hermitwin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:30 am

I am really puzzled by this. can someone esp Bhante Gavesako (small) explain?

As I understand it.
If a person is sotapanna or sakadagami, will the person
still leave monkhood?

or is it only arahants who will never leave monkhood?
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby forestmat » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:57 am

Maybe to 'clear' his/her name, two books are due out next week in Thailand

"Mitsuo Shibahashi, formerly known as Phra Mitsuo Gavesako, will launch two new books that promise to tell all about why he left the monkhood after almost 40 years to pursue a married life."

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/372896/married-ex-monk-publishes-memoirs
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby nibbuti » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:50 am

hermitwin wrote:As I understand it.
If a person is sotapanna or sakadagami, will the person
still leave monkhood?

or is it only arahants who will never leave monkhood?

Hi hermit. As I understand it. If a person is anagami (non-returner) he has abandoned the fetter of sensual desire (which is a main reason for disrobing), but sotapanna and sakadagami are still bound by coarse sensual desire and dukkha.
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Re: Phra Ajahn Mitsuo Gavesako leave the Buddhist monkhood?

Postby gavesako » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:46 pm

The other side of the story
The marriage of Suttirat Muttamara & former monk phra Mitsuo Gavesako

8/10/2013
Arusa Pisuthipan

Phra Mitsuo Gavesako, the abbot of a famous monastery in Kanchanaburi left the monkhood where he had served Buddhism for over 40 years and assumed his former identity as Mitsuo Shibahashi and then flew to his native Japan and married the 52-year-old businesswoman Suttirat Muttamara.

Suttirat was immediately bombarded with questions and accusations from not just the public but also many of the former monk's devoted followers.

Shibahashi has written two books [Kwam Nai Jai Ajarn Mitsuo (Message From The Heart Of Ajarn Mitsuo) and Bot Tes Wan Sud Thai Nai Phet Banpachit (The Last Sermon In The Saffron Robe)] to tell the truth behind his decision to leave the monkhood

"When the scandal broke, he [Shibahashi] said if we keep responding to criticism it would become a never-ending argument And it would appear like we made up excuses He said it is better to write a book because in a book you can explain things in detail. And I think now it is time to speak," said the 52-year-old businesswoman. Admittedly Suttirat is an attractive gentle-spoken woman and it is no wonder ... has a glowing complexion given that she owns a beauty business and has a master's degree in anti-ageing medicine.

But on the flip side it was perhaps this attractiveness that was regarded by many as the thing that enticed the former forest monk - who once announced he would never leave the monkhood nor get married for the rest of his life - to choose the worldly route he had never thought of taking before.


Apart from Shibahashi, no one will ever know if it might truly have been something more than just such physical beauty.

"She [Suttirat] is likely to have been my soulmate in past lives - my supportive partner " said Shibahashi in his first online videoclip filmed in Japan after his marriage

"Everyone might not understand why I decided to leave the monkhood So they had many questions in mind Some of my followers said that I was drugged and blackmailed and this has brought about a disgrace to Buddhism.

"Therefore, I have to explain the truth so that everyone understands and is not consumed by criticism from some certain groups of people who use the social network as a tool to destroy the faith people have towards myself," Shibahashi wrote in the foreword of Kwam Nai Jai Ajarn Mitsuo.

From Suttirat's side, her relationship with Shibahashi can be summed up as stemming from her managing his Budd-hist affairs during the two months she was appointed by the then Phra Mitsuo as his personal secretary, handling some of his work, transportation arrangements for his invitations managing his Facebook page and providing him with health treatments

And the then Phra Mitsuo's touching teachings were also where Suttirat sought emotional solace

''I always believe in his teachings,'' she said. ''Back then I was in misery because of my business difficulties. He taught me about the uncertainty of suffering and of happiness. His guidance was full of kindness and compassion With him, I learn dhamma everyday.''

And then came what can only be described as a life-changing moment

''One day he told me he would leave the monkhood '' Suttirat recalled ''I was shocked because this was not what I was expecting. But at the same time I was glad He told me he felt as if we had some sort of connection in our past lives ... and he said if he left the monkhood and we were meant to be each other's supportive partner we will still be able to contribute to Buddhism and spread dhamma.

''From Phra Mitsuo Gavesako to Ajarn Mitsuo Shibahashi, he will definitely keep on promoting Buddhism,'' she added.

But wasn't all this a wrong, if not sinful deed?

Suttirat asked her would-be husband this very important question and wondered if what they were about to pursue would block his road to enlightenment And for her, the answer was apparently a relief

''He said, 'You committed no sin You were not the cause My mind was the cause And you were just a factor' ,'' she said, adding Shibahashi always says he had never before thought of getting married nor having a family of his own. But she said now that they were happy about one another in many ways, they had some sort of vision as to how it would be if they were together like a family.

''So when the mind changes, he said he only wanted to secure the 'true monkhood' . If a monk has a feeling of love towards a woman and he still remains in the saffron robe that is simply inappropriate - a disgrace to Buddhism. If that person continues to live as a monk, he is not a true monk,'' Suttirat said.

So after the scandal broke, she was branded and accused of doing many bad, improper things to lure Mitsuo out of the monkhood

One rumour involved Suttirat arranging a private van for the former monk to travel from his temple in Kanchanaburi to Bangkok for diabetes treatment She was accused of staying with him alone during the ride in the passenger zone partitioned off from the front seats where his followers were all placed.

But then again the public response might be justified given Suttirat herself was also active in revealing her relationship as well as posting photos of herself taken with the former monk on her Facebook page, which caused a major stir especially among Buddhist followers countrywide

''After the scandal broke, I kept checking news from the internet every day until he [Shibahashi] told me to stop doing so because it only made me stressed out,'' she recalled

Now, as a husband, Mitsuo has responded to such accusations in his new book.

''I would like to reconfirm that I have been fully aware of the choice I made to leave the monkhood I made this decision myself without being drugged, blackmailed set up consumed by black magic or anything. I would also like to confirm that I had been a perfectly-behaved Buddhist monk until my last day in the orange robe And my departure from the monkhood is my willing and voluntary decision. The disrobing ceremony was carried out properly according to all Buddhist disciplines '' he writes.

The controversy apparently involved a lot of social networking being used as a weapon

In one of Shibahashi's new books, he also commented on an issue regarding the use of such weaponry.

''Digging out other people's private business and posting it on Facebook - some true, some not, some fabricated with an aim to break other people's families - are all detestable behaviours which lead to disagreement and the destruction of peace in the society rather than creating harmony,'' he wrote.

''This is the downside and danger of the social network that can distribute any information or accusing someone without any evidence

''A person's reputation can be severely attacked only by rumours from some certain groups of people. The mind is, by nature, subject to self-protection.

''We see other people's mistakes as huge as a mountain. But our own is as tiny as a needle' s eye. Other people's farts smell so foul but we do not mind the smell of our own.''

Four months into their controversial relationship everything is turning out to be just like Suttirat expected. Living with a man who spent almost 40 years in the monkhood is indeed fortunate she said. Shibahashi's health has also improved. The future is not ours to see but for now the couple plans to keep on promoting Buddhist education by holding dhamma classes both in Thailand and in Japan, where they have rented a house in Tokyo.

''We plan to stay both in Thailand and in Japan and will contribute to Buddhism through the approach he is good at, which is teaching,'' Suttirat said.

"What has happened increases the love and compassion I feel towards my wife," Shibahashi writes in his book, ''and we will hold our hands more tightly so that our minds will not be shaken by pressure from the outside."

:hug:

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/3 ... -the-story

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/lea ... of-a-woman
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