Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand)

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand)

Postby gavesako » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:05 pm

Some interesting articles worth quoting: Modern Buddhism and ideas of democracy

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion ... 70428.html
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion ... 70490.html
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand)

Postby gavesako » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:52 pm

More from the same author Paisarn Likhitpreechakul:

Angulimala, samurais and red shirts: responsibility for action

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/others/ ... 48941.html
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/others/ ... 48998.html

... Although Mahatma Gandhi and most modern Hindu thinkers would interpret Gita verses like "Holding pleasure and pain alike, gain and loss, victory and defeat, then gird thyself for battle; thus thou shalt not get evil" as addressing a spiritual battle inside oneself, fundamentalists see it literally as a validation for an actual war. Imbued in such an interpretation is the ancient Brahmanical belief that no karma - and, therefore, moral responsibility - is incurred if one detaches oneself from the actions or their results. In other words, not committing oneself to an act is as good as not committing it.
As proposed in yesterday's first part of this article, this ancient doctrine was likely held by Angulimala as a liberation philosophy before it was rebuked by the Buddha in Angulimala Sutta. Indeed, it would have been surprising if the Buddha hadn't dealt with this kind of Brahmanical soteriology after having extensively criticised its social institutions - particularly the caste system - and debated with other main rival schools on how to free oneself from cycles of rebirth.

... Had Angulimala only been emotionally insensitive to blood, then the Buddha's statement that he hadn't ceased violence would have sounded obvious - like a butcher being told that his hands are bloody - and solicited a "So what?" response. But if Angulimala had been philosophically desensitised to violence, then the Buddha's argumentative viewpoint would truly have caught him by surprise - like a high priest being told his lifelong worship actually leads to hell. It would certainly jolt Angulimala into an awakening - like a "moon coming out of hiding cloud".
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand)

Postby gavesako » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:09 pm

Karma confusion and the theology of Thai exceptionalism
Paisarn Likhitpreechakul

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/others/ ... 60389.html

... This religion is underpinned and its social order buttressed by a sort of karma theology, turning Buddhism on its head. According to this doctrine, we were born into the station we deserve, as a farmer, a salary worker or a hi-so, following acts in our past lives. The disabled, the poor and women are said to earn their predicaments and "lower" statuses because they made insufficient meritorious deeds or, worse, committed sins in their past lives. (The list of second-class humans has been extended to include homosexuals, transgenders, people with chronic diseases, crime victims, and even disaster victims.) Therefore, we all must behave according to our station, gender and age as prescribed by the dharma (morality) so that we can all have better next lives and to prevent chaos and the collapse of Thai society.

The Buddha would immediately recognise Thailand, with the compartmentalisation of people and prescribed roles, as a modern variation of the Brahmanistic caste society which he rigorously criticised throughout his life. He wouldn't imagine it to be anything inspired by his proclamation of humanity's oneness in the Vasettha Sutta - the first religious teacher to do so in an age when castes, sexism and racism strongly prevailed.

But why let the Buddha get in the way of Thai exceptionalism? Our karma-schmarma theology is so much better because it has also given us a perfect theocracy for social control, since "Trai Phoom Phra Ruang" - with its promise of heaven and threat of hell - was written some 700 years ago.

Buddhist scholar David R Loy wrote in his book "Money, Sex, War, Karma", "Taken literally, karma justifies the authority of political elites, who therefore must deserve their wealth and power, and the subordination of those who have neither. It provides the perfect theodicy: If there is an infallible cause-and-effect relationship between one's action and one's fate, there is no need to work toward social justice, because it's already built into the moral fabric of the universe."

With our karma-schmarma Law (with a capital "L"), other laws don't matter. "Western" ideas are welcomed but must be "upgraded" to suit our Panglossian society. Because the Law doesn't see people as equals, the idea of a democratic government "of the people, by the people and for the people" isn't good enough. We demand to be ruled only by "good people". And if the man-made constitution can't guarantee that, it's okay to tear it up again and again.

Since our society is already perfect under the Law, there's no need whatsoever to discuss what kind of society we want to be. No need for social justice or human rights, because those who are underprivileged in our society are so because they are karmically inferior and lazy - nothing to do with our economic and social system.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand)

Postby Ytrog » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:15 pm

Interesting Bhante. I hope that they will get a real democracy soon. I must note however that most western democracies are actually more particracies. :anjali:
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand)

Postby gavesako » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:22 pm

Lifting the veil of ignorance: Buddhism and justice
by Paisarn Likhitpreechakul, The Nation, December 16, 2011

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 28,0,0,1,0

...


Home > Asia Pacific > South East Asia > Thailand

Lifting the veil of ignorance: Buddhism and justice
by Paisarn Likhitpreechakul, The Nation, December 16, 2011

Bangkok, Thailand -- The 20-year jail sentence handed down to Mr Amphon (last name withheld), aka Ah Kong (southern Chinese for "grandfather"), for sending four SMS messages deemed offensive to the monarchy, has stirred a debate on the Thai justice system.

The relevant "lese majeste" law has also became a hot topic, as it has increasingly become a tool for political oppression rather than protection of the monarchy. Among the many views expressed, some Buddhists cite the law of karma to justify the verdict, saying that the grandfather got exactly what he deserved.

It's true that "you reap what you sow" is more or less the Buddha's teaching on karma at the spiritual level. But when the teachings are applied to the social level, there are many other complicating factors at play that many Thais sarcastically say, "Tham dee dai dee mee thee nai. Tham chua dai dee mee thom pai." (Show me those who reap benefits from good deeds. Plenty of people reap benefits from evil deeds.)

In Sivaka sutta, the Buddha clearly rejected the view that "whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all is caused by previous karma". He gave examples of physical, biological and social factors as additional causes for present experience, concluding that holders of such views "go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world".

Attributing everything to karma is therefore not the Buddha's teaching on karmas but the doctrine of karmic determinism rejected by the Buddha. As it can justify everything and mean nothing, a statement like "People got flooded because of karma" only gives a sense of complacency and precludes legitimate discussions on social justice. The Buddha, in Kutadanta sutta and Cakkavatti- Sihanada sutta, told stories in which social phenomena were caused by social and economic injustice such as maldistribution of social wealth.

In Tittha sutta, the Buddha also explained that the doctrine of karmic determinism would mean that people do good and bad deeds as a result of past karma. Therefore, nobody would be responsible for their acts, and there would be no desire and effort to do what should be done and avoid what shouldn't be done. Obviously such a fatalistic view doesn't constitute a religion - let alone the Buddha's. For example, believing that someone is murdered because of karma raises the questions whether the murderer, as an instrument of karma, is morally responsible, why he should be punished, or why he shouldn't do it again when he feels like it.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand)

Postby gavesako » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:37 pm

Buddhism and human rights: the Kantian dhamma
Paisarn Likhitpreechakul
The Nation January 11, 2012 1:00 am

... Some Thais would argue that humans are born unequal, like the digits on one's hand, implying fixed roles and discriminating treatments. Although often attributed to the Buddha, this justification for a caste-like system was actually promoted by Phraya Anumanratchathon in the 1960s to support the Pibunsongkram nationalistic regime.

In contrast, Buddhists elsewhere have long supported human rights. In his 1991 book on the subject, Sri Lankan scholar LPN Perera established that the UDHR is completely in agreement with Buddhism, by identifying parallels in the Buddhist canon to every UDHR article. However, in Are There Human Rights in Buddhism? Buddhist ethicist Damien Keown asked an important question on how to philosophically "ground" the concept of human rights in Buddhism. Here, the author would like to propose a preliminary answer by taking a step back to the origin of human rights. ...

Kant insists that we have the power to rise above our desire, because if there's no such autonomy then there's no moral responsibility. A flying rock cannot be held culpable for breaking someone's skull, but its thrower can. In Mahabodhi Jataka, the Buddha made crushing arguments against theistic and karmic determinism on the same ground that they deprive humans of moral desert.

The Buddha pointed out, "It is volition, monk, that I declare to be karma. Having willed, one performs an action by body, speech or mind." Similarly it's in human intention that Kant places the moral worth of an action. "Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good, without qualification, except a good will. A good will is good not because of what it performs or effects, not by its aptness for the attainment of some proposed end, but simply by virtue of the volition; that is, it is good in itself, and considered by itself it is to be esteemed much higher than all that can be brought about by it in favour of any inclination, nay even of the sum total of all inclinations."

In other words, for an action to be morally good in Kantian philosophy, it is not enough that it conforms to the moral law - it must also be done for the sake of the moral law, not for its results. Even in this respect, the Buddha agrees, "He who grasps at neither 'I' nor 'mine', neither in mentality nor in materiality; who grieves not for what is not; such a one indeed is called a Bhikkhu." "He who is vigilant; He whose mind is not overcome by lust and hatred; He who has discarded both merits and demerits; for such a one there is no fear." ...

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion ... 73484.html
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand)

Postby gavesako » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:18 am

Buddhism and human rights: The journey to the west
Paisarn Likhitpreechakul
The Nation January 12, 2012 1:00 am

The Chinese classic Journey to the West, based on the Tang Dynasty monk Xuanzang's pilgrimage to India, is actually an allegory of a Buddhist spiritual journey. Also known as Adventures of the Monkey God, it is a fitting tool to compare Buddhism and Kantian philosophy.

As fantastically explained by Venerable Khemananda in his commentary to Journey, the Buddhist way to enlightenment is allegorised by the arduous voyage to India which Xuanzang and his company must take while battling spiritual obstacles in the form of hostile demons and selfish humans. On the other hand, Kantian reasoning, which can achieve enlightened altruism, can be thought of as the spontaneous Monkey King, symbolising emerging wisdom (panna). Although he can fly to India and have an audience with the Buddha (enlightenment), Monkey can never remain there. His indispensable role is to guide the whole troupe.

Represents forming morality (sila), the gluttonous Pigsy often lapses into greed and lust and must be constantly kept in check. Both Kant and the Buddha, therefore, formulated principles for human ethics. As all humans are of equal dignity, Kant says that we must not put our needs above those of others. The Buddha also says, "On traversing all directions with the mind; one finds no one anywhere dearer than oneself; likewise everyone holds himself most dear."

Because an ethical principle is aimed as a law for all beings with equal dignity, it must be equally valid for all. To ensure this, Kant says it must pass the test of being universalised. That is, when adopted by everyone it can never be in conflict with itself.

In Veludvara Sutta, the Buddha demonstrates how such thought experiment can be done. When villagers asked him how they should fulfill their specific wishes, desires and hopes, he told them to reflect on how each of them desires happiness and is averse to suffering, how something such as being deprived of life will not be agreeable to him, and what is disagreeable to him is to others too. Having reflected thus, he would "abstain from the destruction of life, exhort others to abstain from the destruction of life, and speak in praise of abstinence from the destruction of life." The Buddha then invited them to apply the same reasoning to theft, adultery and so on. ...

In the end, the naysayers may be right about one thing: human rights principles emerged from and lead to the "West". But there's also something else they should know. A "Journey to the West" may very well turn out to take our society closer to the land of the Buddha in a way that traditional Thai Buddhism throughout history never could.

:pig:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion ... 73551.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby gavesako » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:13 pm

Review of Modern Thai Buddhism and Buddhadasa
BY PATRICK JORY, NM-TLC REVIEWER – 13 JULY 2013

...His greatest supporters, both in Thailand and in the international scholarly community, have been broadly speaking, the educated, liberally-inclined middle-class, the historical bearers of rational thinking but a politically weak minority within the monk’s own country. It is interesting, therefore, to consider Buddhadasa’s career in the context of this Buddhist country’s problematic and unfinished transition to a modern bourgeois society over the course of the twentieth century.
...While it may be argued that these beliefs and practices have been associated with Buddhism since time immemorial, it is hard to deny that the contemporary character of Thai Buddhism owes at least something to the fossilization of a century-old system of monastic administration under a gerontocratic and semi-feudal monastic bureaucracy, to the atrophication of “village Buddhism” due to the slow death of the village society that once sustained it, or to the strange detour to the irrational that large sections of the Thai middle class took in the Bhumibol era, for example in supporting politically reactionary movements like Santi Asok or the enormously successful Dhammakaya temple network, whose abbot purports to have knowledge of the heavenly realm in which Steve Jobs has been reincarnated.* It is tempting to ask whether Buddhadasa’s efforts to reform Buddhism in Thailand, as with other aspects of the country’s political, cultural and intellectual modernization, have been a failure.

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... nmrev-liv/
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:47 am

Thank you, Bhante.
It's a bit depressing but rings true.
Coming from a completely different angle, http://ca.news.yahoo.com/religious-people-are-less-intelligent-than-atheists--study-finds--113350723.html also sheds some light on the interplay of religion and politics when it says
The paper, published in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, said “Most extant explanations (of a negative relation) share one central theme—the premise that religious beliefs are irrational, not anchored in science, not testable and, therefore, unappealing to intelligent people who “know better.”
The answer may, however, be more complex. Intelligent people may simply be able to provide themselves with the psychological benefits offered by religion - such as “self-regulation and self-enhancement”, because they are more likely to be successful, and have stable lives.
...
“People possessing the functions that religion provides are likely to adopt atheism, people lacking these very functions (e.g., the poor, the helpless) are likely to adopt theism,” the researchers wrote.


:namaste:
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby gavesako » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:30 am

Here is another opinion piece addressing the current situation in Thailand:

...At present, the clergy operates in a system of absolute monarchy. It is a hierachical, feudal, top-down and autocratic system which severely punishes criticism and ostracises those who dare to challenge it. When Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932, the government scrapped the feudal hierarchy and titles, except in the Sangha Council. ...

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... challenged
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:02 pm

The Thai have rewritten their constitution nearly 20 times since 1932. They can rewrite ‘democracy’ as many times as they like, but if they do not follow their own due process of law, they fail to understand what liberty is and wont keep it.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby gavesako » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:25 pm

Marc’s piece is an outstanding contribution to the debate on the roots of Thailand’s crisis and the current stalemate. The gist of this piece focuses on the Bangkok middle class and its myths, discourses, fears and anger. Not because this class decides or explains everything, but because in the long run, you cannot democratize society without it. So this article should be understood as a piece of a bigger puzzle, and many other pieces need to be added to it.


"Middle class rage threatens democracy"
BY MARC SAXER, GUEST CONTRIBUTOR – 21 JANUARY 2014


http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... democracy/

Some interesting passages:

The political economy of corruption: Capitalism undermines the patronage system

However, in order to effectively decrease the social practice coined “corruption”, we must understand its functional logic in a social order. In a feudalistic regime based on personal relationships between patron and client, resource distribution and patronage of networks are not only vital, but embody the very functional logic of the system. Without the distribution of resources, the patronage system, behind the democratic facades the regime which matters would often collapse. In other words, corruption, nepotism, patronage are not illnesses to be cured, but are the very DNA of the patrimonial system. In a modern order, based on impersonal exchanges between much bigger groups of people over long distances, this social practice to prefer kin over strangers undermines the trust necessary for economic development. Modern polities therefore replace personal relationship based institutions with rules and merit-based institutions. This fundamentally changes the limit of authority of those in power: where the feudal lord had a birthright to “the fat of the land” (but would be wise to distribute it to buy the loyalty of his clients), the modern official can be sanctioned for the use of public funds for anything but the common good.

Corruption deconstructed: Rooting out the Enemy within

To understand the politics of corruption, however, it is important to deconstruct how corruption is framed.

In the progressive discourse, the social practice of distributing resources into a private network is framed as a misappropriation of public funds. In other words, the corrupt official takes something which belongs to the public and uses it for his own personal gain. This is rooted in a deep feeling of social injustice, as the official owes his position either to his professional merit or the public who elected him.

As it is the raison d’être of conservatism to uphold the traditional system, conservatives fail to see or acknowledge that the system is inherently flawed. Hence, in the conservative discourse it must be immoral individuals who ‘corrupt’ society. Consequently, “bad people” must be “rooted out” and replaced with “good people”. ‘Good people’, meaning the traditional feudal and technocratic elites, who cannot be corrupted by the logic as they are not elected. In Thailand, this belief is rooted in a discursive justification built upon Theravada Buddhist culture, which attributes moral integrity to high social status as this status reflects the good karma collected in a former life. Consequently, to “root out” a corrupt politician, the yellow alliance seeks to suspend the very mechanism which elevated these immoral usurpers into their (not rightful) place: elections.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:45 pm

gavesako wrote:Marc’s piece is an outstanding contribution to the debate on the roots of Thailand’s crisis and the current stalemate.

http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandal ... democracy/



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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby suriyopama » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:08 am

gavesako wrote:Here is another opinion piece addressing the current situation in Thailand:

...At present, the clergy operates in a system of absolute monarchy. It is a hierachical, feudal, top-down and autocratic system which severely punishes criticism and ostracises those who dare to challenge it. When Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932, the government scrapped the feudal hierarchy and titles, except in the Sangha Council. ...

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... challenged


That link requires a subscription to read it. You can find the complete text here:

http://m.bangkokpost.com/opinion/364492

On that article Santisuda mentions the controversy with the appointment of Somdej Kiaw as Supreme Patriarch. Somdej Kiaw passed away on August 2013, but today there is still some kind of revolt with the nomination of Somdej Chuang Maharatchamongkhalachan from Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, as Supreme Patriarch (Dhammakaya Connection). But that controversy is currently eclipsed by the anti-government protests. Perhaps it will be on the spotlight once the conflict settles down.
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby gavesako » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:30 am

A ritual purification after engagement in violent politics? :shrug:

Suthep takes up a monk's life

People’s Democratic Reform Committee leader Suthep Thaugsuban quietly entered monkhood at a Buddhist temple in his hometown in the southern province of Surat Thani on Tuesday morning.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/lea ... hra-suthep


Suthep Joins Ranks of Activists Seeking Safety in Monkhood

SURAT THANI — Former anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban surprised many by appearing as a monk today, raising speculation that he is joining a long tradition of political leaders seeking asylum through the monkhood.
Many villagers in Lamet district were baffled to see Mr. Suthep in saffron robes with his head and eyebrows shaven, as is the Buddhist tradition, collecting alms alongside other monks near Than Nam Lai Temple in Surat Thani this morning.

Mr. Suthep and other monks walked for about one kilometre to collect food donations before returning to their secluded temple. Only one temple assistant was seen accompanying Mr. Suthep throughout the journey.

Starting last November, the former deputy chairman of the Democrat Party spent six months as the firebrand leader of the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) in its effort to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and replace it with an unelected people’s council to carry out unspecified “national reforms.”

Mr. Suthep, who is now known by his Buddhist name "Paphakaro," did not announce his intention to be ordained as a monk. Media reports also indicate that people close to Mr. Suthep were surprised by the sudden move.

Monkhood as asylum

Although Mr. Suthep has not publicly stated his reasons for becoming a monk, Thailand has a history of political leaders joining the monkhood to avoid assassination or revenge following periods of upheaval in the country’s politics. Killing monks is considered a grave sin in Buddhist cosmology.

Prominent examples in Thailand's pre-modern history include King Maha Chakkraphat, who briefly sought exile in the monkhood in 1538 after a coup was staged against his dynasty, and King Rama IV, who spent 27 years as monk before he was crowned King of Siam to avoid a conflict of interest with his brother, King Rama III.

A more recent example is Sondhi Limthongkul, the controversial leader of the ultra-royalist People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the predecessor of the PCAD that campaigned against Ms. Yingluck's brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, starting in 2005.

Mr. Sondhi entered the monkhood in 2007, a year after Mr. Thaksin's administration was overthrown in a military coup that the PAD's protests helped engineer. Prior to his ordination, Mr. Sondhi made controversial remarks claiming that members of the Thai Royal Family were supportive of the PAD's quest against Mr. Thaksin, who the PAD had accused of being an “anti-monarchy tyrant.”

Mr. Sondhi eventually returned to secular life and nearly died life in 2009, when unknown assailants fired a full magazine of bullets from an automatic rifle at his car in Bangkok. The perpetrators were never found.

Many critics of Mr. Suthep have likened his ordination to that of Mr. Sondhi. Last month, Mr. Suthep caused an uproar when he told a gathering of PCAD donors at an exclusive club that he had been conspiring with army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to overthrow Thaksin-allied governments since 2010.

Gen. Prayuth, who led the coup against Ms. Yingluck's government on 22 May, insisted that the coup was necessary to prevent further bloodshed and maintained that he did not take any sides in the country’s political conflict. However, since seizing power, the military junta has taken up the centerpiece of the PCAD’s platform: instituting a series of “national reforms” before the next election is held.

According to Gen. Prayuth, an interim government will be formed in September and tasked with reforming the country’s constitution. A year later, elections will be held if conditions are deemed stable.

Ekkanat Prompan, a close aide of Mr. Suthep during the anti-government campaign, was also ordained as a monk shortly after the 22 May coup.

http://en.khaosod.co.th/detail.php?news ... section=00
Last edited by gavesako on Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby Mkoll » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:32 am

gavesako wrote:A ritual purification after engagement in violent politics? :shrug:

Suthep takes up a monk's life

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/420689/

People’s Democratic Reform Committee leader Suthep Thaugsuban quietly entered monkhood at a Buddhist temple in his hometown in the southern province of Surat Thani on Tuesday morning.

Or maybe just more politics. :tongue:
Peace,
James
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby gavesako » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:50 am

Buddhist Patriarch Says Junta Leader Fit For Premiership

BANGKOK— The spiritual leader of Thai Buddhism has deemed the leader of Thailand’s military junta, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, fit to be the Prime Minister of the country’s next government.
Somdet Phra Maharatchamongkhalachan, the acting Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism and abbot of Wat Pak Nam Temple in Samut Prakarn province, delivered the comments today as representatives of the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) visited him to offer alms on the occasion of Buddhist Lent.
A reporter at the ceremony asked the venerable monk, who is known locally as Somdet Chuang, whether he thinks NCPO leader Gen. Prayuth is capable of being Prime Minister.
"If he wants to be, he surely can,” Somdet Chuang replied. "Judging from his action and strength, Gen. Prayuth is capable of being a Prime Minister."
"What the NCPO has done so far is considered to be the right path," Somdet Chuang told reporters. "Because the NCPO leader wants to establish reconciliation, unity, and harmony."

http://en.khaosod.co.th/detail.php?newsid=1405507890
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby martinfrank » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:50 pm

Re: Did Buddha Mean Literal Rebirth
Postby Anagarika » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:11 pm

Sokehi, and thank you for your kindness...it seems we're both on the same page as this issue is concerned, and your posts really make the point as to how compelling an issue this is. On the issue of corruption in the South Asian countries, one development seems interesting...with the military coup in Thailand has come a crackdown on bad monks and nuns...I was very worried when Thailand suffered another military coup (one of many periodic coups in recent history), but the coup seems to be producing some benefits in Thailand that may lead to a stronger Thailand as well as a more noble and ethical ordained Sangha. I ordained in Thailand, and it is a second home to me, and I have nothing but love for Thailand and the Thai people, but the bad behavior of ( a small minority of) unethical monks really had jumped the shark. Sometimes the best governance of a country is a benevolent dictator, and Thailand's Buddhist Sangha may have inherited a good way forward by virtue of this coup.

With Metta, to you, Sokehi, and glad to have this chat. Have a great day.


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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby LXNDR » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:13 am

Samannaphala sutta (DN 2) wrote:Whereas some brahmans and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to talking about lowly topics such as these — talking about kings, robbers, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity [philosophical discussions of the past and future], the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not — he abstains from talking about lowly topics such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.
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Re: Dependent Origination of Democracy (Buddhism in Thailand

Postby gavesako » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:52 pm

Although Buddhadasa (the founder of Wat Suan Mokkh) is known to the Westerners for his "progressive" Buddhist interpretations, his political views are not so well-known. He stated that a benevolent dictator following righteousness (dharma) is better than a democratically elected but corrupt government. The main thing according to him is that the form of government brings real benefit to the population, rather than just represent people through the election process.

In countries where Buddhism has become the national religion, it is necessarily bound up with politics and social issues like this.
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