Wat Dhammakaya

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

Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:59 am

A 2006 piece By Sanitsuda Ekachai on Bangkok Post
on the Dhammachayo-Thaksin connection.

Bringing saffron into yellow act
http://www.international.ucla.edu/artic ... ntid=49022
(The article is no longer on Bangkok Post website. )
Last edited by jameswang on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:02 am

jameswang wrote:Guess what? I got the invitation list to a Dhammakaya event.

Sorry, it should be "attendance list". I've already corrected the post.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:08 am

Another piece on the Dhammachayo-Thaksin connection:

TRT and Dhammakaya Temple - perfect match
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2006/09 ... 014752.php

This one is by former core monastic member of Wat Dhammakaya for 19 years,
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Sokehi » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:17 pm

This is just disgusting.

"According to the law of karma as promoted by the temple, Thaksin Shinawatra was hailed as the ideal lay Buddhist, who had been blessed by the merit of his past lives and was endowed with a great many virtues. The temple played a song praising Thaksin composed by the Phra Dhammajayo himself on its Dow Tham satellite television channel - broadcasting 24 hours a day."
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

https://www.youtube.com/user/Repeataarrr
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:43 am

Putting aside opinions for or against Thaksin as a politician, and various issues that have been raised about Dhammakaya, are such statements actually inconsistent with passages such as the following?
"But then there is the case where a woman or man is a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings, & lighting to brahmans & contemplatives. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is wealthy wherever reborn. This is the way leading to great wealth: to be a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings, & lighting to brahmans & contemplatives.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby culaavuso » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:57 am

mikenz66 wrote:Putting aside opinions for or against Thaksin as a politician, and various issues that have been raised about Dhammakaya, are such statements actually inconsistent with passages such as the following?
"But then there is the case where a woman or man is a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings, & lighting to brahmans & contemplatives. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination... If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is wealthy wherever reborn. This is the way leading to great wealth: to be a giver of food, drink, cloth, sandals, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, dwellings, & lighting to brahmans & contemplatives.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
Mike


The chronology does not seem to be consistent. MN 135 is discussing a case where due to past actions, wealth is experienced in the present. However, to say that someone is a good lay buddhist in the present seems to be a statement about that person's present actions. Through all of the wandering on of samsara it is likely a being commits many acts, both skillful and unskillful. This leads through both experiences of wealth and poverty, both heaven and hell realms. If the phrase "ideal lay buddhist" is to be a meaningful label, it seems that it must refer to present actions rather than whatever past actions that happen to be bearing fruit in the present. Additionally, it seems reasonable to expect that an ideal lay buddhist would be an ariya-puggala, which is definitely different from a puthujjana that happens to be experiencing the fruit of bright kamma with bright result.

AN 8.26
AN 8.26: Jivaka Sutta wrote:"And to what extent, lord, is one a virtuous lay follower?"

"Jivaka, when one abstains from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from fermented & distilled drinks that lead to heedlessness, then to that extent is one a virtuous lay follower."
...
"And to what extent, lord, is one a lay follower who practices both for his own benefit & the benefit of others?"

"Jivaka, when a lay follower himself is consummate in conviction and encourages others in the consummation of conviction; when he himself is consummate in virtue and encourages others in the consummation of virtue; when he himself is consummate in generosity and encourages others in the consummation of generosity; when he himself desires to see the monks and encourages others to see the monks; when he himself wants to hear the true Dhamma and encourages others to hear the true Dhamma; when he himself habitually remembers the Dhamma he has heard and encourages others to remember the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself explores the meaning of the Dhamma he has heard and encourages others to explore the meaning of the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself, knowing both the Dhamma & its meaning, practices the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma and encourages others to practice the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma: then to that extent he is a lay follower who practices both for his own benefit and for the benefit of others."
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby pilgrim » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:45 am

Candala sutta

"Endowed with these five qualities, a lay follower is a jewel of a lay follower, a lotus of a lay follower, a fine flower of a lay follower. Which five? He/she has conviction; is virtuous; is not eager for protective charms & ceremonies; trusts kamma, not protective charms & ceremonies; does not search for recipients of his/her offerings outside [of the Sangha], and gives offerings here first. Endowed with these five qualities, a lay follower is a jewel of a lay follower, a lotus of a lay follower, a fine flower of a lay follower."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kumara » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:39 am

I'd like to request everyone here to be civil and not ridicule. Destructive groups are formed by people influenced by destructive forces, i.e., the mental defilements. The response of wisdom and compassion is more appropriate and helpful.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:46 am

Nice little summary of Dhammakaya here: http://www.buddhaschool.org/?pageid=355
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Sokehi » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:12 pm

From my point of view it is important to clearly point out what's wrong about esoteric cults - especially if they dress themselves up as buddhist. There is enough evidence available clearly indicating that Dhammakaya not just contradicts the Buddhas Teachings but manipulates people in a rather shameless and disgusting way. All this has to be adressed and information has to be spreaded so interested folks don't misunderstand this cult as a buddhist tradition.

I know this example might be a bit over the top, but just for the sake of making it clear: just spreading metta all over the NSDAP in germany back then would only have helped the fascist uprising. So metta, yes. Towards all the goodhearted followers that have been stumbled into the Trap Dhammakaya has build for them. And metta towards their deluded leaders that are trapped in their own unskillful livelihood that leads to wealth and power but certainly not towards Nibbana. But on the relative plain that we are living and for the benefit of the many interested in the buddhas teaching we shouldn't be too shy to adress what is so fundamentally wrong with their rendering of Nibbana, Dana and Kamma. The heart of the buddhas teaching. :anjali:
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

https://www.youtube.com/user/Repeataarrr
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby gavesako » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:16 am

There are some interesting comments on Dhammakaya teachings and marketing approach in the book and reviews below:

Buddhism and Postmodern Imaginings in Thailand: The Religiosity of Urban Space. By James Taylor.

Review by Charles Keyes
http://www.globalbuddhism.org/10/keyes09.htm

Review by Akincano Marc Weber
http://www.akincano.net/PDF/CB_Taylor_p ... inings.pdf

Google preview of the whole book:
http://books.google.com/books?id=HiVoq_ ... &q&f=false
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

ajahnchah.org - Teachings of Ajahn Chah in many languages
Dhammatube - Videos on Buddhist practice
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Sokehi » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:56 pm

Interesting quote out of the C. Keyes Review:

"Having succeeded in a new role as savior of the nation, Maha Bua came to see himself and be seen by others as second only to the king in conferring legitimacy on Thai governments. Maha Bua's critique of the populist prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, contributed to his downfall in 2006. Subsequent prime ministers or aspirants to political leadership have made pilgrimages to his monastery. By assuming a significant role in Thailand's contemporary political economy, Maha Bua has contributed to a decline in the role of the forest monk who devotes himself entirely to the pursuit of "direct route to liberation" (165).

This decline was evident to Taylor when he spent the Buddhist lent of 2007 at a forest monastery associated with Maha Bua. He found that "forest monasteries are becoming increasingly laicized and more 'this-worldly'" (p. 158). Instead of a pure (or purified) Buddhism exemplified by forest monasticism, Taylor concludes that Buddhism is today manifest in Thailand primarily only in those movements that "have taken on a new sense of purpose in response to the contemporary urban experience" (p. 203)."
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

https://www.youtube.com/user/Repeataarrr
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jameswang » Fri May 02, 2014 9:01 am

This is a few years old but still worth reading:
Buying Your Way To Heaven: Thailand’s Dhammakaya
http://penhpal.com/2011/02/buying-your- ... n-thailand’s-dhammakaya-cult/
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kumara » Thu May 22, 2014 11:40 am

About the "Dhammakaya Awards", wonder if you know that Thich Nhat Hanh was also given an award. Suspecting it, I wrote to a disciple of his whom I'm acquainted with.

He said,
I talked with the lay staff of PV Thailand. They said they were aware of it. When the Dharmakaya group wrote them a letter to offer Thay the award, PV Thailand refused to accept it. They still listed Thay's name anyway.
(Note: PV= Plum Village, the name for Thich Nhat Hanh's group.)

In other words, it's like, "We don't care if you don't want it. We're giving you an award anyway."

Looks like a desperate effort to "borrow glamour" (as my sister puts it). Or perhaps more of trying to win acceptance through association with people and organisation of good name.

Some well known names in the Malaysian Buddhist scene seems to like being given awards though. "I got an award!" Plus the VVIP treatment, it's simply too seductive for them.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Sokehi » Thu May 22, 2014 11:42 am

Interesting, it's good to know that Thay and the PV People seem to be aware of what Dhammakaya is all about. Thanks for sharing!
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

https://www.youtube.com/user/Repeataarrr
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby suwapan » Sat May 24, 2014 1:53 am

GrahamR wrote:Dear friends,

Is anyone familiar with Wat Dhammakaya in Thailand or it's off shoots worldwide, including either of the two in the UK, I noticed it also has DMC TV, which looks quite interesting.

I have heard mixed reports about the temple and it's web site appears to be, well eh, rather comercial.

Does anyone have a first hand opinion please?

With metta,

Graham


Dear Graham,

AVOID them!

I'm a Thai. I've seen their activities for years. I know people who attended them. I know followers who have turned away. They are huge number of reports and stories that will sadden real Buddhists. They run a commercial establishment under the cloak of Buddhism, distorting the teachings for money and political power. They want to dominate all the Wats in Thailand, starting with those located in prime city areas to large estates in the provinces, by slapping these Wats with substantial financial aids, both for the establishments and the abbots. They have very rich supporters, our exiled criminal ex-premier Thaksin is one of them. But I can't tell you who is its number one backer because I might be put into jail.

The marketing ploys they used to lure donations are many. They use young, handsome monks to sit upfront so the rich widows and housewives who have paid to be in the front rows can drool over the monks. They have taught followers to "reserve" places in the six heavenly planes depending on the levels of donations. This is not only a lie, but it also induced donations with Tanha, which can lead followers to be reborn crippled. The abbot have conned many followers by channeling donations for temple expansion into his personal accounts, therefore, falling short of his promise to start construction by the committed date. They teach that Nibbana is a physical place where individuals may meet the Buddhas and Arahants.

Wat Dhammakaya is a hellish place in my opinion. It's infiltrating into every aspects of Thai Buddhism. Like the Thaksin regime where money are used to corrupt people, Wat Dhammakaya is following in the same foot steps.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kumara » Wed May 28, 2014 9:17 am

Hi, suwapan. Glad to see a contribution from a Thai.

Can you get former members or relatives of members to post their stories here? Some of the people here (and elsewhere) needs more info to be convinced about the danger of Dhammakaya.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby suwapan » Thu May 29, 2014 8:46 pm

Kumara,
I'm not sure if I can convince any of them to write firstly, in English, and secondly, in an international Forum. They are not the "international" type of people. Most of them are elderlies and have spent quite some time with Wat Dhammakaya before their eyes were "opened." By then, they have given a lot of their resources already. Most of them are in fact embarrassed to talk bout it. So stories are given to close friends and relatives. In fact, one of my Abhidhamma teachers went to investigate himself, acquainting with all their false teachings. He calls Wat Dhammakaya, the "Wat Flying Saucer" because one of its structure looks like one. Anyway, I'll see what I can do.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Kumara » Fri May 30, 2014 2:12 am

suwapan wrote:Kumara,
I'm not sure if I can convince any of them to write firstly, in English, and secondly, in an international Forum. They are not the "international" type of people. Most of them are elderlies and have spent quite some time with Wat Dhammakaya before their eyes were "opened." By then, they have given a lot of their resources already. Most of them are in fact embarrassed to talk bout it. So stories are given to close friends and relatives. In fact, one of my Abhidhamma teachers went to investigate himself, acquainting with all their false teachings. He calls Wat Dhammakaya, the "Wat Flying Saucer" because one of its structure looks like one. Anyway, I'll see what I can do.

I fully understand that. You just need to talk with them and record what they say. Better to put it in first person, rather than as reported speech. They write through you. Hope you understand what I mean. If not, PM me. We need personal stories to move people. Sadhu for your effort.
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby pilgrim » Fri May 30, 2014 2:21 am

Its quite clear there that most ppl here in DW outright reject Dhammakaya. To be exact, we are referring to Wat Phra Dhammakaya and its legal body the Dhammakaya Foundation.

However, what is the opinion of ppl here regarding other organisations that share the same ancestry and meditation technique but are not part of Wat Phra Dhammakaya and Dhammakaya Foundation? One of them is the Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram. Their website http://www.dhammacenter.org/ is down today but there is some information here.
http://meditation-centers.blogspot.com/ ... yaram.html

Societies affiliated with this sub-group have recently also been started outside Thailand.
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