Compassion, not pity, for the Jatukam adherents

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom
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Compassion, not pity, for the Jatukam adherents

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:41 am

I learnt of a new wave washing over the far east today. It was mentioned in a review of a cartoon quoted by someone on another thread, so I looked it up. ... tukam.html

I found a rather nice blog someone had written (edit: here ... 034231.php ) about the history of this Jatukam cult and felt pity (whoops). The thing is I use Yahoo! Answers a lot and every now and then a question about Buddhism comes up. I answer to the best of my ability, usually providing links for further reading etc. Almost every time someone else answers purely to disagree with me and often they remark that I "don't understand because I follow a corrupted western fashion version of Buddhism". My usual response is to recommend the questioner look at the sources I provide and come to their own conclusion rather than get into a debate about geography. It does grate after a while though.

So, I'm posting this pre-emptively: how should I respond to these geography discussions in the light of the fact that no-where in the world seems to be immune from fashionable corruption (as is evident by this Jatukam cult)?

Secondly, how can I turn my pity for those caught up in these geography arguements into healthy compassion?

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Re: Compassion, not pity, for the Jatukam adherents

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:16 am

Hi Mawk
I sometimes find that attitude as well among ethnic asian Buddhists. Sometimes, claiming that we can't possibly understand Buddhism because we weren't born into the cultural, linguistic and spiritual millieu. I tend to think that sometimes it is misplaced insecurity.
But you are right, compassion is better than pity.
I think your strategy is a good one. Stay away from the infernal internet debates and refer those wishing to argue with you to source material.

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR


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Re: Compassion, not pity, for the Jatukam adherents

Postby nomad » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:04 pm

Well spoken. There is nothing to gain from debating people who only wish to stir trouble. I’ve been lucky enough to not have to deal with this attitude as of yet, but I would say that your strategy is sound. Share the Dhamma and give people what they need to make their own decisions. Don’t get drawn into the bottomless pit of internet debating.


"I am because we are." -Xhosa Tribal Saying

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