Monastics protesting social injustice

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Chanh Dao
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Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by Chanh Dao »

Looking to hear the views of the community on this subject.
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retrofuturist
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

Do you mean on whether they should or not, as Theravada monastics?

We do have some previous topics that have examined this point in the past. The one that springs to mind most immediately is Bhikkhu Bodhi and Buddhist leaders convene at White House.

That said, if people want to discuss the "social issues" in and of themselves, Dharma Wheel Engaged would be a more suitable forum for that.

:thanks:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by Ceisiwr »

Personally I prefer monks and nuns to restrict themselves to talking about the Dhamma rather than politics, in the public sphere at least. Obviously when talking in private to laymen that can be different. I think the best thing for the sangha is to be apolitical. Politics is more for the householder.
“His deliverance, being founded upon truth, is unshakeable. For that is false, bhikkhu, which has a deceptive nature, and that is true which has an undeceptive nature—Nibbāna. Therefore a bhikkhu possessing this truth possesses the supreme foundation of truth. For this, bhikkhu, is the supreme noble truth, namely, Nibbāna, which has an undeceptive nature.

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SarathW
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by SarathW »

In my opinion "No"
It is the job of the laypeople.
You become a Theravada Buddhist monk to attain Nibbana.
Perhaps you can become a Mahayana monastic and protest for social justice like Dali Lama.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
JohnK
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by JohnK »

What they do is their business, not mine.
:anjali:
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]
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mikenz66
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by mikenz66 »

Since the Buddha and his Sangha provided advice on how to live lives and run societies according to the Dhamma, it would seem rather strange if lay people and monastics and lay people did not discuss and provide such advice, at least in terms of the general principles.
When cattle ford a river,
if the bull goes off course,
they all go off course,
because their leader is off course.

So it is for humans:
when the one agreed on as chief
behaves badly,
what do you expect the rest to do?
The whole country sleeps badly,
when the king is unprincipled.
https://suttacentral.net/an4.70/en/sujato
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TamHanhHi
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by TamHanhHi »

Lots of layers here. Do you mean leaving their dwelling and going out to attend a rally for instance? Or addressing a congregation in the monastery? On Facebook? On online forums? When asked about the issue or spontaneously stating an opinion? It's a quite the onion.

Generally speaking, I say monastics should praise what is praise-worthy and criticize what is blame-worthy. How else will people know and understand morality and the teachings?
AN 5:116: A nun with five qualities is raised up to heaven. What five? After examining and scrutinizing, she criticizes those deserving of criticism, and praises those deserving of praise. She doesn’t arouse faith in things that are dubious, and does arouse faith in things that are inspiring. And she doesn’t waste gifts given in faith. A nun with these five qualities is raised up to heaven.
"Just as a large banyan tree, on level ground where four roads meet, is a haven for the birds all around, even so a lay person of conviction is a haven for many people: monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers."AN 5.38
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retrofuturist
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings,

Ironically, Mike's sutta extract above is a brilliant demonstration of what happens when influential "Buddhist leaders", through their influence and guidance, take people away from the Dhamma and direct them towards social activism, grievance mongering and protest instead.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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mikenz66
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by mikenz66 »

retrofuturist wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:28 pm Greetings,

Ironically, Mike's sutta extract above is a brilliant demonstration of what happens when influential "Buddhist leaders" take people away from the Dhamma and direct them towards social activism, grievance mongering and protest instead.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Yes, it's clear you have a low opinion of some views and activities, which you label "grievance mongering". Personally I disagree.

Sleep well!

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Mike
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mikenz66
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by mikenz66 »

TamHanhHi wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:28 pm Generally speaking, I say monastics should praise what is praise-worthy and criticize what is blame-worthy. How else will people know and understand morality and the teachings?
Of course.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by retrofuturist »

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:36 pm Sleep well!
Thank you. I will and I do.

As per the suttas, proper Dhamma practice is conducive to sleep. On the other hand, grievance mongering and other aversion-born and passion-born fevers are not...
AN 3.34 wrote:"As for those passion-born fevers — burned with which the householder or householder's son would sleep miserably — that passion has been abandoned by the Tathagata, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore he sleeps in ease.

"Now, what do you think, young man. Might there arise in that householder or householder's son any bodily fevers or fevers of mind born of aversion so that — burned with those aversion-born fevers — he would sleep miserably?"

"Yes, lord."

"As for those aversion-born fevers — burned with which the householder or householder's son would sleep miserably — that aversion has been abandoned by the Tathagata, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore he sleeps in ease.
:buddha1:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

"Overcome the liar by truth." (Dhp 223)
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mikenz66
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by mikenz66 »

“Potaliya, these four people are found in the world. What four?

One person criticizes those deserving of criticism at the right time, truthfully and substantively. But they don’t praise those deserving of praise at the right time, truthfully and substantively.

Another person praises those deserving of praise … But they don’t criticize those deserving of criticism …

Another person doesn’t praise those deserving of praise … Nor do they criticize those deserving of criticism …

Another person criticizes those deserving of criticism at the right time, truthfully and substantively. And they praise those deserving of praise at the right time, truthfully and substantively.

These are the four people found in the world. Of these four people, who do you believe to be the finest?”

“Master Gotama, of these four people, it is the person who neither praises those deserving of praise at the right time, truthfully and substantively; nor criticizes those deserving of criticism at the right time, truthfully and substantively. That is the person I believe to be the finest. Why is that? Because, Master Gotama, equanimity is the best.”

“Potaliya, of these four people, it is the person who criticizes those deserving of criticism at the right time, truthfully and substantively; and praises those deserving of praise at the right time, truthfully and substantively. That is the person I consider to be the finest. Why is that? Because, Potaliya, understanding of time and context is the best.”
...
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SarathW
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by SarathW »

JohnK wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:23 pm What they do is their business, not mine.
:anjali:
Why not?
Lay people have some expectations from the monastics that is why we support them.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
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SDC
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by SDC »

I see no problem with a monastic who speaks on social justice, just so long as the path - within that same discourse - is explicitly prioritized over any worldly end. Not ever having ordained I'm not sure how valuable my opinion is, but if that priority is not emphasized, that may give the impression that a peaceful world is of the same value as the acquisition of the path, which I find to be a very misleading equivalence.
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Re: Monastics protesting social injustice

Post by JohnK »

SarathW wrote: Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:47 am
JohnK wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:23 pm What they do is their business, not mine.
:anjali:
Why not?
Lay people have some expectations from the monastics that is why we support them.
My energy is better spent working for my own progress on the path than speculating about what monastics should and shouldn't do regarding the topic. If I hold one view, and they do the other, then what? Or perhaps, So what?
Just my opinion. Of course speculating about almost anything is very popular on the internet.
:anjali:
Edit: Oh, and don't support the ones who don't meet your expectations if you wish -- again, not my business.
Edit: Sarath, my use of "you" and "your" was not meant to personalize it -- should perhaps have use "one" and "one's." :)
Last edited by JohnK on Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]
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