Author Topic: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women  (Read 8117 times)

Matthew

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Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« on: April 03, 2016, 11:33:11 AM »
The corruption of Buddhism is perhaps most obvious in Thailand of all places. The reason Ajahn Brahm split from the Thai Forest Tradition is explained briefly herein (though not mentioning that or him ..), amongst many other corruptions.

If you can't listen here you can download it as a podcast.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03pj4ll
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Nicky

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 11:28:22 AM »
The corruption of Buddhism is perhaps most obvious in Thailand of all places. The reason Ajahn Brahm split from the Thai Forest Tradition is explained briefly herein (though not mentioning that or him ..), amongst many other corruptions.

Contentious thread.   ;D

Did Ajahn Brahm split? Or was Ajahn Brahm expelled?

If Ajahn Brahm split due to Thai corruption, why does Ajahn Brahm still refer to the Thai monk Ajahn Chah as his teacher?

If Ajahn Chah was not corrupt, why did Ajahn Chah never endorse the ordaining of women?

If Ajahn Brahm did the right thing by ordaining women in Australia, would it have been respectful of Ajahn Brahm to simply inform the (Ajahn Chah) tradition that he would be ordaining women & therefore would be cordially leaving the Order (instead of doing the ordination in secret & creating an acrimonious public schism)?

If Buddhism is not actually the national or official religion of Thailand (for example, the King of Thailand is considered to be the reincarnation of Vishnu) & if secular Thai law prohibited the ordination of women, how can the Thai Sangha be corrupt if it adhered to constitutional Thai law?

If Buddhism is not actually the national or official religion of Thailand, can the wishes of the Lord Buddha, a mere Indian (foreign) ascetic, supersede the wishes of the secular Thai government?

For example, Moses in the name of God declared children that insult their parents should be stoned to death. Should the Law of Moses or the law of Buddha supersede secular laws of nations? Should Western nations allow Muslims to practise Sharia law? Does this website endorse a Tibetan or Vatican style theocracy instead of separation of church from state?   :D

If certain Western monks have benefited infinitely from the Thai tradition, including receiving ample donations from Thai people to build their Western monasteries, is it not wrong view (miccha ditthi) of them to label Thai Buddhism as "brutal and uncivilized.. thuggery"?

If Ajahn Chah taught about here-&-now dhamma (such as here-&-now Dependent Origination) and here-&-now liberation, which transcended the worldly conventions of 'monk', 'nun', 'layperson', 'man', 'woman', etc, is it not corrupt of Ajahn Brahm to continue to declare himself a disciple of Ajahn Chah yet teach a dhamma different to Ajahn Chah (such as literal reincarnation, including Dependent Origination over 3 life-times)?

During this unnecessary & ridiculous drama, was not Ajahn Brahm also accused of veering from the teachings of the tradition? For example, would the Goenka Tradition accept me as a teacher in their tradition if I said the 16 stages of Anapanasati was the only true meditative path of the Lord Buddha?

Since Ajahn Brahm is often teaching Sri Lankan (Maha Vihara) Buddhism rather than Thai Forest Buddhism, should not Ajahn Brahm connect his new Australian tradition to Sri Lanka rather than still purport to be connected to Ajahn Chah and the other Thai teachers, such as Ajahn Mun, and those reformist Thai teachers that influenced the here-&-now dhamma of Ajahn Chah, such as Ajahn Buddhadasa?

Since the more modern Ajahn Chah & Buddhadasa never endorsed ordaining women due to their insistence that Buddhist liberation was found in the here-&-now penetration of Emptiness (Sunnata), are the actions of Ajahn Brahm to demonize Thai Buddhism something pure & uncorrupted? Or are they something based in a corrupted doctrine of reincarnation?

For example, Western Tibetan Buddhists often believe having their pet dogs circumnavigate a Stupa may result in their beloved dog having a human reincarnation in a next life. Does Ajahn Brahm hold similar beliefs; that the mere act of ordination (wearing saffron robes - sīlabbata-parāmāsa) may lead to a better reincarnation in a next life?

  :-* :angel:  ??? ::)

Nicky

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 12:04:43 PM »
The corruption of Buddhism is perhaps most obvious in Thailand of all places. The reason Ajahn Brahm split from the Thai Forest Tradition is explained briefly herein (though not mentioning that or him ..), amongst many other corruptions.

As suspected, the bhikkhuni in the audio appears to believe in the corruption of Hindu reincarnation, given the interview ended with the words: "I may come back". This is wrong view in Buddhism.

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There are, bhikkhus, some recluses and brahmins who maintain a doctrine of percipient immortality and who on sixteen grounds proclaim the self to survive percipient after death.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.01.0.bodh.html

The world in general, Kaccaayana, inclines to two views, to (self) existence (atthitaa) or to (self) non-existence (natthitaa). But for him who, with the highest wisdom, sees the uprising of the world as it really is, 'non-existence of the world' does not apply, and for him who, with highest wisdom, sees the passing away of the world as it really is, 'existence of the world' does not apply. But he does not go along with that system-grasping, that mental obstinacy and dogmatic bias, does not grasp at it, does not affirm: 'This is my self.' He knows without doubt or hesitation that whatever arises is merely dukkha that what passes away is merely dukkha and such knowledge is his own, not depending on anyone else. This, Kaccaayana, is what constitutes right view.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.wlsh.html

The bhikkhuni also spoke an admonition of male monks, which is forbidden according to the scriptures (Anguttara Nikaya 8.51). 

Also, the audio claimed Luang Por Yai was a female monk despite her (wonderful) drug rehabilitation being wrong livelihood for a monk:

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"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such...administering emetics, purges, purges from above, purges from below, head-purges; ear-oil, eye-drops, treatments through the nose, ointments, and counter-ointments; practicing eye-surgery [or: extractive surgery], general surgery, pediatrics; administering root-medicines and binding medicinal herbs — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.02.0.than.html

 ;D

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 05:59:52 PM »
I do not see how any of this (discussion relating to Ajahn Brahm Vs Leadership of Thai Forest Tradition) would change the fact that there is widespread corruption in organized Buddhist religion in Thailand. It does not surprise me at all. ALL organized religions (all over the world) are corrupt in general and vary in degree only. 
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Nicky

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 10:22:56 PM »
Agree.

Matthew

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 05:13:03 PM »

Contentious thread.   ;D

Not really. Contentious answer perhaps! ;D

I do not see how any of this (discussion relating to Ajahn Brahm Vs Leadership of Thai Forest Tradition) would change the fact that there is widespread corruption in organized Buddhist religion in Thailand. It does not surprise me at all. ALL organized religions (all over the world) are corrupt in general and vary in degree only. 

Agree.

...

Did Ajahn Brahm split? Or was Ajahn Brahm expelled?

He was expelled when he went ahead with an ordination of Bikkunhis, knowing this would lead to his being expelled .. so you can argue it either way really. He was expelled, yet he constructively had himself expelled.

If Ajahn Brahm split due to Thai corruption, why does Ajahn Brahm still refer to the Thai monk Ajahn Chah as his teacher?

Because Ajahn Chah was his direct person teacher of the Dhamma?

If Ajahn Chah was not corrupt, why did Ajahn Chah never endorse the ordaining of women?

Because conservative Thai society would not have welcomed it - though had he done so he may have done a great service to the Sangha. Basically the boys just want all the power as usual :D

If Ajahn Brahm did the right thing by ordaining women in Australia, would it have been respectful of Ajahn Brahm to simply inform the (Ajahn Chah) tradition that he would be ordaining women & therefore would be cordially leaving the Order (instead of doing the ordination in secret & creating an acrimonious public schism)?

Perhaps he felt a point needed to be made for the sake of the Dhamma? I don't know the answer though, you'd have to ask him really .. I can only guess, and however educated that guess it will still just be .. a guess.

If Buddhism is not actually the national or official religion of Thailand (for example, the King of Thailand is considered to be the reincarnation of Vishnu) & if secular Thai law prohibited the ordination of women, how can the Thai Sangha be corrupt if it adhered to constitutional Thai law?

"Buddhism" is the official religion. I just don't recognise it as Buddha-Dhamma which is an entirely different thing from the official "Buddhist" religions.

.. and you think sticking to the laws of man has anything to do with the Dhamma? Surely you're kidding?

Enough already! :D :D :D
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Nicky

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 10:15:15 PM »

He was expelled when he went ahead with an ordination of Bikkunhis, knowing this would lead to his being expelled .. so you can argue it either way really. He was expelled, yet he constructively had himself expelled.

'Constructively' or 'destructively'? I originally posted, they could have simply advised they were leaving the tradition. But, instead, engaged in a divide-&-conquer propaganda campaign seemingly intended to recruit followers. Overall, no significant harm done. Just lots of ignorant & unnecessary noises, such as from boorish Australians.  ::)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRAGjvj4xJA

Quote
Because Ajahn Chah was his direct person teacher of the Dhamma?

You seemed to miss my point. Ajahn Chah was Thai. Yet you posted: "The corruption of Buddhism is perhaps most obvious in Thailand of all places. The reason Ajahn Brahm split from the Thai Forest Tradition". You seemed to infer the tradition of Ajahn Chah was corrupt since Ajahn Brahm 'split' from the Ajahn Chah Forest Tradition.

Quote
Because conservative Thai society would not have welcomed it - though had he done so he may have done a great service to the Sangha. Basically the boys just want all the power as usual :D

Here, you are claiming to know the mind of Ajahn Chah rather than refer to the documented facts. Ajahn Chah was unfussed about female ordination because attaining enlightenment is not related to the worldly "power" you mentioned. What does "wanting all the power" as you posted have to do with enlightenment? Your idea is arguably similar to 'second-wave feminism'. 'Second-wave feminism' included the view that if men can be immoral (sexually promiscuous, take drugs, be corrupt, etc), women should also be able to do these things. Being a true monk is about renunciation rather than worldly power.

Ajahn Chah video below, particularly at 3:37. Buddhadasa stuff here: http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/repository/90001039.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qu7mtlbVBOA

Quote
Perhaps he felt a point needed to be made for the sake of the Dhamma? I don't know the answer though, you'd have to ask him really .. I can only guess, and however educated that guess it will still just be .. a guess.

Women have been ordaining for a while now. But not with the noise & acrimony Ajahn Brahm created. Imo, it was a publicity stunt appealing to prejudiced Westerners who have never lived in Thailand and would vilify Thailand, as they did.

Quote
"Buddhism" is the official religion.

Buddhism is not the official religion of Thailand. The ceremonies of the Thai royalty are Hindu. Thailand has no national religion. Wikipedia quote:

Quote
In 2007, calls were made by some Thais for Buddhism to be recognized in the new national constitution as a state religion. This suggestion was initially rejected by the committee charged with drafting the new constitution. This move prompted a number of protests from supporters of the initiative, including a number of marches on the capital and a hunger strike by twelve Buddhist monks. Some critics of the plan, including scholar and social critic Sulak Sivaraksa, have claimed that the movement to declare Buddhism a national religion is motivated by political gain, and may be being manipulated by supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra.[8]

The Constitution Drafting Committee later voted against the special status of Buddhism, provoking the religious groups. The groups condemned the Committee and the constitution draft.[9] On August 11, Sirikit, the Queen of Thailand, expressed her concern over the issue. According to her birthday speech, Buddhism is beyond politics. Some Buddhist organizations announced a halt to the campaigns the next day

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_in_Thailand


Quote
.. and you think sticking to the laws of man has anything to do with the Dhamma? Surely you're kidding?

I would imagine being Buddhist means following the laws of the land. For example, the Buddha ordained his 7 year old son. In the West, if the son took his father to court to oppose his ordination, the son would probably win. Buddhists generally follow the laws of the land.

It is obvious by your post you have not practised or other otherwise understand the roles of Buddhism is Thailand. Ajahn Brahm's publicity stunt recruited folks like you.

In Thailand, traditionally, most men ordain as a monk for at least a rainy season, where they learn about virtue & develop a relationship with their preceptor. During the rains, there are millions of ordained men in Thailand. Traditionally, most Thai women will not marry a man that has not completed the ordination. Traditionally, Thai women are not repressed, as they were in the West (due to Christian teachings & role models). For Thailand, traditionally, the bhikkhu is the role model of male restraint but a bhikkhuni is not a fitting role model for Thai women, for which assertive motherhood is the traditional role model (rather than restraint, which lead to Western feminist empowerment). Thailand is different to the West. Women in Thailand are taught to exercise their power (unlike in the West, where women were repressed for 100s of years).

In short, the non-ordination of women in Thailand is not related to 'corruption'. In Burma, women cannot be ordained either (it seems).

With metta  ;D
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 10:25:10 PM by Nicky »

Nicky

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 10:39:28 PM »

p340

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2016, 10:50:40 PM »
I've just visited thailand and just for the fun of it want to give my two cents. ;) I have two friends brought up there, one was kind of a tour guide.

First i want to say, that most thai people i met identified as buddhist and said buddhism would be their religion. Just my experience. Furthermore this buddhism isn't the buddhism this forum refers too. It's a mix of buddhism, superstitions and hinduism. I'm sure you can read this everywhere on web and in print. As for my experience, thats how it looks like in the parts of Thailand i was.

The superstitions part gets exploited by people that do not appreciate the scholastic buddhism as this forum does. I guess you could call at least that corruption. I even was lured into "the oldest temple of Bangkok" just to find a supposed monk asking me to knee in front of the buddha picture for eternal happiness. But kneeling down would also cost a reasonable donation. This kind of stuff seems to be everywhere in the bigger cities.

I don't vilify thailand for that at all, it's just how it is. Just turn it around. Imagine a devoted christian thai person visits italy, france or germany for the first time. Where is love of neighbour? Why does everybody call themselves christians but nobody prays or even visits church. They do not seem to know one thing about the bible! Christianity might be more corrupt in Europe than in asian countries. Seems to by a systemic effect.

Maybe it's a matter of where you collect your sample. If someone in a european country identifies with an asian 'religion', he will probably be kind of serious about it. It's not a coincidence. If someone in a asian country identifies with an european religion, he will he will probably be kind of serious about it. It's not a coincidence. But the generell population in the home countries was just born into the religion, without deciding and as part of that, is half-assing their contributions and attempts to understand more of it.

As for the discussion of Ajahn Brahm. I don't know what he has done. But having listened to many of his talks, i have a hard time believing, that he did this as a stunt or even to harm anyone. If somebody was truly hurt by this, i'm really sorry for them. But i cannot see anything other endangered then pride in exchange for another piece of liberation of women. Could be a trade worth it...

How he has recruited me and for what, you would've to explain. I'm really curios. :)

Back to thailand: When you get in touch with the "real people", it's just amazing. Never in my life i met such calm and happy people. Men and women. The public space is free of aggression. I really loved it there and even consider spending a year or two over there. Just for context. I really like Thailand. I had bigger troubles re-adjusting to Germany when i came home...
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 10:56:27 PM by p340 »

DarkNightOfNoSoul

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 10:53:31 PM »
Interesting discussion. For what it's worth, when I visited Thailand the differences between the city wats and the forest wats were fairly striking. One small example, I stayed a month in Bangkok, going each morning to Wat Mahathat at 04:00 for morning meditation. Occasionally there were ceremonies - in one, everyone queued up to file past all the monks and put money in each of their bowls (being totally unprepared for this, I ran out of cash by about the sixth monk!). In contrast, in Wat Pah Nanachat and Wat Pah Pong the monks followed the vinaya closely and weren't allowed to receive money.

But generally I have to agree with p340's sentiments on Thailand, a wonderful culture and a place I'd like to live one day. And you made a good point that when you are raised in a religion, any religion, there can be a tendency to take it for granted and approach the practices in a half-assed way - this has come up a few times in discussions with my Thai and Malaysian dhamma friends.

I suppose that as with all human endeavours (not just religion but science, ethics, human rights, law, political systems, etc), the ideals often end up being corrupted by the flawed human beings entrusted with implementing them.

Regarding Ajahn Brahm, I enjoy his talks and have a lot of respect for him, and also for his stand on ordaining bhikkunis. The treatment of women in Buddhism has often been a nagging doubt in my mind - going right back to the Buddha himself, who at first refused to ordain women, and only gave in after multiple attempts by Ananda to persuade him. Yet given that the Buddha himself eventually (but reluctantly) allowed female ordination, I assume the refusal to do so in the Theravada tradition is mainly cultural?

I suppose this has been mentioned before, but could Ajahn Brahm's actions be considered "creating a schism in the sangha" - a crime or anantarika-kamma that supposedly wipes out good kamma and results in an unfortunate rebirth? I hope not!

Matthew

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 03:15:17 PM »
I'm not a student of Brahm so no recruiting was done. I'm well aware of Thai Buddhism but thanks for the lesson.

Why not just quietly quit the Sangha? Brahm was clearly making a point.

I never met Ajahn Chah and seemingly he was a very enlightened chap, by today's Thai standards. Wish I'd had the chance to meet him and form my own view. Never mind.

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mdr

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2016, 09:05:39 AM »
The corruption of Buddhism is perhaps most obvious in Thailand of all places. The reason Ajahn Brahm split from the Thai Forest Tradition is explained briefly herein (though not mentioning that or him ..), amongst many other corruptions.

If you can't listen here you can download it as a podcast.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03pj4ll

Listening right now, thanks for sharing, Matthew! I wish there was a single religion or spiritual movement that hasn't been seriously corrupted and in deep crises  :(

Nicky

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2016, 07:01:01 AM »
Listening right now, thanks for sharing, Matthew! I wish there was a single religion or spiritual movement that hasn't been seriously corrupted and in deep crises  :(

Corruption is based on being able to manipulate people. After his enlightenment, the Buddha said he would only teach people with "little dust in their eyes". Yet over the years, the Buddhist teachings have been altered in a way for the purpose of appealing to "the masses" (such as the post-Buddha doctrines of reincarnation, re-linking consciousness, stream of consciousness, storehouse consciousness, etc). Ajahn Brahm is a leading exponent of this. Therefore, in my personal opinion, the more the Buddhist teachings are altered to appeal to the masses, the greater capacity there exists for corruption.

If Buddhism remained a pure monastic tradition teaching only lokuttara dhamma (of ultimate truth), the masses would not be interested. Being not interested, the monks could not manipulate people with their doctrines of giving donations for a good reincarnation; just as the Catholic Church used to do with their 'indulgences'.

Instead, the only lay people that would donate to monks are those who are virtuous & honor virtue.

My personal 'heretical' opinion.  ;D

Quote
In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, an indulgence is "a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins" which may reduce either or both of the penance required after a sin has been forgiven, or after death, the time to be spent in Purgatory.

mdr

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2016, 10:07:21 AM »

Corruption is based on being able to manipulate people. After his enlightenment, the Buddha said he would only teach people with "little dust in their eyes". Yet over the years, the Buddhist teachings have been altered in a way for the purpose of appealing to "the masses" (such as the post-Buddha doctrines of reincarnation, re-linking consciousness, stream of consciousness, storehouse consciousness, etc). Ajahn Brahm is a leading exponent of this. Therefore, in my personal opinion, the more the Buddhist teachings are altered to appeal to the masses, the greater capacity there exists for corruption.

I had written a reply but it got lost   :'( Thanks for replying, Nicky. I am the least familiar with organized Buddhism (wording?) I did witness something similar in two of the Abrahamic religions. The question is: why amassing is done? Nowadays, for what i saw, merely to gain worldly power and profit, no other more altruistic motive  ::)

Nicky

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2016, 10:40:32 AM »
I had written a reply but it got lost   :'( Thanks for replying, Nicky. I am the least familiar with organized Buddhism (wording?) I did witness something similar in two of the Abrahamic religions. The question is: why amassing is done? Nowadays, for what i saw, merely to gain worldly power and profit, no other more altruistic motive  ::)

All I can say is there is plenty of good & pure Buddhism in Thailand. If everything was 'perfect', how could we develop wisdom?  :)

mdr

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2016, 11:08:49 AM »

All I can say is there is plenty of good & pure Buddhism in Thailand.

Well, i hope it's so, but it doesn't seem so, according to the podcast which seem to be quite objective. Once again, i don't know, really.


If everything was 'perfect', how could we develop wisdom?  :)

Don't worry, nothing is perfect in this very realm ( or it wouldn't be here in the 1st place.) There's no perfection either. It's all another discussion whether religious ideas are used to amass profit, whether men in power abuse their positions (not referring to Thai Buddhists in particular, i mean generally), whether tax exempt status is abused (as they say, there's no business like Holy business) and whether all of it is much worse in 3d world countries due to general societal corruption?
If there are communities in Thailand who managed to avoid successfully all those traps, more power to them. I'd really love to learn who they are as they are the exception and we all could learn from them (and a lot.)

Best,
mdr

Nicky

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2016, 07:52:27 PM »
Quote from: mdr link=topic=2948.msg3 406#msg30406 date=1463220529

Well, i hope it's so, but it doesn't seem so, according to the podcast which seem to be quite objective. Once again, i don't know, really.

The speaker in the podcast was Thai & a product of Thai Buddhism. If the speaker in the video was speaking from a pure heart, then the speaker in the video would be one example of Thai Buddhism that is not corrupted. Therefore, it is not logical to say all Thai Buddhism is corrupt if you believe the speaker in the video is not corrupt.

Those, such as Ajahn Brahm & the audio speaker (engaged in their politicizing), as well as many other great monks, as well as individuals such as myself, all learned our Buddhism in Thailand. Therefore, obviously not all Thai Buddhism is corrupt. If fact, the purest Buddhism in the world has its source only in Thailand.



 


mdr

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2016, 09:26:11 PM »

 If the speaker in the video was speaking from a pure heart, then the speaker in the video would be one example of Thai Buddhism that is not corrupted. Therefore, it is not logical to say all Thai Buddhism is corrupt if you believe the speaker in the video is not corrupt.

I did not say that, those are not my words. I said i don't know and i doubt...

Anyway it is, the statement above is a logical fallacy, but never mind  :)   

Best,
mdr

Matthew

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2016, 03:00:47 PM »
Monastic Buddhism was a political compromise with kings in the territories of India who felt threatened by the wisdom of, and respect offered, to followers of the Buddha. Shutting Buddhism behind monastery doors is one of the fundamental pollutions of the Buddha's teachings.
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mdr

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2016, 07:22:50 PM »
Monastic Buddhism was a political compromise with kings in the territories of India who felt threatened by the wisdom of, and respect offered, to followers of the Buddha. Shutting Buddhism behind monastery doors is one of the fundamental pollutions of the Buddha's teachings.

It's a very interesting fact, i didn't know it before. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Matthew! There's no institution of monastery in the religion to which i was born either, so it makes perfect sense to me personally that the Buddha didn't put his experience and teachings into that very frame.

Matthew

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Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2016, 07:38:25 PM »
...
it makes perfect sense to me personally that the Buddha didn't put his experience and teachings into that very frame.

The Buddha's followers separated between the rainy-season retreat and went from village to village begging alms, tending the sick and giving sage advice including spreading the Dhamma. They started to get under the noses of the powers that were as they were seen by locals and villagers as wise men and good arbiters of disputes. The Buddha told them to go one by one, to go in pairs where travelling alone was unsafe and not to go there if travelling in pairs was unsafe.

So they spread far and wide .. and they gained influence. They took power away from people who were coming from an ego-based attitude to power. And then they got shut behind the monastery walls for their trouble ... a political compromise and a not-insignificant part of the demise of the true teachings.
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mdr

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    • Ji Goenka
Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2016, 08:39:04 PM »
...
it makes perfect sense to me personally that the Buddha didn't put his experience and teachings into that very frame.

The Buddha's followers separated between the rainy-season retreat and went from village to village begging alms, tending the sick and giving sage advice including spreading the Dhamma. They started to get under the noses of the powers that were as they were seen by locals and villagers as wise men and good arbiters of disputes. The Buddha told them to go one by one, to go in pairs where travelling alone was unsafe and not to go there if travelling in pairs was unsafe.

So they spread far and wide .. and they gained influence. They took power away from people who were coming from an ego-based attitude to power. And then they got shut behind the monastery walls for their trouble ... a political compromise and a not-insignificant part of the demise of the true teachings.

Thank you, Matthew! It's very interesting to learn about it.

Quote
So they spread far and wide .. and they gained influence. They took power away from people who were coming from an ego-based attitude to power.

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)   :(

Nicky

  • Member
    • Pali
Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2016, 09:28:32 PM »
Monastic Buddhism was a political compromise with kings in the territories of India who felt threatened by the wisdom of, and respect offered, to followers of the Buddha. Shutting Buddhism behind monastery doors is one of the fundamental pollutions of the Buddha's teachings.

Is there is a source or reference for this? The Pali scriptures report, when the Buddha was alive, there were monasteries or 'parks' set aside for monks by benefactors.

if there were no monasteries, where would monks spend the rains? More relevant to this thread, did the bhikkhunis (nuns) wander around like the monks? If not, where did they live?


Nicky

  • Member
    • Pali
Re: Thai Buddhism: Monks, Mercs and Women
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2016, 09:33:59 PM »

The Buddha's followers separated between the rainy-season retreat and went from village to village begging alms, tending the sick and giving sage advice including spreading the Dhamma.

Sounds like Jesus. Is there is source that states the monks tended to the sick?

Quote
"Whereas some contemplatives & brahmans, living off food given in faith, maintain themselves by wrong livelihood, by such "animal" arts as:...administering emetics, purges, purges from above, purges from below, head-purges; ear-oil, eye-drops, treatments through the nose, ointments, and counter-ointments; practicing eye-surgery [or: extractive surgery], general surgery, pediatrics; administering root-medicines and binding medicinal herbs — he abstains from wrong livelihood, from "animal" arts such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

Samaññaphala Sutta

 

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