28 October, 2020

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BBS Harms Buddhism Which They Want To Protect

By Hema Senanayake –

Hema Senanayake

Are there good Buddhist monks and bad ones? A learned monk replied “Yes, of course.” As a measure to protect Buddhism and its values, Thailand had warned or sacked 300 Buddhist monks from clergy-hood in 2012. Thailand has some 61,416 Buddhist monks.

Values play a big role in anybody’s life. Values lead to somebody’s actions and behavior. Put it in a Buddhist perspective of “cause and effect.” If somebody’s actions and behaviors are the resultant effect then his perception of values is the cause. Therefore by observing somebody’s actions and behavior one might be able to determine what his values are. This might be the reasoning that used in Thailand in sacking bad monks. Some monks behaved badly and that shows their lack of respect for Buddhist values and got sacked.

On June 17, 2013 the Guardian (UK) reported “Thailand’s national Buddhism body has announced it is monitoring monks for any inappropriate behavior following complaints prompted by a video showing Buddhist monks flying on a private jet…The director general of the National Office of Buddhism, Nopparat Benjawatananun, said on Monday that the agency had warned the monks from a monastery in Thailand’s north-east not to repeat the lavish behaviour seen in the video… Last year, about 300 out of 61,416 Buddhist monks and novices in Thailand were reprimanded – in several cases removed from the brotherhood – over misconduct ranging from alcohol consumption to having sex with women and extortion.”

How about Sri Lanka? Is there any mechanism to monitor monks for any inappropriate behavior; at least to monitor monks who vandalize business properties that belonged to other religious groups?

However, I, as a man of principles, should not raise the beginning question, if I am not supportive to the spread of Buddhist values around the globe. A few months ago I was invited to deliver the key-note speech at a book launching in New York. The title of the book is “The History of Thervada Buddhism in North America and the Sri Lankans Contribution” which was authored by S. Leelaratne, published by S. Godage & Brothers (pvt) Ltd, a leading publishing house in Sri Lanka. The book has documented about 26 Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist temples firmly established by around 2012 in the United States since 1965 in which year the first temple was established in Washington D.C. in close proximity to White-House.

Though I was born into a Buddhist family, I for a long time considered myself as a rational atheist. But I began to be interested in Buddhism recently probably due to the same reason that inspired the two main disciples of Buddha. Hence, when I made my speech on that day I had an honest feeling that I am close to a religion that preaches to be free from hatred, greed and ignorance. Forget about the religion, at least, a man without hatred and greed must belong to an advanced civilization and intuitively be respected by all people, I thought. Weeks later my pride was shattered, firstly by so called “Buddhist Bin-Laden” in Myanmar and then by Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) in Sri Lanka by seeing the level of hatred they spread. If there are real threats to Buddhists, those must be addressed in accordance with Buddhist values.

Getting back to the story of my inspiration, the Buddha had two main disciples; before their ordination one had the name called Upatissa, the other was Kolitha. One day one of them namely Upatissa saw a monk call Assaji who was a member of the ordained monks under the Buddha.  Upatissa said to the monk “your face is serene, calm and radiant. It seems that you look very happy. What is the reason for it?  Is it because of the teachings you follow? If so tell me who is your teacher and what does he teach?”

The monk Assaji replied “My teacher is Buddha and he teaches that there is a cause for everything that ever has come into existence or will come into existence and must ceases to exist when the cause ceases to be.” This is a very insightful proclamation and has been validated by evolving science especially in 18th century by a French Mathematician call Laplace by introducing his concept known as “determinism.” Laplace said “We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future.” By this thesis he rejected the notion of God, at least, a living God. A learned Buddhist monk summarized the Buddhist law of cause and effect as that “nothing will happen without the presence of necessary conditions” – a clear rejection of living Almighty God. For an example, when the engineers set the aerodynamically necessary conditions a plane will move in the sky. The disease will be cured when doctors set the necessary conditions by way of administering medications etc. And this law proclaimed by the monk Assaji has remained and will remain as an undeniable truth forever. This reply inspired the young Upatissa to go with his friend Kolitha to see Buddha. Both of them got the ordination under Buddha and later became the two chief disciples.

The said monk’s reply inspired me too and who will not? The monk said an eternal truth or in another words it is a natural law in the universe. Buddha claims what he did was the explanation of certain natural laws that exists in the universe. Quickly I realized that Buddhism is a religion that can stand alone without seeking refuge in any ethnic community to protect it.

Buddha’s teachings are known as Dhamma – And dhamma means existing phenomena. These phenomena exist all the time. For an example, the Buddha said that nothing is permanent (in Pali it is “Anicca.”). This is a natural phenomenon or an element of Dhamma, which has been revalidated by ever evolving science.

However, more elements of Dhamma are related to explain the suffering of living beings and overcoming of suffering. In Buddhism the word suffering has a deeper meaning; suffering means that certain unhappy things in our lives do happen according to certain natural laws and we do not have any control over them. For example, we get old, get sick and we die. Nobody can avoid these unhappy events and hence we are destined to suffer.

But Buddha says that you can be free from sufferings – And Buddha revealed it as another element of Dhamma or another phenomenon of natural laws. The law is that a person will be free from sufferings if he or she becomes free from hatred, greed and ignorance. Firstly, such a person will emotionally be free from unhappiness that associated with old age, sickness and death- And eventually leading him or her to attain a state of complete non-suffering which is known as Nibbana. As I said earlier certain natural laws revealed by Buddha have been validated by modern science, but this particular law of being free from suffering has not been validated by science yet. However, Buddha has provided a method to understand the accuracy of the first part of this law of being free from emotional suffering in this very life by anybody by being free from hatred, greed and ignorance. Let me explain it brief.

Buddha said that anybody can see Dhamma right now (in Pali this is known as “Sandittiko.”) One day a man went to Buddha and said “Sir, You say that Dhamma can be seen right now; I do not see it. Where can I see Dhamma?”

Rather than replying direct the Buddha asked him “Do you know that you are angry when you are angry?” The man said “yes.” The next question was that “Do you know that you are in hate when you hate something?” The man said “yes.” Buddha posed another question, “Do you know that you are in greed or lust when you are craving for something or somebody?” The man said “yes.” This went on for another few questions.

Then Buddha asked the man “Also do you know if you are not in hate, greed or lust?” The man said “yes.”

The Buddha finally explained that “if anybody practices Dhamma then that person knows that he or she is free from hatred, greed and ignorance – And that is how you see Dhamma or how you see the effect of Dhamma right now.”

Therefore, good Buddhist monks must preach the people to experience Dhamma right now by being free from hatred, greed and ignorance.

The irony is that the monks in BBS spread hatred, greed and ignorance and hence will never see Dhamma by themselves and will never allow Sinhalese to see Dhamma. This must be stopped not by banning them but by actively engaging with them.

To me that any human being without hatred, greed and ignorance belongs to a kind of advanced civilization and by intuitively earns respect from people of all backgrounds. Similarly, people with hatred, greed and ignorance should be belonged to the uncivilized past cultures even though live today or in future. In this respect Buddha’s teachings belong to an advanced civilization and have already earned the respect of all ethnicities and religions around the globe but not the teachings of Buddhist Bin Laden in Myanmar and the teachings of BBS monks in Sri Lanka.

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    Hema Senanayake

    “To me that any human being without hatred, greed and ignorance belongs to a kind of advanced civilization”

    Sorry you won’t meet a single person in this island.

    “Similarly, people with hatred, greed and ignorance should be belonged to the uncivilized past cultures even though live today or in future”

    You would be glad to meet 20 million of them here.

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      Dear Mr. Hema and Stupid ambuda vedda

      It seems that you have been trapped in the same western conspiracy that is in full force to topple the legitimate government in SL (and Myanmar). Any way thank you for enlightening CT readers about Buddhist teaching to a certain level. But you have intentionally missed some important points related to Buddhism and thereby covertly trying to defame Buddhist images in Sri Lanka where true Buddhism is being protected for 25 centuries.

      1. There are enough systems within the Buddhist Sangha sasana itself too, as in all the other religions, to correct the behaviour of the Monks. Otherwise you’ll not find the Buddhism in the pure state you yourself tried to explained, this long.
      2. If one is free from hatred, greed and ignorance he has attained the Arhath hood and the current is his last Bava (Birth). So before asking others to attain there you should do it yourself is the correct teaching of our Buddha.
      3. Muslim invasions removed Buddhism with blood and iron from a greater part of Asia as they destroyed the great Nalanda Buddhist university and Hinduism did the rest in India.
      4. Lord Buddha has never denied the self-protection and he has protected the good or innocent group of his own and has destroyed the bad in several of his past lives at leading point according to many of 550 Jathaka stories he himself taught.
      5. Buddhism would not have been protected at this crystal clear original state by now in Sri Lanka if our kings like Gemunu acted the way you teach when South Indians invaded us more than 100 times in the history since 500 BC.

      Why there is this huge media and HR attacks against the BBS, Buddhism and the people elected Government (and other monk movements including in Myanmar) with whole lot of false accusations. Let’s explain the SL’s version. LTTE friendly and anti-Buddhist springs have become the latest tool the west can use in the civilized world to topple people friendly Governments and they, including the west and India who wants to stop Chinese involvements in this region and wants to erect their moppet Elam government in North and East for their trade reasons, have already lost huge investments they made on many such springs such as university academics, students, free-trade workers and judiciary staff due to lack of people support to the few who led those and to their false causes.

      Now here they come, amidst the above context, the BBS and other Buddhist movements what ever their name may be who are also anti LTTE and anti-13A and the above enemies of the country knows that these movements who can gather the entire country including the MR’s government around their true cause would be a deadly blow for them as well as for their spring movements as they have learnt it in the recent past in Vellamulli-Vaikkal. So Mr Hema, yours is also a part of this calculated attack on our mother land and it is not too late to get your inappropriate act corrected before attempting to finger in Buddhist monks as you are like a rat before the Sangha sasana that leads not only the Buddhism but also the civil society of the country.

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        Ajith Kumara!
        You say that there are enough systems in the Buddhist Sangha sasana to correct bad Buddhist monks.
        I challenge you to prove it.
        A court punished the head of the BBS for drunk driving and injuring some pedestrians.Which Nayaka Thero punished him?
        Buddharakkhita and Somarama killed Bandaranaike. Were they punished by Sangha?
        A good number of Buddhists priests have been arrested by police for various crimes such as rape, robberies,possessing firearms,being members of terrorist movements etc. Were they punished by any system of Sangha Sasana?
        I challenge you to prove at least a single occasion that a bad monk was punished by Maha Sangha.

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          Punchisingho

          Have you even stepped in SL?
          There are places (Seema malakaya or cimilar name) in every Buddhist temple area and there is a full Vinaya pitakaya to deal with disciplinary matters of Buddhist monks. They gather there regularly and get their matters solved according to that. But I do not take your challenge as it is a Sasana matter and not a public one and you can meet any Buddhist monk and he’ll explain you it in detail.

          There are ways to react towards the bad monks for Buddhists and if one has done any crime he’ll be automatically out of the Sangha Sasana in addition to the court punishments and public punishments.

          What do you mean by Maha Sangha. They are not authorized to punish any in public and it is not only Buddhist monks commit crimes and it is common in any religion hat certain behave bad.

          Reply to my core point without sliding away from it.

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            Tell me how Sima malakaya has corrected any monk who raped women or robbed people.Has the head of the BBS who was found guilty in court for drunk driving been desciplined by any system of Buddhist council or Maha Nayakha Theros? Now the same man is sowing hatred against minorities.Has he been corrected by any Sima Malakaya or any other system?Has any bad Monk been forced to disrobe? It is true that there is Vinaya Pitakaya but it is not implemented for so many monks are violating it.Almost every monk does transactions using money which is a violation of Vinaya. Many own property. Earning money is aganst Vinay Pitakaya.The truth is rules in Vinaya Pitakaya are violated by almost every monk who live in temples.So it is clear that nobody ventures to correct those who violate the rules that govern monks.
            I’m not living abroad. I’m well entrenched in Sri Lanka.

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        Stone Age thinking and thoughts

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        Ajith Kumara thanks for your frog in the well thinking man
        also if the Buddhist priests corrected their own kind (other monks) then we wont even need to have this discussion

        btw just in case you dont know Sri Lankas first assasination post 1948 was of SWRD by none other than who???

        who else but a Buddhist monk (somarama thero) who was instigated to do this by another monk Buddharakitho thero (a wellknown businessman and womaniser in those days!)

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          Stupid fake peace lover who doesn’t now even know one zillionth of the good qualities attributed to Maha sangha rathna which is one of the Noble triple gems and trying to defame it with isolated incidents.

          You’ll be a frog in a Hell soon. Just wait and see.

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        Ajith Kumara

        You are proud of your Sinhala/Buddhism.

        I am proud of Buddha’s teaching.

        If you can’t see the difference between the two even Buddha the enlightened one wouldn’t stand a chance of converting you to Buddhism.

        Please feel free to remain in Sinhala/Buddhism.

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          Stupid fake Veddha

          I’m proud of being Sinhalese and Buddhist as I have enough reasons to be so.

          Are you proud of being a Veddah and praying stones and trees for 25 centuries?

          Sinhalese who take the path of Lord Buddha protected the Buddhism all alone for you to read and be proud about it while you idiot eating half dried (half rotten) monkey meat with unfiltered bee honey with dead bees in it but without any salt as salt was a luxury for you. Low salt has made you so stupid that low BP it caused did not supply enough blood to brains for centuries. But as the modern veddhas get enough salt supply have decided intelligently to convert themselves to Sinhala Buddhist and they are riding Mercedes now.

          Please tell me the difference between Buddhists and Sinhala Buddhists? I know you don’t know either of them as there is no conversion as you said in Buddhism which is opened to any free thinking wise.

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            Intelligent Ajith Kumara Mahatha,

            “Please tell me the difference between Buddhists and Sinhala Buddhists?”
            I knew it from your first comment that you don’t have any idea about core concepts of Buddhism and how these teaching are interpreted very differently by different cultures ..
            I bet, you are a Tree worshiping Buddhist ….

            One more thing, How many SL Buddhists monks were convicted or punished in SL for sexual misconduct (boys, teenage monks, women)?
            I am sure you haven’t heard about number of legal court convictions against SL Buddhist monks for sexual misconduct in Australia and England in the last couple years… I never heard a single conviction in SL…
            Anura

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            Ajith Kumara

            Agitated Kumara

            “I’m proud of being Sinhalese and Buddhist as I have enough reasons to be so.”

            I have nothing against Sinhalese or Buddhists. It troubles when you claim to be Sinhala/Buddhist.

            If you are well versed in Buddhism by now you would have understood the difference between Buddhism as Buddha taught and Sinhala/Buddhism as Sinhala/Buddhists practice.

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        As always in Sri Lanka, some people just can’t stand it when they, their government or monks being criticised. In an open society, we must be able to talk about certain issues, without being called traitors or western puppets etc. As soon as the government is criticised in any way, there are talks about “international conspiracies”. It’s shameful howsome ppeople think and react in SL. Heck, people even get killed by saying the “wrong” thing. Journalists are forced to leave country. Those who truly love Sri Lanka, they want an open and free society free from corruption. They want a place where anyone can speak up without fear.

        You are an example of a government supporter who believes anything the government says. You probably prefer reading Daily News rather than other unbiased newspapers. And anyone critical of the GOSL are “LTTE supporters” in your mind. We are involved in an “international” “conspiracy “. Isn’t it so? I wonder what kind of world you people live in…

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    BBS=Bull Shit Sena (Adhamayange ekamuthuwa)

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    So, who is harming what ?

    BBS harming buddhism or BBS harming practising buddhists ?

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    Blind BBS follows the path by licking bones of Norway mobs to discriminate the minority religious and races. Before BBS throw a stone at others how far they are blind to have a vision about themselves. I wonder how & when this country will develop. That land can be count as a Never-developing country.

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    Good explaination of Buddhism. The cause of suffering is Hatred, Greed and Ignorance. The actions of people bring about such suffering in this world.

    According to Islam, Allah is the cause of all existence, and does not resemble in any way any of His creation. Allah is Allah’s name only. Nothing else can in any way assume this name nor share it. As it is said in the Qur’an,

    “Do you know anyone who is His namesake?” (19:65)

    Say, “He is Allah , [who is] One,
    Allah , the Eternal Refuge.
    He neither begets nor is born,
    Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” Surah 112

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    You can be full of kindness and love,
    But you can not sleep next to a mad dog ( muslim extremist )

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    Excellent article.

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    Sinhellists (BBS/JHU/SR) preaching the opposite of Dhamma and thus driving Buddhism away from the Buddhists. The decline is quite evident. The fear of survival drives people specially Bhikkus of hatred, greed and ignorance to commit acts of sheer madness.

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    hey Leela why so silent?
    ar eu scared the Lee Potter depositors will track you down like what they did to Sakvithi and Lalith K?

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    The yellow-robed morons of these para-military outfits are obviously on a contract to protect the Rajapaksas, not Buddhism. They are a disgrace to Buddhism!

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    The only way to stop all crimes and offences doing by BUDDA KAAVI BILLAS is to STOP GIVING FREE FOOD , FREE LODGING , FREE DRESS and MONEY TO THEM.. BAN these baudha kaavis to talk about politics and enter into politics..

    FORCE THESE BIKKU TO COME TO DOOR TO DOOR TO BEG FOR FOOD ..Then they will only concern about FOOD not other things..

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    Of late, I have seen many people with little understanding of Buddhism accuse Buddhist monks as Buddhist fundamentalists (BF). Too me Buddhist fundamentalism is the utmost supreme thing in this universe and under that nor any living thing will be harmed even an ant or tree will be secured under BF. For example I cite those monks who lived in Nalanda back in AD 1197 can be identified as BF. There were around 10,000 monks and they all were killed by ony 1000 Muslim invaders. To me, they were the real Buddhist fundamentalists and didn’t even hate enemies who came to kill them. History says the it took 3 months completely to burn down books in the library of Nalanda.

    Taking the same example, everybody must understand there is no so called bad monks, all what they are trying to do is to preserve the Buddhism for those who really want to benefit out of it. Otherwise, just as Nalanda university is no longer there the Buddhism want be there for others to be benefited.

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    Of late, I have seen many people with little understanding of Buddhism accuse Buddhist monks as Buddhist fundamentalists (BF). Too me Buddhist fundamentalism is the utmost supreme thing in this universe and under that nor any living thing will be harmed even an ant or tree will be secured under BF. For example I cite those monks who lived in Nalanda back in AD 1197 can be identified as BF. There were around 10,000 monks and they all were killed by ony 1000 Muslim invaders. To me, they were the real Buddhist fundamentalists and didn’t even hate enemies who came to kill them. History says the it took 3 months completely to burn down books in the library of Nalanda.
    Taking the same example, everybody must understand there is no so called bad monks, all what they are trying to do is to preserve the Buddhism for those who really want to benefit out of it. Otherwise, just as Nalanda university is no longer there the Buddhism want be there for others to be benefited.

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    People like students in the class where when teacher asked questions after teaching every child reply in different way which contradict to what teacher thought. Similarly we see the mass behave in the world in general and particularly in Sri lanka.
    The greate teachers preached love and respect each other in the short span of life.

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    Dalai Lama: Teachings about Sex

    http://www.xzmzjiemi.com/en/?type=detail&id=137

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