7 December, 2021

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Buddhism For Sale

By Shyamon Jayasinghe –

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Buddhism is the world’s most fashionable religion. Men and women of the affluent West are seen seeking relief from their living anxieties, in Buddhist practices like meditation and Zen craft. This trend goes along with an increasing decline in Christian Church attendances in these parts of the world.

The popularity of Buddhism in the West is observed across social strata. The intellectual types have abandoned creation theories and beliefs in a supervising God. They cannot make sense of the prevalence of evil, deprivation and acute injustice in the world on the assumption of the old dogma of a compassionate God.  The more angst-ridden lower classes look to Buddhism with a different emphasis. Overall, the appeal of Buddhism in the West is not so much for the religion’s metaphysic or its philosophy as defined by the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path nor to the religion’s myriad rituals like worship of Bo trees, transference of merit and Pirith but to the facets mentioned above. In the Buddhist portfolio of the West broader Indian practices like Yoga are also incorporated.

The sight of a monk in saffron robes walking elegantly with head downcast has optional appeal to the run down sense of spirituality in the West.  Consequently in the West, Buddhism sells like skin care products and perfumes. The Age newspaper of May 26th this year carried an interesting story about fake monks who have entered the army of salespeople and who were seen in the streets of the busy Melbourne CBD. For the benefit of readers who have missed this story I reproduce it as follows:

“Dodgy Buddhist monks wearing robes that hide tracksuit pants and runners are scamming Melburnians and visitors to the CBD, Consumer Affairs says.

Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Buddhist Council of Victoria warned on Monday of conmen dressing as Buddhist monks and asking for money in exchange for prayer beads, amulets and spiritual guidebooks.

Swinburne University student Tara Siri, 21, said she was walking with friends down Spring Street last month when a “monk” approached them bowing his head and smiling, before pushing a plastic hologram picture of Buddha into her friend’s hand and asking for cash.

“First she was like ‘Oh, I don’t have any money’ but then he kept smiling and handing her the picture. She got out her wallet and handed out $2, but he wanted more. He really put the peer pressure on,” Miss Siri said.

She also noticed the clothes underneath the smiling assassin’s robes deviated from the traditional wear.

“He had … tracksuit pants and sneakers on,” Miss Siri said.

“They’re taking advantage of people’s first impressions. The reputation of Buddhist monks is really positive, you’d have no reason to doubt someone who would come and do that.”

Greg Campbell, 46, sells The Big Issue on the corner of Exhibition and Bourke streets and has noticed gangs of monks harassing pedestrians towards Elizabeth and Swanston streets.

It’s an area where charity collectors are hard to avoid and far from being annoyed about money that would otherwise go to reputable organisations like his own, Mr Campbell said he just feels sorry for the people who donate to them.

“It embarrasses people, they feel they have to give money,” he said.

Buddhist Council spokeswoman Susan Wirawan, who has also been approached, said the organisation has received numerous complaints in the past six months.

“Monks do go out on the road and looks for alms, but usually they accept food. They don’t go out soliciting (money),” Ms Wirawan said.

“They’re not good practicing Buddhists. If they were they would understand the teaching of Buddha is quite against that; using your Buddhism to make profit.”

A Consumer Affairs spokeswoman said they had received a number of complaints in the past six months and if people had doubts about a charity’s legitimacy they should donate directly to organisations, rather than to people collecting on the street.”

Readers would note how the Australian Government’s supervising body-Consumer Affairs- has also been alerted.

Outside the West and in areas more native to Buddhism like Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka the religion is firmly established over centuries of indoctrination and socialization. To the vast majority of people in these countries the Buddhist religion is the “normal” lifestyle and it is unquestioned on that score. Theoretically and as exemplified in the Kalama Sutta Buddhism is the most tolerant of all religions and it has been without any record of violence to other faiths. Kalama Sutta invokes critical thinking and the scientific method in arriving at judgments. In practice it has been a different story. The indoctrination process has been linked to the limbic and emotional regions of the minds of followers so much so that anyone expressing opinions contrary to the socially accepted views is likely to meet with hostility in countries like Sri Lanka.  A Salaman Rushdie on Buddhism is not likely to have his head hunted down; yet he could be put into a very difficult situation.  Much before Salaman, we had the erudite Professor Tambiah who wrote a book captioned, “Buddhism Betrayed.”  That man is still being smeared. In these gory days of the Bodu Bala Senawa and Ravana Balakaya competing established faiths are living on edge fearing the Buddhist Gestapo anytime and every time. The government does not want to be perceived as being hostile to the lawlessness of these blood hounds because government has to sell itself.

In this way Buddhism is simply everywhere in Lanka. This means that any person, politician or product to be marketed will have to be at least consistent with the socially constructed version of the faith. A person, in other words, must  market himself/herself along with the Buddhist ethos.  This gives rise to fake monks of a different kind that wholesale and retail the Buddhist religion.  In Sinhala language one has heard expressions such as “Buddhagama vikunan kanawa” The other day a notorious druggie was featured in a newspaper giving awards at a Daham Pasela!

Within our Maha Sanga itself there are rich and powerful monks that form a separate affluent class of their own. They acquire their wealth by selling Buddhism for political power. The upper class monks try and cultivate their public images to seem like the Buddha himself. They want to be apart from the ordinary rank and file and they give more distinctive and unique names for their abodes. One such monk resides not in a temple but in an “Asapuwa.”  These upper classes of monks officiate at Danes and Banas of the rich, famous, and powerful men and women.  They travel about in luxury cars to these venues and the show they put on makes ordinary laymen genuflect before these holies just at the sight of them. Duty-free allowances are their right. As a young man, I once visited the prosperous late Buddharakhita Thero (who later died as a jailbird) and found to my amazement bottles of whisky and other rich liquors in his private chambers. This man openly slept with a woman Minister. Among this genre of fake monks there are those who have chosen parliamentary careers and enjoy massive perks and privileges so much that they don’t want to play a more assertive role as guides or mentors to the rotten lay MPs. They have become docile adjuncts of the powers that are. The late Revd Gangodawila Soma virtually lived by selling Buddhism. He met with his untimely demise in an act of presenting for a Russian PhD a tiny book he had written long ago. A franchise chain of Buddhist monks are operative with temples in many countries.  Dear reader, we admit there are thousands of genuine (Arya) monks in rural enclaves who live in humble purity. This majority are swamped by the high profile opportunists in Colombo power circles. The outside world would tend to identify Lankan Buddhism with the play of  the latter practitioners.

While the true Buddhism is being ripped apart by charlatans and put up for sale The Ministry of the Buddha Sasana watches  on impotently.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    9

    Once against this atheist comes up with some devil theories. I reckon devils have hatched eggs on his head. He always dislikes religions and religious people . Not to scare him but when breathes his last breath from his body he will know what is the truth of his life and when this physical barrier of this world is removed from his eyes he will or his soul will enters into next world then he would realise what falsehood he was in his worldly life. He is so arrogant with his limited knowledge: his brain can not penetrate beyond this physical world so that he comes up with old theories of atheism :
    Look all these rationalists are limited with two facts with time and space: he could think within these limitations: he with his rational examination and empirical expriment could not see or examine God with physical means .becuase of that he and his cohorts deny the existence of God : he should know well there are supernatural things in this world : like that our body got soul or life : have you ever seen life in our body or soul in our body still we know that we are living creatures once life is departed from this body this body does not have any values. it is no more human being rather just dead body: does this pundit believe in such thing then let him believe that there so many super naturals in this world beyond human reasoning: God is one of these unseen super natural and unimaginable to human beings :
    This so called pundit is most ignorant and most idiot about reality of life: he wants to spoil minds and hearts of Lankan people with atheism.
    I hope people are more clear that this man

    • 7
      2

      NASS,
      I guess you have heard about protest and noise made in western Christian countries about some sexual misbehavior of their priests, some issues raised were 20~30 years back. It is only a group of Christian people who were very vocal and pressed to take steps to fix it. Because of them whole world came to know about these issues.
      Now, who are the true Christian and believe in Christianity ? People who were silent with blind faith or the people who publicized the issue and made pressure to prevent it happening again?

      • 4
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        AVB, Nass is writing about atheism while your are writing about crazy priest. [Edited out]

        • 3
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          If similar protest made in SL about crazy Buddhist monks, ‘Abiththiyo’ will queued up from Colombo to Galle… :-(

    • 7
      1

      Not only buddhism, part of buddhist body parts will be on sale if Rajapakshe oligarhy would be ignored by IC in the days to come.

      UN needs to check it to this day whether they have been able to improve human rights issue since the 3rd UN resoution against MR regime was unanimously passed in last UNHRC session ended at the end of March (almost 3 months passed).

      • 2
        0

        Buddhism For Sale

        Is it Buddhist Terrorism For Sale? Rr is it Sinhala Buddhist Terrorism For Sale?

        Could be a good export, especially now that the UN has many resolutions abut Buddhist Terrorism and War Crimes.

    • 2
      2

      Nass

      “This so called pundit is most ignorant and most idiot about reality of life: he wants to spoil minds and hearts of Lankan people with atheism. I hope people are more clear that this man”

      Can Atheists prove that there is no God? Where is the Data?

      Can Theists prove that there is a God or Gods? Where is the Data?

      Can the Church prove that the Sun goes around the Earth? Where is the Data?

      Can the Astronomers prove that the Earth goes around the Sun and rotates on its own axis? Where is the Data?

      The Answer is Blowin in the Wind…

      http://www.metrolyrics.com/blowin-in-the-wind-lyrics-bob-dylan.html

      How many roads must a man walk down
      Before you call him a man?
      How many seas must a white dove sail
      Before she sleeps in this sand?
      Yes, an’ how many times must the cannon balls fly
      Before they’re forever banned?

      The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
      The answer is blowin’ in the wind

      How many years can a mountain exist
      Before it is washed to the sea?
      Yes, an’ how many years can some people exist
      Before they’re allowed to be free?
      Yes, an’ how many times must a man turn his head
      An’ pretend that he just doesn’t see?

      The answer, my friend, it is blowin’ in the wind
      An’ the answer is blowin’ in the wind

      How many times must a man look up
      Before he can see the sky?
      Yes, an’ how many ears must one man have
      Before he can hear people cry?
      Yes, an’ how many deaths will it take until he knows
      That too many people have died?

      The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
      The answer is blowin’ in the wind

      • 0
        1

        thought you were a bit more intelligent than this, mr. amarasiri… mixing religion and science in the same comment? tch tch.

        • 0
          0

          kp

          Religion and Science do not mix, but butt heads against each other.

          Read about Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Darwin etc.

          Science compels Religion to be truthful, but they fail..

          Still science is still waiting for Rebirth, Heaven, Hell etc.

  • 9
    1

    Buddhism For Sale? It is prostitution

    • 1
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      Everything is for sale. When a pretty woman uses her body to earn a living, or when a brainy many becomes a professor and sells his ability to earn a living, or when the Pope applies what he learnt at the seminary to run the church and become its CEO, using Latin as the officialese, he too is selling his skills.

      Why condemn prostitution? Selling one’s ability is no crime or sin. Living on the dole with no attempt to acquire an ability is what should be condemned.

      The Greeks admired what you call prostitution, and good “prostitutes” were high-class “artists who were much in demand and highly regarded – they were called heteiri in ancient Grece. The Japanese geisha are aristocratic artists. Courtesan’s are described and mentioned in Buddhist texts, but never condemned. What is condemned is ” misbehaviour in sex” (kaamesi michcha-chaara”); Tantric Buddhism even elvates sex by aserting that Maithunya, Madya and mathsya are cardinal to enlightenment;
      Mis-behaviour in sex means, in the Buddhist sense, behaving in a manner deviating from accepted social norms. So, in ancient Sparta homosexuality was not misbehaviour. Buddhism is flexible enough to understand and accept that. Prostitution is condemned mainly within the misogenistic Hebrew religions, and this attitude goes to extremes in Islam where women are shrouded in Hijabs and veritable Tents with only two slits for the eyes, and go about in the streets like some sort of “goni-billas”.

  • 12
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    I assume from the author that these guys are selling, or as atated in my previous post, prostituing, Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism. The author must qulify this.

    A message to Sinhala racist here on CT who take mockery about the diaspora Tamils as toilet cleaners, I would rather be a toilet cleaner than sell my religion down the toiliet.

  • 16
    0

    Shyamon Jayasinghe; I find that Christians make better Buddhists than so-called Buddhists, because they have a tradition of helping the less fortunate in the Community.

    Traditional Buddhists are more interested in giving Dane'(Alms) to Monks, and performing Rituals like Bodhi Poojas and Pirith Ceremonies, to invoke Blessings upon themselves.

    They have forgotten about the Practice of Metta and Karuna, and Developing their Minds through these Practices.

    • 2
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      Rationalist

      “Traditional Buddhists are more interested in giving Dane’(Alms) to Monks, and performing Rituals like Bodhi Poojas and Pirith Ceremonies, to invoke Blessings upon themselves. They have forgotten about the Practice of Metta and Karuna, and Developing their Minds through these Practices.”

      Yes. I agree.

      The Monks have turned Buddhism into a monk worshiping religion.

      They say Triple Gem. The Buddha, The Dhamma and Sanga, Monks.

      Do you really need Sanga, Monks as the Third Gem? No!

      What do the monks want? Boys!, Prostration in front of them and have a good time. Given below is the data in support of the above statement.

      Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 1

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

      Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 2

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

      A Monk in Habaraduwa gives proper education.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

  • 9
    0

    Religon is mostly skin deep, practiced as facade to increase wealth and material possesions. Prayers and chanting to bless ones business, family and property. Amulets and Charms to gain power and prosperity etc.

    Religon to improve oneself, attain spiritual enlightenment through rigorous practice, self denial and charity is not that attractive. Leave alone the lay people, the clergy love to live in luxury and opulence. To harm or oppress others to obtain material wealth is OK in todays society.

    “Know that the life of the world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and (also) forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion.” Quran 57:20

  • 4
    0

    Dear Shyamon Jayasinghe

    RE: Buddhism For Sale

    I always like to read your writings because of its intellectual merit.

    Let us call a Spade, a Spade.

    Remember, 400 odd years after Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton, STILL, 25% of the American and Europeans in the West believe, the Sun goes around the Earth. How wrong are they? Similarly, they are Wrong about Buddhism, and they do not still know about its violence, as practiced by Buddhists.

    1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says

    Let’s see some of your points that caught my interest.

    “Buddhism is the world’s most fashionable religion. Men and women of the affluent West are seen seeking relief from their living anxieties, in Buddhist practices like meditation and Zen craft. This trend goes along with an increasing decline in Christian Church attendances in these parts of the world.”

    “While the true Buddhism is being ripped apart by charlatans and put up for sale The Ministry of the Buddha Sasana watches on impotently.”

    So, Buddhism is supposed to be less evil than the Christian Church. Of course, the historical and scriptural writings clearly show that. HOWEVER, this DOES NOT MEAN Buddhism is Less EVIL. Buddhism is equally evil. Given Below are References and support of the above statement.

    “Dodgy Buddhist monks wearing robes that hide tracksuit pants and runners are scamming Melburnians and visitors to the CBD, Consumer Affairs says.”

    The list is too long, in Modern Sri Lanka as well as in 6th Century Lanka, the Land of the Native Veddah, by Monk Mahanama of Mahawansa Fame/Notoriety and their followers since then are Buddhist Terrorists.

    1. God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens, states on pages 199- 204, some excerpts: ( ISBN 978 1 84354 810 2 )

    a).. However, Sri Lanka is a country now almost utterly ruined and disfigured by violence and repression, and the sole contending forces are mainly Buddhist and Hindu…. It did not take long for the ethnic tribalism of Sinhalese and Tamils, reinforced by religion, to wreck the society.

    Conceivably, some readers of those pages will be shocked to learn of the existence of Hindu and Buddhist Murderers. Perhaps they dimly imagine that contemplative easterners, devoted to vegetarian diets and meditative routines, are immune to such temptations? It can even be argued that Buddhism is not, in our sense of the word “religion” at all. Nonetheless..

    Dalai Lama is a hereditary king appointed by heaven itself. How convenient! Dissenting Sects within his faith are persecuted ….

    Read about a decided statement by “Gudo”, a very celebrated Japanese Buddhist of the first part of the 20th century….

    Tibetan Buddhism and Sri Lanka Monk Mahanmaa Buddhism…links given below..

    Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 1

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

    Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 2

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

    Child Abuse by a Monk in Habaraduwa

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

  • 7
    0

    .
    China treats peacefull Tibetians Buddhists as Terrorists……
    and they treat Buddhist Terrorists in Burma and Srilanka as their friends.
    Which Buddhism should I follow?

    :-)

  • 3
    2

    This happenned during the Buddhas time , so what is new .

    Cheers

    Abhaya

    • 5
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      I didnt know that During Buddhas time there was tracksuit pants and sneakers.

      • 5
        0

        Guys of Abhaya kind dare to do anything… including facal eating nothing is important to them than going to be that obsequious.
        This this naket mole has proved dozens of times.
        As a geneticst, I need to check why this kind of buggers would need to behave in that way.

      • 1
        2

        You are an idiot , dont show off your idiocy to the world .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

  • 5
    0

    I heard unusual story about temple based S-Buddhist monks in the west handling money. Usually, famous S-Buddhist monks from SL visit the Western city I live and devoted members organize 7 or 10 day meditation retreats. I visited one of them in lunch time and I saw lot of devoted S-Buddhist Srawakas there, but not any of monks from local temple.
    I asked chief organizer why all the “Gihiyos” keen on meditation but none of monks in the local temple meditate?? The honest answer I heard from one of organizers is that local monks loose at least $1000 of their income if they participate in 10 day retreat so they usually do not attend. Srawaks’s spoil monks by donating lot of money to Buddhist monks and their priorities change… Money over practicing meditation $#@%#..

  • 6
    0

    Timely important Article. I agree to the fact that even in Sri lanka the number of people who make advantages of Buddhism for the benefit of their material life is higher than the that of true followers of Buddhism.Most so called Buddhists haven’t realized the main objective of the The Buddha’s teaching.

  • 10
    0

    Shyamon Jayasinghe,
    You were kind of biased. You didn’t give the credit to Anagarika Dharmapala, SWRD and the present self claimed king descendant of Suddhodana via Dutugamunu Peci Mahendra and Nandasena for upgrading Sri Lanka Buddhism.

    You should have at least mentioned the Sales and Marketing Directors Rev. Champika Ranawaka, Mr. Rathana, Gammanpila Swami, Mr. Gnanasara so on who immensely contributed for boost sales in SL.
    Thank you for mentioning Mr. Soma.

    By the way Thanks for the ‘Bravo’ article Mr. SJ.

    • 5
      1

      Is this the new foreign exchange earner?

  • 6
    0

    At the risk of being accused of deviating from the main thrust of this article, I wonder if anyone else has noticed how a section of the Beira Lake is slowly being privatised and hidden from view of the public by a powerful entrepreneurial monk who epitomises the fable of the camel in the tent. Podi Hamuduruwo of the Gangarama Temple first “stepped into” the Beira when he tried to privatise the tiny island. Next he commissioned the building of the sima malakaya, whose architect was, I believe, Geoffrey Bawa. Then several “classroom” and “workshops” appeared. One storey only. They were subsequently filled with clutter and were the first step in concealing the lake (after all one of the few PUBLIC beauty spots and lungs of the city left to its increasingly deprived population) from tax payers and others whose rights in this matter seem to be of little consequence to whoever in authority is permitting this spiralling building project. Now another phase in the privatisation by the Gangarama Temple (or is it just its most famous over-zealous monk(?) is a lengthy stretch of two or three storeys on either end of the original workshops. And long before this, building was also going on beneath the first lot of “classrooms” on the lake itself.

    How has this gradual takeover of the lake front been allowed? Has the land been sold or leased to the temple? Isnt this whole enterprise whereby one of the city’s few publicly accessible beauty spots is being eroded and privatised, a crime against the people of this city?

    How far will this “monkish” behaviour be allowed to go? Will it not stop until the whole lake is enclosed? Galle Face Green has shrunk so much in our lifetime, and is likely to be further eroded by the new “city” planned in the sea. Will this part of the Beira disappear from view in the next few years. Does a Buddhist monk have more rights than other members of the public. Do we think it is not done to call him to account, just as we should those monks who are hawking trivia in the name of Buddhism?

    • 4
      0

      How can he be called to account when he is in favor with the politicians? I thought his robe was green but to achieve all this it must now be purple. He is a bald businessman wearing a robe to increase his influence and wealth, that’s all. No disciple of the Buddha,he.

    • 6
      2

      Manel;
      Thanks for highlighting that prime land and beauty spots like Beira Lake are appropriated forcefully and converted as luxury accommodation for Buddhist Monks. You feel hurt, imagine if your own property in a prime spot in Colombo is forcibly taken over? How will you feel?
      This is exactly what is happening in the NE. The army is forcefully taking over privately owned prime lands along the coastal area and other inward prime lands. The poor owners Tamils/Muslims even Sinhala people are helpless. Luxury hotels and accommodation are being built in this land. Further famous Hindu archeologically sites are also being appropriated by the army and the government. Keerimali is one example. There is a board in Sinhala stating that it’s used to be a Buddhist Monastery. Tamils pay their last rites to their dead kith/kin by dissolving the ash in the sea and then taking a bath in the “water spring”. Recently Tamils were barred from going there.

      • 6
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        Rajash! I am totally against private property – ancestral land and homes – being taken over in the North (& elsewhere). I am extremely unhappy about the dehousing of people all over our country, and the military encampments in the North and East. I am also unhappy about the huge numbers of internally displaced people for so many years now. I only drew attention to what may seem, in comparison, the creeping Beira Lake privatisation because I have seen it for myself and it is part of my immediate environment.

        • 1
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          yws..we are in the same wave length…and how about those old trees that they chopeed own in Colombo.

        • 5
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          Not forgetting the way executionist GOTA has been doing the job against the poor of poor being driven away to his city beautification projects. All that are a great hurt to me too. It is said even if some people had properties estimated to hundreds of lacks, they have been forced to take the rat holes being offered to them by the state these days. This is a curse to those who lived their decades long. JVP leaders made it very clear about the sizes of wanathamulla new houses.

        • 1
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          Correction to my previous blog:

          “I only drew attention to what may seem insignificant, in comparison, the creeping Beira Lake privatisation

        • 3
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          manel fonseka

          “I am totally against private property – ancestral land and homes – being taken over in the North (& elsewhere).”

          Could I have my ancestral island back.

          • 1
            5

            Are you a relative of Hanuma ?

            Cheers

            Abhaya

            • 1
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              Abhaya

              What do you know about Hannuman?

              Please educate us.

  • 2
    2

    Hey readers, you know nothing about religion, especially Buddhism. Religion is to win over death and yellow robes are won the death and already immortal. So what is wrong with collecting money, build Asapu ? They need money and luxury building with comfortable beds and linen for sustaining for ever. Don’t be so jealous Shyamon, instead wear a yellow robe, become immortal, stupit customers will look after you forever, generation by generation. You still have time. Only 2 hours need to become immortal, just go to closest temple and tell them you need to cross the river of birth and death.

  • 3
    2

    Cheeravadhi is not a new phenomenon. Its as old as Buddhism itself. Devadhatta is perhaps the first Cheeravadhi.

    There is an expectation monks must be more disciplined. Although its ordinary people behind the robe. The monk discipline is mostly self-regulated. Lay people must avoid following monks who are bringing the doctrine to disrepute.

    It is said Gautama Buddha did not think ordinary intelligence possessed by most will not be enough to comprehend the Dhamma. He is quite right. Its very hard to follow as one must develop a mental tenacity to go against the grain of human condition. That is why many including monks fail.

    Although it hits the right note with many. I think the code says lay person must not openly deride a monk as he/she represents something more than the individual. Its the monk institution itself that must bring in the reforms.

    Its high time the historic 4th monk council is held to cleanup the institution taking into account present realities.

  • 2
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    I spent hours to find some links. But it failed.
    Found one link. Here it is.
    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/viharaevents/conversations/messages/383

    This man, who runs the temple of Gangodavila soma, (Sakyamuni Sambuddha Vihara-Melbourne) stole more than $70000 from the temple fund. However, he is worshiped by so-called Sinhala Buddhist stupid, not uneducated, educated customers… All yellow robes in Melbourne came together and justified it. No matter how far you want to talk, you are never going to win. This is 2500 years-old proud history.

  • 0
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    Are these monks, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai or Srilankan?.

    Can this Shaymon find out from friend , that Uni Chick which style robe these monks were wearing when they tried to ” rob” her ?

    These monks in combination represent over One Million Buddhists in Melbourne,

    Srilankan monks among them wouldn’t number even two dozens. And they are easily recognizable.

    Is it fair to insult the relgion and their monks of this mammoth population , simply because Diaspora Shaymon has an ingrained hatred towards Sinhala Buddhists ?..

    One would have thought religious vilification is taboo in places like Victoria.

    Apparently it is not so according to Shaymon’s account of the Victorian Consumers affairs press release.

    Hope our Sinhala Buddhist inhabitants help the Govt to weed out these undesirables when the applications for Duals open…

    • 1
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      KA -Are these monks, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Chinese, Malaysian, Thai or Srilankan?…. Srilankan monks among them wouldn’t number even two dozens>>>
      perhaps you missed the point.These guys are Sinhala students making money pretending to be monks. I agree there may be only about two dozens genuine monks in Melbourne. So is the case in Sri Lanka. How many genuine monks are there in Sri Lanka? about a dozen?

  • 4
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    To be honest in Sri Lanka they are raping Buddhism

    • 3
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      Absolutely right! They are destroying the goodness and the Government and Mahanayakas stand idly by.

    • 0
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      Rajash

      Is that why there are hardly any Tamil Buddhists in Sri Lanka?

  • 0
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    total waste of your energy and our time on this incomprehensible, slanderous account of a subject on which you have had no training nor knowledge…

    my advise to you dear therefoe is:
    [Edited out]

    • 0
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

      • 0
        1

        it said, for the third time, “if you have nothing good to say about something or someone it is better to keep quiet” in Kiwi English.
        i say this because of the many articles mr shyamon jayasinghe has published on CT, none spoke good of anything or anybody.

  • 3
    0

    A fearless and candid exposure of those in the upper echelons of the Sangha, saffron clad but with no trousers underneath as in Melbourne. They are out to enrich themselves and their near relatives using political patronage, permits etc. There are also those monks who look after their children very carefully feeding them, educating them and visiting them during the week ends to attend to their welfare. Politics for them is an occupational hazard. Then there are others who provide protection to Buddhism by attacking institutions of other religions. Bensen

  • 2
    0

    We Buddhists must be thankful for exposures like this as much as the Christians are thankful for exposures of sexual abuse by priests. Only then we can discourage bogus monks who cheat by selling Buddhism. Even Buddha warned us in his time that there will be persons who pretend to follow the dhamma but who in fact damage it.
    The writer clearly backs the Arya Sanga.

  • 3
    0

    These monks should go back to their temples and engage in scholarship, teaching and Buddhist practice. It is Rajapakse who let them come back to politics. These dusseela monks watch TV dramas and porno. One famous monk in Kandy I know wrote all his temple to his siblings before dying. Even the dayake money

    • 0
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      Asoka Jayatilleka

      Yes.

      They should ho to Habaraduwa and meet Magama Hemasiri Thero and his pupils. They give good education.

  • 4
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    People are generally DUMB, including me!

    Here is why. People automatically associate the actions of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc. as that of their respective religions.

    In most instances, they are not.

    So, here is a solution to our dumbness. Make sure whether your respective scripture say so, if not you are creating your own religion. It has nothing to do with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity.

    If you murder, rape, lies, etc. don’t blame religions for your action.

    So, therefore the monks the author mentioned are nothing by common thieves and thugs.

  • 2
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    Will the Buddhist Clergy not thrive on a so called Buddhist Laity, not knowing exactly what Buddhism is, is on a mission of collecting merit by offering alms and flowers to Buddha statues believing it will help them to reach Nirvana. Sadly none can reach Nirvana by collecting merit but only through developing one’s mind, through meditation. Further it has become a practice, for the last two to three hundred years, when a Buddhist dies, Buddhist priests perform Pansakula, believing that the spirit of the dead will reach Nirvana. What a mockery in the name of Buddhism where some Buddhist priests think they have the power to issue visas to the dead to go to Nirvana. Not even Buddha could do that and this business of Pansakula was unheard during the time Buddha was living. The crafty Buddhist priests have adopted this custom of Pansakula to have a strangle hold on the Buddhists at a time the family members are grief stricken, the best time to hold the whip hand to hold the flock under their thumb. How naive the people, even the educated can be?

    • 1
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      gamini

      You rarely comment in this forum these days and I S Senguttuvan has completely stopped writing.

      Both of you have lot to offer to this forum.

  • 7
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    Buddhism in this country was long betrayed for political gains. Today it’s being hijacked by a sibling belonging to that of the satanic family with the intent of usurping power from his brother. History repeats itself and fratricide is nothing knew to Sinhala-Buddhist history. One need not be a history buff or prof. at Princeton to recognize patterns that are inevitable.

    • 4
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      Buddhism of this country is just limited to the books.

      From what they practise – from Topleadership to any pradesheeya saba level – none of them behave in compliance with

      a) Musawada weramanee sikkapadam samadiyami – just to deceive only popular Rhetorics of Raja are being applied
      b) adinnadana weramanee sikkapadam samadiyamai – and grabs are made a business by Rajapakshe adminsitration today
      c) Surameraya madyapama … is only for the book, president himself allow new thabarum to be opended.

      • 3
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        we need to add the forth one.
        d) Panathipatha Weramuni.. 90% of SL Buddhist who eat meat or fish cheating their minds to beleive that they eat only dead bodies. They know very well that they pay money to butchers and fishmongers to kill those birds, animal and fish for them. Who really kill those animals for consumption? Butchers or consumers who pay??

  • 3
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    Rajapakse sells Buddhism in a big way. See how he worshipped the Sacred Bo Tree at Anuradhapura-as if he were about to fly to Nirvana! On the other hand see what a revengeful and rogue leader this man is. He is a disgrace

  • 5
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    I have personally come across many Christians and Muslims, who have a very high regard for the Buddha and the Dhamma, unlike most ‘labeled’ Buddhists, who have no clear understanding of either.

    • 0
      2

      Sharmini,,,, You have a high regard No !!!

    • 4
      1

      Sharmini:

      Only yesterday I commented in response to Usha that you have gone quiet and that nothing untoward has happened to you. I am glad you you are still alive and kicking.
      You have left out the Hindus who also have a high Regard for Buddha. Every time I drive to Kandy we always stop at a Buddhist Temple to put money. Ours was never a religious War.

    • 0
      0

      Sharmini Serasinghe

      “I have personally come across many Christians and Muslims, who have a very high regard for the Buddha and the Dhamma, unlike most ‘labeled’ Buddhists, who have no clear understanding of either. “

      Yes. Many traditional Muslims, think there were 25,000 Prophets sent by God, not mentioned in the Quran, and many believe Buddha is one of them.

      Whatever, the Wahhabis and their Clones believe is a different story, because some Muslims believe the Wahhabi are followers of the Devil, Shaitan, Abu-Shaitan, Slave of the Devil. The Wahhabis certainly act that way, as opposed to Muslims who claim to follow God.

  • 0
    0

    I am so so tempted to jump into this discussion. My thoughts are in suspense, caught somewhere in between the Beira Lake and Sydney.

    The only people who can claim ownership to the Philosophy Of Prince Siddhartha are the Indians. Yes, the horrible Indians!!! So, when some jackass chooses to nominate himself, his fellow thugs and the Sri Lankan govt as protectors, its time some one bashed his empty nut!

    The majority of Buddhists follow a warped if not messed up version of the philosophy depending on where they acquired their knowledge from.

    Depending on the clergy to uphold any of the precepts is like asking the foxes to guard the chickens.

    So what do we do? We do what Sri Lankans have done for centuries. Wait for someone else to die or kill. If it works out at the end, hurray! Otherwise, we wait for the next round. Bottoms up!

  • 1
    1

    what is the point of this article – if a priest is doing something wrong please expose the priest and not go-on about the religion – two are not connected – i.e Buddhism does not teach priests to rob students- if a priest does it, it is because he is a thief! goto the police and local media.

  • 2
    1

    My purpose in bringing such issues into the open is to stimulate public discussion and social consciousness on the subject. If Buddhism is to be preserved in Lanka there is a huge role to be played by the ordinary Buddhist population. The latter must not suck in to the corrupting elements of the Sanga and government. We must develop a critical audience of followers who will indicate in no uncertain means that they are not prepared to be fooled or be deceived by the rhetoric. As in keeping a government under control only public awareness and criticism can do that for religion. Sri Lankans are too apathetic about the evil developments both in politics and religion in the country. Did you notice how a few days back in Pakistan they stoned a young woman to death because she had married someone the parents did not want her to marry? The public just watched the stoning and so did the police. You and I have to decide if we are going to see such deterioration in Lanka.
    Wake up my friends and cast every stone you can until honest monks become supreme and the country is safe!

    • 0
      3

      Shyman, Be careful when you cast the first stone..

      Make sure he is not a Cambodian or a Thai monk..

    • 1
      0

      Please tell monks to reform Buddhism: it does not deal real human problems. It depends on Dana given by public and it is outdated in every sense: public should benefit from charity but in Buddhism monks benefit from charity while poor and weak suffer from economic burden monks enjoy life with food provided by some:is this Buddha’s way of life : today monks make big money out religion. One more thing is Buddhism against nature: today food and diet are rich in calories : these monks eat this food and they should be allowed to marry: it is Pathatic they are not allowed to marry : it is outdated system and their life will end like this or they would go wrong ways:
      But I disagree with you your atheism agenda would not get support in Sri Lanka at all: please try and try but you would not be able to get one percentage of support from people

    • 0
      0

      if u mean religion in politics and power – this debate is very much alive in SL… u can see difference in the way that voters behave with sihala urumaya…. at one time it was thought priests in a parliament wld be popular but not anymore and now they prefer to be the power behind laypeople – so this a dynamic phenomenon but has little to do with religion itself.

      Criminal elements in religion – that’s a police matter – BBS of course is a racist criminal element that shld be dealt with by the police.

      certain priests become popular from time to time and they are used by other powerful people. invariably these cult followings come to an end sooner than later.

      I think only difference now is the power held by big two within Buddhist institution of SL ( malwatu /asgiri) has eroded due to other nikayas entering politics…. I do not know the impact of this tho’ if any… one could be that rogue elements have more freedom now ?

  • 0
    1

    What’s the big fuss about about Shyamon. It seems you have some con men in yellow robes in the streets cheating some gullible people. Any one who knows anything about Buddhism knows that Buddhist monks don’t go selling trinkets on the streets. call 911 with out using it to throw insults at others.

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