12 December, 2017

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Why I Laugh At Unctuous Buddhist Monks

By Jagath Asoka

Dr. Jagath Asoka

Dr. Jagath Asoka

I am not writing this article out of malice; if you were to read this article, you would probably understand what I am talking about, and you would laugh with me, not at any particular person; you would see my sense of humor, without hating a particular thing or person. But for some reason, if you do not have my sense of humor, it is fine with me. Only a sage would feign stupidity to give the hoi polloi a chance to have fun by ridiculing him. I think the Buddha had a deep sense of humor when he said that even though all life is sorrowful, we must affirm it and say yes to life even when we are in excruciating pain, even when we are suffering, and even when we are experiencing privation and humiliation. So, it is your prerogative to get angry and act like a monkey or laugh like an enlightened human being. I will let you find out for yourself, so keep reading.

When I express my opinions on Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka and here in the USA by Sri Lankans, I am not criticizing Buddhism at all: I am just laughing at the stupidity of the misguided hoi polloi, I am mocking the educated yet gullible followers, and I am ridiculing the myopic and unctuous monks who have sullied Buddhism. I know that some of you would feel intense hatred towards me and criticize me as if I were Devadatta or Judas, but that is fine with me, too. I would laugh at your comments, not at you.

If I were to express my opinion using abstract ideas and examples, it would be utterly boring, and would take fun out of your life; I abhor abstract thinking, including abstract paintings. So, I am going to use an example: a well know Buddhist monk. Since he is a Buddhist monk, he is used to this kind of mockery, satire, and caricature; I sincerely believe that he would read this article with disinterest and insouciance, not with anger and malice. If he is not used to mockery, satire, and caricature, I am certain that he would get used to it after reading this article.

I am going to use Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero as an example to tell my story: The purpose of this article is not to ridicule Gnanananda Thero and his followers, but to laugh at what he is doing as a Buddhist monk, to laugh at the status of Buddhism both in Sri Lanka and in North America, and to laugh at those who say “Sadhu, Sadhu,” to his rants. Gnanananda Thero have turned brothers into Cains and Abels; friends into archenemies, and Buddhists into barbaric heathens. He could not have done these things single handedly; his myopic, asinine followers are the actors, actresses, participants, and hapless victims of this drama called “Pure Buddhism, unsullied Buddhism, Buddhism without mundane rituals, and Buddhism based only on the Sutras, meditation, and chanting of Buddhist hymns.” I am not talking about Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther; I am talking about Theravada Buddhism marketed by Gnanananda Thero: Either he is the Clown or the Sage of the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhism.

I assume that most Sri Lankans would know about Gnanananda Thero because he is the founder of Mahamevnawa monastery, which is currently spreading like mushrooms under his guidance and has around 40 branches throughout Sri Lanka, Canada, USA, Australia, UK, and Germany. I have visited Mahamevnawa’s NJ branch a few times, over the last three years, because some of my friends and colleagues are zealous and ardent followers of Gnanananda Thero.

I do not want to beat around the bush: I find this entire saga utterly facetious. Pretending to be an almost enlightened being, Gnanananda Thero spread hatred, lies, malice, and misconceptions under the guise of Buddhism; his gullible followers unwittingly throw kerosene to this fire of hatred, lies, malice, and misconceptions when they say “Sadhu, Sadhu,” during his rants. As far as zealous and ardent followers are concerned, I have not yet met a single follower who is living his or her life, experiencing the Supreme Bliss that Gnanananda Thero is trying to market. I personally think that Gnanananda Thero thinks that he is the latest incarnation of the Buddha himself, because if you were to listen to his disciples, you would think that he is the Buddha: when they describe Gnanananda Thero, they always use the same words, accolades, titles, and descriptions that are ascribed to the Buddha. On the one hand, Gnanananda Thero is worthy of praise—not veneration—because he has done a yeomen’s task in spreading Buddhism; he has written a plethora of books in simple terms to explain Buddhist Sutras in Sinhalese; so without any doubt his blind followers venerate him; but it is an un-Buddhist thing to use his popularity to spread ignorance, malice, hatred, lies, about other religions, including Mahayana Buddhism; through his uneducated hoi polloi and educated yet blind and stupid followers, he is spreading not Buddhism that I deeply revere but ignorance, malice, and hatred that I reject wholeheartedly with gusto.

Do not think that I am trying to say that other Buddhists monks are saints; not at all; we all know that the majority of Buddhist monks live like laity: They drink alcohol, have sex whenever they get a chance, use profanity like fishmongers, and their hearts are filled with malice, jealousy, ignorance, stupidity, and hatred. Finding a genuine Buddhist monk would be like finding mustard seeds from a family who has not lost someone.

I am laughing at him and his followers because he is adamant on the need to practice Theravada Buddhism in its pristine form as it is described in the Sutras; his vituperative, denigrating, and dictatorial proclamations and admonitions are un-Buddhist and unwholesome.  If you listen to Gnanananda Thero, you would think that he had been alive when the Buddha preached these Sutras, and he had memorized these words of the Buddha; and then after 2500 years later, he was born as a Christian in Sri Lanka, but became a Buddhist monk to spread the words of the Buddha in its pristine, unsullied, and unadulterated form. I am laughing at him and at his followers, not at the Buddhist temples, because these temples will last much longer than their myopic, belligerent, and asinine monks. I wholeheartedly support the temples, not the messages of the so-called founders. There is only one founder: the Buddha; other monks are just impersonators, like the impersonators of Elvis. If a Buddhist is avoiding a particular Buddhist temple because of the deportment of its resident monks, there is only one thing that I have to say: Do not cut your jugular vein because you are angry at your big, crooked, and ugly nose. I do not go to a Buddhist temple because of its resident monks; I usually avoid them like the plague because most of them are unworthy of my time and attention. Even the worthy ones, I ignore them, because they have better things do to with their precious time rather than talking to someone like myself who venerates all human beings equally, without any preferential treatment.

My first encounter with Gnanananda Thero reminded me of the saying in Sinhalese: If the bugs have eaten the cast iron, just throw your rice without inspection. One day, probably three years ago, I watched a video clip that was posted on Facebook.   Gnanananda Thero gave a verbose, empty, vituperative, asinine, and somewhat facetious talk for nearly an hour. I was eagerly waiting to hear an erudite, life-vivifying explanation of the Buddha Dharma; there was no Buddhism in his rant; instead, he shamelessly displayed his sycophancy by saying that he was the first to predict that one day Mahinda Rajapaksa would be Sri Lanka’s President. What is the relevance of his prophecy to the Buddha Dharma? The rest of the rant, for nearly 45 minutes, he criticized and ridiculed Mahayana Buddhism; he sounded more like a fishmonger, not a Buddhist monk. In summary, he talked about four things: malice, ignorance, pride, and hatred. Where was compassion? I know that some people highly praised him for delivering such a vituperative talk; they too are full of malice, ignorance, and hatred; a good example of birds of a feather flocking together.

I usually give every person a second chance, because everybody deserves a second chance. Recently, I listened to what Gnanananda Thero had to say about Kalakarama Sutra. Again, I was eagerly waiting for an erudite exposition, using similes, metaphors, allegories, and analogies, both canonical and modern, to illustrate the facts and reveal the essence of Kalakaram Sutra; I thought he would discuss about the illusory nature of consciousness, the contexts of the doctrinal categories such as aggregates, spheres, elements, and Dependent Arising. I was eagerly waiting for him to describe the Buddhist logic of “four alternatives”—affirmative, negative, both affirmative and negative, neither affirmative nor negative; I thought he would use an example from Christianity since he was a Christian to demonstrate how to apply the Buddhist logic of “four alternatives” to the question, “What is the nature of Jesus the Son of God and God the Father; are they of similar substance or the same substance? I thought he would use the Christian Homoousian and Homoiousian concepts to compare the Buddhist logic of “four alternatives”; instead, he just regurgitated what he has read. After using so many synonyms, he finally used the word “omniscient,” to describe the Buddha. If I were to listen to another talk delivered by this monk, I am pretty sure that he would say: The Buddha is omnipotent. So, if the Buddha is omnipotent and omniscient, then the Buddha is the same God, worshiped by the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Well, who cares about creation? Creation is just the icing on the cake. If you do not believe me, find the two video clips that I watched and then decide for yourself.

Let me paraphrase and quote some of hackneyed sayings of Gnanananda Thero: The Buddha has taught that birth as a human being is a very rare achievement. Fortunately, we have now obtained that rare achievement. Yet, we have to remember that man’s greatness does not lie in his nationality, caste, clan, or any such feature, but solely on his conduct. Man’s experience of happiness and suffering, too, is related to his three modes of action: mental, verbal, and physical. The Buddha devoted all his life to save man from suffering. We are followers of the Buddha, and our fervent hope is to see a world full of people who are freed from suffering.

Have you ever met a person who is freed from suffering? I have, but all of them were dead.

Now, compare and juxtapose what he preaches about the Buddha and what he says about Mahayana Buddhism and other religions. I can understand his asinine remarks about other religions, but why Mahayana Buddhism? Gnanananda Thero inadvertently promotes the concept of Bodhisattva even though he vehemently denigrates Mahayana Buddhism. Instead of freeing his followers from suffering, malice, ignorance, hatred, and jealousy, Gnanananda Thero is spreading all these negative aspects and qualities like a wild fire in California.

We are told that the Sakyamuni—the Sage of the Sakyas—was an itinerant preacher, lived a simple life, and won the hearts of many followers without denigrating other preachers. Have you ever visited Gnanananda Thero’s monasteries in Sri Lanka? If you have, what was your impression? Is he disenchanted with his life of luxury? Does he wallow in luxury and accolades? Is he spreading the teaching of the Buddha or marketing his own brand of Buddhism?  I do not think that Gnanananda Thero, his disciples, and the followers are practicing austerities that would reduce them almost to skeletons in order to understand privation and suffering. Instead, he lives like a god of the six lower realms in continuous enjoyment of the senses, while pretending to be in an unbroken bliss of meditative experience and marketing the concept of “enlightened being.”  The zealots, who follow him like the wheels of a cart that follow an ox, think and believe that Gnanananda Thero’s brand of Buddhism is authentic, pure, refreshing, and without mundane rituals; his ardent followers believe that Gnanananda Thero reveals the essence of Buddha’s precious discourses. For God’s sake, give me a break! Stop preaching hatred in the name of the Buddha; stop telling lies to the poor, uneducated, educated but gullible, anti-Christian, anti-Muslim, or anti-Hindu Sri Lankans. What you are doing is truly unwholesome and un-Buddhist.

The supreme purpose of Buddhism is to achieve liberation form the cycle of life—death and rebirth—by attaining enlightenment (Nirvana) and entering a timeless state, free of both craving and suffering. I have not seen a single person yet who can convince me that he or she has achieved this supreme purpose. So, what is the purpose of this drama and hatred?  Perhaps, it is just money and fame. Do you think I am being sarcastic or facetious? I am not the kind of Buddhist who contemplates on my breath everyday to achieve Nirvana, and look down on others who do not concentrate on their breathing. My entire life is a meditation. I experience just a spark of this supreme bliss when I play tennis; it keeps me healthy and out of trouble; playing tennis is my Nirvana.

Ever since I can remember, I have been making a constant effort to live according to the wisdom that I have found in Dhammapada; of course, time and time again, I have failed miserably, but my struggle would not end as long as I am alive. Here are some of my favorite verses from Dhammapada: A man is wise if he is peaceful, loving, and fearless; if you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone; there is no companionship with the immature; life is as good and as bad as it seems; there is no need to add anything extra; many do not realize that we here must die. For those who realize this, quarrels end; the one who keeps company with fools will be sorry for a long time. It’s painful to live with fools, like being always with an enemy.”

Well, I think it is time to end this conversation. In a few days, we are going to celebrate the beginning of another big cycle, bigger than just a day. I cannot think of a better way of ending this conversation than using the words of Robert Burns: “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero – Kalakarama Sutta

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Latest comments

  • 5
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    Dr. Jagath,thank you. Few Buddhists in SriLanka have the introspection and analysis to assess that Buddhism in SriLanka is leading people in the wrong path.You have the courage to do it. The problem is not just the monks. But Mahavansa itself preaches hatred. Monks have consoled Duttu Gemunu not to worry about the people who died in his battle, because some of them (Non-Buddhists/ Tamils) are just “dogs”.
    The present day monks led the communal violence in 1983 where they went house to house with voters list in their hands. People were burnt alive,clobbered to death and the monks watched in glee as the blood soaked the streets.
    In direct contradiction to civilized countries who practice secular politics, SriLankan Buddhist monks tamper with every aspect of politics, often displaying religious bias and intolerance against minorities.
    They have burned down churches,mosques and demolished Hindu temples.Where does the the problem lay in our country? Is it the monks themselves or the public who passively follow them like herds? In other countries thousands of Jagath Asokas would tear apart these bogus Buddhist monks. But the herds in Srilanka will take long to wake up.

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    ‘My entire life is a meditation. I experience just a spark of this supreme bliss when I play tennis; it keeps me healthy and out of trouble; playing tennis is my Nirvana.’

    how easy it would have been for Lord buddha,if there was ‘TENNIS’ during that time?
    Siduhath Bodhisathwa would not need to have done ‘Dushkarakriya’ and practice the highest EFFORT under the BO Tree[Samma viriya]’ to attain enlightenment
    This person is a ‘moda pissek’ who does not know a basic thing about ‘ Buddhist meditative object’,the fact that the meditative object shouldn’t be ‘Tennis’ which create RAGA, DOSHA, MOHA but some object which does not creat RAGA< DOSA< MOHA like breathing in and out

    • 4
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      what is the meaning of meditation for you ?

      “Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analyzing that state – such as anger, hatred, etc. – or cultivating particular mental response to various phenomena, such as compassion. The term “meditation” can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state. Meditation may also involve repeating a mantra and closing the eyes. The mantra is chosen based on its suitability to the individual meditator. Meditation has a calming effect and directs awareness inward until pure awareness is achieved, described as “being awake inside without being aware of anything except awareness itself.”In brief, there are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice, and many different types of activity commonly referred to as meditative practices”

      Is it about focusing only on like breathing in and out?

      What the writer meant by that may be – concentration on one thing at a time ; so doing sports can be a meditation for him.

      People of your ilk – UPASIKAWA seem to have no worries about any kind of all abuses – as clearly depicted in the article by using buddhism for commercial businesses, but the definition of meditation ?

  • 3
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    When I meet a person in holy orders, I do so with an expectation, and usually I am not disappointed. But it would be false not to identify those who do not meet expectations and sully the good name of the temple/church etc. As for the writer, I think it is very childish of him to ‘laugh at unctuous Buddhist monks’ – it is no joke, and certainly no laughing matter. Or is laughing off issues our archaic Sri Lankan way?

    • 1
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      Asokae is promoting Promoting Circumcision due to Penile Cancer.(^O^)

  • 5
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    Dear All,

    Before some remarks, I would like to mention that I’m neither from Asapuwa nor am I hating them even if there are disagreements because I clearly know that in criticism, debate, we try to win our opinions, which is self view (sakkayaditti). However, out of compassion, I would like to remember you some words of the Buddha.

    The Buddha has said not to debate if it is not calming the mind. In other words, if any discussion, conversation, Dhamma sermons, writing does not help dispassion, cessation of unsatisfactoriness, relinquishment of unsatisfactoriness, they should be decided as negative. do not engage with it.

    Please do not become impure yourself by debating for unending decision.

    Try to practice the wholesomeness as you know. we can not make others understand as we think. people are different. So respect each other and do what you can.

    As a monk for twenty years, I would like to say that I respect each and everyone whether they are monks or lay people, whether they are Buddhists or non-Buddhists because they are humans and deserve to have it.

    Please practice the following lines of the Buddha;

    All action are led by the mind.
    mind is their master; mind is their maker.
    act or speak with a defiled state of mind;
    then unsatisfactoriness follows,
    as the cart-wheel follows the foot of the ox

    All action are led by the mind.
    mind is their master; mind is their maker.
    act or speak with a pure state of mind;
    then happiness follows,
    as your shadow follows you without departing.

    May you all be well, happy and peaceful!
    With Metta

  • 5
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    What you say may be true. My brother and his wife were long time followers of this monk. However, when I visited them this time, they have stopped following him and no longer go to Mahamevna. They find that the Mahamevna at Polgahawela where they used go go has become like a business. I felt that they knew something more like what you say and were reluctant to express it because they used to respect this monk a lot and may be they are now embarrassed by it to tell me. I also got much worse comments from another follower, no details but he says he feel terrible things happen there. WE BUDDHIST SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT OUR DEFINITION OF A BUDDHIST MONK NEED TO BE RE-DEFINED, IT SHOULD NOT BE JUST THE ROBE AND THE UPSASAMPADA. Very clearly too large % of the Buddhist monks commit terrible crimes while in robe. Buddha has said that the Buddhism is one day destroyed by such monks.

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      It is the attitudes of our people that needs tremendous change accordingly. Why do they allow all these to reach as it is today? All crimes have reached to appalling levels. Be them through pseudo buddhist monks or laity, it seems no difference in the current society. Passiveness, Servility and obesequiousness have become common to most of the people´s representatives – that are the law maker of the country today. As one of the writers menitioned in his recent articles, our people enjoy much giving the priority to appearence than to anything else, for them it is alright the outermost surface looks shining, nothing like looking at the issue profound manner is out of them. They rather appreciate the show off life styles while neglecting all other values in our life. If majority of buddhist monks of currenty day behave abusively, we have to react. We have a ministry of Buddha sasana to funtion properly. If those ministries and authorities would not do that part- that is the root cause that we have to find solutions.It is the political will of current regime let things stagnate in this way. Nonentheless, I do believe that at least 20% of lanken buddhists feel the way that some buddhist priests handle buddhistic events are often not meeting the expectations of the laity. But their habit to stay further just because they might feel even addressing these issues promptly would think a lot about sins. Soceity has not improved with the course of time. There are perceptions, myths guide them to what they re. Internet faclities seem to be spreading across the country, but many of the users are reported to use it only for handful of tasks: like checking e-mails, downloads of films and music discs

    • 2
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      Alone the incidents as we are compelled to observe on the TV screens and the indifferent manner that the state authorities paid a blind eye to the violent acts of BBS recently have made permenant stains as no chances to remove easily. They even behaved as no difference to the laity – so how can the general public feel some respect towards average monks is the country is the biggest question to anyone today. This then has become instrumental to all other violent ones to go on their crimes further. This has become like a wave to this day. Many in developing world, societies would not think twice before following the other. So they may raise the question – if BBS behaves in that why not us – BBS is besides reported to be functioned with the blessings of Defence ministry. If one would study all these issues, being out of the country, they easily anylse it -even a 10 year old would do it easily. The key problem lies on the govt run by Rajapakshe. At least TODAY – NEARLY 60 DAYS AHEAD OF US TO UNHRC SESSION TO BE HELD IN GENEVA (March 2013), they should make genuine efforts on the grave issues like crimes being pepetrated by BBS and any other violent groups that sing for them. Trying to cover their abusive acts repeatedly will ONLY accelerate the crime rates:

  • 4
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    Excellent article .congratulations. Please translate into Sinhala And publish.

  • 3
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    what ever said budddism should be modernized to fight invasion and muslim extremism…other wise there wont be a country for buddists…we all shud support BBS for there hard work…

    • 3
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      SAMAN:

      You are an Idiot. Lord buddha did not leave some thing incomplete. Because, of that, there is nothing modify.

      What is needed side by side is some movement, SUCH AS BBS, to protect Sinhala – buddhist civilization in Sri Lanka.

      In that, it is not the civilians who do that in Sri Lanka. Only certain monks are doing and are giving leadership to that. In reality civilians should have done that.

      Jagath ASKOA is criticizing buddhist monks because that is a good way to close the mouth of every monk and destroy that people are reacting Islamic and christian Invasion and their fight to islamize or Christianize Sri Lanka.

      Jagath Asoka represents the Catholic/christian Church.

      SO, his intention is completely in bad faith.

  • 2
    1

    Buddhist monks getting into politics in Sri Lanka has not done any good either to religion or politics. To move the country forward it is essential to ban any religious leader getting into politics, either directly or indirectly, specially these racist monks.

    Whenever people like raised this issue there were so many supporters of these rouge Buddhist monks saying Buddhism is being insulted. These brave men and women have only raised the necessity of taking these hora ganayas out of politics. That would have done something good to the country.

    However, after reading these comments I realizes the importance of banning hora ganayas in engaging in politics. Restrict them to temples. Then everyone will be happy.

    I have all my respect for Sir John Kothelawela for saying we should apply tar in the head/buttocks of Buddhist monks who engage in politics.

    For example, the only Buddhist monks most people in NE have seen are the militant monks who want to establish Sinhala Buddhist hegemony over them. Thus Buddha statues and Monks have come to be viewed as symbols of state oppression rather than those of love and peace. They are yet to see the benevolent face of Buddhism.

    This post of mine is no disrespect for the REAL Buddhist priests. I always respect the true Buddhist monks who follow the footsteps of Buddha preaching the Dhamma he preached. I have no questions about the Buddhist philosophy or anything with such true Buddhist monks. I know even today we have such Buddhist monks living in villages genuinely serving their communities. It is not difficult for the Buddhists to differentiate between the two groups, to draw a very clear line between the genuine Buddhist monks who live their life according to the way Buddha advised.

    However, there is another kind of ‘Buddhist’ monks who do things Buddha never preached and behave in the exact opposite manner he advised, by promoting violence in the society. These are the set of people who try to push Taliban society on us. Just because they wear a cheevaraya the hora ganayaas who engage in racist politics do not become Buddhist monks. They exploit the respect the society has for genuine Buddhist monks for their political advantage. I do not have any respect at all for such people. On the other hand I strongly resists such people because they are the biggest bane to Buddha sasana. It is also the utmost duty of Buddhists to clean Buddha Sasana from these hora ganayas who shamelessly engage in politics. That is the only way we can make the society respect the REAL Buddhist monks.

    • 3
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      I agree with you, but I will not against the buddhist monks like most rev. Sobitha hamuduruwo. He is the only senior person that repeatedly raise the timeworthy need of abolishing the Executive presidency. However, you are right when looking at the manner hamudurwos of Urumaya react- they would not bring proper arguments to protect the society, if the criminals acts carried out by the regime – how can that be buddhistic ? Anyway, great rev. Sobhitha thero´s speeches sofar make very clear, he has no other intentions than getting the marawarayasas away from the system, by working collectively for a new constitution that would safegaurd or restore democrasy in the lost paradise. He is a great personality of present day srilanka. He can be exemplary to other monks if they have the capacities to comphrehend what Sobitha thero´s opinion is about.

  • 3
    4

    Dr Jagath Ashoka,

    You have said a mouthful of truth. Please let this letter be translated into Sinhala and transmitted to Sinhala idiots. According to Buddhism this type of behavior by the so called Buddhists is due to ignorance. These monks are the arch enemy of Buddhism. It is a great crime to destroy the beautiful doctrine of Buddha by these asinine monks and funny followers. The latest mania of these yellow robed bastards is the loudspeaker blaring of various cassette pieces containing rubbish called Buduguna, Mothersguna etc. Intelligent people find this noise pollution a grate nuisance and violation of their human rights to peaceful living. It is time somebody picks up a hand grenade and throw at these religion shops called temples to get rid of the monk [Edited out] and their idiotic installations.

    • 2
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      Silva

      You are paid horek. What about the noise pollutions made by Muslims and Christians in their worship places? What about the politics and terrorism and allying with terrorist done by other so called religious preachers? Father Rayappu Joseph handed over even the Holy Madu statue to LTTE terrorists and is feeding LTTE that killed thousands of innocent civilians. Cardinal wants to mediate in the political process of so called Tamil problem. What about violent protests done by Muslims after their Friday masses? All of they have lined up to destroy Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Have you not seen those acts while looking only at Buddhist monks. Have Buddhists monks done such acts. They just help and protect people and Buddhism for future people to practice when people failed in following all other religious paths. Had they not done so by now, the others would have destroyed Buddhism in Sri Lanka too as they did that in the countries identified now as Muslim and Hindu countries.

      • 3
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        If you are a practising buddhist,while being in the country, why not you guys work on saving the lives of those dogs that your leaders are said to have killed in hundreds all these weeks ?

        At least teach them good lessions about avoid that kind of slaughter can save the nation´s buddhist image. Besides, Jagath, the writer of the article has not done nothing than showing the way the stupid masses including you – that we must not practise the way the mentioned thero has been upto.

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          Buddha has not taught in his doctrine to practice luxury life styles as is the case with many of the temples I happened to pay a visit during my last trip to lanka. I guess it should be – Gangarama in Cmbo, it was comparable to buddhist vihara of Singapore. As we are well aware – buddhism is a great philosophy. Anyone that practises it with pure mind only going through the teachings of buddha would avoid doing what the barbarians in currently in power carry out in SL. I think these western countries where the law and order is in funtion to the core – surely promote more of the buddhistic way of life rather than our countries where the leaders from top to the all peripheral bodies have been abusing the funds for the poor of the poor saying that they have increased the subisidies for the farmers. Yesterday, it louded – what have they done with all the allocated funds for fertilizer subsidis ? Apparently, 40% of them have been gone to the hands of politicians. This was the case with the number of gigantic projects that work as eyewashes right at the moment in the country. Budgetary allocations of nearly 50% only for the ministries of Rajapakshes siblings pronounce the truth of the ground reality. Funnierst thing is still many of you guys go on singing for them. That is also not buddhistic if you practise it properly.

  • 0
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  • 1
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    It is the most uneducated and unemployed youth who join the Buddhist monkhood. Then they try to advise our politicians and even enter the parliament. In civilized countries the people will not tolerate this.
    The Tamil massacre in 1983 was led by Buddhist monks. Buddha will stir in his grave.

  • 1
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    Religion is OPIUM for some, good for ordinary folks, useful for politicians, and for fanatics. No one can attain Nirvana living in this corrupt world of no wisdom. No religion can make a person free of all kinds of evil. It’s all a myth in itself. All these religious teachings are unpractical stuff, just good for consumption or good as a reading material. Give me an example of anyone person attaining Nirvana in your life. NO ONE ! It’s all absurd thing to imagine one can just get Nirvana by practicing any religion. Some sadhus/sages may have attained Nirvana in India/Himalayas those days. That’s all. All these teachings are good only to read. Not for practicing and please do not try. Just be a good human, with compassion. Even if you cannot love others, do not hate any one. Help others if you can. Do your duty. Leave jealousy, hatred. You will be okay and have a peaceful life. Do not worry about Nirvana thing. It’s just not attainable for ordinary folks like us.
    We don’t need it. We have to live in this world to do our duty as a husband, father, and a citizen. All these Nirvana humbugs don’t work. These are all BS and not a reality think. Be a human first, everything will be okay. Never mind whether you are a Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Muslim or a Hindu. Be a man/woman, do your duty with sincerity.

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    Its very funny why this much interest in this article, anyway if you know the ven. nanandas emerge to the pop stage you will get some sympathy for him. he was a dropout graduate student from kalaniya university as a monk was lucky and got interest in the teaching and spent some time in secluded places and before finish his task in the teaching he started to teach others., unfinished product. then you can see how many negative coments and abusing all Buddhists. society is like a natural forest various trees various animals harmful and useful we have to be wise and intelligent stand in that thick forest without carrying away, theaching our self and our loved ones. its common any establishment after long period of time things in paractice cant compare with the theory. time has change the world has change we have to proud our self what have left us. to see the present and use that opportunity to establish in the teaching of the Buddha. if you keen in the dhamma if you meet any kind of teacher if he inspire you in some way to interest to the teachings of the Buddha. use that opportunity and don’t stop there be your own search in the teaching in open mind and find seclusion when ever you can and fix your own restlessness and discontentment and try to investigate the teaching find an establishment in the teaching at ease with the dhamma and vinaya. there is no blemless people in the world., even the silent ones got blame.

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      Dont you think that current article and the like articles could guide many that have already been deceived by this day ? I think the writer of the current article has articulated clearly explaining why he would laugh at the way the particular thero has been preaching.
      Evidently, over 75% of the commentators to this thread are in the view that they would no means agree with the manner the buddhism has been practised in the present day lanka. I think it is high time responsible autohrities to wake up and take due actions in terms of any wrong doings in the name of buddhism in the country. Just paying blind eye to those activities, not reacting promptly, as has been the case against BBS`wrong doings sofar, we cant protect it from being damaged further.

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    Silva,

    Why don’t you swallow a grenade rather than trying to throw grenades at others.

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    Pinsalee – This article has raised a number of issues regarding how Buddhist monks who are supposed to have given up household life, luxurious living and aspiring for noble ideals have now turned into commercialized individuals possessing greed for worldly life. Lay persons there are many who live better lives. I am personally aware of a system of casino gambling under the guise of volunteering that occurs in a temple in Western Canada. Most of the Buddhists here are of the ‘label’ Buddhist type and are totally ignorant that gambling is counter to Buddhist teachings, and join the band wagon of the promoters of the casino who pose as pious Buddhists. There is a payment made to the temple from the state as a charity donation. These are often 5 figure amounts and the reason is greed for money. The monks also encourage this practice as they too are stakeholders who get benefits out of this work. I fearlessly raised a voice on this at numerous gatherings but the opponents were very vocal and even antagonistic. The monk too supported them. The majority of lay persons are misled by the temple administrators and the clergy. As suggested in the comments here, these nefarious activities of Buddhist monks in foreign lands need to be looked into before they turn into cancerous problems and result in much dishonour to the noble, disciplined monks who silently carry on their noble mission and are focused on their true aspirations. Pinsalee

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    Dr Jagath Asoka…thank you for the facts…
    there are many yellow robed In this Country who claim they have achieved
    the Arahant status… have achieved or seen the ” NIRVANA ” status
    ..hik..hik..hik..Besides
    there are many laymen who believe these jokes…say ” sadu..sadu “
    they offer 84,000 oil lamps ( pahan pooja ) to bring merit on powerful
    drug dealers…murderers who have become politicos…
    when questioned they say the offering is for Lord Buddha …
    Imagine if those were lit around Lord Buddha…the heat would have roasted him alive..
    offer 100,000 flowers ( mal pooja ) ….by destroying the environment lord Buddha preached to protect..
    offer robes ( Katina Cheewaraya ) at 4.00 am in the morning..
    There is a group who demand that a family must produce 5 > children..
    There is another group who worship Raavana….
    The meal list is given in advance before an alms giving..
    and give merit to the person for offering…

    Recently a yellow robed monk obtained the Meat Stall Tender of a Local Authority…
    Simply to stop people from eating Beef…he was proud of his act..
    the monk does not know that it is a sinful act to deprive
    the livelihood of another family..Pushing them to live in poverty …hunger…
    There are people who say ” sadu…sadu…” for
    DEPRIVING THE MUSLIM OF HIS LIVELIHOOD..
    BECAUSE ONLY BUDDHISTS ARE NOT HUMAN….

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    Two problems:

    a) A man who equates playing tennis to nirvana doesn’t know much about Nirvana. He probably doesn’t know much about tennis either.

    b) If this writer is so worried about the “hatred” that he apparently sees some monk spewing, why does his entire article seem to be soaked in vitriol,denigration and ridicule? ඕවා දෙනු පරහට තමා සම්මතයෙහි පිහිටා සිට

    This man’s laughing makes me laugh. Thanks for the giggles buddy although you need not have used up so many words for it. I think we all got the joke in the first 200 words or so :)

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    In my comment the following should read as BECAUSE ONLY BUDDHISTS ARE HUMAN
    ” There are people who say ” sadu…sadu…” for DEPRIVING THE MUSLIM OF HIS LIVELIHOOD.. BECAUSE ONLY BUDDHISTS ARE NOT HUMAN…. “

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    I have heard of a man in yellow toga ( the dress worn by killers in ancient Rome) who was forced to flee Mirissa due to his escapades with women.He is said to have sired three children.He came to Kolonnawa and changed his name and entered parliament.Now I hear that, every day he performs a pooja at his temple akin to what the Hindu priests do. Only difference is that he touches the bottom part of the statues which he bathes and keep looking at beautiful women present.His name present starts with Kiribathgoda. Is this the same jadaya?

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    “Try to understand what Dhamma really means. Dhamma is the endurance. It is the compassion. Being abstained from enmity is Dhamma. Abstaining from hate is Dhamma. It is also being abstained from avenged. Dhamma is being abstained from retaliation. The dissemination of loving-kindness is Dhamma. When these virtuous elements, which hold the true meaning of Dhamma, are absent in a Dhamma sermon, there is only a set of useless words in that sermon, even if it is being performed throughout the day.”
    Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero.

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    Dear Dr. Jagath Ashoka,
    Obata thisarana saranai….

    With meththaa..

    Namobuddhaaya…

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    I agree with you wholeheatedly.

    I wanted to add little more information to your blog.

    This monk is not the only. All those who make a living by selleing the name of the Buddha are involved. There are two varieties: the yellow-robed and the one’s without robes–Buddhist scholara and “Buddhist philosphers”.

    The yellow-robed one’s are more successful in amassing wealth. Some of them are billionaires now. They own TV stations, bookshops, publishing houses etc. The scholar variety is more subtle. They poison the minds of the young.

    None of them understand even the meaning of the words like Buddha, Dhamma. Sangha.

    If you need any further information on Sri Lankan variety of Buddhism please ask

    Best wishes

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    gnanananda thero is a one of several monks who advises buddhists to attain nibbana these days. so do not disgrace such a valuable person..

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    I think who ever wrote this article has completely misunderstood what Gnananda Thero is trying to say..Not only that he has completely misunderstood buddhism in general. Please don’t disgarce anybody in public like this if you don’t know what they are trying say

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    This thero has only made local “shraddha TV” and ext. for the sake of people all over the world to learn and spread Buddhism, isn’t that obvious? Wow. I can’t believe so many people are willing to make up several arguments without any evidence specifically about Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero, idk about other monks, but the Asapuwa is just trying to spread dhamma, why the hate. Also, how are you going to look at 2 bhanas from bhante and judge him so much? Also, is it so bad to say good comments and praises to him or to anybody in general? And NEVER did he say that he was a Buddha or close to the Buddha, like WhAt? And you also say that monks who are trying to spread Buddhism are bad, and go on to make SO many claims. I have been to the NJ asapuwa and you the monks don’t have time to talk to you? Look. I understand everything you’ve said and the mindset you are in, and you’re looking into every little detail that a monk ever said or done to you. This is not good, because you’ll hate anything for the little details you record and keep in your mind, and leave it bothering you forever. I think there’s someone who can change your mind, it could be me and id gladly talk to ya if ur open in mind :)

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    I agree that there may be some monks out there who spread malice and lies and just shouldnt be talking about politics, but overall Gnanananada thero preachings of the BUDDHA’s DHAMMA (emphasis there cuz somehow people are talking as if Gnanananda thero changed the dhamma which is false, truly false) are great and the books are very good. The asapuwas have a good vibe to it and are very confident/faithful to Buddhism through the wisdom and teachings attained through the Buddha’s words.

    IF u are turned off by what the disciples who go to the asapuwa or something people say/rumor, u should not believe it, but only believe what you experience and study. Dont jump to conclusions…

    and monks want to have sex whenever they can?????????????????? the most foolish claim. no evidence or anything. People see a couple monks do bad things and then brand every monk as evil… I honestly feel much compassion to the people who fall into these depths of ignorance, i truly feel SO sad for such individuals

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    Mad mans,
    Do you know what about you told that.foolish,can you tell about you as a good human.do you think you are correct.ok.wait……….wait…………..wait………. few years.you should be known what is the truth. Namo Buddhaya!!!

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    I laugh to your madness.You are big foolish dr.ashok.bye……………

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    One of the most confusing and insanely hypocritical stance is that you have the audacity to start an article saying “this article is not to ridicule Gnanananda Thero and his followers” but then follow to say “laugh at what he is doing as a Buddhist monk” as that is exactly what you did for your entire article; you may as well have named your article “Why I Dislike Gnanananda Thero” seeing as the entire article revolved around solely him and his teachings. You were unable to point a finger at any other teacher surprisingly, but I am glad you didn’t as it would only mean more demerits for you. It is fine to have disagreements with someone, but to stoop so low and create a piece with so much hate about one person who you feel is also spreading hate, you are continuing the cycle and are no better! Your facts seem to be coming from a lack of knowledge and understanding of Buddhism, even I as a 21-year-old Canadian can see that you have a long way to go, if Gnananada Thero books are not for you, I advise you to learn pali and read the direct words from the Supreme Buddha to help clarify for you. “blind and stupid followers” it looks like you sir are spreading malice and hatred. As I mentioned earlier, you are the one spreading such vulgar language, accusing people of their faith, just because you are a Buddhist/Sri Lankan, to mock an entire group of people is distasteful and ignorant. “(besides Buddha) other monks are impersonators” for you to make such a claim would mean that you feel that the Buddha’s greatest disciples such as Arahant Mogallana and Arahant Sariputta were just mere “impersonators”. Have compassion and please try the Asapuwa again.

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