Monday, March 25, 2013

Sangha leaders in Myanmar must advice the local Buddhists

Referring to the news above, I want to state my stand here that I think that there is something utterly wrong somewhere if you were to wear a robe of a Buddhist monk but holds a knife at another's throat threatening his life, just because of a difference in faith. It means the monastic robe is not longer sacred and it does not hold much meaning to him anymore than just another normal clothes that lay people wear. It's the fault of people who think they hold the original and truest teachings of their religious founders for all major religions. Even if everybody else profess the demonic teachings, the saints must learn to live in harmony with the "lost souls". But even the gods cannot live in harmony with the demons. How can humans? How can we so long as our religious teachers keep harping that other teachings are wrong and destined to burn in hell? And our Buddhist leaders, especially certain Theravada teachers, have only superficial harmony with others from another tradition. Therefore, how can they live peacefully with others from another religion, if you can't even be in harmony with your fellow Buddhists? The incidents of intolerance and killing by Buddhists monks reported in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and anywhere else is indeed a shame to the principles taught by the Buddha. If they care so much of the originality of the Buddha's teachings, why is it that they are not holding to such a fundamental teaching of the Buddha? Their Buddhist monk leaders have clearly not done enough to teach this to their students or disciples. They emphasize more on their ethnicity in the fight with other ethnics in their country. But they forget they are also Buddhists and people will see this as Buddhist monks fighting and killing. I pray they come to their senses and learn to live peacefully with others. The "Buddhas" must learn to live peacefully with the "Maras". You can't eliminate all Maras. Ultimately they come from our afflictive emotions. Rightful thing is to deal with that first.

I am not saying the Buddhists are entirely to be blamed for this issue. I think I have explored this issue in an earlier post on the matter. So I will not repeat it here.
Rightful thing to do is for the Sayadaws to speak up and advice the local Buddhists properly in order to contain the violence in Myanmar. Their silence is deafening. I think the local Rakhinese Buddhists generally look up to the Buddhist Masters and will listen to their advice if they speak up. I think even if the Sri Lankan or Thai chief monks were to speak up, and if the news reach Myanmar, I think the Buddhists in Myanmar will listen. I think even Ajahn Brahm and the other European monks should speak up too. When violence is happening and it involves the Buddhist faith, they cannot remain secluded in their forest retreats. I find it utterly disturbing that Buddhists can go on their usual business as if nothing concerns them. Where is their compassion? It's not only about the Myanmar Buddhists, but the dignity of the entire Buddhism as a religion is at stake here. Other faiths will say "Look at the violence you guys have done in Myanmar. Despite all the talk about the peace in Buddhism, your monks can even kill others.... Your peace is a fake.... BUDDHISM IS A FAILURE". If the Sangha leaders remain silent, it clearly shows they do not have the bodhicitta that Mahayanists talk about. But if they do possess this quality, they must do something about the situation. I think. What do you think? But my advice is likely to fall on deaf ears. This blog post is unlikely to reach anywhere. When people who are in a position to do something don't do what they are suppose to do, what can small flies like me do? Hence the least I can do is to write my advice in my blog.

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