Friday, August 15, 2008

Monks.. Buddhist Monks... Sri Lankan Buddhist Monks

Take a look at the third picture here.

Courtesy of Daily Mirror.

Now, when I used to go to school and study Buddhism, I was taught that Lord Buddha renounced the world of materialistic things, entered the forest and fought through many distractions to reach the Enlightened state. Through this enlightened state, he preached of the middle path. And ever since his time, those that believed so strongly in this philosophy and realised the truth in it, entered the temple, gave up all materialistic things and devoted his or her life to being an example of Lord Buddha to the generations that came after Him.

Lord Buddha spoke of Peace, of Non Violence, of Love towards all beings.

Well.. isn' t it ironic that in Sri Lanka we have Buddhist Monks leading protests against peace in the North? That in Sri Lanka, this ethnic problem arose due to the retarded sinhala buddhist mentality of this country?? Isn't even more ironic that monks are now in parliament, in violent protests (hurling grenades or something)? I don't know about you but these days I'm finding it very hard to show any respect to these yellow robed bald headed guys. Thats what they've reduced themselves to.

No more venerations. They come to Alms givings in their Mercs, they hoard money in stashes of CRISP notes in their temples, they receive gifts of Omegas and other expensive branded items by rich dignitaries. They conduct business. They enter parliament.

Them getting beaten up a few years ago at a meeting was the best thing I've seen. If you enter into an area that is by all means not suitable to what you are meant to be preaching and therefore being insulting to the religion that you are representing, then by sod's law you should get smashed for it.

Nowadays, these guys probably wear this yellow robe to gain prominence and power. I'm not an ardent buddhist but still, i'm sure I can preach to them what they should be practicing. Its sickening.

By way of disclaimer, I know that not all monks are like this. There are honest, religious monks still out there in this very religious country of ours. But where do they draw the line between reverence and power? Which monks will not fall to the lows of these monks in the spotlight were they given the same opportunities? Is consumerism and global development hitting these guys harder than it hits us?

Not all Tamils are LTTE, not all Sinhalese are Mahinda and not all monks are the JHU Monks. But unless we (who are sane) figure out what to do with these oddities who keep throwing themselves in the limelight and givins us the bad name, this country is pretty much doomed.


Sam said...

Isn’t this a common characteristic of religion, that they want power, and more power, in one way or another? I think the long term goal of those sorts of protests and what not, is gain more political power so they can enforce their religion up on us by force (by law). Not that they don’t do that even now.

I really don’t want to blame monk alone for this, because Buddha have clearly said there will be people join monkhood for gain those sorts of things. And he said not to support monks who abused their position in the society.

When you talk about Benz and all other possessions, they say something like – it is change of time and Buddha said, change according to the time. There is no problem monk using a Benz or any type of car, but the problem comes when you own a car. First of all you have to get insurance for it, which need quite lot of money. And for you to make that sort of money, you need some income. For you to get that sort of income, you have to sell something grow on the temple land, get a job or get people to give them money somehow – may be a Hindu Kovil in the temple is a good idea, or so call “astrology”. Even after you have all that money, still you have to go to service station, learn about what sort of oil to be used, keep track of service time table. Wash it, keep it clean. Build a garage to park it. Find someone to drive it. Now monks want to get driving license too. I hate driving already and I can’t honestly understand why these people give up the opportunity they have, to live in peace, and want to drive. My point is at the end of the day, they forget the whole purpose of why monk should be a monk in the first place.

It is not the monk who going to suffer from those at the end. It is us. We see how it was in Europe when religions had political power and we see how it is now in Middle East, Africa and other Islamic countries and how bad it is in America. Since we declare ourselves a Buddhist country, we really don’t have to be that way. But looks like there are no escapes from world trend.

Ruwan said...

I don't disagree with what you say, but just want to point out that in the photo you referred to on the daily mirror web site, the monk in question is obviously throwing back a tear gas cannister that was fired at the protesters by the police.

That doesn't make it right for him to have been involved in this protest, but we need to get the facts correct.

DeeCee said...

I love ur last para ramlings.

and Sam - "The Buddha said, change according to the time" - actually it's "change in inevitable". But Monks with Benzs' is certainly what he did NOT mean I'm sure.

Rine said...

Hi All,

thank you for the post. Thanks sam for that extensive comment. I agree that changing with time is necessary however I, along with deecee agree that cars aren't really necessary for monks. I mean, arent they meant to stick to their temple in the first place?!

Ruwan, thank you for correcting me, I apologise for my grenade comment :) However, I agree, why were they there in the first place?

Thanks Deecee!

Its just a bad state of things.