Tone Tone’s friends continue their discussion.

Friend: By the way, let me present this Azusa Flyer.

Friend: What about it?

Friend: Here is a picture of a Banyan Tree.

Friend: Yes, I see it.

Friend: Do you see the description in green below?

Friend: Yes. It says, “Ssu Thaung Pyait.” or  in English, “Azusa’s Wish Fulfilling Bodhi Tree.”

Friend: Wow!

Friend: It sure will attract many people. Everyone wants his or her wish fulfilled!

Friend: Many jobless people, nowadays. Many lovelorn teens. Many exam candidates. Many rich people want their businesses to prosper. You name it! Endless wishes!

Friend: Pretty soon, they all will stampede to Azusa! They will ask favors from this Tree!

Friend: The Tree will be besieged by swarms of people all beseeching something. The Tree will have a huge headache and may grow bald even! LOL!

Friend: Well, that’s the idea. People flocking to Azusa, all self propelled on their own steam!

Friend: It claims that the Tree can FULLY grant your wishes. Some sort of GUARANTEE. How nice! Your dream will surely come true.

Another Friend: I have heard of “Ssu thaung pyit” Pagoda or Buddha. I have heard of “Oo Shin Gyi” Spirit or  “Yoke Ka Soe,” the Guardian spirit, residing in trees, and granting wishes. But, I have never heard of a Tree granting wishes.

Yet another Friend: Yes, Don’t be naive. Think! A tree is supposed to be lifeless. It’s not a Sentient being! How can it hear or understand anybody’s wishes, in the first place? How can a lifeless object grant anything?

Friend: Yes, come to think of it! Even Aladdin’s genie is more credible. He is alive but lives in a lamp. He jumps out every time you rub the lamp.

Friend: It seems like “Ba Gyi Aung nyar tare,” a hoax! No tangible proof at all on this wish fulfilling claim.

Friend: Really! Why would anyone pull a hoax?

Friend: The jobless, the lovelorn, and the millionaire wannabe’s, why play a hoax on them? I feel sorry for them.

Friend: I don’t know. Probably, the monk wants more Temple attendees. The more attendees, hopefully the more Nawa Kama personal moneys, I suppose.

Friend: Maybe, this tree can become a cash cow, a regular cash inflow, who knows? Notice worship accessories like joss sticks are even supplied at the place.

Friend: You have a point there. But isn’t it true that a monk cannot claim super normal powers when it’s not true? Also, even if he has such powers, he cannot tell other people about them.

Friend: You are right! This claim is a serious defrocking offense, one of four cardinal sins. They cannot be remedied.

Friend: But, here, the monk is not claiming that he has such powers. He is off the hook. He only claims it for his Tree in Azusa.

Friend: Whatever you want to say, it’s almost like he is claiming such powers by saying that Azusa Temple possesses such a so called magical Tree. “R tu tu and R nu nu. R yar gyi and Kalar gyi”!

Friend: The monk never claims that the Tree has such magical powers, before. Why, only now? Why, all of a sudden?

Friend: Naive and desperate people might fall for this, but not me!

Friend: Is Buddhism all about worshipping a Bodhi Banyan Tree and asking for blessings from the tree? No need to study, understand and practice Buddha’s teachings? Is this “preaching the Dhamma” by a “learned” monk and a short cut to Nirvana?

What do you think?

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