Friend: U Ayethaka claims that Azusa Temple land is the most noble or hallowed land in North America. How come he can claim a “holier than thou” status over other Temples?
Friend: Yes, let’s examine his “nobility” claim. Buddha taught us to analyze first, before accepting anything, isn’t it?
Friend: He expounds:
His conclusion: That is why Bodh Gaya is considered hallowed or sacred.
His analogy: He then claims Azusa Temple has similar attributes. He says:
1. Azusa Temple has 7 statues (depicting Buddha scenes).
2. Azusa Temple also has a Banyan Tree.
His conclusion: Possessing these so called attributes, he argues therefore, Azusa Temple is hallowed (noble, sacred).
Friend: Moreover, he goes a step further. He injects the concept of “MOST” noble or sacred into it.
He proudly proclaims that just as Bodh Gaya (in India) is the most sacred place; so also, “Azusa – Bodh Gaya” is the most sacred in North America!
Friend: I see.
Short cuts to holiness or nobility
Friend: Per his logic: In essence, a Temple sets up similar statues and grows a pedigree Banyan Tree. These will qualify this Temple to a “holier than thou status,” or even the most sacred status.
A Lay Person
Friend: Using his logic, a lay person can also easily attain a “noble” status. Even a bad person can be noble. How? Just do some similar statues and a pedigree Banyan tree.
No need for monks anymore
Friend: In fact, no need for monks like him. No need to become a monk, after all. No more need to study and practice Buddha’s teachings. The statues and the Banyan trees are the way to nobility.
Rich becomes Nobler
Friend: How nice! A rich person can become noble many times over. Just do statues and Banyan trees, multiple times. Even a non Buddhist can do that. Just buy some statues and Banyan tree pedigree seedlings.
Friend: The statue sculptors and Banyan tree nurseries will love U Ayethaka for it. It’s good for their business. Booming businesses! Pretty soon, they will jack up their prices.
Friend: Bodh Gaya’s is holy and sacred mainly because Buddha (and prior Buddhas) became enlightened there. Most will agree U Ayethaka hasn’t.
His other so called similarities are just secondary. Even the similarities relating to his statues and his Banyan Tree are really superficial at best. They cannot compare to Bodh Gaya’s.
Friend: On the other hand, he probably assumes that he is like Buddha. He probably wants to imply, ever so subtly or slyly, that he is already enlightened like Buddha.
Friend: Well, again, this implication will be a big lie. It’s also a Parajika Vinaya offense for a monk to imply that this is so (prior postings).