VINAYA RULES/WEE NEE – MONKS’ RULES OF CONDUCT/ CONFLICTING BEHAVIORS AND USEFUL LESSONS IV
CONTINUED FROM VINAYA RULES/WEE NEE…III
Posted on: 2008/8/9 23:31
On 12/2/07, Kyawhtin1 had commented about “Azusa Temple’s “PBA” SECRETARY” in link below:
He was warning Azusa Temple about “PBA” SECRETARY position’s ILLEGALITY under its Bylaws. The Bylaws provided for an “EC” Secretary NOT another “PBA” Secretary.
He pointed out that even changing Bylaws later to create a PBA SECRETARY position would involve extra compliance works. For example, they would involve IRS Tax exempt permit re-submissions and potential IRS rejection. These could hurt donors and Temple. He pointed out that it’s just ILLEGAL and that it’s exposing the TEMPLE and DONORS to unnecessary RISKS.
“BOARD SECRETARY” Extract:
“Mandalay Gazette newspaper, November issue, page 2, carried an article on the Azusa Temple “Pa Htan” recital. Near the end, it mentioned that a….. BOARD SECRETARY expressed thanks to attendees.”
About 6 months later, Myittha and Kyawhtin1 reminded Azusa Temple again in their 5/23 and 5/24/08 postings below:
Furthermore, for 8 months up to now Azusa website azusapba.org still carries the following “PBA” SECRETARY photo. It was posted since 11/13/07 and is still misleading the public, click below:
June 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm
******This Vinaya/Wee Nee topic appeared previously in both Mdy Gazette and Click2Myanmar old websites which were abandoned later. This topic had the largest number of hits in Mdy Gazette old web. It was one of five top hits in Click2Myanmar old website******
Posted on: 2008/11/29 15:42
Buddhists are by nature non confrontational. They are humble, modest, and forgiving. They would rather not EXPOSE somebody, especially a monk. They may just let it be.
On the other hand, in their zeal to cultivate loving kindness, they tend to overdo it. They may even view those who expose a monk’s wrongdoing as troublemakers.
They tend to erroneously think such exposures as negative or useless, fruitless or unworthy. They tend to take the easy way out, instead of asking the erring monk to correct his mistakes.
As others have mentioned, even the Vinaya itself encourages EXPOSING a monk’s offences. Such exposures are regarded as positive and worthwhile. The Vinaya encourages a monk to correct his errors. In this regard, allow me to say postings by Meatphar and others are really positive and worthwhile.
I would like to quote Ma Soe Yein Sayadaw. He said “Enlightened nations have no dictators.” The question is clear. We need to EXPOSE dictators, big or small, and their wrongdoings to enlighten nations. Buddhist texts say exposing the powerful takes courage and is a form of Dana (donation).
How else can we enlighten nations? We cannot cover our mouths, and ears, and eyes like the three monkeys. Each monkey is covering a mouth, or ears, or eyes.
Also, Penang Sayadaw advised Temple people to obey the laws of the country but not to base decisions on friendship. He said that these latter decisions could always lead to troubles.
Moreover, Lord Buddha told the Kalamas villagers to critique his teachings. On his death bed, he was asking his disciples to question him, if not directly, then indirectly through another person.
Buddha was totally against hiding the truth and was against blindly accepting any teachings including his (own teachings).
June 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm
*****This Vinaya topic scored the highest number of hits in the old defunct Mandalay Gazette website. Also, among top Five in old abandoned Click2Myanmar website. Impressive “Five figures hits” in both places****
Posted on: 2008/12/7 13:00
I agree. Staying persistently silent about alleged misuse or waste of Nibban Zay’s huge sum of moneys and broken promises; and about alleged Thi Ha’s jumping ship would be breaking the Vinaya.
Regarding a monk breaking the Vinaya, I have found an interesting item. It’s from Ven Pa Auk Sayadaw, a revered Myanmar monk and an authority on the Vinaya. He had traveled to Singapore and had delivered many Meditation sermons in English.
Noble Myanmar Sayadaw Pa Auk Sayadaw instructs, “FOLLOW THE VINAYA RULES…” See link below:
(2/6) Dhamma Vihāri, Pa Auk Meditation Center in Molamnyai
In this video, the video commentator says that the Ven “Pa Auk” Sayadaw is well known for his Vinaya knowledge. He is even nicknamed “Master Vinaya.” The Sayadaw OFTEN stresses the importance of Vinaya monk rules to his student monks. He often reminds them to observe the Vinaya.
Quite knowledgeable and a good person, the video commentator asks rhetorically,
“Isn’t it true that the VINAYA is SASANA (RELIGION)’s LIFEBLOOD itself?”
Vinaya’s importance cannot be overemphasized. Passed down through several generations, a wise Burmese saying stresses: “Lu mhar luoet si, belu mhar belu si, Pongyi mhar WEE NEE.” It says: “Man has laws. Even an ogre has laws. A monk has Vinaya monks’ laws.”
Clearly, a monk cannot feign ignorance or ignore the Vinaya. He cannot claim special privileges or exceptions. He cannot break the Vinaya at will.
As others have pointed out, showing a donor listing doesn’t absolve an erring monk’s breaking the Vinaya.
Also, no other monk or lay person can ignore an erring monk’s breaking the Vinaya. Other monks must expose him. The objective? There is no other alternative for an erring monk. His only choice would be to correct his mistakes and to stop breaking the Vinaya. He would then be a good monk.
At NO TIME WHATSOEVER, does the Vinaya allow him to be a despotic king, enjoying special privileges or claiming to be above the monks’ laws (Vinaya) or the laws of the land.
See also link below for Meditation Center location & more info:
(1/6) Dhamma Vihāri, Pa Auk Meditation Center in Molamnyai
June 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/19 10:41
I have read the “PBA Board Secretary” postings. See below:
For over a year, U Ayethaka has not responded to various community concerns. He still has not yet clarified the “Board Secretary position.” There was an “EC Secretary” and an “EC President” already.
About this position, there were many illuminating postings. They detailed the relevant US laws and this position’s disastrous impacts. It’s a “lose-lose” or “no win” position.
Creating this position without a bylaw change, is illegal and is worst. However, creating one with a bylaw change, is still courting disaster: a likely loss of a priceless IRS tax exempt permit and tax privileges – a needless and inordinate risk. It’s still very bad.
Apart from US laws, let’s look at it from the Vinaya angle. What would the Vinaya monk rules say?
In condensed form, the monk rules are:
“Persistently remaining silent ..….is an offence.
“Holding a wrong view and refusing to change…… is an offence.”
“Other monks who know ..… must expose (an erring monk’s) offences by telling other monks….”
“Cannot hurt the community(Donors)(other innocent monks and Sasana).”
In Lord Buddha‘s “Ten Rules for Kings“, the essence of one rule is “Comply with the laws of the land (Don’t go against people’s wishes)”……
The issues are:
Firstly, creating an allegedly illegal “Board Secretary” position without a prior change in bylaws, or
June 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/19 10:53
Secondly, not informing the IRS when there is such a bylaw change for the newly created Board Secretary position,
would BOTH be:
Hurting the Community (Donors),
Hurting the Temple (with a permit loss) and consequently,
Hurting other innocent monks and directors, and the Sasana, (See link above)
As mentioned, the Vinaya does not allow any action or non action (omission) that will hurt the Community (Donors), the Temple, innocent people, and Sasana.
Therefore, such a continuance of either of the above two, illegal action and illegal non action (omission), would constitute a string of Vinaya offences.
Not clarifying the “Board Secretary” position for over a year and persistently keeping silent and allegedly refusing to take remedial actions, are some more Vinaya offences.
Other monks knowing these Vinaya offences must expose them by telling yet some more other monks.
(Preferably, other noble monks should tell the erring monk U Ayethaka and the so called Board Secretary to correct their unlawful and risky actions or clarify the situation to the community).
June 19, 2010 at 10:58 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/19 11:45
I like JinThote’s posting writing about PBA Board Secretary and about U Ayethaka’s non clarification.
I found some items which need clarifications from U Ayethaka and associates. Not doing so for over a year, is a Vinaya offence.
1. Board Secretary position status, (see above postings)
2. Nibban Zay income and expenses statement,
3. Thi Ha’s jump ship status,
4. Possible multiple donation solicitations for same statues,
5. To issue “Official Sasana dedication” flyer for Dhamma Hall and parking lot.
1. The PBA Board Secretary position could be a major disaster for Temple and Donors.
(See also prior postings under this Vinaya Wee Nee topic).
2. There was an alleged $ 7,000 diversion of Nibban Zay money to Nawa Kama and an alleged squandering, at $ 4000 a piece, on possibly two first class round trip tickets.
3. There was an alleged misuse of Temple’s sponsorship, an unlawful inflation of sponsorship bank balances, and a need for preventive actions.
(Second and last items)
(See bottom item)
(See 3rd item from bottom)
4. There were alleged multiple solicitations for donations for the same statues already donated for.
Duplicating donation solicitations on different prospective donors for the same statues already donated in full, was likened to selling fraudulently the same car to 2 or more buyers.
5. There was a previous alleged illegal attempt to dedicate the Temple as “Monks owned.”
June 19, 2010 at 11:07 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/21 23:14
Over a year ago, around early April 2007, a PBA flyer mentioned that outgoing PBA directors transferred “only” about $ 8,000 to succeeding directors. This flyer complained that this $ 8,000 was very small.
Was this true? Was $ 8,000 truly too small?
Let us see for ourselves. I see a large adjacent property bought for over $ 450,000. I see an old termite infested property demolished at a substantial cost. I see a new and spacious Dhamma Hall and a large new Parking Lot built in its place.
I see properties properly maintained for over a decade or two. I hear all loans of over half a million relating to 2 properties paid off.
What more can you ask?
Looks to me like an insatiable monk was demanding more and more.
To this, we would say “Go ask Thagyarmin, the king of Nats, and see what he says.” Probably, some greedy fella(s) will get a whipping from Thagyarmin. Remember his “Say kyain lone,” a magic stick or wand. That will teach him or them a good lesson!
Actually, the $ 8,000 handed over was quite a big sum, too. Ask ourselves, “How much did we and the monks bring here from the old country?” How much did the author of the flyer donate? Was $ 8,000 too small for you? They all were our donors’ hard earned money. They earned them with their sweat and toil.
Even the figure $ 8,000 given, was totally UNTRUE. In other words, A LIE. It was designed to mislead the community and to simultaneously cast doubts on outgoing trustees. I heard it was actually around $ 10,000.
The margin of error $ 2,000 was a whopping 25% off the mark. Exaggeration was really a form of lying.
Falsehoods and misleading the community are Vinaya offences.
Pestering the donors for more and more or for bigger and bigger monastery is another Vinaya offence.
June 19, 2010 at 11:10 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/22 12:15
PBA flyer below is “apologetic.” It says “Narr lare khwint luut”! A rare occasion indeed!
Before this, U Ayethaka was keeping mum all the time. There never was an indication of “Than way ga” or clarification. How come! Is this a welcome sign of better things to come? And some forthcoming monk‘s corrections? Let’s explore.
Click below and check out the “108 Buddhas wall shelves” paragraph (in Burmese) near the bottom, on line 4.
The monk says he believes lay people would “narr lare khwint luut” or understand and forgive. It says the LATE COMPLETION of the 108 miniature Buddhas’ WALL SHELVES was due to money “difficulties.”
Would you believe it? Would you, or won’t you? Believe what? you ask. Yes, the monk is asserting that the wall shelves’ late completion in late June 2008, is due to money problems. Really?
Let us use our heads. That’s what Lord Buddha said. “Critique all teachings. Don’t just believe blindly.” We are doing just that.
To me, it doesn’t add up. Seems to me like “Ba Gyi Aung nyar tare” again. Think carefully. These are what we know or heard:
1. According to a contractor, the wall shelves for the 108 miniature Buddhas, each a few inches tall, would cost only a couple of thousand dollars. It really was not a humongous project like the Dhamma Hall or the parking lot.
These two add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whereas, as mentioned, the wall shelves cost only a couple of thousands. See the huge difference?
It’s incomparable, like “Myint mo Taung” and “Zee si,” Mount Meru and a plum seed.
2. Remember at one time U Ayethaka told Burmese Classic lady interviewer that Nibban Zays generated big big moneys for building the Dhamma Hall and so on…
3. Also, most people know that Nibban Zay proceeds range from about $ 23000 to 27000 each.
4. The ninth Zay proceeds of $ 23,000 to 27,000 was around July 2007. The estimated $ 10,000 handover from outgoing trustees was March 2007. They both were AFTER Hall completion June 2006. More funds had come in after June 2006 and in 2007, etc.
Put all these together and what have we got? The delay in completing in late June 2008, COULD NOT be due to cash difficulties. There were AMPLE moneys all along to do the wall shelves.
Let us say the diversion was $ 7000 for Nawa Kama and 2 first class airfares of $ 4000 each from the July 2007 9th Zay moneys. These add to $ 15,000. There should be $ 8,000 to $ 12,000 still remaining.
This remainder $ 8,000 to $ 12,000 plus the $ 10,000 handover money from outgoing trustees, add to a sum of $ 18,000 to $22,000.
Which means that this sum should be AMPLE for the wall shelves costing only a couple of thousand dollars.
It’s a “no no” for a monk to tell a lie. It’s a Vinaya offence. U Ayethaka should clarify what he meant about the wall shelves’ money difficulties.
June 19, 2010 at 11:14 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/22 13:26
Thank you PareByoke
On the other hand, let’s ASSUME what U Ayethaka says in the recent flyer is true. Granted that there was a cash tight situation. Granted that it DID cause the delay of the wall shelves completion to late June 2008.
Well, in that case, the figures would then be pointing to yet SOMETHING ELSE. What was that something? Did you see it?
Much much more had to have been diverted from the Zay moneys to create such a cash tight situation? The cash tight situation means that EVEN A FEW THOUSANDS, for the wall shelves, WERE SIMPLY NOT THERE.
Where had the remaining $ 8000 to $ 12000 gone? See PareByoke’s interesting calculations.
PareByoke’s calculations may not be complete for lack of more info. But they are food for thought. Something is very FISHY. It appears to point to either:
1. It’s UNTRUE that the wall shelves’ belated completion, in late June 2008, was due to money difficulties. There really were ample moneys all along as PareByoke has mentioned. Just “Myauk pya san taung” and lying to trusting and gullible donors to squeeze some more donations, Or,
2. If the delay was really due to money difficulties, then a much much larger sum of Nibban Zay moneys had already been “squandered” or “diverted” away from its noble construction purpose.
U Ayethaka’s flyer seems “courteous” and “apologetic.” But is it just a “FEINT”? Is it just to hide a huge chunk of money really gone astray? Who knows? He needs to clarify further to our community and donors.
Anyway, PhwaSein, DawGyanSen, and others had asked several times before for Zay money reports. U Ayethaka and associates need to issue these reports to clarify these rumors. He needs to back up his claims of a supposedly “money tight” situation, as mentioned in his PBA flyer.
Non clarification would always invite rumors. Clarification would certainly quell rumors and doubts.
Yes, in passing, lying to donors or lying to squeeze more donations from donors, are Vinaya offences.
Not keeping a promise to do Temple’s construction work with the Zay moneys but diverting them for another purpose, is also a Vinaya offence.
June 20, 2010 at 1:08 am
Posted on: 2008/12/22 14:46
Thank you PareByoke and Phopyoncho.
About the “Narr lare khwint luut”/“Understand and forgive” thing in prior postings, some questions: WHAT TO FORGIVE, HOW MUCH TO FORGIVE, AND WHY?
Should it be “Narr lare khwint luut” for just the wall shelves completion delay? After all, everyone knows the wall shelves project is a relatively minor matter. See earlier postings.
Are there more important issues lurking somewhere?
The Dhamma Hall was finished after SIX YEARS. People understand the undertaking’s enormity, the real lack of funds, and the fabulous achievements. They all have Narr lare khwint luut already.
Strange to say, as far as I know, U Ayethaka has never put up a flyer asking for “understanding or forgiveness” for this undertaking lasting even many more years – 6 years. Why did he do so only now, for this very much smaller wall shelves?
Remember that the wall shelves project was not part and parcel of the original Dhamma Hall undertaking at all. Why did he want to mix it up, link it up by writing about it together? Why did he associate them or connect them together. Example: “ALTHOUGH” the Hall was completed, this one wasn’t….?
For the unwary, there is a tinge of fault finding hinging on the word “ALTHOUGH.” As if the shelves should had been completed long time ago, together with the Hall and parking lot.
From what I heard, quite secondary and separate, this additional smaller project costs only a couple of thousand and was relatively easier by far. There was NO required or compulsory timeline for its completion. Secondary non urgent minor projects are usually done later, piecemeal, as funds permit.
Why cast even a slight sublime slur or doubt or aspersion on the outgoing directors? What else does he want from them?
Remember a lead monk’s similar alleged rumor about a kitchen not completed coupled with his alleged accusation of “Yoke dar”/”Wicked.” See April 12, 2008 postings below for an interesting story and clarification:
Unlike a kitchen, the 108 miniature Buddhas’ wall shelves were not part of the original undertaking. This project was a later add on. At the time, there were insufficient funds for doing the kitchen and the wall shelves. The shelves project had a much lower priority than the kitchen.
I heard a handover money of $ 10,000 had to be conserved for Temple’s at least 2 to 3 months’ operational expenses. (See previous Kyaemon’s posting about PBA flyer’s April 2007 handover money complaint).
As PareByoke mentioned, after June 2006 and in 2007, more contributions came in later on.
Was it pure greed or fault finding? Was it sublime “bad mouthing”? Was it a grudge?
Vinaya forbids bad mouthing. See internet texts using keyword “Vinaya” for a search. Vinaya forbids holding a grudge, can only send loving kindness not bad thoughts…
June 20, 2010 at 1:12 am
Posted on: 2008/12/22 15:23
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS
ON SECOND THOUGHTS
On second thoughts, was U Ayethaka really referring to the HUGE diversions and LAVISH air fares from 9th Nibban Zay moneys for a “Narr lare khwint luut”? After all, this one would be more meaningful and substantive?
If so, we have the following questions:
How much of the huge diversions and squandering should be “Narr lare khwint luut“? And, why shouldn’t the huge diversions be returned to the Temple before a “khwint luut“?
Why shouldn’t monks and directors responsible pitch in to help pay back to the Temple before a “khwint luut.” Previously, they were very “Narr lare” with huge diversions and lavish first class tickets, didn’t they?
At that time, instead of paying from Temple funds, if they were to pay those huge moneys from their own pockets, would they still be “Narr Lare”?
Why impose on and require the community to be “Narr lare” and “khwint luut”? Would or should religious trustees do that? Was it fair and responsible? Remember what Penang Sayadaw had said about Singapore CID coming to the Singapore temple. A bad director had to pay up and other good directors had to make up Singapore $ 10,000?
They all are public moneys!!
WHATEVER IT IS
Anyway, U Ayethaka’s clarification and related money reports would really dispel many rumors.
As of now, U Ayethaka’s continually keeping silent and being evasive is a Vinaya offence. Diverting moneys and misleading the Food Fair Zay people is also a Vinaya offence.
As others have mentioned, Zay moneys were meant for construction including “wall shelves.” As a matter of fact, U Ayethaka had told the Food Fair people that funds were for building construction. Was his word or promise credible?
Was his “Narr lare Khwint luut” credible too?
Pretending to be sorry but misleading the community and hiding the real issue is a Vinaya offence. Why not clarify what he meant by “Narr lare khwint luut” on a minor inconsequential issue but not on major substantive issues?
June 20, 2010 at 1:15 am
Posted on: 2008/12/23 15:39
Nowadays, U Ayethaka publicizes long donor listings.
I don’t understand. If he can give out those long lists in a jiffy, then it’s natural to say that he could easily give out the Nibban Zay money shinn tharn. He didn’t. I don’t know why. It’s 18 months now.
Also, I can see that he didn’t publicize the donor listings for previous projects, festivals, and events, including the recent 9th Nibban Zay. Again, I don’t know why. The list is not that long as those lists he is now doing.
I have also read that there were AWESOME donors each donating $ 10,000; 20,000; 30,000; and even over $ 75,000. Why didn’t he publish them? Well, I don’t understand. The page wouldn’t be that long.
Moreover, I heard that there were WONDERFUL donors donating for the Shwe Dagon replica. Each level was $ 1000. The Sein Phuu was $ 9,000 or more. Again, no publishing of a listing, up to now. I am mystified at the way U Ayethaka treats these TERRIFIC donors.
How about donors for the over $ 3,000 monk’s throne? No publishing, too. I am at a loss to understand.
Also, no publishing of donor lists for Than Way Zaniya Statues, iron gates? Incredible! Such generous people.
U Ayethaka writes that a sign board is being put up for RECENT wall donors. How about one for PREVIOUS donors donating more moneys than these wall donors? Why did he not mention about setting up a signboard for them? Again, I don’t understand.
Why discriminate Kyor thar yin thar against them? Why put down those who donated even more? The mystery deepens.
Even a dumb person like me knows that a monk should be noble and fair and do the right thing. Let’s be fair to our wonderful donors. Like others, they, too, deserve a publicized listing, etc from U Ayethaka, don’t you think so?
Is there a grudge? I heard bearing a grudge is a Vinaya offence. I heard also that being ungrateful is an offence, too. Somebody tells me that not sending out loving kindness to everybody and sentient beings every second (equally and fairly) is against a monk’s traits.
Would a GOOD monk, observing a monk’s traits, act like U Ayethaka with the listings? I don’t have the answer to this. Do you?
Please tell me if I am wrong.
June 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/23 22:44
In his flyers, U Ayethaka invited people to temple festivals. In them, he mentioned that by donating to monks like him, donors would obtain much greater merits. He also wrote that people would gain merits and go to Nirvana by buying food at Azusa Nibban Zay Food Fairs.
He was extolling the virtues of monk donations and robe donations. He said people would be reborn into wealthier and more powerful lives with beautiful features and beautiful clothes.
To a layman, it seemed that people could buy tickets to Nirvana by donating to U Ayethaka or some monk. Or be reborn into a wealthy life by paying U Ayethaka or some monks some donations.
Was it that simple? Would all rich people get to Nirvana and all poor people be left behind? Would the rich get richer and the poor, poorer in the next lives? Did monks like U Ayethaka donate to other monks since this would gain the donor monks much more merits?
Would going to the Temple, socialize, have a fun time, donate some money to the monk – a way to go? Like going on a picnic, was it that easy? Did we miss something? Wasn’t it just encouraging clingings so as to be trapped in reincarnation cycles, without ever breaking free to attain Nirvana?
What would the Forest monks say? Why did they stay in the forests or out of the way places and meditate?
What did Buddha say? What did other famous Burmese monks say?
Click to what the illustrious Mogok Sayadaw said below. Incidentally, he was from the same Mogok City in Burma as U Ayethaka was.
“Don’t come to the Talk just for Kusala Merit” ***
“Reminder to the audience by the Late Mogok Sayadawgyi U Vimala, not to attend his Dhamma Talks just for gaining Merits.
(Longer one-hour talks at http://www.Mogok.org, http://www.NibbanaDhamma.co.uk and…”
Mogok Sayadaw was saying that to attain Nirvana and to be free from the Miseries and constant cycle of rebirth, you couldn’t do that by just coming to the Temple and listening to him.
Check out the Mogok.org or NibbanaDhamma.co
What do you think of Mogok Sayadaw’s teachings? Was his teachings the same as U Ayethaka’s? Which one do you prefer and why?
*** If this old link doesn’t work, put it on your browser. Or, use this new link below:
YouTube – Don’t come to the Talk just for Kusala Merit
November 25, 2008 — A reminder to the audience by the Late Mogok Sayadawgyi U Vimala, not to attend his Dhamma Talks just for gaining Merits.
(Longer one-hour talks at http://www.Mogok.org, http://www.NibbanaDhamma.co.uk and http://www.MyanmarNet.co.uk)
June 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/24 9:38
Thank you Kyintwoot.
I like Mogok Sayadaw’s teaching. He was very straightforward.
My friends see some people just worshipping Buddha and monks blindly, without practicing Buddha’s teachings. My friends want to know:
Would just worshipping Buddha allow you to go to Nirvana? Would just worshipping monks do likewise?
What had Buddha said about this?
Yes, Buddha said something on this situation. As far as I can remember, a story went something like this:
A woman was worshipping Buddha. She hoped to get to Nirvana by just worshipping Buddha? Buddha told her not to do so. Buddha said just worshipping him would get her nowhere. He told her to study and understand his teachings. He told her that it’s important to practice the teachings.
This story demonstrated the importance of studying, understanding and practicing Buddha’s teachings.
So we can draw the following conclusions:
If just worshipping Buddha, without practicing Buddha’s teachings, won’t help at all, it follows that just worshipping monks, without practicing Buddha’s teachings, would also be of no benefit in getting to Nirvana.
It also follows that just worshipping monks who don’t really practice Buddha’s teachings, and who, in fact, break Buddha’s Vinaya rules, would be of little or no benefit.
Moreover, Buddhist texts say donating to a noble monk (who observes the Vinaya) would reap far more merits than donating to a bad monk (who breaks Vinaya rules).
According to Mingun Sayadaw’s Anudipini, donating to a bad monk during Buddha’s time would reap NO merits at all. The book also says that after Buddha had passed away, donating to a bad monk would reap a very small merit. Click the following link:
Volume One, Part One, Anudipani http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mingun2.htm
You may wonder why this is the case. Per this Buddhist text, this is “so as not to water a poisonous plant (meaning to discourage a bad monk).”
Therefore, to obtain merits, it’s important to know whether we are donating to a monk who is noble or not, or whether he is observing the Vinaya rules or not. Blindly donating to a bad monk who breaks the Vinaya, will obtain very little merit.
June 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/24 23:29
DONATING TO THE SANGHA WOULD BE WORTHIER THAN DONATING TO BUDDHA???
Preposterous! Is someone starting a REVOLUTION? Anyway, let us adopt an open mind. Is there some truth in it? Or is it just a crazy ranting? What do you think?
In a flyer, U Ayethaka stated that donating to the Sangha (monks) was worthier than donating to Buddha. By implication, the Sangha/monks were worthier than Buddha himself. Check out the last few lines in small Burmese print in link below:
“Oct 26, 2007 – Azusa Temple”
Was U Ayethaka right or was he over reaching?
Everyone knows it’s harder to become a Buddha. Legends say Buddha had to live through “lay thin chay hnet kabar tathein” of (countless) lives and practice before attaining enlightenment.
Everyone knows that it’s much easier to become a monk. Did Buddha give his vast knowledge to the monks, the Sangha? Or is it the other way round? Did the monks give the knowledge to Buddha?
How ridiculous! Wild! Why did a knowledgeable lead monk write this piece? He should have known better. Was it lunacy or greed (thirst) for fame? Fame could translate to Nawa Kama, from the trusting and the gullible.
Anyway, let’s hear out what he had to say.
1. U Ayethaka‘s reasoning: Since ariyas and all monks were included in the Sangha, donating to the Sangha (monks) (by sheer numbers), was worthier than donating to Buddha himself (a single person).
2. However, when it came to lay people, he said even donating to millions of lay people could not be worthier than donating to a single monk. (Suddenly, sheer numbers don’t count here).
June 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/24 23:37
For yardstick # 1 he was going by “quantity.” For yardstick # 2 he was going by “quality” or spiritual levels.
He was being inconsistent and illogical. He switched yardsticks and words around to fit his needs. He was manipulating his logic.
He was trying to uplift himself even above Buddha by reason of his belonging to a special group, the Sangha (monks). A Burmese saying calls this tactic “Shwe taung narr lo, shwe kyee” which is uplifting oneself by mere association.
If by sheer numbers, his “quantity” yardstick # 1 was correct, then using the same logic, donating to a great number of lay people should be considered worthier than donating to just a single monk or monks.
If his “quality” yardstick #2 was correct, then donating to a great number of monks (with lesser spiritual levels) could not be worthier than donating to Buddha (with a higher spiritual level).
U Ayethaka could not have it both ways. He could not switch his logic on and off as he wished. That’s being manipulative and mischievous unbecoming of a lead monk. It’s breaking the Vinaya.
Was U Ayethaka correct? Were we taught wrong? Like Pyupin, let us look up learned Mingun Sayadaw’s Anudipani below:
Volume One, Part One, Anudipani
It has a listing of 14 types of donations ranked in sequence. From this, you can see that donating to a Buddha is DEFINITELY worthier than donating to a monk or monks.
Imagine U Ayethaka’s large ego! By misleading the community he was breaking the Vinaya.
Moreover, this book goes on to say that when Buddha was alive, donating to the Sangha HEADED BY BUDDHA himself would be considered worthier than donating to Buddha alone.
The book says that after Buddha passed away, donating to a Sangha procession, HEADED BY A BUDDHA statue, would be considered worthier than donating to Buddha alone.
Note: In both the scenarios, It’s INCLUSIVE of Buddha, not EXCLUSIVE of Buddha. U Ayethaka wrongly EXCLUDED Buddha.
June 20, 2010 at 7:36 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/24 23:46
In passing, there was an incident in Buddha’s lifetime. Many people knew about it. The story went like this:
At one time, many lay people were donating to Buddha and not to the monks. Buddha took pity on the monks. He told the lay people that donating to monks would be as worthy as donating to Buddha himself. He was being magnanimous. With this, Buddha raised the monks up to his level. He did not raise them any further, which would be above Buddha himself. There was no need for it.
Unlike what U Ayethaka wrote, Buddha never said that donating to the Sangha was worthier than donating to Buddha. (As mentioned above, the exception would be when the Sangha was HEADED BY and INCLUDED Buddha) Was U Ayethaka tooting his own horn?
Anudipani lists the worthy donations in sequence below:
14 kinds of gifts to individuals
(1) Offering made to a Buddha,
(2) Offering made to a Pacceka-Buddha, a non-teaching Buddha,
(3) Offering made to an Arahat or to one who has attained the Arahattaphala stage,
(4) Offering made to one who is striving to realise Arahattaphala or one who has attained the Arahattamagga stage,
(5) Offering made to an Anagami or to one who has attained the Anagamiphala stage,
6) Offering made to one who is striving to realise Anagamiphala or one who has attained the Anagamimagga stage,
(7) Offering made to Sakadagami or to one who has attained the Sakadagamiphala stage,
(8) Offering made to one who is striving to realise Sakadagamiphala or one who has attained Sakadagamimagga stage,
(9) Offering made to a Sotapanna or to one who has attained the Sotapatti stage,
(10) Offering made to one who is striving to realise Sotapattiphala or one who has attained Sotapattimagga stage,
(11) Offering made to recluses (outside the Teachings of the Buddha or when the Teaching is not extant) who are accomplished in Jhana or Supernormal Power attainments,
(12) Offerings made to an ordinary lay person who is possessed of morality,
(13) Offerings made to an ordinary lay person who is devoid of morality, and
(14) Offering made to an animal.
Note: Next to Buddha, was a Non teaching Buddha in second place. The monks could not jump over this other Buddha also.
Why mislead a wonderful and trusting community which has sustained him? Lay people are humble but they are not dumb. Why take undue advantage? Why break the Vinaya with a lie?
Please correct me if I am wrong.
June 21, 2010 at 4:02 am
Posted on: 2008/12/28 20:23
Click2Myanmar has announced that this current website would discontinue. C2M suggests using another related C2M website.
By Dec 31, a few days from now, I understand postings in this old website would be inaccessible. LOST!! The voluminous postings from many years most likely won’t migrate to the other website.
What does this mean to you?
These postings might mean nothing at all to you.
Or, they might mean SOMETHING to you or your relatives and friends. Maybe in the FUTURE. You and your community might find some postings worth saving for reference. If that is the case, I would suggest that you “copy and paste” them to your computer files by 12/31.
TRUSTEES, MONKS, RELIGIOUS ENTITIES DOING RELIGIOUS WORKS OVERSEAS:
Likewise, you might find that some postings are useful for references. There might be some lessons or references to sources, texts or news. The cultures, laws, and environment here, are not the same as in the old country. In which case, you might like to do ONE or ALL of the following:
1. “Copy and paste” some or all the articles in selected topics, to your files,
2. Save and burn them in your CD’s,
3. Print the articles or postings in “hard” paper,
4. Distribute them to your fellow trustees, brother monks, friends, or your community.
(The distribution can be in paper form, CD’s, or by email forwarding of saved files).
The following topics are worth exploring :
Vinaya monk rules
Azusa Temple 7/22/07
June 21, 2010 at 4:03 am
CONTINUED FROM PRIOR POSTING
PBA – Board Secretary
Photos of Azusa Kyaung Nibban Zay
Statues of Than-way-za-ni-ya 4 Htarna at Azusa Monastery
(changed to “E” by U Ayethaka) (old)
Azusa Temple – A Tribute to Original Sayardaw U Thondra
Nov 9, 2008: Kathina Robe Offering Festival (Azusa Kyaung)
Oct 26, 2007 – Azusa Temple
[Near the bottom, the invitation flyer ERRONEOUSLY said that donating to monks, is worthier than donating to Buddha. It also said that donating to millions of lay people is not comparable to (as worthy as) donating to monk(s)].
June 21, 2010 at 4:04 am
Posted on: 2008/12/31 21:36
Yes, it’s wrong for U Ayethaka to distribute the flyer saying that “donating to monks is worthier than donating to Buddha.” Here, he is trying to uplift himself as a monk, a member of the Sangha.
In the flyer for U Awthada’s birthday, he was saying that a “Shin Daw” (implying to be Buddha himself, without being specific) had said that monks are “thuta Buddha.” Here also, he is trying to uplift himself by GENERALIZING that ALL monks are “Buddhas” already, or nearly so.
As someone mentioned, to become a Buddha is really difficult, much much more difficult than just being noble monks or donning the monk’s garb. A Buddha had to go through several reincarnations and practices at various difficult spiritual levels.
Monks like Ma Soe Yein Sayadaw, Penang Sayadaw, and Sitagu Sayadaw are really noble. Not all monks have attained that level. Then again, everybody knows that there also are a few monks who are just greedy for more money and clingings to material wealth. How can one GENERALIZE that ALL monks can be equal to or almost like Buddha, himself?
For example, can ALL monks fly to Tawar thein tha, the land of Angels, or fly in the sky or walk on water, like Buddha? Can all monks recite the tipitaka by heart? The remark to thuta Buddha should not be taken out context and blown out of proportion for one’s own uplift.
Praise for noble monks like Sitagu, Penang, and Ma Soe Yein Sayadaws come willingly from lay people and other monks. Not from oneself. The praise from blowing one own trumpet/or own “let kha maung khat” doesn’t mean much. It’s even laughable!
June 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/31 22:40
Thank you, Phopyoncho. I agree.
Also, U Ayethaka was comparing a monk in general to a lay person who is not free from the clingings and who has never fasted.
Why did he make this denigrating remark or comparison? Did Lord Buddha and other noble monks compare themselves to other lay people in a derogatory manner? Is this allowed or proper? Or, is it breaking the Vinaya, in looking down on other lay people?
Are lay people required to fast? I understand if they follow the 5 precepts, it’s not too bad. They are not monks. They support their families and some find time to support the Temple.
How about a FEW monks who are money minded or who break the Vinaya, not once but often? Examples: For big big donations, “ga nang gyi gyi kyait.”/Want big figure. Or, won’t talk to poorer people who cannot donate much. Or, say abusive words in sermon.
Let’s look at the Vinaya rules. See below:
Introduction to the Patimokkha Rules
“…Receiving and eating almsfood
When receiving alms, a bhikkhu should:
be mindful to receive them appreciatively.
When eating, a bhikkhu should:
be mindful to eat his food appreciatively….”
Lesson: The monk should even be grateful to the donors. Donors donate money, food, shelter. Not only money, they donate labor and expertise for many years to support him and the monks. Did Tha Gyar Min buy the land and build the Temple and monastery in Azusa? How much money did our donors and the monks brought over from the old country to make this happen?
By looking down on people, U Ayethaka is breaking the Vinaya. He is not allowed to compare himself or any other monk to a lay person. He should be appreciative of lay people and send them loving kindness every waking second.
June 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm
Posted on: 2008/12/31 22:56
The book “Introduction to the Patimokkha Rules
by Thanissaro Bhikkhu” has some more:
Deliberately lying to another person that one has attained a superior human state is a pārājika offense. (Pr 4)
Telling an unordained person of one’s actual superior human attainments is a pācittiya offense. (Pc 8)….
……Again, it is not proper to ask about the attainments which he has won through his Dhamma-practice. It is an offense of expiation for a bhikkhu to tell a layman even the truth regarding his own attainments, and an offense of Defeat should he be tempted to lie, saying that he has won what has not been won by him.
Also, another book “The Bhikkhus’ Rules, A Guide for Laypeople
The Theravadin Buddhist Monk’s Rules
compiled and explained by
Bhikkhu Ariyesako has this to say:
Robbery by False Pretences
June 27, 2010 at 2:28 am
Bhikkhu Ariyesako has this to say:
Robbery by False Pretences
If a bhikkhu lies about his spiritual attainments, it may be ground for the offence of ‘Defeat.’ The originating circumstances for this Rule occurred during a famine when food was scarce and many bhikkhus found alms food difficult to obtain.
A group of these monks devised a scheme where they told lay people of each other’s attainments of ‘superior human states,’ often deliberately lying to impress them. The faithful lay people gave alms to such ‘special’ bhikkhus thinking that it would bring greater merit so they and their families went without food in order to feed those monks.
Later, when the Buddha knew of this he rebuked them and described them as the worst of the ‘Five Great Thieves’ — immoral monks who obtain their alms food as a robber does.
He set down:
“A bhikkhu who boasts of [‘superior human states.”] which he has not in fact attained, commits [an offence of Defeat.]” (Paar. 4; Nv p.5)
“Deliberately lying to another person that one has attained a superior human state is [an offence of Defeat.]” (Summary Paar. 4; BMC p.86)
The Commentary classes ‘superior human states’ (uttarimanussadhamma) as either: meditative absorption (jhaana), and certain psychic powers (abhiññaa) 112 or the path and fruit leading up to Nibbaana.
What conclusions can we draw from these texts?
Monks cannot praise themselves, even if they have supernormal attainments. Their duties are to teach people not to praise themselves.
A few monks praise themselves to obtain more donations from lay people. These are Vinaya offences. U Ayethaka’s uplifting himself indirectly, through praising ALL monks, is also breaking the Vinaya.