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Wrong to speculate level of a monk's attainment

by Visakha Kawasaki, Kandy, Sri Lanka, The Buddhist Channel, May 13, 2006

I refer to the letter "No need for dry, academic debate" by Eric Twose, UK.

I’m frankly puzzled by Eric Twose’s comments. He seems to be asserting that Ven. Mettanando Bhikkhu is not yet an Arahat, (by not showing “real knowledge as possessed by a master or teacher, one who has Arrived.”)

Of course the monk is certainly not in a position to argue the point, since to do so would be to commit a parajika, but my teachers impressed upon me that it is unskillful, indeed, dangerous to claim that someone has not made attainments, to say nothing of it’s being rude.

If Mr. Twose wants to argue that the entire issue of contemporary Theravada Bhikkhuni ordination, with the Heavy Duties seen as an insurmountable obstacle, is irrelevant, academic, and useless, he is wrong and perhaps sexist to boot.

Ven. Mettanando Bhikkhu has presented an intriguing case of scriptural analysis, and I for one find the examples he offered compelling rather than dry: “In one episode, King Pasenadi of Kosala praised the teaching ability of nun Khema in front of the Buddha; he claimed that her teaching was as good as the Lord's himself!”

To blame the disappearance of Buddhism from India on the disappearance of the Bhikkhuni order seems simplistic and incorrect to me, but be that as it may, Ven. Mettananado Bhikkhu’s article doesn’t deserve Twose’s curious dismissal.

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