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Get the bigger picture, not individual's view

by Lin Zi Yi, Jinan, Shandong (China), The Buddhist Channel, Dec 30, 2007

In "The oppressed and the abused need compassion, not condemnation" by Visakha Kawasaki, Kandy, Sri Lanka, The Buddhist Channel, Dec 28, 2007" , there is reference to Venerable Dharmakara's views on Buddhist monks protesting.

Why are the views of Ven. Dharmakara the focus? Why is the bigger picture of why these Buddhist monks are getting abused, tortured, and controlled? Did the thought ever occur that somewhere in the history of Cambodian Buddhism, monks held wrong views, and thus are reaping the fruit of those causes?

I believe Ven. Dharmakara is pointing to a place in the Sangha that even the Sangha itself does not want to look at, let alone lay cultivators. This place has many names; behavior, character, views, and last but not least, ego. There are no sides to take here. The Ven. Dharmakara is only echoing the wisdom of the Dhammapada.

Though oppressing any living being is improper, one still has to look at the causes and conditions of the situation. Of course we would like the Cambodian Gov. to stop hurting Buddhist monks, yet we also want them to stop oppressing lay people of any faith as well. Placing the spotlight on one group of beings is not taking in the whole realm of living beings.

Let's take a closer look into the reports of any news story, and research the history, and most importantly the culture of the living beings of the countries we are concerned with. With this, we can all put our views where they are best at work. That work is Service for living beings.

Instead of discussing to days end on numerous issues, looking for agreements and oppositions, we should be researching the situations we want to be concerned with. Get in touch with people in the countries we want to know about, and ask them directly. Get several views.

We all know that news reports change due to special interests of the reporters and the readers. We also must keep in mind that once a report is published, and then re-published with some parts edited out without reference to them, there is a problem with the story.

The methods of Buddhist cultivation are numerous, but we can sum it up into one word; "Investigating".

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