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Buddhism not damaged by wayward monastics, but lay support for their misdeeds

by Kelvin Wong, Singapore, The Buddhist Channel, Nov 27, 2009

I don't understand the purpose of this web site in publishing the letter by Jianxie entitled "An Appeal to Drop the Appeal".

Was it to encourage more hatred and anger toward the monk in question? Why does the writer seem to have so much anger towards the person in his/her letter?

Also I don't understand how the writer could conclude that "if funeral is not conduct between 7 to 49 days it lead to Buddhists having less fortunate rebirths." Funerals are socially and culturally obligations, they vary between cultures, ethnic groups, societies and even time. In societies, funerals are not held till the family have enough money, this could be a few years later even. Does that lead them to less fortunate rebirths? If a murderer has his/her funeral conducted with that 49 days period that will result in better rebirth?

I honestly don't think that one such incident can cause too much horrendous damage to Buddhism. What is more damaging towards Buddhism are monks discriminating against women from becoming nuns or monks who sells amulets and images of themselves or monks who form government and kill each other in territorial disputes or those who build temples to house animal bone believing them to be relics.

Instead of putting the focus on the monk, I would suggest that we look at ourselves.

As a layperson, did we ourselves encourage or support the monastics to hold positions of power, to take up political stance or to be busy with daily commercial and worldly affairs? When they did so, did we speak up or question why they are doing so? As lay persons did we not donate "expensive" or "luxurious' material items to them as "dana"?

Who should we actually blame when monks makes such silly mistakes? If the lay people does not support it, do we think that the monks/nuns will ever get a chance to make such mistakes?

It is precisely our blind faith and unquestioning attitude in the monastics that we spoilt some of them and allowed them to get away with small silly mistakes initially that later grew to become a bigger silly mistake.

Perhaps it is really us, the lay persons, who by encouraging these monastics who have done horrendous damage to Buddhism.

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