Author Topic: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask  (Read 9326 times)

icy

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A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« on: December 02, 2013, 10:25:28 AM »


A Thai Buddhist monk puts on a gas mask as riot police use water cannon and tear gas while anti-government protesters attempt to remove barricades outside Government House in Bangkok December 2, 2013. Thai protesters took to the streets on Monday to renew their fight to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, prompting riot police to fire teargas and stun grenades for a second day outside her fortified office compound to keep them at bay. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

fruven

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 04:54:10 AM »
Is demonstration a common thing in Thailand? Or is it getting more common nowadays? It can be either way. More people are more vocal about their rights or there are more agendas from certain organizations.

Galen

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 07:35:25 AM »
Why would a monk get involved in the politics of the country? Aren't monks suppose to have renounced from worldly activities and lead a spiritual life?

Maybe because Thailand is a Buddhist country and the people are using the monks to topple the government because they know that the police would not harm the monks. But isn't this being disrespectful to the Sangha?


vajrastorm

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 08:31:29 AM »
Donning the robes of a monk symbolizes renunciation of all attachment s to samsara and its trappings, like power and politics.  Yet there are monks , like this monk in Thailand, who persist in getting involved in the politics of their country to topple their government and bring instability to the country.

What the Sangha has to do is the same in this age as it was in Lord Buddha's time- to preserve and spread the Dharma to benefit all beings. All should focus on this task. By being distracted by the affairs of the country, and not focusing on holding their vows, and serving the spiritual  needs of their community, they will surely lose the respect of that community on whom they depend.The Dharma may be lost eventually, much to the detriment of their people and all beings.




Midakpa

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 01:00:59 PM »
In some Buddhist countries, certain sangha members are involved in politics, becoming more militant and may engage in violence. It is difficult to accept such behaviour from monks but times are changing and it is quite common now to witness monks and nuns becoming more vocal and active in politics.

When asked by Sinha whether it was wrong for a Buddhist to go to war, the Buddha said that "He who deserves punishment must be punished. And he who is worthy of a favour must be favoured. Do not do injury to any living being but be just, filled with love and kindness." One must realise that suffering is the result of one's own act. Thus, the criminal who is executed or the one who is killed in war is actually experiencing the result of his/her karma.

The Buddha taught that all warfare is lamentable. But he did not teach that those who are involved in war to maintain peace and order, after having exhausted all means to avoid conflict, are blameworthy. But even those who fight for peace and truth cannot escape the wheel of fortune. What the warrior needs to do is to extinguish all hatred in his heart, and work towards peace with his enemy. This kind of victory is not transcient  but will remain forever.

Thus the militant monk should eliminate hatred in his heart and seek peace with his adversaries. Violence is not condoned by the Buddha. Even if the cause is a righteous one, if violence is involved, one is still creating negative karma.

Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2013, 03:30:55 PM »
It is disturbing to read news of monks taking part in mundane activities. Have they renounced all worldly concerns and its activities and focus all their effort in religious matters? The picture of this monk was taken at the recent protest of the Thais against their government. I strongly believe that religious and political matters should not mixed. Let the monks concentrate on their spiritual practice.

rossoneri

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 04:17:02 PM »
When a person being brought up in the environment of having strike in order to topple the government whenever it doesn't deliver as promised, these habit can carry on unintentionally when one became a monk. Recently is been a lot of news of monks getting involve in politics and this is very disturbing for us as a Buddhist. Has the age of degenerate manifest into this? What happened to the vows a monk should carry? More prayers should be done for the harmony of the people and country so that it'll flourish in order to benefit all the sentient beings and the people.

OMB

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 12:37:28 AM »
I totally agree with Tenzin! I feel monk should refrain from such activities & hold their vows well.

Freyr Aesiragnorak

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2013, 01:34:12 PM »
It's all well and good saying that a monk should not be involved in politics but what if the government they are protesting against is involved in detrimental activities towards the welfare of the people? I'm only playing devil's advocate here, but is it ok for an ordained member of the sangha to get involved if the livelihoods or welfare of the laity is at stake? (I'm in no way saying that this is the case for the above mentioned example).

Yes, an ordained member of the sangha should hold their vows well, but let's say hypothetically speaking, that they are protesting against a corrupt and violent government who are killing people, then wouldn't the whole idea of compassionate living urge an ordained member of the sangha to take action such as protesting (non-violently)?

One thing we shouldn't forget if we see an ordained member of the sangha acting in a way that contradicts OUR VIEW of what they should be doing is to remember one thing. They are still ordained members of the sangha. I've always been taught that from our side, we have no idea why the monk acted that way or not unless we ask him directly, besides maybe that monk does break one of his vows. As long as he hasn't broken the primary vows, that constitute breaking his ordination completely, he is still holding his other vows. This has to be respected. And I'm very grateful that this condemnation has nor occurred on this forum as I've seen it on other forums on the internet. It's refreshing to see everyone respectful of Sangha and wanting them to focus on their spiritual advancement rather than being involved in political matters.

But alas, if it were as simple as stating that politics and religion should not be mixed and that in itself fixed the problem then we would not be here talking and interacting like we are here. The ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden is more than on religious grounds, it's political as well as can be seen by the CTA's stance and fierce enforcement against those who practice.

 

Klein

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2013, 05:46:14 PM »
None of us know the motivation of the sangha members. I don't think we should judge especially when we are lay people. We are not well versed with monk vows. It's very easy for us to pass judgments on how things should or shouldn't be based on our limited projections.

It's important to realise that it is very dangerous to pass judgments in general on sangha members because our comments will create doubts to others who may want to explore Buddhism. The negative repercussions of our comments may be greater than we realise. So my suggestion is to keep our comments to ourselves because we don't have the wisdom and knowledge.

dondrup

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 03:11:58 AM »
What comes to your mind when you see a monk put on a mask in the midst of anti-government protests in downtown Bangkok City?

We do not know why this monk is here on the street. Is he merely protecting his eyes? Is the monk involved in these anti-government protests?

The picture of this monk has gone viral on the internet. It does not project positively the holy image of the Sangha who symbolizes peace, loving kindness, compassion and so on. Instead it depicts the Sangha negatively as violent, rebellious, lack of ethics and so on. 

Monks should not get involved in secular politics and street protests. There are proper channels to follow to voice their concerns to the government. What the anti-government protesters had done in Bangkok City were unlawful.




Jessie Fong

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Re: A Thai Buddhist Monk Puts on a Gas Mask
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 03:25:56 AM »
Dear Icy
When you posted the picture of a monk putting on a gas mask in the midst of the Thai protests, it became assumed that he was one of the protesters. Since nowhere in the few lines that you posted made any mention as to why the monk was there in the midst of it all, the public who have replied/commented here had assumed that he was one of the protesters, sparking off the can's and cannot's of a holy man.

Neither did you make any mention as to why you made that post -- what was the point you were trying to raise?