Author Topic: “Monks Lose Relevance as Thailand Grows Richer”  (Read 3642 times)

Muriel

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 29
“Monks Lose Relevance as Thailand Grows Richer”
« on: March 26, 2014, 11:12:03 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/19/world/asia/thai-buddhist-monks-struggle-to-stay-relevant.html?action=click&module=Search&region=searchResults%230&version=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fquery.nytimes.com%2Fsearch%2Fsitesearch%2F%3Faction%3Dclick%26region%3DMasthead%26pgtype%3DSectionFront%26module%3DSearchSubmit%26contentCollection%3Dopinion%26t%3Dqry128%23%2Fbuddhism%2F&_r=0

While the Buddhist monks are supposed to perform the early-morning walk through the community to collect food, some Buddhist monks in Thailand collects food by local restaurants delivering takeout. The monks argue that the values have changed with time, as people go shopping on national holidays like holy days instead of visiting temples. The Thai government indeed supports the monks for the sake of advancement of the urban life.

I agree with the Thai government and thus support what the Thai monks have been doing because nothing is static and remains as a status quo.

Too many problems occur when religions do not follow the changes of the society. One of the Buddhist teachings say that the past is good to learn from, but not to live in. The Thai government worker said, “We didn’t have instant noodles in the past, but now people love them. For the sake of presentation, we have to change the way we teach Buddhism and make it easy and digestible like instant noodles.” If the monks were to do the early morning-walk and find food all the time, and that is the only method of finding food sources, they will be too isolated from the rest of the world. And no one will listen if the monks teach such isolated view of the world when everything else cannot be matched with the traditional teachings. Look at religious fundamentalists. They only cling to the tradition. So much violation occurs for silly reasons.

Also, holding onto the past doesn’t allow you to move forward. The action will hinder your creativity and improving the society. Maybe the Dalai Lama is holding onto the past (the mistakes that one of the Shugden practitioners made) too much, and so the religious ban Is not going away? Perhaps His Holiness can make the same mistakes not recur?