Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cure-all

While in Sri Lanka last month I happened to see this full-color half-page advertisement in a popular Colombo newspaper. I was told that this monk’s ads appear every few weeks. The reverend’s four story residence/monastery? and his car in the driveway suggests that he is very successful. The national flag makes it clear that he is a real Sinhala patriot. And the copy informs the reader that the reverend can give mantras guaranteed to cure alcoholism, find lost articles, restore fertility, win court cases, solve personal problems, overcome financial difficulties, hasten stalled marriage preparations, heal bodily weakness and even cure baldness. A mantra for baldness! That’s the first time I have come across this one. Any of my readers who are getting a bit thin on top and who would like the good reverend’s contact number may write to me. My enabling charges are very reasonable. The Theravadin Sangha is often accused of being out-of-date and out-of-touch. I disagree. A good number of Sri Lankan monks have embraced the free market with remarkable speed and enthusiasm. Ads like this one are becoming more common in the newspapers than notices for Dhamma talks and religious activities.

4 comments:

Justin Choo said...

Bhante,

I am surprised that such advertisement exist in Sri Lanka! I thought it is the realm of the Thais.

I'm hoping to strike first prize in the lottery. Please give me his numbers. You will get 10% of my winning, I assure you.

Soe Min said...

Bhante, why do the community of monks not criticize such wrong livelihood? Is it because lay people don't due to their blind reverence to all monks and such immunity has corrupted the monks. That if one speaks out he is also afraid of others will quickly point to his own faults?

Avatar said...

It's hard to tell genuine teachers from false ones these days. Another sign of creeping capitalism?

Sigh...

Justin Choo said...

Avatar,

It is definitely too easy to tell the fakes from the genuine ones, if one knows the Dhamma well. It takes but one second to point out the culprit!