Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Are We To Do?

Inter-religious dialogue and respect, which help create a more harmonious society, still have a long way to go in some parts of Asia. New and extremist approaches to religion are present in a big way and are very determined to make as many converts as they can in any way they can. Someone recently sent me this video which, as distressing as it is, is worth watching. It starts by showing the president of South Korea sending his best wishes to the members of the Seoul Hope Church. It then moves on to give an example of a typical prayer session in that same church. I am reliably informed that this sort of thing is quite common in Korea.
In the Dhammapada 222 the Buddha said: ‘Overcome anger with love, evil with good, miserliness with generosity and falsehood with truth.’ But will such thoughts, attitudes and actions alone be enough to deal with hostility like this?


David said...

This sort of thing happens within Buddhism too. In the U.S., and Japan I would imagine, members of the Soka Gakkai, a lay organization in the Nichiren tradition, are encouraged to pray to close the temples of their rival, Nichiren Shoshu, the priests with whom the SG split with some years ago. SG members gather in groups in private home and pray for the activities of Nichiren Shoshu to fail, for instance, if they are having an outdoor event, that it will rain or no one will show up and so on. It may be happening on the NS side as well, I don’t know. In any case, it’s disgusting.

Paulo Roberto said...


Maybe our apparent weakness is our strenght.

Our tolerance will allow us to surpass and survive the intolerants.

We may be silent, but we are right.
And the certitude of our rightness will keep us strong, together and alive.

… or, at least, I hope that.

Walter said...

It is quite apparent, to me that is, that the religion of the masses will always take on a larger share of the stupidity of humankind, though it can be different types of stupidity, no matter what is the religion.

Riglin said...

When the mind is not cultivated and purified, the ugliness will reveal itself even through a prayer which is supposed to be wholesome.

Anonymous said...

Urrgh. That video is quite sickening. (although I must admit that I gave a snicker when the local church here blew down in a storm a few years ago. The question "Where's your God now?" may even have passed my lips)

I have heard though that the folk attracted to these evangelical type churches don't last all that long once the novelty wears off, which I might add happens all too quickly. Apparently evangelical churches are too emotionally and physically draining - not to mention a major drain on the wallet!

Unknown said...

In Japan this goes back centuries: in Kyoto different sects maintained standing armies of monks and attacked each other regularly.

No matter the message of love and self purification, there are always, always those who pervert the message, and those whose minds are so clouded that they cannot see past their own fear created hatred.

Ciprian said...

well, that is not Christianity. They have lost the real message of Jesus long ago, like the Mahayanist schools that as they were evolving got further and further away from the real teachings of the Buddha. No wonder they believe that this is The Final Dharma Age, since their monks are allowed to get married, have kids, and had no problem in killing other people.

..just my humble opinion I hope it doesn't offend anybody.

As for the missionary work.. maybe Theravada Buddhism needs a little more of that, but surely not in that evangelical style. I feel so lonely being the only Buddhist in within a range of 300 km..

Dharma Apprentice said...

What are we to do?

1) We should make known among Buddhist and the general public these sort of unacceptable things are going on.

2) Clear up the errors and misrepresentations they are making against Buddhism.

3) Prepare ourselves with answers to their challenges and allegations

4) Be ready to confront in a peaceful,compassionate Buddhistic way - Remember the Buddha never sit passively when others challenges him, but rather answer them calmly with reason and wisdom.

Example of attempt to do all 4:

with metta

JM Lee said...


I would rather you didn't generalise and slander Mahayana monastics. The majority of those ordained as bhikshus and bhikshunis uphold their vows seriously and refrain from marriage, intercourse and murder, in line with the four parajikas. Those monks and lamas who 'marry' are certainly not ordained monastics, nor do they claim to be so. Perhaps you would be intersted in looking up the Great Compassion Monastery in Haicheng, China (Dabeisi in Chinese) or the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in California, USA, to see how strictly they abide by the Vinaya.

Ciprian said...

@ JM Lee
I appologize. I didn't intent to slander Mahayana monastics. I am sorry that it came out like that
In fact, as I now recall, some monks are allowed to get married only in Japan, and it is not even all monks in Japan.
What I was trying to say is that this kind of things are not in line (in my humble, deluded opinion) with what the Buddha taught.
But it is not my business to look at other people's way of practice, so I apologize once more and thank you for pointing my mistake