Buddhist Sangha should remain non-political
by Madal Barua, Chittagong, Bangladesh, The Buddhist Channel, Jan 7,
I have read Visaka Kawasaki's criticism of the Ven. Dharmakara's letter published on the Buddhist Channel. It's my opinion that she totally ignored the original report, showing her resentment with regard to Dharmakara Boda's writing about an act of violence by Cambodian monks who were involved in a confrontation in Cambodian capital, carrying rocks and plastic bottles which resulted clash with the Law enforcing authority.
I have also read the article written by Lin Zi Yi who clearly evaluated the Ven. Dharmakara's statements, concluding that the Ven. Dharmakara is pointing to a place that the Sangha itself does not want to look at, let alone lay cultivators.
The Dhammapada verses are pure wisdom, an expression of practical behavior and character, and a guideline for right living. The Buddha unambiguously pointed out that whoever earnestly practices the teachings found in the Dhammapada will taste the bliss of emancipation.
I assume Visaka Kawasaki is politically motivated and henceforth not cautious about the verses of the Dhammapada. Her letter, having been circulated by the Buddhist Channel, will encourage these special interest groups and instigate the Bhikkhu Sangha and others to overlook the Dharmapada verses, which is totally inconsistence with Buddha Dharma.
The Buddha arranged for the Bhikkhus, those who having given up the entanglements of the household life for a vocational monastic ordained life. They are not allowed to take part in political demonstration, they do not have any say in democracy or the process of nation building.
If you are a monk, why should you still be interested in politics if that is the sort of world you left? The Buddhist Sangha should remain non-political and conservative because their role has been to offer moral and spiritual guidance, devote themselves more fully to the goal of the communities needed to ensure their stability. Monastic Sangha should have a close relationship with the laity and that relationship is what gave rise to the Vinaya.
Nevertheless, I do not want to see oppression of any sort from any side. I urge the Cambodian government to take appropriate measure without hurting anyone and to find a peaceful solution for their internal crisis.