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Protect the great name
of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
by becoming a great disciple
of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha

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How should we look at ‘Buddhist’ teachers who might confuse others with their warped brand of teachings? The tricky part is that even somewhat problematic ‘Buddhist’ teachers might give some right teachings, mixed with other misleading teachings though. Since they might have many followers, some of whom are following the right teachings, it is not straightforwardly alright to dismiss these teachers’ worth or validity entirely. If we do so, their followers might become confused, disappointed and even give up practising the right teachings from these teachers, thus throwing out the precious with the defiled. However, it is alright to share on more complete and authentic alternative sources for learning to lessen further confusion. For beginners lacking in wisdom, it is safer to advise them to avoid learning from controversial or potentially problematic teachers in the first place.

We should focus on addressing individual problematic issues from these teachers instead of on their personalities. This is being objective; not being personal. If possible, raise these issues to these teachers directly (e.g. by speaking or writing sincerely to share your concerns). If there is no response from these teachers (or their administrators) after a fairly long time, it is likely that they are uninterested in replying. This lack of response, along with the issues raised can then be shared with their followers you are concerned about – for their personal reflection on why there was no reply, on what is really right or wrong. Note that this is not slander at all, as there should be no greed for personal gain, and no lying or malice involved; only using compassion and wisdom with good intentions to help others discern truth from fallacy, so as to protect their spiritual lives.

We have to carefully protect the public image of the pure Triple Gem (the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha), by not needlessly openly ‘slamming’ those (ab)using the imagery of the Triple Gem, unless they are clearly wrong and doing much harm publicly. As above, we should try to first address issues through gentlemanly communication. However, if some are really ‘destroying’ the Triple Gem with unrepentant misrepresentation, we must do what we can to protect the Triple Gem. The severely misrepresented Triple Gem is already not the real Triple Gem. Thus, to raise awareness on clearly unrepentant problematic teachers who give wrong teachings wrongly attributed to the Buddha does not jeopardise the real Triple Gem – this upholds its integrity instead. However, there should also be representation of what is the real Triple Gem in contrast for public education.

Uphold the great name
of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
by becoming a great teacher
for the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha

Stonepeace | Get Books

Related Articles:
Do You Protect Or Endanger The Great Lion?
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/10/do-you-protect-or-endanger-the-lion

Safeguarding The Buddhist Community’s Integrity
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/03/safeguarding-the-buddhist-communitys-integrity

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