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The Daily Enlightenment
 Quote: Blame

Hurt yourself
holding a sword's blade!
Who's to blame?

– Buddhist Saying

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 Realisation: How You Can Protect The Triple Gem

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

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Related Articles:
Do You Protect Or Endanger The Great Lion?
Safeguarding The Buddhist Community’s Integrity

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 Excerpt: From Craving Arises Grief & Fear

From craving springs grief,
From craving springs fear:
For one quite free of craving
There is no grief — how fear?

– The Buddha (Dhammapada, Verse 216)
… this brahman… went one day to the bank of the river to clear his field. The Teacher [Buddha], seeing that he was ripe for stream-entry, went to the place where he was… The Teacher was the first to speak and said, "Brahman, what are you doing?" — "Clearing my field, Sir Gotama."… On the following day… The Teacher went to him and asked, "Brahman, what are you doing?" — "Plowing my field, Sir Gotama."… On several days in succession the Teacher went to the brahman and asked the same question… One day the brahman said to the Teacher, "Sir Gotama, you have been coming here ever since I cleared my field. If my crop turns out well, I will divide it with you. I will not myself eat without giving to you. Henceforth you shall be my partner."

As time went on, his crop prospered. One day he said to himself, "My crop has prospered; tomorrow I will set the reapers to work."… But a severe rainstorm raged that night and beat down all his crops; the field looked as if it had been cut clean. The Teacher, however, knew from the very first that his crop would not prosper. Early in the morning the brahman said to himself, "I will go look at my field." But when he reached the field and saw that it had been swept clean, he thought with deep grief, "The monk Gotama has visited this field from the day when I first cleared it, and I have said to him, 'If this crop of mine prospers, I will divide it with you. I will not myself eat without giving to you. Henceforth you shall be my partner.' But the desire of my heart has not been fulfilled." And he refused to eat and took to his bed…

When the brahman heard that the Teacher had arrived, he said, "Bring my partner in and give him a seat here." His servants did so. When the Teacher had taken his seat, he asked, "Where is the brahman?" — "He is lying in his room." — "Summon him." When the brahman had come in response to the summons and had seated himself on one side, the Teacher said to him, "What is the matter, brahman?" — "Sir Gotama, you have visited me from the day when I first cleared my field, and I have said to you, 'If my crop prospers, I will divide it with you.' But the desire of my heart has not been fulfilled. Therefore sorrow has come upon me, and my food no longer agrees with me." Then the Teacher said to him, "But brahman, do you know from what cause sorrow has come upon you?" — "No, Sir Gotama, that I do not know. But do you know?" The Teacher replied, "Yes, brahman. Whether sorrow or fear arises, it arises solely from desire." So saying, he pronounced the following stanza [above]… [Desire for Dharma learning and practice is however needed to break free from worldly desires.]

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A Treasury Of Buddhist Stories From The Dhammapada Commentary
Translated By E.W. Burlingame

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Super Short Stories:
258: Haiku
257: Oldness
256: Haiku
255: Peace
254: Addiction
253: Syndrome
252: Message
251: Love



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