Thursday, June 20, 2013
Daily Lessons from Life 19 June 2013 - Thai monks rebuked over 'ostentatious' jet ride
"AFP Jun 18, 2013 Thai monks rebuked over 'ostentatious' jet ride BANGKOK - The behaviour of Thailand's Buddhist clergy has been thrust under the spotlight after footage emerged of three monks flying in a private jet, wearing earphones and sunglasses and traveling with a Louis Vuitton luxury bag. The video, which has been viewed nearly 200,000 times on YouTube, has prompted fevered debate in the Buddhist-dominated kingdom over monks' adherence to austere principles which include living without possessions, beyond a handful of robes." LOL!! I am not a religious person though I believe in doing good for the sake of doing good and not, ok, not always, for good karma! So, I am not sure what to make of this incident. Lessons for me are: 1. for a religion that supposed ask one to be free of all earthy desires, this luxurious ride is definitely incongruent with the teaching. Or strict teaching of this religion if we understand it correctly; 2. the reason provided that the ride was provided by a devotee or follower cuts no ice really as the teacher(s) should or would have informed the 'disciple' that: Thank but no thanks. Someone compared this incident to a certain Singapore mega church whose leaders are on trial for criminal breach of trust offenses and are known to live in luxury as well. Though in my mind the comparison is a bit off tangent as the church supposedly preaches the Gospel of Prosperity and creating wealth and enjoying it to the fullest is not frown upon, I think; 3. anyway, the key objection to these behaviors in addition to the paradox of NOT living the values preached is that their luxurious lifestyles are FINANCED by ordinary folks who happened to believe in the religion preached. Of course, even here, some smart people rationalized that the devotees and followers WILLINGLY donate their money to the religious order or church. So, what is the issue? Indeed, it is not a matter for the rational person to understand as religion is an emotional affairs. Who is to say the 'leaders' cannot enjoy the wealth that are bestowed upon them by their devoted followers! There is no knowing what some human beings will do for a living...