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Author Topic: (Lack of) Debates between western buddhist monks? (!)  (Read 378 times)

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Online Johann

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(Lack of) Debates between western buddhist monks? (!)
« on: February 22, 2017, 01:31:09 PM »
Quote from: dmx on SC
The art of debate was of big importance during Buddha time:

In ancient India, Greece and Tibet, the art of argumentation was an extremely important (and prestigious) activity. To win a formal debate was to demonstrate the truth of one’s school of thought or spiritual faith. The Buddha was a potent and charismatic debater who threatened the intellectual complacency of many Brahmins. The famous consequence of losing a debate in India was to lose one’s students, who would all convert to the winning school of thought. In Buddhist Tibet, monastic universities still put heavy emphasis on training students for debate, which is an essential part of the monastery curriculum.
Though debate, a person is able to traverse "the jungle of views, the thicket of views, the wilderness of views" and eventually arrive at right view. There are suttas where Buddha praised bhikkhus for admonishing wanderers of other sects and proving how they were wrong through debate. There is even a sutta where Buddha criticizes some bhikkhus who did not know how to debate. Those bhikkhus actually won the debate but that was because the wanderers did not know how to debate either. We even have a sutta called "The debating hall".

Today, because of most western buddhist been from USA or other english-culture countries, we do not have debates anymore. Every culture has advantages and disadvantages. English and northern cultures in particular have very low levels of corruption, are much more nice and calm than other people and are very hard working. But every culture has it's weaknesses. The weakness of english people is narcissism and having an anti-debate mentality. It is the second that is what I have a problem with. In the english world, discussion or circle-talking is favored in front of debates. Some even consider debates to be something rude that only evil people engage in. On top of this, postmodernism that somehow got to be a mainstream view in USA is officially an anti-debate view. It is responsible for ideas such as "we strongly disagree but neither of one is wrong it's just that different things work for different people". So there is no purpose for debates with such a mentality.

English (EN/US/AU/CA) are know to be in the uttermost extreme of politeness. English world people even consider germans to be extremely rude, witch are nr 2 most puritan culture in europe after the english. To say nothing about how they view people from latin europe. (france, italy, spain, portugal, romania). People speak with each other like you speak with Kim Jhong Un and if you do not speak like that, it means you're evil and want to harm them. If you want to debate, that means you're a fundamentalist zealot trying to push his beliefs down their thought, violating their constitutional rights to believe in unicorns without ever been contradicted by anybody out there.

All cultures have disadvantages and what is terrible from a buddhist point of view is that the disadvantage of english culture is having probably the most anti-debate mentality in the world after Thai and Japanese. It's bad from a buddhist point of view because this makes it difficult to traverse the jungle of views. Been hard working, not corrupt, very calm might help with practice but not with arriving at right view.

Because of this, debates between famous bhikkhus are almost non-existent in the west. Only 1 on 1 "live" debate that I've ever seen was waged on skype between B.Sujato and B.Bodhi. Other than that, there have been another 3 debates that were not live but waged over articles. One person writes an article and the other one responds in another article. From these, I can only remember B.Bodhi vs Thanissaro on war.

This has been posted on DW as well and has raised a lot of curiosity but nobody was able to provide link. Many have tried finding these debates but were unable to. I myself could not even find the B.Sujato vs B.Bodhi debate that I've read sometime in the past, I just don't know how to google it.

So it would be interesting if we could post in this topic these few debates that have happened in the west. Most people have never seen a debate between 2 western bhikkhus. As I've said, I personally have read only 2. If you happen to know more it would be great if you could post links.

Maybe one day, there could even appear an "online debating hall" between famous bhikkhus where they can debate different topics. But that is quite some wishful thinking when we have just 1 "real time, standard" debate that ever happened and another 3-4 "long distance debates". And in all of these 4-5 debates, one of the debaters is always B.Bodhi or B.Suajato vs somebody else, not 8-10 people in total in 4-5 debates. But who knows ? Maybe a modern "Debating hall" would gather a lot of audience giving the interest these few debates that exist have sparked on DW. Maybe with time, more and more would dare to step out of their bubble and venture into debates. Imagine this: A site with the name "buddhist-debates.com" where you can go and check debates on different points between western bhikkhus. Every buddhist out there would visit the site.

Until then, I would be happy with somebody here posting the links to those few debates that have taken place already. Unfortunately only 1-2 of these debates are on dhamma points, the rest on social matters. This means that in Buddha time, there were more famous bhikkhus debates in a single day than there have been in decades of Buddhism in the west.


It's today, maybe it was always like this, that Monks do not really desire Right View but a confortable live and it's todays general misbelieve that "peace" and equanimity are more worthy to be desired than truth and release. It's today normal, that when you enter another monastery, Monks would start the welcome with words like: "Don't criticize me and I don't criticize you". Actually a must not to stay even a day on such a place. Furthermore Monks are generally interested to gatter laypeople and seldom have any interest in the Sangha, feel not obligated torward Sangha and have no compassion with their fellows. They are for the most disciples of their teacher, their ideas but seldom one woul find a Monk who has gone and takes refuge in the Three Gems (=lower sota) but simple peope making a liveihood out of the Buddhas goodness to havesuch a possibility. They run their undertakings and follow what ever politic to prosper (bhava). There is general no respect in regard of situations where one is been criticised or when Dhamma or Vinaya is taught. Monks are so full of offences that they are no more able to be in the present of correction.

The list is endess and as long as the attitude will not be chanced, Monks will distroy more and more the faith of many.

In regard of the criticisers opinion that this is a Western issue, hat is not correct. It's an issue of moderns view (fatal wrong view) all over the world. There are very less communities and Monks who would never shiw disrespect or not welcoming debates, but there are.
Mostly it loses its value when young scholar monks come into the group, since lacking on practice, having not learned by a teacher but by "oneself" there is much conceit and a mess of modern wrong view, so that even if discussed, it runs out to a splitt.

One will find endless samples here where Monks simply disrespected without shame, critic and Dhamma. Their are even not scared to delete Dhamma, censure or "kill" the criticer.

As wise scholar Monks tell in unison: "How much ever one may have learned, if aproached by people who already have practiced the path, they start to fear and if not willng t learn, soon run away."

This lake of real compassion for the fellows and greed for ones repution is actually a very sad situation for most young Monks since they will, even if there are some who could, bended for their welfare and god of many. Being Monk today, for the most means to become parentless, a street child with no refuge at all aside of more or less good advices from book, depending on their "luck".

At least it should be said that people generally lake of the skill to discuss or even give a clear answer to a question. sac is something people have giving up totally and the many possibilities to hide, protect and keep one world like one likes to have it, the lake of intensive social interacting and the strong elieve in individualisum makes it nearly impossible to reconstruct a culture of disputes and dicussions.

As the Buddha declared the duties of a Monk: "Either to discuss the Dhamma or to sit in Noble silence (2. Jhana)", one can be sure that there are less dwelling in Jhana and maybe even lesser discussing the Dhamma but simple enjoying heedlessness.

* Johann in addition: For the case that Dmx will read that: You are currently discussing with people with no interest in right view, missing even the basics. You will soon see that it is pointless even to try and Atma suggests to read: How to address wrong view? (english is not good but should nevertheless make the meaning understanable)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 01:38:52 PM by Johann »
This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann


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November 15, 2017, 10:28:45 AM
 :-* ehrwürdiger samana johann  :-*


November 15, 2017, 10:22:52 AM
Nyom Marcel.


November 10, 2017, 09:42:54 PM
 :-* :-* :-*
Versucht mit laptop einzuloggen, aber die Updates ziehen sich dahin...
Möge der heutige Uposatha ein Tag der Erkenntnis und des Segens sein.
 :-* :-* :-*


October 31, 2017, 05:36:49 AM
 :-*ehrwürdiger samana johann :-* ich hoffe, es geht ihnen gut und die dhamma-praxis schreitet vorran!


October 30, 2017, 01:48:18 AM
Nyom Sophorn.


October 25, 2017, 05:08:34 PM
Danke geht allen gut. Werther Bhante hoffentlich auch ?


October 25, 2017, 04:39:43 PM
Familie und Freunden geht es gut? Nyom Maria selbst wohl auf, gesund?


October 19, 2017, 02:41:38 PM
Wenn jemand über das Layout des Entwurfes blicken möchte, ob es im eigenen Browser paßt und übersichtlich ist: Wisdom


October 16, 2017, 05:40:03 PM
Sokh chomreoun, Nyom. (Mag sukha sich für Nyom mehren). Thoamada (Dhammada - naturly, gewohnt). At mean ay pisech te (nichts besonders). Klach dukkh, klach sokh (wohl und weh wechseln sich ab). Nyom sokh sabay dea te? Sokh leumom dea te?


October 16, 2017, 04:13:43 PM
 :-* ehrwürdiger samana johann! wie ist ihr befinden?  :-*


October 07, 2017, 01:56:00 PM
 :-* :-* :-*


October 07, 2017, 02:48:39 AM
Der Tathagata tut das, wenn man ihn in seinem Dhamma sieht, und dieser, entgegen Personen, kommt auf wenn man ihn nährt, und einmal da, geht er für einen nicht mehr verloren, bleibt Tor zur Todlosigkeit.


October 06, 2017, 11:37:24 PM


October 06, 2017, 11:36:31 PM
 :-* ehrwürdiger samana johann :-* mögen sie noch lange leben,   für das wohl vieler.... anumodana, ich freue mich sehr! sie decken auf, was vorher verdeckt. so das vijja entstehen kann, und avijja gehen muss!! geht direkt ins herz!


October 06, 2017, 04:19:37 PM
Nyom Marcel.


September 28, 2017, 03:51:05 AM
 :-* :-* :-*


September 27, 2017, 12:17:53 PM
Nyom Sophorn, Roben mag man immer geben können. Im Monat nach dem Vassa Ende, ist es für jene Mönche, die den Vassa gehalten haben, möglich und einfacher für den Eigenbedarf Roben anzunehmen.


September 27, 2017, 07:01:23 AM
Bhante, ist dann die Robengabe möglich ab dem 5. Okt. bid zum nächsten Vollmond oder darf man auch danach Roben geben? :-*


September 27, 2017, 05:44:45 AM
Wie geht es Bhante heute? Haben die Tropfen geholfen?
 ::) :-*


September 05, 2017, 01:21:44 AM
Gerestet: funktioniert tadellos. Nochmal alle Zugangsdaten gemailt, Nyom.


September 04, 2017, 02:06:42 PM
Kana hat mit U. Chamroeun das Login mit neuem Passwort erfolglos versucht.
Daraufhin versuchten kana das über die Veränderung über E-mail, aber da erschien, dass die E-mailadresse nicht gültig war (die hatten Bhante auch an kana in der Mail bestätigt)
 :-* :-* :-*


September 04, 2017, 11:52:03 AM
Sollte email im Posteingang haben, Nyom Sophorn.


September 04, 2017, 11:41:14 AM
Kann nicht antworten auf was, Nyom Maria? Was und wo genauer?

Nyom Sophorn. Nyom Chomroeun kann kurzlich email Daten bekommen. Mal annehmend das PW auch vergessen, (abgesenhen von der Möglichkeit, link zu drücken wenn) wird Atma ein neues anlegen und ihm mailen.


September 04, 2017, 11:30:41 AM
Werther Bhante , selbiges Problem was ich schon einmal hatte, Login geht aber kann nicht antworten, bin am Nachmittag bei neuen Computer, dieser hier ist schon über 12 Jahre alt.


September 04, 2017, 11:23:14 AM
Kana hat das File runtergeladen und U. Chamroeun gegeben,  der sich um die Kprrektur annehmen möchte. Kana wird auch gern das File den anderen Schülern zum Lesen teilen. Ev. sehen mehr Augen mehr.
 :-* :-* :-*


September 04, 2017, 11:17:06 AM
Verehrter Bhante, Chamroeun kann sich nicht einloggen. Ist das Passwort für E-mail oder sangham.net? In beiden Fällen haben kana das erfolglos probiert.
 :-* :-* :-*


September 04, 2017, 11:08:26 AM
 :-* :-* :-*


August 20, 2017, 01:37:40 AM
Es ist vielleicht gut eine Pause zu tun, doch kann es gut sein, daß man nicht zurückkehrt, für ein gutes oder schlechtes, für sich selbt und andere. Gut dort wo gut genährt und unterstützt und for allem Konzentration steigt, oder dort wo satt in jeder Hinsicht.


August 10, 2017, 11:31:40 AM
Wenn jemand Lust hat, oder anderen etwas Gutes oder Besseres tun kann und möchte: Korrekturlesen http://sangham.net/index.php/topic,1018.msg9625.html#msg9625 Baue nach und nach, so gut wie möglich ein auf ZzE.


August 07, 2017, 02:24:55 AM
Einen ausübungsreichen Vollmond-Uposatha and Gelegenheit die Mönche zu besuchen wünscht meine Person.


July 25, 2017, 03:59:03 PM
... versteht und womöglich sieht, wenn er nicht den Weg hierher

Großer Dank an alle im Hintergrund.

Mögen all diese Früchte vielfach zurückkommen und inspirieren.

Ayu vanno sukkham balam

 :-* :-* :-*


July 25, 2017, 03:55:25 PM
 :-* :-* :-*
karuna tvay bongkum Preah metschah

Herzliches Hallo an alle nach sehr langem!

Ein herzliches Dankeschön aus tiefsten Herzen an alle, die sich hier aktiv und indirekt hier beteiligen. Vor allem ein großes Sadhu an Bhante, der unvergleichliche Arbeit leistet, die kaum jemand ver


July 24, 2017, 03:15:56 AM
Fehlinvestition: Was immer man nicht in die Juwelen, in den Pfad investiert, ist vergeude Mühe, schnurrr einen fest im Rad des Leidens. Prüfen Sie es!   :) Wiederholungstäter...


July 17, 2017, 01:50:17 AM


July 16, 2017, 02:28:02 PM
Namasakara, Bhante _/\_


July 14, 2017, 07:07:17 AM
Moritz. Gut ihn früh Morgens und nicht bis in den frühen Morgen zu sehen.


July 14, 2017, 07:03:53 AM
Namasakara, Bhante _/\_


July 13, 2017, 08:12:46 AM


July 13, 2017, 07:42:39 AM
Chom reap lea


July 13, 2017, 07:40:46 AM
Namasakara, Bhante _/\_


July 08, 2017, 02:26:09 AM
Vor mehr als 2500 Jahen wurde a diesem Vollmondtag das Rad des Dhammas in bewegung gesetzt. Anumodana!

Mohan Gnanathilake

July 02, 2017, 08:24:13 AM
Sehr ehrwürdiger Samanera Johann,

ich bedanke mich bei Ihnen für Ihre nette Erklärung.

Dhamma Grüße an Sie aus Sri Lanka!



July 01, 2017, 07:43:41 PM
Nyom Mohan. Besser: "Ich hoffe, daß es Ihnen gut geht." und bestens (ohne suggerieren, wenn interessiert) "Wie geht es Ihnen." Oder: "Möge es Ihnen Gut gehen." (wenn metta ausdrücken wollend)

Mohan Gnanathilake

July 01, 2017, 10:43:15 AM
Sehr ehrwürdiger Samanera Johann,

ich glaube, dass es Ihnen gut geht.

Dhamma Grüße an Sie aus Sri Lanka!

Mohan Gnanathilake

July 01, 2017, 10:32:46 AM
Werter Micro,
herzliche Grüße aus Sri Lanka nach Deutschland!


July 01, 2017, 10:32:17 AM
Nyom Mohan.


June 25, 2017, 01:38:38 PM
Alles Zufälle. Nissaya. Und wenn da keine starke Grundlagenursache aufkommt, upanissayapaccayena, na dann war's das, und alles is weg. Lebewesen sind Erben ihrer Taten (im Geist, Wort und Körper).


June 25, 2017, 01:27:24 PM
Schwupps und weg. Waffen und Nahrung geholt.

Oh, was sag ich. Wenn man's doch nehmen kann, auch ohne das Gefühl zu nehmen... Unsinn hier. Hat doch keiner interesse Verdienste zu tun.


June 25, 2017, 01:21:28 PM
Mirco. Wie geht es?


June 25, 2017, 01:20:43 PM
Es ist doch viel angenehmer, wenn man sich nehmen kann was und wann immer man will, oder? Warum sollte man sich so viel antun, da sind genügend die Anbieten.

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