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2020 Jan 17 10:29:19
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Author Topic: [Q&A] What can (should) be done about fake monks?  (Read 702 times)

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Offline Johann

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[Q&A] What can (should) be done about fake monks?
« on: December 05, 2017, 05:50:31 PM »

[Q&A] What can (should) be done about fake monks?

Quote from: asked by Anthony, on BSE
What can be done about fake monks?

In the city where i live (Toronto, although this is an issue in many cities around the world), there are people dressed as monks soliciting others on the street for donations. In return, various good luck charms are offered.

The fake monks speak little English, and will try to justify their begging with the claim that donations are for building a temple back home.

Is there anything I can or should do about this?

Are these fake monks giving Buddhism a bad name, or at least obscuring Buddhism's true message?

Are the fake monks doing an ironic good by giving people the chance to practice generosity?

Venerable members of the Sangha,
walking in front Fellows in leading the holly life.

  _/\_  _/\_  _/\_

In Respect of the Triple Gems, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, in Respect of the Elders of the community  _/\_ , my person tries to answer this question. Please, may all knowledgeable Venerables and Dhammika, out of compassion, correct my person, if something is not correct and fill also graps, if something is missing.

Valued Upasaka, Upasika, Aramika(inis),
dear Readers and Visitors,

 *sgift*

(This is a maybe modified and expanded answer of the "original" that can be found here .)

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -



It's maybe good to distinguish between a "monk not sticking with his rules" or a "monk - 'living by theft'" and a recluse/brahman of other traditions.

The first means that he has gained the going forth and possible acceptance by the Sangha of Buddhas disciples but lives with wrong livelihood, bad means, corrupt.

The second means that one "for the sake of his belly" (livelihood, wordily gains) uses the appearance and declatation of being an accepted (ordained) Bhikkhu/Bhikkhuni by the Sangha of the Buddha.

The last, someone who might beg and "just" look like or be assumed by people being a Bhikkhu, would actually not allow to call him "fake monk" in the context here. Hegshe might be "just" a beggar of other sects.

Giving someone in need or to come after someones request is very seldom wrong. If wishing to gain possible high fruits by benefiting the Sangha, Novices but also lay people "working" for them, good to simply ask if not willing to sacrify to secterians and others.

To gain the most of ones sacrifies, itjs of course from use to be well informed but also not foolish biased at the same time.

And it's good to know that if one has not gained certain level on sainthood, one, even if correct accepted, is a "fake monk" (eg. an outsider) to that extent. And it could be that someone appearing totally fakish, even unseemingly, one might be actually an insider (one of the Sangha in ideal therms).

So one should be carefull in regard of such and prove well, not only in regard of Vinaya but also in regard of Dhamma.

Generally it is to say that neither a correct good member of the monastic Sangha nor a Novice nor a recluse of certain sainthood would beg for money, take and make use of it. So such can not be regarded as recluse (monk) but has to be seen as a householder. Whether one begs on the street or behind his desktop for his fondings, undertakings, asks, takes takes use and controll over money (means of exchange and trade)... such should be regarded as householder even if a well known and public regarded monk (a fake to that extent).

Yet, if one is clear about that, there is nothing bad in fonding or helping certain householder undertakings, depending of what one feels inspired to give and as the Buddha rejected as people told "the Buddha says, one should give only to his disciples":

 

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"Master Gotama, I have heard that 'Gotama the contemplative says this: "Only to me should a gift be given, and not to others. Only to my disciples should a gift be given, and not to others. Only what is given to me bears great fruit, and not what is given to others. Only what is given to my disciples bears great fruit, and not what is given to the disciples of others."'...
Quote from: AN 3.57

How ever, since the topic is not so easy and good and benefical giving requires discernment, it's good to learn but mostly simply practice where ever there is a chance and proper time .

Possible helpful additions can be found here:

My person came even accross well-known Bhikkhus who puplic encouraged people to call even police. Such is not the way of a not-fake monk and given that in modern world often highest livelihood is not only regarded as not welcome but even against law on certain places, in certain countries, what if not just cutting oneself off of possibilities to make merits in approaching issues in foolish and biased ways, whould one gain?

Just more of the obstacle to liberation: Stinginess , or?

So, in relation of proper time as well:

 

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

Not to contemplatives,
  to brahmans,
  to the miserable,
  nor to the homeless
  does he share what he's gained:
      food,
      drinks,
      nourishment.
  He, that lowest of people,
      is called a cloud with no rain.

To some he gives,
  to others he doesn't:
      the intelligent call him
      one who rains locally.

A person responsive to requests,
  sympathetic to all beings,
  delighting in distributing alms:
      "Give to them!
      Give!"
      he says.
  As a cloud — resounding, thundering — rains,
      filling with water, drenching
      the plateaus & gullies:
          a person like this
          is like that.
  Having rightly amassed
  wealth attained through initiative,
  he satisfies fully with food & drink
  those fallen into
  the homeless state.
Quote from: iti

So best is always to either (if able) judge ones mind and own defilements or stick simply with the advices of the wise.

Generally, by using the therm "fake" or by disregarding improper, uninformed (not to speak about out of greed, aversion or not-knowing) recluses or others one might remember this even: Young Now it's not wrong but even good to dispraise of what should be rebuked, after good prove and knowing for sure and if one has the possibility in regard of his status and independency.

Anumodana!
This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann

Offline Johann

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Re: [Q&A] What can (should) be done about fake monks?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 03:20:57 PM »
In regard of possible "Fake monks", someone in Affiliation Through Theft , it is for him who lives in that way, "for the sake of comfortable life" a very serious thing, since by theft he would cut himself of to get a member of the Sangha in this very live.

So there is a lot of reason to have compassion if meeting someone like that, rather to be even jealous and act unwholesome on that.

One does good to never take what is not really given by the owner otherwise it can be that one derives one self from prosperity and wealth, in wordly meaning as well as beyond.

So to take away something even if it has been stolen, from a thief, counts as taking what is not given as well.

It would be/is a transgression for a Bhikkhu to call for police and possible case even a "fake monk" to lose what he regards as his possession.

Of how the Sangha may act on someone living be theft in Affiliation is given by the rule:

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

“A person in affiliation through theft, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.

This can be applied as well for certain sects or groups as well, living in ways not having gained by themselves or not given the heritage of the Noble Ones and use it's means for their objectives in the world.

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

"One who has gone over (while a monk) to another religion, if unaccepted, is not to be given Acceptance. If accepted, he is to be expelled.”
This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann

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