Monday, May 23, 2016
Rights versus Dharma Responsability
- fragment from a letter to a priest who embraced wrong views -
Recently, a priest wrote to me:
"I have the right to my own views. What you do in your books and on your website is to judge others because you do not agree with them. This is outrageous".
From the legal or juridical point of view, you have the right to do everything you want with Amida Dharma. This is because we are fortunate to live in countries where freedom of speech is guaranteed. But from the moral and Buddhist point of view, you do not have the right to change Amida Dharma, and the reason for this is very simple - you are not a Buddha.
As a priest and teacher you do not have rights, but responsabilities toward the Amida Dharma and sentient beings who come in contact with it. This is not a matter of you and me agreeing with each other. The sangha is not a social club, but a place where we should be in harmony with the Dharma. Please bear this in mind.
In my books or on my website I do not go against your civil rights and liberties, but only try my best to remind you of your moral responsability as a priest:
2) to counteract the wrong views that may appear in the sangha
By doing this, you can help others become open to Amida's Call and receive faith in Him.
You also have a more general duty towards those who look upon you as their priest and teacher, and that is to be honest. This means that if you come to realize that the Jodo Shinshu Dharma as it was taught by Shakyamuni and the Masters - with Amida being a real and living Buddha and the Pure Land as a real enlightened place to be attained after death - no longer corresponds to your views, then be honest and admit it, give up your ordination, leave this school and perhaps found a new school of thought. That would be a very respectable attitude because what you do now is lying people, saying that Jodo Shinshu is something which is not, only because you insist in having the label "Jodo Shinshu" on your CV. You and other deluded scholars put so much effort in transforming this simple faith oriented teaching into an unrecognizable mixing of personal power Buddhist and non-Buddhist materialist elements, that you are doing a great disservice to people who could hear and accept it, and even find salvation through it.
By staying in a Dharma place where you do not belong, and by trying to change it to suit your personal views, you are in fact slandering that Dharma gate. And this IS outrageous. Shutting the door to liberation from birth and death IS outrageous, not my efforts to provide people with true Dharmic knowledge.
I am sorry to say this to you, but Amida Dharma is NOT your intelectual playground, just like a hospital is not a place where we can experiment on sick people at our own pleasure. Birth and death is a serious matter, and liberation from it is the most important thing in the world. The Amida Dharma is the supreme medicine given by the Supreme Doctor or Buddha to unenlightened people who are so sick that they cannot heal themselves through their own power. If we are not Doctors, we do NOT have the moral right to modify the medicine.
As priests and teachers we are only transmiters, not creators of Amida Dharma. If you feel that you could not assume this role anymore, please be honest and go. Just go as soon as possible, so that you do not accumulate more evil karma which you might not be able expiate in many eons of samsaric existences.