Why don’t we let go?
The Buddha taught to let go of ego, let go of attachments, liberation through non-clinging: not holding to anything as me or mine that cause greed, anger and desire. He didn’t mean to let of everything otherwise, there would not be any code of conducts, any discipline, and people would not be aware of gratitude nor trying to purify their minds.
Suppose there is a garbage dumped in the middle of the house, if we focus on “letting go” we then leave it rotten in the house without doing anything. That is what we call “neglect”, which is not the right understanding.
The essence which best describe about letting go is the teaching to Ubaka "Listen Ubaka, you should look through this world as is empty, let go of the attachment in yourself, you will be released from misery, nothing to be worried anymore. There is nothing better than letting go and being calm in Dhamma"
These symbols are not Buddha, they are only bricks, rocks, dirt and sand. We should only hold on to Buddha teaching.
What are the purposes of monuments that honor important persons of the world? The monuments are to remind us of the goodness of those persons. Those monuments are made of bricks, rock and sand, aren’t they? The world doesn’t respect the materials they are made of but
the world respects those monuments or even the flags, because of the thankful intention regards to those persons; therefore, Buddha statues, Buddha pictures, Buddha paintings, persons who create them have the intention for us to remind ourselves of Buddha, even the name to be called is “Buddha Statues. When they show that intention, the world must act upon those symbols with respect, not only look at the materials statues are made of but look into the intention of the creators.
In case to hold on only to Buddha teaching, we might need to ask ourselves who the teacher is. Buddha is the teacher. Why shall we not protect his dignity and honor? Why shall we let people ruin his symbols? If a teacher gives us knowledge, and someone insult or disrespect our teacher’s picture or statue, we shall not ignore. We shall not let them continue doing it. We shall protect our teacher’s dignity, shall not we?
Buddha has never taught us to attach with our own dignity and prestige because it is ego.
Yes, it is correct. Buddha has never taught us to attach with our own dignity and prestige which the intention is to fascinate oneself ego but he taught us to respect in anything that we should pay respect to. In “7 qualities of a good men (virtues of a gentleman) teaching, he taught us to aware about the cause, the effect, oneself, sustainability, time, society and people. To aware about people is to treat people with respect, for example, Abraham Lincoln, former president of The United States of America, he was the one who brought about the eventual extinction of slavery.
Even though, only American people gained benefit from this but with his moral, the whole world has paid him respect and honored him without any discrimination because we respect his moral of a good man, we honor moral of other people but not our own dignity and prestige because those are ego.
When we see people misbehave, we should correct them, we should not let it go. When Buddha was still alive, a Brahman called him “a cad”. Buddha was not angry, he did not worry about his dignity but he did not let it go. He taught that Brahman the word “cad” means a liar, not a pure wisdom like himself. This is the difference between attaching oneself to misconception and correcting the wrongness.
This is always a confusion of people who read lots of Buddha’ teaching but never really understand the practice, they will only have argument. With their ego, the goodness in their mind will never be revealed.
Buddha has already passed away. Why do we have to protect him?
If so, after our parents have passed away, we do not have any necessary to protect our parents' dignity, do we?
Shall we let anyone insult, disrespect and accuse them of anything, just because they have passed away?
Promoting people to attach and pay homage to Buddha Statues makes people far away from Dhamma.
People are far away from Dhamma, not from paying homage to Buddha Statues but because they don't bring themselves to practice Dhamma. We do not promote people to pay homage to Buddha Statues without studying and practicing Dhamma deeply but we cannot ignore people who mistreat Buddha Statues.
We need to advice people who do not know the practicing principle, we shall not let them continue mistreating Buddha Statues. If we ignore them, it means we do not reach Buddha's Dhamma.
After the Buddha has reach the enlightment, he went out and taught people who lost their way, he did not let them follow their own fate but he advised them to correct the wrong idea and path.
Why don't we just follow Buddha' s teaching? Why do we need to protect Buddha?
Because we follow Buddha' s teaching by restraining from all sin, having good conscious in every action, and purifying our own mind with Vipassana Meditation not only reading from the books or Doctrines; therefore, we can realize by our soul and spirit that the objects reminding us of Buddha's teaching we shall protect.
Whenever we see Buddha Statues, we can immediately humbly think of Buddha; therefore, protecting Buddha' s statues means protecting Buddha himself.
Buddha taught us not to have an attachment. How come you are telling people to attach to the objects?
We do not want people to have the attachment but we would like people to treat Buddha statues with respect and in appropriate manner. Whoever does attach themselves, they have to correct their mind not to attach, it means when people think of the Buddha, they have to develop their mind until they can practice according to Buddha' s teaching.
Venerable Luang Pu Mun Puritatto, when he saw a newspaper with Buddha 's image on the floor, he suddenly picked it up and put it in an appropriate place so that people will not step on it. Do you call this an attachment?
If we are only seeking for the mistake, mixing and matching problems, just to find out who the winner is...this is actually call the attachment, attach to oneself blinded ego.
Are Buddha Statues fake or genuine?
Such question shows that questioner attaches himself with the being of objects. The genuineness or replica of objects does not matter at all. The true meaning is whom those objects make us humbly bring to our mind and how humble minds have made us treat those objects.
“Intention is beyond objects”.The person whom creatures have created those objects to represent and how they tell us to treat those objects have showed us their intention to that particular person.
If creatures see Buddha statues and Buddha images as only their commercial products, they use Buddha images on sole of shoes or as toilets’ decoration. How do they think of Buddha? They dare to step on the great noble person. How can Buddhists ignore the happenings? Silence will only mean supporting, in this case.
“The World will not be destroyed by those that do evil; but by those who watch them without doing anything”
Why don’t we criticize merchants who lay amulet and Buddha statues on the ground for selling?
Venerable Acharn Somdej To has taught us about those merchants who are selling Buddha statues or amulets, if their intention is to remind people of the gratitude to Buddha, this is one of the methods to help extending Buddhism era. However, if their intention is obsession and they only want to sell amulets and Buddha statues as merchandises without truly respect to Buddha, this will not be appropriate.
People who has obsession in amulets and sell them for millions baht are greedy. Attachment is individual’s problem which they need to get rid of their own problem. People who understand Buddha’s teaching will not support those merchants. We teach people to give respect and do not attach themselves to a wrong conception.
Why has no one protected Buddhism like this before?
Buddhism lacks of people who are brave enough to do the right things, and cannot differentiate between admiring peace and being courage to correct wrong things to right things. In addition, studying Buddha’s teaching carelessly, especially misinterpretation of the word “let go” becomes continuously promoting the wrong things.
Why doesn’t Knowing Buddha Organization deal with persons who are not real monks, or monks who lie?
The principle of monks’ administration has been controlled by monk ministry such as Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand. This is a part of monk ministry. To solve any problem efficiently and effectively, we should be harmonized and responsible for our own duties.
If we only argue of what to be done first or what to be done later, finally, none of problems will be solved because people are only questioning but not practicing.
This is a force to believe.
People always think religion is a belief, without realizing the outline of good behavior, having moral, ethics and kindness to each other. Thing above religion is common sense in being a human, it is the sense of differentiating between good and bad.
“Consciousness comes before religion” Not only Buddha is the father of Buddhism but he is also a human being who has high morality; therefore the world should treat him with common sense of having goodness in mind, which is called “respect”, without wasting the time arguing about belief in religions or opening the books to find the argument.
Why does Knowing Buddha Organization has to use Buddha’s teaching to support this idea of protecting Buddhism.
Bringing up Buddha’s teaching such as “let go” or “Buddha’s Statues” as a claim because people do not have the same wisdom and ego. Person who has more wisdom and fewer egos, only listens to the issue of “respecting morality person” a little bit, he will understand right away, there is no need for any reason. However, person who has less wisdom and more ego, he will always find the argument; therefore Buddha’s teaching has been brought up for this reason.
Does the prohibition of using Buddha’s statues as furnitures destroy other people’s businesses?
Actually this is a hand to pull them from hell. Person who can even sell the gratitude to Buddha symbol with greedy and do not realize how the customers will treat Buddha’s statues, how these kinds of people will find the way? Our advice is not to ruin but to pull them from hell.
If people in the religion have bad behaviors which are not on the track of goodness; it will cause the depreciation of the religion.
It is the truth that Buddha’s teaching has never been depreciated but being a religion, there are 3 components:
1. Father of religion
3. Followers and practitioners.
If the third component is depreciated, it will make the whole thing depreciated because they cannot lack any component; for example, a car will not be a car if there is no wheel, it will have only body; therefore “depreciation of religion” can be said.
Protecting Buddha is to protect Buddhism to last longer.
In order to show gratitude to one own parents as if children protect their own parents, you should stop asking other people “What should I do” We should ask our first consciousness when we see Buddha images on toilet cover seats, used as decorations on the floor, printed on feet scrapers or even on the shoe pads. How do you feel? This is the real dhamma which happens in our mind not from reading the books. Practitioner who always follow Buddha’s teaching will have this overwhelming feeling, it is “Gratitude”, because this word itself, it leads us to protect Buddhism.
Master Acharavadee Wongsakon
President of School of Life
Founder of Knowing Buddha Organization for protecting Buddhism