1. Certain Bhikkhus refer to “Gods” protecting the Buddha Dhamma. Has the Buddha referred to ‘Gods’ entrusted with the protection of the Buddha Dhamma?
2. The Buddha Dhamma, in fact, is a way of life and as such do the teachings of the Buddha require protection by anyone?
3. Certain Bhikkhus refer to 33 billion ‘Gods’. Who are these ‘Gods’? How do such ‘Gods’ fit into the Buddha Dhamma? Are those ‘Gods’ not part and parcel of Hinduism?
4. Who is ‘Sakradevendra’ referred to by certain Bhikkhus in their Dhamma Sermons?
God Sakra, in Hinduism, is the Creator. How does “Sakradevendra” fit into Buddhism?
5. Certain Bhikkhus refer to going to ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’ (Avichchi Maha Narakadiya) after death. Is there a ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’ according to the Buddha Dhamma? Is that not living in happiness or suffering according to Karma in this life or life after? The Buddha Dhamma does not refer to going to heaven and only refers to attaining Nibbana – extinguishment of craving. According to the Buddha Dhamma there can be no love for earthly life and no desire for future life, in the strictest sense. Accordingly, ‘Heaven’ does not fit into the ‘Buddha Dhamma. Is that not?
6. Is there a ‘Heaven’ by the name ‘Tavtisa’ to which the Buddha had paid a visit? If so is it still there and where is it? The Buddha spent His Seventh Vas (Retreat) Season in the Palace of the Persian Emperor Darius at Tavtisa and is it not that visit that has been wrongly termed as going to Tavtisa Heaven?
7. Who is Brahma referred to by certain Bhikkhus in their Dhamma Sermons? How relevant is that “Brahma” to the Buddha Dhamma? Brahmana is the all pervading God in Hinduism though Hindus show attachment to a figure in Hindu Mythology and worship God in that form. Brahmana, on the other hand, is a priestly caste in Hinduism.
9. There are rooms in certain Buddhist Temples dedicated to various “gods” to which misled Buddhists are lured into by ‘Kapuvas’ wearing red or blue sashes to offer prayers and poojas seeking favours from such ‘Gods’ when such rituals are against the Buddha Dhamma. Why are such rituals allowed to continue? Is it a mere income earning process?
10. Kovils, Churches and Mosques do not have images and places of worship for veneration of other faiths. So why in Buddhist Temples only? Does that not hinder propagation of Theravada Buddhism in its purity? Is this not an attempt to introduce mythology to Buddhist Philosophy?
11. Certain Bhikkhus do business resorting to charms (occult power) ‘devil patronage’ and ‘Malayali’ charms. Are these not against the Buddha Dhamma? Are these Bhikkhus not breaking the Vinaya Rules? “There are many evil characters and uncontrolled men wearing the saffron robe. “These wicked men will be born in states of woe because of their evil deeds,” goes Dhammapada 307.
12. How does ‘God Kataragama’ fit into Buddhist religious practice? Is there a God by that name in the Buddha Dhamrna?
13. Is not Nikaya (Sect) division among the Maha Sangha against Buddhist principles? If so, why should that not be done away with?
14. Why are members of the Maha Sangha allowed to participate in divisive politics? Is political materialism proper to the Maha Sangha? Why are Bhikkhus in politics, who break the Vinaya expected of them and do not uphold the dignity of the Bhikkhuhood not disrobed? Why are the Maha Nayakes and the Adhikarana Nayakes turning a blind eye to Bhikkhus’ misbehaviour without taking disciplinary action against them?
Upali S. Jayaysekera