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Wat Dhammakaya - Dhamma Wheel

Wat Dhammakaya

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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GrahamR
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Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GrahamR » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:29 pm

Dear friends,

Is anyone familiar with Wat Dhammakaya in Thailand or it's off shoots worldwide, including either of the two in the UK, I noticed it also has DMC TV, which looks quite interesting.

I have heard mixed reports about the temple and it's web site appears to be, well eh, rather comercial.

Does anyone have a first hand opinion please?

With metta,

Graham
With metta :bow:
Graham

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bodom
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:32 pm

Wat Phra Dhammakaya has experienced its share of controversy. In 1999 and again in 2002 the temple's abbot, was accused of charges ranging from fraud and embezzlement to corruption. Social critic Sulak Sivaraksa criticized the temple's abbot for promoting greed by emphasizing donations to the temple as a way to make merit. Julian Gearing of Asiaweek commented that Widespread negative media coverage at this time was symptomatic of Wat Phra Dhammakaya being made a scapegoat for commercial malpractice in the Thai Buddhist temple community in the wake of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Apologies to Wat Phra Dhammakaya were published in full after the Thai newspapers and TV channels concerned were successfully sued for slander in the period 2001-3. In 2006 The Thai National Office for Buddhism cleared Wat Phra Dhammakaya's abbot all accusations when he agreed to return all the allegedly embezzled funds to name of the temple. He was subsequently restored to the position of abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Dhammakaya

Ive been doing a little research on the Dhammakaya and they sound almost like a cult. I could be wrong tho.


:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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GrahamR
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Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GrahamR » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:59 pm

Thanks Bodom,

I had found that article myself, my wife went once and was not very impresed by the merit sales. But the TV station seems quite good and non commercial. They are the nearest temple probably to us in the UK and we were thinking of visiting just to see what it was like. Their UK website seemed quite dubious to me - 45 minutes one to one talk with a monk for £5!

Thanks for your help.

Graham

quote="bodom_bad_boy"]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Phra_Dhammakaya

Ive been doing a little research on the Dhammakaya and they sound almost like a cult. I could be wrong tho.


:namaste:[/quote]
With metta :bow:
Graham

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gavesako
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby gavesako » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:18 pm

They are extremely good at marketing themselves. They go in the West wherever there are enough Thais, and even try to take over smaller (e.g. Lao) wats. They ask you to join their temple and contribute regular monthly donations. The monks are trained like business salesmen. Their TV station indoctrinates Thais around the whole world in a simplistic quasi-Buddhist outlook based around the notion of kamma: because Mr X gave a lot of money to our temple before he died, he was reborn as an angel in heaven, etc. Their mass gatherings and the whole organization with a remote and holy Leader remind one of the Nazi marches. In short: The Thais (who often don't know much Buddhism really) will be easily duped and will offer thousands to help build their megalomaniac Cetiya near Bangkok, but a Westerner interested in BuddhaDhamma should know better.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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GrahamR
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Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GrahamR » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:27 pm

With metta :bow:
Graham

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Cittasanto
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:50 pm

I believe it was this temple I mentioned in a thread about homosexuals ordaining?
in their short term ordination program they don't let homosexuals ordain but may be wrong?


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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robertk
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby robertk » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:23 am

I was out at Wat Dhammakaya last month. They are building one of the biggest campus or whatever I have ever seen, probably valued over a couple Billion in US$$ .
I watch their chanel on Thai TV sometimes but the monk who is usually on has a soporific voice and is very repetitive. That is about as much praise as I can manage of Dhammakaya.

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jcsuperstar
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:30 am

i have a thai friend who studied w/ lp paknam (sod?) and he says that the dhammakaya meditation taught is not the same as what lp paknam taught..
seems to be similar though
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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robertk
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby robertk » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:34 am


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gavesako
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby gavesako » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:49 pm

They are really good at scaring people by showing them vivid images of hell and hungry ghosts, for example:



This is probably the extreme case of literalistic interpretation...
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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GrahamR
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Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GrahamR » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:55 pm

Dear all,
Just as a post note, we decided to visit the Dhammakaya Temple and were not altogether surprised by what we found.
I don't want to go into it in detail, other than to say I wouldn't describe it as conventional Theravada Buddhism.
On a positive side, everyone was very friendly and welcoming, but I don't think we will visit again.
If anyone would like more details please contact me directly.
Witta metta :bow:
Graham
With metta :bow:
Graham

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Will
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Will » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:51 pm

I recall over at E-sangha, a Dhammakaya monk spent quite a bit of time & effort peddling their special mediation technique. That method was the result of the founder's vision, I believe. At any rate it, it was tantric in the sense that one moves energies from point to point within the body in a certain sequence. He did not get much sympathy or support, so faded away.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

DarkDream
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby DarkDream » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:52 am


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SeerObserver
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby SeerObserver » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:05 pm


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jcsuperstar
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:02 am

his brother ordained under lp paknam so he(my friend) learned the style rather young but basicly the meditation is similar, but the dhammakaya version is a sort of abridgement of the lp paknam version, there may be more to it, he asked me why the dhammakaya would simplify it, i had no idea. he doesnt seem to like dhammakaya though. maybe lp paknam taught a simplified version later? i wouldnt even know who to ask about this
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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SeerObserver
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby SeerObserver » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:42 am


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jcsuperstar
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby jcsuperstar » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:56 am

i dont know much about the brother
i'll ask next time i see him..
this is all rather interesting
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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GrahamR
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby GrahamR » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:01 am

With metta :bow:
Graham

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gavesako
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby gavesako » Sun May 09, 2010 7:41 pm

PM urged to halt grand temple plan
By The Nation
Published on May 10, 2010

Activists and NGOs yesterday submitted an open letter to the prime minister asking him to put on hold a proposal by the Dhamamakaya Temple to offer a Bt1-billion fund to the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) to train more than 10 million students and 70,000 officials over a three-year period.

The letter, submitted by noted thinker Sulak Sivarak, called for an abrupt halt to this proposal and an immediate investigation, while suspending all OBEC officials involved.

The temple has offered scholarships to provide training on Bud-dhism, meditation and morality lessons to 10 million high school students in all 30,000 schools across the country, along with around 700,000 teachers, community leaders and politicians over a three-year period starting later this year.

The 43 activists and NGO members are questioning, besides other things, the training project costs, which are not specified, and the content of Buddhism teachings by the temple, as to whether they are accurate enough and in line with mainstream Buddhist doctrines.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

- Theravada texts
- Translations and history of Pali texts
- Sutta translations

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Pannapetar
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Re: Wat Dhammakaya

Postby Pannapetar » Mon May 10, 2010 4:38 am

I only know about Wat Dhammakaya from hearsay, i.e. from what other people told me about it, and from their brochures, which are quite abundant here. To me it looks like the closest you can get to "spiritual materialism", as they appear to measure merit primarily in donations and they even have a table of devata levels that are open to you in the afterlife according to the financial contributions you made. They attract a lot of the Bangkok business elite and rich Thai-Chinese merchants. I think Ven. Gavesako's brief portrayal in post no. 4 is quite accurate.

Cheers, Thomas


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