Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Commercialization of Shaolin Temple

On Aug 23, 2007, I wrote a post, Shaolin Monks, in which I asked a question: Should Shaolin monks practice deadly martial arts.

On Jan 29, 2008, I came across an article on www.buddhistchannel.tv which scrutinizes commercialization of Shaolin Temple. Excerpt:

Many believe the Shaolin have abandoned their monastic traditions of leaving the world and severing worldly desires and pursuits, and have become a tourist recreation center obsessed with money and reputation.

Full article is here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cross – religious symbol or fashion statement?

We all know that Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country. More than 90% of Thais are Buddhists. About 3-4% of the population are Muslims. Less than 1% of them are Christians.

Yet in my recent trip to Thailand, I saw many young Bangkokians wear crosses, including one who prayed at the famous Erawan Shrine.

Is cross a religious symbol or a fashion statement? Do Thais understand the religious significance of it? Do missionaries purposely mislead Thais into believing that Christianity is trendy???

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

You never own your children

I came across the tagline of Swiss watch Patek Philippe, which reads, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.”

But I am thinking of something else:

You never really own your children. You merely look after them until they can be independent.

There have been many tragedies whereby depressed women killed their children before committing suicide. They probably thought that they owned their children, and therefore have the right to ‘destroy’ them. What surprise me is that, these tragedies, also known as filicide-suicide, happen not just in Asia but in Western countries as well. (Read, for example, here and here.)

The fool worries, thinking, “I have sons, I have wealth.” Indeed, when he himself is not his own, whence are sons, whence is wealth?

- Dhammapada verse 62