Friday, October 28, 2005

Basics

It is said that Buddhism is only for the wise. The underlying impression of this is that, to understand Buddhism, a person should have the capability to distinguish between good and bad independent from his personal preferences, influences or beliefs. The only constants in this universe that are independent from time are good and bad. Every thing else changes by the moment. A person who could logically reciprocate the good and the bad in some thing rather than believing in it, just because some one else said it or because it is of advantage to that person or because of any other influence, could understand the dhamma.

The reason I wanted to mention this is, recently few friends of mine made statements like “I would refrain from giving alms to monks because a certain monk who’s in politics has change the political party” based on a recent incident that took place in the political arena of the country.

Now in this scenario, there are several changes taking place.
1. The particular monk has changed from his original stance
2. Which in consequence changed what he represents
3. My friend has changed his stance on alms giving

A representation of a political party is necessarily the representation of its leaders at a given time.

Let’s think the first party which the monk represented stands for certain aspects which are good. So does the change of that monks’ political stand change the representation of the original party?

If the party he newly joined represents some thing bad, does he joining it makes that party represent good?

Buddhist monks represent the dhamma which the Buddha taught. If a certain group of monks (hopefully in good will) choose to move in to politics, does that make the entire Buddhist clergy representatives of that particular political party?

The offering of alms to clergy in Buddhist belief is an act of merit (This alone is a topic that I’d like to speak about in a different post). Does the change of a single monk’s political stance make the merit of offering of alms to clergy invalid?

Since the topic moved towards politics a bit lets apply this scenario to political view points as well.

I personally have a political view point. So I vote for a political party which closely represents my view point. The moment that party distracts from that stance my preference to them should change. But if a certain leader of that party distracts from his personal stance and move away from the party, should my preference to that party change?

On another angle, if a certain party represents a view that disagrees with my views I would not vote them. But if by any chance they change their collective view point (with viable honest reason declaration of cause) to some thing that agrees with mine, what would keep me from not voting them?

If I am not capable of distinguishing good from bad my decisions wouldn’t be solid and most probably would be based on either personal preferences or other influence. How ever if I am capable of choosing the good then independent from all variances my decision would be solid.