Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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Burmese abbot banned over ‘dog’ sermon

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The highest State sangha authority in Burma has banned Abbot U Thumingala of Mingala Monastery in Hmawbi Township from preaching sermons for one year.

Abbot U Thumingala was banned from giving talks in 2008 and 2009.The ban came after the abbot gave a talk titled “He who calls a dog dad,” in which he said that banning Buddhist monks from preaching sermons is a great sin, according to the teachings of Lord Buddha.

In a sermon by Lord Buddha called “Thuba,” the father of Thuba was so mean to monks that he became a dog at his son’s house after his death.

Abbot U Thumingala, popularly known as the “frying pan” abbot, told Mizizma: “Those who ban ordinary offerings can become a dog so banning talks is a great sin. They are doing what they should not do. They will suffer divine retribution more severe than becoming a dog. I said this in sympathy for them. I warned them not to commit mistakes in my talks. I didn’t say who banned our preaching. I did not refer to anyone or to any organization. But they interpreted it as they thought. I can’t say anything about that,” the abbot said.

He delivered his “dog” sermon on October 30 at Aung Chan Thar Monastery in Taikyi Township in Rangoon Region.

Sources said the Home Ministry presented the talk to the president’s office, and the ban followed later. The ban extends from December 9 to December 8, 2012.

The notice said the ban was, “For inclusion of texts which are contrary to Theravada Buddhism and which criticize and apply sarcasm to different levels of authorities.”

The abbot said the sermon was delivered word for word as it is found in the jataka. “I just changed the title of the sermon,” he said.

The abbot incurred the displeasure of the authorities earlier when he hosted a symposium for charity organizations at his monastery on September 2-3 without prior approval from the sangha authority. He was reprimanded for not asking for permission to host the event.

The abbot is known for his expression, “You will go into the frying pan” instead of “You will go to hell.”

The abbot was already banned from giving talks, but even after being banned from preaching, he gave a talk at the Mandalay Region National League for Democracy (NLD) office on World Democracy Day, resulting in the authorities ordering him to leave his monastery.

Regarding the latest incident, he told Mizzima, “It is shameful for our Buddhist teaching. Our monks must safeguard our religion. Even if we make mistakes, the authorities should guide us, teach us, warn us and correct us, rather than disturbing us, because we are also working for the Buddhist religion too.”

The abbot sent a letter to the authorities on December 16 requesting it to allow him to stay in his monastery and continue his religious work. So far, there has been no reply.

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