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Counterfeit Dhamma

November 16, 2013

buddhasangha

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapindika’s monastery. Then Ven. Maha Kassapa went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, “What is the cause, lord, what is the reason, why before there were fewer training rules and yet more monks established in final gnosis, whereas now there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis?”

“That’s the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are degenerating and the true Dhamma is disappearing, there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis. There is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world. Just as there is no disappearance of gold as long as a counterfeit of gold has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of gold when a counterfeit of gold has arisen in the world, in the same way there is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world.[1]

“It’s not the earth property that makes the true Dhamma disappear. It’s not the water property… the fire property… the wind property that makes the true Dhamma disappear. It’s worthless people who arise right here [within the Sangha] who make the true Dhamma disappear. The true Dhamma doesn’t disappear the way a boat sinks all at once.

“These five downward-leading qualities tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five? There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live without respect, without deference, for the Teacher. They live without respect, without deference, for the Dhamma… for the Sangha… for the Training… for concentration. These are the five downward-leading qualities that tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma.

“But these five qualities tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five? There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live with respect, with deference, for the Teacher. They live with respect, with deference, for the Dhamma… for the Sangha… for the Training… for concentration. These are the five qualities that tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma.” — Saddhammapatirupaka Sutta

These days there is so much bogus Buddhism, counterfeit Dhamma. In fact there is so much, it drowns out and overwhelms the authentic Dhamma. One has to be very astute,  with sharp intelligence, to penetrate to the original teaching of the Buddha. Unfortunately people today are conditioned by schooling and social pressure not to think for themselves, but simply follow popular opinion and majority leaders.

Of course that will lead only to mediocre results. They will not be able to realize no-self (anattā) or attain samādhi or nibbāna. They will not be able to obtain release from suffering (dukkha) which is the goal of the Buddha’s teaching. Yet when we word hard to present the original teachings, they argue and abuse us in various ways.

This is why the Arahants of the Sri Lanka forest tradition remain apart from the general mass of people (puthujjana), preferring to remain alone in the mountains. That way the original teaching and ways of Buddhist life can be preserved, hopefully for better days. Fortunately there is a compromise: to remain physically isolated but reach out through the Internet, and inform the entire world of the original teaching of the Buddha. That is our mission.

 

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