Thursday, 26 April 2012

The less than noble path...or probing the robe in the 21st century

Ignoble path...the road well travelled

Respect for the clergy has been around since the age of Adam. When the Great Fisherman is said to have walked this earth, rabbis and high priests were quick to tell him where he was going wrong. 

The beliefs of Christ were considered anti-establishment at the time and loving your enemy was piffle and hogwash. So what happened…the Prince of Peace was crucified but he had the last laugh by resurrecting himself.

Priests and monks are supposed to follow in the great traditions of their noble mentors and emulate the strengths of loving kindness and compassion. 

Due to weaknesses of human nature, men (and some women) who don the robe find that they metamorphose into something un-holy. They wear the robe, preach the doctrine and practise very little. 
It’s hard to be noble all the time so why bother even trying?

Buddhism was founded on rejection. It is a way of life against nature. A North Indian prince rejected his parents, palace, paramour, paternity and provisions and went searching for his destiny.

After enduring all the hardships of being moneyless which he found a lot easier than having untold wealth,  he finally came to rest under a banyan tree. Under this,  he found enlightenment and wanted to share it with all and sundry. The latter was the problem.

Loose wheel
The sundries never quite got the idea of loving kindness and living frugally. These were the people who thought that this new religion, Buddhism, was just a passing fad. Unfortunately, it endured so the hangers-on decided they would stick with it in the hope that it might improve their status. 
After all this Siddhartha chap or Buddha might have gold buried somewhere…..what fool would walk away from that much wealth?? He must have some gold coins stashed under his loin cloth.

Siddhartha was a shrewd man. He decided that there was too much talk around wealth and his assets were too exposed. He found a large piece of cloth and wrapped it around his body. Then he noticed how this motley crew of travellers and gypsies were admiring his curly, dark locks. He grabbed a knife and swiftly cut them off.  Soon he was bald and the motley crew decided that anything he could do they could better so they decided to go Brazilian and Commando – from the tops of their heads to their cheeky bottoms they were hairless!

It was quite a novelty when Sidd decided to implement some rules – only one meal a day, begging for their food and celibacy. They liked rules ‘cos they had never lived by any before and Sidd made it all the more special by calling them precepts. The motley crew had had rules in their community – eat, drink and be merry – so bending a few precepts would be par for the course!

Most of the time Sidd’s crew hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. He preached and gave sermons; talked about the triple gem, 17 levels of thought, 31 planes of existence, absolute and ultimate truths, cause and effect and karma….what the bleep??!!!

Man does not live by bread alone
Ultimate truth…you’ve gotta be kidding none of them would know the truth if it hit them on the head! As for cause and effect, did the Great One know that the cause of infrequent food would effect their tiny brain cells! Nevertheless, the begging proved  enjoyable as it brought them into contact with all the lovely, young women - daughters and their mothers - who smiled at them so graciously as they placed food into their bowls. Hmmm…their nostrils were assailed with the fresh scent of youth and womanhood.

The Great One must have had too much sun. If there were 17 levels of thought they were surely on the bottom one and they’d never have the strength to climb the ladder to the top if they didn’t get some decent food inside them….a juicy steak and chips washed down with a nice toddy would do the trick.

The Great One gave discourses on meditation, the Triple Gem and the Noble Path. Poor Sidd he barely knew that his crew were getting bunions and verrucas from the paths they were treading in the jungle.  But Sidd  talked so much about the gems ( three of them) that they were determined to find them.
Nibbana was the ultimate destination but this crew hadn't a clue how they'd get there without transport since  the wheel had just been invented but the design wasn't fool proof!
Far East Idol

So they went along with the Great One's theories and began calling their shack a temple. They slept like babies…afternoon naps…to the sound of Sidd’s melodic chanting…aah this was the good life – no work or responsibilities! They could leave their children behind in the safe knowledge that they were following in the Great One's footsteps.

But there was something missing from this near perfect existence… from their neighbour.
They had so much love or was it lust to share? Sidd had also got people bowing to him, prostrate on the floor and the Great One said that every person should bow in front of the robe. The motley crew were ecstatic, with egos  sky high,  they knew that a robe meant that the future was bright.  The future was an orange coloured robe.

Whenever a young girl would smile at them sweetly and bend down they could see their soft breasts pressing out of their blouse like a pair of snowy doves. It was heavenly, awesome and it felt like New Year every day! They were harbouring desire whilst preaching desirelessness.
The other bonus was that they could offer sweet meats to pre-pubescent girls and befriend them. The girls could be gently coaxed into their private quarters on the pretext of having a Sunday school lesson and then their innocence and trust could be violated.

The motley crew couldn’t believe their luck. No one suspected a thing, not the Great One or the parents of these innocents. Their faithful congregation were suckers for men in robes.
One by one they plied the children with sweets and then cloaked under the jungle canopy of vines and vegetation they committed foul deeds and sullied the spotless innocence of maidenhood.

The Great One was oblivious since he had told them that he was soon to leave this world. His disciples were grief stricken as they were left (or lumbered) with the onerous task of passing on the doctrine. 
Well....of course they were proud to do so....but they'd tweak it here and there.....and since lack of interesting food was an issue they made it a rule that every family would be required to bring food to the temple to be known as alms giving to monks. There were hundreds of families of every income level so they were in for a daily feast!!

It’s not a mistake that Buddhism has no all powerful deity. This makes it easier for men to play God and their egos tell them that they have control over every woman and child. Sin was not a sin in their eyes.  There was no one to atone too and Sidd was just human like the rest of them, wasn’t he? When did it become wrong to love your neighbour and make love not war?

And so it went on through the centuries, sexual misdemeanours as practiced by members of the clergy went undetected and unchallenged until the 21st century – 2012 to be precise. A girl who grew up to be an accomplished and intelligent woman has had the courage to out her robed abuser.

The dishonourable clergyman is now in custody giving evidence to save his skin (not his soul since he doesn’t have one). He is a businessman cum cleric; a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I hope that justice will be done and that he’ll be brought down off his banyan tree and put into jail to write this wrong…and, no doubt, his memoirs.



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