Thai Buddhist Monks Traveling by Private Jet Cause Uproar

  • Share
  • Read Later

When you see Louis Vuitton luggage packed into a private jet, you tend to think about Jay Z more than Buddhist monks. Yet a new video making the rounds on YouTube shows Buddhist monks dressed in their traditional attire accessorized with aviator glasses and sporting wireless headphones aboard a private jet with designer luggage stowed on the seat next to them.

The video is raising more than a few eyebrows around the globe, especially among Buddhist communities who adhere to the idea that to adhere to Buddha’s teachings means not to own any objects at all. The video, which has been viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube, has prompted an investigation by Thailand’s National Office of Buddhism.

The monks, who are reportedly based out of the Khantitham Temple in the northeast corner of Thailand, have been warned by the director-general of the Office of National Buddhism, Nopparat Benjawatananun, not to repeat the lavish behavior, according to the Associated Press. Nopparat said the Buddhist monks in the video were acting “inappropriately, not composed and not adhering to Buddha’s teachings of simplicity and self-restraint.”

(MORE: Good Lord: In China, Christian Fundamentalists Target Tibetans)

Benjawatananun added, “When Lord Buddha was alive, there wasn’t anything like this. There were no cars, smartphones or cameras, so the rules were much simpler.” According to one of the monks in the video, the jet was chartered on their behalf by a devotee to fly them home from Bangkok after performing duties, the Bangkok Post reports. Benjawatananun suggested that followers of Buddhism avoid giving valuable gifts to monks.

Thailand, home to the world’s largest Buddhist population, has experienced similar monk scandals in the past. In 2012, 300 out of 61,416 Buddhist monks and novices in Thailand were admonished for their misconduct—ranging from alcohol consumption to engaging in sexual activities, according the Associated Press. “To be in the monkhood one should be isolated and content with what one has,” said Pra Khru Vinaithorn Teerawit, of the Buddhism Protection Center of Thailand to the Bangkok Post, adding that complaints are most commonly made against newly ordained monks. He did note, however, that, “If monks chose to travel by jet then it’s not suitable.”

MORE: Burma Muslims Jailed for Killing Buddhist Monk

MORE: All-American Lama: How an 11th Century Mystic Was Reborn in Philadelphia

9 comments
SuzanneEnnazus
SuzanneEnnazus

In Hinduism they call these times Kali Yuga, where most people care more about materialism and other non spiritual things.

charles116
charles116 like.author.displayName 1 Like

 Bet the undies are ALL Victoria's Secret.

charles116
charles116 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I guess they have been learning from The Vatican

HypatiaLeigh1
HypatiaLeigh1

it's not a "lavish gift" which would possibly detract their attention from spiritual interests and oaths.    It is ONE gift.  Which keeps them safe, healthy, and saves their funds, which are better used to help others - not travel funds.   

Lighten up, morons.

Henryede
Henryede like.author.displayName 1 Like

There is hypocrisy and/or extremism in every religion. 

RobertT.Snow
RobertT.Snow like.author.displayName 1 Like

According to the words and teachings of the prince turned beggar more than 2500 years ago, the path to enlightenment requires one to give up all worldly possessions and attachments from money, excess food,  weapons , jewellery, gold, hair, eyebrows, expensive designer luggage and electronic toys . Monks in Thailand seem to have forsaken Buddhism for Bahtism . Money is the new god and any means of acquiring it from selling drugs to the misappropriation of collected funds is now fair game .
 


Robert T. Snow 

mahadragon
mahadragon

@RobertT.Snow The gist of what Siddhartha was saying was to take the middle path. Since the world has changed drastically in the past 2500 years, the "middle path" will look very different today. Back in the day, in India, it wasn't hard to give up all worldly possessions because people didn't have much to begin with. That's an extreme position today.

Don't be so quick to judge things you don't understand. Look at the message, not the messenger.

jssk
jssk

I think the problem here is a little bigger than just the monks "acting inappropriately". Are you saying they bought their LV bags on that same day? This was the first time they had their iPods? The Bang and Olufsen head sets? It didn't look to me this lifestyle was new to them at all.