Buddhism used as a basis for prejudice and discrimination

burmese-buddha-statues

As reported in The Irrawaddy the NLD official Htin Lin Oo has been condemned for criticising the use of Buddhism in Burma to promote religious nationalism.

The Patriotic Buddhist Monks Union issued a statement saying that:

‘In the past, NLD was the party which all Burmese citizens relied upon, supported and respected. But deliberately offending people who do not support the NLD anymore for various reasons would lead to a great blow to the NLD’s image.’

In a speech lasting over two hours certain parts of Htin Lin Oo’s speech have become the object of criticism on social media. In one part he states:

‘Buddha is not Burmese, not Shan, not Karen—so if you want to be an extreme nationalist and if you love to maintain your race that much, don’t believe in Buddhism.’

Htin Lin Oo has urged people to listen to the entire speech, seemingly aware of the offense he has caused to some monastics. However, it could be argued that such sentiments are badly needed in the religious debate within Burma.

Buddhist Islamophobia

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An article appeared last week exploring the issue of Islamophobia in Burmese Buddhism. Burma’s Time Bomb by Kyaw Zwa Moe describes a suspicion that the Burmese government manipulates religious prejudice for its own purposes. For example, during democratic uprisings religious hatred may be used to divert attention from protests and to promote support for the military. He continues that:

A couple of days ago, a friend sent me a Burmese-language book with a shocking title: “If You Marry a Man of Another Evil Race and Religion.” The book is believed to have been written by a Buddhist monk under the pen name Pho Pa Nyaw, and it was published with permission from the Religious Affairs Ministry in January 2010, back when no book could be printed and distributed without government approval. It includes 11 stories about Buddhist women who were sexually abused, raped or forced to marry members of another “evil” religion.”

After reading some of the stories, I am convinced that the book was intended to plant seeds of hatred against Islam among the country’s Buddhist majority, although the author never specifically referred to Muslims. One story was about a Buddhist woman named Su Su Lat. She married a man of another faith, and her husband and his family prohibited her from worshipping the Buddha. In 2000, when they discovered that she was continuing to practice Buddhism, they beat her to death. The entire family was later arrested and sentenced to life in prison. Similar outcomes were described in the other stories, with the Buddhists always referred to as victims.

Two things are striking. First, the book is purported to be written by a Buddhist monk. Second, its publication was supported by the Religious Affairs Ministry. The book follows a long tradition and, as noted in the article, has its infamous predecessor in U Kyaw Lwin’s ‘969’ published as far back as 1997. As Kyaw Zwa Moe comments about the former book:

This book seems to be based solely upon hearsay, lacking detailed references to places, names or specific incidents. But even if the stories are true, I wonder why the Religious Affairs Ministry approved their publication. The writing is racist and provocative, and assuming that government officials actually read it themselves, they must have known it would stir up tension.

There is a common theme here and one which could explain the Islamophobic Buddhist rhetoric that seems to many observers to be so contrary to the teachings of Buddhism. Does the Burmese military use discrimination and prejudice against Islam as a means to divide the population and give the army a reason for its continued governance? If the country is under threat from a supposed Islamic enemy then the army, as always in recent Burmese history must be in control to defend ‘nationality, race and religion’ (ma-ba-tha)

As  As Kyaw Zwa Moe concludes:

I wonder whether the book my friend sent me recently contributed to our country’s current religious tensions. But the real question is, why did the government give its blessing? Is it state policy to encourage religious tension?

As my friend told me, “Religion is used as a time bomb here, all the time.”

Another article Buddhist vigilantes in Myanmar are sparking riots with wild rumors of Muslim sex predators considers similar themes:

 The specter of rapacious Muslim men, plotting a slow genocide of Buddhists through sexual conquest, is actually quite old in Myanmar. A 1938 newspaper article, translated by The Journal of Burma Studies, offers a stern warning to Buddhist ladies who marry Muslims brought over by British colonizers: “You Burmese women who fail to safeguard your own race … are responsible for the ruination of the race.”

Buddhism in Burma and Sri Lanka: Ethnocentric Buddhism

Another short interview by Dr David Webster of the University of Gloucestershire with myself, this time about Buddhism in modern Burma. It appears on the University of Gloucestershire’s Video Resources for Philosophy and Religion Students.

I have previously written about the phenomenon of Ethnocentric Buddhism:

‘“Ethnocentric Buddhism” is a term I have begun to use to describe a particular phenomenon in the history of Buddhism, although I suspect it is not a recent one. The term points to the notion that Buddhist identity is intrinsically linked to national identity. It also denotes the idea that other factors will be apparent in creating Buddhist and national identity in different Buddhist cultures. For example, in Thailand there is the idea of “nation, religion and monarch” (chat-sasana-phramahakasat) and in Burma “nation, language and religion” (amyo-barthar-tharthanar). In both of these examples the idea of the Buddhist religion (sasana/tharthanar) is linked to other factors in the formation of national and cultural identity. Further, in both cases the defence of one’s religion is linked to these other themes of national identity — to defend one is to defend the other.’

 

 

On Buddhist monks proposing ‘interfaith marriage laws’

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There is some debate in Burma about proposed laws that would prohibit interfaith marriage. The laws have been proposed by members of the Burmese Buddhist Sangha. If passed, the laws would prohibit marriage between a Buddhist woman and a man of another faith, unless he ‘converts’ to Buddhism (I am not at all clear of how one ‘converts’ to Buddhism’).

The laws are being proposed on the premise that Buddhism is under threat from other religions. The ‘Interfaith Marriage Act’ is one of the ‘National Race and Religion Protection Bills’ that have been proposed by ‘Organisation for Protection of National Race and Religion’ (OPNRR), headed by Ashin Tilawka Biwuntha. It is clear from the context of the monastic debate that the monks wish to prohibit marriage between Buddhist women and Muslim men – it is then highly discriminatory with undertones of racism and Islamophobia.

There are a few obvious points that should be made about these proposed laws. Buddhism is a monastic tradition – it usually has little concern with secular affairs – and this historically most definitely includes marriage. It is commonplace in Buddhism to observe that there are no Buddhist marriage ceremonies. The monastics might in some ways ‘bless’ a couple after a secular marriage ceremony, and modern Buddhists might have replicated marriage ceremonies from other religions, but it can be stated quite categorically that the Buddhist monastic is not concerned with any type of marriage ceremony. It is this that makes the Burmese monastic debate such an odd phenomenon.

It needs to be stated that, traditionally, the Buddhist monastic is concerned with three things. First, the notion that all actions have consequences; that these actions are causing us to be reborn in an endless cycle of rebirths; and that, given the opportune conditions, the person should strive to end this cycle of rebirths which is pervaded by suffering. In short the monastic is concerned with Karma, Saṃsāra and Nibbāna.

What then is the concern of the monastic with laws prohibiting marriage between different religions? It seems to me that these are the questions that need to be asked by those protesting against the bills proposed by ‘Organisation for Protection of National Race and Religion’. It is reported that some of the monks are disagreeing with various organisations who dare opposed to the Interfaith Marriage Bill, calling overseas NGO’s ‘traitors‘ for their opposition. Clearly, this secular rhetoric is startling in that monastics are debating issues outside of their usual supramundane narrative of traditional Buddhist discourse. The mundane world (lokiya), of secular affairs has become disjointed and mixed with the supramundane world (lokuttara) of Buddhist preaching.

 

Problems with the very idea of a Buddhist Nation and a Buddhist Race

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One of the ways in which we may explore notions of nation, race and religion in the Buddhist context is in terms of ‘class’ (vara), and ‘caste’ (jāti). In the Vasala-sutta the Buddha clearly states that an outcaste is not an outcaste nor a Brahmin a Brahmin because of birth, but because of their actions and conduct. One’s birth is not important, how one acts is.

‘Whosoever is angry, harbors hatred, and is reluctant to speak well of others (discredits the good of others), perverted in views, deceitful — know him as an outcaste.’

(kodhano upanābhi ca pāpamakkhī ca yo naro,
vipannadi
ṭṭhi māyāvī taṃ jaññā vasalo iti)

[…]

‘Not by birth is one an outcaste; not by birth is one a brahmin. By action one becomes an outcaste, by action one becomes a brahmin.’

(na jaccā vasalo hoti na jaccā hoti brāhmaṇo,
kammanā vasalo hoti kammanā hoti brāhma
ṇo)

It seems to me that this is one approach that we might take when we seek in Buddhism answers to questions related to national and ethnic identity. It is part of the debate of what I have termed ethnocentric Buddhism and how it is shaped and critiqued in Buddhist culture.

In the following is a translation of the opinions of a Burmese Buddhist monk, Venerable Candima, relating to these questions, and using this approach as a Buddhist response to counter extreme views within the Burmese Buddhist Sangha. Such extreme views in the above example are clearly described as ‘perverted in views’ (vipanna-diṭṭhi). In fact, to be led astray in extreme views and opinions is a common theme throughout Buddhist history, and a major hindrance on the Buddhist path.

 

Nationalism and Buddhism

‘Nationalism and Buddhism are in fact totally different. For example, the Buddha and Devadatta are of the same Kshatriya (warrior or ‘royal’) class. But when the Buddha chose his two chief disciples he chose Ashin Moggallana and Ashin Sariputta who are both of the Brahmin class instead of Ashin Devadatta, who was of the same class and his cousin. The Lord Buddha never considered race and nationality important, he only considered the importance of the three virtues – ethical conduct, concentration and wisdom (sīla, samādhi, paññā)

There is no teaching (dhamma) of the Buddha in which he advises us to be proud about our race and nationality, or to cling to nationalistic ideas. Buddhism is for everyone living in the 31 planes of existence (bhūmi). In contrast, nationalism is only for one race or nationality. The two of them shouldn’t be mixed at all. There is no reason for the Buddha, who sees ultimate reality, to preach about these things or to preach about being attached to one’s race or religion. Such things are concerned with corrupt thoughts based on the ‘self’, ‘being’ and the ‘viewpoint of the individual’.

In Myanmar (Burma) there are lots of Venerable Monks in the Sangha who are learning and practicing the Dhamma. Even though these monks do not like all these things about extreme nationalism and disagree with the  Safeguarding National Identity Law, which has nothing to do with the Sangha. They are trying to not get involved in current issues.

Observing these monks who are putting all their effort and might into the Safeguarding National Identity Law is like seeing them making the original situation of an unstable Burma even worse. It does not help in any way by adding more conflict to destabilize a country already suffering from ethnic/civil war and poverty. In a way they are pushing Burma towards the deep hell of poverty and violence.

Indeed, the  Safeguarding National Identity Law must be serving and benefiting the power-grabbing military generals who only care about remaining in control.’

 

အမ်ိဳးသားေရး၀ါဒ နဲ႔ ဗုဒၶ၀ါဒ
***********************

အမ်ိဳးသားေရး၀ါဒ နဲ႔ ဗုဒၶ၀ါဒဟာ ေျဖာင့္ေျဖာင့္ႀကီး ဆန္႔က်င္ပါတယ္။ ဥပမာ – ေဂါတမဗုဒၶ နဲ႔ ရွင္ေဒ၀ဒတၱ တုုိ႔ဟာ သာကီဝင္မင္းမ်ိဳးမွ ဆင္းသက္လာသူမ်ား ျဖစ္ၾကပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္ ဗုုဒၶဘုုရားရွင္က အဂၢသာဝကႏွစ္ပါးကုုိ ေရြးခ်ယ္ရာမွာ ရွင္ေဒဝဒတ္ကုုိ မေရြးခ်ယ္ဘဲ ျဗဟၼဏအႏြယ္မွ လာတဲ့ ရွင္သာရိပုုတၱရာ နဲ႔ ရွင္ေမာဂၢလာန္ တုုိ႔ကုုိသာ ေရြးခ်ယ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ျမတ္စြာဘုုရားရွင္ဟာ အမ်ိဳးအႏြယ္ကုုိ မၾကည့္ပါဘူး။ သီလ သမာဓိ ပညာ ဆုုိတဲ့ အရည္အခ်င္းကုုိသာ ၾကည့္ပါတယ္။

ျမတ္စြာဘုုရားရဲ႕ တရားေတာ္မွာ အမ်ိဳးမာန္၊ အမ်ိဳးစြဲ ထားဖို႔ ေဟာခဲ့တဲ့ တရား မပါဝင္ပါဘူး။ ဗုဒၶရဲ႕ ၀ါဒက (၃၁) ဘုုံမွာ ရွိၾကတဲ့ သတၱဝါအားလုုံးနဲ႔ သက္ဆိုင္ပါတယ္။ အမ်ိဳးသားေရး၀ါဒက လူမ်ိဳးတမ်ိဳးနဲ႔သာ သက္ဆိုင္ပါတယ္။ ဗုဒၶ၀ါဒ နဲ႔ အမ်ိဳးသားေရး၀ါဒကုုိ မေရာေထြးသင့္ပါဘူး။

ရုုပ္နာမ္ ပရမတ္ကုုိ ထြင္းေဖါက္ျမင္ေတာ္မူတဲ့ ဘုုရားရွင္အေနနဲ႔ အဝိဇၨာဖုုံးတဲ့ ပုုဂၢိဳလ္ သတၱဝါ ပညတ္အျမင္အေပၚ အေျခခံတဲ့ လူမ်ိဳးစြဲ ဘာသာစြဲကုုိ ေဟာရန္ အေၾကာင္းမရွိပါဘူး။

ျမန္မာႏုုိင္ငံမွာ ပရိယတ္နဲ႔ ပဋိပတ္အလုုပ္ကုုိသာ အားထုုတ္ေနေတာ္မူၾကတဲ့ ဆရာေတာ္ သံဃာေတာ္ မ်ားစြာ ရွိၾကပါတယ္။ ထုုိဆရာေတာ္ သံဃာေတာ္မ်ားဟာ ရဟန္းသဃာမ်ားနဲ႔ လားလားမွ် မသက္ဆုုိင္တဲ့ မ်ိဳးေစာင့္ဥပေဒကုုိ မႀကိဳက္ေပမယ့္ ရွဳတ္ရွဳတ္ရွက္ရွက္ ကိစၥေတြမွာ ဝင္မပါခ်င္တာေၾကာင့္သာ ကင္းကင္းရွင္းရွင္း ေနေတာ္မူၾကတာပါ။

မ်ိဳးေစာင့္ဥပေဒအတြက္ သဲသဲမဲမဲ ႀကိဳးပမ္းေနၾကတဲ့ ရဟန္းသံဃာ တခ်ိဳ႕ကုုိ ျမင္ရေတာ့ ႏူရာဝဲစြဲ လဲရာ သူခုုိးေထာင္း ဆုုိသလုုိ မၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းႏုုိင္တဲ့ ျမန္မာႏုုိင္ငံကုုိ ပုုိၿပီး မၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းေအာင္ ဆင္းရဲတြင္း နက္သထက္ နက္ေအာင္ တြန္းပုုိ႔ေနသလုုိပါပဲ။

မ်ိဳးေစာင့္ဥပေဒဆုုိတာ ထုုိင္ခုုံၿမဲေရး ပဓာနတရား လက္ကုုိင္ထားၾကတဲ့ စစ္ဝါဒီတစ္စုုအတြက္ေတာ့ အႀကိဳက္ေတြ႕မယ့္ ဥပေဒျဖစ္မွာ ေသခ်ာပါတယ္။

အရွင္စႏၵိမာ (မြန္စိန္ေတာရ)

 

 

Ethnocentric Buddhism: A new theme in Burmese Buddhism

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An article I wrote, published in the Democratic Voice of Burma, 5 April 2014:

Paul Fuller: ‘Ethnocentric Buddhism: A new theme in Burmese Buddhism’

Some excellent debate on this article has followed my original one in the Democratic Voice of Burma. First, Danny Fisher offers some ideas on whether the term ‘etnocentric Buddhism’ captures the severity of the actions by Buddhists against minority groups in an article titled ‘Ethnocentric Buddhism?’  Then Justin Whitaker has written an excellent summary of some of the issues under consideration ‘Ethnocentric Buddhism Continued…’ and offers some insightful ideas of his own about these issues.

I’m very grateful to both Danny and Justin.

‘A new alliance is beginning to take shape in South and Southeast Asia with the news that the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) has invited Wirathu, leader of the 969 movement in Burma, to visit them in Sri Lanka.

There is clearly a new phenomenon emerging and a new term is needed to describe precisely what is happening on the ground with this collection of new Buddhist alliances. There has been much talk of “Buddhist terror”, “extremist Buddhism” and most famously, “the face of Buddhist terror”, however these headlines are sensationalist. A more subtle and nuanced description is needed, focusing upon key features of this new phenomenon in Buddhism taking shape in Burma and other parts of the world, notably Sri Lanka.

There have been those who have commented upon the supposed use of Buddhism by the National Religious Protection Group (NRPG), a group headed by Wirathu, a vanguard leader of ultra-nationalism in Burma. It has also been suggested that the ruling party in Burma, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) are manipulating notions of Burmese identity with those of Buddhist identity. However, there is no clear consideration of these elements from the historical perspective of Buddhist ideas.

“Ethnocentric Buddhism” is a term I have begun to use to describe a particular phenomenon in the history of Buddhism, although I suspect it is not a recent one. The term points to the notion that Buddhist identity is intrinsically linked to national identity. It also denotes the idea that other factors will be apparent in creating Buddhist and national identity in different Buddhist cultures. For example, in Thailand there is the idea of “nation, religion and monarch” (chat-sasana-phramahakasat) and in Burma “nation, language and religion” (amyo-barthar-tharthanar). In both of these examples the idea of the Buddhist religion (sasana/tharthanar) is linked to other factors in the formation of national and cultural identity. Further, in both cases the defence of one’s religion is linked to these other themes of national identity — to defend one is to defend the other.

There are a number of possible factors and ideas that could shape the formation of an ethnocentric type of Buddhism in a given country. Not all of these ideas are available in each cultural context. Some are available across Buddhist Asia, some confined to a particular area, or would have been used during different historical periods. There is the idea of the “true dharma” existing in one particular place and of that location preserving this true version of the Buddha’s teachings. For example, in Sri Lanka after the transmission of Buddhism, some aspects of the Pali Canon would be considered to preserve the essential word of the Buddha. Later, national identity could be built around this idea together with other texts being used and composed together with Buddhist symbols, the tooth relic for example, creating the notion of a direct lineage to the Buddha.

This is clearly linked to the idea of a particular text containing the essential teaching of the Buddha. The so called “Lotus-sutra (SaddharmaPundarika-sutra) is the best know example, but there are many others. The Abhidhamma could be said to serve a similar purpose in South and Southeast Asian Buddhism. The notion of the decline of the Dharma in its various manifestations (mappō, for example) is clear — the teachings last a set period of time and this lends itself to an urgency for a given people to preserve and defend the teachings of the Buddha. There is the idea that Buddhism is threatened and that there is a very real need to uphold Buddhism because of this threat. The teachings can be corrupted. The idea that the teachings can be corrupted is written into the Buddhist narrative DNA.

This in turn gives rise to a natural sense of  “Buddhist nationalism”. What is essential to the tradition is emphasized and “Buddhist fundamentalism” comes to the fore when the “other” is polarised as a threat to the future of Buddhism. In turn Buddhism is linked to ethnicity — a particular ethnic group is under threat and have the need and the necessity to preserve the teachings of the Buddha. Other ethnic groups, unless they come under the control of the dominant Buddhist group are a threat. Movements like the so-called 969 movement in Burma and the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) in Sri Lanka exemplify some of these ideas.

A possible Islamophobic Buddhism and the Buddhist Defence League are other examples. Unlike in “protestant Buddhism”, where the laity have enhanced importance, the monastics, with all of their symbolic importance are again at the top of the hierarchy of ethnocentric Buddhism. The traditional hierarchical nature of Buddhist culture is returned. The monastics cannot be questioned in their symbolic roles as the direct link between the layperson and the overcoming of dukkha. Once again the aspiration is to one day be reborn, when one can go from home to homelessness and renounce society. This will only be possible if the monastics of the present preserve the Dharma for that future rebirth.

Finally, linking many of these ideas is that of an emerging sense that blasphemy is being committed against Buddhism. Blasphemy is not usually an idea associated with Buddhism but it is coming to prominence in what I am terming ethnocentric Buddhism. It could increasingly be argued that it has indeed been a component, an often prominent one, in other historical periods and might be linked to textual ideas of the sanctity of the Buddha and his tradition.

All of these factors are giving rise to this new phenomenon in Buddhism. We should not term it “Buddhist terror” or “the face of Buddhist terror” but attempt to understand this phenomenon on its own terms in the history of Buddhist doctrine and Buddhist practice.’

The ‘Buddhist Flag’? Blasphemy and disrespect to Buddhism

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The Buddhist flag (sometimes called the sāsana flag) was designed by J.R. de Silva and Colonel Henry S. Olcott to mark the revival of Buddhism in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1880. One could say it is some ways an American invention. It was accepted as the International Buddhist Flag by the 1952 World Buddhist Congress. It is part of what scholars would term ‘Protestant Buddhism’ a complex movement that is both a ‘protest’ against (colonial) Christianity and a movement which adopts many features of Protestantism. The flag itself is an uncomfortable creation, if I can use these terms, involving many historical, political and religious ideas.

Often superimposed on the flag are the Burmese numbers ’969′ as part of Burmese nationalist ideas of nation and religion.

Last week there was some controversy when rumours spread that an American staff member at the NGO Malteser International was seen to have removed the flag from outside the offices of the the NGO in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan state. International aid offices were subsequently attacked, and many aid workers, many foreign, were evacuated for their own safety.

The act of taking down the flag was clearly seen as being disrespectful to the Buddhist religion. Rumours were quickly spread that foreign aid workers were using the flag as skirts or treated in other disrespectful ways. All these stories seem to be unfounded and members of Malteser International have spoken of the need, as humanitarian organisations not to display any religious or political symbols, and of the respect they have shown to the flag. It was taken down originally to avoid inciting sectarian tensions.

It seems clear that Buddhist nationalists have taken insult with any misuse of the Buddhist flag – the very touching of it now perceived as an insult. However, few know the history of the flag, its origins in Sri Lanka, and its ‘invention’ by Olcott.

One could ask what place blasphemy has in Buddhist thought, as the Burmese nationalists were clearly expressing sentiments close to the idea that by mistreating the Buddhist flag some notion of blasphemy was being committed against Buddhism.

The text usually quoted in this respect are the opening passages of the Brahmajāla-sutta. This text gives the classical Buddhist response to these ideas. I think the issues are far more complex than is often acknowledged. There may be a very real tension between the rational advice for a Buddhist to not show attachment to perceived offences, and the idea that disrespect towards Buddhist symbols are a very real threat to national and ethnic identity.

The passage worth quoted is the following:

‘If, bhikkhus, others speak in dispraise of me [the Buddha], or in dispraise of the Dhamma, or in dispraise of the Sangha, you should not give way to resentment, displeasure, or animosity against them in your heart. For if you were to become angry or upset in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves[…]’

‘And if, bhikkhus, others speak in praise of me [the Buddha], or in praise of the Dhamma, or in praise of the Sangha, you should not give way to jubilation, joy, and exultation in your heart. For if you were to become jubilant, joyful, and exultant in such a situation, you would only be creating an obstacle for yourselves (Brahmajāla-sutta (D I, 1).

Some would say that these passages could be used to display the superiority of Buddhism over other religions – Buddhist should not take offence. Often, however, they need to be quoted back to those who perceive offences against Buddhism – the very one’s supposedly protecting these important ideas.

 

‘Should anyone speak disparagingly of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should not get angry, resentful or upset because of that. For if you did you would not be able recognize if what they said was true or not. Therefore, if others speak disparagingly of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should explain whatever is incorrect saying: “This is not correct, that is not true, we do not do this, that is not our way.”’ (D.I,1-3). Having said this he then added an interesting point: ‘Should anyone speak in praise of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should not get proud, puffed up or exultant because of that. For if you did that would become a hindrance to you. Therefore, if others speak in praise of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should simply acknowledge what is true as true saying: “This is correct, that is true, we do this, that is our way.”’ – See more at: http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=40#sthash.kshiN2aY.dpuf
‘Should anyone speak disparagingly of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should not get angry, resentful or upset because of that. For if you did you would not be able recognize if what they said was true or not. Therefore, if others speak disparagingly of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should explain whatever is incorrect saying: “This is not correct, that is not true, we do not do this, that is not our way.”’ (D.I,1-3). Having said this he then added an interesting point: ‘Should anyone speak in praise of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should not get proud, puffed up or exultant because of that. For if you did that would become a hindrance to you. Therefore, if others speak in praise of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should simply acknowledge what is true as true saying: “This is correct, that is true, we do this, that is our way.”’ – See more at: http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=40#sthash.kshiN2aY.dpuf
‘Should anyone speak disparagingly of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should not get angry, resentful or upset because of that. For if you did you would not be able recognize if what they said was true or not. Therefore, if others speak disparagingly of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should explain whatever is incorrect saying: “This is not correct, that is not true, we do not do this, that is not our way.”’ (D.I,1-3). Having said this he then added an interesting point: ‘Should anyone speak in praise of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should not get proud, puffed up or exultant because of that. For if you did that would become a hindrance to you. Therefore, if others speak in praise of me, the Dhamma or the Saṅgha you should simply acknowledge what is true as true saying: “This is correct, that is true, we do this, that is our way.”’ – See more at: http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=40#sthash.kshiN2aY.dpuf