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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

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Dhammakaya Foundation

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

The Thammakai Foundation is supposedly a revivalist movement  which is  based on restoring the teaching of Buddha as centered on the Pali texts yet their practices  are in some ways reflective of a new organization as they support heretical teachings in opposition to its sister movement of Theravada Buddhism. Some of their  heterodoxal beliefs which are in question include ideas that are related to nirvana, meditation technique and the buddah nature.

Also there are other matters which is resident among Buddhist teaching which I find disputable as well and I have previously written about several of these subjects such as the concept of heaven and hell, karma, rebirth, pain and suffering, atheism, nirvana, etc.

Other matters which are considered controversial within this group are the charges which have been made against some of its elite members.I understand that allegations can be false and that some of these things have been dropped but nonetheless it would behoove the adherent to seriously consider and investigate these matters with an unbiased mindset especially since it would violate or transgress its key components of morality as sanctioned though its precepts. Some of the accusations which has been attributed to this religion are self-aggrandizement of its leaders, connection to the military officials in the 1980’s, visible and violent fights to expand their land holdings resulting in the loss of some of the farmers means of livelihood along with the financial improprieties of the  leading monks in the1990’s.  If any of these matters are true then what hope does a general practitioner have to obtaining their spiritual goal of enlightenment when there is such fraudulent behavior among it’s own leadership?

Furthermore another hindrance to attaining the groups personal and organizational goals of achieving peace and social order through the virtues of morality is challenged based on the animosity among the Thai Buddhists along with the schisms within their own movement such as the monasteries of  Wat Luang Pho Sodh Dhammakayaram and Wat Paknam.

Thus it seems that all of these combined matters somehow violate their basic truths of belief as contributing towards conflict and disharmony.

In regards to the founder of this movement, Luang Pho(Phoh) Sot (Sod) Jandasaro(Chanthasaro) or Phramongkolthepmuni, he taught a unique method of meditation in which the Buddha never endorsed and perhaps if he were around today to observe such a practice he probably wouldn’t even recognize it.

Anyway this means of meditation is said to allow a person to achieve enlightenment in coming to a reality of the buddha within. My question is if lord Buddha is revered as being authoritative in his teachings then what gives this sect the right to develop a new methodology of spirituality? If the Buddha was enlightened wouldn’t he of had the knowledge to propagate such an essential or beneficial tool towards the personal advancement of achieving nirvana/nibbana? Moreover can a person affirm through the Pali text that this type of mediation is an acceptable and legitimate form of Buddhism especially if it has never been taught by the master teacher himself?

Also there are philosophical problems that I have with this concept of dhammakaya meditation as they contribute a moral significance to such amoral behavior as proper breathing, focusing, and reciting the mantra “samma arahan or samma arahang.”  Essentially there is nothing inherently meritorious towards this self absorbed procedure of visualization. Also the practice of meditation is not unique as it has been assimilated in other religious expressions among New Ager’s and Hindus and therefore what guarantees that this this exclusive form of meditation will ensure enlightenment when these other agencies are making similar claims as well?

Moreover for those who are claiming to have an experience with this particular practice of meditation; there could be other ways of describing what some are hypothetically seeing in these illusionary states which could probably be replicated through the influence of hallucinogenic drugs or reproduced through the occultic practice of demonic inspiration. The mind is one of the most mysterious and complex organs within the universe and it is capable of deception on many levels whether through hypnotic states, or by means of the power of suggestion as experiencing a placebo effect or a false memory. Other mind games occur as some people experience Deja vu or have sensational feelings such as what an  amputee may have through the phenomena known as “phantom limbs.” Also  dreaming is another powerful experience in which our minds really believe they are experiencing reality which perhaps even affects us subconsciously upon awakening. There are also sense illusions in which the mind is fooled to believe something which is not  accurately perceived. Finally I am not merely suggesting that the outcome of this meditation is necessarily one of these experiences its just that there may be other explanations for people having these inner visual anomalies. So what I am saying is that the mind is susceptible to being deceived and what is experienced is not necessarily a representation of an objective reality.

From a practical position; has this meditative practice really achieved your desired results? Perhaps you have been dishonest with yourself by suppressing an inward sense of restlessness and worry in having doubt regarding this philosophy of belief and practice. Maybe you have lacked an inward conviction and have repressed your intuitive nature due to a commitment  to a goal which you have wholeheartedly entrusted your life to. If this statement is a more of an honest evaluation of your inner struggle then I would encourage you not to extinguish or snuff out these natural feelings but rather through courage embrace these persistent reminders as opening up a new opportunity for reality.

After all maybe the answer to life isn’t ultimately situated in yourself as being a  frail and limited/dependent being who is constantly being influenced by the bombardment of moral weakness and failures. Can such a feeble mind and body which is subjected to imperfections be the center of existence anyway? Does this philosophical view make sense as defining your existence as being the quintessential meaning to life? Perhaps there is something which surpasses your humanity which is greater than these persistent limitations and is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Maybe the answer lies not “within” but “without” as finding spiritual fulfillment.

Which leads into my next question on whether or not you would be open and willing to reevaluate a different worldview with the possibility of obtaining a complete and different outcome if that is where the truth would lead you. How you answer this question may indicate whether you are really a true spiritual appraiser or a conformist. Maybe there is another path outside of your cultural experience which is significantly liberating/fulfilling on both a natural and spiritual plane of existence resulting in a personal transformation.

I am giving you a link to my testimony on how my life was dramatically altered and changed along with many others who have undergone this same manifestation of reality through Jesus the Christ.

In conclusion perhaps you feel like you are overcome and helpless as being under the heavy burden and oppression of religious duty as carrying a sense of guilt and shame; the good news is that Jesus’ mission was  to remove or detach this burden from those who are suffering under this weight of insecurity from moral defilement. Lastly I would simply ask that during your time of mediation to think on Jesus as you read through my testimony and link on “How to have a relationship with God.”


Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”



How to know God

Dhammakaya Foundation Resources




Religions of the world: a comprehensive encyclopedia of beliefs and practices/ J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, editors; Todd M. Johnson, World Religious Statistics; Donald Wiebe, Introduction-2nd ed., Copyright 2010 by ABC-CLIO, LLC. Reproduced with permission of ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA.

Encyclopedia of Religion Second Edition, copyright 2005 Thomson Gale a part of The Thomson Corporation, Lindsay Jones Editor in Chief, Vol.4, pgs.2324-2326, Edwin Zehner