Friday, June 5, 2009

Food for Thought

How can Singaporean Buddhist youths enjoy being young, energetic and pursuing youthful activities, while coping with being Buddhist? This is a question I would like to ask everyone and welcome everyone from the youth group to share their feedback.

Lately, a netizen has posted some comments on Youtube, with regards to a rock band being formed in our youth group. The below in red is his comments and in blue, my replies. Lets see this with an open mind and discuss.

do we have do this to retain youths from leaving Buddhism? i mean, my goodness!!! when have we become like this??? i m 17 btw.....

hmmm.. eh from a personal perspective... i like to combine the things that i love. i love filmmaking and i love buddhism, so surely i can make a film about buddhism? the monk has done that already. similarly if these boys like rock music and buddhism, can they not combine the both together? :)

anyway don't let traditions bound you. the dhamma is without any traditions :)
so what do you think, if we combine love songs and buddhism? is it ok? share with you a sutta, it's called Sakkapanha Sutta. An angel in the sutta wrote a love song comparing his love to another female angel to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. And the Buddha did not scold him but instead, praise how beautiful the song is. Buddhism is open-minded, not close.

if tis is wat u all tink den i bo pian.... coz i dun see it in ur way. and yes, i tink it is part of retaining youths, u cnt deny it. accept change?, maybe. but i cnt agree.... sorry... its not abt tradition anyway, i duno how to explain it in words aso.... i juz cnt agree wif all these. i tink tis spoils the purpose of  buddhism

you dont have to see my way also, fret not. Ehi-Passiko. Come and see and investigate before jumping onto conclusions. In any case, if we never break the 5 precepts, I think that's a very good indication. If you indeed understand the buddhist teachings well, you will know that the 6th offering in Mahayana Buddhism is music. Rock music is just another genre.

last comment here i m goin to make. i tink tis is messing up the purpose, and i really dun agree, stop telling me or argue using the dharma teaching as an excuse. some tings are meant to be wat it is from the start. u can change it, i m juz making a personal opinion here. rather than telling ppl to accept it, y dun lay buddhist learn to preserve wats it is frm ancient time. u can say it does e same, but the truth is tings are lost. n tat is crucial, e 'ting' lost, is wat i cnt explain.

the thing that is traditions. i'm not saying we have to strip away all kinds of traditions do not get me wrong. i very much appreciate and enjoy traditional forms of buddhist music too. but think about it. when these traditional forms of buddhist music first cmae out, they were considered 'radical' too right? it's the same here my friend.

take for example, maths. one plus one equals two. a teacher can tell the class that "1+1=2" by writing on the notice board. the teacher can also inform the class that "1+1=2", using characters from Sesame street tv show. Now both methods are just the ways and the vehicles, 1 + 1 is still = 2! nothing's being changed. :)

i welcome your personal opinion and no, i'm not even from this band. but what i am trying to tell you is that if no one is changing the Dhamma, no one is changing the 4 Noble Truths, Noble 8 Foldpaths, no one is putting words into the Buddha and into the suttas, how is it then changing the meaning of Buddhism? merely changing the way it teaches doesn't change the teachings.

What do you guys then reckon? Feel free to share. This is also a good reminder for us to be careful that we do not deviate from the Buddha-Dhamma when we do our youth activities, and no, we are and should not be responding towards evangelical Christians. We should be doing what is important to the Buddhist community, not merely as just a response or a competition. This is one thing very important for us. Lets us not arouse any competitive emotion in this subject.


Brother Bear

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi,In my humble opinion, i guess that it is 2 different ways of propagating buddhism. Just like many different traditions people are used to. This may be the new generation of propogating the dharma, but however the dharma has not changed, nothing has changed, only the way of propogating the dharma. And the way we spread buddhism has to change in order to reach the larger audience. Take a look at other religious youth groups that have grown to be so big, its also different from their own traditions.

We should learn to be flexible, and at the same time, whatever we do, follow the dharma and propogate it.

Many people have different views on propogating the dharma, that's why there are so many different schools in buddhism - that is to suit to different needs of different people.

At the end of the day, it's still the triple gems, buddha, dharma and sangha.