Buddhism teaching

Educational clip removed after Maha Nikaya sect protests

The Ministry of Education has removed a video questioning the authenticity of the Maha Nikaya monks. Facebook

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on Wednesday decided to remove a video clip posted by Professor Long Sarin which compared the two dominant sects of Buddhism in Cambodia – Maha Nikaya and Dhammayuttika.

In the video, Sarin raises questions about the authenticity of the Maha Nikaya monks, which has drawn criticism from its leaders.

The decision to remove the video was taken after Supreme Grand Patriarch Tep Vong and Supreme Patriarch Non Nget – the two most powerful leaders of the Maha Nikaya sect – sent a letter to Minister Hang Chuon Naron stating that the video had seriously damaged the perception of Maha Nikaya. the monks.

In the video, which was posted on social media, Sarin compares the levels of discipline between the leaders of the two sects.

In the video, Sarin says, “The head monk of the Maha Nikaya sect wears shoes, uses big phones and even has bodyguards. The head monk of the Dhammayuttika sect sticks to strict discipline. In the age of money, they cannot hold money, walk on paved roads, or even wear shoes.

“When the head monk of the Dhammayuttika sect collects alms, he walks straight. We give him alms and invite him to sit in our houses, and he saves creatures.

“But the head monk of the Maha Nikaya sect should know that some of his monks are not real, but imposters.

“They [disguised monks] arrive in houses to ask for alms before we even open our doors. I’m not desacralizing Buddhism, but it’s true. I saw them once, but I don’t know how to catch them. I would like to tell the Supreme Grand Patriarch the truth to defend religion,” he said.

Nget considered the comparison an affront to Vong.

He said Sarin sent Vong “to the mythical world beneath the earth” while raising the Dhammayuttika sect’s leader monk “to the top”.

In the letter, Nget and Vong write: “The example used by Long Sarin that the monks of the Dhammayuttika sect rigorously practice discipline like Dhutanga [a group of 13 ascetic practices], is wrong. Sarin degraded the monks of the Maha Nikaya sect.

“He said the monks practiced discipline laxly and deviated from their discipline. This sounds very bad to monks and it is difficult for them to earn respect. Nget finds the professor’s teachings to be baseless. He lacks integrity, thorough research and has no right to be a teacher.

“His conclusion is contrary to the actual situation and contrary to the government’s principles of religious harmony.”

Responding to the controversy, Uy Bun Dara, the general manager of E-School Cambodia, where Sarin teaches, sent a letter to Vong on Tuesday expressing regret, but disagreed with the video’s assessment. by Vong and Nget.

“Our company has seen and listened to the video several times. We find that the professor’s explanation did not denigrate Buddhism.

“Conversely, he [the professor] wants to strongly support Buddhism and show respect to Buddhist practitioners. More than that, before citing the examples in question, he contacted Vong to apologize and explain his teachings.

Vong did not accept Bun Dara’s clarification as in his mind it did not erase Sarin’s wrongdoing.

Nget asked the ministry to rebuke Sarin, rectify his teaching points and issue a public apology to the monks.

Ministry spokesperson Dy Kamboly confirmed to The Post on Wednesday that the ministry decided to remove and rectify the video after receiving Nget and Vong’s letter. The video can be reposted after it has been edited.

“The video clip did not undergo the controls of the Ministry of Education, thus creating misunderstanding. The ministry wishes to express its regret that the video may influence the mindset of Buddhist followers and young people who practice Buddhism.

“The ministry will carefully review the video for the benefit of students and the public,” Kamboly said.

Chhot Bunthorng, professor of sociology at the Institute of International Relations of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that in general, describing harsh truths about society has always harmed the interests and dignity of an individual or of a community.

However, he said Sarin’s wrongdoing was not serious enough to warrant legal consequences.

“Professor Long Sarin could issue a public apology to the head of the monks or a written apology for the error and rectify the teaching. He could cite other examples for comparison.

“If Sarin is subject to punishment, jail time or fired, it will affect the minds of other teachers. It would make all teachers doubt their ability and talent to teach and it would weaken the education system,” he said.