Buddhism teaching

‘Sneering Monk’ Says Don’t Be Discouraged, Keep Teaching

Phra Maha Sompong Talaputto, left, and Phra Maha Praiwan Worawano speak to the media in parliament September 9 after meeting with the House Committee on Religion, Art and Culture. (File photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Former monk activist Buddha Isara offered some advice to Phra Maha Sompong Talaputto on Monday, after the laughing monk told followers of his Facebook live show that he was under pressure to quit monkhood because of his unhealthy teaching. convention of the dhamma.

“Laugh. Do not Cry. Keep fighting,” the former abbot of Wat Or Noi in Nakhon Pathom, who became a layman by the name of Suwit Thongprasert, posted on his Facebook page.

He advised the monk to apply his knowledge gained through the study of Buddhism to solve his problem, instead of dramatic action to win public sympathy.

An emotional Phra Maha Sompong from Wat Soi Thong in Bangkok said on his Facebook Live broadcast on Sunday that he was under immense pressure to stop his unconventional way of teaching the dhamma, and even that he leaves the life of a monk.

“I don’t want any position. I’m just an ordinary monk working to bring people happiness,” he said, struggling to hold back tears during a lengthy statement.

“I never get in anyone’s way.

“If the time is right for me to leave, then I will,” he said.

Phra Maha Sompong teamed up with Phra Maha Praiwan Worawano of the same temple in a live talk show that sprinkled the conventional earnest tone of the dhamma teaching with comedic exchanges and lots of laughs, which attracted a large audience. .

It also angered ultra-conservatives who accused them of damaging Buddhism with their lighthearted jokes, which they considered highly inappropriate.

As controversy swirled around them, the two monks were ordered to appear before the House Committee on Religion, Art and Culture on September 9. They agreed to tone down their show, with fewer laughs and more heated discussions.

The National Office of Buddhism said last month it was pleased with their pledge.

NOB Deputy Director Sippaboworn Kaewngam reportedly told the media on Monday that his office was unaware of any pressure on Phra Maha Somgpong.

Neither the NOB nor the other monks had the power to expel him from monastic life, the official added.

Co-host Phra Maha Priwan said on the same show on Sunday that Phra Maha Sompong shouldn’t give up. He believed that their playful style succeeded in teaching the precepts of the dhamma and attracting people to Buddhism.

“If it’s not entertaining, no one will listen to the dhamma. And you can’t convince them to be interested in religion,” he said.