Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Monks?

A monk at Tiger Temple spraying urine on a tiger to induce submission.

(Photo from The Star)

It all started with a natural bonding between a Buddhist monk and a tiger. And this widened into a community of monks and tigers attracting world wide interest and media coverage, including a documentary by Animal Planet.

Now the latest report in The Star is most shocking!! It reported that " this conservation facade of the monastery in Kanchanaburi province, 322km north of Bangkok, has crumbled under the weight of a damning report released late last month by UK-based Care for the Wild International (CWI)." It further reported that the temple, far from being a rescue centre, was operating as a commercial breeding establishment, mistreating the animals which they were supposed to protect.

The report "Exploiting the Tiger: Illegal Trade, Animal Cruelty and Tourists at Risk at the Tiger Temple" was based on two years of investigation.

One might ask, "What has Buddhism got to do with this?" Precisely the point. Over time, with VIP treatment, and Big Money, the monks have forgotten they are still wearing the robes. It's not surprising that this happens in Thailand. There are thousands of bogus monks roaming the streets of Thailand. A sheer disgrace to the pristine teachings of the Buddha. That was why the Buddha always reminded his monks to stay clear of worldly affairs.

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