Monday, August 1, 2016

We need to change to remain relevent

The above link shows the video of a singing monk.  
Very innovative and effective. From the evergreen "Yeh Lai Xiang" Mandarin retro song of the 30s to a Buddhist song. The monk replaced the original lyrics with his own composion of Buddhist lyrics.
But I am sure to the orthodox Buddhists, this is "not very appropriate". Well, you can't please everyone, can you?

Below is a series of qns from a reader and my comments on them:

Reader's comment:
[01/08 7:45 AM] Isn't this against the Vinaya rules and the 227 precepts? This is also against the basic 8 precepts. Any comments?
[01/08 7:53 AM] The 7th Precept :
Nacca-gita-vadita-visuka-dassana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

I undertake the training precept to abstain from dancing, singing, music and any kind of entertainment show.

My comment:
[01/08 11:04 AM] Justin Choo: Precepts are to guide n protect. imho we need to use our human intelligence n common sense to practise buddhism. Is there anything wrong using a popular song with new buddhist lyrics? In the first place the buddha did not introduce any style of chanting. How come the traditional style of chanting of the different cultures n schools are deemed acceptable. To me any practice that is beneficial n does not harm others should be accepted. Aftet all the the buddha did advise that minor rules may be changed to suit present conditions. It is the people who refuse or unable to accommodate what is good altho to them may be against the presepts.
[01/08 11:15 AM] Justin Choo: That precept was about common dancing singing playing music and partying for purpose of worldly entertainment.
[01/08 11:22 AM] Justin Choo: Arent the temple drums and all sorts of bells, be "musical" instruments? Isnt the chanting be regarded as "singing"? Its all about human perceptions n interpretations. What we should concentrate is to practise the buddha's pristine teachings. We shall go no end if we indulge in semantic n scholastic debate.

Reader's comment:
[01/08 11:22 AM] It is neither right or wrong depending the schools if thought but for the disciples not right and the 7th precept got its purpose basically not to indulge in our senses which will prevent our practice especially the monks n nuns.

For lay people we r still have many rounds of rebirth in Samsara until then we can only have the wisdom or insight to determine wrong or right ?

My comment:
[01/08 11:24 AM] Justin Choo: Precisely neither right nor wrong. So live n let live. Who are we to form opinions on these issues?
[01/08 11:25 AM] Only in Mahayana have musical instruments they have their purpose n reasons behind
[01/08 11:33 AM] Justin Choo: Precisely you are right again brother. When the purpose is pure n beneficial we should adopt.😃🙏

Reader's comment:
[01/08 11:37 AM] Actually it protects the monks n nuns not the lay

My comment:
[01/08 11:37 AM] Justin Choo: Then we become progressive n thinking Buddhists. Don't be bogged down by rites n rituals and also be less opinionated. Like Shang Ren, our Tzu Chi master so wisely advises :"be humble and willing to yeild". We definitely do not know that much Buddhism or anything else, for that matter.

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