In today's society, we tend to chase or follow trends. It started from people we idolized, to movie stars, to singers, to public figures, to politicians and even religious leaders or people who is capable of using their personalities to make us believe and follow him.
It is dangerous to idolize and worship these people because they are public figures. To make sure they get big followings and some for monies, most of the time it is more than meet the eye. You do not know what is behind the scene and the hidden agendas.
The recent high profile case of City Harvest Church is an example. The amount of monies that people donated to the Church is misused by the Leader. To date from all the news I read, he is not even bashful, humble or apologetic. A person can only be salvage if a person knows shame, admit that he is tempted by opportunities and am remorseful. However this person said God apologized to him, that all these bad happenings have fallen on him. If the amount of monies in millions are taken for the sake of supporting some humanitarian acts, I am sure even if he is in the wrong, we all will said that he overlooked the governance . The part that hurts is the monies is taken for invested interest. Chinese has a saying "Going up the mountain frequently will surely meet the Tiger". Chinese also has another saying "Die also don't want to step into the Courtroom Door". Cheating has a way of exposing itself. Cheated so much that it is hard to cover the trails, the deeper the court dig, the stench is getting worst. Anyway I am not here to criticize, I am just stating the facts. Of course there are die hard.
Back to my own religion - advice that we do not idolized. We do not idolized the Buddha, our Teacher. We venerate Him as the Teacher that shows us the Path to Realization. No Masters, Monks, Lama, Rinpoches is greater than BUDDHA. Buddha is the Teacher of all these highly realized Buddhist Masters, Monks, Lamas and Rinpoches and of course US, the devotees. There are of course people who wants to make fast bucks, pretend to be one and collect pledges from unsuspecting devotees. Like I said before, it is very easy to raise monies in the name of Spiritual Divinities.
Buddhists are taught not to idol worship but there are still people who do not know the Dharma and stepped into pit holes. It is very important to understand Buddha's teaching but many have not understand the basic teachings and analyzed it.
I respect my Guru with clasped palms. I asked my Guru once that I heard he is a reincarnated famous Lama and he said it is not important. I asked him to give me some background to who he was in the past and what was his achievements, and he did not. He said that there are so many such people out there who said that they are the reincarnate of so and so high practitioners/ lama/Rinpoche - and are we able to confirm it our self? The only way out of sufferings is to practice for our own Realization following the teachings of Buddha. All these gurus are trained disciples and before enlightenment are still human. Being human, we err!
I know many of us wants to collect as many merits as possible. Are doing for the good of others Or we want to make a name for our self? What is the motivation behind the donations of tens to hundred thousands of $$$? Therefore Watch your motivation that the good you do is not stained by selfishness.
In Emptiness teaching, there is no Offerer, no Object of Offering and No Receiver - can we accept that? For the time being, I cannot. I am still very gross and make lazy effort to refine myself. It is a slow process. At least I know my defilement. I know my Three Doors are stained and I am trying to clean it up. I know to all the goodness I have done, some of them are stained with Pride. I wanted to be Accepted, Acknowledged and Recognized and I want people to follow me and also listen to me. Is this not Attachment? As long as I am in the vicinity of the 8 Conditional Winds and am shaken by it, I have to work very very hard to achieve understanding of Realization.
My Deepest Veneration to the Triple Gems. My Deepest Veneration to my Guru Sakyamuni Buddha and Buddhas of the Three Times. My Deepest Veneration to all my Gurus of Past, Present and Future who show me the Path to Enlightenment. My Deepest Veneration to all Bodhisattvas and Protectors.
May all Beings be free from Sufferings, the Cause of Sufferings and may they not be separated from Bliss and may they see the Path.
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