Monks have long been considered spiritual leaders who dedicate their lives to religious practices and living a celibate life. However, there are debates surrounding the sexuality of monks, with some believing that they can marry. This is a misconception as monks must remain celibate.
In recent times, some monks have come up with the belief that obstructions like lust and sensual pleasures cannot obstruct anyone from practising their religion. This, however, is a misrepresentation because these obstructions only lead to self-gratification, which ultimately leads to perpetual suffering.
It is important to draw a clear line between those who dress like monks and actual monks. Those who put on monks’ robes and have wives should never be mistaken for monks. Whoever feels like abandoning the monk’s way of life is free to go because it is their individual right. However, once they have given up their vows, they must stop putting on robes as genuine monks do.
Buddhism is a philosophy of life that gives a lot of credence to scholarship anchored on the practitioner’s investigation and experience. This scholarship is not, in essence, a textual tradition. It is intended to enlighten someone under the Bodhi tree.
It is worth noting that many people have mistaken Buddhism for being a religion when in an actual sense, it is a philosophy of life. There is no God in Buddhism, contrary to what some may believe. The original scriptures do not talk of any conscious higher being in the world. The scriptures regard nature as the highest being.
Lastly, it is important to acknowledge that the Buddha died some time back and is not immortal. Followers called him Buddha, which simply implies that he was enlightened but does not render him immortal.
Yes, the misconceptions surrounding monks’ beliefs on obstructions and their sexuality need to be addressed. It is essential to understand that Buddhism is a philosophy of life that emphasises scholarship and the investigation of personal experience. Monks should be respected for their dedication to religious practices and celibacy, and those who choose to abandon this way of life should not be mistaken for actual monks.