Reply To: Thai Forest Tradition


Suwapath wewa NN99,

Before coming across this website and Ven. Waharaka Thero teachings, I studied, learned and practiced the Thai Forest tradition for about 2-3 years. I can’t say I put 100% effort into it, but I did put some effort and did give it a good go.

You mentioned about some of us losing faith in the Thai Forest, as well you give a little talk about wisdom and intelligence. I can’t speak for others, but I stop practicing the Thai Forest tradition not because I lost faith in the tradition, but after learning from this website and through my own understanding/knowing/seeing I noticed that there are many inconsistencies with in regards to the teachings of the dhamma by the “popularly” taught Theravada Buddhism out there which includes the Thai Forest Tradition. In my opinion/view, if one really “have the “wisdom”, they would be able to see/discern these inconsistencies in the teachings. Although it’s possible that I could be bias or deluded, but when I contemplate/reflect/discern on the dhamma that’s taught by Ven. Waharaka Thero and his followers / disciples (including the website here). The core / most important teachings of the dhamma, I’m not able to find any major flaws or inconsistencies that would hide or lead one astray from the path to Nibbana, while I can’t say that with the teachings that’s being disseminated in the “popularly” taught Theravada Buddhism out there.

NN99 you mentioned that “English speakers” translate Anichcha as “changing nature of things” or “impermanent nature of all things’, I’m pretty sure most of your teachers as well. Okay, I’m sure you and many others should at least know this line. “yadaniccam tam dukkham, yam dukkham tadanattā”. We’ll just use yadaniccam tam dukkham part. I’m not sure if you would agree with me on this, but I will use the translation of “What is anicca leads dukkha (suffering)”.

So if we use the translation that I mentioned for the line “Yadaniccam tam dukkham” and your mention of “English speakers” translation of Anicca as “changing nature of things” or “impermanent nature of all things’. Then we should get something like this in English.
“The changing nature of things or impermanent nature of all things (Anicca) leads suffering (dukkha).

#1. Let me ask you, the changing nature of things or impermanent nature of all things, does that “always” lead to suffering? I look forward to your answer on this question.

In regards to your mention about some Ajahn’s attaining Arahanthood in the or “your” Thai Forest tradition. There are some major red flags that I want to point out. To start off, although I can’t confirm some of these things being mentioned, after all it’s being said by others, but I still want to bring some them up.

This was mentioned in a forum, I can’t verify the accuracy of this statement.

“Ajahn Jayasaro (who appears to be no slouch) expressed the common view in a video that Maha was a arahant or, more specifically, was the go-to monk to confirm claims to arahantship.” #2. If this is true, can you see where the issue with this is?

#3. This is something that I confirmed, was that Ajahn Mahaboowa was involved with politics. I’m not exactly sure what time frame/period he was involved with politics, but from my own understanding/knowing/seeing of the dhamma, no Arahants, heck not even anagami’s or even possibly sakagami’s would even get involved with politics. I believe for those whom had attained Magga phala would understand this, especially those at the higher levels.

I can’t confirm the accuracy of these statements as this is from Ajahn Maha Bua Wikipedia page. But it mentions about Ajahn Maha Bua basic teachings on citta.

Wiki page

“Bua observes the essential enduring truth of the sentient being as constituted of the indestructible reality of the citta (heart/mind), which is characterized by the attribute of Awareness or Knowingness. This citta, which is intrinsically bright, clear, and aware, gets superficially tangled up in samsara but ultimately cannot be destroyed by any samsaric phenomenon. Although Bua is often at pains to emphasise the need for meditation upon the non-Self (anatta), he also points out that the citta, while getting caught up in the vortex of conditioned phenomena, is not subject to destruction as are those things which are impermanent, suffering, and non-Self (anicca, dukkha, anatta). The citta is ultimately not beholden to these laws of conditioned existence. The citta is bright, radiant, and deathless, and is its own independent reality.”

Okay . . . So I could be mistaken about this or I could be reading all this incorrectly, but is it just me or does that sentence say that Citta’s are caught up in the vortex of conditioned but at the same time is it’s own independent reality? #4. Maybe I’m not reading this or understanding this correctly, but if citta’s are in the vortex of conditioned, how can they be it’s own independent reality? From what I understood about the dhamma, only Nibbana is the independent reality since there’s no citta, rupa, or cetasika’s, while those 3 things belong to this world. . .

From the same line . . .

“he also points out that the citta, while getting caught up in the vortex of conditioned phenomena, is not subject to destruction as are those things which are impermanent, suffering, and non-Self (anicca, dukkha, anatta). The citta is ultimately not beholden to these laws of conditioned existence.”

WHAT?!?! Did I read this or understood this correctly? That citta’s “are not subject to destruction which are anicca, dukkha, anatta and the citta is not beholden to these laws” ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
#5. NN99 did I get this right? Do you agree or disagree with that citta’s are not beholden to the laws of anicca, dukkha, anatta?

#6. I can’t confirm the subtitles in this youtube video but from 1:30 – 3:33 of the video . .

Any issues with what is being said here?

“This WISDOM is not, understanding the literal meaning of Anichcha Dukka Anatta as you discussed here. The real WIDOM is really seen and experience through your MIND. What they say is, without a real practice you can’t possibly experience it.”

#7. NN99, what do you think is the reason why a Buddha comes into this world? Can one that’s not a Buddha and not taught by someone that knows what is “real” in this world, know what is real? So . . . you’re saying that one does not need to understand the literal meanings of “Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta” but the real wisdom is to really see and experience through our minds. So what is that we need to see and experience through our minds to gain this “real wisdom” that your mentioning? As well, what is this “real wisdom”?