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It's very common in South East Asia today that business people try to socialize with potential customers by appearing or pretending as Dhamma-teacher or Dhamma-friend.

Most meetings around the Gems are mainly for such a purpose and is very usual.

How does the Sublime Buddha and knowledgeable Elders regard such ways? What fruits are to be expected from such actions?

3 Answers 3

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A true Dhamma teacher would know and act according to:

DN2:45.15: They refrain from running errands and messages;
DN2:45.16: buying and selling;
DN2:45.17: falsifying weights, metals, or measures;
DN2:45.18: bribery, fraud, cheating, and duplicity;

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This is not a problem found solely in Buddhism.

How people represent themselves, when they are not sincere practitioners, tends to be mistaken behaviour, with mistaken views, and mistaken motives. Buddhism is clear about this. The three lower realms are the inevitable fruit of such actions.

Of course the damage is not just in accordance with throwing karma (the type of future rebirth), but also affects the future quality of life, longevity, and many other environmental factors.

Exploiting other's interest and commitment to Dharma in order to achieve wealth will make it very hard for such a person to:

  • Find a reliable teacher
  • Find reliable teachings
  • Trust teachings when they are made available
  • Understand teachings when they are given
  • Mistake the motives of teachers
  • Find learning a miserable, rather than a joyful, activity
  • ... and so on.

Being led by the nose by the eight worldly dharmas comes 'naturally' to us - we have so many lifetimes of experience with these activities. It is rare to find a single person who is free from the lure of them.

So, it's wrong to criticise, or castigate, or feel fury towards such people - they are, like all of us, caught in the alluring web of samsara like flies helplessly caught in a great spider web. The sad truth, though, is that it is our own blindness towards the four noble truths that traps us. Our own mistaken actions, arising from mistaken views and mistaken understanding, are the deadly spider.

I sincerely recommend you learn how the twelve links of interdependence work – they reveal just how we are bound to samsara, and therefore also reveal what paths are available to us to be free from it.

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Certain, even if "just" for political or other agendas, praise and fame, bring mass fakes, thieves and lures into the circle and top donate button where giving out of what isn't his. Running messages for them as well.

One should not make an effort everywhere,
should not be another's hireling,
should not live dependent on another,
should not go about
as a trader in the Dhamma.
Ud 6.2

Difficult to figure out if they even wear robes. The badly discerning common folk can never be immune, since much to easy to catch, being very greedy, lazy and prefer wearing joggers, ease...

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