Sunday, November 12, 2006

Call a Plumber!

(excerpts from Aahn Brahm's interview with the Bangkok Post)

Making that distinction between the containers and the contents is the key to avoiding inter-religious strife, he says. So much conflict is instigated when others attack one's own containers - the symbols, texts, icons of one's religion. But one need not get upset if one can remember that they are just symbols, and focus on maintaining the contents, the teachings.

"When the Taliban destroyed the Bamyan Buddha statues, Buddhists did not allow themselves to seek revenge, because that would, in fact, mean the Taliban had succeeded not only in destroying the containers, but also the contents."

Similarly, he says, "A Muslim might say, 'I don't like those cartoons [referring to the controversy over offensive caricatures drawn of the Prophet Muhammad], but it's more important that we're friends. Forgiven.' Wouldn't it be wonderful if that happened?"

Following an incident where US soldiers allegedly flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet, Ajahn Brahm was asked what he would do if someone flushed a Buddhist holy book down a toilet.

"Call a plumber" was his reply.

Read the full article:,3353,0,0,1,0*