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Ven. Ajhan Brahmavanso

The Container and the Content - - Ajahn Brahm 

A local journalist called and asked me “ What would you do, Ajahn Brahm, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet?”
Without hesitation I answered “Sir, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet, the first thing I would do is call a plumber!”
When the journalist finished laughing, he confided in me that that was the most sensible answer he had heard.
Then I went further. I explained that someone may blow up many statues of the Buddha, burn down Buddhist temples or kill Buddhist monks and nuns; they may destroy all of this but I will never allow them to destroy Buddhism. You may flush a Holy Book down a toilet, but you will never flush forgiveness, peace and compassion down a toilet.
The book is not the religion, nor the statue, the building or the priest. These are only “containers.”
What does the book teach us? What does the statue represent? What qualities are the priests supposed to embody? This is the “content”.
When we recognize the difference between the container and the contents, then we will preserve the contents even when the container is being destroyed.
We can print more books, build more temples and statues and even train more monks and nuns, but when we lose our love and respect for others and ourselves and replace it with violence, then the whole religion has gone down the toilet.
Extract from Ajahn Brahm’s upcoming book. “Good? Bad? Who Knows?”
 
The Container and the Content                    - Ajahn Brahm                    A local journalist called and asked me “ What would                    you do, Ajahn Brahm, if someone took a Buddhist Holy                    Book and flushed it down the toilet?”                    Without hesitation I answered “Sir, if someone took a                    Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet, the                      first thing I would do is call a plumber!”                    When the journalist finished laughing, he confided in                    me that that was the most sensible answer he had                    heard.                    Then I went further. I explained that someone may blow                    up many statues of the Buddha, burn down Buddhist                    temples or kill Buddhist monks and nuns; they may                    destroy all of this but I will never allow them to                    destroy Buddhism. You may flush a Holy Book down a                    toilet, but you will never flush forgiveness, peace                    and compassion down a toilet.                    The book is not the religion, nor the statue, the                    building or the priest. These are only “containers.”                    What does the book teach us? What does the statue                      represent? What qualities are the priests supposed to                    embody? This is the “content”.                    When we recognize the difference between the container                    and the contents, then we will preserve the contents                    even when the container is being destroyed.                    We can print more books, build more temples and                    statues and even train more monks and nuns, but when                    we lose our love and respect for others and ourselves                    and replace it with violence, then the whole religion                    has gone down the toilet.                    Extract from Ajahn Brahm’s upcoming book. “Good? Bad?                    Who Knows?”
The Container and the Content
- Ajahn Brahm
A local journalist called and asked me “ What would you do, Ajahn Brahm, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and f...lushed it down the toilet?”
Without hesitation I answered “Sir, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet, the first thing I would do is call a plumber!”
When the journalist finished laughing, he confided in me that that was the most sensible answer he had heard.
Then I went further. I explained that someone may blow up many statues of the Buddha, burn down Buddhist temples or kill Buddhist monks and nuns; they may destroy all of this but I will never allow them to destroy Buddhism. You may flush a Holy Book down a toilet, but you will never flush forgiveness, peace and compassion down a toilet.
The book is not the religion, nor the statue, the building or the priest. These are only “containers.”
What does the book teach us? What does the statue represent? What qualities are the priests supposed to embody? This is the “content”.

When we recognize the difference between the container and the contents, then we will preserve the contents even when the container is being destroyed.

We can print more books, build more temples and statues and even train more monks and nuns, but when we lose our love and respect for others and ourselves and replace it with violence, then the whole religion has gone down the toilet.

Extract from Ajahn Brahm’s upcoming book. “Good? Bad? Who Knows?

 
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