Ven Ru De claims that Bliss & Wisdom belongs neither to the Chinese nor Tibetan Buddhist traditions; as a last resort, BW will isolate itself from other Buddhist groups if criticism does not cease
1 Sep 2017
In the midst of the vassa period, Ven Ru De visited Bliss and Wisdom’s Keelung Center on 1 Sep to address the recent scandals. In his replies to questions from BW followers, Ven Ru De replied that “Bliss and Wisdom does not belong to the Tibetan or Chinese traditions. We follow the Nalanda tradition, the Buddhist tradition”, in what appears to be an attempt to shield BW from criticism from other Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist leaders. Ven Ru De also stated that should the criticism not cease, BW will “shut the mountain” as a last resort and cut off all ties with other Buddhist groups. In the audio recording, Ven Ru De repeatedly criticizes former abbots Ven Fan Yin and Ven Jing Ming. Ven Fan Yin and Ven Jing Ming were both part of the ten monks who were involved in Ven Ru De’s acceptance of the bhikshu vows, and therefore count as his masters.
A BW follower also asked Ven Ru De why Master Jih-Chang did not leave a will. According to Ru De, when Master passed away, all his disciples were with him, and everyone was clear about what happened. Ven Ru Jun, Ven Ru Qi, and Senior Brothers Lu and Lai (on the senior lay committee) have all confirmed Mary Jin to be the successor. When Master passed away, Mary Jin directed senior monks and lay committee members to sign an agreement affirming her as successor. According to Ven Ru De, even Ven Jing Ming signed the document. However, in his audio recording, Ven Jing Ming denies having ever signed the document, saying “I am telling you, he [Ven Ru De] is lying. I refused to sign the document.”
Last month, BW monks initiated a clarification session at Nanputuo Temple but backed out at the last minute. Having already invited many Taiwanese Buddhist leaders to the session, Nanputuo Temple proceeded to hold the session anyway. At the session, senior Taiwanese Buddhist figures lambasted BW for its wrongdoing. Ven Ru De also reveals in the recording that Burmese and Malaysian Buddhist groups are actively appealing other organizations to cut off ties with Bliss and Wisdom. According to sources, information about BW’s latest scandals is already spreading widely among Tibetans. Even BW’s Tibetan teachers are lamenting that BW has changed, adding to BW’s increasing isolation.
Here is the audio recording in Chinese:
A short summary in Chinese: