Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Interviewing Preah Krou Luon Sovath by World Khmer Radio

Listen interviewing Preah Krou Luon Sovath by World Khmer Radio on October 12, 2011 broadcasted on October 16-17, 2011. Video clip re-posted from peakkdey's channel:

Summary of the Interview

Virak Oum: Firstly, I as well as other Cambodian people want to know your purposes of coming to Australia?
Ven. Luon Sovath: My first intention in coming to Australia is by the kind invitation of Cambodian-Australians to attend Pchum Ben Festival here. As you know, I am marginalized by the Cambodian Buddhist leaders to banning me from staying in any temple there. With this banning, I cannot fully practice Buddhism and my opportunity in participating with Pchum Ben Festival doesn't have in Cambodia. Second intention is to seek for assistance from all Cambodians and main stream people to write letter, petition including other campaigns to request Cambodian supreme patriarch to drop those directives that have banned me from staying in the temple.

Virak Oum: Kona heard Preah Dejkun mentioned about the banning by the supreme patriarch by the directives accused Preah Dejkun on the incitement, let returning back to the background of this banning, why the supreme patriarch issued such directives?
Ven. Luon Sovath: Po (yes), it is because of my social engagement in helping the people (farmers) who were facing with violence committed by the local authority in a land grabbing. But when I preached about non-violence and threatening or other unwholesome deeds, and as I am a monk, I have no material means to help them but to preach and to spiritually guide them. Hence, the authority was mad at me, later on there were directives from the supreme patriarch accused me of incitement and politic, and ordered all temples not to accept me to stay.

Virak Oum: According to the video clips broadcasted online by the International Human Rights Websites highlighted some violent acts of some monks towards Preah Dejkun, are those acts appropriate in Buddhism?
Ven. Luon Sovath: Po (yes), actually in Buddhism if we look at scriptures especially Lord Buddha, He gave up secular power as the emperior to live a simple life and instructed people to love peace, practice Dhamma for enlightenment, and non-violence. I became a monk in accordance with this example and the Dhamma discourses in the scripture. I was ordained by the genuine preceptors and I have practiced the right Dhamma, not by other excuses. But look at those monks, they acted violent towards me and their acts were not independent. They worked in accordance with the signals of others. Those accusations occurred without durable to the Buddha Dhamma, the Vinaya and the state law. The acts as well as the directives were solely issued by the private individuals, not by the Bhikkhu monk assembly in accordance with the Buddha Vinaya. By those interferences of secular authority and the individual decision-making of the Bhikkhu monk, it led to violence over me and banning me from the temple which are not durable to the Buddha Dhamma and the national law.

Virak Oum: Up to now, are there any organizations giving support?
Ven. Luon Sovath: Po (yes), what I have been carrying out, there are huge supports from individual Cambodian and NGOs in both domestic and international arena. especially those victims of abuses and bad treatment from the authority. Only the supreme patriarch and authority who are not giving me any support. In contrast, they have accused me of involving with politics or committing incitement.

I would like to proclaim that my activity is purely following the Buddha Dhamma. I don't incite people to hate this group or love that group. I have never destroyed national assets or taken those public wealths as personal property, or I have never committed any crimes by killing or abusing innocent people. Why they accused me as a political monk? In contrast, the few Buddhist top leaders have become a monk by the ordaining from whom? What goals did he primarily set up in becoming a monk? And what has he done for Cambodian Buddhism nowadays?

If we debate on the term "politic", in developed countries, top leaders have encouraged their citizens to involve in politics, more they talk and involve in politic, the country leaders will admire them. Those participations can help improve the country. Politic or Nayobay comes from Naya and Ubay means "strategy leading to progressive". In Cambodia, people are explained in a wrong concept and as an evidence, Nayobay in Cambodia was devastated by the previous regimes and some bad leaders, that these lead to the inactive involvement of the Cambodian citizens. Many people scar when they heard the term "Nayobay". During the war and genocide, Cambodian innocent people were entrapped by the violence and murdering. But up to now, this image is still haunting them. The Cambodian top leaders are still using this term to threat and discourage the Cambodian people.

I would like to ensure that Nayobay is the leadership that can lead to advancement and development. And if it can lead to advancement and development, why we are so scaring of it? And we should not accuse each other or color each other any more. Who is the top leader of Nayobay? If we look at by taking as a good example is the Buddha. He was the leader of human being and Devas. His Nayobay is non-violence, peace, unity, compassion and enlightenment. His Nayobay is to sacrifice and embrace detachment. Some of Cambodians have also accused me of doing Nayobay. Of course, do I have attached to any position, wealth and power status? In reality, in sending our children to school is allowing them to learn about Nayobay. In developed countries, citizens can debate on all issues including politics, economic and social and the leaders encourage them to do so. But in Cambodia, debating about politic, economic or social are not encouraged at all.

Virak Oum: So after visiting here, Preah Dejkun will go to Cambodia?
Ven.Luon Sovath: Po, I will travel to Sydney to seek more support in writing letters to request supreme patriarch to drop those directives and accusation. I would like to appeal everyone to support whatever you can to find justice and development for Cambodians. From Sydney, I will return to Melbourne to stay there few days. I will leave Australia to Cambodia on October 20th, 2011.

All Buddhists must practice the Buddha Dhamma together in a right thought, right view, right speech, right action and right dedication.

(Unofficial translation by Pheak)


  1. Thanks for sharing, the noble eightfold path is very important indeed and without it, there is not much left of Buddhas teaching.

    I tought to share what it is about, there might be the one or other who do not know

    Right view:

    "And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view."

    — DN 22

    more details to samma ditthi detail:

    Right Thought (resolve/intention):

    "And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill-will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve."

    — SN 45.8

    For oneself, for others

    "Of two people who practice the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, having a sense of Dhamma, having a sense of meaning — one who practices for both his own benefit and that of others, and one who practices for his own benefit but not that of others — the one who practices for his own benefit but not that of others is to be criticized for that reason, the one who practices for both his own benefit and that of others is, for that reason, to be praised."

    — AN 7.64

    more detail on samma sankappo:

    Right speech:

    "And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech."

    — SN 45.8

    Ten wholesome topics of conversation

    "There are these ten topics of [proper] conversation. Which ten? Talk on modesty, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge & vision of release. These are the ten topics of conversation. If you were to engage repeatedly in these ten topics of conversation, you would outshine even the sun & moon, so mighty, so powerful — to say nothing of the wanderers of other sects."

    — AN 10.69

    more detail to samma vaca:

    to be continue...

  2. Right action:

    "And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity. This is called right action."

    — SN 45.8

    A life lived skillfully

    "Having thus gone forth, following the training & way of life of the monks, abandoning the taking of life, he abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, kind, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He takes only what is given, accepts only what is given, lives not by stealth but by means of a self that has become pure. Abandoning uncelibacy, he lives a celibate life, aloof, refraining from the sexual act that is the villager's way."

    — AN X 99
    A layperson's skillfulness

    "And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how one is made pure in three ways by bodily action."

    — AN X 176

    more details on samma kammanto:

    Right livelihood

    "And what is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This is called right livelihood."

    — SN 45.8

    Wrong livelihood for lay followers

    "A lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison."

    — AN 5.177
    Wrong livelihood for contemplatives

    ... reading marks on the limbs [e.g., palmistry]; reading omens and signs; interpreting celestial events [falling stars, comets]; interpreting dreams; reading marks on the body [e.g., phrenology]; reading marks on cloth gnawed by mice; offering fire oblations, oblations from a ladle, oblations of husks, rice powder, rice grains, ghee, and oil; offering oblations from the mouth; offering blood-sacrifices; making predictions based on the fingertips; geomancy; laying demons in a cemetery; placing spells on spirits; reciting house-protection charms; snake charming, poison-lore, scorpion-lore, rat-lore, bird-lore, crow-lore; fortune-telling based on visions; giving protective charms; interpreting the calls of birds and animals ... [The list goes on and on]

    — DN 2

    more details on samma ajivo:

    to be continue...

  3. Right Effort

    "And what, monks, is right effort?

    [i] "There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

    [ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

    [iii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

    [iv] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."

    — SN 45.8

    more detail on samma vayamo:

    Right mindfulness

    "And what is right mindfulness? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called right mindfulness...

    "This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference."

    — DN 22

    more details on samma sati:

    Right Mindfulness

    "And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration."

    — SN 45.8

    What are you waiting for?
    Get up! Sit up! What's your need for sleep? And what sleep is there for the afflicted, pierced by the arrow (craving), oppressed? Get up! Sit up! Train firmly for the sake of peace, Don't let the king of death, — seeing you heedless — deceive you, bring you under his sway.

    — Sn 2.10

    "Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you."

    — SN 35.145

    more on samma samadhi:

    May all realize the right way to happiness for them self!

    with metta

  4. Thanks Hanzze for sharing this very important noble eightfold path.

    Keep on your good work.