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Slide 1 - HIV Information for Myanmar

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					Overcoming Stigma With
Brahamavihara
Presenter: Sayardaw U Tay Zadipati
Shwe Chin Thae (Golden Lion) CBO
Sagaing Division
Myanmar


                   ICAAP attendance supported by UNAIDS


                                                          1
A Brief History
• After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha founded the order
  of monks (Sangha)
• These monks travelled around sharing the Gospel of
  Liberation From Suffering (Vinaya Pitaka, Maha Vaggapali)
• To survive, the monks begged for alms
    – This was for two reasons. To reduce their pride and to increase the
      links between monks and the community


                                                                            2
History

• This vital force – of monks and the community supporting
  and helping each other – continues today
   – Community members feed the monks
   – Monks undertake social work




                                                             3
Buddhism & Discrimination
• Judging, excluding and stigmatising people is NOT Buddhist
  behaviour
   – This comes from social and cultural factors that existed before the
     Buddha
   – The Buddha clearly said NO to standing in judgement of others
   – Buddha’s original teachings and practice can be used to reduce
     exclusion and stigma




                                                                           4
The Relevant Teachings
• Many of Buddha’s texts, practices & teachings can be used
  to guide non-stigmatising HIV prevention, treatment, and
  care and support efforts

      “[Practice] no discrimination; strive to
       understand root cause and effect and
     treat everyone with the same respect and
     dignity, no matter what one's class, sexual
                orientation and past”
                                                              5
Buddha’s Own Example
• Some extremely common sermons in Myanmar, regularly
  preached in public, tell of Buddha’s own practice of not
  discriminating against anyone
• Angulimala, a notorious and hateful killer feared by all, was
  welcomed and accepted as a monk in the Buddhist Order
                     From the Angulimala Sutta, in Majjhimapannasapali




                                                                     6
Buddha’s Own Example
• Ambapa-li, a sex worker during the time of Buddha, was
  welcomed as a Bikkhuni, Buddhist nun, in the female
  Sanhga (deserving of the same respect as the male Sangha
  for spiritual goodness)
                    From the Ambapa-li Therigatha in Therigatha Pali

• Ambapa-li’s goodness was acknowledged and recorded in
  the Sanana chronicle


                                                                   7
Buddha’s Own Example
• Sirima, a sex worker, was well recognised and respectfully
  received as one of Buddha’s devotees without any
  discrimination
• When she passed away, the Buddha asked King Bimbisara
  to invite the whole city to the funeral, then delivered the
  sermon himself
                                       In the Dhammapada Atthakatha
                        (Detailed Explanation of the Original Dhamma)

                                                                    8
Buddha’s Own Example
• Pandaka, a man who had sex with other men, became a
  monk in the Noble Order of Sangha
                 The Story of Pandaka, in Mahavaggapali, Vinaya Pitaka

• The Buddha himself bathed and took care of a monk who
  was suffering from severe diarrhea

        “Taking care of the sick is the same
               as taking care of me”
           The Story of a Patient Monk in Maha Vaggapali, Vinaya Pitaka
                                                                      9
Buddha’s Own Example
• In such a way the Buddha himself showed real-life
  applications of the principles and values of his teachings:

   Do good for the betterment of humankind
             without discrimination
• Such principles and values are known as Brahmavihara



                                                                10
Conclusion
• For thousands of years, Buddhists in Myanmar have turned
  to the Sangha in times of joy or sorrow
    – Even without such special occasions they make offerings to show
      their respect to Buddha and to gain merit

• Buddhist monks should engage in social work
• To truly follow Buddha, this social work should be carried
  out for the welfare of all humanity without discrimination


                                                                        11
         Thank You
To contact Shwe Chin Thae, please
contact:


                Email: tayzadipati@gmail.com



                                               12

				
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