The superstitious business story of Ba Vang Pagoda, led by its abbot Thich Truc Thai Minh, is a story that has stirred up the Vietnamese online community for a long time. Surely many people remember, in 2019, the online community was surprised with the appearance of lecture videos on “calling dead spirits” and “dissolving karma” made by Ms. Pham Thi Yen (Yen catching ghosts) at Ba Vang Pagoda.
Taking advantage of the superstition of the majority of the people, Thich Truc Thai Minh organized a public superstitious practice. The deeds of Thich Truc Thai Minh greatly influenced the spiritual life of the people. True Buddhism only advises people to live a good life (that is, to sow good causes) and reap good results. There is no such thing as calling dead spirits and dissolving karma by the act of donating money to the temple.
As a result, the Ba Vang Pagoda grew massively, not from the donations of good-hearted people, but from those who were driven by Ba Vang Pagoda. The purpose of those who donate money to Ba Vang Pagoda is to bribe the gods, so that the gods can give them luck. The temple that continuously practices superstition for many years, not only erodes the pockets of ignorant people, but also pushes these people to the path of ignorance. It is a disguised religion that is very harmful to society.
Remember, on Vu Lan Bao Hieu (Parents’Day) in 2022, Ba Vang Pagoda organizes to collect money from ignorant Buddhists. This offensive act caused a stir in the online community. In general, the scandals related to Thich Truc Thai Minh are all wrapped around the words “superstition” and “profiteering.” Thanks to that, Ba Vang Pagoda has enough money to grow big, and then continue to attract many ignorant people to donate money.
On May 21, at Ba Vang Pagoda, Buddha’s Birthday 2023 was held, and at the same time, the world’s largest mountain lecture hall was inaugurated, with the participation of thousands of people and Buddhists. Buddhism is a religion that brings people to purity, abandoning greed, hatred, and delusion. However, the fact that a temple tries to build to be big to set a world record, to promote the brand, is too much greed.
Vietnamese Buddhism has been politicized, living with the Communists, but dying against the Communists. Therefore, Buddhism in Vietnam today is a tool for the regime. Temples sprang up majestically with monks who are also members of the party. Putting people on the path of ignorance so that the Party can easily rule, and at the same time help many monks get rich.
After years of being ruled by the Communist Party, Vietnamese society is too poor, people don’t know to what to believe in, plus the indoctrination of socialist education makes people confused, and since then, they come to superstitions more and more. This was the period when the state monks had a great opportunity to start a superstitious business.
People plunge into superstitions too many, analytical articles warning them are not effective. People who are already poor but stick to superstition become even poorer. They think Buddha is like Communist officials, when they make offerings to the Buddha (which is actually to the monks), in the hope that the Buddha will give them some good luck. Some people say funny, sometimes a person spreading highway nails to trap passersby can also go to the temple to offer money to the monk, and then pray for a prosperous business. Or a loan shark would do the same.
True cultivators never care about this record or that record. Those things are greed. If you want to be first, what is it if that’s not delusion? If one was knowledgeable about Buddhism, no one would visit such temples. Buddha in the heart. If the mind is not good, the mind is full of greed, the mind is full of anger, then it is suitable for the temples full of bad energy, reeking of greed, hatred and delusion of state monks. In the Dharma-ending age in Vietnam, religion was distorted by the devil.