Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cease and Desist Spreading Our Dhamma

Got a letter this morning:

Dear Venerable,

John Bullit of Access to Insight wrote to me that you have unlocked the Path of Purification and put it online in different formats. This file was only to be distributed by Access to Insight and the BPS. We put years of work into this. Please take it off line or we will take action against you.

Bhikkhu Nyanatusita
Buddhist Publication Society

Compare with:

32. 'What, then, Ânanda? Does the order expect that of me? I have preached the truth without making any distinction between exoteric and esoteric doctrine: for in respect of the truths, Ânanda, the Tathâgata has no such thing as the closed fist of a teacher, who keeps some things back. Surely, Ânanda, should there be any one who harbours the thought, "It is I who will lead the brotherhood," or, "The order is dependent upon me," it is he who should lay down instructions in any matter concerning the order. Now the Tathâgata, Ânanda, thinks not that it is he who should lead the brotherhood, or that the order is dependent upon him. Why then should he leave instructions in any matter concerning the order?

-- D. 16, Mahaparinibbana Sutta (source)


If you hold yourself dear
then don't fetter yourself with evil,
for happiness isn't easily gained
by one who commits a wrong-doing.

When seized by the End-maker
as you abandon the human state,
what's truly your own?
What do you take along when you go?

What follows behind you like a shadow that never leaves?
Both the merit & evil that you as a mortal perform here:
that's what's truly your own, what you take along when you go;
that's what follows behind you like a shadow that never leaves.

So do what is admirable,
as an accumulation for the future life.
Deeds of merit are the support for beings
when they arise in the other world.

- S. 3.4, Piya Sutta (source)

It's amazing to me that Buddhists can talk about "taking action" against other Buddhists for spreading the dhamma, even worse, talk about it as though it were their own work.

Here is the BPS's copyright notice as found in the work in question. Please, can someone tell me what part of it has been violated?

Copyright: Copyright © 2011 Buddhist Publication Society.
You may redistribute this file provided that: (1) you must only make such cop-
ies available free of charge; (2) you clearly indicate that any parts of this work
reproduced into other publications are derived from this source document; and
(3) you include the full text of this license in any copies of this work. Otherwise,
all rights reserved.

My physical well-being, it seems, may depend on my receiving an answer.