Showing posts with label Yiguandao. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yiguandao. Show all posts
(See Soh's response below as Xabir)

Posted byu/willbassyeah
7 hours ago
I accidentally joined a cult called YIGUANDAO
Serious Discussion

So last weekend i went to pray to the Guanyinma temple at waterloo. Then there is these 2 person outside the temple saying they are doing a prayer and ask me whether i want to join the prayer. Being the gullible dumbass that i am, i say okay and they brought me to a HDB temple just across the Guanyin temple.

The place look super eerie, it has like three statues of buddha. Then one of the guy explain to me about their "buddhism" and ask me whether i am okay with donating $10. I normally donate to temple so i thought its fine, pass him $20. Then he asked me to do the prayer. The prayer was fucking eerie, asked me to stare at a candle and ask me to repeat in chinese. My chinese sucks so i have no idea what are they saying. After the prayer end, he starts telling me a lot of things that make me realise is not a fucking temple.

He starts telling me what i went through is a baptisation, which i fucking do not agree upon. He told me i was baptised by fire and the "Christian" has outdated in terms of their baptisation. He starts telling me the founder was a reincarnated Buddha. Told me about three treasures which apparently allow me to go into the heaven & how my name is no longer inside the reincarnation "book". He starts quoting bible quote how heaven is below the mountain and thus i need to point below my nose.

After the whole experience, i google what the heck just happened to me and it leads me to find out i just joined a fucking Buddhist cult called YIGUANDAO. The best way to describe Yiguandao is basically the bastardisation of buddhism a bit similar to Mormon. Founder claimed to be reincarnation etc,etc.

Also i found out apparently the prayer i did is a swear that i would not tell anyone about what happened if not my family get strucked by lightning. They pass me a super secret chant that i am not supposed to tell anybody. So i will tell you all what the chant is " wu tai fuo mi le". Because i dont understand chinese, i dont even know that i am actually swearing. I read on another forum about the cult here

TLDR: Joined a cult, writting this post so that you can warn your family who visited the Guanyin temple at waterloo to be careful of anyone outside of the temple approaching you so that they wont get scammed of their $20.
97% Upvoted
Comment as xabir

level 1

It is not Buddhism, has no valid lineage from Buddhism and is not recognised by any orthodox Buddhist organisation.

It is a syncretic cult that attempts to integrate various religions into a new age soup with many cult like characteristics.
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level 2

Lacking a central canon text and /or religious authority, no one can claim orthodoxy to Buddhism unless you refer to a particular school. That said, its an obvious secret cult much like Scientology except its much more secretive.
level 3
· edited 3h

In a sense, yes, although to be more precise, it is not that they have no 'canons' but each of the three traditions do not agree on which canon is authoritative.

There are three main schools of Buddhism which has different sub-sects. The three main schools are Theravada (Thai, Sri Lanka, Burmese), Mahayana (e.g. Chinese Pure Land and Ch'an Buddhism or Japanese Zen Buddhism) and Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhism, Japanese Shingon).

Theravada takes the Pali canon as authoritative and considers itself the earliest, most orthodox school of Buddhism closest to the original teachings of Buddha, and considers other traditions to be offshoots and later developments. Mahayana accepts the Pali canon as authoritative (the near-equivalent of Pali canon in the Mahayana canon would be the Agamas), but additionally accepts the Mahayana canon of sutras as authoritative as well. Vajrayana accepts Pali canon and Mahayana canon + additionally, the tantras as authoritative. Personally I accept all traditions as valid, as I accept the dictum of Vasubandhu that anything well-spoken could be considered to be the word of the Buddha, regardless of the historical development of Theravada [or the other 18 early schools] to Mahayana to Vajrayana over hundreds or thousands of years.

But those 'Maitreya texts' composed by Yi Kuan Dao are completely absent from any of the canons above. They are composed in the 20th century by the creators of a new religious syncretic movement, and hence cannot be recognised as 'orthodox' under any Buddhist traditions. Their teachings also do not align themselves with the core teachings of Buddhism in too many ways.
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level 4

Off-hand, are you able to cite any examples how it deviates from core Buddhism? Curious.
level 5
· edited 40m

If you look at Yi Kuan Dao's belief,

The belief in Infinite Mother is more akin to the belief in an ultimate formless Source, like Brahman or Tao.

In Buddhism, the central teaching is more on dependent origination (phenomena arise due to causes and conditions), anatman (no unchanging/substantial/independent self) and emptiness, the Buddhists do not believe in an ultimate source and origin.

Also all the myths they teach (as elaborated in the Wikipedia page) are composed by the creators of the new religion, nothing to do with Buddhism. By myths I mean things like "Maitreya is one of the three enlightened beings sent by the Mother herself to bring salvation.", their cosmology such as "Yiguandao conceives the cosmos as tripartite, consisting of litian (the right heaven), qitian (the spiritual heaven) and xiangtian (the material plane)." also differs from Buddhism, and we do not believe things like getting initiated = assured will go to heaven. Heaven is also not the goal of Buddhists, rather Nirvana or a state of awakening is.

Besides borrowing some Buddhist names like Guan Yin, and other moral teachings common to all religions, there is not a lot in common.
level 5
· edited 35m

Also from personal anecdote, personally I have gone through these phases of awakening in my own spiritual practice as described by my mentor:

Yi Kuan Dao leads to the I AM realization, but not to the further realisations like anatman (no unchanging self/Self/soul), dependent origination and emptiness which are the core realizations of Buddhism.

From Yi Kuan Dao website:

"This is an imperfect translation of a well-known saying in I-Kuan Tao, which literally says "borrow the unreal to cultivate the real." What it actually means is that we make use of the material world to cultivate the soul.

From Buddhist as well as Tao teachings, we understand that the material world is ultimately illusory, and therefore unreal. The soul, unlike the transience of the material world, is eternal, and therefore real. "

"I Kuan Tao differs from a religion in that the Tao is the root of all holy teachings while religions are branches of the tree that grew from the root. Toa is our conscience, true nature, and real self. Receiving the Tao is not accepting a new belief or religion but realization of our true self as we engage in the worship of God through our religions. With this relisation of our true self, we become stronger in our love for God."

p.s. also, my mentor has talked with the Yi Kuan Dao teachers and visited teachers of all kinds of religions and sects and cults when much younger and have shared his encounters with me before.

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level 2

My my I spent some time reading your posts. Thanks for enlightening us, no pun intended. I grew up a Buddhist and never knew what it meant. But now I realize Buddhism has many ideals a modern society can reckon with.

In Singapore, generally growing up in a Chinese family with Guan yin etc.. is it traditional Buddhism? I understand there's a fair bit of taoism mixed in.

level 3

What is practiced by most Singaporeans who identify themselves as Buddhists in their IC are not, strictly speaking, 'Buddhists' if we go by Buddhist teachings that defines a follower of Buddha as someone who has taken refuge in the triple gems - Buddha, Dharma (the teachings, Truth), and Sangha (the community of the awakened sages). At most we can say they have faith in Buddha, and they may be future and potential Dharma followers if one day they decide to follow the teachings, take refuge and so on.

Usually what most people practice is a form of Chinese indigenous religion, or so called 民间信仰 (folk religion). Usually these 'Buddhists' that pray to Guan Yin also prays to a pantheon of other deities at the same time, many whom do not originate from Buddhism but may belong to the Taoist pantheon and so on.

Unlike folk religion, the emphasis of Buddhism is not so much on worshipping deities and asking for favours. It is rather to put the teachings of Buddha into practice, to discover true freedom and awaken to the true nature of reality, our consciousness and all phenomena, and free ourselves from afflictions or sufferings that besets all unawakened beings. Imagine living a life free from all mental suffering, a life of pure wisdom, peace, clarity, happiness and bliss, and also free from the causes driving cyclic rebirth, namely, the three poisons of craving, aggression and delusion. As the Buddha has done after meditating until the Bodhi tree for 49 days, 2500+ years ago, and countless people have done so since even up to today.

And as for Guan Yin, Guan Yin is not merely a worldly deity but an awakened being and the full embodiment of the aspect of compassion. There are other great bodhisattvas, awakened beings as well, such as Manjusri who embodies wisdom, Ksitigarbha who embodies great vows, and so on. As a Mahayanist Buddhist (Vajrayana) included, the ideal path is to practice the Bodhisattva path and attain the full awakening of Buddhahood.

The Buddhist teachings are very deep, profound, and at the same time it is very practical. The Noble Eightfold Path to awakening taught by Buddha - right view, right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi, are very practical aspects that we can take steps to practice in our day to day living. Aspects of the Buddhist teachings, such as the practice of mindfulness meditation (both in formal sitting posture and in daily activities) has gained traction in the mainstream in recent years. You even see secular versions of it promoted in the medical/mental health community and there has been many articles published on the Straits Times (usually the Life section).

For an introduction to Buddhism, I recommend reading the articles from as they are not too difficult. An introductory book that is also good is "What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Rahula Thero. Another book, this one not really Buddhist but a great introductory book to spirituality and meditation nonetheless, would be The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (a New York Times Bestseller that sold millions of copies).

If you are interested, I would suggest attending a course on Buddhism in any of the dharma centers in Singapore. I can recommend places like Kwan Yin Chan Lin, or Zurmang Kagyu Buddhist Centre Singapore. I am not sure are they open now during the pandemic but you can read up their articles and books online first to find out what it's about.

One last thing... I mentioned mindfulness is gaining traction in the mainstream and has been for a while, both in the East and West (the Westerners are increasingly fond of Eastern religions like Buddhism). But I find that even more recently, spiritual enlightenment/awakening is gaining traction and becoming mainstream, again both in the East and West. More and more people are realising that they too can awaken to the true nature of their mind, their Buddha-nature. Buddha is not only someone in the distant past, Buddha is actually You, the true nature of your own mind. Time and again the Buddhist Masters proclaim, "Mind is Buddha". It is not something only attained by monks and masters living in the Himalayas. Many people have awakened even today. It is not particularly rare, if you search online you can find plenty of living people describing spiritual awakening. The two dharma centers I mentioned above have masters and teachers still living who undergone spiritual awakenings but they are by no means the only ones around (for example you can read Zen Master Seung Sahn's description of his own spiritual awakening online ) There are many people, practitioners, ordinary folks like us even in Singapore who had spiritually awakened. In fact, writing from personal experience, I wrote an article "Why awakening is so worth it" -

In fact, even our founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, spoke about his own spiritual awakening to his true self during meditation: