Call For Buddhists To Have Five Wives
Recently there was a call from a Buddhist monk for Buddhists to have five wives as allowed in Islam. This shocking announcement from a Buddhist monk should be condemned by all Buddhists, as it is against Buddha’s teachings and breaks one of the cardinal precepts in Pancha Seela. The reason for this unwarranted anti-Buddhist statement is that statistics show the increase in Muslim population as against Sinhala Buddhists.
Perhaps this Buddhist monk is not aware why Prophet Mohammed decreed the marriage of four wives and have any number provided all could be equally treated. If one has studied the history during the time of Prophet Mohammed, one would know the number of holy wars carried out and the victorious troops came back with a depleted army of men, thus there were more widows and unmarried women. In order to replenish the loss He decreed the marriage of four wives and also distribution of wealth and property. This was merely, according to my understanding, an administrative order not bound by Islam. I invite Muslim readers to air their views on this interpretation.
Having said that, educated, knowledgeable, and rational Muslims of today limit their families and very seldom come across Muslims having four wives. This is solely due to economic reasons. Of course there are non-Muslims who embrace Islam to circumvent the charge for bigamy.
The Buddhist monk who uttered this nonsensical statement should first attract more non-Buddhists by their exemplary behaviour and preaching the Dhamma rather than bring disrepute and sacrilege to the Noble Teachings of Siddhartha Gauthama, the Buddha.
Already much damage has been done to Buddhism by Buddhist monks by entering politics, which the majority of Buddhists as well as the Mahanayake Theros have openly criticized. Some neglect their religious duties towards Buddhist devotees and give preference to other mundane personal matters for material gain. It will not be a surprise, before long, Buddhist monks will call for the abolition of the oath of celibacy as the Catholic priests in the West clamour for.
It is high time the Manayahake Theros and those in authority bring about a Code of Conduct to weed out monks who know nothing of the Dhamma, merely don a yellow robe, for personal material gain and discredit Buddhism.
G. A. D. Sirimal