Case: PANKAJ PADGHAN
Charges: VIOLATION OF BUDDHIST ETHICS
Introduction to Case:
In June 2019 Amar Mane, Jury member, manager of Amitabha Buddhist Society and Maitriyana Buddhist University (MBU), sent an internal message to the spiritual Leader of the movement, Master Maitreya. In this message the existence of members who are obstructing the development and activities of the Buddhist Sangha by means of defamations was questioned. After Amar Mane was asked where his questioning came from, he stated that this was based on the statements of the Jury member Pankaj Padghan, who had claimed that a member of the Buddha Bhoomi Foundation was defamating the Maitriyana Community..
AMAR MANE’s Testimony:
Since long time I have noticed, especially by the last year, but I never discuss with you some issues with regards to the Maitriyana movement in India. But during this time I went through a very serious controversies for the legitimacy and authenticity of Maitriyana community and movement. As you know that, from long time I am insistently working for the Maitriyana movement and always honestly trying to propagate it throughout the country, because I found truth in your teaching and its values for the entire humanitarian societies. As per mentioned on our websites maitriyana.com we have see several offices in the country, these organizations are the part of our movement, and their representatives are responsible persons in the propagation task. Since long time they are with us, but I never heard about their contribution for the movement, I don’t know their activities in favour of Maitriyana movement, they never tried to make contact each other for up-liftments, implements or developments of our movement. These responsible representative always involved in mocking, disrespectful and spreading false information about our university and maitriyana community which they are too part of this community , and now this issues becoming headache for me and in my work.. Last year I have published our book “ Introduction To Buddhist Socialism ” also from last some month I have been searching enrolments to our university, but due to defamed and spreading of wrong information I defeated many times because of our own associated organization and its members, these people are true obstacles in the path of movement and due to their misappropriating behaviour, I have lost huge potential, time and money. So, why are these representatives to be a part of MBU ? if they do not do anything, always creating barriers in the path of movement, never contributed for movement, are they really qualify to continue with Maitriyana community ? (…) In my last email I mentioned that “Representative just mocking, disrespectful and spreading false information about our university and maitriyana community ” I am not mentioned that some members are working against our Sangha. These words came from my experience not from my fear and doubt. For instance, when I asked to Pankaj about the selling of our book, that time he said that, one person from the BuddhaBhumi foundation given wrong opinion about our community, so that he was unable to propagate it through his contacts.
International Buddhist Ethics Committee: In the face of this serious situation, since Buddha Bhoomi Foundation has an educational agreement signed with the Maitriyana Community and it is a member of the United Buddhist Nations Organization, Pankaj Padghan was asked about his sayings and if his friend Siddharta Ambrit was behind the attacks . First, Pankaj Padghan avoided responding. Second, Pankaj Padghan was asked several times to answer about these attacks against the Buddhist Sangha, confirming him that if he refused to answer, he would be violating the Buddhist Law. Third, Pankaj Padghan then confirmed that these attacks existed and they are the general opinion of many people of Buddha Bhoomi Foundation and that these attacks cannot be attributed to a single person in specific. Fourth, Pankaj Padghan confirmed that these attacks are not an important issue to address. Fifth, Pankaj Padghan affirmed that people have the right to express their opinions, which is something that not only ignores the ethical precept prohibitting defamation, but also ignores the own jurisprudence of Buddhist Law and the International Buddhist Ethics Committee where it is clarified that there are limits to freedom of expression, and that these limits are the discourses in favor of discrimination, war, apartheid and other international crimes. Sixth, during the interrogation Pankaj Padghan was again asked to reveal the contents of the attacks against the Buddhist Sangha, as well as the names of the aggressors, since people have no right to propagate hate speech. Seventh, faced with this, Pankaj Padghan decided to respond that “There is no person behind the attacks, all these people appreciate the teaching and wisdom of Master Maitreya, since they for a time disagreed but now they finally are on the right Path.”
On the other hand, Venerable Ratna Thero, leader of the Buddha Bhoomi Foundation, was asked, and he confirmed that he had no news of the existence of members defamating against the Maitriyana Community.
In conclusion, there are two possibilities: The first is that the supposed attack against the Maitriyana Community was an invention of Pankaj Padghan, which would be a lie and also defamation against Buddha Bhoomi Foundation; the second possibility is that Pankaj Padghan is covering up the aggressors, especially since it is possible for one of them to be his friend. Given these two possibilities is recommended the suspension of Pankaj Padghan since their acts would constitute a Violation of Buddhist Ethics, since he would not be practicing a righteous and appropriate conduct to be a member of the Governing Council of the Maitriyana Community, the United Buddhist Nations Organization and the International Buddhist Ethics Committee. However, this suspension could be lifted after a process in which Pankaj Padghan has faithfully demonstrated to have learned the essential elements of Buddhist Ethics.