In ancient days, according to the records of history, the welfare of the nation and the welfare of the religion were regarded as synonymous terms by the laity as well as by the Sangha. The divorce of religion from the nation was an idea introduced into the minds of the Sinhalese by invaders from the West, who belonged to an alien faith. It was a convenient instrument of astute policy to enable them to keep the people in subjugation in order to rule the country as they pleased.
The Buddha explained that physical existence is ‘nama-rupa’, or ‘mind-body’. This analysis is found in the received Chain of Dependent Origination (specifically in the 4th link which is conditioned by consciousness [mind], and which in turn conditions the sixfold sense-base [body]).
A Buddhist – whether monastic or lay – is a true revolutionary committed to uprooting the basis of deluded society in the mind, body and environment. This pragmatic Buddhist approach parallels the Scientific Socialism of Marxist-Engelism and Marxist-Leninism – and Buddhists are advised to study these teachings in all their manifestations (including Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong) as an important step in transforming the modern world for the better.
As Ch’an masters have been generally celibate, the idea of successful procreation does not hold for the perpetuation of their respective lineages. In the case of enlightened lay Ch’an masters – even if they have off-spring it is not guaranteed that their children will be enlightened beings.
Li Ji Shen referred this dispute to Zhou Enlai (who discussed it with Mao Zedong), and it was agreed that Xu Yun was correct. This decision was taken because at the time certain members of the international community were attacking China with regards to human rights issues. From that day onwards, traditional Chinese religion has been protected under law.
‘The Master Xu Yun replied, “The title ‘Monk’ is just a name, for there are holy monks and worldly monks. It is not fair to blame the whole Sangha because there are one or two bad monks. Can we blame Confucius because there are bad Confucian scholars?