The last five months of struggle by anti-government protesters have been a disappointment due to the absence of a strong Buddhist influence.
At such a vital time in Thailand’s history the opportunity is being lost to remind people that Thailand is Buddhist, a religion that stands for morality in our daily lives.
In this struggle against entrenched corruption, Luang Buddha Issara is a lone Buddhist voice against the self-serving immorality.
It is true that members of the Santiasoke group support the anti-corruption protest, but not so vocally.
One young red shirt declared he was frightened of Luang Pu when brought before him by guards. It was the spiritual power the monk imparts that frightened him: quite different from the indoctrination he received from the red-shirt radio.
Buddhism is not the preserve of the temples and monks; it is about people, in their daily lives, in the markets, on the streets, in their homes, and as such should be a stabilising factor in times of crisis. Had all the disciples of Buddha reminded us of the teachings of Buddha, it would be apparent that corruption is wrong and not the way forward for a Buddhist nation. Demonstrating this on the streets would have had great affect and could well have foreshortened the current struggle against corruption.
The disciples of Buddha simply have to speak out as Luang Buddha Isara has done. They have an obligation to unite the people under the banner of morality. But, instead, Luang Pu has stood alone and continues to do so.