Looks like the Acharya has rebranded himself as a Self-help Expert, instead of styling himself as a knowledgeable Buddhist teacher with numerous testimonials.
“So Buddhism is not the world’s first devotional religion? No problem, I remarket myself as a self-improvement expert…..” But then, the Acharya no longer seeks to bring devotion back to Buddhism anymore?
It is not that simple, there are considerable implications and we elaborate.
The Acharya would still use Testimonials, instead of linking his own audible lectures in mp3 or converted-readable-pdf-lectures, or adding written teachings in his zenji.org, to tell people how good his scholarship is.
The Acharya has a long list of Testimonials and massive photos with celebrities. The Buddha advises that ‘Don’t go by reports, inferences…’.
Quote: Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought,
Yes, this blog itself is also subject to the Buddha’s advice: don’t go by inferences. Listen to the Buddha, examine the Acharya’s teachings and sayings yourself, instead of only relying the Acharya’s testimonials of words, or co-snaps with celebrities, or this blog’s analysis and inferences.
The first establishment is that Kashmir and West Bengal regions they are different geographical places in India.
The term “Buddhist-Brahmin”, if that exists, is possible. Mahayana Buddhism originated from the Kashmir region of India, where there was a concentration of Brahmin pundits/scholars.
“Kashmiri Pandits: Looking to the Future“; by M. K. Kaw p.218 “Mahayana Buddhism originated from Kashmir”, and wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_in_Kashmir
“In Kalhana’s time, and before, there was apparently no distinction between “Hindus” and Buddhists in Kashmir. Kalhana himself used Buddhist terms and expressions as a Buddhist would.
Nilamata Purana was the text of the worshippers of Nila Naga, the Naga worship was common in Kashmir. It mentions the prevalence of Buddhist worship as a common practice in Kashmir.”
“Acharya” is not a casual title, it is to be conferred upon by another Guru with the title Acharya after the student had completed the required rigorous studies.
Acharya explained that his last name is Acharya, from West Bengal region of India. His family provided stewardship for the Madhgada Empire Pala temples.
Quoting from his latest lineage claims in his Mahayana Buddhism lecture,
setting aside the place of origin of Sri Bodhidarmaji, we would just go with Sri Nagarjunaji. If the Acharya, claims to be of lineage of Nagarjuna, then his legacy is from Kashmir.
He can’t have both. He can’t have both logically, geographically and historically, with last name Acharya of West Bengal/Darjeeling heritage, and with the identity of Buddhist-Brahmin, traced back to Kashmir Himalayan region.
In short, if his last name is Acharya, his heritage can’t be from Kashmir-the Himalayas, he can’t claim to be a Buddhist-Brahmin.
If he claims to be of Kashmir Mahayana Nagarjunaji linage, he can’t be from West Bengal with a last name Archaya.
Additional reference http://drkkdebnath.blogspot.ca/2012/05/research-note-on-origin-of-bengali.html
Scroll down: Acharya as last name is a last name. Bengali Brahmins surname list does not include the surname “Acharya”.
It is not diffcult to explain things out verbally. The Acharya does not have an explanation to do, we all can figure out there are 2 paths to smooth out and connect this:
a. My ancient ancestry is West Bengal, then my family heirloom relocated to Kashmir when Mahayana Buddhism arose….(~ but he says his ancestral family had been providing stewardship for the Madhaga Pala temples for historical generations, so the family had rooted and prospered in West Bengal )
b. My father’s side is from West Bengal, thus the last name Acharya (but last name “Acharya” is non-Brahmin, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmin Brahmin status requirements of both parental sides), my mother’s side, also Brahmin, is from Kashmir, thus Buddhist-Brahmin
(~ But that’s not what he told us about his family, as the identity of Nio-Acharya)
c. Additional reference again http://drkkdebnath.blogspot.ca/2012/05/research-note-on-origin-of-bengali.html
“On Surnames and Gotra Surmanes:
In Buddhist society, intellectuals of very high orders used to be honored by “Upadhyaya” tile, whereas intellectuals of lower order used to be honored by “Acharya” title. On the other hand Vedic system follows reverse of Buddhist System. In Vedic system intellectuals of very high orders used to be honored by “Acharya” title and of lower order by “Upadhyaya”. Thus we find, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Sankaracharya, Madhavacharya, Ramanujacharya, Ballavacharya etc, but not a single Upadhyaya.
On the other hand, it is interesting to note that in Bangadesha Upadhyayas are highest rank holders among Brahmins, instead of Acharyas. This again shows that Bengali Upadhyayas were probably Buddhist.”
d. See also https://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/surnames-of-all-brahmins-bengal-odisha-haryana-assam-up-mp/ Nebulia: there are also many excellent wiki articles. I decided not to list them here lest the supporters went to edit them favourably.
Who knows if the Acharya shall have a title “Zenji Upadhyaya” in the future as it deems fit, that’s why this blog has to be here, to provide data reference, and aims to stay as tenacious, as resilient as he does.
Implication #1. If the Acharya finally clarifies that he is indeed an academic Acharya, the title was earned by having studied under another guru who conferred the title to him. Who actually is the direct guru who taught him? Please give the name of your guru and illustrate your academic lineage by physical media, not by verbal self-claims, 3rd party references, nor public teachings.
Implication #2. Even if he manages to prove it, he indeed manages to prove his lineage is a lower status……he contradicted his own claims about “highest” “oldest” lineage or status – to recap: in Buddhist society, intellectuals of very high orders used to be honored by “Upadhyaya” tile, whereas intellectuals of lower order used to be honored by “Acharya” title.
Ultimately, we do not ask the Acharya to “Prove It” or “Prove it with ID”. Perceiving from the quality of the lectures, there is no need for the Acharya to prove his claims, it makes no difference.
If the Acharya actually strives to prove it and he manages to prove it, the lecture samples and his Buddhist knowledge presented to us put his both ancestral lineages, and his claimed academic lineage, to same.
Implication #3. “Self Help” career is regulated as Psychotherapy field. The Archarya will have a supervisor and take exams. FYI:
Unfamiliarity with the dualistic origins of Buddhist-Brahmin, sociality and culturality of the Bengali Brahmins, and the academia order “Upadhyaya” and “Acharya”, suggests that he is triple neither.
Since he’s been sticking with the title Acharya with academic tone and proclaimed his academia as “highest” for several years, it suggests his unfamiliarity with original Indian Buddhist Guru-Dharma tradition. Therefore, he is not an academic Acharya.
The whole scene is an evil snow ball rolling bigger and bigger. Buddhism is his Wall Street. Now that he is the Abbott of a temple, and how about the past questionable dots that look Buddhism with the cover of Buddhism? They are means to get there.
Overall we can see an all too familiar pattern, he would never want to show his own teachings, but via side-means with celebrities, people of authority, give talks, give conversations, and then e.g. a 3rd party producer, 3rd party monks of an order, would give him heavy-weight compliments, and then he would record the compliments and achievements to affirm his substance.
Meeting with Monsignor Collins is definitely an honour, but what did they talk about? No no, he wanted to show us that they met and talked, he did not want to show nor share what they talked about that benefits humanity….
Hence, we have a self-proclaimed knowledgeable Buddhist teacher who never wanted to share his Buddhist teachings in his own website.
Showing his Buddhist/religious teachings, writing an essay, writing a Buddhist essay, are his Achilles heels.
Allow me: He is not a Buddhist-Brahmin, nor a surnamed-Acharya from West Bengal.
I have hard data and his Buddhist teaching content to demonstrate; he has claims, “I am, take my words for it”, and he does not have his Buddhist teachings and contents to demonstrate.
This blog is still old-fashioned. Being old-fashioned has its own character of insistence and persistence.
Implication #5. 2nd ‘No Problem’ update: the Acharya simply reverted the term ‘Buddhist-Brahmin’ and calls himself a ‘Brahmin-Buddhist’. No problem.
A childhood picture with caption ‘Shaving his head to become a Brahmin…’ So Brahmin is equivalent to a monk, is a monk, according to his new definition.
How creative! How innovative! How extenuative! His mind never ceases to amaze me.
If things were that easy, a lot of people’s lives would not have been so miserable. Talking about miserable and pathetic…..
We do recall cases that he involved himself into the term ‘Buddhist-Brahmin’. We better capture the contents here lest the related contents were gone from the original URLs due to technical updates.
“Buddhism will be represented by Zenji Acharya who is the only Western expert to hail from the oldest and most venerated Buddhist-Brahmin lineage of India.”
Btw and he’s been writing that book since forever.
Nio-Acharya insisted that he is a Buddhist-Brahmin at that time, not Brahmin-Buddhist. “Firstly, I am often told that I am one of the only if not the only Buddhist-Brahmin one will find in this day and age.” His story is very random, adaptative, attaching himself to lineages, just for suiting that time and that need.
Btw what happened to the girls who were supposed to be the actresses in the proposed movie? Nio-Acharya was just spending their time.
Why would someone go so far, as to fabricate new definitions for the term Brahmin, just so to save his ‘Brahmin’ title of glory, so that he can continue to address himself as such? See,
– the Buddha himself relinquished the title of a Prince
– what happened to the Noble Eightfold Path? That he himself lectured about it? Is that the Right Thing to do?
– What happened to ‘don’t take tenets and agendas for your personal use’…’, that he himself lectured about it? He invented new definitions for ‘Brahmin’, applies to himself, insists on passing himself off as one
– And for the term ‘Acharya’? He basically goes for ‘Don’t know and don’t care about “Upadhyaya”. It is my lineage, my tradition. (Take my words for it.)’ No certificates, no IDs.
– Once again, “I Am That” author Nisargadatta Maharaj, in his childhood he tended cattle, drove oxen, worked in the fields and ran errands, not as glorified to have been a child Brahmin – it is “That” that counts
– We have gently reminded him, recommended to him before, that hyphenated titles are illusions, and he is still clinging to it. Attachment, illusion, desire for power, recognition, fame, all these found attributes…and he imaged himself as a Buddhist teacher who teaches people right-and-wrong; a self-help expert who helps to transform people.
– He himself self-willingly reveals the darks of himself. Sigh, when you want to show your glory, you are showing your darkness – that is the dangerous meaning of the mirror pair “live” and “evil”.
Implication #6. Money was involved. The Acharya claimed he charged higher lecture fees, sometimes affordable fees. No matter about the amount of money, money was involved. The audiences were charged $10 for the data-error lecture. Civil case – the lecturer honestly believes his are the authentic Buddhist teachings (and there are even more implications); and the other case – .