Thread: Lets discuss Buddhism...
03-13-2005, 07:32 PM #1
Lets discuss Buddhism...
Id like to discuss buddhism here. Lets educate people. Compare. See if it truly does answer questions and truly is "the way because it promotes good", etc...Ill start with the history ive looked up, then we can start:
The man who formulated the religion known as Buddhism was Siddhartha Gautama, who was born a Hindu about 560 B.C. in what is now Nepal, near the border of India.
According to Gautama, a seer prophesied when he was born, that he would become the greatest ruler in human history. However, the prophet added that if Gautama were to see four things: sickness, old age, death, and a monk who had renounced the world, the boy would give up his earthly rule and discover a way of salvation for all mankind.
Gautama's father, wanting him to become a great world ruler, built a palace for his son and gave orders that his son was to be protected from the sight of the sick, the old, a dead body, and monks. When he grew to be an adult, Gautama married a beautiful girl who bore him a son.
One day as he rode through the gardens of the park that surrounded his palace, he saw a man covered with terrible sores, a man tottering from old age, a corpse being carried to its grave, and a begging monk who appeared peaceful and happy.
That night, as Gautama explained it, he began to think about the look of peace on the face of the Hindu monk. He began to wonder if there was more to life than the luxuries of his palace. While his wife and child were sleeping, he took a last look at them, and then left the palace and his family forever.
Gautama was then 29 years old and was determined to solve the riddle of life. He shaved his head, donned a yellow robe, and began to wander the countryside as a begger-monk. At first he studied with the finest Hindu teachers but could find no satisfaction -- or way to salvation -- in their writings. Then he tried to find salvation through self-denial. He starved himself and became a walking skeleton, but this did not bring him happiness either.
Gautama Becomes the "Enlightened One"
Finally, in despair and sadness, he sat under a tree for 40 days and nights. He swore that he would not move until he found that for which he was seeking. At the end of the 40 days, he experienced "nirvana" and felt that he had found salvation. From then on he called himself Gautama "Buddha" or the "enlightened one."
Buddha went back to the world of man and began to preach about the meaning of life. Gautama Buddha died 45 years later with many thousands of people accepting his religion.
In some ways Buddhism is similar to Hinduism from which it evolved; but in other ways it is quite different. Buddha denied the writings of the Hindus were divine. He also denied that man has a soul. He did accept the Hindu teachings on reincarnation along with "karma" (the duty one has to perform according to his station in life).
Buddha's Plan of Salvation
Buddha formulated the theory of "The Middle Way" as a spiritual path of salvation that winds between the complicated Hindu religion and the world that he had known. Buddha strongly opposed the caste system: that one must reach the Brahman caste through reincarnation before one can attain the highest infinate state. Buddha taught that nirvana is for anyone regardless of caste, and this made Buddhism very popular, expecially among the lower classes.
Instead of the hard to reach and define teachings of Hinduism, Buddha developed clear, firm rules for his followers.
The Four Noble Turths
1. Suffering is universal. In each of a person's incarnations, he must suffer. Salvation (nirvana) is to be released from this unending cycle of suffering.
2. The cause of suffering is craving (selfish desire). Man remains in this endless cycle because he is too attached to the world and material things.
3. The cure for suffering is to eliminate craving. This was Buddha's great discovery: if a person could put an end to craving, he would put an end to his suffering.
4. Craving can be eliminated by following the Middle Way. Buddha isolated the cause of man's inability to escape and developed a system of escape from the squirrel cage of death and rebirth . this he called the "Eightfold Path."
The Eightfold Path
The Eightfold Path consists of eight ways of right living:
Noble thoughts; but all religions teach morality as the basis for just being a "good person" and to be included as true believers of each particular religion. Buddha would not define nirvana. He always said that he never tried to solve this question; that his mission was to show man the way of escape, not to describe what he would find once liberated.
the two main forms are Hinayana and Mahayana. Hinayana means "the doctrine of the lesser way," refering to the belief that only a fortunate few can find nirvana. This form of Buddhism, now called Theravada Buddhism, emphasizes the monistic life and reverences Buddha as a great teacher (as Buddha himself claimed).
Mahayana is the teaching of the "greater way'' and is the most popular form of Buddhism. It teaches that salvation is for all people. Although Buddha taught only man could save himself, Mahayana added the idea of a saviour-god. Their reasoning was this: that Buddha could have saved himself and gone onto nirvana, but instead, remained on earth for 45 years to tell others how to be saved. Thus, Buddha was a saviour to all mankind.
03-13-2005, 09:01 PM #2
Buddism sure beats Christianity's promise to send most of the human race to eternal ****ation.
03-13-2005, 09:59 PM #3
I just wrote a paper on this topic...what a coincidence.
03-14-2005, 05:20 AM #4
Oh great juddman..glad to have you aboard, no matter if you believe in it or not. Where do you stand? Are you a buddhist or did you just happen to do the paper for college or what? Means you can help validate what I post about it. Probably wont get a chance to till this afternoon/evening though.
03-14-2005, 02:45 PM #5
From what I have learned so far you are correct in everything you wrote. Except one thing I dont think Mahayana realy belives in savior gods. Sure gods are mentioned several times in for example Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life but not in the sense that they exist. More like figure of speach(atleast thats how I interpret it).
What you are refering to as savior gods are Bodhisattvas. But they arent gods. They are people that have reached the status of buddha but chooses to stay in the samsara instead of reaching nirvana determined to make every lifeform reach enlightement before they are done. They are driven by pure compassion and love for fellow man.
Nirvana is a state where you have escaped the suffering and is fully enlightened on the true nature of reality.
03-14-2005, 02:49 PM #6
also even in Mahayana only man can save himself. The Bodhisattvas are just guides to dharma. They cant save someone, they cant force someone to become enlightened. They can only aid.
03-14-2005, 03:33 PM #7
I really dont care about the religion, but Siddharta Gautama was a great man. He left the material life, and went on a journey to find GOD.
He was walled in a rich castle, didnt see any human suffering, because he was shielded from it. When he went out he really saw what suffering was.
He has a great story.
03-14-2005, 05:25 PM #8
Comparing Buddha's Teaching with the Bible
Buddha said that "to live is to suffer," but he gave no reason for suffering. The Bible agrees that suffering is everywhere, but provides an explanation. It says, in Romans 8:18-23, that all men suffer because of sin. Romans, chapter 5 tells us that Adam sinned and infected the entire bloodstream of humanity with sickness, suffering, and death. The Bible also declares that all men are sinners -- by heredity AND by choice! In the Biblical view, any time we rebel against God, we sin.
Buddha taught that the only way to rid oneself of selfish desire was through self-effort. For centuries his followers have tried to stay on the Eightfold Path, but have found that it leads nowhere; that they keep seven and fail in keeping the eighth, that they continue to crave, that they cannot cure their heart's deceitful and wicked desires, and that they constanlty sabotage their own best intentions. The children of Israel also found that they had the same problem; as devotedly as they tried to keep "the Law" (the Commandments) they realized that they could not, that the Law killed them daily. Jesus clarified this when He said if you break one law you are guilty of having broken them all in God's viewpoint. Jesus came to fulfill the Law and bring a way of escape for all mankind.
For a person to master himself, he must have a higher source of strength. But Buddhism can't travel that road because they are agnostic (don't know if there is a God) beliefs. Buddha ignored the possibility of help from God. The apostle Paul reminds every Christian that Christ came into the world as God and man to supply the strength to overcome desires and selfish hungers (Titus 3:3-8, John 3:5, II Cor. 5:17, and Galatians 2:20
03-14-2005, 05:26 PM #9
The major problem with Buddhism is that its goals are beyond man's ability to reach.
03-14-2005, 05:26 PM #10
Jesus does not simply give the Christian a list of rules, commandments and orders to obey. He promises to help the Christian grow and change and develop, just as a branch draws its strength from the vine. The Buddhist on the other hand, has eight guidelines for the right way to live, but Buddha promises a person no power to live that way. And, Buddha has no authority. He was a man who denied God. He did not prove his power and authority. Buddha did not rise from the dead! Jesus conquered the grave to prove He had power over life and death, and could impart that power to those who believe in His sacrificial atonement for their sins!
03-15-2005, 04:48 PM #11Originally Posted by max2extreme
Suffering is a part of existing. If you read the 4 nobel thruths you will know everything you need to know of suffering. There is no specific reason for suffering. Suffering only exist in our minds. We in a way choose to suffer. Our choice is the reason just as sin is the reason in christianity. We chose to suffer everytime we give in to any lust that might give short term pleasure but no long term happines. What more reason need there to be Suffering exist because we create it.
Originally Posted by max2extreme
Originally Posted by max2extreme
03-15-2005, 04:54 PM #12Originally Posted by max2extreme
If you belive in lamaism then dalai lama in a way has risen from the dead since he is a incarnation of the old dalai lama. That is as belivable to me as jesus christ rising from his grave.
The help for buddhist are the bodhisatvas that are here to guide and help us reach nirvana and enlightment. They are to be admired and there kindness and love will give us energy. But realy all the strenght we need like I mentioned is inside us.
You are realy compering 2 totaly different things. On one side the buddhist belife that strenght comes from our minds, on the other the christian belife that strenght comes from god.
03-15-2005, 05:02 PM #13Originally Posted by max2extreme
No burning hell awaits those that doesnt follow the Eightfold Path. Only consequense is beeing stuck in samsara for a few more lifetimes.
You seem to severly limit what you think man is capabel of achiving. Read "The art of happiness" and get some insight into how Dalai Lama thinks that alongside some reading about buddhism will make it much clearer I promise.
No religion is as open minded and logical as buddhism. No other religion tells its followers to analyse everything and to be critical against masters, buddhas, holy teachings ect. No other religion claims that if science disproves something that is buddhist tradition then the tradition should be abandoned. No other religion admits any flaws. Buddhist also admist there is more ways to nirvana then just buddhism. All religions are good in the eyes of buddhist just because they help to bring happiness into peoples lifes.
The strive for happiness is something all humans share and buddhists acknoweledge that and consider all ways to reach happiness good ways.
03-16-2005, 06:32 AM #14
btw my last post can be seen as buddhism doesnt have a solid fundation. It has. But it knows that just as the human mind is adapable so must the religion also be.
03-16-2005, 08:30 AM #15Writer
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How many Wars have the Buddhists started? Now how many have the Christians Started? How about the Moslems?
03-16-2005, 09:21 AM #16
Hey sorry I didn't get to this earlier..I forgot to check it after I posted. No I'm not Bhuddist, I was writing a paper on their beliefs in death and the afterlife for a religion course I am currently taking. I'm a law major, but I thought this course looked pretty interesting. I have no backgroud whatsoever in religion so its all pretty new to me.
I don't really know where I stand yet on the topic, but I have been learning a great deal from your post which is helpful.
03-16-2005, 11:29 AM #17Originally Posted by hooker
How about the wars atheism has started.
03-16-2005, 11:44 AM #18
lets not go off on atheism or any other religion unless compared to buddhism please.
03-16-2005, 11:53 AM #19Originally Posted by books555
03-16-2005, 12:46 PM #20
03-16-2005, 01:28 PM #21Writer
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Right. I'm comparing Buddhism to Christianity or Islam.
And lets be honest, Buddhism (in practice) is far more peaceful than any other major religion.
03-16-2005, 02:10 PM #22
Buddhism is a man-made religion. It promotes, without saying it, that we are all accidents without a purpose.
03-16-2005, 02:11 PM #23
its not even a religion really. its a man's ideals that he started preaching.
03-16-2005, 04:37 PM #24Originally Posted by max2extreme
Well the purpose is to reach nirvana just as the purpose of christianity is to reach heaven. What more purpose do you need
03-16-2005, 05:08 PM #25
Non-christians look at christianity as a man made religion because they dont believe in God.
you said everything in my first post was correct (to the best of your knowledge) which means you must believe that buddhism is man made.
03-16-2005, 05:12 PM #26Originally Posted by johan
I agree that in buddhism, the purpose IS to reach nirvana. In christianity, the purpose is NOT to reach heaven...reaching heaven is a reward for fulfilling your purpose to worship God.
03-16-2005, 05:16 PM #27Originally Posted by max2extreme
03-16-2005, 05:27 PM #28
Made by a man that 'said' he reached enlightment. thats a bit different.
03-16-2005, 05:29 PM #29
whats his definition of enlightment? You sit under a tree for 40 days and 40 nights, and see what you feel. Im sure you wouldnt feel normal.
03-16-2005, 05:39 PM #30Originally Posted by max2extreme
but enlightment is to understand the true nature of reality and to be able to leave samsara.
I dont think you would feel normal climbing a mountain in scorcing dessert heat like moses did
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