Is Buddhism a Religion or it is not a Religion?

inhumility

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I have a great respect for Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims etc all religions of the world of whatever denomination they may belong to.
I understand from a member of the CR, who seems to be Buddhist,
”Buddha Dharma does not have a revealed book or any sort of revelation from a deity therein”, and my view on it is, “Then Buddhism is not a Revealed Religion, but I understand that Buddha did receive revelation from God but his followers could not conserve it, and perhaps they lost it in the debris of time. My source in this regard is the book “
Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth”; written by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, refer its Part II on Buddhism, which can be accessed on:

http://www.alislam.org/library/books/revelation/index.html

What are the comments of the respected members in this regard?
Did Buddha receive any revelation from God-the creator?
 
Namaste inhumility,

thank you for the post.

inhumility said:
I understand from a member of the CR, who seems to be Buddhist,


indeed, when using a classification system, my practice is that of Buddha Dharma.


”Buddha Dharma does not have a revealed book or any sort of revelation from a deity therein”,


that is absolutely correct.

and my view on it is, “Then Buddhism is not a Revealed Religion,

this is also absolutely correct.

but I understand that Buddha did receive revelation from God

but this is absolutely incorrect.

as you may or may not know the word "buddha" is not a name, it is a title of a being and it means "Awakened One", there are other titles applied to such a being, including the title Tathagata, the "Thus Gone" or "Thus Come" depending on how it is parsed. in any event, one of the other titles of a Buddha is "Teacher of Gods and Men".

it would be difficult to be a teacher of Gods if one is taught by Gods, wouldn't you say?

but his followers could not conserve it, and perhaps they lost it in the debris of time.

herein lies one of the main difficulties for beings with a theistic view point to grasp about Buddhism.

we Buddhist types do not rely upon the written Sutta/Sutras as the final word in the teaching. the written words are like guideposts, bits of tile or temporary rafts. they are tools used to help us get to the other shore however, once there, they are left behind.

Buddha Shakyamuni said that after his Parinirvana, the Dharma would be the teacher, not the words which he had spoken or the words of any other particular being except as they are in accord with Dharma.

My source in this regard is the book “
Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth”; written by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, refer its Part II on Buddhism, which can be accessed on:
http://www.alislam.org/library/books/revelation/index.html

What are the comments of the respected members in this regard?

after reading some of what was contained there, it doesn't seem all that different than the other theistic traditions which try to include Buddhism within their rubric. it really reflects a very fundamental misunderstanding of what Buddhism is, in my opinion.

Did Buddha receive any revelation from God-the creator?

none whatsoever. recall, Buddhism doesn't believe in a Creator Deity, so it would be pretty difficult to have a Creator Deity teaching anything, let alone revealing the Dharma to a Buddha :)

however, if you really want to know what Buddhists think and believe, it would probably be more condusive to your understanding to read actual Buddhist teachings and Suttas to determine these things for yourself. relying upon non-Buddhists that do not have a valid cognition of the tradition to provide instruction is not likely to be of much value, in my view.

here is a very good resource which presents both the Hinyana and Mahayana views:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/qanda03.htm

metta,

~v
 
The word religion as per Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is:
Religion n 1 belief in the existence of god or gods, who has/ have created the universe and given man a spiritual nature which continues to exist after the death of the body
2 [c] particular system of faith and worship based on such a belief: the Christian, Buddhist and Hindu religions. o paractise one’s religion .
3 [sing] (fig) controlling influence on ones’ life; something one is devoted or committed to: Football is like a religion for Bill o make a religion of always being punctual.
So, as per the first definition/meaning “belief in the existence of god or gods, who has/ have created the universe and given man a spiritual nature which continues to exist after the death of the body” apparently religions e.g. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc who have a standard revealed Book/s are covered for the purpose of comparative study under the principle/tool “Claim and reason should be from the revealed book”, my query is to find an alternative standard acceptable to everybody and facilitate others who don’t have a revealed book. Please refer in this connection the thread started by me in Comparative Studies Board (The Greatest Principle of Comparative Studies of Religions/Interfaith Dialogue). Those who have only a verbal revelation there should not be any problem, as they can write it now from the verbal resource and prepare a standard book readable for every body. What is the suggestion in this regard?
 
Namaste inhumility,

thank you for the post.

i'm not really sure what you are asking for.

the suttas/sutras are written down, that is not in question. the question is, how much authority does the written word have in the tradition, and this is where a great difference lies between the Abrahamaic traditions and Buddha Dharma tradition.

in a very real sense, Buddha Dharma is a gnostic religious path with the main differenc being that one can arrive at this gnostic view through several avenues, mainly, meditation and logical analysis.

metta,

~v
 
I have a question that is slightly related to this, but I didn't really want to make a new thread. Well, a few questions.

Firstly, how does one become a Buddhist? I mean, is there some kind of manual to start practicing Buddhist rituals, etc? Also, there seem to be thousands of different sects, so which one is the best and what's the point of subscribing to one over the other? What about Zen, how exactly do you do Zen? And if there is no creator in Buddhism, then who created creation?
 
Firstly, how does one become a Buddhist?
You take refuge from the dissatifaction of samsara.
You take refuge in the triple gem:
Buddha
Dharma (truth/his teachings)
Sangha (community of Buddhists)

I mean, is there some kind of manual to start practicing Buddhist rituals, etc?
There are many entry points, but to formally become Buddhist, you need to take refuge.

Also, there seem to be thousands of different sects, so which one is the best and what's the point of subscribing to one over the other?
See which one takes your fancy.

What about Zen, how exactly do you do Zen?
*Samabudhi slaps moseslpmg with a large herring*

And if there is no creator in Buddhism, then who created creation?
Phenomena are ruled by karma, cause and effect.
Who creates the apple? The tree.
Who creates the tree? The seed.
Who creates the seed? The apple.
Very simply, its a cycle ~ been happening since beginningless time.
 
Namaste Moseslmpg,

thank you for the post and welcome to CR.

Samabudhi answered your questions well enough, however, i hope that i can expand on them a bit more.

moseslmpg said:
Firstly, how does one become a Buddhist?

there are two general sorts of Buddhists, monastics and laiety. as such, generally speaking we are talk about beings that are lay Buddhists rather than the monastic ones. by and large the information is the same it is simply that the monastics have more in terms of ethical and moral guidelines.

as Samabudhi mentioned, to become a Buddhist one takes Refuge in the Triple Jewel; the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. typically, this "going for refuge" is done within the context of an abbey, monestary or temple depending on what is local. one can, of course, enter into this path on their own, especially as a lay person.

I mean, is there some kind of manual to start practicing Buddhist rituals, etc?

there are those, to be sure. they are not, however, all that relevant to a beginning Buddhist. we start at the beginning and move forward from there. naturally, beings are disposed of differing capacities and, as such, what works for one may not work for another.

Also, there seem to be thousands of different sects, so which one is the best and what's the point of subscribing to one over the other?

unlike most of the other religious paradigms, Buddhism specifically teaches that there are 84,000 Dharma Doors or Entries to Truth, thus, there should be a great many methods by which a being can practice as each being responds as they are able to the Dharma.

the choosing of one school over another is really a matter of cultural or personal preference. whilst the philsophical debate can be heated amongst the 4 Schools that should not be misunderstood to be a disagreement upon the tenets of the tradition.

Buddha Dharma is not a "one size fits all" approach to religion or the practice thereof :)

What about Zen, how exactly do you do Zen?

Zen is a Japanese transliteration of the Chinese term Ch'an from the school called Ch'an Buddhism. what is being spoken of here is a form of meditation and, thus, the Zen and Ch'an schools are really schools which emphasize certain meditational techniques over others.

if you are asking how to start meditation, then we'd probably need a new thread.

And if there is no creator in Buddhism, then who created creation?

what creation?

Buddhism is has a radically different ontological view than is found in the Abrahamic faiths.. a better term, in our view, is "becoming" rather than "creation" as Buddhism does not teach that things are static and unchanging they are continually arising based on causes and conditions.

this can be a rather technical discourse on these sorts of things which isn't often all that condusive to actual conversation.

does what Samabudhi and i wrote answer your questions?

metta,

~v
 
Yeah, I suppose Samabudhi answered a few of my questions, although I don't think I can go around slapping myself in the face with fish all day. I understand the eternal cycle cosmology as well, but there is usually a source even at the bottom of these beginningless existences, and I was just wondering if it was the same in Buddhism.

Just one more question and I'll stop hijacking this thread: What are good ways (preferably something in print or online) to get into Zen? I mean, I've read all about it an everything, but I'm fairly sure that reading translated koans and trying to not-think isn't all there is to it.
 
Namaste Moseslmpg,

thank you for the post.

moseslmpg said:
I understand the eternal cycle cosmology as well, but there is usually a source even at the bottom of these beginningless existences, and I was just wondering if it was the same in Buddhism.

if they are beginningless, how can they have a beginning, or bottom?

Just one more question and I'll stop hijacking this thread: What are good ways (preferably something in print or online) to get into Zen? I mean, I've read all about it an everything, but I'm fairly sure that reading translated koans and trying to not-think isn't all there is to it.

do you mean the Buddhist school of Zen or the practice of Zen meditation?

a good overall view of the basics of the Mahayana Vehicle, of which Zen is one school, can be found here:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/basic-guide.htm

metta,

~v
 
Thanks much, Vajradhara.

Vajradhara said:
if they are beginningless, how can they have a beginning, or bottom?
You know, I don't really know. It's probably not important anyway.
 
Vajradhara said:
Dear Vajradhara,

I understand that in Kalachakra Tantra is present in a very clear way and for the first time the ideea of God named here VAJRADHARA:).
So in this case the Kalachakra system( if i can name it like this) it formulates the existence of a Divine Supreme Conscioussnes, different from SHUNYA - The Transcendent and Impersonal Void

Is this correct?
Thank you!
 
Namaste Alchemicaltrance,

thank you for the post.

alchemicaltrance said:
Dear Vajradhara,

I understand that in Kalachakra Tantra is present in a very clear way and for the first time the ideea of God named here VAJRADHARA:).

why do you think that Vajradhara is a deity?

So in this case the Kalachakra system( if i can name it like this) it formulates the existence of a Divine Supreme Conscioussnes, different from SHUNYA - The Transcendent and Impersonal Void

Is this correct?
Thank you!

the Kalachakra Tantra has been given in public to a great many beings, wether or not this has been beneficial is subject to some discussion.

metta,

~v
 
Vajradhara said:
why do you think that Vajradhara is a deity?


~v
Because this is the way WIKIPEDIA explains it :

wikipedia.org-Vajradhara

"Vajradhara and Samantabhadra Buddha are same deity with different names and appearances. Samantabhadra Buddha in yab-yum (union) resembles void and ultimate emptiness."


It could be just a word used to identfy Vajradhara with the Supreme Conscioussnes( maybe is not a good example...like Eckhart Tolle's " being")?


Thank you!
 
Namaste Alchemical,

thank you for the post.

ah, i see the confusion now.

the confusion lies in the English term "deity". In the languages of Buddhism, Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese et al, there is more than one word for deity as there are more than one sort of deity :) most beings with a theistic background hear the term "deity" and think God. in the context of a Buddhist discussion, this can lead to some rather unusal misunderstandings of our teachings.

in the Buddhist dialog these beings are more correctly known as "deities of the form realm" and "deities of the formless realm" and, despite how it sounds in English, are not meant to be representative of individual personalities rather they are indicative of essential aspects of the Buddhist path.

you've heard the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words"? that is, essentially, what Buddhist icongraphy is on about ;)

metta,

~v
 
Vajradhara said:
Namaste Alchemical,

thank you for the post.

ah, i see the confusion now.

~v
Amasing knowledge V... i feel like my mind opens up and in front of me is a new " field"...:)
You have recommended me a book a while ago..."Meeting the Buddhas" by Vessantara... would you be able to recommend me a school or a group where I can study tibetan buddhism ? I live in England, Southampton.

Namaste.
 
Namaste Alchemical,

thank you for the post.

the chosing of a particular school of practice is something that one should do for themselves after spending some time investigating them. as such, i wouldn't be all that comfortable recommending a specific school at this point in time.

that said, you can get a very good historical overview of the 4 Schools of Vajrayana Buddhism as found in Tibet here: http://www.tibet.com/Buddhism/index.html

here is a site that i have, personally, found very useful:

http://www.lamayeshe.com/

Good luck on your search, IMAHO!

metta,

~v
 
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