Buddism and the Baha'i Faith

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by 9Harmony, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Buddhism and the Baha'i Faith

    Dear Friends,

    In another thread Vaj had asked this question...

    "The Baha'i Faith makes the assertion that prophecies of all of the worlds great religions have been fulfilled with the coming of the Bab (the Gate) and Baha'u'llah (the Glory of God)."

    now... does this mean to indicate all prophecies of the world religions has been fulfilled or just some of them?

    if it means all of them, can you explain how you reconcile the prophecy concerning Maitreya and the loss of the Dharma with this teaching?


    Moojan Momen explains..."Buddhist prophecies. Baha's consider that Bahá'u'lláh is the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Buddha that in due time another Buddha would come to the world, the Mettaya (Maitreya) Buddha: "In due time, O monks, there will arise in the world an Exalted One named Mettaya, an arahat, fully awakened, full of wisdom and a perfect guide, himself having trodden the path to the very end, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as an educator, teacher of gods and men, an exalted Buddha, just as in the present period I am now . . . And he will proclaim the teaching that is lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, and lovely in its consummation . . . He will be the head of an order of many thousand of monks, just as in the present period I am the head of an order of many hundreds" (DN, Mahaparinibbana-Suttana 3:76). Shoghi Effendi specifically identifies Bahá'u'lláh with the Maitreya Buddha (GPB 95) and as the fifth Buddha "(GPB 94).

    "Buddhist prophecy that the Maitreya Buddha will inaugurate an era of universal peace and tranquillity is regarded by Bahá'ís as having been fulfilled by Bahá'u'lláh's advent and teachings on world peace."

    (GPB referred to above = God Passes By, by Shoghi Effendi, which can be located here...
    http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/shoghieffendi/gpb/91-95.html )

    The concept of Dhamma is also explained by Moojan Momen in this same document quoted above...

    "The Buddha is to be distinguished from others who are freed by insight because he also brings into being a new dhamma: "The Tathagata, brethren, who, being Arahat, is fully enlightened, he it is who doth cause a way to arise which had not arisen before . . . That, brethren, is the distinction, the specific feature which distinguishes the Tathagata who, being Arahat, is fully enlightened, from the brother who is freed by insight" (SN [3:60] 22:58; tr. Davids and Woodward 3:58).

    The station of a Buddha is thus very exalted and a phenomenon that occurs but rarely in the world. Gautama Buddha names but three previous Buddhas as well as Maitreya (Mettaya) Buddha who is to come.

    Broadly speaking the station and function of the fully-enlightened ones is described very similarly by Bahá'u'lláh. He also states that such figures arise but rarely, some five hundred to one thousand years usually separating each from the next. Their station is very exalted, far above that of any human being, and their function is to guide humanity into the true path, to re-establish the dhamma, and to give new rules for humanity's social relations (see "Manifestation of God"). The Buddha in the quotation cited above states that the Tathagata is one who brings into being a new dhamma, one which has not arisen before, and yet elsewhere the Buddha states that the dhamma that he brings is an ancient dhamma, preached by previous Buddhas (SN 2:104).

    This apparent contradiction is fully in accord with Bahá'u'lláh's teaching on progressive revelation (q.v.) Stated in Buddhist terms, this teaching holds that the dhamma has two parts. The first part is the spiritual and ethical teachings which are preached by every Buddha and do not change from one age to another. They are the ancient dhamma preached by the Buddhas of old. The second part of the dhamma is the social teachings which are designed to set up a society in which the spiritual and ethical teachings can best be put into effect. Since humanity's social condition is constantly changing and evolving, this part of the dhamma changes from one Buddha to the next. The Buddha left his disciples the rules of the Sangha, the Vinaya, as the best way for spiritual progress. Bahá'ís believe that Bahá'u'lláh has brought new social principles and social structures in accordance with the needs of this age.

    Both the Bahá'í and Buddhist scriptures agree that there is thus a line of Buddhas who have each come to the world one after the other with an interval of hundreds or thousands of years between them. Gautama Buddha states: "I am not the first Buddha who came upon the earth nor shall I be the last" (DN 3:76). "

    The full document can be found here...
    http://bahai-library.com/?file=momen_encyclopedia_buddhism.html


    Vaj, thank you for posing this question. It has encouraged me to study Buddhism more and gain a greater understanding of the relationship between Buddhism and the Baha'i Faith.

    Loving Greetings, Harmony :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2004
  2. Ocean_Drop

    Ocean_Drop World Citizen

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just to add to that, when we compare the "signs" that would mark the era which the Promised One would appear, we observe some striking similarities. Just comparing Hinduism and Christianity we see: -

    HINDUISM

    In the Kali Yuga, wealth alone will be the deciding factor of nobility [in place of birth, righteous behavior or merit]. And brute force will be the only standard or deciding what is righteous or just."

    Mutual liking [and not family pedigree, social status, etc.] will be the deciding factor in choosing a partner in marriage; cheating will be the order of the day in business relations; satisfaction of sexual pleasure will be the only consideration of male or female excellence and worthiness.

    "In that [Kali] age, people will be greedy. They will take to wicked behavior. They will be merciless, indulge in hostilities without any cause, unfortunate, extremely covetous for wealth and women. High social status will be attained by Sudras, fisherman and such other classes..."

    "When deceit, falsehood, lethargy, sleepiness, violence, despondency. grief, delusion, fear, and poverty prevail, that is the Kali Yuga..."

    "...mortal beings will become dull-witted, unlucky, voracious, destitute of wealth yet voloptuous, and women, wanton and unchaste?.

    Countries will be laid waste by robbers and vagabonds; the Vedas will be condemned heretics; kings will exploit their subjects, and twice-borns like Brahmanas will only think of the gratification of their sexual desires and other appetites.

    Celibates [of the Brahma Carya ashrama] will cease to observe their vows of study, purity and celibacy; householders will take to begging [instead of giving alms]; hermits [of the vanaprastha ashrama] will resort to villages [leaving their retreats in the forests]; and Sannyasins will be extremely greedy for money.[in short, the whole system of the Varnashrama Dharma will have broken down.]

    " Petty - minded people will conduct business transactions and merchants will be dishonest. In the Kali Yuga, men will abandon their parents, brothers, friends, and relatives. They will occupy high seats [and pulpits] and will [pretend to] preach religion.

    "Whenever there is decay of righteousness. . .and there is
    exhaltation of unrighteousness, then I, Myself come
    forth. . .for the destruction of evil-doers for the
    sake of firmly establishing righteousness. I am born
    from age to age." (Bhagavad Gita, fourth discourse).

    He will then re-establish righteousness upon the
    earth, and the minds of those who live at the end of
    the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as
    pellucid as crystal. The men who are thus changed by
    virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of
    human beings, and shall give birth to a race who shall
    follow the laws of the Krita age, the Age of Purity
    (Vishnu Purana 4:24)


    CHRISTIANITY

    “But know this, that in the last days, perilous times will come: For men will become lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
    2 Timothy 3:1-4


    Curious, no?!

    Ocean Drop
     
  3. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namaste all,

    thank you for the responses to my query.

    so... what about the rest of the prophecy? the other things that happen to signal the advent of Maitreya?

    let me provide an example. in this same prophecy, it is said that Maitreya will arise when the Dharma has passed away. Since we are talking about both of these two things, the Dharma has not passed away. further, at the time that Maitreya will arise, there will be a World Ruling King that presides in India and the life span of the average human will be 87,000 years. neither of which, the last time i checked, had come to pass.

    there are many, many people that claim to be Maitreya. Muhammad is said to be, Lafayette Ron Hubbard says that he is et al. the problem that all of these claimaints have is that the rest of the terms of the prophecy have not been fulfilled.

    i'll even get a bit more specific to further illustrate what i'm getting at. the Buddha says that when we are in the Dharma ending age, that the first Sutra that will be lost is the Diamond Sutra.

    there are 129,000 entries on Google for the Diamond Sutra and i have two copies in my library. this Sutra has not been lost as of yet which further indicates that we are not in the Dharma ending age.

    now.. i should say... that it's perfectly acceptable for the Baha'i to interpet this prophecy in this fashion, however, it does not meet the standard account of how it would come about so i would have to say that most Buddhists wouldn't agree.

    but hey... who says that we have to agree on everything? :)
     
  4. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Vaj,

    I am the first to admit that I know very little about Buddhism. I apologize, someday I hope to become more familiar, as Baha'i's are instructed to study all religions.

    I can tell you that prophecies in all religions are mostly symbolic in nature, and literal interpretation can be a stumbling block. That's not to say some prophecies won't be fulfilled literally as well as symbolically. But as a general rule seeking their literal fulfillment is not necessarily the correct approach.

    I hope that someday a former Buddhist who has accepted Baha'u'llah may stumble onto this sight and be able to give you specific answers to your questions. Until then I will continue studying and if I am able to gain any insights I will share them with you.

    Loving Greetings, Harmony

    P.S. Can you please tell me the meaning of "Namaste"? Thank you!
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namaste Harmony,

    Namaste is an ancient Nepali greeting in sanskrit that can be roughly translated as:

    I bow to the divine in you. when you are in that place in you and i am in that place in me, there is only one of us.


    the greeting is made with the palms pressed together and held about mid-chest height.
     
  6. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Namaste Vajradhara,

    What a beautiful concept!

    IMHO it conveys two important spiritual truths.

    1) The divine. The kingdom is within you. The temple of being is My throne. Thy heart is My home.

    2) and the oneness of humanity.

    Thank you for sharing.
     
  7. lehket

    lehket New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vajradhara,

    Amy asked for some help with this one in the Planet Baha'i forum. I'm not sure I can be of definitive help, since my knowledge of Buddhism is a little shaky, too, but I did have a couple of thoughts for you on this.

    I'm not familiar with all of the specific prophecies you mentioned, but I did once (many years ago) run across a mention of a prophecy that was specifically time-linked. It described the gradual decay of Buddhism as taking place in five stages of 500 years each, or a total of 2500 years. As it happens, we are now living about 2500 years after the Buddha. These stages are remarkably similar to what might be expected from a Baha'i standpoint. They describe not world-shattering events or the loss of texts, but the decline of the Buddhist community's practice of the religion itself. I forget how two of the periods were described, but the rest went something like this:

    1st period: Buddhists would attain liberation according to the Dharma.
    2nd period: (Don't remember)
    3rd period: (Don't remember)
    4th period: They would only be assured of reciting the words of the scriptures. (This may have been the 3rd period.)
    5th period: They would only be assured of building temples.

    At the end of the 5th period would follow the destruction of the Dharma and the arrival of Maitreya.

    Perhaps you are aware of this, or of something similar. In any event, this maps very well onto the general understanding Baha'u'llah gives us of the "life cycle" of religions: spiritual springtime, summer, fall, and winter, followed by the renewal of a new springtime. Moreover, the time period is just about exactly right for the appearance of Baha'u'llah. (Remember, this came from a Buddhist source. At the time I read it, I was not yet a Baha'i, in fact.)

    Another point which is important from a Baha'i view is that prophecies must primarily be read with an eye towards spiritual understanding. The destruction or passing away of the Dharma is most likely a reference to the failure of people generally to correctly align themselves with it, rather than some strange disappearance of the concept from history. Similarly, the loss of the Diamond Sutra (or any other scripture for that matter) would not be the physical loss of the text, but the corruption of the text by false interpretations and the failure generally of people to follow its teachings.

    It should also be remembered that there are always a few pure and illuminated souls who will, to the best of their ability, follow the teachings correctly, but even these may be unwittingly led astray to some degree by reigning interpretations and doctrines. None of us lives in a vaccuum, after all. So it is possible that the loss of a teaching (in the sense of the failure of people to follow it) may not mean that nobody can be found who understands and lives it. But such people would be relatively rare.

    I can't comment on the other items you mentioned, since I have never run across them before. But I hope this helps in some small measure.

    --Dale
     
  8. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namaste dale,


    thank you for the response and welcome to the forum.

    the issue that you raise is one that takes a few variations in the Buddhist tradition. the standard attribution of the 2500 year interval to mark the end of the Dharma is the least accepted interpetation of this prophecy.

    one of the issues, in my opinion, that you are running into is that of how and what the Buddha taught and when. the Buddhas teachings are generally broken down into three distinct times, which we call the Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. in any event... the first period, which lasted about 10 years of so, corresponds with his exposition of the basics of the Hinyana path.. morality and discipline. the next 20 year period corresponds with his exposition of the Mahayana emphasizing the teaching of Emptiness and the last years generally correspond to the Vajrayana which is an emphasis on Meditation on Emptiness.

    the Buddha used what is called in Buddhism, expedient means, to teach the beings that were present. this is a tricky thing to get our heads around since we are used to having one teaching that is correct and others that are not.. and it's our job to distinguish them from each other. Buddhism is not like this. there are 84,000 entries into the Dharma and each is expounded for the disposition of the hearing being and thus each one is provisonally correct.

    now.. i should say that this is a veiw from the Vajrayana and as such, some Buddhists will not agree with me :) viva la difference!

    the Buddhist prophecy regarding the passing away of the Dharma is indeed, a real passing away of all the teachings. not a generalized misunderstanding, though i know that this is the position of the Baha'i in regard to this issue. the Buddha makes is quite clear, in my opinion, that is an actual event in the timeline of this world system.

    now it's true enough that the Dharma will not disappear from all world systems.. just this one... in Buddhists cosmology there are 10,000 world systems that comprise our multiverse, not our universe. in any event... that's sort of afield from our topic, though we can discuss it in more depth should anyone so choose.

    the Buddha mentions the Diamond Sutra specifically being lost.. gone, not available, not misunderstood. the Diamond Sutra was misunderstood when the Buddha proclaimed it for the first time.. in fact he says that "When some beings hear this Sutra for the first time there will be gnashing of teeth. other beings will hear and believe this sutra and enter into the Bodhisattva path." (paraphrase there... as i don't like being too pendantic in these discussions).
    the very last Sutra to be lost with the Perfection of Wisdom in 15,000 lines... though i'll have to check that one since i'm just recalling this off the top of my head.

    now... without getting to far afield... the Dharma is understood, by us Buddhists, on many levels.. and in a certain sense, it's absolutely correct that it will never be lost. however, it is true, according to the Sutras, that this particular planet will lose the actual Dharma until Maitreya arises to expound it once more.

    there are individuals that are capable of realizing enlightenment whilst the Dharma is not present in the world, these beings are called Solitary Realizers and do play an important role in Buddhism.. not so much in the modern iterations though.
     
  9. Ocean_Drop

    Ocean_Drop World Citizen

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Vajradhara,

    What sort of an event do you envisage that could wipe out the millions of Buddhist Books around the world, including those stored digitally? We're talking an event that would affect everywhere from the mountains of Tibet to the books in your own library. I think Dale's explanation is sound in that it suggests a meteor impact or nuclar war isn't a necessary prerequisite for the appearance of Maitreya to restore the Dharma to the world (assuming there are any people left at that point).

    Ocean Drop
     
  10. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    10
    Although I'm not up with the technical details, wouldn't a world bereft of its wisdom be the perfect scenario for the appearance of a major religious figure?

    After all, as little as 15 years ago the world still faced the very real threat of total annihilation through nuclear conflict between East and West.

    And even now, rather than two main opposing sides being possessed of nuclear arms, nuclear technology is filtering through the developed world - cf, the recent developments with the Pakistani nuclear scientist, and the nuclear programs of Libya, North Korea, and Iran.

    I hate to say it, but I do personally believe that there is more than ample potential for Man to see himself burned by some at least limited nuclear exchange, before we can take this menace with real serious concern for the welfare of humanity, rather than the concerns of nationalism and possesiveness.

    I'm probably out of my field making comments with reference to Buddhist issues, though. :)
     
  11. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. 9Harmony

    9Harmony goin' with the flow...

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dear Brian,

    I am continually impressed by your wisdom and openness. It is a real pleasure to correspond with you through this venue.

    "The vitality of men's belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it?... The Word of God, alone, can claim the distinction of being endowed with the capacity required for so great and far-reaching a change." Baha'u'llah

    "Strange and astonishing things exist in the earth but they are hidden from the minds and the understanding of men. These things are capable of changing the whole atmosphere of the earth and their contamination would prove lethal." Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p 69

    Keep in mind Baha'u'llah stated this prior to the discovery of nuclear energy. This quote seems to point to it's discovery and inevitable misuse. IMHO


    Loving Greetings, Harmony
     
  13. Ocean_Drop

    Ocean_Drop World Citizen

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bingo!! You just hit on one of the underlying purposes of God sending forth His prophets. The Baha'i writings liken the appearance of a Manifestation with the Rising of the Sun above the Horizon, illumining the hearts of mankind. This is a true gem... hopefully someone will post a passage from the Writings (Abdu'l'Baha I'm pretty sure) illustrating this more thoroughly. In the meantime it's worth pondering a while....
     
  14. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namaste ocean drop,

    thank you for the post.


    well.. there are seveal things that could accomplish this task. it's easy enough to lose electrictiy which does away with all the eletronic copies, something like an EMP in the proper location would effectively do this.

    a repressive government could inact a plan to forcibly remove texts that they don't agree with.. this is already done in some countries.

    i've a vivid imagination.. heck... space aliens could land an enslave the entire human race! ;)

    however... the suggestions provided thus far do not take into account the actual Buddhist Sutras on this. you do know, do you not, that the Buddha of this historical epoch was not the first Buddha to appear in this world system? in point of fact, Buddha Shakyamuni met Budda Dipankara when he was an ascetic in one of his former lives. it was at this meeting that Shayamuni realized the Dharma of No Dharmas and entered into the Bodhisattva path. his arising at the Buddha Shakyamuni was at the completion of his journey along the Bodhisattva path, according to the Mahayana at any rate.

    further... there are 13 more Buddhas to come... Maitreya is simply the next in the line of Bodhisattvas that complete the path that is no path.

    however... the fundamental aspect of this is lost in these prophecies.. they make it seem as if these beings are different from us in some fashion. this is not the case. you and i are identical to the historical Buddha.. in fact, to all the Buddhas of the Three Times. to quote my favorite movie Taoist... "no different. only different in your mind."
     
  15. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    ah... i think i see it now...

    Namaste all,

    i think that i understand the source of our confusion over this issue :)

    from what i can read the Baha'i sources are all strictly Pali and do not include any of the Mahayana Sutras. this is an acceptable method to use, however, it is incomplete.

    this is why we do not agree.

    further... it is very important to have a proper translation. i've yet to be able to find a source for the translations that are being used for the Suttas... which could also contribute to our misunderstandings.
     
  16. lehket

    lehket New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Vajradhara,

    I can't claim extensive knowledge of the subject, so about all I can offer is how I would, based on what I know, understand the matter.

    I don't know what is in the texts that make you think that the texts themselves must someday be lost, but I find it very interesting that there is a parallel in that belief to an Islamic belief that the texts that form the Bible (particularly the Gospels and the Jewish texts) have been "lost" in the sense that they have been physically corrupted by people desiring to alter them to suit their preferences. Baha'u'llah, addressing this belief, said that it was in error and that by the phrase "alteration of the Texts" (which appears, as I recall, in the Qur'an) is meant the misinterpretation of the texts so that their meanings are altered, and not the literal changing of the words that comprise the Texts.

    Where time frames are concerned, there is a similar situation in Christianity. Prior to the 1800's, although Christians often felt that the "end times" were almost upon them, no efforts had been made to calculate from the Biblical texts when such might happen. In the early 1800's, however, efforts were made to do such calculations, and the results indicated that 1844 was the critical year. When 1844 came and went without Christ descending from the clouds, however, the calculations were revised and, eventually, entirely different interpretations were put forward that again de-emphasized time calculations.

    But as it happens, the Bab (Baha'u'llah's Herald) proclaimed His mission on May 23, 1844. One might view this as a strange coincidence, since in the Islamic world the Biblical calculations were probably were not even known. On the other hand, they had their own time calculations. Based on Islamic prophecies, the critical year for the arrival of the "end times" was 1260 A.H. in the Islamic calendar. As it happens, 1260 A.H. coincided with A.D. 1844. And also curiously, this is approximately 2500 years after the Buddha. All these things seem to converge, and just by coincidence (if indeed it is coincidence) that is when the Bab arose and proclaimed the coming of Baha'u'llah.

    Of course, a lot of people just shrug it off because it doesn't fit their preconceived notions of what's going to happen. But for my money, it's a very curious set of circumstances that at the least deserves consideration. So I considered it and eventually decided it was for real. Your mileage may vary. ;)

    Incidentally, your discussion of "expedient means" is very similar to how Baha'is think about such teachings. Baha'u'llah taught that every Manifestation of God delivered His teachings in accordance with the needs and requirements of the times, taking into account what the people were able to understand and absorb. Religious truth is therefore relative to the age in which it is revealed. Moreover, different people have different capacities and are at different points on their spiritual journey, so they may get different things out of any given passage from Scripture. It is not that Truth itself varies, but our ability to comprehend it and respond to it varies. So there is a strong similarity between the Baha'i and the Buddhist approach. (Of course, this is also at least implied in other religions. Jesus, for example, told His followers, "I have other things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.")

    I may not get over here much, but I'll try to drop in from time to time. With any luck the other Baha'is here will be able to carry the discussion in my absence. ;)
     
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namaste lehket,

    thank you for the post.

    well... not to put too fine a point on it... what makes me think that is the words of the Sutra itself, no other reason :)
     
  18. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    In a glass menagerie

    Budhism and Baha'i are two religions which offer us the example of how people being the same everywhere can adopt with enthusiasm religious beliefs and observances which apparently are so opposite.

    But when you keep Buddhists in a huge glass cage where you can't hear them but can see them, and also Baha'ists in another similar cage side by side with that of the Buddhists, then you will realize that they are into the same thing.

    Knowledge and mastery of religion is like keeping afloat in water. Once you acquired the skill, then you know what the different kinds of swimming are all about: keeping afloat and getting somewhere in the water.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  19. IMSassafras

    IMSassafras A Believer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sutras...

    Vajradhara,

    Question: How many translations are there and which ones are the most accurate? Do you recommend a certain translation?


    I did a few searches in the Ocean program, and when I searched the word "sutras" under the Baha'i category I came up with only one reference. It goes as follows:

    I really am not able to expound on this information. I just thought it to be interesting and useful for future reference or discussions with, maybe, others which might be more knowledgeable in this area.

    Although, if you would like to expound on this quote, please do so. I would be very interested in any more information you can offer.

    warmly,
    Sassafras
     
  20. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    Namaste sassafrass,


    there are many translations from a few different sources. so.. the question is really, which source is the translator working from and who is the translator?

    as i'm sure you are aware, English is a rather limited language for expressing some forms of speech which are found in Farsi, Sanskrit, any of the Tibetan-Sino languages et al.

    i'm not trying to be a prig or anything like that... however, i believe that it's rather important to know who it doing the translating and from what source.

    honestly... i think that the crux of our disagreements on these issues is due to the canon from which the Baha'i have extracted the Buddhist teachings. these are Pali canon Suttas, which generally correspond with the Hinyana tenet system.

    you know... i wonder if i should mention this here... all the Buddhas of the Three Times are one and the same... moreover, they are we and we are they and in this, there is no "we" or "they".

    sometimes, it seems like Buddhas are presented as something different than us, something outside or beyond.. somehow something we have to strive for or achieve. Buddhanature is inherent in all beings. we do not have to strive for, reach, work or attain to it. it is ours already, we simply do not recognize it. of course, this reflects my Mahayana view and may not be agreed upon by practiconers of the Two Vehicles.
     

Share This Page