Buddism and the Baha'i Faith

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

  1. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Messages:
    3,915
    Likes Received:
    0
    With further research found a bit more.

     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    3,786
    Likes Received:
    45
    hey, thanks for that follow up lunamoth :)
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes Received:
    161
    Baha'i marriage:

    lunamoth wrote:

    So, consent is required of all living parents before marriage. I do not know what actually happens in cases of adoption, but perhaps someone else here can answer that.


    Reply:

    Essentially Baha'i marriage requires the consent of living parents and of course the free voluntary consent of the prospective spouses. The Spiritual Asembly or Baha'i Institution needs to be satisfied that the parents give their free consent... regardless of the age of the prospective spouses... If a parent is incompetent their consent is not required but some evidence of this is needed. If the parent cannot be located and attempts were made to find them have failed their consent would be waived. In a case where one is adopted and doesn't know where their birth parents are, the consent is waived.

    The Marriage ceremony is very simple, the bride and groom says in front of witnesses selected by the Assembly that they will abide by the will of God.

    Non-Baha'is can also have a Baha'i marriage as long as they meet the requirements and the Assembly does not charge for a service.

    Baha'is can marry non-Baha'is, Christians, Buddhists, Moslems and there can be two services...one say Christian or other and one Baha'i however they must be in separate locales...say the Christian one in a church and the Baha'i ceremony outside.

    Most Baha'i marriages are simply inexpensive affairs and are not a therefore a burden to the families involved.

    - Art
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2005
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes Received:
    161
    Vajradhara wrote to Bruce:

    thank you for the post. fair enough... of course, i would ask the same consideration of you when you read my religous texts, yes?

    this seems to be a fact:

    "As you recognize, the authority of the Universal House of Justice is unchallengeable. This is stated in numerous places in the Writings. In the same passage of the Will and Testament quoted above, `Abdu'l-Bahá goes on to say of the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice: "Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself, and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God."

    "Furthermore, at the very end of the Will and Testament, in warning against the danger of Covenant-breaking, `Abdu'l-Bahá wrote: "Beware lest anyone falsely interpret these words, and like unto them that have broken the Covenant after the Day of Ascension (of Bahá'u'lláh) advance a pretext, raise the standard of revolt, wax stubborn, and open wide the door of false interpretation." In this context, He continues: "To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or express his particular conviction. All must seek guidance and turn unto the Centre of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error."

    http://bahai-library.com/?file=uhj_challenging_authority_uhj

    My reply:

    This refers Vajra to determinations and guidance within Baha'i Institutions and laws, not so much the general faculty of searching or exploring truth.... For this we Baha'is also agree with the excerpts provided:


    "Of course you are uncertain, Kalamas. Of course you are in doubt. When there are reasons for doubt, uncertainty is born. So in this case, 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, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering' -- then you should abandon them."

    the Criteria for Acceptance:

    "Now, 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, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' -- then you should enter & remain in them."

    We call this principle the "independent of reality or truth":

    Bahá'u'lláh emphasizes the fundamental obligation of human beings to acquire knowledge with their "own eyes and not through the eyes of others." One of the main sources of conflict in the world today is the fact that many people blindly and uncritically follow various traditions, movements, and opinions. God has given each human being a mind and the capacity to differentiate truth from falsehood. If individuals fail to use their reasoning capacities and choose instead to accept without question certain opinions and ideas, either out of admiration for or fear of those who hold them, then they are neglecting their basic moral responsibility as human beings. Moreover, when people act in this way, they often become attached to some particular opinion or tradition and thus intolerant of those who do not share it. Such attachments can, in turn, lead to conflict. History has witnessed conflict and even bloodshed over slight alterations in religious practice, or a minor change in the interpretation of doctrine. Personal search for truth enables the individual to know why he or she adheres to a given ideology or doctrine.

    Bahá'ís believe that, as there is only one reality, all people will gradually discover its different facets and will ultimately come to common understanding and unity, provided they sincerely seek after truth.

    Source:

    http://www.bahai.org/article-1-3-2-17.html
     
  5. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    0
    The pace of posts has certainly popped up!

    Having recently adopted this has been of some research including a letter from the House of Justice. Basically it comes down to whether the birth parents gave up "all rights" or just the right to raise the child. If the former then they are not required to give permission - note that the right of permission is not transfered to the adoptive parents though as an expression of their relationship the child may well ask. If just the right of raising the child was given up then the birth parents retain the right of permission. The specific details of language and circumstance vary - for example seeking birth parents may be illegal, or very difficult - no open records and such. Or it can take explicit language which will vary from country to country. Due in part to lack of resources, general forms are mentioned while specific cases will be judged then.

    You may be interested in reviewing a page about our adoption.
     
  6. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are interested I can post the letter to me concerning a number of adoption related issues (not just birth parents and permission.)
     
  7. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes Received:
    161
    Thanks for that update for adoptive parents! I know it seems more common these days for the birth parents and their adopted children to have more contact than previously...

    -Art
     
  8. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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


    thank you for the conversation, though perhaps a bit "spirited" at times.

    i feel as if i've said all that is appropriate to be said at this time concerning the commonalities and the differences between the Baha'i faith and Buddha Dharma.

    see you out there!

    :)
     
  9. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Baha'i

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Messages:
    493
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, Luna!

    To my knowledge, the latter situation you describe probably has little if any official standing in the Baha'i Faith. While such arbitrary disentollment may happen, I suspect it's used basically in cases where the individual in question didn't understand what she was doing (thought she was subscribing to a magazine or something), or is mentally incompetent and therefore unable to make such a decision.

    I've certainly never heard of something like being done as a "punishment."

    (Removal of administrative rights can happen for certain flagrant violations and is as you described.)

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2005
  10. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wonder, back to the topic, if the fact of denominations schisms in Buddhism counts as a "dharma has disappeared" argument - not as in gone but as in so mixed up with everything else it's hard to see it apart from the mess? More like "dharma has become camaflouged"....
     
  11. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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


    thank you for the post.

    not all that surprisingly, this is not the Buddhist view :)

    our teachings indicate that there are 84,000 Dharma Doors which beings can use to enter the stream, each one expounded for the particular needs and capacites of that being. as such, from a doctrinal point of view, there is no particular issue within Buddhism regarding the number of schools and so forth which exist.


    the Buddhist schism is a difficult thing to really get a grasp on without some grounding in the tradition. essentially, the first schism was due to a disagreement about which rules of the Vinya could be relaxed.

    shortly before Shakyamunis ParaNirvana, he explained that when he was no longer manifest, the Sangha could relax and release some of the minor rules that they were using at the time. oddly enough, to me at least, nobody really asked what those specific rules were and thus, after the ParaNirvana of Shakyamuni Buddha, the first council met and the schism ensued.

    a good overview of Buddhist history can be found here:
    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/index.htm

    within the context of the Dharma disappearing from this world system, the first Sutra that will disappear is called the Vajracchehika Prajna Paramita Sutra, more commonly called the Diamond Sutra.

    a quick Google search reveals over 370,000 hits for the Diamond Sutra. not saying that the internet is some sort of arbiter of truth or anything.. however, it does at least demonstrate that, thus far, the Diamond Sutra has not disappeared.

    naturally, as this is a religious teaching of ours, you do not have to accept it to any certain degree. from the Buddhist point of view, however, it seems pretty cut an dried at this moment in time.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  12. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes Received:
    161
  13. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks very much for your comments. As I mentioned before, I like to learn about all the religions and appreciate the chance to talk about something in common, however much it seems we speak of different things.

    I was wondering how "the tradition" could be understood in the face of schism? Wouldn't that mean that each schism has it's own formulation of tradition which may have some similarities with traditions from each schism?

    Every religion faces tests of schism, and most have many such breaks. Every instance is a matter of particulars full of the details and matters they hold dear (how could schism arise over things people aren't passionate about?!) and yet all of them together have the very fact of schism in common. No schism was ever established by the religion's Author, however much They make the religion flexible and allude to the multiple paths to truth. If One were to do so would they not create estrangement among their followers? Followers may find reason for estrangement but that comes from what they don't give up.

    The argument can be put far more strongly with any modest understanding of physics - every particular thing has a gravitational effect on every other thing, however small. So the very first time the Dharma was mentioned, it's was a permenent characteristic of the patterns of existence and can only always be present. Everything upon which light falls returns some light back to the universe - so when the Dharma was first written down, the light it was illumined by was reflected back into the universe, and light being timeless, will carry the very instant of it's first sight upon parchment to the furthest ends of the universe.

    This and similar extremes being the case how can the Dharma ever pass?

    May I suggest an alternative to the seemingly literal reference? What if the essential understanding of the Dharma, whatever it might be, were to be "lost"? And less than essential understandings might well last a good bit longer - such as a belief that Dharma was perfect well understood and still alive. Is this not rather the way the Buddha first appeared? Was the Dharma lost from previous Buddhas? In the light of the above, how could it literally be lost? Indeed it could not - but the understanding could be absent from the minds and hearts of people - even while some group maintain the divine law is still present (usually those who view themselves as representatives of the religion, who identify themselves with it.)
     
  14. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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

    thank you for the post.

    i, too, enjoy finding the commonalities of religous views for, it is my view, that this understanding facilitates a method of conversation and discussion which is not normally possible in the day to day surrounds that i find myself in.

    nevertheless, the differences in views is also of interest for the same reason, for me at any rate.

    well.. not really. as i say, it is a bit hard to get a real handle on, if such a thing can be done to begin with.

    to help bring it into more relief... you could view it like this: Buddhism, in all its forms, agree with each other in their religious content whereas they differ from each other in their philosophical and monastic content. i recall reading about the most recent Council where all three Vehicles affirmed their understanding and commitment of the religious teachings and affirmed that the other Vehicles were upholding the religious teachings as well.

    the philosophical aspect of Buddhism, which is where many people approach our religion from and, many stay, finds some wide variance in its adoption and adherence and, as such, tends to display more sharp relief between the various philosophical views found in Buddha Dharma.

    by the same token, Jesus wasn't a Christian, and Shakyamuni wasn't a Buddhist ;)

    from a doctrinal point of view, Buddhism establishes that there are 84,000 different entry ways to Truth, or Dharma Doors, as we call them. these teachings are given for the variety of sentient beings which exist. in the Buddhist view, each being has its own capacities and level of understanding and, thus, a method of entry was taught for that sort of being.

    humans, being what they are, are often poor representations of the religious ideals that they profess to hold, as i'm sure you agree.

    unless, of course, it is a massless particle, but i digress.

    this view seems to make it an object, some sort of "feature" of existence. that is an incorrect view.

    light, as a property of space/time, can only be temporal. as is everything which shares the properties of the universe.

    nevertheless, i'm not really following the analogy. if Awakening were something which could be quantified and measured in any sort of scientific manner, this analogy would be useful.. as it is.. i'm not really following it.

    were one to adopt the view that Dharma is a natural feature of the universe, or mulitverse, as the case may be, it can never disappear. in point of fact, what we mean to say, in a bit of shorthand for the non-Buddhists, is that when the talk turns to the Dharma disappearing, we are meaning it rather specifically. we mean to be saying that the Dharma disappears from this world system, not from reality.

    many beings do not have an understanding of a multiverse and so, to accomodate those beings, we speak of only this world system with regards to the arising and disappearance of the Dharma.

    of course, why could you not?

    that's all fine and good to speculate on, however, without knowing what that might be, how could one ever hope to come to a decision in this matter?

    Buddha Shakyamuni clearly taught that the Buddha Dharma would be lost to this world system roughly 15,000 years after his Turning of the Wheel. the Dharma is, naturally, still present (such that it is) though beings are no longer able to uncover it/understand it, so the teaching goes.

    indeed, this is called the Semblance Dharma period and, according to our teachings, is due to occur in roughly 2,500 years.

    this is part of it, yes.

    the "first" Buddha? do you mean Buddha Shakyamuni or one of his predecessors?

    yes, Buddhas arise in a world system when the Dharma is no longer able to be uncovered by sentient beings in that world system.

    it, literally, is covered over and appears to be lost. to the sentient beings involved, it is functionally the same. however, as the Buddha Dharma is what it is, it is never really lost or, for that matter, found. it is Suchness.

    if they view it as a divine law they are not practicing Buddha Dharma for the Buddha was not a divine being, at least in that arising at any rate :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  15. Yaqinud Din

    Yaqinud Din Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Arthra can you not use the word Moslem is it a derogatory slur use Muslim

    I'm not mad at you arthra because I'm thinking you did not know it was derogatory I hope that is the case.
     
  16. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes Received:
    161
    I wasn't aware of that and am so sorry if it came off as a derogatory in any way...please clue me in on why it is derogatory by sending me a personal e-mail available on my profile!

    - Art
     
  17. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've not ever seen a reference saying one or another spelling was publicized as derogatory either and would like to know as well.
     
  18. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks to Vajradhara for pointing this thread out to me.

    Ive spent about two hours now reading through it all, good thread!:)

    Everyone has spent a lot of words talking about the conditions and semantics of the prophecy, and there have been some good points made, but no one has really adressed what I believe to be the crucial issue. How can Baha'is claim that any Buddha is a manifestation of God when all Buddhist teachings clearly hold the view that there is no single, creator God?

    Although I do not agree with it, I am willing to concede the point that Buddhist teachings may have become somewhat corrupted over the last 2500 years, but I do not see how this could have happened to such an extent that we have just forgotten the part about Buddha Shakyamuni actually being a manifestation of God.

    (And I know I said I was going to keep out of the monotheism section, but come on! its a thread about Buddhism!:rolleyes: )
     
  19. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    0
    Also, is there anyone around here who is a part of the Maitreya mission? I would love to hear any views on the being in London who claims to be Maitreya.
     
  20. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes Received:
    161
    Thanks "awaiting" for your post and i'll see if i can respond to you... How can i address you?

    Awaiting_the_fifth wrote:

    Thanks to Vajradhara for pointing this thread out to me.

    Ive spent about two hours now reading through it all, good thread!:)

    Everyone has spent a lot of words talking about the conditions and semantics of the prophecy, and there have been some good points made, but no one has really adressed what I believe to be the crucial issue. How can Baha'is claim that any Buddha is a manifestation of God when all Buddhist teachings clearly hold the view that there is no single, creator God?

    Reply:

    Baha'is do not necessarily hold to the traditional concept of God used by many in their thinking processes... We do believe in God but define God as an "Unknowable Essence"..also in terms of creation Abdul-Baha has explained that the universe has always existed and that God is always creating...so it is not the traditional concept of Christian theology.

    Also our belief is that many of the original teachings of the historical Buddha have been lost in time...Consider that it was many years after the historical Buddha that the Buddhist canons were developed and that there are wide variations in concepts held by the various Buddhist schools.

    We do accept though that Gautama Buddha who lived in Nepal-India about the seventh century or so was a Manifestation of God. It isn't our purpose though to attack in anyway Buddhist schools of thought or practise.

    The prophecy of the Maitreya Buddha we believed was fulfilled by Baha'u'llah and was briefly mentioned by Shoghi Effendi the grandson of Abdul-Baha and Gaurdian of the Baha'i Faith until his passsing in 1957.


    Awaiting:

    Although I do not agree with it, I am willing to concede the point that Buddhist teachings may have become somewhat corrupted over the last 2500 years, but I do not see how this could have happened to such an extent that we have just forgotten the part about Buddha Shakyamuni actually being a manifestation of God.


    Reply:

    The following is my own opinion as an individual Baha'i and not an official view:

    Over the period of twenty five centuries I would suggest that there could have been corruption, but let me suggest that the teachings that come down to us that are still extant suggest to me that the Buddha had a design and plan in His teachings in the India of the day He lived. One of His main goals at the time was the disestablishment of the power of the Brahmin caste over the people of India.

    There were several ways this was accomplished in my opinion:

    The first was to attack the veracity of the Vedas as a viable spiritual
    source. He did this by allowing the use of Prakrit in His religion and redefining in the dhammapada what a Brahmin was;

    He refrained from being involved in the theological discussions of His day neither agreeing with the materialists or those who theorized about Brahman...

    He disallowed sacrifices of animals.

    And He forbade the extreme ascetism of His day that was popular among the yogi types of the time

    Awaiting:

    (And I know I said I was going to keep out of the monotheism section, but come on! its a thread about Buddhism!:rolleyes: )

    Reply:

    You're most welcome here!

    - Art
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2005

Share This Page