Buddism and the Baha'i Faith

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

  1. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    Hi Art. thanks for the reply.

    So do I understand you correctly that you believe that Buddha Shakyamuni just lied when he said that there was no God when he was actually manifestation of God in order to weaken the Braminist influence on India?

    Im just trying to understand.

    Forever
    Awaiting The Fifth
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Thanks Awaiting.. Hope i have your name correct!

    No i don't think a Manifestation of God would "lie".

    All I meant to imply was that He did not participate in the theological debates of the time and refrained from identifying Himself with materialists as well.

    There is probably much we do not know for sure about the Buddha after this length of time, some twenty four centuries later, but "lying" wouldn't be one of them in my opinion.

    Have nice week end and thanks again for posting!

    - Art
     
  3. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    I would compare the overall theme with Muhammad's cleansing of the Kaaba - as in the god's you worship are not gods, and I am not their Messenger. Muhammad was facing a much less diverse and complicated theological and cultural background than the Buddha was. It could have been the right thing to never create a bridge between truth and confusion by allowing there was some kind of God because no conception among the people he was talking to could have divorced the true concept of God from the fictitious ones everyone thought they knew so well.

    In modern parlance I compare the idea to something beyond overwhelming. For example, how bright really is the sun. If you are foolish and look at it directly without filter, it damages the eye and you see... nothing. Get out the balance scale to measure how much something weights in the vicinity of a blackhole and your body is broken and torn to subatomic particles before you can finish the thought - so what does something weigh? It's meaningless. If scales and weight are all you can think about in terms of gravity then explaining black holes is completely beyond you and all you can use is mystical language which confuses the issue at least as often as not.
     
  4. diamondsouled

    diamondsouled Active Member

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    Namaste !

    Having been a Baha'i for 35 years as well as having studied Buddhism for almost as long I know a little, with an emphasis on the little, about Buddhism. Comprehensive study of even one school of Buddhism can be a life long enterprise.

    The Baha'i claim that Buddhism has degraded from It's original monotheism is, to put it politely, bogus and clearly based on a lack of knowledge of Buddhism.

    Although there are many Schools of Buddhism there are fundamental Buddhist teachings that They all agree on.

    Besides the fourfold truth and the eightfold path there are three fundamentals that all Buddhists hold to.

    1. Impermanenance- Basically self explanitory

    2. Conditioned arising- all phenomenal things have conditions which lead to their arising

    3. Anatman- No soul-jiva.

    These fundamental Buddhist Teachings have not changed since Buddha's life time.

    Buddha's Middle-Way, between the extremes of eternalism and nihilism, is as brilliant today as it was 2,500 years ago!

    The reason Buddha took the Middle-Way is because of the monotheist and polytheist tendency to spend much of their time debating (and or fighting about) the existence of this god or that god or this attribute or that attribute of Brahman and to endlessly engage in philosophising and justifing belief in this god or that god, Brahman etc. What Buddha focused on was compassion and those behaviors which are condusive or not condusive to compassion; a far more practical approach to spirituality that has observable results in a short time.

    It is remarkable how little theists have changed in 2,500 years! They are still willing to persecute and kill one another over differences in religions and religious interpretation!

    We could use another Buddha today whether or not he was Maitrea.

    The Baha'i claim that Baha'u'llah was Maitrea is baseless based on Buddhist predictions to do with Maitrea; such claims are really unimportant in the final analysis though.

    Maitrea's apperance was to be several thousands of years from the time of Sakyamuni Buddha, in the 30,000 to 50,000 years range.

    Unimportant, in the sense that both Buddha and Baha'u'llah recognised the need for different teachings to suit different temperaments of individuals.

    Although Abdu'l-Baha' was quite brilliant, which is shown in his ability to quite clearly and eloquently explain His understanding of the niceities and differences between the Sufi and the Manifestation's understanding of pantheism, He actually knew very little about Buddhism and many other subjects.

    There is a definite bias towards mono-theism in the Baha'i Faith. Systems of spirituality that do not have mono-theism as their basis are most often disregarded or actually derided.

    This attitude towards non-monotheistic faiths can clearly be traced to the Baha'i Faiths origin in Iran and Iran's Faith communities of Shiah Islam and Zoroastrianism which are both strictly mono-theistic.

    Both Buddha and Baha'u'llah had some good ideas, more importantly They were both human beings, neither were or are supernatural beings.

    There is only us, we are them, ' as one soul '.

    Yours Larry Rowe - Vajratathagata
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2005
  5. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Well Hello Larry Rowe - Vajratathagata...

    Welcome to CR!

    Your comment:

    "The reason Buddha took the Middle-Way is because of the monotheist and polytheist tendency to spend much of their time debating (and or fighting about) the existence of this god or that god or this attribute or that attribute of Brahman and to endlessly engage in philosophising and justifing belief in this god or that god, Brahman etc. What Buddha focused on was compassion and those behaviors which are condusive or not condusive to compassion; a far more practical approach to spirituality that has observable results in a short time."

    is also close to my view that the Buddha took a more "via negative" or what today might be closer to a agnostic approach at the time to avoid the controversies and philosophical polarities that occupied the thinkers when He lived.

    Your comment:

    "There is a definite bias towards mono-theism in the Baha'i Faith. Systems of spirituality that do not have mono-theism as their basis are most often disregarded or actually derided."

    My reply:

    I agree Baha'i Faith is Monotheist however as a Baha'i you'll recall that God is not knowable "the unknowable essence" so while we do share some of the same beliefs as other monotheists, there is at least a recognition in our Writings of the Unknowable.

    Also I don't think we Baha'is spend a lot of time deriding other systems of spirituality. We place more emphasis I think on deepening in the Writings.

    Your comment:

    "The Baha'i claim that Baha'u'llah was Maitrea is baseless based on Buddhist predictions to do with Maitrea; such claims are really unimportant in the final analysis though.

    Maitrea's apperance was to be several thousands of years from the time of Sakyamuni Buddha, in the 30,000 to 50,000 years range."

    My reply:

    I think the prophecy of Maitreyya or the future Buddha is not soimething you'll find that we belabor a great deal.. It is however our belief that the furture Buddha suggested in Buddhists scriptures would introduce an era of kindness and friendship among men and that this is very much like the prophecy of Saoshyant in Zoroastrian prophecy and that suggested in other traditions to bring humanity together and build a peaceful world.

    There is what I would call a degree of hyperbole in some prophecies that should be weighed before we accept as literal the Maitreyya coming in "...the 30,000 to 50,000 years range."


    Your comment:

    "This attitude towards non-monotheistic faiths can clearly be traced to the Baha'i Faiths origin in Iran and Iran's Faith communities of Shiah Islam and Zoroastrianism which are both strictly mono-theistic."

    My reply:

    Historically you're correct that the Baha'i Faith emerged out of Shiah Islam and again that we also share monotheism is true with other religions. Zoroastrianism also while some would suggest more dualism is at heart a monotheist I would agree... but I also think it does not necessarily follow that we are ergo biased against other spiritual traditions.

    Your comment:

    "Both Buddha and Baha'u'llah had some good ideas, more importantly They were both human beings, neither were or are supernatural beings."

    My reply:

    As a Baha'i you'll recall we regard both the historical Buddha and Baha'u'llah as "Manifestations of God" and while the Buddha's teaching may not have been clearly monotheist as we've noted above, we nonetheless believe these Manifestations have very essential characteristics such as reflecting the Attributes of the Unknowable Essence and the central spiritual Sun of the universe so they are very special "human beings".

    Blessings!

    - Art
     
  6. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Interesting that on the one hand you underscore the complexity of the religion and then state matterafactly that Buddhism's degradation is bogus. Certainly Christianity has a more solid basis for a consistent scripture and less time to suffer the outrages of history, and yet it has divisions that place almost everything possible among and between incompatible opposites in teachings.

    As for Buddhism, I would offer that a sketch of Pure Land Buddhism would tend to disagree with the whole tone of a common Buddhism, comparable to some Christian denominations which hold Jesus but a man only.

    I don't think the fault is found in them being theists, but in failing to follow the teachings themselves.

    Now that is a most strange statement. How can you examine a Baha'i claim on Buddhist sources? You can compare, examine relationships, and perhaps decide which you beleive, but the Buddhist sources can say nothing definitive about the Baha'i Faith. They cannot refer to the Baha'i Faith without a serious step of interpritation. What you are claiming is baseless or not is that step of interpritation, and there is the measure of faith first, and truth second. But on this read more of the other post about faith and scripture where you asked if I was refering to religion or the Manifestations or etc.

    It is a strange thing to measure knowledge and understanding. One can only use knowledge and understanding to measure knowledge and understanding. In that sense, knowing a very great deal and but the tiniest amount at any particular moment may be very erroneous measurements. Rather one can achieve truely great knowledge and understanding from a more superior condition. For example, one could fill libraries about examinations of the Bible, and yet if Jesus were to stand and say thus-an-so, no argument whatsoever based on any - any - examination of the Bible could compare - inherently - with what Jesus then said. The limitation behind this, of course, is that one must hear the words and decide what they mean as best we can know. This is another way relative knowledge can be misleading. A way past this is to know things in themselves, knowing whatever one wishes or should know. It is my understanding that the Manifestations, and Key Figures of religion, had this knowledge, or perhaps the right word could be gift, or sense. However much they might not seem knowing, They knew. Perhaps a mild simulation of this is when Einstein developed the insight that was the basis of Special Relativity, it took some years to learn the math to explain in detail. But Eistein knew, he did not need the math, however much it was useful.

    Taking classification systems and applying them to truth places the emphasis on the classification systems. I beleive the point of faith is to raise the bar on truth, and see it for oneself, unalloyed by systems such as these.

    Of course, it is rather difficult to unbind ourselves from systems of thought, so much are they about everything we do.

    Words can be slippery. None of them mean only one thing. Every now and then I argue with folk about what is organic, natural, or not. Atomic bombs are natural - ie a product of the natural laws, and yet surely not natural. And seeing only human beings and supernatural being as the choice to choose between is a position of which 'Abdu'l-Baha spoke eloquently and which you come close to when you mention his examination of Sufi ideas of pantheism.

    I have tried to compare God as I understand Him from the Baha'i pov with a super-extreme of nature - a black hole (and it's hypothetical opposite, a white hole.) All attempts at measurement are meaningless and comparable directly to nothing. And yet actually in the presence of nothing and a black hole are entirely incompatible experiences, however unmeasurable.

    Quite a dense post...
     
  7. diamondsouled

    diamondsouled Active Member

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    Howdy Art and Steve,

    'Quite a dense post...'

    Indeed! I don't mean that in any derogatory sense either.

    What is more dense than that primordial particle from which this entire universe has evolved?

    Perhaps concentrated would be a better word.

    I have sometimes drawn the connect between the Bab's Name as the Primal Point with that primordial particle.

    Hyperbole is common within all religions, the Baha'i Faith included. The predictions of the Baha'i Faith to do with It's life span can be viewed as are Buddhist time spans.

    "As to the third Dispensation -- the Revelation proclaimed by Bahá'u'lláh -- inasmuch as the Sun of Truth when attaining that station shineth in the plenitude of its meridian splendor its duration hath been fixed for a period of one whole month, which is the maximum time taken by the sun to pass through a sign of the Zodiac. From this thou canst imagine the magnitude of the Bahá'í cycle -- a cycle that must extend over a period of at least five hundred thousand years. "

    ~ Abdu'l-Baha' ~

    If fifty thousand years is a hyperbole what is five hundred thousand years?

    Yours Larry
     
  8. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Indeed!

    I think in part it depends on the grasp of the cultural reflection or sense of time. Perhaps notable human history is some 12 thousand years. But the math and history people had a realistic grasp of was not so much. Now we speak of accurate climate records lasting many thousands of years, evolving planetary millions of years, and galactic populations of stars lasting billions of years and a comfort zone of feeling the universe as we know it being some 12.5 billions of years old.

    This isn't to make the outer ends of knowledge, but to note that 500,000 years isn't so far from our sense of a time scale as it could seem. We are planning, for example, to try and mark a radiological dump lasting several hundred thousand years. It would be nice if we could leave something a good deal more positive for that long.
     
  9. diamondsouled

    diamondsouled Active Member

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    Re: Buddhism and the Baha'i Faith

    "Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience.Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and
    elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

    ~ Buddha - Kalama Sutra ~

    There are many parallels to be found between Buddha's Teaching above and Baha'u'llah's Teachings.

    There is only us, we are them, 'as one soul'.

    Yours Larry
     
  10. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    Finally had a chance to go back to read the related post on Buddhist prophecy of Maitreya.... http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=872

    Hmmm...

    Some reactions...

    "At that time, the ocean 'will lose much of its water, and there will be much less of it than now. In consequence a world-ruler will have no difficulties in passing across it. "

    reminds me extremely of Revelations - "And I saw ... and there was no more sea."

    I beleive the interpritation is that previously natural barriers tended to isolate one people from another, one nation from another, one empire from another - and that such barriers would be overcome or reduced in effect.

    Then there seems to be an extended section of impossible extremes, seemingly mythological, but extending the above style - that of the sea level literally dropping significantly. A continent flattening and growing grass everywhere and so on. Perhaps these are elaborations of the above interpritation - that the organization of peoples and problems from competing nations would be ended and induced problems would cease. Of course it frames all these as natural events, but such events have always been impossible - some other explanation/interpritation seems far more likely.

    Curious that such a wonderful world would require a Buddha - I'm used to thinking that a Manifestation arises when things are problematic.

    "And when his father sees that his son has the thirty-two marks of a superman, and considers their implications in the light of the holy mantras, he will be filled with joy, for he will know that, as the mantras show, two ways are open to his son: he will either be a universal monarch, or a supreme Buddha. But as Maitreya grows up, the Dharma will increasingly take possession of him, and he will reflect that all that lives is bound to suffer."

    Now this also reminds me of Baha'u'llah - a nobleman's son, positioned to be ready to serve in the court of government, and yet clearly and progressively seperating from that path, and noted for being on another path.

    "When Bahá'u'lláhwas twenty-two years old, His father died, and the Government wished Him to succeed to His father's position in the Ministry, as was customary in Persia, but Bahá'u'lláh did not accept the offer. Then the Prime Minister said: "Leave him to himself. Such a position is unworthy of him. He has some higher aim in view. I cannot understand him, but I am convinced that he is destined for some lofty career. His thought are not like ours. Let him alone.""

    "He will have a retinue of 84,000 persons, whom he will instruct in the mantras. With this retinue he will one day go forth into the homeless life."

    I think of his title Lord of Hosts, and homeless - while certainly a spiritual metaphor, there is also the reality of banishment.

    Not sure what to make of the Dragon Tree exactly.

    "They will be assembled in a park full of beautiful flowers, and his assembly will extend over a hundred leagues. Under Maitreya's guidance, hundreds of thousands of living beings shall enter upon a religious life."

    Assembling in a park with flowers happened a few times, and Baha'u'llahs reach even in His own lifetime went over the horizon. Curiously low number for a huge reality. Reminds me of the 144,000 of Revelations. Hmmm...

    From "'And thereupon Maitreya, the compassionate teacher, surveys those who have gathered around him, and speaks to them as follows..." we get a feel for what the Baha'i Faith calls progressive revelation - and even to noting specifics like "It is because you have worshipped Shakyamuni with parasols, banners, flags, perfumes, garlands, and unguents that you have arrived here to hear my teaching." reminds me much of various quotes including "Guidance hath ever been given by words, and now it is given by deeds. Every one must show forth deeds that are pure and holy, for words are the property of all alike, whereas such deeds as these belong only to Our loved ones. Strive then with heart and soul to distinguish yourselves by your deeds. In this wise We counsel you in this holy and resplendent tablet." and "ere long the assayers of mankind shall, in the holy presence of the Adored, accept naught but purest virtue and deeds of stainless holiness." from the Hidden Words
     
  11. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste smkolins,

    thank you for the post.

    Buddhas are not Manifestations... it pretty much is that simple :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  12. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Looking for the crest jewel...

    I think it would be interesting to compare the various concepts say of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Tirthankaras, Avataras and Manifestations.

    Also I think there's bound to be a variety of views I'm sure as to what these Beings are like. When we discuss Christ with Christians there is a similar issue where we can have different concepts.

    The Buddha is accepted by us as a Manifestation.

    `Abdu'l-Baha describes the Buddha as "the cause of the illumination of the world of humanity" (CoC1 43:15) and as the establisher of "a new religion" (CoC1 46:16).

    I don't think many Buddhists would disagree with that.

    From our view I think as Baha'is we see a Manifestation as appearing from time to time to promote the advancement of humanity and that at the point of greatest need the Manifestation appears..


    The concept that Manifestations appear over fairly vast periods of time from an unknown measureless past to the future and can appear in various worlds is probably one of the more obvious areas of similarity with the appearance of Buddhas.

    We would say also that a Manifestation has innate knowledge rather than acquired knowledge. When you consider the stories about the early life of the Buddha this seems to me to be implied.

    If you look for the simialrities between the concepts they are there in my view.

    - Art

    :cool:
     
  13. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Art,


    thank you for the post.

    i realize that Baha'i think that Buddha Shakyamuni is a Manifestation of God. to view it in this manner, however, is certainly foreign to Buddha Dharma in which Buddha Shakyamuni specifically denied that he was a being of this sort. in fact, when pressed about what sort of being he was, his answer to the query was "Awake".

    I suppose that it wouldn't really matter much if i explained that the arising of the Buddha Dharma in this world system, in our historical epoc was not, in fact, the first arising of a Buddha in this world system... thus, there was no "new religion" when Buddha Shakyamuni expounded the Dharma, would it?

    we seem to go round and round on this particular one, eh? :)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  14. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    Re: Looking for the crest jewel...

    Arthra, you say

    But it seems to me that your claim is not an acceptance, but rather a denial. You deny that Buddha was what he claimed to be and you deny what he stood for.

    I was under the impression that it was Shogi Effendi or Abdu'l-Baha (cant remember which one) who originally claimed that Buddha Shakyamuni was a manifestation of God. These men were not manifestations themselves, so what evidence did they have for this claim? The only evidence available would have been Buddhist scriptures.

    So basically, the baha'i faith is claiming, based on buddhist scriptures, that buddhist scriptures are wrong.
     
  15. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Re: Looking for the crest jewel...

    Hello Awaiting!

    Good to read your post!

    Awaiting wrote:

    But it seems to me that your claim is not an acceptance, but rather a denial. You deny that Buddha was what he claimed to be and you deny what he stood for.

    Comment:

    Well I wouldn't really agree with your summation Awaiting... You understand that these concepts like the "Buddha" have developed over time. Many Vaishnava Hindus regard the Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu and we know in Buddhism the gods of the Vedic pantheon take on a new meaning...one not necessarily based on the Vedas but on Buddhist scriptures...

    Awaiting:

    I was under the impression that it was Shogi Effendi or Abdu'l-Baha (cant remember which one) who originally claimed that Buddha Shakyamuni was a manifestation of God. These men were not manifestations themselves, so what evidence did they have for this claim? The only evidence available would have been Buddhist scriptures.

    Comment:

    I can only respond here from the Baha'i point of view that Abdul-Baha the eldest son of Baha'u'llah and the authorized Interpreter of His Writings had a deep respect for the Buddha and recognized Him as a Manifestation.

    I think that should be taken as a compliment and a recognition of the spiritual greatness of the Buddha, not as a rejection or an attack.

    Awaiting:

    So basically, the baha'i faith is claiming, based on buddhist scriptures, that buddhist scriptures are wrong.

    My comment:

    Well I don't think so really... We respect the Buddhist scriptures and wouldn't say they are simply "wrong".

    Buddhist scriptures as you know took a good deal of time to develope and as you realize there are different canons of scripture.

    If you haven't had the opportunity there's an article about Buddhism and the Baha'i faith at

    http://bahai-library.com/encyclopedia/buddhism.html

    I would encourage you to review.

    There's also another article you might find interesting:

    http://bahai-library.com/essays/common.ground.html

    In friendship,

    - Art


    :)
     
  16. smkolins

    smkolins Bahá'í

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    He may have denied what you think is God. We differ about what that God might be perhaps.

    Interesting about being awake - "His Holiness Christ, addressing the believers, uttereth the following in the Gospel: "Be awake lest the Son of Man come and find ye asleep!" and "O friends of God! Be awake, be awake; be vigilant, be vigilant!" and "O ye concourses of men! Awake! Awake! Become mindful! Become mindful! Open ye the seeing eye! Unstop the hearing ear! Hark! Hark!" and "The people of this world are thinking of warfare; you must be peacemakers. The nations are self-centered; you must be thoughtful of others rather than yourselves. They are neglectful; you must be mindful. They are asleep; you should be awake and alert...."

    To my ears this identical to the Baha'i Teaching of "This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future."

    But within that scheme was the Buddha Dharma called such before Buddha Shakyamuni? Indeed was there a word Buddha? Perhaps this is like calling the Buddha a Manifestation - a word not in use, could not have been used in the days of Buddha Shakyamuni....
     
  17. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste smkolins,

    if, by the term God, you mean the "Ultimate Ground of Being from Which All Things Derive" then Buddha Shakyamuni denied this. if you mean Gods of the Form realm, he denied that. if you mean Gods of the Desire realm, he denied that, if you mean Gods of the Formless Realms, he denied that. in essence, in any manner which you may conceive of deity, that is not what a Buddha is.

    i wouldn't really expect this to be something that would be well known outside of adherents to the Buddha Dharma.

    naturally, since you think that Buddha Shakyamuni was God or a Manifestation thereof. this is, of course, without foundation in the Buddha Dharma. however, that does not seem to matter all that much.

    yes and the Buddha Shakyamuni relates this to us.

    yes, it is a title, not a name of a specific being.

    how does that follow? a word which was in use during the previous Buddhas arisings was still in use when Buddha Shakyamuni arose in this world system. however, to think that this means that any of the Buddhas were or are gods is to seriously misconstrue what the Dharma is.

    naturally, as you are not a Buddhist, i wouldn't really expect that this would be something which you'd spend much time with. no worries there.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  18. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Re: Looking for the crest jewel...

    Namaste Art,

    thank you for the post. i hope you don't mind my interjection into your conversation with Awaiting the Fifth. :)
    yes, and they are incorrect about that.... of course, that is only the case if you beleive the Buddha Shakyamuni. as he quite clearly explained, he was not divine or an Avatar of any of the Gods in any of the God realms.

    so... he came to this view on his own? well.. no wonder. i thought that they had read the Tipitaka and determined this. which would be quite unusual, but this makes much more sense to me.

    not an intentional one, by any means, but it is a slander really. he said that he wasn't and you guys say that he is, so you are either calling him a liar or a lunatic (gotta love C. S. Lewis ;)) i'm going to have to go with Buddha Shakyamuni on his understanding of what he is, i'm sure you understand.

    isn't the word you use "corrupt"?

    sort of like how the Muslims think the Bible and Tanakh have been "corrupted". quite interesting really.

    there are three different canons, which mainly correspond to the Three Vehicles. more to the point, this displays a serious misunderstanding of the nature of the original Sangha and how the teachings were conveyed.

    the words are not it... in the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, Buddha gave direct mind to mind transmission of the Mind Seal and it has continued, unbroken, to this very day.

    Buddhism isn't a revealed religon and thus, we do not have any sort of clinging to the words of the teachers.. we are not to seek what they have, we are to seek what they sought, if that makes sense.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  19. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    For more "metta":

    Vajradhara

    Namaste Art,

    thank you for the post. i hope you don't mind my interjection into your conversation with Awaiting the Fifth. :)

    My reply:

    No my friend... but I would also hope that Awaiting will feel free to respond if he wishes...

    Vajra:

    yes, and they are incorrect about that.... of course, that is only the case if you beleive the Buddha Shakyamuni. as he quite clearly explained, he was not divine or an Avatar of any of the Gods in any of the God realms.

    Comment:

    I cited them to indicate there have been many views of Buddha over time and also that Buddhism itself redefined the vedic gods ...

    Vajra:

    so... he came to this view on his own? well.. no wonder. i thought that they had read the Tipitaka and determined this. which would be quite unusual, but this makes much more sense to me.

    Comment:

    I do know there were texts in Persia about Buddhism in India. Abdul-Baha lived close to His Father and interpreted His Writings. He recognized the Buddha as a Manifestation...

    Vajra:

    not an intentional one, by any means, but it is a slander really. he said that he wasn't and you guys say that he is, so you are either calling him a liar or a lunatic (gotta love C. S. Lewis ;)) i'm going to have to go with Buddha Shakyamuni on his understanding of what he is, i'm sure you understand.

    My comment:

    Maybe we could work here to have a more peaceful dialogue ...less "us" and "them" "you guys"... I do not call anyone a "liar" or "lunatic".

    Vajra:

    isn't the word you use "corrupt"?

    sort of like how the Muslims think the Bible and Tanakh have been "corrupted". quite interesting really.

    My reply:

    I'm not making a case here for that and we Baha'is do not agree with some who call the Gospel or Torah "corrupted" ...so this isn't really our thing.

    Vajra:

    there are three different canons, which mainly correspond to the Three Vehicles. more to the point, this displays a serious misunderstanding of the nature of the original Sangha and how the teachings were conveyed.

    the words are not it... in the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, Buddha gave direct mind to mind transmission of the Mind Seal and it has continued, unbroken, to this very day.

    Buddhism isn't a revealed religon and thus, we do not have any sort of clinging to the words of the teachers.. we are not to seek what they have, we are to seek what they sought, if that makes sense.

    Reply:

    Thank you for your views my friend.

    metta,

    Agreed!

    Let's start building a universal kindness and friendship here.

    - Art
    :)
     
  20. Awaiting_the_fifth

    Awaiting_the_fifth Where is my mind?

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    Re: For more "metta":

    I have been pondering my reply to these last messages for quite some time and I think I have eventually come to my conclusion.

    Buddhists believe that Buddha was, well, a buddha, because that is what he claimed to be.

    Many hindu faiths consider him to be an avatar of one of their Gods. While I obviously do not agree with this, I can accept it because there were Hindus around at the time to make up their own minds and incorporate him into their religion. Having said this I would be very interested to find out why Hindus believe this and I plan to start a thread on this very topic.

    Baha'i's consider the Buddha to be a manifestation of God, but as far as I can see, give no evidence to support this. This conversation has taken up 11 pages of posts and takes hours to read from start to end, but there is not one reason given by the Baha'is here as to why they believe this except that Shoghi Effendi said that it was so.

    But Shoghi Effendi was only a man. Had Baha'u'llah or The Bab said this then I still would not agree but I could understand why Baha'is would believe so blindly.

    Shoghi Effendi was born in 1897, five years after Baha'u'llah's death in 1892, therefore the two certainly never met. Why was Effendi chosen as the Guardian? Because of his parentage and education? Fair enough, but then is he not fallable? Furthermore, if this fallable man made a claim which turned out to be highly contentious, would it not be wise to check his sources?

    Even the greatest Scholars have to reference their works.

    So Shoghi Effendi, the man, claims that the Buddha, the central figure in the religion of about 600 million people, was not actually who he claimed to be. Can you Baha'is not see that this will upset people? Yet you still insist on the truth of it without a shred of evidence beyond, "Shoghi Effendi said so" and "Buddhist knowledge is corrupt"

    So the question I ask of the Baha'is here is this. Can any of you offer any original reason why Buddha Shakyamuni is actually an emination of God when he claims to be an enlightened Buddha? An original reason, rather than repeating the words of some other, fallable man/
     

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