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Thread: The Buddha wasn't a Buddhist

  1. #1
    An interesting article by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche published in the Washington Post:

    The Buddha wasn't a Buddhist

    "What Buddhism is, at this point, is certainly out of the Buddha's hands. His teachings passed into the hands of his followers thousands of years ago. They passed from wandering beggars to monastic institutions, from the illiterate to the learned, from the esoteric East to the outspoken West. In its travels, Buddhism has been many things to many people. But what did the Buddha intend when he taught?"

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2010/04/the_bud dha_wasnt_a_buddhist.html

    [ I wasn't sure where to post this. Mods, please move as needed ].

  2. #2
    andyrobyn
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    Thanks Pink_trike ...

    Seems the right spot to have a discussion on the points raised to me,
    also - from a quick initial read

  3. #3
    Forums Member thundreams's Avatar
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    I really loved the article and appropreate for todays western world.

    .

  4. #4
    gerrymob
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    Very intereting article, nice and simple, to me exactly what Buddhism is about.

    And was the word Buddhism used in the lifetime of the Buddah? Do we know when the word came into use as as followers of the Buddah's teachings.

    Peace

    Gerry

  5. #5
    andyrobyn
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by gerrymob #4:
    And was the word Buddhism used in the lifetime of the Buddah? Do we know when the word came into use as as followers of the Buddah's teachings.
    Good question, hopefully some members who have knowledge about early Buddhism will comment to it.

    My thoughts are that if Lord Buddha was alive and teaching in the West today he would still not be concerned with promoting beliefs and religious labels or encouraging debates about doctrine which can distract from the practice necessary to enable us to experience the innate clarity of the mind.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by andyrobyn #5:
    My thoughts are that if Lord Buddha was alive and teaching in the West today he would still not be concerned with promoting beliefs and religious labels or encouraging debates about doctrine which can distract from the practice necessary to enable us to experience the innate clarity of the mind.
    My thoughts are that he might be pretty astonished at most of what is labeled as "Buddhism" in general !

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrymob #4:
    And was the word Buddhism used in the lifetime of the Buddah?
    "DhammaVinaya"

    Quote Originally Posted by gerrymob #4:
    Do we know when the word came into use as as followers of the Buddah's teachings.
    The Tibetan word for Buddhism is, unless I mistake my notes, nangpa, which has to do with 'going within'. So for the most part, the name used for the DhammaVinaya in other cultures is developed according to their understanding of what best encapsulates that which sets it apart.

    "Buddhism" shows up first in Western academic literature, and so is very modern. The root "-ism" (via the Greek '-ismos') relates to beliefs, and reflects the comparisons with Christianity that were ongoing at that time; Islam was first called 'Mohammadism' and nangpa was called 'Lamaism', so you see how the Western mind first approached these things.

  8. #8
    The Dharma is the antidote for the mental fiction/affliction known as "Buddhism".

  9. #9
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replying to Pink_trike:
    from post #1
    Great Article Pink dear,

    I just want to recall this quote of it, here and tell that I have always understand buddhism as a science of mind never as a religion. A kind of guide for the day to day life.

    "If you search "world religions," you'll find "Buddhism" on every list. Does that make Buddhism a religion? Does it mean that because I'm a Buddhist, I'm "religious"? I can argue that Buddhism is a science of mind -- a way of exploring how we think, feel and act that leads us to profound truths about who we are. I can also say that Buddhism is a philosophy of life -- a way to live that maximizes our chances for happiness"

    But I am still a little reluctant to tell about philosophy just because in western culture can be confused with the academic field of it. In the east philosophy is deeply rooted in experience and daily life... In the west, it tends to be an academic field for speculation and all those speculations are tinted with personal afflictions and turmoils about human existence. What the buddha taught was far from this aspect of the term "philosophy".


  10. #10
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    I'm pretty much coming down on the side of saying:

    "Buddhism is a religion,"

    ...purely as a skillful means to earning charity status with local governments.

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