Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category

Make me one with everything

May 19, 2014

What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?
“Make me one with everything.”

What did the hot dog vendor say to the Buddhist when he asked for his change?
“All change comes from within.”

 

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path, but Buddhas clearly show the way

October 4, 2009

By ourselves is evil done,
By ourselves we pain endure,
By ourselves we cease from wrong,
By ourselves become we pure.

No one saves us but ourselves.

No one can and no one may.

We ourselves must walk the path,

but Buddhas clearly show the way.

 Karma: A Story of Buddhist Ethics, 1894, Paul Carus.

The poem captures the ideas of Buddha but are not the Buddha’s words as such. See here

Gautama Siddharta, Buddha (563-483 B.C.), Dhammapada 165

But God’s Word says:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.

Ephesians 2.8

Good and bad aren’t absolutes – absolutely!

September 29, 2009

(in Buddhism)…no solid, unchanging “good” or “bad” can be established. Good and bad aren’t absolutes. They are beliefs, judgments, ideas based on limited knowledge as well as on the inclinations of our minds.

Steve Hagen (Zen Buddhist), Buddhism, 1998, p.42

So the holocaust might be ‘bad’ – but then again, that might just be my ‘limited knowledge’. Oh, and er, ‘Good and bad aren’t absolutes’ – that’s absolutely true I guess – solid, established and unchangingly true? Or is this statement just ‘limited knowledge’.

I myself feel that Buddhism is best for me

September 17, 2009

Each religion has its own philosophy and there are similarities as well as differences among the various traditions. What is important is what is suitable for a particular person. We should look at the underlying purpose of religion and not merely at the abstract details of theology or metaphysics. All religions make the betterment of humanity their primary concern. When we view the different religions as essentially instruments to develop a good heart—love and respect for others, a true sense of community—we can appreciate what they have in common….Everyone feels that his or her form of religious practice is best. I myself feel that Buddhism is best for me. But this does not mean that Buddhism is best for everyone else.

Dalai Lama,  addressing the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions

1. ‘All religions make the betterment of humanity their primary concern’. False. Christianity does not.

2. Like other religious pluralists, he has to reinterpret all other religions to fit his predetermined grid about what religion is or does.

3. Feelings are not a sure guide to truth. He is sincere and mistaken.

4. The consequences for his mistaken presumptions are more serious than he can imagine.

5. He is not, nor should be addressed as, ‘His holiness’ (like that bloke in the Vatican too). All our righteousness are filthy rags (Isaiah 64.6). He should be addressed as ‘sir’ like any other man.

The Gospel preserves indigenous culture

September 10, 2009

When we take the measure of Christian missionary involvement in translation work, we discover a new frontier of the modern world. More than 1,800 languages have been employed in translating the Scriptures. In many significant cases, these languages received their first breath of life from Christian interest. This is true whether we are speaking of Calvin and the birth of modern French, Luther and German, Tyndale and English, Robert de Nobili or William Carey and the Indian vernaculars, Miles Brunson and Assamese, Johannes Christaller and Akan in Ghana, Moffat and Sichuana in Botswana, Ajayi Crowther and Yoruba in Nigeria, and Krapf and Swahili in East Africa, to take a random list from many examples. A glance at the world map shows that the spread of Christian renewal overlaps significantly with the development of the vernacular. There is scarcely a language or culture of any significance that does not have some portion of Christian materials available in translation.

It is important to spell out what is the particular, specific Christian understanding of culture in the context of other world religions. It is clear that in their different ways Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism have a different status for culture, or at any rate regard the culture of origin as the universal paradigm. In so far as Buddhism conceives an ultimate reality which transcends human words, culture is of transitory value. For Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism, the founding culture becomes itself the sacral mode of encountering ultimate reality. Consequently, Arabic, Hebrew, and Sanskrit have become inseparable from the truth as seen by adherents of these religions. It follows from this that translating scriptures for canonical purposes in these religions is considered invalid, for the tones and sounds cannot be reproduced in other languages. Of these three religions, only Islam has emerged as a major missionary religion, with converts spread across innumerable cultural frontiers. It is, therefore, right to compare Christianity with Islam on this issue of translation. One fact is clear, namely, that the missionary success of Islam has never been fueled, or followed, by the translation of the sacred Qur’an for the purposes of salat, the prescribed five daily prayers. Since approximately 75% of the world’s 850 million Muslims are non-Arabic speaking, this implies a major downgrading of the mother tongues of these Muslims in the decisive acts of faith and devotion. For these non-Arab Muslims, Arabic is also the exclusive mode of religious orthodoxy.

Lamin Sanneh source

The urgency of Mission

September 10, 2009

In his missionary endeavour in China one of Hudson Taylor’s young converts was a young man called Nee Yung Fa. He was a Ningbo cotton dealer, and he was converted under Hudson’s preaching. He was also a leader in a reformed Buddhist sect – now this was a sect that didn’t go in for idolatry at all, but they were searching for truth and for the real true and living God. At the end of one of Hudson Taylor’s sermons, Nee Yung Fa stood up in his place and turned to address the audience and said: ‘I have long searched for the truth as my father did before me. I have travelled far but I haven’t found it. I found no rest in Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, but I do find rest in what I have heard tonight. From now on I will believe in Jesus’. Nee Yung Fa took Hudson Taylor back to his group of Buddhist believers, and he addressed that group and told his own testimony. Then another individual there was converted, and both of them were baptised. The other member of the group asked Hudson Taylor: ‘How long has the gospel been known in England?’. How long has the gospel been known in England? ‘For several hundred years’, he replied with a great tone of embarrassment. ‘What!’, exclaimed Nee, ‘What? Several hundred years, and you have only come to preach to us now? My father sought after the truth for more than 20 years and died not finding it! Why didn’t you come sooner?’.

Roger Steer, Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ, p.156 – online source

Eastern Religion and ethical distinctions

August 7, 2009

“Good and evil,” says the Buddhist, “are both fetters: the perfect one became master over both.”; “what`s done and what`s not done,” says the man who believes in the Vedanta, “give him no pain; as a wise man he shakes good and evil off himself; his kingdom suffers no more from any deed; good and evil – he has transcended both” – an entirely Indian conception, whether Brahman or Buddhist.

Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals,Third Essay: What Do Ascetic Ideals Mean?, 17

Cf.

If you want to get the plain truth, be not concerned with right and wrong.  The conflict between right and wrong is the sickness of the mind.

Zen master Yun-Men, quoted in Alan Watts, Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen (San Francisco: City Lights, 1959), p. 10.

Death in Buddhism

August 6, 2009

A grieving woman carried her dead child to the Buddha and asked him to revive her son. The Buddha calmed the woman and told her he would require 3 mustard seeds from a family where so far no one had died, in order to revive the lad.

The woman went from house to house only to be told that at sometime someone had died. Gradually she realised the truth. and going to a cemetery, she laid her child’s body and taking his hand in hers, said, ‘Beloved son, I thought death has overtaken you alone, but it overtakes all of us.’ She went back to the Buddha and became his disciple.

Buddhism accepts death and suffering as inevitable. It offers no removal of it, except to attain to Nirvana (personal non-being through absorption into a greater all) in the after-world and techniques of accepting it in this.

Contrast Jesus’ response to the woman who brought him her dead son: he brought the boy back to life. (LUKE 7:11-17)

And too, his response to hearing of Lazarus’ death: he was troubled and angered at death – an enemy and alien in God’s good creation. In Buddhism death is part of the natural cycle of things. In Christianity death is unnatural.

Christ – He, not merely His teachings, must be known

July 30, 2009

―When Buddha, at the time of his death, was asked how it would be best to remember him, he simply urged his followers not to trouble themselves about such a question. It did not matter much whether they remembered him or not, the essential thing was the teaching. … We can understand it without knowing anything of its inventor. But this is not the way of Christian Truth.‖

Sir Norman Anderson, “Christianity and World Religions”, citing H.D. Lewis and R.L. Slater’s “World Religions”