Buddhism: Only True Religion

General forum on Mahayana.

Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Will » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:23 pm

Before the Dalai Lama left Tibet he thought Buddhism was the "only true religion". But his attitude changed when he visited India in 1956. What happened in India?

My visit to the Theosophical Society in Chennai (then Madras) left a powerful impression. There I was directly exposed to people, and to a movement, that attempted to bring together the wisdom of the world's spiritual traditions, as well as science... After more than three months in what was a most amazing country ... I was a changed man. I could no longer live in the comfort of an exclusivist standpoint that takes Buddhism to be the only true religion.
From Toward a True Kinship of Faiths

Many Western Buddhists have scorn for the Theosophical Society, founded by Upasika Blavatsky. The Presence looked a little deeper.
Last edited by Will on Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1873
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:26 pm

Will wrote:Before the Dalai Lama left Tibet he thought Buddhism was the "only true religion". But his attitude changed when he visited India in 1956. What happened in India?

My visit to the Theosophical Society in Chennai (then Madras) left a powerful impression. There I was directly exposed to people, and to a movement, that attempted to bring together the wisdom of the world's spiritual traditions, as well as science... After more than three months in what was a most amazing country ... I was a changed man. I could no longer live in the comfort of an exclusivist standpoint that takes Buddhsim to be the only true religion.
From Toward a True Kinship of Faiths

Many Western Buddhists have scorn for the Theosophical Society, founded by Upasika Blavatsky. The Presence looked a little deeper.



Depends on what you mean by "true".
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11754
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:34 pm

We Buddhists often possess the attitude of Mahayana versus Theravada as one is superior to the other. Surely we can extend this attitude to non-Buddhist also.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:38 pm

LastLegend wrote:We Buddhists often possess the attitude of Mahayana versus Theravada as one is superior to the other. Surely we can extend this attitude to non-Buddhist also.



Depends on what result one wants. Non-Buddhist religions do not result in Buddhahood, it is not their goal. Buddhahood is not the goal of Theravada either.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11754
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:44 pm

Namdrol wrote:
LastLegend wrote:We Buddhists often possess the attitude of Mahayana versus Theravada as one is superior to the other. Surely we can extend this attitude to non-Buddhist also.



Depends on what result one wants. Non-Buddhist religions do not result in Buddhahood, it is not their goal. Buddhahood is not the goal of Theravada either.


Is the goal not to break the barrier of self and others as a Buddhist?
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:54 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
LastLegend wrote:We Buddhists often possess the attitude of Mahayana versus Theravada as one is superior to the other. Surely we can extend this attitude to non-Buddhist also.



Depends on what result one wants. Non-Buddhist religions do not result in Buddhahood, it is not their goal. Buddhahood is not the goal of Theravada either.


Is the goal not to break the barrier of self and others as a Buddhist?


No, the goal is to be free of obscurations of affliction (in common with Theravada) and knowledge.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11754
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby tamdrin » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:56 pm

did buddha intend for everyone to become "Buddhists" ???
tamdrin
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Blue Garuda » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:03 pm

The Theosophical Society is 'Buddhist' in some respects, not the least in its slogan:

'There is no religion higher than Truth.'

As a member, I find that simple statement to be very tellling - it is the Dharma which is the true quest. :)

In terms of Buddhism, the synthesis of all that is good in Buddhism resulted in the Vajrayana, which for me comprises the 'true' Buddhism.
Left
Blue Garuda
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:06 pm

tamdrin wrote:did buddha intend for everyone to become "Buddhists" ???



In general, yes.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11754
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:23 pm

Namdrol wrote:No, the goal is to be free of obscurations of affliction (in common with Theravada) and knowledge.


What is the cause of obscurations of affliction? Is arrogance a part of this cause?
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:25 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Namdrol wrote:No, the goal is to be free of obscurations of affliction (in common with Theravada) and knowledge.


What is the cause of obscurations of affliction? Is arrogance a part of this cause?



The knowledge obscuration of ignorance, primarily.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11754
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:33 pm

Namdrol wrote:
LastLegend wrote:
Namdrol wrote:No, the goal is to be free of obscurations of affliction (in common with Theravada) and knowledge.


What is the cause of obscurations of affliction? Is arrogance a part of this cause?



The knowledge obscuration of ignorance, primarily.


Ignorance conditioned what according to Dependent Origination? If not self and others?
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Malcolm » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:35 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Ignorance conditioned what according to Dependent Origination? If not self and others?


No, not that ignorance. That is afflicted ignorance. The knowledge obscuration of ignorance is the mistaken apprehension of an identity.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
User avatar
Malcolm
 
Posts: 11754
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:44 pm

Namdrol wrote:
LastLegend wrote:
Ignorance conditioned what according to Dependent Origination? If not self and others?


No, not that ignorance. That is afflicted ignorance.The knowledge obscuration of ignorance is the mistaken apprehension of an identity


:smile:
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:46 pm

How does Buddhahood differ from arahantship, precisely? I have been wondering about this for awhile but haven't found a clear consensus.

And what does the distinction tell us about nirvana? Is there also a divergence between the Theravada and Mahayana understanding of this (non)state?
User avatar
Lazy_eye
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:32 am
Location: Laurel, MD

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Will » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:29 pm

LastLegend wrote:We Buddhists often possess the attitude of Mahayana versus Theravada as one is superior to the other. Surely we can extend this attitude to non-Buddhist also.


I always like U Thant's quote that "Buddhism is a superior religion". That is not that same as what the Dalai Lama understood from his lamas; that Buddhism is exclusively not false in any way. A claim that no other religion can justify, he seems to have been taught. Many Xtians & Moslems have that same attitude.

I do not know if the Dalai Lama agrees, but a ranking of religions is still possible. For me Buddhism is at the top. But the "best" does not mean the "only".
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1873
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby LastLegend » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:56 pm

Will wrote:
LastLegend wrote:We Buddhists often possess the attitude of Mahayana versus Theravada as one is superior to the other. Surely we can extend this attitude to non-Buddhist also.


I always like U Thant's quote that "Buddhism is a superior religion". That is not that same as what the Dalai Lama understood from his lamas; that Buddhism is exclusively not false in any way. A claim that no other religion can justify, he seems to have been taught. Many Xtians & Moslems have that same attitude.

I do not know if the Dalai Lama agrees, but a ranking of religions is still possible. For me Buddhism is at the top. But the "best" does not mean the "only".


I misunderstood "only true religion" as his initial attitude before he interacted with people from different religious backgrounds.

But I think I was not referring to him; I was talking to our fellow Buddhists in general.

I can't remember which one though if the first one then my apologies.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Will » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:55 am

LastLegend wrote:
Will wrote:
LastLegend wrote:We Buddhists often possess the attitude of Mahayana versus Theravada as one is superior to the other. Surely we can extend this attitude to non-Buddhist also.


I always like U Thant's quote that "Buddhism is a superior religion". That is not that same as what the Dalai Lama understood from his lamas; that Buddhism is exclusively not false in any way. A claim that no other religion can justify, he seems to have been taught. Many Xtians & Moslems have that same attitude.

I do not know if the Dalai Lama agrees, but a ranking of religions is still possible. For me Buddhism is at the top. But the "best" does not mean the "only".


I misunderstood "only true religion" as his initial attitude before he interacted with people from different religious backgrounds.

But I think I was not referring to him; I was talking to our fellow Buddhists in general.

I can't remember which one though if the first one then my apologies.


I thought I was supporting your notion that just as Mahayana can be considered superior to Theravada, so also can religion X be thought better than religion Y, without falling into the "only true" versus "everybody else false" view.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1873
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby Heruka » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:03 am

a lot of damage done in the name of "truth".

thats a truth.
Heruka
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:34 am

Re: Buddhism: Only True Religion

Postby ground » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:32 am

Will wrote:Before the Dalai Lama left Tibet he thought Buddhism was the "only true religion". But his attitude changed when he visited India in 1956. What happened in India?

My visit to the Theosophical Society in Chennai (then Madras) left a powerful impression. There I was directly exposed to people, and to a movement, that attempted to bring together the wisdom of the world's spiritual traditions, as well as science... After more than three months in what was a most amazing country ... I was a changed man. I could no longer live in the comfort of an exclusivist standpoint that takes Buddhism to be the only true religion.
From Toward a True Kinship of Faiths


Isolated Tibet with its isolated truths. What happened in India? Obviously the experience that "the isolated truths of isolated Tibet" is not "all".


Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 1782
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:31 am

Next

Return to Mahāyāna Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

>