Buddhism's dependence on the bourgeois

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Re: Buddhism's dependence on the bourgeois

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:27 pm

Indrajala, you are entirely welcome to desert the argument, but don't accuse me of trolling. Where have I misrepresented what you have said? I have instead given specific criticisms:

    1) You are anachronistically interpreting the Hindu myth of the war between the devas and asuras, which was already fully established by the time of Shakyamuni (and referenced by Panini) to apply to a supposed war against Buddhists in the 11th or 12th century CE that is not recorded in the historical record of either Buddhists or Hindus in India or its neighbouring countries. You have not addressed your anachronism.

    2) You conflate two entirely different groups, the Kapalikas and the Thuggee. This is rather obvious but you have not admitted that you were mistaken.

    3) You float interpretations such as the nakedness of the asana of Camunda meaning that it is "without the veda" which has no precedent or parallel in the Hindu tradition, yet ignore the rather obvious other interpretations. This interpretation has absolutely no basis in the vedic or tantric tradition. Nowhere do we find the claim of nakedness as meaning "without the veda"! This is just a fabrication.

    4) Now you are also positing that the elephant skin represents Buddhism. Why pray tell is that an accoutrement of most wrathful Buddhist tantric deities then? The wrathful deities are symbolic. This has been true certainly since the time of the initial spread of Vajrayana into Tibet from Oddiyana in the 8th century. What you are describing has been very well explained by David Gray:

    This myth represents a Buddhist justification of what Phyllis Granoff has termed “ritual eclecticism.” This phenomenon, common in India during the
    early medieval period, entailed the acknowledgment of the efficacy of religious practices that are openly recognized as belonging to an outsider group. These are often assimilated into the appropriating group’s practice tradition by strategies of subordination, such as via claims that the tradition’s own practices are “supermundane” (lokottara), while those of the outsider’s are “mundane” (laukika).

    Such subordination is often dramatized in Buddhist literature by myths that portray the outsider religious group as dangerous “heretics,” whose misdeeds trigger a cosmic Buddha such as Vairocana to subjugate them, bringing both them and modified forms of their practices into the Buddhist fold. These myths are products of a process in which Tantric Buddhists, having appropriated elements of Hindu ritual, were seeking to forge an identity through a representation of a radical “other,” in this case Shaiva Hindus. This representation does not, naturally, provide us with any reliable information about the other group, as distortion, exaggeration, and outright fabrication are common colors in the polemicist’s palette. Representations of a rival group engaging in radical actions such as cannibalism are relatively common in this genre of religious literature.


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Re: Buddhism's dependence on the bourgeois

Postby Sherlock » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:12 am

Going back to an earlier point, I think it is important for those who hope to preserve the Buddhadharma to adapt to economic models that don't depend on extensive donations in an era of "stagflation" and contraction. By its nature, monasticism does depend on some level of donations; there is no way around that, still, I think the example of small monasteries with 20-40 monks supported by a few households in Tibet are a good example of how the institution may survive. Besides that, householder monks (as in those with fairly deep religious knowledge but do other work for a living) will likely play an important role in maintaining Buddhadharma in the face of economic decline.
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