My Theory about Voodoo

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My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Aemilius » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:06 pm

There was a searoute between India and the Horn of Africa, i.e. Ethiopia and other countries of the area. This route was in use already at the time of Buddha. Lot of africans were taken to India, and some returned from India. The knowledge of Shakyamuni's Dharma thus gradually spread in Africa. The word Voodoo is derived from Mahavada, Hinavada, Shunyavada, Yogavada, Mantravada or Vaipulyavada. Quite naturally Dharma took peculiar african forms and expressions.
According to tibetan information the indian buddhist yogi Padma Sambhava or Orgyen Guru went South-west to a land of Rakshasas, a land where cannibalism was practiced, after leaving Tibet. South-west from Tibet there is Africa.
In present day Voodoo we have a complex pantheon of Deities. There is Shakpata, the name is obviously derived from Shakyaputta. Elsewhere Shakpata is called Babalu Aye.
Then we have Orisha, obviously the guru from Orissa, i.e. from Orgyen. Actually there are many Orishas, which is true in Tibet also.
The word Zombie is from Sambhava. Its original meaning is Nirmanakaya, i.e. a magically created body.
Guru Orgyen has three shrunken heads in his staff, they symbolize the Trikaya (indeed!).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orisha
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakpana
Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babalu_Aye
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Lhug-Pa » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:59 am

Very interesting topic Æmilius.

Santeria, Palo-Mayombe, Obeah, Hoodoo, and Vodou or Vodoun or Voodoo, are, I believe, offshoots of Yoruba. And at least two or three of these five offshoots are said to have questionable practices, whereas Yoruba is the original and purest form. Well, some might debate this, but that's how I understand it so far.


To add on:


In Anacalypsis, the early 19th Century Druid and Master Mason Godfrey Higgins wrote: TWO ANCIENT ETHIOPIAS.—GREAT BLACK NATION IN ASIA.—THE BUDDHA OF INDIA A NEGRO.—THE ARABIANS WERE CUSHITES.—MEMNON.—SHEPHERD KINGS.—HINDOOS AND EGYPTIANS SIMILAR.— SYRIA PEOPLED FROM INDIA.

1. In taking a survey of the human inhabitants of the world, we find two classes, distinguished from each other by a clear and definite line of demarkation, the black and white colours of their skins. This distinguishing mark we discover to have existed in ages the most remote. If we suppose them all to have descended from one pair, the question arises, Was that pair black or white? If I were at present to say that I thought them black, I should be accused of a fondness for paradox, and I should find as few persons to agree with me, as the African negroes do when they tell Europeans that the Devil is white. (And yet no one, except a West-India planter, will deny that the poor Africans have reason on their side.) However, I say not that they were black, but I shall, in the course of this work, produce a number of extraordinary facts, which will be quite sufficient to prove, that a black race, in very early times, had more influence over the affairs of the world than has been lately suspected; and I think I shall shew, by some very striking circumstances yet existing, that the effects of this influence have not entirely passed away.
2. It was the opinion of Sir William Jones, that a great nation of Blacks1 formerly possessed the dominion of Asia, and held the seat of empire at Sidon. * These must have been the people called by Mr. Maurice Cushites or Cuthites, described in Genesis; and the opinion that they were Blacks is corroborated by the translators of the Pentateuch, called the Seventy, constantly rendering the word Cush by Ethiopia. It is very certain that, if this opinion be well founded, we must go for the time when this empire flourished to a period anterior to all our regular histories. It can only be known to have existed from accidental circumstances, which have escaped amidst the ruins of empires and the wrecks of time.
Of this nation we have no account; but it must have flourished after the deluge. And, as our regular chronological systems fill up the time between the flood and what is called known, undoubted history; if it be allowed to have existed, its existence will of course prove that no dependence can be placed on the early parts of that history. It will shew that all the earlychronology is false; for the story of this empire is not told. It is certain that its existence can only be known from insulated circumstances, collected from various quarters, and combining to establish the fact. But if I succeed in collecting a sufficient number to carry conviction to an impartial mind, the empire must be allowed to have existed.
3. The religion of Buddha, of India, is well known to have been very ancient. In the most ancient temples scattered throughout Asia, where his worship is yet continued, he is found black as jet, with the flat face, thick lips, and curly hair of the Negro. Several statues of him may be met with in the Museum of the East-India Company. There are two exemplars of him brooding on the face of the deep, upon a coiled serpent. To what time are we to allot this Negro? He will be proved to have been prior to the god called Cristna. He must have been prior to or contemporaneous with the black empire, supposed by Sir William Jones to have flourished at Sidon. The religion of this Negro God is found, by the ruins of his temples and other circumstances, to have been spread over an immense extent of country, even to the remotest parts of Britain, and to have been professed by devotees inconceivably numerous. I very much doubt whether Christianity at this day is professed by more persons than yet profess the religion of Buddha. Of this I shall say more hereafter.
4. When several cities, countries, or rivers, at great distances from each other, are found to be called by the same name, the coincidence cannot be attributed to accident, but some specific cause for such an effect must be looked for. Thus we have several cities call Heliopolis, or the city of the Sun; the reason for which is sufficiently obvious. Thus, again, there were several Alexandrias; and on close examination we find two Ethiopias alluded to in ancient history—one above the higher or southern part of Egypt, and the other somewhere to the east of it, and, as it has been thought, in Arabia.


Elsewhere Godfrey Higgins quotes a Roman or Greek historian (Diodorus Siculus or Herodotus I believe) saying that the two Æthiopias were in Khemet and India.

In The Arrow and the Spindle by Samten Karmay, there is mentioned the Tibetan mythology of the Deity known as "The Little Black-Headed Man"; and the Sumerians referred to themselves as "The Black-Headed People". I've wondered if somehow there is possibly any relation here to the Khemetian and Æthiopian depictions of Asar or Ausar (Osiris) and Heru (Horus) in their Pygmy forms (see also the Nubian Orisha or Neter known as Bes, Bas, or Basu).
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Dharmabrother » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:13 pm

But there is an argument with antropologist that which came first


Buddhism
Shamanism (african)
Shamanism of all other nations

Buddhism and African Shamanism seem to have the most ancient roots, I believe they both were the same thing in the very begining. Because the first man and woman were in Africa.. according to Anthropologist. I think two key principals to life whether in the yourba and buddhism (santeria and palo) and the teaching divided itself.. im begining to believe that with my studies now.

For in Bonpo, The bon started the buddhism from a medicine man or shaman, and the teachings spreaded and concluded different attainments along with a simple teaching.

More and more people recieved attainments, and diffrent sects of buddhism, african religions and middle eastern religions came about.

what do you all think?
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby femme_noire » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:18 pm

This is just my opinion, but I think that Voodoo as well as other Afro-Caribbean religions are primarily a synthesis of West/Central African spirituality, Catholicism, and perhaps some Native American influences depending on the region. I don't see any connection between Buddhism and the religions of the African diaspora.
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Dharmabrother » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:29 pm

This is just my opinion, but I think that Voodoo as well as other Afro-Caribbean religions are primarily a synthesis of West/Central African spirituality, Catholicism, and perhaps some Native American influences depending on the region. I don't see any connection between Buddhism and the religions of the African diaspora.


Let me see if i can get some additional information, I got some friends who are in African Diaspora who got me on to the realization of buddhism and ATR's theres quite a few connections from what i was told.


But the key is you have to know about both religions, and have studied both... which i havent done to the fullest extent..

But both bring the same enlightenment and peace, and the theories of reincarnation are very similar
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Nemo » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:25 pm

The Orishas like Yemaya and Chango are actual spirit beings. They reside in their "horse"(human vessel) when they come and speak to the devotees. They are not Buddhist. They have not even taken refuge.
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:05 am

Dharmabrother wrote:Because the first man and woman were in Africa.. according to Anthropologist. I think two key principals to life whether in the yourba and buddhism (santeria and palo) and the teaching divided itself.. im begining to believe that with my studies now.

For in Bonpo, The bon started the buddhism from a medicine man or shaman, and the teachings spreaded and concluded different attainments along with a simple teaching.

More and more people recieved attainments, and diffrent sects of buddhism, african religions and middle eastern religions came about.

what do you all think?
Are you implying that Black Africans are the same as Original Man? That they haven't evolved and changed with the rest of mankind?

Just trying to understand.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Tilopa » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:03 am

Aemilius wrote:The knowledge of Shakyamuni's Dharma thus gradually spread in Africa.....

And the evidence for this is the numerous stupas, statues and scriptures that have been found there or something else?
In present day Voodoo we have a complex pantheon of Deities. There is Shakpata, the name is obviously derived from Shakyaputta....

From your wikpedia link: "In Dahomey mythology, Shakpana (or Sakpata) is the divinity of smallpox. He inflicted insanity and disease on humans."

Doesn't sound much like Shakyamuni Buddha to me but why do you want to manufacture a link between dharma and voudon anyway?
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Sherlock » Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:16 am

Folk etymology and wild speculation.

The vodou spirits, santeria etc are pretas. They clearly enjoy the offerings given to them. Whether they are "evil" or not I can't judge but they are certainly not realized beings.
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby underthetree » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:01 am

why do you want to manufacture a link between dharma and voudon anyway?


Yes, why? What's with all this obsessive trying to make everything a part of everything else (not just on DW but everywhere)? What does Vajrayana have to do with, for instance, Ancient Egypt? What about druids? Atlantis? Jesus?

Why not give the dharma a chance as it is? Or Voodoo alone, or just Wicca? Why keep making this turgid pseudo-religious stew, which tastes of everything and nothing at all?
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Nemo » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:45 pm

It's a theory. He probably hasn't had much first hand experience. If he had it never would have crossed his mind. They are obviously not hungry ghosts though. They are fed all the time and take great enjoyment in being worshipped. They are very powerful worldly spirits.
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:56 pm

underthetree wrote:
why do you want to manufacture a link between dharma and voudon anyway?


Yes, why? What's with all this obsessive trying to make everything a part of everything else (not just on DW but everywhere)? What does Vajrayana have to do with, for instance, Ancient Egypt? What about druids? Atlantis? Jesus?

Why not give the dharma a chance as it is? Or Voodoo alone, or just Wicca? Why keep making this turgid pseudo-religious stew, which tastes of everything and nothing at all?


I'm sure you'll find a good answer to your questions - all of them - here:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Integral-Visi ... 67-2529303

If you want a historical overview of the issues - wait, not the issues, of all issues - you will want to read also that:
http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Eve ... 1570627401

Why want one cake when you may want all the cakes in all the possible universes, past, present and future, as well as all the impossible cakes in the domain of What Could Never Be?

(general apologies to everybody - nah, to all - concerned for thread derailing and the present bout of silliness. It will pass.)
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:08 pm

It would be polite of the spirits to identify themselves clearly.

At the moment each religion seems to come up with its own classification system and methods for communicating with and controlling these beings.

Thankfully the spirits are multilingual and ones I've encountered recently in the UK seemed to understand Tibetan OK, which is good.

Voodoo has its spiritual mix, as has Tibet, but I don't think any country or culture has a monopoly on understanding these beings.

It is interesting that Tibet has a rich and diverse population of spirits but many Western Buddhists only hear about 'hungry ghosts' as if they are the only class.

Whatever the culture or tradition we find ourselves living within, Buddhists must always remember that all beings in all realms deserve compassion. If we need spirits to act in a particular way we should not be approaching them like some Christian exorcist casting them to hell or slaughtering goats and chickens to pacify them.
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Sherlock » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:26 pm

Nemo wrote:It's a theory. He probably hasn't had much first hand experience. If he had it never would have crossed his mind. They are obviously not hungry ghosts though. They are fed all the time and take great enjoyment in being worshipped. They are very powerful worldly spirits.


That's indicative of pretas. The only spirits who can really consume offerings are either humans and animals or pretas, who exist in the same dimension as us but are not usually visible and usually unable to physically interact with us. This is from the Abhidharmakosa BTW, where Vasubandhu says certain powerful kings of pretas have powers as great as devas.

I don't think all spirits from other cultures should be considered as pretas BTW, but the ATR spirits definitely fit the bill.

The descriptions of jinn and nagas on the other hand are very similar too. Guardians of treasure, not liking people who contact them to eat meat, garlic or onions, can be fanatically religious etc. I know a magician trained in Ruhaniya (Middle Eastern-based magic) as well as tantra who considers nagas to be jinni.
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Dharmabrother » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:00 pm

You bet palo and ayr spirits are powerful.. If a buddhist would be initiatrd into an atr the skys the lit
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby dharmagoat » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:08 pm

For all of those watching this at home: Remember folks, you don't have to believe in ghosts to practice the Dharma.
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:51 pm

dharmagoat wrote:For all of those watching this at home: Remember folks, you don't have to believe in ghosts to practice the Dharma.


You do if you're a Preta! LOL :)
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby ylee111 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:35 am

Statues of Hotei are used for the worship of lwa Bissou in Haiti. How come? When my Chinese ancestors came to the Caribbean, they brought statues of the Laughing Budai with them. Vodousants not wanting to be persecuted for their religion used these surrogates for their devotional work just as jade dragons served as avatars for Damballah.

There is actually a small folk religion on Cuba worshiping a pious man whom told others to live virtuously ie felial piety, etc. However, the adherents to San Fa Con pray not to a statue of Confucius but good ole Guan Yu. Something was just lost in translation.

The polytheistic side of me thinks Perchta, Sol Invictus, Aphroditus, Santisma Muerte, Maria Leonza, Papa Legba, and the nameless others are all spirit beings which cannot be CURRENTLY explained by science (but may someday be), whom dwell in the various spiritual realms. The agnostic side of me thinks we will never fully know or understand...
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:53 am

ylee111 wrote:The polytheistic side of me thinks Perchta, Sol Invictus, Aphroditus, Santisma Muerte, Maria Leonza, Papa Legba, and the nameless others are all spirit beings which cannot be CURRENTLY explained by science (but may someday be), whom dwell in the various spiritual realms.
And can be asked for favors and the like, but never taken refuge in. This is my view too.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: My Theory about Voodoo

Postby Aemilius » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:37 pm

Tilopa wrote:
Aemilius wrote:The knowledge of Shakyamuni's Dharma thus gradually spread in Africa.....

And the evidence for this is the numerous stupas, statues and scriptures that have been found there or something else?
In present day Voodoo we have a complex pantheon of Deities. There is Shakpata, the name is obviously derived from Shakyaputta....

From your wikpedia link: "In Dahomey mythology, Shakpana (or Sakpata) is the divinity of smallpox. He inflicted insanity and disease on humans."

Doesn't sound much like Shakyamuni Buddha to me but why do you want to manufacture a link between dharma and voudon anyway?


Considering all the different facts, it just seems so obvious. It is certainly true that the Dharma has taken radically different forms in the cultures that are normally accepted as belonging to Buddhism, deriving from Buddhism. Just imagine that the africans got to know about Buddha some 2500 years ago, what kind of cultural forms, and phases of development, would follow from it? Try to imagine!

Africans are more honest where the mahayana is really apologetic, but the Lotus sutra and the Samdhinirmocana sutra do say that certain people with improper attitude will cause themselves harm with the Dharma. And if you read carefully it has been said in the Theravada too.
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