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How important is The Buddha to Buddhism? - Dhamma Wheel

How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Viscid
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How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Viscid » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:32 am

To what degree is belief in the historical existence of The Buddha necessary?

If the story of The Buddha was, say, a fictional creation of the First Buddhist council in order to homogenize teachings of different teachers, would that impact the practical implications of Buddhism all that much? Is the Buddha required, or is the Dhamma and Sangha sufficient?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Cloud
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Cloud » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:39 am

The Tipitaka has been analyzed and has been found to be remarkably consistent to the point that it would be very improbable that there were different authors; it seems to be the work of one individual, in contrast to... say... the Bible.

We only need to understand that someone realized full/complete enlightenment and taught a clear path for others to do so. If we don't consider this to be "the Buddha", then who? Might as well go along with it. IMHO this individual did exist, just as Jesus of Nazareth did exist.

It's hard to take refuge in the Buddha as our teacher, and thus in his teachings and the community of monks/nuns (and those who awakened) if we don't believe in the Buddha in the first place.

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Goofaholix
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:06 am

I don't think belief in the historical existence of the Buddha is necessary.

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bodom
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby bodom » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:12 am

If the Buddha did not exist does that change the reality of suffering and its end?

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:30 am

Nope, but it's pretty consistent and the relics are kind of evidence of his existence. :jumping:
"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir

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Will
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Will » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:21 am

Last edited by Will on Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

Euclid
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Euclid » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:53 am

But there's no 'proven theory' regardless - it's only proven when you realise it to be true, of your own accord.

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Goedert
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Goedert » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:39 pm

As a buddhist, I bow down to the Buddha and lay down on the floor, so that he can pass trough my whole body and his feets stay clean.

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Will
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Will » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:11 pm

A bodhisattva does not become weary of evil beings nor does he commit the error of bringing forth thoughts inclined to reject them and cast them aside. Avatamsaka Sutra, ch. 25

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Hanzze
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:29 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

Individual
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Individual » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:14 pm

Could've been a fictional character and the teachings still work.

Disbelieving the guy existed, though, makes the magic impossible.
The best things in life aren't things.


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clw_uk
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:27 pm

Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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KonstantKarma
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby KonstantKarma » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:14 am

I'm not the Amazing Buddhist :sage: at all but it seems to me, the Buddha is not the core of the teaching, it's the Buddhadhamma. In Christianity, Jesus is the core of the teaching - the salvation comes from the man, not the life he led. No Jesus = No savior and no salvation. In Buddhism refuge is not solely placed in the existence of Gautama.

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Cloud
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Cloud » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:34 am

What's important is that there is someone to look up to as an example; someone who's "been there, done that" already. This is not only the Buddha, but also the noble ones (Ariya) that have come after, which can take the form of various Bodhisattvas etc. by some schools or simply the conviction that there have been others who have been liberated since the Buddha's time. There's a reason that there's a Triple Gem. :)

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BlackBird
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby BlackBird » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:41 am

Last edited by BlackBird on Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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cooran
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby cooran » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:59 am

Well said, Blackbird!


Image


with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun Dec 19, 2010 11:15 am


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Hanzze
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Hanzze » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:22 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Viscid
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Viscid » Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:30 pm

"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Wizard in the Forest
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Re: How important is The Buddha to Buddhism?

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:12 pm

"One is not born a woman, but becomes one."- Simone de Beauvoir


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