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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Red Faced Buddha wrote:
Although I think we should consider all men and women our brothers and sisters(metaphorically speaking.)members of Dharmic religions have a special bond.Whether we are Hindus,Buddhist,Jains,Sikhs,etc we all seek enlightenment and liberation from the wheel of rebirth.Our religions have common roots and most of us teach ahimsa(or a doctrine similar to it.) :yinyang:


Brothers, Sisters, :yinyang:

Limitations look sometimes to be in the name of 'religion' but limitations are only in the conditioned consciousness.

The mobil phone started to play Gregorian church music while trying to find the wake-up call, in a (Buddhist) monastery.

I don't say all religions (methods) are the same.

Here a work about Jesus and his life in the Himalayas.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_Ecm4gM ... re=related

:namaste:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:45 pm 
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The above posted youtube should not be seen as the ultimate truth, since I don't know the truth of the story. I post it since it shows that related Ahimsa to me, that itself shows that we cannot exclude "others religion" since then there cannot be liberation of the conditioned mind.
Therefore can it only be my mistake and suffering if there is no love, patience, compassion... for a fellow.

:yinyang:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:01 am 
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Perhaps the distinction can be made not between Indian and other religions, but between religion and dharma. They have similar meanings, but they are not the same. Dharma is one of those terms that actually has no direct counterpart in English, but it does have at least some connotations which are quite different to 'religion', such as

Emphasis on experiential learning
Emphasis on meditation and self-knowledge
No single representative or definitive single holy text
Inclusive rather than exclusive

And so on. It is quite true that there has been sectarian bloodshed and rivalry in Eastern religions, do you don't want to gild the lily, but this distinction between religion and dharma is still worth bearing in mind.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:51 am 
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jeeprs wrote:
Perhaps the distinction can be made not between Indian and other religions, but between religion and dharma. They have similar meanings, but they are not the same. Dharma is one of those terms that actually has no direct counterpart in English, but it does have at least some connotations which are quite different to 'religion', such as

Emphasis on experiential learning
Emphasis on meditation and self-knowledge
No single representative or definitive single holy text
Inclusive rather than exclusive

And so on. It is quite true that there has been sectarian bloodshed and rivalry in Eastern religions, do you don't want to gild the lily, but this distinction between religion and dharma is still worth bearing in mind.


You've given a very nice modern Western definition of "Buddhist Dharma", but one that doesn't really match up with the usage and understanding of the term in (some) other so-called "Dharmic religions".

For example:
In orthodox Vedic Brahmanism, "dharma" (including "svadharma") does have a very similar meaning to religion in possibly most cases.

Moreover, there is not much of an emphasis on "experiential learning", "meditation and self-knowledge". "Knowledge" is "vidya", and it comes from the "veda", Rg, Yajur, Saman and Artharva; and maybe the Vedanta commentaries, the early Upanisads. (See next point how that knowledge comes.) Svadharma is one's duty, and that depends on one's caste. To do this duty is to be in accord with Dharma, ie. religious, or we could say "righteous" (except for the fact that one's svadharma may involve killing or violence if one was a ksatriya, for instance).

Furthermore, the Vedas are very much the representative and definitive holy texts (though not singular), indeed, the Vedas are considered the only real things worth knowing, and they are known by strict memorization which is part of brahmacarya training of young brahmin boys. In addition to this memorization, teachers will also know the grammar and so forth behind it, all still wrote learning.

Also, it is exclusive - only male brahmins can study and practice these things, though any "twice born" men can participate in the yajnas themselves (but only as patrons, not as officiants). Women, lower castes, and people such as those sramanas "who are the scum born from Brahma's feet" are not welcome at all. These lower castes fulfill their svadharma by serving the brahmins, and that is as good as they can get, simply because they are not brahmins (ie. do not have seven generations on maternal and paternal sides that are also pure brahmin).

---

Just for fun, I decided to check a Hindi-English dictionary (http://dict.hinkhoj.com/), so see what that would say. Putting in "religion", I got:

RELIGION<===> धर्म (pr. \\dharm\\ )[Noun]
उदाहरण: भारत मेँ अलग अलग धर्म के लोग रहते हैँ।
Example: Religion teaches us to live and let others live.

And for "spiritual", I got:

SPIRITUAL<===> धार्मिक (pr. \\dharmik\\ )[Noun]

~~ Huifeng

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:53 am 
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Interesting posts, discerment through clarity must be. :namaste:

Then little time ago I met some Christians who didn't emphazise on we this, you that. Their actions were very altruistic and they didn't ask any praise. Whether one said something nice or nothing, they remained very kind and careful. It was clear to me that others where more important than themselves. And even that is no good description.
Therefore they were teachers for me, since their action wasn't in a kind of boundaries. A teaching of Shantideva in daily life: all happiness comes from the wish may others be happy, all suffering comes from the wish may I be happy.

Then talking from Buddhist point, dharma practices is protection against all kind of suffering and veils of mental confusion (emotional-cognetive obscurations).

In texts love, compassion, joy in equanimity is included. Wisdom-Compassion is studied. But when this doesn't shine in daily life, there is suffering and mental confusion. In fact exclusion is justifying ones suffering, lacking equanimity. Nature is not excluding, since nature is not clinging.

The bird of understanding has two wings: wisdom and compassion. It will fall down when only one wing is used.
It is said that others provide us with the means to realize buddhahood.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:09 pm 
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Ven. Huifeng: I am really not sure what you mean by "orthodox Vedic Brahmanism". There are a plethora of different religions subsumed under the term "Hinduism" (which was of course invented by British scholars-- the only similar monolithic concept in India was "sanatanadharma" which could refer to nearly any point of view). Do you mean Smarta sampradaya? That would exclude many Vaishnavas and particularly the Shaktas which you seem to indicate by referring to animal sacrifice, which is not commonly practiced outside of certain Shakta traditions.

If it was the Smarta that you intend to address, they traditionally began with Adi Shankara whose proclivity for (and borrowing from) Buddhist philosophy is well known. Both he and his guru Gaudapada were accused of being crypto-buddhists by their contemporaries. Amongst just about all Hindus, vedic ritual has taken a back seat to agamic ritual. When was the last Ashvamedha sacrifice that you have heard of? Temple ritual is almost exclusively agamic and tantric, with the use of certain shlokas and hymns taken from the vedas set in the form of tantric ritual. Particularly amongst the Smarta, the Shrividya tradition is of tremendous importance particularly in the south of India. There is huge overlap between this tradition and tantric buddhism.

An honest and disinterested third party looking at the advaita of Shankara and any of the traditions based on tathagathagarbha theory would find very little difference in both theory and praxis. Dogmatists of either hue will always see difference where there is little or none, based on the parochial partisanship that religion has become so famous for. Very few will actually climb down from their ivory tower to investigate the religion of others on it's own terms. The only way most religionists encounter the religion of others is based on the historical fiction of past debates that always cast their own side as winning. Hopefully with our greater access to knowledge and culture, our increasingly diverse societies and our pluralistic appreciation for the viewpoints of others, we can evolve beyond the narrowness of our largely tribal identifications.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:14 pm 
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When oh when are we going to evolve beyond the clearly risible notion that:

"The only way to *your* true nature is through *my* religion."

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:11 am 
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I'm referring to a general picture of Vedic Brahmanism around the time the Sramanic movements started becoming strong, eg. around the time of the Buddha.

~~ Huifeng

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:27 am 
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Huifeng wrote:
I'm referring to a general picture of Vedic Brahmanism around the time the Sramanic movements started becoming strong, eg. around the time of the Buddha.

~~ Huifeng


What you say may well be true of the Purva Mimasikas of the time of the Buddha, and many of Shakyamuni's teachings were clearly in counterpoint to Samkhya viewpoints. I don't think that the same criticisms can be made of advaitins post-Shankara, with the notable exception of the contemporary phenomena of "neo-advaita" which is of questionable usefulness.

The Puranic idea that Buddha is an incarnation of Vishnu sent to mislead is obviously made of the same sort of whole cloth that most demagoguery is. We find the same sort of stories on both sides and it is unseemly and disturbing.

Quote:
Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:40 am 
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In the Indian social landscape even though there was stratification, and the associated caste privileges and so on, there was also always various parallel and dissident religious and spiritual movements, of which indeed Buddhism (and Jaina) were examples. Even within the Brahmanic traditions, as I understand it, non-dualist Vedanta was quite 'anti-establishment' (which is one of the reasons that it was deprecated by other schools), and there was a continuing presence of sadhus and yogis who were very much free agents. I think the thing which appeals to me about Indian spirituality is this continual kind of ferment and debate. Also this did encourage excellence in dialectic and debate, which was (according to Bronkhurst) one of the reasons Buddhism thrived to begin with. And one of the reasons Buddhists learned to debate, is because their opponents were also very capable debaters.

All an important part of life's rich tapestry.

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