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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:16 pm

There are buddhist armies, soldiers and police presently(all in those occupations are taught to kill and may have to at times), and have been in the past as historic tibet attests. Buddhists perspective on this issue is indeed situational. Some other faiths such as Jainism has not such situational perspective so thusly there exist no jain states and never will. Part of statehood is indeed in the samsaric realm protecting it and its inhabitants. Buddhism as C mentions with his boat story, does indeed not strictly oppose killing with cause. The buddha was not enlightened at the time(this is a past life), but did perform the deed of killing a human. Harm to both doer and object certainly but killing human, may be called for nevertheless at times.That reference is clear. So Buddhism and Sikihism seem alike in that fashion. Those that want a strictly pacifistic religion to my opinion may more rightly consided Jainism, as in buddhism it is harmful but not absolute is the harm. Though monk and ordained could never engage such things.

The point of difference to my opinion is in the inherantly existant quality of a creator god, even a formless one so described. Buddhist faiths mostly extend from a consideration of empty aspect of diety and related object. At some level with prayer and devotion and practices perhaps in the functionality they are exactly equal. But the conceptual basis is differing seemingly.

So they are similiar but not really. In Tibetan buddhism for instance one should not engage higher tantric practice or diety focused practice, without having firmly established first, the noninherant existant quality of things and dieties.To so engage, without having such a preliminary understanding would be considered a spiritual fault bound to cause bad effect. So I personally could see some common practices being practiced by both faiths, but advanced practices from that perspective I would say it would be a no-no. Essentially the two faiths are generally going in differing directions except at a basic level.

In general terms. Buddhists practice personally can be any sort or kind. There are many theistic buddhist especially in the americas.

Espanola is just outside SAnta Fe. That community is highly regarded locally as are its members. In fact it appears one member beard turban and all was at one time allowed to become a Espanola police officer.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:23 pm

"Is it true that all Sikh men are required to carry a knife?"

This aspect of the Sikh-Dharma is The Khalsa - The Pure Sovereign One - and is essentially a whole new topic.

It is the completion of The Sikh where the Teachings have manifested externally via the following:

Kesh - Hair
Kangha - Wooden Comb
Kacha - Undergarment
Kirpan - Small Steel Sword
Kara - Iron Bangle

They are collectively called the 5K's or Panj Kakkars in the Sikh Framework and encapsulate the Adherent wholey.

One formalizes his\her commitment to this aspect by taking Amrit - Water mixed with Sugar stirred by a Small Khanda - A sword - whilst passages are read.

Traditionally the man will stir and the woman will insert the sugar.

If a comparison could be drawn with The Buddha-Dharma it would perhaps be the equivalent of the Monk who belong to the Shaolin Tradition. Though clearly they have different physical manifestation, i believe that they are rooted in the same principles.

Both traditions train not only the Mind & Heart, but the Body also making what Sikhs would say is the Ideal person to absorb, understand and act upon The Teachings.

I have written an article about this. It does go slightly beyond the basics but i hope that it is informative.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:24 pm

Five K's - Panj Kakkars - Part 1 of 2

"The Teachings on Form came via The Final Teacher, Guru Gobind Singh as the completion of the Dharma was coming to close.

What must be noted is they only appeared once the solid philosophical base had been re-established through written Scripture and a linked number of events had unfolded over a 200 year time period.

The conditions had therefore been set and were now ripe for these teachings to appear, much like every other aspect of the Dharma.

Everything is therefore linked in an unbroken stream of continuity.

Guru Nanak laid the foundations of the Dharma with Ek Oan kar, Guru Angad finalised the Gurumukhi script, Guru Amar Das gave us one of the five major Passages in this script, Guru Ram Das laid the foundations for the Golden Temple whilst Guru Arjun Dev compiled and installed the Scripture in this complex before being martyred.
Guru HarGobind brought to us the concept of Defence where Guru HarRai disowned his own Son for verbally attempting to change one word. Guru HarKrishan made the water carrier recite the essence of Dharma perfectly to the Pundit when mocked, and Guru Tegh Bahadhur was martyred for upholding the Hindu Dharma after they asked for assistance.

And then through Guru Gobind Singh came The Khalsa, the personification of the Sikh Dharma that is firmly rooted in the Teachings, built on the foundations of nine successive Predecessors and thirty Bhagats who too were all also at one with the will of God.

The Khalsa could therefore be considered the physical manifestation of the Teachings, a natural extension of the scriptures, and ultimately the crowning glory that connects one with God, Guru and Dharma.

It is a total immersion that creates a powerful bond between Teacher and Disciple ensuring that one is securely fastened to the path, ultimately becoming the very embodiment of The Teachings.

In the same way that the whole body works as a perfectly interlinked system, so to do the Teachings of the Gurus work in beautiful harmony, completing and complimenting each other in a perfect totality.
Whilst it may be possible to function without certain aspects, it is never whole and as a result does not lend itself well to reaching the heights it was designed or intended to.

Explicit instructions for the Panj Kakkars are not found in the scriptures, but if one were to look into the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, one sees how the ways of The Khalsa are infact intricately interwoven and rooted in it, merging seamlessly as one because they are infact both expressing the same principles in different ways.

One in Scripture, One in Form, both combining together to finally reveal the complete Sikh of the Guru, The Sant-Sapahi Saint-Solider, as had always been intended.

Nobody embodied this better then the final Guru Himself, Guru Gobind Singh, who took Amrit from the very hands of the Panj Pyare - The Five Beloved Ones who were not afraid to die for The Teachings.

This not only made Him The Guru who was at One with God, but the Disciple at the same time, walking with and guiding others to their destination of release from Samsara. Truly an unparrelled act in the of whole of mankind."
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:29 pm


5 K's - Panj Kakkars - Part 2 of 2

The Panj Kakkars bind one firmly to the Dharma making one strongly associate with it and ensure that one is actively guided by it.

In doing so, one builds a sincere congruence where thought word and deed are unified and working as one. Once these are combined, the final result can only be the production of a peaceful, tranquil and sincere person who responds from the state of equanimity, as they have been touched by the Teachings.

Whilst one does not grasp the Teachings due to Form alone, it is more conducive to practice.

An individual may feel that merging into his local environment is fine, but may not always realise that it could be motivated by in-correct principles suchas desire, ignorance, aversion and so on, which go against the Path.

As one thinks, so he becomes, unaware, perhaps even oblivious to the fact that he could be building conformity with wrong view as he is totally immersed in it due to the appeal it has over his senses .

The Panj Kakkars serve as a reminder that one is walking the path of God and therefore instils in the person to act with Right Action in mind ultimately making him do good deeds.

Of course there are times when an individual will falter, but essentially it sets the person on the path of Dharma, something he may have never done otherwise.

By physically expressing faith, one begins to return society to its spiritual base because of what it represents, ultimately changing the environment once again for the better, motivating others to take up the Path of liberation with the Follower.
Because of this, a powerfully synergised collective will naturally begin to form and as result a greater overall influence will be exerted, transforming others to become like this also.

The Panj Kakkars upholds confidence in the Dharma amongst The Sikhs as well as the general population at large, because there is a visible expression of Dharma.
I would even go as far as to say that there it is something comforting, relaxing and pleasing in knowing that Dharma is central to so many people’s lives that it has been physically expressed, an outpouring if you will, of their proclamation that they are Sikh and walk the Right Path, the path of Dharma.

The Panj Kakkars make one forge a strong connection with The Gurus Teachings, and by natural extension The Dharma, making the person build an affinity with it to such an extent that they identify with it in its totality having developed faith in The Guru.

A point will come when There is no difference between him, Dharma and ultimately The Guru. They have infact become one and the same as eventually, not only will they have brought out Key Principles that are infact deeply imbedded within us all, they would have in reality reached their Supreme State.

Closing, I wish to say that had the final teachings of Form not been given, then The Sikhs and the general population at large would quickly loose their confidence and commitment to the Dharma leading to its absorption into the world as the Teachings would not remain intact. It would therefore just become another religion that cannot truly enlighten or liberate people, as all of its knowledge and guidance would fade into the mist.

By simply expressing ones faith, even with a small subset of Kakkars, one strengthens The Sikh Dharma many fold, spiritually uplifts the person who has committed, and brings forward the Teachings that came through the succession of the Enlightened Gurus to the World as intended."

Thanks,

Lotus
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Lotus Lion » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:30 pm

Luke. Those Pictures were very nice, Thank you for sharing both the Wedding and Traditional ones.

Sikhs who follow this tradition are called Nihangs - Or Crocodiles. Clearly the underlying meaning has got lost in translation, but is in reference to their method of combat. The term is derived from Persian and they also are known as Akali's - Timeless Ones.

Also, please forgive me for the moment, I assure you that i am not avoiding yourself and will answer your questions. I simply need a little more time.

Thanks,

Lotus
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:31 pm

LOcally Sikhs are known for their martial art prowess. A security company was formed on that basis years ago in New Mexico. I have heard of joint trainings of police and sikh martial artists.

The abscription of buddhism to hinduism as expressed in indian law interpretation is a sensitive point to some buddhists. Bhai and I'm certain other faiths have somewhat similiar notions.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:55 am

I found a video which answered my questions about the huge turbans of the Nihangs.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Luke » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:49 pm

Another thing I wanted to comment on is the way western sikhs dress. I realize that what matters the most is the state of a person's mind, but the fact is that most people aren't enlightened, and therefore, they are highly influenced by appearances.

What struck me about the Sikh wedding pictures from India which I posted previosly was the richness of the colors they wore and the elaborate ornaments they wore. I also noticed that the bride was wearing a head scarf instead of a turban, which in my opinion, looks much better. Most people would have to admit that that wedding couple looked fantastic.

In contrast, most western Sikhs seem to wear only white. And since most of these western Sikhs are white people, they tend to look like unhealthy hospital patients when they wear all white clothes and all white turbans. Also, most of the women who are western Sikhs seem to choose to wear turbans instead of head scarves.

In my opinion, if westerners are going to be Sikhs and dress like Sikhs, they might as well look good while they'll doing it.

For instance, compare these two pictures. The top one is of a western Sikh wedding. The bottom one is of an Indian Sikh wedding.

Image

Image

As an ordinary westerner, when I see all these white people wearing white turbans in the first picture, I feel like bursting out laughing because of the silliness of it all. However, when I look at all the well-dressed Indians in the second picture, I think, "Wow. They look really good. I'd like to find out more about them."
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby BFS » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:28 pm

Thanks Lotus Lion, it has been an informative thread, thank you. Thanks Luke, lovely photos!

Just to add some thoughts to the story mentioned earlier in the thread, about Buddha in a previous lifetime, killing a man. He was no ordinary being, not even then. He could see what was about to happen. He was a high bodhisattva, he had great compassion and wisdom even then, nothing ordinary about him at all.

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche has said : ..." unless one has one hundred percent pure motivation and can accurately see the circumstances of both this life and the next life very clearly. Ordinarily, people are not able to do that.”

The Seventh Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, “In very rare cases,” he says, “killing has become practice for great bodhisattvas.” He gives the example of the Buddha, who in a previous lifetime killed a man on a boat whom he knew was going to murder five hundred people. The Buddha’s intention was to save the man from accruing a tremendous amount of negative karma. But in a situation like that, Ponlop Rinpoche explains, “It is required to have a complete sense of egolessness - a selfless view. Even a small thought like Oh, maybe I can get such-and-such benefit from this death’ becomes polluted. The intention is not bodhisattva action.”


source of quotes used above:
http://www.tricycle.com/feature/putting-spot-down
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Oct 02, 2010 7:39 pm

..."He was no ordinary being,"

Ordinary is meant to qualify as human(geeze louise)...this was a ordinary birth not extraordinary. He was not a emenation of realized being at that time...

Those qualifiers are within your school and your schools interpretations of this story.There exists many interpretations of this story, yours in not singular nor necessarily superior.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby BFS » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:22 pm

I said:

just to add some thoughts to the story mentioned earlier in the thread,



People are always free, as with anything I post, to take it or leave it. Definitely check up on it! I always try to include a link, hopefully which works , because I am not an authority on anything, whatsoever.
But as long as I honor the TOS, I reserve the right to post my views and thoughts, and share the teachings I follow, freely in the general forums.
BTW - My name is neither Geez or Louise. But then neither is it BFS. :lol:
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby ronnewmexico » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:41 pm

You comment about what I mentioned and another mentioned. as I quote(myself)..."The buddha was not enlightened at the time(this is a past life), but did perform the deed of killing a human. "in reference to the boat story, the jakata tale, so I comment about your comment upon the same issue.

No one has told you not to post your views nor comments, as your comment references..."[b]But as long as I honor the TOS, I reserve the right to post my views and thoughts, and share the teachings as I practice them, freely in the general forums. [/b"
The term geeze louise is put in as a expression of exasperation, as one may put in a smilies to express similiar thing it is allowable to express such sentiments. That is not calling you a name. :rolling: This is a example of a similiar sentiment similie....I expressed it with word.

I again repeat the term....geeze louise for same purpose. It is not uncommon when one expresses comment upon what one has commented for one to then express comment in reply. Even if one had not expressed comment upon a similiar issue, commenting upon ones post is ordinarily done and does not imply that one is stateing by doing so that one is implying one should not post.

Post whatever you want feel free to do so. Don't be surprised when someone takes exception to what you write if exception is found....If you want no one to comment upon what you write(in a general context).....say so in post. I will honor that request. I will not honor a specific request for just me not to comment. If you say something I may comment.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:31 pm

I would be interested in any different interpretations of that Jataka tale. I love dharma stories and fables. I've always known it to represent the high level of Buddha Shakyamuni's realization at that point in time. But like I said I'm interested in different interpretations. I don't want to take us too far off track though, because this is a great thread.

To Lotus Lion, your posts and the introduction to your religion you've provided are very interesting! Thank you for patiently taking your time with us to answer questions so thoroughly. I'm interested in hearing more about the meditation you practice. It sounds like it's primarily single-pointed meditation that you do, using breath or mantra. Is this right? Also, do you have an individual guru?

Again, thanks for so much interesting information! Best of wishes to you on your path, and thanks for joining the group here.

Kind wishes,
Laura
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby BFS » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:58 am

Ron, I didn't think you were calling me a name, I was thought it was funny, I fully understand what Geeze Louise means, that's why I followed it with a : :lol: in my reply.

I don't know about anyone else, I know for me that on- line communication, limited to words alone can sometimes be a little difficult for me to understand others, and sometimes be clear and explain what I mean. When in doubt, I prefer to clarify my position. Nothing surprises me on line anymore. No problem. You certainly can't please all the people all of the time. I try my best and don't take any of it too seriously. If the shoe does not fit, then there is really no need to try it on, after all my blathering it is my projection, entirely, always is.


Sorry about going off topic, Lotus Lion, and others.
:focus:
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:07 am

Just my personal experience I found the tale itself to have some variation. ONe has the prior buddha hitting the man who was trying to drill a hole into the bottom of the ship to kill the merchants, with a hammer or some such. Another has the buddha to be throwing him overboard as he was killing some of the 500 merhants with a sword. The former has the buddha to be as captain of the boat.

So the tale itself seems to refer to the same issue but be slightly different depending upon faith and translation.
The interpretations I find vary as well. The buddha knowing the fate or what the man was intendeing to do(kill the merchants) seems common. If that meant he perceived the future or past lives, karmic result and all the rest.... seems variable. It was clear he knew the man intended to kill the merchants in both cases.

The use of merchants and the merchant class being a new class at the time to india and the first real middle class in existance.....perhaps that speaks in some manner to that day and time. Some contend the buddhist and other faiths arrivals at this time in india speak to that transitiional period of social change, which such changes create. I would contend the use of merchants was not accidental,so there is perhaps more to be read into it. Buddhism seemed to attract that class at the time.

A quary would probably produce a bunch of answers better than mine certainly. But since there are 5oo plus tales it could take a while. And then to find a bunch of interpretations...a while longer.
That's just what I have heard.

I brought exception to the term ordinary being considered in wrong context mostly. The buddha may be acting as a bodhistava at the time but he was still a ordinary human. Ordinary humans may posess skills of seeing the future and such things at that time in india as tales of the 52 manasiddhis attest to but be not realized by any means. As one may act as a bodhistava like a mother theresa but still be ordinary.

I hear ya BFS....again don't be surprised. If I differ I will differ most likely, no personal intention intended. I am certain you are well founded in your faith and a nice person.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby BFS » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:11 am

ronnewmexico wrote:I hear ya BFS.....


Thanks, Ron.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:52 am

As a aside....Jainism existed as a competing religious philosophy of the day in india it seems.
Writings specific to the buddhist side speak of a Jain foundational member being involved in a civic remedy to the problem that was the mass murderer become monk, the Buddha converted. I have heard similiar things are present but with nuances of difference from the Jain side.

So my personal take is..... as the Jains are absoluteists of a sort, believing of the absolute nature of a soul for one, a Jain would never do such a thing as to kill another human for any reason, expecially one well along the path in spiritual progression would not do that. So this tale speaks of the nonabsolute or circumstantial nature of good or bad in a buddhist context. While there are some absolute considered good or bad things mostly we would not approach them, killing a buddha a mother or father things of that sort. This type of ship thing is not all that uncommon and thusly may be encountered and speaks not to the circumstance but to a consideration of the good or bad, before summarily believing anything to be good or bad...In other words no absolute good nor bad. As a Jainist would find such things.
All circumstantial as opposed to inherantly existant qualtiy.

Just my personal take.
My appologies to the initial poster for deviating from point.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:55 am

I see, thanks Ron for your thoughts on the story.
Like I said, I really enjoy parables as a form of communicating lessons :smile:

Kindly,
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby Luke » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:52 am

Here's a short video which gives a brief overview of Sikhism:
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Re: Hello Everyone

Postby SonamZangpo » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:33 am

While I was doing a spiritual search, in a time with no path, I looked into various things before I came around to Buddhism ultimately. Sikhism was one of these paths I came across!

Just to comment on the "warlike" things said before, I believe I heard or read a story in Sikhism to demonstrate compassion of a Sikh who had mortally wounded a man in battle, but he had not yet died, and the sun was high and it was hot. The Sikh grabbed a shield and shaded the man so he was comfortable as he could be before he died. While I do not agree with killing at all, and would likely die before being killing (though, never underestimate primal instinct!), that if there was a "right" way to kill, or at least an honorable, compassionate way when it came to combat- the Sikhs did so.

I read a different story (I think it was Sikhism... may have been Buddhism... but I'm almost positive Sikh) of a man (maybe it was a guru?) who saw a scorpion drowning in the water. He swam out to get it despite people warning him about being stung, and he rescued it, and his hand was stung and then... something else happened. This was years ago I read this, haha.

Also, something I feel you should clarify your view on, if you would, only so that people will not get the wrong view of Sikhism if they so do their own research, is that marijuana mixture thing that Sikhs have? From what I had heard, the use of it has been dismissed, except for a small group that uses it and stays high constantly with a sort of "combat could happen at any time" justification. Any thoughts or explanation surrounding that?

Thanks so much for coming to this community, sharing of yourself with us, and also being open to our beliefs and comments as well.

Tashi Delek!
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http://www.facebook.com/kyle.labonte <- This is my more active facebook, if you want some real discussion

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