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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Click on July 2013 teachings: http://www.longchenrabjam.org/en/node/15

Gangteng Rinpoche warns his listeners not to trust science (or does he mean secular scholarship in general?) more than religion, since some scientists just make things up in order to get famous. (Fortunately this never happens in religion.) He notes that some of his students have expressed doubts about their text, when it says (for example) that Sakyamuni Buddha had a body which is very large, and assures them that such details are meant to be taken literally. He invites those who are still dubious to resolve their doubts, for example, by traveling to Bodhgaya and finding out (from archeologists? or is their testimony suspect as well?) what Buddha looked like.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Who doesn't like a bit of fundamentalist irrationalism about irrelevant details in the morning?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Buddha's enormous bowl, in Afghanistan at the moment, is a testament to the legend:

Image

Image

Some details:

http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2011/11/b ... -bowl.html

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:38 pm 
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Indrajala wrote:

From that site:

Quote:
The bowl was probably an early larger copy of the Buddha’s actual bowl placed in a monastery in Vesali for people to offer their first fruits in, a custom common in ancient India and which survived even in Sri Lanka and elsewhere up to the 19th century. The bowl’s great size may well have encouraged the acceptance of the widespread belief amongst ancient Buddhists that the Buddha was 18 feet tall. Only someone that big could have used or even lifted a bowl this size.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:54 pm 
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Was Mayadevi also a giant? Or Yasodhara?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:10 pm 
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funny funny funny.


i think in these cases the teacher maybe should elaborate that the 'size' of buddha in abhidhamma context could be even bigger than a giant. and in this context when talking about the infinitude or largeness of buddha, doesnt refer to the rupakaya but the mind of the buddha. or something.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:28 pm 
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And then there's his footprint in Sri Lanka. (Or is it Adam's?)

Can we rule out the possibility that Shakyamuni had the mutant power to grow and shrink his body?

PS. The size of his mother is irrelevant, since he emerged magically from her...was it the armpit?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:30 pm 
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On a serious note, this is not such an uncommon notion in ancient cultures. The Greeks, for instance, believed their heroes to have had a certain gargantuan quality. A testament to this is that they enshrined or entombed fossilized remains of mammoths and such, believing them to be the bones of their mythical forebears.

See: http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/jfrr/article/view/2266/2142

:stirthepot: :popcorn:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:24 pm 
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to support Gangteng Tulku :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYCLIEKiwv0


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:18 am 
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Alfredo wrote:
some scientists just make things up in order to get famous. (Fortunately this never happens in religion.)

I can only assume, and hope you're being sarcastic with this sentence. Of course any given scientist can make anything up, but by the very nature of what science is, that doesn't go far. When someone has a scientific theory, it's tested, and the only way it's proven is by trying hard to prove it untrue, only until you can't do that with many attempts is it even remotely accepted. Even after that, if one scientist "proves" something but the majority of other scientists don't agree, it's pretty much considered discredited and the scientist is not taken very seriously.
Religion on the other hand is constantly filled with people making things up to become famous. Obviously there's one religion I take seriously, but it of course even happens in Buddhism all the time.

If you were joking and it just went over my head, I apologize and you can ignore this post (unfortunately it's tough to tell sarcasm through the computer).
I will say though, even though I think saying religion trumps science is a pretty ridiculous statement from anyone, I've received teachings from Gangteng Tulku several times, and I thought those teachings were absolutely wonderful. He's a very genuine teacher, even if I disagree from that particular statement.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:15 am 
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I am not joking, in the sense that Gangteng Tulku really did say that (see link). But like you, I suspect that he does not really grasp how science works, or what other fields of scholarship are likely to say about the legend that Buddha was a giant. I am glad to hear that he is otherwise a fine teacher, though.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:57 am 
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A lot of this is about context. At present we do not ask advice on spiritual practice from 'scientists'. They may offer insight on the processes but this is not their area. In a similar way a Turku with a specialised but limited education is going to offer most useful advice in their area. The Tulkus 'insight' into checking the evidence, may be more to do with faith than the 'scientific method'. Those of us straddling the two educations are in a fortunate position.

It is certainly possible that the Buddha was more discerning than our present dharma giants. Discernment is the key.

:popcorn:

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