Questions

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Questions

Postby Epistemes » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:31 pm

The Buddha taught that a person should examine the teachings and judge them for merit and then if they are found useful to follow them. What if we found his teachings not to be useful? Are we relegated to an eternity of bad karma?

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?
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Re: Questions

Postby catmoon » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:35 pm

Perhaps to such a one, Buddhists will be kind.
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Re: Questions

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:39 pm

Epistemes wrote:The Buddha taught that a person should examine the teachings and judge them for merit and then if they are found useful to follow them. What if we found his teachings not to be useful? Are we relegated to an eternity of bad karma?

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?


If I could give you an enlightenment pill which transported you to the top of the spiritual mountain where you had all the answers, but which wore off, and then you forgot all the answers, what would be the point of taking it?

The task isn't to realize the truth as if it's like "beam me up scotty". We have to climb - step by step, sweating with our creaky backs and sore muscles all the time. We gain realization not because it's some piano that falls out of the sky but because we wrestle with it, like Jacob wrestled with the angel.

Taming our minds - relaxing into our true nature - is hard work!
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Re: Questions

Postby Acchantika » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:49 pm

Epistemes wrote:What if we found his teachings not to be useful?


Then we should dismiss them without hesitation.

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?


To do away with belief.
...
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Re: Questions

Postby KeithBC » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:30 pm

Epistemes wrote:The Buddha taught that a person should examine the teachings and judge them for merit and then if they are found useful to follow them. What if we found his teachings not to be useful? Are we relegated to an eternity of bad karma?

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?

The Buddha taught that his followers should believe what they see as wholesome. That sounds like a subtle distinction, but it is actually quite profound. The value of Buddhism is that it is wholesome. If the teachings of a particular Buddhist teacher are unwholesome, then they are not Buddhism. So the Buddha was instructing us in how to recognize the Dharma.

If a person rejects the Dharma for whatever reason, they are not relegated to an eternity of anything. Nothing is permanent, except the realization of enlightenment. Hell is not permanent; bad karma is not permanent; ignorance is not permanent. Eventually (perhaps after many lifetimes), that person will recognize the Dharma as wholesome and follow it.

Om mani padme hum
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Re: Questions

Postby Matt J » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:34 pm

The value of Buddhist teaching is that it presents a different way of looking at the world. It is like a training regimen for the body-mind. I wouldn't have noticed many things without Buddhist teaching. For instance, impermanence. Before, I didn't notice it so much. Now, it's everywhere! I wouldn't have noticed it if the Buddhist teaching hadn't said, all things are impermanent.

Let's say I give you some instructions on strength training. I say you should do sit ups, push ups, and reduce the intake of fatty foods and dairy. If you reject this, will you doom yourself to a lifetime of poor fitness? Not necessarily. Is this without value because I tell you to try it and see instead of believing it? Of course not. Will it do you any good to believe that my regimen will help you if you don't do it? No, it won't.

Just some thoughts.
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If only there is no picking or choosing
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Re: Questions

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:52 am

Epistemes wrote:The Buddha taught that a person should examine the teachings and judge them for merit and then if they are found useful to follow them. What if we found his teachings not to be useful? Are we relegated to an eternity of bad karma?

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?


Buddha never said we have to follow him. In fact he encourage us to check it using our intelligence. In case we are not agree with it, we are welcome to put it aside.

It is shown in the dialog between Buddha and Sariputta.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Questions

Postby LastLegend » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:23 am

Epistemes wrote:The Buddha taught that a person should examine the teachings and judge them for merit and then if they are found useful to follow them. What if we found his teachings not to be useful? Are we relegated to an eternity of bad karma?

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?


Knowledge is through objective experience. Investigate. Inquiry of knowledge.
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NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Questions

Postby 5heaps » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:41 pm

Epistemes wrote:If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?

part of the value is in the buddha stating that he had established the nature of reality, that it could be realized by others, that it could be used to unwind suffering, and the various explanations and reasonings given in support. the other part of its value comes from you checking to see if he was correct.

you need both parts to form the notion of 'value', theres no such thing as self-establishing value
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Re: Questions

Postby Sönam » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:00 pm

LastLegend wrote:
Epistemes wrote:The Buddha taught that a person should examine the teachings and judge them for merit and then if they are found useful to follow them. What if we found his teachings not to be useful? Are we relegated to an eternity of bad karma?

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?


Knowledge is through objective experience. Investigate. Inquiry of knowledge.


Actual knowledge is intrinsic ... and expression of it is depending on circumstances, seing, earing and so on.

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By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Questions

Postby LastLegend » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:19 pm

But to inquire knowledge, it should be objective free from false thinking and emotional biases.
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Re: Questions

Postby Gharchaina » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:27 am

Epistemes wrote:The Buddha taught that a person should examine the teachings and judge them for merit and then if they are found useful to follow them. What if we found his teachings not to be useful? Are we relegated to an eternity of bad karma?

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?


If you are referencing the Kalama Sutta here, several things should be noted:

1. The Buddha was speaking to non-Buddhists who were in doubt about the teaching, so the advice is tailor made for outsiders and doubters.
2. The Buddha did not ask them to judge on the basis of what they felt or saw as applicable, but rather on what the teachings did -- did they do what they claimed -- what results does the teaching yield -- is it wholesome and beneficial?
3. The teachings should be checked against the experience of the wise as insurance against any prejudices the investigator might have.

So the Buddha is not calling the value of the teachings into question, or saying that anything you feel about them is valid. He is asking you to put them to a vigorous rigorous test because he is certain that they can withstand it.
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Re: Questions

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:55 am

Epistemes wrote:The Buddha taught that a person should examine the teachings and judge them for merit and then if they are found useful to follow them. What if we found his teachings not to be useful? Are we relegated to an eternity of bad karma?

If the Buddha did teach that his followers should believe what they see as true/applicable and not what he himself has said (or because he said it), then what is the value of Buddhism?


1. The Buddha taught a lot of stuff over some 40 years, and not every part of it will be useful to every person all the time. When I began to study it there were things that made no sense to me, or that I wasn't concerned with (and that is still true). It is because of all the karma that brings a person right up to this very second that determines what will be useful or not. It has nothing to do with the teachings. Consider as an analogy, a fire extinguisher. It is there when you are ready for it.

2. What the Buddha explained is the truth about the way things are. For example, that all composite things are impermanent. This is true and was true even before the Buddha explained it, and would have been true even if it had never been explained by anybody.

There are people who say that only the actual words (believed to be) spoken by the Buddha are valid Buddhist teachings. This is often argued by some who only follow the Pali (Theravadan) teachings and reject Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings. This position may be valid from the viewpoint of a historian, but the implication is that The historical Buddha is the only one who ever attained realization, otherwise the teachings of later Buddhist masters would also be equally valid, because the truth about the way things really are is an objective truth. As mentioned above, impermanence is impermanence, perceived or not.

There are others who assert that teachings given by someone (other than Shakyamuni Buddha) who has attained realization of the true nature of things is also valid dharma. This position suggests that essentially anyone can become "enlightened" because "attaining enlightenment" results from understanding the way things really are, and does not rely on the fact that a particular Indian prince happened to be the one who became famous for teaching it.

Consider a an analogy, making fire by rubbing sticks together. Somebody (probably a lot of somebodies) did this for the very first time, thousands of years ago, way, way, way before the historical Buddha appeared. Nobody today knows who first discovered this method, but it is an objective fact, and for that reason even today if you rub two sticks together properly it will produce a spark and you can make a fire.

Now you need that fire extinguisher.
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Re: Questions

Postby LOGANUSO » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:18 am

outstanding post!! :good:
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