Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

A place for discussion of current events. Buddhist news would be particularly appreciated.

Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 19, 2011 8:31 pm

When I was in India a few months ago I visited Bodhgaya where Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi Tree are located. One afternoon I noticed they were pruning large branches off the tree. One French lady pointed out that some of the branches were healthy and certainly not dead, and that she suspected the temple management were going to sell them.

When they were pruning the tree there were a few intimidating security guards standing watch waving their broken broom handles at anyone running to grab a piece of bark, a branch or fallen leaf from above. The logs were all piled up and taken away.

Here's a photo I took of the pruning process:

Image


Now there is this article from a few years ago which describes allegations of corruption and wrong doing:

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 57,0,0,1,0

Priests and monks allege that thousands of dollars in temple donations have mysteriously vanished, that a thick branch of the ancient holy Bodhi tree was lopped off and sold in Thailand in 2006, and that ancient relics have disappeared.




Clad in white robes, the barefoot and bearded Brahmachari excitedly points out the spot where the branch was chopped off, as well as empty niches around the temple grounds where he says statuettes of Buddha stood until recently.

"They sent the branch to Thailand, and sold it for 6 crore (60 million) rupees ($1.5 million)," he said, adding he had been beaten up twice and had received several death threats since starting his campaign.

The government, he said, was simply not interested.

"Nobody is listening. I am fed up of writing letters."

But he is not alone in his anger, joined by Buddhist priests running many of the other temples and monasteries which have sprung up in Bodh Gaya.

Although its accounts are audited, the priests complain the temple does nothing to support local schools and hospitals, despite having a substantial income.

"Money is coming in, but where the money is going nobody knows," said Bhante Pragyadeep, treasurer of the Buddhist Monks Association of India.



This is really unfortunate. When I was in Bodhgaya I got to spend some time with the former head monk of Mahabodhi Temple who complained that 99% percent of India in his estimation is corrupt. It really wouldn't surprise me if some crooked parties are making huge sums of money from selling off logs cut from the Bodhi Tree or statues removed from the grounds.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Paul » Thu May 19, 2011 9:55 pm

This would not surprise me in the slightest. India is a wonderful country, but it's very corrupt when there's money to be made.
This nature of mind is spontaneously present.
That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.
Recognizing this should help me
Not to be stuck with fear of being sued.

-Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
User avatar
Paul
 
Posts: 831
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:12 pm

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby tamdrin » Thu May 19, 2011 10:02 pm

Hayagriva wrote:This would not surprise me in the slightest. India is a wonderful country, but it's very corrupt when there's money to be made.



Yes I agree, India is a wonderful country in many respects.. although it has its downsides.
tamdrin
 
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby conebeckham » Thu May 19, 2011 10:16 pm

Sad, but......

And Nepal is worse, in terms of corruption. However, my wife likes to point out that at least over there they "ask" for the Bhakshish. Here in the USA they get it, too, but in secret, and from lobbyists! :smile:
May any merit generated by on-line discussion
Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
User avatar
conebeckham
 
Posts: 2754
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:32 am

This is worth bringing up again.

I found this link, albeit a few years old:

http://www.dhammaweb.net/dhamma_news/view.php?id=38

Bhante said Buddhists had been given little role in managing the affairs of the temple since 1949.

He directly held non-Buddhist members of the temple management committee responsible for chopping the branch of the tree. It was reported early this month that some unknown people had chopped off the branch.

Anand said he suspected the involvement of an international mafia in the crime, adding there was a high demand in Japan for the leaves of the tree, pieces of its wood and the soil.



Also this which is an interesting article on the the legalities of the arrangements for Mahabodhi Temple's management and the corruption therein:

http://www.countercurrents.org/chaudhary240711.htm

It has also enabled pseudo-Buddhists, sympathizers of the Hindutva camp, to dominate the cultural and spiritual affairs of the Mahabodhi Temple pertaining to Buddhism that has resulted in the theft of precious artifacts from the temple. Faizan Ahmad has reported that at least 1,000 precious artifacts had been stolen from the temple. Quoting Bhante Anand, a noted Buddhist monk, he states that most of the idols and stupas were smuggled out when Bhante Gyan Jagat, alleged to be a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh man in the garb of a monk, was the superintendent of the Temple’s management committee.[xxxii] Several Buddhist idols and stupas are still being kept in the mutt of the Bodh Gaya Mahanth, who happened to be the caretaker of the shrine before the enactment of the Bodh Gaya Temple Act, 1949. Notable Buddhist monk Bhadant Arya Nagarjuna Shurei Sasai is of the view that Hindu Brahmin priests are responsible for defiling and looting of some of the original statues of Lord Buddha from the Mahabodhi Mahavihara and that accounts of donations and gifts received have not been maintained properly.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:57 pm

Maybe we should spend more time pruning the dead branches off of the bodhi tree of our mind, then worrying about a chunk of wood in a courtyard. ;)
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9983
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:39 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Maybe we should spend more time pruning the dead branches off of the bodhi tree of our mind, then worrying about a chunk of wood in a courtyard. ;)
:namaste:


I hear these kind of sentiments a lot when it comes to the holy sites of Buddhism.

You really need to realize that the majority of Buddhists are emotionally and spiritually invested in such places. Making a pilgrimage to such places and so on can be profoundly moving and emotional experiences which foster faith in the Buddhadharma and moreover instil a sense of devotion and dedication. Such devotion and dedication only encourages both morality as taught by the Buddha and practice of his Dharma.

Do not so lightly dismiss the value of such places.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:15 pm

Huseng wrote:Do not so lightly dismiss the value of such places.
I am not lightly dismissing the value of such places, I am heavily promoting engaging in practice! Of course pilgrimage is practice too, but in the absence of physical places of pilgrimage a kora around the Mt. Meru of mind does the job just as well.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9983
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:00 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Huseng wrote:Do not so lightly dismiss the value of such places.
I am not lightly dismissing the value of such places, I am heavily promoting engaging in practice! Of course pilgrimage is practice too, but in the absence of physical places of pilgrimage a kora around the Mt. Meru of mind does the job just as well.
:namaste:


You said...

...then worrying about a chunk of wood in a courtyard


That is a disparaging remark about the value of such a place.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:33 pm

I also said:
Maybe we should spend more time pruning the dead branches off of the bodhi tree of our mind...
;)
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9983
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:35 pm

"Holy places, shrines and lesser shrines:
all are right here -
I've been there in my travels,

but I've seen
no place of pilgrimage
more blissful than the body."

Saraha

Image
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9983
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:00 pm

However large the branch taken, I'll wager that it will miraculously triple in size once turned into amulets and souvenirs.

A tourist once asked a villager if he could photograph the lingam in his hut.

The tourist took the stone outside for a better picture, and then suddely realised he may have contaminated it and ruined its spritual value to the household.

The villager said: 'Whilst it was in my home it was sacred. Now it is just a stone. But why worry - we can easily get another stone.'

Attachments to objects of virtue may be useful in motivating us, but the tree is not Buddha, Dharma or Sangha. It is the attachment of Buddhists to it which makes it of value and therefore a target for theft and harm.
Left
Blue Garuda
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:54 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
"Holy places, shrines and lesser shrines:
all are right here -
I've been there in my travels,

but I've seen
no place of pilgrimage
more blissful than the body."

Saraha



Easier said than done.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:07 am

Blue Garuda wrote:Attachments to objects of virtue may be useful in motivating us, but the tree is not Buddha, Dharma or Sangha. It is the attachment of Buddhists to it which makes it of value and therefore a target for theft and harm.


Actually it is in aspect the Sangha. A physical manifestation of the Dharma in the world. Stupas are likewise Sangha, the third facet of the Triple Gem. Hence they should be respected, well-maintained and revered.

I've noticed a clearly visible residue of Protestant thinking amongst a lot of English speaking Buddhists. You're all fine with abandoning tradition, symbols and imagery.

That might work for you, but such sentiments are totally self-serving and harmful. Like I said, the majority of Buddhists are emotionally invested in such things. If you turn around and tell them to cut all attachment to such things, it won't help anyone. You're also so quick to toss things out the window saying they're unnecessary, meanwhile you're equally if not more attached to other worldly phenomena.

Moreover, the fact of the matter is that historically most Buddhists of any country have valued such things as the Bodhi Tree, Stupas and holy sites. They are more than just things to motivate people. They are physical manifestations of the Triple Gem in the world, born out of vast causes and conditions of virtue, conviction and positive intention. That the bodhi tree and Mahabodhi Temple, or any other ancient site, still remains to this day is a testament to our predecessors' faith and good-will. Such virtues should be emulated, not so lightly dismissed.

I also need not have to remind you it was the Buddha who ordered the building of stupas to enshrine his relics following his death. The bodhi tree and the surrounding stupas immediately around it are to be considered in the same light.

This being the kaliyuga I imagine a lot of people here wouldn't bat an eyelash if the bodhi tree was burned down. You might even laugh and think you're being unattached to things, thus justified in having such thoughts and it somehow expressing your advanced state of practice.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:07 am

Huseng wrote:This being the kaliyuga I imagine a lot of people here wouldn't bat an eyelash if the bodhi tree was burned down. You might even laugh and think you're being unattached to things, thus justified in having such thoughts and it somehow expressing your advanced state of practice.
Two points: 1. It's not even the original bodhi tree. 2. I was going to recommend (semi jokingly) burning it down, sharing out the ashes to all the major religions and letting them all build stupas around the ashes, that way everybody will get a piece of the $$$ game. :smile:

But while it may be "Protestant" of some of us to not attach that much meaning to physical objects, it becomes very "Catholic" of others to attach so much meaning to physical objects. And although Sarahas advice is "Easier said than done", if we made a concerted effort to apply his advice then surely we would waste less time being concerned with titles, crowns (of various colours), robes, tithings (read $$$), etc... AND we would spend less time tracking down stupas and more time (like Milarepa in his song describing his meeting with Bodhidharma) transforming ourselves into stupas.

The truth obviously lies somewhere between our two positions (cf Thirty Year War :tongue: ) but both positions must be stated in order for onlookers to make their personal decision.
:namaste:
PS The quote by Saraha clearly shows that it's not just "Protestant thinking " (I was brought up Greek Orthodox actually) English speaking Buddhists that hold this type of position. Saraha was neither Protestant nor English speaking. ;)
PPS Imagine how sweet it would be if every tree in the universe, every blade of grass was a Bodhi tree with a Buddha sitting under it?! Now that would be grand!
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9983
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:26 am

gregkavarnos wrote:PS The quote by Saraha clearly shows that it's not just "Protestant thinking " (I was brought up Greek Orthodox actually) English speaking Buddhists that hold this type of position. Saraha was neither Protestant nor English speaking. ;)


You have misconstrued what I was saying.

I would imagine Saraha had those Buddhists in mind who believed just visiting holy sites was sufficient practice in itself rather than actively working towards liberation via meditation and personal cultivation.

You seem to be painting him as supporting your position of abandoning holy sites so as not to "attach to that much meaning to physical objects." You are warping what he said to suit your shameless disregard for activities that both propagate and maintain Buddhism. If it was not for all those stupas and holy sites, we can easily surmise that Buddhism would not have survived. They are powerful symbols which instil faith and devotion, which go further in maintaining Buddhism in the world than simply telling people, "Don't be attached so much to physical objects!"


if we made a concerted effort to apply his advice then surely we would waste less time being concerned with titles, crowns (of various colours), robes, tithings (read $$$), etc... AND we would spend less time tracking down stupas and more time (like Milarepa in his song describing his meeting with Bodhidharma) transforming ourselves into stupas.


This line of thinking can only be implemented by a few people in reality. Most Buddhists want those holy sites like the Bodhi Tree and Stupas. The robes and so on are also powerful symbols which again seem quite necessary for the maintenance of Buddhadharma in the real world, not in the idealistic world where everyone can be profound yogis having gone beyond the need for such things.

Again, there is a human side to all this. Most Buddhists don't have the inclination in their present lives to transform themselves into stupas. Telling them that they should try and do away with stupa worship is not only egotistical (placing yourself in a position where you yourself are supposedly transforming yourself into a stupa while those foolish pilgrims mindlessly attach themselves to physical objects which you have no regard for), but harmful to Buddhism in the world.

You should also understand that as the scriptures have said there is great merit in venerating stupas. The same applies to the Bodhi Tree.

I would wager that those devoted pilgrims who would spend years and great hardship just on travelling to a holy site cultivate more conviction in the teachings than someone like you who would jest about their "being attached to physical objects". They at least cultivate the roots and merit suitable for liberation either in this life or in future lives. You just stand there mocking them, creating negative karma and eradicating your own roots in the process.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:39 am

I should furthermore note that being emotionally invested in holy sites is probably a good thing for most Buddhists.

The reason being that such emotional underpinnings can carry over to future lives, which will foster interest in Buddhadharma and a connection to it.

I imagine many people here can relate how they might not come from a Buddhist family background, but being exposed to it at some age you became interested in it. You might have been drawn just to the imagery and sites before delving into the actual teachings of the Buddha.

I know this was the case for me. When I visited Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya I broke down into tears and had a profoundly moving experience. I likewise felt a deep connection to Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, as well the sites at Kushinagar, Sarnath and Lumbini. These experiences, deeply emotional and moving, fostered great conviction in me and dedication to Buddhadharma.

I have no doubt I cultivated such emotional connections in past lives and as such they have motivated me to actively pursue the path in this life.

This is why I hope to deeply connect myself to Buddhist holy sites and hopefully in my next life I will find myself with the same emotional longing and connection, which will only see to me continuing the path towards Buddhahood.

Hence, Greg, such emotional connections to physical objects, empty and impermanent as they might be, are profoundly useful on a multi-lifetime scale of things. Faith or conviction is one of the fundamental powers necessary for walking the path to liberation. Liberation usually takes many lifetimes, so having a kind of emotional anchor to the physical parts of Buddhism in this world is a precaution worth considering.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:11 am

I would imagine Saraha had those Buddhists in mind who believed just visiting holy sites was sufficient practice in itself rather than actively working towards liberation via meditation and personal cultivation.

You seem to be painting him as supporting your position of abandoning holy sites so as not to "attach to that much meaning to physical objects." You are warping what he said to suit your shameless disregard for activities that both propagate and maintain Buddhism. If it was not for all those stupas and holy sites, we can easily surmise that Buddhism would not have survived. They are powerful symbols which instil faith and devotion, which go further in maintaining Buddhism in the world than simply telling people, "Don't be attached so much to physical objects!"
You say potayto, I say potahto. :shrug:
PS Buddhism didn't survive in India, that's why the Bodhgaya region and the Bodhi tree are owned and run by Hindus.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9983
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:34 am

Huseng wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:Attachments to objects of virtue may be useful in motivating us, but the tree is not Buddha, Dharma or Sangha. It is the attachment of Buddhists to it which makes it of value and therefore a target for theft and harm.


Actually it is in aspect the Sangha. A physical manifestation of the Dharma in the world. Stupas are likewise Sangha, the third facet of the Triple Gem. Hence they should be respected, well-maintained and revered.

I've noticed a clearly visible residue of Protestant thinking amongst a lot of English speaking Buddhists. You're all fine with abandoning tradition, symbols and imagery.

That might work for you, but such sentiments are totally self-serving and harmful. Like I said, the majority of Buddhists are emotionally invested in such things. If you turn around and tell them to cut all attachment to such things, it won't help anyone. You're also so quick to toss things out the window saying they're unnecessary, meanwhile you're equally if not more attached to other worldly phenomena.

Moreover, the fact of the matter is that historically most Buddhists of any country have valued such things as the Bodhi Tree, Stupas and holy sites. They are more than just things to motivate people. They are physical manifestations of the Triple Gem in the world, born out of vast causes and conditions of virtue, conviction and positive intention. That the bodhi tree and Mahabodhi Temple, or any other ancient site, still remains to this day is a testament to our predecessors' faith and good-will. Such virtues should be emulated, not so lightly dismissed.

I also need not have to remind you it was the Buddha who ordered the building of stupas to enshrine his relics following his death. The bodhi tree and the surrounding stupas immediately around it are to be considered in the same light.

This being the kaliyuga I imagine a lot of people here wouldn't bat an eyelash if the bodhi tree was burned down. You might even laugh and think you're being unattached to things, thus justified in having such thoughts and it somehow expressing your advanced state of practice.


Wow. What a lot of assumptions and non sequitur comment.

First false premise - a tree is exactly like a stupa......followed by a lot of comment about stupas derived from that false premise, which really have zilch to do with this tree. Even if this tree were shown to be the actual tree alive at the time of Buddha, I don't recall records of him asking people to go out and plant trees to commemorate him.

The Protestant jibe was hilarious - aimed at Vajrayana practitioners? :
'You're all fine with abandoning tradition, symbols and imagery.'
You really have no idea, have you?

Oh, and Protestants were pretty upset when a holy tree in Glastonbury was similarly denuded by thieves, and they seem to venerate a symbol of crucifixion I seem to remember - in fact Bishops sometimes wear wooden crosses made from the wood of that tree. Another false premise and a load of non sequitur.

The rest of your response was ill-judged. Perhaps type an angry response into your word processor, leave it overnight, and then post it when calmer?

I'm actually a great lover of trees - I don't pick and choose though. We have a symbiotic relationship with them, and I really feel their power in terms of the the life energy of the universe, or as Dylan Thomas put it: 'the force that through the green fuse drives the flower'. My attachment means that I may cry when I see the rainforests, the 'lungs of the earth', destroyed and the many deaths it brings.

Ok, so you visited the place and were overcome with emotion - that is exaclty what my story was all about. The tree has no inherent sacred qualities. It is all from our own side. We can choose to form such attachments or not, and transfer them. Surely that is undeniable - you are just shooting the messenger.

There are surely many more deserving reasons to cry in India. Perhaps beings who wish to develop universal compassion may be better served by venerating the life of a girl baby thrown out to die in the gutter, or caring about the torture of animals. I thought witnessing such suffering was the motivation for Shakyamuni's quest - obviously I was wrong and he actually became enlightened by eating figs and declaring the tree to be forever worshipped as the bearer of the fruit of the 3 Jewels. Not. ;)
Left
Blue Garuda
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:23 pm

Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:10 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:First false premise - a tree is exactly like a stupa......followed by a lot of comment about stupas derived from that false premise, which really have zilch to do with this tree. Even if this tree were shown to be the actual tree alive at the time of Buddha, I don't recall records of him asking people to go out and plant trees to commemorate him.


You clearly have no appreciation for sacred traditions that, as I outlined above, have a great benefit to Buddhists. Hence, the tree is akin the stupas as objects of veneration.


The Protestant jibe was hilarious - aimed at Vajrayana practitioners? :


No.



Ok, so you visited the place and were overcome with emotion - that is exaclty what my story was all about. The tree has no inherent sacred qualities. It is all from our own side. We can choose to form such attachments or not, and transfer them. Surely that is undeniable - you are just shooting the messenger.


You have either ignored or missed my point -- that the tree and stupas alike hold great value for practitioners. We need not discuss the ultimate empty reality of all conditioned phenomena. This is just conventional reality we're talking about, i.e., real life as people live it.


There are surely many more deserving reasons to cry in India. Perhaps beings who wish to develop universal compassion may be better served by venerating the life of a girl baby thrown out to die in the gutter, or caring about the torture of animals.


Now you're insinuating nonsense and taking things off course.

I thought witnessing such suffering was the motivation for Shakyamuni's quest - obviously I was wrong and he actually became enlightened by eating figs and declaring the tree to be forever worshipped as the bearer of the fruit of the 3 Jewels. Not. ;)


It is remarks such as this that prompt me to think Buddhism in the west might end up a failed project. People have their wits, but little conviction and respect.

As I already explained above, this is a serious matter and should not be dismissed so lightly, even in jest.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5966
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Next

Return to News & Current Events

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Johnny Dangerous and 7 guests

>