Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:15 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
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.


Correct, but it had a long life span in India and survived elsewhere. The stupas and holy sites are contributing factors in sustaining Buddhism in any culture.

If you ever have been to Kathmandu you'll see what I mean with Boudhanath Stupa. The community comes out in the evening and walks around the stupa. It isn't just a few old ladies either. Some might gossip and use it as a chance to socialize, but it nevertheless forms a bond of fellowship that is important if Buddhism is to be sustained coherently over time.
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:37 pm

Huseng wrote:
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.


I respect Buddhism and Buddhist traditions. If people want to worship a tree, that's fine, but Shakyamuni did not teach that 'his' tree or any other tree was to be treated in this way, hence it is not a part of Buddhism but a cultural accretion similar to veneration of the 'tulsi' plant by Hindus. Your response in this thread cannot be taken seriously, I'm afraid, as you start with a premise which equates a tree with a stupa and thus undermine whatever you then argue from that premise.

Compassion is not about me applauding ordinary attachment, but is very much about pointing out the nature of the delusion here.
As I said, don't shoot the messenger.

Sure, this tree may be of immense importance to some people, who ascribe some 'Buddhist' quality to it. That's fine. What is not fine is your decision to post about it and then insult anyone who has a different perspective.

You chose to make intolerant responses - personal negative remarks about myself. That's pretty sad for a Mod - kindly moderate your tone or if you can't, get someone else to moderate it and remove the personal attacks. Thanks.
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:51 pm

Blue Garuda wrote: I respect Buddhism and Buddhist traditions. If people want to worship a tree, that's fine, but Shakyamuni did not teach that 'his' tree or any other tree was to be treated in this way, hence it is not a part of Buddhism but a cultural accretion similar to veneration of the 'tulsi' plant by Hindus. Your response in this thread cannot be taken seriously, I'm afraid, as you start with a premise which equates a tree with a stupa and thus undermine whatever you then argue from that premise.



I'm certain most Buddhists in the real world (as in not on internet forums) would agree with my assertion that the Bodhi Tree can be equated to stupas.

Moreover, it isn't worship so much as it is veneration. The tree stands as a symbol for the Buddha and the lifeline of the Buddhadharma in this world. Hence, it is highly valued and venerated. There is thus great merit to be had in making a pilgrimage to it and circumambulating it in respect.


Compassion is not about me applauding ordinary attachment, but is very much about pointing out the nature of the delusion here.
As I said, don't shoot the messenger.


Technically speaking all perceived conditioned phenomena are a result of delusion, so you need not be so attached to either my words or how they are presented.

Nevertheless like I said earlier, this is not a discussion about emptiness, but about conventional reality as it is lived by ordinary people. It is conventionally useful and essential to have such rich symbols as the Bodhi Tree venerated and maintained.

If you ever visit the tree, you might think there is something to it. However, individual mileage on that will vary of course.


Sure, this tree may be of immense importance to some people, who ascribe some 'Buddhist' quality to it. That's fine. What is not fine is your decision to post about it and then insult anyone who has a different perspective.


I'm not insulting anyone. I'm merely stating my disagreement with positions I think to be dangerous and shameful.

You are free to disagree with me as well. We all do not have to agree with one another.


You chose to make intolerant responses - personal negative remarks about myself. That's pretty sad for a Mod - kindly moderate your tone or if you can't, get someone else to moderate it and remove the personal attacks. Thanks.


I'm not a mod anymore. I'm just an ordinary member of this forum like you. Regardless of that, there is no intolerance. If there were there I would be advocating that dissenting views be silenced. However, I am not. I am disagreeing.
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:06 pm

Huseng wrote:
I'm not insulting anyone.............

I'm merely stating my disagreement with positions I think to be dangerous and shameful.
Regardless of that, there is no intolerance. If there were there I would be advocating that dissenting views be silenced. However, I am not. I am disagreeing.


Huseng - read back. I pointed out to you that the attachment of Buddhists to the tree is precisely what makes it valuable to thieves. You then decided that I held a certain view about the sacredness of the tree and laid into me with personal insults such as:

''You're all fine with abandoning tradition, symbols and imagery.

That might work for you, but such sentiments are totally self-serving and harmful. You're also so quick to toss things out the window ………..

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 ….

You clearly have no appreciation for sacred traditions that, as I outlined above, have a great benefit to Buddhists.

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


You are not reacting to my points, you are shouting at me personally.

I leave it there as you clearly cannot discuss this topic without the personal jibes.
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Indrajala » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:28 pm

Anyways.
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Norwegian » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:49 pm

http://www.lotsawahouse.org/topics/pilg ... udha-stupa

A Prayer to the Stupa of Jarung Khashor in Boudhanath

by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö


Namo guru!

This great stupa symbolizing the dharmakaya,

The sublime wisdom mind of all the buddhas,

Shines bright like the sun throughout all the realms of existence and quiescence—

‘Great Liberation Upon Seeing’, to you I pray!

Precious reliquary piled high with sacred relics,

Such as the ringsel of the buddha Mahakashyapa,

Which arose from the noble aspirations of the dakini Samvari—

Supreme representation ‘Wish-Fulfilling Jewel’, to you I pray!

The Abbot, the Precious Master and the Dharma King

Made their aspirations here to spread the Buddha’s teachings to the North—

To this field for the accumulation of merit among gods and human beings,

I prostrate in devotion!

Before you, I make offerings, I confess my misdeeds and I rejoice in virtue;

I implore the masters to teach and to remain without passing into parinirvana;

And I dedicate all my merits to the infinity of beings throughout the vast reaches of the universe.

May the Buddhadharma flourish and may the lives of its holders remain secure!

May the turmoil of this age be pacified and may the splendours of happiness and virtue increase!

May everyone—male and female, living or dead—who has any connection with you

Be brought swiftly to supreme and unsurpassable awakening!

This aspiration was made by Chökyi Lodrö in the presence of the sacred stupa itself.

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2005

-----------------------------------------------

Read also:

- Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö - "In Praise of Yangleshö": http://www.lotsawahouse.org/topics/pilg ... e-yangleshö
- Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche - "The Benefits of Building a Stupa, Offering Prostrations, Presenting Offerings, Circumambulating It and Making Aspirations": http://www.snowlionpub.com/pages/chadralteaching1.html
- Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche - "A Brief History of the Sacred Image of White Tara (of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo's residence)": http://www.lotsawahouse.org/history-tara-image
- Lama Zopa Rinpoche - "Circumambulating Stupas": http://www.buddhasvillage.com/teachings ... lation.htm

To add, physical locations, objects and similar have a very high importance in Vajrayana. Really. There's vast amounts of commentary on these things. Caves, stupas, statues, special places, valleys, mountains, flowers, trees, and so on and so forth...
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:17 am

Huseng wrote:Anyways.
Blue Garuda does have a point you know, I also felt that your statements were a little exaggerted and overly personal.
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:36 am

I'm certain most Buddhists in the real world (as in not on internet forums)...
PS the Buddhists on internet forums are real world Buddhists too AND internet forums are also a part of the real world (as are any means of communication).
: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."
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Dave The Seeker » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:15 pm

Just a question here, since I'm kinda confused at the replies in this thread.

In the prayers before/after making offerings the texts I have from FPMT state that we make these offerings to the buddhas, bodisatvas, statues, stupas and all holy objects. Wouldn't this tree and any others be considered holy objects?
And in that train of thought, why shouldn't they be protected and honored as such?

Thanks

Kindest wishes, Dave
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:15 pm

The Seeker wrote:Wouldn't this tree and any others be considered holy objects?
And in that train of thought, why shouldn't they be protected and honored as such?


Yes and yes, to the best of my understanding.
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:02 pm

Dear Dave,

There is no watertight answer regarding these issues.

You should just follow wha your teacher tells you. What your teacher tells you to do (if they are a good teacher) will be based on your proclivities, capacity and ability and will be perfect for you! Everything else is just mental/intellectual flatulence.
: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
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Re: Pruning the Bodhi Tree for big bucks.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:00 am

As I was reading another thread (Buddhism and Deities) I came across this post by "Huseng" and thought I might share it with you all and get "Huseng" to comment on the apparent disparity between the opinions expressed in the two threads.
Huseng wrote:Whether you think this was justified and appropriate or not, we might consider that it was necessary. The overwhelming majority of humans do not possess the will or inclination to study such things as emptiness or to even actually read the scriptures. There is more merit to be had in contemplating the prajñāpāramitā than in building stupas or worshipping deities. However, most individuals will not and probably cannot contemplate the prajñāpāramitā. Hence, to facilitate the development of people you need figures such as Avalokitēśvara manifesting as figures to be venerated, worshipped and hopefully emulated.
Could the "large" bit also be stretched to include the practice of circambulation and veneration (worship) of objects such as the bodhi tree? :thinking:
: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."
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