Apostasy: A Buddhist View and Response

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Re: Apostasy: A Buddhist View and Response

Postby genkaku » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:44 pm

a total desertion of or departure from one's religion, principles, party, cause, etc.


I found the dictionary definition delightful.

A "total desertion" assumes there is someone to desert and something to be deserted. Imagine that! What a delicious fantasy! It's better than "Sponge Bob Square Pants."

"Apostasy" made me think of anyone who might sit down on a cushion, straighten the spine, shut up and focus the mind. This simple activity is, without any philosophical add-on's, an act of true apostasy. Who, after all, is the believer? Isn't it just 'me?' And what is it that is believed in? Isn't it just 'me?' And when we sit down to meditate (or drink a cup of coffee or anything else for that matter), isn't the 'me' taken out of the equation? Just sitting. Just drinking coffee. Just ...

Woo-hoo! Apostasy!

And maybe some laughter.
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Re: Apostasy: A Buddhist View and Response

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:24 pm

tiltbillings wrote:I like Horner. She was very nice to me when I wrote to her back in the very early 70's. I had not read the Ven Bodhi translation of this sutta before. About three line down she really gives a mixed up reading.

You had contact with Isaline B. Horner? :thumbsup: Cool. She sure would be on the "Mt. Rushmore" of Buddhism in the West.
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Re: Apostasy: A Buddhist View and Response

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:15 pm

Bhante,

So, I think reading the Mahāsīhanāda Sutta in the light of the Pali commentaries will save us from the Lotus Sutra brand of bigotry and fanaticism.


Which actually may explain Horner's translation. Without the commentary, the intent of the line in question is not clear.

TD,

You had contact with Isaline B. Horner? Cool. She sure would be on the "Mt. Rushmore" of Buddhism in the West.


Back in the good old days when there was little in popular literature that was good (and relatively little popular literature) and scholarly literature was hard to get, I wrote to a lot of people. I.B. Horner was very kind in her responses and suggestions. Edward Conze was also gracious and helpful. Others varied. Actually, it was Khantipalo who wrote back to me at length, with his beautiful penmanship, very helpful letters, and my interest in the Theravada stems from his direction.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Apostasy: A Buddhist View and Response

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:23 pm

coming at this from anther angle- buddhists are supposed to give up attachment to the teaching as well- so much so that enlightened being are called 'asaddaka' -meaning 'faithless'! This means that if someone berates your beliefs it doesnt cause you suffering. I remember a monk who was believed to be enlightened -he said that he was corresponding with a muslim professor -he said that if the professor managed to convince him he would convert (he said this quite seriously)!
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Re: Apostasy: A Buddhist View and Response

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:39 pm

rowyourboat wrote:coming at this from anther angle- buddhists are supposed to give up attachment to the teaching as well- so much so that enlightened being are called 'asaddaka' -meaning 'faithless'! This means that if someone berates your beliefs it doesnt cause you suffering. I remember a monk who was believed to be enlightened -he said that he was corresponding with a muslim professor -he said that if the professor managed to convince him he would convert (he said this quite seriously)!


I really like this :anjali:
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Re: Apostasy: A Buddhist View and Response

Postby pink_trike » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:40 pm

Individual wrote:
TheDhamma wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The statement “the Buddha did not say that apostates would go to hell simply because of their apostasy” is wrong. It was precisely because he denied the Buddha's Enlightenment that Sunakkhatta was destined to be reborn in hell.

:thanks: , Venerable.

But perhaps Ven. Dhammika is referring to Sunakkhatta leaving of the "Buddhist" religion, not about the denying of the Buddha's enlightenment. The denial of the Buddha's enlightenment seems to be much more severe and may not be part of the definition of apostasy:

a⋅pos⋅ta⋅sy
   /əˈpɒstəsi/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [uh-pos-tuh-see] Show IPA
–noun, plural -sies.
a total desertion of or departure from one's religion, principles, party, cause, etc.

The Buddhist "religion" existed at that time?

And how do you separate the Buddha's enlightenment from Buddhist religion? That is, how is it possible to adopt Buddhism without believing in the Buddha's enlightenment and how is it possible to reject Buddhism while believing in the Buddha's enlightenment? The two always seem to go together.


Is it this simple? There are more options than just "believe" or "reject". The institution of "Buddhism" has grown up around the words of an awake man - first as oral tradition, then as an evolving written library, then as a concretized canon. These things can be viewed in different ways - they can be de-emphasized, viewed as container, or viewed as many different containers, rejected, worshipped, sorted, or viewed as a useful tool - aids to practice.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Apostasy: A Buddhist View and Response

Postby thornbush » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:27 pm

Found this recently:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... tml#jat018
Apannaka Jataka [go up]
Crossing the Wilderness
Jat 1

While the Buddha was staying at Jetavana Monastery near Savatthi, the wealthy banker, Anathapindika, went one day to pay his respects. His servants carried masses of flowers, perfume, butter, oil, honey, molasses, cloths, and robes. Anathapindika paid obeisance to the Buddha, presented the offerings he had brought, and sat down respectfully. At that time, Anathapindika was accompanied by five hundred friends who were followers of heretical teachers. His friends also paid their respects to the Buddha and sat close to the banker. The Buddha's face appeared like a full moon, and his body was surrounded by a radiant aura. Seated on the red stone seat, he was like a young lion roaring with a clear, noble voice as he taught them a discourse full of sweetness and beautiful to the ear.

After hearing the Buddha's teaching, the five hundred gave up their heretical practices and took refuge in the Triple Gem: the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. After that, they went regularly with Anathapindika to offer flowers and incense and to hear the teaching. They gave liberally, kept the precepts, and faithfully observed the Uposatha Day. Soon after the Buddha left Savatthi to return to Rajagaha, however, these men abandoned their new faith and reverted to their previous beliefs.

Seven or eight months later, the Buddha returned to Jetavana. Again, Anathapindika brought these friends to visit the Buddha. They paid their respects, but Anathapindika explained that they had forsaken their refuge and had resumed their original practices.

The Buddha asked, "Is it true that you have abandoned refuge in the Triple Gem for refuge in other doctrines?" The Buddha's voice was incredibly clear because throughout myriad aeons He had always spoken truthfully.

When these men heard it, they were unable to conceal the truth. "Yes, Blessed One," they confessed. "It is true."

"Disciples," the Buddha said "nowhere between the lowest of hells below and the highest heaven above, nowhere in all the infinite worlds that stretch right and left, is there the equal, much less the superior, of a Buddha. Incalculable is the excellence which springs from obeying the Precepts and from other virtuous conduct."

Then he declared the virtues of the Triple Gem. "By taking refuge in the Triple Gem," He told them, "one escapes from rebirth in states of suffering." He further explained that meditation on the Triple Gem leads through the four stages to Enlightenment.

"In forsaking such a refuge as this," he admonished them, "you have certainly erred. In the past, too, men who foolishly mistook what was no refuge for a real refuge, met disaster. Actually, they fell prey to yakkhas — evil spirits — in the wilderness and were utterly destroyed. In contrast, men who clung to the truth not only survived, but actually prospered in that same wilderness."
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