Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:16 am

Funnily enough, weren't(/aren't?) cigarettes a common gift for Thai forest bhikkhus? It would make that picture pass muster, since the Buddha doesn't seem to be drinking.

:juggling:

("At that time, the bhagavat had a straight flush." ...maybe not.)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:07 am

I think this photo should repair some of the bad impression of Westerners being disrespectful towards Buddhist symbols:

U.S. Embassy Vientiane:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton placing lotus flowers on a Buddha statue at Ho Phrakeo.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... =1&theater
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:55 pm

This version of the Buddha Bar is definitely more "tasteful" but it would still upset the KnowingBuddha group:

http://dsc.discovery.com/life/pump-up-y ... phers.html


However, I really quite enjoyed the Nietzsche's Will To Power Bar:

When your Wille zur Macht is a-flagging or you're just a little tired of transvaluating all values, try these! Nietzsche's Will To Power Bar transcends good and evil, it establishes new ideas, and escapes the constraints of Judeo-Christianity. Oh, and it's chewy, too! And not only is this fruit and nut bar delicious, its incredible, interactive packaging is like a nihilist's playground. Open the clasp and discover Nietzsche puzzles, trivia, and 12 steps to becoming an Ubermensch. There's even a cut-out Nietzsche mustache -- show us a Cliff Bar that has one of those! God might be dead, but flavor lives on thanks to our incredible Nietzsche's Will To Power Bar.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "Yummy!"

On the side it says: "Übermunch" :D

http://www.philosophersguild.com/Will-to-Power-Bar.html

:rolleye:
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Fitz » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:01 am

I think that respect for Buddha images can be an important part of practice. Personally, reciting the refuges and the five precepts daily in front of a Buddha statue has always reminded me to act morally and keep up meditating. The fact that monotheist religious symbols are generally treated with more respect is worrying, but I'm more worried that all this activity opposing disrespect of the image of the Buddha is distracting energy from actually practicing.

What are you going to do to stop a person from disrespecting Buddha images that is in line with non-harm and metta and letting go? Protests seem like they would cause anger, or else be motivated by anger. Legislation and police force should clearly be off the table. Asking very nicely and educating is the only possible way, but I doubt that would deflect any profitable business venture or reach mainstream culture in any signifigant way.

In the end, putting all this energy into having others respect Buddha images would be trying to control circumstances out of our control, and will end up in dissatisfaction and (to definitively tie this back to the Dhamma) suffering.

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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Doshin » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:45 am

Fitz wrote:I think that respect for Buddha images can be an important part of practice. Personally, reciting the refuges and the five precepts daily in front of a Buddha statue has always reminded me to act morally and keep up meditating. The fact that monotheist religious symbols are generally treated with more respect is worrying, but I'm more worried that all this activity opposing disrespect of the image of the Buddha is distracting energy from actually practicing.

What are you going to do to stop a person from disrespecting Buddha images that is in line with non-harm and metta and letting go? Protests seem like they would cause anger, or else be motivated by anger. Legislation and police force should clearly be off the table. Asking very nicely and educating is the only possible way, but I doubt that would deflect any profitable business venture or reach mainstream culture in any signifigant way.

In the end, putting all this energy into having others respect Buddha images would be trying to control circumstances out of our control, and will end up in dissatisfaction and (to definitively tie this back to the Dhamma) suffering.


:goodpost:

Thank you, well said/written.

I have been planning to formulate a post in this tread for some time, now I don't have to.

_/\_
Knowing about dhamma, does not imply knowing dhamma
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:15 pm

gavesako wrote:I think this photo should repair some of the bad impression of Westerners being disrespectful towards Buddhist symbols:

U.S. Embassy Vientiane

OT: screen shot of another image from that site.
Screen shot US embassy.jpg
Screen shot US embassy.jpg (196.53 KiB) Viewed 488 times


Facebook does some pretty funny things without even trying! :tongue:

:namaste:
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:58 pm

Buddhists outraged at Buddha's images on shoes
PTI Aug 2, 2012
WASHINGTON, USA -- The Tibetan and the Buddhist community are outraged at a California-based company for promoting a range of shoes with the Lord Buddha's images.

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 29,0,0,1,0
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Ytrog » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:22 pm

I think that for all the disrespectful use there might not actually be a disrespectful intent. The owner of a coffeeshop (shop where they sell marijuana, not coffee) might in his ignorance think the effect of the drug he is selling is similar to Nibbana and place a statue there to express that. I heard a owner of such a shop say that once on television. Such use might actually make someone curious about it's origins and nudge them in the right direction although that was not the intent of the one that placed it there.

I hope that I'm not repeating everything that has been said here, because I didn't read all the pages.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:25 am

Report from the KnowingBuddha group:


Success, no Neglect

Since our organization, Knowing Buddha has sent many letters including emails to pressure 21st Living Art who makes the Buddha arm chair and the Buddha head chair and we also sent the letters to the furniture association, Design association, Chamber of commerce and Thai embassy including Minister of Foreign affair to ask help to stop making such an unacceptable chair including giving the information how to properly act to Buddha image.

Since we have seriously continued working on this case. Soon we got a good response from the Minister of Foreign affair that the 21st Living Art had sent the letter of apology that they were sorry that they had upset a lot of Buddhists and disrespected the Buddha and they also promised that they wouldn’t make these products anymore.

Thanks the Minister of Foreign Affair for seriously working for us and thanks everyone for great support.

And this is a great success of us, Buddhists who never neglect what should be corrected.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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