Hello my name is Sarnath

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Sarnath
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Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby Sarnath » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:30 am

Namaste

I am happy to join this forum and look forward to learning more about Buddhism.
My interest is with Indian Buddhism from India.
An important subject for me is the false doctrine that the caste system ( jati ) is ordained by the Divine or by Nature.
Caste by birth concept must be reformed. Buddhism does not ordain caste by birth.

In your service ...
Caste System is Not Karma, it is Man Made

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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby BlackBird » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:39 am

Hi Sarnath.

I agree, the caste system in India is a horrible, unfair and archaic social system that has held back millions of people from achieving what they should be able to achieve in life. It's also held back India as a country, and is a system that India would be better off without. It's completely unfair that a person should be judged based upon something that is not their choice, but is applied to them from birth based upon their heritage. No person should be confined to career and job prospects that are confined to what society proscribes is their designated jobs for their caste.

The sooner it goes the way of the dinosaurs, the better.

Much metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:40 pm

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

One of the great things about Buddhism is that it is open to all; not taught to one nationality or specific ethnic group and not headed by a tribal leader, but by a universal teacher who encouraged the teachings to be spread far and wide.

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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:13 pm

Welcome Sarnath!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148031379279&v=info
Kiva-Theravada Buddhists:http://www.kiva.org/team/theravada_buddhists
Dana on the Interwebs:
http://greatergood.com
http://freerice.com

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Sarnath
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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby Sarnath » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:18 pm

Namaste

I feel welcome already! Yes, I can see that Lord Buddha taught that all can be accepted and open to teaching dharma including those with no caste or jati. I may tell my brief story in a later post, but I have been told that I should not be allowed to even hear or certainly not allowed to read sacred text or commentary (in this case Veda and other scripture) by the very ones who were proclaiming it truth, simply because I am no caste. Though I could prove myself a Hindu, and even demonstrate advanced understanding, I was denied entrance to some temples (Jaganath Puri for example) simply because I was of no caste.

But I was never denied entrance to a temple of Buddha's Dharma, ever.

This is His compassion that is why. I hope to learn more about Buddhism, I am familiar with India and Indian Buddhism, perhaps Theravada is this living Buddhism. I have been to Sarnath, this is my choice for my name. The Buddha seen in the avatar is a Buddha from there. I want to learn more of Him.

In your service ....
Caste System is Not Karma, it is Man Made

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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby LG2V » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:48 pm

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel Sarnath!

Buddhism is definitely a religion which disagrees with the prejudices generated by "caste" systems. According to Buddhist teachings, a person is not a true "high-class" person or "Brahman" based on his or her birth. Instead, a person's thoughts, speech, and deeds in this present moment are what make him or her worthy of respect, honor and admiration.

Here is the final chapter in the Dhammapada, which specifically addresses the Buddhist notion of "A Superior Person."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Whoever does no wrong
in body,
speech,
heart,
is restrained in these three ways:
he's what I call
a brahman.


Not by matted hair,
by clan, or by birth,
is one a brahman.
Whoever has truth
& rectitude:
he is a pure one,
he, a brahman.



Also, I recall reading in the biography of Ajahn Mun, one of the great Thai Buddhist monks of recent history, that he would exhort such principles to many of his disciples, who were born as peasants in Thai society. Birth as a human being with a sound mind is the best opportunity possible to practice the teachings of the Buddha to their fullest extent.


Metta,
LG2V
Here are some excellent sites for giving free Dana (Click-Based Donation):
http://freerice.comhttp://greatergood.com/www.ripple.orgwww.thenonprofits.com

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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby BlackBird » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:45 am

Hi Sarnath

Here is a link to some introductory resources that might help you learn some more about the Buddha's teachings.
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=148

The 'Discovering Theravada' section of the forums is also a good place start, and somewhere were you can ask questions and have moderator reviewed responses.

with metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Sarnath
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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby Sarnath » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:25 am

Namaste Blackbird

Thank you for the links. I was very happy to notice in the "learn some more about the Buddha's teachings" (where I went to first), the very first reference came from Ven. S Dhammika! I had just started reading a book "Middle Land Middle Way A Pilgrim's Guide to Buddha's India"! There is a map in this wonderful book, which shows Nalanda. This brought back memories of learning and being instructed about this great center of learning by a beloved college Professor in my University days decades ago when I was young.

I have much to explore. Honestly, there will be adjustments in my experience. I notice that the Venerable Dhammika says that the Buddha was not a God. I am not saying He was, but there was special circumstances to His birth and the visions involved, His Mother, and so on. Honestly, it will be difficult for me not to have a concept which does not consider Him as having been gifted with Divine endowment even from the very beginning.

Besides Buddhism in India, I did visit a Korean Buddhist meditation temple decades ago in the US, and a Mahayana Chinese Buddhist Temple on several occasions also in the US. But I always connect back to India. I will be going to India again soon. But before I go, I am wondering about a Theravada Temple to visit. If someone can message me, I will let the kind person know where I will be in the next few weeks, as I am thinking of visiting such a temple. However, I fully admit, I am very much of a typical grihastya in that I participate but am not a philosopher.

I looked up the picture of Ven. S. Dhammika on the internet. I am surprised, he is a "Caucasian" from Australia, as I was expecting a Sri Lankan or a Thai, or an Indian or Singalese. He seems very, very nice. I noticed this book I am reading now, it was published in Kandy (Lanka) by the Buddhist Publication Society. This reminded me, when I was a teenager I wrote to a Kandy based Buddhist Society for books (well, actually these were almost always small books, almost pamphlets actually) and some had titles such as "Bodhi Leaves". I almost wonder if that was the very same Buddhist Publication Society. But perhaps not, that was long ago.

In your service ....
Caste System is Not Karma, it is Man Made

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BlackBird
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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby BlackBird » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:29 am

Sarnath wrote:Namaste Blackbird

Thank you for the links. I was very happy to notice in the "learn some more about the Buddha's teachings" (where I went to first), the very first reference came from Ven. S Dhammika! I had just started reading a book "Middle Land Middle Way A Pilgrim's Guide to Buddha's India"! There is a map in this wonderful book, which shows Nalanda. This brought back memories of learning and being instructed about this great center of learning by a beloved college Professor in my University days decades ago when I was young.


That is good to hear :)


Sarnath wrote:I have much to explore. Honestly, there will be adjustments in my experience. I notice that the Venerable Dhammika says that the Buddha was not a God. I am not saying He was, but there was special circumstances to His birth and the visions involved, His Mother, and so on. Honestly, it will be difficult for me not to have a concept which does not consider Him as having been gifted with Divine endowment even from the very beginning.


The Buddha was a fully enlightened being, possessed of the highest wisdom possible. He also had many supernormal powers, in many respects he was much more powerful than a god. Here is list of the Buddha's powers:

Multiplying the body into many bodies, then collapsing it into one again
Vanishing and appearing at will (invisibility)
Passing through solid objects as if through space (intangibility)
Rising and sinking in the ground as if in the water
Walking on water as if on land
Flying
Touching anything at any distance (e.g. the moon or sun)
Traveling to other worlds (like the world of Brahma) with or without the body
Teleporting

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iddhi

The Buddha furthermore knew all of his past lives, He knew the results of beings karma, as well as their destination after death i.e. where they would appear in their next life. But perhaps most importantly the Buddha was the incomparible teacher of gods and man kind, this is often regarded as a supernormal power too, for he knew the mind of whoever he taught, and knew exactly how to teach that person.

So there's nothing wrong to elevating the Buddha. But he was not a god, not like Vishnu or Shiva. In fact in one sutta in the Digha Nikaya the God Brahma Sahampati approaches the Buddha and begs him to teach the Dhamma to the world, so the Buddha is a teacher to Brahma and devas. He was also a human being, who lived, breathed, got old and died. But he had realized nibbana, and was no longer subject to rebirth.

Sarnath wrote:Besides Buddhism in India, I did visit a Korean Buddhist meditation temple decades ago in the US, and a Mahayana Chinese Buddhist Temple on several occasions also in the US. But I always connect back to India. I will be going to India again soon. But before I go, I am wondering about a Theravada Temple to visit. If someone can message me, I will let the kind person know where I will be in the next few weeks, as I am thinking of visiting such a temple. However, I fully admit, I am very much of a typical grihastya in that I participate but am not a philosopher.


I had to google grihastya as I did not know this word, but I see that it translates relatively with the Buddhist concept of a lay follower or householder. That is perfectly fine, most of us here are lay followers, we meditate at home and many of us attend retreats at monasteries or meditation centres when possible.

Your profile says you reside in California, this is fortunate because there is a very good forest monastery where meditating monks reside in Redwood California. The monastery is called Abhayagiri, and is a monastery from the Thai Forest tradition, comprised mostly of western monks. Here is their website: http://www.abhayagiri.org/home/

You might like to write to them if you would like to stay there overnight or for an extended time, otherwise day visitors are very welcome:
http://www.abhayagiri.org/visiting/day-visits

As you will see there are directions on how to get there on the site.

I looked up the picture of Ven. S. Dhammika on the internet. I am surprised, he is a "Caucasian" from Australia, as I was expecting a Sri Lankan or a Thai, or an Indian or Singalese. He seems very, very nice.


Do not be surprised Sarnath. Many posters here (including myself) are Caucasian, and there are many Caucasian ('Western') monks who publish books on Dhamma. In today's world the Dhamma is truly multicultural. :)

I noticed this book I am reading now, it was published in Kandy (Lanka) by the Buddhist Publication Society. This reminded me, when I was a teenager I wrote to a Kandy based Buddhist Society for books (well, actually these were almost always small books, almost pamphlets actually) and some had titles such as "Bodhi Leaves". I almost wonder if that was the very same Buddhist Publication Society. But perhaps not, that was long ago.

In your service ....


It's the same BPS, they have been publishing for a very long time now, the bodhi leaves series you received is still being distributed around the world, along with many other publications. Their editor in chief Venerable Nyanatusita occasionally posts here.

Best wishes and metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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cooran
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Re: Hello my name is Sarnath

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:30 am

Welcome Sarnath! :group:

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---


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