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Why Buddhist are atheist??

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All,

I’ll respond in one post if you don’t mind.

Quote:

Pheena:

<<< God whatever or whomever it is, is not limited to a single viewpoint. Buddha is not a Poet like Guru Nanak, Buddha did not dance like Krishna or Meera Bhai. He was not born in a family of Wariors. The teaching of Buddha and Guru Nanak are on 2 different levels and are from 2 different eras. >>>

I don’t think it is helpful to think in terms of ‘persons’, disregarding the fact that it is conditioned and impermanent mental states that we are talking about, less so I think, when we add labels such as ‘poet’, ‘warrior’, and so forth. Desire, aversion, ignorance, conceit and all such mental states are precisely what keeps the wheel of life spinning, prolonging our existence in sansara. And since this is in fact what we need to understand; then ‘time’ too should not factor in at all. I think it helps that we can recognize the conceptual layers unnecessarily added over to explain things to ourselves and/or to justify a view point. This makes it harder; in fact it is often even opposed to, to understand the reality of the moment.

Quote:

Pheena:

<<< Altho what seem like contradictory teaching, i only see them as 2 truth that can co-exist. Unless the destination which Buddha reaches is different from what Guru Nanak reached, that is something I seriously cannot fathom, that there are 2 different destinations. Yes, the means to reach there are obviously different, but the end must be the same. There may be and are countless door, but they all must lead to the same source. >>>

This is a commonly held view which I admit to having too, a few years ago. But as I begin to know, even within these first baby steps ;-), the mind at work, I can’t but come to the conclusion that the destinations are as varied as the paths taken. The Buddha enumerated 64 views, in his Brahmajala Sutta, that are considered to lead to destinations other than the one taken by those following His teachings. I think you will admit that you don’t really *know* other religions, like you don’t know Buddhism, but it is only a vague “idea†about how every religion teaches one to be good etc. and because you perceive that all of them are followed by many and has lasted hundreds of years. If so, then I think this would be a case of jumping to conclusions without good basis.

It is hard enough to get *one* religion right, I feel that I am only scratching the surface in my attempt to understand the Buddha’s teachings. With regards to the Buddhism, I think that more than 99% of the population got it wrong and are going around only with the label “Buddhistâ€, when in fact without this label, they might as well be Taoists, humanists, theists, nihilists or any number of ‘ists circulated in the world today. This means that I reject not only the Zen and the whole of Mahayana tradition, but also most of the Theravada and would in fact consider a non-Buddhist a better candidate to discuss these matters. Those so called Buddhists have made up their minds about the Buddha’s real intent, so I wouldn’t bother to convince them.

Quote:

Pheena:

<<<So i have a question...does the Concept of Shoonia (voidness) expressed in the Sutras of Buddha. If so, then what does it say? >>>

Sunnata is synonymous to Anatta in the Theravada tradition. The Buddha hardly ever used this term, perhaps because it was likely to lead to misunderstanding. It could be confused with the state of “Nothingness†which is the end result of a certain level of jhana meditation. This is however far from being the aim of the Buddha’s teachings. The Mahayanists seem to have made a big thing of this concept of “Emptiness†and calling its application as being the expression of the “Middle Wayâ€. To me it is just the mental proliferation of an arm-chair philosopher hiding a deeply held and unrecognized Wrong View. But I won’t go into this here.

Enough for you to know though, is that this concept of Sunnata involves seeing conditioned phenomena as empty of ‘self’. It is tied to the other universal characteristic of Dukkha and Anicca (impermanence).

The typical theist has the conception of God as embracing *ALL*. It is believed that there are in reality people, things, nature, worlds and universe etc. and that these are related in a certain way, i.e. all being part of the same reality. The typical Sunnata believer, would see the *unreality* of all these concepts and the only reality which is that which arises in the moment, as being empty of any ‘self’ or ‘thing-ness’. Nothing stays to be related to anything else in a way that the ignorant mind likes to think. The ‘thinking’ is a reality which can be known at any given moment, but instead we are taken in by the projections, the shadows which this thinking thinks about. This is why it is essential to realize this distinction between reality and concept, which even most Buddhists don’t, otherwise we end up following our own projections.

Of course there are levels of understanding, and for this reason I see no reason to put down any religion. Most of the good religions recognize rightly, the danger and fault in ‘craving’ and ‘aversion’ in all their forms. So what they teach are warnings against doing evil and encouragement to do good. Buddhism however has the aim of eradicating ‘ignorance’. This is done by way of encouraging one to develop Right View, i.e. the one view which disentangles one from the ‘net of views’.

Quote:

Pheena:

<<<Is the concept of God replaced by the concept of Shoonia in Buddhism? Would this even be a worthwhile comparison as one states the absence of existence, yet the other declares existence...?

I am curious now whether the sutras actually answer the question of God directly? >>>>

One does not come to understanding by philosophizing. The Buddha’s path involves from the very first step, *detachment*. One does not go around stating that “all is emptyâ€, this begs the question, “what is this ‘all’ that is empty?†Even at the level of having a correct intellectual understanding one comes to see how thick one’s ignorance is, and so any idea about “all†is just that, ideas! Anatta is a characteristic of “realities†and what these realities are, we are completely ignorant of except by way of intellectual appreciation from hearing *about* them. They can however be known and must be, but at the same time one must admit to the level of one’s own understanding, which will be mainly intellectual. But you are right, the tendency is so strong, that any idea can be used to cover up every experience and even grow to be ‘worshiped’ ;-).

As to whether the Suttas answer the question of God directly, I don’t know. But I suspect not, based on the idea that the people who approached the Buddha during his life were mostly highly developed spiritually and they would not pose such kinds of questions to him. I mean when one has identified the root of the problem as being one’s own lack of understanding, why place any importance to anything outside even if this be in-out oneness?

Quote:

Sikh_apprentice

<<<<Dont buddhists believe that buddha was the incarnation of god, and since then buddha has been incarnated as the dalai lama, which has been passed onto many dalai lamas. on the topic of the current dalai lama he must be the most cheerful, and humerous of all the religious leaders. i saw michael palin interview him on"himalaya with michael palin." he also visited Sri Harmandir shaib ji, and stay overnight in the accomadation in the Gurdwara complex for 65p per night.>>>>

No, this is a Hindu idea. The Buddha when he passed away was absolutely “NO MOREâ€, i.e. his karma ran out and there was no more rebirth. The Mahayanists believe in reincarnation, but even they would not say that the Buddha was reborn as the Dalai Lama.

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No, this is a Hindu idea. The Buddha when he passed away was absolutely “NO MOREâ€, i.e. his karma ran out and there was no more rebirth. The Mahayanists believe in reincarnation, but even they would not say that the Buddha was reborn as the Dalai Lama.

Thanx for clearing that up. but who is the dalai lama then.

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never mind, i found out what Dalai Lama means. this is the link if you want to read the whole article, its not long i just took what i thought was the main part. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalai_Lama

The Dalai Lama "In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lamas are a sequence of leaders, since 1391, from the Gelug (dge lugs) school. Between the 17th century and 1959, each Dalai Lama was the most powerful political leader in Tibet, controlling a large portion of the country from their capital at Lhasa. The current 14th Dalai Lama is also a respected Tibetan Buddhist religious leader, and figure head of the International Tibet Independence Movement; in English, his followers and many others use "His Holiness" (or HH) as a prefix in his title. The Dalai Lamas, however, never had authority over every region of Tibet nor over the other sects of Tibetan Buddhism."

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at a conference on world religions i heard a student and friend of the dalai lamas explain theat there are 3 main roads in buddhism. the two fastest (including tibetan) are not atheist, but agnostic. they don't explicitly deny waheguroos existence, but instead believe in all sorts of lesser gods and goddesses. the slowest road uses only individual effort and can be regarding as athiestic b/c there is no need for a god on that road acccording to her. the other two roads require the kirpa of these gods/goddesses/enlightened beings for help. the third and fastest road,tibetan buddhism, absolutely requires a guru.

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