Buddhism And The Free Thinkers

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by mahasattva, May 14, 2004.

  1. mahasattva

    mahasattva Member

  2. darrellkitchen

    darrellkitchen Lifetime Supporter

    Did you actually read this, Maha?

    And then on down under Religious Freedom

    I mean, like, hmmm... I guess this means we shouldn't disparage others religious beliefs.

    All-in-all, interesting article.

    Much Meta,

  3. mahasattva

    mahasattva Member


    We'll, though Buddhism encourages us to be tolerant towards other religions, it doesn't mean that we should compromise in propagating the ideals/teachings(dharma) of Buddhist faith. You've shown here kindness towards other people to Buddhism without refuting their beliefs but lack compassion to test other people to Buddhist faith. This is called the practice of Shoju.

    However, this is only one-side story of Buddhist practice. The second one, is the practice called Shakubuku, the term used in contrast to shoju, or method of propagation can be described as strictly refuting another's attachment to heretical views and thus leading him to the correct Buddhist teaching.

    Both can be used or either of the two depending upon the place or situation. The Buddha not only practice shoju but as well as Shakubuku for he at times refuted the doctrines of Bhramanism.

    The words shakubuku and shoju are not exclusive to Buddhism. They reportedly were in common use in ancient Indian society. Shakubuku is the translation of the Pali term niggaha, meaning to reproach, and the Sanskrit term abhibhava, meaning to defeat through superior strength. And shoju is the translation of the Pali term paggaha, which means to extend help or shower blessings.

    For me, such as this forum is a good place to do Shakubuku. Basing ourselves on the spirit of shakubuku to teach others about the Law(Dharma) without selfish concern, at times we might strictly refute a person's mistaken views, while at other times we might explain the truth with a broad-minded spirit of tolerance for the other person's beliefs.Both terms point to one's conduct and attitude.All our efforts to explain Buddhism with a sincere and earnest desire to help others become happy are shakubuku. Being coercive is not shakubuku.It all comes down in the strenght of our compassion.
  4. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    Basically converting people.

    In the FWBO and many other schools of Buddhist thought that I am exposed to the behaviour you describe is not encouraged. The way for the Dharma to flow is that you lead by example and inquisition.

    You improve youself, you become a shining light. If there is a light, people are drawn to it. People will ask the light what makes it shine, so the light will tell them. If people asks the light where the fount of origional inpiration comes from, the light will say that as well.

    The light extinguishes itself when it starts critisizing people for not following the same steps that made it once shine. Or trying to force others to shine.


  5. mahasattva

    mahasattva Member

    As i said, being coercive is not Shakubuku. It is not about forcing other people; it is speaking of the truth with a sense of great conviction. Literally, shakubuku means to break (shaku) misguided attachments and to subdue (buku) evil, which actually means to enable others to right their wrong ways of living and place themselves back on the correct course of life.

    The term shakubuku was also elucidated in the famous Buddhist text 'Milindapanha' (Questions of King Milinda), which takes the form of a dialogue between the Indo-Greek king Menander and the Buddhist monk, Nagasena. It was misinterpreted to mean 'violence'. Therefore, it was pointed out that shakubuku does not mean to punish but rather to subdue — that is to say that he who is given over to wrong views is to be subdued. Nagasena in his clarification replied to the king, "The proud heart, Great King, is to be subdued, and the lowly heart, cultivated — the wicked heart is to be subdued, and the good heart to be cultivated — carelessness of thought is to be subdued, and exactness of thought to be cultivated — he who is given over to wrong views is to be subdued, and he who has attained right views is to be cultivated — he who is not noble is to be subdued, and the noble one is to be cultivated — the robber is to be subdued, and the honest brother is to be cultivated." Indeed, it was showing that Nagasena has Shakubuku King Milinda.

    Shakubuku is an act of courage and compassion, and it corresponds to the 'practice for others' (keta) in terms of the practice of jigyo keta(practice for oneself and others). In the broadest sense, practice for others consists of any action one takes that leads an*other person, either directly or indirectly, towards their own eventual enlightenment. The most direct shakubuku, of course, is to tell others about the Law and explain the Buddhist view of life.
  6. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    Have you ever heard of the Tamil Tigers?
  7. darrellkitchen

    darrellkitchen Lifetime Supporter

    Nowhere in any Buddhist scripture, sutra or otherwise, does it ever say "be tolerant towards other religions," nor does it ever imply in any of the scriptures, sutra's or otherwise.

    I guess then that Shoju means "Stand still, Im going to slap you in your face for your own good."

    Sebbi is right Maha Sattva. One should win over others by example of their own lives, and not by going out with a club, flogging people for what they believe in if they don't start believing in Buddhism. If I had someone like you trying to preach Buddhism to me, I never would have become Buddhist in the first place. I most likely would have hated the very thought of Buddhism, and wanted to flog people like you for trying to push it on me.

    As it was, I was won over by the examples of people I was around that professed to be Buddhist. And what impressed me the most was, they never once preached Buddhism to me. And when I asked why as almost all religions try to "convert" others to their way of thinking, they replied that it was not the way of Buddhism. And, yet, here you are saying it is. Matter-of-the-fact is, they even said that they encourage people to stay in the religion they have while engaging in Buddhist practice.

    So, unless you're an Ani, I think I will take the word of a monk over you, Ms. Bodhi.


  8. mahasattva

    mahasattva Member

    You know Darrel, you didn't get the point.It's not a one-sided view over the other. It's a broadminded spirit of hearfelt dialouge.

    It's true. But when time to discuss about a subject on the view of life, it is still we used the voice to teach the Law and explain the Buddhist view of life. The Law cannot be spread by itself. It is the people who uphold it.
  9. Spiritforces

    Spiritforces Member

    Quote of the last post:
    If I had someone like you trying to preach Buddhism to me, I never would have become Buddhist in the first place. I most likely would have hated the very thought of Buddhism, and wanted to flog people like you for trying to push it on me.

    You know Darrel, you didn't get the point.It's not a one-sided view over the other. It's a broadminded spirit of hearfelt dialouge.
    Both of you are right.
    And this is exactly where the truth could be lived.

    The thing is about teaching.

    Who says you know better that you can share?
    You are the witness of an inner dialouge (as u said)
    Who determines what to think and do?

    As Sebbi said it's like: you lead by example and inquisition.

    There is something to comment, not to know.


    PS: I'll maybe post more ofetn here, that's one of the forum I the most enjoy, Thanks to you
  10. rainbow dew

    rainbow dew Member

    man... never thought id see the day where i got turned off by buddhism! thats what happened when i read this initial post, i though, oh god not another preacher. it is not the way of buddhism, or at least ive not encountered this way in my studies and own practice and i have questioned a lot.

    buddhism is not the only way. its the right way for me but i do not think the world could be where everyone could be buddhists. its not about being tolerant. its about being.
    in dharma
    x x x
  11. darrellkitchen

    darrellkitchen Lifetime Supporter

    Perhaps ... perhaps not. However, I see you making it a one-sided view, that of Nicherin where you have to go out and force people into the Buddhist point-of-view and accuse others of being dangerous for not practicing a religion. Who's to say your view is more important than anothers view?

    I happen to agree with the Buddhist philosophy, and I understand the suffering of sentient beings, yet there comes a time when you have to let them suffer in whatever diminished way they suffer rather than increase their suffering by causing turmoil, strife, grief, hate, and anger. You perpetuate negative imprints rather than virtous ones by continually pushing rather than observing and offering advice.
    Law ... what Law? What are laws? There are no Laws in Buddhism. There are guides and paths one must follow. You either follow, or you don't follow. Plain and simple. Nothing difficult about understanding that is there?

    Buddha never once used the word LAW. Perhaps Nicherin does. There's only the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths ... apart from that there are only Commentaries, and everyone has one. Commentaries are meant to take those of small minds (not to be taken offensively) on the longest path possible to get to the same goal as those who understand the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths without commentary.

    Spiritforces is right about one thing, and wrong both ... we are both right, yet noone is right at all. The essence of it is, who is right and who is wrong is as empty as the phenomena of reality itself. It's not about who is right or who is wrong. It's about releasing our attachments to illusions, mirages. Release the clinging, release the cravings. You don't do that by creating more craving and cling by telling someone they are a "danger to society if they don't practice a religion," I believe I quoted you word for word.


  12. nephthys

    nephthys Member

    "Buddha never once used the word LAW."

    The word Dharma (Magadhi: Dhamma) can also be translated as law, actually. A word for "law" in the modern sense did not exist in Sanskrit or Magadhi and this is why to avoid confusion in modern languages derived from Sanskrit such as Hindi, Urdu and Nepali the Persian word, "qanun" is used. One of the most famous uses of Dharma as meaning law is in King Ashoka's edicts.

    Although one point of view I suggest everyone look at that which is said in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, where the Buddha himself is supposed to have said to refute false teachings. I do not have the Sutta with me at this very moment, but will give you more detailed quotes if you want.
  13. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    Buddhism is like water. You can lead a horse to a stream....
  14. mahasattva

    mahasattva Member

    Maybe, im just being persuasive. Nonetheless, i never claimed my views to be the only true or correct that one should or must follow. I just gave my views on this forum and react what things should be discussed whether it is Buddhist perspective or not. What's the use in this forum if there are no interaction of ideas or opinions?
  15. 8D-8d

    8D-8d Member

    I think that by 'Law' we too often get confused with 'man made law' or 'positive law'. Translation from ancient words is always a tricky one. Playing Chinese Whispers for several thousand years has a tendancy to obscure original meaning and intent. Isn't Dharma just as justifiably translated as 'way'? Like being swept in a river, dharma takes you, swim with it or swim against it,it still takes you.

    I think we are lost in our world of symbols. We have a gazillion words for a single thing. What some call 'Maya', others call 'reality'. What some people call God, others call Gaeia. What some call Dharma, others might call 'Nature'. There is no right or wrong, good or evil, correct path or incorrect path. They are all variations on the same thing.

    Simplicity is the key and I think Janis Joplin said it best for everyone's understanding 'It is all the same f***ing thing man'

    Just my opinion, but having opinions is one reason why I'm not a Buddhist :)
    Hope y'all come back and chat nice to me. But having aspirations is another reason I'm not a Buddhist.
    Oh yeah and lust!

    Keep it all flowing. Happiness is the way :D
  16. nephthys

    nephthys Member

    Dharma has been used also in a relatively secular context and not just in a religious one. Translating it as the "Way" seems too modern; we have to remember that Dharma is a word used in Hinduism before Buddhism and if we want to make applications used as its meaning we would have to do it with the original Hindu context. This doesn't mean the Buddhist view may not be different; it is just a word, but Buddhism did use Magadhi, which is just a language.
  17. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed & Confused Lifetime Supporter Super Moderator

    Not to quibble, but I think the quote is "...it's all the same f-----g day, man."
    Which is just as true as the other. Maybe she said that another time.

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