Thursday, January 15, 2009

Suprise, Suprise!

La Rochefoucauld said that the only thing that should surprise us is that we are still surprised. Well I am! Often! Despite so much evidence of it, I'm still surprised at how ignorant some people can be about Buddhism. Take this picture for example. It's from a book for Christian children. The text below informs the kiddies that the picture is from India. The statue is Japanese. The worshipper is a Hindu (you can tell by the tassel at the back of his head). Buddhists don’t pray to the Buddha. They don’t worship in this manner. And the Buddha isn’t a god. It's not the man in the picture who needs help so much as the author.

6 comments:

indigoblue said...

Bhante,
Well, I'm not surprised. Christians have many strange ideas about Buddhism. Right now I live in the house of some Malaysian Christians. They are not bad people; they accept me and are even a bit impressed that I am 'going forth' shortly, but I am often asked questions like: "Well you Buddhist believe that nothing exists, right?" or "The idea of suffering (Dukkha) seems so gloomy, now we understand why you Buddhist are unhappy and promote suicide". Sometimes I am stunned and really wish I had a copy of "Good questions, good answers" to give them ;)

Konchog said...

The Worst Horse featured this image once. It's from early in the 20th c., as I recall. Now sophisticates like the Pope just call us nihilists.

Joe said...

its sad that religions can come forth to this stage....to tarnish others and have this absolute stand and intolerant of other faiths...and to instill it to young kids is to me so "evil"...the other day. my friend commented on the dharmapada verse 35 "Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness."...he added how true for totalitarian regimes....how true..a double edged sword indeed...

Joe said...

bhante...on closer inspection...if you can remember..in bodagaya..there's a huge buddha statue and it's donated by the japanese devotees i think and it's in a japanese style...could it be a christian was there...saw this scene of a "mind-less" devotee doing such prostations and thus drew this out...just my 2 cents worth...:)

Terrance said...

Nice poster! They should make more for other religions !

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121322824482066211.html

"
A 1998 study in the journal Pediatrics, by Rita Swan, president of Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, and Seth Asser, a Rhode Island pediatrician, reported that 172 children died with no medical care because of religious reasons in the two decades after states began exempting faith healing. Of those, 140 children had a greater than 90% chance of survival if they had been treated medically, the researchers found. "Some of the religious defenses to felonies are a chilling betrayal of children," says Ms. Swan, a former Christian Scientist who lost a child to spinal meningitis in 1977 after initially relying on church practitioners before finally seeking medical help.
"

Anyway The Buddha did not believe in prayers. See:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn42/sn42.006.than.html

"
SN 42.6
Paccha-bhumika Sutta
[Brahmans] of the Western Land
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

PTS: S iv 311
CDB ii 1336
Source: Transcribed from a file provided by the translator.
Copyright © 1999 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Access to Insight edition © 1999
For free distribution. This work may be republished, reformatted, reprinted, and redistributed in any medium. It is the author's wish, however, that any such republication and redistribution be made available to the public on a free and unrestricted basis and that translations and other derivative works be clearly marked as such.

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Nalanda in the Pavarika Mango Grove. Then Asibandhakaputta the headman went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "The brahmans of the Western lands, lord — those who carry water pots, wear garlands of water plants, purify with water, & worship fire — can take [the spirit of] a dead person, lift it out, instruct it, & send it to heaven. But the Blessed One, worthy & rightly self-awakened, can arrange it so that all the world, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappears in a good destination, the heavenly world."

"Very well, then, headman, I will question you on this matter. Answer as you see fit. What do you think: There is the case where a man is one who takes life, steals, indulges in illicit sex; is a liar, one who speaks divisive speech, harsh speech, & idle chatter; is greedy, bears thoughts of ill-will, & holds to wrong views. Then a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart [saying,] 'May this man, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world!' What do you think: would that man — because of the prayers, praise, & circumambulation of that great crowd of people — at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world?"

"No, lord."

"Suppose a man were to throw a large boulder into a deep lake of water, and a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart [saying,] 'Rise up, O boulder! Come floating up, O boulder! Come float to the shore, O boulder!' What do you think: would that boulder — because of the prayers, praise, & circumambulation of that great crowd of people — rise up, come floating up, or come float to the shore?"

"No, lord."

"So it is with any man who takes life, steals, indulges in illicit sex; is a liar, one who speaks divisive speech, harsh speech, & idle chatter; is greedy, bears thoughts of ill-will, & holds to wrong views. Even though a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart — [saying,] 'May this man, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world!' — still, at the break-up of the body, after death, he would reappear in destitution, a bad destination, the lower realms, hell.

"Now what do you think: There is the case where a man is one who refrains from taking life, from stealing, & from indulging in illicit sex; he refrains from lying, from speaking divisive speech, from harsh speech, & from idle chatter; he is not greedy, bears no thoughts of ill-will, & holds to right view. Then a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart [saying,] 'May this man, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in destitution, a bad destination, the lower realms, hell!' What do you think: would that man — because of the prayers, praise, & circumambulation of that great crowd of people — at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in destitution, a bad destination, the lower realms, hell?"

"No, lord."

"Suppose a man were to throw a jar of ghee or a jar of oil into a deep lake of water, where it would break. There the shards & jar-fragments would go down, while the ghee or oil would come up. Then a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart [saying,] 'Sink, O ghee/oil! Submerge, O ghee/oil! Go down, O ghee/oil!' What do you think: would that ghee/oil, because of the prayers, praise, & circumambulation of that great crowd of people sink, submerge, or go down?"

"No, lord."

"So it is with any man who refrains from taking life, from stealing, & from indulging in illicit sex; refrains from lying, from speaking divisive speech, from harsh speech, & from idle chatter; is not greedy, bears no thoughts of ill-will, & holds to right view. Even though a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart — [saying,] 'May this man, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in a destitution, a bad destination, the lower realms, hell!' — still, at the break-up of the body, after death, he would reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world."

When this was said, Asibandhakaputta the headman said to the Blessed One: "Magnificent, lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to point out the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has the Blessed One — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the community of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life."
"

Arun said...

Wow.