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Buddhism

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"How did the world begin?" is simply the wrong question to ask a Buddhist. It's like asking a Christian "How do I stop the endless cycle of death and rebirth?" The question has no meaning. Christians don't have a principal death-rebirth cycle concept, and Buddhists don't have a principal Creator/creation concept.

The focus of Christianity is external. You do specific things, like get baptized and conform to a fairly strict set of behavioral rules. You must attend church and associate with other Christians. Christianity is exclusionary, refusing to acknowledge any value or potential for truth in any other belief system.

The focus of Buddhism is internal. You try to consistently and continuously become a better person. You can try to do it alone or in a group. Buddhism is practiced as a religion, but Buddha himself did not wish to be worshipped. Buddhism as the Buddha taught it is is a philosophy, not a religion. There is nothing to prevent me from being both a Roman Catholic and a Buddhist.

Nevertheless, Buddhism IS practiced as a religion in Thailand. It permeates Thai culture the way Christianity permeates Western culture. And the more I see of Christianity these days, the more I think about converting to Buddhism.

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I don't understand why anyone is even paying any attention to GANGSTERS questions,,what he asks has been answered in a very straight foreword reply and he continues to ask.

As far as I am concerned I to have never believed in Christian theory and religion,and it chills my shit, I do believe in Buddhism as it is not really a religion but a way to live your life,,just as the LORD BUDDHA said,,I am just a man, I was born and so I will die.

He never said anything about how the universe was created and I suppose he thought it was none of his business. I can't see how it can be a religious subject anyway,unless you believe the churchy shit,and then if you do then you need not ask a scientist.

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As to the difference between Theravada and Mahayana, Theravada is said to be closer to Buddhas original teachings, Mahayana more extensive and elaborate, which one is 'better' or more truthful- up to you. Thais and Theravada sometimes like to find arguments to trivialize Mahayana, whereas Mahayana followers sometimes refer to Mahayana as the 'large vehicle' and to Theravada as the 'small vehicle'.

Over time, many different schools of Buddhism have emerged, in Japan the Zen- Buddhism, which is different from the others.

What am I saying? I don't know enough to elaborate further.

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The focus of Christianity is external. You do specific things, like get baptized and conform to a fairly strict set of behavioral rules. You must attend church and associate with other Christians. Christianity is exclusionary, refusing to acknowledge any value or potential for truth in any other belief system.

.

I was brought up as a Roman-Catholic, and as much as I dislike it, I do try to be fair about it in discussions. Most practising Christians would disagree with what you say, so do I. The 'internal' prayer to be closer to god, and the (sometimes very misguided) efforts to live what one believes are widespread Christian practises.

Any institutionalised believe system has the potential of being abused in the superficial ways you discribe, this is not a sole characteristic of Christianity.

The world religions do disagree on the origin of the world etc. , but I am amazed when I compare basic moral values given to laypeople between world religions, they are so very similar.

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The world religions do disagree on the origin of the world etc.

Theories as to the origins of the universe and the purpose of the the creation of Man can only be theories, speculation.

In the olden times, men would ask their 'wise' ones questions which were beyond their ability to answer. To protect their positions in the community, they would reply "God did it - and you know what will happen to you if you question the word of God".

Sadly, in some places this attitude has not changed.

Buddhists recognise that some questions do not have answers, nor do they need them.

May all beings be well.

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Exactly LoongJohn, that's why we do not all still worship the tides, the wind, the sun - we understand what these are now.

Have to agree with a lot that Cathyy said too - Buddhism is not a 'faith', but a guide to help us all live better and more fulfilling lives. Buddhists leave science to scientists - there is no 'creator'. So much energy went in to stiffling scientific achievement in Europe during the dark ages so as not to threaten the church's claims (Earth at the centre of the universe etc).

Most religions are inclusive - they, and only they, are the true faith; all others are infadels. Sometiomes this is believe down to denomination level. The respective churches made declarations - both in their scriptures and by their leaders throughout history - about things that they could not explain - creation, the apparant movement of the sun, madness, etc. Things were 'created' to cover these (Angels, Demons, etc). When your scriptures are 'the word of God' and your leaders are infaliable, then your faith can not be wrong. When at odds to another faith's teaching, one must be wrong (and thus the leaders not mouthing the word of God, or the scriptures not the word of God) - and thus the followers are not following the word of God = infadels.

Buddha made little attempt to explain things he did not understand. He was more concerned with the human condition than the movement of planets. He did not call himself omnipiant, he did not pretend to be - he was not the 'son of God' - indeed he did not believe in God. He wanted to teach what he had discovered so we can all attain cessation of suffering; he did not want to be worshipped - and asking him in pray for winning lottery ticket numbers is actually against the core of his teaching - desire/craving/anxiety. However, Buddhism has become a religion and the Buddha is worshipped as a God and supernatural powers are attributed to him. This is human nature, not his teachings.

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I don't call other poeople freak, It's a nice word at all. Let me explaint, first they are five main religion in this world Christian,Muslim, Buddhism,Taoism and Confusion!. What you saw in Phuket was part of Taoism gods not Buddha.

This brought from China and the god name 9 kings Emperor. Something like the strory of Lord of the Ring. They lost in battle and beheaded,every year nine month of the nine day, People will received them from sea or river and will send them back on the 15th day of the month.

IN this Universal we have God,angels,demon etc, Those spririt who processes human are from good spirits,the reason is to bless mankind to do good to each other.Taoism have many super magic power like they normaly draw on a piece of yellow paper we called "Foo", which can use in so many way, to expel evil spirit,to keep in wallet for safety and some for drinking to cure body. Pls don't be mad for what I post coz I'm explaining Chinese Toaism and I am a Chinese myself, It's noting to do with you own belief,we just share knowledge here,if you feel these kind of people should lived in stone age ,you are wrong the reason it stay until today it have it's own way.

The Chinese normally mix Toaism,Buddhism and Confucion together.These people are not freak there only take out good teaching into thier daily life.

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Weather you are Christian, BUddhism, MUslim,Jews etc is from a same haven and earth. If we look at Zen Buddha statue,Chinese,Thai they are diffrent design,Why??

We human always taught ince,kg which we have measure for everything and we asume Buddha is a permament kind of person but we are wrong.If Buddha born in America he will looks like Everlis Persely, Why? is to suit the local taste,to be one of them the local people only will understand HIs teaching.

Same as Jesus Christ, Do we know where is our cross is? Jesus always says carry your cross and follow me ,He doesn't mean we have to buy a wood cross or a nice earing from Italy to follow Him. We have been wrong too for so many years. the real meaning is we have a cross inner self,but where? Let you measure your right end finger to other left side of your finger end,it's the same as your height. Your right ear to your left ear with a string and it's same as your center fore head to your chin. I can't tell you the excet point center of human and center of Univers. All the religion in World are talking the same Center point?PLs don't argue weather have egg first or chicken first. It's all the center point who create everything in the beggining and religion who helps us to understand the beggining but it seems we have been more confuse if we know more. The center of the planets is the Sun.

The center of the human is in the head but where? we can lost our both arms or legs but not our head. We can change to a plastic heart,so it's not the heart or removed half the brain and still survive, so where??Welcome to twilight Zone!!!

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I am a Buddhist and from Sri Lanka. I think I will be able to answer all your questions here. I will stick into the real Buddhist philosophy when answering these questions as the practice of Buddhism and the philosophy of Buddhism has some differences like any other religion has.

The 'Theravada' branch of Buddhism introduced to Thailand from Sri Lanka. Buddhism introduced to Sri Lanka by King Ashok of India and he sent his delegations to all around Asia. These Delegations reached to all over Asia. But somehow, it did not reach Thailand as many of the monks died during the traveling from India to this region.

Sri lanka were under Portuguese, Holland and later England for 300 yrs and during this period, all these countries targeted Buddhist in Sri Lanka and tried to convert them by offering money and by force. This happened throughout Asia during this period.

The monks in Sri Lanka realized the threat to the Buddhism and they sent a group of Monks to Thailand [if I remember correct it was during King Rama the 4th], and established Theravada Buddhism in Thailand.

As predicted, Buddhism in Sri Lanka started to get wiped out and later after the independence, Thailand helped to re-established the Buddhism to Sri Lanka by sending a delegation headed by the most ven Upali Thero of the Temple of Aydhaya. [That is happened exactly 200 Yrs ago and last year Sri Lanka and Thailand celebrated this event together].

This happened during the time of the great King Rama the 5th.

I've seen claims that Thailand was originally Mahayana, but that the Thai kings steered it towards Theravada Buddhism.

The kingdom of Sukhothai (independent 13th century) was Buddhist, and Thai kingdoms since then have been Buddhist with some borrowings from Hinduism and varying degrees of animism.

In religious matters, there has been mutual assistance between Thailand and Sri Lanka. In the reign of Rama Kamhaeng of Sukhothai (c. 1275-1317) monks were sent from Nakhon Si Thammarat to study in Sri Lanka, and I'm sure there were many minor exchanges throughout the centuries.

Purification of the religion has been a two-way street. In 1753 Thailand sent monks under the leadership of the Venerable Upali to Sir Lanka at the request of King Kirti Sri to help in religious reforms there. One result of this mission is the Sri Lankan sect known as, according to my source, 'Sayamwongse' - the 'Siamese Sect'. This was 250 years ago, not 200 years ago.

Rama IV (1851-1868) asked for Sri Lankan help in reforming Buddhism - not in changing it to Theravada Buddhism, but in one of these periodic reforms which religions undergo.

But sadly, all other countries lost the Buddhist monks during these period of occupations and then later some Chinese Monks started introducing the Buddhism that they established by themselves in this region. As a result of this, the Branch of "Mahayana" came into the picture and the countries in East Asia including Japan, Burma and all around re-established the Buddhism under the branch of "Mahayana".
Japan did not suffer foreign occupation until the 1940s!

I was not aware of any massive erosion of Buddhism in Burma under British rule. Even the Karens are mostly Buddhist.

This is simply showing the lack of knowledge they have in Buddhism. Even today all Buddhist use the language of "Pail Sanskrit" to pray for Buddha. That is where all original Buddha teachings have been written. But no one knows what language Buddha Spoke. We all use "pali Sanskrit" as it was the only language that could be used in those days to write, speak and read.

The origin of Thai language, Sinhalese Language, Hindi and Tamil comes from Sanskrit and it has a history well over the recorded history of English though it is a dead language in todays world.

It was long thought that Pali was the dialect that the Buddha spoke. This belief was demolished when it was discovered that it differs significantly from the dialect of the earliest inscriptions in his home territory.

What is Pali Sanksrit? Do you mean Sankritised Pali? I understood that it was suggested to the Buddha that he teach in Sanskrit, but that he rejected the suggestion in favour of the everyday language.

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@ KWIZ 117

You mix up historical facts and dates:

Thero Ubali, or to call him by his Thai name, Phra Upali, arrived in Kandy in 1753, accompanied by twenty other monks. So Sri Lanka and Thailand must have recently celebrated the 250th anniversary of that event. If you go to Malwatte Vihara in Kandy, you see a plaque in Singhalese and Thai which will confirm the above date.

So, Phra Upali's journey to Sri Lanka occurred before the Chakri Dynasty was founded (1782).

You rightly say that Upali hailed from Ayutthaya. At that time Ayutthaya's ruler was King Boromgot (1732-58).

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Lioneric Posted on Tue 2004-06-01, 01:08:31

  Weather you are Christian, BUddhism, MUslim,Jews

First,I'm just curious and want to establish WHETHER we're talking about meteorology or religion here!?

Weather or whether? :o

Christian, BUddhism, MUslim,Jews etc is from a same haven and earth

Christians,Jews and Muslims are looking for a safe HAVEN in HEAVEN by appeasing an imaginary deity they've created by themselves and for themselves!

The faithful Judeo-Christian-Islamic believers created their "Big-Daddy" in the sky long ago to instill false security during life;and in the hope for eternal life in Paradise after death.There life is promised to be easy forever!

It's a little like the analogy of a lonely kid who is creating his imaginary friend who will always listen to him and grant all his wishes;or maybe like a Santa Clause with extended "holiday-season" power all throughout the year!

Xmas gifts galore every day! :D

All these fictional figures are,of course,imaginary creations of the human mind!

Belief in god is transferred from one generation to the next by indoctrination and classical conditioning onto the "tabula rasa" minds of innocent children with the religious impressions of their community!

Genuine Theravada Buddhists seek inner peace themselves by trying to attain enlightenment and by doing good deeds during life.

No god is needed for Theravada Buddhists because karma is their law of cause and effect!

If there's a paradise for Buddhists,then that is an inner heaven without any fictional god or external master who's judging people's actions with the dichotomy of good or bad and then sending them to Heaven or Hades accordingly!

If Buddha born in America he will looks like Everlis Persely, Why? is to suit the local taste,to be one of them the local people only will understand HIs teaching.
"You saw me crying in the chapel...tears of...";or,

"You ain't nothin' but a hound-dog crying all the time.Well,you ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine"!

Yeah,baby!The truth and meaning of life gleaned from Elvis's rock 'n' roll lyrics!

A gleam of hope is shining through the Dukkha darkness into our minds!!Elvis lives!

Q:"Where have you been Mr Presley"???

A:"Errr...hmm...I used to be kinda dead there for a while folks,but now I'm back so... let's twist again like we did last..."!

Resurrection of his body or only revival of his music? :D

Same as Jesus Christ, Do we know where is our cross is? Jesus always says carry your cross and follow me ,He doesn't mean we have to buy a wood cross or a nice earing from Italy to follow Him. We have been wrong too for so many years. the real meaning is we have a cross inner self,but where?

The inner cross that you,and most of us,are carrying around is called "Dukkha" in Buddhism.Dukkha means suffering.

You can get rid of your Dukkha-cross by understanding the "Four Noble Truths" in Buddhism and by traveling the "Noble Eightfold Path", all alone by yourself without any help from a savior!

No need to follow Jesus or begging some non-existent god for help by compulsive praying and ritualistic worshipping while some obsessive religious thoughts and worries are tormenting the mind

If you're curious,check out my thread re the "Philosophy of Buddhism"!

It's totally up to you because I don't really care whether you do or not!!

Let you measure your right end finger to other left side of your finger end,it's the same as your height. Your right ear to your left ear with a string and it's same as your center fore head to your chin. I can't tell you the excet point center of human and center of Univers. All the religion in World are talking the same Center point
It's called the "Fibonacci numbers"!

Ancient architecs used the beautiful objects in the natural world for humanly designed objects!

Those architects observed beauty in nature and interpreted it as being devine inspiration for their art.

Their perception of nature having been created was entirely due to the fact that their ignorant minds had been saturated with the notion of a creator-god and religion!

The beautiful proportions in nature were measured and calculated into a mathematical formula by Fibonacci in the 13th century!

The Fibonacci series is 1,1,2,3,5,8,13 and so on...!

This is the Fibonacci series ratio,or the "Golden Proportion",which is 1 to 1,1618 (or 0,618 to 1)and can be found in all beautifully symmetrical shapes!

This apply to the human body as well as architectural designs such as "Parthenon,Acropolis and Pantheon"which were designed by man out of love for his own symmetrical body!

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"!

Originally,these are probably evolutionary designs that came about through natural selection as well as sexual selection.

A beuatifully symmetric human being is advertising to the opposite sex,and vice versa,that he/she is healthy and probably has very good genes for well-adapted offsprings which,of course,come about from being able to mate successfully!

Genes coding for symmetry survive while asymmetric genes become extinct!

No need for a divine watchmaker to create designs.

Gravity and natural selection give us the natural designs we see around us today;and humans design their own man-made objects!

I can't tell you the excet point center of human and center of Univers. All the religion in World are talking the same Center point?

Until only some 300-400 hundred years ago,the authoritarian Catholic Church still used their dogma in order to brainwash its ignorant believers into believing that the Vatican was the centre of our universe!

The Roman C. Church has now revised that position due to empirical evidence provided by Galileo Galilei,Kepler,Isaac Newton and other enlightened scientist who want to know the truth and can't accept stupid dogma from ignorant theists.

There is no centre in our universe unless you want to create an imaginary one yourself for feeling psychologically safe.

By accepting things on blind faith, you're giving up your investigative power on the way and obsequiously start licking the boots of priests,mullahs,rabbis and other lackeys who claim to be powerful servants of an omnipotent,omniscient and omnipresent god.

The universe is continuously expanding at an ever accelerating speed so there's no centre point.

Everything moves away from everything else!

There might have been a centre-point of energy in the universe some 10-15 billion years ago.

At the time of the hypothetical "Big Bang" that is!

PLs don't argue weather have egg first or chicken first. It's all the center point who create everything in the beggining and religion who helps us to understand the beggining
PLs don't argue weather have egg first or chicken first.

I've got a simple and insightful answer to your chicken and egg problem!

Q:What came first?The chicken or the egg?

A:Neither one of them did;because the rooster just had to come first!

Cock-a-doodle-dooo!Get it? :D

The center of the human is in the head but where? we can lost our both arms or legs but not our head. We can change to a plastic heart,so it's not the heart or removed half the brain and still survive, so where??Welcome to twilight Zone!!!

There are two definitions of death!Namely heart or brain dead!

A brain-dead person still has a heart-beat but he's a vegetable now;and he's basically dead if not aided by life-supporting machines and compassionate fellow human beings.

Without them,he would be dead in a heart-beat!Excuse the pun! :D

It's when the centre that controls the heart is still intact that the heart can pump away a little.

When some vital neuron areas in his brain are inevitably destroyed due to oxygen deprivation,he cannot wake up and become normal again.

In physiology,there is no resurrection of cells destroyed by necrosis!

Praying to a "fictional god" for miracles won't help him;but if the doctors were wrong in interpreting his CAT-scans and gave the incorrect diagnosis,then there's still minute hope for an awakening from the coma!

If the brain is irretrievably desroyed,then imaginary souls can't take possession and heal the injured person!

Cheers.

Snowleopard.

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@ KVIZ 117

... and where do you get the idea from that Tamil and Thai "originated from Sanskrit?"

Tamil does have some loan words from Sanskrit but otherwise it is a Dravidian language and has nothing to do with Sanskrit at all. If it had, you Singhalese and the Tamils would understand each other much better (quite literally, I mean).

Yes, Singhalese is of Sanskrit origin, but during the southward migration of the Singhalese (originally probably from the area of today's Gujarat and NOT, as the Singhalese chronicles claim, from Orissa) the language also picked up some Dravidian elements.

Thai has a very large vocabulary derived from Sanskrit/Pali, but it certainly did not originate from Sanskrit. Thai is a, well, Tai language, and it's only because the Thais moved southward from their original home in Sipsongpanna that they were exposed to Indian cultural and linguistic influences.

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Snow leapord ,I really admire your intengent and knowledge

No need to follow Jesus or begging some non-existent god for help by compulsive praying and ritualistic worshipping while some obsessive religious thoughts and worries are tormenting the mind

But pls think if we don't breath air for few minutes our brain will start dying off,you think for all those planets only earth get oxygen?

IN Buddhism we respect other religions ,that's why there is less conflits and wars in Buddhism compare with othere religion in the world ,which have to kill people to convert into thier religion.

What will you think when you are lying in the bed for your last breath?Do you still think Jungle-bell or Sha -la la?????Beware coffin is for dead person not for old people only, your words might angry 'The Almighty Lord'.

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Lioneric:

"your words might angry 'The Almighty Lord'. "

Which Almighty Lord are you referring to now? Or are you joking?

Sorry, I find it difficult to follow what you are saying, also your use of English is not always clear.

Snowleopard:

"The faithful Judeo-Christian-Islamic believers created their "Big-Daddy" in the sky long ago to instill false security during life;and in the hope for eternal life in Paradise after death."

Snowleopard sounds angry when he argues here. Are you saying religions and people who follow them are stupid, S.L.? And that science and Buddhism are about using one's own faculties to find the truth?

Keep in mind that the law of karma, cause and effect, is not so self-evident to non-Buddhists, maybe there is a degree of faith and subjectivity involved here, too? And I observe that many Buddhists turn to Buddha for trivial favors and assistance with prayers and rituals.

I must say, the longer I stay in Thailand, the more I discover how similar many practises are to the Christians. -sorry, I am talking about the layperson within institutionalised communities.

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