Why makes Buddhism true ?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby newagegeek » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:47 pm

I have been researching several religions lately. Buddhism appears to be logical compared to several others.

I would want to clear certain stuff out of my head, with regards to Buddhism (which applies to all religions in general)

Buddhism (like other religions) claims that it has the only truth. Only by following the Buddha could we attain salvation.

If Buddhism is the *true* religion why is not widespread ? Why Buddha was specifically born in India, and taught only to Indians ? He could have made several appearances and taught to every single being in the world. But Buddha who is the Teacher of the gods and men, appealed only to a very narrow regional audience (of North India to be precise). In fact, Buddha was one of the several many other teachers who were teaching around the same time, same region at that time in India. There could be chances that his image was just blown out of proportion with exaggerated tales and hagiography (typical of religious followers).

I believe all religions have the Geographic limitation in that they were centered only on specific regions and don't really care about the others. The entire Abrahamic bunch expanded only on the ethno-religious beliefs of the Jews (and always focused on them). All Indian religions are focused on only India. The gods are all India, the legends are all Indian. Even in Buddhism, most of the past Buddhas are supposed to have born only in India. It is as if other parts of the world doesn't exist at all !

So why was the West in particular deprived of the *way to salvation* for around 2000 years ? . Even in India... Buddhism nearly disappeared ! Is it because the entire west didn't have any Karma to receive the way, and hence had to wait for 2000 years to receive the truth ? Why did Buddhism disappear in Buddha's own land ?

In summary, how is Buddhism different from other religions ? and why should I think that it has the ultimate *truth* ?
newagegeek
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:29 pm

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:01 pm

Karma.

It's not that Buddhism is Indian. It's that the eternal law appeared in India and became flavored by Indian culture, particularly over time. The Four Seals for example, are not culturally specific.

But those with a past life connection have realized Buddhist truths without being Buddhist. David Hume's bundle theory for example.

Following your logic, since Buddhism is Indian, then given that almost all Buddhists today aren't Indian, then almost all Buddhists today are not Buddhist.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
User avatar
Konchog1
 
Posts: 1346
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:30 am

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:07 pm

There is no historical proof that the Buddha ever taught what people say he taught.
In fact, his teachings were not even written down until a century after he gave them,
some 5,000 miles south of where he spoke them, and in a language he didn't use.
So, there is no way to actually prove the teachings are true,
to your own satisfaction at least, except to test them out for yourself.
That is how we know Buddhism (the Dharma) is true.

What you describe is like rubbing two sticks together to make a fire.
We don't know who did that first, but we can replicate it, and that validates it.

There are historical reasons for most of the other issues you raise.
Buddha could have taught anywhere, of course.
And he might have. But "Buddha" is an Indian word,
and there were a lot of people in India who were listening to him.
So, like a popular song, it caught on. It went viral.
So, you know, maybe he taught in some other continents too,
but only 3 people listened to him,and that was the end of that.
We can make guesses. It doesn't really matter
because we can't prove it.
Even Buddha said (we think) that at some point even these teachings we have now
nobody will pay any attention to, or won't be able to grasp, and they will fade away.

If you look at history, most things happen within a social context.
They can only happen at a certain place and at a certain time in history because of the right conditions.
For example, what Andy Warhol did in the art world really could have not happened in the 1950s or earlier.
It could only happen in the 1960's, as part of it, and as part of what defined it.
So, we wouldn't think to ask,
"why wasn't Warhol silk screening soup cans during the Ming Dynasty in China?"
Because the conditions for that, except maybe for the silk, the pieces were not all there.
On the other hand, Chinese calligraphy is a great example of abstract art
which didn't happen in the west until the middle of the 20th century.
So, sometimes it all depends on how you look at it.

Buddhism teaches that all things arise interdependently.
"Searching for the truth" was, you might say, in style at the time of the Buddha.
A lot of concepts that appear in Buddhism, such as karma and rebirth, were already part of Hindu culture.
Likewise, in the days of Jesus, a lot of people claimed to be prophets of God.
So, that's when you have a big audience, and your message takes root.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:11 pm

Not widespread?

Last I checked it's the fourth largest religion in this fairly large world of folks, i'd say that's pretty widespread.

Anyway, truth is not necessarily the most popular thing.

There could be chances that his image was just blown out of proportion with exaggerated tales and hagiography (typical of religious followers).


Doesn't matter at all. Especially from a Mahayana perspective, the historical factoidss don't mean that much. Truth manifests itself in a variety of ways, and whether the historical Buddha was this, that, or the other thing is secondary to the truths he taught. The whole idea of "original teachings" is something of a red herring in Buddhist terms.

So why was the West in particular deprived of the *way to salvation* for around 2000 years ? . Even in India... Buddhism nearly disappeared ! Is it because the entire west didn't have any Karma to receive the way, and hence had to wait for 2000 years to receive the truth ? Why did Buddhism disappear in Buddha's own land ?

In summary, how is Buddhism different from other religions ? and why should I think that it has the ultimate *truth* ?


Who knows, Karma is one of the hardest things to understand, no way of understanding the answer to those questions, not something knowable from out vantage point. Again again it's said that not everyone even has the capacity to know the truth upon hearing it anyway.

As to why you should think it has the ultimate truth..you shouldn't, you should practice it, examine it, test it and see if it's true through experience.

I started with the three marks of existence:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_marks_of_existence

You are not supposed to just believe them, examine them, extrapolate them..test them out and see if they are true.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2746
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:35 pm

In Buddhist holy texts it says there were 28 Buddhas listed to have come into this world before Shakyamuni Buddha,and if you look throughout human history you will start to see some strange coincidences.

For instance how the swastica exists in almost every single culture in this world,Buddha statues in south america ect..ect
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Matt J » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:40 pm

First off, Buddhism is not a single, solid block of concrete that means the same thing to everyone. Buddhist teaching is colored as it moves to China, SE Asia, Korea, Japan, etc. Having said that, in my view, Buddhist teaching is not about salvation the way Christianity is. Buddhist teaching is about the arising and ending of suffering.

So I wouldn't say that Buddhism is the "true" religion, but I can say from experience that practicing Buddhist teaching DOES reduce suffering in life. Tremendously. How do I know? Through first hand experience.

How to know which religion is for you---- try them out! The Buddha says in the Kalama Sutta that we shouldn't simply believe the things we are told. We must apply them, then we can see for ourselves.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming

http://nondualism.org/
User avatar
Matt J
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:29 am

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Seishin » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:44 pm

I don't believe the Buddha chose to be born in India, I think that was his karma, but even if it was his choice how can we say for sure that it wasn't the right choice. Perhaps India was the best choice at the time. Who knows. Also, it may be of interest that Buddhism first spread west before spreading east.. Try googling Grecco Buddhism. For whatever reason, it didn't take, but was very popular in the east.

Gassho,
Seishin
User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
 
Posts: 1434
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Jesse » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:49 pm

To think we have captured the truth of the universe in any sense is deluded. Buddhism is made to alleviate human suffering, emptiness is only true in-so-far as the human mind works. Buddhism is not more or less true than any other religion.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
User avatar
Jesse
 
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 6:54 am
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Ramon1920 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:36 am

Newagegeek, you seem to be coming from the position that there's some divine plan that should see everyone with the same good fortune and inquiring why Buddhism isn't fitting into the plan you've imagined.

Buddhism is true because gives the results it promises. Who knows about other religions? I personally don't want to get my mind confused by trying to sort them out.
Ramon1920
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:57 am

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Sara H » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:29 am

Well what makes physics true?

The fact that we try it and see that it works.

*grins*

That we can prove it true by experimentation.

Lol.

Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
User avatar
Sara H
 
Posts: 531
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:51 pm
Location: On Hiatus from Dharmawheel.

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby randomseb » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:14 am

The Way described in buddhism can also be found in some other religions.. They just aren't so obvious and easily available, for various reasons, often political (think Inquisition)

For example, Jesus went on a 40 day meditation retreat before finally having an enlightenment experience in a river, says the new testament. The old testament refers to the 40 days and 40 nights every now and then too. Genesis starts with a metaphorical description of the mind process

:shrug:

What makes buddhism true? Why don't you try it and eventually, if your practice is sincere, that is to say, you truly examine your own mind and apply the teachings, you should experience the results for yourself, as countless people have done in the last 2600 years

:twothumbsup:
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
User avatar
randomseb
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:12 am

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby seeker242 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:22 am

Practicing it and finding out for yourself that it's true, is what makes it true. :smile:

:anjali:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
User avatar
seeker242
 
Posts: 725
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: South Florida, USA

Re: What makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:45 am

I wish someone would fix the title of this thread. If you can't state the question intelligibly then you have no reason to expect an intelligible response.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1931
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: What makes Buddhism true ?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:18 pm

jeeprs wrote:I wish someone would fix the title of this thread. If you can't state the question intelligibly then you have no reason to expect an intelligible response.

Maybe it's actually correct.
Maybe (asking) "why" is what makes Buddhism true.
Does "why" make Buddhism true, or what?
:?:
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
User avatar
PadmaVonSamba
 
Posts: 2845
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby mandala » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:04 pm

newagegeek wrote:In summary, how is Buddhism different from other religions ? and why should I think that it has the ultimate *truth* ?


One of the main points of difference is that Buddhism does not posit a creator god.
You can think what you like, really.. but if you're interested in going further in your enquiry, the Buddha taught that it's essential to know & test the teachings thoroughly, using logic & reasoning & applying it to your own life to see if it works. That's when the fun begins...
User avatar
mandala
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:51 pm

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby randomseb » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:20 pm

No god (although many in buddhist countries seem to treat Buddha in this way), no souls (although many seem to mistakenly posit one based on misunderstanding transmigration), no strict commandments leading to heaven/hell rewards (although many mistake karma for this kind of system, and mistake buddhist heaven/hell metaphors for actual places), no going to a priest to get a magic spell waved at you to dispel all of your sins, you have to actually dig deep inside yourself to see what is going on and to resolve things directly, yourself. (But many will get blessings anyway, and there can be reasons for this to be useful)

It's not a lazy person's spiritual path, no amount of making lip service at a weekly church convocation will do you any good personally! (In terms of spiritual advancements anyway)
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
User avatar
randomseb
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:12 am

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:40 pm

newagegeek wrote:So why was the West in particular deprived of the *way to salvation* for around 2000 years ?
It wasn't deprived of *the way to salvation*, Buddhism reached Europe (Greece to be exact) just after 320BC.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
 
Posts: 9979
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Nosta » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:40 pm

newagegeek wrote:If Buddhism is the *true* religion why is not widespread ? [...] Even in Buddhism, most of the past Buddhas are supposed to have born only in India. It is as if other parts of the world doesn't exist at all !

So why was the West in particular deprived of the *way to salvation* for around 2000 years ?



I think that the answer is Karma. In a general way, people dont have enough karma, a clean path so to say, in order to have access to Buddhism. But be careful because this is not about punishment. What I am talking here is about having the conditions to access buddhism, and not having karma to take contact with buddhism, means that such conditions could not arise (yet) to some people.

Even Buddhism masters said that omniscience itself is dependent from causes and conditions. Something that depends from causes cannot arise at every moment on everywhere. That means that not every people will have, in a given place and time, access to omniscience neither to the path that leads to it (Buddhism).

And even if you have access to Buddhism, who says that you will accept it? Western people for instance, are more interested on Christianism. They dont think the buddhism path is the best path.

Now lets look at things on a different view: Christians and Christ itself taught that we should love people, we should not kill, etc and we find the same ideas on other religions, but do you see any of them teaching you how to love? Do you see any of such religions teaching you how to deal with emotions and how do deal with the vast emotions we experience, so you can turn yourself on a better person? How should you act with your inner yourself so you can achieve true love and true desire to build a better society? The best such religions will do ( as Islamism and Christianism, Jewish, etc ) is just say that you should pray to your god and love your neighbour (when they are not saying to kill the non-believers...). Buddhism, on the other hand (and possibly other religions, I dont know) will teach you complete systems and methods on how to deal with your inner self and all the emotions you have. Thats something unique! I will even go further and say that there are not any modern psycological methods ( from specialists, like doctors, scientists, etc) able to do what Buddhism can do for our sanity!

Buddhism is the Perfect Path and I will stick to it. :)
User avatar
Nosta
 
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Motova » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:25 pm

As the others have said, experimenting is the only way to find out as you will see signs and changes in your life. But before entering Buddhism there is a necessary process of self-inquiry that one must go through to logically accept the essential concepts, particularly: karma, rebirth, non-self.

:namaste:

/Dylan
Motova
 
Posts: 286
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: Why makes Buddhism true ?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:28 pm

Motova wrote:As the others have said, experimenting is the only way to find out as you will see signs and changes in your life. But before entering Buddhism there is a necessary process of self-inquiry that one must go through to logically accept the essential concepts, particularly: karma, rebirth, non-self.

:namaste:

/Dylan
Not necessarily. One can practice Anapanasati meditation and have positive results without logically accepting any of those concepts.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
 
Posts: 9979
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Next

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

>