If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post sayings or stories from Buddhist traditions which you find interesting, inspiring or useful. (Your own stories are welcome on DW, but in the Creative Writing or Personal Experience forums rather than here.)
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If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by Thug4lyfe » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:36 pm

Translate from a Chinese internet article

"If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?"

By Wonderful Wisdom Bihksuni

Many years ago there was a scholar in China.

One day, during a big gathering he stood up to tell the people there Buddha could not possible exist.
When people are starting to become convinced by his argument, he raised a chanllenge to the Buddha in a loud voice:"Ole Buddha! If you really exist, please come down here and kill me infront of these people! Then we will believe your existance!"
He purposely waited for a few minutes. Of course the Buddha did not come and kill him.
He turned to the left and right to the audience and said: "There you see, the Buddha doesn't exist!"
A woman with a towel covering her head stood up (Many women in the farming land in China wears towel like this) and spoke to the Scholar: "Sir, your argument is very compelling, and you are a very learnt person. I am just a farming woman, hence I can't debate with you. But could you please answer a question I've been pondering? After practicing Buddhism for many years, my heart is filled with compassion and gratefulness just like the Buddha, hence I am always joyful. I am heart is fulled with the peacefulness and equality of the Dharma. Because of believing in Buddhism, life have obtained great joy. Now please tell me, If I discover during my death that Buddha does not exist. Have I lost anything because I believed in Buddhism all these years?"
The scholar pondered for a long time, the whole gathering became completely silent, many people agreed with the woman's argument.
Even the scholar is suprised by the woman's simple logic, he quietly said to the woman:"ma'am, I believe you haven't lost anything."
The woman said to the scholar:"Thank you for your answer. However, I still have another question on my mind. If, during your death, you discover that the Buddha is absolutely real, heaven and hell also exists, may I please ask, what have you lost?"
The scholar thought for a long time, but could not answer.

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by Nosta » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:10 am

Nice story! :)

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by mickeldominic » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:40 am

Interesting story. Sometimes Buddhism is just this simple.

For the scholar, he's being really silly for asking the Buddha to kill him. Buddha does not need to kill to prove his existence. The fact that Buddha did not kill him, showed his existence as the Buddha is compassionate.

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by Sherlock » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:58 am

This is a variant of Pascal's wager.

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by Fu Ri Shin » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:50 am

Sherlock wrote:This is a variant of Pascal's wager.
Indeed. I remember thinking this when I read the OP back when it first appeared.

There's nothing particularly "Dharmic" about it. We could swap "Buddhism" with "Christianity" and "Buddha" with "God" or "Jesus" and it would hold up well as a story advocating for faith in Christ. There's nothing wrong with that, obviously, but it makes this little story hardly compelling as a case for Buddhist faith in particular.
"Once delusion is extinguished, your wisdom naturally arises and you don’t differentiate suffering and joy. Actually, this joy and this suffering, they are the same."

— Chinese hermit, Amongst White Clouds

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by catmoon » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:12 pm

LOL Everyone who read the story and immediately thought of Pascal, please raise your hand.

*Raises paw*

Or paw. Whatever.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by Music » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:47 am

Pascal's wager can only apply to abrahamic faiths because they believe in one life, no second chances. So if you die and find out Allah alone is real, you will be in trouble. Buddhism wouldn't have this problem, because if you die and find out Buddha is real, you are still going to get a second chance in that you will take birth, and be given a chance to practice dharma again.

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by plwk » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:52 am

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by Adumbra » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:20 am

As skeptical as I am, I confess I am getting rather tired of these "They never existed" arguments. The same thing has been arugued about Jesus, Socrates, Lao Tzu, and recently, Muhammad (that last one must have took courage). This is just silly. All of these persons lived in times before the advent of a unified bureaucracy. What do you need to prove they existed? A birth certificate? A photograph? An autograph? How do we know Cicero existed? Maybe he was just a fictional lawyer like Sherlock Holmes was a fictional detective.

A tangenital thought: I don't think Buddha Siddhartha, if he still existed, would strike someone down on a dare just to prove himself. But since Buddha Siddhartha has been dead for over 2500 years, the scholar's challenge to him was just silly.

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Re: If the Buddha is real, what have you lost?

Post by waimengwan » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:43 pm

Sounds like the question if god exists can he make a rock so big that he cant carry it.

Good story though cheers!

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