Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Simon E.
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:26 pm

Hang on QQ. I am not making that claim. And certainly not making a personal claim.
Are you saying that the Vajrayana does not make that claim for itself?
Or that it does but shouldn’t?
Or that it does but no one should say so?
Or what?
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Queequeg
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:32 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:13 pm
It remains a fact that one vehicle among mainstream vehicles of Buddhadharma, makes that claim for itself.
Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:40 pm
If everyone is talking about a single vehicle that leads to enlightenment in this life, in this body, must be the same one. But called different names, explained differently, practiced differently... Anything else and the Buddha must be a liar.
I'm surmising that you have no idea there are schools that explicitly assert Buddhahood is possible in this life time...

Personally, I don't really care about these claims. I'm just looking on with a cocked eyebrow when people start making these claims of "One True Faith" etc. I think, "Oh, holy shit. Here we go again." Clearly it matters to you because you brought it up.

Like I said, time to give it a rest. None of us are qualified to make any evaluation of the claim. And all it does is raise rancor.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:48 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:32 pm
I'm surmising that you have no idea there are schools that explicitly assert Buddhahood is possible in this life time...
As a follow up to this, my impression of these various claims is that its really about moving goal posts around.

As long as we have memory of Shakyamuni Buddha, there will be no buddhas in this world. Full stop.

An attendant occupation is identifying the "oldest" buddha.

Its a serious mistake when we take upaya for the real thing. If we see the real thing, I am told, there can be no conflict with those who also see. Only buddhas really see. Everything else is just striving.

Do your best.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

narhwal90
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by narhwal90 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:53 pm

Don't see a problem with the claim as such, people may find it helpful to motivate practice, perhaps much like the discussions of transcendant powers, rebirth and so on. But it seems to go wrong when it turns into relative claims regarding other schools.
Last edited by narhwal90 on Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by pemachophel » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:55 pm

"As long as we have memory of Shakyamuni Buddha, there will be no buddhas in this world. Full stop."

Sorry, I haven't been following this whole thread, but, in terms of the above statement, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, your statement is only partially true. In Vajrayana Buddhism, one can achieve complete Buddhahood (such as Milarepa) but not necessarily manifest the 12 deeds of a supreme Nirmanakaya as did Buddha Shakyamuni. In fact, Buddha Shakyamuni achieved full Buddhahood a long, long, long time before He manifested His 12 deeds here in our Saha world. So, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, there is a difference between achieving complete, unsurpassed Buddhahood (Samyak Sambuddha) and manifesting as a supreme Nirmanakaya.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

tkp67
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by tkp67 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:57 pm

Just some commentary on the promise of Buddhism in one lifetime. I agree the importance is relative/subjective so this is not meant as contention.

Rather I feel this really illustrates the concept of the Buddha teaching according to the minds of others. Some people might desire buddhahood in this lifetime. Some people might desire to help others. Others might simple desire to help themselves.

I like to think the one vehicle models include them all opposed to being more specific.

I can't reason contention between them, although I do appreciate how some might be more appropriate than others from individual perspective (and based on several factors).

I used the word desires because it seems desire driven self is what we eventually an aspect we become enlightened to in accordance with earthy desires are enlightenment.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:01 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:57 pm
Just some commentary on the promise of Buddhism in one lifetime. I agree the importance is relative/subjective so this is not meant as contention.

Rather I feel this really illustrates the concept of the Buddha teaching according to the minds of others. Some people might desire buddhahood in this lifetime. Some people might desire to help others. Others might simple desire to help themselves.

I like to think the one vehicle models include them all opposed to being more specific.

I can't reason contention between them, although I do appreciate how some might be more appropriate than others from individual perspective (and based on several factors).

I used the word desires because it seems desire driven self is what we eventually an aspect we become enlightened to in accordance with earthy desires are enlightenment.
narhwal90 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:53 pm
Don't see a problem with the claim as such, people may find it helpful to motivate practice, perhaps much like the discussions of transcendant powers, rebirth and so on. But it seems to go wrong when it turns into relative claims regarding other schools.
Upaya.

"Come get your goat carts, deer carts and ox carts!"

---

"I deeply respect you. I dare not belittle you. Why is this? Because all of you practice the bodhisattva path, and will become buddhas."
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Norwegian
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Norwegian » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:02 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:48 pm
As long as we have memory of Shakyamuni Buddha, there will be no buddhas in this world. Full stop.
You are confusing the concept of a supreme nirmanakaya, with that of Buddhahood in general. We are still in the period of Buddha Shakyamuni's teaching (a supreme nirmanakaya), and for this reason, there will not be another supreme nirmanakaya in this specific period. The next period's supreme nirmanakaya is Buddha Maitreya, who right now is still in Tushita.

But this doesn't mean it's impossible to attain total Buddhahood now. Plenty of practitioners have attained total Buddhahood through the practice of Vajrayana/Dzogchen, post Buddha Shakyamuni's parinirvana. This is important to understand.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra

tkp67
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by tkp67 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:02 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:55 pm
"As long as we have memory of Shakyamuni Buddha, there will be no buddhas in this world. Full stop."

Sorry, I haven't been following this whole thread, but, in terms of the above statement, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, your statement is only partially true. In Vajrayana Buddhism, one can achieve complete Buddhahood (such as Milarepa) but not necessarily manifest the 12 deeds of a supreme Nirmanakaya as did Buddha Shakyamuni. In fact, Buddha Shakyamuni achieved full Buddhahood a long, long, long time before He manifested His 12 deeds here in our Saha world. So, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, there is a difference between achieving complete, unsurpassed Buddhahood (Samyak Sambuddha) and manifesting as a supreme Nirmanakaya.
The differentiation is not the same in Nichiren buddhism.

This thread is specifically in the Nichiren forum.

However I don't believe this information need be taken as conflicting or contradicting but rather tradition specific/relative.

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Queequeg
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:03 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:55 pm
"As long as we have memory of Shakyamuni Buddha, there will be no buddhas in this world. Full stop."

Sorry, I haven't been following this whole thread, but, in terms of the above statement, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, your statement is only partially true. In Vajrayana Buddhism, one can achieve complete Buddhahood (such as Milarepa) but not necessarily manifest the 12 deeds of a supreme Nirmanakaya as did Buddha Shakyamuni. In fact, Buddha Shakyamuni achieved full Buddhahood a long, long, long time before He manifested His 12 deeds here in our Saha world. So, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, there is a difference between achieving complete, unsurpassed Buddhahood (Samyak Sambuddha) and manifesting as a supreme Nirmanakaya.
You say tomayto, I say tomahto.

I'm still right. :smile:

Only one sets the wheel turning at a time.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Queequeg » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:07 pm

As I said, a matter of moving goal posts.

I mean no disrespect but rather take the distinctions deeply to heart. At some point, though, even though I think snow is snow and my inuit friend insists its not all snow, we have to acknowledge the differences and move on or it gets stupid.

This discussion is about to get stupid.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Simon E.
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:08 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:04 pm
I should add that my reply was concerning Buddhism in general because that is what the question asks. Whether the same answer fits Nicheren I have no idea.
The fact that the OP,was posted in the Nicherin subforum but addressed itself to more general mainstream issues created an internal tension within the thread from the start.

Personally I have knowledge of Nicherin and even less interest.
Good thread. Wrong forum.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

tkp67
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by tkp67 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:28 pm

FTR It is spelled Nichiren.

Simon E.
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:34 pm

dharmapdx wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:57 am
I know this is not going to be a popular question. But at least with Nichiren Buddhism it’s probably pretty self-explanatory: any school that teaches that it is the only true school is by definition elitist and cliquey. I think Nichiren Buddhism may be the best example of what I’m offering to, but I have actually seen it in all schools of Buddhism, and it has been very disappointing. I used to be surprised that the younger generation in Asia is apparently not that interested in Buddhism, but after looking into at least the institutional basis of Buddhist schools, it’s no surprise at all anymore. (Maybe the fact that Buddhism is still relatively fringe in the United States means that it is more likely to attract a certain type of hipster/elitist person.)

I swear that this is not an attempt to start a flame. Just something I’ve come to accept about Buddhism for the last few years: most Buddhists I’ve met have not at all been humble, loving, and non-judgmental. Quite the opposite actually. (Oh, and don’t forget all the anger and defensiveness.)
Sometimes it helps to remind ourselves of the OP..here it is.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

Malcolm
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:30 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:48 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:32 pm
I'm surmising that you have no idea there are schools that explicitly assert Buddhahood is possible in this life time...
As a follow up to this, my impression of these various claims is that its really about moving goal posts around.

As long as we have memory of Shakyamuni Buddha, there will be no buddhas in this world. Full stop.

An attendant occupation is identifying the "oldest" buddha.

Its a serious mistake when we take upaya for the real thing. If we see the real thing, I am told, there can be no conflict with those who also see. Only buddhas really see. Everything else is just striving.

Do your best.
No, variegated nirmanakaya possible and exist, even now.

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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by Virgo » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:14 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:03 pm
pemachophel wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:55 pm
"As long as we have memory of Shakyamuni Buddha, there will be no buddhas in this world. Full stop."

Sorry, I haven't been following this whole thread, but, in terms of the above statement, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, your statement is only partially true. In Vajrayana Buddhism, one can achieve complete Buddhahood (such as Milarepa) but not necessarily manifest the 12 deeds of a supreme Nirmanakaya as did Buddha Shakyamuni. In fact, Buddha Shakyamuni achieved full Buddhahood a long, long, long time before He manifested His 12 deeds here in our Saha world. So, according to Vajrayana Buddhism, there is a difference between achieving complete, unsurpassed Buddhahood (Samyak Sambuddha) and manifesting as a supreme Nirmanakaya.
You say tomayto, I say tomahto.

I'm still right. :smile:

Only one sets the wheel turning at a time.
This is right but it's important realize that there is a potential for full Buddhahood. It's something connected with liberation.

viro

muni
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Re: Why is Buddhism so elitist and cliquey?

Post by muni » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:20 am

dharmapdx wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:57 am
I know this is not going to be a popular question. But at least with Nichiren Buddhism it’s probably pretty self-explanatory: any school that teaches that it is the only true school is by definition elitist and cliquey. I think Nichiren Buddhism may be the best example of what I’m offering to, but I have actually seen it in all schools of Buddhism, and it has been very disappointing. I used to be surprised that the younger generation in Asia is apparently not that interested in Buddhism, but after looking into at least the institutional basis of Buddhist schools, it’s no surprise at all anymore. (Maybe the fact that Buddhism is still relatively fringe in the United States means that it is more likely to attract a certain type of hipster/elitist person.)

I swear that this is not an attempt to start a flame. Just something I’ve come to accept about Buddhism for the last few years: most Buddhists I’ve met have not at all been humble, loving, and non-judgmental. Quite the opposite actually. (Oh, and don’t forget all the anger and defensiveness.)
I think it is normal and good to see temporary own practises as the best when they results in the fruit of less suffering, more openess.

Higher and so elitist? The "so called highest" is that not the all embracing selflesness? Bodhichitta? Then there is no comparison at all.

When any pride is coming up to have this or that practise, then it helps to remember there would be no any need for, if "I" was not deluded.
The fortress of the spacious and timeless expanse has no division into
higher or lower or in between.

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