"Slandering the Dharma" - what exactly does it entail?

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"Slandering the Dharma" - what exactly does it entail?

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:47 am

I've been reading about Pure Land Buddhism and came across the exception to the Eigtheenth Vow (committing the five grave offences and slandering the Dharma).

What exactly does "slandering the Dharma" involve?

I used to be a fundamentalist Christian and considered Buddhism a false religion leading to hell. I don't remember if I ever spoke out about it to anyone (I may have) but I definitely viewed it as false. Does this count as "slandering the Dharma"?

Also, if someone slanders the Dharma but then takes refuge in the Three Gems and becomes a Buddhist, sincerely repents of his/her prior views on Buddhism, and then devotes himself/herself to Amitabha Buddha, would he/she be eligible for rebirth in Amitabha's Pure Land?

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Re: "Slandering the Dharma" - what exactly does it entail?

Post by Admin_PC » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:24 pm

I'll quote Shinran because he has the most readily-available commentary on this topic.
Question: What are the characteristics of slandering the right dharma?

Answer: Saying there is no Buddha, no Buddha-dharma, no bodhisattva, no bodhisattva-dharma. Deciding on such views, whether through understanding thus in one’s own mind or receiving the ideas from others, is called slandering the right dharma.
This is mutually exclusive with the ideas of taking refuge and having faith in the 18th Vow of Amida. This only pertains to those who still hold such ideas at the time of death. There have been plenty of examples of people converting to Buddhism later in life and finding success with Pure Land. Shinran affirms this idea with a quote from Shantao:
Kyogyoshinsho - Chapter on Shinjin wrote:When those who slander the dharma or abandon the seed of Buddhahood turn about at heart, they all reach the Pure Land.
The fact that this quote comes from Shantao means it would be definitive for most forms of Pure Land.

Other forms of Buddhism may define the "slandering the Dharma" as it is described in the Abhasita Sutta
"Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata. And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata. These are two who slander the Tathagata."
This latter definition might be up for debate, but it goes a bit deeper than a literal reading. What the Buddha is referring to are those who present teachings that directly conflict with the Dharma as his own words - because elsewhere he states that as long as a teaching conforms to the Dharma, he says one can trust that it comes from him.

What you describe is merely "Wrong Views", which is covered under the 10 unwholesome karmas:
1. taking life
2. taking what is not given
3. sexual misconduct
4. lying
5. sowing discord
6. harsh speech
7. idle gossip (or worthless chatter)
8. covetousness
9. ill will (or wishing harm on others)
10. wrong views

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Re: "Slandering the Dharma" - what exactly does it entail?

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:10 pm

Mod note: Removing post for attacking an individual. It's considered poor form to speak ill of the recently deceased.

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Re: "Slandering the Dharma" - what exactly does it entail?

Post by vikas113 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:35 pm

According to me you had wrong view. We have examples in Buddha's life of some people including a brahmin who treated buddha with angry words and insults, Buddha even transformed him and he attained arahatship in that life.

You were a Christian and heard of Amitabha Buddha Sutra and then believed it, it is indeed the result of very good meritious deed in your past lives. You have also sincerely repented for your wrong view and acknowledge your fault. There is no doubt you will be born in Amitabha Pureland.

Don't have doubts about this. You are going to be born in pureland if you stick to your practice as mentioned by the Buddha.

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