Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:56 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Is buddhism not a religion? 
Author Message
Post Is buddhism not a religion?
Hi Everyone,
I am getting interested in the philosophies of Buddhism and only now have I come to understand that both Buddhism and Hinduism(I am a hindu) are so related.
So one of my friends is a practicing Buddhist and he says that unlike Hinduism,Buddhism is not a religion...Its a way of life
ie-You can be a Hindu or a christian and still be a buddhist.

Doe he have a point?


Sat May 30, 2009 1:44 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
I think Rob can explain Buddhism better than anyone else on this forum...unless there's some secret buddhists here.


Sat May 30, 2009 1:54 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
i think its a religion. i mean i dont know. but i think it is. it has a set of beliefs and practices. it has the final goal - as one may say - escaping the cycle and..you know the whole nirvan thing. yeah, that. it has its original historic leader, gautam. its got statues. the monks ive met - well they looked religious.... :P

so yeah, basically im saying the same thing as patrick - wait for rob.

seriously speaking, though...



...



...



yeah.

rishi85 wrote:
Hi Everyone,
I am getting interested in the philosophies of Buddhism and only now have I come to understand that both Buddhism and Hinduism(I am a hindu) are so related.
So one of my friends is a practicing Buddhist and he says that unlike Hinduism,Buddhism is not a religion...Its a way of life
ie-You can be a Hindu or a christian and still be a buddhist.

Doe he have a point?


well thats to be expected. you cant have 2 religions starting from the same place and not have some common belief-ground. buddhism's rebirth(and nirvan) theory (on the outside) looks similar to sikhism's too. i will admit though, i know very little about the actual regions themselves. no matter how many monks ive met. all i know are the origin stories. i know the whole seeing an old and sick man, getting disturbed - going to the jungle(?) with the servant and the horse - all the way from the bodhi tree to the giving the sermon at sarnath. - what he taught, you'll have to ask someone else.. :lol:
so yeah...


after writing all that, i realise this post is useless. heck, maybe someone will find gold in this trash. SUBMIT.


Sat May 30, 2009 2:11 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
If I remember correctly, there are two main schools of thought in Bhuddism, one of which is closer to a traditional religion, the other of which is more of a generalized philosophy with religious roots. If Bhuddism were only constituted by the latter, I think you could make a case for it as a non-religious way of living.


Sat May 30, 2009 2:23 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
rishi85 wrote:
Hi Everyone,
I am getting interested in the philosophies of Buddhism and only now have I come to understand that both Buddhism and Hinduism(I am a hindu) are so related.
So one of my friends is a practicing Buddhist and he says that unlike Hinduism,Buddhism is not a religion...Its a way of life
ie-You can be a Hindu or a christian and still be a buddhist.

Doe he have a point?


If you're looking for rules to govern your life, why not follow these:

1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another’s lair, show them respect or else do not go there.
4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat them cruelly and without mercy.
5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you, unless it is a burden to the other person and they cry out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them.


Sat May 30, 2009 4:33 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
Hi Rishi

I'll get back to you with a more thoughtful response. i discovered Buddhism a while a go and this topic regularly surfaces and there are different points of view.

I personally see it more as a philosophy and a way to conduct your life. The absence of a God and a heaven and the fact that we don't worship are critical elements of the discussion.

However, there are people who believe that Buddhism is a religion and that's OK too.

I think that either way, the best thing to do is talk with Buddhists - I've never met a crusading Buddhist - so you should be OK :-)

It works for me but it's not the only approach. It makes me happy, and that ultimately is the aim.

As I said, I'm rushing out and will get back with a re thoughtful answer. This was discussed in a thread a few months ago. if you search on Buddhism you'll find it for sure.

Rob


Sat May 30, 2009 4:46 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
ed_metal_head wrote:
If you're looking for rules to govern your life, why not follow these:

1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another’s lair, show them respect or else do not go there.
4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat them cruelly and without mercy.
5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you, unless it is a burden to the other person and they cry out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them.


an interesting list, to say the least. might i ask, where is this from/what is it? you're own creation or is there a cult? or something?

also, as a side note, does number 7 mean i wont win at the competition threads anymore? :lol:

love the use of the word "lair". :lol:

EDIT:syntax problem


Last edited by aameen on Sun May 31, 2009 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat May 30, 2009 9:11 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
I personally don't think that Buddhism is a religion because a religion can be strictly defined by a deity, whether it is God, Allah, Mithra, Yahweh, and the Buddha is not a God he was just an enlightened figured who found a universal human truth and taught it to his followers.

I have recently been reading a book called "Zen for Christians" which points out the similarities and differences between Buddhism and Christianity, and that it is possible to be a practicing Christian and still apply buddhist philosophies to your everyday life. It is a very interesting read.


Sat May 30, 2009 11:11 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
Hi Arsenal 84

Welcome to another religion thread!

I agree. I have become very friendly with my mother's awesome church of England vicar and he is convinced that you can follow Buddhism and God.

I think he is right

Rob


Sun May 31, 2009 12:52 am
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
Rob...Thats so nice to hear people understanding and adapting themselves to whatever they feel is right instead of blind fanaticism.But what about your kids....Which path do you guide them to?


Sun May 31, 2009 12:59 am
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
Hi there Rishi

Back from my son's baseball and all that, My personal experience may be of use.

I was a devout Christian as a child. As I grew up i started to ask questions and received less than satisfactory answers. This lead me into my agnostic or atheist phase, that lasted about 20 years! My girlfriend introduced me to Buddhism, not as a religion but as an approach to life. Her point of view was that amidst this chaotic world this might help me. I was very skeptical, but agreed to go to the local temple and see what it was all about

I need to add, in the spirit of full disclosure, that in 1996 I had visited India and Sarnath. It was revelatory experience that had me wondering about these guys in orange robes that seemed happier than me with my stock options and fast car awaiting me at the airport. There was a serenity that i had never previously seen. It was a pivotal day. I had planned to spend an hour there and it turned into 5 as we sat and watched and absorbed their spirit. It planted a hook!

Of course, work reappeared after the vacation and I was back in my old ways

Shift forward seven years, divorce and me starting my own companies and I meet my girlfriend...

Why Buddhism?

At the macro end, it makes sense from an intellectual and spiritual perspective. It asks nothing of me. Simply that I seek happiness and travel a path towards enlightenment. I have listened to endless Gil Fronsdal podcasts, read books, attended meetings and started meditation, which is simply training your mind to do as you say. Buddhists that I have met have been 100% laid back, cool, humble and and certainly non preachy. Two years later I really like it.

I'd encourage anyone to learn more about Buddhism. Not because i want you to become a Buddhist (that's a personal decision). I think most curious people will find it to be of interest.

Good luck and feel free to PM me
Rob


Sun May 31, 2009 2:24 am
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
rishi85 wrote:
Rob...Thats so nice to hear people understanding and adapting themselves to whatever they feel is right instead of blind fanaticism.But what about your kids....Which path do you guide them to?



Ah hah

As a Buddhist, I don't guide them towards a path.

I want them to see and learn about many paths and find the one that they feel most comfortable traveling along.

I will then follow in support.

Rob


Sun May 31, 2009 2:26 am
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
Robert Holloway wrote:
Hi Arsenal 84

Welcome to another religion thread!

I agree. I have become very friendly with my mother's awesome church of England vicar and he is convinced that you can follow Buddhism and God.

I think he is right

Rob


Yeah I like discussing this type of stuff.

I think you can be a believer of any theology and still incorporate Buddhism into your life, because Buddhism doesn't have any rigid doctrines that conflict with someone's faith


Sun May 31, 2009 12:07 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
Arsenal84 wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
Hi Arsenal 84

Welcome to another religion thread!

I agree. I have become very friendly with my mother's awesome church of England vicar and he is convinced that you can follow Buddhism and God.

I think he is right

Rob


Yeah I like discussing this type of stuff.

I think you can be a believer of any theology and still incorporate Buddhism into your life, because Buddhism doesn't have any rigid doctrines that conflict with someone's faith


Very true and a point that many find rather strange versus other "religions".
Rob


Sun May 31, 2009 12:15 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
Rishi

i posted this a few months ago on another thread (which was excellent!)

Is Buddhism a religion of a philisophy. You'll hear counter arguments each way, but the prevailing idea is that it is closer to a philospophy than a religion. Here's why.

Unfortunately, in the West, probably due to it's Eastern origins, there is much confusion about Buddhism. I too was confused until I took some time to learn. In a few hours much had become clear.

Buddhists have no God, or Jesus figure. We have no after life and no reincarnation as many think about the idea of being reborn, etc. We have no churches, no heaven, no hell, no judgment and we respect animals.

History - Without getting into too much detail, there are different schools of Buddhism from different parts of Asia. I have not conducted anything more than a cursory study of Buddhist history, however it seems to have started in about 500BC. The founder of Buddhism is generally considered to be a spiritual eacher called Siddhatta Gotama from Nepal.

The core idea of Buddhism is that is provides a path towards enlightenment and happiness. It is important to note that this is personal enlightenment and not about recognizing a God or something like that. A Buddhist is constantly trying to improve his of her life to reach a state of happiness and remove suffering.

Buddha and his disciples developed a series of teachings that we follow to try and eliminate suffering and reach happiness. The teaching s are built around what we call noble truths. These essentially say that life is full of suffering that is created by the mind and its cravings. if you eliminate craving you can find enlightenment. The way to achieve this is to follow a path laid out by the Buddha. The teachings of Buddha are called the "Dharma" . His ask was that people follow and develop his teachings, not him

Underneath these truths are lots of details about the nature of suffering, the challenges you will meet along the path and the wisdom and learning of others who have been there before. There is a recognition within Buddhism that the path is a hard one to follow and that very few reach enlightenment.

Buddhism sees creatures on the same level as humans and specifically teaches us not to undertake activities that harm creatures or the earth.

One of the aspects of Buddhism that causes most interest in the west is meditation. We see the source of pain as the wanderings and cravings of the mind. It's interesting how much time we devote to getting our body fit, and how little time we spend on our minds. Put simply, meditation is a way to gain control of your mind and master its activities. My sister calls it mind control We sit for between 20-30 minutes and try to stop thinking and focus on nothing. It is incredibly difficult and the effect is hard to describe. Out of meditation comes focus, relaxation and an air or tranquility and serenity. I think of meditation as the same as my mountain bike ride or my daily run.

Another element is Karma - this is in essence the idea that bad actions yield bad results. Whereas a good action yields good results. One of my teachers asked us to try an experiment. He told us to do something small unusual and kind for someone every day for a week until we returned. This was a remarkable eye opener for me that I have continued ever since. I was surprised at how I felt after doing something for someone else that they did not expect. I was even more surprised at their reaction. I am not talking about huge gestures. Holding a door, seeing someone struggling with a heavy bag, the person who is short of change for their coffee, the individual near a landmark who does not have a camera.... little things. The karma is how I feel, not what they do.

Symbols, statues and "churches" - When I first went to my local Buddhist temple in Berkelely California I was surprised by the statues, music, chants and paraphernalia. I was embarassed to ask the teacher about this. I asked a fellow student and was told that it was all about creating an atmosphere of calm and that they are all symbolic. Arsenal84 has already mentioned that there are different strands of Buddhism.

I post this for interest. I would not recommend Buddhism to anyone. i think it's something to look at and explore and then make your own mind up about.

Rishi, you should check out the God thread from a few months ago. Just search on Buddhism and you'll see it. it runs about 8 pages

Rob


I have been involved for two years. However, I was in Northern india about 15 years ago. I was an aspiring executive rapidly climbing up the corporate ladder of a large American company. I had my beliefs and values and they were driven by the dollar. My friend was really keen to visit Sarnath which is an important part of Buddhism in india. We intended to stay at the temple for an hour and ended up there for close to five hours. I sat silent and watched monks in orange robes walking around in what seemed a state of happiness and serenity that I had never seen in the Uk or the US. I wondered about what i was trying to achieve and how i defined happiness. Of course, at the time i had no interest in Buddhism. A few weeks later i was in meetings and Sarnath was forgotten. I have often wondered if a seed was planted 15 years ago.

For christmas last year (the irony is not lost) my Mother bought me a six inch high statue of the Buddha. He sits next to my cooker in the kitchen. Earlier that year I had bought my girlfriend an eighteen inch stone laughing Buddha, it is she says, her most prized possession. Mine sits there each day as a nudge to think about what I am doing. He makes me smile and happy. I don't worship Buddha, prey to him, ask for forgiveness. He has no divine power or rights. He is a teacher, that's all and I follow his lessons through the work of others..

I have never heard this story about shards of Buddha. I'll ask though. I think it's important to remember that Buddhism comes from Northern india 2500 years ago. Times were different and things became shrouded in myths and legends. From my experience the imagery, and stories from the past are interesting, however, the focus is on using the methodologies outlined in the teachings to try and improve oneself.

A final thought. Christianity and Buddhism have much in common. There are many universal elements and both focus on the good. the issues with religions occur when individuals seek to impress their beliefs on others.

I can only say that Buddhism works for me as support in life. In fact it has changed my life
Rob


Sun May 31, 2009 12:26 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
aameen wrote:
ed_metal_head wrote:
If you're looking for rules to govern your life, why not follow these:

1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another’s lair, show them respect or else do not go there.
4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat them cruelly and without mercy.
5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you, unless it is a burden to the other person and they cry out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them.


an interesting list, to say the least. might i ask, where is this from/what is it? you're own creation or is there a cult? or something?

also, as a side note, does number 7 mean i wont win at the competition threads anymore? :lol:

love the use of the word "lair". :lol:

EDIT:syntax problem


Certainly not my own list. A cult? Yes I suppose...it's from Satanism. LaVeyan Satanism to be exact. They don't literally worship Satan (i.e. different from theistic Satanism), but rather use "Satan" as a symbol of carnality and earthly values, of man's inherent nature.

Disclaimer: I do not in anyway subscribe to, endorse or follow Satanism, but I do think that their "Rules" are somewhat interesting.


Sun May 31, 2009 5:37 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
As a Buddhist (like about 90% of Thais), I find this thread very interesting to read.

I think Buddhism is a religion. Yeah, it doesn't have a god. But I look up the meaning of religion and find that it fit Buddhism. They mention the god part as "mostly" or "especially" but not a specific requirement for a religion.


Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:23 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
peng wrote:
As a Buddhist (like about 90% of Thais), I find this thread very interesting to read.

I think Buddhism is a religion. Yeah, it doesn't have a god. But I look up the meaning of religion and find that it fit Buddhism. They mention the god part as "mostly" or "especially" but not a specific requirement for a religion.


Peng you do have a very valid point because religion can be very hard to define. If you define it simply as a belief system that prescribes to the existence or non existence of a God then yes Buddhism is a religion.

Atheism is also considered a religion, they don't go to a church or temple etc. and if they go anywhere to practice, it is generally called free thinker meetings.

I think that it all depends on how you practice it, and how the individual commits to it.

I know that is in the same vein as saying that truth is subjective.


Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:14 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
im going to slightly drift this. apologies in advance.
Arsenal84 wrote:
Atheism is also considered a religion, they don't go to a church or temple etc. and if they go anywhere to practice, it is generally called free thinker meetings.

i've always wondered why that is. i mean, a religion is defined as a set of beliefs and practices. a religion requires some commitment. a sentence "he followed the instructions religiously" comes from something. something strong. its all a way of life.

atheism has none of that. atheism has just one belief. a-theism. thats it. as far as i know, that's all there is to it. does that really qualify?
if so...can religion now be defined as a person's views on how the world was created and how it runs etc.. all the the big questions. if i answer all these according to my beliefs, is that my religion?
i think not.
also, where does implicit atheism fit into all this? someone who doesn't strongly believe "there is no god" but someone who just hasn't thought about it. there is no conscious decision to reject theistic theories, but they dont even consider it. they are lacking a ..religion, lets say. in effect it also is a-theism. do those people have a religion too?


Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:01 pm
Post Re: Is buddhism not a religion?
aameen wrote:
atheism has none of that. atheism has just one belief. a-theism. thats it. as far as i know, that's all there is to it. does that really qualify?


I'd don't think atheism qualifies as a religion at all. As you pointed out the only "belief" of atheists is that they don't believe. That said, if someone argues that I believe in science or scientists and that is my religion I won't argue with them. Perhaps I do feel the same way about certain things as others do about their higher power. Who knows? Not me.


Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:18 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr