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Old 10-07-2007, 09:11 PM   #1
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Abdul-Baha on Buddhism

Abdul-Baha recounts a teaching of Buddha to HIs disciples that is not widely known...Read the bold print below:

Buddhism

Some referred to the teaching of Buddha. Abdu'l-Bahá said: The real teaching of Buddha is the same as the teaching of Jesus Christ. The teachings of all the Prophets are the same in character. Now men have changed the teaching. If you look at the present practice of the Buddhist religion, you will see that there is little of the Reality left. Many worship idols although their teaching forbids it.

Buddha had disciples and he wished to send them out into the world to teach, so he asked them questions to see if they were prepared as he would have them be. "When you go to the East and to the West," said the Buddha, "and the people shut their doors to you and refuse to speak to you, what will you do?" -- The disciples answered and said: "We shall be very thankful that they do us no harm." -- "Then if they do you harm and mock, what will you do?" -- "We shall be very thankful that they do not give us worse treatment." -- "If they throw you into prison?" -- "We shall still be grateful that they do 64 not kill us." -- "What if they were to kill you?" the Master asked for the last time. "Still," answered the disciples, "we will be thankful, for they cause us to be martyrs. What more glorious fate is there than this, to die for the glory of God?" And the Buddha said: "Well done!"

The teaching of Buddha was like a young and beautiful child, and now it has become as an old and decrepit man. Like the aged man it cannot see, it cannot hear, it cannot remember anything. Why go so far back? Consider the laws of the Old Testament: the Jews do not follow Moses as their example nor keep his commands. So it is with many other religions.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 63)
 
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:52 PM   #2
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Indeed, I really enjoyed that quote. It kind of displays the attitude needed by all apostles of a Manifestation.

Are there any more such references? I've heard of those ones. I looked through the Kitab-i-Iqan, but noticed that Buddha was not mentioned specifically or at least by name.
 
Old 10-11-2007, 11:16 PM   #3
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References to the Book of Juk and Hermetic Tablets:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean H View Post
Indeed, I really enjoyed that quote. It kind of displays the attitude needed by all apostles of a Manifestation.

Are there any more such references? I've heard of those ones. I looked through the Kitab-i-Iqan, but noticed that Buddha was not mentioned specifically or at least by name.
Hello Sean and welcome to the Forum!

Read in Gleanings p. 174

Mention hath been made in certain books of a deluge which caused all that existed on earth, historical records as well as other things, to be destroyed. Moreover, many cataclysms have occurred which have effaced the traces of many events. Furthermore, among existing historical records differences are to be found, and each of the various peoples of the world hath its own account of the age of the earth and of its history. Some trace their history as far back as eight thousand years, others as far as twelve thousand years. To any one that hath read the book of Jük it is clear and evident how much the accounts given by the various books have differed.


The "book of Jük"" has been suggested by some to be a reference to Yoga and Marzieh Gail believed it referred to the Dabistanu'l - Madhahib a treatise composed in India about the middle of the 17th century..." this is from her "Baha'i Glossary". So this could be an indirect reference...

Also, Baha'u'llah refers to Hermetic writings in the Lawh i Hikmat:

In one of His Tablets Bahá’u’lláh wrote: ‘The first person who devoted himself to philosophy was Ídrís. Thus was he named. Some called him also Hermes. In every tongue he hath a special name. He it is who hath set forth in every branch of philosophy thorough and convincing statements. After him Bálinus derived his knowledge and sciences from the Hermetic Tablets and most of the philosophers who followed him made their philosophical and scientific discoveries from his words and statements…’. In the Qur’án, Súrá 19, verses 57 and 58, is written: ‘And commemorate Ídrís in the Book; for he was a man of truth, a Prophet; And we uplifted him to a place on high.’

The Hermetic Tablets refer to the corpus of Hermetic writings which while not Buddhism are an interesting philosophical body of writings from Egypt.

- Art
 
Old 10-17-2007, 08:10 PM   #4
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"Buddha also established a new religion, and Confucius renewed morals and ancient virtues, but their institutions have been entirely destroyed. The beliefs and rites of the Buddhists and Confucianists have not continued in accordance with their fundamental teachings. The founder of Buddhism was a wonderful soul. He established the Oneness of God, but later the original principles of His doctrines gradually disappeared, and ignorant customs and ceremonials arose and increased until they finally ended in the worship of statues and images."

(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 165)
 
Old 11-01-2007, 08:10 AM   #5
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More on Buddhism and the Baha'i Faith

Buddhism is acknowledged in the Baha'i writings as one of the great world religions and its founder, the Buddha, is accorded a rank and station equal to that of all of the founders of the great world religions.


The relationship between the Baha'i Faith and Buddhism can be described in terms of a sharing of religious concepts and of encounters between individuals and communities. The student of the Baha'i Faith and Buddhism is at first struck by the scarcity of Baha'i expositions on Buddhist themes. In contrast to Christian and Muslim themes which are taken up and elaborated in detail by the founder himself, the Baha'i writings do not deal explicitly with the complex philosophical arguments which concern many Buddhists. Moreover, there are no surviving documents by the Bab or Baha'u'llah referring directly to Buddhism.

There are, however, a number of statements in the Baha'i scriptures and authoritative Baha'i texts about Buddhism and the Buddha. `Abdu'l-Baha describes the Buddha as "the cause of the illumination of the world of humanity" (CoC1 43:15) and as the establisher of "a new religion" (CoC1 46:16). Shoghi Effendi clearly places the Buddha in the same rank and station as the founders of the other world religions (CoC1 54-56:19-20, 60:21, 63:22). A warning is sounded however that the Buddhist texts that have come down to us do not necessarily represent the exact words or teachings of the Buddha (CoC1 46:16, 48:17, 60:21, 64:22). This perception is also to be found in the Buddhist scriptures themselves, as there are several statements to the effect that the true dharma (dhamma) preached by the Buddha would gradually disappear from the world (Anagatavamsa, tr. in Warren 482ff and Conze 47-50).

To read more

See

http://bahai-library.com/encyclopedia/buddhism.html
 
Old 12-01-2007, 11:16 PM   #6
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This is fascinating, and I would add that the Theravada teachings of the Pali canon are regarded by scholars as more 'authentic' than the later Mahayana and Vajrayana texts, i.e. more original. With the latter two traditions, devotion to myriad buddhas and bodhisattvas was advocated. Yet, in the Theravada teachings Buddha not only tells people not to worship the Hindu Gods, but that even he was a humble messenger! In my opinion this is similar to Christianity: Jesus the Christ told mankind to worship the Father. Yet later, the Trinity of Philo Judaeus, which was a legitimate metaphor, was perverted and imposed by force; making Jesus the Christ coeternal, consubstantial and in every way equal with the Father.
 
Old 12-15-2007, 04:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comment ocean drop and I'm pleased you were able to find the thread inthe forest of commercial posts here on the forum!

I have something to add as well that is important and that confirms i believe what Abdul-Baha was commenting about above..namely that idols were not a part of the earliest forms of Buddhism.

See the following:

Aniconic phase (5th century - 1st century BCE)

During the 2nd to 1st century BCE, sculptures became more explicit, representing episodes of the Buddha’s life and teachings. These took the form of votive tablets or friezes, usually in relation to the decoration of stupas. Although India had a long sculptural tradition and a mastery of rich iconography, the Buddha was never represented in human form, but only through some of his symbols.

This reluctance towards anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha, and the sophisticated development of aniconic symbols to avoid it (even in narrative scene where other human figures would appear), seems to be connected to 70 of the Buddha’s sayings, reported in the Dighanikaya, that disfavored representations of himself after the extinction of his body. This tendency remained as late as the 2nd century CE in the southern parts of India, in the art of the Amaravati school (see: Mara's assault on the Buddha). It has been argued that earlier anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha may have been made of wood and may have perished since then. However, no related archaeological evidence has been found.

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_art
 
Old 01-17-2008, 06:25 PM   #8
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Their sovereignty is ended and their cycle completed:

I found another reference to the Buddha by Abdul-Baha in Tablets vol.2:


Buddha and Confucius were kings in bygone ages who have disappeared.

Their sovereignty in this world is ended and their cycle is completed.

Now the Throne of the Kingdom of ABHA is established and the Blessed Perfection is sitting upon the Throne of Grandeur. We must raise this Call, promulgate the Word of God and live in accord with the teachings and advices of the Beauty of ABHA.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 469)
 
Old 01-23-2008, 11:46 AM   #9
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Thich Nhat Hahn is an amazing man. What are some Bahai thoughts/feelings about nonviolence?

nonviolence is an essential aspect of Buddhist thought and action.
 
Old 01-26-2008, 08:29 AM   #10
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Comparisons between Buddha and Baha'u'llah:

If we study the life of Baha'u'llah we know that His family had a degree of rank and privilege and that He later renounced it all for calling He received. This is similar to the life of Siddartha.

Baha'u'llah moreover warned Ali Pasha that "the lowliest and most abject of all things holdeth sway over thee and that is none other than self and passion, which have ever been reprehensible."

Similar to the teaching of the Buddha to King Ajatasattu.

Baha'u'llah said that this world should be regarded as the black in the eye of a dead ant.

So that the renunciation of this world was very much like that in the Buddha's teaching, although monkhood was not provided for in Baha'u'llah's teaching.

After viewing a skillfull play of puppets as a youth, Baha'u'llah said "Ever since that day all the trappings of this world have seemed in the eyes of this Youth akin to that same spectacle. They have never been, nor will they ever be, of any weight and consequence, be it to the extent of a grain of mustard seed."

So in many ways the wheel turned by the Enlightened One still turns in the dispensation of Baha'u'llah.

- Art
 
Old 08-06-2015, 09:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arthra View Post
Abdul-Baha recounts a teaching of Buddha to HIs disciples that is not widely known...Read the bold print below:

Buddhism

Some referred to the teaching of Buddha. Abdu'l-Bahá said: The real teaching of Buddha is the same as the teaching of Jesus Christ. The teachings of all the Prophets are the same in character. Now men have changed the teaching. If you look at the present practice of the Buddhist religion, you will see that there is little of the Reality left. Many worship idols although their teaching forbids it.

Buddha had disciples and he wished to send them out into the world to teach, so he asked them questions to see if they were prepared as he would have them be. "When you go to the East and to the West," said the Buddha, "and the people shut their doors to you and refuse to speak to you, what will you do?" -- The disciples answered and said: "We shall be very thankful that they do us no harm." -- "Then if they do you harm and mock, what will you do?" -- "We shall be very thankful that they do not give us worse treatment." -- "If they throw you into prison?" -- "We shall still be grateful that they do 64 not kill us." -- "What if they were to kill you?" the Master asked for the last time. "Still," answered the disciples, "we will be thankful, for they cause us to be martyrs. What more glorious fate is there than this, to die for the glory of God?" And the Buddha said: "Well done!"

The teaching of Buddha was like a young and beautiful child, and now it has become as an old and decrepit man. Like the aged man it cannot see, it cannot hear, it cannot remember anything. Why go so far back? Consider the laws of the Old Testament: the Jews do not follow Moses as their example nor keep his commands. So it is with many other religions.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Abdu'l-Baha in London, p. 63)
Could someone please provide a reference to where exactly the Buddha supposedly said that?


I know only of one passage in the Pali Canon that talks about going to a foreign country and possibly being assaulted by the people there:


Quote:
Then Ven. Punna went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "It would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone in seclusion: heedful, ardent, & resolute."

/.../

"Well then, Punna. Now that I have instructed you with a brief instruction, in which country are you going to live?"

"Lord, there is a country called Sunaparanta. I am going to live there."

"Punna, the Sunaparanta people are fierce. They are rough. If they insult and ridicule you, what will you think?"

"If they insult and ridicule me, I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with their hands.' That is what I will think, O Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone."

"But if they hit you with their hands, what will you think?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a clod.'..."

"But if they hit you with a clod...?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a stick.'..."

"But if they hit you with a stick...?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."

"But if they hit you with a knife...?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."

"But if they take your life with a sharp knife...?"

"If they take my life with a sharp knife, I will think, 'There are disciples of the Blessed One who — horrified, humiliated, and disgusted by the body and by life — have sought for an assassin, but here I have met my assassin without searching for him.' [1] That is what I will think, O Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone."

"Good, Punna, very good. Possessing such calm and self-control you are fit to dwell among the Sunaparantans. Now it is time to do as you see fit."

Then Ven. Punna, delighting and rejoicing in the Blessed One's words, rising from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and left, keeping him on his right side. Setting his dwelling in order and taking his robe and bowl, he set out for the Sunaparanta country and, after wandering stage by stage, he arrived there. There he lived. During that Rains retreat he established 500 male and 500 female lay followers in the practice, while he realized the three knowledges and then attained total (final) Unbinding.

Then a large number of monks went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to him, "Lord, the clansman named Punna, whom the Blessed One instructed with a brief instruction, has died. What is his destination? What is his future state?"

"Monks, the clansman Punna was wise. He practiced the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. The clansman Punna is totally unbound."

Punna Sutta: To Punna
 
Old 08-06-2015, 10:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Could someone please provide a reference to where exactly the Buddha supposedly said that?


I know only of one passage in the Pali Canon that talks about going to a foreign country and possibly being assaulted by the people there:
dear Sohpia
it is very probable that AbdulBaha had been referring to the same quote (story) you have referred to. it is just that He has summarized the story because names and details are not that important; it is the teaching that matters
 
Old 08-06-2015, 10:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
dear Sohpia
it is very probable that AbdulBaha had been referring to the same quote (story) you have referred to. it is just that He has summarized the story because names and details are not that important; it is the teaching that matters
I'm not sure it's an adequate summary, though. I cannot in good faith endorse such a summary.
 
Old 08-06-2015, 11:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
I'm not sure it's an adequate summary, though. I cannot in good faith endorse such a summary.
The importance is the Spiritual implications behind the story/ies.

This work of Baha'u'llah is said to be the Essence of all the Prophets of the past...the introduction is this;

HE IS THE GLORY OF GLORIES

This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue.

Bahá'í Reference Library - The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh

Thus the essence of all the holy books of the past is contained within this small book of Meditations. You will note they read not like any of the Holy Books of the past. What is gained by reading them is the essence of those Holy Books and not a visual comparison of the Word.

Regards Tony
 
Old 08-07-2015, 12:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
I'm not sure it's an adequate summary, though. I cannot in good faith endorse such a summary.
well, people have different point of view. if I was going to summarize that Buddha teaching I would have probably done it in exactly the same way as AbdulBaha and by doing so I don't think any parts of the meaning is missed
 
Old 08-07-2015, 02:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
well, people have different point of view. if I was going to summarize that Buddha teaching I would have probably done it in exactly the same way as AbdulBaha and by doing so I don't think any parts of the meaning is missed
Buddhists would typically disagree with such a summary. Doesn't that matter?
 
Old 08-07-2015, 06:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Buddhists would typically disagree with such a summary. Doesn't that matter?
yes and no

I respect Buddhists ideas but as for myself, and because I more look for the "meaning" within each story, as long as the meaning is not ruined, I have no problems with this summary.
after all, we have to be free of judgment and search for ourselves- your conclusion may be different from mine

Last edited by maryamr; 08-07-2015 at 12:41 PM.
 
Old 08-07-2015, 11:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
yes and no

I respect Buddhists ideas but as for myself, and because I more look for the "meaning" within each story, as long as the meaning is not ruined, I have no problems with this summary.
after all, we have to be free of judgment and search for ourselves- your conclusion may be different with mine
Dear Maryamr - I am in agreeance with your summary

Regards Tony
 
Old 08-07-2015, 08:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
yes and no

I respect Buddhists ideas but as for myself, and because I more look for the "meaning" within each story, as long as the meaning is not ruined, I have no problems with this summary.
after all, we have to be free of judgment and search for ourselves- your conclusion may be different from mine
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Dear Maryamr - I am in agreeance with your summary
Do you expect that Buddhists should accept that summary that you agree with?

When other people misrepresent the Baha'i faith, do you you accept that, do you accept those misinterpretations as valid?
 
Old 08-07-2015, 09:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Do you expect that Buddhists should accept that summary that you agree with?

When other people misrepresent the Baha'i faith, do you you accept that, do you accept those misinterpretations as valid?
Dear Sophia - I think they would, hopefully one will bless our Forum and say if they see the same message in booth stories.

It is We that are saying we think it does not misrepresent the message, it is the same message given in summary as a story to an audience that know little about the spiritual intent of scriptures.

I read both stories, I got the same intent of the messages and I think this is what Maryamr is alluding too as well.

There are many metaphors in Religious Scripture that can be given in a story that does not match the scriptural story word for word, In fact this is done over and over.

This was a metaphor and told to show the Buddha also taught the same principals of Christianity. It was aimed at Unity.

Regards Tony
 
Old 08-07-2015, 09:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Do you expect that Buddhists should accept that summary that you agree with?
When other people misrepresent the Baha'i faith, do you you accept that, do you accept those misinterpretations as valid?
Sophia;
you seem to be someone as headstrong as I am! I know how someone like you searches for answers, nonstop
dear Sophia, I read that original story again and I read the Abdul Baha's summery again as well. except for some very few differences which are (in my opinion) absolutely unimportant (like for example Abdul Baha has said east and west while in the story the real name of the city is mentioned- and the final part of the story is not mentioned by Abdul Baha) I see no other difference and in fact the message of the story is the same in both versions. BUT I said that I respect everyone's idea. sigh...we don't have a Buddhist here but you seem to be fighting for Buddhists' sake I would like to see "your summarized version" please

P.S: I guess Baha'i is the only religion (apart from Chinese and Indian religions) which believe that Buddha had been a manifestation of God (a prophet in other words)- Muslims, Christians and Jews don't believe it. so a Baha'i would never seek to distort the Buddhist meanings .
 
Old 08-08-2015, 01:06 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
Dear Sophia - I think they would,
Really??

A decidedly atheistic religion like Buddhism, and you think they will agree with a statement like 'What more glorious fate is there than this, to die for the glory of God?" And the Buddha said: "Well done!"'?

Really?

Do read these:

Buddhism and the God-idea by Nyanaponika Thera:
/.../
In Buddhist literature, the belief in a creator god (issara-nimmana-vada) is frequently mentioned and rejected, along with other causes wrongly adduced to explain the origin of the world; as, for instance, world-soul, time, nature, etc. God-belief, however, is placed in the same category as those morally destructive wrong views which deny the kammic results of action, assume a fortuitous origin of man and nature, or teach absolute determinism. These views are said to be altogether pernicious, having definite bad results due to their effect on ethical conduct.
/.../


* * *
A Journey into Buddhism by Elizabeth J. Harris
/.../
A professor of Theravada Buddhism once asked me, "Why is it assumed, at all the interfaith gatherings I attend, that God is the uniting factor among the religions? We should be concentrating on humanity rather than divinity."

When it is taken for granted that all people of faith worship a Supreme Creator and Sustainer God, Buddhists and Jains are excluded. Although Buddhists believe that there are gods living in heavens, they do not ascribe creative power to them, nor do they believe that these gods have any influence over ultimate human liberation.

Belief in God cannot, therefore, provide common ground between Buddhists and religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
/.../


* * *

Fundamentals of Buddhism. Four Lectures by Nyanatiloka Mahathera

No doer of the deeds is found,
No one who ever reaps their fruits.
Empty phenomena roll on.
This only is the correct view.
No god nor Brahma can be called
The maker of this wheel of life:
Empty phenomena roll on,
Dependent on conditions all.


* * *
A Simple Guide to Life by Robert Bogoda

Buddhism denies the existence of a Creator-God.

* * *

Or some Buddhist forum discussions: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Buddha and the Supreme Creator God

* * *

Quote:
hopefully one will bless our Forum and say if they see the same message in booth stories.
For starters, you could also just read what Buddhists have to say on the topic of "God." There's plenty.


Quote:
It is We that are saying we think it does not misrepresent the message, it is the same message given in summary as a story to an audience that know little about the spiritual intent of scriptures.

I read both stories, I got the same intent of the messages and I think this is what Maryamr is alluding too as well.
Really?
The Buddhist sutta makes no mention of God, but you insist that it actually does or intends to?

A Buddhist sutta says:

Quote:
Then Sakka, having delighted in & expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words, asked him a further question: "Dear sir, do all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal?"

"No, deva-king, not all brahmans & contemplatives teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal."

Sakka-pañha Sutta: Sakka's Questions
Clearly, according to the Pali suttas, Buddhism does not teach that all religions teach the same thing or aim for the same thing.


Quote:
There are many metaphors in Religious Scripture that can be given in a story that does not match the scriptural story word for word, In fact this is done over and over.
Omitting any reference to God is, for you, an unimportant detail?

One story talks about God, and the other doesn't, but you say they are actually talking about the same thing??


Quote:
This was a metaphor and told to show the Buddha also taught the same principals of Christianity. It was aimed at Unity.
Only if you impose that on Buddhism and Christianity. Neither Buddhism nor Christianity teach unity.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 01:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
you seem to be someone as headstrong as I am! I know how someone like you searches for answers, nonstop
No.


Quote:
dear Sophia, I read that original story again and I read the Abdul Baha's summery again as well. except for some very few differences which are (in my opinion) absolutely unimportant (like for example Abdul Baha has said east and west while in the story the real name of the city is mentioned- and the final part of the story is not mentioned by Abdul Baha) I see no other difference and in fact the message of the story is the same in both versions.
Really? The fact that the Buddhist sutta makes no mention of God is, to you, an absolutely unimportant detail??


Quote:
BUT I said that I respect everyone's idea. sigh...we don't have a Buddhist here but you seem to be fighting for Buddhists' sake I would like to see "your summarized version" please
I don't have a "summarized version," nor am I fighting on behalf of Buddhists or Buddhism.

One can tell a lot about a religion by what it claims about other religions, how it treats others.
This is why I am interested in what the Baha'i faith says about other religions.

And since I have some background in Buddhism, I can compare what Buddhism actually teaches, and what some non-Buddhists claim that Buddhism teaches.
I also have some background in Catholicism, and so I can recognize when someone is misrepresenting it.


Quote:
P.S: I guess Baha'i is the only religion (apart from Chinese and Indian religions) which believe that Buddha had been a manifestation of God (a prophet in other words)- Muslims, Christians and Jews don't believe it. so a Baha'i would never seek to distort the Buddhist meanings .
But you are distorting them.

There are Christians, for example, who claim that the Baha'i faith is from the devil. Do you think that is accurate? Do you agree with it? Probably not. But others should agree with what you -- wrongly -- claim about them?

* * *

Quote:
"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."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit....023.than.html

Last edited by Sophia; 08-08-2015 at 01:18 AM.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 02:10 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post

Do read these:

Buddhism and the God-idea by Nyanaponika Thera:
/.../
In Buddhist literature, the belief in a creator god (issara-nimmana-vada) is frequently mentioned and rejected, along with other causes wrongly adduced to explain the origin of the world; as, for instance, world-soul, time, nature, etc. God-belief, however, is placed in the same category as those morally destructive wrong views which deny the kammic results of action, assume a fortuitous origin of man and nature, or teach absolute determinism. These views are said to be altogether pernicious, having definite bad results due to their effect on ethical conduct.
/.../
Well, Buddhism has many different sects. Many Baha'i teachings are compatible with Mahayana, which the well-known Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh studied. God-like attributes can be seen in the transcendent concepts of Tathagatagarbha (Buddha-nature) or the Buddhas. For example, in the Lotus Sutra (which is popular in Mahayana) the Buddha says, "I am the father of this world" and "the father of all living being." These worlds are called by different names, such as "Buddha fields." This is similar to the Creator in the Baha'i Faith.

Last edited by ahanu; 08-08-2015 at 02:16 AM.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 02:26 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ahanu View Post
Well, Buddhism has many different sects. Many Baha'i teachings are compatible with Mahayana, which the well-known Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh studied. God-like attributes can be seen in the transcendent concepts of Tathagatagarbha (Buddha-nature) or the Buddhas. For example, in the Lotus Sutra (which is popular in Mahayana) the Buddha says, "I am the father of this world" and "the father of all living being." These worlds are called by different names, such as "Buddha fields." This is similar to the Creator in the Baha'i Faith.
Mahayana is not the whole of Buddhism. It certainly isn't how Buddhism started.

The numerous Buddhist denominations vary greatly among eachother, but one thing they do have in common is that they are not monotheistic (in an Abrahamic sense).

Imposing monotheistic interpretations on Buddhism in general is a dubious undertaking, to say the least.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 02:37 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Mahayana is not the whole of Buddhism. It certainly isn't how Buddhism started.

The numerous Buddhist denominations vary greatly among eachother, but one thing they do have in common is that they are not monotheistic (in an Abrahamic sense).

Imposing monotheistic interpretations on Buddhism in general is a dubious undertaking, to say the least.
To me this shows the progression of Religion. One of the most ancient beliefs, the Australian Aboriginal Dream time ties us to creation and the land Through creation stories. When combined with the latest Revelation the hidden meaning of these Ancient Faiths are revealed. Thus showing that they do indeed contain all Truth. In the time they were revealed they were understood only to the level of capacity mankind had reached in that age.

The older they are, the more you have to filter man made additions from them.

That is my take on it all anyway!

Regards Tony
 
Old 08-08-2015, 02:40 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
That is my take on it all anyway!
Oh, don't be so shy.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 05:07 AM   #28
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Sophia
of course what you are saying looks true to you otherwise you would have not said it again and again. on the other hand what I believe (I am not a representative of the whole Baha'i community- maybe you can find a Baha'i who can give you a true satisfying answer) seems true to myself. so .... that is that. no point arguing anymore but thank you for sharing your view....

by the way, if some Catholics believe that Baha'i is from Satan, it is very different with what i said that Baha'is believe in truth of Buddha and His teachings. we believe Him as a prophet from God with true teachings.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 05:27 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Mahayana is not the whole of Buddhism.
Yes, and?

Quote:
It certainly isn't how Buddhism started.
Oh, how did it start? So Mahayana distorts the Buddha's message?

Quote:
The numerous Buddhist denominations vary greatly among eachother, but one thing they do have in common is that they are not monotheistic (in an Abrahamic sense).
Okay. But Mahayana tells us the Buddha says there is something eternal:
There is, monks, an unborn, a not-become, a not-made,
a not-compounded. If, monks, there were not
this unborn, not-become, not-made, not-compounded,
there would not here be an escape from the born, the
become, the made, the compounded….
Also, the Buddha describes nirvana as follows:
"the far shore, the subtle, the very difficult to see, the
unaging, the stable, the undisintegrating, the
unmanifest, the unproliferated, the peaceful, the
deathless , the sublime, the auspicious, the secure, the
destruction of craving, the wonderful, the amazing,
the unailing, the unailing state, the unafflicted,
dispassion, purity, freedom, the unadhesive, the island,
the shelter, the asylum, the refuge . . ."
In their commentaries on chapter 5 of The Diamond Sutra, Walpola Rahula, a Buddhist monk and scholar, describes nirvana as "Ultimate Reality" and "Absolute Truth"; Edward Conze says, “In his true reality the Buddha is not produced by anything"; D.T. Suzuki concludes nirvana "is eternally immaculate in its essence and constitutes the truth and reality of all existences.” These scholars aren't Baha'is. There are more scholars with this conclusion too. Seeking refuge in God or nirvana seem similar. See Baha'i philosopher Ian Kluge for more.

Quote:
Imposing monotheistic interpretations on Buddhism in general is a dubious undertaking, to say the least.
Well, you say I'm imposing my own interpretations. You provide no evidence to show us why. I can dismiss it without evidence.

Last edited by ahanu; 08-08-2015 at 05:29 AM.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 06:12 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Mahayana is not the whole of Buddhism. It certainly isn't how Buddhism started.

The numerous Buddhist denominations vary greatly among eachother, but one thing they do have in common is that they are not monotheistic (in an Abrahamic sense).

Imposing monotheistic interpretations on Buddhism in general is a dubious undertaking, to say the least.
Very true. It is highly dubious for one religion to impose its interpretations on other religions.

What I would say is that the Baha'i Faith does not impose its beliefs on other religions at all. The Baha'i Faith is an independent religion with its own Scriptures, theology, cosmology and world view. The views that the Baha'i Faith have about other religions do not represent imposing anything on those religions because we do not claim to be affiliated with any of them. In other words, we have views about Buddha-nature, and the nature of humans and other parts of the Universe that are different from what Buddhists believe, because we are not Buddhists!

We don't impose views on other religions, but we do offer an alternative world view, and everyone from any religion can decide for themselves if a harmonization of religious teachings is more in accordance with a Universe that is connected, where and all living and non-living things are part of one whole. To me it is simply impossible that there can be a single connected Universe, yet religions that are not connected, and have no relationship with each other. If you take the teachings of most religions as they are today at face value, there are many contradictions between them. What I am saying is that simply can't be, in the Baha'i view. Baha'u'llah and 'Abdul-Baha explain how they are connected and how the contradictions are due to an imperfect understanding. This is not imposing anything on the old religions, but it is calling everyone to a new religion.

Does that make sense?
 
Old 08-08-2015, 10:05 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahanu View Post
Oh, how did it start? So Mahayana distorts the Buddha's message?
Aren't you aware of the many internal disputes among the various Buddhist denominations?


Quote:
Okay. But Mahayana tells us the Buddha says there is something eternal:
There is, monks, an unborn, a not-become, a not-made,
a not-compounded. If, monks, there were not
this unborn, not-become, not-made, not-compounded,
there would not here be an escape from the born, the
become, the made, the compounded….
Also, the Buddha describes nirvana as follows:
"the far shore, the subtle, the very difficult to see, the
unaging, the stable, the undisintegrating, the
unmanifest, the unproliferated, the peaceful, the
deathless , the sublime, the auspicious, the secure, the
destruction of craving, the wonderful, the amazing,
the unailing, the unailing state, the unafflicted,
dispassion, purity, freedom, the unadhesive, the island,
the shelter, the asylum, the refuge . . ."
But you are the one implying this is a description of God.

Quote:
Seeking refuge in God or nirvana seem similar.
Not from the Buddhist perspective.

Quote:
Well, you say I'm imposing my own interpretations. You provide no evidence to show us why. I can dismiss it without evidence.
I did it right in my first post here. I provided the Buddhist sutta on which the Baha'i interpretation is probably based. And I also pointed out that the Buddhist sutta makes no reference to God, and I provided ample Buddhist sources to illustrate Buddhists do not believe in a monotheistic God.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 10:15 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcc View Post
Very true. It is highly dubious for one religion to impose its interpretations on other religions.

What I would say is that the Baha'i Faith does not impose its beliefs on other religions at all. The Baha'i Faith is an independent religion with its own Scriptures, theology, cosmology and world view. The views that the Baha'i Faith have about other religions do not represent imposing anything on those religions because we do not claim to be affiliated with any of them. In other words, we have views about Buddha-nature, and the nature of humans and other parts of the Universe that are different from what Buddhists believe, because we are not Buddhists!

We don't impose views on other religions, but we do offer an alternative world view, and everyone from any religion can decide for themselves if a harmonization of religious teachings is more in accordance with a Universe that is connected, where and all living and non-living things are part of one whole. To me it is simply impossible that there can be a single connected Universe, yet religions that are not connected, and have no relationship with each other. If you take the teachings of most religions as they are today at face value, there are many contradictions between them. What I am saying is that simply can't be, in the Baha'i view. Baha'u'llah and 'Abdul-Baha explain how they are connected and how the contradictions are due to an imperfect understanding. This is not imposing anything on the old religions, but it is calling everyone to a new religion.

Does that make sense?
It is an imposition if you take a Buddhist text and then interpret it in a way that Buddhists decidedly do not.

And it is an imposition if you then expect that Buddhists would accept that interpretation.

The founders of your faith had no qualms about declaring supremacy over other religions, they had no qualms about declaring monopoly over other religions.

But I see that some Baha'is do have such qualms, being all politically correct, trying to weasel their way around actually declaring their superiority. It's this political corectness that is so grievous.

If you believe that you are the one who knows "what the Buddha really meant" or that you are the one who knows "what Jesus really meant" -- then why on earth not say so right away?!?
 
Old 08-08-2015, 10:23 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
of course what you are saying looks true to you otherwise you would have not said it again and again.
Oh please. Quit the patronizing.

Quote:
by the way, if some Catholics believe that Baha'i is from Satan, it is very different with what i said that Baha'is believe in truth of Buddha and His teachings. we believe Him as a prophet from God with true teachings.
But Baha'is DO NOT believe in truth of Buddha and His teachings.

There appears to be an equivocation here.

There is the Buddhism that has traditionally been practiced in some Asian countries, and now also in the West, and it's the Buddhism sourced in the Pali Canon.

But what you consider to be Buddhism is something that has little or nothing to do with that Buddhism. You have your own version of Buddhism that bears no resemblance to Buddhism, other than the name.
Why call it "Buddhism" then?
 
Old 08-08-2015, 10:34 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Aren't you aware of the many internal disputes among the various Buddhist denominations?
Yes. Not all followers of Mahayana agree. Kluge's paper refers to this too. Some followers of Mahayana think nirvana isn't an unconditioned and transcendent reality. Nagarjuna said:
"There is not the slightest difference
Between cyclic existence [samsara] and nirvana.
There is not the slightest difference
Between nirvana and cyclic existence [samsara]."
You wrote:
But you are the one implying this is a description of God.
I'll reply later. I'm going to work.
 
Old 08-08-2015, 10:50 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
It is an imposition if you take a Buddhist text and then interpret it in a way that Buddhists decidedly do not.

And it is an imposition if you then expect that Buddhists would accept that interpretation.

The founders of your faith had no qualms about declaring supremacy over other religions, they had no qualms about declaring monopoly over other religions.

But I see that some Baha'is do have such qualms, being all politically correct, trying to weasel their way around actually declaring their superiority. It's this political corectness that is so grievous.

If you believe that you are the one who knows "what the Buddha really meant" or that you are the one who knows "what Jesus really meant" -- then why on earth not say so right away?!?
It could them be said that the birth of any new religion or thought would just be an imposition that no one should consider

It could be considered that there is no claim of Surpremacy in the context you are suggesting, it is Fulfillment of these earlier scriptures or the aim and purpose of them all.

It is not us that can say what the Buddha or Christ was saying, it is to the Writings we turn and gleam our ideas from them. Our writings teach that True Unity is compete submission unto Gods Will and we know that God doeth as He Willeth.

Our writings say all True religion has the same Foundation but given in Words to suit the capacity of the peoples and time. Thus we look for the connection and when this is done it is found. This was not possible on a large scale until this revelation released this way of thinking for all to pursue!

Regards Tony
 
Old 08-09-2015, 02:28 AM   #36
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The text in "Abdu'l-Baha in London" is not authentic.

I have translated the Persian notes of one talk to the theosophists (that is, notes that Abdu'l-Baha approved for publication) on my "Abdu'l-Baha speaks" blog. Either the English version has no resemblance to the Persian, or the English version refers to a different talk, for which no Persian notes were taken. In either case, it is not Bahai scripture and should not be considered to reflect Abdu'l-Baha's own thinking. What it tells us, is how the Bahais of that time wanted to present his teachings, for their audiences. Many of the early English Bahais were into esotericism, in particular combining lost tribes theory with the "revival" of Celtic spirituality. They were eclectic, taking bits and pieces from various religious traditions, including from Abdu'l-Baha's actual and supposed teachings. Everything coming from that milieu has to be considered suspect until proven to be sound.

The Punna Sutta has a very close parallel in the Legend of Purna, which was translated into French by E.Burnouf and others, Paris, 1840-98 (up to Skandha IX). I found two English translations of the legend in the Web Archive library, prior to 1900.

It is likely that the person who composed this "talk" inserted a section based on one of the translations of the legend into the text.

Last edited by Sen McGlinn; 08-09-2015 at 10:24 AM.
 
Old 08-09-2015, 03:45 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyfish58 View Post
It could them be said that the birth of any new religion or thought would just be an imposition that no one should consider
That "no one should consider" it is your addition, your projection.

Quote:
It could be considered that there is no claim of Surpremacy in the context you are suggesting, it is Fulfillment of these earlier scriptures or the aim and purpose of them all.
Of course.
Nevermind that the members of those other religions don't see it that way.

Quote:
It is not us that can say what the Buddha or Christ was saying, it is to the Writings we turn and gleam our ideas from them. Our writings teach that True Unity is compete submission unto Gods Will and we know that God doeth as He Willeth.

Our writings say all True religion has the same Foundation but given in Words to suit the capacity of the peoples and time. Thus we look for the connection and when this is done it is found. This was not possible on a large scale until this revelation released this way of thinking for all to pursue!
Was it based on your own free will and choice that you consider those Baha'i writings to be authoritative?
 
Old 08-09-2015, 03:51 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sen McGlinn View Post
What it tells us, is how the Bahais of that time wanted to present his teachings, for their audiences. Many of the early English Bahais were into esotericism, in particular combining lost tribes theory with the "revival" of celtic spirituality. They were eclectic, taking bits and pieces from various religious traditions, including from Abdu'l-Baha's actual and supposed teachings. Everything coming from that mileau has to be considered suspect until proven to be sound.
My first thoughts on this matter were similar. It was fashionable at the turn of the century to look into Eastern religions, except that the Westerners tended to presume they know best what the Easterners "really meant" or to develop their own variations of Eastern religions and teachings.

Hermann Hesse's "Siddhartha" is a good and very popular example of such Western appropriation, where he rewrote the Buddha's story and gave it an entirely new perspective and conclusion. From the Buddhist perspective, that is a sacrilege.
 
Old 08-09-2015, 04:06 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
But you are the one implying this is a description of God.
No. The Buddhist text is. My starting point for understanding a religion in this thread is its ontology. Buddhism, as you know, has a spectrum of beliefs. I'll come back to this in a moment.

You said:
Not from the Buddhist perspective.
Here you assert all sects of Buddhism reject Baha'i ontology, which is false. I'm responding to this idea (see post #24 where I quote you).
I did it right in my first post here. I provided the Buddhist sutta on which the Baha'i interpretation is probably based.
I'm not responding to your first post. You're mistaken here. That was a different topic about what Abdu'l-baha reportedly said in the first post from Art. I quoted what you said about Buddhism - and all forms of Buddhism - rejecting Baha'i ontology (see post #22).

Now back to the topic. You've provided no proof all sects of Buddhism reject "the God-idea." You even wrote:
"For starters, you could also just read what Buddhists have to say on the topic of 'God.' There's plenty."
They clearly all don't agree with you. I even quoted a Buddhist monk earlier (Walpola Rahula). The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion tells us "nirvana is unconditioned," meaning it is unaffected by anything, indescribable, not originated, and unchanging. This is crystal clear in the Buddhist texts I quoted in post #29.

Thich Nhat Hanh, in Living Buddha, Living Christ, wrote about this:
"The Buddha 'did make a few rare statements, such as this one from Udana viii, 3: 'Verily, there is an unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed. If there were not this unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed, then an escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, and the formed would not be possible.'"

According to him, the reason the Buddha rarely talked about ultimate reality (God) is because he wanted his followers to focus on practice. He wrote:
"If we are aware when we use the word 'nirvana' or the word 'God' that we are talking about the ground of being, there is no danger in using these words . . . The Buddha was not against God, he was only against notions of God . . . Christian contemplation includes the practice of resting in God, which, I believe, is the equivalent of touching Nirvana."
Back to what you said.
And I also pointed out that the Buddhist sutta makes no reference to God,
An argument from silence isn't a good argument. Thich Nhat Hanh says he "was not against God," and gives reasons for this silence.
and I provided ample Buddhist sources to illustrate Buddhists do not believe in a monotheistic God.
See above.

Last edited by ahanu; 08-09-2015 at 04:23 AM.
 
Old 08-09-2015, 04:24 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahanu View Post
No. The Buddhist text is.
Even though it makes no mention of God? Interesting.


Quote:
My starting point for understanding a religion in this thread is its ontology.
No, your starting point is your own religion, Baha'i.


Quote:
Here you assert all sects of Buddhism reject Baha'i ontology, which is false.
There are Buddhists who say that the Baha'is are right about Buddhism? Interesting. Never heard of such.


Quote:
They clearly all don't agree with you. I even quoted a Buddhist monk earlier (Walpola Rahula).
And even Walpola Rahula doesn't classify Buddhism as monotheistic.


Quote:
The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion tells us "nirvana is unconditioned," meaning it is unaffected by anything, indescribable, not originated, and unchanging. This is crystal clear in the Buddhist texts I quoted in post #29.
Yes. But that still doesn't mean that nirvana is the same as God.


Quote:
Thich Nhat Hanh, in Living Buddha, Living Christ, wrote about this:

The Buddha "did make a few rare statements, such as this one from Udana viii, 3: 'Veryily, there is an unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed. If there were not this unborn, unoriginated, uncreated, unformed, then an escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, and the formed would not be possible."
But it is _you_ who is equating the Buddhist description of nirvana with some monotheistic ideas about God.


Quote:
According to him, the reason the Buddha rarely talked about ultimate reality (God) is because he wanted his followers to focus on practice. He are a few quotes:
That's right, according to Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh is hardly representative of Buddhism.

Instead, I'd like to see some monotheistic references from the Pali Suttas in favor of monotheism.
Not what some politically correct new-age Mahayana Buddhist has to say.


Quote:
Back to what you said.
And I also pointed out that the Buddhist sutta makes no reference to God,
An argument from silence isn't a good argument.
It's not an argument from silence.
The sutta makes a reference to the Dhamma, in the place in the story where your interpretation makes a reference to God.


Quote:
Thich Nhat Hanh says he "was not against God."
Thich Nhat Hanh should read the Pali Canon.

Quote:
"Having approached the brahmans & contemplatives who hold that... 'Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... "Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation?"' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.' Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of a supreme being's act of creation. A person is a thief... unchaste... a liar... a divisive speaker... a harsh speaker... an idle chatterer... greedy... malicious... a holder of wrong views because of a supreme being's act of creation.' When one falls back on creation by a supreme being as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my second righteous refutation of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold to such teachings, such views.

Tittha Sutta: Sectarians
 
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