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Two Food For Thoughts About Buddhism

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posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:31 AM
a reply to: Yavanna

ATS was full of ideas and thought-provoking posts, and alternative science ideas, etc. Now, its people saying the same thing over and over…

Keep looking, the nuggets are still there, hidden in the sediment.

posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:45 AM
a reply to: swanne

Sorry, I don't see any paradox there. If anything Buddhism is the most logical of religions and some even call it the most scientific as well. Siddharta's overwhelming desire (= passion) to understand the cause of suffering was fueled by the desire to end suffering for EVERYONE including that of his own beloved family (since no one can escape old age, death, etc); that's why he had to leave them behind, but that's really what love is essentially. He cared so much for the welfare of others that he was willing and prepared to sacrifice his wealth and everything dear to him - kingdom, family, life of luxury, etc. So behind that 'seemingly selfish act' is the SELFLESS quest for the universal remedy for suffering, old age, death, etc. Desire and (universal) love are really the same thing but they lay at opposite ends, one positioned at the bottom end (desire) and the other at the top end (universal love). It is only thru' sacrifice that one becomes qualified to ascend inch by inch to the opposite or top end of the pole. Conventionally when we come across an unusual display of courage involving sacrifice, we call it heroism. It is basically the same thing, isn't it?

In the language of occultism this is called the transformation of desire to will. Desire ----- > Will. It was precisely because Siddharta attained the goal, that is understanding the cause of suffering, that he was able to eventually attract his wife and son to him, such is the power of universal love, the power of enlightenment. Both Yasodhara, Siddharta's wife, and Rahula, his own son plus Siddharta's own father came to listen to him teaching and expounding the Dharma. Rahula eventually became ordained as a monk and then went on to become an Arahant while Yasodhara became a Buddhist nun (Bhikkuni) and attained Arahanta status. See? They too followed in Siddharta's exemplary footsteps - giving up the palatial life of luxury, etc.

The cessation of desire = Nirvana. Nirvana automatically obtains when desire ends - there is no such thing as attempting to chase it in order to reach it. And the ending of desire is not by an act of sheer forcing of the mind or thru' some mental gymnastics, but an apprehension of the nature of truth, the arising of clarity and lucidity thru' profound introspection or meditation. Any attempt to force the issue will result in the opposite namely failure, and this was what Siddharta himself initially experienced, when he first started out as a novice and attempting ineffectual strategies like fasting and similar austerities.

It was only when he started to relax his whole being that Truth came to look for him, like a breeze coming through your window - uninvited. I am sure you yourself have experienced this like when you try catching a butterfly. It will fly away from you, and the more you try to catch it, the farther away it will fly away from you. But when you remain motionless, undisturbed, it will come on its own and settle somewhere on your body.

Think Archimedes - he tried very hard going back and forth in his mind to look for the answer to his problem but it never came, but when he was relaxing in his bath and not thinking at all, the answer came like a flash, and Eureka... the rest is history.

So, complete, consummate clarity or understanding (= apprehension, not comprehension) automatically brings about an end to desire. Simultaneous with this death of desire is the arising or birth of Nirvana, implying the corresponding death of suffering. When light enters, the preexisting darkness will automatically blink out, simultaneously.

The ending of desire will also give birth to the supreme and ultimate human happiness termed BLISS or RAPTURE. Only the Sanskrit word 'Ananda' can adequately capture and express this ultimate height of human achievement and in all its depth, beauty and wholesomeness. This state is technically called anuttarā samyak-saṃbodhi: Supreme Perfect Enlightenment (of a buddha).

"Anuttarā samyak-saṃbodhi [Pali: anuttarā sammā saṃbodhi] unexcelled perfect enlightenment. A samyak saṃbuddha is one who through his own efforts and wisdom understands dharma, and out of compassion proclaims it to the world in order to uplift others from saṃsāra and to lead them to liberation. The samyak-saṃbodhi is the state pertaining to a samyak-saṃbuddha. The samyak saṃbuddha makes others understand āryasatyāni, namely, suffering, cause of suffering, cessation of suffering and, way to cessation of suffering as he has known them."

Escape, did you not say? No, not true at all for it's more like taking the bull by its horns and wrestling with it
, so no running away for it's a fight to the end. Fight, not flight!

It might be better to compare that with finding a key that opens that portal which was previously shut, a monolith that's indomitable, obstinate. So the doors will swing wide open when one has truly understood, i.e. when one has seen through the nature of desire. That's how finding the truth can set one free. What the Buddha did was no different from what Christ did - the ego, the personal ego, has to be renounced or crucified or die (= sacrificed. Note that ego is essentially desire). Then and only then will the portal open and the SELFLESS act inviting, enthralling and drawing Divinity into manifestation, bringing with it Love, Truth, Light, Wisdom, Grace, Benediction ... call them whatever you want - they are all interrelated.

Everyone has to walk the same path trodden by these gurus. Your turn, our turn, will come, will-nilly. It's just a matter of time. And when that time comes, one will find oneself spontaneously uttering the following words like the masters of old too:

"Not my will, but YOURS - your will be done." And the ego-sacrifice will ensue. Yes, that will be the eventual fate of every desire - unfolding the histrionics of its ego-drama on the perpetual Stage of Life.
edit on Apram16 11 20 by Rextiberius because: amendments

edit on Aprpm16 11 20 by Rextiberius because: corrections

edit on Aprpm16 11 20 by Rextiberius because: further edits

posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 10:53 AM
a reply to: Yavanna

First Food For Thought:

Siddhartha left his family while still in a state of ignorance. At that time, he only discovered that life and the world are full of suffering, and he vowed to become an ascetic until he could discover how to end said suffering.

Once he reached a state of wisdom and enlightenment, he traveled back to his home kingdom to teach the Dharma. His son even became one of his bikkhu monks.


Second Food For Thought:

It was Helena P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society that helped introduce the mainstream Western world to Buddhism, not Bennett or Crowley.

edit on 4/26/16 by Sahabi because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:22 AM
a reply to: Yavanna
'Nirvana' means to snuff out. 'Nirvana' cannot be found by anyone - it is a snuffing out of the one that is seeking for something (including Nirvana or enlightenment - anything) the 'seeker' gets lifted away or 'snuffed out' - it is the rapture.
Prior to nirvana there appears to be someone seeking/looking/desiring something - that is the suffering.
When it is found that there is nothing other than what there is - the seeking stops and the seeker is no more.
It is the end of the individual - the individual has been snuffed out. Then the glory of God shall reveal itself.

Even in the bible it says 'No man can see me and live' - that is nirvana.

It is no wonder the void is avoided.

posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:22 AM
a reply to: Yavanna

The full meaning and what is buddhism all about is very simple, but it takes a bit of study and contemplation to really get it and what are they pointing to. And most important thing, books are not important, gurus are not important or required. Train your mind and find "the real guru within". Meditation is the key to the lock of reality, behind the doors made of spiritual wisdom and merits one accumulates with study and contemplation.

If interested I advice learning about their philosophy more in depth. About dharma, their four noble rules, nonduality, about the point of detachment and desires and how to really deal with them, about relative and absolutive view.

Also about real final nature of enlightenment and nirvana and if it can really be achieved or are samsara and nirvana of the same nature?!

A lot of reading and contemplation but most importantly meditation should be practiced continuously in order so we can better understand their deep meaning of their views and Dharma and about the Trikaya (key-word for the ones who want to check out more on their own!).

Interesting quote:

A man said to the Buddha, “I want Happiness.” Buddha said, first remove “I”, that’s ego, then remove “want”, that’s desire. See now you are left with only Happiness.

all the truth is explained in this simple quote.

Also there are many translated books all around (research Sutras and Tantras and drop anything else from mainstream!) from famous masters and buddhas in India, China and Tibet. Use google and do some research if you want to get better understanding.

Sutras are more of a theory and explanations about dharma, reality, and many other things. Tantras are more about real meditation practices and techniques, which are of no use if the reader does not get their real meaning and have correct understanding about the View from Sutras beforehand.

If one is interested in practice meditation and research about the real nature of reality than buddhism is a very good starting point or maybe even final point for some.

We are all different and "many rivers lead to only one ocean".

posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 11:31 AM
a reply to: Yavanna

I think Buddha was so spiritual at one point he may have just texted his wife and kid and since he was so spiritually advanced they may have understood him!

Maybe telepathy?

Who the F___ knows

The guy was searching for transcendent truth AND FOUND IT so I think he could be excused for what he did

As far as I’m concerned as long as he didn’t beat the kid and wife he was alright with me.

This life is not neat. There are always choices and sacrifices one must make in order to acquire something

posted on Apr, 26 2016 @ 01:33 PM
a reply to: Yavanna

We should not expect stories of the birth and life of Gautama to be historically accurate. They are myths that grew in significance as his followers told and re-told them down the generations. Gautama is supposed to have taken his first steps at birth, and lotus-blossoms sprang up where his feet had trodden. He spoke from birth, too. There is the tale of his witnessing all the main forms of human suffering in a single trip outside his father's palace, and being impelled by this experience to begin his quest for enlightenment. There are many such tales. Their meaning is not found if one takes them literally.

Still, your first example should indeed give us pause. In the legend of Gautama’s leave-taking, as he looks upon his sleeping wife and son, we are meant to understand that he is renouncing not only his relationships with those he loves but also all the comforts of domesticity and society. The focus is on what he, the hero, is giving up. The fact that he was condemning his wife and son to grief and sorrow is not much dwelt upon because they are not real people, just images standing in for what they symbolize.

Religions are not created by religious leaders but by their followers, and the process by which this occurs is not completed in a single generation. The stories of their founders and of their foundation serve psychological and political realities, not literal ones. Whether the lessons they teach are worth understanding this for is another question.

posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 07:00 AM
a reply to: Rextiberius

Siddharta's overwhelming desire (= passion) to understand the cause of suffering was fueled by the desire to end suffering for EVERYONE

But he didn't. First off, Siddharta Gautama's "cure" did not rid humanity of suffering. And secondly, he made the mistake (if not logical fallacy) to generalise all sufferings and say that it's caused by desires.

To elaborate on the fisrt counterargument: Siddharta's "cure" is but a weak one. He wished to end the suffering of the mind, but his solution was basically a death of the body (starvation and countless hours - if not days - of catatonic-like meditative lotus position) and a death of the mind (the banishing of any thoughts and ideas from the mind). In which case his solution to life's problems is, one could argue, death. I call this cowardliness...

posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 07:32 AM
Buddha left home to Find out what to do.
he had no idea. he was a rich stupid kid.

he then found a group and learnt from them.
he realised that this was a dead end.
so he meditated under a tree.
(maybe the same tree he was born under.)
and achieved enlightenment.

um? I dont know if he got his wife and kids back?
they did have all the money!

edit on 27-4-2016 by buddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 07:59 AM
a reply to: Yavanna

My understanding is that Buddha saw the suffering of the outside world before he had a child. To fulfill his obligation to his family and position, he waited until after his child, a son was born and then left. However, there is more to the story.

When he was born, his father called in a wise man, who stated, that the child either would be a great king or save all of man kind. His father never gave him that choice.

posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 08:12 AM
a reply to: sdcigarpig

The fortune man told his father that he would either be a great king or a great philosopher and the King (his father) purposely kept him from the outside where suffering was, kept him sort of prisoner in his rich castle, gave him all he wanted, he was breeding him to be a great king bc there was no way he would have his son be a poor wandering philosopher.

However, Siddharta could never shake the suffering he saw on the streets when he walked them (with a guard? a maid? to the market? I forget, maybe no one really knows) from when he was a young boy.

It was his father's "imprisonment" to save him from being a poor philosopher that pushed him to do exactly that.

posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 03:59 AM
a reply to: Itisnowagain

What is the glory of God?

posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 01:50 PM
a reply to: Sahabi

It was Helena P. Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society that helped introduce the mainstream Western world to Buddhism, not Bennett or Crowley.

On what does Blavatsky’s claim rest? On the publication of Isis Unveiled in 1877? I know of no writing of hers concerning Buddhism that was published earlier, and her comments on Buddhism in that book are (to put it mildly) highly unreliable. She spends much of the book trying to prove that Buddhists believe in the soul and that Nirvana doesn’t mean annihilation.

If we’re talking about actual Buddhism, its doctrine and ethics and practice, rather than some esoteric mumbo-jumbo made up by a Russian parlour mystic to prove that ‘Buddhists are Pythagoreans’, then the credit for putting Buddhism before the English-speaking public should go Sir Edwin Arnold for his heroic biographical poem The Light of Asia, published in 1879. But even Sir Edwin was late to the party; if your ‘mainstream Western world’ includes the German-speaking peoples, then interest in the doctrines of Buddhism was widespread decades before Blavatsky published her bestseller. Germans were the acknowledged Western authorities on Buddhism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with people like Isaac Jacob Schmidt and Arthur Schopenhauer writing extensively about it. And there was considerable popular German interest, too, by about 1870 of so.

If simply bringing Buddhism to the attention of the English-speaking public through Blavatsky’s book is the Theosophists’ claim, even that won’t wash. Buddhism was known to the Victorian British (and American) public through Christian missionary work in Ceylon and, later, Burma. At a time when Evangelicals dominated the British Parliament and Foreign Office, a promise to protect and foster Buddhism, given by a British governor to the King of Kandy in Ceylon, was widely and heatedly discussed both in the House of Commons and in the press. The Methodist missionary and Pali scholar D.J. Gogerly had published reams of commentary on genuine Buddhist religious writings by the 1850s; if Blavatsky had actually read some of his work, she might have understood Buddhism better. Even Thoreau translated a Buddhist sutra from French into English — and he died in 1862, a decade and a half before Blavatsky burst into print.

It is true that, after 1880, the Theosophists became strong promoters of Buddhism. This was not due to dear old Helena Petrovna but to her Yankee sidekick, Col. Henry Steel Olcott, who became the leading figure of the Sri Lankan Buddhist revival. His Buddhist Catechism became a fundamental text for Sinhalese Buddhists, and was taught in Sri Lankan state schools until at least the 1960s. Olcott said he had consulted ‘10,000 pages of Buddhist books’ while writing it, and since he knew no Pali, it is obvious that those books were in Western languages — a testament to the European scholars who had preceded him. Olcott and Blavatsky were in no sense pioneers of Buddhism in the West.

Incidentally, Blavatsky’s doctrinal position concerning Nirvana, which Olcott had uncritically absorbed, almost sank his Catechism. Wisely, he had it translated into Sinhala and read by learned Buddhist monks ahead of publication; the most learned of his collaborators, Hikkaduwe Sumangala Thero, took issue with the Theosophist idea of Nirvana and insisted on rewrites to bring Olcott and his book into line with actual Buddhist doctrine. Once this was achieved, he endorsed Olcott’s Catechism and recommended it for the instruction of lay Buddhists.

It is instructive to note that as Olcott immersed himself ever more deeply in Buddhist affairs — lobbying the colonial government of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then known) on behalf of Buddhist causes, helping raise funds for and set up Buddhist schools, writing Buddhist textbooks and even designing a Buddhist flag — he and Blavatsky grew ever more distant. The couple split in about 1885, Blavatsky returning to Europe while Olcott stayed on in Ceylon, later moving to India, where he died.

It is true that Aleister Crowley had nothing much to do with introducing Buddhism to the West. He just happened to be Bennett’s friend, and Bennett had a house in Kandy where Crowley once stayed. No doubt he visited the tourist attractions of Kandy, the principle ones being Buddhist shrines and relics, while he stayed there. He was, in any case, a dabbler in Buddhism, as he dabbled (like Blavatsky) in all kinds of mysticism — and mumbo-jumbo.

But Bennett certainly has a claim. He moved away from the Order of the Golden Dawn to become a Buddhist, and he wrote two books about Buddhism that were widely read and inspired a number of conversions. He spent most of his later life diligently promoting Buddhism, and he did do a lot to make it fashionable among the rich and discontented, particularly in America.

edit on 28/4/16 by Astyanax because: of tweaks.

posted on Apr, 28 2016 @ 02:21 PM

originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: Yavanna
The focus is on what he, the hero, is giving up.

Good analysis, This sentence particularly brings up an interesting point. The focus in Buddhism (and Christianity) is on the protagonist, or the self, the individual consciousness, which is referred to as "Atman". "Brahman" is the external world, or simply The All. Enlightenment is achieved when the Atman comes to the self-realization that it is Brahman - All is One and One is All, The Alpha-Omega.

Up until this point of unity-realization, the self suffers from separateness. The paradox is, that once Atman realizes its complete connection to Brahman, everyone else (Brahman) simultaneously becomes enlightened. So, once Atman is enlightened, the whole world shines:

"If thy body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light..."

Hence the futility of trying to clean the beams out of the eyes of others - clean your own eye (Atman) and the whole world (Brahman) shall be enlightened. That which makes the inside, also makes the outside.. And so, the first (Atman) will be last (Brahman).
edit on 28-4-2016 by cooperton because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 29 2016 @ 07:10 AM
a reply to: Astyanax

Great post! Your knowledge of the matter is clearly superior to mine, and I readily concede to my own error.

Without challenging your rectifications, Blavatsky did help bring Buddhist terminology, semantics, and the esoteric view of Buddhism to the modern world. Blavatsky's writings may be unorthodox and controversial to some, however, several notable Buddhists have hailed her work:

• In 1925, the Panchen Lama of Tibet officially endorsed her book “The Voice of The Silence” and called it the “only true exposition in English of the Heart Doctrine of the Mahayana and its noble ideal of self-sacrifice for humanity.”

• Zen Buddhism scholar D. T. Suzuki wrote about Blavatsky's book "The Voice of the Silence": "Here is the real Mahayana Buddhism." "Undoubtedly Madame Blavatsky had in some way been initiated into the deeper side of Mahayana teaching and then gave out what she deemed wise to the Western world." He mentioned that Blavatsky was "one who had truly attained."

• Respected Buddhist expert Richard Taylor has written, “Blavatsky had access to Tibetan Buddhist sources which no other Westerner during her time had. Her works are by no means merely strings of plagiarisms, but rather very cogent arguments, supplemented by masses of data, that her readers should believe Buddhist claims that there is a perennial philosophy, in the possession of Adepts, which explains the origins of the world and leads to salvation from it. … Blavatsky knew what the Buddhist Tantras were, knew their content and philosophical import better than any Western contemporary, and knew bona fide Tibetan traditions surrounding them. This alone gives strong reasons not to dismiss her claims out of hand."

• The Lama Kazi Dawa Samdup, who translated the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” with W.Y. Evans-Wentz, said that HPB’s writings clearly indicate “intimate acquaintance with the higher lamaistic teachings.”

The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, also speaks highly of Blavatsky's work, and he continues to hold a close affinity and amity with the Theosophical Society, often lecturing at T.S. facilities and events.


Although Henry S. Olcott began as a novice researcher of Buddhism, he certainly made great contributions to the overall revitalization and restoration of the world-wide interest in Buddhism.

By formally taking Pancha Sila, in 1880, Colonel Olcott made a pubic commitment to live by Buddhist precepts. He united the Buddhist sects of Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], and united the twelve sects of Japanese Buddhists into a joint committee for promotion of Buddhism. He brought the Burmese, Siamese, and Sri Lankan Buddhists into a Convention of Southern Buddhists; and formulated the Fourteen Propositions of Buddhism, a document which was the basis upon which the northern and southern Buddhists were united.

Henry Steel Olcott

I stand corrected, and I thank you for liberating me from my ignorance.

edit on 4/29/16 by Sahabi because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 29 2016 @ 09:12 AM

originally posted by: preludefanguy
a reply to: Itisnowagain

What is the glory of God?

The light that is here - the manifestation of God.

The mind/thought is not seeing the light that is here - can the thought 'I see' see? Or is the thought 'I see' seen - known?

The glory of God is never not revealing itself - all that appears is the glory of God - including all thought and all sensation.

The person which lives in time dies when this ever present light (glory) is realized - nothing really dies though - it was just an illusion.
When it is realized that there is only this, the ever present light (glory) - the 'me in time' vanishes - it was/is just a story. Stories may continue to appear about someone living in time but they are seen to be happening presently - the stories are also the glory of God - the light appearing here is the glory of God. But there is belief in 'there and then' and the one who appears in the 'there and then' does not actually exist because there is no 'there and then' ever actually existing - there is just this light that is appearing here.
God likes to pretend there is another - another time, another place - he can then play hide and seek with himself.
Know thyself is not a suggestion - it is what is happening.

edit on 29-4-2016 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-4-2016 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 29 2016 @ 09:29 AM
a reply to: Yavanna

But there is one thing that I find contradictory. According to the myth, when Prince Siddhārtha Gautama found out about the external world, he abandoned his old life. Including his wife and his kids. He could have shown them the truth, and they could have helped the world together. Instead, he left them without explaining anything, according to the myth. I'm no expert in marriage, but I'm pretty sure such an action caused lots of hurt to Siddhārtha's family, to be abandoned like that, as if they didn't any longer mattered.

I agree with Sahabi and Astyanax, and what they've already said.

Unlike the myth of Christianity's Jesus, Prince Siddhārtha Gautama was not said to haven been born perfect, living a perfect life free from sin. Buddhism asserts that Prince Siddhārtha Gautama had to achieve enlightenment. Jesus was born with it, right?

Never the less:
Luke 14:26
"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

posted on Apr, 29 2016 @ 10:12 AM
a reply to: Yavanna

Since we really don't know what Buddha said in his first sermon after attaining enlightenment, we were left with oral lineages which after hundreds of years were left to compilers to translate, interpret, and perhaps reinterpret.
edit on 29-4-2016 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 29 2016 @ 04:02 PM
a reply to: Yavanna

Thhe story is a bit off OP Siddarthas dad wanted him to be a world ruler like him, but was told he was likely going to be a great sage, well his dad wanted a mini me, so he cloistered his son away from the world... to hide sickness old age and death from his sight so he would feel in an eternal paradise of riches jewels food and constorts... well being pent up in the castle grounds all of that everything anyone could ever want outside the castle grounds became meaningless and riches seemed to lay outside... so on exploring by sneaking out, he ran across a sick man and old man and a dying man... well never experiencing such a thing his reality had an existential crisis...

How could he have lived such luxury without deciet that suffering did not exist... he became aware that sickness old age and death was the inheritance of all from impermanence, like his reality that had none in it being impermanent... so he of course married had a son for an heir to the throne and renounced his position in order to find a way beyond old age sickness and death due to this impermanence rumored to exist... he wanted to find it and give it to all people so suffering could end and people would not have to suffer such a fate.

So after years of practice with asthetics, he went from the extreme of castle living without and stress always good food always attractive women entertainment to the far other extreme, starving and on the brink of death so weak he nearly drowned a woman happened by pulled him to shore and fed him... after that he realized the extremes of living in all things sat down with new resolve until he came to understand the middle way or balance as the way out of suffering... and the path one can walk to have an easier less stressful life in the middle way without going to extremes for happiness and eventually awaken to reality with continued practice...

He wife and son did join the monastic order... Rahula which translates as fetter, meaning he was still attached to his son and vice versa Suddhanna his wife started the Bikkuni or female nun side of things with his blessing... of course at first he was hesitant, simply because he did not have a female form to know any special complications or insight that that form may give rise to or be dependent on that the male form may not have for practice and attainment.

Hopefully this clears up the OP a bit, and it is more a psychology than a religion or a philosophy... as no belief is required and the grasping of concepts that philosophy can cause need to be lain down for a calm abiding mind unattached to such grasping as a psychology.

posted on Apr, 30 2016 @ 12:37 AM
a reply to: Sahabi

I salute you. It is rare indeed to meet an ATS member who has the courage and character to admit it when he or she is mistaken.

Regarding the opinions expressed regarding Blavatsky and Buddhism, it may be wise to consider their origins. Taylor, for example, is a Theosophist. The claims about Olcott made in the Theosophist essay from which you quoted in your post are also, I am sorry to say, exaggerated to the point of fallacy — but you need to understand something about the modern development of Buddhism in Asia to be able to see this. A mere exchange of letters professing unity — which is what Olcott achieved — is not nearly the same thing as actual unity and cooperation.

There is, in fact, considerable rivalry and ill-feeling between Theravadists and Mahayanists today (as indeed there has always been), as well as among the different schools within each stream. The Buddhists of Sri Lanka, for example, give allegiance to one of three Nikayas or religious schools: the Siam, the Amarapura and the Ramanna. Their prelates rarely see eye to eye on anything apart from Buddhist supremacism and the importance of retaining the Sinhalese dictatorship of the majority in that country.

Things like the Convention of Southern Buddhists existed only on paper and in the fond imaginings of Olcott and his white fellow-travellers. Even the name (so similar to that of the Convention of Southern Baptists that it can hardly be coincidental) reveals it as a colonial imposition on Asians who neither knew nor cared much about it. These Western contrivances meant less than nothing to actual, practising Buddhists, whether the latter were monks or members of the laity. They are ciphers today.

As someone who frequently consults historical sources for professional reasons, I strongly advise you not to trust Theosophical sources about any past events other than those occurring in the lives of actual Theosophists. Even these should be corroborated with more reliable sources, or you will be led very far astray.

edit on 30/4/16 by Astyanax because: of a bit more.

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