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Desecration of Buddha's Holy Tree for $$$

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posted on Aug, 6 2006 @ 07:22 AM
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www.speroforum.com...'s+holiest+tree

True Buddhists are upset. They have a right to be. Their 'Holy Tree' was cut
and sold for $$$. Some who made big 'donations' got parts of the tree. Temple
officials HAD to be involved.

In Christianity this is akin to Christ's Cross being cut up and sold. (which part
was). This is the tree underwhich Buddah is alleged to have received
enlightenment. (if I'm wrong about that - Buddhists here please correct me)



[edit on 8/6/2006 by FlyersFan]




posted on Aug, 6 2006 @ 09:52 AM
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FlyersFan, thanks for bringing this up, as I had not heard about it. What a horrible thing to do, even though this wasn't the tree in itself, it was the 6th generation of that tree. I can say that I doubt there is a tree anywhere else on earth (or at least very few) that have had such care taken for them over such a long period of time. The Mahabodhi is precious to the Buddhists, but not limited to only Buddhists. The Jains and Hindu also hold much respect for this tree.

I'll be saddened to see who the official culprit will be, because I can almost bet that it was internally done. Very sad, this isn't the first time that money has led to such rifts in the practice, which I can personally attest to. It was a different sect, but in the end it all came down to money for the priests, and a separation of groups. I was still young when it happened, but it was a day of sadness for many of us, and alot of the older members still get upset when they speak of it.

As they say, money is the root of all evil.



posted on Aug, 6 2006 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
True Buddhists are upset. They have a right to be.

Wouldn't a true buddhist not be concerned about a petty thing such as a tree?

They're calling the snipping of one of the branches 'sacriligious' and calling for the person(s) that did it to be punished. I don't know all that much about budhism, but that sounds pretty un-buddhist.


In Christianity this is akin to Christ's Cross being cut up and sold.

But, again, wouldn't a real christian reconize that these sorts of materialistic icons are meaningless and simply not a part of real faith in god?



posted on Aug, 6 2006 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Wouldn't a true buddhist not be concerned about a petty thing such as a tree?

They're calling the snipping of one of the branches 'sacriligious' and calling for the person(s) that did it to be punished. I don't know all that much about budhism, but that sounds pretty un-buddhist.

But, again, wouldn't a real christian reconize that these sorts of materialistic icons are meaningless and simply not a part of real faith in god?


Nygdan, correct as you are, don't you still think that the symbology of these icons is important for the religion itself? They are not part of a real faith, but I don't believe that they are truly meaningless. The icons are part of the religion, as a symbol of faith. If these items were destroyed, I am sure that the religion would still go on, but you have to at least respect the historical iconography that shows aspects of the religion.

I do agree with you to a degree, but I believe also that not everyone would be as logical as you, and some would turn that way of looking at it as an excuse for the destruction of icons. This of course isn't the first time it has happened, remember the Taliban when they destroyed all of those very old statues in Afghanistan?

I'm not a religious person at all anymore, but there is still an amount of respect that I give to religious icons, especially the ones that are this old. These are things that I would like to see one day when I travel. I find it highly disrespectful to destroy these things and take them away from the rest of the world.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
I don't know all that much about budhism, but that sounds pretty un-buddhist.


I gave that some thought. Considering I'm not buddhist either I can't be sure
but I think you have a very good point. Both Christians and Buddhists aren't
supposed to be attached to material things. So being attached to a 'sacred tree'
or the Cross probably aren't what the founders of those religions had in mind.
(although I wouldn't claim to know the mind of Christ)

You made an excellent point/observation. Rather thought provoking.

However, I still think they have a right to be upset at anyone selling something
and trying to make money off an allegedly 'sacred' object. And considering that
those selling it are trusted buddhist monks ... I can see them getting upset with
that.

In Catholicism there is a word for selling sacred/blessed objects. I can't spell it
but it sounds like sinsinomy. I looked for it in the dictionary (etc) and couldn't
find it. But I know it's a 'thing' in the Catholic Church. You aren't supposed to
sell blessed/sacred objects for $$$. It's considered a sin.

It still happens a lot ... but it isn't supposed to happen in the Catholic faith.
I would think it would at the very least be upsetting to buddhists. It could be
against their faith as well. I don't know.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
True Buddhists are upset. They have a right to be. Their 'Holy Tree' was cut
and sold for $$$. Some who made big 'donations' got parts of the tree. Temple
officials HAD to be involved.


You know, the "true" Buddhists should just chill out. It's only a tree. All things must pass, and so it would be with this tree. I'm sure Buddha wouldn't be concerned about it, and consider any emotional investment in its removal simply a sentimental attachment that would certainly not be helpful to attaining transcendence and enlightenment.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by niteboy82
Nygdan, correct as you are, don't you still think that the symbology of these icons is important for the religion itself?

For an iconic religion sure. I recall that the dali lama of tibet had recently remarked that, because of the attempts by the chinese imperialists to suffocate their religion that was punishing the tibetans, that they should give up being buddhists, if it caused them harm, then they shoudl give it up.

A silly thing for the director of an organization to say, but, to me, that seems 'authentically' buddhist (not that I am some judge of buddhism). This issue of someone snipping a branch from a tree, doesn't seem like a buddhist concern. Indeed, calling the sixth generation of a tree that supposedly buddha sat under 'sacred' is rather silly no?


They are not part of a real faith, but I don't believe that they are truly meaningless. The icons are part of the religion, as a symbol of faith. If these items were destroyed, I am sure that the religion would still go on, but you have to at least respect the historical iconography that shows aspects of the religion.

I do agree with you to a degree, but I believe also that not everyone would be as logical as you, and some would turn that way of looking at it as an excuse for the destruction of icons.


This of course isn't the first time it has happened, remember the Taliban when they destroyed all of those very old statues in Afghanistan?

Indeed, quite terrible, and I certainly wouldn't recommend destroying that tree or harming it, its really neat that its still around. But calling the snipping of one of its branches sacrilige? In another few generations, will it be sacrilige to touch the tree, or to be in its pressence without undergoing a purification ritual? When will people start worshipping the tree, and forget about the buddha?

But again, yes, I think its worthwhile to protect it, and thats without being a buddhist.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 03:19 PM
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Look under - Religion
www.everyculture.com...

Apparently branches from this tree (or it's previous generations) have been taken
and planted in other parts of the world for religious reasons and ceremonies.
This link talks about one of those plantings. I am searching for links to the
others. What I am gleaning is that it isn't done very often.

I am also finding across the internet that there are mentions of Hindu and Buddhist
problems getting along when it comes to this tree.

I'm learning that the tree is considered a ceremonial 'sacred relic' and has some
significance in buddhist ceremonies.

www.chiangmai-chiangrai.com...
www.princeton.edu...
www.buddhistchannel.tv...
www.asianjournal.com...

Geeee nygdan ... I think you would make a great Buddhist. You are certainly detached from worldly things. Enkidu too!





[edit on 8/7/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 03:23 PM
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As a Buddhist, I can say my perspective.


It's just a tree, and those who see is as a static religious icon are not following buddhism properly at it's core roots. After all, Buddha himself said that the one thing to remember about life, death, and rebirth is that nothing is constant. Everything changes, its the nature of the universe and beyond.



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 03:31 PM
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So it looks like those in charge of this tree aren't practicing buddhism?? They are
taking money in exchange for a 'thing' that is supposed to be sacred. Does that
mean that in buddhism there are not sacred 'things'???

Hey ... I like that!



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 03:35 PM
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No "things" should be sacred, because thats practicing materialism.

Buddhism is about reverence of yourself, and finding inner peace by breaking yourself away from desire of material possessions to replace the emptiness in yourself, and instead accomplishing finding inner peace through meditation, cooperation, and careful insite.

Now, this tree is historically sacred, but its not something that should hold any reverence, after all, it is simply a tree, and to glorify it as a holy material possession should be against the very core of buddhism



posted on Aug, 7 2006 @ 03:58 PM
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I'm sure there are plenty of self-proclaimed "Buddhists" who are more involved in the ceremony and (literal) bells and whistles than the actual practice of the philosophy, just like all the "Christians" who pick and choose the pieces of the New Testament that they can do without disrupting their lives too much, and ignore the core of the philosophy, also.

Like in The Who's "Tommy." He tells them that they must play pinball blindfolded and with corks in their ears and mouth to attain enlightenment. They tell him to "get lost," and "we're not gonna take it."

People like the idea of enlightenment, but like most things, they don't want to do the work.



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