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Was Buddha a "deadbeat?"

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posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 08:57 PM
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In our current culture, we frown upon anyone who would abandon his or her children, but it's well-known that in his quest for enlightenment, the Gautama Buddha left his young wife and child for his spiritual pursuits:


Siddhartha spent his boyhood at Kapilavastu and its vicinity. He was married at the age of sixteen. His wife's name was Yasodhara. Siddhartha had a son named Rahula. At the age of twenty-nine, Siddhartha Gautama suddenly abandoned his home to devote himself entirely to spiritual pursuits and Yogic practices.

www.buddhabihar.com...


It has always intersted me to know that the Buddha has so many followers, yet has this "stain" in his background.

There are many in this forum (you know who you are!) who would be quick to say something along the lines of "That's what you get for worshiping a man!"

Granted familial abandonment is quite a large stain, and I would not disagree that it seems a quite greedy thing for the Buddha to have done, but of course this happened before his "enlightenment..."

THere is one thing that I find comforting about the episode, and perhaps why it happened. It shows that even the greatest of us humans is, at heart, dualistic, and that, depending on our choices and the effort we are willing to expend, we can linger among the most debased of people or rise up to "enlightenment."

Without turning this into an arugument of the merits of one religion versus another, let's discuss this. Does this element of the Buddha's past discredit all of his later work, or does it instead teach us a valuable lesson?

Mod Edit: Added Link.

[edit on 30/9/2008 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 09:07 PM
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I think it's a personal choice that no one should judge. There's the illusion and there's truth. One must decide whether the illusion is worth clinging to when pursuing things of a spiritual nature. It can mess with your head, enlightenment. The things once valued, such as relationships, obligations to those relationships, material gains, social status, and even the very self that uses all of these things to build its identity with... just don't have the same seemingly intrinsic value that they once did.

I believe that Buddha gave a child life, and that chance is good enough. If anything, abandoning the child probably did more to strengthen the unique will of that child than being a hovering disciplinary and intellectual authority would have done.

People put too much pressure on the men to stay chained down to one person and one set of children his whole life... and that's just a hard thing to do once the "flare" for such an endeavor isn't there anymore. It probably does more harm than good when a man feels nothing but guilt of abandoning his obligation in order to stick around his wife and child.

Aren't we all free spirits? Should we be judged on our mistakes, or should we alone be the ones to judge ourselves?

I wouldn't call Buddha a deadbeat... just a man with a free will.

[edit on 30-9-2008 by dunwichwitch]



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 09:12 PM
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That is a very interesting perspective, DWW.

I can't say that I agree with you--two people made the child, and the responsibility to raise it goes beyond a "flare."

I don't mean to derail my own thread, but I'm inferring that you think the men should be free to roam once the "flare" is gone? Why not the women? What happens to the kids who are caught in the middle, especially if both parents lose the flare?



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by dunwichwitch
 


Great outlook you have there. Everyone on their own. Free to do whatever the hell they want. Just don't "judge" them for it. What ever you do don't make them feel bad about it. You might damage them. But wait! Aren't we all free to do what ever we want to do?

Way to build a society!

Sounds like Siddhartha was a jerk. That doesn't necessarily invalidate his ideas.



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 09:30 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


Well for men, the instinct to "stick around" is not there, sans the fear of lonliness and the guilt of abandonment which is taught to them by their parents and authorities. It's only through social conditioning that the guilt of not sticking around and the stigma attached to it becomes possible. Women have a natural instinct to stick around and guide the child into adulthood. Unfortunately, because of social conditioning, women have also been made into weak vulnerable need machines, for the most part.

Take away all social conditions. Take a man and a woman raised naturally far from society, have them mate in the forest, have them birth the child in the forest, and let's see what the result is. I'm not sure either... but I know it's not the same for everyone. It should not be expected to be the same. Human consciousness is so varied that one expectation should not be applied to the whole lot, ya know?



posted on Sep, 30 2008 @ 09:32 PM
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Hi,

Does Buddhism teach that karmic actions done prior to enlightenment are wiped clean? Or in other words, after that achievement that reincarnating is not necessary?

Which leads me to ask: If a karmic producing action is done after enlightenment, wouldn't an individual still need to reincarnate?

After asking these questions, I am now reminded of something described as dissolving into the rainbow. Something like that. Maybe with that achievement, all karmic debts are wiped?

All questions. Sorry.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 12:38 AM
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As far as I understand Buddhism, there are 2 levels of Buddhists. One is the average fellow, with the wife, family and job, etc, who can only hope to be reborn in a better position, or as a monk or something. The other level is the monk or similar, who can devote his entire life to his faith, and thus achieve nirvana.

Since Buddha was kind of the founder of his faith, it is necessary that he had belonged to the 2nd group. What you bring up in this thread is freely acknowledged by Buddhism, and is not really considered a bad point.

As for me, personally, I find the idea of monasticism or 'hermetism' to not be conducive to society, as well as believing that your family has a right over you that you should not attempt to escape.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 12:47 AM
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reply to post by dunwichwitch
 



' .... I believe that Buddha gave a child life ... '


Fair enough, that's your view


It could also be regarded as the Buddha indulged in sexual intercourse for his own pleasure, after which he abandoned the child upon whom he'd inflicted life

Are there any tomes by Son of Buddha ?

Be interesting to learn his perspective

From Wife of Buddha too. Perhaps, ' He paid no child support. Was too busy gazing into his own navel to bother spending any quality time with the boy. All 'me, me, me' was Buddha. A glory-hound, attention-seeker. Sat around claiming to be taking care of the world. But as I used to tell him, ' Listen love, charity begins at home. Do your job right here first ..then you can go around spreading this 'enlightenment' you claim you have the patent on .. if you have time, that is. Now, how about going to get some wood. Or do you imagine your food cooks itself, huh ?'



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 01:12 AM
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You have to not only go deeper into the life of the Buddha you also
need to widen your vision.

First -Shakyamuni Buddha was a Prince (also known as Prince Siddhartha) -his father was a King-
mother a queen so when he went on his spiritual quest
his family was well provided for.
By the way after Buddha was enlightened, his wife Yasodhara became one of his disciples.
And I believe one of his sons did too.

Second-Look at the BIG PICTURE.
What Buddha discovered-enlightenment
is a discovery that benefits ALL sentient beings.
Not limited to one family or a pedestrian philosophy..
Billions of people over the course of 2500 years have benefited from his
wisdom and from his path to freedom from suffering. Buddha has influenced
Eastern Civilization and now Western civilization. Most people cannot influence
even their own local homeless person never mind civilization.

And just because people use the word enlightenment does not mean they know what they are talking about. Or even open to learning about it.
Most people have heads full of concrete-hardheaded and are not sophisticated enough to learn what Buddha is teaching.

What exactly is enlightenment?

If you can realize what enlightenment is then you will realize the importance
of Shakyamuni Buddha's discovery. Otherwise it is just a vague, fuzzy concept beyond your comprehension.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 01:17 AM
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'Most people have heads full of concrete-hardheaded and are not sophisticated enough to learn what Buddha is teaching.'



And some seeking to exercise their unproven 'superiority' choose Buddha as the instrument



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 01:26 AM
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Nobody said anything about superiority or inferiority.
So please do not bring inferiority complexes and insecurities to this
discussion.
I am talking about openmindedness as opposed to closemindedness
and apparently it pushes your buttons.

My point is...
Those who are openminded will explore the life of Buddha and what enlightenment really is-to me the most important question that answers
the meaning of life.
Curiosity is wisdom.
A lack of curiosity or a lack of openmindedness is merely like having a head
full of concrete. In other words one is a prisoner of received concepts and
does not have the intelligence to explore directly what great wise men and women are saying and just relies on what anyone tells them-that's what I mean by a pedestrian philosophy.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 01:33 AM
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Well just because he was fat bald and happy.
Does not mean he was a deadbeat.


[edit on 1-10-2008 by Interestinggg]



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 01:37 AM
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The Chinese depict Buddha as fat, bald and happy.
it's a cultural thing as Buddha ate a few grains of rice a day for six years during his spiritual quest then realized that extreme fasting was not the right path. Shortly thereafter after resuming a better diet He became enlightened-hence the middle way-no extremes.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 02:02 AM
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A dead beat is someone who abandons thier family and doesn't give any financial security to the child and mother. However, Buddha was massively wealthy before he was enlightened. His wife and kid were left in the luxuries of his castle. Should he have brought them on his "zany" spirit quest? I think not. They had no disadvantage by him leaving, kings and rich folk had servants to actually raise thier kids at that time too.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 02:18 AM
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Did you do further research to find out that after Siddhartha achieved enlightenment he as the Buddha then went back to Yasodhara and Rahula and taught them so that they also achieved enlightenment. Rahula then became one of the Buddha's followers.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 05:38 AM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 





There are many in this forum (you know who you are!) who would be quick to say something along the lines of "That's what you get for worshiping a man!"


Buddhists don't worship a man.There have been about 28 Buddhas,men who have reached the highest plane of Nirvana,and it is their words,deeds and actions that are honored.


What you fail to mention is that Siddhartha was born a Prince,he lived in a palace and his marriage was arranged.(obviously)He didn't believe that material things or wealth were important and he didn't believe he should be trapped in a loveless marriage or the palace.






Electricneo,



The Chinese depict Buddha as fat, bald and happy.


Thats a different man.Known as Hotei,Pu-Tai AND Mi-Le-Fo.








[edit on 1-10-2008 by jakyll]



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by L.I.B.
Hi,

Does Buddhism teach that karmic actions done prior to enlightenment are wiped clean? Or in other words, after that achievement that reincarnating is not necessary?

Which leads me to ask: If a karmic producing action is done after enlightenment, wouldn't an individual still need to reincarnate?


HI LIB,

I really know only the basics of Buddhism, though I'd like to learn more. I don't think anyone knows exactly what happens with the karma if that is what happens after you die, but I have always heard that after one reaches "nirvana" then he doesn't come back anymore. Maybe he could choose to, though.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:06 AM
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As for me, personally, I find the idea of monasticism or 'hermetism' to not be conducive to society, as well as believing that your family has a right over you that you should not attempt to escape.


Yeah, being a monk might get you to Nirvana, but it doesn't pay the taxes


I agree with you partially on the second point. Parents, extended family, brothers and sisters, do not own you--neither does a spouse have the right to hold you if the split is mutual--but speaking my own opinion as a parent here I think a child is different. They do not have the ability to care for themselves.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Electricneo
My point is...
Those who are openminded will explore the life of Buddha and what enlightenment really is-to me the most important question that answers
the meaning of life.


That's exactly why I started the thread.

To explore the question of whether one's "Sins" or "Karmic Actions" stick around after enlightenment to haunt you, or if they can be washed away.

If you read the OP I said that I saw a very valuable lesson in Buddha's abandonment, so please stop calling me ignorant.



posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:13 AM
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He left his wife who later became his disciple, in very good hands while on his inner search. He was a prince and so they did not go without.



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