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Buddhism, Virtue, and Nobility

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posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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How did the Buddha's virtuous nature and noble presence come about? What was it that made him so approachable by others and so friendly to them?

Was it because enlightenment makes a person that way? Or was it because enlightenment allowed his specific true nature to shine forth?

I will admit we have good things inside of all of us. A goodness that we all share. But the finer points of personality? Everyone is different. Had the Buddha not been a prince, and raised as a prince, wouldn't his style be much different? Had he been raised as an untouchable, he may not have even learned how to read.

Sometimes I just begin to wonder what parts of me I have from my upbringing, and what parts come from my philosophy and religious beliefs. Of course people love to cite their religion as the reason they possess the good qualities they have. It seems a humble thing to do, and it makes them feel validated as a member of that religion. And when others point out the vanity and arrogance of a person, they love to cite that person's religious hypocrisy. I think if you honestly ask yourself about the qualities you have as a person, you really can't be positive if it was your upbringing, some life experience, or some belief you have that makes you truly act the way you do. Religion is given too much credit for the things that we do, and the ways that we act.

And since the founder of Buddhism had a noble bearing and presence, it seems like if we are to follow his example, then we too should carry ourselves in a similar way. But what if we are wrong about that and we are simply supposed to be ourselves, which spans the whole spectrum of the whole "caste system."




posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 06:59 PM
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reply to post by Novise
 


Buddhism is a system that relies on the individual, it asks of a person to feel, it asks how would you feel if for example someone stole from you, if you would feel hurt then is right to inflict that on another? if someone shows you kindness and it makes you feel good then isn't it right that you show others kindness.

This is what drives Buddhist virtue.

But virtue is only the beginning of the path.

In Buddhism being educated can be seen as a dis advantage as it can lead to an individual trying to understand from an intellectual POV.
Being wealthy can lead to procrastination.

You could say that Buddha dismantled the caste system as his teaching could be understood and practised by everyone, and no you don't need to be Buddhist to understand this, just human.


edit on 7-9-2011 by Jamjar because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by Novise
 


i think the question to be asked is what does it mean to be yourself?

does the caste system really have anything to do with who you truly are? if you were truly being yourself wouldn't you be who you are irregardless of what exists or occurs outside of yourself (within the physical world)?



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 08:54 PM
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Our true nature is the same in everyone; the enlightened mind of a Buddha have exactly the same qualities as the enlightened mind of an ordinary person: compassion, wisdom, joy, fearlessness, and so on.

In Buddhism there are many buddhas and deities, every one of them representing one aspect of the enlightened mind: Avalokiteshvara represents the compassion, Medicine Buddha expresses the healing power, Tara the female, protective energy and so on. While they have all the other qualities of all the other Buddhas, each one of them choose to display a predominant one, so we can easier relate to it, and meditating on that deity, develop its representative quality. Yet, they are not to be taken as real persons or gods; but more like mirrors of your own mind. Avalokiteshvara is nothing else than the image of your own infinite compassion, undiscovered yet in yourself.

You can see them as numerous doors of a palace that is your own mind; you can enter through every one of them, by unveiling that specific quality. They all lead to the same place; which one we choose is up to our present personality. One person could meditate all his life on one buddha form, while other could try different schools and methods, until he finds the one that resonate with it. As long as the motivation and the target is the same, they will end up at the same place.
The historical Buddha, Gautama Sidharta, was simply the Buddha who brought us the teachings of buddhism on earth, and he did it in a way that was the most useful and beneficial for us, humans. To different people he showed different qualities, the ones who benefited them the most. Probably, at that time and place, being noble and virtuous were the qualities that people admired the most, and were willing to identify with. I'm not sure that today, in our modern world, those qualities will have the same impact
Also, every Buddha have a peaceful form, a wrathful one and a form in union. They represent the same qualities, but targeting different types of disturbing feelings.

Therefore, is recommended to work with that quality that is most predominant in us, the one that seems most appealing, so we achieve the best and fastest results. As the mind becomes more and more clear and radiant, all the other qualities will shine through automatically.

I think it's important to understand that as we become enlightened, we do not lose our personality. The best explanation I found about this is comparing it with candles; let's say you have ten lit candles in a room. Each one of them is a different entity, but their light cannot be separated; it's the same light in each one of them. You cannot say where the light of one candle stops and the light of another begin. Their light is one. The same with enlightened people, while they remain different entities, their enlightened mind is the same in every one of them.

Note: to avoid any confusions, I speak from the point of view of Vajrayana buddhism. There is a slightly difference of terminology and methods within the different schools of buddhism, which mostly confuse people. But they all have the same source, Buddha, and target the same destination, enlightenment.
edit on 7-9-2011 by WhiteHat because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 09:24 PM
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The story of the Buddha was he grew up in wealth, left to undertake extreme austerities in the forest, then found enlightenment through a moderation of the two wealth/austerity (however he also meditated and fasted for 7 days straight so his idea of moderation is still a bit extreme for our modern age where most people can't fast for one meal). But there are also Buddhist quotes saying it is important to strive towards your own ideals as opposed to living up to another's ideals. So in that regard I think we should act compassionately as did the Buddha but also we have to be ourselves...no one else can be it for us



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by nicolet
 


No the caste system doesn't have a lot to do with what you truly are. It does however, have a lot to do with the skills a person would have as they go out into the world, travel, and influence others. Siddhartha Gautama, having been raised as a prince would know how to greet even kings properly. And he had conversations with kings and inspired many of them so much that they gave him land for his sanghas. I'm offering the suggestion that his "noble bearing" in fact came from his upbringing, and that it's not a "side-effect" of following Buddhism. Though the Buddhism brought out his noble personality in the best way possible, in a pure way.



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 09:55 PM
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reply to post by WhiteHat
 


I thought that was very informative and I liked what you wrote. What you said about many doors ultimately leading to the same enlightenment. There are a lot of doors aren't there? I mean I used to really worry about how I would introduce Buddhism to someone if I was ever asked about it. Now I realize that it's not terribly important what you focus on in introduction, as long as it is basic. There are so many things to it, and they all build on eachother, slowly realized over time and through personal experience.

I agree, I don't think enlightenment destroys the personality, rather I believe it does the opposite. It brings it out. The reason this is confusing is because our world today and especially on television, is personality is such a fabricated and shallow thing. What passes for personality is usually some act a person puts on. A genuine personality is what you will get from Buddhism, without the attachments and baggage.



posted on Sep, 7 2011 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by Novise
 


Thank you, I'm glad you found it useful.
I agree about the buddhism revealing our true personality. With the practice, all the neuroses and difficult feelings heal, and our qualities strengthen and grow. So we feel less and less the need to wear a mask, to blend in or to pretend that we are something we are not. We start to like more what we really are.
True happiness comes from a mind confident in its own qualities.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 12:08 AM
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reply to post by Novise
 


I think it takes a person who grew up somewhat privileged (at least like any middle class American), who did not struggle to eat or survive everyday and had almost an abundance of pleasure available to them, to have the necessary attributes to seek enlightenment. When you have been deprived of these things for most of your life, it seems like you would be more inclined to grasp on to whatever little amount of pleasure you could find, thus making renunciation and liberation very difficult to accept as suitable paths.

It is said there are four paths of life: pleasure, success, renunciation and liberation. The first two are considered paths of desire, and are also considered to be insatiable. There is no "wrong" path though, which must be stated, and whatever path we decide we want to take, we should follow it wholeheartedly. The key principle is to not turn away from a desire until it turns away from us, but when it does, and it always will if we follow it wholeheartedly, than we must be mindful enough to recognize that it is time to move on to the next path. Unfortunately, if we are unable to follow such a path wholeheartedly due to certain circumstances that are outside of our control, then it is almost impossible to realize how utterly futile following it is.

We all have at one time followed the path of pleasure, some of us remain here for our entire lives, but some of us grow tired of it and desire something more than mere pleasure. Thus we move on to the path of success (fame, power, wealth). Many of us at some time in our lives will also follow this path and most of us who do so will remain here for the rest of our lives. But some of us also grow tired of this path, recognizing it is insatiable some of us will move on to the next path; renunciation. If we follow this path wholeheartedly we will recognize that mere renunciation is also insatiable and so we will more than likely automatically begin to follow a path like the the Dhamma and Vinaya, which is the path of liberation. This is the end of all paths, as our wanting and desire for satisfaction will have been extinguished.

But again, to get to the point where we choose to follow the paths of renunciation and liberation, it almost seems like we must first have the capability to fulfill the paths of desire completely and that means we probably have to be at least somewhat privileged.

Peace.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:59 AM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
reply to post by Novise
 


I think it takes a person who grew up somewhat privileged (at least like any middle class American), who did not struggle to eat or survive everyday and had almost an abundance of pleasure available to them, to have the necessary attributes to seek enlightenment. When you have been deprived of these things for most of your life, it seems like you would be more inclined to grasp on to whatever little amount of pleasure you could find, thus making renunciation and liberation very difficult to accept as suitable paths.




I would disagree with this through personal experience.

Quick Bio:

Born in the UK into a very poor family, family went without food often, suffered sexual abuse at 6, entered a cycle of self abuse through varies means, found myself at the age of 13 questioning the nature of reality, drug addiction till age of 19 then I suddenly decided I must change, found Buddhism and at one point even got ordained.

So yeah I can understand by being born into wealth can influence how others would perceive you, it is not a requirement to search.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 04:52 AM
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In my youth when looking into different religions i seriously looked into Buddhism and Buddha Gautama. And one thing always stood out to me as being somewhat irreconcilable to the supposed "good" nature of the Buddha, didn't the Buddha abandon his wife and son?
edit on 09/03/11 by trika3000 because: deleted extra word



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by trika3000
In my youth when looking into different religions i seriously looked into Buddhism and Buddha Gautama. And one thing always stood out to me as being somewhat irreconcilable to the supposed "good" nature of the Buddha, didn't the Buddha abandon his wife and son?


I've had a bit of struggle with that too, until I understood that we see that act from the point of view of our modern society.
Well, it's not like he abandoned them to poverty and misery. He left them together with his royal family and his other concubines, in a rich, opulent environment.
It's worth to mention that in the hindu culture, leaving behind one's loved ones to choose a spiritual path was seen as a praise worthy sacrifice, not a condemnable act. Usually, the families were no traumatized by this, but proud. It's important to understand his actions in the context of that specific society norms.

Later on, before becoming enlightened he understood that such practices were not necessarily useful, at least not for everyone. Today, celibacy or monastic life are in no way a requirement for being a good buddhist.
"My way is free of extremes; my way is the middle way".

In the long run, his act was most beneficial for everyone; would he had remained only a father and a prince, this world would had missed a Buddha.
edit on 8-9-2011 by WhiteHat because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 07:10 AM
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An interesting Thread and replies by all.

Thank You.

I would just like to point out that the Buddha as we talk about is not the only enlightened human in recent times, and many have got there with very very hard, abusive and under priveledged backround, he was even a very black and dark magician for a while, you see the past is not soo important as the NOW

For Example:

Jetsun Milarepa

I strongly urge all who are unsure of the path, if they can make it, if indeed real change can happen in one lifetime, if we are to progress with bad situations his life story is a boon.

It is said just before he passed away he was totally enlightened and he made a promise and blessing for all beings, that all those humans who heard his name and had faith in him and what he had done, would be protected for the next 7 incarnations from taking incarnation in one of the "lower realms" (hell, animal ghost etc) and would have those 7 lifetimes to turn things around and reach his state ourselves.


OM Mani Padme Hum

may it shine brightly in you and all you see.

Love

Elf



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 08:03 AM
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reply to post by Novise
 


I think I would have to disagree with you. Our skills have nothing to do with what the outside world dictates unless we believe that it does via the mind. (Which is where we are today collectively)

Our "skills" only have to with our ability to connect to or work with source or the consciousness/ intelligence that fuels all of life. It only comes from within with this connection. This is what we are collectively about to step into



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 08:23 AM
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We are attached to our homes our jobs our kids our families our money our food our clothes our drink our lifestyle our cars our holidays and everything else...

Buddah lernt how to let go, to rid himself of any form of attachement.

When we are attached to so many meaningless things, that offer us some illusiory safety net where we think we are not being left behind by the likes of the Jones' across the street and we are focused only on how we appear to others and how well we are doing in life with that new job new house and new car, we are more and more led away from detachment of the material and instead we feel pulled by it, wanting and desiring more and more, feeling the need to reach higher up where that big pot of endless money can buy us security and happiness...

No. The Buddah let go of it all... He was after all royalty and was already at the top of the chain. He had everything but let it all go. He ventured out of his castle and saw the poor and downtrodden and he empathised and learnt compassion.

It was only through his ability to let go of everything that he was blessed with the vastness within to accept the all. Me you and everyone else included. The same way Christ, Khrishna, Mohammed and the likes of Ghandi and Mother Theressa did.

It is only by letting go of the need for anything that we become part of the whole and by becoming part of the whole we treat everything and everyone as us.

That is why people were attracted to Buddah because they saw themselves in him as much as he saw himself in them.

We are all one and one day we will all be like Buddah.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by nakiannunaki

It is only by letting go of the need for anything that we become part of the whole and by becoming part of the whole we treat everything and everyone as us.

That is why people were attracted to Buddha because they saw themselves in him as much as he saw himself in them.


Brilliant! Thank you for putting it so meaningful. The essence of buddhism in a few words!
edit on 8-9-2011 by WhiteHat because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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Originally posted by Jamjar
reply to post by Novise
 


Buddhism is a system that relies on the individual, it asks of a person to feel, it asks how would you feel if for example someone stole from you, if you would feel hurt then is right to inflict that on another? if someone shows you kindness and it makes you feel good then isn't it right that you show others kindness.

This is what drives Buddhist virtue.

But virtue is only the beginning of the path.

In Buddhism being educated can be seen as a dis advantage as it can lead to an individual trying to understand from an intellectual POV.
Being wealthy can lead to procrastination.

You could say that Buddha dismantled the caste system as his teaching could be understood and practised by everyone, and no you don't need to be Buddhist to understand this, just human.


edit on 7-9-2011 by Jamjar because: (no reason given)


Do you think that Buddhism just like all the other religions, deep down is just "another system"? Yes it's history and tradition are great, but so are many of the other "trap" religions.

It's been on my mind lately.
edit on 8-9-2011 by blazenresearcher because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 12:30 AM
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reply to post by Jamjar
 


May I ask why you decided to cease following the path of a bhikkhu? Also, where did you ordain and under what tradition?

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." Buddha

Peace.



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 07:50 AM
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I used to think the goal was to be a nice person. I just wanted the world to be a happy place because it was not at the time and i believed that if i could be nicer, better, i could make the world happy. It was a mission but i knew that if i was good the world would give me a break. I was bad, i knew to my core that i was bad. So it was obvious to me that if i was good it would get better. I tried so hard to be good. I tried to be someone i wasn't. It made me very unhappy.
The goal is not to be a good person, a nice person, always doing the right thing. Who am i going to please? Whos right am i supposed to believe and follow? This is the confusion. You can't please all of the people all of the time, so please yourself. The self wants to be seen too, but generally we try to do the 'right' thing and look 'out there' for what is the 'right' thing.
Trying to be good is not what enlightenment is. Awareness in the moment brings compassion and clarity, however that does not mean that there is no feelings arising. It is assumed that Buddha and Jesus and all the saints were never angry or had outbursts as though they were forever peaceful outwardly.
The peace is always present no matter what appears to be happening. You are not the happening, you are the presence in which all happening appear, Buddha and Jesus knew and lived in that underlying peace.
Outwardly (to an onlooker) the character carries on as before (unfolding, changing, moving) and it is watched from a place of okness.
edit on 9-9-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by Novise
 


Follow no one. And anything you think you are is from your upbringing. Anything you think about the world is from your upbringing. All thoughts and beliefs have been put there, learned. That's the good news. You are not your thoughts or anything your thoughts tell you you are. So what are you? No more than presence, with thoughts and sensation appearing, moving, changing. You are the constant presence of this eternally present now. Be with it and it will carry you.
edit on 9-9-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)




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