Originally posted by luciddream
reply to post by Namdru
But does Buddha tells you what rules to follow or sets of commands? or celebrate holidays in his place?
Im not sure where you get that saying Buddha wants you to pray to him. I thought he actually wanted to get away from religious rituals and praying
systems, that is why he left Hinduism. If Buddhism was a religion, then that is everything against what Buddha set out to do.
12/10/2012 by luciddream because: (no reason given)
I never say that Buddha *wants* you to pray to him. He never says that. My point is, it is permissible to do so -- but not mandatory.
As far as worship and rituals go, Lord Buddha never said "I am opposed to this" or "I am opposed to that". He was more subtle, and what he does
say, leaves many options open for us, including the option of viewing Buddhism as a philosophy, and not as religion.
For example, the Dhammapada states,
He for whom there is neither this shore
nor the other shore, nor yet both,
he who is free of cares and is unfettered —
him do I call a Brahmin.
Now a Brahmin, as most on this thread would know already, is someone born into a priestly caste, of Indic racial and cultural descent, in a "Hindu"
country -- meaning, these days, mostly in India. The caste system of Hindu law (Arthashastra) explicitly sacralizes, or sanctifies, such birth -- and
profanizes, or discriminates prejudicially, against low-caste rebirth e.g. as a Shudra (servant class) or Chandala, Dhobi etc. (that is, "scheduled"
peoples or outcastes). Moreover the Vedas claim that special benefits are to be had by performing certain rituals -- rituals only Brahmins are allowed
to perform, whereas others, should they perform or even listen to them, might have molten lead poured in their ears (which is what Kautilya says in
his Arthashastra, literally).
That was the sense of religion, worship and such that Lord Buddha was opposed to. A true Brahmin is not mumbler of Mantras per se, but one "free of
cares and is unfettered", according to Buddha.
Note however that Lord Buddha nowhere says, "One who mumbles mantras and is born in the Brahmin caste can never be free." In fact, history records
that many Brahmins who mumbled mantras, performed the duties of their caste and also followed Lord Buddha, became Arhats or Nirvanized individuals.
Not only could one be a "religious" Buddhist and realize the fruits of the Buddhist path, it is also possible (though by no means, the easiest way)
to be a religious Hindu and also realize the fruits of Buddhism. Not only that, one could be a religious Hindu _elitist_ -- a law-abiding,
ritual-performing Brahmin -- and also reach Nirvana.
By the same token, one needn't be any of that to reach Nirvana. Buddha's closest disciples included high-caste (aristocrat, Kshatriya-warrior caste)
individuals, like his cousin Ananda, as well as Brahmins (e.g. Shariputra), Shudras (Upali the Barber) and so on. All became Arhats or liberated
I doubt that any Brahmins of the sort to pour molten lead in the cleaning lady's ear, would want to practice Buddhism though. Buddhism -- like
Hinduism of the sort most practice nowadays -- holds ahimsa (non-harm) to be the essence of its doctrine. Not all Brahmins are of the
fire-and-brimstone, pour-molten-lead-in-their-ears, fundamentalist variety -- just as not all Christians are of the Pat Robertson,