Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.
SarathW
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Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby SarathW » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:06 am

I just wonder why we pay homage to Buddha.
I agree what Buddha thought was very profound even though I still have no idea what it is.
But what he taught was some thing natural like say discovering splitting the atom.
We do not pay homage to Albert Einstein.
Then why we pay homage to Buddha?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

chownah
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby chownah » Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:45 am

If one does not know why one pays homage to the buddha then I think that doing so is an empty ritual...and empty rituals are to be abandoned if stream entry is to be attained I think.
chownah

santa100
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby santa100 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:53 am

Huge difference. Just ask youself, what's the use of the "discovery of atom splitting" to every moment of your life to better yourself? versus the use of the 3 characteristics, 4NT, 5 precepts, 8NP, 12DO, etc. to every moment of your life to better yourself? Then you'll see that for Einstein, we should respect him, but for the Buddha, we should pay homage to Him.

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BlackBird
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby BlackBird » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:34 am

SarathW wrote:I just wonder why we pay homage to Buddha.
I agree what Buddha thought was very profound even though I still have no idea what it is.
But what he taught was some thing natural like say discovering splitting the atom.
We do not pay homage to Albert Einstein.
Then why we pay homage to Buddha?



Reverence and faith in the Blessed one is a key component for many in supplanting one's supposition that one knows best. We don't know best. That's the whole premise of the Dhamma, that this perfect man understood our condition and we, living in ignorance, must find a way to see how our experience works. Sadha through homage to him helps cultivate a perspective that the Buddha knows better than you or I that we are blind, and that we should defer to the Buddha's sight so that we too may come to see.

:anjali:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

SarathW
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby SarathW » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:44 am

Thanks Black Bird
Good to see you back in the forum after a long time.
I hope you are well and bit more enlightened. (Perhaps an Arahant by now)
:D
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Mkoll
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby Mkoll » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:36 pm

Hi Sarath,

Are you asking because you're having doubts/a crisis of faith or are you just looking to start a conversation? I'm guessing it's the second one, but I want to make sure before I consider replying.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

SarathW
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby SarathW » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:15 pm

just looking to start a conversation?

No. It is a genuine question.
I just want to say hello to an old friend instead sending a PM. :)
I have no objection for Black Bird's answer.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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BlackBird
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby BlackBird » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:21 am

SarathW wrote:Thanks Black Bird
Good to see you back in the forum after a long time.
I hope you are well and bit more enlightened. (Perhaps an Arahant by now)
:D


Nah, stilling wallowing in the mud on the near shore.

I am reasonably well though, hope you are too my friend.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

SarathW
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby SarathW » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:29 am

I used to pay homage to my school teachers until I wen to Uni.
We pay homage to elderly and my younger brothers and sisters still pay homage to me.
I think this practice is in other Asian countries as well.
This practice lacks in Western Society.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

chownah
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby chownah » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:56 am

What does paying homage accomplish?
chownah

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:52 am

chownah wrote:What does paying homage accomplish?
chownah
Isn't "paying homage" simply "offering respect"?
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

chownah
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby chownah » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:06 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
chownah wrote:What does paying homage accomplish?
chownah
Isn't "paying homage" simply "offering respect"?

What, then, does offering respect accomplish?...and who (or what) is the respect being offered to?...is the offering accepted?...refused?....neither?....can respect be "offered" at all?...if so what does it mean to "offer" respect?.....
chownah

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby Coëmgenu » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:09 pm

chownah wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
chownah wrote:What does paying homage accomplish?
chownah
Isn't "paying homage" simply "offering respect"?

What, then, does offering respect accomplish?...and who (or what) is the respect being offered to?...is the offering accepted?...refused?....neither?....
chownah
I think it's more about the beneficent mindset that is generated on the part of the practitioner while performing actions of homage/respect. That's just IMO though. The cultivation of such a beneficent mental state, coupled with continued practice, will doubtlessly lead to more mettābhāvanā, no?
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

SarathW
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby SarathW » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:03 am

“Brahmin, in the world with its gods, its lords of death, and its supreme beings, in this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans, I donʼt see anyone to whom I should bow down, for whom I should rise up, or to whom I should offer a seat. If the Buddha bowed down to anyone, rose up for him, or offered him a seat, his head would explode.”


“Just so, in this population without understanding, enveloped like an egg, I alone in the world have split the eggshell of ignorance and reached the unsurpassed full awakening. I, brahmin, am the world’s eldest and best.


“Good Gotama is the eldest; good Gotama is the best! Wonderful, good Gotama, wonderful! Just as one might set upright what had been overturned, or reveal what had been hidden, or show the way to one who was lost, or bring a lamp into the darkness so that one with eyes might see what is there— just so have you made the Teaching clear in many ways. Good Gotama, I go for refuge to you, and to the Teaching and to the Order of monks. Please accept me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life. And please consent to spend the rains at Verañjā together with the Order of monks.” The Master consented by keeping silent, and the brahmin understood. He then rose from his seat, bowed down to the Master, circumambulated him with his right side towards him, and departed.


https://suttacentral.net/en/pi-tv-bu-vb-pj1
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Mkoll
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby Mkoll » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:53 am

SarathW wrote:
just looking to start a conversation?

No. It is a genuine question.

Here is the answer: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=23618

Even the Buddha himself paid homage to something. That says a lot.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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cjmacie
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby cjmacie » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:41 pm

SarathW wrote:I just wonder why we pay homage to Buddha.
I agree what Buddha thought was very profound even though I still have no idea what it is.
But what he taught was some thing natural like say discovering splitting the atom.
We do not pay homage to Albert Einstein.
Then why we pay homage to Buddha?

What does "homage" (English) mean? Do we use it much in common speech?

"homage (n.) Look up homage at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "ceremony or act of acknowledging one's faithfulness to a feudal lord; feudal allegiance," earlier "body of vassals of a feudal king" (early 13c.), from Old French omage, homage "allegiance or respect for one's feudal lord" (12c., Modern French hommage), from homme "man," in Medieval Latin "a vassal," from Latin homo (genitive hominis) "man" (see homunculus). Figurative sense of "reverence, honor shown" is from late 14c."
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=homage

Another place said "paying homage" is like saying "I'm your man (homo)".

What's the Pali word used?
How is it used generally?
Any relation to the English usage/meaning?

(I'm a bit rushed at the moment. If no-one else does the research in the meantime, I'll check it out later.) :reading:

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby Coëmgenu » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:17 pm

cjmacie wrote:What's the Pali word used?
How is it used generally?
Any relation to the English usage/meaning?

(I'm a bit rushed at the moment. If no-one else does the research in the meantime, I'll check it out later.) :reading:
There's a couple of words. In the Dedication of Offerings, part of the Morning Chanting in a chant book of mine, we have:
Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropetehi abhipūjayāma
We render with offerings our rightful homage
and later from the same book:
Buddhaṃ bhagavantaṃ abhivādemi
I render homage to the Buddha, the Blessed One.


And the incipit to the preliminary homage has written:
Handa mayaṃ budhassa bhagavato pubbabhāganamakāraṃ karomase
Now let us pay preliminary homage to the Buddha
followed by, in the chant,
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhasa
Homage to the Blessed, Noble, and Perfectly Enlightened One


I don't know how different the language of the chant and the suttas are.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

whynotme
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby whynotme » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:53 pm

SarathW wrote:I just wonder why we pay homage to Buddha.
I agree what Buddha thought was very profound even though I still have no idea what it is.
But what he taught was some thing natural like say discovering splitting the atom.
We do not pay homage to Albert Einstein.
Then why we pay homage to Buddha?


If Einstein can bring you a better life then you should pay homage to him, but in general, scientists are fools. They know very well in their very specific and narrowed field, but nothing more. Their ideas are often junk in other field, for example, let choose a famous scientist and put him into a president of let say united states and the whole world will come into chaos in matter of days. Stock exchange will collapse in the fear of him.

Of course there are good scientists with good vision in other fields, but they are rare. That what we often call knowledge vs wisdom. Scientists has knowledge, but they often lack will and wisdom. For example, scientists often not fight for good value, which needs iron will, they only mine knowledge. Scientists are easily to bend, e.g. they will work for anyone even Nazi. Who will pay homage to those? Not me. Scientists don't protect my right or my value, so they don't own me anything.

Now, Einstein, what he brought, knowledge about physics, it is good, but it creates the most awesome fear, the nuclear bomb. Now can he change your life, in everyday, not very much, you must seek job, earn money, treat friend, family.. The modern life is based on electrics, telecommunication, which not much from theory of relattivity. The most important thing to modern life is electronics and information industries, not so much from Einstein's work. Quantum theory is more important in producing IC.

On the other hand, Lord Buddha teaches you the way in everyday, from job to family, and not only this life but next lives, so he is much more far better than Einstein.

What is the value of paying homage to Einstein? You get better at physics, how much can you earn from that? 100k usd a year? If you are not paying homage to Einstein, maybe you can make 200k usd.

What is the value of paying homage to the Lord Buddha? Well, you can fool many people who believe in nonsense value, that is why religion is far better in making money. Look at Vatican, where the kings bring them gold and estates for free, look at Mohammed. you created Arab nations which imbuned in black gold. You can become a king by just spreading nonsense thing, e.g. the world is created in 7 days, it is more easy than hard working in office, and you can make not thoudsand, not million but billions of usd from that.

Now, comparing Einstein to other religions is not far in the amount of money you can make, then how come anyone can compare Einstein to Lord Buddha? Lord Buddha teaches the path to become kings in this world, and gods in the invisible world, which is far better than what you get from other religions

Stephan Hawking is said to be as good as Einstein, but look at his body, the kamma of him. That is what paying homage to a scientist looks like, you are so good at a specific field, but you get very bad kamma, I don't know, maybe S.Hawking insulted enlightened monk in the past because of his scientific and atheist view? And do you want that body? Oh not me, I will not pay homage to scientists because I am at least equal, if not superior than them. I only pay homage to someone superior than me (not the fvking Mara, God or whatever that f son of b is called).

But if anyone feels that they are inferior than scientists, then feels free to pay homage to them, and get what S.Hawking got.
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SarathW
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby SarathW » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:09 pm

Very interesting thoughts Whynotime.
Coming back to the topic I just start to wonder whether homage is about seniority and customs.
For example a newly ordained monk should bow down to senior monk.
Any female monk should bow down to any male monk irrespective of seniority.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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ganegaar
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Re: Why we pay homage to Buddha?

Postby ganegaar » Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:40 am

Personally I pay homage, because Buddha is my teacher. It is in our eastern cultural thing to pay homage to our teachers.
Also I pay homage because he posses qualities of a Buddha (ithipi so bhagava, arahan, samma-sambuddo,..) , which are definitely qualities that need to be venerated.
Also I pay homage because he was and still is being venerated by people who are far far more intelligent to me, venerated by people who have walked in the path (dhamma path).
Also I pay homage because I want to loose my arrogance and be humble! - he is simply my teacher.

Now unfortunately, the teacher - pupil relationship is so much different in current western culture than the eastern culture, some of the things I said might be completely incomprehensible, and definitely will lack the gravity I personally would attach to!.
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.


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