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Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:14 pm
by genkaku
A friend was kind enough to post this on my blog and I am not above shamelessly stealing it. I think it's wonderful.

Why is there Buddhism?
Because no-one listened to the Buddha.

Re: Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:43 pm
by Ben
Hi Adam

Another way to answer the question is because people did listen to the Buddha. They practiced what he taught and memorized his teachings and handed it down so others could benefit.
If people didn't listen to Buddha, then we wouldn't even know about him or his teachings!
Cheers

Ben

Re: Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:33 pm
by genkaku
Ben-- I suppose you're right. They did listen and very good practices grew up.

Now, about hearing what the Buddha had to say .... :)

Maybe it's like the old Will Rogers line:

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

Re: Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:14 pm
by Jechbi
genkaku wrote:There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Yup, that's me.

Maybe it works this way: Why is there Buddhism? Because we haven't fully heard the Buddha yet.

Re: Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:09 pm
by kc2dpt
genkaku wrote:Why is there Buddhism?
Because no-one listened to the Buddha.
I confused. What do you think that means?
Now, about hearing what the Buddha had to say ...
People did hear what he had to say. They are the arahants.

Why is there Buddhism? Because there are still many people who could benefit from hearing what Buddha had to say.

Re: Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:34 pm
by clw_uk
The statement seems to suggest that the buddhism we have today is not how the buddha intended it, perhaps refering to rituals or someother aspect.

Re: Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:18 pm
by Ben
Hi Adam
genkaku wrote:Will Rogers:

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Throughout the suttas there are numerous examples of people who came to listen to the Buddha and within the time of the discourse, the person, or the assembly had attained various levels of liberation. For example, Sariputta became a stream enterer while listening to a four-line stanza uttered by a bhikkhu before he meet the Buddha. Mahakaccana, while still a court brahmin attained complete enlightenment at the end of a discourse by the Buddha and the royal consort, Khemma, attained arahantship while still wearing royal attire. And there are other examples where entire assemblies attained various levels during the course of a discourse.

So, while these people really 'heard' the Dhamma, according to Bhikkhu Bodhi and Nyanaponika Thera, their extraordinary rapid ascent has been attributed to hagiography or super-human quality but an incalculably long prior period of prior preparation.

And for the rest of us, we're just slogging it out one step at a time.
Cheers

Ben

Re: Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:00 pm
by bodom
Peter wrote:
genkaku wrote:Why is there Buddhism?
Because no-one listened to the Buddha.
I confused. What do you think that means?
I took it to mean that people attached to the concept of "Buddhism" even though the Buddha never taught "Buddhism", but taught non-attachment to anything and everything including his teachings.

:namaste:

Re: Why is there Buddhism?

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:44 am
by dhammatrophic
Perhaps there were a few in his crowd who thought:

Why listen when one can ism?

But I suspect the Buddha expected and welcomed them, founding Buddhism in spite of it all.