Is Buddhism exclusive ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
justindesilva
Posts: 673
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by justindesilva » Mon May 21, 2018 11:20 am

Buddhism is for all people who would like to see.
It is called Akaliko and Ehipassiko. Akaliko is fits any era. And ehipassiko is the invitation for any body come see and investigate. For those who investigates the truth can be seen. Lord budda did not make commands unlike other religions but showed the path.
For those who start , 5 precepts was laid down and was made free to understand and observe. The cause and effect being the principle was explained .
With cause and effect ( karma) explained he left us with the option of existence as paticca samuppada. Buddhism is the only religion which touches the mind and its relativity with form.
When people like bodhidarma took buddhism to china and japan also tibet the essence of buddhism was untouched with compassion and brahma vihara introduced among all cultures.
Buddhism remains exclusive as it is the only religion that can be explained through science along with evolution. ( for eg: agganna sutta)

User avatar
Bundokji
Posts: 1532
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:57 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Bundokji » Mon May 21, 2018 11:31 am

Not in the current fluid world we live in where there is no absolute standard or reference point. Buddhism is not a set of big reassuring answers, hence it is open to anyone who looks for a path to walk in.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by seeker242 » Mon May 21, 2018 11:47 am

The Buddha ordained untouchables. That's about as far away from exclusive as you can get. :smile:

Meezer77
Posts: 197
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 5:43 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Meezer77 » Mon May 21, 2018 12:04 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:41 am
James Tan wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:12 am
Tailoring or catering for or available to only a few, selected, restricted , elite and excellent people .
The Dhamma Wheel membership does suggest that. :tongue:
To be fair though, anyone can join here and it costs nothing. From what I’ve experienced retreats tend to be quite costly, and seem more tailored to people who have a certain degree of wealth. I also get the impression that there’s a kind of covert duress as far as donations are concerned. So yeah, in some cases a bit exclusive and elitist if I may say so.

chownah
Posts: 7327
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by chownah » Mon May 21, 2018 12:52 pm

seeker242 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:47 am
The Buddha ordained untouchables. That's about as far away from exclusive as you can get. :smile:
I'm not sure but I think that the concept of being untouchable did not arise until long after the buddha. If I am mistaken can you find a reference which shows the buddha ordaining untouchables?
chownah

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 3780
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Sam Vara » Mon May 21, 2018 1:25 pm

That's an interesting and thought-provoking video; many thanks.

There are two sets of questions here. The first set is to do with "exclusivity" in social and psychological terms; whether Buddhism as expressed tends to exclude certain types of people and rule them out as unworthy or incapable of understanding or following or achieving some specified bits of the Dhamma. That's very much to do with one's own conditioned experiences of Buddhism and Buddhists. If, for example, you deal maladroitly with existing practitioners and get rebuffed a few times, then you are likely to see Buddhism as somehow "excluding" you. Depending on past conditioning, cultural barriers or not knowing how to approach monastics will do that for some people. Conversely, "Buddhism" is of such vast scope that if you are persistent and determined, you can probably find a more congenial group or set of practices which make you feel included. As Retro points out, everyone will be able to gain something from the teachings, but not everyone will be able to gain everything.

The second set of questions are raised by Ravi Zacharias early on in the video, and are to do with claiming exclusivity with regard to the truth. Is Buddhism exclusively true, such that the claims of other religions are thereby ruled out? He sees truth itself as being exclusive, along the lines that if one claims that "x" is true, then one is automatically ruling out "not x". Specifically, Buddhism claims to be irenic, yet (he says) the Buddha clearly rejected tenets and claims of Hinduism.

I'm drawn to this approach, mainly because I meet lots of Buddhists who have a syncretistic or pluralist outlook which seems to be very vague or, if challenged, tends to result in what looks like eel-wriggling and prevarication on their part. On the other hand, I'm married to a Christian priest, which results in me making quite a lot of effort in avoiding positions which force me to say "I'm right, and you're mistaken"! My solution is not to overplay the issue, in that the Buddha himself appeared to discourage exclusivity regarding truth-value:
For a sensible person who is preserving truth this is not sufficient to come to the definite conclusion:
‘This is the only truth, other ideas are stupid.’”
https://suttacentral.net/mn95/en/sujato

He did, however, maintain that the truth was real, and that it was available to those who awaken to it.

This type of doctrinal or philosophical exclusivity is, just like the other (social) sort, a deliberate mental action on our part. We decide that a particular view is true, and then we decide to proclaim or enforce it, in contra-distinction to other views. In this respect, Buddhism is not exclusive, in that we (along with Bharadvaja) are advised to not do this. We are urged to safeguard the truth, until such time as we know it for ourselves.

User avatar
seeker242
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by seeker242 » Mon May 21, 2018 6:50 pm

chownah wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 12:52 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:47 am
The Buddha ordained untouchables. That's about as far away from exclusive as you can get. :smile:
I'm not sure but I think that the concept of being untouchable did not arise until long after the buddha. If I am mistaken can you find a reference which shows the buddha ordaining untouchables?
chownah
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Untouchable = outcast.

Karma Dondrup Tashi
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon May 21, 2018 6:57 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:46 am
I don't think it's truly any of the above.
^^^

But Christianity is exclusive.

It forces a person coming into contact with it to make a choice.

Either Jesus was the Son of God, or he was "a devil of Hell", as C. S. Lewis stated.

User avatar
binocular
Posts: 5405
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Mon May 21, 2018 7:09 pm

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 6:57 pm
But Christianity is exclusive.
It forces a person coming into contact with it to make a choice.
Either Jesus was the Son of God, or he was "a devil of Hell", as C. S. Lewis stated.
It's a trilemma as CS Lewis formulated it, insisting that the only three options were that Jesus is either a lunatic, a liar, or Lord.

I, personally, do not feel one bit pressured to decide what Jesus was or wasn't.

- - -
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:34 am
Most people that use sound logic would probably tell you that you have no way of knowing what it was like back in the Buddha's time. Most scholar's argue even about the authenticity of many suttas and treatises, not to mention the alterations that take place over thousands of years. Why believe in this? It's not a necessary step for studying Buddhism.
It may not be a necessary step for studying the Dhamma, but it seems like a necessary step for studying Buddhism.
The question is, whether there can be Buddhism without the Dhamma, or the Dhamma without Buddhism.
Last edited by binocular on Mon May 21, 2018 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
binocular
Posts: 5405
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Mon May 21, 2018 7:14 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 11:10 am
Agreed, and Advanced Mathematics and Buddhism are alike in the sense that the majority will not even bother to embark upon learning them, because there's too much effort involved.
This is an inadequate and misleading analogy.

Buddhism is like advanced mathematics in the sense that both generally require a lot of effort from people who are involved with them, in order to know them and to get results.
But Buddhism is not like advanced mathematics in the sense that advanced mathematics does not deal with things that are of crucial importance for a person's life.

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16115
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon May 21, 2018 7:20 pm

Mathematics is rather important to some people's lives:

Image

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/katherine- ... d-to-count

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
binocular
Posts: 5405
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Mon May 21, 2018 7:28 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:20 pm
Mathematics is rather important to some people's lives:
Obviously, if earning one's livelihood depends on it, then it matters in ways that it doesn't even remotely matter in other people's lives.

But I think you know what I'm talking about. Mathematics doesn't deal with the problem of suffering (which is, for many people, the central problem of human life), whereas Buddhism does.

User avatar
binocular
Posts: 5405
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Mon May 21, 2018 7:29 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 8:03 am
They may say such things but it does not make it true does it. Buddhism is like the only doctrine i know that goes well with quantum science and information theory.

Also other teachings may be true in other doctrines but i know no doctrine that is as true in it's entirety and as comperhensive as the 4NTs.
You're just making statements of faith. I can talk to a Christian and they will, with the same confidence as you here, assure me that Christianity is true, comprehensive, etc..

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16115
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by mikenz66 » Mon May 21, 2018 7:54 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:28 pm
But I think you know what I'm talking about. Mathematics doesn't deal with the problem of suffering (which is, for many people, the central problem of human life), whereas Buddhism does.
No but mathematics (in common with many areas of knowledge) other does share with Buddhism the ability to completely take over and shape people's attitude towards their lives.

I thought that one of the best things about the movie about Stephen Hawking's life (The Theory of Everything) was how it captured his obsession with getting to the Truth - if only he could get the right equation to describe it.... I know people like that...

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
binocular
Posts: 5405
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Mon May 21, 2018 7:56 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 1:25 pm
There are two sets of questions here. The first set is to do with "exclusivity" in social and psychological terms; whether Buddhism as expressed tends to exclude certain types of people and rule them out as unworthy or incapable of understanding or following or achieving some specified bits of the Dhamma. That's very much to do with one's own conditioned experiences of Buddhism and Buddhists. If, for example, you deal maladroitly with existing practitioners and get rebuffed a few times, then you are likely to see Buddhism as somehow "excluding" you. Depending on past conditioning, cultural barriers or not knowing how to approach monastics will do that for some people. Conversely, "Buddhism" is of such vast scope that if you are persistent and determined, you can probably find a more congenial group or set of practices which make you feel included. As Retro points out, everyone will be able to gain something from the teachings, but not everyone will be able to gain everything.
No no no. You're talking like an egalitarian democrat who believes that at their core, all people are somehow capable of the same. That everyone has some kind of "true nature" and an "innate potential for enlightenment". You'll remember that Thanissaro Bhikkhu argues strongly against that.

It's because of that outlook of yours that you can blame people's failure in Buddhism on their bad attitude toward Buddhists. That if only they'd try harder, they'd see that Buddhism is true. Guess what? They say the same kind of thing in every other religion.

There are Buddhists who "exclude certain types of people and rule them out as unworthy or incapable of understanding or following or achieving some specified bits of the Dhamma". And these people don't even have to interact with Buddhists in any way. These claims of exclusion can be found in the way Buddhists describe outsiders or puthujjanas.

I don't feel excluded from Buddhism because of my "bad experiences with Buddhists". Bah, that's shallow. I feel exlcuded from it because I am utterly foreign to it, alien to it. I cannot but treat Buddhism with "an alien cultural overlay". In order to not feel alien to Buddhism, I would need to take for granted that it is true. Even the smallest Buddhist practice, as long as I conceive of it a Buddhist practice, requires me to take for granted that Buddhism is true.

I do think that if Buddhists would understand that, it would make things so much smoother in communication with outsiders.
Is Buddhism exclusively true, such that the claims of other religions are thereby ruled out?
Of course, to an extent, in that all other proposed "solutions" to the problem of suffering are rejected as inadequate.
On the other hand, I'm married to a Christian priest, which results in me making quite a lot of effort in avoiding positions which force me to say "I'm right, and you're mistaken"! My solution is not to overplay the issue, in that the Buddha himself appeared to discourage exclusivity regarding truth-value:
For a sensible person who is preserving truth this is not sufficient to come to the definite conclusion:
‘This is the only truth, other ideas are stupid.’”
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers!
He did, however, maintain that the truth was real, and that it was available to those who awaken to it.
Which is a frequent truism that doesn't explain anything.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: arpansharma1, Google [Bot], kamui, one_awakening, robertk and 70 guests