Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

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retrofuturist
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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:02 am

Greetings Grasshopper,

See this topic...

Did the Buddha go to Sri Lanka?
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=4374" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by Goedert » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:04 am

Wind wrote:It seems the Buddha concentrated his teaching in India and other realms. I wonder why he didn't use his ability to teach in every parts of the world? Just imagine how Buddhism would have evolve to modern time if every part of the world had met the Buddha. Or did he?

Thoughts?
Hello friend,

It is possible that in the time of the buddha:

American Continent: There were only native Indians, nude, possible they had too much dust in theyre eyes to understand the teachings.
Africa: The same, except Egypt.
Europe: Greek, possible.
Asia: China, possible. India the most suitable place, culture, costumes, etc.

The dhamma that the Buddha discovered could only be understood in Asia Continent and near empires, due to phylosophical and relegious cultures.

If the Buddha teached the dhamma in native american tribes, he probabily would be know as a god among them. Same in Africa and primitive tribes.

Living in Brazil and had contact with the lack of native-tribes that still exist, you would know what it mean.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by Wind » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:58 am

Goedert wrote:
Wind wrote:It seems the Buddha concentrated his teaching in India and other realms. I wonder why he didn't use his ability to teach in every parts of the world? Just imagine how Buddhism would have evolve to modern time if every part of the world had met the Buddha. Or did he?

Thoughts?
Hello friend,

It is possible that in the time of the buddha:

American Continent: There were only native Indians, nude, possible they had too much dust in theyre eyes to understand the teachings.
Africa: The same, except Egypt.
Europe: Greek, possible.
Asia: China, possible. India the most suitable place, culture, costumes, etc.

The dhamma that the Buddha discovered could only be understood in Asia Continent and near empires, due to phylosophical and relegious cultures.

If the Buddha teached the dhamma in native american tribes, he probabily would be know as a god among them. Same in Africa and primitive tribes.

Living in Brazil and had contact with the lack of native-tribes that still exist, you would know what it mean.
Good point. I had forgotten how long ago the Buddha came to this world. 2500 yrs ago, the world was ancient and people were sorta primitive and I could see why it would be difficult for them to understand the Buddha's teaching. I mean even in Modern time, his teaching is still very difficult to grasp. The Buddha is truly an amazing person.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by Goofaholix » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:21 am

If you consider how much misunderstanding of the dhamma there is today surely it would have been worse if he had spread himself thinly and tried to travel longer distances and tried to teach different cultures, better to embed a more thorough understanding in one culture and leave it to them to pass itfrom generation to generation and spread it.

Every other religious founder did much the same.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by Shonin » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:40 am

Wind wrote:Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?
Probably because it takes to long to walk around the world. If we want to get into the realm of speculation about supernatural powers, then why stop with flight and telportation? Why not simply give him the power to communicate without misunderstanding to every being in the universe at every moment? Who gets to define what powers he does and does not have? There is a simpler explanation: that he was a biologically human spiritual teacher, not a magical being.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by Wind » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:12 am

Shonin wrote:Who gets to define what powers he does and does not have? There is a simpler explanation: that he was a biologically human spiritual teacher, not a magical being.
The Buddha defines some of the powers in the suttas. He not only demonstrated them but he also listed the type of psychic powers that are available through jhanas. I can't recall which suttas so can't provide the links. You'll gonna have to search it and read it for yourself.

And although some powers are mention in the Suttas, it is better not to speculate the extent of his powers as it has been mentioned earlier that would be a waste of time.
Last edited by Wind on Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by grasshopper » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:19 am

Probably because it takes to long to walk around the world. If we want to get into the realm of speculation about supernatural powers, then why stop with flight and telportation? Why not simply give him the power to communicate without misunderstanding to every being in the universe at every moment? Who gets to define what powers he does and does not have? There is a simpler explanation: that he was a biologically human spiritual teacher, not a magical being.
If supernatural skills are undigestable, then I am not sure how rebirth, moving across different realms in different lives, delayed workings of karma-vipaka and nibbana itself can be digestable. They all, at least to me, seem like from the same basket. Just for the record though, according to scripture, flying in air and through walls is not a skill unique to Buddhas. Such a skill is said to be accessible for all those who perfects the Jhanas. Someone who is said to have perfected them, in these modern times, is a lady by the name of Dipa Ma. http://www.amazon.com/Dipa-Ma-Legacy-Bu ... 812&sr=8-1

She is on Youtube and also a few of her talks are on as MP3s on DharmaSeed website.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by PeterB » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:33 am

grasshopper wrote:
Probably because it takes to long to walk around the world. If we want to get into the realm of speculation about supernatural powers, then why stop with flight and telportation? Why not simply give him the power to communicate without misunderstanding to every being in the universe at every moment? Who gets to define what powers he does and does not have? There is a simpler explanation: that he was a biologically human spiritual teacher, not a magical being.
If supernatural skills are undigestable, then I am not sure how rebirth, moving across different realms in different lives, delayed workings of karma-vipaka and nibbana itself can be digestable. They all, at least to me, seem like from the same basket. Just for the record though, according to scripture, flying in air and through walls is not a skill unique to Buddhas. Such a skill is said to be accessible for all those who perfects the Jhanas. Someone who is said to have perfected them, in these modern times, is a lady by the name of Dipa Ma. http://www.amazon.com/Dipa-Ma-Legacy-Bu ... 812&sr=8-1

She is on Youtube and also a few of her talks are on as MP3s on DharmaSeed website.
I see no need to regard any supernatural events as literal historical facts. Neither does the Buddhas Enlightenment , his teachings on D.O , the 4NT, 8fold path etc depend in any way on a literal reading of supernatural events. Nor does the workings of karma-vipaka and the nature of nibbana.
See Ajahn Buddhadasa.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by grasshopper » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:18 am

I see no need to regard any supernatural events as literal historical facts. Neither does the Buddhas Enlightenment , his teachings on D.O , the 4NT, 8fold path etc depend in any way on a literal reading of supernatural events. Nor does the workings of karma-vipaka and the nature of nibbana.
Paul, let me clarify; I didn't mean that acceptance of the literal meaning of supernatural events was necessary for anything. What I said was, if one was able to take on board the concept of rebirth - as explained in the Buddhist scripture - literally, then acceptance of supernatural events isn't too far-off either and vice-versa. In other words, if one can accept the fact that one gets reborn in a different realm eg: as an animal, deva etc upton death, then how hard is it to accept flying in air?

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by PeterB » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:26 am

If I can reply on behalf of Paul.. :smile:

Rather than attempt a full precis of Buddhadasa on Rebirth on this thread grasshopper. You can google what Buddhadasa says about rebirth.
Basically its about the nature of time and the way that conditions arise. He sees no need to postulate the three birth idea ( past present future ) to explain Rebirth.
I take your point however. If one gives creedence to the idea that a human being can be born as a frog, then flying or for that matter walking on water, or or being born as a God with an elephants head is not too far behind.
Unless of course we are saying that only Buddhist supernatural events are literal, and those of other faiths are not. That Buddhism somehow has a monopoly of the pukka article.
It seems clear to me that the supernatural element of the Canon is drawn the common repertoire of symbolism and iconography of the Indian sub continent.
The events around the birth and Enlightenment of Mahavira the founder of Jainism are replete with the same accounts of Devas, Iddhis, celestial music, teleportation etc. So either they reflect a common source of accolades used in the Subcontinent to eulogise a spiritual teacher..or the Devas etc are fairly promiscuous and unfussy about upon whom they bestow their favour.. :smile:
Last edited by PeterB on Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:37 am

Greetings,
PeterB wrote:If I can reply on behalf of Paul.. :smile:
Yeah, you'd better... 'cos I'm keeping out of this one. :D

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by Shonin » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:45 am

Wind wrote:The Buddha defines some of the powers in the suttas. He not only demonstrated them but he also listed the type of psychic powers that are available through jhanas. I can't recall which suttas so can't provide the links. You'll gonna have to search it and read it for yourself.

And although some powers are mention in the Suttas, it is better not to speculate the extent of his powers as it has been mentioned earlier that would be a waste of time.
Your logic is: it is mentioned in some texts that were written down some 2300 years ago from originals (now lost) of texts that were transcribed from an oral tradition that continued some 100-200 years after Buddha's death. This isn't proof of anything. There are many fantastical tales that come out of the Indian sub-continent even now.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by PeterB » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:47 am

Sorry Paul..I thought that as grasshopper appeared to be answering mine and quoting it that there was a Peter/Paul mix up. I blame those Popes..

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by PeterB » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:54 am

Shonin wrote:
Wind wrote:The Buddha defines some of the powers in the suttas. He not only demonstrated them but he also listed the type of psychic powers that are available through jhanas. I can't recall which suttas so can't provide the links. You'll gonna have to search it and read it for yourself.

And although some powers are mention in the Suttas, it is better not to speculate the extent of his powers as it has been mentioned earlier that would be a waste of time.
Your logic is: it is mentioned in some texts that were written down some 2300 years ago from originals (now lost) of texts that were transcribed from an oral tradition that continued some 100-200 years after Buddha's death. This isn't proof of anything. There are many fantastical tales that come out of the Indian sub-continent even now.
What is unique to Buddhadhamma is D.O The 4NT the 8FP.etc They are not found anywhere else.
Iddhis, Devas, supernatural elephants etc are found in Jainism as well as the various Vedic religions and so on.
All described and portrayed in just the same way.
Personally I am amazed that anyone confronted with the sheer beauty and elegance and profundity of the doctrine of Dependant Origination should want custard with it.

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Re: Why didn't the Buddha teach around the world?

Post by Shonin » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:32 am

grasshopper wrote:If supernatural skills are undigestable, then I am not sure how rebirth, moving across different realms in different lives, delayed workings of karma-vipaka and nibbana itself can be digestable. They all, at least to me, seem like from the same basket. Just for the record though, according to scripture, flying in air and through walls is not a skill unique to Buddhas.
My acceptance and practice of Dhamma is not dependent on pure-faith-based belief in any unverified phenomena. However, Nibbana can be glimpsed in this life. Whether there is such a thing as 'final nibbana' I can't be certain, but eliminating ignorance, craving, aversion and suffering here and now in this life is enough for me to practice.

In short: it works! I don't need to wait until my next life or until I gain the power of flight in order to find that out. :smile:

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