Here are some questions I have about how people have reacted after Buddha's death
1. Did Buddha want us to make statues about him and worship him? I don't understand the point of doing this. I mean Buddha was indeed an admirable man, but I'm sure he wants us to help someone in need rather than worshipping his statues.
2. Is worshiping with flowers etc nessecary? Isn't it better helping someone else or doing some other good karma that actually has an effect on someone during this time.
3. Why do in some places small children are taken as monks. I mean you have to look no further than Buddha's life. He experienced all the pleasures in life and then understood it was meaningless and reached enlightenment. These small monks have not experienced these pleasures so how can they understand they are meaningless.
Having said all that. I understand that temples are necessary. It is a place for monks to recruit and find shelter and to continue on their efforts to find peace. Also for the longevity and spread of Buddhism temples are a good thing. Not saying they are entirely bad, but I like the answers for above questions. Thanks
1) From Itivutaka 91: Even if one should seize the hem of my robe and walk step by step behind me, if he is covetous in his desires, fierce in his longings, malevolent of heart, with corrupt mind, careless and unrestrained, noisy and distracted and with senses uncontrolled, he is far from me. And why? He does not see the Dhamma, and not seeing the Dhamma, he does not see me. Even if one lives a hundred miles away, if he is not covetous in his desires, not fierce in his longings, with a kind heart and pure mind, mindful, composed, calmed, one-pointed and with senses restrained, then indeed, he is near to me and I am near to him. And why? He sees the Dhamma, and seeing the Dhamma, sees me.
Though physically close behind, If one is acquisitive and restless, How far is that turbulent one from one at peace, That burning one from one cooled,
That hankering one from one content! But thoroughly understanding Dhamma, And freed from longing through insight, The wise one, rid of all desire, Is calm as a pool unstirred by the wind. How close is that peaceful one to one at peace, That cool one to one cooled, That content one to one content!
However, those statues are there for people who are "still far from the Dhamma". It might bring them some comfort and a little bit of merit.
2) Worship with flowers has some merit, but Buddha said worshipping with virtue is even better:Dhammapada Verse 54: The scent of flowers cannot go against the wind; nor the scent of sandalwood, nor of rhododendron (tagara), nor of jasmin (mallika)2; only the reputation of good people can go against the wind. The reputation of the virtuous ones (sappurisa) is wafted abroad in all directions.
Verse 55: There are the scents of sandalwood, rhododendron, lotus and jasmin (vassika)3; but the scent of virtue surpasses all scents.
3) Age does not determine wisdom: Dhammapada chap. 11:Just as the ox grows old
so this man of little learning:
his fleshiness increases,
his wisdom doesn’t grow.
Generally monasteries have served as educational institutions in many countries, which is why you see many children ordain -- however, monks and nuns must prove they are trustworthy and are trained. Many children than disrobe if they don't think it's for them when they grow older, however, the discipline they keep forever.
Children who were wise beyond their age and could see the dangers of sense desires and they themselves seeing the dangers of sense desires were allowed to ordain -- with the approval of their parents.