will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
polo
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will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by polo » Sat May 11, 2019 5:22 am

I really hesitate to put forward this view because I don't want to be shot down by more intellectual members of this forum. They could shoot me point blank then I would fall off my chair away from the keyboard feeling really awful.
Nevertheless I really want to get on with it. From my personal experience when I first went to a Buddhist temple to listen to some talks by monks, right from the beginning I got this impression that it was no big deal just like other religions some simple talks on kindness, blah, blah, blah. I walked away from the temple with a feeling of emptiness. Later after some contemplation a sense of disappointment descended on me. I heard so much good thing about Buddhism and this is all I get? No, that can't be true. No, no, no I said to me self this can't be true.
On top of that I find it disgusting whenever I see people praying to the statue of Buddha asking for good health, wealth, good luck in business or exams . The idea that you could get something from Buddha by praying to him really get on my nerves. So, is Buddhism after all a self-deceiving religion like the other religions?
I was lucky though I found some books on insight meditation (vipassana) as well as books on Abhidharma. That was when I felt I found Buddha's teaching.
Then it dawn on me that people who really search for the teaching of Buddha is just a small group of people. The rest of the people who called themselves Buddhists are really praying and deceiving themselves. Pathetic is an understatement here.
Last but not least I find members of this forum are really hardcore Buddhists. This forum has given me knowledge that I needed. But this group of hardcore Buddhists is so small. A handful?.
In the long run Buddhism will become a self-deceiving religion like others?

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Ceisiwr
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Ceisiwr » Sat May 11, 2019 5:32 am

In my experience the tendency in the west is for it to become a self deceiving non-religion through secular Buddhism, which in my experience is (usually) hardly Buddhism at all but more secular humanism with an a la carte approach to Buddhist meditation methods and Buddhist concepts. At least, that’s been my experience interacting with secular Buddhists online. For example, one even told me the other day that you don’t need to keep the 5 precepts, and another that Nibbana means “being the best person you can be”.

As to the rest, praying for help from the Buddha isn’t right but bowing, chanting and giving to monks is. Also, I wouldn’t poo poo away Dhamma talks on kindness etc. In order for there to be Nibbana you first have to have good sila (virtue) as a bedrock.

In terms of the members here, I would say we are pretty dedicated to the Dhamma in varying degrees.

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sat May 11, 2019 5:50 am

polo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:22 am
In the long run Buddhism will become a self-deceiving religion like others?
It already has. See "traditional" folk-Buddhism which is nothing more than basic superstition with a thin paint of Buddhism on top.
And see the secular buddhist people in the west.
And nationalist buddhists in Myanmar killing people in the name of the Buddha.

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budo
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by budo » Sat May 11, 2019 5:55 am

It already is. There are many Theravadan monks that have wrong views. You don't have to look far into Mahayana to see wrong views, there are wrong views espoused by many Theravadan monks.

And the relevant sutta:
“Monks, possessing five qualities, an elder monk is
acting for the harm of many people, for the unhappiness of
many people, for the ruin, the harm, the suffering of many
people, of devas and of humans. What five?

I. An elder is of long standing and has long gone forth.

II. He is well known and famous, and has a following of
many people, including lay persons and monastics.

III. He gains robes, alms food, lodging, and medical care.

IV. He has learned much, remembers what he has learned,
and accumulates what he has learned …

V. He holds wrong views and has a distorted perspective.
AN 5.88


Just the other day I was listening to a dhamma talk by a respected monk and he said the Buddha is always in first jhana no matter what. I shook my head and disqualified that teacher.

And also polo, vipassana movement is also wrong view.

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Dan74-MkII » Sat May 11, 2019 6:52 am

Casting around and picking faults with others never got anyone very far.

Buddhism urges us to look at our own mind, our own actions, rather than worrying where others may or may not be going wrong. If you are in a position to help, help, otherwise it's just papanca - unnecessary mental proliferators, a waste of energy that can be used on something like practice.

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budo
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by budo » Sat May 11, 2019 7:01 am

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 6:52 am
Casting around and picking faults with others never got anyone very far.

Buddhism urges us to look at our own mind, our own actions, rather than worrying where others may or may not be going wrong. If you are in a position to help, help, otherwise it's just papanca - unnecessary mental proliferators, a waste of energy that can be used on something like practice.
I disagree. The Buddha left teachers he thought didn't solve suffering. Furthermore the suttas give instructions on how to judge teachers and people's views (alignment with the suttas, wholesome qualities, etc..)

One can respectfully disagree and judge others.

Edit: relevant sutta
“Here, monks, a monk might say:

I. ‘In the presence of the Blessed One I heard this … This
is the Dhamma; this is the Vinaya; this is the Teacher’s
teaching’

II. ‘In such and such a residence a Sangha is dwelling with
elders and prominent monks. In the presence of that
Sangha I heard this … This is the Dhamma; this is the
Vinaya; this is the Teacher’s teaching’

III. ‘In such and such a residence several elder monks are
dwelling who are learned, heirs to the heritage, experts
on the Dhamma-Vinaya, experts on the outlines. In the
presence of those elders I heard this … This is the
Dhamma; this is the Vinaya; this is the Teacher’s
teaching’

IV. ‘In such and such a residence one elder monk is
dwelling who is learned, an heir to the heritage, an
expert on the Dhamma-Vinaya, an expert on the
outlines. In the presence of that elder I heard this …
This is the Dhamma; this is the Vinaya; this is the
Teacher’s teaching’

That monk’s statement should neither be approved nor
rejected. Without approving or rejecting it, you should
thoroughly learn those words and phrases and then check
for them in the Suttas (discourses) and seek them in the
Vinaya (monastic discipline). If when you check for them in
the Suttas and seek them in the Vinaya, (you find that) they
are not included among the Suttas and are not to be seen in
the Vinaya, you should draw the conclusion: ‘Surely this is
not the word of the Blessed One, Arahant Samma-
Sambuddha. It has been badly learned by that monk.’ Thus
should you discard it.”
Last edited by budo on Sat May 11, 2019 7:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

SarathW
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by SarathW » Sat May 11, 2019 7:03 am

In the long run Buddhism will become a self-deceiving religion like others?
Actually, I am more sympathetic towards the present Buddhist community.
Buddhism is all about gradual training.
There are many stages in the path.
Buddhism faced the same problem even when Buddha was alive.
A good example is the first schism by Devadatta.
I am more optimistic.
Buddhism is the ultimate religion.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16297&p=232330&hilit=
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

markandeya
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by markandeya » Sat May 11, 2019 7:23 am

All the translations on devatta are wrong and is one the biggest schism's in Buddha Dharma, time will tell.

Secondly there are no isms is Buddha Dharma, this was created by scholars, Buddha simple means awake, i dont see it as an ultimate religion, i cant even see it as a religion, religion breeds singular belief systems, i dont see any beliefs in Buddhist suttas or any tradition, practices and cultures may vary but truth is one, and equally applicable to everyone. Samma Dhitti is not about belief intellectual view.

Texts should be discussed slowly along with practice, not made intellectual or church like biblical quotes where it says it here is some sort of proof and you have to believe ot be part of the group, groups and others wont be there at vital times, even if its given a softer or more intellectual mask, when test come you cant think yourself out of situations, especially death, learning from suttas in ones natural language and discussing of the texts is ok if it leads to developing the practice deeper and awakening.

While there are many versions of secular Buddhist teachings and practices, perhaps most of it not correct, it real ideal is that it doesn't become conformed by religious limitations and institutes and belief systems. This maybe directed at the highest purest level to corruptions in the monastic and institution orders, within western traditions and translations. Example you dont have to become ordain to become enlightened, some monks are more deluded than some lay people. If one becomes renounced from the world in it truest sense Vairagya its because a higher taste or more developed state has developed in ones practice, and one drops attachments to the physical naturally.

Just use whats useful for actual practice and either throw out the rest or leaves some things on the shelf until the time is right, most knowledge is revealed by its own source, no dependant on external sources, didnt buddha say be a refuge unto oneself.....Sangha should strengthen that refuge to liberate oneself, simples..... but corruption and power are strong kleshas ( poisons in physic centres) to overcome.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat May 11, 2019 7:42 am

budo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:55 am
Just the other day I was listening to a dhamma talk by a respected monk and he said the Buddha is always in first jhana no matter what. I shook my head and disqualified that teacher.
Don't be so quick to judge. There is much truth in the statement.
A Discourse on the Hemavata Sutta wrote:The Buddha Never Neglected Jhāna
Hemavata asked whether Sātāgiri’s teacher, the Buddha, never neglected jhāna, or in other words, whether he was fully aware so that he could reject all lustful desire, which is an impediment to Arahant­­ship. Hanker­ing after pleasant things and indulging in pleasures is a basic impediment. If one is free of that, one is said to have attained the first stage of jhāna. Now this question is just a corollary to the question of lassitude. Thus, Hemavata had put these questions relating to misdeeds of a physical nature, namely, killing, stealing, and the sexual act. He then asked about jhāna.
...
The Buddha Entered Jhāna Very Rapidly
The Buddha was consistently in jhāna, and for that he is adorable. At the end of part of a discourse, while the audience exclaimed in one voice, “Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu! (Well said!),” the Buddha went into jhāna even during that brief interval. Then he resumed the discourse. Such consistency is really marvel­lous.
Source: http://www.aimwell.org/hemavata.html
BlogPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

sentinel
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by sentinel » Sat May 11, 2019 7:56 am

Look at it another way , all the Buddha disciples such as Kasyapa , Sariputra , Assaji etc were either a samana , brahmin , or jain ascetic and sadhu , sanyasi , bairagi , sant , yogi , muni , rishi , etc , if we forsake them because they have wrong view , all these arhats would not be arhat at all . Similarly it is like saying superstitious beliefs of many buddhist fellows and ala carte western Buddhists having wrong view therefore should be banned .
By the way , many of us were having wrong view previously .
:buddha1:

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mikenz66
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by mikenz66 » Sat May 11, 2019 8:12 am

polo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:22 am
\From my personal experience when I first went to a Buddhist temple to listen to some talks by monks, right from the beginning I got this impression that it was no big deal just like other religions some simple talks on kindness, blah, blah, blah. I walked away from the temple with a feeling of emptiness

Well, that is where the Buddha typically started...
The Gracious One saw the leper Suppabuddha sat in that assembly, and having seen him, this occurred to him: “This one here is able to understand the Dhamma”, and having regard to the leper Suppabuddha he related a gradual talk, that is to say: talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on heaven, the danger, degradation, and defilement of sensual desires, and the advantages in renunciation—these he explained. When the Gracious One knew that the leper Suppabuddha was of ready mind, malleable mind, unhindered mind, uplifted mind, trusting mind, then he explained the Dhamma teaching the Awakened Ones have discovered themselves: suffering, origination, cessation, path.
...
https://suttacentral.net/ud5.3/en/anandajoti#sc7
:heart:
Mike

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Aloka
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Aloka » Sat May 11, 2019 8:22 am

Dan74-MkII wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 6:52 am
Casting around and picking faults with others never got anyone very far.
Yes, but unfortunately we all do it, don't we Dan !
Buddhism urges us to look at our own mind, our own actions, rather than worrying where others may or may not be going wrong. If you are in a position to help, help, otherwise it's just papanca - unnecessary mental proliferators, a waste of energy that can be used on something like practice.
Indeed. Ideally its best to get on with our own practice, rather than speculating about how Buddhism might end up in the future.

The Buddha said:
"the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
and:


You shouldn’t chase after the past

or place expectations on the future.

What is past

is left behind.

The future

is as yet unreached.

Whatever quality is present

you clearly see right there,

right there.

Not taken in,

unshaken,

that’s how you develop the heart.

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN131.html

:anjali:

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Akashad
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by Akashad » Sat May 11, 2019 8:36 am

Protect your own mind Polo.You don't need religion or buddhism to be a good person.Some things can only be revealed when a Buddha arises such as vippasanna practice.But if your worried about external things such as buddhism or teachers or other practitioners then turn your mind inward.Try to be a really good person whatever that means for you.Be kind,do good,don't harm anyone.Observe the three marks of existence,impermanence,dukkha and anatta in your own life no need to look to others.When good karma accumulates opportunity arises doors open for you to either to perceive true dhamma or meet with the right teachers etc. :candle:

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retrofuturist
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by retrofuturist » Sat May 11, 2019 8:42 am

Greetings Polo,

A bit of an analogy for you...

I DJ on Saturday nights. I play pop, dance, disco and retro music from the 70's, 80's and 90's. I know quite a lot of music from this era, and I know plenty of really good songs that no one has ever heard of. However, I need to play these songs very sparingly, otherwise people would be confused, leave, and possibly not come back. So, to avoid that situation, I predominantly play popular "mainstream" music that everyone in the room knows and can instantly recognise. This makes people happy, it keeps them on the dancefloor, they have a good time, and they will likely come back again.

Similarly, even if a teaching bhikkhu is learned and knowledgeable on deeper matters of Dhamma, it's quite possible that their preferred teachings would be incomprehensible and alien to a vast number of people there. The teachings may appear irrelevant, suited only for monks, or too complicated for people without the background knowledge to understand.

For this reason, I would recommend asking a bhikkhu about deeper matters of the Dhamma, when the masses are not around. Their interest and capability in doing so, will tell you whether they have anything insightful to offer, over and above the "mainstream" stuff you and everyone else already knows. Along a similar vein, consider also this from the Anathapindikovada Sutta...
(Ven. Sariputta said...) "Then, householder, you should train yourself in this way: 'I won't cling to what is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect; my consciousness will not be dependent on that.' That's how you should train yourself."

When this was said, Anathapindika the householder wept and shed tears. Ven. Ananda said to him, "Are you sinking, householder? Are you foundering?"

"No, venerable sir. I'm not sinking, nor am I foundering. It's just that for a long time I have attended to the Teacher, and to the monks who inspire my heart, but never before have I heard a talk on the Dhamma like this."

"This sort of talk on the Dhamma, householder, is not given to lay people clad in white. This sort of talk on the Dhamma is given to those gone forth."

"In that case, Ven. Sariputta, please let this sort of talk on the Dhamma be given to lay people clad in white. There are clansmen with little dust in their eyes who are wasting away through not hearing [this] Dhamma. There will be those who will understand it."
Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

polo
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Re: will Buddhism finally ended up as a self-deceiving religion like others

Post by polo » Sat May 11, 2019 9:04 am

budo wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 5:55 am
It already is. There are many Theravadan monks that have wrong views. You don't have to look far into Mahayana to see wrong views, there are wrong views espoused by many Theravadan monks.

And the relevant sutta:
“Monks, possessing five qualities, an elder monk is
acting for the harm of many people, for the unhappiness of
many people, for the ruin, the harm, the suffering of many
people, of devas and of humans. What five?

I. An elder is of long standing and has long gone forth.

II. He is well known and famous, and has a following of
many people, including lay persons and monastics.

III. He gains robes, alms food, lodging, and medical care.

IV. He has learned much, remembers what he has learned,
and accumulates what he has learned …

V. He holds wrong views and has a distorted perspective.
AN 5.88


Just the other day I was listening to a dhamma talk by a respected monk and he said the Buddha is always in first jhana no matter what. I shook my head and disqualified that teacher.

And also polo, vipassana movement is also wrong view.
Budo, please don't say "vipassana movement is also wrong view" it helped me to get back from the edge of insanity. I was having hell lot of neurosis problems I thought I was going insane until I look into Vipassana and understood the origin of the problems which immediately lightened the burdens I was carrying and later stage got it off my back completely. It cannot possibly be wrong as far as I am concerned. May be it is for you perhaps because you made some mistakes along the way.
Would you be kind enough to enlighten me on what you said, i.e. wrong view. I really must get to the bottom of these two words.

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