Is Buddhism really that cool?
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08-01-2013, 05:59 PM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2013 06:05 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
Buddhism is one of my favorite religions to study as far as art and history is concerned. Some people have said it's a philosophy, others have said it's a religion. I personally think it's both. Buddhism at its very core is a philosophy, a way of life. The point, as others have stated, is to rid oneself of desire because this is the source of suffering. Suffering is what keeps one from experiencing enlightenment. A simple way of describing this is to not let your possessions or hobbies rule you. Sex is often used as an example of things that can exacerbate desire-induced suffering. Many people think Buddhists aren't allowed to have sex, but this is not entirely true. Monks tend to be celibate, but layman can and do have sex. It's important to note that early Buddhist stupas had decorations of voluptuous couples (mithuna) because they represented fertility and the givers of life. There would be no monks if people didn't have sex.

[Image: mithuna_at_karle1309718928455.jpg]

Buddhism on the surface is a highly complex world religion. The Mahayana, Vajrapani, Pureland (etc.) branches of Buddhism have a giant pantheon of gods with the Buddha at the very top. Adherents invoke the names of and worship images of various Buddhas. In fact, there was a taboo against depicting images of the historical Buddha (c. 500 BCE) until the 1st century CE. This is when anthropomorphized images of him began to appear on stupas holding relics from his body. Hardcore Buddhists go nuts over bodily relics just like the Catholics do. Buddhist temples are not considered official unless they have some kind of relic. Buddhism is not known for proselytism today, but it has a long history of it. There is no way it could have spread beyond India without it. Central Asian merchants were instrumental in bringing the religion to China. Buddhism thrived in China long after it had pretty much gone extinct in its Indian homeland. A few pogroms were aimed at it because of its foreign nature (the Chinese were really xenophobic), but it remained extremely popular for millennia. Just like the mega churches of today, many Buddhist monasteries soaked up wealth via land holdings and horded treasure. It happened in other countries as well. This just goes to show that no religion is safe from greed, even those that supposedly shun it.

Anyone can follow philosophical Buddhism, even atheists. It's only when you delve into the various religious sects that you come across the supernatural beliefs that we deem silly. However, I will say that superstition has led to some absolutely gorgeous art.
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Messages In This Thread
Is Buddhism really that cool? - pxlgirl - 07-01-2013, 12:19 PM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool? - bemore - 07-01-2013, 11:16 PM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool? - DLJ - 08-01-2013, 01:05 AM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool? - Vera - 08-01-2013, 10:14 AM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool? - ghostexorcist - 08-01-2013 05:59 PM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool? - DLJ - 09-01-2013, 03:10 AM
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