Recently I faced such thing. Occasionally I faced an orthodox guy. We were talking about marriage, then he came on this thing "My religion is xxx what is yours?" First I ignored him but he asked me again so I answered "Buddhist." He didn't really understand me and was pretending like he did. So if someone asks me this question in the future what should I say?

  • Do you mean, when we are talking with "someone who we are considering as a possible marriage partner"?
    – ChrisW
    Jan 26, 2017 at 15:45
  • He have to say in his religion they can't get women to marry due to lacking of them then he said in yours there are women. Conversation could be simple than this but he pulled into it. Here are people living orthodox their perspective only is religion. May you wouldn't believe some are killing if someone married with different religion partner.
    – Swapnil
    Jan 26, 2017 at 15:51
  • The Dalai Lama said, "My religion is kindness."
    – user2341
    May 2, 2017 at 11:42

2 Answers 2


Determine what you will say based on what you can learn from the other person with whom you are talking. Listen carefully to what they say and presume nothing about what they mean. Ask careful questions about what a religion is and see whether what you are part of is a religion by this meaning. You may discover that while Buddhism is a religion the Dharma is something greater and more heartening.

The opportunity for sharing of the Dharma includes as much a listening attitude as it does an attempt to explain what we understand and know. Often meeting people on level ground is as much of an assist to others to find their way as comparing views or values may support our own.

When someone asks a personal question, this is an invitation from them (for whatever reason) to get to know us better, to bring our mind to front and show them who we are. Unless they are already our spiritual guide or filial teacher then we owe them no compliance or explanation in any final sense. Our answer can be "I do not know." and this may become an embrace of humility from which we will persistently benefit.

These categories are not rooted and cemented for all time. What is a religion? Is Buddhism one? Is that what it has always been called? By whom? Perhaps the orthodox guy was bold and yet helpful, and his secret instruction to those he was asking was to cause us to wonder whether religion is valuable and how it helps us to come to a wakeful mind. Are 'isms' generally good at doing this?

  • Yeah your saying right sharing Dhamma and beyond religion but here orthodox people can't think beyond it(super religious). They think thing like marriage can't happen without religion. May I could make him speechless but I simply go with flow. When he was an orthodox and religious I avoid to start with him may it could hurt his ego. I understand. There's no problem sharing things with wiser people.
    – Swapnil
    Jan 27, 2017 at 10:02
  • Part of the challenge is engaging people where they are. If encountering super-religious people, then they are wanting to reinforce the right doctrines and right practices. One option is to try to learn how these are described and justified by the variety within that culture. My experience (with Christian, Pagan, and Muslim peoples) is that they enjoy discussing these things as much to reinforce what they know as to consider minor alternatives from the same set of justyfing principles. Learning about these can aid one's social kindness and bring humility when facing those who are judgemental.
    – Troll
    Jul 13, 2019 at 18:12

In your current social context maybe it is safe to shy away from religious talk considering people may be religious bigots. But you may also want to reel them in on their religion and attitude.

And as for such talk about other religions having more women or whatever, you can just dismiss it for yourself. Sometimes it may be wise to not try and penetrate the other person's ignorance. You may prick the ego instead. And that's dangerous.

And one more thing, Buddhism has certain practices and goals. And that must be all. Try not to identify too much with it or defend it. Know for yourself that you are going on the path you feel is right.

  • I could have answer like this. Religion? What is it if there's love between them, religion doesn't matter for us or humanity is our religion.
    – Swapnil
    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:40
  • Yes but answer according to the situation. If you know the nature of the person asking you this question , it's better. That's what I mentioned in the second paragraph. You might not be able to say much to ignorant people.
    – esh
    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:43
  • Yeah I was confused, need to be wise. Thanks
    – Swapnil
    Jan 27, 2017 at 6:28

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