I’m trying to find the truth behind religious movements, for so far possible of course. I admit, it’s with a selfish goal, but it’s important for me. I want to find my way in Life and try to understand things about Life. Alas I am a little skeptical about things.
I’m trying to learn as much as possible from the main religions, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam (and of course I try to learn things about the Jewish faith and Hinduism). What they all have in common is the written sources are all written many years after that the “main person” – the Founder – is deceased. The gospels are written many years after the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ, the Pali Canon is written about two/three hundred years after Gautama the Buddha, and the Quran more than twenty years after Muhammad the Prophet. All texts seems to be composed by followers who decides which texts to be sacred and which text are had to left outside the canon. And all have in common that believers believe that they contain the thru words of the founder.
After reading the Quran, also a composed book by followers, I decided that this book does not contain the words of a God or whatever Devine being. I contain so much threats to humans that I cannot believe that a divine creature is the source of this text. With the exceptional rude text that when you are a Muslim, and you think about changing to another believe, Allah will torture you forever by burning off your skin, let it grow again, and burn it again, etcetera. Next page there was written Allah is merciful. I cannot think of a better contradiction in one book itself. And there are so much other threads to otherwise-believers that I think this book should be forbidden. There are many rules maybe written down by his followers after his life to maintain the status quo.
Jesus Christ on the other side amazes me with his Message of Love. But what about Paul and Peter, did they really wrote down the words of God? So many rules, rules never spoke out by Jesus. But written down by Paul and Peter.
So I come to the Buddhism. I really understand that it is not a religion in the way of the two here above mentioned. I don’t know much about Buddhism but I think to understand that the concept of a God was not the foremost concern of Gautama the Buddha, since it was not possible to learn about this concept during Human Life. I also understand that he is not THE only Buddha. I think his original message had some complex elements for a layman, but was great with also still a simple one.
I have the impression that after his life his followers made up many rules, rituals, maybe not with the origin of Gautama. Some will say that this is because the Shakyamuni Buddha is not the only Buddha. And he is not the foundation of the Buddhism movement, but it started before him.
So I come to my question, after this long intro: the Buddhavamsa mentions about 29 Buddhas, including Maitreya. Twenty seven before Shakyamuni (Gautama) the Buddha. This raiser a few questions to me. I hope you can answer these as exact as possible.
1- If Gautama is not the first founder of Buddhism why where these Buddhas not worldly known to be in existence before his life? Why took it hundreds of years before they were mentioned in Holy Scripts? Now it seems to me that Buddhism followers made them up to declare and explain rules and things in their canon. Wrote down their names to upgrade the core of their faith.
2- Is the Buddhavamsa the first Holy Scripture where the Buddhas of the Past are all mentioned?
3- Who wrote this scripture?
4- So far as I understand (have read) Gautama mentions only six Buddhas during his life. How can persons than know the names of the other Buddhas after the death of Gautama without making this up? Because there is no record that he did mention them his self?
5- How can we ever know the name of the Buddhas who lived hundreds of thousand years before us? Like Dipankara Buddha and even the ones before?
6- Why did the Buddhas of the past not launch Buddhism as we know it, or their own version of it?
I know I sound skeptical, but that is not the purpose. I try to make up if there is any sense in being a Buddhist. I want to follow only what the Devine Beings want to teach up (for so far they exist) and not to follow rules and stories made up by men. So I hope to learn from your answers.
With kind regards, Johan