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One thing that is very easy to see in Buddhism is how respect is important. Respect for books, statues of Buddha and monks.

At the same time we learn that attachment and aversion are bad things.

Can't this respect for monks and traditions (sitting in a lower place, not pointing, etc) become an attachment to rules and reputation? At the same time, can't the disrespect for such rules become aversion?

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    Instead of "be seen as", which is not really consequential to a Buddhist, replace with "become" and I think you already have the answer. – yuttadhammo Mar 27 '15 at 16:44
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Respect should first be given to the truth of suffering, to the truth of the cause of suffering, and the capacity of the dhamma to free you from that. Why? Because if you have no respect for the capacity of the fire to burn you, or the balm to sooth you, then you will only continue to burn.

Respect should be given to the Buddha, as a practitioner who accomplished something very profound and difficult, something noble and worthwhile, and then chose to share the wisdom of how he accomplished that with us all. He should be respected as someone who can teach us valuable lessons. When we see a statue or an image of the Buddha, we respect what it represents, the accomplishment and nobility of what was conquered.

Respect should be given to those serious practitioners who have set themselves out to follow the path laid out by the Buddha, to take it upon themselves to accomplish what amount of that great work that they can. It is hard work, arduous work that requires diligence, and is worthy of respect.

If we respect these good qualities, we will be likely to emanate them. If we do that, we may become free of our suffering. It is good to do so.

This is why.

  • Great! I do respect the triple gem, very very much, I was asking just to know how other people see it :) – konrad01 Mar 27 '15 at 0:01
  • Actually, the Buddha comes first, then the Dhamma and the Sangha. – Sankha Kulathantille Mar 27 '15 at 2:27
  • @SankhaKulathantille I would argue that before it is possible to even know why respect for the Buddha is appropriate, understanding the truth of what he taught is necessary. Even then you have to respect yourself enough to apply the teaching, to learn the truth of what it is that is respectable. There are ways to approach respect, and obviously the truth of the Enlightened One is paramount, but to even understand what that means, you start with the truths themselves. Regardless, this is not the refuge vow, so there is no "traditional" or canonical order. – Joshp.23 Mar 27 '15 at 3:41
  • Without the Buddha, we wouldn't have any Dhamma to learn in the first place. Also, learning is one thing and respecting is another. – Sankha Kulathantille Mar 27 '15 at 3:47
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    @SankhaKulathantille this topic is better suited for chat, but I am not aware of any teaching that puts the Buddha higher than the Dhamma. Just coming first is not evidence to that end; Sila comes before Samadhi, impermanence before suffering, etc. – yuttadhammo Mar 27 '15 at 17:07
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Aversion and attachment is due to polarity of perception. (Ignorance is clouding due to perception, unskilled and scattered nature of our mind.)

By reducing perception or riding itself through meditation will help you avoid such dilemmas either way you choose to do.

Since the world runs on perception and all worldly people are polarized by perception, as an inspiration to others it would be wise to slant yourself to what is generally accepted as pious and good. (But not driven by attachments or perception. )

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