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9
votes
3answers
211 views

Buddhist teachings on nation building & politics

From what I have read, Buddhism seems provide a practical path to follow in everyday life for a commoner to lead a life with lesser Dukkha and a rigorous path aimed at Monks seeking nirvana. But do ...
11
votes
3answers
312 views

What is it that is re-incarnated ? [duplicate]

I have been reading Mahayana philosophy. It proposes non-self and that self does not exist in the 5 aggregates. If the self/atman does not exist, what is that is re-incarnated? How can nothing ...
5
votes
4answers
328 views

What is the role of karma in rebirth?

Rebirth is not reincarnation. How then does the karma of an individual affect their rebirth? In reincarnation, an individual's karma results in a better or worse next life for their soul. But in ...
11
votes
5answers
277 views

Are there any differences in karma?

Is there a difference in karma of giving someone $ 1 and giving someone $ 1000, or its same for anything given? and Is there a difference in karma of killing a small animal (like mosquito or small ...
7
votes
10answers
2k views

Why should we worship statues of Lord Buddha?

Why should we worship Lord Buddha statues with flowers, lights and food, even when we know Lord Buddha is not alive and does not exist? Did Lord Buddha instruct us to do so or is there any other ...
34
votes
10answers
16k views

Is killing vermin and insects justifiable?

The first precept goes something similar to I undertake the training rule to abstain from killing. Now, I understand that, for instance, eating meat is allowed, but what about, for instance, ...
13
votes
6answers
987 views

Does studying mathematics or science lead to a practitioner of Buddhism acquiring wrong philosophical views and mental afflictions?

Among the steps needed to attain enlightenment, a practitioner of Buddhism needs to abandon the wrong philosophical views that they acquired due to either wrong teaching or wrong study. In this sense, ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there an Orthodox Buddhism?

Orthodoxy in Christianity is the holding to the oldest beliefs. It is of course impossible for the religion not to evolve at all as new questions and there answer have to addressed. The "Orthodox" ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the major sects of Buddhism?

Every major religion has several different belief systems (sects) that have the same general core belief, but have a significant enough different to have be separated from each other. What are the ...
7
votes
4answers
877 views

Do Arhats sleep?

I have read somewhere that Arhats (people who attained Nirvana) do not sleep like normal people do. Instead they just stay calm in a suitable position to give the rest required for the physical body, ...
8
votes
3answers
234 views

Is it harmful to the Buddha when we request he or she to continue teaching instead of entering parinirvana?

One of the ten things that Bodhisattva Samathabhadra says that a person on the Bodhisattva path should do is to request the Buddhas to continuing teaching instead of entering parinirvana. Given that a ...
7
votes
6answers
999 views

What, precisely, is kamma/karma?

In Buddhist doctrine there is always the problem, that for the sake of understandability, certain concepts are being presented in a solid, substantial way, while actually, one has to keep in the back ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between rebirth and reincarnation?

In my readings of Buddhist commentary there is a distinction drawn between rebirth and reincarnation. But to me it is unclear what is the difference between rebirth and reincarnation--the explanations ...
8
votes
3answers
888 views

What is the purpose of using a wand to hit a monk in Zen meditation?

I have seen Zen monks in meditation, usually with one monk supervising. The monk supervising usually carries a wand of some sort. Every once in a while he would rest the wand on the shoulder of one of ...
8
votes
1answer
593 views

The spiritual significance of the sand mandala in Tibetan Buddhism

I have heard of and seen sand mandalas in Tibetan Buddhism. Here is a picture: I have two questions, which are related: I have heard that upon completion they are erased to represent transience. Is ...
35
votes
20answers
3k views

Introductory books to Buddhism

I'm looking for some book(s) that are generally regarded as a good introduction to Buddhism. I know very little about Buddhism, having only read one book on it so far (What Makes You Not a Buddhist by ...
4
votes
3answers
271 views

Does rebirth or reincarnation occur in Buddhism?

How is the concept of rebirth or reincarnation handled in Buddhism? Does it occur? Will everyone be reborn? Are people always reborn as people?
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the main differences between the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana branches of Buddhism? [closed]

The question basically says it all, but I'll try to elaborate a bit: Are there differences in terms of the concepts used in each of these branches? Are there differences in the practices of each of ...
8
votes
13answers
14k views

What is required to achieve Nirvana in Buddhism?

Nirvana is considered by many religions the pinnacle to strive for. What do I need to do to achieve Nirvana? Are there different perceptions of the requirements held by different sects?
13
votes
4answers
662 views

What's the value or harm of a literal belief in rebirth?

Whenever I examine the concept of rebirth in Buddhism, I cannot help it but feel great skepticism. To put it in my own clumsy words, we have many fears and one of the greatest is to cease to exist. ...
11
votes
8answers
1k views

Learning materials for Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda) in Theravada Buddhism

I am listening through the talks and guided meditations from the retreat at Amaravati Just One More: Dependent Origination and the Cycles of Addiction Retreat, where there are a number of references ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the starting of Samsara?

Every Buddhism believe in Eternity or Samsara. So, how can I imagine of Samsara?. What is the starting of it ? Any suggestions would be really appreciated.
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Buddhism, mothers and earthworms

My first exposure to Buddhism was watching Seven Years in Tibet in my German childhood. Most memorable were the following two scenes of Buddhist monks in orange robes. In the one scene, some monks ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Are Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism the same thing?

This is a hugely amateurish question, for which I apologize, but: are Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism the same thing? If not, how are they related? In particular, does the term "Tibetan Buddhism" ...
10
votes
2answers
930 views

What is the role of relics in Buddhism?

I recently learned about an episode of Chinese history when relics associated to the Buddha were relocated to China and Han Yu writes to the Chinese Emperor in a text titled "Memorial Discussing the ...
8
votes
2answers
122 views

Are there formal mechanisms in any Buddhist institutions that explicitly reconcile Buddhist principles with science?

If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from ...
9
votes
4answers
256 views

How do we sense the flow of time?

According to the Abhidhamma, at each given instant there is a consciousness that arises and ceases completely before the next consciousness arises. Each consciousness is only aware of the present ...
48
votes
18answers
41k views

If there is no soul, how can there be rebirth?

Anatta is often described as "not-self" which I understand to mean that our identities are illusions. But it's also described as "soullessness" which I think implies that there is no mind other than ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

Do you have to follow a monastic lifestyle to attain enlightenment?

How do the different groups/sects of Buddhism view attaining enlightenment and living a common life? In other words, do they think it is possible to be a common person and achieve enlightenment? Even ...
8
votes
1answer
21k views

Where is the Buddha originally quoted as saying “On heaven and earth, I alone am honored”?

In Chinese and especially Japanese Buddhism, the statement 天上天下唯我独尊 (Japanese tenjou tenge yui ga dokuson; not sure about the Chinese transliteration), which is typically translated as "On heaven and ...
13
votes
6answers
472 views

What exactly is the logical relation between the links in the twelvefold chain of Pratītyasamutpāda?

I'm struggling hard to make final sense of the chain of "dependent origination". In the oldest texts in Pali and Sanskrit, already, there are different explanations. The Mahānidānasutta, where the ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What exactly is Jhana?

What exactly is the theory of jhana, how does it come about and how does it relate to the buddhist practice and everyday life? feel free to answer in depth.
25
votes
4answers
949 views

When were women first welcomed into Buddhist orders?

I know that in the early days of Buddhism, it was for men only. To practice, you had to be a monk, and to be a monk, you had to be a man. Perhaps this reflects the attitudes of the time, but today, my ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How to combine Orthodox Christianity and Buddhism? [closed]

I was baptized into Orthodox Christianity in childhood. During recent years, I've been living in Thailand, attending worship in temples, offering alms to monks, and participating in other ceremonies ...
25
votes
14answers
2k views

Role of belief in Buddhism

As a westerner that self-identifies as Buddhist, I have struggled to understand the role of belief in Buddhist practice. In my culture, we are more familiar with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, ...
8
votes
7answers
944 views

Is there an equivalent of heaven and hell in Buddhism?

According to most sources, a soul stays in samsara until it concentrates enough karma to get yet another rebirth. However, I failed to find any sources explaining if this process is eternal. In other ...

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