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39

You don't need to believe anything in Buddhism, but a little faith can give you a boost in your practice. It would certainly be difficult to progress if you had no sense that the people teaching you knew what they were talking about. But in the end, a good teacher will just tell you "This is the path to enlightenment", rather than "I am enlightened", and ...


35

It's kinda funny to see how we westerners stereotypically misunderstand Dharma as postulating some kind of globally applicable set of absolute unconditional prescriptions. Is this not taking it to the extreme? :) Buddha's teaching should not be taken out of context and unwittingly extrapolated. Did Buddha say lay people should "not marry and do not have any ...


25

It really depends which definition of religion you go for. For instance Human recognition of superhuman controlling power and particularly of a personal God [..] Oxford English Dictionary. Buddhism is not a religion based on this definition Any specific system belief or worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy Websters New World ...


19

In one sense he continues just as we do. Once he attained nirvana under the Bodhi tree, the Buddha carried on teaching for another 50 years. It was only on the death of his physical body that he underwent parinirvana, that is to say final release. However this just pushes the question on from nirvana to parinirvana. The question of what happens to an ...


15

No tradition, except maybe Secular Buddhism, rejects literal rebirth, it is a core part of the dhamma. I will say though that there is evidence the Buddha was never " believe in rebirth or else." Probably the most famous Sutta for Western Buddhism is also the most over rated, misquoted and misunderstood. That being the Kalama Sutta. It is most famous for ...


15

First of all, there isn't one agreed upon definition about when you are truely a Buddhist. Some people say you are a Buddhist if you consider yourself to be one, others say you need at least several years training from an acknowledged Buddhist teacher. Personally I like the view of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche who has written a book on the topic ...


15

There isn't exactly one short Buddhist bible (see Why isn't there a Buddhist Bible?). The Tripitaka is the Pali canon, possibly the earliest (or at least, among the earliest) of the surviving Buddhist literature. It has three parts, and of these three the Sutta Pitaka is the most relevant (to us). You can read it (or at least begin to read it) online. Web ...


12

As mentioned in another thread by @catpnosis, in MN 100: Sangarava Sutta: “kiṃ nu kho, bho gotama, atthi devā”ti? "How is it then, good Gotama; are there divine beings?" “ṭhānaso metaṃ, bhāradvāja, viditaṃ yadidaṃ — adhidevā”ti. "With reason it is known by me, Bhāradvāja, that there are higher divinities." The question is, what do you ...


12

I am a Rinzai Zen Monk with a decade-long monastic background so my answer will be relevant within our school's framework. From a Zen POV being 'reborn' exists only within Reality. Reality is purely this one moment here and now. With each breath, with each action we are reborn. The choices we make are fresh and new. The Enlightened being will make those ...


11

Most Buddhists believe in some form of "higher" being; brahmas, devas, etc. It is not an orthodox Buddhist practice to pray to these deities, but people are people. Ordinary Buddhists from most, if not all, traditions, tend to succumb to the allure of prayer and supplication; most monasteries are now called "temples", monks are often called "priests", ...


11

There was no person existing in the 1st place to cease to exist. What you mistake as a person is just the 5 aggregates of clinging. They are just natural processes of causes and effects. Once you attain Nibbana, the causes for continuation of the 5 aggregates are removed. Hence no continuation.


11

As I understand it, Crab Bucket is correct that this is a question to which an answer is never given. I will contribute some source and try to flesh out this answer a bit: According to the Avyakata Sutta, the Buddha says that holding a viewpoint about what happens to an enlightened one after death is 'anguish' [Pāli: 'vippatisara'] and that well-instructed, ...


11

I'll answer in two parts-- what sort of looks like a god in Buddhism and which of those are female. Early Buddhism didn't see gods as important to solving their fundamental problem of ending suffering. Gods were seen as a possible destination for our reincarnation. Gods didn't provide any help to us humans, they were too busy enjoying themselves (devas) or ...


10

According to my understanding (in Theravada tradition) and with the context of your question (Violence in the context of "radical Buddhism"), there is no room for any form of violence. Buddhist teaching does not encourage violence by any means even in solving human conflicts and social problems. For example in Dhammapada there are several verses discourage ...


10

Buddhism says that the world has no discernible beginning. That it runs by cause-and-effect. That people are able to influence their own state, and have an effect on others. And that you shouldn't spend too much attention on theoretical questions, such as "when did the universe begin?", because there are more important questions such as "how can we help ...


10

There are two concepts here. We pass away every moment and arise every minutes. Other is rebirth after death. Rebirth is partly a belief but much of the Dhamma should be realised at experiential level. What is much needed is that at the last moment is that you maintain equanimity so you do not take a new birth. The level of stillness can be achived only by a ...


9

Moksha and Nirvana are the same in that: The cycle of live, death and rebirth is broken once attained, one is free from Samsara It's attainable through practise Meditation techniques are employed in attaining both They differ in that: Moksha tends to explained as a merger with Atman, or Brahma which Buddhist don't believe. Their main philosophical ...


9

Mahasi Sayadaw gives some insight, if not an actual answer in his discourse on the Hemavata Sutta: The Buddha was constantly into the jhāna, and for that He is adorable. While, after the end of a part of a sermon the audience exclaimed in one voice, "Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu! (Well done!) the Buddha went into jhāna even during that brief interval. And then ...


8

No, believe in literal rebirth is not necessary, as long as you don't subscribe to the other extreme -- that of complete annihilation at the time of death. That said, Buddha greatly appreciated the concept of rebirth as a practical motivator. He compared fear of unfortunate rebirth with fear of punishment that stops a potential criminal from committing a ...


8

There are 5 kinds of Maras in Buddhism. Khandha Māra - The five aggregates of clinging Kilesa Māra - The defilements Abhisankhāra Māra - The Karmic force Maccu Māra - The death itself Devaputta Māra - The god Mara who leads a faction in the Paranimmita-Vasavatti heaven.


8

The creation or non-creation of the universe is among of the unanswered questions of the Buddha i.e. Is the world eternal? ...or not? ...or both? ...or neither? The answer is not to concern yourself with such matters. The Buddha teaches one thing and that thing is liberation. BUT Interestingly there is a creation myth in the Aggañña Sutta. But it don't ...


8

Vicicicca(doubt) is one of five mental factors that hinders progress in meditation. Reserving judgment might sound like a neat trick. But Vicicicca is already there and your mind is already corrupted to start with. So the natural tendency of the mind is to lean towards doubt. Because most of your thoughts are tainted with ignorance. Accepting Nibbana with ...


8

It is frowned upon in cultures influenced by Buddhism depending on the situation. If you are abandoning your family because of your sexual desire or craving towards wealth, fame, power of another person, it's frowned upon. If you are getting divorced simply to get away from responsibilities, it's frowned upon. If you are leaving the lay life to become a monk ...


8

Let's consider Andrei's definition of Buddhism, for example (because it's a short and easy definition). Buddhists believe that human experiences originate in the mind, training which through cultivation of ethics, meditation, and wisdom leads to nirvana (the release from suffering) or enlightenment -- the insight into the true nature of things. ...


7

Simply, Buddhism does not have such kind of Creation story since it rejects the concept of Creator God. Instead, in the Aganna Sutta, the Buddha tells the story of how the human beings came to dwell on Earth. The Buddha told that sooner or later, after a very long time, there would be a time when the world shrinks. As the universe shrinks, many of its ...


7

There are a few sources that suggest the importance of reverence for holy persons. It seems, however, that in the Buddhist context the sense of 'inviolability' usually attached to the idea of blasphemy in Western culture is not present in the same way. That is, all of the passages explicitly link the action to a negative result, either in future existences ...


7

Looks like you misunderstand Shunyata (Voidness, Emptiness, Hollowness). Shunyata is not nothingness, it is lack of solidity. It is interdependence. Famous Zen teacher Thích Nhat Hanh coined a new term for this, "interbeing". In Emptiness, everything is relative, so there is no absolute reliable reference point you can measure everything against. So the ...


7

The main Buddhist holy book - The Sutta Pitaka - is many times larger than the Bible, consisting of more than 10,000 discourses. However, the essential teachings the Buddha compared to a 'handful of leaves'. The following teachings from the holy book cover the essentials: On Higher Truth Three Cardinal Discourses of the Buddha The Dhammapada For ...


6

This is more a question of the meaning of words than of doctrine or practice per se. If one defines "Buddhism" to include a belief in re-birth, then you can't have the former without the latter. But if not, then otherwise. The problem is, there is no precise, universally accepted definition of "Buddhism". As Jayantha points out, so-called "secular" Buddhism ...


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