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Why isn't there a Buddhist Bible?

Why is it that Buddhism never compiled a reasonably concise set of canonical texts like the Bible? One could equally ask, "why didn't Christianity compile a lengthy and diverse set of canonical texts ...
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23 votes

Is rebirth a delusional belief?

Rebirth is a metaphor. There is no literal rebirth (of the same person). This hope for literal rebirth is really a hidden attachment to "I", the desire to continue. Let go. It's Ok, you will die -- ...
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15 votes

Is rebirth a delusional belief?

I'm a secular Buddhist who takes Mahayana as my starting point. What you are discussing is the cosmology-- the idea that there are six realms, maybe one or more pure lands, and places you can go after ...
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15 votes
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Which is the Buddhist holy book? Where can it be read?

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 ...
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14 votes
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Does Zen Buddhism have canonical texts?

Zen Buddhism is part of East Asian Buddhism in general and accepts the entire Chinese Canon, although they don't find a lot of it to be relavent to their practice. Zen Buddhism has always been based ...
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12 votes

Did the Buddha speak Pali? Are the suttas his word verbatim?

The Buddha likely spoke in several dialects that were quite similar to Pali. He was immensely well traveled for his time, so in his travels he likely adopted the native dialect to be better understood ...
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12 votes
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Did the Buddha speak Pali? Are the suttas his word verbatim?

The short answer is no, and no. The Pāḷi Canon is a translation. Although people in Central Ganges Valley all spoke closely related dialects at the time we think the Buddha lived. The problem of ...
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11 votes

Why isn't there a Buddhist Bible?

I think it is mistaken to think that Christianity just has the Bible as it's authority and everything else is dispensable. That idea only showed up at the time of the protestant reformation, and ...
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10 votes

What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

I am not sure about the origin of this quote but possibly as it used as a Zen message it may have come from Bodhidharma. I am sure about its meaning however. It relates both to Enlightenment and ...
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9 votes

What is the oldest text/sutra of the Mahayana tradition?

The oldest existing manuscript clearly identified as Mahāyāna is a birch bark manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā-sutra or Discourse on Perfect Wisdom consisting of 8000 [Lines]. This ...
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9 votes

Does Zen Buddhism have canonical texts?

The Gateless Gate. The Heart Sutra. The Diamond Sutra. The Shōbōgenzō. These are the first ones that come to my mind as a Zen Buddhist. Here is more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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9 votes
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What are the suttas in which the Buddha provides instruction on how to meditate?

To straighten view before meditation: Samma,ditthi Sutta Anapana Anapanasati Sutta Satipatthana Satipatthana Sutta and Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta Kayagatasati Sutta Saṅkhitta Dhamma Sutta Elements / ...
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9 votes
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I would like to become Buddhist

I've heard that they don't believe in any god. It depends on what you mean by God. Buddhism does not have the concept of a almighty, creator (deism), sustainer, creator plus sustainer (theism), ...
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8 votes
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What is the Avatamsaka Sutra about?

During the beginning of the 4th century CE, Buddhist scholars began composing a new series of Sūtras with the purpose of synthesizing and organizing concepts from earlier Mahāyāna Sūtras, a task which ...
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8 votes
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What are the texts that contain words which can be attributed directly to the Buddha?

The Pāli Canon (Pali: Tipitaka) is the standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pāli language. It is the most complete extant early Buddhist canon. It ...
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8 votes
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What is the story where some of the Buddha's followers commit suicide?

What you're looking for is Vesali sutta. vesali sutta Then the monks — [thinking,] "The Blessed One, with many lines of reasoning, has given a talk on the unattractiveness [of the body], has ...
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8 votes
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What Buddhist materials explain how to understand one's irrational feelings?

According to Buddhist dependent origination, depending on contact feeling arise, depending on feeling craving arise, depending on craving clinging arise, etc... The feelings that arise is a result of ...
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8 votes
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Returning to the marketplace - examples

Does the Theravada canon have such ideas anywhere at all? This is a far-fetched example which barely answer your question but IMO the Buddha himself kind of returned to the market-place: not as a ...
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8 votes
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Why does the Buddha always answer a question if asked three times?

It's fairly clear that three times was a social convention for crossing some sort of line; either that or just a convention of the Buddha. See also DN 3: ‘Reverend Gotama, there are four castes: the ...
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8 votes
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What is the meaning of the Zen quote: "Before Enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water"?

Before Enlightenment, you hate your life. You chop wood and carry water, but secretly wish to get out of it all. You bear with these activities through habit and out of hopelessness, but you really ...
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7 votes
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Does Buddhism have a concept of blasphemy?

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 ...
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7 votes

Are any of the three poisons considered stronger or more difficult to break than the others?

As per Buddha of Pali Canon (AN 3.68, thanks to @Unrul3r for the reference): Aversion (aka anger, aka hatred) has much blame, but is quick to fade away; Obsessive desire (aka greed, aka lust) has ...
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7 votes

Is rebirth a delusional belief?

I know too little to have an opinion on this matter, but here is an article where Thanissaro Bhikkhu argues that rebirth is "an important working hypothesis in following the path all the way to the ...
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7 votes
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Where's the story in which the Buddha praised a non-returner for keeping the knowledge of his attainment private?

"I hope, sir, that there were no white-clad householders there." "No, friend, there were no white-clad householders there." "It's good, sir, that there were no white-clad householders there." http:/...
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7 votes
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Arahants and suicide

There might be something along those lines in SN 4.23 Godhika Sutta. Page 85 of The Patimokkha Rules Translated & Explained says, Case (b) is apparently derived from SN 4.23, where Ven. ...
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7 votes
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Were different parts of the Pali Canon intended for different audiences?

Each Sutta was intended for a specific audience to address a specific issue. This is one of the reasons why there was a need for an Abhidhamma that consolidated the messages from all of the Suttas ...
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