Let’s get this out of the way buddhism is a religion; some call it a philosophy, ok, it’s a religion with a philosophy.

Dharmic religions are basically Indian, with the main religions being Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Ayyavazhi. These religions are similar in core beliefs, modes of worship and associated practices, which are a result of their common history of origin and mutual influence. The earliest of these religions was the Vedic religion, which lasted more or less from 1500 to 500 BCE. The main four Dharmic faiths have similar thoughts of karma, dharma, samsara, moksha and Yoga. These terms are perceived as slightly different within each religion, but Rama is a heroic figure in all these religions. These religions share many similar rituals and ideas on sacrifices although they are doe or understood for many different reasons. similar rituals and ideas on sacrifices from a better reincarnation in buddhism “rebirth”, special wishes, rites concerned with medicine, healing practices, charms, and sorcery both white as well as black magic. The domestic rituals, which dealt with the rites of passage from conception to death and beyond.

Supernaturalism in Buddhism | By Jay N. Forrest
 
Buddhism began in the age of myth and magic, in a world that believed in an invisible supernatural realm that was filled with gods, angels, demons, and ghosts. In this age, miracles were common and shamans did extraordinary signs and wonders. It was a time where the mind was given to superstition and magical thinking. Buddhism was not immune to this. It is reported in The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, that the Buddha to be, “passed away from the Tusita heaven and descended into his mother’s womb” (MN 123). When he descended, “four young deities came to guard him at the four quarters so that no human or non-human or anyone at all could harm the Bodhisatta or his mother” (NM 123). Buddha’s virgin birth? The tradition teaches that the Buddha, whose name was Siddhartha Gautama, had a virgin birth. The story goes that Siddhartha’s mother had a dream of a white elephant, holding a white lotus flower in its trunk. It appeared and went round her three times. It then entered her womb through her right side, and she became pregnant. The king, Siddhartha’s father, asked the wise men about the dream. They told him, “Your Majesty, you are very lucky. The devas [gods] have chosen our queen as the mother of the Purest-One and the child will become a very great being” (Life of the Buddha 2002, 8). But the miracles didn’t stop at his conception, they continued in his birth. The Buddha to be was not born like normal babies. He did not come out of the vaginal canal, but “he came out of his mother’s side” (Conze 1959, 35). And immediately after being born, he stood up, took seven steps, and declared, “For enlightenment I was born, for the good of all that lives. This is the last time that I have been born into the world of becoming” (Conze 1959, 36). It says that every place the baby Buddha placed his foot, a lotus flower bloomed (Life of the Buddha 2002, 9). The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha says, “When the Bodhisatta came forth from his mother’s womb, first gods received him, then human beings” (NM 123). Now all this talk about a virgin birth, talking newborns, and gods may make some people uncomfortable. Others will toss it aside as not reflecting the earliest Buddhist scriptures, known as the Pali text. And this is partly true. Many of the legends of the Buddha’s birth did arise after the Pali text, but many are found in it as well. Many of these myths are still believed and taught by many traditional Buddhists today. Read more http://jayforrest.org/2016/03/07/supernaturalism-in-buddhism/

Human sacrifice?

Sacrifice as Self-Immolation: the self-immolation of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc at a busy intersection in Saigon on June 11, 1963 utterly shocked most Americans who could not fathom why a person would commit such a horrific act. Without trying to explore any feasible explanations within this man’s religion, many decided that he was probably just a fanatic who wanted to make a political statement in the most appalling manner possible. Was that the case? Was Quang Duc simply a political activist pushed to the limit, or was he acting with motivation derived from his religion? To answer this question, one must evaluate the function of sacrifice within the Buddhist tradition. As with many religions, Buddhism offers its practitioners the opportunity for different levels of involvement on the spiritual path towards enlightenment. After studying of the nature of sacrifice within the Mahayana Buddhist religion, it seems that Quang Duc’s self-immolation may have stemmed from his commitment to ease the suffering of the people of Vietnam. Furthermore, there is indeed evidence in Buddhist texts and from the explanations of Buddhist scholars that his action was not at all extrinsic to his religion.

Comments by Some Buddhists that Buddhism is a Religion

The Drepung Loseling Institute, a center for Tibetan Buddhist studies, practice and culture, fully accepts Buddhism as a religion. They state: “Like all major religions, Buddhism contains an explanation of the origin of existence, a morality, and a specific set of rituals and behaviors. … Buddhism presents a transformational goal, a desire to improve one’s situation, and a distinct moral code.”

The Late Ven Dr.K.Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera JSM wrote: “The Buddha’s message as a religious way of life: ‘Keeping away from ail evil deeds, cultivation or life by doing good deeds and purification of mind from mental impurities’.” and “For our purposes, religion may be defined in a very broad sense as a body of moral and philosophical teachings and the acceptance with confidence of such teachings In this sense. Buddhism is a religion.”

Venerable Master Chin Kung of the Buddhist Educational College in Singapore, describes four different types of Buddhism, of which one is: “… religious Buddhism. Originally, Buddhism was not a religion, but now it has become one. We can no longer deny that there is a ‘Buddhist religion’ because everywhere we look, Buddhism is displayed as a religion. Unlike the monasteries in the past which held eight-hour classes per day and provided another eight hours for self-cultivation, today’s Buddhist ‘temples’ no longer uphold such a perseverance of the Buddha’s Teachings. Today we mainly see people offering to the Buddha statues and praying for blessings and fortune. In this way, Buddhism has been wrongly changed into a religion.”

There now exist 6 recognized forms of the Buddhist religion:

Theravada Buddhism – It is sometimes called Southern Buddhism and is the dominant type of Buddhism in Southeast Asia since the 13th century. It is found in Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos.

Mahayana Buddhism – It is sometimes called Northern Buddhism and is largely found in China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Mongolia.

Vajrayana Buddhism – It is also known as Tantric,

Mantrayana Buddhism, Tantrayana, Esoteric or True Words Sect.

Tibetan Buddhism – This sect developed in isolation from the other sects because of Tibet being remote.

Zen Buddhism – This developed from the Chinese Mahayan sect known as Chan. It is becoming more popular in the rest of the world.

Gods?

Almost all sects of buddhism that while not having a personal or creator god have some acknowledgment of gods or god like being so they are polytheistic Religions to me. And at least one Buddhist scholar has indicated that describing Buddhism as nontheistic may be overly simplistic. Buddhism is a dharmic religion; not an Abrahamic one. Sees no contradiction in following more than one type of religion. Gautama Buddha rejected the existence of a creator deity, refused to endorse many views on creation, and stated that questions on the origin of the world are not ultimately useful for ending suffering.

Buddha did affirm a positive belief in the existence of gods, he stated that they are not necessary to be worshipped, as they are themselves in the cycle of samsara. Zen buddhists: believes in “buddhas” that can live forever and influence man kind in ways similar to the abilities attributed to “god(s)”. this information comes from the late mahayana sutras and is opposite the oldest, original teachings (pali canon). Maitreya is a bodhisattva who in the Buddhist tradition is to appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. According to scriptures, Maitreya will be a successor of the historic Śākyamuni Buddha. The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya references a time when the Dharma will have been forgotten on Jambudvipa. It is found in the canonical literature of all Buddhist sects (Theravāda, Mahāyāna, Vajrayāna), and is accepted by most Buddhists as a statement about an event that will take place when the Dharma will have been forgotten on Earth.

Some Mahayana Buddhists worship Avalokiteśvara “Lord who looks down” and this bodhisattva is variably depicted and described and is portrayed in different cultures as either female or male. In Chinese Buddhism, Avalokiteśvara has become the somewhat different female figure Guanyin. In Cambodia, he appears as Lokeśvara “god with a thousand arms” originally a Hindu deity is a god is worshiped in most of Asia.  In Tibet he is called, “Chenrezig”, but you probably better know this reincarnated god as the Dalai Lama.  Avalokiteśvara is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism as well as unofficially in Theravada Buddhism.

Some Buddhists accept the existence of beings in higher realms (see Buddhist cosmology), known as devas, but they, like humans, are said to be suffering in saṃsāra and are not necessarily wiser than us. In fact, the Buddha is often portrayed as a teacher of the gods, and superior to them. Despite this there are believed to be enlightened devas.

Some variations of Buddhism express a philosophical belief in an eternal Buddha: a representation of omnipresent enlightenment and a symbol of the true nature of the universe. The primordial aspect that interconnects every part of the universe is the clear light of the eternal Buddha, where everything timelessly arises and dissolves.

Supernatural beings in the Pali Canon:

The Pāli Canon is the standard scripture in Theravada Buddhism, it is the first known and most complete extant early buddhist canon. Bamhā (Brahma) is among the common gods found in the Pāli Canon. Bamhā, as with all devas, is subject to change, final decline and death like all other sentient beings in saṃsāra. A deva in Buddhism is one of many different types of non-human beings who share the characteristics of being more powerful, longer-lived, and, in general, much happier than humans, although none of them are worthy of worship. There are several different Brahma worlds and several kinds of Brahmas in Buddhism, all of which however are just beings stuck in samsara for a long while. Buddhist devas differ from the the standard interpretation of gods and/or angels:

  • Buddhist devas aren’t eternal. Their lives as devas began some time in the past when they died and were reborn.
  • Buddhist devas are not immortal. They live for very long but finite periods of time, ranging from thousands to (at least) billions of years. When they pass away, they are reborn as some other sort of being, perhaps a different type of deva, perhaps a human or something beyond comprehension.
  • Buddhist devas do not create or shape the world. They come into existence based upon their past karmas and they are as much subject to the natural laws of cause and effect as any other being in the universe. They also have no role in the periodic dissolutions of worlds.
  • Buddhist devas are not incarnations of a few archetypal deities or manifestations of a god. Nor are they merely symbols. They are considered to be, like humans, distinct individuals with their own personalities and paths in life.
  • Buddhist devas are not omniscient. Their knowledge is inferior to that of a fully enlightened Buddha, and they especially lack awareness of beings in worlds higher than their own.
  • Buddhist devas are not omnipotent. Their powers tend to be limited to their own worlds, and they rarely intervene in human affairs. When they do, it is generally by way of quiet advice rather than by physical intervention.
  • Buddhist devas are not morally perfect. The devas of the worlds of the Rūpadhātu do lack human passions and desires, but some of them are capable of ignorance, arrogance and pride. The devas of the lower worlds of the Kāmadhātu experience the same kind of passions that humans do, including (in the lowest of these worlds), lust, jealousy, and anger. It is, indeed, their imperfections in the mental and moral realms that cause them to be reborn in these worlds.
  • Buddhist devas are not to be considered as equal to a Buddhist refuge. While some individuals among the devas may be beings of great moral authority and prestige and thus deserving of a high degree of respect (in some cases, even being enlightened practitioners of the Dharma), no deva can ultimately be taken as the way of escape from saṃsāra or control one’s rebirth. The highest honors are reserved to the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma, and Saṅgha.

Hindus hold some of these points to be true about the devas. The Hindu view is that the devas are in nature very much akin to the gods or angels of other religions. And we know that all gods of the world don’t have to fit the Abrahamic conception to be said t be a god as well as a thought of as supreme beings, angels or demons. To check out the different gods from all over the world: http://www.godchecker.com/

God in Zen Buddhism

Zen is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China, when Buddhists were introduced to Taoists. Belief of God? Well, Zen does not specify any Supreme Being Who Is the Creator of the universe. But Zen believes in “buddhas” that can live forever because they are immortal and exist in infinite numbers and have nearly every attribute usually given to deities of all religions and can influence man kind in ways similar to the abilities attributed to “god(s)”. Central figure of Zen believed to exist in another realm and to be able to help humans. Although not heavily relied on in Zen, mostly the practitioner relies on himself or herself. Moreover, Zen believe in the promised Holy one he Buddha known as Meitreya.

Is Maitreya like jesus coming back a savior?

The prophecy of Maitreya is in the Sanskrit text, the Maitreyavyākaraṇa (The Prophecy of Maitreya). It implies that he is a teacher of meditative trance sadhana and states that gods, men and other beings: will lose their doubts, and the torrents of their cravings will be cut off: free from all misery they will manage to cross the ocean of becoming; and, as a result of Maitreya’s teachings, they will lead a holy life. No longer will they regard anything as their own, they will have no possession, no gold or silver, no home, no relatives! But they will lead the holy life of oneness under Maitreya’s guidance. They will have torn the net of the passions, they will manage to enter into trances, and theirs will be an abundance of joy and happiness, for they will lead a holy life under Maitreya’s guidance. (Trans. in Conze 1959:241) The no relatives statement is an interesting delusion. Maitreya currently resides in the Tuṣita Heaven (Pāli: Tusita), said to be reachable through meditation. Wouldn’t that be like praying to a god in heaven?

Maitreya (Sanskrit), Metteyya (Pali), Maitri (Sinhalese), Jampa (Wylie: byams pa) or Di-lặc (Vietnamese), is regarded as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology. In some Buddhist literature, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, he is referred to as Ajita.

According to Buddhist tradition, Maitreya is a bodhisattva who will appear on Earth in the future, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. According to scriptures, Maitreya will be a successor to the present Buddha, Gautama Buddha (also known as Śākyamuni Buddha). The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya refers to a time in the future when the dharma will have been forgotten by most on the terrestrial world. This prophecy is found in the canonical literature of all major schools of Buddhism.

Maitreya has also been adopted for his millenarian role by many non-Buddhist religions in the past such as the White Lotus as well as by modern new religious movements such as Yiguandao.

Maitreya’s Tuṣita Heaven

Maitreya currently resides in the Tuṣita Heaven (Pāli: Tusita), said to be reachable through meditation. Gautama Buddha also lived here before he was born into the world as all bodhisattvas live in the Tuṣita Heaven before they descend to the human realm to become Buddhas. Although all bodhisattvas are destined to become Buddhas, the concept of a bodhisattva differs greatly in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. In Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva is one who is striving for full enlightenment (Arahantship in Pali), whereas in Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva is one who has already reached a very advanced state of grace or enlightenment but holds back from entering nirvana so that he may help others.

In Mahayana Buddhism, buddhas preside over pure lands, such as Amitābha over Sukhavati. Once Maitreya becomes a buddha, he will rule over the Ketumati pure land, an earthly paradise sometimes associated with the city of Varanasi (also known as Benares) in Uttar Pradesh, India.

In Theravadin Buddhism, Buddhas are born as unenlightened humans, and are not rulers of any paradise or pure land. Maitreya’s arising would be no different from the arising of Gautama Buddha, as he achieved full enlightenment as a human being and died, entering parinibbana.

The coming of Maitreya will be characterized by a number of physical events. The oceans are predicted to decrease in size, allowing Maitreya to traverse them freely. Maitreya will then reintroduce true dharma to the world.

His arrival will signify the end of the middle time, the time between the fourth Buddha, Gautama Buddha, and the fifth Buddha, Maitreya, which is viewed as a low point of human existence. According to the Cakkavatti Sutta: The Wheel-turning Emperor, Digha Nikaya 26 of the Sutta Pitaka of the Pāli Canon), Maitreya Buddha will be born in a time when humans will live to an age of eighty thousand years, in the city of Ketumatī (present Varanasi), whose king will be the Cakkavattī Sankha. Sankha will live in the palace where once dwelt King Mahāpanadā, but later he will give the palace away and will himself become a follower of Maitreya Buddha.

The scriptures say that Maitreya will attain bodhi in seven days (which is the minimum period), by virtue of his many lives of preparation for buddhahood similar to those reported in the Jataka tales.

At this time a notable teaching he will start giving is that of the ten non-virtuous deeds (killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, abusive speech, idle speech, covetousness, harmful intent and wrong views) and the ten virtuous deeds (the abandonment of: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, abusive speech, idle speech, covetousness, harmful intent and wrong views).

The Arya Maitreya Mandala, founded by Anagarika Govinda is based on the idea of the future coming of Maitreya.

Pali sources say that beings in Maitreya’s time will be much bigger than during the time of Sakyamuni. In one prophecy his disciples are contemptuous of Mahakasyapa, whose head is no larger than an insect to them. Buddhas robe barely covers two fingers making them wonder how tiny Buddha was. Mahākāśyapa is said to be small enough in comparison to cremate in the palm of Maitreya’s hand.

Buddhist prophecies of Maitreya: http://www.maitreya.org/english/PBuddhism.htm

The Buddhist Prophecy: http://www.islamawareness.net/Buddhism/Scriptures/mibs01.html

Demons and the Demonic in Buddhism

It may come as a surprise to those who equate Buddhism solely with its intellectual and mystical traditions to learn that demons are a central aspect of Buddhist history. In contrast to Western representations of the demonic, the “demons” of Asia are primarily the powerful, ancient spirits of nature, who require recognition and appeasement. Buddhism was more successful than any of the other missionary religions in making peace with the indigenous spirits it confronted in its progress through Asia. Monastics either turned a blind eye to existent demon-deity cults (as in Southeast Asia), allowing them to flourish in tandem with Buddhism, or (as in Tibet) Buddhist miracle workers like Padmasambhava forcefully tamed the demons and turned them into dharma protectors and fierce guardians of the new faith of Buddhism. In fact, we might say that in Buddhist understanding, there really are no such things as “demons.” There are only powers, energies, and deities to be worked with; the skillfulness, compassion, and attainment of the practitioner determine the outcome of the encounter. Those who are found lacking in these attributes have far more to fear from demons than those who, like the Buddha in his triumph over the ultimate demon Māra, have pacified their own inner demons of greed, aversion, and ignorance. Since there is no notion of absolute evil in Buddhism (or indeed in any Asian religion), and all classes of beings, including beings of the lower realms such as demons, animals, and ghosts, may improve their karmic lot by attaining a higher birth in the human or divine realms, demons are not always and forever demons. They are troublesome but not catastrophic. They are obstacles to be overcome through ritual action, offerings of appeasement, and meditative detachment. Nevertheless, in normative Buddhist texts, the suffering of demons in the hell realms is invoked negatively to warn practitioners to be more diligent in their spiritual efforts—in part to avoid rebirth among these unfortunate beings. As representations of natural bounty, mystery, and fertility, demons threaten to exceed and overturn the human order. They must be controlled, and yet they must be respected, since they are an inevitable feature of that oscillating order.

Karma, Dharma and Rebirth in Buddhism

The Buddhist religion is thought to have evolved from the Hindu religion in that it shares beliefs in karma, dharma and rebirth (reincarnation). Karma is the total of a person’s actions of body, speech and mind, good, bad and neutral taken in their current and previous lives. Dharma refers to two things: the teachings of the Buddha, a person’s path to enlightenment are the fundamental principles that order the universe. Reincarnation is the rebirth of a living being after death, into a new body, that is either human, animal or a supernatural being. The Buddhist religion does not involve the recognition or worship of deities and does not profess the existence of the human soul. Rebirth in Buddhism is the doctrine that the evolving buddhist consciousness or stream of consciousness upon death (or “the dissolution of the aggregates”, becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new aggregation. The consciousness in the new person is neither identical nor entirely different from that in the deceased but the two form a causal continuum or stream. In traditional Buddhist cosmology these lives can be in any of a large number of states of being including the human, any kind of animal and several types of supernatural being. Rebirth is conditioned by the karmas (actions of body, speech and mind) of previous lives; good karmas will yield a happier rebirth, bad karmas will produce one which is more unhappy. The basic cause for this is the abiding of consciousness in ignorance: when ignorance is uprooted, rebirth ceases. One of the analogies used to describe what happens then is that of a ray of light that never lands. There is no word corresponding exactly to the English terms “rebirth”, “metempsychosis”, “transmigration” or “reincarnation” in the traditional Buddhist languages of Pāli and Sanskrit: the entire process of change from one life to the next is called “becoming again.” There are many references to rebirth in the early Buddhist scriptures. These are some of the more important; Mahakammavibhanga Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 136); Upali Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 56); Kukkuravatika Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 57); Moliyasivaka Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya 36.21); Sankha Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya 42.8). While all Buddhist traditions seem to accept some notion of rebirth, there is no unified view about precisely how events unfold after the moment of death. Some English-speaking Buddhists prefer the term “rebirth” or “re-becoming” to “reincarnation” as they take the latter to imply a fixed entity that is reborn.

Heavens and Hells in Buddhism

Thats right not only is there a heaven and a hell in buddhism there are several, but they are different in the fact that they dont last for ever and a few other things differ from our standard thinking of such mythic places.

In Buddhism there are several Heavens, all of which are still part of samsara (illusionary reality). Those who accumulate good karmamay be reborn[28] in one of them. However, their stay in Heaven is not eternal—eventually they will use up their good karma and will undergo a different rebirth into another realm, as humans, animals or other beings. Because Heaven is temporary and part of samsara, Buddhists focus more on escaping the cycle of rebirth and reaching enlightenment (nirvana). Nirvana is not a heaven but a mental state. According to Buddhist cosmology the universe is impermanent and beings transmigrate through a number of existential “planes” in which this human world is only one “realm” or “path”.

One important Buddhist Heaven is the Trāyastriṃśa, which resembles Olympus of Greek mythology.

In the Mahayana world view, there are also pure lands which lie outside this continuum and are created by the Buddhas upon attaining enlightenment. These should not be confused with the Heavens as the pure lands are abodes of Buddhas, which the Heavens are not and Heavens are looked at “impermanent” places to be reincarnated in, as heavenly beings still have to die and be reincarnated into lower realms. This confusion can be made worse when writers use such words “paradise” to denote such pure lands.

One notable Buddhist pure land is the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha. Rebirth in the pure land of Amitabha is seen as an assurance of Buddhahood for once reborn there, beings do not fall back into cyclical existence unless they choose to do so to save other beings, the goal of Buddhism being the obtainment of enlightenment and freeing oneself and others from the birth–death cycle. One of the Buddhist Sutras states that a hundred years of our existence is equal to one day and one night in the world of the thirty-three gods. Thirty such days add up to their one month. Twelve such months become their one-year, while they live for a thousand such years though existence in the heavens is ultimately finite and the beings who reside there will reappear in other realms based on their karma. The Tibetan word Bardo means literally “intermediate state“. In Sanskrit the concept has the name antarabhāva. These are traditionally envisioned as a vertical continuum with the Heavens existing above the human realm, and the realms of the animals, Hungry ghosts and hell beings existing beneath it.

According to Tibetan Buddhism there are 5 major types of Heavens.

  1. Akanishtha or Ghanavyiiha
    This is the most supreme Heaven wherein beings that have achieved Nirvana live for eternity.
  2. Heaven of the Jinas
  3. Heavens of Formless Spirits
    These are 4 in number.
  4. Brahmaloka
    These are 16 in number, and are free from sensuality.
  5. Devaloka
    These are 6 in number, and contain sensuality.

Now on to Buddhist Hells

Buddha teaches about hell in vivid detail in the “Devaduta Sutta”, the 130th discourse of the Majjhima Nikaya.

Buddhism teaches that there are five (sometimes six) realms of rebirth, which can then be further subdivided into degrees of agony or pleasure. Of these realms, the hell realms, or Naraka, is the lowest realm of rebirth. Of the hell realms, the worst is Avīci or “endless suffering”. The Buddha’s disciple, Devadatta, who tried to kill the Buddha on three occasions, as well as create a schism in the monastic order, is said to have been reborn in the Avici Hell.

However, like all realms of rebirth, rebirth in the Hell realms is not permanent, though suffering can persist for eons before being reborn again. In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha teaches that eventually even Devadatta will become a Pratyekabuddha himself, emphasizing the temporary nature of the Hell realms. Thus, Buddhism teaches to escape the endless migration of rebirths (both positive and negative) through the attainment of Nirvana. The Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, according to the Ksitigarbha Sutra, made a great vow as a young girl to not reach Nirvana until all beings were liberated from the Hell Realms or other unwholesome rebirths. In popular literature, Ksitigarbha travels to the Hell realms to teach and relieve beings of their suffering.

The Hell Realm is depicted as a place partly of fire and partly of ice. In the fiery part of the realm, Hell Beings (Narakas) are subjected to pain and torment. In the icy part, they are frozen. Interpreted psychologically, Hell Beings are recognized by their acute aggression. Fiery Hell Beings are angry and abusive, and they drive away anyone who would befriend or love them. Icy Hell Beings shove others away with their unfeeling coldness.

 

Buddhist Hell depictions “Sri Lanka

 

Buddhist Hell in “Thailand

Buddhist Terrorism

Buddhist Terrorism? Well yes, relatively all religion eventually leads to some form of violence. Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities. – Voltaire

Time Magazine: Straying From the Middle Way: Extremist Buddhist Monks Target Religious Minorities

The fault lines of conflict are often spiritual, one religion chafing against another and kindling bloodletting contrary to the values girding each faith. Over the past year in parts of Asia, it is friction between Buddhism and Islam that has killed hundreds, mostly Muslims. The violence is being fanned by extremist Buddhist monks, who preach a dangerous form of religious chauvinism to their followers.

Yet as this week’s TIME International cover story notes, Buddhism has tended to avoid a linkage in our minds to sectarian strife:

“In the reckoning of religious extremism — Hindu nationalists, Muslim militants, fundamentalist Christians, ultra-Orthodox Jews — Buddhism has largely escaped trial. To much of the world, it is synonymous with nonviolence and loving kindness, concepts propagated by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, 2,500 years ago. But like adherents of any religion, Buddhists and their holy men are not immune to politics and, on occasion, the lure of sectarian chauvinism.

When Asia rose up against empire and oppression, Buddhist monks, with their moral command and plentiful numbers, led anticolonial movements. Some starved themselves for their cause, their sunken flesh and protruding ribs underlining their sacrifice for the laity. Perhaps most iconic is the image of Thich Quang Duc, a Vietnamese monk sitting in the lotus position, wrapped in flames, as he burned to death in Saigon while protesting the repressive South Vietnamese regime 50 years ago. In 2007, Buddhist monks led a foiled democratic uprising in Burma: images of columns of clerics bearing upturned alms bowls, marching peacefully in protest against the junta, earned sympathy around the world, if not from the soldiers who slaughtered them. But where does social activism end and political militancy begin? Every religion can be twisted into a destructive force poisoned by ideas that are antithetical to its foundations. Now it’s Buddhism’s turn.”

Over the past year in Buddhist-majority Burma, scores, if not hundreds, have been killed in communal clashes, with Muslims suffering the most casualties. Burmese monks were seen goading on Buddhist mobs, while some suspect the authorities of having stoked the violence — a charge the country’s new quasi-civilian government denies. In Sri Lanka, where a conservative, pro-Buddhist government reigns, Buddhist nationalist groups are operating with apparent impunity, looting Muslim and Christian establishments and calling for restrictions to be placed on the 9% of the country that is Muslim. Meanwhile in Thailand’s deep south, where a Muslim insurgency has claimed some 5,000 lives since 2004, desperate Buddhist clerics are retreating into their temples with Thai soldiers at their side. Their fear is understandable. But the close relationship between temple and state is further dividing this already anxious region.

As the violence mounts, will Buddhists draw inspiration from their faith’s sutras of compassion and peace to counter religious chauvinism? Or will they succumb to the hate speech of radical monks like Burma’s Wirathu, who goads his followers to “rise up” against Islam? The world’s judgment awaits.

Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar beyond terrorism is also see in blasphemy laws such as three people one a man from New Zealand two and half year prison sentence, March 17, 2015 seen as insulting the Buddhist religion by using a psychedelic image of Buddha wearing headphones to promote their bar. Ref

His Foolishness The Dalai Lama

This was an interview with an Ex-Buddhist and a out militant strong atheist from Sri Lanka. He is a rationalist searching for the logic behind everything and always open to new ideas as long as it’s not supernatural bullshit. He asked me to delete his video as the buddhists in his country where giving him a very hard time.

And here is an interview  with Theo Maung gay ex-Buddhist gnostic atheist from Myanmar (Burma) confirming many of the thoughts presented.

Buddhism has a lot of interesting ideas and many stupid and delusional ones all hid in bullshit, like all religions always do. I think enlightenment in a self-growth is great. Faith in nonsense and myth is not great. You do not need to follow a religion to work towards self-growth.

By Damien Marie AtHope

References

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