Lucifer7, November 2009


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Is Buddhism a Religion?

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Short Quotes

N. Sri Ram, Thoughts For Aspirants, Second Series

Love will arise like the sun at dawn, when the heart opens itself, free of all rigidities and self-centredness.

Karma as a first-rate method of avoiding any responsibility for needed action. 

"Karma will attend to that" is a frequent remark from these side-steppers.  They forget that every man is an incarnation of his own Karma and that if he is brought into the presence of conditions that call for action it is his Karma, the result of his own past actions, to take his place in the arena.  To shirk the call is just as bad as the plea of Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?"  Karma attends to nothing.  Men are the agents of Karma, and it is for them to see that Karma, that is, Justice, is done. (Canadian Theosophist, Vol. 24, #5)

Paul Brunton, The Secret Path, Chapter IV

Find the god in your own heart and you will understand by direct intuition what all the great teachers, real mystics, true philosophers and inspired men have been trying to tell you by the tortuous method of using words.

W.Q. Judge, Practical Occultism, page 54

Only those who do the will of the Masters are reckoned as deserving their notice; aspirations, desires, promises go for nothing. What is that will? Well, it is simply to free your mind from vain and earthly desires, and to work at the work before you always lending a helping hand to others. Get rid of anger, vanity, pride, resentfulness, ambition and REALLY LOSE THEM, and you have then made the first step towards the understanding of the occult; with these feelings latent in the heart it is not possible to make one single step in magic.


Naidni -  Eirenicon for Aug.-Sept, Canadian Theosophist, Vol. 24,#8

    SPACE. is the densest actuality conceivable;  its density is absolute.  There are no openings in SPACE;  its continuity extends throughout duration.
    All manifestations take place within SPACE.
    SPACE, has no boundaries;  but each and every Soul is the centre of SPACE.
    SPACE, has no dimensions;  but all dimensions exist in SPACE.
    SPACE, has no substance;  but every substance from the most ethereal to the most material, exists in SPACE.
    SPACE, has no attributes;  yet every attribute is therein contained.
    We may wipe out existence, time, consciousness, force, matter, but it is not possible physically or metaphysically, to wipe out SPACE.
    Nothing can be added to SPACE;  nothing taken from it.
    SPACE, does not evolve or change;  yet all changes, and all evolution from the lowest to the highest, from the simplest to the most complex, take place within SPACE.
    SPACE, is the one eternal, immutable, indestructible actuality;  indivisible, inconceivable in its totality, having no beginning and no end.
    SPACE, always has been, is, and always will be.

Is Buddhism a Religion?

Ariyadhamma, From the Maha-Bodhi for May-June, 1946.

Once a learned friend of a skeptical turn of mind with a penchant turn for discussion said with magisterial emphasis:

Excuse me Ariyadhamma, your Buddhism is not a religion at all, it is only a system of philosophy.

A.D.:  Thank you for the small mercy my friend;  but pray:  How do you define the word religion?

Friend:  My definition in terms of the derivation of the word is:  A binding or an abiding relationship between man and his God.

A.D.:  I am free to admit that according to your definition, Buddhism is not a religion, as it has been put together without the concepts of God and Soul.  On the contrary, I claim this very reason as Buddhism's chief merit.

Friend:  Well then on your part, what is your definition of religion?

A.D.:  As for myself, I define religion simply as a mode of salvation from the ills of life.

Friend:  That in all conscience is wide enough to include all religions of all time, and covers even Mathew Arnold's famous definition of religion as:  "Morality touched with emotion".  I must now admit that in terms of your definition Buddhism is a religion par excellence.

A.D.:  Bear with me my friend;  Why do you say Buddhism is only a philosophy?

Friend:  For the simple reason that you Buddhists are experts in philosophizing.

A.D.:  That may be a good ground for calling Buddhists mere philosophists, but not for saying that Buddhism is only a philosophy.

Friend:  Surely you can give the reason yourself better than I can hope to do.  Do oblige without more ado.

A.D.:  The Four Noble Truths form the basis on which, as you know, is founded the whole system.  The first Three Truths formulate the Philosophy and the Fourth Truth supplies the ethic or morality.  So that all the Four Truths taken together make Buddhism a perfect system of religion.

Friend: I am afraid you are all too brief.  Do you mind expatiating a little more?

A.D.:  The crowning glory of the Buddha's supreme Enlightenment is without doubt the unique doctrine of Paticcasamuppada or Dependent Genesis, with its mind-staggering corollary of The Patthana, containing Twenty-four Modes of Correlation, which are elaborated with an infinitude of detail - The Paticca-Samuppada taken in regular order is an exposition of the philosophy of the First and Second Noble Truths of Sorrow and the cause of Sorrow.  So it is aptly called Vatta-Kata or description of the wheel of life.  Paticcasamuppada, viewed in reverse order explains the Third Noble Truth of the Cessation of Sorrow -

Now my friend, you will find more than enough of philosophy in Buddhism.

Friend:  I have a surfeit of it already.  The difficulty is to digest it all.

A.D.:  Nil desperandum, my friend.  Remember that if a thing is easy, it is certainly not worthwhile.  The converse is equally true.

Friend:  I prefer a thing, he who runs may lead - something less high-brow.

A.D.:  I wish you better luck next time, but seek it elsewhere.  You seem to be in a hurry.  I will not detain you.  Au revoir!

Friend:  Cheerio!

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