Daily Words of Buddha for 20th June
Tag Archives: Buddhism In India
Read the article from Buddha and Future of His Religion – By Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
Open the above link for better understanding.
Out of the many founders of Religion, there are four whose religions have not only moved the world in the past, but are still having a sway over the vast masses of people. They are Buddha, Jesus, Mahommed and Krishna. A comparison of the personalities of these four and the poses they assumed in propagating their religions reveals certain points of contrast between the Buddha on the one hand and the rest on the other, which are not without significance.
The first point which mark off Buddha from the rest is his self -abnegation. All throughout the Bible, Jesus insist that he is the Son of God and that those who wish to enter the kingdom of God will fail, if they do not recognise him as the Son of God. Mohammed went a step further. Like Jesus he also claimed that he was the messenger of God on earth. But he further insisted that he was the last messenger. On that footing he declared that those who wanted salvation must not only accept that he was a messenger of God, but also accept that he was the last messenger. Krishna went a step beyond both Jesus and Mohammed. He refused to be satisfied with merely being the Son of the God or being the messenger of God; he was not content even with being the last messenger of God. He was not even satisfied with calling himself a God. He claimed that he was ‘Parameswhar‘ or as his followers describe him ”Devadhideva,” God of Gods. Buddha never arrogated to himself any such status. He was born as a son of man and was content to remain a common man and preached his gospel as a common man. He never claimed any supernatural origin or supernatural powers nor did he perform miracles to prove his supernatural powers. The Buddha made a clear distinction between a Margadata and a Mokshadata. Jesus, Mahommed and Krishna claimed for themselves the Mokshadata. The Buddha was satisfied with playing the role of a Margadata.
There is also another distinction between the four religious teachers. Both Jesus and Mohammed claimed that what they taught was the word of God and as a word of God what they taught was infallible and beyond question. Krishna was according to his own assumption a God of Gods and therefore what he taught being a word God, uttered by God, they were original and final and the question of infallibility did not even arise. The Buddha claimed no such infallibility for what he taught. In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta He told Ananda that His religion was based on reason and experience and that his followers should not accept his teaching as correct and binding merely because they emanated from Him. Being based on reason and experience they were free to modify or even to abandon any of his teachings if it was found that at a given time and in given circumstances they do not apply. He wished, His religion not to be encumbered with the dead wood of the past. He wanted that it should remain evergreen and serviceable at all times. That is why He gave liberty to his followers to chip and chop as the necessities of the case required. No other religious teacher has shown such courage. They were afraid of permitting repair. As the liberty to repair may be used to demolish the structure they had reared Buddha had no such fear. He was sure of his foundation. He knew that even the most violent iconoclast will not be able to destroy the core of His religion.
Such is the unique position of Buddha. What about his religion? How does it compare with those founded by his rivals?
20th May in Dalit History – Birth Anniversary of Iyothee Thass – Great Social reformer and Buddhist Scholar
Lest We forget – Iyothee Thass (1845 – 1914)
Iyothee Thass was an intellectual and social critic of 19 – 20 century Tamilnadu. In the primordial collective consciousness of the Dravidians he sensed the Buddhist values of equality and compassion. Working them out he severely criticized the brahminic hegemony that brought in estrangement and caste division among the people. Though a man of secular credentials he upheld the ethico-rational sensitivity that genuine religion can cultivate in promoting justice, righteousness and truthfulness. In this paper a brief attempt is made to construct the reformistic work which done by Iyothee Thass Pandithar.
Who is Iyothee Thass?
Born on 20 May 1845, Thass’s original name was Kaathavarayan. His grandfather had served as a butler to Lord Arlington. Kaathavarayan gained expertise in Tamil literature, philosophy, Siddha and had good knowledge of English, Sanskrit and Pali. After organizing the tribal people in the Nilgris in the 1870s, he established the Advaidananda Sabha in 1876. He launched a magazine called ‘Dravida Pandian’ along with Rev. John Rathinam in 1885. He issued a statement in 1886 announcing that the so-called untouchables’ are not Hindus. He established the Dravida Mahajana Sabha in 1891 and during the very first Census urged the so-called untouchables to register themselves as casteless Dravidians. This in fact makes Tamil Dalits the true descendents of the anti-Brahmin legacy which is today claimed by non-Brahmin non-Dalits. Iyothee Thass’s meeting with Olcott was a turning point not only in his life but also for the Tamil Dalit movement. In many ways, Thass was a forerunner of Dr B.R. Ambedkar.
Iyothee Thass and Buddhism
He led a delegation of prominent Dalits to Olcott and pleaded for his help in reestablishing Tamil Buddhism. With Olcott’s help Thass visited Sri Lanka and got diksha from Bikkhu Sumangala Nayake. On his return, he established the Sakya Buddhist Society in Chennai with branches in many places including Karnataka. Returning from his sacred pilgrimage to Colombo, Iyothee Thass issued a pamphlet in Tamil, entitled, Buddha: The light without distinction of day and night. In this, he systematically stated his project “Tamil Buddhism” a brief statement of Sakya Buddha’s life was followed by an exploratory survey of the Tamil epical-ethical literary tradition to explain the past glory, the fall and the present degradation of the Tamil lower caste and the antagonism between Brahmins and Sakya –Valluva (Parayar) Tamils; the emancipatory future for the original Tamils was sought to be projected as the modern rediscovery of the earlier Buddhist traditions through construction of Buddhist Temples, maintenance of Buddhist medical halls, Buddhist college, Buddhist young men association, celebration of Buddha’s birthday anniversaries and establishment of Buddhist charity fund to feed the poor. The pamphlet closed with an appeal to join these effort by singing the apprehend forms. The coming together of the initial group to implement project Tamil Buddhism was, thus, based on a common understanding of a collective-historical rationale and a social consensus in the modern sense of the term. However, not all the founding members of the society took ‘pancha silam’ and became Buddhist. The Sakya Buddhist society started its activities in 1898 with religious meetings on Sundays, semi-public lectures on socio-religious issues by learned men of all faiths and confessions and conversions to Buddhism that is, taking of pancha silam and enrolling as members, though in small numbers, yet continuously. Soon the Sakya Buddhists were recognized as an independent entity by other international Buddhist bodies and a flow of visitors, monks and lay people started and increased with passing years. Writing about those early years, Iyothee Thass says: “lectures are delivered every week in the hall of the society in addition to the occasional lectures delivered here and there in the city of Madras. Thus a great interest is aroused in the minds of people in the life and teaching of our Lord Buddha. And not a few have been the conversion to the faith of the master… Some 260 Buddhist visitors, bhikkus and lay men and women from Holland, china, Japan, Burma, Ceylon, Siam, Singapore, Chittagong, Benares, Calcutta, Bodh Gaya and other places have called and stayed here on different occasions”.
Everyone knows that last year during election campaigns Modi had said Taxila was part of Bihar. But in reality, Taxila, which is in Pakistan, is nowhere near Bihar! Next in the election campaign Modi had said, Buddha was born in Bihar, but in reality Buddha was born in Lumbini, Kapilavastu, which is in Nepal.
Now, today on Buddha Purnima speech, Modi said following –
Seems like he is reading books published by terrorist organisations like RSS. How can one accept all this? All this is utter lie and no one with right mind can accept this. Modi is trying to erase true history and is trying to propagate fake ideas. In reality, Buddha died a natural death, all this is lie what Modi is preaching. Check out what Dr. Ambedkar had written about the end of Buddha in The Buddha and His Dhamma. Modi has definitely hurt the sentiments of Buddhist community in India again and again.
Further, in the same speech today, Modi said that Buddha described women empowerment as – in next birth all women will be men! In reality, there is no such reference that Buddha said all this. Buddha never believed in rebirth, then how can Modi say and quote some book, written by some RSS person that in next birth women will be men? It is really shameful. Next, according to Modi, Buddha said – in next birth lower caste people will be born as higher caste people! What a shame again, there is no such thing Buddha ever said, Buddha and Buddhism doesn’t believe in caste, it is only in Hinduism. In other words, what Modi is saying that if we are reborn, we will still have caste system and caste discrimination!! Buddha was against any kind of discrimination, how we can accept what Modi is saying? This is degrading the great personality of Buddha, who stood against all kinds of discrimination.
Apart from the all this, Modi mentioned in his speech that wherever he has gone (abroad), he makes sure that he goes to Buddha temples there. But in reality it must be remembered that the main reason for all this is that in western or any other developed country, if India has any good image, it is because of Buddha, not because of any other fake God. People in those countries feel safe in the hands of Buddha but it’s shameful that India doesn’t value it’s great personalities. Leave aside giving importance to Buddha, people like Modi malign Buddha.
Check also –
It’s a high time when all of us stay updated with all the news which the mainstream media doesn’t disclose. We as an awareness creating platform & alternative Media are about to set a campaign to spread awareness among large masses regarding the protests which are going to be held at Delhi Jantar Mantar from 25th April 2015 to 27th April 2015. These protests are to free the Mahabodhi Maha vihara which is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage center with 2,500 years of history, from the Hindu authorities. Lord Buddha TV has launched its biggest protest for setting Mahabodhi Maha vihara free from the controls of Hindu authorities. Peaceful protests will be carried out at Jantar Mantar to demand the most significant Buddhist pilgrimage into the hands of Indian Buddhist authorities.
False history has been propagated by the Hindu authorities to the masses and the tourists out of one being the theory of The Buddha being the reincarnation of Vishnu. These protests had been carried out for years but has not resulted into justice to the Indian Buddhists. We request you to stay updated with Lord Buddha TV and participate in the protests.
If you can raise your voices for Net neutrality & Corruption free India Campaigns, why can’t you raise your voice to demand justice for the Indian Buddhists.
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