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#200107 - 11/02/05 10:10 AM Evil Buddha?
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
This is going to sound noob, and maybe it is...

Is there such a thing/concept/incarnate as an 'Anti-Buddha' ? or does Buddha have a nemesis, even if only symbolically? or more fundamental to that...is there a notion of 'good' and 'evil' in Buddhism?

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#200108 - 11/02/05 10:19 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: Kintama]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Yes...but not in the dualistic way. The historical Buddha, I believe, was 'tempted' by Mara (delusion) on several occasions. Depending on different traditions, Nagas were either in the Mara category (of trying to obstruct) or pro-buddha (Tibetian tradition has it that Buddha became enlightened under a naga bodhi tree and they are the keepers of his hidden wisdom).

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#200109 - 11/02/05 12:53 PM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: Kintama]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
Technically, no. In order to become a Buddha, one must have completely awakened to the truth that all things are One. There is no seperation in reality between "things" or "states" or "forms". There is no-thing that is not a Buddha. Buddhism recognizes that "evil" springs from the false perception that there is something other than the self. "Evil" is an illusion that comes from the belief that what we are sensing and thinking is external and seperate from us. In order to overcome this "evil", a buddhist practices virtue in the form of the eightfold path, which includes the five precepts. This was taught as the way to overcome suffering, one of the four noble truths of the Buddha.

Ultimately, the only evil that Buddhism recognizes is an individual's lack of awareness of the truth.

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#200110 - 11/02/05 12:55 PM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: harlan]
Kintama Offline
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Registered: 04/17/05
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Loc: Massachusetts
(so as a side note, the Taoist symbol 'yin-yang' can never be associated with buddhism I would suppose.)

I'd have a hard time "overcoming" this sort of dualism, without merely substituting it with monism or pluralism.

Also the dualism of science (observer and observed) would be a seemingly impossible barrier.

Isn't it one thing to understand and be able to talk about Zen...but to actually live Zen is something else entirely?

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#200111 - 11/02/05 12:57 PM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: WuXing]
harlan Offline
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Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
WuXing:

Welcome to the forum (in case no one said 'Hi' already). Nice post: succinct and clear. (How 'un-zen' like. )

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#200112 - 11/02/05 12:59 PM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: harlan]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
hi harlan, thanks for the welcome. You're right, what's wrong with me? How about thios one.

Only This. *pointing to a tree*

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#200113 - 11/02/05 01:00 PM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: WuXing]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
(harlan claps hands)

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#200114 - 11/02/05 01:21 PM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: Kintama]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
Yes, understanding and actually living zen are different things. No, the yin/yang symbol isn't used in Buddhism. Though, in terms of the practice of virtue, both Buddhism and Taoism share some similarities. As it was described in the Hua Hu Ching, there are essentially two paths to the truth. In one, you deny everything, seeing all as an illusion, until all you are left with is reality (Buddhism). In the other, you accept everything, allowing everything to be just as it is, until you see reality (Taoism). Both end up at the understanding that All is One, there is no seperation between this thing and that thing. Both practices stress that the ultimate reality, Source, Tao, is without duality.
As for the observer/observed barrier...quantum physics addresses that, and sort of starts breaking it down. Science and spirituality won't be seperate forever. Or even for much longer...

To practice Zen is to be in the Present. All the reading and understanding only points one towards that goal. It is something one cannot explain to others, as it is a wholly individual experience. It is something that cannot be rationalized or logically deduced, it doesn't make sense to the rational mind. It is about letting go of all judgements, even the judgements of logic which say "this makes sense and this doesn't".

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#200115 - 11/02/05 01:23 PM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: WuXing]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Are there versions of Buddhism that don't deny everything...that don't see all as illusion? Such as Vajrayana?

Quote:

Yes, understanding and actually living zen are different things. No, the yin/yang symbol isn't used in Buddhism. Though, in terms of the practice of virtue, both Buddhism and Taoism share some similarities. As it was described in the Hua Hu Ching, there are essentially two paths to the truth. In one, you deny everything, seeing all as an illusion, until all you are left with is reality (Buddhism). In the other, you accept everything, allowing everything to be just as it is, until you see reality (Taoism). Both end up at the understanding that All is One, there is no seperation between this thing and that thing. Both practices stress that the ultimate reality, Source, Tao, is without duality.
As for the observer/observed barrier...quantum physics addresses that, and sort of starts breaking it down. Science and spirituality won't be seperate forever. Or even for much longer...

To practice Zen is to be in the Present. All the reading and understanding only points one towards that goal. It is something one cannot explain to others, as it is a wholly individual experience. It is something that cannot be rationalized or logically deduced, it doesn't make sense to the rational mind. It is about letting go of all judgements, even the judgements of logic which say "this makes sense and this doesn't".



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#200116 - 11/02/05 02:57 PM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: harlan]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
Hmm, I'm not sure. I mainly know Ch'an/Zen, and the sutras it is based on, which are used in Mahayana. I believe it was in the Lankavatara sutra where it was mentioned that illusion and "reality" are really the same. The ultimate reality is non-dual in nature, and therefore is inclusive of everything considered illusory. So it's both "real" and unreal. While you are walking the path of the Bodhisattva, reaching greater and greater levels of awareness, you are still participating in this world, the illusory mind world; the body and mind go on doing what they always do.
The sutras mention over and over again that nihilistic beliefs are not the same as Buddhism. The Buddha warns his disciples not to buy into those philosophies

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