Chamblee54

The Buddha

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on April 28, 2021


“The Buddha” is available for online viewing. 43 minutes into the PBS production, Gautama Siddhartha (pronounced sid HART ha) turned away from asceticism. He accepted a bowl of rice pudding from a lady, and was a step farther on the path to enlightenment.

Buddhism has always seemed “too asian” for PG, or perhaps he is too western/christian to follow. There are some things, confirmed by this video, that PG finds appealing. The stories of Buddha are understood to be legends, with no one (that we know of) claiming them to be literal history. This is not like the book worship of Christians. Stories about Jesus are said to be literal truth. The ideas that Buddha taught are not changed by “mistakes” in telling his life story.

There is a story about Buddha seeing his ascetic buddies, after he ate the bowl of rice pudding. He got the ascetics to listen to him, until he won them over. From what PG has seen of humans, especially spiritually charged ones, he finds it tough to imagine these people listening that long. The average Jesus worshiper cannot be quiet long enough for you to finish a single sentence.

Christianity is obsessed with life after death. The Buddha of this show takes a different approach: “There are stories of people coming to the Buddha, and saying, “I am leaving your teaching because you have not told me about whether there is a life after death, or whether there is another world. And the Buddha says, ‘Did I ever say that I would give you the answers to these things?’ ‘No, Lord, you didn’t.’ ‘Why do you think that I ever said that I would give you the answer to these things? Because these are not the things that you need to know. The thing that you need to know is how to deal with suffering, because at this very moment, what made you ask that question was suffering.”

The focus is on the life of Buddha, not his death. The focus is on this life, not on life after death. Buddha lived to an old age, teaching up until his departure. Maybe if Jesus had been better at human relationships, he would not have been executed.

Maybe PG is so scarred by Jesus that he cannot benefit from any other source of wisdom. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The men are Confederate soldiers from the War Between the States. Many resources are available for those who wish to learn more.

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