Thursday, 5 December 2013


Buddha too was of the opinion that reason and investigation were prerequisites for seeking truth. Unfortunately this is the least that we are doing, involved as we are in with performing the religious acts in the manner in which our forefathers used to do. These were the chief tools that helped Gautama attain enlightenment and if we call ourselves to be his followers, we must never forsake these. Tools which helped Gautama attain enlightenment are:

- Reason and investigation
- Next, concentration
- Equanimity and mindfulness
- Added purity to equanimity and equanimity to mindfulness

Arent’t these tools going to be handy for us as well in case we decide to go for the search of truth?

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Very much like Krishna, Buddha too came to conclusion that sufferings need to be removed to make mankind happy. Who will do it? God? No! This will be done by the pious and righteous, as it is the duty of all to keep endeavouring to make this world a better place to live. For whom will they do it? Naturally, for the entire mankind, which comprise of the not so pious and righteous.

* * * * *

Unfortunately, with time, the Buddhists too acted in the same manner as adherents of all other religions had done. The Banyan tree under which Buddha got enlightenment became sacred and reverential. It was named Bodhi tree. Statues of Buddha were erected, inclusive of those like The Sitting Buddha, The Reclining Buddha and so on.

Is this not duality that while the records of the Buddha’s life were not kept by some claiming that Buddha never wanted it to be done, the various things that got associated to him became reverential?

* * * * *

Buddha traversed the journey from Bodhisatta to Buddha in one life itself but it was told to the Bodhisattas (learners of Buddhism) that a Bodhisatta has to be a Bodhisatta for ten lives to become a Buddha. Does anybody know of the previous lives? This means that all would continue to remain Boddhisattas for all times and no one would aspire to become Buddha in his lifetime. Bodhisatta became a ritual with no real attempt by these to become Buddhas or attain arahatship. It was also taught that in the sixth life a Bodhisatta becomes prepared to fully grasp the evolution of things, its cause, the Twelve Nidanas, and this knowledge awakens compassion in his heart for all beings. In the seventh birth, he practices charity, patience, tactfulness, energy, calmness, intelligence and the highest wisdom. The inherent meaning is that these are not desirable in the earlier births. Hence we do not go for the search of the truth. How do we know which life it is? It could be the tenth life but we will still keep saying that ‘in the sixth life a Bodhisatta becomes prepared to fully grasp the evolution of things….”

* * * * *

It is written that Buddha agreed to three points that Kapila Rishi propagated. These were – Buddha accepted these things.

- He accepted that reality must rest on proof. Thinking must be based on rationalism.
- He accepted that there was no logical or factual basis for the presumption that God exists or that he created the universe.
- He accepted that there was Dukha (suffering) in the world.

We will prove later that even though Buddha may have agreed that there is no logical or factual basis for this presumption, Buddha did actually believed in God.

* * * * *

B.R. Ambedkar writes: “(Buddha) repudiated their (Hindus’) thesis that the Vedas are infallible and their authority can never be questioned.

In his opinion, nothing was infallible and nothing could be final. Everything must be open to re-examination and re-construction whenever grounds for re-examination and re-consideration arise.”

How true was Buddha? If you are reading my explanations of the Vedas, you will agree that nearly 2500 years back, Buddha knew the people weren’t always having a true understanding of the Vedas. This shows that our observations are not new and some people had remained aware of the truth regarding Vedas at all times and it is only during the last 1200 years or so that the truth has remained buried under the larger mass of untruth.

Buddha’s wordings clearly show that his remarks were more regarding the interpretation of Vedas, which should always be open for re-examination and reconsideration, rather than the text of the Vedas itself.

Secondly, we wish to ask the Buddhists: Do they believe that the Buddha’s teachings are final or they too can be re-examined and reconsidered in altered situations? After all, it is the Buddha who is saying that nothing is infallible.”

I am sure Buddha meant the same when he said: “Man must know the truth and reach truth.” To him freedom of thought was the most essential thing. And he was sure that freedom of thought was the only way to the discovery of truth.

Yes, the Hindu religion had got distorted to such an extent by the time of Buddha that instead of good deeds or piety or auspiciousness, sacrifices of animals was considered as a way to reach heaven. The very fact that Hindus are no longer of the opinion shows that Messengers come to impart teachings, which invariably have effect on bringing about a transformation in the society, and this is the very purpose why messengers were sent. Buddha came to change the mind-set of the people living in a particular region and those who named his followers as Buddhists were on the wrong.

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