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Buddhism and the six point att

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Buddhism and the six point att


In explaining Buddhism, one must first understand Hinduism from which Buddhism grew. Buddhism is a reaction against Hinduism as protestant is against Catholicism. According to The World's Religions by Houston Smith, there are six aspects of religion that appear so often that a suggestion can be implied that they are 'seeds? that make up humanity. In constructing this paper, first I will outline and explain these six aspects. Then I will attempt to explain why Buddha found them to be obstacles for spiritual development, and why Hinduism and Christianity endorse the importance of these six elements.

Authority

The word authority as it pertains to the six elements of religion does not only pertain to God's final authority, but to the authority given to the religious structure. Organized religion is important in that it gives people direction and guidance in their relationship to their God. This ?authority? can be seen in the positions of leadership of any organized religion, where the leadership makes decisions that must be obeyed. Buddha preached his religion with an absence of authority. He attacked this authority on two fronts. First he wanted to end ?monopolistic? hold of the Hindu Brahmins on religious teaching by making the faith accessible to the average person taking away the secrecy of the Brahmins.



Buddha said, 'there is no such thing as closed-fistedness in the Buddha?. (The Worlds Religions pg. 94)



In other words the religious leadership did not hold all control on spiritual enlightenment. This first attack on authority was directed at an institution of Hinduism, most directly at the Brahmin caste. The second front was pointed toward individual people. The majority of the people relied on Brahmins to tell them what to do. Buddha challenged each person to seek his or her own religion. In comparison, true Christianity advocates authority in worship and in deed. For example,



?Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.? (The Bible, KJV, Deut 6:3-9)



That one Lord is the final authority and recipient of all worship. All authority in Heaven and in Earth belongs to him. While the Christian Bible places importance on various religious offices such as pastor, evangelist, teacher, apostle, prophet, and many more; it strongly advocates that a true worshiper must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. Hinduism on the other hand teaches a strict reliance on the Brahmins for spiritual authority. The Caste system in Hinduism causes and elite mentality and gives little incentive to an individual to take responsibility for his spiritual authority.









Ritual

Buddhism is a religion absent of ritual, while Hinduism is filled with superstition and, rites, to powerless gods. Buddha preached against these practices. He said,

?Belief in the efficacy of rites and ceremonies was one of the ten fetters that bind the human spirit.? (The Worlds Religions pg. 65)



While Christianity in many of its current forms and denominations seem to be shrouded in ritualism, true Christianity actually disdains ritualism. The early Christians left the written rituals and sacrifices of their temples and lifted them into spiritual application. Instead of a written ritual like sacrifice, they accepted the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and daily laid down their lives as ?living sacrifices?. Jesus Christ many unbelieving Jews angry for breaking ritual.

?And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the Sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep?? (The Bible, KJV, Matt 12:10-12)



While many Christian faiths have built monuments and cathedrals with mysterious liturgies, true Christianity seeks to worship a God that does not dwell in a temple made with hands, but in the hearts of mankind. The Bible teaches that we should avoid vain repetition. The apostle Paul preached that we should beware of the spoilings of tradition and ritual when he said,

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. ( The Bible, KJV, Col 2:8 )





True Christianity teaches us that ceremony does not bring power, but instead power comes from an experience with God. Christianity tells us we should flee ritualism.

Having a form of godliness, ( tradition) but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (The Bible, KJV, 2 Tim 3:5)

Speculation

Buddhism seeks to keep its followers from developing views and speculations that can not be explained, instead preferring practical and exact teachings. Buddhism does not attempt to explain by speculation and remains silent on those issues that many other religions seek to understand. While Hinduism speculates on the creation and destruction of the world, the creation of god, Buddha remains silent on the subject. Christianity does not speculate on these matters, but instead states its belief as absolute truth. God is eternal, immortal, and everlasting. In Christianity this is not a speculation but a given.

Tradition

Buddhism teaches a religion absent of tradition. The Buddhist saw tradition as a hindrance rather than help. Buddha encourages his followers to shake off the bands of tradition. He said,

?Do not go by what was handed down nor on the authority of your traditional teachings?.? (The world's Religions pg. 96)



In Hinduism followers relied on the cycle of birth and rebirth as unending. The Brahmins taught the people that this would take thousands of lifetimes and would eventually work their way into the Brahmin caste and eventually be released. It was to this kind of tradition that Buddha preached against. Buddha taught that you should not even trust in God, but to trust in yourself. Salvation could not be achieved by following tradition and that the idea that the Brahmins could attain enlightenment the Buddha considered absurd. Buddha taught his followers that salvation could be attained in their lifetime. This was a strong contrast to the Hinduism of his day that taught that salvation was an endless journey that could only be reached through many lifetimes. True Christianity also teaches a religion free from tradition. This statement bears explanation. While tradition of men is something that we should shun, the tradition of truth is something we must embrace. While the ideas of men can be called tradition, the tenants of truth are called doctrine. It is to these tenants of truth that Christianity embraces.

?And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.? (The Bible, KJV, Acts 2:42)



Christianity teaches that we should walk in the well-trodden paths of truth lest we find ourselves in false doctrine and traditions of men.



Grace

Buddhist salvation is a salvation of self-effort. It was a salvation that could be attained. The Hinduism of ...

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Keywords: budizmas, bodhyanga

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