Tuesday, July 29, 2008



I am currently working on a personal project about the nature of Sin. I am the artist and co-author of a religious, contemporary graphic novel focusing heavily on Sin. I want to include more than just the Christian viewpoint, though that will be the main focus, so am contacting experts of various different religions in order to gain a better understanding of the world view of Sin. I was hoping you could give me a rundown of Sin and your understanding of it, anything you have to offer me is helpful and much appreciated, I am open to absolutely any information concerning the subject, and I thank you in advance.

My comment:

"Sin" is a totally Christian concept. In Budhhism there is no such thing as "sin". In Buddhism we guard our lives in terms of wholesome living and unwholesome living. It involves a certain degree of skill in the conduct of our lives. That is why we also refer it as skilful and unskilful conduct. When we conduct our lives in an unwholesome manner we are creating problems for ourselves as well as for others. All our unwholesome actions are centred around 3 main premises of greed, hatred and delusion. Failure to reduce these 3 negative characteristics in our lives, we continue to react to circumstances unskilfully, causing problems for oursleves and others. What we want, we lust and crave for more. We become selfish and greedy. What we don't like, we hate. We become hateful and will even kill to rid those we hate. And because of our ignorance of this vicious cycle of likes and dislikes, we continue to be slaves of external factors. We have no control over our lives because we think that we can depend on external factors to give us maximum satisfaction. In this manner we continue with our lives of misery. The closest interpretion of "sin" in the Buddhism context is this continuous unwholesome life-style that we are following.

Then we have this Christian concept of the original sin. As Buddhists we do not subscribe to this idea. We believe all of us have equal oppotunity and not being handicapped by any "original sin". We have complete control over what we want to do right now.

The inevitable result of "sin" is the feeling of "guilt". Two by-products are the finding of a scapegoat and a saviour. A good Buddhist accepts any unwholesome action as a result of unskilled conduct, and accepts full responsiblity for his own action without blaming anyone. As Buddhists we do not depend on any powerful agent to forgive our "sins". Since we are fully responsible, we must rectify whatever misdeed we have committed by learning from the mistake and to ensure we do not repeat it in future.

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