Thursday, August 21, 2008

Misconception In Buddhism


http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinay_p/2117484934/

Question: (unedited)
What is the greatest misconception that you think people have about Buddhism?


My comment:
The greatest misconception about Buddhism is that ignorant people view Buddhism as a very ritualistic religion, full of superstitions and many silly ideas. The Buddha did not waste his time "inventing" these silly rites and rituals. The Buddha revealed the truth of life and how we could conduct ourselves to live in peace with ourselves and the world. Rites and rituals were introduced by the followers at a later stage. Buddhism being concerned with universal truth, is applicable to all the different races. The Buddha did not insist that followers must completely discard their traditions and cultures in order to be better persons. So, different cultures retained their traditions and lifestyles and still being able to practise Buddhism.


To day, the Chinese practise Buddhism in their very Chinese way. The Tibetans likewise retained and incorporated their very colourful and ritualistic rendition of Buddhist practice. The Japanese have their distinctive style. And so are others. The "new wave" of Buddhist practice is now in the west, and they are influenced by the various traditions. The traditions that have the least rites and rituals, to the best of my knowledge, are Zen and Theravada.

3 comments:

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

I for one, do not emphasise on 'ritual' and 'chanting' side of Buddhism as I cannot appreciate the need of such rituals and chants.

I always remind myself that we human are part of nature and should learn how to co-exist with nature. This, I believe is the basic of Buddhism.

Justin Choo said...

A T Malaysian,

You are right.

A true Malaysian said...

In learning Buddhism, the best way is through self-relisation, ie whether Buddha's teachings hold any truth, by thinking and analysing.

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