Author: masterkung

Jesus In Beijing 2 : David Aikman's second interview ( Christianity's evil desig [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2004-4-23 09:37:52 |Display all floors

For the benefit of my inquisitive friend steve0 ( the christian apologist )

The seekers

The Seers were observers of the Eternal Truths as Newton was of Gravity . Well this does not mean they invented the eternal truths of karma ( cause & effect ) , the doctrine of dependant origination , and the theory of conditional existence . Just as Newton was'nt the inventor of Gravity , becoz Gravity has existed before him.They ( the seers )observed these truths through the power of intuition and personal experiance , as Newton demonstrated that gravity existed by the dropping of the apple to earth.These truths of karma ( cause & effect ) and the comprehensive nature of their implications on animate & inanimate objects in this universe is logical , and therefore these are eternal by their very nature, and have been in existance since yore. Any seeker needs just to use  a commonsense approach to understand their presence and implications thereof in our midst.

Sanātana Dharma, the Perennial Philosophy, is the one name that has represented Hinduism for many thousands of years. It speaks to the idea that certain spiritual principles hold eternally true, transcending man-made constructs, representing a pure science of consciousness.

Religion to the seeker is the natives search for the divine within the Self, the search to find the One truth that in actuality never was lost. Truth sought with faith shall yield itself in blissful luminescence no matter the race or creed professed. Indeed, all existence, from vegetation and beasts to mankind, are subjects and objects of the eternal Dharma. The Rishis (sages) realized that each man had to work out his own salvation and that everyone's own spiritual experience is vital to the attainment of the ultimate state of the soul's evolution. A blind obedience to authority is the surest prescription for spiritual paralysis.

Sanatana Dharma or THE ETERNAL WAY  does not have a starting point in history, does not have a founder, and has no Church. The sages who shaped the Indian religion merely reiterated the teachings of the Vedas, the Indian scriptures (most of which is unwritten). The Vedas are believed to have no origin. In ancient India, the Vedas formed the educational system and broadly comprised all the different spheres of life, such as spiritual, scientific, medical and so on.

From the beginning, India believed in the superiority of intuition or the method of direct perception of the supersensible to intellectual reasoning. The Vedic rishis or seers ' were the first who ever burst into the silent sea' of ultimate being and their utterances about what they saw and heard. The Kena Upanishad says: "The eye does not go thither, nor speech nor mind. We do not know, we do not understand how one can teach it. It is different from the known, it is also above the unknown.

The goal is to manifest this divinity within, by controlling nature (both) external and internal. This can be done either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy (by one or more) and be free. The doctrine of sin as expounded by Christianity is not accepted by Indians. According to the ancient Indian view, man commits sin, only because of his ignorance of his own true nature. Ignorance of Self is the root cause of all evils in the world. Self-knowledge is thus essential for eliminating evil.

Christianity and Judaism are religions of exile: Man was thrown out of the Garden of Eden resulting in his "fall." Man is not born as a sinner in ancient Indian thought.  "Each soul is potentially divine."  The Upanishads teach us that Reality is the essence of every created thing, and the same Reality is our real Self, so that each of us is one with the power that created and sustains the universe. In the late nineteenth century, the Dutch poet Willem Kloos (1859-1938) wrote: 揑k ben een god in het diepst van mijn gedachten?( I am a god in the deepest of my thoughts).  "God sleeps in the rocks," proclaims the Indian scriptures, "dreams in the plants, stirs toward wakefulness in the animals, and in mankind is awake to his own ego individuality. In the enlightened stage, finally, he awakens to the full reality of who he truly is, in His infinite Self.

The first principle of Indian thought, therefore, is that the ultimate reality is beyond description. It is something that can be experienced only by bringing the mind to a stop; and once experienced, it cannot be described to anyone in terms of the forms of this world. The truth, the ultimate truth, that is to say, is transcendent. it goes past, transcends, all speech all images, anything that can possibly be said. But, as we have just seen, it is not only transcendent, it is also immanent, within all things, Everything in the world, therefore, is to be regarded as its manifestation. There is an important difference her between the Indian and the Western ideas.

Temporal notions in Europe were overturned by an India rooted in eternity. The Bible had been the yardstick for measuring time, but the infinitely vast time cycles of India suggested that the world was much older than anything the Bible spoke of. It seem as if the Indian mind was better prepared for the chronological mutations of Darwinian evolution and astrophysics. The cards in the game of life are given to us, we do not select them. They are traced to our past karma, but we can call as we please, lead what suit we will, and as we play, we gain or loose. And there is freedom. We must also be very careful about our thoughts, because thoughts create, and thoughts also make karmas, good, bad and mixed.

The law of Karma Explained & Simplified for my friend   STEVE0

The law of Karma postulates that in this world there are no rewards or punishments; it is simply a case of inevitable consequences. As you sow, so shall you reap. Sometimes others reap what you have sown. There is an interlinking and inter-connection all round and at every level, in time and in space. No one lives, or can possibly live, in isolation. The past is linked to the future, the world to the next, men to their fellow-men, thoughts to actions, actions to reactions, the living spirits to the departed ones. The law of karma governs all.

The entire cosmos is subject to the vicissitudes of time and hence whatever has an origin at a point of time has to come to an end. According to the seers , everything is conditioned by time. The process of creation (Srishti) and dissolution (Pralaya) of the Universe is a periodic cycle in which the entire Cosmos manifests at the time of creation and withdraws at the time of dissolution. The Infinite alone is beyond time - beginningless and endless.

This endless cycle of births and rebirths that all "souls" experience is called "Transmigration". All souls are cursed to experience transmigration, except the Infinite, which is beyond creation or destruction. This Absolute Truth or Ultimate Reality does not perish even though all beings are subject to decay. This unmanifest being is spoken of as the Indestructible, the Supreme Being, God, Almighty. "Yogis" strive to become one with the Absolute Truth, and this oneness is called "Moksha". In other words, it is a state of mind where we are free from encumbrences, where we are indeed the One. "Tat Twam Asi", proclaim the Vedas, meaning "Thou Art That". We simply fail to realize that.

A good analogy to transmigration of the soul is of a person retiring to sleep who wakes up the next morning in the same place. During sleep, the person is unaware of what happens to him. Similarly, the transmigrating soul at birth does not remember its state prior to coming into existence. So, death is also nothing but return to the same state from which one has come to this world. There is a way to transcend this process of transmigration, to which all created beings are subject. This is again presented in different ways by different philosophers of the religion. "Adi Shankara" believes that we are indeed the Absolute Truth, but that the illusion of our worldly lives prevents us from realizing this Truth. Others believe that we are "bonded souls" that merge with the Truth once we achieve the Truth. In brief, however, this transcendental state that we are all asked to strive for is called "Moksha" in Hindu philosophy and "Nirvana" in Buddhist and Jain philosophies.

Clearly, all forms of life on earth do not undergo the same experiences and are not at the same level of existence. Man is the most superior form of life, but there are also billions of life forms which are far less superior than him. Even among us humans, we constantly witness differences in our modes of existence. Some of us are billionaires and some are paupers. Some of us are extremely healthy and some are always disease-prone. There must be a reason for these different experiences that all forms of life go through, even within their own species. The Seers answer to this question is the theory of "Karma".

Karma and rebirth are interrelated concepts in Indian philosophy. According to the theory of Karma, we are all part of a cycle of births and rebirths. This cycle has no beginning nor end. We are simply experiencing the results of our own actions in our journey through this cycle. Each spoke in the cycle is a predecessor to the next spoke. When a cycle moves, all spokes move one after the other in a never-ending chain. Similarly, in the cycle of "Samsara", life forms are spokes that evolve from one experience to another, and from one form to another according to their actions. Good actions cause good effects (Law of Cause and Effects), while bad actions cause bad effects. It is as simple as that.

Our actions bind us to this world, and such bondage-causing action is known as "Karma". The bondage refers to the confinement to this "samsara" just as spokes are confined to the wheel of the cycle. While good actions cause us to be reborn to experience the good effects, bad actions cause us to be reborn to undergo pain and suffering. "Yogis", however, are free of karmic actions and reactions, therefore not bound by the cycle of transmigration. Such a state of everlasting freedom from "samsara" is known as "Moksha". Again, the means to achieving such a state of mind cannot be presribed in a "cook book" manner. There is no specific prescription either. If it were that easy, all of us would be free from "samsara" now. Again, some of us probably wouldn't want to be freed from rebirths, even if given the choice. Remember, this is philosophy and not religion. Religions have doctrines, prescriptions and cook books for happiness; philosophy does not. It is what it is!

Nature & Christianity

In fact, since the start of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the West broke away from Nature and began regarding her as so much inanimate matter to be exploited (a polite word for plunder). That unfortunate attitude, which has resulted in the ruthless abuse we see all over the world, can be traced all the way to the Old Testament and to the Genesis. On that fateful sixth day, Jehovah proclaims, 揕et us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let him rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground....?And he said to newborn man, 揊ill the earth and subdue it?(1:26 & 1:28). Jehovah does not stop there ; for some mysterious reason, he seems to hold the earth responsible for man抯 sins. After generously cursing various nations through a succession of fire-spewing prophets, he turns his wrath to our poor planet : 揝ay to the southern forest : 慣his is what the Sovereign Lord says : I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched??(Ezekiel, 20:47). 揑 will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste among devastated lands?(ibid., 29:10, 12). 揝ee, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it ; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants.... The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered?(Isaiah 24:1, 3). 揅ursed is the ground because of you?(Genesis 3:17). And so on, Book after ranting Book.

The Bible抯 distorted world-view

(1) In the Old Testament, Jehovah explicitly, and on several occasions, makes man the master of all other species and asks him to 搑ule over all creatures?; christians don't   dispute this. Yet this 搈astery?is undeniably the seed of his aggressive 搒mash-and-grab?attitude towards all other species, something he does as a matter of course, obviously believing it to be a God-given right (except that he should call it 揓ehovah-given?to avoid confusion).

(2) Jehovah, always prompt to cursing humanity for its supposed sins, seems to hold the earth responsible for them梕lse, why should he so constantly threaten to bring desolation, plunder, ravage etc. upon it ? Again, chritians  don't not explain Jehovah抯 inexplicable fury for the earth, which he claims is his own creation. Instead, they repeat the old story of the original sin, implying that man抯 rebellion against Jehovah fully justified the latter抯 divine 搘rath.?But they don't  tell us why poor Earth should suffer for man抯 supposed sins. Nor do they  realize that the very notion of original sin admits of a gulf between the creator and the creation. In the Indian Vedic conception, which goes back at least six thousand years, there is no 搊riginal sin,?no fall, no rebellion against the creator, no cursing of mankind or of the earth ; there is only one divine universe : 揟ruth is the base that bears the Earth,?says the Rig-Veda (X.85.1).

I would also like to point out that the idea of a fatal divorce brought about by the Bible between God, on one side, and his creation, on the other, is nothing new ; all I did was to present it starkly, as it deserves to be. A number of Western thinkers have said as much, from Voltaire to Jefferson or from Thomas Paine to Gore Vidal, and have pointed out that no such divorce existed in 揚agan?or pre-Christian conceptions.

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Post time 2004-4-23 10:38:16 |Display all floors

The Nature & Features of the Eternal Way ( Sanatana Dharma )

The nature of "Hinduism" is difficult to define, for it lacks many of the features we tend to associate with religion--it has no founder, no definitive scripture, no centralized authority, no single supreme god, and no creed of essential beliefs (and thus no heresy). The word "Hinduism" is itself a term made up by foreigners (in this case, the British) which until quite recently had no analogue in Indian languages. In its original meaning, the word "Hindu" refers to the people living in "Hind," which is what Greek and Muslim travelers called the Indian subcontinent. For most of its history the word "Hinduism" has been an umbrella term referring to ANY and ALL forms of religious belief and practice in the land of India, from the least sophisticated nature worship to the most highly developed ritual and philosophical systems. They are all called by the same name, but they share few (if any) common features.

What the different parts of the tradition do have is a history of evolution, a continuous process in which new religious forms arise from the older ones, but the older ones (usually) continue to exist. The salient metaphor for Indian religion is the banyan tree, which aside from normal upward spreading branches, also has branches which grow down, take root, and become trunks in their own right. An old banyan tree can be hundreds of feet in diameter, and it is often difficult to discern which is the original trunk. In the same way, what we call  Eternal Way is the result of this history of expansion, diffusion, and change.

The  common thread has been the (generally accepted) belief in reincarnation, which is determined by one's karma (which literally means "action," but also includes words and thoughts). Good karma will bring a good rebirth, bad karma a bad rebirth; as one has been, so will one become. Karma is seen as a purely physical process, operating without any need for a divine overseer (just as we see no need for God to administer the law of gravity). The actions one performs, for good or for ill, become causes for future effects--some in this life (which is less problematic, since most of us believe in cause and effect), and some in future lives (more difficult to prove conclusively). Since the general tone of one's life is seen as more important than a few isolated acts, we might compare the idea of karma with the notion of a person's "character" (which also recognizes the psychological dimension, the way that we are shaped by our habitual ways of thinking and acting).

One can be reborn in any number of ways--good karma can lead to birth in heaven (as a god, since gods live in heaven), bad karma can lead to birth in hell, as an animal, or as a wandering spirit. ALL OF THESE STATES, BOTH GOOD AND BAD, ARE ULTIMATELY IMPERMANENT, AND THUS PROVIDE NO SURE REFUGE: the gods are enjoying the rewards from their past actions, but will be born elsewhere when their accumulated merit is exhausted; others are enduring punishment for their sins, but when this is done they will be reborn in happier circumstances. Any human birth is considered a great opportunity. Unlike animals, which are governed by instinct, human beings can make conscious decisions, yet the vicissitudes of earthly life (unlike heaven, which is always pleasant) serve as a warning to pay attention to spiritual life.

Although New Age proponents usually describe reincarnation as an opportunity, in the Indian context (Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh) it has always been seen as a tremendous burden, and the ultimate goal of religious life has been to bring it to an end. THIS IS THE FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTION IN ALL INDIAN RELIGIOUS THOUGHT. Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains disagree on what happens after the "wheel of birth" has ended, but they are unanimous that halting it is the central religious problem.

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Post time 2004-4-29 04:08:16 |Display all floors

back after a busy few days

You didn抰 answer any of my questions.  If I wanted an in-depth lesson in your philosophy, I would have asked.  Instead, I asked WHY you believed certain things.  That means you have to give evidence to back up your ideas, not more description of WHAT you believe.  

揂 blind obedience to authority is the surest prescription for spiritual paralysis.?

And a total rejection of all authority is the surest prescription for spiritual jelly.  G.K. Chesterton once wrote, 揟here is an infinite number of angles at which one can fall, but only one angle at which one can stand perfectly strait.? To reject authority is foolish unless you can prove that the authority unjustified to begin with.  That requires evidence, which you抳e yet to provide.

揝anatana Dharma or THE ETERNAL WAY does not have a starting point in history, does not have a founder, and has no Church.?

I understand that you believe that the Way has always existed in a spiritual sense, but who was the first to discover it?  Along the questions of Origin, how did the universe come into being?  Has it just always been here or did something/someone create it?

揟emporal notions in Europe were overturned by an India rooted in eternity.?

So are you saying that there never was a beginning?  That this world has always been here?  There are a number of problems with that idea, but the first is the notion of actual infinity.  The Greek philosophers reasoned that there had to be a beginning to this world.  Infinity has no end, and so if there were an infinitely long past, then we would never reach the end (which is the present).  Since we are in the present, however, the universe had to have a beginning.

In regards to the question of Darwinism and Old Earth science, the topic is for another place altogether.  It抯 much too complex for us to handle as a subset of the question here, but understand that there are a lot of Christians that are also good scientists and have found answers to the evolutionary propaganda that assaults the modern man.

?Tat Twam Asi", proclaim the Vedas, meaning "Thou Art That". We simply fail to realize that.?
I抦 not a great student of the Vedas, but as I recall, that phrase comes into the text when a mentor opens a seed and shows his student the 搉othingness?inside the seed.  The 揟hat?that he was referring to was nothingness.  If that抯 the case, then how is it that one has a soul or enduring self capable of reincarnation and self-actualization?

揗an is the most superior form of life, but there are also billions of life forms which are far less superior than him.?

How do you arrive at that?  Are you appealing to a religious text of some kind- an 揳uthority?  If not, how can you prove to me that humans are any different from a rock, dog poop, or the dog itself?  

揂gain, the means to achieving such a state of mind cannot be presribed in a "cook book" manner. There is no specific prescription either. If it were that easy, all of us would be free from "samsara" now.?

Isn抰 the doctrine to avoid doctrines in and of itself a doctrine?  Didn抰 the 搒eerers?of yore hold to certain doctrines, like the 4 noble truths?  I抣l agree though, that there is no 揷ook book?for salvation.  That problem is not that man isn抰 doing good things.  The problem is that man is broken.  No matter how hard we try to be good, we cannot achieve goodness.  It抯 for that reason that Christ came to earth to cleanse humans of their broken nature and remake them into His perfect image.  Just as he was crucified and then resurrected, so we must be crucified to our broken flesh and have our spirits resurrected through His power.  The end result is a group of people that are actually able and eager to do good.  

Yes, God did give humanity dominion over nature, but the one who rules must do so competently.  The father isn抰 given the right to abuse the children simply because he has power over them.  
In regards to cursing the Earth as a result of man抯 sins, consider this- what happens to man when the earth is cursed?  His life is made harder.  Thus, it抯 a practical way to apply spiritual discipline.
Your claims that the Bible has a distorted world view-
1) I answered that above by qualifying that authority over someone or something doesn抰 free you from responsibility from managing the task with wisdom and love.  A Christian dealing with the environment would love those humans to come in the future and thus want to preserve that beauty, although still recognizing that in order for the future to be pleasant, some of the natural world should be used for our benefit.
2) Again, about the earth- it抯 a practical way to apply a spiritual lesson.  Besides, you can抰 simply object to this action unless you posit some sort of moral code that is both Objective and sustainable.  As of yet, you抳e merely mentioned Karma, which you抳e yet to qualify in regards to the standards by which one assesses the standing of a certain action on the 揔arma scale?  

The Christian Divorce between God and the Creation-  Is God personal or impersonal?  Are we all a part of one God?  If God is both impersonal and the same as us, then not only do we lose our personhood, but we lose the ability to love another personality.  Instead, we抮e simply supposed to give ourselves a big hug.  G.K. Chesterton compares this idea of God to a giant searching around for his missing leg, whereas Christianity sees the picture as more of a giant cutting off his own hand in order to create an entirely independent, yet similar organism capable of interaction.  

Concerning reincarnation- where do all of the 搒ouls?go when there are less living organisms in the world?  Where did they come from when there are more living organisms in the world?  Is there just a giant soul waiting room that exists to shuffle souls into and out of this world in a balanced fashion?  In essence, how does the cycle of reincarnation deal with the fluxes of living organisms on earth?

Finally, and again, you neglected to respond to the questions in my original post.  Please answer them directly.

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Post time 2004-5-1 23:43:37 |Display all floors

Steve 0 " here i come again ......" The Wind From the East "

You obviously belong to a western semetic tradition , in the asian spiritual tradition a seeker needs to cultivate patience and ruthless perseverance at the same instance there is no easy salavation both of which u seriously lack. . Both patience and ruthless perseverance are essentially needed for a true seeker , Surely , I would not be willing to  argue with u in any metaphysical debate . Becoz, although silence is seen here as a virtue , I have sought to forgo it for your inquisitiveness that has so impressed me thus. I will only say that as you have scant background in the eastern school of thoughts, there was a need to enlighten you about the essential features of our beliefs. Having given you a very brief , though wholesome background of my stance   I will advise you to re-read my posts , your answers are contained in them , you need to be persistent read them again and again , also see my other posts , titled ?The Choclate God ?& ?The Law of Karma?. My feeling is you will surely get the answers you are seeking from me in the deepest depths of my earlier  posts as well as this current one . Read between the lines surely  u are in close proximity of the truth.  I believe you will surely see the light . Don't become a "well-frog", for you need to broaden your horizons and see the prior view .  May the Buddha Guide your Quest for true knowlegde. And don't depend on any divine intervention , seek out the truth through your earnest search. There exists truth outside your blooming bible.

The Buddha was one such he worked hard on the problems afflicting humans & other living souls , he disciplined his mind & senses and for long did the inner search. He who was earlier known as Gautama renounced the world early in life. The sights of disease, old age and death impressed the young prince with the idea that the world was full of suffering, and the life of a care-free medicant suggested to him a possible way of escape. As an ascetic he was restless in search of the real source of all sufferings and of the means of complete dileverance. He sought from many religious teachers and learned scholars of the day and practised great austerities, but nothing satisfied him. With an Iron will, through continued intense meditation, his ambition was crowned with success. Siddhartha became Buddha or the Enlightened.

Steve 0   this  is an explanation to some of your questions厖厖厖  

The pragmatic approach of Buddhism is expressed very clearly in the Chulamalunkya Sutta , a discourse in which the Buddha himself made use of the parable of a wounded man. In the story, a man wounded by an arrow wishes to know who shot the arrow, the direction from which it came, whether the arrowhead is bone or iron, and whether the shaft is one kind of wood or another before he will let the arrow be removed. His attitude is likened to that of people who want to know about the origin of the universe--whether it is eternal or not, finite in space or not, and so on--before they will undertake to practice a religion. Such people will die before they ever have the answers to all their irrelevant questions, just as the man in the parable will die before he has all the answers he seeks about the origin and nature of the arrow.

- These are those  metaphysical discussions devoid of practical utility. Discussion of problems for the solution of which there is not sufficient evidence leads only to different partial views. When anyone asked Buddha metaphysical questions as to whether the soul was different from body, immortal or not, world was finite or infinite, eternal or non-eternal etc., he avoided discussing them. But your persistence in discussing  such areas shows this is your way ( maybe you have inherited that trait from Christianity ) .All of these questions are  inadequate, since they were based on uncertain sense experiences, cravings, hopes and fears. The most urgent problem is to end misery. One who indulges in theoretical speculation on the soul and the world, while he is writhing in pain, behaves like a foolish man, with a poisonous arrow plunged into his flank, whiling away time on idle speculation regarding the origin, the maker and the thrower of the arrow, instead of trying to pull it out immediately.

Instead of discussing metaphysical questions, which are ethically useless and intellectually uncertain, Buddha always tried to enlighten persons on the most important questions of sorrow, its origin, its cessation and the path leading to its cessation. These have come to be known as the four Noble Truths. They are: - 1) Life in the world is full of suffering. 2) There is a cause of this suffering. 3) It is possible to stop suffering. 4) There is a path leading to cessation of suffering. All the teachings of Gautama centre around these four.


To the enlightened mind of Buddha, the very essential conditions of life, human and sub human, appeared to be fraught with misery. Birth, old age, death disease, sorrow, grief wish, despair, in short all born of attachment is misery. Worldly pleasures appear only to short-sighted people. Their transitoriness, the pains felt on their loss and the fear of their loss make pleasures lose their charm and turn them into positive sources of fear and anxiety.

Second  ( The 12 LINKS )

Buddha explains the origin of life抯 misery and sufferings in the light of his special conception of natural causation. According to it, nothing is unconditional, nothing can exist from nothing, ex nihilo nihil fit, everything has a cause, depends on certain conditions. There is a chain of causes and effects that leads to suffering in the world. Life抯 suffering, old age, death, despair arise due to birth (jati). If a man were not born, he would not have been subject to there miserable states. Birth occurs because there is a will to become?(bhava), the force of the blind tendency or predisposition to be born causes our birth. The will to become is due to our tendency to mentally cling to or grasp (upadana) the objects of the world. This clinging is due to our thirst (trushna) or craving to enjoy objects ?sights, sounds, etc. This thirst would not arise if we had not tasted or experienced them before. Previous sense 杄xperience with some pleasant feelings. (Vedana) is therefore the cause of our thirst or craving. This sense-experience arises due to contact (sparsha), i.e. contact of sense organs with objects. This contact arises due to 6 organs of cognition, the 5 senses and mana (Sudayatana). These 6 organs again depend on the mind-body organism (nama-rupa) for their existence. But this organism could not develop in the mother抯 womb. If it were dead or devoid of consciousness (uijnana). This consciousness in the embryo of the mother抯 womb is only the effect of the impressions (samskaras) of our past experiences. The last state of the past life, which initiates our present existence contains in a concentrated manner the impressions or effects of all our past deeds. The impressions which make for rebirth are due to ignorance (avidya) about truth. Ignorance, therefore, is the root cause of impressions or tendencies that cause rebirth.

The 12 links are sometimes interpreted to cover the past, the present and the future life which are causally connected, so that present life can be conveniently explained with reference to its past condition and its future effect.


The 3rd noble truth that there is cessation of suffering, follows from the second truth that misery depends on some conditions. It these conditions are removed, misery would cease. When the perfect control of passions and constant contemplation of truth lead a person through the 4 stages of concentration to perfect wisdom, he is no longer under the sway of worldly attachment. He is therefore, free liberated. He is said then to have become an Arhat ?a venerable person. The state is more popularly known now as nirvana ?the extinction of passions and misery. This state is not necessarily a state of inactivity. One has to withdraw all his attention from outside and even from other ideas within and concentrate it wholly on repeated reasoning and contemplation of the truths in all their aspects. The liberated person should neither always remain rapt in meditation nor wholly withdraw from active life.
There are two kinds of action, one that is done under the influence of attachment, hatred, infatuation, another that is done without these. It is only the first that strengthens our desire to cling to the world and generates the seeds of karma causing rebirth.


Whatever exists, arises from some condition and is therefore impermanent. All things are subject to decay and change. As everything originates from some condition, it disappears when the condition ceases to be whatever has a beginning has also an end. "That which seems everlasting will perish, that which is high will be laid low, where meeting is, parting will be, where birth is, death will come. This theory was later developed as the theory of momentariness, which states that things last not even for short periods of time, but exist for one partless moment only. This view is deduced from the criterion of existence as causal efficiency. Thus, nothing exists for more than one moment.


The law of change is universal, neither man, nor any other being, animate or inanimate, is exempt from it. It is commonly believed that in man there is an abiding substance called the soul (atma), which persists through changes that overcome the body, exist before birth and after death, and migrates from one body to another. But Buddha denies the existence of such soul. Buddha does not deny the continuity of the stream of successive states that compose man抯 life. Life is an unbroken series of states: each of these states depends on the condition just preceding and gives rise to the one just succeeding it. The continuity of the life-series is, therefore, based on a causal connection running through the different states. This continuity is often explained with the example of a lamp burning throughout the night. The flame of each moment is dependent on its own conditions and different from that of another moment which is dependent on other conditions. Again, as from one flame another may be lighted, and though the 2 are different, they are connected causally. Rebirth is therefore, not transmigration, i.e. the migration of the same soul into another body; it is the causation of the next life, by the present. The conception of a soul is thus replaced here by that of an unbroken stream of consciousness.



(  The Doctrine of Conditional Existence  )

Put simply, dependent origination means that all phenomena arise as the result of conditions and cease when those conditions change. The general theory of dependent origination was taught by the Buddha as follows:

? When this exists, that comes to be; with the arising of this, that arises. When this does not exist, that does not come to be; with the cessation of this, that ceases.  ?

So nothing exists as a static, isolated entity. Everything arises and ceases depending on causes and conditions which themselves arise due to causes and conditions. There is no ultimate ground or primordial cause, but a network of causes and conditions. This undercuts the view of a metaphysical selfhood, fixed entity, or substance underlying the constant change which is life.

Dependent origination is the true nature of reality and this is so regardless of whether there is anyone who realizes it or not. Just as the law of gravity was true even before it抯 揹iscovery?by Isaac Newton and irrespective of anyone抯 opinions about it, dependent origination is the way things are and the buddhas simply realize it and declare it to others.

Buddha explains this doctrine thus :

揂nd what, monks, is dependent origination? 慦ith birth as condition, aging-and-death [comes to be]? whether there is an arising of Tathagatas or no arising of Tathagatas, that element still persists, the stableness of the Dhamma, the fixed course of the Dhamma, specific conditionality. A Tathagata awakens to this and breaks through to it. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. And he says: 慡ee! With birth as condition, monks, aging-and-death.

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Post time 2015-4-9 10:14:52 |Display all floors
masterkung Post time: 2004-5-1 23:43
You obviously belong to a western semetic tradition , in the asian spiritual tradition a seeker need ...

Neither the government nor native faith institutions in China have the capacity to take on the Christian missionary onslaught on China. They are well funded and well oiled with a regimented cadre of foreign and native trained neo-converts to spread the façade and fraud.

In fact missionary activity is like ideological warfare. It is systematic, motivated and directed, that looks to establish a particular religion for all human beings, in which the diversity of human race, mind and needs is forgotten. The global missionary business is one of the largest businesses in the world. Not only Catholic church but also various Protestant organizations have set aside billions to convert non- Christians to Christianity. Organized conversion activity is like trained army invading a country from the outside. The missionary army goes to communities where often there is little resistance to it, or which may not be aware of its power or motives. It will take advantage of the communities that are tolerant and open-minded about religion and use that to promote a missionary agenda that destroys this tolerance.

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