BUDDHISM BASICS page 5
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Nature of Buddhism
The basic nature of Buddhism is to teach people to control their lives, by controlling their mind, by controlling what you think, by controlling how you think.
The Original Buddha advised his Monks and Disciples how they should react to negative people and slander.
“Monks, if others speak against me, or against the Dharma, or against your Sangha, you should not have a grudge against them or be upset or be angry with them.
If you react to them with anger and hurt, these emotions will become a poison within you.
If, when others speak badly of me, or of the Dharma or your Sangha, you feel anger within you, your emotions will make it difficult for you to see where they are either right or wrong in their judgment.
When others speak negatively of me or the Dharma or the Sangha, you should reply to them, ‘For this or that reason, this is not so…and such a fact does not exist among us…and is not within us…’
But also Monks, if others should speak in praise of me, in praise of the Dharma, or in praise of your Sangha, you should not on that account be filled with delight, since this emotional state will also cloud your awareness. You should reply to them, ‘For this or that reason, this is correct…and such a fact does exist among us… and is within us…”
This illustrates another teaching of ‘The Middle Way’ in Buddhism.
Rather than reacting to negative or positive information, seek to understand its’ source.
Stick to specific issues when arguing or discussing.
Avoid being emotional about anything, since emotions interfere with your intellect.
The Buddha was not prone to attack or criticize the religions or teachings of others directly. He would merely point out that if they were correct, then your life would be improved by following their teachings.
On one occasion, a high ranking official came to visit The Buddha when he traveled through town. He brought with him many officials and religious figures to also ‘check out’ this wandering preacher whose reputation had preceded him.
This official asked The Buddha, “Sir, many recluses and Brahmin visit our city. They proclaim their merits and how their views are correct. As to the views or beliefs of others, they condemn and tear them apart. After so many different opinions and condemnations, we are not certain who to believe or who speaks the truth.”
The Buddha replied:
“You are right to have doubts and to waver in your opinion. Don’t be fooled by how well someone can recite their teachings or memorize their doctrine. Do not be fooled by clever logic or wild theories. Do not even let the respect you pay to a spiritual person influence your judgment.
When you know for yourself, that any teachings are unprofitable, disliked by intelligent persons, and when utilized in your life create loss and sorrow…then indeed you should reject these teachings.
But if you find that any teachings you incorporate into your life are profitable, blameless, and praised by intelligent persons, then keep them in your life and abide by them.”
The Buddha never sought to replace all other religions. He did however enjoy debating with other religious figures. In this way, he may have improved them, rather than injured them.
What you share is what you have.
What you have is what you accept.
If you accept pain and anger into your life, you will have plenty to share.
If you accept luxury and delight into your life, you will have plenty to share.
If you are constantly aware of what you are accepting, you will know what you have to share.
Buddhism lists 4 ATTRIBUTES: