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Passions in Poetry

Buddhism, Hinduism, and Karma

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Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea

0 posted 12-28-2005 08:41 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Reading, more like skimming, some of the posts of Baba Michi, I thought I'd try to bring this branch of Opeth's thread into its own.

While I certainly don't agree with everything you say, (There is no 'ought' in Buddhism?), you seem pretty well versed in the stuff.

Two points:

1. Though I never had time to develop this idea, I've often thought of Buddha as more of a spiritual social revolutionary rather than someone who created a new metaphysical system. By this, I mean that Buddha created a vehicle to bypass the caste system and attain enlightenment without the long process of Hinduism.

This is a shot in the dark, but I've often wanted to explore the political implications of this radical idea. The Buddha's idea, not mine.

2. Does it make sense to call the mass of Indian religion we call Hinduism, Hinduism? I forget who said this, but I was under the impression that Hinduism is a Western construct placed over a myriad of different beliefs systems and rituals?

Anyway, this is just to get started. Let the thread go where it may.

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1 posted 12-28-2005 08:59 PM       View Profile for majnu   Email majnu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for majnu

not exactly, there is a "hindu" identity. the pantheon is not a strict heirarchy as in greek or norse mythology. rather it is a geographic and socioeconomic structure. different gods traditionally had more followers in different regions and among people of different jobs. this is a basis of the caste system. however, all hindus revere the whole pantheon, and although the spheres of the different deieties overlap, they do pray to different ones for different things.

the one unifying theme, however, is that in essence they believe that the whole pantheon is different aspects of brahma.

if you really want to understand it you have to go through some of the texts. it is really almost monotheistic if you ask the brahman priests but those of lesser education and reading would insist that the deities are distinct.

Timid thoughts be not afraid. I am a Poet.

Baba Michi
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since 12-07-2005
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Southern Germany

2 posted 12-29-2005 12:54 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

Yeah, Hinduism can be sort've a blanket term, but Majnu is right; it may not be the most concise word, but most Hindus have a group of generally agreed on principles around which there is alot of branching out, and when you say Hindu, you can get a pretty general idea of some basic metaphysical groundwork.

As for the Buddha, I likewise agree that he was not really trying to establish a metaphysical view of the universe, but instead trying to create a system which would alleviate suffering.  There is a sanskirt word I can't remember that refers to the method of adjusting one's teachings in order to most benefit a particular people, and that's what I think he always had in mind, as opposed to actually trying to explain how the universe worked.  
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since 08-10-2002
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Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada

3 posted 12-30-2005 11:29 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Off-topic comments removed. Please don't grab someone else's thread, Ess, for your own purposes.

[This message has been edited by Ron (12-30-2005 11:53 AM).]

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Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash

4 posted 01-03-2006 03:11 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder


Regarding #1, I think you're on the right track.  As I understand it (and I could be wrong), the vehicle that bypasses the caste system is the Buddhist denial of "I."  In Siddhartha's day, I imagine the political implications of severing one's identity and social role from a clearly delineated caste would have been extremely radical.

I need to dust off some old research ... then I might be able to elaborate.

Regarding #2, I think it is better to think of Hinduism as a "classification" rather than a clearly defined religious system.  We do this for Christianity (we use the term whether we are discussing Lutheranism, Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy), we are starting to do this with Islam (Shiitte, Sunni, Sufi, etc.), so I don't see the harm in a Hindu "construct" as long as we acknowledge it is a generic classification.  Classifications are useful, as long as we don't confuse them for "definitions."

As far a Karma is concerned, I have no problem with the concept that our actions have an effect on one's next life.  As long as we're clear on how we define our terms.

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