Author Topic: Christians and merits/Enlightenment  (Read 26956 times)

hope rainbow

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2012, 06:58:39 PM »
"Would the monks who are sincere in their Christian monasteries and their devotions to God not be able to be enlightened?"

I don't think the Christian monks will be Enlightened based on what they practise in the monasteries. Being Enlightened is about achieving Perfect Wisdom and Boddhicitta.  Christians do not have any practices that help the practitioner in achieving Perfect Wisdom. Boddhicitta, I presume would be more possible as Christians are encouraged to operate from God's love.

I did hear Robert Thurman speak about this on a TV program a while ago.
He said that The Dalai Lama met with some christian mystics in Spain and they changed his view on the subject.

As far as I am concerned I am not enlightened and could not judge.
But I will say this: enlightenment is taking 3 great eons of practice (it is said) and any religious practice from a tradition that has been around for at least 1,500 years and that has not degenerated, will propel one on the path of enlightenment.

And I'll quote the Dalai Lama again: "it is not what religion your practice that matters it is how seriously your practice it".


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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2012, 10:24:27 PM »
Yes, i fully agreed with hope rainbow. Whether a Christian can be enlighten or not is not for me to judge. also, we should not judge by just looking at one life time only. The law of Karma is beyond one life time.

i couldn't agree more that the most important thing is still whether we ourselves are serious in our practice & work towards enlightenment. May all of us treasure the 8 freedoms & 10 endowments that we have now and practice well towards enlightenment so that we can be enlightened & able to benefit more ASAP.


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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2012, 01:43:49 AM »
buddhist prayers is spontaneous enlightenmnt in this lifespan.


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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2012, 01:35:28 PM »
I think if all human beings irrespective of race or religion practice compassion and wisdom, eventually it will lead to enlightenment. However most religion, except Buddhism, emphasis more on love and compassion instead of wisdom. To be enlightened we need  both compassion and wisdom.

Enlightened Beings can manifest as teachers of other faith or religion to teach the dharma or the right path towards enlightenment. Some people may not have the merits to receive the Buddha's teachings now, so if they meet another religion and practice love and compassion they may collect enough merits to take rebirth in future to meet with the Buddhadharma. Enlightenment takes eons to achieve whether one is a Buddhist or a non-Buddhist.

negra orquida

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2012, 04:53:05 PM »
Another question I have is if anyone can answer, how is it taking refuge/being baptized as a Christian wash away all your sins and guarantees one from going to the hell realms. They are basically guaranteed a place in heaven even if they murdered again! How does this logic work?

The mere procedure of taking refuge / being baptized as a Christian does not wash away all sins and does not guarantee one a place in heaven.  It cannot work that way by logic, and it is a sweeping statement.  If it were the case, then all Christians who had been baptized would not have any problems, the police would be overwhelmed by Christian murderers until there is no need for police, prisons, and judiciary system... So it cannot be that Jesus or Prophet Muhammad or any other great saints and masters would say something like that.  If it was so, why would they teach their disciples volumes and volumes of teachings! Why would they teach something so blatantly illogical?

Refuge and baptism will only "work" if we go a (lot more) step(s) further by learning the religion that we have accepted.  Taking refuge or getting baptised under any religion is basically professing to the world that you believe in that religion's principles and want to live by it, because it gives your happiness. So if we take refuge, but don't learn it up, don't apply, don't change our bad habits into goood according to what the religion teaches us... then no matter how many Gods and Buddhas and Deities we pray to, will not get us out of hell after this life!  Religion is not supposed to encourage us to be lazy, greedy and expect things to become better for us without any effort on our part.


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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2012, 09:38:18 AM »
I think Big Uncle has answered Wisdom Being's queries quite well. I couldn't have done better.

I also think that even though we have a firm belief in our own religion, we shouldn't criticize the beliefs of others. This applies to practitioners of all religions. Whatever people practise or not practise is because of their karma. In our past lives we could have followed all types of religions and practices. Knowing this, compassion arises and we become tolerant and kind.

So whatever religion we are following now is the result of our karma or prayers made in the past which have ripened. If for some reason we do not practise the present religion well and become heretics or atheists, who knows what will happen in the next life? We may not meet with the right conditions again for a very long time.

Therefore, we must be mindful what our own religion teaches - respect for others, patience, kindness, tolerance and compassion. We must bear in mind that karma can be changed and create the causes for ourselves and others to obtain lasting happiness.


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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2012, 03:19:37 PM »
Every religion is good in their way. Christians getting Enlightenment through their practice only they can understand and knows best with their practices. I believe Christians doing good deeds can gain merits. After all isn't it that the Buddhist teaching teaches us to practice practice virtues? And with good practices as a Christian, they generate merits to meet the Dharma in the future or their future life is possible right? There are so may religions that caters to all walks of life and it all depends on our Karma and as a Buddhist I'm glad that I have the merits to be a Buddhist this life to learn the Dharma.


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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2012, 08:20:10 AM »
I was just wondering - Buddhists pray to be near the Dharma in our next lives so we can continue our journey to Enlightenment. What happens to non-Buddhists? I ask because I am the only one in my family who is a Buddhist and most of the people I know are Christian.

Do Christians earn merits? How do merits help them? This is kind of in relation to the other thread about being good. If they are 'good' Christians, eg they pray to their god, and they obey the 10 commandments - but for example, they are not vegetarian or they gossip a lot, or do anything which contravene the Buddhist precepts but not the Christian, can they be reborn in the three upper realms? Or do they go to their heaven, like Buddhists may go to Sukhavati heaven even if they have not been enlightened?

Can Christians achieve Enlightenment? Or do they eventually in a future life have the karma to become near the Dharma and become Buddhists to be on the parth to Enlightenment?

Ok i know there are a lot of questions here..thanks in advance for sharing your opinions.

I have read many books on comparative religion several years ago... although I no longer remember enough to quote from the book, but I do know what I understood from them are... both Christianity and Buddhism preaches the same thing. If they are the same teachings, that makes Jesus an Enlightened being as well.

I have always thought Jesus is Enlightened anyway. Therefore, all the teachings that Jesus has given should and would bring his practitioners to Enlightenment... only ofcourse it is described very differently from Buddhist terms, probably due to the location Christianity took place, the people, and  the time when Christianity was introduced to the world. Don't you feel the Saints in the Christian world are very much alike Buddhist Mahasiddhas? Wonderful signs of Enlightenment and the possession of higher wisdom can be seen, and great practitioners of both religions respectively.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2015, 07:18:13 AM »
Basically without misrepresentation of the scriptures of any religion is about virtuous living in contribution to benefit others and achieving a clear mind.

In Buddhism we talk about Karma, purification through virtuous acts to gain merits and attainments on our path to enlightenment.  In developing humility we respect our Teachers as described (Vajrayana Doctrine) in the nine verses of Guru Devotion.  The Guru gives us the methods and we work on ourselves.

It is doing the work on our own that (in my opinion)is the major difference in Buddhism in comparison to other major religions of the world.  This work on self is called mind training for in believing in rebirth, it is the mind that comes back but the body that changes with each rebirth.

As for other major religions, the tenets is still about doing virtuous acts to gain a place of bliss with God.  My only question on this simplistic way is that it is too easy to create in our mind a being like GOD and places all and everything on Him to do the hard work.

I used to go to church and had my education in a Christian missionary school and why I was never baptised was when I was told at a Sunday assembly, to walk down the aisle ask for forgiveness of my sins, get baptised and I will go to heaven to be with God.  Easy way out.

Having said all the above, I still believe that when a person practises Bodhichitta (whether he or she knows it or not) will gain merits and will be born in a good place. And it is not confined to only Buddhists.

Bodhichitta is a Buddhism terminology and the meaning of kindness, compassion, care and love for others is universal.