Author Topic: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?  (Read 20488 times)

brian

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2012, 11:54:07 AM »
This is simple really, we are Buddhists and Buddhists do not pray to statues or stones but we pray to the qualities of the enlighthened beings. We will have to make things very clear here. Nobody are idol worshipping here really and Buddhists are never idol worshippers.

Whatever we offered on the altar is a direct offering from us to the Buddha and not the statue. So we are not even offering anything to the statue although it may seem like it.

vajraD

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2012, 12:41:02 PM »
Nope Buddhist is never an idol worshiper. We have a statue as a reminder and also act as a focus point for us while we are praying, mediating and to help us in our insulation. The statue basically represents the quality of what the Buddha represent. Hence when we pray to the statue we are actually praying to their qualities of what they represent.

shugdentruth

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2012, 06:14:17 PM »
Is it wrong to worship an idol? If a person has great qualities and has done great deeds, I feel it is not wrong to worship the person. Its only by admiring and worshipping that special person that we will be inspired to follow their foot steps. I think the motivation behind the worshipping is more important. If you worship a person because of his/her fame due to his/her good deeds, it may not be as beneficial than if you worship that same person because of the people he has helped due to his good deeds. perhaps?

kris

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2012, 08:25:32 AM »
I heard a lot of people worship the American Idols... are they idol worshipers too? :D

Jokes aside, people of this era is kind of allergic to the word worship. I was once one of them. I think it has the connotation of doing things "blindly". Most non-Buddhist (and many Buddhist) actually don't understand the meaning of praying to a Buddha. Most of us pray to the Buddha mainly because our parents asked us to do so and we just do it without asking. Even sometimes we asked and since our parents don't know, they just ask us to shut up and do it.

That's why education is very important. With a sincere heart, we should ask the meaning of the actions, why we do such things, for example, why we setup an altar/shrine? why we offer water, flower, etc?

Also, if we don't understand, we should also refrain from criticizing other religions, instead we should find out more and that's how we can achieve harmonious between religions.

bambi

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2012, 05:19:21 AM »
My ex's mother used to ask me to follow her to church. She would always tell me that I am worshipping the devil because of the Holy images I have at home. But... but... but... I have been to church and I can't find the logic of them praying and crying in front of their statue. Why is it that they can do so and not be branded an idol worshipper whereas we are???

I remember in one teaching, Buddha said that in the future when I am not around you may place my image on your altar to make offerings as it will be the same as making offerings to me directly.

Having idols on our altar also reminds us of the qualities these Beings have achieved in becoming Enlightened. They did not pop out of thin air and proclaimed themselves as Buddha. They did something to achieve it hence it is to remind us that we can as well.

pgdharma

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2012, 10:44:51 AM »
Many people mistook Buddhists worship idols as it is seen as though they are praying to statues. However, before Buddha passed into Nirvana, He said that Buddhists can pray to an image of the Buddha as it is a representation of the Buddha’s great qualities. So when we pray or make offerings  to a Buddha image, we are making a connection by collecting merits  with the aspiration that we  may one day  achieved the qualities of the Buddha. Buddha does not need our prayers or offerings, but we need Him to support our spiritual path.

Dolce Vita

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2012, 01:08:42 AM »
According Merriam-Webster dictionary, idol = a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly : a false god. Since Buddha has never claimed he was a god and Buddhism is not about having God to clean our sin, therefore, Buddhists are definitely not Idol worshippers! hehe.. ;)

If we practise Dharma (Buddhism) according to the pure Buddha's teachings, one of the reasons of having a statue is really for us to have an object to do the visualisation. What kind of visualisation do we do? mainly the good qualities such as compassion, wisdom, etc. Apart from that, visualising our bad qualities being taken away. If we do the visualisation the correct way, we are in fact doing positive affirmation and enforcement to our mind stream, it will slowly change our behaviour and thoughts. Different Buddhas represent different qualities, it is the qualities of the Buddhas that we want to attain when we 'worship' them.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2015, 03:20:21 PM »
Buddhists are not Idol worshippers.  Statutes of Buddhas have many reasons of being and the most important one is to hold the attention of devotees to concentrate on the good qualities of the Buddhas.

Knowledge of the iconography of the Buddha statute will inspire us to emanate the qualities of the Buddha we are praying to. From head to toe of a Buddha statute has significant meanings including even the mudra of the hands and all the implements held by the statute.

Buddhism is a religion of logic and study and even the statutes are objects of study for those who may not have had the opportunity to be able to read and write.

A Statute will paint a thousand words.

Matibhadra

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2015, 08:36:16 AM »
Yes, Buddhists *are* idol worshippers, and this is wonderful.

An “idol” is an image. The rupakaya of a buddha, which includes both the sambhogakaya and the nirmanakaya, is necessarily an image, or a visible representation of the dharmakaya.

Also, any consecrated image or representation of a buddha, such as a statue or a painting, is not seen as different from the buddha it represents.

There are many consecration (pratishta) rituals for such images, whereby the image is transformed into the buddha it represents, thus actually becoming such buddha.

As such, the statue or painting, which became the very buddha it represents, is worshipped with prostrations and manyfold offerings.

Besides, in Tantric Buddhism one transforms oneself into an idol or image of a buddha, and makes the buddha, the wisdom being, descend into oneself, just as it is done with statues.

And since all of this is included in the very meaning of idolatry, one can confidently say that yes, we Buddhists are accomplished idolaters.

However, some naive Buddhists, heavily brainwashed by millennia of Jewish propaganda, are afraid of being labeled “idolaters”.

Indeed, idolatry is demonized and strictly forbidden by Jewish scriptures. Judaism itself can be defined as the obsessive-maniac attempt at forbidding idolatry to both Jews and non-Jews.

Of course, a monomaniac ideology such as Judaism does not want idols. Any idol would be a competition against the Jewish jealous, envious “god” Jehovah.

Christian and Muslim cultures, themselves the slavish brainchildren of Judaism, cannot but see idolatry with fear, suspicion, and abhorrence.

This explains so many posts above where shy, naive Buddhists try to deny being idolaters. Having an imperfect Buddhist refuge, they are just afraid of the ire of the Jewish “god”.

Therefore, Buddhists should clean their minds from Jewish ideological slavery, perfect their Buddhist refuge, and rejoice on their powerful idol-worshipping skillful means.

Midakpa

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2015, 12:42:39 PM »
“Idol worship” is defined as “an image or statue worshipped as a god”.

Buddhists do not believe that the Buddha is a god. So, when Buddhists prostrate to the Buddha and make offerings, they are paying respect to their master who has attained full enlightenment. The Buddha did not ask his followers to worship him by erecting statues but long after he passed away, his followers erected images but only as a mark of respect.

Matibhadra

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2015, 08:19:31 PM »
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“Idol worship” is defined as “an image or statue worshipped as a god”.

What a foolish statement. “Idol” merely means “image”, and has nothing to do with any “god”.

Therefore, “idol worship” merely means the worship of any image. And since Buddhists do worship images, not as mundane gods, but as supramundane buddhas, they are definitely idol worshipers.

Incidentally, buddhas are also described as gods or deities (Sanskrit “deva”, Tibetan “hla”), of the supramundane category, as opposed to mundane gods such as Indra, Brahma, Vishnu, or Rudra.

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Buddhists do not believe that the Buddha is a god.

So what. They still worship images as buddhas, and therefore are idol worshipers.

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So, when Buddhists prostrate to the Buddha and make offerings, they are paying respect to their master who has attained full enlightenment.

So what. They are worshiping images as their master, and therefore are idol worshipers.

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The Buddha did not ask his followers to worship him by erecting statues

Wrong. The Buddha himself gave precise instructions on how to create images of himself for the purpose of worship, extensively describing correct iconographic measurements and characteristics, such as the 32 marks of a buddha, as seen in authentic texts such as the Vinaya, the Samadhirajasutra, the Manjushrimulakalpatantra, the Samvarodayatantra, King Udrayana and The Wheel of Life, and so forth.

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but long after he passed away, his followers erected images

Your spurious, invented story has no Buddhist lineage, as opposed to the above mentioned, authentic sources.

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but only as a mark of respect.

Respect, or homage, is the very essence of worship. Besides, full worship, with physical prostrations, offerings, praises, supplications, and so forth, is to be addressed both to physical and mental images of the buddhas, as described both in sutras and tantras.

Bottom line, obsessed with the maniac Jewish ideology forbidding idol worship, and lacking any Buddhist refuge or lineage, you just want to advance an inauthentic, Judaized version of Buddhism which does does not contradict Jewish scriptures and commandments.

yontenjamyang

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2015, 06:04:44 AM »
When we say "idol worshippers" the first meaning that comes to mind is that of a foolish practice of idolizing meaningless inanimate objects. And then to assign the word "Buddhist" with "Idol Worshippers" is to say that Buddhists are foolish. This is the worst that one can say about Buddhism and its practitioners.

Statues in Buddhism has deep meanings on a few levels. Firstly the Buddha statues represent the Enlightened qualities of the Buddhas; each Buddha emphasizing different qualities via different posture, clothes, adornments, implements, thrones, mudras, demeanor etc. Every single aspect on a statue or thangka has its qualities and associated meaning. So on the outer level, even an unlearned person will benefit by worshipping the Buddha statue via karmic imprints. So as long a person can see the statue, this imprint will be there.

On a inner level, practitioners who understand the qualities of the Buddha statues, aspire to achieve these qualities via the practice of the Buddha Dharma and "yidam practices". Each practitioners practices to attain these qualities thus attaining all the qualities of the Buddha eventually. That is the goal of Buddhism.

On a "deeper" level, one assume oneself as the Buddha we are "idolizing"; thus becoming the Buddha with the same qualities. This is on a tantric level an is for the practitioners with the highest aptitude.

So, in conclusion, yes Buddhist are Idol Worshippers but of the highest Enlightened qualities.

Matibhadra

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2015, 06:05:26 PM »
Great research and great thoughtful post, Yontenjamyang!

Buddhists should not naively and thoughtlessly give in to widespread misconceptions promoted by physically and culturally genocidal ideologies such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, whose very essence, and main activity for thousands of years, is to deride and destroy human culture and religions, including the powerful tradition of idol worshiping, both Buddhist and non-Buddhist.

While of course Buddhist, supramundane idol worshiping is doubtlessly superior to the non-Buddhist, mundane variety, both are deep religious traditions worth respect, and dwelling at the very root of every single civilization and culture, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Assyrian, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Sumerian, Chaldean, Hindu, Harappan, Chinese, Inca, Maya, Aztec, Toltec, and so forth.

Therefore, it is easy to see that the obsessive maniac effort to deride and destroy idol worshiping, from the Jewish Old Testament to the current Islamic State, is the very essence and characteristic of Abrahamic ideologies, such as Judaism and its brainchildren, Christianity and Islam, those very same ideologies described as “barbaric” by the Kalachakra Tantra, the three of them engaged in relentless warfare against humanity, and human culture and religion.

pinecone

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2015, 02:29:26 PM »
Buddhist does not worship the Buddha in person, but in fact prostrate before his image as a sign of respect to all his teachings, the dharma, if contemplate long enough, we will eventually  accept and understand the logical reasoning. The creation of an altar and possession of Buddha statues  are not idol worship, but a point of focus in endeavor to develop mindfulness. The goal of Buddhism is to get spiritual enlightenment.

Matibhadra

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Re: Are Buddhist Idol worshippers?
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2015, 05:20:58 AM »
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Buddhist does not worship the Buddha in person,

Buddhists understand that buddhas are all pervading, or omnipresent, and specially that buddhas are fully present in their idols, or rupas. Therefore, Buddhists do worship the buddhas in person.

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but in fact prostrate before his image as a sign of respect to all his teachings, the dharma,

Wrong. Buddhists prostrate not only to the Dharma, but to *all* of the Three Jewels, out of which the Buddha, or the many buddhas, plus the Sangha, are persons.

Even the Dharma, which is ultimately the Buddha's Dharmakaya, is therefore a person.

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if contemplate long enough, we will eventually  accept and understand the logical reasoning.

Which you miserably failed to do, with your stubborn attachment to anti-Buddhist, Jewish views on idol worshiping.

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The creation of an altar and possession of Buddha statues  are not idol worship, but a point of focus in endeavor to develop mindfulness.

Idol worship brings many benefits, helping the development of mindfulness being just one of them. And idol worship is no less idol worship just because it helps developing mindfulness.

Here again you show your defensive, Jewish-induced panic at being labeled “idol worshiper”, a clear evidence that your Buddhist refuge is still superficial, weak, and immature.

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The goal of Buddhism is to get spiritual enlightenment.

As already extensively explained in previous posts, idol worshiping is a quintessential method to achieve the awakened state.

However, having become a zombie of Judaic preconceptions, you see the powerful skillful means of idol worshiping as anathema, and try to disown it, not realizing that this thoughtless attitude precludes your very Buddhist refuge in the Three Jewels.