Author Topic: Christians and merits/Enlightenment  (Read 13031 times)

Heartspoon

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2010, 03:15:50 AM »

Buddha gave us 84,000 ways to gain Enlightenment.


21'000 breathings in the day. Guru, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

Heartspoon

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2010, 03:50:59 AM »

  From what you share, it does seem like the only way out of samsara is through Dharma.. so it does become 'the only way'?


The way out of samsara is: Guru, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha - 21'000 breathings in the day.
It just happens that Christian monks can, finally, practice in exactly the same way.
Of course, the beginning points of the road are innumerable. But the end point will be the same.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 03:55:19 AM by Heartspoon »

kurava

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2010, 11:30:07 PM »

I use to think that maybe Jesus is a Bodhisattva/Buddha manifesting in a different form to benefit certain people in different parts of the world as that spiritual path would most suit them.

   

Yes

Buddha or the enlightened mind can manifest as the teachers of other faiths or religions as this is one of many skillful means of a buddha.

Some people may not have the karma to meet the 3 jewels in the present life, truly following the teachings of other religions help ensure they create the main causes ( the practice of giving + moral discipline) to take human rebirth in
future lives when they might have the opportunity to meet the dharma.

triesa

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2010, 12:37:25 PM »
After reading all the posts, I want to say how fortunate we are to have met the buddha, dharma, and sangha in this very life. To have a recognised incarnated Guru as one's spiritual master, to show us the path to ultimate liberation which the Guru has achieved himself/herself. How rare that is!!!

I once heard that enlightenment cannot be achieved if we still have the "self" or "I" or in other words, the ego existing. When one has completely eradicate the EGO, there is nothing to pull us back into samsara.

Big Uncle

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2010, 09:11:11 PM »
All spiritual paths lead towards Enlightenment. It is a question of how direct the path is. Some paths take a longer route while some are shorter and a more direct route. After reading everybody's post, I realise that the question posed should be what is real spiritual practice that transcends religion and dogma so all can practice according to their faith. One fact remains constant is that there is no one religion for everyone as people have various affinity, karma, merit and culture. 

hope rainbow

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2010, 12:27:26 PM »
Thank you HS for your comments.
I agree with all your points.

I once heard Robert Thurman talking about the Dalai Lama and explaining how His Holiness rejoyced when he was able to find highly realized masters that were practicing other religions, I remember he mentionned christian ascetics in Spain.

Positive Change

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2011, 03:36:33 AM »
This topic seems to have been buried under all the new post. Thought I would bring it back to the forefront as it is a most interesting post. Every "religion" seem to say the same thing... that their path leads to "salvation", "heaven", "enlightenment", etc.

However, I feel that Buddhism seems to be the only teachings that embraces the other "faiths". As TK says, we should be open to all, even to Buddhist against our lineage.

Having said that, it still really does not answer the question of whether or not Christians are on the so called right path. All the points shared here seems to put Christianity as a somewhat inferior path as only the Dharma will lead one to enlightenment. If we believe Jesus is a Boddhisatva, then why can't Christianity be "the way" too?

I too was Christian and being a good Christian encompasses some of the Boddhisatva vows albeit different interpretations. Surely the prayers and aspirations/motivation of a "God-fearing" Christian can and will create the merits towards enlightenment.

I think, whichever path one takes, it leads to one goal... regardless of how one  it. We should be accepting all in accepting that we are all accepting! I just cannot bear the thought that non Buddhist are wrong just because they do not follow our path.

WisdomBeing

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2011, 04:43:25 AM »
I think that true Christians who follow Jesus' teachings of compassion, wisdom, humility - would become attained. But the thing is would they become enlightened if they don't even know that this is the goal they should strive for? They are striving to go to heaven... is this the initial scope objective? They do perform confessionals and devotionals which are similar to Buddhists, would these practices accumulate merit? Is self-flagellation in some of the extreme Catholic schools a way of purification?

I'm just trying to compare similar activities to see if they get a similar result in order to talk to my Christian friends on the same page. Not to convert them or anything but just as a platform for discussion.



Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Big Uncle

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2011, 06:01:46 AM »
I think that true Christians who follow Jesus' teachings of compassion, wisdom, humility - would become attained. But the thing is would they become enlightened if they don't even know that this is the goal they should strive for? They are striving to go to heaven... is this the initial scope objective? They do perform confessionals and devotionals which are similar to Buddhists, would these practices accumulate merit? Is self-flagellation in some of the extreme Catholic schools a way of purification?

I'm just trying to compare similar activities to see if they get a similar result in order to talk to my Christian friends on the same page. Not to convert them or anything but just as a platform for discussion.


Interesting thought and discussion here. I believe that the Christian confessions and devotionals does bring about a certain level of purification. I think this is enough ground to go about with your interfaith discussion. However, on the fundamental Buddhist theory of purification, - the four opponent powers, we are lacking a refuge factor in the Christian equation. Therefore, I think the Christian purification practices does purify but it does not go right to the root of the problem. Hence, it doesn't accumulate merit as the faith do not even have a fundamental belief in enlightenment. So I believe some amounts of negative karma can be purified but the causes and tendencies will also remain.

DSFriend

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2011, 07:26:03 AM »
the christian bible states that jesus is the only way. in the Buddhist scripture, it is stated that buddha is the way. I did not know this when i was a christian because i was taught that "jesus is the only way".

As i studied the Lamrim, i realised that it is important to have faith and conviction that what we are studying and the path is the only/best way for us. Else, why study and devote our lives to a path that is second best for us.

However, the big question of is it the only and best way for everyone else? If it is not, then logically, buddha's teachings are not encompassing and there is a flaw..thus, how can he be a valid jewel for refuge.

If i were to logically think this way, then i would surmise that other paths may lead to the same destiny but is not be the complete path to lead one to enlightenment.

Please correct me if i have incorrect logic and view.

Heartspoon

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2011, 09:06:17 AM »
I think that true Christians who follow Jesus' teachings of compassion, wisdom, humility - would become attained. But the thing is would they become enlightened if they don't even know that this is the goal they should strive for? They are striving to go to heaven... is this the initial scope objective? They do perform confessionals and devotionals which are similar to Buddhists, would these practices accumulate merit? Is self-flagellation in some of the extreme Catholic schools a way of purification?

I'm just trying to compare similar activities to see if they get a similar result in order to talk to my Christian friends on the same page. Not to convert them or anything but just as a platform for discussion.


Tara                            Mary
Buddha                      God the Father
Guru                           God the Son (Jesus)
Dharmadhatu           Holy Spirit


Heartspoon

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2011, 09:09:58 AM »
The essential nature of Tara is primordial wisdom from beginningless time.
Through the power of skillful means she manifests as the play of the enlightened wisdom
of all buddhas. That is why she is often referred to as the mother of all buddhas.

Ultimately, Tara is the nature of dharmadhatu itself.

The essential nature of Mary is primordial wisdom from beginningless time.
Through the power of skillful means she manifests as the play of the enlightened wisdom
of God. That is why she is often referred to as the mother of God.

Ultimately, Mary is the nature of Holy Spirit itself.

dondrup

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2011, 07:06:32 PM »
I attended a relative's funeral mass at a local Catholic church recently. it struck me then that the element of faith in Catholicism or Christanity is of utmost importance.  Without faith, Catholics or Christians cannot at all embrace their forms of religion or path.  To them, the ultimate goal is a place in heaven.  For us the Buddhist heaven is not the ultimate destination.  Buddhists strive for Enlightenment which is the ultimate goal of our practice.  Have the Catholics or Christians chosen the wrong paths?  No, heaven is a valid place to go to. 

However, heaven is still part of samsara! If the Catholics or Christians eventually found out that Full Enlightenment is what they need to gain, they will then realise that it had taken them longer than necessary to reach the destination!  Catholicism or Christianity can be practised by those with the affinity and karmic connections.  As Buddhists, we should feel very fortunate that we have adopted and have strong affinity with Buddhism that directly bring us to Full Enlightenment.

dsiluvu

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2011, 09:06:52 PM »
Christianity and Buddhism both teaches Compassion and Wisdom and a goal...heaven/Nirvana. Both are similar. Just the path towards getting to that destination is different.

Christianity may seem like taking the longer path... like taking a bus up the hill. In Buddhism there are also many paths; Theravana, Mahayana and Vijrayana.  It is said that the Theravana path is the very basis (like taking the bus) and one would not achieve full Enlightenment unless one realises the Mahayana Path. Then for the more advanced, Vajrayana (taking a jet up the hill). All seem to be heading one direction, which path suits us most is totally up to our level, karma and merits also.

If we are a real good Christian/Catholic, like mother Theresa, whom I think practices the Mahaya like path, which is compassion for all sentient beings, which puts others first, I think she is like a Boddhisattva on earth. There is no doubt she is one! But has she gained Enlightenment? Would she return to do more - definitely. Will she gain Enlightenment, I definitely she will. She can return and be reborn in a situation where she learns more, does more and base on her loving giving nature, she would easily have those same qualities and imprints to continue her journey towards Enlightenment. Who knows maybe she will be reborn in to a Buddhist path.

All is just labels what matters is what are we doing now to get to our final destination and what path we choose is a choice we make that suits our level now. And the end of the day the roots are the same = Comapssion & Wisdom!


Klein

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Re: Christians and merits/Enlightenment
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2012, 06:32:52 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.