Monday, October 22, 2018

Never say Amida Buddha is the same with the "god" of monotheists or with any other divine figure outside the Buddha Dharma


Amida Buddha image from
 Amidaji temple
You should NEVER, EVER, say Amida Buddha is the same with the god of monotheists or with any god and religious figure of a non-Buddhist religion! Don’t use words such as “entrust to Amida Buddha or God”, “be in harmony with Amida Buddha or God”, “communicate with Amida Buddha or God”, etc, like this would be the same! It is NOT the same! Religions are NOT the same, and NO religion outside Buddha Dharma can ever lead you to perfect Enlightenment. Having faith in Amida Buddha and having faith in god do not lead to the same result. Faith in any god, including the so-called “god” of monotheist religions will NEVER lead you to Enlightenment.  
Don’t be a politically correct Buddhist in these matters because you will do no good to your fellow practitioners or beginners, but rather lead them to more confusion. It is exactly because I wanted to clear away the confusion people make nowadays on this topic, that I wrote these articles (and many others!) which I ask you to READ CAREFULLY:





(especially read the second part – “Admonition against breaking the Refuge Vows” where I give a lot of quotes from the sacred texts):

 Jodo Shinshu Buddhist priests and teachers must be very strict and clear about the distinction between Buddhas/Buddha Dharma and non-Buddhist religious figures and teachings. At Amidaji temple we’ll always be very strict, clear and straightforward on this matter.

Also, don’t fool yourself into thinking that any “god” of any religion is in fact a Buddha who took the form of that god. This is spiritual bullshit! No manifestation of a Buddha will ever teach things that are contrary to Buddha Dharma, nor support a religion who teaches the existence of a supreme creator god, blood sacrifice, denial of karma, rebirth, etc. If any god would be indeed a manifestation of a Buddha then that god would teach ONLY Buddhist doctrines. No manifestation of a Buddha will ever teach things that run contrary to the Buddha Dharma, and as you know, there are many elements in all non-Buddhist religions that go against Buddhist doctrines!

Perhaps there may be times when in order to help non-Buddhist beings for reasons that go beyond our capacity to understand, some Buddhas would momentarily take the form of a non-Buddhist god or spirit worshiped in a certain religion (I don't know if or how a Buddha does that, but let's say for the sake of discussion, that He does it ). Buddhas, and especially Amida Buddha, are always helping and trying to influence all beings in various known and hidden ways, no matter what religion or evil spirits these beings follow now, trying to attract them towards the true teaching and faith. However, this does NOT mean that a Buddha is really the same with that god whose form He copies momentarily to offer specific help or guidance, nor does it mean that the religion centered on that god or spirit is an enlightened religion or the same with Buddha Dharma. It also does NOT mean that He encourages or approves the teachings of that religion! There are unenlightened gods and spirits out there in the various universes of samsara, some better or worse than others ( the Buddhist texts speak about them), and these gods and spirits do indeed create religions centered on them, which are definitely not the same as the Buddha Dharma. So, in the end, the goal of any Buddha, even if He would momentarily take the form of an unenlightened god/spirit, would be to make people abandon the wrong non-Buddhist teachings and religions and embrace the true teaching, which is the Buddha Dharma.

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Also (and this is another wrong view that I hear nowadays), some deluded people say that Jesus was a Bodhisattva or a former Buddhist monk! Dear friends, don’t let yourself driven into confusion! If  Jesus was indeed a Buddhist monk, then he was a very bad monk because he ended up accepting the wrong view of an eternal creator god. How can a person teaching such a wrong view can be a Bodhisattva? Such an idea is very stupid.  I don’t deny some good things he taught and did, however, the Compassion of an Enlightened Bodhisattva does not include good deeds only, but true teaching as well, and as we see in the first article mentioned above (There is NO supreme creator god in the Buddha Dharma), to teach wrong views is never a quality of a genuine Bodhisattva or Buddha. If you portray Jesus as a Buddhist Bodhisattva or monk you do a disservice to both him and Christianity as well as to Buddhism.

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I urge my Dharma friends and students to listen deeply to what I said here, in this spontaneous instruction, and abandon the useless and complicated discussions of "gods who may be manifestations of a Buddha". It’s a tricky business to engage in such a topic.
Even if Master Rennyo said in some of his letters that kami of Shintoism may be manifestations of Buddhas or even Amida Buddha, he did that in a certain context and NOT with the idea in mind that ANY kami or god would be a manifestation! Perhaps some are, or perhaps only momentarily a Buddha or Amida himself took the form of some of these kami, but then, they should not be associated anymore with specific Shintoist beliefs which have nothing in common with Buddhist doctrines. Anyway, you probably know that in Shintoism even the ordinary people may become kami after death. Yes, it's a Shintoist belief that ordinary dead people are also kami! So tell me, how can any unenlightened dead person be a Buddha manifestation? Of course, this would be impossible, and I am sure it was not Rennyo's intent to make such a connection. 

I repeat, such discussions are very tricky and may lead to confusion, so it's better to avoid them especially now when we are doing Buddhist missionary work in non-Buddhist countries. 

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I hope my message will not be misunderstood. I don’t say that we, as Buddhists, should be aggressive or slander other religions. However, this does not mean that we should not say the truth that ONLY the Buddha Dharma is true and real and leads to perfect Enlightenment and that ONLY Amida Buddha and the Buddhas are worthy of our refuge, faith and devotion. Truth does not mean slander. Truth must be said so that beings may clearly see the Path to freedom from birth and death. 

Namo Amida Bu

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