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  1. #1

  2. #2
    Hey Will,

    I believe that 10 minute clip is a monument to the fairy tale that so many folks think is "Buddhism" . Well financed propaganda funded by Richard Gere (who would have taken the title role except for his age). It presents the Buddhist equivalent of walking on water and raising the dead... magical stories meant to dazzle those members of the public requiring dazzle before they believe in something. Perfect for a Hollywood movie.

    On the other hand, it --might-- be true (I wasn't there). Maybe the Buddha did pop out of his mother's side, fully grown, for that matter.

    [His mother] reaching out to clasp a branch of the tree it is said Siddhartha was born miraculously from her right side. He was born on the eight day of the fourth lunar month.

    The gods attended Siddhartha's birth and witnessed the miracles which occurred. Emerging from his mother's side, Siddhartha immediately took seven steps. At each step, a lotus grew out of the ground to receive the future Buddha, and the child stepped from blossom to blossom.

    The infant arose, pointing one finger to the heavens and one to the earth, declaring, ďIn the heavens and on the earth, I am the most venerable teacher of Gods and Men."

    http://www.simhas.org/life.html
    .
    Gassho, Jundo

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  6. #6
    Wait...
    Where were the shepherds and wise men? The Manger animals??
    and no one sang "Joy to the World" or the "Hallelujah Chorus."
    What the hell?

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Hollywood theatrics and Buddhist meta-physics aside, I enjoyed this movie. But you have to see it for what it is, a nice fairy tail. I purchased it from a clearance discount bin .

    Similarly I also recently read 'Buddha' by Deepak Chopra. It was a little fantastic at parts too, but much less than 'Little Buddha'. In fact I liked how he actually made many parts of the Buddha's life much more down-to-earth (including Maya's giving birth to Siddhartha). In researching the author, Deepak himself seems a little sketchy and new agey; but the story was nice.

  9. #9
    Hey,

    I too enjoyed this movie (except for Chris Isaacís acting). I enjoyed it even though I am not Tibetan Buddhist, donít believe in reincarnation, and donít take those stories literally. To echo Will, I didn't take it as an historical account of Siddhartha's life, although I enjoyed the parts that may have been historical (i.e., dress, landscape, etc.). However, I also enjoyed some of the more "fantastic" scenes, especially the Naga scene and when he was under the Bodhi tree. I thought it was a great way to show what was happening in his own mind, which, of course, is how I see a lot of the famous myths in different religions. They point to important truths. For example, Buddha being tempted by Mara under the Bodhi tree is similar to Jesusí temptation by Satan in the desert. Most modern scholars agree that these stories show these great teachers going through an important inner transformation, one that we may all go through. Joseph Campbell has a lot to say about this stuff. Very interesting.

    As Jundo said, some may need to take these types of stories at face value. Okay, no problem - no skin off my nose. But that still doesn't mean we should dismiss them out of hand. There's a reason why these stories are so enduring - they resonate in our collective psyches because they do speak to the human condition. I, for one, love the myths, even if I don't take them literally. I personally think to take them literally is kind of immature, but I also believe that to dismiss them simply as fairy tales with no other value is also immature. There's a great deal of truth in these stories regardless. I don't think those stories are just meant to "dazzle" and they can still be taken seriously without being taken literally.

    I personally loved the part in the movie when the lama was dying and he was chanting the Heart Sutra. I was very moved by that scene. Again, it spoke to my humanity.

    Gassho,
    Keith

  10. #10
    Dude- I may doubt you have flowers growing out your ass, but I never doubted your intent here.
    I was being silly. Relax.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by will
    Unfortunately history is full of people taking metaphors literally. Any Zen student who is familiar with the story of the Buddha should understand the literal fact of these things and therefore not find the need to comment on something that is a as basic as my saying that flowers are growing out of my ass. Well...do you believe me?
    Unfortunately, lots of folks do take these things literally ... which they may be (I mean, I wasn't there. I just tend to doubt it). I never thought you one of those folks, Will.

    Of course, as people like Joseph Campbell have pointed out, these "myths" do point to great truths behind the symbol. They are not merely fairy tales, and echo something of the human/universal condition (which, by the way, fairy tales do too!) So, no reason to ignore them if they are read in that way. However, perhaps the majority of Buddhists in the world, throughout history, have take such stories literally just as they have in other religions about their central figures. I just preach a Buddhism that seeks not to do so, and is more grounded in what can be personally experienced.

    And if you have flowers growing out of your ass, I would see a doctor immediately!

    Gassho, J

  12. #12
    And if you have flowers growing out of your ass, I would see a doctor immediately!

    Gassho, J
    But we all do! Ass--shit--toilet--sewer (septic tank)--fertilizer--soil--bulbs--flowers!! :wink:

    Bill

  13. #13
    Hey Jundo,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Unfortunately, lots of folks do take these things literally ...
    Unfortunate for whom? I imagine they don't think so. They may think that's it's unfortuante that you don't take them literally. In the end, who cares?

    Gassho,
    Keith

  14. #14
    Honestly I kept expecting "Dude, I'm enlightened! Excellent!!" *air guitar solo*

    But the naga thing was pretty cool.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev R
    Honestly I kept expecting "Dude, I'm enlightened! Excellent!!" *air guitar solo*

    But the naga thing was pretty cool.
    Ha ha haha

    According to Dr. K. Jamanadas, these types of stories were added to Buddhism intentionally to bring Buddhism into alignment with Brahmanism. The elevation of Buddha to god-head and the inclusion of Brahma in the sutras was intentional and created by Brahmin bhikkus from within the Buddha's sangha.

    The Buddha's preaching of equality among the masses was detrimental to the hegemony the Brahmins had been enjoying before the Buddha came along.

    He says - "the old stories, fables and parables - which were in pre-Buddhist Indian folklore having nothing to do with Buddhism - were turned into Jatakas, which now became authentic rebirth stories of the Buddha."

    See here - http://dharmoghandul.blogspot.com/2007/ ... minic.html

    gassho

  16. #16
    Hey Jun,

    Thanks for that info. That sounds reasonable to me. Very similar things happened to the stories about Jesus - the birth narratives written way after his death as "proof" that he was the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Bible.

    Regardless, however, I agree with Jung, Campbell, and others that say that if we scratch the surface of these myths we may see that they really have to do with our own lives. Interesting stuff.

    Gassho,
    Keith

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    Hey Jun,

    Thanks for that info. That sounds reasonable to me. Very similar things happened to the stories about Jesus - the birth narratives written way after his death as "proof" that he was the Messiah promised in the Hebrew Bible.

    Regardless, however, I agree with Jung, Campbell, and others that say that if we scratch the surface of these myths we may see that they really have to do with our own lives. Interesting stuff.

    Gassho,
    Keith
    Hello Keith,

    Yes I agree.

    Christianity was the ultimate product of religious syncretism in the ancient world. Its emergence owed nothing to a holy carpenter. There were many Jesuses but the fable was a cultural construct. Nothing in the 'Christian message' was original. The Christian faith was a vulgarised paganism, set to the theme of the Jewish prophets and debased by religious intolerance.

    Egypt provided many of the themes and much of the detail for the Christian religion. From Egypt, Catholicism copied its rituals and ceremonies, including relics, demonology, and monasticism. The Patriarchs of Alexandria wrote much of Catholic theology and it was probably in Alexandria that a profound and detailed Buddhist influence impressed itself upon the faith. From Persia, too, came a Saviour God and notions of rebirth, a Mithraic dress rehearsal for Christianity.

    Ancient cultures around the Mediterranean shared standard ideas about Gods and their powers and place in the universeóand Christianity simply adopted those ideas and applied them to the fictional Jesus.

    Gassho

  18. #18
    But we all do! Ass--shit--toilet--sewer (septic tank)--fertilizer--soil--bulbs--flowers!!


    Ah, but from dung to flowers is a long process, and a lot of us (certainly me often enough) are guilty of assuming that our own deposits in their original form smell just like the end product.

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    Should we be supporting the illegal uploading of copyrighted movies onto YouTube? It strikes me as wrong.

    gassho

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  23. #23
    Hello!

    I would just like to echo Jundo's thoughts with regards to Joseph Campbell and his writings. Myths and legends are absolutely wonderful vehicles for transmitting eternal truths, since they manage to become more than the sum of all their parts in the minds and hearts of their audience. Sometimes they are just good stories, and boy do I love a good story! The trouble really starts once metaphorical truth gets mixed up with physical truth. Add to that mixture a theocratic instituition and an unhealthy will to power, stir-fry it for a few minutes with a few grains of "end justifies the means"-logic and taraaa you'll get an organisation that tries to organise and put into boxes that which cannot be organised.

    I wouldn't want to change those stories for the world, though I DO wonder about some people's approach to them sometimes. It's funny that some folks find the Christian stories about turning water into wine etc. utterly ridiculous, yet seem to have no problem with taking the same kind of stories literally, just because they happen to come from their new and shiny born-again buddhist outlook on life. To each his own.

    Gassho,

    Hans

  24. #24
    Ah, excuse me ... WHO was the first to bring up Joseph Campbell??

  25. #25
    Hey Keith!


    How dare you disrupt my "sucking up to my teacher"" plan?

    The enormous power of myth must have overwhelmed me....Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

    All hail mighty Keith.

    Gassho,

    Hans

  26. #26
    Hey Hans,

    Okay, I'll forgive you ... this time! :twisted:

    And by all means, please continue your sucking up ... :wink:

    Gassho,
    Keith

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