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Re: The Purpose Of Religion........... And Mahayana Buddhism

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Posted by Glenn on November 8, 2000 04:36:29 UTC

In contrast to Hinayana pessimistic approach on Life, MAHAYANA BUDDHISM is a positive approach aims at teaching all Human beings how to enjoy their lives in the truest sense of the word.
Buddhism has been criticized as negative, as i siad earlier, because it places strong emaphasis on the sufferings that lige brings.But what could be more positive than confronting the reality of death, along with it's concomitant sufferings, and finding a way to cope with them ?
Even in Buddhism there exist the idea that faithful will uopn dying be reborn in a Pure LAnd in the west, where they will in bliss and glory and perfect enlightenment forevermore.Though this idea has alrge following, it was first put NOT as a definitive theory of Life after Death, but as means of attracting people of Buddhism. SHAKYAMUNI's original purpose was to wipe away man's futile attachment to this world so as to be able to face the problem of DEATH directly. Nicheren Daishonin said: " LEARN FIRST ABOUT DEATH AND THEN ABOUT OTHER THINGS " Similarly, from an existentialist viewpoint, Martin Heidegger wrote that Human Life is " an existence directed toward death" and that death-potential is inherent in Human Life at the time conception. SHAKYAMUNI took great care to clarify the real nature of death.Whereas most mean do not want to die or even to think about death, he bravely rose above this instinctive human aversion and accepted the four sufferings as the normal condition of Life.With full awareness of human suffering he contemplated the essence of Life and Death.
His most definitive stage of teaching and widely considered as his Final and Highest of all his diverse teachings are embodied in the LOTUS SUTRA, the core-philosophy of MAHAYANA teachings and this was also true with the spirit of the BUDDHISM of Nichren Daishonin.
Of course, Shakyamuni taught that the existence is marked by suffering as i said earlier.But, this is not the sum of BUDDHA's message. He went on to urge men not to try escape from this suffering of LIFE, but we have to face them up boldly and in that way to overcome them. And this is crucial to all of us on how to handle things.
A phrase in the LOTUS SUTRA says plainly :
" THIS WORLD ITSELF IS WHERE PEOPLE CAN LIVE IN HAPPINESS AND PEACE ". Far from being negative, a truly called GENUINE(TRUE) BUDDHISM affirms and exalts LIFE. For the buddhist philosophy of eternal life is NOT an expedient designed TO persuade people to accept their mortelity; it is a realistic and unfailing view of life established through myriad struggles agianst the sufferings of BIRTH, OLDA-AGE, SICKNESS AND DEATH. It teaches us to face up to the realities of Life with conviction and hope; it enjoins us to devote all our actions and our thoughts to the welfare of others, because COMPASSION is the ultimate source of COSMIC LIFE.
By cherishing this philosophy we can turn each difficulty into a source of power bringing joy to our lives. THe trials we face for the building of our character. Hardship becomes the fertile soli in which tiny new shoots spring up and flourish. Each bead of sweat expended in the struggle for self protection and the betterment of our society becomes the SEED of greater energy.
The quintessential BUDDHISM OF THE LOTUS SUTRA became the mainstream of the Buddhist thought after the BUDHHA's passing. In the course of time, every philosophical and religious system inevitably engenders misuderstandings and perversions. Thus Buddhism gave birth to a large number of mistaken and different sects as we see all of them today in various asian countries.I want to say the Buddhism of Nichren Daishonin revived the true spirit of Buddhism and the true spirit of the LOTUS SUTRA in the modern times.

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