Monday, 28 March 2011

Buddhist Teaching is not a Revelation of the God


Theistic religions are revealed to the world through the messengers who heard the massage directly from the God. Following table shows the significance of messengers in some of the major religions.

Rshis (Atthaka, Vāma etc)
Veda, Vedānga

Judeo-Christian Tradition
Moses, Jesus Christ
Old and New Testament of Bible

In Hinduism, the basic literature is divided into two parts, sRti and smRti. sRti is what ancient sages like Atthaka, Vāmadeva heard directly from the God. smRti means the literature came down from those sages with their contributions. Hence, a major part of religious literature is a revelation of heaven. In Christianism Moses heard Ten Commandments from the God. What is given in the Al-Quran is the teaching of the almighty God Allah as heard and revealed by Prophet Mohammed. All these religions have their teachings as coming from a divine authority; hence, the man has no freedom of inquiry or criticism. Human beings are instructed to follow what is said in the religious literature with faith unchanged.

The Buddha realized the doctrine from His own experience by Himself. He realized the truth in His search for reality on own reflection. The Gotamasutta of SN records the Buddha’s words as He reveals later which show His personal understanding of truth He preached.

Tassa mayhaM bhikkhave etadahosi. Kimhi nu kho sati jarAmaraNaM hoti, kiM paccayA jarAmarananti. tassa mayhaM bhikkhave yonisomanasikArA ahuppaJJAya abhisamayo jAtiyA kho sati jarAmaranaM hoti, jAti paccayA jarAmaranaM

=O monks! This occurred to me there. When there is decay and death, and what is the cause of decay and death? O monks! to that me there was understanding by knowledge when reflected with mindfulness as indeed when there is birth there is decay and death, birth is the cause of decay and death.”

This shows that the Buddha’s realization was a personal conviction which He attained as a result of own inquiry. Knowing the unsatisfactoriness of life is the first step, next it should be known well (pariJJeyyaM), then there comes the third knowledge (parJJAtaM), in this way the three circled twelve fold knowledge was realized personally by the Buddha. It was not any kind of divine revelation, so the Buddha says in the ∂hammacakkapavattanasutta of SN eye, knowledge, wisdom; light arose in the truths never heard before.

Pubbe ananussutesu dhammesu cakkhuM udapAdi, JAnaM udapAdi, paJJA udapAdi, vijjA udapAdi Aloko udapAdi.

When the Buddha attained this twelve-fold truth, He proclaimed Himself to be the Buddha and the same sutta records that this declaration of reality of life cannot be revealed by any being other than the Buddha.

EtaM bhagavatA bArANasiyaM îsipatane migadAye anuttaraM dhammacakkhaM pavattitaM appativattiyaM samaNena vA brAhmaNena vA devena vA mArena vA brAhmuNa vA kenaci vA lokasmiM

=This incomparable wheel of dhamma was turned by the Blessed One at the deer par of Isipatana of Bārānasi which cannot be turned by a recluse, a Brahmin, a God, an evil or Brahma or any other in the world.”

Whatever the Buddha preached He said in the CaGkisutta of MN that He had the personally (“ahametaM jAnAmi, ahametaM passAmi.”) Another epithet use to describe the Buddha is yathA vAdi tathA kAri, yathA kAri tathA vAdi (He does what He says, He says what He does). In this way, the Buddhist teachings arose from the personal conviction of the reality by Gotama Buddha.

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