Who needs Deliverance and what does it mean! False Religions Buddhism

Buddhism

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Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama about the sixth century B.C1. Siddhartha Gautama was born in Northern India in 560 B.C[1]. Brought up as prince by his father, he never knew that there was human suffering until he was an adult as he lived a secluded life. He then ventured into the real world and was shocked to see the amount of suffering many people had to go through. This troubled him deeply. He then met a poor monk who was contending with life despite the fact that he was poor.  On this he left his palace one night to never return, he then threw himself into Hindu practices, Hindu was the religion he knew, and he pushed himself to very end of physical endurance, by fasting nearly daily. He did this for years until he reached a point of despair, and he began to question some fundamental doctrines of Hinduism and gave himself to a more moderate form of meditation. This brought a sense of relief to hi whole physical and mental system he was on the way to ‘enlightenment’ – Buddha means enlightenment.

By finding the path to Enlightenment, Siddhartha was led from pain of suffering and rebirth towards the path of Enlightenment became known as the Buddha or ‘awakened one’. Buddhism is a tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development. Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities.

It is estimated that this religion consists of 6% of world population, which is about 360million.

In this article, the theology, teachings and practice of Buddhism will be explained briefly and also the differences between  Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity will be pointed out.

The Philosophy of Buddhism

Buddhism theology does not rely on or need gods, nor do Buddhist ethics or teachings involve gods, which is probably why many scholars consider  Buddhism to be atheistic rather than theistic. Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god, some people do not see it as a religion in the normal, Western sense. Buddhists focus on the figure of the Buddha, a human being  who discovered  how to bring  human suffering to the end[2]. Buddhists approach the figure of the Buddha with reverence just like those who worship a divine being[3]. Thus Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, or gender. It teaches  practical methods, such as  meditation, which enables people to realise and utilise its teachings in order to transform their experience, to be  fully responsible  for their lives and to develop the qualities of Wisdom and Compassion.

Some academic inquiries within Buddhism, dedicated to the rational investigation of a Buddhist understanding of the world, prefer the designation Buddhist philosophy to the term Buddhist theology, since Buddhism lacks the same concept of a Theos. For Gautama religion was something primarily of the mind. Like most philosophies, Buddhism attempts to frame the complexities of human existence in a way that reassures us that  there is, in fact, some  underlying order to the Universe.  In the Four Noble Truths the Buddha crisply summarises our predicament: there is suffering, it has a cause, it has an end, and there is a way to reach the end.

The Forms of Buddhism

Buddhism started in Northern India, birthed from Hinduism. Buddhism later died out in India and it expanded into other parts of Asia where it evolved into two or three forms. These are: Theravada Buddhism which is referred to as Buddhism from the south and its practiced in Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Laos; Mahayana Buddhism, which is referred to as the Northern Buddhism practiced in China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Mongolia[4]; and  Zen Buddhism developed from the Chinese Mahayana School. Zen Buddhism is becoming increasingly popular in the western countries[5].

Teachings of Buddha

The teachings on karma provide a thorough and logically self-consistent description of the nature of cause-and-effect. And even the Buddhist view of cosmology, which some may at first find farfetched, is a logical extension of the law of karma. Karma is a law that operates in the world independent of the wills of people or of gods, just like the law of gravity where if a weight falls if its dropped. According to the Dharma- vinaya ( the doctrine and discipline), a deep and unshakable logic pervades the world.[6] The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. Buddha’s teachings are based on the ‘Four Noble Truth’,the ‘Eight Fold Path’, and the ‘Three universal Truths’.

Three universal Truths

  1. Nothing is lost in the universal, as matter turns into energy and then energy turns into matter Old solar systems disintegrated and turns into cosmic rays. We are born of our parents; our children are born of us.

People and plants are the same as trees, as the rain that falls. We consist of what is around us, we are the same as everything. If we cheat another, we cheat ourselves. Understanding this truth, the Buddha and his disciples never killed any animals.

  1. The second universal truth of the Buddha is that everything is continuously changing. Life is like a river flowing on and on, always changing. Sometimes it flows slowly and sometimes swiftly. It is smooth and gentle in some places, but later on snags and rocks crop up out of nowhere. As soon as we think we are safe, something unexpected happens.
  2. The third universal truth explained by the Buddha is that there is continuous changes due to the law of cause and effect (karma). Nothing happens to people unless the deserve. Our thoughts and actions determine the kind of life we have. If we do good things, in the future good things will happen to us. If we do bad things, in the future bad things will happen to us. Every moment we create new karma, by what we say, do and think. If we understand this, we do not need to fear karma. It becomes our friend, it teaches us to create a brighter future.

The Four Noble Truths

These are the four noble truth as taught by Buddha after his enlightenment. These truths are among the most fundamental of Buddhist teachings and are at the core of the enlightenment experience. The Four Noble Truths are regarded as deeply insightful and well laid out cognitive methodology, not simply a theological perspective.[7]

·         All things and experiences are marked by suffering/ disharmony/ frustration (dukkha)

·         The arising of suffering/ disharmony/ frustration comes from desire/ craving/ clinging.

·         To achieve the cessation/ end of suffering/ disharmony/ frustration, let go of desire/ clinging.

·         The way to achieve the cessation of suffering/ disharmony/ frustration, is walking the Eightfold Path.

Eightfold Path

The noble Eightfold Path is actually contained within the Four Noble Truths, but represents the means by which followers can cease the suffering of existence. There is some debate as to whether the Nobel Eightfold Path should be practised sequentially or simultaneously, but regardless, it is the pathway laid out by Gautama after his enlightenment for his followers.

Right in view is the truth understanding of the Four Noble Truth
Right aspiration is the true desire to free oneself from attachment, ignorance and the hatefulness and this is referred to as wisdom
Right Speech involves abstaining from lying, gossiping or hurtful talk
Right actions involves abstaining from hurtful behaviours such as killing, stealing and careless sex
Right livelihood means making your living in such a way as to avoid dishonesty, hurting others including animals
Right effort, a matter of exerting oneself in regard to the contend of one’s mind. Bad qualities must be abandoned and prevented from arising again. Good qualities should be enacted and nurtured.
Right mindfulness is focusing one’s attention on one’s bosy, feelings, thoughts and consciousness in such a way as to overcome craving, hatred and ignorance.
Right concentration is meditating in such a way as to progressively realize true understanding of imperfections, other weaknesses.

 

The Five Precepts

All religions have some basic rules that define what is  good and bad conduct and what kind of conduct should be avoided. In Buddhism the most important rules are the Five Precepts. These have been passed down from Buddha himself.

The Buddhists believe no killing should be allowed as they respect life. They are against stealing hence one has to respect other’s property.  They are against sexual misconduct they respect their pure nature.  No lying is tolerated in the Buddhist society for one should respect being honest. Buddhists do not allow their members to be intoxicated by anything for they respect a clear mind.

Buddhist Practices

Buddhism is the path of practice and spiritual development leading to insight into the true nature of life. Buddhist practices such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. The experience development within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path – a path which culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhism.

The difference between Buddhism and Christianity

‘There are radical differences between Christianity and Buddhism that make any attempt of reconciliation between the two faiths impossible’[8].

Christianity is founded on the belief of Jesus Christ,  who is the Son of God, who was crucified and died to pay the sins of the world and He rose again on the third day, and those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouth  that He is the Son of God,  become saved and they  are called  Christians. Yet Buddhism is founded on the teachings of Buddha who did not subscribe to an immortal soul or supreme deity (God).

Buddhism is different from Christianity in many ways.  The major difference is, in Christianity  there is one God but Buddhism there is no supernatural being though they recognise Hindu gods.

Buddhism believe in reincarnation, referred to as rebirth by the Buddhists. In Christianity your life is unique, your only chance for salvation. If you refuse the opportunity of accepting Christ as your personal Saviour, then you will never get salvation. You have only one life to live. There is no grace in Buddhism, hence no salvation.

There is no such thing in Buddhism as sin against a supreme being. In Christianity sin is against God although all sinful actions affect man and his world.

Buddhists say man is worthless but in Christianity man is of infinite worth, made in the image  and likeness of God and will exist eternally.[9]

The Buddhists follow the five precepts, the eight fold truths, the four noble truths,  the three universal beliefs yet Christians follow the ten commandments and the teachings of Christ. Christianity is a relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, and it’s by faith.

The Spiritual  Consequences of Believing in False Religions

There are spiritual consequences in believing in these false religions.  Such belief brings a curse upon the individual their children’s children up to the 3rd and 4th generations ( Exodus 20:5-6; 34:7)  there is need for  deliverance from such spiritual bondage.

One has to cut all soul ties with Buddhism and the founder and priests of Buddhism and all the demons behind the religion. You have denounce the spirit of false religion and all the spirits  or demons under it, in Jesus Name.

Bibliography

Chryssides George, The Path of Buddhism. The Saint Andrew Press. Edinburg. 1988

Coogan Michael D., Eastern Religions. Origins. Beliefs. Practices. The Holy Texts Sacred Places. Duncan Baird Publishers. London. 2005

Ellinger Herbert . The Basics. Buddhism. SCM Press Ltd. 1995

Fernando  Anthony with Leonard Swidler, Buddhism Made Plain. An Introduction  for Christians and Jews. Orbis Books. Maryknoll. New York. 1998

McDowell Josh and Don Stewart. Handbook of Today’s Religions. Understanding Non Christian Religions. Here’s Life Publishers. Inc. 1986



[1] Smart page 5

2 Coogan page 133

[3] Coogan page 133

[4] McDowell & Stewart pages 53

[5]  Chryssides pgs 73-85

[6] Chryssides pgs 38-42

[7] Fernando with Swindler pgs 18-20

[8] McDowell & Stewart pg 70

[9] McDowell pg  71