Honest Myth:Buddhism/Christianity- Three Temptations

Hello everyone. Sorry for how long it has been since the last post. I hoped that as summer came along I would get the time to do more, but sadly I had to take classes this summer and have been unable to. So today, I have chosen to post up many myths that I looked up lately. I hope you enjoy the variation in these. Sadly, there is no correlation or theme between them though.

This first post is just a comparison between Jesus and Buddha, and their trials that tested them before reaching their divine levels.

I saw this picture on the cover of a book called: I See Buddha in Jesus-Years in Kashmir . But I am not sure who the artist is. Please tell me if you know.

I saw this picture on the cover of a book called: I See Buddha in Jesus-Years in Kashmir . But I am not sure who the artist is. Please tell me if you know.

  • Jesus

1. Stone to Bread (Desire of the body)- Jesus was brought into the wilderness (a desert) by the Spirit. He was there to meditate and ponder over what God wanted of him. There he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and the Devil came to him and told him that as the son of God, he could easily change the stone to bread, ending his plight. Jesus then responded, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

2. On Top of the Temple (Fear)- The Devil then brought Jesus to the top of a temple in the Holy City, and told him to throw himself off the pinnacle to prove himself the son of God, for ‘He shall give his angels charge over thee (Jesus), to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ (Basically, Jesus would always be saved, because God had told the angels to protect him). Jesus responds saying, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

3. Top of the Mountain (Cultural)- Satan then brings Jesus to the top of a mountain where all the Kingdoms could be seen. He promised to him (Jesus) that if Jesus worshiped him (Satan), then he would get the world. Jesus refused saying, “Get away! The Lord, your God, shall you worship him and him alone you serve.” Satan tempts Jesus with the power to rule the Earth and over throw the Romans. He gives him a chance to rule and do the things he wants to for the Earth, but in a way where he goes against God (or at least that is my interpretation).

These temptations occurred before Jesus was baptized.

  • Buddha

1. Daughters (Desire of the Body)- Mara, the demon who personifies unwholesome impulses and death of spiritual life, sent his three daughters (Tanha=Desire, Aarath=Aversion, and Raga=Passion) to Buddha. Mara usually tempts humans by making the mundane alluring so that they forget to practice their spiritual duties. His daughters attempted to seduce Gautama with their feminine wiles. Coming in many forms and guises, they danced and sang, but Gautama told them that he was beyond temptation of the body and they should return to their father.

2. Army (Fear)- Mara then threatened Buddha with a vast army. He planned to strike him with his army, and Siddhartha, unmoved, said, “Mere numbers do not make the strength of the army. The sun can outshine a myriad of glow worms. If wisdom is the source of power, a single hero can defeat countless soldiers.” The army advanced (with monstrous beings that have lion heads, rhino horns, wearing human skulls, and so on).  Mara tried to frighten him with earth shaking, uprooting trees, and devastating villages, but arrows became flowers when shot at him and light aura around him became his shield. In fear, the army ran.

3. Duty (Cultural)- As a last attempt, Mara then tried to tempt Buddha with his varna duty. Buddha was born to the Hindu community, where dharma (meaning social duty in Hindi and truth in Buddhism) is so important that it makes up a major part of achieving Moksha (freedom from Samsara). Your duty to society is based on which social order you were born into. Mara tempted to guilt Buddha by telling him that he failed his family and society by leaving and not doing his duty as a prince (leader), a father, a son, and a husband. (Dharma is a little more complicated than this, but I think this is good for now, just to understand a little). But Buddha continued to meditate and ignored Mara knowing this was not Truth.

This occurred during his meditation and before his enlightenment.

Here are some sites to check out:

http://www.epistle.us/articles/jesustemptation.html

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/lob/lob21.htm

Hope you enjoyed this!

-Blog Barista

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Honest Myth:Buddhism- Disciples

I am finally free! The second semester of sophomore year is now officially over, and I am finally free of most of the stress I was under (though not completely). Anyways, this was  supposed to be February’s post, but now I have the chance to post it. I have so many things that I plan to do soon, so hopefully it will all pan out well. For now, lets just take a look at the ten disciples of Buddha. Between you and me, this was a little more difficult then the apostles. Mostly because one man could have so many titles and names, and the number of Buddha’s disciples is not one hundred percent uniform. When Buddha first attempted to enlightenment, he went about it in the same manner as most Hindus (his original religion, much like how Jesus was Jewish). Once Buddha changed his path to the ‘Buddhist’ way of obtaining Nirvana, many of the ascetics he was with denounced him, but later they became his first disciples

  1. Morning Commute by Jon Sheer

    Morning Commute by Jon Sheer

    Sariputra (General of Dharma or Truth) – The top master of wisdom, he was born to a Brahmin scholar and a became a great scholar as well. He left his teacher, thinking that no person was capable or qualified to teaching him. After being brought to meet the Buddha, he made a Bodhisattva’s Vow and said he was willing to give all his property away including his body. One day a Deva (god like being) pretended to be a little boy, and begged Sariputra for a monk’s eye to save his ill mother. Sariputra gave the boy his left eye, but the boy requested his right instead. Sariputra gave to him his right eye, and the Deva granted him divine vision for keeping his vow. Sariputra later brought the disciple Mogallana to meet the Buddha.

  2. Mogallana (Arahant) – The top master of supernatural powers. He and Sariputra left their previous teacher together. He gained super human abilities through his enlightenment and used it to give advice to others. In his past life, he was said to have killed many people including his own family. For that reason, he refused to use his supernatural abilities from heretics, and he was killed in an extremely brutal fashion.
  3. Kasapa (First to preach Buddha’s Teachings) – The top master of ascetic training . He married a woman named Subhara and both wanted to lead religious lives. So he went out to find a teacher so that he and his wife could renounce the world together, and together (as she joined the order of the nuns for Buddha), they reached enlightenment. One day he met an old sick woman who was so poor, she drank dirty water thrown out by the rich. Kassapa visited her in hopes to help her, but she had nothing that she could give to him (since to collect good karma one must give items to monks who own nothing). He told her that she did not need to give him material goods, but that she could give alms and follow the Buddha. She felt over joyed with happiness and dies, being reborn as a beautiful Deva and sprinkled flower petals over him.
  4. Upali (Sudra) – The top master of precepts and creator of his own school of thought known as Vinya. He was a court barber of the lowest caste (in the Varna system). As he was cutting the Buddha’s hair, Upali’s mother asked the Buddha how were her son’s skills. The Buddha pointed out Upali’s crooked stance and shallow breathing. By learning to control his intake of breath, Upali was able to control his mind. He later became an Arahant, and though he was a Sudra, Upali was ranked above the seven princes who joined later.
  5. Rahula (the hindrance and son of Gautama) – Rahula was the only son of the Buddha (conceived when he was still a prince and married). He was named hindrance because he symbolized the difficulty to leave behind his family. He was the first Samanera (novice monk) to be ordained as a minor. This occurred because he asked his father for his inheritance, and the Buddha wished to give his knowledge . Rahula became a teacher of Dharma and enlightened at the age of 18 (ten years after asking for his inheritance). He was a very shrewd and strict follower. He made sure to stay in the background so as to avoid being accused of taking advantage of his position as son of Buddha.
  6. Ananda (Most beloved) – Ananda was a cousin of the Buddha and his name means great delight. He was the Buddha’s personal attendant, and he did not need to develop the qualities to meditate and study for enlightenment. He was selfless, having unchanging kindness to all people and worked to teach the Buddha’s knowledge to all including the future generations. He strived to help all people, even though he was busy constantly serving Buddha (who he served so as to free him to teach more). He was the first to request nuns to be ordained. He sympathized with the women and taught them indiscriminately. He lived to be 120 years old.
  7. Anuruddha (Seer of divine eye) – He was the half brother to Ananda and cousin to Buddha. At first he refused to give up his life of luxury, but after he learned the responsibilities of a king, he gave up his luxury in a heart beat. With his divine eye, he could see 1000 world systems (galaxy), each with only 31 planets that inhabited life. He struggled most to reach the level of Arahant because of three obstructions. One: he felt he should have been enlightened now that he had the divine eye. Two: he was too aware at how well he meditated and felt agitated. Three: Felt he should be an Arahant by this point. Later the Buddha helped him to move beyond these obstructions to become enlightened.
  8. Katyayana (Brahmin) – A chaplain to a king. he invited the Buddha because his violently tempered king desired to meet the Buddha. He became a monk to the Buddha and when he went back to the king, he inspired the king and the town’s folk to follow the teachings of Buddha. he was the foremost able to take a short verse from Buddha, decipher a great meaning and explain in simple terms. He was very analytical person and organized as well and used this to help the lay understand Buddha’s teachings.
  9. Bakkula (Two castes) – When he was born, his very rich parents lost him, and instead he was found and raised by rach merchants who found him within a beautiful fish. After some time, his parents found him once more and the two families raised him together. He had the knowledge of a physician and never became sick, living to become over 160 years old.
  10. Sivali (Fore most requisites) – His mother was a queen who struggled to give birth. So the Buddha blessed her birth, and she was able to have Sivali leave her stomach. Their struggle was caused by their past lives, where Sivali was a great King and his mother was his consort. Together they waged many wars and destroyed many lives. He had many past lives where he then did only good deeds.

So there we go, those are the ten disciples of Buddha. If you wish to know more, tihs website is fantastic: www.budsas.org/ebud/rdbud/rdbud-01.htm

Beautiful Naruto art

Beautiful Naruto art

Honest Myth:Buddhist- Asura and Indra

Since the end of Naruto, TheBetterCup and I have been in a very down mood. It is weird to think that a large part of our childhood is over. I mean, this is something we have been watching since we were in grade school. Now we are turning twenty and in uni, and it is ending a long with our childhood. It may just be that this is a little sign that we are officially growing up, which is a tad unsettling. Anyways, I will try not to have any spoilers of Naruto, but just in case: WARNING MAY CONTAIN NARUTO SPOILERS.

Asura and Indra (Godly Versions) as seen in Naruto.

Asura and Indra (Godly Versions) as seen in Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto

So the end of Naruto includes references to some Buddhist/Hindu and Japanese mythology. So with out telling you what happens lets just talk about two names that are mentioned during that Fourth Shinobi War. Asura and Indra are found in both Buddhist and Hindu mythology, and they have a very interesting story that you should know if you wish to truly understand what happens.

asura

If you know where this photo is from, please tell me. The photo I included has a more demonic looking Asura, but some are more human looking.

Asura:

The Asura come from Hindu mythology and are seen as nature spirits that opposed the devas (Gods). They are contemporarily (is that a word) shown as power hungry. They began as equals to the devas, but evolved to lesser beings through out history. Because of this, they also went from being gods that fell because of a small mistake to these evil and sinful creatures.

They are described as addicted to negative passions such as wrath, pride, and falseness. They are also said to be obsessed with violence and ego. There are four unhappy births, and rebirth as an Asura is one of them (the other three include being born an animal, going to hell for a short period, or becoming a preta or starving ghost). To be born as an Asura, one must have had had good intentions as a human, but still have done harm to others.

They lead very pleasure seeking lives, but still feel unhappy because they are jealous of the Deva and want to regain their initial rank. They live at the foot of Mt. Sumeru (for good reason), and are broken into many tribes.

Physically, they are said to be low ranking deities with six arms and three heads. Supposedly, the men are hideous, but the women are very exotic and beautiful.

indraIndra:

Indra, also known as Sakra in Buddhist and Japanese text, comes from Hindu mythology. He is the leader of the Devas. He wields lightening bolts and rides a white elephant named Airavata. He is the Lord of the Gods and the rainbow is considered to be his bow.

He can be compared to the Jade Emperor in Chinese mythology. And though Sakra and Indra share many similarities, Sakra tends to be shown as much kinder and more forgiving. His realm, Trayastrimsa, is the polar center of the physical world, and sun and moon revolve around it.

Story:

The Asura and the Deva lived on the peak of Mt. Sumeru, and when Indra was named ruler of the whole world, the Asura celebrated by drinking a very strong and forbidden wine. As they broke the rules, and were very drunk, Indra had them thrown over the mountain off the summit. At the base of Mt. Sumeru, they noticed the growth of a tree called Cittapatali that differed from the tree called Paricchattaka at the peak of the mountain . This was proof that they were no longer allowed to live with the Deva on the mountain. Becoming violent, they tried many times to climb up to the peak often failing, because they would believe a large Deva army would attack. Anytime that the Deva and Asura did clash, Indra would make sure that no harm would befall either side.

Eventually, they stopped fighting when Indra fell in love with the daughter of the of the Asura Cheif Vemacitran. She was given the right to choose any man present as her husband, and she chose an old asura male that she knew was a disguised Indra. Though they ended the battle, the Asura never gained their position back.

I will not say too much about Naruto, but I wondered why Asura and Indra were involved and what it meant. I found this quote of Asura and realized what the cultural significance was: Laden with blessing, lacking power, absolutely determined to fight. I feel like this makes a lot of sense. Anyway, I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving if you are in the USA, and have a good week to everyone else.

Check out more: www.onmarkproductions.com/html/hachi-bushu.shtml

-Blog Barista

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