home page
the 'do' in taichido
who we are
characteristics of tai chi
the tai chi netguide
Do tai chi Syllabus
exploration of moves
form lists
more learning tai chi
tai chi styles
tai chi and martial art
tai chi and health
tai chi philosophy
chi
chi kung
taoism
buddhism
the pure land Fellowship (buddhism)
kyushindo budo
kuan yin
chinese astrology signs
tai chi tuition with Gary
find a tai chi teacher near you
the taichido newlsetter
taichido's own learning products at taichidoshop
www.taichidoshop.com
contacts
disclaimer
 
carbon neutral website

the taichido newsletter

www.taichidoshop.com - learn tai chi with our dvds and dvdroms etc

 

Buddhism
introduction to Buddhism and its permutations

Buddhist India

 

The Buddha may or may not have been 'the greatest Aryan of all the Aryans,' or 'the greatest of all philosophers,' as some would call him. It is difficult to determine how such a man as the Buddha, who is so different from the other philosophers and religious men of India, could have appeared there, for he denied entirely the traditional gods, religious beliefs, institutions and customs.

When the Aryans conquered India, they pushed southward in their march of victory until they entered the tropical zone. Then, because of the severe heat, they chose to select their abode among the cool forests of the Black Mountains, which form the smaller range along the foot of the great Himalaya. Gradually they came to regard the forest as their ideal abode, and in time they acquired the habit of meditating with the great Himalaya as the object of their thoughts. For, there was Himalaya, eternally magnificent, eternally unapproachable. During mornings and evenings the snows would glow in changing splendor as the rays of the sun struck them; in winter the glaciers in the valleys were frozen solid, but in summer the glaciers flowed along the winding valleys like giant dragons come to life after a year's sleep. Finally, the Aryans, who had conquered India by force, in turn, came to be completely conquered by the mysterious influence of Nature.

In very few words, Brahmanism, the old Indian religion, was a pantheism with Brahman (the eternal, absolute, unchanging principle) as the first cause of the universe. The manifestation of this Brahman is sometimes personified and is called Brahma (God, or the Great Self). Every human being has atman (little self). Brahman and atman are one, and of the same substance. Brahmanism, therefore, is an effort to seek the ultimate principle, Brahman, by studying one's Self, atman.

The Buddha denied the existence of Brahman and atman, and advanced a new theory of anatman (no-self), for, he declared, all things are changing and it is unreasonable to look for an absolute unchanging principle or an eternal self.

It is appropriate to speak of the Indian civilization as the civilization of the Forest. Religion, philosophy and literature were all products of the forest. Education was carried on in the sacred depth of the forest. Music, medicine and other branches of civilization were, without exception, cultivated in the forest.

Such theories as those which contend that city life produces civilization or that the origin of civilization is the triumph of man over Nature cannot be acceptable in India. The Indian people believe that the struggle for life is a hindrance to higher civilization. To them civilization means the assimilation of man into Nature; hence city life is simply the breeding-place of crime.

Brahmanism, the Indian philosophy, and Buddhism may both be called the product of self-culture under Nature. (Anatman denies the self as permanent substance or entity. However, Buddhism retains the self as a combination of matter and mind in continuous change. This 'self' is perfected by cultivation. This is what is meant by 'self-culture' or 'self-creation.')

The result of the custom of meditating morning and evening reverently before Nature was yoga (concentration of mind) in Brahmanism, and dhyana or zen (meditation) in Buddhism. There might be a sect in Brahmanism which does not require yoga, but in Buddhism no sect can be without dhyana. At present certain sects in Buddhism do not practice dhyana daily. However, it is a well-known fact that even those sects have their origin in dhyana. This is true with both Hinayana and Mahayana. For instance, the Three Learning's of Buddhism (trisiksa) are discipline, contemplation and wisdom; and one of the Six Perfections (paramita) is samadhi or concentration. Without samadhi the attainment of Buddhist knowledge is impossible. In Buddhism to act righteously is to think deeply.

 

Brahmanism, the Indian philosophy, and Buddhism may both be called the product of self-culture under Nature. (Anatman denies the self as permanent substance or entity. However, Buddhism retains the self as a combination of matter and mind in continuous change. This 'self' is perfected by cultivation. This is what is meant by 'self-culture' or 'self-creation.')

www.taichido.com . © www.taichido.com 2000-2009. No reproduction or republishing of any material on this website without prior consent.