Different people, different strokes

Tonight as I retired for the day, I saw on facebook a comment that mentioned me (Ven Chuan Guan).
I was like … hmmm?

Taking a look at the original post https://www.facebook.com/yiantay/posts/10152138416583927 , it was just a Vesak well wishes by Yian Probsolver Tay.  Things sure escalated quickly.

Below is my reply that I decided deserves a blog entry of its own. 🙂

It would be similar to comparing US traffic system with ourselves and insisting that Singapore motorists are driving on the wrong side.

Yian Probsolver Tay, it is understandable that Daniel Wong would interpret other religion in the Christian theological framework, but as with comparing any two different school of thoughts or religion, there would be differences.  No surprises there.

It would be similar to comparing US traffic system with ourselves and insisting that Singapore motorists are driving on the wrong side.  Fortunately, most of us can see clearly the folly in such a comparison.

Daniel, Buddhists simply do not have a belief in a creator God(s) like that of theistic religions.  Sins also do not exist in Buddhist teachings.  Right and
wrong is not defined as following or defying any God’s commandment but whether one’s actions are driven by defilements like greed, hatred and delusion or not.  If consequently, one harms or kills others, steals, engage in sexual misconduct or lie, it is wrong regardless of one’s beliefs or if one is commanded by anyone.

This is the Buddha’s teachings, and fortunately, nowadays most people would gladly agree to it.  In US today, if some folks kill others and claim that God commanded them to do it, no prizes for guessing their outcome.

Isaac Newton is not the one who will gravity to smash your phone to the ground

So sin, as a defiance or transgression against God simply do not exist for Buddhists.

As we sow, so shall we reap.  As we act (karma), so we reap the results in due time.  Buddha do not give rewards or punish people for their wholesome deeds or evil wrongs, much as scientists or Isaac Newton is not the one who wills gravity to smash your phone to the ground.  The natural law of causality do not need the Buddha or any divinity to set into motion or maintain, nor for the Buddha to forgive and give leniency.  Just apply the Buddha’s teachings to change our ways so that we stop harming others.

That being the case, why are the Tibetan Buddhists taking the long journey with their prostration and bowing?  It is a practice of both devotion and inner mental cultivation.

Some people call it crawling while others may say that it is just a form of exercise and indeed, on the surface, it does seem that way.  But it is just like how restaurants light candles for ambience and lighting while others may light candles for world peace.  It is what goes on *in* the mind or heart that really makes the difference.

Buddhists see the Buddha nature in all sentient beings

That’s why the Buddhist teachings and practices is inward looking and not outward searching.  It points to cultivating inner wisdom, love and compassion as the path to joy and true happiness, instead of looking outwards for love or happiness.

Only when one have love and happiness within, can one reach out and love others truly. 🙂

While I understand how there is a belief in Christian theology that all mankind are born with the original sin, Buddhists see Buddha nature in all sentient beings, regardless of one’s race, language or religion.  Even when we sometimes find ourselves or others lacking, unhappy or less than ideal, we all have this Buddha nature, this potential to be awaken to how this world truly is, to become a Buddha, to be perfect, perfectly free of anxiety, fear and suffering, perfectly capable to love and care without baggage or attachments, perfectly free.  🙂

The Buddhist teachings is about how to help ourselves and others bring to fruition this potential.

May we all cultivate love to the highest, boundless, immeasurable state, where it transcends race, language and even religion and beliefs

While different people have different past life links and affinity towards different religion, may we all cultivate love to the highest, boundless, immeasurable state, where it transcends race, language and even religion and beliefs.

We don’t need to be the same to be friends and we don’t have to be enemies just because we are different. 🙂

Hope this help in bringing about more understanding.  And again, Happy Vesak!

  • Doo

    Daniel Wong is just a stereotypical bigoted god squad that lacks respect for others. Isn’t it obvious?

    • Well … … his words may well stem from a lack of respect or plain ignorance of others’ religion, or both.
      But hopefully, he read my blog and have more understanding of Buddhist practices now. 🙂

  • Yueling

    Thanks Shifu for the sharing. Good learning and reflection before sleep. 🙂