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How would you define "Buddhism"?


#1

How would you define “Buddhism”?

What is nonBuddhism?
What is Buddhism?

How can your definition be used to clearly and accurately discern between what is not and is Buddhism?


How to compile a list of all Early Buddhist Texts?
#2

I would define Buddhism as the teaching of all Buddhas - past, present and future - leading to permanent liberation of the heart - akuppā cetovimutti.

With Metta


#3

Buddhism is the culture, religion, tradition and teachings that has arisen in the light of the teaching of the Buddha (ariyassa dhammavinayo).

The ‘wise person’ or the ‘noble person’, ‘supernormal person’ (ariya puggala) talked in the suttas dont refer to just any person common people would think of being ‘wise’ or ‘noble’ like a scientist or saint or even just anyone who calls himself Buddhist, but someone who really follows, knows and sees the actual ‘four noble truths’ or ‘fourfould supernormal reality’ (catvāri āryasatyāni).

The only way for one to discern what is and what is not Buddhism as far as the original teaching goes is to hear the right Dhamma and arrive at the right meaning of it and see it for himself, only then one can discern. Or one can just see all the culture, traditions, teachings and religion which has come about in relation to Buddha as Buddhism. There is really no ‘Buddhism’ in the suttas.


#4

What is Buddhism?
It’s a doctrine which leads you away from Dukkha permanently.

What is non-Buddhism?
It’s a doctrine which leads you to continued existence and Dukkha.

What the Buddha said -
My Dhamma has one taste, the taste of liberation from suffering.
Can’t be more precise than this.

Thankyou. :blossom::rose::heart:


#5

The following is according to wikipedia


#6

:pray:t3::pray:t3::pray:t3:


My attempt:

How would you define “Buddhism”?

A system of concepts and practices founded by the Buddha to guide sentient beings to the end sadness (dukkha) - i.e. to achieve unconditional happiness.


How can your definition be used to clearly and accurately discern between what is not and is Buddhism?

While testing whether the concept or practice in question leads to the goal promised by the Buddha seems to be the ultimate test, testing for “internal consistency” with the rest of the Dhamma-Vinaya seems to be the test encouraged in DN 16.


#7

It is the act of defining, which is an act of isolating, that determines what is and what is not. What makes an object of consciousness what it is, is that it is recognizable from its surrounding. If the object is recognizable from its surrounding, then it has a meaning that can be carried forward through time where the laws of thought apply:

1- The law of identity
2- The law of non contradiction
3- The law of excluded middle
4- The law of sufficient reason

What makes Buddhism what it is, is going against the grain through challenging the laws of thought and showing their limitations (turning them back upon themselves):

1- The law of identity is challenged through introducing anatta
2- The law of non contradiction is challenged through emphasizing anicca and dukkha
3- The law of excluded middle is challenged through teaching the middle way
4- The law of sufficient reason is challenged by presenting a goal based on a universe lacking teleology (rebirth), or through creative use of tautologies (presenting ignorance, which is a negative, as a root cause)


#8

Sadhu danan ti danam deti: one gives because giving is considered good. :pray:
:green_heart::yellow_heart::orange_heart:


#9

Are you implying that “Buddhism” cannot be defined?
If yes, on what basis?

What distinguishes Buddhism say from other religions and later sectarian additions to Buddhism?

The Buddha said that even the Dhamma that he taught would eventually fade away out of existence due to changeability and impermanence (anicca).
He also distinguished between Adhamma and Dhamma.

Thus, defining Dhamma doesn’t seem to imply that Dhamma taught by the Buddha is somehow permanent.


Where did you find these laws of thought?
Are these formulated by later “Buddhist” philosophers?
Or can these categorizations be found in the early sources? If yes, where can I find them?


#10

Are you implying that “Buddhism” cannot be defined?
If yes, on what basis?

I was describing the act of defining which is applicable to Buddhism or any other phenomena.

How did you get the impression that i was conveying that Buddhism cannot be defined. In my first post on this thread, i provided a link of a wikipedia source which defines Buddhism. Had i believed that Buddhism cannot be defined, i would not have provided a source!

What distinguishes Buddhism say from other religions and later sectarian additions to Buddhism?

That would depend on comparing/contrasting two (or more) given definitions of Buddhism and other religions.

The Buddha said that even the Dhamma that he taught would eventually fade away out of existence due to changeability and impermanence (anicca).
He also distinguished between Adhamma and Dhamma.

Maybe, but i fail to see the relevance or significance of this. For example, your own sentence "The Buddha said that even the Dhamma that he taught would eventually fade away " is it a part of the dhamma that would eventually fade away? if yes, then how do you trust it?

Thus, defining Dhamma doesn’t seem to imply that Dhamma taught by the Buddha is somehow permanent.

Usually definitions (whether of Buddhism or any other phenomena) serves a purpose, such as using the definition as a reference point. For example, me and you are referring to the word “Buddhism” to communicate, which makes it a reference point necessary to make the discussion meaningful. Where does permanence (or even impermanence) comes into play?

Where did you find these laws of thought?

You can find the laws of thought in wkipedia as well as other sources if you are interested. They can also be verified by logical deduction following the description i provided of the act of defining.

Are these formulated by later “Buddhist” philosophers?

The validity of the laws of thought (or any other law or theory for that matter) has little to do with the source of their formulations. In fact, in the context i provided, it has nothing to do with the source of their formulation.

Or can these categorizations be found in the early sources? If yes, where can I find them?

Here are examples if you are interested:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sufficient-reason/

If, after reading the above, you dispute their relevance to the discussion, then please explain why.


#11

I do not dispute their relevance.
Your explanation and sources were very helpful in clarifying.
So thank you for that!

Touche! Sorry for the assumption - that I why I asked.

I think the confusion was that I wasn’t clear what conclusion to draw from last comment.
Can you contextualize it or sort of draw out the main point of the message? I think I wasn’t clear what point you were trying to make in that comment.

Sorry, for the confusion from my part.


#12

What i was referring to is how the act of defining includes an act of negation. How we know what is? through knowing what is not and vice versa.

From the above general description, i tried to explain what defines Buddhism through contrasting it with the laws of thought which shapes how we see the world and how we think about it in general.


#13

Poised on the razors edge.
:pray:


#14

Thank you for the further explanation! :pray:t3:

Haha, how do you mean?


#15

By that, I mean that one is positioned at the intersection between timelessness and time, with other words deathlessness or awareness. And whatever moves one makes it will end in a new skeleton piling up on all those other slain before during countless lives. So it is an act of balance on a very sharp and narrow edge.
560f39526ea02


#16

Does this “very sharp and narrow edge” refer directly to the Noble Eightfold Path or the Dhamma-Vinaya?

"There are these three trainings.
Which three?
The training in heightened ethics,
the training in heightened concentration,
the training in heightened wisdom.

"And what is the training in heightened virtue?
There is the case where a monk is virtuous.
He dwells restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity.
He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest fault.
This is called the training in heightened ethics.
Sikkha Sutta: Trainings (1)


#17

It refers to 7 and 8 of the eightfold path.

The narrow edge is the sphere where the still mind that sees/knows the mind that moves.


#18

I would support the claim that it refers to the seventh factor of the eightfold path:

Like balancing a pot of oil on one’s head

“Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, ‘The beauty queen! The beauty queen!’ And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, ‘The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!’ Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, ‘Now look here, mister. You must take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.’ Now what do you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get distracted outside?”

“No, lord.”

“I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: ‘We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.’ That is how you should train yourselves.”

SN 47.20

That being said, one who develops only the seventh factor of the eightfold path and neglects the rest of the seven factors seems like they leave themselves vulnerable to fall off the perilous tightrope!


#19

Your right if I was referring strictly to scripture, but I wasn’t only doing that. I refer more to my own experience in doing the walk, and how to not fall off the edge. Meaning keeping the mind in present moment awareness, continuously. Or to use the picture I posted where sati is the elephant, and the rod will be samadhi.
I’ve learned that a strong reason for picking up the robes, is due to living in an environment that supports a steady practice. And my way of doing it is doing my best out of the reality I’m living in.

Agreed :pray:
One might as well forget to meditate if one lives like a :pig:


#20

Non-buddhist: “I am not a Buddhist”
Buddhist: “I” is not a Buddhist