Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
  • Message
  • Author
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10463
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post11 Aug 2010

Mr Green wrote:That cartoon was quite derisive, I actually was serious ... ah, well.

Well, be serious. You also have some insights now from with a Buddhist society, don't you?
filthy Shudra wrote:You say you lived within Buddhist communities and came away not much the wiser ...

I said I lived and spent time in Buddhist societies which is different (to which I might add the very edges of Western Buddhist order too). Accuracy again please.

I came away realising that religion is mostly a family business, that for most Buddhism occupies the same place as Hinduism or Roman Catholicism socially and spiritually, that Westerners see and practise it very differently ... that it occupies a different social and psychological space ... tinged perhaps with a touch of exotic Orientalism and originally used as an escape from Victorian/Protestant moralism.
I shall now try with your guidance, to penetrate into the Indian jungle from which until now an uncertain blending of Hellenic love of proportion, Jewish sobriety, and philistine timidity have kept me away. I really ought to have tackled it earlier, for the plants of this soil shouldn't be alien to me; I have dug to certain depths for their roots. But it is not easy to pass beyond the limits of one's nature.

- Sigmund Freud, 1930

I think Westerners intellectualise it far more that most "Buddhists" just do and that confirmational bias plays a large part (we see what we want to and don't see the rest). Most Buddhists just do what they are told at the temple and pray to carved logs of wood, or ceramic pots, for money, a son, good health etc and then do what they want elsewhere. I saw that whilst they were the caretakers of heritage, the priest and abbots equally avoided rocking the boat and milked their followers' superstitions and, if they are honest, know little more than them except a catalogue of histories, magic spells and superstition ... it is just another part of the factory line of life specialising most in death ... funerals.

I think that Westerners, in general, are split between inventing their own thing out of various bits of aesthetically attractive Buddhism or acting out as their favorite Asian fantasy be it Tibetan, Japanese or Thai. I think many of the Western commentators have the strange idea think that they can understand the totality of Buddhism from outside of it, from a position of superiority naturally, pulling apart the all components and reducing them to most basic parts. I also saw many Westerners "being Buddhists" who were really just "being Christians" but it was not so cool to call oneself a Christian and take onboard the luggage that came with that.

I'd say the cultural difference are far more to do with; a) climate, and b) a history of having recently been arable farmers in small villages for centuries and surviving on a rice based diet rather than any cosmic component. But I am no expert. My expertise goes as far as to say that all of life is different to how one would expect it and a lot more the same too. Life, spiritual or otherwise, certainly throws up anomalies, like the meat eating, meat offering yet Hindu culture in Bali or the degree of hypocrisy, amorality, materialism and lack of charity in Buddhist societies.

Can one blame that on "the Buddhism"? I don't know but it would make an interesting comparison. Perhaps it also makes me appreciate the history of the Western tradition too from Greece through Christianity to the scientific Enlightenment. It is not all bad. I think there are wonderful comparison to be made, e.g. Christian ideals of caritas versus Buddhist ideals of compassion.

I might even go as far to suggest it only "works" in such societies.

Button Slammer was asking a question about Buddhist cosmology in comparison to a Brahma Kumarist point of view, i.e. one world, one 5,000 declining cycle of time ... a strangely Christian straight line form heaven to hell and the End Times really. Sometimes I really wonder if and how much Lekhraj Kirpalani was influenced by a Christian points of view at some point. Sure as heck I see no influence of Buddhism in his teachings.

As I understand it, the PBK point of view would be that the Buddha was one of the 8 seed souls and existed from the start of the BK 5,000 Year Cycle, is that correct? Or is he one of the leading BKs who exists now and split the BK knowledge off in his or her direction. Are "BK Buddhists", BKs who don't believe in God Shiva?

A very short answer would be to throw out the "Thirty-one Planes of Existence" in which you have beings who live for 400,000, 1,600,000, even 6,400,000 human years and beyond those life spans beyond our comprehension ... 25,600,000 human years and beyond that, realm of formlessness where beings can live for 80,000 kalpas. How do they know all this stuff ...? Who makes it up? No idea at all. More religious love of big numbers.

Funny, I just read a paper that said, "when Christians translated their Gospel into Chinese contexts, the Greek 'Logos' became the Chinese 'Tao'". I also know that when Francis Xavier went to Japan, he tried the same trick translating "God" to "Dainichi" (Vairocana) and conning the Buddhist monks until they that he was preaching a rival religion too and kicked him out.

The Brahma Kumaris try the same trick too.
User avatar

filthy shudra

ex-BK

  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2010

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post12 Aug 2010

Mr Green wrote:That cartoon was quite derisive, I actually was serious ... ah, well.

Oh. I always found your brevity, what is implied and whats left unsaid, most enlightening. I thought that was the solution offered! As a "solution" is generally a liquid ... well, hence the cartoon. I enjoy humour along with all the serious stuff. If you are willing to share more of your solution, I, for one, am willing to listen.

Besides other posts where people talk about pre & post BK life using alcohol and other drugs, an acquaintance of mine told me about his trip to Japan and how he was disappointed to find the Buddhist monks at one temple he visited sitting around smoking drinking and gambling. That might have been his Western idyllic view being challenged but anyway, the cartoon shows that whatever the appearance, you never know what is in someone' s mind (especially if they are just sitting still!).
ex-l wrote:I think Westerners intellectualise it far more that most "Buddhists" just do and that confirmational bias plays a large part (we see what we want to and don't see the rest).

Those most likely to be the ones to degrade a tradition, and mix it with contrary behaviours and interpretations, are more likely to be those born into it and take it for granted, never to 'test' it critically or look beyond it to see what else is there. They just live as they have been conditioned. After all, if they are "Buddhist" then whatever they do must be Buddhism. If the Pope says, "Kill the Cathars", well, he's the quintessential Christian, so killing Cathars must be Christian ...

Voluntary converts from any religion to another or from one denomination to another are different. They have thought about it and studied and made a decision. People who convert to Roman Catholicism presumably aren't doing so because of the inquisition or its history of child abuse. I think we ex-BKs (and probably ex- any religion) are well placed to not get caught in confusing what the teaching/philosophy is and what different practitioners do. To become "ex" we must have decided that "it" was not for us for some very good reason. That doesn't preclude ex-l's oft made point that we carry tendencies from our past "convictions' with us. Hopefully it is the good stuff but often, especially those received in childhood, it can be the distortions and things that screw us up.

Here's a poem I like (even though I don't concur with its conclusions). Note ; the asterisks are inserted by the web site software, the poet explicitly uses the old English word for sexual intercourse which has taken on a negative connotation which he uses for its colloquial effect here. :D

"This Be The Verse" - Philip Larkin

They **** you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were ******* up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
User avatar

Mr Green

ex-BK

  • Posts: 1877
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post12 Aug 2010

I just wanted to say that asking is the problem, just stop questioning and I believe you will know what you need to do. You don't need any guidance from Buddha, Krishna, Baba or Christ. No one does ... all religion is a con at some level. It's just superfluous to requirements.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10463
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post13 Aug 2010

filthy Shudra wrote:an acquaintance of mine told me about his trip to Japan and how he was disappointed to find the Buddhist monks at one temple he visited sitting around smoking drinking and gambling. That might have been his Western idyllic view being challenged but ...

I think I wrote a BK version of that poem somewhere else on the forum ...

    They **** you up, your Mama Saraswati and Dada Lekhraj.
    They may not have meant to, but they still do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And the Senior Sisters add some extra too.
Or perhaps, "They **** you up, your center-in-charge and Dadi". At least the BKs are taking Larkin's advice and not having any kids themselves. It is a shame they cannot hold themselves back from stealing other children. ... Now that is an aspect of the celibate sect some feminist sociologist ought to look at.

I don't know if you story is true or absolutely accurate but I would say it is highly likely and true for the whole of Asia. Is it really "Western idealism" to expect people to walk their talk? I think there is something to observe in this that says something of 'Western naivety' part of which is to expect true to mean true, honest to mean honest etc. How many of us have been caught out by Asian notions of truths and honest being different?

As I said, Buddhism in Asia largely fills the same space as Catholicism within the West, i.e. notable for its superstition and financial and sexual corruptions, e.g. from widespread homosexuality with the Thai monastery system down to individuals crimes such as the 73-year-old Buddhist priest and temple nursery school director in Japan, again, arrested for soliciting a child prostitute who "did it to alleviate [his] work stress" ... to whit one has to ask "why, doesn't the mediation and chanting work?".

Does it matter that it all goes entirely against what the Buddha is said to have said? Apparently not ... Buddhism, to me, appearing to be external garb for them.

It is very difficult to step into such a discussion without making vast generalisations, e.g. "Buddhist", "Asia", "Indian" etc, but please allow me to do so ...

Carrying on from where I roughly wrote that Buddhism, for the original Westerner seekers, was an escape from Victorian Protestant morality, we should also ask what indulging in Brahma Kumarism was an escape from. I think the first statement is quite true whether you look at the Victorian (e.g. the Theosophers). If you then look at the later generation of "Dharma Bums" ... the pre-hippy and new ager Beat Generation you might also adding to that "escape from orthodox Jewish morality" a tendency which continues. "Buddhism" as it is sold in the West by Westerners is attractive because it is religion without religion or God.

How much of the attraction to Brahma Kumarism was a similar escape from orthodox religions, and yet at the same time a reinvention of them? Notice how within Brahma Kumarism, the Western BKs often re-invented a "Lite" form of their previous religions. For example, how much of Brahma Kumarism is ... for Westerners ... acting out a priest or monk fantasy without Christianity? Or how the more "successful" Western BKs were encouraged to mould themselves to suit "being Indian"?

The same also is true for those BKs of Indian heritage within the West, Brahma Kumarism has been made as a kind of post-modern "Hinduism Lite". A Zen Hinduism without quite so much of the ridiculous blind faith.
User avatar

filthy shudra

ex-BK

  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2010

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post14 Aug 2010

Mr Green wrote:I just wanted to say that asking is the problem, just stop questioning and I believe you will know what you need to do. You don't need any guidance from Buddha, Krishna, Baba or Christ. No one does ... all religion is a con at some level. It's just superfluous to requirements.

That is a very good approach. It can keep you safe. But keeping safe can also narrow down what is possible to be expressed or experienced in life. I'd say everything - as we perceive it - is a con at some level. I liked a phrase someone said to me recently - "Don't believe everything you think."

Looking outside myself - to what wisdom traditions have to offer - is partly a way of "quickening" my own responses and insights ... why re-invent a wheel that is already lying there waiting to be used? For me, it is a case of being drawn to whatever resonates with where I am at or what I am "interested in" at the time. You don't need to buy into the total "package" nor should you expect any single tool to do everything, or even one thing forever - it has a use-by date.

I reckon that the "con" really always comes from ourselves. We choose not to be conned by some things but buy into others - whether religions, behaviours, relationships and so on, we think it is 'the one". If we've experienced that life has pitfalls, once we've extricated ourselves from one, hopefully we've learnt a lesson - that sh*t happens, things wear out, or have changed.

I am happy to buy into life with all its unsatisfactoriness, no longer expecting perfection. Time itself is a thief, changing what was "perfect" to rust - but also seeding new experiences. Some of us hold on too tight, some let go too easily ... as Van Morrison once put it, "You don't pull no punches, but you don't push the river".
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10463
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post15 Aug 2010

Mr Green wrote:You don't need any guidance from Buddha, Krishna, Baba or Christ. No one does ... all religion is a con at some level. It's just superfluous to requirements.

In Brahma Kumarism, that "guidance" is often believed as to be one-to-one and conversational, sent down the psychic hotline direct from God to a 'chosen few' Brahma Kumaris. I am not talking about the psychic mediums but just old school BKs who 'know' he talks or touches them on a regular basis. I wonder what the processing power of their god is to be able to handle all the calls coming in from all the BKs, filter out the valuable ones and then instantly answer them.

Of course, it just happens "by magic" and so logic and reason do not count. No intelligent answer required ... and if you pressed for one from the leaders, you rapidly find yourself being filtered out.

filthy Shudra seems to me to speaking about picking up a book (or, today, reading some internet sites - because so many of the classic works are not online for free) and taking an intellectual device to help one move on rather than leaning on an individual but I accept what you say. One of the wonders of ex-BK life is that it does just keep happening without all the obsessive looking over one's own shoulder and desperate 24 hour "remembering of Baba".

Mr Green, are you talking about that wishing and willing that goes on in BKs for some direct contact with a living spirit entity? The Bhakti or spiritualist element that the Brahma Kumaris contradictorily feed into people and say they want to beat out of people at that the same time? "Bhakti is bad ... but do our Bhakti it is better."

Sure, many people do Buddhism as their Bhakti but accept filth's point that, "that is not how it was meant to be". It was meant to be more intellectual and devoid of gods and faith. Buddhism just kind of sunk down to meet where the people are at.

In my opinion, within Brahma Kumarism, you really don't have that same intellectual rock bed. I am sorry but Lekhraj Kirpalani, Om Radhe and the rest of the Dadis really are not that schooled never mind smart. If you sit and read all the stream of consciousness talks, it is not structured and it really does not go that deep, is it? Look at "One of the Top 8 souls" Janki Kripalani's unchallenged monologues that jann uploads here. Honestly, how do they compare to the rest of the world's greatest literature or philosophy?

They go on about how mighty 'number two' Om Radhe was, but when you read her earlier works especially, she was a stupid, deluded, insulting bigot for whom - according to their history - singing "Twinkle, twinkle little star" in English was the height of her cultural achievement. And they say it was her that took Lekhraj Kirpalani rants and turned them into the Murlis.

User avatar

Mr Green

ex-BK

  • Posts: 1877
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post16 Aug 2010

I don't think you get me clearly FS, I really do write what I mean in a literal sense. There's nothing 'safe' about accepting that there is no outside 'truth' or 'wisdom' that can broaden us or make us better. It's all just rubbish ... it doesn't work (religion or theosophy) that is.

The beauty of living and life is the only challenge there is, being able to appreciate it rather than being inside self-indulgence. This is the challenge that faces us as human beings. Everything in the 'spiritual' region is just indulgence if it becomes academic or intellectual, it's ugly.

Someone mentioned an act of kindness in another thread. These are the important things to learn and understand and lucky as we are, books aren't required for this and nor is any guidance from anyone else because there is no guidance from anyone else except your parents and peers, but decisions are your own ... I cannot put it any clearer than that ... nothing deep nothing hidden.

ex-l, I mean guidance on any level from outside will be a con, because no-one knows the absolute truth and what needs to be done. There is no such thing, we can only try to do what's for best and **** up along the way. Such is the human condition.
User avatar

button slammer

PBK

  • Posts: 205
  • Joined: 17 Jul 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post17 Aug 2010

Thanks for your replies so far, and all others in this discussion.
button slammer wrote:already mentioned and ignored, is the hard fact 'The Buddha is Dead'. Buddhism ceased to exist the moment Buddha died.
filthy Shudra wrote:Yes, the person known as the Buddha is dead. At least we agree on that!

We are far from agreeing on anything so far. The Buddha is not dead. From a Brahmin perspective, it goes like this. 'Final thoughts lead to the destination'. As the Buddha spent a life time establishing his religion/dharna then ShivBaba via Virendra Dev Dixit says that, 'that soul is born into that religion in order to sustain it'. It is unclear from your replies so far as to where the soul/entity/mindfulness/lifeforce, whatever, of the Buddha went to if he indeed went anywhere? Just what happens at death according to Buddhism?
filthy Shudra wrote:Buddhists/Buddhism is the name for those that practice what they understand the Buddha taught, so you cannot say Buddhism died with the Buddha. Did Brahma kumarism die with "Prajapita Brahma"? Christianity really only began when the Christ died.

To be perfectly accurate, BK has no connection with Prajapita Brahma. That however is beyond this topic. Briefly, Dada Lekraj = Brahma Baba. Prajapita Brahma = Virendra Dev Dixit. Brahma Baba = Dead. Prajapita Brahma = Living. It does provide a comparison though in that Buddhist practice devotion to the ideals of a dead personality. BKs also worship a dead personality. Brahma Baba.
filthy Shudra wrote:One thing is the historic 'occasion"-ing of the Buddha, the main thing for me however is what was taught. You are right to say that everything since is an interpretation, but who's? Have I found my own, or adopted another's. Some analogies ... Christianity - who's interpretation is correct, the Pope's, the Archbishop of Canterbury's, the Exclusive Brethren's, Lekhraj Kirpalani's, Dev Dixit's?

Here again is another good comparison. You, my dear friend still do not know what the Buddha taught. He never wrote down a single word. He never signed an official biography. He never painted a picture. Nor did he ever give any official confirmation as to who understood him the most.

Same with the BKs. Brahma Baba simply died. Whatever knowledge, if any, went with him. In fact, the BKs cannot even prove that Brahma Baba spoke the Murlis. Even with the availability of technology there is no proof that Dada Lekraj/Brahma Baba spoke a single Murli. Some audio recordings are there but they could be spoken by the local garbage collector for all we know.
Have I found my own, or adopted another's.

No interpretation is of any value. It is after all a reproduction. Not the real thing. Fake. It sounds like you found your own interpretation, but essentially it is still an interpretation of an interpretation of an interpretation etc you have gadzillions of interpretations coming out of your ... ears. Same with the BKs so many personalities with so many opinions
but would seek to establish my own 'relationship" with Christ.

Have you realised yet how relationships are formed? Relationships are formed through the body. Explain to me how you will establish relationship with a 2,000 year old corpse? Even supposing you had ultimate Bhakti blind faith in what direction, dimension, would you establish relationship with Christ? In heaven for Chrissakes?! Yet again another comparison emerges with the BKs,who say they have relationship with the dead Lekraj/Brahma Baba, or with Shiva in Heaven/Soul World. A bodiless inert being that cannot breath, eat sleep, talk, or give dristi, cannot have relationships with living beings.
filthy Shudra wrote:That Buddha was a human who achieved a high consciousness within purely human potentials and contexts, independent of gods and spirits, or that Buddhism is humanistic, of this world and is not a "pure (unmixed) doctrine" revealed from some spirit in the sky - that is part of its attraction to me. It parallels philosophically and contemporaneously other great humanists like Protagoras, Heraclitus, Democritus and other pre-Socratics (for whom the case could be made were directly or indirectly influenced by Buddhism and vice versa).

Well, this is also what BKs do. They like to rub shoulders with VIPs. Brand names. Big themselves up by keeping the company of apparent great personalities.
button slammer wrote:Where did Buddha come from. Did he evolve from the primordial soup? Was he a donkey in a previous birth?
filthy Shudra wrote:Primordial soup? I was raised on leftovers - no one ever could remember the original meal (baboom! Thanks Milton Berle).

BABOON! So he was previously a monkey not a donkey. Freudian slip from you there. :D

OK. Must go now. I have a few dozen further comparisons to make between BK and Buddhism ... or any other religion for that matter. Thanks for your patience in advance ...
User avatar

filthy shudra

ex-BK

  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2010

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post17 Aug 2010

Mr Green wrote:I don't think you get me clearly FS..... Someone mentioned an act of kindness in another thread.
Hee Hee, that was me! Maybe we do agree - but express ourselves differently? :D

I wonder if you see the paradox here that i see in what you say - given the topic.
At its heart, you are saying in your own way, a bit of what the Buddha taught i.e."...everything in the 'spiritual' region is just indulgence if it becomes academic or intellectual," "... decisions are your own " "....there is no outside 'truth' or 'wisdom' ", " ....The beauty of living and life is the only challenge there is", "... we can only try to do what's for best and **** up along the way. Such is the human condition."

Even the Buddha struggled with the paradox that, if as you say "guidance on any level from outside will be a con", then no-one will take guidance from your advice! If you keep sharing such profound insights about not following others Mr Green, it proves your worthy to be a leader.! Is your name Brian?
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10463
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post17 Aug 2010

This line, "relationships are only possible with bodily beings" is one of the unquestionable foundations of PBK logic but I am not sure it is true. In fact, I am pretty sure it is untrue ... if, at the very least, one accepts relationships with spirits via mediums. I refer back to Joe Fisher's book, "The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts" where he documents his demise, the intense emotional feelings and the half-truth and manipulations whilst 'in a relationship' with spirit guides. A similar state to what the BK claim.

I appreciate the question is still open as to what is really going on in the case of shamans and their spirit guides, channeled entities, "high beings" and all the rest of the claimed psychic manifestations ... but, based on a purely circumstantial level of evidence massed over thousands of years and on every continent, the balance of probability is that a relationship with whatever it is, is possible.

I suppose you would also have to define what "relationship" means. The Queen of England and I both have bodies. We have some kind of "relationship" to each other (... albeit an incredibly minor one). Is my relationship with her any more or less effective that with a Buddha or Saint who may or may not be on a higher realm radiating cosmic vibes at me?

The answer both have basically no effect as one has to suggest neither has the Brahma Kumaris Shiva Baba "point of light", and life is perfectly possible without them which is what Mr Green is saying. But are Mr Green and Filth not talking about different things? Mr Green talking about relationship and Filthy Shudra taking about being inspired by mental theories or yuktis based on others experience?
Mr Green wrote:Everything in the 'spiritual' region is just indulgence if it becomes academic or intellectual, it's ugly ... books aren't required for this and nor is any guidance from anyone else because there is no guidance from anyone else except your parents and peers, but decisions are your own ...

Surely, we can learn from books without investing in them "religious" power? Surely we can take ideas from others and try them out?

One good reason to study religions is to unpicking the mental conditioning from them that may be left inside you ... to recognise it and remove it. You raise a fair question though.

One thing I do agree with is that the intellectuality of religion is used as a power device to control other and sustain individuals within class systems ... probably based on absolutely no truth, e.g. a constructed faith in a Buddha or Christ who never existed and a religion they never taught. This points us back to the real world Hindu Brahminism which the BKs copy and want to usurp. That is, the attempt at domination by the mentally strong but physically weak (priest class) in a power struggle between them and the Kshatriya (warrior, administrator) caste.

As pointed out, the Buddha was said to have come from the Kshatriya caste and yet he beat the Brahmins at their own game, and many Buddhists have gone on doing so until the 20th century (e.g. B. R. Ambedkar who spent his whole life fighting against social discrimination and "converted" hundreds of thousands of Dalits freeing them from Hinduism).
User avatar

Mr Green

ex-BK

  • Posts: 1877
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post17 Aug 2010

I am just not clever enough to keep up with you guys, you
User avatar

filthy shudra

ex-BK

  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2010

Re: Ambedkarite Buddhism - Freeing Untouchables from Hinduism

Post17 Aug 2010

I have come across this before. Very interesting is not it ...

Dr Ambedkar is probably more highly regarded within India these days than Mahatma Gandhi. I remember seeing his face painted up on walls all around Bombay as it was then called, Delhi and other places alongside other "icons" like Gandhi and the original Sai Baba. They were (are?) to Indian urban streets what the IRA murals were on the Falls Rd in Belfast.

Re-reading it, what struck me was how cleverly Ambedkar uses the religious and devotional tendencies of those he is addressing to get them to let go of religion and devotionalism ... very clever.

He probably got the idea from a story about Gautama Siddhartha himself. He had angered the Brahmins because of his teaching that there was no permanent "soul" entity, that the human being was based on five aggregates that come together and then dissipate. However, when he came across a Charvaka (a straight materialist school of thought) who believed there is no moral imperative or mechanism for that, he decided that the best way to make him understand was to argue the case for soul as this would be easier initially for the charvaka to understand than his own empirical theory of "aggregates". Then when he thinks that the charvaka has gone past his nihilistic (material existentialist?) beliefs and is ready for it, he then proceeds to instruct him on his actual view of the human personality.

This story is told as an example of the Buddha's therapeutic "skilfullness" (upaya kaushalya - not unlike the classical greek "arete") which is to be not ideologically radical or dogmatic but to do firstly what is necessary - like first aid - before administering stronger or in this case, subtler treatment. I have a feeling that especially as a doctor, Ambedkar would have known about this story and taken its lessons on board in his approach to political activism.

wall-art.jpg
wall-art.jpg (22.25 KiB) Viewed 8536 times
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10463
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Ambedkarite Buddhism - Freeing Untouchables from Hinduism

Post17 Aug 2010

Thank you for your sincerity mr green.

I do not agree but your earnest humility is heartfelt. I suspect that an instinctual life without the confusion of artificial and probably false religious concepts is probably a more happy one. Just be here now.
filthy Shudra wrote:This story is told as an example of the Buddha's therapeutic "skilfullness" ... I have a feeling that especially as a doctor, Ambedkar would have known about this story and taken its lessons on board

Except that Ambedkar was a Doctor of Law not any therapeutic healing art. For God's sake, "If you don't know, don't open your gob to advertise it." Consider that the First Holy Precept of Ex-L-ism (pronounced excellism). Ask an honest question rather than make a wrong statement.

But you are right that the movement started by Ambedkar is not "pure" Buddhism - whatever that might be - but a social reform campaign under the name Buddhism. As you say using religious superstition to cure religious discrimination and also promoting a meme, a moral code, which is also part of "religious" activity. Ambedkar saw Buddhism as a better option than Communism.

Now, comparing Dr Ambedkar's and other Buddhists' work with the Brahma Kumaris ...

    What has the BKWSU done for the dalits and how?
    Have the Brahma Kumaris done anything to break down the caste system?
    Or have they just attempted to clamber onto the top claiming to be the real Brahmins?

    What is their relationship with Dalits and have any Dalits made it up the ranks of BKWSU?
    Is Brahma Kumarism an escape from the Hindu caste system ... or is it only an escape from the Hindu caste system as long as you are already lower middle class?
    What are the class demographics of the BKWSU?
Fair and honest questions to help other understand the true nature of the BKWSU, I would say.

It is worth pointing out that less than 1% of Indians are Buddhists, Buddhism was all but pushed out of India (despite Ashok uniting it with Buddhism). There are about 6 million neo-Buddhists following Ambedkar model but it is questionable if it has improved the status of this group in the eyes of higher-ranking Hindus.

From www.ambedkar.org
The Dalit leaders who had taken part in the World Conference Against Racism held in Durban from August 31 to September 7 said today that the Indian government tried to suppress the voice of Dalits at the international conference.

The stand of the government delegation was not surprising as it comprised organisations like RSS, VHP, Brahmakumaris and others, the leaders said.

The government [called] caste discrimination an internal matter of India, the Dalit leaders said that caste issue could also be discussed at the international platform if issues like health, literacy, poverty and other issues of the country could be discussed at an international platform of UN organisations ... criticising the Indian government of being 'anti-Dalit' and 'pro-upper castes'.
User avatar

filthy shudra

ex-BK

  • Posts: 59
  • Joined: 26 Jun 2010

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post18 Aug 2010

Hope y'all are well ...
ex-l wrote:Ambedkar was a Doctor of Law not any therapeutic healing art. For God's sake, "If you don't know, don't open your gob to advertise it."

But you are right - i did jump to that most common of conclusions.

Mr Green's humility proves all the more that he is the leader we have been waiting for ;).
button slammer wrote:We are far from agreeing on anything so far. The Buddha is not dead.

So he is dead but if I agree then he is not dead?
filthy Shudra wrote:That Buddha was a human ... parallels philosophically and contemporaneously other great humanists like Protagoras, Heraclitus, Democritus and other pre-Socratics (for whom the case could be made were directly or indirectly influenced by Buddhism and vice versa).
button slammer wrote:Well, this is also what BKs do. They like to rub shoulders with VIPs. Brand names. Big themselves up by keeping the company of apparent great personalities.

Yes, BKs do love to rub shoulders with VIPS, they enjoy having their palms greased as well. When I get together with my long dead VIP mates, and we can avoid the paparazzi, we have barely two pennies to rub together between us, our relationship is Platonic :D, we don't rub shoulders or anything much. Just challenge and argue the toss.
User avatar

ex-l

ex-BK

  • Posts: 10463
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2006

Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post19 Aug 2010

Filth, please, this is a serious forum. It takes time and energy to run which equates to other people's money and sacrifices. Supporters and readers also invest their time and energy following discussions to see if they too can offer their support and their advice. They may not be commenting on every topic, but they are there, considering others, and waiting to help. Much support also happens 'off forum', by private messaging and chat, which might be the best place for chit-chat.

People come here for help, inspiration and education, and - we hope - to move on and progress with their life. Please consider what you write - and the accuracy of it - before you chose to use up that goodwill or effort.

I think it is fair to say that "Hinduism", and Indian culture generally, is actually not very highly regarded in the West. In my opinion, it is seen as a culturally backwards, even if colorful, eccentric and a little bit 'low rent'. I think that is one of the problems the Brahma Kumaris have with their image and why, as you raised elsewhere, the BKWSU in the West borrows from NE Asian Buddhist traditions stylistically for its look.

The BKWSU in the West has, since at least the 1980s, been concerned with selling itself and moving upmarket (... to where there is more money, naturally) and a few years ago we read that how the BKWSU in London ditched a lot of their old Hinduistic imagery and publications. The way "Buddhism" has been sold in the West, makes it "cooler" even if it is actually not, or is little different in reality.

Are the Brahma Kumaris, like the Tibetan Buddhist of old, not theocratic in nature ... a government and state ruled by sellf-appointed religious authority ... pro-capitalism and anti-democratic? Buttom slammer, I am sorry to say this, but I think the PBK line is even more hardline on the ideals of democracy than the BKs ... even if it is a far more level organization. I know nothing of the 'on-the-ground' reality though.

The other day, I was reading the other day about how Buddhist monasteries used to keep slaves to do all the manual work. One could argue that the Yellow Hats in Tibet kept most of its population in destitute slavery whilst its leaders enjoyed great wealth and power ... "a state apparatus run by aristocratic, nepotistic monks that collected taxes, jailed and tortured dissenters and engaged in all the usual political intrigues (including regular political murders)." And, of course, they have been sponsored by the CIA since leaving TIbet to the sum of $100s of million of dollars. God-King Dalai Lama and Dharamsala included.

Going back to Button Slammer's comments. I think the PBK point of view is that "The Buddha" is a living BK or PBK adherent now, today. I wonder if they name them by name as they do with Sister Vedanti of Africa?

If you want to research something intelligent, one could, for example, look at the difference in Karma philosophy between the BKWSU and Buddhism. Again, my feeling is that the BKs are selling a much more simplified and dumbed down version. A "Karma for Dummies" ... all you need to know in 45 minutes lesson.
PreviousNext

Return to Commonroom