Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

for ex-BKs to discuss matters related to experiences in BKWSU & after leaving.
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post04 Aug 2010

Are you making jibes at me personally here, above?
filthy Shudra wrote:I'd be genuininely interested to read your suggestions (or anyone else's for that matter) for how a modern individual - like any of us - can utilise Buddhism and wisdom of other cultures ... without earning the criticism of superficiality that you make, or fooling ourselves in dress ups and role play.

I can only backtrack and ask how much of all or any religion is just "dressing up and role play"? Role playing to a fairly limited script.

I am asking a serious question here. As I do I am reminded of Lama Gangchen, another Tulku from the Gelugpa Sect, who when asked why he wore such flamboyant (and expensive) silk robes explained it was "Milanese-style Lama". Without a doubt a talented and educated character, claiming an unbroken lineage all the way back to Shakyamuni and whom had seriously studied and lived the life, he admitted played up to the expectations of his crowd of wealthy Italian supporters in the same way the Kripalani Klan does to their wealthy Sindi and Hindi supporters. Ditto everyone else from the Vatican to local witchdoctors.

Lineage is one big difference between the Brahma Kumaris and more established traditions such a Buddhism. In Brahma Kumarism, there is no sense or value in lineage. It is complete devoid of lineage, except for some talk of a mysterious and unidentified Bengalis Saddhu who Lekhraj Kirpalani was meant to have met. In other religions. Lineage carries a sense of authenticity and guarantee add to which, in Buddhism, one has courses of study such as the Kachen degree taking 20 years. Compare that with the BKs "one lesson" to make a teacher or zero requirements to open a "Spiritual University".

I am also asking the serious question how many ex-BKs move on from that same level of tokenistic superficialism? Cosmic concepts as intellectual chess piece, bubble gum for the mind ... or even seduction lines. Only one talented and dedicated ex-BK appears to have made it as a guru in their own right, Robert Shubow, and probably does so mostly as his own expense as he is without any lineage or traditional support structure.

Elsewhere, someone raised the issue of an half-and-half BK Lucinda Drayton "selling her searching" with a little bit of Brahma Kumarism thrown in despite that she has broken the principles etc. Selling one's enlightenment is one thing. Selling one's searching for enlightenment is another ... but I would say it is pretty much the norm within the New Age.

Who are the spiritual masters of the West ... are there any such things as "spiritual masters" ... or were the prior suggestions of spiritual mastery (e.g. books like Autobiography of a Yogi etc) not just an element is setting us up to be distracted from life by the BKWSU?
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Mr Green

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post04 Aug 2010

I said ... I have the solution to all questions ... are you not even curious?
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post05 Aug 2010

I don't know, mr green. Are the students ready for such power and wisdom?

Following on from what I wrote above, I was such re-considering amazing the lack of ex-BKs who go on (or back) to a serious career in religion after having ostensibly expressed such a 100% commitment to formalised religion within the Brahma Kumari cult.

Do people not find that surprising? Of course, apart from the mediumistic part of Brahma Kumarism, I do not think it gets that deep and there is not that much there to learn. Imagine if they had invested that into an established religion, where would they be now? Priests with an income and a pension home promised?

Do people just get stuck at the same level even after they leave? Are they just too exhausted/damaged/sickened by it all by the time they leave and give up religion for life? Many do continue on as, essentially, independent BKs but with nothing tangible for their efforts, not following the principles and not living within the system ... still stuck.

OK, this topic is about "Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism". It started from a request for a good recommendation. Is the Brahma Kumari form rooted in Hinduism, e.g. guru-chela or more panchyat-style social order (i.e. more social/business rather than religious) with the center-in-charge as the local 'mukhi' rather a guru?

I agree with the core idea of "everything changes" (impermanence is an undeniable and inescapable fact of human existence) is a good little mantra when it comes to either good or bad times even if it is not always possible to predict the rate of impermanency (some changes are glacial, others are catastrophic).
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Mr Green

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post06 Aug 2010

You know ex-l, I think your right

also I think mr wise was the best thing that ever came out of the BKs, Indian humour can be very good quite sharp and witty
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button slammer

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post06 Aug 2010

Only 'the Budddha' knows 'Buddhism'. All the rest is human manure.

Now then, a question arises. Buddha attained eternal liberation.

If so, kindly explain how it is that he was in a state of ignorance/suffering in the first place? That is, what is the Buddhist explanation that describes how after striving for liberation (and attaining 'it'), please note eternal liberation. The personality was historically caught up in Maya before his eternal liberation. In a linear time line, the Buddha should never have existed.
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post06 Aug 2010

button slammer wrote:Now then, a question arises. Buddha attained eternal liberation. If so, kindly explain how it is that he was in a state of ignorance/suffering in the first place?

It is easy. The Buddha was a reincarnation of Krishna who came to fool the atheistic into believing in him (which, amusingly enough, some Hindu schools really do claim!). The logic being rules don't apply to Krishna. You might ask a similar question about Christ. The answer is, religions just make up any answer they want; most operate on a level of tribal faith below logic. Just as a part of our brain is still "reptilian", much of our being still operates at that tribal level.

I cannot answer your question. I cannot even try. And I have no desire to swallow the mental plug the BKs offer ... hence my request for an Enlighten-o-meter™ ... and the recommendation of some human examples. Theoretically, it would be like the proverbial goldfish in a bowl trying to conceive and describe an ocean which may not exist. I suspect the answer just comes down to a mistranslation and misappreciation of the terminology which one would have to divine according to which school. I could theorise ... but what is the value in that?

Thinking about this, perhaps it is wrong to compare Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism. Brahma Kumarism is not a major religious tradition. It would be more accurate to compare Brahma Kumarism One with one school or sect of Buddhism.

In all religions, including Buddhism, religion is pitched at different levels for different segments of society. Vast scriptures, logical inquiry, extreme discipline and experimentation for a few; short mantras, superstitions and laissez faire for the many. For example, Jōdo Shinshū. They don't say (approximately), "Look country folks and workers, you are thick, superstitious and lazy so we are not even going to try and explain properly. Just repeat this mantra, try and be nice to each other and may be in your next life you will have a chance". No, they say (approx), "Everything is wonderful. This is the true path for all. Just repeat this mantra, try and be nice to each other (... and may be in your next life you will have a chance). BTW, give us your money".

• What mental/social level is Brahma Kumarism pitched at? The BKs tell us Brahma Kumarism is the "Supreme, Unlimited, Bestest of All Religions .. by the way, give us your money" and, increasingly, they are expanding into other areas where, traditionally, local Hindu priests made their dosh. It operates somewhere between a criminal and business franchise network.

Perhaps it is the of Herbalife of religions pitched at small to medium sized business people and their families. God as the "Clever Businessman" for the merchant classes ... "Lose Karma Now, Ask Us How!"
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post09 Aug 2010

ex-l wrote:[to Filthy Shudra] Are you making jibes at me personally here, above? [when you wrote]"I'd be genuininely interested to read your suggestions (or anyone else's for that matter) for how a modern individual - like any of us - can utilise Buddhism and wisdom of other cultures ... without earning the criticism of superficiality that you make, or fooling ourselves in dress ups and role play."

Not at all. Your criticisms are valid. But a tradition or belief must have something worthwhile for it to last longer than a few generations. Sure all the cultural baggage and human failings that you mentioned happen. There's nothing more in this question other than what you read.
ex-l wrote:of Lama Gangchen, another Tulku from the Gelugpa Sect, who when asked why he wore such flamboyant (and expensive) silk robes explained it was "Milanese-style Lama".

Image

Mr Green wrote: I have the solution to all questions

Image

Button slammer wrote:Only 'the Budddha' knows 'Buddhism'. All the rest is human manure. Now then, a question arises. Buddha attained eternal liberation. If so, kindly explain how it is that he was in a state of ignorance/suffering in the first place? ie, What is the Buddhist explanation that describes how after striving for liberation (and attaining 'it'), please note eternal liberation. The personality was historically caught up in Maya before his eternal liberation. In a linear time line the Buddha should never have existed.

Dear button slammer

your question appears to me to be a projection of your (Brahmanic Hindu) ideals onto Buddhism. ex-l's response, "The Buddha was a reincarnation of Krishna who came to fool the atheistic into believing in him (which, amusingly enough, some Hindu schools really do claim!)." is spot on. Correct me if I am wrong, but when you say, "Buddha attained eternal liberation" I think you are equating the idea of Nirvana with Hindu "mukti" or "merging with the Brahm".

This is not the case - although many make that error of conflating the two - a lot of that problem comes out of bad translations or interpretations. And out of the essential difference between Buddhism and theistic traditions. If one doesn't get past the notion of 'eternal self" one will conflate Buddhism with all kinds of other theological/spiritual beliefs. It is like looking at Judaism through a Christian paradigm. All kinds of presumptions and mistakes will be made.
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button slammer

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post10 Aug 2010

filthy Shudra wrote:This is not the case - although many make that error of conflating the two - a lot of that problem comes out of bad translations or interpretations.

Just for the record, please provide if possible the 'pure' Buddhist ideal, based on good translations and interpretations. I doubt this is possible, primarily because as allready mentioned and ignored, is the hard fact 'The Buddha is Dead'. Buddhism ceased to exist the moment Buddha died.

The second after the death of Buddha right up untill now all translations and interpretations are 'a projection' of whoever is viewing the historic occasion of Buddha. This includes your own pseudo intellectual psycho pomp and whatever else you think you know about the Buddha generations after he kicked it. Also, even at the time of Buddha, he himself was influenced by the society he lived in. In return, wherever he went, he had to project his ideas onto a pre-existing world. Straightaway, Buddhism becomes mixed. Even then, even now 'Buddhism' never existed.

So, you took the bait and tried to hide behind.

    1. A denigrating projection of my supposed "Brahmanic Hinduism".
    2. A joke by ex-l (the humour and obsevation are from ex-l not you).
    Correct me if I am wrong, but when you say "Buddha attained eternal liberation" i think you are equating the idea of Nirvana with Hindu "mukti" or "merging with the Brahm". This is not the case

    3. Please present your case in whatever way you wish to project.
    If one doesn't get past the notion of 'eternal self" one will conflate Buddhism with all kinds of other theological/spiritual beliefs.

    4. So, dear Filthy Shudra, is good to hear you are past the notion of eternal self. Now deconflate my notions of eternal self and I'll de-conflate yours. LOL.
    It is like looking at Judaism through a Christian paradigm. All kinds of presumptions and mis-takes will be made.

    5. More smoke screen. Keep to the topic. Where did Buddha come from? Did he evolve from the primordial soup? Was he a donkey in a previous birth?
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post10 Aug 2010

button slammer wrote:allready mentioned and ignored, is the hard fact 'The Buddha is Dead'. Buddhism ceased to exist the moment Buddha died.

Yes, the person known as the Buddha is dead. At least we agree on that!

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.
button slammer wrote:The second after the death of Buddha right up untill now all translations and interpretations are 'a projection' of whoever is viewing the historic occasion of Buddha.

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?

If now as a mature adult I was to decide to follow Christianity, I would do my own study and practice of the sources and commentaries, and decide from that if i wanted to identify with a particular denomination or not, but would seek to establish my own 'relationship" with Christ. If Islam or Judaism appealed would go through a similar process. Ditto Vedantic Hinduism. You presumably have done a similar process within Hinduism, examined its manifold viewpoints, decided initially that BKs were where it is "at man", then moved across to the PBKs?

All these paths ask the follower to look back to the founder, put him on a pedestal, see the written word and the spoken teachings as absolute and final. Human psychology being what it is, followers do that. Buddhism is not asking anyone to put Buddha on a high pedestal and be a devotee. But again, human psychology and ignorance means many 'so-called" Buddhists do just that.

Buddhism becomes interesting if you examine what is really taught - that anyone and everyone has the Buddha nature/potential, can attain through their own effort/saddhana what Gautama Siddhatha did by his (boons and blessings come from that, not from on high).

It also accepts that although the Buddha's teachings were the 'foundation" of that path, but they were never considered 'final" or absolute', in fact, the written and spoken word of the teachings are continually warned against - because language by its nature is contradictory to the consciousness to be practiced. Buddhism is iconoclastic.
button slammer wrote: This includes your own pseudo intellectual psyco pomp and whatever else you think you know about the Buddha generations after he kicked it.

I may be limited intellectually, but I am sincere, and use what I have to the best of my ability! No offence taken.
button slammer wrote: even at the time of Buddha, he himself was influenced by the society he lived in. In return wherever he went he had to project his ideas onto a pre-existing world. Straightaway, Buddhism becomes mixed.

You're not just a pretty face! I agree again. Its wise to understand context. It is impossible for anyone to be completely "not of his time or culture". If they are to communicate with others, they have to have a basis for that. Buddha was born into a Brahmin family, and spoke in the language of his time, including the philosophical/religious terminologies that were commonly understood. Many of the early Buddhist teachers that came later were converts from brahmanism, and spoke from that viewpoint and lexicon. All teachers do so, all people bring their 'stuff" with them. Its what you do with what you've got that matters i suppose.

We have to look at not what was the same as the culture around them, but what they did & taught that marked them out. To dismiss anyone's contribution to the evolution of human consciousness because they are of a time and place is to depreciate/devalue/miss out on what they contribute and have to offer any of us.

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).
button slammer wrote: Where did Buddha come from. Did he evolve from the primordial soup? Was he a donkey in a previous birth?

Primordial soup? I was raised on leftovers - no one ever could remember the original meal (baboom! Thanks Milton Berle).

The Buddha' s biography is easy to find if you are really interested, though they won't tell you anything about alleged past lives. Many Hindus saw Buddha as an anti-christ , which is ironic because Christ himself was seen as a threat to the jewish establishment.

Anyway bro, if Buddhism is something that doesn't resonate with you, fine.PBKs don't do it for me. But if you are good to others and yourself, and don't harm others or yourself, then you are a Buddhist, a Christian, a confucian etc etc ... a good bloke. As long as you accept your choices are your own and feel free to realise your potential unshackled by others' impositions, go for it!
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post10 Aug 2010

filthy Shudra wrote:Buddhism is not asking anyone to put Buddha on a high pedestal and be a devotee. But again, human psychology and ignorance means many 'so-called" buddhists do just that.

Which begs the questions,

    a) how different can any religion be if it is the same old humanity poured into it,
    b) is that not typical of what all religious adherents say about their own religion and
    c) how much of Buddhism is "Buddhism"?
OK, we all turned up after Lekhraj Kirpalani had died but yet we are very close to the original BK religion. What one can see is a living religion hagiographise its founder, add in all sorts of stuff and invent a religious past.

I am sorry but I do not think any of the religious founders existed as they are presented to us. I don't think there were a Christ nor Buddha, no more than there was a King Arthur or a Santa Claus.

If you think about it, to run a religion of x000,000, you are going to need; x,000 cooks, x,000 books, x,000 accountants, x,00 properties which means x,00 builders and caretakers, x,00 toilet and x,00 toilet cleaners. Now cooks, accountants, builders, caretakers, toilet cleaners etc are all of a similar nature with similar issues. Then you have the minuses ... the thieves and manipulators etc.

By the time you have done the accounts alone, you have 90% of the "religion" ... minus the mythology and false histories ... how much of the remaining 10% is for either the reality or the magic of the religion?
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Mr Green

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post10 Aug 2010

I think that those that hurt themselves are still good.
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post10 Aug 2010

Mr Green wrote:I think that those that hurt themselves are still good

When I said "good bloke" I did not mean it as opposed to "evil" or 'bad'. I meant 'good bloke" as decent human being. I wouldn't judge someone harshly if they harmed themselves, that's the last thing they'd need. Anyway, good and bad, or sin etc, are not really part of a Buddhist view point, nor mine. It's more amoral than that - karma in the sense of life experience based on action/choices (cettana) which reflect consciousness, and consciousness determining action/choices which result in experience. Some Buddhists do test the extremes to gain a sense of the "middle" way, others mistake middle way for mediocrity/playing safe.
filthy Shudra wrote:Buddhism is not asking anyone to put Buddha on a high pedestal and be a devotee. But again, human psychology and ignorance means many 'so-called" buddhists do just that.
ex-l wrote:Which begs the questions,
    a) how different can any religion be if it is the same old humanity poured into it,

A beautiful thing about humanity is that in all religions we find those that see "deeper", do kindnesses, create beauty, explore wisdom through the vehicles they find. Others use the same vehicles for superficial and cruel purposes, even horrendous acts. And others need no labelled philosophy for one or the other.
b) is that not typical of what all religious adherents say about their own religion and

I'd say that most "religious adherents" - being "bound" and "stuck"- do elevate their own faiths over others. What I am seeing in Buddhist philosophy is a teaching that doesn't do what especially monotheistic faiths do - almost by definition, i.e. demand faith beyond personally verifiable experience, or especially for one true god or revelation leaving the rest as infidels/low caste/lost/unchosen etc.

"From the Buddhist perspective, man has created God out of the psychologically deep-rooted idea of self-protection. Walpola Rahula (the great Sri Lankan scholar) writes that man depends on this creation, "for his own protection, safety, and security, just as a child depends on his parent." He describes this as a product of "ignorance, weakness, fear, and desire," and writes that this "deeply and fanatically held belief" for man's consolation is "false and empty" from the perspective of Buddhism. He writes that man does not wish to hear or understand teachings against this belief, and that the Buddha described his teachings as "against the current" for this reason".

c) how much of Buddhism is "Buddhism"?

By my calculations 79.6543%
OK, we all turned up after Lekhraj Kirpalani had died but yet we are very close to the original BK religion.

which you have yourself and others on this site have well documented as not much more than another melange, not very original.
I am sorry but I do not think any of the religious founders existed as they are presented to us. I don't think there were a Christ nor Buddha, no more than there was a King Arthur or a Santa Claus.

Probably not as presented to us - I agree. But there is enough historical cross referential evidence for Christ and Buddha, if not King Arthur or Santa Claus. There are references to the Buddha not only in Buddhist texts and artifacts but also in Upanishads and other contemporary Hindu scriptures, in Jain texts and the ideas and philosophy can be traced traveling across Eurasia after his alleged lifetime.

There are references in Ancient Greek texts of the Gymnosophists (naked wise men aka Sramana). Unfortunately, it was the Chinese, rather than the indians, who always were the better record keepers, and most of what we know is, as you say, legend and hagiography. But for me it is how the philosophy developed and what I get from it if I can apply it that is valuable.
If you think about it, to run a religion of x000,000, you are going to need; x,000 cooks, x,000 books, x,000 accountants, x,00 properties which means x,00 builders and caretakers, x,00 toilet and x,00 toilet cleaners ... By the time you have done the accounts alone, you have 90% of the "religion" ... minus the mythology and false histories ... how much of the remaining 10% is for either the reality or the magic of the religion?

Yep. I'd just replace the word 'religion' with "human society" and add the word "politicians". Chop wood, carry water, clean toilet. Life goes on.
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ex-l

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post11 Aug 2010

The question raised at the top of the topic was "comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism" not pushing one's religion nor feeling forced to defend it. Within that, I am happy to hear a PBK comparison .. though I can hear the 5,000 Year Cycle coming a mile off ... but I am interested to know which BKs the PBKs think of as Buddhists.

Despite having lived and spent time in Buddhist societies, I would say what I know about Buddhism could be written on a postcard. Yet it irritates me deeply to see such confident yet obvious errors in what you write, Shudra, e.g. Gautama was born to a family of Kshatriya not Brahmins as you say and Dzogchen is a blend of Bon and Buddhist teachings, NOT Taoist and Buddhist as you wrote. The scale of such error is huge it is wrong to publish them. I was suggest caution and not risk showing off.

I would suggest you checked yourself and wrote to what you really, really know. Is what you are talking about a "new improved Buddhism", abstracts of Buddhism from a Western intellectual point of view, or Buddhism from an unschooled Western context?

I think a lot of people in the West have started to deride people who call themselves "Buddhists" because inherent in that, the individuals are claiming some kind of superiority ... a bit like being a BKWSU-style Brahmin does. Without the ego breaking social or monastic systems of the East, Western Buddhism takes on a very different smell in my opinion.

Shudra, have you ever considered dedicating yourself 100% to Buddhism, e.g. going on and training to become a priest or monk? Or is it just something to wear, there, somewhere on the outside, like a Lakshmi and Narayan badge? If you are ex-BK, and I dare say sans pension or retirement plan, have you ever considered joining a monastery?

Going back to my account's view of world history for a moment, of course, to sustain those x,000s one needs x00,000 to x,000,000 of lay followers which is what the Brahma Kumaris now appear to be aiming for. To incorporate 1,000,000s of lay followers (as in devotees who do not understand nor follow the principles ... but pay the bills) once has to expand the religious script and add in all sorts of festivals and entertainments which, again, is what the Brahma Kumaris now appear to be doing.

For crap sake, they are even inventing themselves and each other as saints or Shri Shris, and impressing themselves upon the mass as deities to be worshipped.

Something I also see with humanity is that certain sorts of people have the ability to sniff out opportunity and are attracted to it, e.g. the Brahma Kumaris will now be attracting an accountant caste because account opportunities exist. Buddhism went pretty much the same way before it.

But, again, Brahma Kumarism is such a small, ridiculous and minor religion ... I seriously do not think it will amount to very much on a worldscale. It will be interesting to see if it survives the death of Janki Kirpalani, and what becomes of it after, because I cannot think of anyone else that will inspire so much devotion within it ... Sister Jayanti ... Sister Shivani ... Dr Hansa Raval !?! I imagine there will be a bit of a mass exodus unless they can demonstrate some kind of miracle.
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filthy shudra

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post11 Aug 2010

ex-l wrote:obvious errors in what you write, Shudra, e.g. Gautama was born to a family of Kshatriya not Brahmins as you say and Dzogchen is a blend of Bon and Buddhist teachings, NOT Taoist and Buddhist as you wrote.

Please - just call me Filthy ... OOPS! Mea culpa! Of course, it's well known that he was born into a kshatriya family, and why I wrote Brahmin I don't know - not being mindful indeed! Thanks for correcting. No excuses, but maybe an explanation. Yesterday, when I wrote that, I was composing offline whilst intermittently on hold with tech support etc and was distracted - sorry to be disrespectful to everyone with my carelessness.

As for Bon, Buddhism, Tao and Dzog-chen - you are right but not absolutely - in Tibet they all overlapped and bumped into each other ... Buddhism was well established in China long before coming to Tibet, and it was in China that the Taoists informed it. Bon is supposed to have undergone quite a change before its encounter and "marriage" to Buddhism, and some say that change shows definite Taoist influence. Let's not forget Hindu/vedic and central asian shamanic influences either ...
ex-l wrote:The scale of such error is huge it is wrong to publish them. I was suggest caution and not risk showing off.

I stand ready to be corrected on fact anytime.
Is what you are talking about a "new improved Buddhism", abstracts of Buddhism from a Western intellectual point of view, or Buddhism from an unschooled Western context?

As I wrote earlier, I have been interested in Buddhist philosophy for decades, but only in the last few years been allowing myself to think from within that paradigm rather than view it from outside. I am not a "serious scholar". In fact, the Buddhist literature is so vast it is daunting. I take from it what resonates with me and do my practice. I do not call myself exclusive "Buddhist". I am quite a Christian chap too in many ways, always willing to forgive, but less inclined these days to turn the other cheek.
Shudra, have you ever considered dedicating yourself 100% to Buddhism, e.g. going on and training to become a priest or monk?

Same response as last part and - no, I am more attuned with the Mahayana idea that all can attain "whatever you call the attainment" by doing what they do. Monasticism - a community of people who seek solitude :D ? Not for me. And anyway, BK bhavan life was a bit like that - had enough.

You say you lived within Buddhist communities and came away not much the wiser - but surely you could have anticipated that? If you lived with American Southern Baptists or Pentecostalists how much would you really "get" Christianity? All these manifestations in different places - that's what "they" know or do. Surely its about what you know and do that matters whatever path you tread?

One thing I understood early on in my "quest" and then forgot, then remembered (and on it goes) ... self-realisation comes from one's self, not another's self realisation. Buddha's teachings I suspect can only be 100% applicable to Buddha, and we each have to find our own way - but then he also taught that. One beauty of the dhamma, to me, is that it exhorts everyone to understand that the script (scripture?) is inadequate. It seeks to encourage "individuals" to practice and experience for themselves ... and when you realise that there is no other "Self" to realise or to find, you are self-realised (!) and can get on with living, but pay attention ...
"the top of the topic was comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism" not pushing one's religion nor feeling forced to defend it

Those who read this forum are very familair with the BKs and their teachings - or can find it within other topics so no need to revisit the details there. Just by exploring about our understanding of Buddhism automatically reveals many comparisons and contrasts with the BKs. You have written well about the comparisons - the human foibles and social corruptions of both. I have tried to focus on the philosophy that I believe contrasts and is superior to Gyan. Nice chat really.

The essential heart of a philosophy, I believe, is where it can be adjudged as being worthwhile or not. I don't blame what Christ taught for the Spanish inquisition nor blame the Buddha for the feudal Tibetan system, nor can the historical Buddha take sole credit for the insights of Ch'an. The Tao Te Ching is beautiful whether or not an actual person named Lao Tzu ever really lived. I love the Iliad and the Odyssey regardless of its authorship.

BK Gyan, however, despite its apparent spiritual 'fragrance', is at its heart culturally and philosophically bankrupt - it demands followers accept a hell of a lot of unprovens; accept "eternal" social ranking & spiritual caste, give time energy and money for reasons akin to medieval Roman Catholic indulgences, that its founder is superior to any other human that ever has or will live, and all are number wise below him, that each of us is not who we are now, and none can live a fulfilled normal human life because such fulfillment is "imperfect' ... and so on.
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Mr Green

ex-BK

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Re: Comparing Buddhism and Brahma Kumarism

Post11 Aug 2010

That cartoon was quite derisive, I actually was serious ... ah, well.
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