theos-talk.com

[MASTER INDEX] [DATE INDEX] [THREAD INDEX] [SUBJECT INDEX] [AUTHOR INDEX]

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

BA G to Jerry S., Final Series of Answers to Theos-Talk

Jan 24, 2003 02:54 AM
by Bhakti Ananda Goswami " <bhakti.eohn@verizon.net>


I have been requested to post my last series of answers regarding 
Buddhism etc. to Jerry S. here on Theos-Talk. I will not be 
responding to any more insulting or accusatory comments or questions 
on this site, so don't bother writing them at or to me. - BA G


Dear Jerry S. and Blavatskiana egroup Members,

Regrettably I am physically no longer able to carry on either my 
public or
private correspondence. I often get more than 30 emails a day (not
impersonal trash mail), plus regular mail and phone calls. I am 
disabled
and don't have a secretary who could possibly answer the questions 
that I
get. So to reduce my stress level from getting more and more behind 
all the
time, I am now going to stop almost all of my correspondence both 
public and
private.

I have appreciated the thoughtful comments of people on this site, and
apologize that I was physically unable to respond to the many 
questions
raised. I wanted to respond, but I have had a personal counseling 
ministry
that took most of my energy, and had priority over my internet
correspondence. The last several days I have begun informing people 
that I
am retiring from this counseling ministry.

Soon I hope to post some text evidence here of the relationship 
between
Krishna-Vishnu worship and Pure Land Buddhism. I will compare a few 
of the
many verses in the Bhagavad gita and the essential Pure Land Text, the
Saddharmapundarika,which are written in the same Vaishnava Sanskrit 
(full of
specifically Krishna-centric Vaishnava cultus Deity Names and terms) 
and say
the same things. I am editing this for posting here and may be ready 
with
it tomorrow or the next day. I will post this material on Buddhism in
several posts. I hope that many of your assertions and others' 
questions
will be answered in these posts, as I do not has the strength to 
write new
material to respond to everyone's posts.

Below are a few comments at /////, AND BELOW THAT IS A SYNOPSIS OF MY
PLANNED COMPLETION OF MY SARAGRAHI.ORG SERIES ON THE ANCIENT GLOBAL 
HISTORY
OF BUDDHISM. I HAVE ALREADY POSTED 9 SHORT 'INTRODUCTORY' ARTICLES ON
BUDDHISM THERE. Due to my illness I will not be able to answer any 
questions
individually, so all I can do is direct you to what I have already 
written,
and plan to write on Buddhism there.

best wishes to all,

pax,

Bhakti Ananda Goswami / David

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gerald Schueler" Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 7:55 AM
Subject: [Blavatskiana] Re to Bill

> <<<The discussion would be so much better if BA G and Jerry would 
get on
the
> same list and talk directly with each other. Wait, what am I 
saying?
They
> are together on a list. This one. Please consider talking with 
each
other
> directly. >>>

> OK, Bill. I will post my comments to BAG's Parts 2, 3, and 4 here 
to get
> things started.

> I have only a few major criticisms of BAG's comments:

> First, he doesn't seem to understand Buddhism very well, and is very
prejudice
> against it

BA G /// I have been initiated into three schools of Pure Land 
Buddhism. I have
continued to practice the daily recitation of Tibetan, Chinese and 
Japanese
'Other-Power' Pure Land Buddhist Invocation Mantras, and to observe my
Buddhist vows, including the Great Compassion (Bodhisattva) vow of
Avalokiteshvara for over 20 years. I have read Pure Land Scriptures 
in the
Sanskrit. The home that I live in has been converted into a temple, 
with the
entire 'living room' used for a temple room. 'My' home (when I have 
not
been in ashrams), has been a temple for over 30 years. Many of those 
years I
have eaten only one simple ahimsa meal a day, lived (slept too) on 
the floor
with no furniture, and never used chairs. I have spent long periods 
with a
shaved head, and have worn only my simple un sewn robes and cast-off
clothing for many years. By vow, I eat no flesh including fish or 
eggs, do
not touch intoxicants of any kind including coffee or colas, I am 
strictly
chaste and have also taken a vow of satya. On my 'altar', there are 
Icons
and Prasadam from the countless Buddhist Holy Places I have made 
pilgrimages
to in Japan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and elsewhere. There is a "FREE 
TIBET"
Tibetan Flag in the very front of the lowest shelf on my 'altar'. At 
the end
of every day, I transfere all of the 'merit' of my day's tapasya,
austerities and sufferings to all beings. The above are all Pure Land
Buddhist practices. In addition to my study and life-long PRACTICE of 
Pure
Land Buddhism, I have also studied other Buddhist traditions 
carefully to
ascertain their historical relationship to Pure Land Buddhism and
Vaishnavism, which the Pure Land Tradition is very closely related to.
Thus I would not say that I am prejudiced against Buddhism :)

> Most of his criticisms are bogus, as for example his continuing
> labeling of atheism where it does not apply.

BA G /// Sri Lankan Theravadin Buddhism and other forms of Buddhism 
are
atheistic. My criticism of HPB was that she mixed-up and merged not 
only
Theravadin and Mahayana Buddhism, but added Advaiti Hindu, Sikh and 
other
things to the mix, and then presented them all in the contrext of a
cosmogenesis appropriated from the Vaishnavas.

> Secondly, he seems to think that Blavatsky was a Hinayanaist when 
she was
a
> Mahayanaist.

BA G ///// I pointed out that if her 'Buddhist initiation' was with 
Olcott in Sri
Lanka, (as Theosophical sources indicate) IT WAS HINAYANIST / 
Theravadin. I
repeatedly pointed out that she was teaching the Mahayana doctrine of
Bodhisattvas, which she refers to with the term Nirmanyakaya.

> No Hinayana Buddhist could have written the Voice of the Silence.

BA G /// Of course I agree with you, and I never said she was a 
Theravadin, but
rather that she was NOT presenting Theravadin teachings ! I was 
pointing
out that if she was initiated into Theravada, she had moved on to a 
Mahayana
perspective. I was describing the evolution of her / the Masters'  
thought
from her / their first teachings in the East, to her / their later
teachings.

> I have elsewhere shown that she hinted at many of the teachings of
Dzogchen,
> considered to be the highest teaching of Tibetan Buddhism.

BA G /// Have you read the Sanskrit sources of Tibetan traditions?  
If you do not
know Sanskrit, I suggest that you read "the Cult of Tara"

BA G /// ... Beyer, Stephan. The Cult of Tara: Magic and Ritual in 
Tibet.
University of California
Press, 1978. (classic text on Tibetan Tara rituals).

BA G /// This important text gives the Roman transliteration and an 
ok English
translation of the original Sanskrit of the Tibetan Rituals of Holy 
Mother
Tara. If you were familiar with some of the rites / rityas of 
Vaishnavism
and Sanskrit Names of Krishna-Vishnu, then you would immediately 
recognise
these in some of the Buddhist rites of Tara.

> And thirdly, he seems to think that everyone should practice Bhakti 
Yoga
and
> worship God.

BA G /// Bhakti is LOVING DEVOTION, and yes it is for everyone, and I 
highly
recommend it for even the most dried-up, skeptical and 
cynical 'souls'. As
for GOD, in Vaishnavism, the 'worship' of GOD ESS is not actually
recommended. WORSHIP IMPLIES AWE AND REVERANCE OF THE KING AND 
SUBJECT
or MASTER AND SERVANT RASA / FLAVOR. Such 'worship' is not the 
highest
calling for souls in the Vaishnava Tradition of Bhakti Yoga. Instead 
the
higher RASAS OR FLAVORS OF DIVINE LOVE are intimate FRIENDSHIP, 
PARENT &
CHILD or LOVER & BELOVED relationships, DEVOID of the restrictions of
aweful WORSHIP. Without the impediments of aweful reverence, LOVE CAN
DEVELOP AND BE EXPRESSED SPONTANEOUSLY. GOD ESS Sri Sri Radha & 
Krishna are
RASA RAJA and RASA RAJANI, the King and Queen (Rex / Regent and 
Regina) of
ALL Flavors of LOVE. They are not demanding groveling worship from 
anyone,
They want Friends and Lovers, whose devotion is devoid of the 
botherations
of awe and reverance ! As the ADI / ORIGINAL GIVER AND RECEIVER OF 
INITMATE
LOVE, They Pervade the Spiritual and Material worlds, and reveal 
Themselves
in the Hearts of any who will CHOOSE REAL / HOLY LOVE. What I want for
everyone is a life of this LOVE. GOD ESS IS LOVE, and They reign 
over the
domain of the 'heart', not as mundane royal despots, but as Friends 
and
Lovers.

> According to the Theosophical doctrine of the seven rays (see
> Earnest Wood's book) only one ray of our seven human life-wave rays 
is
> prepared to practice Bhakti Yoga. So, I wouldn't expect to ever 
have more
than
> one-seventh of the population practicing Bhakti Yoga. The other
six-sevenths
> will be more prone to something else.

BA G /// Well then I guess that the Theosophical doctrine of the 
seven rays is
wrong then, and it is certainly NOT a Pure Land Mahayana Buddhist 
doctrine,
because, let me quote the late Venerable Master Hsuan Hua on this 
subject.

BA G THE HOLY NAME, AND THE DOCTRINE OF GRACE IN CHINESE PURE LAND 
BUDDHISM

BA G THE FOLLOWING QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE
"Records of the Life of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua", 
Volume One,
Compiled and translated by American Bhikshuni Heng Yin.
This book was published in 1981 by the Dharma Realm 
Buddhist University
Buddhist Text Translation Society, Talmage, California, USA.
Page 82
"Seek rebirth in Ultimate Bliss
with serious intent
By putting down defiled thoughts
and returning to the pure.
The Master delivered the following instruction during a seven-day 
recitation
session in Kiangsi :"
" The Dharma-door of reciting the Buddha's name is also called the 
Pure Land
Dharma-door. By means of this method all can enter the Pure Land, for 
it
receives those of all three dispositions and gathers the intelligent 
and
deluded. Wise people with superior wisdom, average people with 
ordinary
intelligence, and inferior, deluded people -- those of all three
dispositions need only recite the name and they will be reborn in the 
Pure
Land. Thus it is the convenient means within the convenient means, 
the short
cut among short cuts, and is most suited to beings in the Dharma-
ending age.
"

BA G /// NOTE THAT THE DHARMA ENDING AGE IS KALI YUGA. SO HERE WE 
HAVE THE DIRECT
PARALLEL TO THE GAUDIYA VAISHNAVA DOCTRINE OF HARI NAMA INVOCATION /
RECITATION BEING THE YUGA DHARMA (AGE = YUGA).
VENERABLE MASTER HSUAN HUA ON RECITATION OF THE HOLY NAME
Page 82 continued
"If one is simply able to recite 'Namo Amitabha Buddha', one will 
certainly
be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, where, transformationally 
born from
a lotus, one will see the Buddha and awaken to the patience of the
uncreated, never again to retreat to the Small Vehicle [HINAYANA] ,or 
to the
status of a common person. If what i say is not so, i will gladly 
descend
into the hells. "
" Yesterday someone asked me, 'When I recite the Buddha's name, I 
have too
much idle thinking. How can I stop it ?'
"Pay no attention to how much idle thinking you are doing. Just keep
reciting the Buddha's name with all your heart. There is a common 
saying,
When the clear-water pearl
is thrown in muddy water,
the muddy water turns clear.
When the Buddha's name
enters the deluded mind,
the deluded mind becomes the Buddha.
"Recitation itself is the cure for idle thinking. Why add a head on 
top of
your head by looking for another method ?"

BA G /// The Pure Land Dharma Door is RECOMMENDED FOR ALL BEINGS IN 
THE DHARMA
ENDING (Kali Yuga) AGE. This is simple INVOCATION OF THE OTHER-POWER 
OF
AMITABHA-LOKESHVARA-HRIH.

BA G /// Is ONLY one-seventh of the population attracted to such 
simple prayer /
invocation of a compassionate Deity or Transcendent Savior ? NO !
Statistically there are about 1 1/2 billion Christians of all kinds
including a BILLION Catholics and over 3/4 BILLION Vishnu 
worshipers. China
was largely Pure Land Buddhist a hundred years ago, and if the 
communists
ever fall from power, there will be a rebirth of China's SOUL in its 
ancient
devotional culture of Pure Land Buddhism. How many Chinese today are
'closet Buddhists' devoted to Holy Mother KUAN YIN ??? Pure Land 
Buddhism is
still alive and well in S.Korea and Japan. There are a BILLION 
Muslims.
Any expert on African Tribal Religions will affirm that these are
predominantly MONOTHEISTIC AND DEVOTIONAL. So invocation / prayer 
for the
'Other Power' help of GOD or the ADI BUDDHA is cearly not a one-
seventh
attraction for the beings of the Kali Yuga.

BA G /// The Dharma Doors exist, like skillful means, to facilitate 
the salvation
(from the Saha World) of all beings of all dispositions. In the 
Dharma
Ending Age, the Dharma Door of PURE LAND PRACTICE is recommended by 
all
authentic MAHAYANA MASTERS.

> Many of his criticisms of Theosophy are directed at what I have 
called
> Exoteric Theosophy or Shoreline Theosophy, and I too have made the 
same
> criticisms.

BA G /// Yes, I have appreciated your previous comments on this 
point.

> Jerry S.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//

Below is the link to my series of introductory articles on Buddhism 
already posted on my ONE FAITH Column on the Vaishnava saragrahi.org 
site. 
In the below article I outline some of the points that I have yet to 
cover in my introductory series.

http://www.saragrahi.org/columns/one/pure_land_buddhism10.htm
Pure Land Buddhism as Vaishnavism by Bhakti Ananda Goswami
 
Part Ten: Review and Preview 
In a nutshell, the original Buddhism is actually a form of
Radha-Krishna-centric Vaishnavism. It pre-dates the appearance of the
historically late Sakyamuni by thousands of years, and was once the 
dominant
Bhakti Tradition of major portions of the human family. The 
historical and
theological core of this Bhakti Buddhism has been called 'Pure Land
Buddhism' by modern scholars. This is taken from the title of one of 
the
Tradition's most important Scriptures, the SUKHAVATI VYUHA. This 
Scripture
describes, originally in Buddhist Sanskrit, the PURE LAND created by 
the ADI
BUDDHA, ADI PURUSHA, DHARMA KAYA, CHAKRAVARTIN, BHAGAVAN, Supreme 
Buddha
AMITABHA. The two-armed Form of Amitabha (HRIH) is worshiped as the 
Dharma
Kaya or Original Body / Form of the Buddha in Northern, Mahayana or 
Pure
Land Buddhism, from Nepal and Tibet (identified with CHEN REI ZEI), 
through
Afghanistan, China, and Korea to Japan, where He is called AMIDA, 
KANNON,
HRIH, and identified with various forms of LOKESHVARA (VISHNU FORMS).

Copyright  Tridandi Sannyasi Bhakti Ananda Goswami 2002 - All 
Rights
Reserved

HARE KRISHNA ! SRI SRI GURU and Gauranga ki jaya !

Dear Saragrahis, Please accept my humble obeisances.

Because I have received so many inquiries over the years 
regarding
Buddhism, I began a series of short articles on this site (please 
see) to
outline my understanding of Buddhism, based on my more than 3 decades 
of
interdisciplinary study comparing Buddhism to other ancient religious
traditions in India and elsewhere. This series is thus a little 
introduction
to Buddhism, voiced to Vaishnavas in particular, who generally 
mistakenly
believe that all of Buddhism was originally atheistic.

Here is a summary of what I have wanted to eventually cover in 
this
series. I have yet to finish my description of Nepalese-Tibetan 
Buddhism.
This will include an introduction to:

Pancaratrin-related rites and Sanskrit Vaishnava prayers and 
mantras
in the Cult of Tara,

The relationship of the Egyptian Book of the Dead to the 
Tibetan Book
of the Dead,

Common lila forms of Lokeshvara and Vishnu,

Mahadeva (SHIVA) as AN EXPANSION OF LOKESHVARA,  
Leontocephalous Maha
Kala or Kala Bhairab (Bhairava SHIVA) as Nara Hari Rupa,

YHVH worship as the Bhagavad-Gita and Exodus-related wrathful 
Form of
the Lord as Time, JAH HUM BAM HOH at the Tibetan Buddhist 'Vatican' 
the
PATALA,

The relationship of Platonic Heliopolitan Egyptian PTAH etc. to 
BUDH's
birth traditions, and expansions and incarnations of Buddha-
Lokeshvara in
Egyptian and Heliopolitan Jewish traditions,

The supposed origins of 'Buddhism' from Sakyamuni's time, in 
Nepal and
India.

Then I hope to move on and show:

Devotion to the Lord as THE OPENER / PTAH in the Old Testament
Tradition of PETACH-YAHU, PETU-EL, and how He was invoked to enter and
possess PERSONS, ICONS, AND TEMPLES, INCLUDING THE GREAT TEMPLE IN 
JERUSALEM
AT ITS CONSECRATION AND RE-CONSECRATION,

Connections to the GOOD SHEPHERD Tradition of Rhodes and 
Christianity,
including the amazing story of Siddhartha Buddha's promise to return 
as THE
GOOD SHEPHERD WHO WOULD DIE AS A VEDIC SACRIFICE IN PLACE OF HIS 
SHEEP !

Connections between ASCLEPIUS-SERAPIS, JESUS the GREAT 
PHYSICIAN,
ANANTA BALARAMA as CHARAKA THE AYUR VEDIC GREAT PHYSICIAN , and the
Tradition of YAKUSHI-JI the 'MEDICAL BUDDHA' Form of Lokeshvara in 
the HRIH
(Amida) cult of Japan.

The association of Sakya Muni Buddha with VISHNU, the Deity of 
the
Shal Grove, in the traditional story of His restoration to God-like 
beauty
and power, just before his final battle with Mara.

The pivotal TULASI and RADHA Tradition in Buddhist lore, and
connections between the Shaktis of Amitabha-Lokeshvara and the 
Shaktis of
Krishna-Vishnu.

How two schools of Buddhist iconography emerged (Gandharan and
Mathuran ), both showing Greek Rhodian connections,

How the earliest Buddhist centers were all Vaishnava centers.

I already touched-on the 'Buddhism' of Ashoka, whose guru's 
ashram of
10,000 was IN MATHURA, and how it is widely accepted by Western 
scholars
that Ashoka's missionaries were present in Judea, Greece, and Egypt.  
I
would like to write some more on this, and how Neo-Gnostics and New-
Agers
are abusing the evidence of this to claim that Jesus Christ and other
prominent Mediterranean persons were THERAVADIN BUDDHIST ATHEISTS !  
This is
basically the indirect claim of the rabidly anti-Catholic Protestant 
Jesus
Seminar Group and their allies the Kersten and Gruber 'Tomb of Jesus'
Ahmadi Muslim mayavadis, and various related 'esoteric' groups. The
Theravadins have appropriated Ashoka, but there is NO evidence that 
his
'Buddhism' was Hinayana or atheistic. ALL the real evidence (not 
bogus tombs
and writings like those of N. Notovitch and L. Jacolliot) shows that
originally Buddhism, both before and AFTER SAKYAMUNI was at first
indistinguishable from Krishna-centric Vaishnavism. The late and then
practically insignificant heretical Theravadins, who were actually
suppressed by Ashoka etc., diffused to Southeast Asia through Sri 
Lanka,
only because they were driven out of India by the Bhakti Buddhists 
under the
patronage of Ashoka. I have already written some on the Sri Lankan
connections, but would like to post some photos of Vishnu's gate 
keepers at
the entrance to ancient Buddhist shrines there, as well as some 
painted
icons from the Buddhist shrine devalis showing the purely MAHAYANA / 
PURE
LAND DOCTRINE OF VISHNU DESCENDING TO INCARNATE AS BUDDHA.

I would also like to describe how Vaishnava-related M. Buddhism 
spread
to China, Korea and Japan, with voidism corrupting it as an 'esoteric'
tradition, associated with nirvishesha, shunyavadi and mayavadi
impersonalism in India (the Indian pilgrim problem). Both Tantrism and
Dhyana / Zen acted as vehicles for Theravadin anatta soul-less 
impersonalism
all the way into Japan, in the same way that magical and elitist 
gnostic
esoteric groups functioned to corrupt Western bhakti traditions with
impersonalism and voidism.

At least one article should be devoted to the popular Mahayana
Buddhist devotion to Sri Hanuman as the Servant of Mother Tara, and 
patron
protector of Pure Land Buddhism throughout its northern range. Sri 
Hanuman
ji is extremely popular in Chinese Buddhism !

The worship of Krishna and Radha, Vishnu and Lakshmi, devolved 
into
the separated Chinese worship of MA Kuan Yin, and Their attributes 
also
merged as Mahayana Buddhism spread through Korea (as KWANNON) and 
into Japan
as ASAKUSA KANNON, to be merged there with Krishna Kana worship from 
South
India. I have already written a little on this in my short article on 
this
site describing the RASA LILA DANCE IN THE TANABATA FESTIVAL in 
Japan. The
merged attributes of MANI PADME remain in Japanese Buddhism today.

After describing ancient Japanese Pure Land, with its Catholic 
Mary
and Lakshmi-related 'Goddesses', Alvar KANAN and Tana Bata Festival 
Rasa
Lila, etc. connections, I want to briefly describe the popular modern
NEMBUTSU HARI NAM movements of HRIH / AMIDA and the JEWEL-LOTUS 
MANTRA in
Japan...including the present's SOKKA phenomenon.

Then I would like to relate a few of my personal experiences 
with Pure
Land Buddhism in Japan, and my initiation into NEMBUTSU in the inner
sanctum of the High Altar of Amida / ASAKUSA KANNON'S MAIN TEMPLE in 
Tokyo.
It would be nice if we could post both the ICON of KANNON and a 
picture of
Kannon's HIGH ALTAR for everyone to receive the darshana of AMIDA / 
HRIH as
worshiped by the Japanese Pure Land Buddhists.

Then, hopefully I will finish with a description of the pre-
Sakyamuni
strata of Mahayana Buddhism, beneath the late Sakyamuni Buddhism, in 
the
ancient East (Bon and YAB-YUM in Tibet, Chinese Taoist YANG-YIN
[Purusha-Prakriti], the Japanese Shinto Pantheon etc.), and how these
ancient traditions were related to Vaishnavism in both India and the
Heliopolitan Federations of the Mediterranean.

By briefly outlining these important Buddhist-related bhakti 
tradition
connections, I hope to establish the framework for a new 
interdisciplinary
field of studies focusing on in-depth research into these specific 
areas of
interest. Vaishnava scholars have too long ignored Buddhism.  
Christian
scholars who have studied Pure Land Buddhism have ignored authentic
Vaishnavism to the extent that they are generally completely unaware 
of the
connections between Vaishnavism and the Pure Land Buddhist Traditions 
they
are trying to understand. In every case, the real understanding of 
Catholic
Christian and Pure Land Buddhist commonalities, long a subject of 
Catholic
and Buddhist scholarly interest, will continue to elude everyone 
until they
begin to seriously look at the BIG PICTURE of these connections, as I 
have
outlined them in brief here. Scholars need to factor-in both the
Heliopolitan Alexandrian-related Proto-Catholic and the Indian 
Traditions of
Vaishnavism, to really understand the relationship of Buddhism to
Catholicism. Vaishnavism is the link.

Once I have outlined these connections, I hope other scholars 
will
flesh out the entire framework I have introduced in this short 
introduction
to Buddhism, in the context of World Emanational and Incarnational, 
SALVIFIC
Monotheism.

your aspiring servant,
Bhakti Ananda Goswami






[Back to Top]


Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application