Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Principle or Personality?

Sriram asked:

Swami Vivekananda Said “Buddhism cannot sustain without Lord Buddha”. Similarly is the case with Christianity. But my doubt is, why cant we think of them also as truths being explained like in Vedas with the help of characters. Probably, in Buddhism, in every book everywhere it might be like Buddha told so and so etc. Even if the character Buddha is not there, they can be imagined as truths. I could not understand swamiji’s view here? Does Swamiji mean they don’t teach absolute truths? This is just my doubt.

Amirapu Natarajan answers:

They taught the same absolute truths. There is no doubt about it.

At one point of time, Swami Vivekananda asked his brother disciples not to preach the name of Sri Ramakrishna at all but the principle he taught. He himself was perhaps confident enough that he would be able to convert half the world to follow Sri Ramakrishna if ever he would preach the personality of Sri Ramakrishna. But instead, he was only preaching the principle behind the great man.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A discussion on Buddha and Buddhism

Sriram asks:

Anna,

I present a few doubts which one of my colleagues raised.

1) Is it Buddha who argued that in Vedic rituals/yagas animals should not be killed? Do Vedas/Upanishads also preach killing animals as an offering to god? Swamiji also quoted that Vedas/Upanishads were highest truths and they cannot be attributed to any person. They can defend themselves according to Swami Vivekananda.

2) I remember reading somewhere in the works of Swami Vivekananda that what Buddha preached is revolutionary Hinduism. Did he do so just to oppose suppression of lower castes by upper castes, may be mostly Brahmins, at that time?

3) Did Buddhism fail since its ideals like sannyasa were too high to be taken up by the common man?

Amirapu Natarajan answers:

During that time the sacrifice of animals touched an all-time high, almost verging on madness. So it was necessary to control it and that was what Buddha did. In the karma-kanda of Vedas animal sacrifice is prescribed. All the early religions around the world prescribed animal sacrifice. There is nothing wrong with it.

Use of Stones and Astrology

Anonymous Comment on the post "Is our future pre-determined": "Do you have any comment regarding the use of stones that astrologers prescribe to modify future?"

Natarajan Amirapu answers: Everything happens because we manifest our divine energy. Everything in this world helps us to achieve that. Astrology, palmistry and all allied things are designed to infill self-confidence in us. Their use is nothing more than that. The stones give us a sense of confidence which enables us to face life better. For a man of great self-confidence there is no need for them. At the same time we don't say they are completely useless. It all depends on one's faith.