Falsely appearing as a follower of a different religion

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Dharmasherab
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Falsely appearing as a follower of a different religion

Post by Dharmasherab »

It is great that we have a forum for interfaith dialogue as it is helpful when used for the right reasons.
For starters it is good that there is a rule prohibiting making claims of supramundane achievement (such as being a Samma Sambuddha, Arahant etc).

My concern is that there is still the possibility that one can impersonate the followers of other belief systems/religions. What I am trying to say is that I have noticed one person in this forum who advises others on Dhamma (as in Buddha Dhamma) whiles following beliefs completely contrary to basic Buddhist beliefs (such as belief in God and belief that Krishna is an incarnation of a god). I find that this is misleading and even at times even mischievous. It is better that such people stopped appearing as followers of a belief system that they dont truly follow. For example, I have come across one user who does not follow Buddhism (as in who hasnt taken Refuge Vows to say the least), still holds on to views which is considered Micca Ditti according to the Dhamma and yet give advise to other Buddhists as to what they should be doing with the Buddha Dhamma.

I know that in a forum like this it is not easy to see who is who and that there is a lot of trust needed which is fair enough for the most part. But I do say that in my opinion, there should be process for others to flag up an individual who pretends to be a followers of a faith who doesnt really follow that belief system, and such individuals can be warned not to continue with impersonating followers of other religions.
“When one does not understand death, life can be very confusing.” - Ajahn Chah
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Brahma Das
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Re: Falsely appearing as a follower of a different religion

Post by Brahma Das »

I think in an interfaith forum people should be allowed to profess that they are following multiple traditions. Don't worry, but you can try Dharmawheel, they are strictly Buddhist there, and there are some great Mahayana resources, or perhaps Dhammawheel for your Theravada understanding. But I will give you some advice. Be kind :smile: , we're all trying here, if you continue to discriminate in the way that you are doing, you may find yourself unhappy. Every regular user on thus forum means the best for you, but I want you to know if you are dissuading others from practicing Buddhism, you are going against the Dharma. Don't go against the Dharma. I am a Buddhist, but those that are new on the Path may feel dissuaded on joining the Buddhist Tradition if you profess an intolerant attitude. Some people hold Krishna very dear, the Buddha and His Wife Yasodahara were very devoted to Krishna in the Palace or Kapilavastu. And it is Gautama's devotion to Krishna that helped Him develop the framework of references and cosmology in Buddhism. Brahma is Brahma in the Vedas as He is in Buddhism. Gautama said we can be His followers whether we believe in God or not. Don't dissuade those who believe in the Lord from practicing Buddhism, because if God is someone they Love the most, and you are turning them away based on their True Love, where does that leave you? Don't do such a thing. Find the purpose for your life. And continue practicing. All the best. :namaste:
Last edited by Brahma Das on Fri Sep 10, 2021 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"But although I preach nirvana, this is not a true extinction. All phenomena from the very first have of themselves constantly borne the marks of tranquil extinction. Once the sons of the Buddha have carried out this way, then in a future existence they will be able to become Buddhas."
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter Two, Expedient Means.
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Brahma Das
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Re: Falsely appearing as a follower of a different religion

Post by Brahma Das »

I want to say it is very admirable that you are a monk. You have never upset me, on the other hand, you inspire me very greatly. So I hope you can continue posting here. Please Teach the Path that you know, the Noble Eightfold, as you have learned it from the Buddha. You are blameless in my eyes. I just hope on day you will be able to reach out to people of other practices and view them as equals. Thank you, kind Spirit, you inspire me to be a better Buddhist, and I hope you will achieve Enlightenment within three Seasons. My name is Könchok Chödrak Senggé and I am a Tibetan and Nichiren Buddhist, and I have taken Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows. I will always be a Buddhist, and my understanding that Buddha is Krishna is what strengthens my practice. I hope you will not lessen in your practice, and will help people become Buddhist. Instead of trying to close the door which you are not yet a gatekeeper of, try to bring others to the Path. That way, you will very much grow the Bodhicitta to become Enlightened. Words are words, and you have many of them, but it will be your Compassion that will bring you to Enlightenment. You have no real faults, you have already figured out the Path, you just need to apply it, that is it. I hope you can learn to be friendly to me, because I am also a person with feelings, practicing no ill will, and I hope you can walk the Path of kindness, by which you fulfill your destiny. Don't be caught in a complex. You are not doing anything wrong, you just have to apply your wisdom to take care of the situation. That is all, I hope only the best for you, like Bodhisattva Burning Torch, I hope you will learn to be a light in darkness. Thank you. Om.
"But although I preach nirvana, this is not a true extinction. All phenomena from the very first have of themselves constantly borne the marks of tranquil extinction. Once the sons of the Buddha have carried out this way, then in a future existence they will be able to become Buddhas."
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter Two, Expedient Means.
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Nicholas
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Re: Falsely appearing as a follower of a different religion

Post by Nicholas »

Brahma Das wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:42 pm My name is Könchok Chödrak Senggé and I am a Tibetan and Nichiren Buddhist, and I have taken Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows.
Most of the regular posters here are at least sympathetic to many paths and we try to avoid sectarianism. Our exact personal path cultivation is better left private, because that is sacred and nobody's business anyway.

But a clarification BD: In your present physical body were your parents both Tibetans? Or is the name you gave above just your Dharma name given during refuge?
A true mind and true intent bring truth within truth. True practice and true cultivation take the truth beyond truth. True behavior and true conduct add truth to truth. In everything and every way, be true, true, true. Master Hua
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Brahma Das
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Re: Falsely appearing as a follower of a different religion

Post by Brahma Das »

Nicholas wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:30 pm
Brahma Das wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:42 pm My name is Könchok Chödrak Senggé and I am a Tibetan and Nichiren Buddhist, and I have taken Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows.
Most of the regular posters here are at least sympathetic to many paths and we try to avoid sectarianism. Our exact personal path cultivation is better left private, because that is sacred and nobody's business anyway.

But a clarification BD: In your present physical body were your parents both Tibetans? Or is the name you gave above just your Dharma name given during refuge?
I decided to take official Refuge from a distance, and went through the preliminaries, and received the name Könchok Chödrak Senggé in the mail, along with some other Dharma items. I hope to one day do a multiple year retreat with Garchen Rinpoche. My parents practiced Vajrayana Buddhism when I was young--a number of Dharmic things are coming back to me, pictures of Buddhas I hung up on my wall I remember meditating on when I was younger. But my parents are not Tibetan by blood, though they have helped me greatly in my Spiritual life.
"But although I preach nirvana, this is not a true extinction. All phenomena from the very first have of themselves constantly borne the marks of tranquil extinction. Once the sons of the Buddha have carried out this way, then in a future existence they will be able to become Buddhas."
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter Two, Expedient Means.
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Dharmasherab
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Re: Falsely appearing as a follower of a different religion

Post by Dharmasherab »

I will also explain a background of my history given that I brought this up on 'Suggestions'.

I was born to Theravada Buddhist parents (I am an Eastern Buddhist). After coming to a Western country I encountered Mahayana Buddhist teachings and became inspired by the Bodhisattva ideal (even though it was already present in Theravada Buddhism but greater emphasis was given to the Arahant Path). I later too initiation in Vajrayana Buddhism and my main spiritual commitment is to this path. For personal reasons I ordained as a Samanera in a Theravada lineage. I explained to the abbot that whether it is possible to receive training as a Theravada monastic and later re-ordain in Tibetan Buddhism (I have my own reasons for this). The abbot said that he is willing to support my choice.

Ofcourse everything conditioned is Anicca, and there is no guarantee that I will stay in robes (even though I like to). The abbot he himself stressed that people are not expected to make a lifetime commitment.

I do have to say that when it comes to tolerance and respect we may have different ways of looking at it. For example I did have friends from different religions; Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians etc. Its just that my attitude towards tolerance also includes the freedom to discuss any aspect of religions, including the aspects we dont agree with. I dont see anything wrong with that.

For example, when I had Muslim friends, I did criticise some aspects of their beliefs and allowed them to give answers. And I did respect their freedom in case if they wanted to criticise Buddhist teachings or what they knew about it within the limits of their understanding to which I gave answers. I remember once a Muslim work colleague of mine asked me about Buddhism where the topic changed to me explaining about monasticism. Since monasticism is something that is not present in mainstream Islam, he openly said that monasticism is abnormal (that living life as a celibate renunciate is abnormal). We both smiled and changed to a different topic. So this is my attitude towards criticism. I have been involved in discussions in informal settings with people of different religion. Its good to appreciate that there is no one single opinion when it comes to discussion and debate. Different people see things differently. So this is why we need to be careful about making too much assumption about what others do and label them as 'intolerant' because a lot of these labelling tends to happen within the limits of our own reality which may be an entirely different reality for others.

As for flagging this issue in suggestions, given that we all all use aliases and have profile pictures (which I prefer like most of us), I dont expect to be there any crack down on impersonators of other belief systems. But still it is important to highlight so that as members we can still be aware and act accordingly. I take it that by and large we all interact with each other on the basis of trust which is reasonable and fair.
Brahma Das wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 6:51 pm Some people hold Krishna very dear, the Buddha and His Wife Yasodahara were very devoted to Krishna in the Palace or Kapilavastu. And it is Gautama's devotion to Krishna that helped Him develop the framework of references and cosmology in Buddhism.
The belief in Puranic manifestations of deities like Krishna did not exist at the time of Buddha. So what you are saying did not happen. The veneration of Puranic deity worship came to India a lot later than the time of Buddha. So what you are claiming is something that did not actually happen. Where did you get this story from?
Brahma Das wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 6:51 pm Brahma is Brahma in the Vedas as He is in Buddhism.
Not exactly. In Hinduism, Brahma is the creator deity. Buddhism rejects this view. The Buddha even ridicules Brahma for his delusion for thinking he created the universe.
Brahma Das wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 6:51 pm Gautama said we can be His followers whether we believe in God or not.

I decided to take official Refuge from a distance, .....
Read this No God in Buddhism

The Buddha didnt say anything like this. Belief in God breaks one's Refuge vows. The Brahmajala Sutta outlines 62 wrong views, and the belief in an eternal deity like God comes under the Wrong View of eternalism. So according to the basic Buddhist teaching of Refuge, you actually havnt taken Refuge.

Be careful when quoting the Buddha. The Buddha he himself said that putting words in his mouth which he did not say is among the biggest insults which one can do to a Buddha. So be cautious.

Lama Jampa Thaye explains this nicely in his book 'The Way of Tibetan Buddhism' where at the end there is a Q&A section where one question askes whether one can follow Buddhism whiles following another religion (like Christianity). Lama Jampa Thaye's answer in brief includes that people who try to follow Buddhism whiles following a theistic belief system (like Christianity (or Hinduism in this instance)) have ignored a very basic teaching in Buddhism which are the Refuge vows in Buddhism. This is not to say that other belief systems are bad. But the reason why a person truly takes Refuge is because of the qualities that make the Buddha outstanding compared to other paths (otherwise there would be no reason to take Refuge in Buddha). So this is what Lama Jampa Thaye is saying (who is a Lama in two schools of Buddhism (Sakya and Karma Kagyu) as well as a Buddhist academic)).

Committing to a belief system is not sectarianism. Its like one cant be vegetarian whiles eating meat. One cant be Buddhist whiles believing in God because the belief in an eternal creator deity such as God means one accepts the worldview of Eternalism which is contrary to the Buddha's teaching of Impermanence and Non-self.

At the end of the day its up to people as to how they like to identify themselves and I respect their freedom to do so (even though it doesnt always mean we have to take them seriously). As for you BrahmaDas, given that you havnt taken Refuge by the standards of actual Buddhists, you should not be giving advise on forums to those who have fully committed to Buddhism. Not only it is wrong but its also insulting to those have taken the Buddhist teachings seriously who are avoiding the path of picking and choosing from different religions.

As for kindness, its important not to judge others as unkind. Trying to point out where you have gone wrong should not be equated with being unkind. People point out your mistakes out of kindness.
“When one does not understand death, life can be very confusing.” - Ajahn Chah
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