Mysterious Question in the World: Answer of ‘Buddha’
First of all, let us confirm the question.The Buddhism was bone 500 to 1,000 years earlier than Christianity and Islam but did not spread as they did especially in Middle-East Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and South and North Americas. Why?
King Ashoka who lived from 304 BC to 232 BC and reigned the Indian Subcontinent for the first time was an enthusiastic Buddhist and tried to spread the Buddhism into the world. According to Wikipedia, he dispatched missionaries to the Hellenism countries and the Asian countries.
(above left) Spread to ATENS(Athens), ANTIOCH(in Syria) and ALEXANDRIA is marked with ‘?.’
It seems the expansion toward West was not successful.
(above right) The expansion toward East seems successful.
It was year 2001 when the big Buddha statue in Bamiyan in Afghanistan was destroyed by Talibans. The statue was built in 5th through 6th centuries more than 100 years earlier than the enlightenment of Muhammad by Allah.
In Afghanistan, the Buddhism had been popular before Islam came!
However 99 % of Afghanistan people is Moslem now! What is the remaining 1 %?
It must be Hindus, maybe Christians but never Buddhists.
How about in Pakistan that is between Afghanistan and the Buddha’s birth country, India?
97 % is Moslems, 1.5 % is Hindus, 1.3 % is Christians, and 0.2 % is Zoroastrianists.
Zero % for Buddhist although Pakistan is contacting to India in the east boarder!
In Moslem countries, non-Islam religions is persecuted, destroyed and vanished. No God besides Allah!
Every other religion than Islam is fake and to be vanished for Moslems.
How about in Europe far apart from India?
The Christianity has been believed for 2,000 years although it was born 500 years later than Buddhism! Why not Buddhism that is older than Christianity?
The Christianity has spread under the supports of Rulers and Holy Fathers in Rome.
The Age of Discovery started in 15th century accelerated the expansion of Christianity. Many countries in Europe competed each other to invade into Africa, North and South Americas as earlier as possible than other countries. They brought Christianity with them when invading.
In North America, the Puritans moved there in 1620 by Mayflower. Later, other Christian people followed and they finally occupied the land and the Indians who had lived on the land originally are now in the Indian Reservations.
In Peru where I am visiting next month, Spanish army of 168 soldiers, one cannon and 27 horsed invaded in 1526. They killed and expelled Inca soldiers and destroyed the Inca Empire when they cut the neck of the Emperor Atawarpa in the prison.
It was the first time when Indio saw a horse. They must got frightened when seeing horses running with a soldier on the back. Inca solders had no iron weapons at that time.
In the countries that were occupied as described above, and also in African countries that were controlled by plantation policy, the Christianity that was brought by rulers started to grow. Todays, almost all countries are Christian Countries there.
Was it because the Christianity was forced to be accepted by rulers? It was not.
It was because the governed people believed in Christianity better than indigenous religions.
On the other hand, the Buddhism had thrived in China as Faxian(c.337-422) and Xuanzang(c.602-664) brought back Buddhist scriptures from India to China. Later by the delegations by the government at the time and Jianzhen(c.688-763) who was a great monk in China and became a great monk in Japan too, the Buddhism was brought to Japan and expanded.
But, the Buddhism was not accepted widely in the world except several countries in Asia. Even in China that taught us the Buddhism, the Buddhism is not so popular anymore.Why did not the Buddhism spread in the world?Answer
The reason why the Buddhism did not spread except in several countries in Asia is that the Buddhism is difficult.Why? What is how difficult? Difficulty-1There is no God in the Buddhism. So it seems worthless to believe!
The God is ,for example, Christ, or Allah, or Amaterasu in Shintoism, or Shiva in Hindu, or others. Other Gods are the fire in Zoroaster, woods, mountains and rivers in primitive religions.
Every one of them is not a human. They are Gods that transcend the human.
But in genuine Buddhism, there is no God!
What? There are many Gods, aren’t there, like Yakushi-Nyorai, Fugen-Bosatu, and so on?
You are wrong! Those gods are not God literally. They are called Hotoke in Japanese and different from Gods in Japan.
I don’t think any God or Hotoke does appear in Buddhism scriptures even if Buddha whimsically put in his tale the names of Gods popular in India at that time.
Many Buddhists tend to think Hotokes are Gods in Buddhism. But They did not appear in the original Buddhist scriptures maybe except Bonten(descrived later in this report).
After the death of Buddha, his teachings were spoken from the pupils to the following pupils repeatedly for several decades until the teachings were written down in Sanskrit or Parli. While these teachings becomes scriptures, someone introduced Gods of Hindu and Baramon maybe because he aimed to get good impressions for the Buddhism from people to whom such Gods were familiar. At the same time, Buddha happened to become one of Hotoke as Shakya-Nyorai. But Buddha is not a Hotoke. He is a wise man of Shakya, or Shakya, or the Awakened One, or the Great One, or the Buddha.
There is no God in Buddhism so that you cannot ask for help to God in Buddhism.
Can’t we get any help from God even if we believe in Buddhism? No, you cannot.
The fact that there is no god in Buddhism makes people feel unreliable on the Buddhism. And it is possible that there are many people who think the Buddhism having no God is not a religion.
But think again here.
Christ is a child of God. He come back to this world after his death as he is a God and not a human.
Allah is a God, a sole God in the world for Moslems.
As Christ and Allah are Gods, they have super power that no human has! In the Testament and the Koran, you may see a lot of paranormal that Gods performed.
But if you go to a church or a mosque and pray for your health, or getting much money, or passing the entrance examination to a university, do you think Got does as you pray for? Probably, nobody does not think so. You may feel relieved psychologically but there is no guarantee of your wish to come true.
Perhaps you have often heard ‘Inshalla!’ ; as God wishes!
It is very usual that things do not go as you wish. This is probably due to Inshalla.
However if there is any God, I wish he could do something more to reduce wars, conflicts and murders. Is my wish ‘Inshalla’ too?
Nevertheless, we tend to feel helped if there is some gods that we can ask for help.
For those people, the Buddhism without any gods seems unreliable.Difficulty-2The Buddhist scriptures are difficult to understand.
In the Testament or the Koran, there are teachings that are explained or instructed very clearly.
The typical one for both religions is probably ‘Believe in God!’
‘Don’t doubt! Do as I have told or you will get blessed!’
This seems like a contract between God and his believers, easily understandable.
In the Koran, there is a instruction as follows:
*Do not make any promise with non-Moslem. If you must do, then you must at first do ----
*Do pray at prescribed time, every day. Before praying, you must wash your hands and legs as instructed ---------
*Do not get married with non-Moslem.
One of my acquaintances got married a Moslem lady. Before getting married, he became the Moslem, asked her parents for his propose and visited Mecca! How do you think about this? Islam is easy to understand, isn’t it?
Besides, I guess there is a sentence ‘You are to be punished if you do not follow my teaching!’ If you change your religion from Islam to others, you might be punished by death!
There are many Islamic countries in where there are many people who are struggling to get food for living. Some of those leave their countries for Europe or USA that are Christian countries. Even if they started their second lives there, they usually do not change their religion. Even if they changed their religion from Islam to Christianity, they would never tell about it to their Moslem friend. If some Moslem knew it, he might kill not only the people who changed their religion but their relatives.
For Moslems who are strict to follow the Koran, the people who give up praying to Allah must die.
An Pakistan girl, Malala, was almost killed by Moslems because she wanted to study at school. This happened according to the teaching of Allah! In the Koran, there are many musts and must-nots for women and maybe getting educated is one of must-nots for wemen. Or getting educated is not a must-not but women cannot afford to study if they follow what Allah asks them to do. Women must be too busy in following Allah’s instruction to study.
This must-not is becoming not-must-not today in many Islamic countries. This trend must be called Islamic Secularism, different from Islamic Fundamentalisｍ.
What happens if Christians change the religion to others? Probably they get baptized to become Christians so that they would be punished if they would change the religion because changing the religion to others is a sort of breaking the contract.
I have checked what kind of the punishment are prepared by God on the Internet but could not get any information.
Anyway, I think I must finish talking such nonsenses before getting punished by Gods!
But I am quite sure that there is no rules of punishment when one leave from Buddhism to others. It is completely up to us whether we stay in Buddhism or leave from it!
This is another difficulty! What to do and what not to do are not clear in Buddhism.
There is any instruction written in Buddhist scriptures clearly about them. What are written are always difficult to understand.
For example:‘ a color is a vacancy, a vacancy is a color.’
For example: ‘four noble truth and noble eightfold path.’
What are these teachings? What does Buddha asksus to do in these teachings?
I, however, think the teaching of Buddha himself is very easy to understand
I think the essences of his teachings
, not the Buddhist teachings, are summarized into the following five keywords.1)Im-permanence
Everything changes and never stays at same position/status.
Even the Earth disappears in 5 billion years as the Sun expands and absorbs the Earth.2)Moderation
Do not be extremely right nor left.
You cannot tell which is truly correct.
Being extreme usually causes failures that you cannot recover easily.3)Self-reliance
Achieve the aims by your own effort!
Do not rely on me (Buddha) much! I am not a God!４）Cause-Result
There is a Result due to the Cause.
Good results are achieved by good causes.５）Do goods!
Do what makes other people happy.
Then you become happy.
I guess my definition about the teaching of Buddha is much selfish but easy to understand, isn’t it? I am very confident although there are several wrong words in the sentences, the meanings completely match to the teachings!!?
However, even if the teachings of Buddha are easy to understand, it is difficult for us to carry them out.’Easy to understand but difficult to carry out’ is another reason that Buddhism is difficult!Difficulty-3
…..Maybe this is the supreme difficulty?Buddha himself told his teachings difficult!
Buddha told his pupils as follows: from ‘ABC of Buddha’ by Hajime Nakamura
‘The teachings I have got are, deep, difficult to see, difficult to understand, still, exquisite, beyond the thought, superb, and only the wise man understand.’
Then he adds like:
‘However, the people in the world enjoy the desires, indulge in them and play with them. They do not understand even if I teach them.’
He says we cannot understand his teachings as we stick to the desires. Of course we cannot carry them out even if we understand them!
It seems he abandoned us!
According to the Scriptures, as Bonten that is one of the Gods appeared and asked Buddha to try teaching what Buddha achieved to other people, he at last started to try to teach. Bonten is as same as the God Taishakuten who is nominated as the God at the temple in Katsusika-Shibamata where is famous in the movies titled ‘Tora-san.’ Taishakuten is a God in Brahmanism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. Bonten must have been used in Buddhist Scripture by someone who intended to the Scripture sound more familiar to Indian people.
Mr. Hajime Nakamura says: Even Buddha who was enlightened worried what to do? Which is good, trying to teach people or not?
There is other story that Buddha failed teaching a man who Buddha first met after enlightenment. Buddha was not a God but a human who is not always complete ! There are three difficulties in Buddhism.
1) There is no God in Buddhism so that Buddhism seems unreliable.
2) The Scriptures are not easy to understand.
3) Buddha himself said it is difficult o understand what he achieved.Due to these three difficulties, I think, the Buddhism was not accepted by Europeans, Americans and Arabians, who tend to decide everything by logics. Do it did not spread widely in the world
Buddha did not write down by himself anything about himself, his teachings and what he said while he was alive. It was about one hundred years later his death when his teachings were started to scribed in the Scriptures. Nobody can know what he said, and when he said to whom he said, precisely.
I think the fact that Buddha did not write any scripts by himself makes his teaching difficult to understand.
Thank you very much for reading through my long awkward report.
When I disclosed my report in Japanese, it was longer than this report. But I think I should omit several episodes on Buddha this time.
Below is the photograph I took in Kushinagar in India. It is the spot where Buddha has been sleeping for about 2,500 years.