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Lady of the Lotus

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  • brightlightcity
    Lady of the Lotus by William E. Barrett is a wonderful book. It s the story of Shakyamuni as veiwed through the eyes of Yadohara, his wife and the mother of
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 1 12:12 AM
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      "Lady of the Lotus" by William E. Barrett is a wonderful book. It's the
      story of Shakyamuni as veiwed through the eyes of Yadohara, his wife and
      the mother of his child.

      It's more or less the traditional story of the Buddha, but told in a
      wonderful way and from a fresh perceptive. As Barrett notes, hundreds of
      books have been written about the Buddha, but this book is the only one
      about Yadohara.

      William E. Barrett is also the author of "The Left-Hand of God" and "The
      Lillies of the Field."

      I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will enjoy it immensely.
      It's currently out of print, but you can get used copies at Amazon for
      as low as $.77. Here's a link to a review of the 1990 edition should
      anyone want to know more about it:

      http://www.spiritwatch.ca/LL%209%281%29%20June%201990/Lady%20of%20Lotus_\
      90.htm


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • steve_is_a_buddha
      BLC I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 1 1:26 AM
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        BLC

        I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering" . And to be honest, I kind of agree. Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media? How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?

        Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father. As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous? I don't think so - their actions occurred in a time of war when many families were being split apart - and so their sacrifice of domestic priorities to moral ones seems admirable.

        And this brings us back to non-attachment. Its very easy to be non-attached if you have a wife like Shakyamuni did. One of the great things about Nichiren (and Jesus and St Francis) is that they remained bachelors and thereby did not mess with their kids' heads with abandonment issues. Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.

        Steve


        --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > "Lady of the Lotus" by William E. Barrett is a wonderful book. It's the
        > story of Shakyamuni as veiwed through the eyes of Yadohara, his wife and
        > the mother of his child.
        >
        > It's more or less the traditional story of the Buddha, but told in a
        > wonderful way and from a fresh perceptive. As Barrett notes, hundreds of
        > books have been written about the Buddha, but this book is the only one
        > about Yadohara.
        >
        > William E. Barrett is also the author of "The Left-Hand of God" and "The
        > Lillies of the Field."
        >
        > I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will enjoy it immensely.
        > It's currently out of print, but you can get used copies at Amazon for
        > as low as $.77. Here's a link to a review of the 1990 edition should
        > anyone want to know more about it:
        >
        > http://www.spiritwatch.ca/LL%209%281%29%20June%201990/Lady%20of%20Lotus_\
        > 90.htm
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • brightlightcity
        ... I don t know I would call it a conceit, but I can understand how the idea is not very attractive to people. There was a time when I was enamored with the
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 1 9:40 AM
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          > I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering".

          I don't know I would call it a conceit, but I can understand how the idea is not very attractive to people. There was a time when I was enamored with the notion of being a homeless, wandering seeker in the Woody-Guthrie-ridin'-the-rails and Jack-Kerouac-Dharma-Bum tradition. Now that I am older, it is still appealing but I don't think I could do it the same way. I'd have to have some kind of mobile-home and a cable or satellite hook-up because life would be too unbearable without Turner Classic Movies.

          >Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media?

          It depends on how they went about it, I suppose. I don't think the media would be that interested unless it involved some larger controversy or unless the person was a serial killer.

          I don't know about the Buddha's time, but later on (and today) when men leave home to become bhikkhus it was often with their family's blessings. And they really didn't give anything up, as their families would hold onto their material goods and safeguard their wealth, if they had any, and the person could always go back to it and pick up where they left off.

          > How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?

          I haven't the slightest idea. In the book "Lady of the Lotus" Yadohara eventually joins her husband on his travels, albeit in a separate group of women. However, that is just fiction, speculation. Rahula, the son, does appear in the sutras later on as a bhikkhu. So if any of that is accurate, it would seem that they worked things out.

          > Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father.

          I met one of Ikeda's sons. He was a nice guy.

          > As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous?

          Only so far as one should be willing to sacrifice in order to stick to one's principles.

          You know the Chinese had a tough time with a number of aspects of the Buddhist religion. Celibacy, for example, played no role in Chinese spiritual practices. Leaving one's family went against the grain of this family-oriented Confucian-minded society which placed great importance on ancestor worship. Buddhist monks were criticized for being nonproductive bums who violated the Chinese work ethic. To the Chinese this was a foreign system, from India, and in order to survive Buddhism had to lose some of its Indian-ness.

          > Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.

          I don't think this is fair. For one thing, in contrast to China, in India the renunciation of worldly life by spiritual seekers was not only an accepted ideal but greatly respected as well. Secondly, from what we know about the early Buddhist sangha, it had many different aspects, and things were not quite as clear-cut as we might believe.

          Evidently, Shakyamuni belonged to the class of the "shramanas", the mendicant philosophers, again a highly respected position or role within Indian society. The Buddhist sangha also had its role to play and in India at that time there was little opposition to it.

          Lastly, you are trying to interpret an ancient tradition through our modern sensibilities. There's nothing wrong with that, per se. However, I think the point is not that this sort of lifestyle will mess with kids heads, however true that may be, but rather how do we go about adapting this view of life (that happiness is elusive when one is attached to the material world) to our modern society while staying true to the original spirit.


          --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "steve_is_a_buddha" <steve_is_a_buddha@...> wrote:
          >
          > BLC
          >
          > I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering" . And to be honest, I kind of agree. Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media? How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?
          >
          > Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father. As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous? I don't think so - their actions occurred in a time of war when many families were being split apart - and so their sacrifice of domestic priorities to moral ones seems admirable.
          >
          > And this brings us back to non-attachment. Its very easy to be non-attached if you have a wife like Shakyamuni did. One of the great things about Nichiren (and Jesus and St Francis) is that they remained bachelors and thereby did not mess with their kids' heads with abandonment issues. Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.
          >
          > Steve
          >
          >
          > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@> wrote:
          > >
          > > "Lady of the Lotus" by William E. Barrett is a wonderful book. It's the
          > > story of Shakyamuni as veiwed through the eyes of Yadohara, his wife and
          > > the mother of his child.
          > >
          > > It's more or less the traditional story of the Buddha, but told in a
          > > wonderful way and from a fresh perceptive. As Barrett notes, hundreds of
          > > books have been written about the Buddha, but this book is the only one
          > > about Yadohara.
          > >
          > > William E. Barrett is also the author of "The Left-Hand of God" and "The
          > > Lillies of the Field."
          > >
          > > I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will enjoy it immensely.
          > > It's currently out of print, but you can get used copies at Amazon for
          > > as low as $.77. Here's a link to a review of the 1990 edition should
          > > anyone want to know more about it:
          > >
          > > http://www.spiritwatch.ca/LL%209%281%29%20June%201990/Lady%20of%20Lotus_\
          > > 90.htm
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
        • dorrje_2003
          I had a problem with that action too and know others who have had similar reactions. But, I remind myself that I don t know what Siddhartha was experiencing.
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 1 2:52 PM
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            I had a problem with that action too and know others who have had similar reactions. But, I remind myself that I don't know what Siddhartha was experiencing. Perhaps he was in what we call today a deep clinical depression, with no prozac to take. Isn't a person justified to seek their way out of suffering.

            What could we say of Yashodora if Sidhartha said to her, "I feel so empty, so filled with suffering, I have everything I should have to be happy and fulfilled. A kingdom to be mine, a beautiful wife and a new child. All the gold and find clothes and abundant food, yet still I suffer so deeply. I need to seek an end to this. I have not found it here. I am sorry, dear Yaso, I fear I need to seek this answer elsewhere. I think I need to leave here and go afar. I need to do this for me and I sense for all others. Can I leave to seek an end to this pain and suffering? Yaso say's "hell no, you just cant leave, suck it up!" Siddhartha hangs himself a week later, no Buddhism. Wouldn't it be seen a selfish of Yaso to not let him go, even as selfish as Sid's leaving? How are we to judge someone who may be clinically depressed and is desperately seeking a way out?

            If could stop or end a war from being fought,and thereby end much suffering, but it required me to leave my familiy behind, would I be justified in doing so? Who knows Siddharthas state of mind. And let us remember that Siddhartha left home in confusion, suffering, delusion, in short: DUKKHA. He retured as Buddha and brought us Nirvana. The person who left and the one who returned were not the same.

            My thoughts,

            Stace



            --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > > I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering".
            >
            > I don't know I would call it a conceit, but I can understand how the idea is not very attractive to people. There was a time when I was enamored with the notion of being a homeless, wandering seeker in the Woody-Guthrie-ridin'-the-rails and Jack-Kerouac-Dharma-Bum tradition. Now that I am older, it is still appealing but I don't think I could do it the same way. I'd have to have some kind of mobile-home and a cable or satellite hook-up because life would be too unbearable without Turner Classic Movies.
            >
            > >Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media?
            >
            > It depends on how they went about it, I suppose. I don't think the media would be that interested unless it involved some larger controversy or unless the person was a serial killer.
            >
            > I don't know about the Buddha's time, but later on (and today) when men leave home to become bhikkhus it was often with their family's blessings. And they really didn't give anything up, as their families would hold onto their material goods and safeguard their wealth, if they had any, and the person could always go back to it and pick up where they left off.
            >
            > > How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?
            >
            > I haven't the slightest idea. In the book "Lady of the Lotus" Yadohara eventually joins her husband on his travels, albeit in a separate group of women. However, that is just fiction, speculation. Rahula, the son, does appear in the sutras later on as a bhikkhu. So if any of that is accurate, it would seem that they worked things out.
            >
            > > Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father.
            >
            > I met one of Ikeda's sons. He was a nice guy.
            >
            > > As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous?
            >
            > Only so far as one should be willing to sacrifice in order to stick to one's principles.
            >
            > You know the Chinese had a tough time with a number of aspects of the Buddhist religion. Celibacy, for example, played no role in Chinese spiritual practices. Leaving one's family went against the grain of this family-oriented Confucian-minded society which placed great importance on ancestor worship. Buddhist monks were criticized for being nonproductive bums who violated the Chinese work ethic. To the Chinese this was a foreign system, from India, and in order to survive Buddhism had to lose some of its Indian-ness.
            >
            > > Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.
            >
            > I don't think this is fair. For one thing, in contrast to China, in India the renunciation of worldly life by spiritual seekers was not only an accepted ideal but greatly respected as well. Secondly, from what we know about the early Buddhist sangha, it had many different aspects, and things were not quite as clear-cut as we might believe.
            >
            > Evidently, Shakyamuni belonged to the class of the "shramanas", the mendicant philosophers, again a highly respected position or role within Indian society. The Buddhist sangha also had its role to play and in India at that time there was little opposition to it.
            >
            > Lastly, you are trying to interpret an ancient tradition through our modern sensibilities. There's nothing wrong with that, per se. However, I think the point is not that this sort of lifestyle will mess with kids heads, however true that may be, but rather how do we go about adapting this view of life (that happiness is elusive when one is attached to the material world) to our modern society while staying true to the original spirit.
            >
            >
            > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "steve_is_a_buddha" <steve_is_a_buddha@> wrote:
            > >
            > > BLC
            > >
            > > I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering" . And to be honest, I kind of agree. Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media? How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?
            > >
            > > Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father. As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous? I don't think so - their actions occurred in a time of war when many families were being split apart - and so their sacrifice of domestic priorities to moral ones seems admirable.
            > >
            > > And this brings us back to non-attachment. Its very easy to be non-attached if you have a wife like Shakyamuni did. One of the great things about Nichiren (and Jesus and St Francis) is that they remained bachelors and thereby did not mess with their kids' heads with abandonment issues. Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.
            > >
            > > Steve
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > "Lady of the Lotus" by William E. Barrett is a wonderful book. It's the
            > > > story of Shakyamuni as veiwed through the eyes of Yadohara, his wife and
            > > > the mother of his child.
            > > >
            > > > It's more or less the traditional story of the Buddha, but told in a
            > > > wonderful way and from a fresh perceptive. As Barrett notes, hundreds of
            > > > books have been written about the Buddha, but this book is the only one
            > > > about Yadohara.
            > > >
            > > > William E. Barrett is also the author of "The Left-Hand of God" and "The
            > > > Lillies of the Field."
            > > >
            > > > I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will enjoy it immensely.
            > > > It's currently out of print, but you can get used copies at Amazon for
            > > > as low as $.77. Here's a link to a review of the 1990 edition should
            > > > anyone want to know more about it:
            > > >
            > > > http://www.spiritwatch.ca/LL%209%281%29%20June%201990/Lady%20of%20Lotus_\
            > > > 90.htm
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • brightlightcity
            Well, again, the Buddha was acting in an accepted manner within his society at the time. Was it a big deal for his wife and son? We can t know. It may not have
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 1 9:01 PM
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              Well, again, the Buddha was acting in an accepted manner within his society at the time. Was it a big deal for his wife and son? We can't know. It may not have been.

              Secondly, life at that time was very hard. Almost all cultures saw life as something to be endured, to suffer through. People were told not to expect anything but suffering in this life by most religions. The idea of becoming happy didn't really cement until after Thomas Jefferson wrote, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

              One thing we mustn't forget is that yes, the Buddha taught that life is suffering, but he also taught that there is a way out of suffering.


              --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "dorrje_2003" <dorrje_2003@...> wrote:
              >
              > I had a problem with that action too and know others who have had similar reactions. But, I remind myself that I don't know what Siddhartha was experiencing. Perhaps he was in what we call today a deep clinical depression, with no prozac to take. Isn't a person justified to seek their way out of suffering.
              >
              > What could we say of Yashodora if Sidhartha said to her, "I feel so empty, so filled with suffering, I have everything I should have to be happy and fulfilled. A kingdom to be mine, a beautiful wife and a new child. All the gold and find clothes and abundant food, yet still I suffer so deeply. I need to seek an end to this. I have not found it here. I am sorry, dear Yaso, I fear I need to seek this answer elsewhere. I think I need to leave here and go afar. I need to do this for me and I sense for all others. Can I leave to seek an end to this pain and suffering? Yaso say's "hell no, you just cant leave, suck it up!" Siddhartha hangs himself a week later, no Buddhism. Wouldn't it be seen a selfish of Yaso to not let him go, even as selfish as Sid's leaving? How are we to judge someone who may be clinically depressed and is desperately seeking a way out?
              >
              > If could stop or end a war from being fought,and thereby end much suffering, but it required me to leave my familiy behind, would I be justified in doing so? Who knows Siddharthas state of mind. And let us remember that Siddhartha left home in confusion, suffering, delusion, in short: DUKKHA. He retured as Buddha and brought us Nirvana. The person who left and the one who returned were not the same.
              >
              > My thoughts,
              >
              > Stace
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@> wrote:
              > >
              > > > I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering".
              > >
              > > I don't know I would call it a conceit, but I can understand how the idea is not very attractive to people. There was a time when I was enamored with the notion of being a homeless, wandering seeker in the Woody-Guthrie-ridin'-the-rails and Jack-Kerouac-Dharma-Bum tradition. Now that I am older, it is still appealing but I don't think I could do it the same way. I'd have to have some kind of mobile-home and a cable or satellite hook-up because life would be too unbearable without Turner Classic Movies.
              > >
              > > >Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media?
              > >
              > > It depends on how they went about it, I suppose. I don't think the media would be that interested unless it involved some larger controversy or unless the person was a serial killer.
              > >
              > > I don't know about the Buddha's time, but later on (and today) when men leave home to become bhikkhus it was often with their family's blessings. And they really didn't give anything up, as their families would hold onto their material goods and safeguard their wealth, if they had any, and the person could always go back to it and pick up where they left off.
              > >
              > > > How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?
              > >
              > > I haven't the slightest idea. In the book "Lady of the Lotus" Yadohara eventually joins her husband on his travels, albeit in a separate group of women. However, that is just fiction, speculation. Rahula, the son, does appear in the sutras later on as a bhikkhu. So if any of that is accurate, it would seem that they worked things out.
              > >
              > > > Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father.
              > >
              > > I met one of Ikeda's sons. He was a nice guy.
              > >
              > > > As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous?
              > >
              > > Only so far as one should be willing to sacrifice in order to stick to one's principles.
              > >
              > > You know the Chinese had a tough time with a number of aspects of the Buddhist religion. Celibacy, for example, played no role in Chinese spiritual practices. Leaving one's family went against the grain of this family-oriented Confucian-minded society which placed great importance on ancestor worship. Buddhist monks were criticized for being nonproductive bums who violated the Chinese work ethic. To the Chinese this was a foreign system, from India, and in order to survive Buddhism had to lose some of its Indian-ness.
              > >
              > > > Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.
              > >
              > > I don't think this is fair. For one thing, in contrast to China, in India the renunciation of worldly life by spiritual seekers was not only an accepted ideal but greatly respected as well. Secondly, from what we know about the early Buddhist sangha, it had many different aspects, and things were not quite as clear-cut as we might believe.
              > >
              > > Evidently, Shakyamuni belonged to the class of the "shramanas", the mendicant philosophers, again a highly respected position or role within Indian society. The Buddhist sangha also had its role to play and in India at that time there was little opposition to it.
              > >
              > > Lastly, you are trying to interpret an ancient tradition through our modern sensibilities. There's nothing wrong with that, per se. However, I think the point is not that this sort of lifestyle will mess with kids heads, however true that may be, but rather how do we go about adapting this view of life (that happiness is elusive when one is attached to the material world) to our modern society while staying true to the original spirit.
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "steve_is_a_buddha" <steve_is_a_buddha@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > BLC
              > > >
              > > > I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering" . And to be honest, I kind of agree. Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media? How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?
              > > >
              > > > Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father. As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous? I don't think so - their actions occurred in a time of war when many families were being split apart - and so their sacrifice of domestic priorities to moral ones seems admirable.
              > > >
              > > > And this brings us back to non-attachment. Its very easy to be non-attached if you have a wife like Shakyamuni did. One of the great things about Nichiren (and Jesus and St Francis) is that they remained bachelors and thereby did not mess with their kids' heads with abandonment issues. Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.
              > > >
              > > > Steve
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > "Lady of the Lotus" by William E. Barrett is a wonderful book. It's the
              > > > > story of Shakyamuni as veiwed through the eyes of Yadohara, his wife and
              > > > > the mother of his child.
              > > > >
              > > > > It's more or less the traditional story of the Buddha, but told in a
              > > > > wonderful way and from a fresh perceptive. As Barrett notes, hundreds of
              > > > > books have been written about the Buddha, but this book is the only one
              > > > > about Yadohara.
              > > > >
              > > > > William E. Barrett is also the author of "The Left-Hand of God" and "The
              > > > > Lillies of the Field."
              > > > >
              > > > > I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will enjoy it immensely.
              > > > > It's currently out of print, but you can get used copies at Amazon for
              > > > > as low as $.77. Here's a link to a review of the 1990 edition should
              > > > > anyone want to know more about it:
              > > > >
              > > > > http://www.spiritwatch.ca/LL%209%281%29%20June%201990/Lady%20of%20Lotus_\
              > > > > 90.htm
              > > > >
              > > > >
              > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • Robin Beck
              ... AFAIK, leaving home was not only accepted; it was praise worthy. I also think that a married person had to receive permission from their spouse and
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 1 11:35 PM
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                --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@...> wrote:
                >
                > Well, again, the Buddha was acting in an accepted manner within his society at the time. Was it a big deal for his wife and son? We can't know. It may not have been.

                AFAIK, leaving home was not only accepted; it was praise worthy. I also think that a married person had to receive permission from their spouse and children, and provide for their care. So, the Buddha was not being a deadbeat Dad.

                The Buddha's leading Nun disciple had been a married woman. After joining the monastic Sangha, she instructed her former husband.

                I think you mentioned earlier that this issue caused a lot of problems for the Chinese. Confucianism had the concept of filial piety. One who became a monastic was seemingly avoiding their debts of obligation. Chinese Buddhist writings go on and on about how serving the Buddha repays one's debts is a deeper way. This was evidently a big issue in Japan as well. Much of the Kaimoku Sho obsesses over repaying debts.
              • steve_is_a_buddha
                Stace I had never thought of it that way before! What a wonderful response. Thanks Steve
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 2 1:23 AM
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                  Stace

                  I had never thought of it that way before! What a wonderful response.
                  Thanks

                  Steve


                  --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "dorrje_2003" <dorrje_2003@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I had a problem with that action too and know others who have had similar reactions. But, I remind myself that I don't know what Siddhartha was experiencing. Perhaps he was in what we call today a deep clinical depression, with no prozac to take. Isn't a person justified to seek their way out of suffering.
                  >
                  > What could we say of Yashodora if Sidhartha said to her, "I feel so empty, so filled with suffering, I have everything I should have to be happy and fulfilled. A kingdom to be mine, a beautiful wife and a new child. All the gold and find clothes and abundant food, yet still I suffer so deeply. I need to seek an end to this. I have not found it here. I am sorry, dear Yaso, I fear I need to seek this answer elsewhere. I think I need to leave here and go afar. I need to do this for me and I sense for all others. Can I leave to seek an end to this pain and suffering? Yaso say's "hell no, you just cant leave, suck it up!" Siddhartha hangs himself a week later, no Buddhism. Wouldn't it be seen a selfish of Yaso to not let him go, even as selfish as Sid's leaving? How are we to judge someone who may be clinically depressed and is desperately seeking a way out?
                  >
                  > If could stop or end a war from being fought,and thereby end much suffering, but it required me to leave my familiy behind, would I be justified in doing so? Who knows Siddharthas state of mind. And let us remember that Siddhartha left home in confusion, suffering, delusion, in short: DUKKHA. He retured as Buddha and brought us Nirvana. The person who left and the one who returned were not the same.
                  >
                  > My thoughts,
                  >
                  > Stace
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > > I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering".
                  > >
                  > > I don't know I would call it a conceit, but I can understand how the idea is not very attractive to people. There was a time when I was enamored with the notion of being a homeless, wandering seeker in the Woody-Guthrie-ridin'-the-rails and Jack-Kerouac-Dharma-Bum tradition. Now that I am older, it is still appealing but I don't think I could do it the same way. I'd have to have some kind of mobile-home and a cable or satellite hook-up because life would be too unbearable without Turner Classic Movies.
                  > >
                  > > >Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media?
                  > >
                  > > It depends on how they went about it, I suppose. I don't think the media would be that interested unless it involved some larger controversy or unless the person was a serial killer.
                  > >
                  > > I don't know about the Buddha's time, but later on (and today) when men leave home to become bhikkhus it was often with their family's blessings. And they really didn't give anything up, as their families would hold onto their material goods and safeguard their wealth, if they had any, and the person could always go back to it and pick up where they left off.
                  > >
                  > > > How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?
                  > >
                  > > I haven't the slightest idea. In the book "Lady of the Lotus" Yadohara eventually joins her husband on his travels, albeit in a separate group of women. However, that is just fiction, speculation. Rahula, the son, does appear in the sutras later on as a bhikkhu. So if any of that is accurate, it would seem that they worked things out.
                  > >
                  > > > Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father.
                  > >
                  > > I met one of Ikeda's sons. He was a nice guy.
                  > >
                  > > > As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous?
                  > >
                  > > Only so far as one should be willing to sacrifice in order to stick to one's principles.
                  > >
                  > > You know the Chinese had a tough time with a number of aspects of the Buddhist religion. Celibacy, for example, played no role in Chinese spiritual practices. Leaving one's family went against the grain of this family-oriented Confucian-minded society which placed great importance on ancestor worship. Buddhist monks were criticized for being nonproductive bums who violated the Chinese work ethic. To the Chinese this was a foreign system, from India, and in order to survive Buddhism had to lose some of its Indian-ness.
                  > >
                  > > > Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.
                  > >
                  > > I don't think this is fair. For one thing, in contrast to China, in India the renunciation of worldly life by spiritual seekers was not only an accepted ideal but greatly respected as well. Secondly, from what we know about the early Buddhist sangha, it had many different aspects, and things were not quite as clear-cut as we might believe.
                  > >
                  > > Evidently, Shakyamuni belonged to the class of the "shramanas", the mendicant philosophers, again a highly respected position or role within Indian society. The Buddhist sangha also had its role to play and in India at that time there was little opposition to it.
                  > >
                  > > Lastly, you are trying to interpret an ancient tradition through our modern sensibilities. There's nothing wrong with that, per se. However, I think the point is not that this sort of lifestyle will mess with kids heads, however true that may be, but rather how do we go about adapting this view of life (that happiness is elusive when one is attached to the material world) to our modern society while staying true to the original spirit.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "steve_is_a_buddha" <steve_is_a_buddha@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > BLC
                  > > >
                  > > > I had a drink with a friend recently who said that what really put him off Buddhism was precisely the conceit involved in leaving your wife and kids in order to allegedly learn about "suffering" . And to be honest, I kind of agree. Do you not think that if anyone in the 21st century decided to leave the family they had established to go on some personal pilgrimage - would they not be totally pilloried by friends, family and the media? How did Shakyamuni's kid feel about him pissing off like that?
                  > > >
                  > > > Whatever one might say about Ikeda, he does seem to be a good husband and father. As for Toda and Makiguchi - they did leave their families in order to adhere to principles - so is their case analogous? I don't think so - their actions occurred in a time of war when many families were being split apart - and so their sacrifice of domestic priorities to moral ones seems admirable.
                  > > >
                  > > > And this brings us back to non-attachment. Its very easy to be non-attached if you have a wife like Shakyamuni did. One of the great things about Nichiren (and Jesus and St Francis) is that they remained bachelors and thereby did not mess with their kids' heads with abandonment issues. Shakyamuni on the other hand, really wanted to have his cake and eat it.
                  > > >
                  > > > Steve
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > "Lady of the Lotus" by William E. Barrett is a wonderful book. It's the
                  > > > > story of Shakyamuni as veiwed through the eyes of Yadohara, his wife and
                  > > > > the mother of his child.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > It's more or less the traditional story of the Buddha, but told in a
                  > > > > wonderful way and from a fresh perceptive. As Barrett notes, hundreds of
                  > > > > books have been written about the Buddha, but this book is the only one
                  > > > > about Yadohara.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > William E. Barrett is also the author of "The Left-Hand of God" and "The
                  > > > > Lillies of the Field."
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will enjoy it immensely.
                  > > > > It's currently out of print, but you can get used copies at Amazon for
                  > > > > as low as $.77. Here's a link to a review of the 1990 edition should
                  > > > > anyone want to know more about it:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > http://www.spiritwatch.ca/LL%209%281%29%20June%201990/Lady%20of%20Lotus_\
                  > > > > 90.htm
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • brightlightcity
                  R., I know you are probably familiar with this, but it might be interesting for those who are not, since we are on the subject of wanderers: Both Confucianism
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 2 1:34 AM
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                    R., I know you are probably familiar with this, but it might be interesting for those who are not, since we are on the subject of wanderers:

                    Both Confucianism and Taoism had developed long before Buddhism arrived in China. Both Confucianism and Taoism had the ideal of the sage. A sage was worthy of the highest respect.

                    In Confucianism in order to become a sage, one had to fulfill his duties and observe moral principles. A person faring on the way to sagehood was also expected to do "self-inspection" or self-examination. In relations with others, one was expected to act with "propriety", meaning to give respect.

                    Sagehood was universally attainable and all sages have the fundamental nature of "jen", universal love.

                    For Lao Tsu, the founder of Taoism, the sage, too, represented the highest virtue. The sage conquered human weakness and became one with the Tao.

                    Some of the Chinese sages were wanderers. So the idea of being homeless, physically rootless, without a family, etc. was not entirely foreign to China. Chuang Tsu wrote, "The sage has his wanderings. For him, knowledge is an offshoot, promises are glue, favors are a patching up, and skill is a peddler."

                    Lao Tsu, who lived roughly around the same time as the historical Buddha (maybe a hundred years before) is considered the de facto founder of Taoism, because he supposedly wrote the book it is based on. The "Tao Te Ching" is one of the oldest books still in existence, perhaps the oldest. Lao Tsu was an official in the imperial archives, a historian actually. So he was a stay at home kind of guy, with a wife and a kid.

                    Here is a passage from the Tao Te Ching. It reminds me of Nagarjuna and of the Bodhisattva Ideal and it predates both:

                    Honest people use no rhetoric;
                    Rhetoric is not honesty.
                    Enlightened people are not cultured;
                    Culture is not enlightenment.
                    Content people are not rich;
                    Riches are not contentment.

                    So the sage does not serve himself;
                    The more he does for others, the more he is satisfied;
                    The more he gives, the more he receives.
                    Nature flourishes at the expense of no one;
                    So the sage benefits all men and contends with none.

                    --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "Robin Beck" <rrobinrb2000@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, brightlightcity <no_reply@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Well, again, the Buddha was acting in an accepted manner within his society at the time. Was it a big deal for his wife and son? We can't know. It may not have been.
                    >
                    > AFAIK, leaving home was not only accepted; it was praise worthy. I also think that a married person had to receive permission from their spouse and children, and provide for their care. So, the Buddha was not being a deadbeat Dad.
                    >
                    > The Buddha's leading Nun disciple had been a married woman. After joining the monastic Sangha, she instructed her former husband.
                    >
                    > I think you mentioned earlier that this issue caused a lot of problems for the Chinese. Confucianism had the concept of filial piety. One who became a monastic was seemingly avoiding their debts of obligation. Chinese Buddhist writings go on and on about how serving the Buddha repays one's debts is a deeper way. This was evidently a big issue in Japan as well. Much of the Kaimoku Sho obsesses over repaying debts.
                    >
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