Buddha, Marx, and God: Some aspects of religion in the by Trevor Ling

By Trevor Ling

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Here, too, one finds how completely the people have made this Indian religion of the Buddha their own. And not only here; even in Burma and Thailand Chinese pagodas and monasteries are to be found, reminders of the fact that the religion of the Buddha has for many centuries been accepted by large numbers of the Chinese race. One recalls how from that country it spread to Korea, and thence to Japan, and there took root among the vigorous, industrious Japanese; and how, finally, in modern times it has travelled from Ceylon and Japan to Europe and America.

The essence of this attitude is that attention is focused on the external world. The desire of the individual to be rereleased from insecurity or sickness, or to gain power or riches, or whatever other form his desire may take, is held to be realizable if the external world is dealt with in the right mannerby keeping out of the way of the demons that cause sickness or trouble, or preventing them from invading his body, or propitiating them, or invoking a stronger power. 1 In contrast to this is the attitude inculcated by Buddhism, which pays primary attention to the inner disposition of the man, and the deeper levels of the mind.

1 Other similar statements by Buddhists could be quoted, and reference could be made to the Buddhist scriptures, to show how fundamental to Buddhism is the idea of spiritual authority in matters relating to salvation. But enough has been said to make it clear that here is a way that is held to have been revealed, by one who was possessed of supernatural insight. The total view of life set forth in Buddhism is regarded as being in essence that which the Buddha 'saw' when he became 'bodhi' - enlightened.

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