Some Suggestions to the Buddhist World

CW28:No.32
(Chapter 30 of Discriminations Between Buddhist and Hindu Tantras)

Yogi C. M. Chen


The recent generation of this world is called the Kali Age by Tantra. It means an age of darkness which cannot be ruled by the common law or ordinary order. The characteristics of human beings in this age are as follows: The governors becomes excessively covetous; women become difficult to control, heartless and quarrelsome, and disparage their worse half; men become slaves of lust, oppressors of their friends, gurus, brothers, kinsmen and companions prompted by the desire of some trifle, and will strike one another; the open partaking of flesh and liquor will pass without condemnation and punishment yet secret drinking will still prevail. The fertility of the earth has gone and yields a poor harvest; the clouds yield scanty rain; trees give meager fruit. The only medicine to save mankind from all the above calamities is the doctrines of Tantra which enable him to dig out the root of the five main psychical poisons. It was foretold that when the great iron bird (airplane) flies everywhere, the Buddhist Tantra will flourish in Western countries.

The Hindu tantra is identified with the High-self. When the low-self poisons are destroyed by their tantra, the subtle poison of the High-self remains which may be the root of the gross poison of the low-self and may subject that low-self to rise again. It is not a final liberation of all mankind. On the other hand, the Buddhist Tantra is identified with voidness meditation which enables one to destroy both poisons and leads a way to the final liberation. This knowledge should be spread all over the world in this Kali age.

Today, international politics plays a great part in stimulating fear and war. Since the advent of the atomic and hydrogen bombs with their terrible devastating destructive powers, people dread the third great war. It seems to be an incurable disease of life that greed and hatred should express itself as warfare. Although no man or woman wants war, we know that if one comes, it is the people who will pay the great price. Every time there is political tension in some part of the world, the worried mind begins to speculate on the chance of another international conflict.

Andrew-Bonar Law said, "If therefore war should ever come between these two countries (Great Britain and Germany) which heaven forbid, it will not, I think, be due to irresistible natural laws, it will be due to the want of human wisdom." And he says again "If ever war arose between these two countries, it would not be due to inevitable causes, for I do not believe in inevitable war, it would be due to human folly." That is, lack of Buddhism. The evil nature of mankind is originally existing. As Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) says, "The condition of man is a condition of war of everyone against everyone." But the good nature of mankind is also originally contained in their tathagata womb which can be discovered through the practice of Buddhism and which is when everyone helps everyone in peace.

Nevertheless, John Milton (1608-1674) says, "Peace to corrupt not less war to waste" and Berlby Porteus (1731-1808) emphasizes "War its thousand slays, peace its ten thousands". Buddhism not only forbids war with others but also positively encourages the inner war within themselves by which they succeed not only in a best condition of peace but also in attainment of salvation for all mankind. The shortest path to this goal is Tantra--Vajrayana.

Therefore the prevention of the third great war, and setting a new order for eternal peace in this world, if war does occur, are our duties.

Many scholars have taken into consideration whether the public religion of the whole world should be Buddhism or Christianity. This most important problem has not yet been resolved.

A. In my opinion it is only Buddhism that can be the public religion of this world. Here I give some reasons for it:

1. In its 2995 years of history, although Buddhism spread over more than a quarter of the land surface of the globe, not a single page of Buddhist history has been lurid with the light of inquisitorial fires or darkened with the smoke of heretics burning cities, or red with the blood of the quiet victims of religious hatred. All historians know that wherever Buddhism flourished, that nation and society has been peaceful.

On the contrary, Christianity has a very bloody record. In the Old Testament even the Lord God caused wars. This is just like Lord Krishna of Hinduism. How can those misleading doctrines make eternal peace in this world possible.

The Bhagavadgita of Hinduism also contains some doctrines related to militarism which I have given criticism of in previous chapters (See Chenian Booklet New No. 31). As it causes a state of war, Hinduism is also not suitable for making eternal peace in this world. Nowadays all countries are preparing for war like one of Machiavelli's ten savage comments which says "Think of nothing but war." Thus the people suffer from such bad preparations for war by their nation. Sir Alan Patrick Herbert (1890 - ) says:

Well, fancy giving money to the government,
Might as well to put it down the drain;
Fancy giving money to the government,
No-body will see the stuff again.

Well they've no idea what money's for
Ten to one they'll start another war;
I've heard a lot of silly things, but Lor'
Fancy giving money to the government.

But Buddhism naturally demands that the state should recognize that the true goal of life of the people is not to eat, drink and reproduce the species but to attain Nirvana. The state has a duty to provide for its citizens a political and social organization in which both monk and laity can live in accordance with the Dharma without any oppression either of overwork or of war. If Buddhism had been chosen as the public religion of the whole world, all the countries of this world would without doubt know and follow this idea.

2. Although Buddhism is found in the East, it is esteemed by the scholars, philosophers and even scientists of the West.

a) Sangharakshita says, "The Buddhistic yoga philosophy is more transcendental than the yoga system of Patanjali. In its comprehensiveness in ethics, transcendental metaphysics and yoga, no system can compare with the Buddhistic one because it is the highest aspect or rather the climax of Aryan philosophy."

b) Max Muller says, "Its moral code is one of the most perfect the world has ever known."

c) Russell declared that if he were compelled to choose between the religions of the world, he would choose Buddhism.

d) Arthur Pfungst boldly declared that Buddhism was destined to be the religion of the future and the Buddha was for him the greatest religious reformer of all times.

e) The most authoritative scientist Albert Einstein does confess that his theory of Relativity is inspired from the idea of non-absoluteness of Buddhism. I was told by his well-advanced and most approachable student Dr. Pen Tien Gang that Einstein said, "If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism." He also emphasized the religion of the future should be cosmic and it is Buddhism alone which has such a possibility. He said, "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity, Buddhism answers the description."

f) Bertrand Russell said, "I cannot myself feel that either in the matter of wisdom or in the matter of virtue Christ stands quite as high as one other people known to history. I think I should put Buddha above him in these respects."

g) British Buddhist monk Ven. Bhikku Silacara wrote a long poem, one of the verse of which said, "And still glows till dawns another light, the Buddha of a new world's opening day, and raying Metta, kindness infinite, Flings open once more the new-old ancient way."

h) Francis Story in his great work titled "Buddhism as a World Religion" stated: "There can never be a war of Buddhism. No ravished country has ever born witness to the prowess of followers of Buddha; no murdered men have poured out their blood on their hearth-stones, killed in his name; no ruined women have cursed his name to high heaven. He and his faith are clean of the stain of blood. He was the preacher of the great peace, of love, of charity, of compassion, and so clear His teachings that it can never be misunderstood."

i) Professor Ven. Glasenapp said, "As I understand it, Buddhism is all throughout a doctrine of salvation for the individual; the ideal of human collectivity which has sinned and can be redeemed, is alien to it. Therefore it has no central authority which claims the right of issuing orders or proclaiming dogmas, binding on all the Buddhists of the world."

j) Dr. Oldenbury said, "It is not Buddha who delivers men, but he teaches them to deliver themselves, even as he has delivered himself. They accept his teaching of the Truth, not because it comes from him, but because of personal conviction aroused by his words, arises by the light of their own spirit."

k) Professor Rhys-David said, "The distinguishing characteristic of Buddhism was that it started a new line, that it looked upon deepest questions men have to solve from an entirely different standpoint. It swept away from the field of its vision, the whole of the great soul-theory which had hitherto completely filled and dominated the minds of the superstitious and the thoughtful alike. For the first time in the history of the world, it proclaimed a salvation which each man could gain for himself and by himself in this world, during this life, without even the reference to God or gods either great or small."

l) George Grimme said, "The Buddha is not merely awakened to the supreme reality; he also presents his higher knowledge that is superior to that of "Gods and men" most clearly and free from all mythological disguise and mythical clothing."

m) Hermann Keyserling said, "The East has succeeded in which has never yet been reached in the West; the visible representation of the divine as such. I know nothing more grand in the world than the figure of Buddha."

n) Eugene Watson Burlingame said, "The theory of Buddhist loans in the New Testament has been advocated by several scholars, notably R. Seydel, G. A. Van den Betgh, Van Eysinga, and A. J. Edmunds. In one form or another it has won the acceptance of many distinguished scholars among others O. Pfleiderer, K. Kuhn, R. R. Pichel, and R. Garbe. M. Winternitz admits the possibility of such loans, and H. Goldenberg, who formerly rejected the theory, now holds that theory can neither be proved nor disproved."

o) Miss J. B. Borner said, "Many people have a strong wish for a rational way of life. Something they can turn to use as a barrage against the almost over-whelming materialism of our time. That is what early Buddhism gives."

p) R. J. Jackson, "In the hymns of the Rig-Veda we see man's thought turned outward away from himself--the world of Gods. Buddhism directs man's search inward--to the potentiality hidden within himself."

q) Dr. Edward Conze said, "All those who dwell in Asia can take pride in a religion which is not only five centuries older than that of the West, but has spread and maintained itself without recourse to violence and has remained unsustained by religious war and crusade."

r) Dr. Richard A. Gard, "Buddhist civilization held up before all who came within its influence, a model of what a worthy human being should be, an idea of character equally worthy of emulation by king or beggar."

s) Lama Govinda says, "Among all the great Founders of religion it is the Buddha alone as I said in the beginning who encouraged this spirit of investigation in his followers and warned them not to accept his teachings with blind faith. Therefore, it is not exaggeration if I say Buddhism is the only world religion that can be called modern or let us better say timeless which means applicable to all times and to all circumstances on account of its inherent principles of actuality."

All of the above quotations are made by well known scholars, psychologists, and philosophers of Germany, France, England, America and Russia.

At present the Buddha Dharma has been firmly established in England, Germany, France and the United States. All these countries are civilized and are the leaders of the whole world. Most of those believers were converted from Christianity. It is the inescapable tendency that all of the people of the West will follow them to believe in Buddhism.

3. Buddhism has twofold characteristics; on the one hand, it has its own special doctrines, and on the other hand, it accepts the common religious principles of non-Buddhist groups. Buddha Gautama teaches his disciples with the good manner of agreement. All his disciples should agree with all the good deeds of other religions and even that of individuals of non-religious beliefs. It should not be as the saying of Mohammed in the Koran "To you be your religion, to me my religion." Buddha never forbid his disciples to read non-Buddhist scriptures. Buddhism is not like the Maitri Upanishad's saying that "Therefore a Brahman should not study what is non-vedic" and it is said in the Hindu Sammohana Sutra that Shankaracharya was an incarnation of Shiva for the destruction of Buddhism. But Buddhism has no incarnation of Gautama for destroying non-Buddhism. But it desires to convert them only, still allowing their own religious works as a foundation for Buddhism. I have written more about this view point in previous chapters.

In China many people belong to two or three religions and it would seem that when Buddha existed in India the common practice was similar to that of those non-Buddhists. But Christianity and Islam both retain the idea of a jealous God who demands not only exclusive devotion but also exclusive belief. To believe in another God is not only erroneous but disobedient and disloyal. The Buddha is not a creator or a destroyer as in Hinduism but a physician. He demands no allegiance and for those who disobey him, the only punishment is continuation of their own disease which is selfishness.

Buddhism in countries outside India never forbids its followers to continue their customs for the New Year and to change to follow that of India, but Christianity does this to the extreme. All the Chinese Buddhists who were converted from Confucianism still worship their ancestors but those who converted to Christianity cannot worship their ancestors again. Therefore, other non-Buddhist religions fall into the category of Jonathan Swift's saying (1667-1745), "When we have just enough religions to make us hate but not to make us love one another." In China, Taoists and Buddhists may do their different respective prayers in a single house of mourning, though Buddhism is more powerful than Taoism. Buddhism is the only one religion to amalgamate all other religions without envy and on the other hand is still able to give the special additional doctrines for one's final liberation.

4. Buddhism has the right view of this world. The doctrine of Maya is real maya but not half-maya as in Hinduism which emphasizes this world is real. According to such a false view, people's attachments relating to this world will increase and the result is war. The pious Buddhist is one who molds his life and thoughts according to a certain law of mercy and impermanence. He is not much concerned with worshipping the gods of state or city although he has nothing against such worshipping. His aim and procedure have nothing to do with spirits who give wealth and children, or avert misfortune. He views this world as a hotel filled with temporary occupants for the time being. It is needless to quarrel and fight with one another for tomorrow all visitors including himself have to leave this place. Therefore, if all the people of the world were converted, there would be no wars again. But if they were converted to Hinduism and the misleading of the Gita which views a burden as duty and militarism as their higher purpose, war will never cease in this world.

5. Buddhism is a doctrine taught by an enlightened man to both gods and mankind. Non-Buddhism is a doctrine of God teaching only man. Buddha is not only the salvation of man but also of gods and evil spirits.

God himself cannot escape from war with Asuras. Buddha Gautama once in the Dharma meeting in the palace of the Dragon King settled the war between the Devas and the Asuras and that between Garudas and Dragons. An international war will sometimes be caused by a God who performs his punishment of wicked people through war. Statements in the Old Testament and in the Gita are proof of this. The destruction of the world although it might be caused by public evil karmas will be performed by God. It is possible only for Buddhism to drive away all the birds in the sky or on the earth with only one stone. For all gods, whether Brahma or Jehovah, have taken refuge from Buddha and if the people of this world would worship Buddha then the public evil karma would cease and the destruction would be delayed for a long time and the peace of this world would be prolonged.

6. No matter whether one likes or dislikes the ideal of Buddhism as the International Religion, there is a natural stream of tendency flowing on its own way. Although it is inaudible, yet a very sonorous voice increases the elevation of wise men's Buddhist thought day by day. On all sides this tendency may be mentioned as follows: a) Since the challenges of the Renaissance and Industrial Revolution have pushed devotion toward Christianity down, some of the wiser Christian scholars began to contribute their works of comparative studies of Buddhism and Christianity, such as C. F. Aiken's "The Dharma of Gautama the Buddha and the Gospel of Jesus" (1900), Dyayas' "Christ or Buddha Which One Should We Follow?" (1804), A. J. Edmunds "Buddhism and Christian Gospels" (1902), Edmund Hardy's "Christianity and Buddhism Compared" (1874), C. F. Staudlin's "De religion Lamaice cum Christiona Cognatione" (1808), A. Thomas's "Christionisme et Buddhisme", R. Seydel's "Buddha's Teaching and Doctrine and the Gospel of Jesus" (1882) and A. Scott's "Buddhism and Christianity" (1890). b) Many Buddhist stories have been introduced such as S. Beal's "Romantic Legend of Sukya Buddha" (1875), Dutoit's "Das Leben des Buddhas" (1906), P. Bigadet's "The Life or Legend of Gautama" (1810), J. Dahlmann's "Buddha" (1898), T. W. R. David's "Buddha Birth Stories" (1889), A. J. Edmund's "Buddha, a Dialogue on Former Existence and On the Marvelous Birth and Career of Buddha" (1899) and Holmbol's "Trace Buddhisme on Narve'ge avan Introduction du Christianisme." And this last mentioned work introduced Buddhism before Christianity's propaganda. c) References for the study of different languages of Buddhism are many such as Childre's "Pali-English Dictionary with Sanskrit Equivalents" (1875), E. J. Eitel's "Handbook of Chinese Buddhism", Williams' "Sanskrit-English Dictionary", and "English-Sanskrit Dictionary", Franklin's "Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary", Williams' "A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms", Kaji's "English Tibetan Dictionary", T. W. R. David's "Pali-English Dictionary", H. A. Jaschke's "Tibetan-English Dictionary with English-Tibetan Vocabulary" and C. Harley's "Vocabulaire BouddhiQue Sanskrit-Chinoise" (1891). d) The original scriptures of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana have been translated into English, German and French. Here we may give examples; The Pali Text Society in England has translated almost the totality of the Pali Tripitaka into English as well as writing a "Pali Tripitaka Concordance" which is lacking in the original language. In Mahayana, important sutras such as the Avatamsaka, Surangama, and Lankavatara have been translated, some as whole and some in part. Also the great and small Sukhavati-Sutras, the Bhaisajya Guru Vaidurya Prabhasa Sutra, the Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra, the great volume of the Prajna Paramita Sutra, the Vajra Prajna Paramita Sutra, Saddharma Pundarika, Sraddhotpada Sastra and "Mahayana Silas" (See Chenian Booklet New No. 43): all are vailable in English. In Vajrayana, "The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation", "Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa", and his "Hundred Thousand Songs", "The Life and Teaching of Naropa", "The Tibetan Book of the Dead", "The Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines", "The Hevajra Tantra", and "Vajrayana Silas" (See Chenian Booklets New No. 45 and 46), and the "Tara Meditation" (See Chenian Booklet New No. 79) are all known to the West. Many translations are going on and being published by individuals and associations.

It is worthwhile to think of why the secret Sanskrit Buddhist scriptures were found by an Englishman Hodgeson in 1837 when they were not found by the Nepalese who lived there for so long? Why did the great Guru Padmasambhava fortells "When the iron birds fly in the sky, then my tantric Dharma will flourish in the West"? Is not the iron bird a representative of the communication-instruments which make the whole world as one family. Everything is headed toward the aim of internationalization. Postal correspondence is internationalized, the standards of length, capacity, and weight have been internationalized, English phonology has been internationalized, the calendar has been internationalized, and many kinds of research in the sciences have been internationalized. Although there are many countries in the whole world, not one could be independent by itself but must be united with other nations. Neither Hinduism nor Christianity could bring peace to the world for both these religions are based on egoism. They more or less agree with the principles of war. Both Krishna and Jehovah taught their believers to war, the proof of which may be found in their main scriptures, the Bhagavadgita and the Old Testament. When Buddhism is chosen as the international religion and everyone's practice is of non-egoism, there will be no war. If the public karma of the whole world has the merit to get real peace, Buddhism may be the International religion. There is no doubt; if there was a demon who could gather the almighty Jehovah, Brahma, Allah, Ra, the three Ching, three De, and three Wongs of Taoism, along with all the supernatural powers of every deity of every religion, he would not be able to take the wind out of the Buddhist sails in the Atlantic Ocean.

7. According to the "Table of Adherents of Eleven Religions" by Champion (1944) Christianity's adherents number 500 million, Confucianism 400 million, Judaism 16 million, Hinduism 300 million, Islam 300 million, Jainism 1 1/2 million, Shintoism 17 million, Sikhism 5.7 million, Zoroastrianism 125,000 and the great adherents among all religions in Buddhism with 520 million, which is only in Asia. The adherents of Buddhism in the West and India have increased in recent years by the revival movement and these are not included.

The above seven reasons for choosing Buddhism as the public religion of the whole world are quite enough to convince anyone.

B. Based upon this main purpose I give some further suggestions below:

1. Before Buddhism is confirmed as the religion of the whole world, healthy and sound organizations such as an International Buddhist Society should be organized for the propagation of Buddhism. The organization should be constituted of representatives from every country in the world where there are more or less some Buddhist practitioners, and not from only one country, as the Mahabodhi Society founded by Ceylonese. It should be a standing committee to carry out all the plans which have been decided upon by conferences going on all the time, not a temporary organization such as a conference held once a year for only a few days. There are many organizations formed by individuals and called international but they are established for their own good and are not real international organs as must be formed by Buddhists from all over the world.

If I were supported by some patrons, I would like to go all over the world and fill up different kinds of lists of investigations made by myself and personally contact all those Buddhist readers of different countries with whom I have had correspondence. I would listen and record their good opinions about how to organize an International Buddhist Society. After the work of investigation is integrated into accurate statistics from all the lists, a true copy of the report including all the statements made should be compiled and let each Buddhist of the world know the opinions of others. After these works are completed, then we may assemble the representatives of every country whether there are only a few or many Buddhists in an adequate Center of the Buddhist World. Works, rules, the organization and its branches should be discussed and determined in that meeting. When all Buddhists' names in the whole world are registered, the body of the International Society will have a basis. Hence the International Society will be representative and productive in fact and not by forgery.

2. We should gather all the English translators together and translate all the scriptures of the Chinese Tripitaka and Tibetan doctrines of Vajrayana. This would be better than to work alone individually. By now at least we should make a catalogue of Buddhist English translations and publish it. From this we might know what scriptures have been translated and which have not, so that the work of translation is not doubled and time won't be wasted.

3. We should have a Buddhist Bible compiled under the following conditions:

a) The editors should be members of the International Buddhist Society which is composed of Buddhists from all over the world. They should have no prejudice toward the Dharma of different yanas and should know the whole system of the three yanas.

b) The contents should be in English, translated from the different languages of Buddhism such as Pali of Hinayana, Sanskrit and Chinese of Mahayana, Tibetan of Vajrayana, and Chinese and Japanese of Ch'an.

c) The quantity should be only a little longer than the Christian Bible (Old Testament and New Testament) but not too large.

d) The scriptures concerning mankind and heaven should be simplified while that of Bodhisattvahood and Vajrasattvahood should be collected essentially and inclusively.

e) The final verification of this Buddhist Bible should be made by an enlightened monk or layman who has some realization which enables him to ask Buddha personally for a certification of this Bible, whether there is an important part of doctrine that has been left out or there is a part which should be omitted. He should get the commandment directly from Buddha Gautama.

4. Quite common expressions considered synonyms in non-Buddhism may bear a surprisingly different meaning in Buddhism. Therefore we should have a dictionary or encyclopedia of Buddhist discriminated terms which differ from terms in non-Buddhism. In this work special purposes and scientific definitions should be obviously and apparently distinguished. Nowadays many religious works make common mistakes that are confusion worse confounded. For example, in the work titled "Yoga, Immortality and Freedom" by Mircea Eliade many statements confuse Buddhism with even Shamanism. Page 321 states: "When the Buddha after his illumination, paid his first visit to his native city Kapilavastu, he exhibited a number of miraculous attainments of his spiritual powers to convince his kinsmen and prepare them for conversion. He rose into the air, cut his body to pieces, let his limbs and his head fall to the ground, then joined them together again before the spectators' wondering eyes. Even Asvaghosa describes this miracle, but it is so essentially a part of Indian magical tradition that it has become the typical prodigy of Fakirism. The celebrated rope trick of the fakirs creates the illusion of a rope that rises very high into the sky, the master makes his young disciple climb it until he is lost to sight, the fakir throws his knife up into the air and the young man's limbs fall to the ground one by one."

Would the supernatural powers of an enlightened Buddha be equal to the magical fakirs? Why is there no tradition and doctrine of final liberation taught by fakirs? If the outward appearances are similar to each other, enabling yoga to be considered the same as Buddhism, then would you call as father any person who has two eyes and one nose the same as does your father?

"Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrine" on page 34 says, "Thus, when regarded as whole, the twenty-eight categories of yogic precepts contained in Book I concern all yogas in some degree, the emphasis being more especially upon Laya and Jnana Yoga. Book II, likewise, treats of the whole of yoga, but is essentially a treatise on Samadhi Yoga. Book III is based upon various yogas: Chapter I being dependent chiefly upon Hatha Yoga; Chapters II to V, upon Jnana Yoga; and Chapter VI, upon Kundalini Yoga. Book IV, like Chapter VI of Book III, is especially concerned with Kundalini Yoga; Book V, with Karma Yoga; Book VI, with Yantra and Mantra Yoga; and Book VII, with Jnana Yoga."

With such thoughts, Tibetan yoga appears as having nothing new. Buddha seems to have appeared as a great event of this world in vain. There is no point in discussing again all the differentiations between Hinduism and Buddhism which I have already discussed in previous chapters.

In the same work on page 30 it says, "It is in this sense that Deliverance from ignorance is as much a doctrine of Vedanta as it is of Buddhism, and in our view, it is the same whether one names this Deliverance Mukti or Nirvana." The author emphasizes that not only the path of yoga in both religions is the same but also that the goal of both religions is the same. This is quite wrong. For the High-self or the pure consciousness of Hinduism is a subtle ignorance being the obstacle of final liberation.

This idea I have already mentioned many times in previous chapters. In short, no matter how subtle the haveness is, whether High-self or pure consciousness of Brahma or universal soul, it is still a hindrance to the final liberation. There is no real liberation unless all the haveness have been gnostized into voidness. If you say the High-self is voidness, then how and when have you transformed it? What is the path you set forth on to avoid this High-self? In Buddhism there are many methods in many degrees with much energy to pass on this long journey in order to avoid the haveness of gross and of subtle. Then what are yours?

Therefore all those confusions in all Buddhist works and other religious works should be corrected in accordance with the right meaning of this dictionary.

5. We should collect all the proof from all sides to certify that the year of the birth of Gautama Buddha was the year 1027 B.C. according to trustworthy Chinese historical records. We may get proof from the following sources:

a) The proof of the astrology that occurred on that holy date.

b) The proof from Jainist scriptures which were written at the same time as Buddha Gautama.

c) Proof from early Buddhism.

d) Proof from the Brahmana Sutras and Upanishads indicating some argument with Buddhism, such as I found in the Brahaman Sutra which I have written about in a previous chapter.

If this date is confirmed in accordance with Chinese records then many problems concerning both religions may be solved, for then the question of who borrowed whose doctrine will be obviously and apparently be proven. Many times I have mentioned and have called the attention of the West to believe that there were only the first three Vedas before the age of Buddhism while other scriptures came later than Buddhism and appeared after Buddha's parinirvana. All records in modern dictionaries and encyclopedias are wrong about the date of Buddha's birth. He who bases his ideas upon this wrong date gives some criticism of Buddhism and says that Buddhism borrowed this and that from such a scripture of Hinduism but this is all wrong.

In the work titled "The Meaning of Life in Hinduism and Buddhism" by Ross, on page 89 it says, "The Buddha himself is reported to have said I have seen the ancient way, the old road that was taken by the formerly All Awakened and that is the path I follow." The author mistakes the old road as Brahmanism and the All Awakened as the Brahmans. It is quite wrong. The real meaning is that since Buddha is enlightened he knows by his supernatural power the old road of the last Buddha in the world before this world was born. Buddha can be called the All Awakened. The Brahman sage may be partly awakened from his low-self but not all awakened from High-self. If Brahma was All Awakened he might not confess that he is a creator and that the world is real.

In the Lotus Sutra, Buddha Gautama emphasized that this sutra was given by the last Buddha and now he himself is preaching it again and even the next Buddha will preach it too. This is the proof of my explanation.

Many mistakes are resulting from the fundamental mistake of the Buddha's birthday. Here I cannot collect them all.

6. We should have a public press, because private publishers are only concerned about the market price. If a book is too profound to be recognized by the common customers they will not publish it or they will ask the author to make it very plain and simple whereby the essence of the book will be omitted. Though I do not know whether Dr. D. T. Suzuki has got the realization of Ch'an or not, yet I do believe that he is able to discriminate Patriarchal Ch'an from Tathagata Ch'an and the Ch'an School from the Tien-Tai School. But what he compiled in the book named "Manual of Zen Buddhism" published by Rider Co. of London is not of Chinese Patriarchal Ch'an but most likely that of Tien-Tai School. This might be due to the request of the publisher to make the Ch'an easily understandable by the reader. In such a way the publisher can get much money from readers. Most authors who make Buddhism seem similar to every non-Buddhist religion are also following this condition to let the publishers get circulation from readers of every religion. This is not a good manner of doing things for either the publisher or the author. To get rid of this mammonism a Buddhist public press is necessary.

Recently the photo-printed grand Buddhist Tripitaka of Taiwan was published by a committee which was organized by many Chinese Buddhists and sold at a very cheap price. Before the committee was organized, the publication was refused by a private publisher because they thought it wouldn't sell enough copies.

7. I do confess that the scriptures of all religions which lead mankind to be good and skilled in the four worldly Dhyanas and four heavenly contemplations, are common in all religions, yet doctrines which lead both the heavens and mankind to the final goal or nirvana are very rare and are only found in Buddhism. For the former kind, we may harmonize them all together, but for the latter we should clearly and carefully discriminate the Buddhist from non-Buddhist scriptures without confusing even a hair. Thus all the religions in this world may get the right view of Buddhism and follow the very obvious and apparent way to Nirvana without any wandering.

Nowadays, English works on Buddhism are very confused and complex. They mix many non-Buddhist concepts and make many errors for the readers. A few examples I give below.

a) "Yoga, Immortality and Freedom" by Mircea Eliade says on page 234: "The Buddhist tantra speaks of only four cakras." This is wrong as the cakras around the medium nerve are seven in number and those situated around the four limbs are twelve in number and those in the fingers and toes are altogether sixty in number. He who has learned the Tibetan tantras knows them well.

b) "The History of Buddhist Thought" by Thompson says on page 131 ". . . yet the attempt has been made to find an atom doctrine taught by Buddha". This is quite wrong. I have already refuted this idea in the chapter "Philosophic Background."

c) "Mathew's Chinese-English Dictionary" has on page 791 under the term of Shing Ngo (Divine-self) an explanation of that as "the spiritual ego of Buddhism." This should be corrected to read Hinduism.

d) "The Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics" by James Hastings says on page 165 that "It is difficult to say whether the Amitabha is not originally a sun god". The author does not know the discrimination between God and Buddha. Hence he feels it so difficult to distinguish them.

e) Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines edited by Evans-Wentz has on page 33 "This, the Goal of Yoga, truly is the transmutation of the limited human nature into the limitless divine nature, the blending or "yoking" of the lower self with the One Self, of the drop with the Ocean. This supreme result, which European occultists have designated as Illumination and Buddhists Nirvana, is attainable, so our Tibetan texts and teachers assure us, by whomsoever shall tread the path of The Great Symbol, of Book II, to the very end." The author does not discriminate between the samadhi yoga of Hinduism from the great symbol of Buddhist tantra and the goal of High-self from Nirvana. About this viewpoint I have discussed at length in previous chapters. Here it is needless to refute again.

f) In "The Buddhist Bible" by Dwight Goddard although the author knew that the "Tao-Teh Ching" was appertaining to Taoism, yet he still compiled it in "The Buddhist Bible." This is quite a joke. When a sacred and holy work is called a Buddhist Bible, why should it be confused with the scriptures of non-Buddhism?

g) "The Meaning of Life in Hinduism and Buddhism" by Ross says on page 131 "The development of the Christianity of the Trinity over a time of three centuries was analogous to the process in Buddhism which produced the doctrine of the Trikaya or threefold body." The author does not know the differences between divinity and Buddha. The number of three in both religions are the same but the entities within them are quite different. Trinity is of Godhood while the Trikaya is of Buddhahood. The former belongs to the ignorance system while the latter to enlightenment. Would the partner of a company be considered the same as a partner of a family, or a couple of beasts the same as a couple of mankind?

h) "Yoga, Immortality and Freedom" by Mircea Eliade says on page 263, "Each of them attempts to express the Mahasukha, the Great Bliss, like the Brahman of the Upanishads and Vedanta and the Nirvana of the Mahayanists." Again on page 24 it says, "The diamond body of vajrayanists and the siddhadeva body of the Hatha yogins is not unlike the body of glory of the western alchemists. The adapt realizes the transmutation of the flesh, constructs a divine body, a body of wisdom, a receptacle worthy of him who is liberated in this life." All of these Buddhists, Hindu and Christian terms are mentioned together as if they are alike as two eggs. He does not discriminate that the body of wisdom is of Buddhahood but the divine body is of godhood and the former one is of the system of enlightenment and the later one of ignorance.

Based upon the facts I have written above, we should publish two kinds of magazines. One may be named "Buddhist Harmonizations" which leads all the different non-Buddhist religions to serve as a foundation of Buddhism and promotes the doctrines of Buddhism which are agreeable to them, yet emphasizing that they should add some Buddhist highest doctrines of Reality or of Truth for their final liberation. The other magazine may be named "Religious Philosophic Criticism" which leads the world publications on Buddhism to be pure and unmixed with non-Buddhist doctrines. Whosoever wrote any work which gave a misleading and erroneous view of all religions aiming toward the same goals should be criticized giving reasons why.

8. I am very sorry to say that the process of Buddhist development in the West is not in accordance with that of original Buddhist development in India and that of China. Traditionally, those processes of development in India and China are from Hinayana to Mahayana and from Mahayana to Vajrayana. It is just like building a pagoda from the foundation to the body of the pagoda and from the body to its top. Nothing of it should be neglected or left out. Nowadays in the West some countries lay much stress on Hinayana such as England, while others on Mahayana as Germany, while others on Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism and Tantra, as America. Some have even started quarreling with each other, as I have heard from correspondents in Germany . These are not good signs of Buddhist development. They all need a guide of the leadership of an international organization.

Westerners have often neglected to find peace of mind because of their zeal for technology and pollution of their physical environment. Now that they feel hag-ridden by the future with its threat of devastating wars, Westerners are ready to attempt a reconciliation between the call of the outer world and the need of inner man and so they study Buddhism as well as the ordinary philosophers of the West. But there are only a few persons who are really starting to practice Buddhism. We know that the Buddhist religious mystical stages of realization may only be reached by a long journey of practice and not only by thinking or studying, just as one knows that water satisfies one's thirst by drinking it, not theorizing about it. The profound statements of the highest realizations of Tantra and Ch'an are indefinable. It cannot be known dialectically. It is only possible to comprehend by actual experience. Hence an organization of excellent leadership is needed, and this may be performed at first by international Buddhist correspondence.

Today is the 16th of October, 1959, just the birthday of my late guru Kunga Rimpoche (15th day, 9th month, 2986). I am very glad to meet such a holy day for the date of completion of this work under his glorious grace. I end this work with an auspicious Hymn:

Renew the hearings of the West,
Open a keen sight of the best,
May these solemn discernments,
Be known to them but not waste.


[Home][Back to main list][Back to Chenian][Go to Dr. Lin's works]