A Question about Buddah

I know this is a Catholic forum and teaches the ways of Christianity but I was wondering if it was a mortal sin as described by god himself to think of Buddha as a good person and practice some of his teachings in your life. Because, he had some fascinating ideas about spirituality and how one should live one’s life to achieve a better afterlife. But I’m afraid that even this little amount would count as “conversion” into Buddhism and worship of another god. After all there’s a commandment given by god to avoid other gods. I don’t want to convert into Buddhism at all and I’m against the Religion a little bit.

But I think I can argue in the favor of “Thou shall have no other gods before me for I am a Jealous god” because Buddha was NOT a god. He never claimed to be god or a god nor did he want to be remembered as a god or worshiped in any way, shape, or form. He stated that many times during his life. Yet modern day Buddhism and modern day non Christian Japanese and Chinese people and Asians seem to remember him as god or a god despite the man’s living wishes! It could have been possible that the man was Christian himself and wanted all Indians and Asians to be Christians and taught ways of becoming a better Christian in the afterlife (A theory some of my Christian Asian Friends have).

This is where my problem comes from though. If he’s worshipped as a god today even though he isn’t and didn’t want to be, would employing some of his teachings into my life become a mortal sin and anger god considerably? Or would it be a better idea to talk to my pastor about this?

Considering many of the questions I have already seen you asking, I think there are many, many things you need to talk to your Catholic pastor about to get a better understanding of your faith.

And to point out a matter of grammar (I am a teacher, after all) we capitalise the word God when referring to the God we worship, so, for example your opening sentence should look like this:

I know this is a Catholic forum and teaches the ways of Christianity but I was wondering if it was a mortal sin as described by God himself to think of Buddha as a good person and practice some of his teachings in your life.

**It could have been possible that the man was Christian himself **and wanted all Indians and Asians to be Christians and taught ways of becoming a better Christian in the afterlife (A theory some of my Christian Asian Friends have).

What I bolded above is totally impossible, since according to this Buddha was both born and died long before Jesus was born.

TIMELINE OF BUDDHISM
c. 480 BCE: Birth of Buddha
c. 450 BCE: Buddha’s first enlightenment
c. 405 BCE: Death of Buddha

Please learn more about the full richness of your Catholic faith before delving into other systems.

As long as you’re not following anything that violates Catholic teaching, of course it’s not sinful. There’s a good bit of wisdom in the Buddha’s teachings.

It is impossible to be a good Christian and not to follow some of the teachings of the Buddha:

[list]*]You shall not kill.
*]You shall not steal.
*]You shall not commit adultery.
*]You shall not bear false witness.
*]Love your neighbour as yourself.[/list]
Buddhism has all of those, albeit with slightly different wordings.

But I think I can argue in the favor of “Thou shall have no other gods before me for I am a Jealous god” because Buddha was NOT a god. He never claimed to be god or a god nor did he want to be remembered as a god or worshiped in any way, shape, or form. He stated that many times during his life.

You are correct, the Buddha was not a god. He was a man who attained enlightenment. Technically he is not worshipped as a god, but in a similar way to how Catholics treat saints – greatly respected but not worshipped.

Yet modern day Buddhism and modern day non Christian Japanese and Chinese people and Asians seem to remember him as god or a god despite the man’s living wishes!

All too true. We can easily see today how some celebrities are almost worshipped as gods. Not all Buddhists fall into the trap, “If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him!” but unfortunately many do.

It could have been possible that the man was Christian himself and wanted all Indians and Asians to be Christians and taught ways of becoming a better Christian in the afterlife (A theory some of my Christian Asian Friends have).

And some Buddhists have a theory that Jesus was a Bodhisattva and wanted to teach something much closer to Buddhism. I suspect that both theories are made up mostly of wishful thinking and the similarities in the moral teachings of both.

Or would it be a better idea to talk to my pastor about this?

Certainly a good idea.

For a more detailed discussion of Buddhism, you may want to post a thread in the Non-Catholic Religions forum here.

rossum

Yes, I will be going to mass this Sunday and making an appointment with my pastor sometime this week and discussing with him alone a lot of the things I had talked about on these forums. I posted these on the forums to get the opinions and guidance I needed to bring about these issues in my life to him correctly and to debate some things with my fellow Catholics.

You’re right not capitalizing the word God is a disrespect to the Lord. I apologize to both him and everyone I offended by this. It’s weird because I am a “Grammar Nazi” myself and you’d think I would have known that by now ^^.

I think both my mother and myself need to take a look at our faith because my mother was the one that told me that Christianity was about everybody who believed in the God “Jenovah” as he’s described in the bible. So that’s why I used the word Christianity. In those time frames it was possible that Buddha believed in Jenovah. It’s unlikely I guess, since he would have directly taught about him or talked about him but they think it’s possible which is why I mentioned it.

I did discuss this with a friend who is a Catholic minister and this is what he had to say:

"
Many of the teachings of Buddhism parallel those of Christianity.
The biggest difference is that Buddha taught that the the way to enlightenment was through the middle path.
(For the sake of this argument Enlightenment, and Salvation/Heaven are one in the same)
With Christianity the path to salvation is through Christ.
Christianity at its core means that by living a good life, and following the middle path is not enough to get to heaven.
So is it a sin to follow the path of Buddhism? It is if you forsake God, and Jesus.
But following the middle path while keeping God at the center of your being…. That is Christianity.
Christ taught…

**
The Gospel According to Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV) wrote: **
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

:confused: I cannot for the life of me find the verses on moderation…

Ultimately aside from following Christ as the way to salvation the teachings of Buddha and Christ are the same.
So if you keep worshiping God, then no it is not a sin. :)"

So I was wondering if what he said was correct and people’s thoughts on it.

The Buddha did mention a god who claimed many of the properties of the Christian God: omnipotent, all-seeing, creator, father to all. See the Brahmajala sutta, Digha Nikaya 1. However, this god is not enlightened but is unenlightened, and so the Buddha’s words are of more worth.

I did discuss this with a friend who is a Catholic minister and this is what he had to say:

"
Many of the teachings of Buddhism parallel those of Christianity.
The biggest difference is that Buddha taught that the the way to enlightenment was through the middle path.
(For the sake of this argument Enlightenment, and Salvation/Heaven are one in the same)
With Christianity the path to salvation is through Christ.
Christianity at its core means that by living a good life, and following the middle path is not enough to get to heaven.

Your friend is correct. Buddhism is very definitely a “Salvation by works” religion. External powers may assist or advise but they cannot enlighten you. If you want to be enlightened then you have to do it yourself; no-one else can do it for you.

There is a lot of similarity in the actual ‘works’, such as loving your neighbour; the difference lies in what you expect to attain as a result of those works.

rossum

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