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Archive | July 7, 2014

Buddhism: Questions About Buddhist Reincarnation I

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts (click to access):
Θ Extremist Buddhist violence …                    Θ Appeal to all Buddhists
Θ Pope Francis should pray …                       Θ Curbing the Extremists


+ Buddhism & prayer
                                         
+ 2nd largest religion
+ ‘Poson’ in June                                               + 2014 Vesak greeting
+ Happy Vesak 2014                                         + Vesak 2014 Pandols

∀ Buddha’s descendants

++++ See Category ‘Sri Lanka‘ or search on ‘Sri Lanka‘ & ‘Buddhism‘  for other related posts >>>>


As I have repeatedly stated on this blog, growing up a devout Buddhist, in the early 1960s, in Ceylon, it was ‘reincarnation’, i.e., the intrinsic Buddhist belief in rebirth, that was the be-all and end-all of my Buddhism. That was how I had been brought up. Yes, I did everything else, i.e., saying my ‘precepts’, going to temple, worshiping priests, going to Sunday school, reading Buddhist texts, almsgivings, pirith ceremonies, wearing those blessed white strings on my wrist etc. etc., albeit with very little meditation, but I, always a pragmatist, knew that all of this was for reincarnation. I was, by the time I was 10, a precious ‘chubby’ (as I was exceptionally well fed), running around ‘reincarnation computer’ — thought it would be another 4 years before I would first encounter the word ‘computer’. At any given time I knew, exactly, what my reincarnation point balance was — per, of course, my own table of reincarnation points, because there is NO established system of points. Suffice to say, given that in those distant days, before the male hormones kicked in like a wild Burro on heat, I really was an angelic, exemplary (yes, exemplary) goody two shoes. I was, on merit, ‘Head Boy’ for the Lower School, at my very Buddhist school.

I studied reincarnation inside out, up against the wall. And it was then that I came to the irrevocable conclusion that it made no damn sense and I was wasting my time. Then, as I am noted for doing, I abandoned it — without a second glance. That was the end of me and Buddhism. That was way back in 1971. I was 18. In my first year at Uni. Along with reincarnation went any and all belief in an afterlife, a soul, things spiritual etc. In a way I attained the elusive Nirvana in one swell sweep. I know, for sure, with no shadow of a doubt, that when I die, I die. Kaput. THE END. End of story. No more. Nothing more. No soul. No spirit. No ghosts. Nada. Finished. That is why I am giving my body to medicine. I have no need of it. So, I have attained Nirvana on Earth — while I still have time to enjoy it. I will NOT be reborn. Of that there is no doubt or debate — as far as I am concerned. I will not be reborn. (I can see that set to music. Will make a nice song: “I will not be reborn”.)

Anyway, I wrestled with many, many questions to do with reincarnation before I gave it up as a joke. I consulted the top experts — which wasn’t hard. I bummed around in the innermost circles of Sri Lanka Buddhists. Yes, I have actually been to the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Kandy “Temple of the Tooth” and even touched the supposed real McCoy, as opposed to the replica that the masses get to see. Just Google “Guruge Buddhism” and you will see that my access to all things Buddhist was rather profound. But, nobody could give me satisfactory answers. And I refuse to believe in things if they make no sense. No, I do NOT even expect the Sun to keep on shining. The only TWO thing that I believe in without any question is that I will die and that when I die, I am a goner. Kaput. No more. Thank God. Everything else, I have doubts. Professional cynic — I am.

Anyway, have to keep this short. Crazy busy.

Buddhist Reincarnation — Question I

Being reborn as a human, next to achieving Nirvana, is the highest ‘degree’ of attainment in Buddhist reincarnation. My question is simple, but as I will demonstrate in a future post, the answer to that question will make you have doubts, immediately, as to the credibility of the reincarnation narrative. So my question. Per Buddhist reincarnation when the ‘reincarnation’ takes place, in the case of a human rebirth, is it at the time of conception or is it at the time of birth?

That is it.

Google it. You will see that others have asked it too, though probably not as straightforwardly as I just did. I first asked this question in December 1969. I asked it, as a 16 year old, in front of a room full of white clad Buddhist adults — after a funeral. The then Secretary of the Ceylon Buddhist Congress (a relative) was among those there. They didn’t answer that question in 1969 … Two years later I drew my own conclusions. Footnote. Not a single one of those present that day EVER told me off for abandoning Buddhism! I will give them that. Buddhists used to be a very tolerant bunch. They all said and hoped that I will come back to the fold when I got older. My horoscope supposedly also states that I will become extremely religious in my old age and might even become a monk! This horoscope used to be ‘read’ for me, in Ceylon. Slight problem this horoscope could never get the number of wives or the number of kids correct. So … No, I do not believe in astrology anymore either, though I did. 


 

Wolfeboro, N.H., ‘4th’ Fireworks On Sunday, July 6th, 2014, At Brewster Field, An Image Montage, Set To Music.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
ℵ/
Wolfeboro, July 4, 2014 fireworks — July 4, 2014.

++++ Search on ‘Wolfeboro’ for MANY other Wolfeboro related posts >>>>


Click to access fast-paced 1:22 minute YouTube video,  with music.

Click to access fast-paced 1:22 minute YouTube video, with music.


» » Lets just say it was “OK” and that the ‘grand finale’ was indeed ‘grand’ despite the ‘interruption’.

» » Thank you, you Wolfeboro.

» » LOT of people. More than I can remember having been there in 2012. [Last year we were in Portland.]

» » We didn’t get to Brewster much before 9:20 pm but given that we know our way around didn’t have any problems parking or getting our favorite place, on the rocks, ahead of the fireworks.

» » THANK YOU Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce for letting this blog be the de facto official Website for the postponed fireworks for 4 days. We are honored and delighted — not to say a tad amused. 2,200 hits is 2,200 hits. People pay Google a lot of money to get that kind of exposure. Happy to do it whenever. Just let me know.

» » There were TWO (2) unofficial firework shows in Wolfeboro, straight after the wonderful “Annie & The Orphans” concert on Saturday, July 5, 2014, from across Wolfeboro Bay, from Sewall Road. One, the first one, by design, was a non-stop, low altitude show while the next one, which started immediately after, was also non-stop, by featured ‘proper’ aerial bursts. BOTH SHOWS used electronic ignition as opposed to the one at Brewster where the fireworks were hand lit! Given the electronic ignition, both these shows were bang, bang, bang. No interruptions. So much so that there was a CONSTANT whistling sound, like a jet engine, from the fireworks going up one after the other. I don’t know who put these two shows. They were good. VERY GOOD. Thank you.

» » During the “Annie & The Orphans” concert Deanna and I watched, in amazement, as over 300 pounds of fireworks were loaded into a boat, on the private dock next door to Cate Park. But the boat was still there when we left the park close to 9:45 pm. So don’t know where they took all those fireworks. That would have been quite a show. Probably a minimum of $3,000 of fireworks!


This Story Of An Elephant Crying Made Me Cry.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
++++ Search on ‘elephants’ for numerous posts.
I have done a LOT of posts on elephants, particularly the “Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey” circus elephants and the elephant parades we used to have in Manchester, NH.  >>>>


Click to access the U.K. "Daily Mail" story with pictures and VIDEO.

Click to access the U.K. “Daily Mail” story with pictures and VIDEO.


Cruelty to any animal, even fish, with the exception of snakes, bother me, bother me greatly. When it comes to dogs, big cats (and by BIG I don’t mean fat domestic cats) and elephants it is worse. While at university, reading Computer Technology (and with an unconditional job offer from IBM in my back pocket), my ambition was to be a professional Game Warden in Africa. During my second and third years I wrote to all the major game reserves in Africa trying to get a job. It was difficult to get a game warden job my mail those days.

elephanteyeGrowing up in Ceylon I saw a fair amount of elephants, domesticated and wild. I last saw wild elephants, at a watering hole at dusk, in a game reserve in Sri Lanka, in August 1980. Elephants don’t faze me. They are wonderful, intelligent animals.

IF you ever have the fortune to look eye-to-eye with an elephant you will know what I mean. They study you. They talk to you with their eyes. That saying about ‘elephants never forgetting’. Not sure about that, BUT when an elephant is studying you you get the distinct impression that he really is taking stock of you and storing it away. Even MORE special and I, alas, have only got to do this once. Tickling the belly of baby elephant and have him squirm with his little stubby legs waggling all over the place! Yes, just like with a dog or puppy. Works with domesticated Asian elephants when they are about 3 months old. They will go down on the floor, just like a puppy, for a banana (or two, or three). Then they will lie there and let you tickle their belly with its wire-stiff, hairy baby bristles (which they lose with age). Yes, we had friends who were mega-rich, owned huge estates and kept domesticated elephants to work the land and walk in Buddhist parades. The young ones, up to about 6 months, were allowed in the house! Polished concrete floors and lots of servants. So cleaning up was never an issue and most of the time their droppings are dry and fibrous. So easy to just sweep up. Nothing like having a 3 month baby elephant prancing around a large, very open plan house. Slightly better than a bull in a china store. They are very aware of furniture etc. Really like a big dog with a trunk and large ears. Not sure what the prices are now and, of course, you need space and lots of food, an elephant costs about as much as new car.

I saw this story, first thing this morning, on my pad, when I did my customary quick glance at the U.K. “Daily Mail“, (my all time favorite newspaper), while listening to CNN, to get a read of what really is happening in the real world, outside of Alton, N.H. It made me cry. Why the Indians, who are usually pretty good about how they treat animals, would do such a thing confounds me. Also that the elephant had never retaliated. That is elephants for you. Very phlegmatic!

Got me thinking about cruelty to circus elephants! I need to revisit that. This was indeed a wake up call for me this morning.

I am so glad that this elephant is free. I can see an elephant crying. They know so much.


Click to access Pinerest page ...

Click to access Pinerest page …


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