Tag Archives: Nirvana

Pray Tell Me, Who Does The Dalai Lama Pray To?

by Anura Guruge


dalailamaprayer

From “USA Today”. Click image to access original.


The notion of prayer in general confuses me, and seeing so called ‘Buddhists‘ pray really confounds me.

Very simple, from my understanding of prayer, you pray to a ‘higher being‘ that can in someway intercede in matters down here on Earth. OK?

Who is that ‘higher being’ when it comes to Buddhism? That is my issue.

Please do not tell me that it must, of course, be the Buddha. But, it cannot be, by definition. The Buddha is no longer around. He is gone. He reached ‘Nirvana‘. The state of NOT being here, there or anywhere else. So the Buddha is not like God. The Buddha was adamant that he will cease to be. So you can’t pray to Buddha — at least in a meaningful way. He can’t intercede. He is not there. Bit like an imaginary friend.

Yes, Buddhists do pray — but to gods (small ‘g’) from other religions. My adoptive mother, who believed that she was a model Buddhist, was renowned for her prayers, which people, around the world, claimed worked. [I have one rebuttal. If her prayers were that good how do you explain ME?] But she prayed to everybody and anybody. Though claiming to be 100% Buddhist she prayed to the Christian God, Hindu gods and whoever she could rustle up. She had more Holy Water from different parts of the world, Lourdes her favorite, at her apartment in Paris that soda. It would always be ‘would you like some Holy Water? Got some special from Lourdes, last week’. But that was my adoptive mother (who birthday it was today). Not the Dalai Lama.

He is said to be a Buddhist leader. So who does he pray to — because that is the religion you should check out. SMILE.


Related Posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Religion.
**** Search on ‘prayer’ & ‘Buddhism.


by Anura Guruge


Google With Its Doodle For Nepal Propagates The Misconception Of Buddhist Prayer.

nepalgdasas1212.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Some Related Posts:
* Archbishop of Canterbury & Buddhist prayer.
* Obama, Buddhism & prayer.
* Sri Lanka President meets with Pope. …. ….. ….

>> Francis abandons prayer … 
>> Will Francis admit prayers not working.
>> Did Francis pray for Argentina.
>>
PLEASE pray for Argentina
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>> Francis’ prayer at Wailing Wall.

ψψψψ Search onpray’ for posts about prayer, across religions >>>>

⊥⊥⊥⊥ Check Category ‘Religion’ for loads of other posts >>>>


nepalprayver

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Google’s explanation that accompanied its May 29, 2015 Google Doodle for Nepal. Click image with candles, top right, to access that Google Doodle.


Note that it says ‘prayers to Buddha‘.

Yes, a lot of people, not too brightly pray to Buddha. Sadly that has to be a very pointless task. The Buddha, by his own words, and by the fundamental tenets of Buddhism, NO LONGER EXISTS.

The Buddha reached Nirvana. It basically means that his soul ceased to exist. His soul was blown out like a candle.

The Buddha attaining Niravana is the Buddhist equivalent to the resurrection. It is the crux of the belief.

So, as I always ask, how can YOU pray to somebody who does NOT exist. Yes, that raises other questions about other religions BUT, those who pray do so BECAUSE they are 1,000%+ convinced that there is somebody UP THERE. The Buddha is NOT up there. Take my word on that. I know. I know my Buddhism.

I explained this all before in this July 3, 2014 post. Here is a snippet from that post.

In theory Buddhist should NOT pray!They have nobody to pray to. I kind of explained it here. Yes, Buddhist pray. The family that adopted me were BIG into prayer. But they prayed to the Hindu gods and sometimes even to the Christian God. So that is the flip of what Rowan is doing. Devout Buddhist praying to Christ because the Buddha is unavailable to answer prayer.”


Also please check out this post, from November 19, 2012,
which YET AGAIN is on this very topic.

nepalprayerobama


President Obama, In Thailand, Unintentionally Propagates Misnomer About Buddhist Prayer.


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Click to access the U.K. ‘Daily Mail’ article replete with three colour pictures.


Prayer means many things to many people, and to many it is a very personal and reverential facet of their life. You could tell that the President, always politic even when making a joke, was very careful about how he ‘worded it’ and then referred to it as ‘good vibes’ when talking to journalist. Given that his true faith is often questioned, the last thing the President wanted, so soon after his resounding reelection, was for the ‘birthers‘ to start claiming that he was now a Buddhist! The current pope, Benedict XVI (#266), is definitely not a fan of non-Christain prayer.

We need to tread very carefully when it comes to Buddhism and prayer to avoid unwarranted misconceptions.

It is also important to make a distinction as to the meaning and significance of prayer. To many, prayer involves asking for intervention of some sort, typically in the form of a beneficial favor. In this case, the President, when talking of prayer, was referring to a beneficial outcome in the U.S. Fiscal Cliff talks.

So, this is why you need to be careful when you bring up prayer and Buddhism in the context of ‘I need a favor‘ type prayers.

Simply put in Buddhism per se there is really no one that can really grant anyone, even the President of the U.S., with beneficial favors!

Yes, of course, Buddhist pray. That is beyond doubt or debate. My mother who was a devout Buddhist prayed incessantly and was known for having a never ending supply of Holy Water from Lourdes and Holy Ash from Sai Baba!

Though some will argue, Buddha was not a god, and definitely not ‘God’ with a capital ‘G’. Buddha was very specific about that. Though he was not fond of discussing how we came to be, he was always adamant that he was not ‘God the Creator’. So, Buddha, or Siddhartha Gautama Buddha to be specific, was not God.

The Buddha per his own was to reach the state of ‘Nirvana‘ when he died (over 2,400 years ago). Nirvana is the cessation of existence. So other than his teachings and some relics nothing of the Buddha per se exists. There is definitely no ‘soul’, ‘being’, ‘persona’, ‘spirit’ or ‘essence’ of the Buddha floating around here, there or in heaven. That would be totally against his much beloved noting of ‘Nirvana’. So, this means, that while you obviously can’t stop people doing so, it is kind of futile praying to Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. He by his own claim ceased to exist in any tangible form. So, that is, to me, the most fundamental issue when it comes to Buddhism and prayer. You cannot equate Buddha to the Abrahamic God. You might want to, but it just does not make sense.

Yes, Buddhism does embrace the notion of ‘non-human’ entities called ‘Devas’. Yes, of course, you can pray to them, and Buddhist do. But, per the teachings these Devas have limited powers and are definitely not supposed to grant favors — even if they had the power to do so!

In reality, many Buddhist, my family among them, pray most often to the Hindu gods. Buddha was born an Hindu and the two religions acknowledge each other. All Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka (where I come from) have shrines for two or more Hindu gods. In Sri Lanka it is a seamless, symbiotic relationships. Buddhists pray to the Hindu gods. But, to me there is a distinction. That is not Buddhist prayer. That is Hindu prayer.

Yes, ‘Buddhist prayer’ in the form of a kind of meditation is favored by some. But, that is prayer without asking for something. So it is different; very different to some.

So, I just wanted to make sure that my President was not misleading all.


As it happened, this June, in Boston, I actually interviewed my father about ‘Buddhist prayer’, on video, he being a noted, mightily published Buddhist scholar.

Click to access the video interview on ‘YouTube’. The section on prayer starts at around the 10:21 minute mark.