Buddhism


Byline: Fr. Emeterio E Barcelon

THE death of Tissa triggered curiosity on my part about Buddhism. Tissa was a friend, a good man, and Buddhist. How do I pray for his soul? He was taken so suddenly with a heart attack. Buddhists believe in after-life. In fact some sects believe in reincarnation even into different animal forms until the individual is cleansed enough for Enlightenment or Nirvana. It is a philosophy and religion that has dominated Asia. Even in Catholic Philippines there are many Buddhist shrines, especially in urban areas with large Chinese communities. I must admit I am a novice on the subject of Buddhism. Is it a religion? Yes it is in that it searches for God. Different sects have different deities and even pantheism. In one sense it is more a philosophy that seeks to cleanse the individual from evil and the dross of this world. It is also a discipline leading to an understanding of existence or Enlightenment or Nirvana. This understanding is a consciousness of Being in contrast to the Christian concept of union with the Supreme Being. The Tagalog "budhi" means conscience may be a derivative of this Asian word. The Bisaya word "budhi" takes a pejorative turn meaning treachery.

Buddhism originated six centuries before the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and spread through Asia and has had a great influence on the cultures of Asia, whether Indian, Japanese, Sri Lankan, Burmese , or others. It has a well developed philosophy and probably its attraction is based on its emphasis on goodness and virtue rather than emphasis on truth. But its apex of virtue and goodness is interpreted in various ways by the different sects that have evolved. It has no revelation in which God speaks to man as in Jesus becoming incarnate or His good news of salvation. …

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