February 20, 2007

Oh my God!?

'What's the difference between Hinduism and Buddhism?' I remember reading somewhere. The answer's simple. Hinduism believes in the concept of God as omnipresent and omnipotent that He is the creator and destroyer of all things. Buddhism never believes in that concept. Buddhism does not believe in the concept of god, but rather holds the view that everything 'is' as a result of 'cause and effect.' The Karma, as the west is more familiar with.

But modern times see Buddhist, especially in Bhutan, use (or rather misuse) this concept of god and it has even crept into our intelligence. 'Oh God!' or such similiar phrases are issued from the mouth of young Bhutanese claiming to be Buddhist. Again 'God Bless you!' or 'May God be with you!' or 'May his/her soul rest in peace!' How on earth did this happen?

'Buddha is not a god...' we hear our Gurus say, 'but an enlightened being.' Buddha itself means 'the enlightened one' or 'the awakened one' though translators acknowledge that the 'real' meaning of 'Buddha' has no english equivalent term.

I asked a high school student recently how we should say, 'Oh my god' in our own language. He smiled and said, 'Lama Kheno!' or 'Kencho sum!' He didn't hide his pride nor his confidence. Now 'Lama Kheno' as far as I know is not what he says but rather 'Teacher, think of me!' and 'Kencho sum' is the triple gem. Do I need to write what triple gems are? And Buddhists do not believe in 'soul'. Buddhism is all about mind, mind and mind...

Whom should we blame? How did this happen? Should we blame the Christian Missionaries who came to Bhutan with Missionary Hospitals and Western Education? Is it because of our close proximaty to India and their culture?

1 comment:

Zsofia said...

I just started reading your blog :)
I also heared a monk saying God Bless You to a man and I was puzzled too.

But i realized that this kind of categorization of people from what they say and how they say is also a western habit, and it does not matter really. It is more important that he said it with a good heart and he really meant it. And i believe that there is only one truth despite that we have completely different perspectives :) And the man he said it to was Christian.