Theistic Faiths and Buddhism

发布日期:2017-07-20   字体大小:   


To categorize all the religions across China as theistic faiths does not sound convincing to me. At least the faith of Buddhism cannot be counted as theistic on the ground that the history of Buddhism proves quite to the contrary. Here I would not venture my comment on whether the histories of other religions in China can also prove quite to the contrary, as I have not made a comprehensive study of the histories of other religions in China. In the period of time when Sakyamuni was alive in India, there was not at all any attempt at deifying him. Hence there was no practicing at all of idolatry to apotheosize him. The relations between him and his disciples were completely human. And he used to exhort them to adhere unswervingly to Dharma, sila and vinaya. The last instruction he gave to his disciples right before his nirvana was nothing but the exhortation that they must adhere unswervingly to Dharma, sila and vinaya. The apotheosis of Sakyamuni and practicing idolatry for worshipping him happened much later and emerged as a by-product of a historical period characterized by the prevalence of "spirit worship". In other words, Buddhism, when modified by the age of "spirit worship", allowed itself to be furbished up with idolatry. I believe many other religions have also undergone such a process in their histories. Here, the question I would venture to pose to the religious public is: "How should a religion behave in our age which is characterized by an unprecedentedly developed civilization, an unprecedented devotion to developing sciences, and an unprecedented prevalence of down-to-earth outlook?


In our age all religions are striving for their own development in the direction of atheism, indeed. The level of intellectuality and morality of followers of all religions across the world is incessantly on the rise. Thus they will certainly require all religions to work more efficiently and better. Accordingly all religions shall have to assiduously exert to improve themselves for meeting the requirement of their followers. As civilization in the world keeps developing, all religions across the world do the same. Theism and idolatry can exist only as phenomena belonging in a specific stage in the history of world civilization. (From My Heart My Buddha)