Contemporary Buddhist scholars who relate Buddhist truth to other religions, such as Gunapala Dharmasiri, Buddhadasa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, still draw upon those two basic Buddhist paradigms: scholastic critique of the other or inclusion of the other through skillful means.
Contemporary Buddhist scholars who relate Buddhist truth to other religions, such as Gunapala Dharmasiri, Buddhadasa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, still draw upon those two basic Buddhist paradigms: scholastic critique of the other or inclusion of the other through skillful means.Recent Vatican documents articulate a Roman Catholic perspective on truth in other religions.
Buddhist traditions have defined that problem as the human tendency to absolutize and cling to representations, in daily life and in religious reflection.
This essay traces the history of Buddhist perspectives on other religions in light of that central concern, concluding with a suggestion toward a Buddhist theology of religions that avoids relativism without privileging any particular representation of the Absolute. E.), Buddhism has had no single institutional hierarchy with a leader at the top.
Rather, patterns of thought each moment create the impression of "me" and "other" to which our minds and bodies grasp and react.
This confusion (Sanskrit: ) mistaking inaccurate thoughts of self and other for the actualities conditions a subconscious habit of clinging to self, of seeking to prop up or protect self in every situation.
This tendency became formalized in the special doctrine of “skillful means,” which informed the successful missionary activity of Buddhism in the first millennium C. as it spread to the cultures of East Asia and Tibet.
The doctrine of skillful means also supported mystical, universally inclusive views of ongoing Buddhist revelation that stand in tension with the paradigm of scholastic criticism of non-Buddhists.
What is found are simply patterns of thought, including thoughts of "self,” causally conditioned by prior habits of thought.
There is no self-existent, substantial me autonomously thinking thoughts of oneself and others.
And that pattern of self-clinging, in diverse and changing circumstances, transforms into a host of suffering emotions through which each person continually struggles to prop up and protect his or her false sense of self.
The stream of self-clinging thought and emotion--anxiety, hostility, jealousy, pride, fear, etc.--is suffering.