Reply To: Approach to Dhamma


Lal said: “We have to be very careful about initiating “new” approaches.”

I agree. I seriously pondered for a year about how the contamination of the Buddha Dhamma occurs. I was particularly concerned about the case of Mahayana. I thought desperately not to make a second Mahayana. Mahayana can not even be considered Buddhism!

We know that anicca, dukkha, and anatta are the truth. But some people don’t recognize the dangers of this world. They want to choose to continue rebirth rather. So instead of looking at the world as it is, they need to create a system that approves ‘discrepancies between reality and perception’ and ‘internal contradictions.’

In this system, they focus on understanding nature’s ‘components’ rather than the ‘law’ of nature. They don’t value knowing what they need to know, but they value knowing things that don’t matter. It is how the reversal of value occurs.

Speaking English does not imply knowing every existing word in the dictionary, though they solely concentrate on quantitative knowledge. In this manner, devaluation of the core concepts and appreciation(revaluation) of peripheral concepts occur. At this point, a fundamental crack occurs.

In the genuine Dhamma, each concept gets the treatment of actual status(importance). So even if one doesn’t know the concept of bodhisatta, one can be a sotapanna. Because the important thing is to understand Tilakkhana/Paticca Samuppada/Four noble truths. But in the wrong teaching, peripheral concepts are favored. So the deformation of the contour(map) of value occurs. It has a completely different terrain of meaning. Rather than a plate shift, it works in a way that Mount Everest suddenly falls off and the Mariana Trench becomes shallow prices.

So what we have to be careful about, at least considering the case of Mahayana, is that we have to earnestly discriminate between what’s important and what’s not. We should focus on knowing what we need to know, not trying to know everything about nature. Also, we should keep trying to contemplate the dangers of the rebirth process. In short, we should do bhāvānāya bahuleekathaya.

P.S. To deform Dhamma can happen in other ways. It can be caused by a completely incorrect interpretation too. Such as the case that Anapanasati turned into breath meditation. But the solution is always the same. In either case, one must try to verify the Dhamma properly oneself. That’s when the truth becomes clear. Without this effort, it becomes blurred and obscured.