April 29, 2016; revised August 28, 2022
1. In this section, I plan to address some concepts and practices in Buddha Dhamma that appear to be myths and/or contradictions to many. Some are indeed myths, but some are not. And sometimes, it depends on the interpretation. There are two aspects to some of these practices.
- It is hard for people from various religions to understand why Buddhists respect Bodhi trees or pagodas (chetiya), which look like pyramids with different shapes.
- On the other hand, even many Buddhists who worship them do not know why they are doing it.
- Some practices are outright myths, like the belief that one can attain Nibbāna by doing breath meditation. There is no basis for that. How can one remove defilements (greed, hate, ignorance) by concentrating on the breath?
- However, some of them can be shown to be verifiable and inter-consistent fundamentals of nature: realities or verities.
2. Then there are other concepts like a Bodhisattva getting “niyata vivarana” or confirmation from another Buddha that he WILL become a Buddha at such a time. How does that tally with the concept that one can change one’s future drastically by even a single act and that kamma is not deterministic?
- That is explained in the post “Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?” listed below.
3. The value and strength of Buddha Dhamma come from its unshakable foundational concepts (axioms) and inter-consistency. Nothing is inconsistent in the practices or concepts of true and pure Buddha Dhamma.
- But it requires some background material to discuss some of these issues. Buddha Dhamma cannot be assessed with conventional thinking. One needs to comprehend the basics of Buddha Dhamma first.
- The more one understands the basic premises, the easier it will become to sort out myths from realities.
Posts in this section:
Animisa Locana Bodhi Poojawa – A Prelude to Acts of Gratitude
Pāramitā and Niyata Vivarana – Myths or Realities?
Tisarana Vandana and Its Effects on One’s Gati
Can Buddhist Meditation be Dangerous?
Boy Who Remembered Pāli Suttas for 1500 Years
Do Buddhists Pray and Engage in Idol Worshipping?
First Noble Truth is Suffering? Myths about Suffering
4. More related topics in the following sections.
- “Buddhahood Associated Controversies“
- “Mystical Phenomena in Buddhism?” in the subsection, “Origin of Life.“
- “Myths about Meditation” in the subsection “Bhāvanā (Meditation)“