mjj (flemmings) wrote,

Have been reading sutras- the Heart and the Lotus, the biggies of any Buddhism I'm likely to come across. Surprised at how much they're-- mmh, 'polemical' isn't quite it, but 'polemic by implication'. We won't call these hinayana guys sodomitical simoniacs but we will suggest they're not *really* monks. "Yeah we know Buddha said this but really he would have said this totally opposite other if you guys hadn't been so dense. Anyway, here he is giving you the real lowdown, as reported by me." (Actually the Lotus Sutra's 'anyone who says anything bad about this doctrine I've just come up with will be reborn as a dog' sections are pretty close to the Catholics' anathemas.) (Equally the 'say just one word of this sutra and you're saved!!!11!' ain't too far from 'five Hail Marys gets you thirty days out of Purgatory!')

I shouldn't be surprised at all this, humans being humans, but sheesh. 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, one will surely be at the other's throat in no time flat' is a sad universal to follow.

ETA: incandescens points me at Kipling's take on the phenomenon, The Disciple.

He that hath a Gospel
For all earth to own--
Though he etch it on the steel,
Or carve it on the stone--
Not to be misdoubted
Through the after-days--
It is His Disciple
Shall read it many ways.
Tags: religion, verse

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