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Old 10-08-2007, 01:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviljafar
After surfing the web for a while here's what I found.

Even if you insult a Buddhist you shouldn't have to worry about retribution as they are big on forgiveness. From the Buddhists point of view though, if you insult someone with this choice of tap handle, you are the unfortunate one as you are doing harm to someone.

Also, in Buddhism there are "five precepts", which basically tell a Buddhist what they shouldn't do. The 5th precept is not to drink alcohol. Therefore it seems to be a contradiction to use an image of the Buddha in the act of serving alcohol. That's probably going to offend a Buddhist.

There are probably not many Buddhists in a forum like this one that focusses on alcohol production but you never now. The 5th precept may be the most ignored part of the religion for Western Buddhists so maybe there are some Buddhists here. If there are maybe they will post on this.

If you want to use a deity of some kind and be sure not to insult anyone I'd go for the Greek god Dionysus. He was into wine but he was also into being drunk and all the great things that come from drunkeness. Now there's a god that you're not going to insult by making him your tap handle.

Regards,

Jaf.
Well, a couple of points to ponder.

Buddha is NOT a deity. The historic personage gautama buddha was not a supernatural being as in other religions. He was a man who became enlightened and discovered his true nature, or buddha nature. Everyone has buddha nature but they are deluded by this existance and what we perceive to be "reality".

There are many variations and sects of buddhism just as there are of any other belief. There are many "icons" of buddhism, becasue there have been many buddhas throughout history and many more to come. A buddha is an enlightened one. The many various buddha icons, statues, images merely serve to remind us of the teachings of the various buddhas and to give one something to meditate on (speaking especially from a ch'an/son/zen perspective) and are not objects of worship. Though there are many sects/regional variations country to country and provice to province, wherein native religions/shamanist beliefs have been melded with buddhism as buddhism easily coexists with other beliefs.

As to the precepts, yes. Alcohol is generally considered a detterent from finding enlightenment. It further deludes one it is generally believed. That said there have been many buddist monks and "saints" (proper term boddisatvas which is beyond the scope of my few points...) such as the figure you have of the laughing buddha, who partook heavily. That is for you to do with as you will.




OK? So, to answer your question as to whether it would be offensive to use the buddha for a tap handle I pose a story/qestion to you...

A monk asked Ummon: "What is Buddha?"
Ummon answered him: "Dried dung"
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:47 PM   #22
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From my research, the first buddha (laughing) is considered the Zen buddha or how the Japanese see's buddha. The second image is the India Buddha.

The Zen Buddha stems from a story about Buddha that came one morning and as usual, a crowd had gathered; many people were waiting to listen to him. But one thing was unusual - he was carrying a flower in his hand. Never before had he carried anything in his hand. People thought that someone must have presented it to him. Buddha came; he sat under the tree. The crowd waited and waited and he did not spea. He wouldn't even loo at them, he just went on looing at the flower. Minnutes passed, then hours, and the people became very restless.

It is said that Mahakashyap couldn't contain himself. He laughed out loud. Buddha called hime, gave him the flower and said to the gathered crowd, "Whatsoever can be said through words I have said to you, and that which cannot be said through words I gave to Mahakashyap. The key cannot be communicated verbally. I hand over the key to Mahakashyap."

Thousands were there and everybody was restless. Mahakashyap couldn't contain himself, looing at the follishness of the crowd. They were at ease when Buddha was taling; now they were restless when he was silent. When something could be delvered they were not open; when nothing could be delivered they were waiting. Through silence Buddha could give something immortal, but they could not understand. So he couldn't contain himself and laughed aloud - he laughed at the situation, the absurdity. Mahakashyap laughed at the foolishness of the people.

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Old 10-08-2007, 02:08 PM   #23
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Yes that is one variation of the story (the flower sermon) of how the transmission of enlightenment practiced by the ch'an (China) son (Korea) and zen (Japan) schools was started. The buddha in that story was gautama (also known as shakyamuni) the historic indian prince who became enlightened. Mahakashyapa (a bodhdisattva)was given the "key" to the gateless gate.

The lauging buddha is not only a figure in ch'an (or zen) but appears in other schools as well in china and other countries. He was a bodisattva (an enlightened one who chooses to remain in this existance to help others attain enlightenment) from china. He is associated with happiness abundance and children. Whether the actual personge was as rotund as the figure is not neccasarily known, it stems more from the belief that the belly (or just below actually) is the tanden where the spirit and chi stems from. Thus, his large belly is full of positive chi and a superstition arouse in some schools/sects that rubbing the belly would bring good fortune.

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Old 10-08-2007, 07:07 PM   #24
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Wow my knowledge of Buddhism just increased by roughly 500%.

My vote? I think he'll make a great tap handle!

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