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zaterdag, april 29, 2017

Buddhism can be as violent as any other religion | Aeon Essays

Interessant artikel over boeddhisme. 

Buddhist scriptures measure internal time by how many breaths you take, and external (cosmic) time through the rotation of four kalpas, or aeons. Unlike in Abrahamic religions, time in Buddhism has no beginning. It is a constant cycle. There is no definitive amount of time given for each kalpa, but Buddhist scriptures provide suggestive analogies. In the Prajnaparamita Sutra, one kalpa lasts longer than the time required to wear away an 18,000-square-metre rock by brushing it with a piece of cloth once every 100 years.

The first kalpa is a formative and chaotic period. In the second kalpa, the chaos continues to unfold. It is only in the third kalpa in which the chaos declines, and the world enters into a rapid stage of evolution. The fourth and final kalpa is called the Age of Destruction. It ends with an apocalyptic rainfalthat destroys all life and sparks the beginning of the first kalpa. Buddhists believe that we are living in the fourth and final section of the last kalpa. The end of the kalpa will inevitably come and, when it does, a new Buddha will emerge: Maitreya, the Buddha-to-be. But Buddhists can forestall the end. The longer the Buddhist monks and their doctrine remain strong, then the slower the pace toward the end of the kalpa.

Buddhist traditions have different ways of identifying the signs of deterioration. According to legend, on the eve of the Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) becoming awakened, he was tempted by Mara, the embodiment of desire, death and rebirth. Although he conquered his desires and vanquished Mara, many Buddhists have believed that the re-appearance of Mara is a sign that the End Times have arrived. Others think that the erosion of their sacred Three Jewels signals the beginning of the end. In order to forestall the quickening of the End Times, Buddhists have fought against the manifestations of Mara and to preserve the integrity of their practices and doctrine.