A. Are you a Buddhist God?

In the 5th century BC, a baby was born who became the founder of Buddhism. (Siddhārtha Gautama: 563 BC to 483 BC) He was born with a number birth defects, but his pagan idol worshipping townsfolk viewed him as a god incarnate. If Buddha was a dog, born into a litter of puppies, he is the one the breeders would have drowned as a misfit and a genetic freak of nature. If Buddha had been born today, he would have received reconstructive plastic surgery from a highly trained medical doctor and would have lived a normal life as just another average taxi driver. But in 563 BC, the residents of what is modern day Nepal, assumed his unique and odd physical characteristics were signs of deity. So they studied his body as the physical image of God and came up with a total of 112 unique physical traits of deity. These are broken down into two groups: "The 32 Auspicious signs" and "The 80 second signs" of deity. So each Buddhist gets examined by experts who list how many of the 112 qualities they have. A Buddhist that is way of the scale and very close to being deity will have number above 100, whereas a guy who needs to die a few times and get reincarnated as a human and try again, would have a score below 20. The higher the score, the closer to being a god you are. We feel a great idea is to tattoo this number on each Buddhists forehead by the official scorers. That way if you are searching for god you need only find a Buddhist with a high score number tattooed on his forehead and it makes like so much easier to get good spiritual guidance from someone very near to being god. It would help you getting misled by a Buddhist with a score of only 25. Of course if you are not of the ethnic origin of the area Buddha was born, its kind of tough to get a high score. "Black Negroid-African" or "White Anglo-Saxons" always score quite low on the "buddhist-god scale". This is the bizarre reality of Buddhism. This is what happens when people start violating the teachings of Moses and Jesus Christ, and worship creatures instead of the all powerful invisible God.

The 32 Auspicious signs of a Mahapurusa: (an individual of extraordinary destiny, distinguished by certain physical traits or marks)

  1. Webbed fingers and toes joined by a membrane up to the first joint.
  2. An odd lump on the top of his skull (cranial protrusion) "like a royal turban".
  3. He has eyelashes like an ox (Pali: gopa mukho).
  4. He has feet with a level sole (Pali: supati thapado).
  5. He has the mark of a thousand-spoked wheel on the soles of his feet (Pali: he thapadatalesu cakkani jatani).
  6. He has projecting heels (Pali: ayatapa ni).
  7. His hands and feet are soft-skinned (Pali: mudutalahathapado).
  8. He has net-like lines on palms and soles (Pali: jalahathapado).
  9. He has high raised ankles (Pali: ussa nkhapado).
  10. He has taut calf muscles like an antelope (Pali: e nimigasadisaja ngho).
  11. He can touch his knees with the palms of his hands without bending. (Pali: thitako va anonamanto).
  12. His sexual organs are concealed in a sheath (Pali: kosohitavatguyho).
  13. His skin is the color of gold (Pali: suva n nava no). "His body is more beautiful than all the gods." (Lakkhana sutta)
  14. His skin is so fine that no dust can attach to it (Pali: sukhumacchavi).
  15. His body hair are separate with one hair per pore (Pali: ekekalomo).
  16. His body hair are blue-black, the color of collyrium, and curls clockwise in rings. (Pali: uddhagalomo).
  17. He has an upright stance like that of brahma (Pali: brahmujugatto).
  18. He has the seven convexities of the flesh (Pali: satusado). Note: "the seven convex surfaces,/ on both hands, both feet, both shoulders, and his trunk." (Lakkhana Sutta)
  19. He has an immense torso, like that of a lion (Pali: sihapuba dhakayo).
  20. The furrow between his shoulders is filled in (Pali: pitantara mso).
  21. The distance from hand-to-hand and head-to-toe is equal (Pali: nigrodhaparima n dalo). Note: incidentally, these are also the ideal proportions according to Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
  22. He has a round and smooth neck (Pali: samva d dakhando).
  23. He has sensitive taste-buds (Pali: rasagasagi).
  24. His jaw is like that of lion's (Pali: sihahanu).
  25. He has a nice smile
  26. His teeth are evenly spaced (Pali: samadanto).
  27. His teeth are without gaps in-between (Pali: avira ladanto).
  28. His teeth are quite white (Pali: sukadanto).
  29. He has a large, long tongue (Pali: pahutajivho).
  30. He has a voice like that of Brahma (Pali: brahmasaro hiravikabha ni).
  31. He has very blue eyes (Pali: abhi nila netto). Note 1: "very (abhi) blue (nila) eyes (netto)" is the literal translation. Nila is the word used to describe a sapphire and the color of the sea, but also the color of a rain cloud. It also defines the color of the Hindu God Krishna. Note 2: "His lashes are like a cow's; his eyes are blue./ Those who know such things declare/ 'A child which such fine eyes/ will be one who's looked upon with joy./ If a layman, thus he'll be/ Pleasing to the sight of all./ If ascetic he becomes,/ Then loved as healer of folk's woes.'" (Lakkhana Sutta)
  32. He has a white soft wisp of hair in the center of the brow (Pali: una loma bhamukantare jata). Note: this became the symbolic urna.

The 80 secondary characteristics of deity:

  1. He has beautiful fingers and toes.
  2. He has well-proportioned fingers and toes.
  3. He has tube-shaped fingers and toes.
  4. His fingernails and toenails have a rosy tint.
  5. His fingernails and toenails are slightly upturned at the tip.
  6. His fingernails and toenails are smooth and rounded without ridges.
  7. His ankles and wrists are rounded and undented.
  8. His feet are of equal length.
  9. He has a beautiful gait, like that of a king-elephant.
  10. He has a stately gait, like that of a king-lion.
  11. He has a beautiful gait, like that of a swan.
  12. He has a majestic gait, like that of a royal ox.
  13. His right foot leads when walking.
  14. His knees have no protruding kneecaps.
  15. He has the demeanor of a great man.
  16. His navel is without blemish.
  17. He has a deep-shaped abdomen.
  18. He has clockwise marks on the abdomen.
  19. His thighs are rounded like banana sheafs.
  20. His two arms are shaped like an elephant's trunk.
  21. The lines on the palms of his hands have a rosy tint.
  22. His skin is thick or thin as it should be.
  23. His skin is unwrinkled.
  24. His body is spotless and without lumps.
  25. His body is unblemished above and below.
  26. His body is absolutely free of impurities.
  27. He is a very happy man.
  28. He has a protruding nose.
  29. His nose is well proportioned.
  30. His upper and lower lips are equal in size and have a rosy tint.
  31. His teeth are unblemished and with no plaque.
  32. His teeth are long like polished conches.
  33. His teeth are smooth and without ridges.
  34. His five sense-organs are unblemished.
  35. His four canine teeth are crystal and rounded.
  36. His face is long and beautiful.
  37. His cheeks are radiant.
  38. The lines on his palms are deep.
  39. The lines on his palms are long.
  40. The lines on his palms are straight.
  41. The lines on his palms have a rosy tint.
  42. His body emanates a halo of light extending around him for two meters.
  43. His cheek cavities are fully rounded and smooth.
  44. Seated Buddha, Gandhara, 1st-2nd century CE. Tokyo National Museum.His eyelids are well proportioned.
  45. The five nerves of his eyes are unblemished.
  46. The tips of his bodily hair are neither curved nor bent.
  47. He has a rounded tongue.
  48. His tongue is soft and has a rosy-tint.
  49. His ears are long like lotus petals.
  50. His earholes are beautifully rounded.
  51. His sinews and tendons don't stick out.
  52. His sinews and tendons are deeply embedded in the flesh.
  53. His topknot is like a crown.
  54. His forehead is well-proportioned in length and breadth.
  55. His forehead is rounded and beautiful.
  56. His eyebrows are arched like a bow.
  57. The hair of his eyebrows is fine.
  58. The hair of his eyebrows lies flat.
  59. He has large brows.
  60. His brows reach the outward corner of his eyes.
  61. His skin is fine throughout his body.
  62. His whole body has abundant signs of good fortune.
  63. His body is always radiant.
  64. His body is always refreshed like a lotus flower.
  65. His body is exquisitely sensitive to touch.
  66. His body has the scent of sandalwood.
  67. His body hair is consistent in length.
  68. He has fine bodily hair.
  69. His breath is always fine.
  70. His mouth always has a beautiful smile.
  71. His mouth has the scent of a lotus flower.
  72. His hair has the colour of a dark shadow.
  73. His hair is strongly scented.
  74. His hair has the scent of a white lotus.
  75. He has curled hair.
  76. His hair does not turn grey.
  77. He has fine hair.
  78. His hair is untangled.
  79. His hair has long curls.
  80. He has a topknot as if crowned with a flower garland.

Basic Tenets of Buddhism

B. Four Noble Truths,

I. Suffering:

In this world people suffer. What is suffering? Wanting wealth when one is poor, that's suffering. Desiring youth when one is middle aged, that's suffering, Feeling pain but wanting to be free of pain, that's suffering, Having angle food cake delivered for your birthday when one wanted chocolate cake, that's suffering. Having a child become sick and die when one wanted that child be healthy and grow, that's suffering. From the trivial to the profound, suffering is merely the gap between what one wants the world to be and the way it really is. The greater the gap the greater the suffering.

II. Causation:

Desire, wanting; people want things to be different. People are not satisfied with the way things are. People try to fix things so they are perfect. Improve things so they are better or hold on to old ways because things were better back then. That human trait is the source of suffering.

III. Cessation:

Each individual creates their own wants and desires. Thus it is possible for people eliminate suffering by eliminating their self created desires. The ability to eliminate suffering is inherent in all, whether one's intelligent and well read or slow and illiterate, One does not need to call upon some god or goddess, teacher or guru, doctor or lawyer to "save" one from suffering.

IV. Eight fold path:

The eight fold path is the method which the Buddha taught his follower's the way to eliminate their desires and wants. Buddha did not teach how to eliminate pain or how to eliminate illness, old age, or death. Nor did he teach about the existence or non-existence of gods, goddesses, or of a supreme being. He only taught about suffering, how people create it, and how it can be eliminated.

C. The Eight Fold Path:

The eight fold path is a way to live one's life. One does not have to master each item before going on to the next, though one can do so if one wishes. One can start in the middle and work towards the end or start at the end and work towards the beginning. One can even work on all of them at once.

I. Right Understanding:

Just being able to comprehend that there is a difference between what is and what one desires to be is sufficient. But note, there is an infinite regression on the why's and how's things came to be the way they are. That is call karma. The important thing is to see how one creates suffering. Then one will see's how others create suffering, that process deepens understanding and develops compassion.

II. Right Thought:

Wants and desires are thoughts. One can learns to select those thoughts which alleviate suffering. Thoughts which cause desire and suffering in life are given up for thoughts which bring peace and tranquility. Frivolous thinking can be given up for thinking about what is needed to meet basic necessity's of life.

III. Right Speech:

Talking can spread ideas and thoughts of wants and desires from one to another. It also re-enforces wants and desires which come to mind. One gives up frivolous talk and gossip. One also gives up hurtful and angry language for they stem from wants and desires. Talk reduces to what's necessary to teach or meet basic needs.

IV. Right Action:

One's actions are also modified. One refrains from harming others and from trivial activities. One acts only to meet their basic needs or, out of compassion, to help other's meet their needs.

V. Right Livelihood:

How one chooses to live and bring sustenance to their home becomes important. One gives up lying and taking from other's even if it is considered "legal" by society in favor of giving to self and others. Careers, jobs, or hobbies which promote peace and prosperity for all are taken up over those which bring fame or fortune to oneself.

VI. Right Effort:

The Buddha didn't say this would be easy. One should expect lapses, mistakes, and failures to crop up. But over time the ability to follow each element of the eight fold path will get stronger.

VII. Right Concentration:

Concentration is the ability to quickly discard distracting thoughts and views which come into the mind that keep one from being focused on the immediate task at hand. Some schools of Buddhism use meditation to develop and strengthen this skill. Other schools use elaborate ceremonies and chants.

VIII. Right Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the ability to bring oneself back to the task at hand when one's concentration has lapsed. It is also the ability to change focus when new needs or priorities come to one's attention. The various schools of Buddhism use meditation, ceremonies and chanting to develop this skill as well.

Concluding Thoughts:

There are many spiritual practices which alleviate suffering. This is but one. One can only try it. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, try something else. Spiritual practice is best done in a community with a teacher. It is easy for misinterpretations to be blown out of proportion and become a hindrance to goal of eliminating suffering. Furthermore Remember this about all spiritual practices; when used properly they can carry one across life's difficulties like a boat across a river, but one should never used them as a ram and smash and dash other people's boats!


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