MOOC BUDDHA1x | 4.1 The Buddhist Contribution to Indian Civilization


– So, here we have to
sketch the overall situation and development of India
itself in order to show how Indic Buddhism came into full
blossom around 500 of the common era as the Mahayana
Esoteric vehicle of the Tiantai, which I call apocalyptic
vehicle in the sense of, apocalyptic in the sense meaning immediate revelatory vehicle, the removing of the veil
is what apocalypticos means in ancient Greek, so it brings in to immediacy
something that’s thought of as a removed goal, in other words, and this begins to emerge
into public consciousness due to the maturity of Indic society in relative peacefulness, remember which always goes
along with vulnerability. That’s always the case, and this is very important to
see this history in this way because Indic history has
been taught in the wrong way, as if it is a process of decay, both by Indians with their
Kali Yuga sort of thing, and by the British with
their white mans’ burdens sort of feeling legitimizing
their conquests in the 17th through the 19th centuries, but so we must reemphasize
that they think that the vulnerability of
India and 1,000 of the common era is a sign of India’s decadence, whereas from the perspective
of the Buddhist tradition, which was totally interwoven
with the development of Indic civilization
for 1,500 years by then, the vulnerability and the
lack of militarism is a sign of the sophistication
and the development and the positive nature of Indian society, more positive than today, where we’re still riddled
with militarism worldwide. So, anyway, during this period, the full panoply of experiential
teachings and practices became more widely available
to the Indian public. The following table will
help us see how the Buddhist programs of ethics,
education, and sciences have permeated in Indic
civilization in the millenniums since the Buddhist time
in the three periods, 500 to one to zero of the common eras, zero to 500 of the common era, 500 to 1,000 of the common, those three periods, which fit with the three vehicles, the Buddhist various arts, the Apyas, that is the
methods that encourage experiential engagement,
exploring the implications of the logic of relativity,
whereby, due to the emptiness of the absolute, that all things are pure relativity, this discovery based on that. That logic of emptiness
makes relativity imperative for the individual human
and makes that human want to take responsibility
for shaping one’s self and one’s world to the best of all possible worlds that is also one’s society and committing one to strive towards love and compassion for one’s fellow beings. If you’re stuck with them all forever, how do you want to be
with the living beings? You don’t wanna hate them. You don’t want them hating you. You want to love them because
you want them to love you. So that’s obvious, if
you’re not gonna ever get away from someone. You’re gonna try to be
the best possible way of coexisting with them, and there’s no better
way than mutual love, is there now? So now the individualist style I mentioned in this table, I don’t
want to read it all, and the universalist style is there, and those styles are seen in
this table as sociological. You know, the first one
really emphasizing getting the breaking down on monistic
idea of the caste system, where it’s all one, but
I’m the warrior boss, and you’re my servant, and therefore, you can feel happy ’cause
you’re one with me, but you actually the feet of God, so God is actually standing (laughter) on you. I’m the arms of God, and the chest and the heart, the Brahman’s is mud in the mouth of God, speaking the Vedic language, and the belly of the God or the merchants, but you guys are the legs and the feet, you know, you’re down under there, and yet it’s okay ’cause it’s all one. So in that context, the
first method sociologically is to develop individualism, teach dualistic Buddhism primarily, make the individual feel they’re separate, intensify the individual’s
feeling of being separate from the collective, and thereby develop freedom from suffering just for themselves. It’s necessary to develop that, to break down the oppressive collectivism of the caste system, and then once that, and that took 500 years, Buddha said, based on these, the monastic institution being in the center, the asylum, the place for people to escape from the caste system, from old classes to begin learning, to create a different vibe, to become more connected to each other, to reach a higher ethical
level and so forth. That’s the first level. The second level is when
that becomes strong enough, as I mentioned before, not because it’s weak or isolated, but because it becomes
strong enough that it can reach out from there
and begin to criticize the way of behavior of
the lay people and say, no, just as long as you
support the monastery, you can behave any way you act. No, you have to start behaving better, and you can practice also as lay people, you can be good examples, and also sometimes monks can
get stuck in being monks, and so the non-dualist
thing then can come back on top of the balance of the old monism and the new individualism, and then you get the non-dualist
Mahayana universal vehicle, ideal of the Bodhisattva, and you begin to really
change the full scale of the society, and then finally, right in
the heart of that non-dualism and the psionic thing
comes working with the unconscious of the being, not just the conscious,
sort of intellectual level, but dealing psychologically
with the unconscious, and this has to be kept as
esoteric in the earlier periods because people would go
crazy if they sort of coped too soon, had to
cope too soon with Eros and Thenatos in the unconscious, which Freud only thousands of years later brought out into focus with
basically a very few people. Even today people resist
totally that there’s Eros and Thenatos in themselves, most of the people still do, and so this, but in India
it was so developed by the universal vehicle by
around 500 of the common era that they began to become
academically available in the universities and
then become socially more widely available through
the life of the Siddhas, the great adepts, and the
ideal of the great adept, the Siddha, the one who
becomes a Buddha already, not waiting 1,000s of
Buddhas of a lifetime, to become a Buddha, but becomes a Buddha, and manifest as a Buddha
as a more ordinary person like the great adept, the
psychonaut that I call. This is the third period, and this is the high point
of Indian civilization and of Buddhist civilization, reach about 1,100 of the common era.

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