Buddhism is a cult

Worship and Cult (Buddhism)

From the very beginning, Buddhism distinguished itself from its mother religion and its rampant cult activities with its clear rejection of the Brahmanic (Hindu) sacrificial service. Buddha did not demand any cultic worship for himself, and in rejecting a supreme deity or a multitude of gods there were and are no objects of worship in him. Nevertheless, after the death of the Buddha, it was inevitable that his person and the places where he worked became points of reference for worship. Objects of devotion are mainly real or supposed Buddha relics (ashes, bones, teeth, hair, etc.), which are kept in reliquaries (st? Pa) and are the goal of pilgrimages (see pilgrims).

In spite of the decided anti-ritualism of the beginning, under the influence of a popular piety that demanded material means, a rich cult also developed in Buddhism, which is strongly permeated by popular religious elements and has little to do with actual teaching. Devotion and sacred acts are mostly not seen as necessary for salvation; they are exclusively an expression of the worship of the pure Buddha principle, which is potentially open to all beings. So a statue of Buddha is not an object of worship; it is always only a venerable symbol of the principle of enlightenment, a symbol of sublime perfection, regardless of whether the individual derives very specific expectations from the Buddha-worship.

In addition to Buddha, members of the order (monks and nuns) also enjoy special veneration. But here, too, this is not personally determined; the reverence shown relates solely to the principle of enlightenment and the exemplified status of perfection. Religious are not priests and consequently they are not mediators of guarantees of salvation, such as members of the Christian clergy. The honor shown to the members of the Order is expressed above all in the material support (âmishadâna) of the dispossessed community, since it is incumbent on the religious to assist the lay followers with doctrinal instruction and spiritual advice (dharmadâna).

see faith (Buddhism), see God (Buddhism)

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