83.6 F
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeCommentaryAskAsk A Buddhist: Buddha's Commandments

Ask A Buddhist: Buddha’s Commandments


Related stories

Foolishness As a Mirror

Explore the ancient spiritual concept of "holy fools" - eccentric figures who renounced worldly possessions to challenge society's norms and promote deeper faith across religions like Christianity, Eastern Orthodox, and more. Discover their radical role.

A Pilgrim Returns from Catholic Pilgrimage, Heart and Faith on Fire

A profound personal account of spiritual awakening and miracles experienced at the historic first Catholic National Eucharistic Pilgrimage in Idaho. The author shares how encountering the Blessed Sacrament in procession reignited their love for Jesus and the Eucharist, sparking a renewed hunger to deepen their faith journey.

Jewish Voices Protest Israeli Violence, Build Interfaith Solidarity in Spokane

Jewish Voice for Peace Spokane led an interfaith rally protesting the escalating Israeli violence against Palestinians and 76 years of ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies. The activists challenged local ties supporting the Israeli occupation, while building solidarity across Muslim, Christian, and diverse community groups against white supremacy threats.

Apology from U.S. Catholic bishops falls short for traumatized Indigenous families

Learn about the U.S. Catholic bishops' apology for the mistreatment of Indigenous families in American Indian boarding schools and how little it matters.

Machine guns and domestic violence: What is the future of gun control legislation?

Insights into the differences between two crucial gun control cases and their potential impact on future legislation. A must-read for those passionate about gun rights and public safety.

Our Sponsors


What do you want to ask a Buddhist? Fill out the form below or submit your question online.

By Ven. Thubten Chonyi

I understand that a person should revere the Buddha, and should follow the Buddhist teachings. Does Buddhism command you to love the Buddha?

In all of his teachings—given over 40 years—the Buddha never commanded his followers to do anything. With compassion, love, wisdom and skill, he taught the path to happiness and explained the path to suffering. Then he left it up to his disciples to decide how they wished to live their lives.

The Buddha emphasized that faith in his teaching must grow from experience and reasoning. In other words, he told his students to test his words to see if, in their own experience, his teachings rang true for them.

On the basis of testing some of those teachings, Buddha’s followers come to realize their tremendous value and profundity. From their experience of practicing the Buddha’s “three higher trainings”—ethical conduct (which includes not harming as well as actively caring for others), concentration, and wisdom—Buddhists come to revere him as a teacher and guide.

Love for the Buddha comes from gratitude for his guidance. As we naturally love anyone who helps us to have greater happiness and to realize our potential, Buddha’s followers naturally develop love for the Buddha.

The Buddha himself, however, never asked for anything in return from his students. In fact, Buddhist scriptures illustrate the infinite compassion of the Buddha with an analogy. It is said that one person can anoint the Buddha’s right arm with oil while another hacks his left arm with a knife, yet the Buddha’s love for each is exactly the same. (Of course, the karmic result each of these people will experience from his action will be entirely different). The buddhas (and there are many) help all beings equally, regardless of whether or not they are Buddhist.

Ven. Thubten Chonyi
Ven. Thubten Chonyi
Ven. Thubten Chonyi is a nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. She has studied with Sravasti Abbey founder and abbess Ven. Thubten Chodron since 1996. She received novice ordination at the Abbey in 2008 and full ordination in 2011 in Taiwan. Ven. Chonyi regularly teaches Buddhism and meditation at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane and other local locations.

Our Sponsors

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x