September 17, 2010

Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners

Leigh Wells
Modern historical study challenges much in Buddhist tradition. Yet, as Rita Gross  writes in her article "Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners," understanding Buddhist history can enrich dharma practice by, among other things, demonstrating how Buddhist teachings and institutions are themselves impermanent and contingently arisen. What do you think? How does, or how might, the study of your own tradition challenge, inspire, inform, confuse, broaden, or deepen your relationship to it? —Andrew Cooper

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universal law's picture

As George Santayana reminds us, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

pcyap's picture

Dear friends,

Studying the historical aspects of Buddhism would defenitely reveal the truth/reality of the religion itself.
A good example is regarding the decline of Buddhism in India in 11th Century AD. From here one learns about the factors that contributed towards the decline, thereby reminding us to treasure the religion, and never to fall into the same "trap" again !
Of course there are many more instances, you read up than you will know...ehipasiko.
Sadly there are some "extremists" who are all-out to prevent people to learn the historical aspects of Buddhism, saying that this may "destroy" the religion by revealing certain historical truths/facts...

with metta