Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

Why Do Buddhists Pray To Idols?


Why Do Buddhists Pray To Idols? « Daily Buddhism

I was rared in the Monotheistic traditions and my question is basic. It concerns iconography and the reason why Buddhist pray to idols.

Arguably, Buddha himself was suspicious of being venerated. And it would be nice to know how contemporary Buddhist rationalise the practice.

It is intriguing to see the Tibetans do their prostrations and in manner not unlike Orthodox Christians (whose influence on Islamic prayer worship has been remarked).  … Answer and comments.

Author: Bill

Stumbling down the Middle Path, one day at a time.

2 thoughts on “Why Do Buddhists Pray To Idols?

  1. Buddhism is in fact a philosophy, not a religion. A Christian, for instance, can continue to be a Christian, while studying and practising Buddhism. There are some very simple people for whom veneration becomes worship, in my observation, and they draw comfort from this practise. It seems harmless, and one day when they are ready, they will understand the teachings in a more sophisticated manner. I have noticed that American converts often have a very simplistic, rule bound concept of the teachings. Just my opinion! I am not a Buddhist, nor have I studied Buddhism to any great extent, These are just my intuitive observations. I will be intrested in the response from “official” Buddhists.

    While I agree with you, generally, I find it interesting that you are willing to make statements of “fact” when you admit that your knowledge is scant and your observations “intuitive.” You might want to look at that tendency in your life.

    I also have a problem with lumping the people who worship (as opposed to venerate — a thin distinction in fact, although literally different) into the class of “simple people.” Not only does it smack of intellectual elitism, it begs the question of how we consider the two PhD’s and one MD I know who are deeply involved in Tibetan Buddhism — which is, by most folk’s definition (including that of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who ought to know), a complex religion.

  2. Do all real Buddhists pray to idols?

    I suggest that you might want to read the article from which the excerpt was taken, along with the comments referenced, in order to get a clearer understanding of the issue.

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