Why Buddhists worship Idols?http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=An7SgTfnUAqwBehL3LBkt1IhBgx.;_ylv=3?qid=20120923012033AApEv6U
The underlying question is "Is Religious Buddhism or Symbolic Buddhism more important to you?"
Religious Buddhism is followers' Buddhism:
- Followers assume that there was a prince in history called Siduhath and later he became Buddha.
- In pilgrimages to India, they point to a pile of bricks and say: "Look, this is where Buddha went to toilet...". It is a big business nowadays.
- Also, they plant a tree called 'Bo tree' and worship, even pray to it by singing, expecting material help for their day to day problems.
- 99.99% of these followers I met have never read or even seen Tipitaka (the main scripture in Buddhism).
- They just surrender to the spell binding (blessings=curse) of temple monks by listening to propaganda, benefiting the temple (brainwashed follower to bring more material goods to them), while these monks do jobs for money, get yield from their land, maintain bank accounts, associate with powerful criminals (businessmen and politicians), be members of the parliament and even touring around the world for sight seen. (I challenge, if someone can prove otherwise)
- Though it is a burden, the followers are programmed to have hope with cultural ties.
- Even people surrender and worship people(monks), because they are told that "Sanga Sanana" (composite school of thinking) is Priest/monk society.
- They simply do not know how to read Buddhism by themselves, in turn the objectives like Nirvana is said to be mere imaginary to them. (may be not in this lifetime).
In contrast, Symbolic Buddhism is explorers' Buddhism:
- The idols are symbolic models, meaning a deep concept to them for analysis.
- Like diagrams in geometry to visualize the problems better.
- For example, we see through (not see at) binoculars or a microscopes to observe, what is not sensed by our naked eye.
- When they go to temple, they do not worship trees, stones and clay idols.
- They use them for their studies like looking at a model of Benzene or Atom, in the classroom.
- They simply research Buddhist scripture as a set of knowledge, while getting to know Buddha through Dhamma (ideas).
- Even when they read Jathaka stories, they are not fascinated by listening to trees and animals talking. Instead they try to figure-out their symbolic meaning and derive the underlying concept.
- For example: Ves+Anthara means between two states/faces/interfaces, but not a man in human form Buddha’s past life.
- Being the symbolic meaning of Buddha relates to 'Buddhiya'/ intelligence/wisdom,
- Why do you think, majority of so called "Buddhists", assumed by their birth certificate, continue to worship idols with blind beliefs like in stone-age?
(This is an honest question, every Buddhist and non-Buddhist should ask, but shy to ask for various reasons, though they see dualities in what Buddhists say referring to scriptures and what Buddhists practically do. Not to mention, I see it common in all religions I observed.)