Re: “A question for Buddhist ‘atheists’: Who or what decides your karma?”, Have Your Say, March 29.
The Buddha became enlightened by understanding the scientific reality of himself and all that surrounded him. Over the last 25 centuries, superstition has embroidered this “dull” reality to satisfy the insatiable human appetite for fantasy.
The Buddha travelled around teaching, not preaching. He walked because he had to and received alms because he had to eat. This walking and receiving of alms was incidental to his teaching. Monks now, however, do not teach, as they should, but walk and receive alms because that is what the Buddha did. Many temples now resemble casinos, where people worship Buddha as a god rather than as a teacher. This is Buddhism in Thailand, hence the disappointment.
The simple fact of recycling has developed into reincarnation – a buffalo dies, rots and nourishes a tree, which produces fruit that is eaten by a monkey. So, was the buffalo reborn as a monkey?
We see the same primitive superstition alleging that carbon dioxide released by human activity is causing the globe to heat up. The scientific fact is that carbon dioxide is a vital natural gas fundamentally essential to life. It is simple biology – photosynthesis and the main greenhouse gas is water vapour.
One does not require faith to understand nature. All that is required is intelligence and awareness – and that is Buddhism. There is no hatred in Buddhism. We cannot hate nature – we have to understand and accept it because it is what it is.