Articles and Opinion
Answers to questions on serious topics
Female Buddhas, Rebirth, God, and Religion of
Aleins, Pope Benedict XVI
Can females achieve buddhahood? I have noticed from sacred texts and ancient books that it is always the male who is said to achieve enlightenment, will females be always subjected to constant rebirths?
Throughout history males had always been the dominant players in religious beliefs and there is a reason for this. However, this does not mean that females are inferior when it comes to religion, evolution and spirituality. Like every human, females undergo births and rebirths, experience the law of karma, and, fortunately, get to achieve nirvana, Buddha and other sorts. They are just silent about this because they have other values which are very commendable: they prefer to raise their family instead of philosophical debates and going to war in the name of religion. In this regard I was very fortunate that the woman who raised me, besides my mother, was a very evolved person, who I can say was on her last life, not to be reincarnated on the physical dimension any more.
When Gautama said that there had been many Buddhas before him and many Buddhas after his coming, he was not referring to the male gender alone. They-male and female-just chose to live private lives.
As you have narrated everybody will reach the highest state after long births and rebirths in a process of evolution. I had visited the Himalayan ranges up to Kailash in my search to know certain esoteric things. Can I contact my Master to whom I am praying before my death? Am I moving in the right direction? How many births do I have to go through before reaching the state of Nakshatra? Could you help me how to read " The Secret Doctrine" ?
After a long process of deaths and rebirths which we all undergo, everybody will reach Buddhahood or the state of non-rebirth to this physical and material existence. All religions and a lot of other organizations, movements and cults have their own secret teachings, knowledge and mysterious gumbo soup kept from the uninitiated but the point in getting to learn esoteric things is to ask the question "Is it the truth?" "Will it help me and others?"
I am not well versed in the intricacies or complexities of the Hindu religion, which I assume from your letter is what you practice. The Hindu religion is great and you may be more learned than I am in this aspect. However, what I am teaching is the basic and simple truth of our and anybody's faith: that we have a body, spirit and a greater self, in that order. When we pray it is actually our greater self to whom we are praying, and if the prayers are being "scattered outside" then the prayers should be redirected to our greater self. When we learn the proper way to pray we get insights into greater things.
I don't also know who the master you are praying to but you may contact him before and after your death if he really wants to. It's just like calling somebody on the telephone: he may or may not answer it. You also asked if you are moving in the right direction. As long as you don't harm anybody, you don't speak bad things or think ill of them, then you are on the right direction. You see in the final analysis, one's religion or one's master does not matter anymore. It is how we live that counts. My advice is live the middle way - not very good so much so that you will put yourself in jeopardy by having unscrupulous people take wanton advantage of you, and don't live a very bad life either.
If you mean by Nakshatra is heaven, we all will go to our respected heavens when we die. Even the criminal and bad persons will go to their heaven because this is the place where every person will rest after having lived on earth. And it is mentioned in Hindu holy books, Buddhist holy books and others that indeed there are many heavens for the many groups of people around.
You are also asking how many rebirths do you have to go through? What should be of concern for you is that we won't get to be reborn until we are fully rested in the place of happiness. Until we are ready and the conditions are right, we can stay there for as long as we like because nobody can force us to be reborn if we don't want to. Buddha and Christ were also reborn but already in a different place, not on earth or on a material plane of existence. Their place is so much nicer but until we reach that time, we just have to wait and live and follow the middle way .
I am sorry but I cannot help you read "The Secret Doctrine". I have limited myself to teaching the basics of a religion which can be found in my website. I advise you also not to read so many books which are obviously in conflict with each other. There is such a thing as over reading. Don't let your mind be a sponge absorbing all knowledge and trash at the same time.
Who or what are the gods of the alien? Do they have a religion?
Aliens of advanced civilizations still believe in God and a host of other gods, karma and reincarnation. They are very advanced in intellect and know what is fiction from truth as well as they have devices to check over the veracity of stories and myths. But, basically what I teach, what Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism each teaches stem from the same religion because there can only be one truth.
My conjecture is that the one religion (not the way we know religion as it is practiced today) already has become part of their daily life; it has become part of their lifestyle, work, and in almost everything they do. It is their guide and conscience. They deal with others honestly, fairly and compassionately. They also deal with transgressors justly, firmly and decisively. There are not so many dissenting beliefs and practices because the basic teachings are established in their society. They do these not because they are compelled to, rather it's because it's the best for them both as individuals and members of society. Their culture is more functional than presentational with most gesticulations down to the barest and minimum.
Prayers have a new meaning - that prayers should be indulged in to gain spirituality and not as a medium to request conversion of physical actions for material and heavenly rewards. The religion which I am teaching is the religion of the future.
What do think of the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI?
The election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a German, as the next pope, is I, like others of open mind, believe is not the best choice for the troubled Roman Catholic church, and surely was not guided by the Holy Spirit, whoever he is. With the troubles and challenges besetting the Catholic church I thought it was obvious for the cardinal electors to be able to identify the problems of the church, and agree on the best man to save and lead the church through the issues threatening to divide it, say as divorce, population control, and the place of gays and women in the institution. These are really small problems, or if they were major ones as the church sees them, it can surely adapt some minor changes to save itself. It would not be the end of the Catholic church if it gave in "just a little wee bit".
Well, I was banking that the cardinal electorates were intelligent people who would first, be able to identify and state the problems confronting the church; secondly, analyze these problems; thirdly, give alternatives and options; then lastly, come up with a recommendation on what kind of next pope would best serve its members. Even a college freshman would have followed this procedure to solve a managerial or any problem for that matter. However, according to Time magazine, Pope John Paul II already was grooming his successor who would follow his views, in addition to the fact that most of the cardinal electorates were appointed by him. It is my belief, that in addition to these, the cardinal electorates were swayed by Cardinal Ratzinger's words during the conclave: "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching,' looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards." I feel sad for the Catholic church.
I consider Pope John Paul I as one of the greatest popes of the Catholic church in modern times. He was out to bring changes and put the church in step with modern society. He was open minded to issues of divorce and population control but unfortunately he died after just a month in office.
Previously, I said that the Roman Catholic church had really no solid base because its teachings are not universal truths; but the beginning of the end started with Pope John Paul II. He was an immensely popular pope but nor really a great one. He was credited in some way for the fall of communism in Poland in 1989. In the same year, the Berlin wall collapsed, and in 1990-1991, communist Russia broke down into independent states. But before these, in 1986 in the Philippines, there was a popular revolt wherein 20 years of dictatorship rule was ended. It requires no stretch of the imagination that the Poles might have gotten the idea of a peaceful popular revolt from the Filipinos. And the Filipinos did not get their inspiration from the Pope. Much later on, the Vatican even warned the local cardinals and priesthood not to get involved in politics.
If the popes were doctors and the church were the patient, Pope John Paul I could see a sickness coming and he wanted it to be vaccinated. He died before doing it. It caught the disease during the tenure of Pope John Paul II and nothing was done. It is now up to Pope Benedict XVI to cure it. I believe it is the beginning of the end for the Catholic church as an institution but a new beginning for its members.