This is my reply to my papa's email (2) following his pronouncement that my belief conforms to Buddhism- 11 December 2004
i barely have any idea who's grandmother's brother.... not so close with them....
I am fine, and sorry for late reply, as i was working in the weekdays, dont really have time to reply your email, therefore weekends will be the time where i can sit down and write to you.
Actually i have some comment on what you said about enlightenment and buddha's teaching about eternal life.
I dont mean any offence but i would say that Buddhism is a religion that does NOT teach "eternity".
Of cos i am not saying out of ignorance, i have evidents. And my evidents are in 2 perspectives.
The first perspective is through Buddhism's theology (doctrines). According to the teaching of Buddha, there is nothing such as ETERNAL LIFE.
Buddha taught about Impermanece ("Anicca" in pali-sanskrit) apart from Suffering (Dukkha), and No-self (Anatta). These are the "Three Marks of Existence" -the central of Buddhism.
And Impermanence simply means all things never last forever. In another words, Buddha talked about Impermanence as being the nature of all conditioned phenomena. Buddha, himself never taught "eternality", so therefore, if ever any buddhist that believes in eternal life is not a true follower of Buddha.
Which buddhist master taught you about "eternality"? I would advise you not to listen to him if you want to continue to be a true follower of Buddha because that master is not teaching what Buddha taught about Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. I think the person that taught you about "Buddhism eternity" is either misinterpret the TIPITAKA (the Pali Canon- scriptures of Buddhism) or he blended (added) his own teaching into the true Buddhism. And by doing this, he is creating his own religion, and that is dangerous.
The second perspective is the historical factor. From the above, i have list out from Buddha's own teaching that he NEVER taught anything about eternity.
And now i am going to assume to you that even if Buddha taught about eternity, he was NOT the first person in human history to talked about it.
Approximately 1,000 years before Buddha was born, there was a person name Abraham who was one of the earliest human that came across the word "ETERNITY".
It is recorded very clearly, "I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you."
Everlasting means "last forever". This is the "eternal" promise from God to Abraham 1,000 years before Buddha was born. Therefore, even though if Buddha did teach about eternity (which in reality he had not), he was not the first.
Hence, from these 2 perspectives- Buddhism doctrines and Historical factor- Eternal life is never being taught by Buddha.
Ok, papa, hope you will read this with an open mind and without any bias but weight the evidents which i have listed.
Thanks for your time reading this email. I am looking forward for your reply.