Factual inaccuracies in Mr M.S.S. Menon's letter

by John (Snowlion), England, The Buddhist Channel, Feb 26, 2006

I write in reply to M.S.N. Menon's letter "Was Buddhism driven out of India?" of January 22, 2006

1) The term 'Aryan', when used in this context is not interchangeable with 'Indo-Iranian'.

2) This term 'puritanical', when used in this context, is just personal opinion. The prohibition against dancing, theatre and so forth applies only to monks.

3) It is quite incorrect to describe the Mahayana as a distortion of the teachings of Shakyamuni.

4) Hinduism, in its modern sense, did not exist at the time of Buddha, so it a mistake to imply that Buddhism is a branch of Hinduism. What they have in common is simply their origin in India.

5) The ethical development of Buddhists in Central Asia and the expansion of Islam are not related.

6) The terms 'idolatry' and 'superstition' are also matters of personal opinion. Furthermore, apart from this consideration, the religious beliefs of Ancient Central Asia are not sufficiently understood to make any such statements.

7) There is no evidence to suggest that Muslim invaders singled out Buddhists or Buddhist institutions. It was simply misfortune that so many Buddhist sites lay in the path of these marauding armies.

8) The differences between Buddhism and Hinduism are by no means confined to a rejection of caste, rituals and vedic authority. The differences are of an order that one would expect from two entirely separate world religions.

9) Although monasticism has its peaks and troughs like everything else, the Hindu texts that the author mentions are actually aimed at practitioners of the more esoteric varieties of Hinduism, and Buddhist monks feature in these merely as a convenient example.

10) China cannot be used as a comparative example for the decline of Indian Buddhism. China has been a single entity since time immemorial and so has developed a unique tension between tradition and reform. This periodically manifests in the form of highly-destructive tyrants. It is simply misfortune that Buddhism became the object of such tyranny in ancient times, and also more recently.

11) 'With focus on Nirvana, life itself came to be secondary'. The author would be well advised to undertake further study of Buddhist doctrines before writing any more articles on this subject.
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv