Image(s) of ‘GOD’ from Sikhism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism:
Okay, now that we know according to Hinduism and Jewism/Christianity one should not picturize God ‘as they do it now’. Today we will discuss what Sikhism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism says about it!
The Guru Granth Sahib, the central scripture and Guru of Sikhs, strongly rejects idolatry. Idolatry is also rejected by the Dasam Granth a scripture by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, and within numerous rehatnamas (documents codifying the code of conduct of the Sikh religion), such as the Sikh Rehat Maryada and the Budha Dal Rehatnama.
Sikhism criticises the practice of using idols to represent God and pray to him.
Human figures of religious significance, such as the Sikh gurus, are common in ‘modern’ Sikhism, and the Sikh attitude to non-religious images is generally relaxed.
Mouth Shut (??!!)
The historical Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama or Shakyamuni) neither regarded himself nor wished to be regarded as a God.
In any of the ‘Sacred’ texts of Buddhism we do not find any evidence or statement approving or promoting of idol worship by Buddha.
On the contrary, Buddha has opposed making of idols, when Ananda, a close relative, the most devoted attendant and a leading monk sought permission to make an idol of Buddha.
The practice of idol worship in present day Buddhism is an innovation, defying the teachings of Buddha.
Christmas Humpreys, author of the book ‘Buddhism’, says of himself that he studied Buddhism for thirty years and of Buddhism in the world today he knows more than most and he has this to say about the Buddhist Scriptures:
“The Buddha himself wrote nothing, and none of his teaching was written down for at least four hundred years after his death. We, therefore do not know what the Buddha taught, any more than we know what Jesus taught; and today at least four schools, with sub-division in each, proclaim their own view as to what is Buddhism”.
The disappearance of original teachings and practices of Buddha are almost complete today, for the Buddhists are sunk in superstitions, idol worship and Hindu religious rituals. Original Buddhism has changed colors completely.
H.G. Wells (An Outline of History Page 392) has described this in a very terse language. “Gautama’s disciples have cared more for the preservation of his tree than of his thought, which from the first they distorted and misconceived (the Bodh tree which helped him to rest his back, while achieved ‘enlightenment’, still exists and with a sapling from the original tree planted in Sri Lanka, the Sri Maha Bodi in Anuradapura , venerated and worshipped excessively)”.
Writing on the corruption of Buddhism, Mr. Wells makes the following interesting observations:
“Tibet today is a Buddhist country, yet Gautama could he return to earth, might go from end to end of Tibet seeking his own teaching in vain.
About this Buddhist countryside he would discover a number of curious little mechanisms, little wind-wheels and water-wheels spinning, on which brief prayers were inscribed. Every time these things spin, he would learn, it counts as a prayer. ‘To whom?’, he would ask.
The most striking and undisputable statement about the authenticity of the Buddhist scriptures is by Chief Monk Akuratiye Amarawansa, Chancellor of the Vidyodaya Buddhist University (Pirivena), Maligakanda, Colombo; Scholar of the Tripitaka and Chief Monk of Southern Sri Lanka. In his preface to the Sinhala translation of Deega Nikaya, he has expressed the following:
“The Deega Nikaya that we see today cannot be assuredly said to be the same one that was presented to the first reform council (Dharma Sangayana). Many reform councils were held subsequently and these Nikayas and divisions would have been subjected to many changes. Therefore, the most acceptable view would be that the present Deega Nikaya is a collection of sutras subjected to changes, additions and deletions taken place after the first reform council.”
So if you find anything to be in favour of ‘idol worship’ in Buddhism.. simply remind yourself of ‘Cheif Monk’ Akuratiye’s Statement.
For additional Reading: http://www.allaahuakbar.net/buddhism/reality_of_idol_worship_and_buddhism.htm
Idol worship is prohibited in Zoroastrianism’s Sacred Scriptures too!
1. I also saw the souls of a man and a woman (2) whom they ever DRAG, the man to heaven and the woman to HELL. (3) And the woman’s hand was caught in the knot and sacred thread [kusti] of the man, (4) and she said thus: ‘How is it when we had every benefit in union, among the living, (5) now they are dragging thee to heaven, and me to HELL?’
6. And the man said thus: ‘Because whatever things I received of the good and worthy, I also gave them back to the poor; (7) and I practised good thoughts and good words and good deeds; (8) I also heeded God, and disregarded the demons; (9) and I have been steadfast in the good religion.
10. But you despised the good and poor and worthy and travellers; (11) you also disregarded God, and YOU WORSHIPPED IDOLS; (12) and practised evil thoughts and evil words and evil deeds; (13) and you have been steadfast in the religion of ahriman and the demons.’
– THE BOOK OF ARDA VIRAF, a holy book of Zoroastrianism..
Idol Worship is considered as a transgression of Zoroastrian commandment. For Scriptural verification,please refer to Patet Pashemani Manthra, Kardeh 10 word 21 (ozdist parasti).