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Author Topic: Mahayana/Greco-Buddhism and Hellenismos  (Read 7213 times)
semperfemme
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« Topic Start: March 24, 2009, 07:35:33 am »



Lately along with my Hellenic studies I've also been studying a bit of Mahayana (mainly listening to Zencast, so I don't know if that really even counts as studying  Tongue) and attempting to implement more Dharma into my life as well as continue my path of worshiping and honoring the gods.

I'm aware of the concept of syncretism and wanted to see if anyone else has found a "connection" of sorts involving Buddhism and their Hellenic practices. Do the philosophies coincide at all? I think about the Delphic Maxims and many of the divine laws seem to fit very nicely with Buddhist thought and in a way, it seems to me as if the Dharma would make one even more pious and virtuous.

Thoughts? Opinions? Semper what the heck are your smokings?
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fiamma
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« Reply #1: March 24, 2009, 09:46:35 pm »

I'm aware of the concept of syncretism and wanted to see if anyone else has found a "connection" of sorts involving Buddhism and their Hellenic practices. Do the philosophies coincide at all? I think about the Delphic Maxims and many of the divine laws seem to fit very nicely with Buddhist thought and in a way, it seems to me as if the Dharma would make one even more pious and virtuous.

Hmm...I know of one person (not on this forum though) that's made some sort of connection here, though I don't really know much about it, partially because of lack of interest of my own, but also largely because I've found a lot of this person's other ideas to be flawed, and I don't know enough about Buddhism to be able to pick the idea apart and figure out if it actually makes any sense or not.

So...no you're not the only one, but I don't know any more than that :-)
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« Reply #2: March 24, 2009, 09:52:35 pm »


Lately along with my Hellenic studies I've also been studying a bit of Mahayana (mainly listening to Zencast, so I don't know if that really even counts as studying  Tongue) and attempting to implement more Dharma into my life as well as continue my path of worshiping and honoring the gods.

I'm aware of the concept of syncretism and wanted to see if anyone else has found a "connection" of sorts involving Buddhism and their Hellenic practices. Do the philosophies coincide at all? I think about the Delphic Maxims and many of the divine laws seem to fit very nicely with Buddhist thought and in a way, it seems to me as if the Dharma would make one even more pious and virtuous.

Thoughts? Opinions? Semper what the heck are your smokings?



A man I used to correspond with on another message board years back, Todd Jackson, once said that he'd been a Mahayana Buddhist prior to converting to Hellenismos. Todd currently leads an online spiritual community devoted to Apollo, called Kyklos Apollon.

I only lurk on its Yahoo Group, and I haven't corresponded with Todd in some years. He is extremely intelligent and eloquent, and might be able to offer some credible spiritual guidance with regard to the syncretic practices you've described. Todd still posts on this list, as far as I know:


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kyklos_Apollon/


Apollo picks His devotees well, that's for sure.
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fiamma
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« Reply #3: March 24, 2009, 10:05:50 pm »


A man I used to correspond with on another message board years back, Todd Jackson, once said that he'd been a Mahayana Buddhist prior to converting to Hellenismos. Todd currently leads an online spiritual community devoted to Apollo, called Kyklos Apollon.

I only lurk on its Yahoo Group, and I haven't corresponded with Todd in some years. He is extremely intelligent and eloquent, and might be able to offer some credible spiritual guidance with regard to the syncretic practices you've described. Todd still posts on this list, as far as I know:


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kyklos_Apollon/


Apollo picks His devotees well, that's for sure.

Huh. I know Todd. Didn't realize he'd ever been a Buddhist.

Are you on KA now?
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semperfemme
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« Reply #4: March 25, 2009, 10:43:20 am »


A man I used to correspond with on another message board years back, Todd Jackson, once said that he'd been a Mahayana Buddhist prior to converting to Hellenismos. Todd currently leads an online spiritual community devoted to Apollo, called Kyklos Apollon.

I only lurk on its Yahoo Group, and I haven't corresponded with Todd in some years. He is extremely intelligent and eloquent, and might be able to offer some credible spiritual guidance with regard to the syncretic practices you've described. Todd still posts on this list, as far as I know:


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kyklos_Apollon/


Apollo picks His devotees well, that's for sure.

I received an invite to KA about a week ago, joined, and just read posts to get a feel for the group. I will definitely post this question there and see what kind of responses I receive. Thanks for the contact and the heads up!
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firefly124
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« Reply #5: March 25, 2009, 10:58:03 am »

I think about the Delphic Maxims and many of the divine laws seem to fit very nicely with Buddhist thought and in a way, it seems to me as if the Dharma would make one even more pious and virtuous.

Thoughts? Opinions? Semper what the heck are your smokings?

I haven't really taken a syncretic approach here.  Well, not consciously.  But I do incorporate elements of Mahayana beliefs and practice into my Buddhist-influenced-but-still-basically-Pagan worship of Kwan Yin.  And my worship of Apollon and Pan is very Recon-based though not, by any means, strictly Reconstructionist.  So there are probably influences in both directions, even if I'm not consciously and deliberately trying for a syncretic approach.

I definitely agree that they complement one another well in many ways.  I don't think I could manage juggling the two if they seemed in complete opposition. 
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Aetius
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« Reply #6: March 25, 2009, 07:32:24 pm »

Huh. I know Todd. Didn't realize he'd ever been a Buddhist.

Are you on KA now?


No, I just lurk. I've not corresponded with Todd in some years. Great guy though. His Apollo-related poetry really helped awaken me to the Hellenic Pagan concept of the divine.

I remember Todd saying that he had been Buddhist years back. I'm going to feel dumb if he actually wasn't, but I definitely remember him mentioning a deep exploration of the Mahayana path.
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Caesoninus
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« Reply #7: April 20, 2009, 11:30:34 am »


Lately along with my Hellenic studies I've also been studying a bit of Mahayana (mainly listening to Zencast, so I don't know if that really even counts as studying  Tongue) and attempting to implement more Dharma into my life as well as continue my path of worshiping and honoring the gods.

I'm aware of the concept of syncretism and wanted to see if anyone else has found a "connection" of sorts involving Buddhism and their Hellenic practices. Do the philosophies coincide at all? I think about the Delphic Maxims and many of the divine laws seem to fit very nicely with Buddhist thought and in a way, it seems to me as if the Dharma would make one even more pious and virtuous.

Thoughts? Opinions? Semper what the heck are your smokings?


While not a scolarly source in itself...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religions_of_the_Indo-Greeks

It's pretty well cited for a Wikipedia article and should give a nice summary starting point. The Indo-Greek Kingdom, which was largely cut off from the rest of the Hellenic world, had a partial fusing of both Hellenic religion and Buddhism as very common.

Also - you can look at the way that Shinto and Zen Buddhism interact if you'd like a modern example. Shinto is the last surviving religion that I can see or describe in my view as being 'ancient polytheist', like Hellenisimos or the Religio Romana. It might give you some nice examples of how the two systems can co-exist.

IIRC, Buddhist monks and sages were fairly widespread throughout the Hellenic and Roman world. I'm sure there must be something written about them, and how the Ancients in the West viewed their particular philosophy.

Cheers!
Caesoninus
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Nyktipolos
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« Reply #8: April 20, 2009, 02:09:30 pm »



I wonder if I'm missing something about that article. It seems to focus primarily on Indian religions, and have nothing on Greek ones (or at least how the Indo-Greeks viewed the Greek gods), not to mention it seems heavily skewed towards Buddhism with little on Hinduism or other religions in that region.

It does seem well sourced, though.
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« Reply #9: August 03, 2009, 01:02:13 pm »


Lately along with my Hellenic studies I've also been studying a bit of Mahayana (mainly listening to Zencast, so I don't know if that really even counts as studying  Tongue) and attempting to implement more Dharma into my life as well as continue my path of worshiping and honoring the gods.

I'm aware of the concept of syncretism and wanted to see if anyone else has found a "connection" of sorts involving Buddhism and their Hellenic practices. Do the philosophies coincide at all? I think about the Delphic Maxims and many of the divine laws seem to fit very nicely with Buddhist thought and in a way, it seems to me as if the Dharma would make one even more pious and virtuous.

Thoughts? Opinions? Semper what the heck are your smokings?


I think Greco-Buddhism is more theoretically interesting than personally applicable to me.  I've done some pretty heavy looking into Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, and while I think it has an insane amount of truth, there's something about it that is just insufficiently appealing.  My brother, on the other hand, did a fairly intensive academic study of Buddhism for his ResStud master's degree, and I would not actually be too surprised if a kind of Greco-Buddhism is where he winds up.

My flavor of Dharma is the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy, a monist approach that is mostly based on the Bhagavad-Gita and the Upanishads.  I think it actually fits pretty seamlessly with most any kind of paganism, and it is essentially the "deep philosophy" that undergirds my pagan beliefs and practices.  And unlike Buddhist thought and scripture, a lot of Hindu stuff--philosophical and theological stuff more than the specific gods and goddesses--makes me sit up and take notice.  Honestly I don't even know how "syncretic" this approach is.  I'm not talking about worshipping Kali alongside Aphrodite, or incorporating Hindu ritual practices into my worship of the Theoi, but a lot of paganism makes a kind of deep theological sense to me when seen through the lens of Hindu philosophy.  And as I have been led to believe, there was actually a lot more congress between east and west in ancient times than we usually assume.
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aingealoreiad
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« Reply #10: August 03, 2009, 02:40:23 pm »

I'm aware of the concept of syncretism and wanted to see if anyone else has found a "connection" of sorts involving Buddhism and their Hellenic practices. Do the philosophies coincide at all? I think about the Delphic Maxims and many of the divine laws seem to fit very nicely with Buddhist thought and in a way, it seems to me as if the Dharma would make one even more pious and virtuous.

There is a gentleman by the name of Astalon that currently practices a Greco Buddhist syncretism (I hear he's also Asatru, but that's besides the pint). He has actually written tow pretty good articles about the subject.

http://www.neosalexandria.org/greco_buddhism.htm
http://www.neosalexandria.org/alexandrias_east.htm
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