It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Most secular western Buddhists claim that what eastern Buddhists are doing goes against what Buddha had taught. That it went from ones mans philosophy on the nature of humankind to a full blown devotional religion; complete with all of the ritualistic trappings. Never minding the fact that I think middle class westerners have done more harm than good to Buddhism in general, do they have a point?
All Buddha really taught was what he considered to be the flaws of the nature of humankind and how we could overcome it. Everything else (gods, rituals, scriptures), while not prohibited per se, aren't really necessary. Yet, in the countries where Buddhism spread to, the folk deities would eventually be assimilated into Buddha Dharma and give birth to very unique (and in some cases highly syncretic) schools of Buddhism. Some incorporated Hindu deities (in the case of Sri Lanka and Nepal), others east asian deities and Taoism (Chinese and Japanese Mahayana), and in some cases Buddhism was simply applied to the already dominant folk religions of the region (such as in Tibet).
So what do you think? Are the bulk of Buddhists completely missing the point of Buddha Dharma? Or is it all just the natural evolution of philosophical and religious thought?
Or, do people get way too caught up in what constitutes a "Buddhist", and that it really doesn't matter if a Buddhist reveres any "Folk" deities; as long as they follow Dharma to the best of their abilities?
Meh, I don't mind the "G" word. As someone who believes in a divinity, I use "god" because most people understand it.
If I tried to explain what I believe in is more akin to the Tao, Adi-Buddha, or Brahman, I might end up losing people in the conversation (which has happened before).
Comfort or Truth?
Here's my two cents.
For every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction.
Or, if you prefer, naturalistic cause and effect.
No divine intervention. No cosmic judge. Just actions and consequences.