Hello. The other day, I was wondering whether Buddhists have a kind of creed-statement for enquirers or those that are curious, so I looked on the Web. Among other references, I found this, which, apparently was produced by several Buddhist dignitaries:
I thought that it made good reading, so I printed it and put it away. (Very soon, we are to have a visitor with whom my wife has been in correspondence, and to whom, in answer to a question, she said that we are Buddhists. I expected that, when this relative did visit, she might be curious about our unconventional beliefs (as she referred to them), so the article was printed so as to hand it to her for leisurely consideration, later.)
It was only later that I realised that the article does not mention what I take to be the prime article of “faith” of Buddhism, which is that its founder claimed to be the Buddha (the Awakened One) following a life-changing experience, and that he taught a way of life and practice that, if followed diligently, brought about transcendental wisdom and the end of suffering. (Well, that's my understanding of the matter.)
If I had been curious about Buddhism and had read the article referred to, my impression would have been that the Buddha was merely a deep thinker, who taught simple, harmless living (which he did, of course). However, I should not have had an impression that there was anything transcendental about his teaching. I would have passed on, looking for something to replace my abandoned Christianity (which, whether it is true or not, does not claim to be merely a system of ethics and right living, but a way of salvation and the transcendence of the limitations of human life).
To me, it seems that if Buddha’s awakening is not mentioned in a Buddhist “Statement of Faith”, Buddhism is being misrepresented (or undersold, at any rate).
I am curious to find out how others may view the article. Does it represent “Buddhism” faithfully and fully, or not?