Monday, April 10, 2006

I better get rhyming...

Because it's National Poetry Month. I discovered this at the latest Blogmandu, which is fittingly poetry-rich this week. Taking the easy shot (someone had to!), this Seussian ode to Tom DeLay will stick in your head. There's a fantastic example of poetic linkage, and some old Japanese poems. That'll get you started.

And, in an unpoetic challenge to Plato's footnote, Nagarjuna is vying for the title of Most. Important. Philosopher. Ever.
"Nagarjuna is surely one of the most difficult philosophers to interpret in any tradition. His texts are terse and cryptic. He does not shy away from paradox or apparent contradiction. He is coy about identifying his opponents. The commentarial traditions grounded in his texts present a plethora of interpretations of his view. Nonetheless, his influence in the Mahayana Buddhist world is not only unparalleled in that tradition, but exceeds in that tradition the influence of any single Western philosopher in the West."
Christian theologians take note.

4 comments:

Tom said...

Hehe. Thanks, A, for the shout! The purpose of B'du is to 'spread the word', and you are helping.

If I am beseiged by Christian Theologians, I will let you know. [And, likely, wave my fist at you.]

Gasho,

Tom; Blogmandu Reporter

Ahistoricality said...

There's a long and honorable tradition of fist-waving in Buddhism; I'm honored.

I've often wondered why, given what looks to this Jew like remarkable similarities between the salvation by faith in Christianity and Mahayana Buddhism, there doesn't seem to be more theological dialogue. On the other hand, you've got two generations of JuBus....

Tom said...

A,

Mahayana Buddhism, salvation by faith? I don't think so. Some of us. Somewhat. Maybe. But you may have us confused with some other religion that sets up alters and bows to iconic figures.

As for JuBus, yes, there are many Western Buddhists known by that affectionate apellation. They've given up milk and honey for lotuses and mud.

Ahistoricality said...

Mahayana Buddhism, salvation by faith? I don't think so.

There is, in Mahayana Buddhism, as in Christianity, a wide variation on the degree to which faith is emphasized (as opposed to good works, in Christianity, or individual enlightenment, in Buddhism), but the fundamental nature of the Boddhisatva in the age of disordered law is salvation through faith.