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dying gods for sins

Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2022 5:15 am
by moses
the belief that a god came down and died for people sins via human sacrificial ritual was known to eastern religions ?

Re: dying gods for sins

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2022 4:56 am
by ABuddhist
The Buddhist Jataka Tales are similar in an interesting way. They describe how Shakyamuni Buddha, over many lifetimes prior to becoming a Buddha who would teach humans an gods true wisdom, accumulated the merit in order to become a Buddha. Many of these meritorious deeds involved him sacrificing his life in various forms - including, very famously, as a human who fed himself to a starving Tigress and her cubs so that they would not die.

In later Mahayana Buddhism, these stories are taken very seriously as guides for how to behave as practitioners strive to accumulate merit in order to become Buddhas themselves in future lives, to the extent that Jan Nattier, a scholar of Mahayana Buddhism, in her excellent book "A Few Good Men: The Bodhisattva Path according to The Inquiry of Ugra (Ugraparipṛcchā)" [University of Hawaii Press; New edition (May 31 2005), said that certain Mahayana Buddhist texts had to encourage practitioners to be more restrained in their merit accumulation. In the Sinosphere, there developed a practise of particularly devout Mahayana Buddhist monastics immolating themselves alive until they died out of devotion to Amitabha Buddha, who supposedly offers salvation to all people with faith in him regardless of their negative deeds. The Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức famously immolated himself in a successful effort to save Buddhism in Vietnam from efforts by Roman Catholics to exterminate it; his last words before he setted himself fatally on fire were homage to Amitabha Buddha. Thích Quảng Đức has become regarded by Buddhists (including myself!), as a powerful Bodhisattva for his sacrifice, who will become a Buddha in a future life and who already has a cult devoted to him - rather like the cults of Christian martyrs.