[Buddha-l] Return of blasphemy?

Joy Vriens joy.vriens at gmail.com
Mon Nov 7 00:53:21 MST 2011

Hi Jo,

"Today in India, Rahul(a) is not an unusual name. Those bearing it are 
Hindus. I suspect naming a child this way is apotropaic, as Rahula (one 
of the two Moon's nodes) is considered to be a demon and dangerous. In 
the distinction between these two traditions in the naming of a male 
child, one gets a good example of the complexity of myth and legend, 
where some motifs seem to reappear as the same, and others as entirely 
different in their functions."

There have been masters, including one of the sixteen arhats, called 
Rahula or having Rahula in their name. And as you point out it is not an 
unusual name. The Buddha's son's name has probably more to with Rahu 
being the name of a node/"planet" than with the meaning fetter.  That's 
what I expect, but I have no idea about the state of astrology at the 
Buddha's time.

As for the Buddha's life story. I am so used to Tibetan hagiographies, 
that I can't take life stories too seriously. They were written by the 
propagandists and spin doctors of those times. I must be totally messed 
up because when I read them, I no longer am moved to tears, but wonder 
who wrote this and why.

Looking forward to the implementation of the New Declaration of 
religious rights to help me rid myself of critical thinking and find 
back the way to my heart.


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