[Buddha-l] Another One Bites the Dust

Richard Hayes richard.hayes.unm at gmail.com
Mon Mar 4 10:47:19 MST 2013

On Mar 4, 2013, at 10:15 , Joy Vriens <joy.vriens at gmail.com> wrote:

> If one believes the Buddha is a fictional character, then it doesn't
> make sense the literature about the Buddha would mention sexual abuse or
> other misdemeanors and misconduct by the Buddha.

I believe the Buddha is a fictional character—or to put it more accurately, I believe that most of the stories that have come down to us are highly fictionalized accounts of someone who may have almost existed—but I can easily make sense of stories of accusations being made against a hero, who then rises above the attempts to smear his reputation. Just as Gotama rose about the attempts of his wicked cousin to assassinate him, he rose above the attempts of troubled women to assassinate his character. That makes for excellent fiction. Even if nothing remotely like that ever happened in real life, a good story teller would need to add a bit of tawdry narrative.

Like the rest of you, I was thinking the source of the story in the Jémez Thunder was ultimately the Cincamanavika story in the Pali literature, which H.W. Schumann reported in his _The Historical Buddha_, translated from German by M. O’C. Walshe in 1989. I thought it unlikely that the editor of the Jémez Thunder would have read Schumann's book, but now that I see what some of you have reported, I bet the Thunder-walla did read (or read a summary of) Batchelor's piece, which I have not read. 


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