12 January, 2007

सद्धर्मपुण्डरीकसूत्र - huh?

I have had quite a few questions off line about this post


A few of them have chased it down via Google.

It is Sanskrit for the lotus sutra.

It is a pretty interesting Sutra. My interest in it is that there are a number of parallels between it and items in Christianity.
The meme typing and possible cross pollination of concepts has me intrigued.
  • It emerged prominently about the same time as the shift to the common era. (somewhere around 1 to 100 AD).
  • It includes one of the first real examples of Buddha being described as divine. (something more than an arahat)
  • Buddha is described as having chosen to come to earth and accept the suffering to teach others the path to arahat.
  • It includes the concept of sacrifice of the divine to save (teach really) the non divine.
  • There are several "parables" that mirror similar stories prominent in the new testament including most strikingly the prodigal son parable.
  • It constantly alludes to a teaching that transcends the other teachings.

There are a number of other parallels. It is also interesting in that a number of its thought exercises are very similar to the mental gymnastics involved in quantum physics (not that that is unusual for Buddhist writings).

Obviously the timing and the similarities in content and context are striking.

Is it an example of cross pollination of meme structures and types? If so in which direction or both?

Could it be concurrent emergence of a meme structure due to either ubiquitous environmental or developmental factors?

Can it and the histories associated with the two religious writings be used to examine how meme's interact across divergent cultures and geographies?

Many many interesting questions emerge for me from these writings.

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