The Spirit of Celebration in Buddhism - Does it Exist? Did it Exist? Can it Exist!?
I posted this blog entry in 2018 the first time when I found the below three quotes referring to the musical, devotional and celebrative side of ancient and native buddhism of India and Nepal. I publish this post again as an introduction to my upcoming articles on buddhism as a celebrative practice.
”It does seem that traditionally in India there was a strong buddhist tradition of buddhist music until quite late on. Much of the music which style you now associate with hinduism, like Hare Krishna chanting, that sort of tambourine banging, "Haa-ree Raa-maa!", that sort of thing was buddhist originally. It was a buddhist style. As India became hindu rather than buddhist again, the music continued.” - David Brazier, Pure Land Buddhist teacher
“Some years ago, while walking through the Buddhist temple of Svayambhu in Kathmandu at the time of a Buddhist festival, I came across a group of lay people chanting the Triple Refuge (trisarana). While the taking of refuge is a common practice for Buddhist laity visiting a temple, I was surprised by the passion and exuberance of the chant as it was repeated over and over. Accompanied by sitars and tablas, the Nepalese Buddhists were singing the Sanskrit refuges in the style of lively Indian devotional music. Having observed the refuges chanted in American, Japanese, Thai and Burmese temples, I had come to expect such chanting to be done in a sober, even-minded and tranquil manner. Instead, the Nepalese swayed back and forth, radiating with joy and excitement as they continued their devotion. Reflecting on the disparity between my expectation and the scene in front of me, I initially interpreted (and discounted) the chanting as being excessively influenced by (modem) Indian culture. But when I remembered that Buddhism was born in India and has survived for 2500 years in Indian culture (if we include Kathmandu within the Indian cultural sphere), I looked at the scene with keen interest, wondering what it meant for an Indian to be a Buddhist.” - Gil Fronsdal, 1998 p. 1
"In Hinduism, the idea of faith is expressed as bhakti. Bhakti is regarded as the highest path of interface with the gods and also implies the deepest reverence for gods. On the other hand, Pure Land prasada differs in that it appears less emotional and more serene and subtle due to its relation to prajna (wisdom) and samadhi (concentration).” - Fujita Kotatsu in Genshi Jodo Shiso No Kenkyu about sound use of emotion in Pure Land Buddhism
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