Nearly forty years ago, at a meditation course I attended in Nashville, Indiana, Lama Thubten Yeshe was asked by a Christian woman in the audience, “Are God and dharmakaya the same?” Lama remained silent for several minutes, rocking back and forth on his cushion, pondering, as we sat in suspense. Finally, he simply said, “Yes.” I have never known quite what to make of his answer, but it has remained a sort of interreligious koan for me in the years since as I’ve tried to puzzle out how my identity as a Buddhist did or did not intersect with the identities, ideas, and practices of people in other religious groups.
Entries in Reviews (4)
Reviewed by Rita M. Gross
The Bodhisattva Ideal: Essays on the Emergence of Mahayana, edited by Bhikkhu Nyanatushita
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism by Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Reviewed by Rory Lindsay
Reviewed by Annabella Pitkin
Imagine opening a book about what we would today call Buddhism and reading that it is an Egyptian religion and that the Buddha was a former Egyptian priest exiled from his country during a Persian invasion twenty-three hundred years ago. Or think of reading, in a different treatise on the Buddha, that “We are compelled therefore to believe... that Buddha and [the Norse god] Woden are the same deity, and consequently that the theology of the Gothic and Saxon tribes was a modification of Buddhism...”