Sunday, September 30, 2012

Buddhism in the news: September 2012

The following is part of my monthly "Buddhism in the News" series, where I provide links to articles about Buddhism, along with news of prominent Buddhists and everyday laypeople. I welcome you to browse the linked articles below and read what interests you. Enjoy!

1. Nazi-acquired Buddha statue came from space Brought to Europe from Tibet by Nazi archeologists/scientists, this is a Buddhist artifact that was likely carved from ataxite metorites that are believed to have fallen near the Siberian-Mongolian border 10,000-20,000 years ago. Article is from LiveScience via Fox News. For another look at this intriguing artifact, see this article from National Geographic. (One of the comments of this second article aptly points out the mistake of describing the statue as of a 'Buddhist god')
UPDATE: "Space-Buddha" may be a fake. Additional inquiries to the story surrounding this supposedly 1000 year-old artifact have brought the age of the item into question. Archeologists address the possibility that the statue carved from an ataxite meteorite is a western reproduction crafted between 1910 and 1970, mostly to appeal to the Nazi-memorabilia market.  

2. Rioters torch Buddhist temples, homes in Bangladesh Violence erupted in Bangladesh after a Buddhist man posted a photo defaming the Koran on facebook. 25,000 people rioted, set fire to Buddhist temples and homes, and looted businesses. These events mirror the sectarian violence and tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. Article is from AFP via The Deccan Chronicle.

3. We need to be 21st century Buddhists: Dalai Lama The Dalai Lama talks about human emotions and intelligence, the growing influence of Buddhism, and suggests that temples and monasteries also become places of learning. Article is from the Times of India.

4. Steven Colbert vs. Buddhism A silly montage of Colbert's rantings and ramblings about Buddhism. (Not exactly accurate- 5000 years after Buddha's death? lol) Video posted on Huffington Post. 

Please share your thoughts about whatever captured your interest in the comments. Also please let me know if I missed something by providing the title of the article. I will google it and include it here, with credit to you! :) Finally, if you are reading this at a later date, please inform me of any dead links, since some newspapers only post articles for a short time before archiving them. Thank you!

May all beings be happy!


  1. Renata, thank you. This is an interesting group of articles. The theme from the these articles, to some degree, seems to point to ignorance of Buddhist teachings. Interestingly, the rioters claim the photo was uploaded by a "Buddhist man from the area". I wonder if they jump to this conclusion without knowing the facts. Even if this man really claimed to be Buddhist, the rioters' actions caused much anguish for many innocent Buddhists in the area. I really like the Dalai Lama's suggestion about building learning centers rather than temples or monasteries. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the other two, but it clearly puts the emphasis on the science of mind. I'm glad to see you're back to your posting on your blog site.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Dan. The violence between the Buddhists in both Bangladesh and Myanmar is really disturbing, because up until recently, is was said to have been rare. I think you might be right that people may have jumped to conclusions (and therefore overreacted).

      As for your comment on the overall theme of the articles, I did not consciously pick articles that point out others' ignorance of Buddhist principles. But since you bring it up, this is an issue that I have recently become very aware of (for obvious reasons). And so as I write my posts, I try to remain aware that there is a lot misinformation about Buddhism (and other religions) out there. For example, Steve Colbert's skit may be funny, but I don't think it does Buddhism any service as far as misunderstandings are concerned.

      Finally, I am glad you mentioned the "science of mind" advocated by the Dalai Lama. I recently finished reading his book, The Universe in a Single Atom, and while sometimes a little bit of a heavy read, it was fantastic. A truly detailed and thoughtful account of science and spirituality.

      Thanks again for your comment, I hope you have a great day!


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! If you enjoyed this post, please share with others. -With Metta, Renata