A Prose On Why Idolizing Is Good
As I read an article on how "Nepal’s Largest Stone Buddha At 12,600 Feet" got built and then I read the comments, I couldn't help but feel that people are repeating the same old mantra and not thinking for themselves. One comment suggests that instead of building such a statue, the money should go to the poor instead. I totally understand the good intention of such a comment, but it's narrow-minded thinking and missing the big picture altogether. Of course, in Buddha's time, he said you should not idolize him and focus on his teaching instead. Nonetheless, we're not living in a time in which his holiness is alive, and so it's so misleading to think that a Buddhist tradition can carry on without idolizing him in a physical form through arts and sculptures. After all, his teaching doesn't come out of thin air. Without the peaceful fanatics (not the violent ones of course) who idolize him, I don't think his teaching can be spread far and wide. Although we all know moderation is best, but I don't think making/worshiping a Buddha statue is sinful. A narrow-minded person could seek out a path where he/she could choose to not remember and respect the Buddha himself through idolizing him, and he or she could pray and hope his holiness trace would disappear along with his peaceful teaching altogether. Sure, it might not change the world in any way of shape, or form if this were to happen, but his teaching is one of the peaceful ways and to go without such knowledge the world may be missing out on something really good. Not everyone can inherit a strong self in moments of helplessness in everyday life, and so his holiness teaching could always lift such a spirit out of despair through such terrible times. I think people should not spit out mantras as if they're a saint themselves because if you're a Buddhist you should care not if someone else is idolizing him in a peaceful manner, and instead you should focus on his timeless teaching. Somebody got money to make a statue of his holiness, it's their business and not yours. If you got money to help the poor, you could always do it yourself instead of preaching. This idea can also be applied to Christianity and other peaceful religions. I'm not recommending anyone to idolize a cult's figure and go crazy on normal folks, because the whole idea is to worship and idolize a peaceful deity and in this way, peace can exist among our brethren and sistren.