Thursday, May 29, 2014

Buddhists beat Columbus to America

Amber Larson, Xochitl, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Tricycle Buddhist Review; T. Hartmann
Buddhist "pueblos," not of Arizona, California, or New Mexico, but of Buddhist-India in the Himalayas, Tsemo Gompa (monastery) and Leh Palace, Ladakh (Skaman306/
We're here to enslave you, convert you, rape you and, oh, you may also get sick (AMN).
"Buddha Buzz: An Inglorious Columbus and a royal Buddhist wedding" (
Buddha Buzz: An Inglorious Columbus
Racism? We're honoring you, "R-dskins"
In 1492, [Jewish-Spanish mercenary Christopher] Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Then he landed in the Bahamas and proceeded to enslave and massacre the local people.

Despite Columbus' well documented reign of cruelty and violence, Columbus Day is still celebrated as a federal holiday in most parts of the United States. (Kudos to such places as South Dakota, which celebrates Native American Day instead, and Santa Cruz, California, which celebrates Indigenous People's Day).

Can you believe those Football Peoples? (W)
As we know, Columbus was not the first European explorer to reach the Americas. That distinction belongs to [Icelandic Norwegian Viking] Leif Ericson.

But did you know that there's a theory -- first proposed by French sinologist M. De Guignes in 1761 -- that argues that Chinese [and Afghan missionary] Buddhist monks may have been the first travelers from the Old World to the New, reaching Mexico in A.D. 499?
Buddhist robe, Taos
Edward Payson Vining, a 19th-century railroad manager, was so captivated by the theory that he wrote a book about it [read it free]: An Inglorious Columbus; Or, Evidence that Hwui Shan and A Party of Buddhist Monks from Afghanistan Discovered America in the Fifth Century A.D.
At 800 pages, it might not work as that light before-bed reading you've been looking for, but just in case, it's available as a free e-book here. And for the faint-hearted among us, [ourselves] included, a summary is available here.

Nomadic Siberian teepee (
This theory may be right or wrong, but as [modern maritime archeological discoveries show and] as Rick Fields wrote in his book How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America, if it is true, "Buddhism in North America may have had a far longer history and a far more profound effect [particularly on the Native Americans] than any but a few visionaries have dared to guess."

Giant Buddha of Bhutan (
The U.S., besieged by economic woes as it is, might do well to look to Bhutan, a country [the Last Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom] that since 1972 has been focusing on its country's Gross National Happiness instead of its Gross Domestic Product [GDP].

There may have been a recent spike in national happiness, as Bhutan has just celebrated a royal Buddhist wedding: the king, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, got married this week in a Buddhist ceremony to a 21-year-old Bhutanese student, Jetsun Pema. There are some beautiful pictures of the event here.
European men rape Native American Children?
Thom Hartmann, "Columbus Day Celebration? Think Again" (
Putting Natives to work as slaves in his gold mines, Columbus also sold sex slaves to his men -- some as young as 9. Columbus and his men also raided villages for sex and sport (ICTMN).
Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
...Cuneo further notes that he himself took a beautiful teenage Carib girl as his personal slave, a gift from Columbus himself, but that when he attempted to have sex with her, she "resisted with all her strength." So, in his own words, he "thrashed her mercilessly and raped her."

While Columbus once referred to the Taino Indians as cannibals, a story made up by Columbus -- which is to this day still taught in some US schools -- to help justify his slaughter and enslavement of these people. He wrote to the Spanish monarchs in 1493: "It is possible, with the name of the Holy Trinity, to sell all the slaves which it is possible to sell... Here there are so many of these slaves, and also brazilwood, that although they are living things they are as good as gold."

Columbus and his men also used the Native Taino as sex slaves: It was a common reward for Columbus' men for him to present them with local women to rape. As he began exporting Taino as slaves to other parts of the world, the sex-slave trade became an important part of the business, as Columbus wrote to a friend in 1500:

"A hundred castellanoes (Spanish coins) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in demand [to sell to white child molesting rapists who think nothing of enslaving human beings, or to regard them as animals, or to have sex with animals from the shame they are taught by their Eurocentric Judeo-Christian upbringings and the perversion of anything Jesus ever taught]." More

Occupy Together

And in another case of American occupation, one not quite as old but perhaps as controversial, Occupy [] Wall Street has spread to 1,453 cities, according to Occupy Together. (More about OWS at

As the 99% assert themselves all over America and the world, Zenju Earthlyn Marselean Manuel has written a beautiful post on her website, "Un-Occupy the Land," about the need to un-occupy instead. She writes:
I am feeling the need to un-occupy. To un-occupy would be to let go of possession[s], to let go of taking over, without knowing what such a mind/heart will lead us to. I am not saying to not protest -- we must. After all, it is money we all earned [that has been stolen from us by Wall Street bankers and the military-industrial complex]. But can we act differently than the money-handlers, to not take. If it were 'Un-occupy Wall Street' everyone would have to go.
And this is the over-arching question -- How can we un-occupy this land we have over-occupied? More

1 comment:

Godozo said...

I have a theory about Columbus day: That Columbus wasn't the one who discovered the Americas but part of the LAST wave of people to discover the Americas. There have been plenty of discoveries – Japanese, Chinese, Africans, Polynesians, Carthaginians, Irish, Vikings, etc.; but it was Columbus, Amerigo Verspucci and the wave that came along with them that has (so far) kept the American Continent known (from a Eurasian perspective).