Friday, January 31, 2014

The Buddha and Sports (Superb Owl, Part 2)

Ashley Wells, Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, CC Liu, Pfc. Sandoval, Wisdom Quarterly; Ven. Silacara Bhikkhu (A Young People's Life of the Buddha) ORGANIZED SPORTS (PART 1)
Siddhartha: Does he have a concussion? Channa: No, this guy's, uh, never mind (SF).

QB Colbert and a bunch of B's on the gridiron
Siddhartha the Bodhisat (Buddha-to-be) was living the household life, being raised with a great education to become a leader, a prince in the Shakya (Sakya) clan in frontier northwest India (Afghanistan, not Nepal).
That Siddhartha is great!
In Siddhartha's bodily attainments, he was well endowed just as he was in mind (intellect) and character (virtue). The girls, Shakyan cousins and princesses, looked on in admiration to various contests.   Although gentle in manner, he was bold in the practice of all the sports of his country. He was a cool and daring horseman, a marksman with bow and arrow, and an able and skillful chariot-driver. In the latter sport, he won many chariot races against the best drivers in the country. Yet, for all his keenness in trying to win a race, he was kind and compassionate towards the horses who helped him to win so often. He would frequently let a race be lost rather than urge his weary, panting horses beyond their strength.

Not only towards his horses but towards all creatures, Siddhartha seemed to have a heart full of compassion. He was a ruler’s son and had never himself had to suffer hardship or distress. Yet, his kind heart seemed to know by sympathy how others felt when they were afflicted or in pain, whether these others were men or animals. When he was kind to others, as far as he could, he tried to relieve any suffering they were already enduring.

Devadatta utterly ruined himself later.
Once when he was out walking in the country with his cousin Devadatta [brother of his future wife, Bimba, more popularly known as Yasodhara], who had his bow and arrows with him. Devadatta shot a swan that was flying overhead. The arrow hit the swan and it fluttered, painfully wounded, to the ground. Both boys ran to pick it up, but Siddhartha reached it first. Holding it gently, he pulled the arrow out of its wing, put some cool leaves on the wound to stop it from bleeding, and stroked and soothed the hurt and frightened bird. Devadatta was very much annoyed to see his cousin take the swan from him in this way, and he called on Siddhartha to give him the swan because he had brought it down. Siddhartha, however, refused to give him the swan, saying that if the bird had been killed then it would have been his. But as it was alive, it belonged to the one who saved it, and so he meant to keep it. Devadatta maintained that it should belong to him because he tried to kill it.

Devadatta, Siddhartha, and the wounded swan (daobingan/
Siddhartha proposed and Devadatta agreed that their dispute be settled by a full council [one is reminded of a loya jirga or grand assembly] of the wise men of the country. The council, accordingly, was called and the question put before them. Some in the council argued one way, some in the other, some siding with Devadatta, others with Siddhartha. But at last one man in the council, whom nobody had ever seen before, rose and said: “A life certainly must belong to one who tries to save it; a life cannot belong to one who is only trying to destroy it. The wounded bird by right belongs to the one who saved its life. Let the swan be given to Siddhartha.” All of the others in the council agreed with these wise words, and Prince Siddhartha was allowed to keep the swan. He cared for it until it was cured; then he set it free, letting it fly back to its mates on the forest-lake. More

The Land of the Shakyas (Sakastan, Sakae, and Sakala?) with their capital at Kapilavastu (Kapisa?) not the future "Nepal" between Kashmir and Kosala. (See

The Big Game
We'll see who wins at the big festival celebration and feast (daobingan/photobucket)
Once, after practicing with his many Shakya clan cousins, young Siddhartha had great prowess in sports yet remained humble. He engaged in equestrian sports, raced chariots, swam, ran, shot targets, had a white pony/stallion named Kanthaka.

Kanthaka and Siddhartha (BDE)
He was good, and the other boys were jealous. The girls looked on admiringly from the sidelines of their very patriarchal society out in the frontier between East and West along the Silk Road that enriched their land (janapada, the clan's territorial holdings), where Indian traders traveled into Central Asia near Gandhara. The great ancient monuments in Bamiyan were marvels of the day, later converted to representations of their greatest son. (They are so ancient that only Madame Blavatsky has proposed their age and original purpose).

Tired of being trapped by life, Siddhartha lets go of Kanthaka, his royal position, inheritance, and trapping telling his servant Channa to give back to his father (BDE).
Setting out on a quest on Kanthaka (SF)
Like earlier Vedic Brahmanism (pre-Hinduism) later Islam (post-Zoroastrianism) and original Judaism (pre-Christianity), the Buddha never allowed anthropomorphic representations. India did not have them until the Indo-Greco artists in this area started making them, then no one was going to be left behind.
All of the "gods" (devas, brahmas, and avatars) became beautiful ancient Greek-style gods (demigods) and chimera hybrids. Buddhism led the way in spite of the Buddha having it otherwise. When one sees the Buddha one does not see the Buddha, according to the Buddha, because to see the Buddha proper means seeing the Dharma, namely, seeing Dependent Origination.

Kanthaka and Siddhartha (wiki)
But we settle for superficial appearances, and those are greatest in Afghanistan, the original land of Siddhartha's family. The area has always been contentious (as pointed out by Fitzgerald and Gould, long before the British empire drew the Durand Line or the Soviet Union fought the covert CIA/overt Mujahadeen (God's Army). Russia and America suffered defeat there, like the Greeks (Alexander the Great) and British before them. Of course, we are still suffering defeat, because anyone can conquer Afghanistan, but no one seems to be able to rule and administrate it. Even when a "Taliban" is created out of angry Arab ex-cons from Pakistan and elsewhere, foreigners in tribal Afghanistan, still there is no ruling the wandering bands and their unique ways. Pashtuns are not the indigenous people. It is a country of Gandharans, Shakyans, Hazaras, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Turkmens, Pashtuns, Uzbeks, other Central Asians, Indians, Persians, and Iranians.

(K4V) Buzkashi (kok boru) is the Afghan national sport. It is a popular sport
among south Central Asians. Its Turkic name is kökbörü, kök = "blue," börü =
"wolf," denoting the grey wolf, the holy symbol of the Turkic people. More

SAVAGES? Like savages we Americans play to the crippling death on a mock (battle)field tossing around a laced up carcass of an animal. Much like the British play rugby. How strange, then, that we laugh at the Afghan sport of polo using the carcass of an animal. Somehow, they're the "savages." We invade them, engage in war crimes, rape women and children, kill civilians, assassinate by remote control drones, plunder a nation, make war propaganda reels like "Lone Survivor" for the people back home to feel good about war profiteering... and they're savages. Invaders, 1. Conquered, 0. USA! USA! USA! lol

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