The Movie Avatar: A Buddhist Lecture
By Anthony "Amp" Elmore Sr.
Another exciting thing about Buddhism is the fact that Nichiren Buddhism deals with life and all phenomena and it does not matter what the phenomena is, Buddhism explains all phenomena based on a universal law and concept. The Gosho reads: " The true path of life lies in the affairs of this world. The Konkomyo Sutra reads, "To have a profound knowledge of this world is itself Buddhism." The Nirvana sutra reads, "All scriptures or teachings, from whatever source, are ultimately the revelation of Buddhist truth."
Please understand that I do not officially represent Nichiren Buddhism, however it is important to get a Black prospective of Buddhism. Also based on the fact that my background is that of a politically active Buddhist I will see things different from the average practicing Black Nichiren Buddhist and I am one who has always challeged conventional thinking. The actual definition of the word Avatar as a Black man born in America who has studied the Buddhist teachings, the word Avatar has many meanings. The Buddha Shakyamuni of India was considered the Avatar. However from an enlighten Black prospective the word Avatar can be considered a racist term. Hindu C.R. Gopalakrishna writes this as the definition of an Avatar:
What is an Avatar?
by C.R. Gopalakrishna
An Avatar is Divinity taking a human form,whenever there is a decline of values, or when strife, discord and disharmony overwhelm the world, with a view to reestablish Dharma and save mankind from destruction. In the course of such a mission, the wicked are punished and the good are protected. Having undertaken and completed His Mission, the Avatar once again merges back into the Formless.
It is important to get a Black prospective of the actual definition of the word Avatar. As a Black man born in America who has studied the Buddhist teachings the word Avatar has many meanings. The Buddha Shakyamuni of India was considered the Avatar. However from an enlighten Black prospective the word Avatar can be considered a racist term.
In the religion of the Buddha of India, Buddhism bifurcated into two different religions. History will show you the Buddhism of the Hindu religion whereas the Buddha emerges as a god in the Hindu Pantheon and there is the Buddha who was the God of the Africans of Asia. The history of Buddhism in India is marred in racism and in the case of Buddhism traveling from India to Japan, many of the Japanese today relate only to the White Buddha of the Hindu religion. The African hair on most Buddhist the ancient icons let us know of the African history of Buddhism. We should teach a true history of Buddhism that includes Africa's Buddhist heritage. For the sake of this lecture Buddha was an Avatar in India.
Nichiren Shoshu Monthly July 2001
The Heavenly Garland
from Myokyo #89, pgs.28-31
The racist Hindu or Brahmin Priest in India in a scheme to control people with their racist cast system incorporated the Buddha into the Hindu Religion as an Avartar in the Hindu Patheon. All ancient icons show the Buddha as a Black man with the African locks or the corn roll hair styles of Africa. This image of the Buddha Japan as a White or Aryan is the type of institutional racism that is in Japan. Documented evidence of historical Buddha Shakyamuni can dispel such images as racist and as a misrepresentation of the historical Buddha in India. Buddha was not ever a true part of Hinduism.
Click here to see the movie trailer for the movie Avatar
Greetings from the "Proud Black Buddhist" website, on Saturday December 19, 2009 I checked out the new James Cameron movie the "Avatar." When I left the movie I was totally blown away. It is so wonderful to be apart of a history making harbinger and the movie Avatar will usher in a new genre and standard of filmmaking worldwide.
My 11 year old son Anthony "Amp" Elmore Jr. watched the movie with me and we both talked and talked about the movie. "Little Anthony" said; "dad this movie was just like Buddhism" and I said; "son I know and I have got to write a Buddhist lecture on the subject." My wife Bogalech Elmore was working on Saturday and she did not see the movie with us, however on Monday December 21, 2009 we all went to see the movie again and my wife enjoyed the movie so much that she cried and all she kelp saying was; "unbelievable." Bogalech was so excited about the movie and its relationship to Buddhism that she asked me questions about Buddhism and what shocked me was the fact that I was doing my morning prayers the next day and my wife and son joined me in my morning Buddhist prayers called "Gongyo." In Nichiren Buddhism there is a daily practice of reciting portions of the Buddhist "Lotus Sutra" we chant to an "Object of Worship" called a Gohonzon. The Gohonzon like the movie "Avatar" is a "living Entity" and if you chant the words Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to this "True object of Worship you can change your life and bring joy into your heart.
For those of you who do not know anything about the Buddhist Religion, I am a Nichiren Buddhist and I have been a Buddhist for over 40 years. There are many forms of Buddhism and many in America have in the lease heard of the Dali Lama Buddhist. I am a Nichiren u Buddhist and I use to belong to the orthodox 750 year old Buddhist sect based in Taisekiji Japan. We call ourselves "True Buddhist" and we follow the Buddhist teachings of Nichiren Daishonin a Priest born in 13 Century Japan as opposed to Shakyamuni Buddha who was born in India over 2, 500 years ago.
In addition to being a Nichiren Buddhist I am also a "Black Revolutionary" Buddhist. During the 1960's as a youth in America I was interested in making the cause for change in America. In the early 1970's I got politically active and in 1974 I became a Nichiren Buddhist. The Buddhist religion changed my life and it took me to heights that I could have never imagined. The Buddhist religion is everyday life and the practice is phenomenal and exciting.
Nichiren Buddhism teaches about the 3000 Aspects of all phenomena and depending upon one's karmic background they will view and react to things differently. For example the movie Avatar was shown all around the world to other countries and cultures and each culture will view this movie from a different prospective. What I present is the prospective of a Black person, a proud Black person and a Nichiren Buddhist, the average person will not get into the Title of an Avatar nor will they react to the Nichiren Shoshu monthly like us at the Proud Black Buddhist website. Let get into this exciting movie.
This page last modified on Thursday, December 24, 2009
Please click on this picture to learn more about the movie. This is a picture of Neytiri a Navi Princess. Notice the African hair on the Navi People this is important