Are you an overbearing (and prideful) Buddhist?

Extracting a quote from Master Sheng Yen:

Religious followers believe their own religion is the best and their ideas and way of thinking or their religious precepts are the most important. They believe they can criticise, saying what is good and bad because it is their belief. The question is whether religious followers should force their standards and beliefs on others, and use them to scare them or threaten them.
Buddhists, at least, should not.

I see myself in the above situation.
After learning some Buddhist principles, I have a tendency to look at others with a critical eye.
In fact, I would say I become more intolerant and impatient, especially to my own family. Maybe I had good intentions - hoping that my family members will have less negative karma and adopt Buddhist values. However, my method of doing it was wrong.

Watch Master Sheng Yen’s QnA for more advice:
How to deal with people who are bossy

Watching this discourse by 如得法师 made me aware of the faults of just telling people of with “This is your karma (这是你的业)” or “Your suffering is due to your past Karma”

This was a habit I started forming while learning Lamrim and Buddhist studies due the ease of attributing misfortune to the principle of Karma.
Although a core tenet of Buddhism, however, not everybody can accept this advice when they are seeking solace and comfort from their suffering.
What I could do better is to think from the other person’s perspective rather than bluntly pushing Buddhism principles and theories to him - it provides no help and could in fact turn this person away from the benefits of understanding Buddhism better.

如得法师 provides a method (善巧方便) in such situations.

We often see from news the strife that can develop due to differences between the religions.

What perspective can a Buddhist take so that one can reduce conflict with people from other religions?
And even better, how can a Buddhist appreciate and value the work done by other religious groups?

如得法师 gives some advice in this area.

some points I gathered:
  • these religious groups are helping and doing much good
  • in this display of compassion and love, there is not much difference between the groups

how about your attitude between different Buddhist groups or even schools of Buddhism?
Or even you view of cultural and secular beliefs?

如得法师 has some advice here too:.

My takeaways:

  • It is ok to learn from different Buddhist groups as it may help reinforce one’s understanding (*although I personally think it is better to follow a single school of thinking rather than learning from different places)
  • one can make a difference between our Buddhist beliefs while maintaining our respect for other groups and their customs.


I learnt from this video by Master Sheng Yen that:

  • Buddhism in Shakyamuni Buddha’s time was very open-minded
  • Apart from Buddhism, there were a total of 62 other recognised religious beliefs (as listed in the sutras).
  • At that time, Shakyamuni Buddha was open minded about all of them
  • In regard to the existence of other religions, Shakyamuni Buddha didn’t advocate their abolition nor did he denounce them as demonic

I think this is a good reference point for ourselves in viewing other religion and beliefs now.

Master Zhen-Ru asks these questions in this discourse:


I am reminded that the intent of studying Buddhism and Lamrim is not so that one can feel superior to others. I will have no way of knowing what others have achieved in this life or in previous lives thus I should not be judging.


What we should do is to focus on our own practice and be respectful to others (and also see the merit of others and learn from them).


Listen to the full discourse here: