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Question: How can one with less than average intelligence understand the Dharma enough to be able to practice it? Compare this to some other faiths that advocate ‘believe and you will be saved’. Even a simple-minded person can do this. But Buddhism seems very different?

Answer:
For those less intelligent, the Buddha is able to used simpler but nevertheless skilful means to guide them with the Dharma. As wisdom grows in good time, all will be well. It is often mistaken that Buddhism is only for the intellectually-inclined, as there are aspects of the Buddha’s teachings that are for the faith-inclined too. Of course, such faith ideally shouldn’t be blind. That said, there are countless devoted Buddhists who are not exactly the smartest of people, who are nevertheless faithful in the right direction.

Here is a remarkable instance, of how the Buddha is able to guide someone who was faith-inclined to the Dharma. It is an incident based in the Dhammapada: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Amituofo/message/194 And there is the famous case of Culapanthaka who became an Arhat, as featured in this touching animated version of his story: http://youtube.com/watch?v=xwwIxR5oUQw The Buddha also taught of the importance of faith as a spiritual faculty. If one is totally lacking in faith or totally not open to building confidence in the Dharma, one would not even pay the slightest attention to the Dharma.

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One Response to “Is Buddhism Only For The Smart?”

  1. Natalie May 16, 2012

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, I think it’s not about intellectually-inclined, it depends on the “Buddha seed” or “affinity” in a person with the Triple Gems.

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