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Monday, November 29, 2010

Like a Merchant Buying Gold

The Buddha emphasized the importance of this path of reasoning, this intelligent examination of what is being taught. He told his students that their level of faith in his teachings and in him should be a product of their own critical analysis of his words. He said that if they analyzed and found his teachings beneficial, they should practice them, and if not, they should leave them aside. In this way, people who listened to his teachings should be like a merchant buying gold: Gold merchants do not merely accept the seller’s praise of his goods; rather, they use a variety of methods to examine the quality of the merchandise before they make their purchase decision. Similarly, the Buddha said, Do not accept my teachings out of faith in me, but rather out of your own confidence in my words—confidence that you have reached as a result of your own intelligent analysis.

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