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Keychain Buddhas

Key Chain Buddhas
The Buddha
Everyone says this is an age of cynicism. We don't trust our political leaders, heroes suffer deconstruction, religion is seen as vapid, and so forth. Believable communication seems to be at a low ebb. Is there a way out? More specifically, what commends communication - whether direct or indirect - as worth agreeing to? Irony might seem to be a symptom of our cynicism, but is there is a kind of ironic communication that escapes cynicism? Consider this story from the early years of Buddhism, told among the urban Buddhists in the prosperous cities of the Iron Age, people who were confident that life's problems could be solved by intelligence and hard work. This society of northern India of 2500 years ago resembles in some respects our modern American past.

The Story
The story goes that Gotama the Enlightened One was camped on the outskirts of a small town with a few of his disciples. In the town there was a young woman named Kisa Gotami whose two-year-old son had suddenly died. Out of her mind with grief, she went about the town asking for medicine. My little son is sick. He needs medicine. Can you give me some medicine to help him get better? She was met with pity from some and with derision from others, until someone said, "There is a wise man camping just near our town. Maybe he can help you." She went to the Buddha, carrying her son on her hip, as you would a living child. Oh, sir. My little boy is sick. I need to get some medicine. Gotama Buddha replied, Leave your son here. Go back to the town and borrow some mustard seed. But be sure not to get it from any house where someone has ever died. So she left her child and hurried back, and asked at house after house. Everywhere they were glad to give her mustard seed, but when she asked if anyone had ever died there, the answer was always the same, death had of course come to that house. Then it dawned on her, This is what the wise man wants me to know. The medicine I need is for me, not for my little boy. And she hurried back, arranged for cremation for her son, and before long became one of the best among the disciples of the Buddha.

The Meaning
What the Buddha said to her is an example of irony, more specifically, it is an example of intentional irony. We can refer to the work of Wayne Booth (A Rhetoric of Irony) to spell this out. An act of communication is ironic, he says, when what is said is intended to be taken at other than face value, and when that intention is signaled somehow or is sufficiently clear from the immediate context. The one receiving the communication must consider alternative meanings based on his experience or beliefs. That person then decides what the real, covert meaning is. Booth speaks of a stable irony in which this real meaning is intended not to be further deconstructed once it is discovered. Intentional irony differs from the unintentional ironies that occur around us constantly. When an outcome of some action contrasts sharply with what was expected, we say ironically enough... to comment on how chance and luck can affect us. Intentional irony differs from such random ironies. It is a way of taking control of circumstances, especially when a stable, covert meaning is intended. In the Kisa Gotami story, the Buddha speaks to her with a surface meaning that is quickly deconstructed. The face value of what he says is limited how can mustard seed cure illness? But the real limits are in her mind, and he uses these limits with irony. What he says is enough to give her a direction of action, and quickly her experience shows her a meaning she did not at first see, death comes to all, and beyond this, change comes to all. To accept transience is fundamental wisdom. The covert meaning of the Buddha's words was stable, not subject to later contradiction. What made it stable, first, was its truthfulness, all is indeed transient and to know this about one's self and about all one holds dear is wisdom. Second, his words to her were stable because his character was rooted in that wisdom. The Buddha had attained full acceptance of his personal transience, and this meant he felt unbounded compassion toward all. Other stories attest that those with whom he spoke felt he fully understood them and wished to help them attain a happy life. They understood he did not seek any sort of personal control of them. As his followers, they were motivated only by their quest to overcome their ailments of inner spirit. This was the basis of the authority people saw that he had.
Displaying products 1 - 7 of 7 results
Gold Buddha Keychain
MSRP: $8.00
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Gold Buddha Keychain
Gold Buddha Keychain - Assorted Golden Buddha Keychains; Prosperity, Travel, Luck, Fortune, Longevity and more! Order yours today and see which one you receive!
You will receive one (1) Golden Buddha Keychain.
Golden Buddha On Keychain Bringing Wishes
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Golden Buddha On Keychain Bringing Wishes
Golden Buddha On Keychain Bringing Wishes
Golden Buddha With Money On Keychain
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Golden Buddha With Money On Keychain
This darling little keychain Buddha will usher prosperity and riches into your home.
Golden Keychain Buddha With Money Symbol
MSRP: $7.99
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Golden Keychain Buddha With Money Symbol
This darling little keychain Buddha will usher prosperity and riches into your home.
Golden Money Full House Buddah On Keychain
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Golden Money Full House Buddah On Keychain
Golden Money Full House Buddah on Keychain
Golden Standing Buddha Keychain With Bag Of Dreams
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Golden Standing Buddha Keychain With Bag Of Dreams
This darling little Buddha carries a bag of dreams. A bag of dreams is believed to bring you your greatest desires. Anything you are wanting might be contained within Buddha's bag of dreams, provided it is good for you and your life.
Sitting Keychain Golden Buddha
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Sitting Keychain Golden Buddha
This darling little sitting Buddha reminds us of the importance of rest and relaxation in each day.
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