Dharma Seals are characteristics of Buddhism and although it appears after Shakyamuni Buddha, they are accepted by various orthodox Buddhist schools. Therefore, Dharma seals help us determine if something or someone is Buddhist.
- All compounded things are impermanent
- All emotions are painful
- All phenomena are without inherent existence
- Nirvana is ultimate bliss
Why does it matters?
Simply because we do not want to be fooled. If we are buying gold or diamond, surely we take special care to examine whether they are genuine. If we are interested about Buddhism and enlightenment, then shouldn’t we take special care to ensure that we are learning the real stuff?
Why would anyone fake Buddhism?
Primarily because the Buddha Dharma is very profound. It takes years of studies under a qualified mentor and much practices to understand the meaning. Charlatans do not want to put in that kind of hard work. They just want to profit from the positive reputation of Buddhism. Therefore, they fake it.
Some people just want to be respected for being knowledgeable when they are not.
Some are truly ignorant from the start, they studied under a fake and continue along that path.
Some practitioners misinterpreted the Dharma and formed a wrong conclusion. This is because they do not have a qualified teacher to check with and simply read up Buddhism on their own.
There are many scenarios and situations that can result in ‘fake Dharma’ being circulated as the real stuff.
When can we stop checking?
Dharma is like medicine that cures our afflictions. When we take medicine we need to make sure that they are not fake. Therefore, we need to be continuously alert as long as we are still learning.
May all be well and happy.