The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:26 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Did the god of whatever create the universe?


That is what many people believe, Tilt. Others believe this Creative presence is the Universe, that God's Awareness looks out from behind all our eyes, that there is no duality of creation and creator...

mikenz66 wrote:
To the extent that a religion proposes sound ethical principles and can promote to some degree the development of wholesome qualities such as love, generosity, detachment and compassion, it will merit in this respect the approbation of Buddhists.


Thanks for sharing Bhikkhu Bodhi, Mike, i was just looking at that essay, actually. The first part really gets to the heart of this matter, imo. Right here, right now, what is the fruit of a person's practice? That for me is the most meaningful thing...

:group:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:41 am

christopher::: wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Did the god of whatever create the universe?


That is what many people believe, Tilt. Others believe this Creative presence is the Universe, that God's Awareness looks out from behind all our eyes, that there is no duality of creation and creator...


That must explain Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, AIDS, cancer. Twain was right.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:01 am

christopher::: wrote:That is what many people believe, Tilt. Others believe this Creative presence is the Universe, that God's Awareness looks out from behind all our eyes, that there is no duality of creation and creator...

And, as I have pointed out, these ideas seem to contradict the Dhamma that I am familiar with: the Buddha's words, the instructions of my teachers, the experiences that I have in my practise, etc.

As I said above, I respect other paths, but they make no sense in the context of my practise.

Can we get back to discussing Theravada Dhamma?

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:18 pm

Greetings


The move from "God the father" to "God the awareness/consciousness" has been, from what i can tell, a reaction to the discoveries such as round earth, evolution, carbon dating etc (hinduism and Kabbalah is slightly exempt from this)



That is what many people believe, Tilt. Others believe this Creative presence is the Universe, that God's Awareness looks out from behind all our eyes, that there is no duality of creation and creator...


No offence but this just sounds like New Age speak

As for creator this falls down completely. Are you telling me that an all powerful, all knowing being (of whatever kind) created such a hostile and cruel universe?

A universe where life has to feed on life, a universe where the vast majority of it is two hostile for life to even begin on (as far as we know), a universe that looks like its going to end up a vast, cold empty wasteland in billions of years time. A universe where there is rape, murder, genocide. A universe where these bodies are faulty resulting in cancer among other things


If you really think there is a creator then you have to square it with these questions put for by Epicurus

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?" — Epicurus, as quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief

Most religions are aware of this problem of evil, hence why they have such stories as Adam and Eve and Original Sin. However as we now know these things never happened


There is most likely no creator God and if there is it doesnt care about its creation




Why would we want to do that, show that the idea of God is not meaningful?


Because it can help some people get out of such a view

How would you feel if someone tried to convince you that the ideas of karma, rebirth and dharma were not meaningful?


In relation to my understanding of those terms they couldnt, rebirth is obvious and plain as day. Kamma is a little bit more abstract

Seems to me these are all ideas addressing the same deep questions: How does reality work, why does the Universe exist, why is life the way it is, why do we suffer?


Only the last one is a question the Buddha dealt with, metaphysical questions (reguardless of if he knew them or not) are not something the Buddha was concerned with

Where did laws of karma, rebirth, dharma come from? For a Buddhist its not an important question, for a person who believes in God the answer is quite obvious....


Perhaps it just is? Why does something have to have an agent behind it. This body is just body, no agent behind it there so why does kamma or gravity need one?

And very meaningful.


Its a nice fuzzy view but it doesnt really explain or mean all that much outside of providing comfort


well, exactly. there are some pretty nasty passages in the Jewish old testament, especially. thus the dangers of literal interpretations and fundamentalism.


If you truly believe that those are the word of God, without going into post enlightenment rational thinking (or pre-enlightenment Buddhist Dhamma), then God hates gays and its ok to persecute them

My understanding, from discussions with Jewish friends, is that a tradition of interpretation developed in Judiasm, in part because many rabbis and sages felt the old teachings should not be taken literally...


Perhaps they didnt like having to stone their child to death if it back chats :shrug: (yes its in the bible)

As for God though, i won't debate the issue too much, but there are varying ways that a supreme creative being can be conceptualized and Hinduism is actually a bit more open there, imo, then some other faiths.


Hinduism is unique in its take on other religions. Instead of trying to destroy them by force (verbally or with physical action) it takes the tact of "all is one" and thus attempts to absorb said religion into itself

God or Brahman is thought of as the ultimate source or creative wisdom which has brought all that exists and is aware into being. God in this view is not watching over or judging us, God is the presence/awareness that resides everywhere, within each of us.


So it sits back and watches as the Jews were being gassed?

You may not believe this, but how can it be proven wrong?


It cant but neither can Zeus, Osiris, Unicorns, fairies, wizards, witches ........


It's a matter of faith...


Blind faith

Where did laws of karma, rebirth, dharma come from? For a Buddhist its not an important question, for a person who believes in God the answer is quite obvious....


Wrong questions in Buddhism and i dont think one will ever get an answer to it

metta
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Nibbida » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:26 pm

christopher::: wrote:The God of Kabbalah, Advaita, much like "The Way" of Taoism, is not an Omnipotent being watching over everything from a distance, like the old man in the bible, Tilt. God (in these traditions) is more like Awareness, Love, Wisdom, Creativity... Things go wrong, beings suffer, when not in touch with that wisdom and love, just as we Buddhists know we will suffer when not in touch with (living in tune with) the Dhamma...

For many (not all) Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, God is "The Way" - the Source of all life, inspiration and guide for how to live with generosity, optimism, kindness and compassion. In that sense belief in God serves a meaningful purpose. Millions of people all over the world have been inspired by their faith, they take refuge in their belief in a wise and loving God, just as we take refuge in the dharma.


This is a good point. All religions have "mystical" traditions, who seek to experience God through direct experience via meditation. I'm reading The Cloud of Unknowing right now, which was written by an anonymous medieval person, probably a monk. I find that in many passages, if you take out the word God and insert nirvana or emptiness, it would sound exactly as if it were written by a Buddhist. I think the ultimate goal of any spiritual practice is transcendence. Contemplating literature across traditions repeatedly cites annihilating the separate sense of self as a goal. In other religions, they personify this into a God, while in Buddhism we see it just as emptiness.

As the Buddha said, the vehicle is just a raft to get you to the other shore. I think Buddhists have done the best job of conceptualizing the path and developing techniques to get the job done, but maybe I'm just biased.

But when I see it in these terms, I really have no problems talking to people of other religions about their beliefs. The terms are different, but we can all relate to that basic aspect of transcendence.
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Individual » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:04 pm

christopher::: wrote:Why would we want to do that, show that the idea of God is not meaningful?

To dispel illusions, although it depends on the context. You don't want to go around proselytizing Buddhism, but when the question comes up, it's good to affirm that there's no supreme God. The Buddha was very specific in arguing against worship of gods or the idea of a supreme, benevolent God.

christopher::: wrote:How would you feel if someone tried to convince you that the ideas of karma, rebirth and dharma were not meaningful?

Like a non-deluded person being bothered by a deluded proselytizer, which is not the same as a wise person speaking the truth.

mikenz66 wrote:
christopher::: wrote:That is what many people believe, Tilt. Others believe this Creative presence is the Universe, that God's Awareness looks out from behind all our eyes, that there is no duality of creation and creator...

And, as I have pointed out, these ideas seem to contradict the Dhamma that I am familiar with: the Buddha's words, the instructions of my teachers, the experiences that I have in my practise, etc.

As I said above, I respect other paths, but they make no sense in the context of my practise.

Can we get back to discussing Theravada Dhamma?

Mike

Even regarding the universe as a kind of "person," a panentheistic notion of God -- this seems to be the same thing as the wrong view of regarding the UNIVERSE as self.
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:49 pm

Individual wrote:Even regarding the universe as a kind of "person," a panentheistic notion of God -- this seems to be the same thing as the wrong view of regarding the UNIVERSE as self.

Yes, as I said, these other paths appear to contradict the Dhamma.

As Nibbada says, it's not a problem to talk with people following other paths, but I'd add that where the paths diverge it's best to acknowledge it, rather than to try to force it to be the same.

The Dalai Lama is often quoted as saying that if someone has a spiritual path that they like, then he does not want to encourage them to change to Buddhism. But as far as I can see he doesn't say that those path are the same. I think this quote from Ajahn Buddhadasa actually implies the same thing:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1556&start=0#p20040
In the same way, one who has attained to the ultimate truth sees that there's no such thing as "religion." There is only a certain nature which can be called whatever we like. We can call it "Dhamma," we can call it "Truth," we can call it "God," "Tao," or whatever, but we shouldn't particularize that Dhamma or that Truth as Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Judaism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, or Islam, for we can neither capture nor confine it with labels and concepts. Still, such divisions occur because people haven't yet realized this nameless truth for themselves. They have only reached the external levels, just as with canal-water, muddy water, and the rest.

He's claiming that at some ultimate level things can be recognised as the same (which I can neither confirm nor deny) but for those of us at the "external level" they certainly look different.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:19 am

Look, i didn't jump in here to defend a belief in God as being "true" or "correct".. Everyone participating here is a Buddhist, thus the dharma is what makes most sense to you. I just fail to see why the beliefs of others need to be kicked around and belittled. Bikkhu Bodhi talked about having respect for other faiths. But this is the General Theravadin section, not the Dhamma free-for-all, so i will not go on endlessly defending what is meaningful to others.

That was my main point anyway, that belief in God is meaningful to many people, they go to refuge in God just as we go to refuge in the 3 jewels. I have many friends who believe in God and my observation has been that this belief has been helpful in their lives. I don't see a problem with what they believe, as long as it helps them. If you all disagree, that's just the way it is, you disagree.

Nibbida wrote:
christopher::: wrote:The God of Kabbalah, Advaita, much like "The Way" of Taoism, is not an Omnipotent being watching over everything from a distance, like the old man in the bible, Tilt. God (in these traditions) is more like Awareness, Love, Wisdom, Creativity... Things go wrong, beings suffer, when not in touch with that wisdom and love, just as we Buddhists know we will suffer when not in touch with (living in tune with) the Dhamma...

For many (not all) Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, God is "The Way" - the Source of all life, inspiration and guide for how to live with generosity, optimism, kindness and compassion. In that sense belief in God serves a meaningful purpose. Millions of people all over the world have been inspired by their faith, they take refuge in their belief in a wise and loving God, just as we take refuge in the dharma.


This is a good point. All religions have "mystical" traditions, who seek to experience God through direct experience via meditation. I'm reading The Cloud of Unknowing right now, which was written by an anonymous medieval person, probably a monk. I find that in many passages, if you take out the word God and insert nirvana or emptiness, it would sound exactly as if it were written by a Buddhist. I think the ultimate goal of any spiritual practice is transcendence. Contemplating literature across traditions repeatedly cites annihilating the separate sense of self as a goal. In other religions, they personify this into a God, while in Buddhism we see it just as emptiness.

As the Buddha said, the vehicle is just a raft to get you to the other shore. I think Buddhists have done the best job of conceptualizing the path and developing techniques to get the job done, but maybe I'm just biased.

But when I see it in these terms, I really have no problems talking to people of other religions about their beliefs. The terms are different, but we can all relate to that basic aspect of transcendence.


Yep. That's how i see it as well. Nice post.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:32 am

christopher::: wrote:Look, i didn't jump in here to defend a belief in God as being "true" or "correct".. Everyone participating here is a Buddhist, thus the dharma is what makes most sense to you. I just fail to see why the beliefs of others need to be kicked around and belittled. Bikkhu Bodhi talked about having respect for other faiths. But this is the General Theravadin section, not the Dhamma free-for-all, so i will not go on endlessly defending what is meaningful to others.

I agree on the respect stuff, and there's no reason why a Buddhist shouldn't get some inspiration from other religions, any more then there is a reason why we shouldn't read non-Buddhist literature or listen to non-Buddhist music.

But what I keep trying to point out is that faith in God and faith in the Dhamma are, in my opinion, incompatible at a practise level. It's like trying to mix tennis and ping pong. Both are good games in their own right but if you try to use a ping pong bat to play on a tennis court (or vice versa) you won't get very far...

So, on a Buddhist Forum, it's quite sensible to make argument as to why God is incompatible with Buddhist practise.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:42 am

Hi Mike. I am in no way advocating that Buddhists should embrace the idea of God. Just to recognize that for others its playing a very important role. So much so that we should show a bit more respect, for that which others hold as essential and sacred. Otherwise we can become (in a purely metaphorical sense) not that different from the Taliban blowing up Buddha statues...
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:13 am

christopher::: wrote:Hi Mike. I am in no way advocating that Buddhists should embrace the idea of God. Just to recognize that for others its playing a very important role. So much so that we should show a bit more respect, for that which others hold as essential and sacred. Otherwise we can become (in a purely metaphorical sense) not that different from the Taliban blowing up Buddha statues...


While a god notion may be important to individuals that does not mean it cannot be criticized, and it ridiculous to say that criticizing a god notion of whatever stripe is going to - or might lead to - lead to Taliban (god believers) type behavior, when it has been god believers who, more than any others, have historically shown the most intolerance, often with violence.

This is not off the mark:

"The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering." - Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 19:

Buddhists certainly can recognize that belief in a god can bring about good results, but ultimately, no matter how subtle and refined the idea is, being grounded in a faulty perception, it is unsatifactory.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:13 pm

Hi Tilt, everyone...

In another discussion Peter and I are discussing the Brahma Viharas which Ajahn Vajiro described this way...

"Ajahn Vajiro; senior incumbent of Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand.

In the teachings of the Buddha there are mentioned the Brahma Viharas. These are usually translated as the divine, or heavenly abidings. This is from a literal translation:

"Brahma - God, and Vihara - Dwelling. They can be brought down from the heavens, to earth, by considering that as emotions they motivate and encourage the transcending of the limitations of basic human existence."


I asked Peter if this might be simply a metaphor and if he knew more about this. He responded:

PeterB wrote:It is a metaphor.

On the other hand the Buddha did not deny the existence of the Brahmas, traditionally there are said to be one Brahma, who is a Mahadeva, A great Deva, for every world system. He taught though that ( unlike the Biblical Jehovah ) they are subject to birth, decay and death.


I was surprised to hear that the Buddha taught this. There are indeed differences with this conception and that of the Biblical God, but there are also many similarities.

Interesting.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby kannada » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:26 pm

Just use the legal argument re 'God':

"The onus of proof is on the asserter, not the denier"
Just a view - nothing more...
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:40 pm

kannada wrote:Just use the legal argument re 'God':

"The onus of proof is on the asserter, not the denier"


Matters of faith are often impossible to prove, in a legal way...
But we mortals sure do love to believe...

Image

equals...

Image

????


:juggling:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby clw_uk » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:55 pm

Matters of faith are often impossible to prove, in a legal way...
But we mortals sure do love to believe...




gods were just a way of ancient humans understanding the world around them and attempting to explain it




metta
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby PeterB » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:30 pm

christopher::: wrote:Hi Tilt, everyone...

In another discussion Peter and I are discussing the Brahma Viharas which Ajahn Vajiro described this way...

"Ajahn Vajiro; senior incumbent of Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand.

In the teachings of the Buddha there are mentioned the Brahma Viharas. These are usually translated as the divine, or heavenly abidings. This is from a literal translation:

"Brahma - God, and Vihara - Dwelling. They can be brought down from the heavens, to earth, by considering that as emotions they motivate and encourage the transcending of the limitations of basic human existence."


I asked Peter if this might be simply a metaphor and if he knew more about this. He responded:

PeterB wrote:It is a metaphor.

On the other hand the Buddha did not deny the existence of the Brahmas, traditionally there are said to be one Brahma, who is a Mahadeva, A great Deva, for every world system. He taught though that ( unlike the Biblical Jehovah ) they are subject to birth, decay and death.


I was surprised to hear that the Buddha taught this. There are indeed differences with this conception and that of the Biblical God, but there are also many similarities.

Interesting.

I am not sure that their are many similarities Chris. The Brahmas did not create the world, thery just sort of care take it according to the mythos of the Vedas. The Buddha did not say that this idea was untrue, he said it was irrelevant to our Enlightenment.
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:16 am

PeterB wrote:
christopher::: wrote:I was surprised to hear that the Buddha taught this. There are indeed differences with this conception and that of the Biblical God, but there are also many similarities.

Interesting.

I am not sure that their are many similarities Chris. The Brahmas did not create the world, thery just sort of care take it according to the mythos of the Vedas. The Buddha did not say that this idea was untrue, he said it was irrelevant to our Enlightenment.

Try this Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
And Ajahn Brahm's talks about it here: http://www.bswa.org/audio/podcast/SuttaStudy.rss.php
MN49 Brahmanimantanika Sutta
Monday, 9 March 2009 5:00 p.m.
Ajahan Brahm explains and discusses MN49, the Brahmanimantanika Sutta (The Invitation of a Brahma)
The Invitation Of A Brahma
Monday, 10 April 2006 4:00 p.m.
Ajahn Brahmavamso explains the Brahmanimantanika Sutta from the Majjhima Nikaya (#49). Here the Buddha teaches God a lesson. :-)

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Fri Aug 14, 2009 3:09 am

Interesting. Thank you.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Avery » Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:52 am

You should keep in mind that being respectful of other religious people, even when you know they're wrong, will prepare you for:

1. Being respectful of people who are wrong in other ways, and thus resolving conflicts with them.

2. Keeping your cool when people criticize your own beliefs.

3. Learning how to properly approach Buddhists who don't fully understand Buddhism, and think Buddha was a god or that monks can divine the future.

This is true Dhamma.
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:27 am

Klaus Klostermaier's A SURVEY OF HINDUISM, pgs: 137-8,
149-50.

== "In the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad we read a dialogue in which
Yajnavalkya is asked the crucial question: _Kati devah_, how many
are the devas [gods]? His first answer is a quotation from a Vedic text:
'Three hundred and three and three thousand and three." Pressed
on, he reduces the number first to thirty-three, then to six, then to
three, to two, to one-and-a-half and finally to One. 'Which is the
one deva [god]?' And he answers: "The prana (breath, life). The
Brahman. He is called _tyat_ (that).' Though the devas still figure in
sacrificial practice and religious debate, the question 'Who is God?' is
here answered in terms that has remained the Hindu answer ever since.==


What follows a rather biting caricature of the creation story of the
Brhadaranyaka Upanishad that pre-dates the Buddha.

There are, Bhaggava, some ascetics and Brahmins who declare as their
doctrine that all things began with the creation by a god [issara, or
ishvara, skt], or Brahma. I have gone to them and said: "Reverend sirs,
is it true that you declare that all things began with the creation by a
god, or Brahma?" "Yes", they replied. Then I asked: "In that case, how
do the reverend teachers declare that this came about?" But they could
not give an answer, and so they asked me in return. And I replied:

'There comes a time, monks, sooner or later after a long period, when
this world contracts. At a time of contraction, beings are mostly reborn
in the Abhassara Brahma world. And there they dwell, mind-made,'
feeding on delight," self-luminous, moving through the air, glorious -
and they stay like that for a very long time.

'But the time comes, sooner or later after a long period, when this world
begins to expand. In this expanding world an empty palace of Brahma"
appears. And then one being, from exhaustion of his life-span or of
merits, falls from the Abhassara world and arises in empty Brahma-
palace. And there he dwells, mind-made, feeding on delight, self-
luminous, moving through the glorious - and he stays like that for a very
long time.

'Then in this being who has been alone for so long there arises unrest,
discontent and worry, and he thinks: "Oh, if only some other beings
would come here!" And other beings, from exhaustion of their life-span
or of their merits, fall from the Abhassara world and arise in the
Brahma-palace as companions for this being. And there they dwell,
mind-made,... and they stay like that for a very long time.

'And then, monks, that being who first arose there thinks: "I am
Brahma, the Great God, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the Organizer,
the Protection, the Creator, the Most Perfect Ruler, the Designer and
Orderer, the Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be, He by Whom
we were created, He is permanent, Constant, Eternal, Unchanging, and
I will remain so for ever and ever."

These beings were created by me. How so? Because I first had this
thought: 'Oh, if only some other beings would come here!' That was my
wish, and then these beings came into this existence!" But those beings
who arose subsequently think: "This, friends, is Brahma, the Great God,
the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the Organizer, the Protection, the
Creator, the Most Perfect Ruler, the Designer and Orderer, the Father
of All That Have Been and Shall Be, He by Whom we were created, He
is permanent, Constant, Eternal, Unchanging, and He will remain so for
ever and ever."

How so? We have seen that he was here first, and that we arose after
him."

'And this being that arose first is longer-lived, more beautiful and more
powerful than they are. And it may happen that some being falls from
that realm and arises in this world. Having arisen in this world, he goes
forth from the household life into homelessness. Having gone forth, he
by means of effort, exertion, application, earnestness and right attention
attains to such a degree of mental concentration that he thereby recalls
his last existence, but recalls none before that. And he thinks: "That
Brahma,...he made us, and he is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject
to change, the same for ever and ever. But we who were created by
that Brahma, we are impermanent, unstable, short-lived, fated to fall
away, and we have come to this world."

-- Digha Nikaya 24

Also from the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad"

== 10. Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahma. It knew only itself
(atmanam): "I am Brahma!" Therefore it became the All. Whoever of
the gods became awakened to this, he indeed became it; likewise in the
case of seers (rsi), likewise in the case of men. Seeing this, indeed, the
seer Vamadeva began:-

I was Manu and the sun (surya)!

This is so now also. Whoever thus knows "I am Brahma!" becomes this
All; even the gods have not power to prevent his becoming thus, for he
becomes their self (atman).

So whoever worships another divinity [than his Self], thinking "He is
one and I another," he knows not. He is like a sacrificial animal for the
gods. Verily, indeed, as many animals would be of service to a man,
even so each single person is of service to the gods. If even one animal
is taken away, it is not pleasant. What, then, if many? Therefore it is
not pleasing to those [gods] that men should know this.
11. Verily, in the beginning this world was Brahma, one only. ==


The Buddha responds (SN IV 16):

== "Monks, I will teach you the all. And what is the all? The eye and forms, the
ear and sounds the nose and odors, the tongue and tastes, the body and touch,
the mind and mental phenomena. This is called the all. If anyone, monks,
should speak thus: ' Having rejected this all, I shall make known another all'
-- that would be a mere empty boast." ==
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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