The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

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The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby EApubs » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:33 am

There are several myths about the God among the Buddhists... Some say that the Gods doesn't exist.. some say that the Gods are the rich and lucky people in our society! Well.. I wrote a small article on this and posted it on here : http://forum.sumagaasapuwa.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6 I didn't want to copy paste it here because of the SEO copy problems.. so read it and tell me what you think :D
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:45 am

Hi EAPubs and welcome to Dhamma Wheel.
Yes, most of the information in your small article relating to the realms of existence is in keeping with information found in the Abhidhamma commentary Abhidhammmatthasangaha and Visuddhimagga.
However, you appear to suggest that rebirth in a heavenly realm is, or should be, the goal of Buddhist practice. This is something that I disagree with.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby EApubs » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:55 am

No my friend, I didn't intended to give such an idea. And your right.. the end is giving that idea to the reader.. I corrected the issue.. please check it :D I just wanted to explain the truth about the Gods only.. I think thats what made me do that mistake. The nirvana is much more greater than the heaven... and our goal should be the Nirvana and not the smaller heaven!

Thank you very much for showing my mistake my friend!
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:00 am

You are welcome, EAPubs!
I look forward to reading more from you here on Dhamma Wheel!
I'm sure you will like it here!
with metta

Ben
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby bodom » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:43 pm

The truth is...there is no need nor room for God in Buddhism.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:08 am

I'm not so sure that's true bodom. there is no need for us to worship or pray to a god in order to follow the path to awakening or to experience nibbana, however the Buddha mentioned gods many times, and if our myths are true it was a god who convinced the Buddha to teach the path in the 1st place.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby Prasadachitta » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:11 am

x delete
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby bodom » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:21 am

jcsuperstar wrote:I'm not so sure that's true bodom. there is no need for us to worship or pray to a god in order to follow the path to awakening or to experience nibbana, however the Buddha mentioned gods many times, and if our myths are true it was a god who convinced the Buddha to teach the path in the 1st place.



God, in Buddhism as a religion, is relevant. God, in Buddhism as a path of practice, is not.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby unspoken » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:18 pm

We are the God of ourself. We must act like one God.
Namely,
Taking control of our actions,
Taking control of our speeches,
Taking control of our thoughts.
Never commit bad things that harm oneself and others.
Give infinite love towards others and self.
Therefore, without being in the realm of gods, we too can become god.
That is the God that is wanted within ourself.

Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby Richard » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:12 pm

If this discussion is going to get anywhere, we need to make a distinction between the polytheistic culture in which the Buddha lived, with its devas, gandhabbas, nagas etc., and the supreme omnipotent God of the monotheistic religions. The Buddha apparently had nothing against people praying to their gods for wordly needs, but insisted that the devas had limitations and that the deva realms were not the goal of practice. He rejected efforts to promote any one god, such as Brahma, as supreme creator of the universe. It might be strange to us that the Buddha accepted the existence of devas, but he certainly did--the entire first chapter of the Samyutta Nikaya is devoted to his conversations with them. To this day, I believe, many Buddhists in Southeast Asia continue to honor local nature spirits, and see no conflict in doing that. In the West most of us were raised in monotheistic traditions, but we should try to appreciate the whole Buddhist tradition and not reject the devas as unreal.
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:41 pm

A couple of different ways to look at God. There is a God, but it is not quite what it thinks it is, or that there is no God that is permanent, omniscient, and the creator of the universe:

Now the question: why is union with God is a lesser goal? The Buddha states (Anguttara-Nikaya X 29):

'As far as the suns and moons extend their courses and the regions of the sky shine in splendour, there is a thousandfold world system. In each single one of these there are a thousand suns, moons, Meru Mountains, four times a thousand continents and oceans, a thousand heavens of all stages of the realm of sense pleasure, a thousand Brahma worlds. As far as a thousandfold world system reaches in other words, the universe], the Great God is the highest being. But even the Great God is subject to coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be.'

And in the 83rd discourse of the Middle Length Sayings:

"God truthfully answers [the questions of the Buddha] in succession: 'Good sir, those views I previously held are not mine; I see the radiance the world of God as passing; how could I say that I am permanent and eternal?'"

In other words God is still bound by karma and union with God is still to be within the realm of karma, which is inferior to the attainment of nirvana.

In Digha Nikaya 24 where the Buddha states:

"There are some ascetics and brahmins who declare as their doctrine that all things began with the creation by God, or Brahma."

And this singular god is characterized so:

"That Worshipful God, 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."

which is a nice characterization of the brahmanical notion of the creator God one finds in the early Brahmanical and Ishvara literature, and it seems to fit for most every other creator God notion that has come down the pike.

The Buddha goes on in this discourse, using mythic language, to give a biting satirical re-telling of the creation myth of the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad making it quite clear that God is not quite what the absolute entity it imagines itself to be. It is not the creator, and we can see in this discourse by the Buddha and in other related ones that the idea of a single, absolute cause for the multiplicity of things, an infallible source of revealed knowledge that was different in kind from ordinary human knowledge, an unconditioned being that participates in any way in (even only as a witness to) the changes of human experience, and any kind of being that can interfere with the natural consequences of karma is rejected by the Buddha.

Elsewhere the Buddha states:

Anguttara Nikaya 3.61: "Again, monks, I [the Buddha] approached those ascetic and brahmins and said to them: 'Is it true, as they say, that you venerable ones teach and hold the view that whatever a person experiences...all that is caused by God's creation?' When they affirmed it, I said to them: 'If that is so, venerable sirs, then it is due to God's creation that people kill, steal ...[and otherwise act badly][/b]. But those who have recourse to God's creation as the decisive factor, will lack the impulse and the effort doing this or not doing that. Since for them, really and truly, no (motive) obtains that this or that ought to be done or not be done...."'[/b]

"If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused the creative act of a Supreme God [Issara-nimmana-hetu], then the Niganthas [Jains] surely must have been created by an evil Supreme God." MajjhimaNikaya II 222.

"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God." MN II 68.

And then let us add these statement from the Pali Canon:

"He who eyes can see the sickening sight, why does not God set his creatures right? If his wide power no limits can restrain, why is his hand so rarely spread to bless? Why are his creatures all condemned to pain? Why does he not to all give happiness? Why do fraud, lies, and ignorance prevail? Why triumphs falsehood, - truth and justice fail? I count your God unjust in making a world in which to shelter wrong." J VI.208

"If God designs the life of the entire world -- the glory and the misery, the good and the evil acts, man is but an instrument of his will and God alone is responsible." J V.238.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby bodom » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:51 pm

The Buddha apparently had nothing against people praying to their gods for wordly needs,


"There are, O householder, five desirable, pleasant, and agreeable things which are rare in the world. What are those five? They are long life, beauty, happiness, fame and (rebirth in) a heaven. But of those five things, O householder, I do no teach that they are to be obtained by prayer or by vows. If one could obtain them by prayer or vows, who would not do it?

"For a noble disciple, O householder, who wishes to have beauty... happiness... fame (rebirth in) a heaven, it is not befitting that he should pray for them or take delight in so doing. He should rather follow a path of life that is conducive to beauty... happiness... fame... (rebirth in) a heaven. By following such a path he will obtain beauty, happiness, fame, and (rebirth in) heaven."


we should..not reject the devas as unreal.


I dont reject there existence, only there relevance to attaining Nibbana.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby bodom » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:55 pm

Excellent Tilt. This thread is now instant bookmark.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby username_5 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:16 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:I'm not so sure that's true bodom. there is no need for us to worship or pray to a god in order to follow the path to awakening or to experience nibbana, however the Buddha mentioned gods many times, and if our myths are true it was a god who convinced the Buddha to teach the path in the 1st place.

The myth isn't true ;)

It's a pretty clear allegory. Elsewhere it's written that human's convinced the Buddha to teach instead of become a hermit. Likewise there are stories in the suttas about the buddha levitating and having fire and water spew out of his body. Why would any person interpret this literally instead of recognizing the spiritual symbols for what they are?
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:19 pm

username_5 wrote:Elsewhere it's written that human's convinced the Buddha to teach instead of become a hermit.
Cite a source, please.

Likewise there are stories in the suttas about the buddha levitating and having fire and water spew out of his body.
Again, cite a source for this. While this can be found in post sutta texts, I would interested to see a sutta source for this.
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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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby IanAnd » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:06 pm

tiltbillings wrote:A couple of different ways to look at God. There is a God, but it is not quite what it thinks it is, or that there is no God that is permanent, omniscient, and the creator of the universe:

Now the question: why is union with God is a lesser goal? The Buddha states (Anguttara-Nikaya X 29):

'...the Great God is the highest being. But even the Great God is subject to coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be.'

And in the 83rd discourse of the Middle Length Sayings:

"God truthfully answers [the questions of the Buddha] in succession: 'Good sir, those views I previously held are not mine; I see the radiance the world of God as passing; how could I say that I am permanent and eternal?'"

In other words God is still bound by karma and union with God is still to be within the realm of karma, which is inferior to the attainment of nirvana.

"There are some ascetics and brahmins who declare as their doctrine that all things began with the creation by God, or Brahma."

And this singular god is characterized so:

"That Worshipful God, 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."

which is a nice characterization of the brahmanical notion of the creator God one finds in the early Brahmanical and Ishvara literature, and it seems to fit for most every other creator God notion that has come down the pike.


Elsewhere the Buddha states: . . .

"If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused the creative act of a Supreme God [Issara-nimmana-hetu], then the Niganthas [Jains] surely must have been created by an evil Supreme God." MajjhimaNikaya II 222.

Hallelujah. Finally someone who has read the discourses and understands the implications of what he has read. You couldn't have said it any better, Tilt.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby 5heaps » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:21 pm

tiltbillings wrote:"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God."MN II 68.

on the other hand if its possible that exhaustion of the heaps and their causes is not the ultimate form of nirvana-without-remainder (whilst still maintaining the view of the 4 arya truths) then a new rational view of god is enabled
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:38 pm

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God."MN II 68.

on the other hand if its possible that exhaustion of the heaps and their causes is not the ultimate form of nirvana-without-remainder (whilst still maintaining the view of the 4 arya truths) then a new rational view of god is enabled
Huh?
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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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby 5heaps » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God."MN II 68.

on the other hand if its possible that exhaustion of the heaps and their causes is not the ultimate form of nirvana-without-remainder (whilst still maintaining the view of the 4 arya truths) then a new rational view of god is enabled
Huh?

if there were a way to purify the heaps instead of entering a cessation then this would give a new meaning to the idea of a buddha
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:35 pm

5heaps wrote:if there were a way to purify the heaps instead of entering a cessation then this would give a new meaning to the idea of a buddha
Damdifino what you are talking about, and I have not a clue as to what it has to do with the bit you quoted from my msg. Can you expand on your point, making it a bit less opaque?
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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