Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Nothing
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Nothing » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:56 am

I did initially want to follow the teachings of Buddhism but as a beginner, I'm a little concerned with all this talk about hell.

Are we talking a Christian/Muslim hell of fire and agonies forever?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:30 am

Nothing wrote:I did initially want to follow the teachings of Buddhism but as a beginner, I'm a little concerned with all this talk about hell.

Are we talking a Christian/Muslim hell of fire and agonies forever?
There are many teachings in Buddhism. As Venerable Yuttadhammo said in his talk, we focus on the basic teachings to gain insight first. There is another route to develop psychic powers, etc., by means of which one can see past lives, other realms of existence, etc., but we can take the shortcut, and just try to understand suffering and its causes.

Leave aside for now those teachings that have no benefit for you.
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cappuccino
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by cappuccino » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:15 pm

Hell is impermanent, perhaps lasting a few days, or?

Purity of mind is safety.
Dhamma is karma & rebirth.

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Nothing » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:01 pm

Thank you for the information

I think I would like to buy an introductory book about Buddhism. There was a black cover book with (I think) gold lettering and a gold statue of Buddha on the front. Anyone know the book in question? Failing that, could someone please recommend a good introductory book?

Thanks all.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:15 pm

There's a long thread on Introductory Resources. There's plenty of good free resources in PDF format.
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cappuccino
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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by cappuccino » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:19 pm

When you can, it is somewhat difficult, but read the suttas, rather than sutras, there is a difference.

(Very valuable words from Buddha himself.)
Dhamma is karma & rebirth.

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Nothing » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:49 pm

Ok thank you for the advice and links

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Disciple » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:44 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Disciple wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:No. Life is suffering, but kamma is an absolutely just and impartial law of nature.
This is a religious claim. Not a scientific one.

This is a religious forum, not a scientific one.
You made it sound like it was scientific.

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Re: Going to heaven and ending up in hell (Is kamma really this cruel?)

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:10 pm

Disciple wrote:You made it sound like it was scientific.
Guilty as charged.

The law of kamma is a scientific fact like the law of gravity, but to believe in the law of kamma you have to rely on the texts as it's not something that could be proved in a laboratory. That belief is based on logical inference from studying one's own mind and life experience, but it is a religious belief.

In a religious forum, the texts are taken as a reliable authority, at least for the initial hypothesis. To expect scientific proof for religious teachings is unreasonable. One can ask for textual references to confirm what the Buddha taught.
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