Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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No_Mind
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by No_Mind » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:25 am

perkele wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:21 am
/../
I almost agree :smile:

That is new .. we are agreeing about something.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:12 am

thepea wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:16 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:44 pm

You might think that "Praying to the Buddha" is a synonym for "craving", but that's an idiosyncratic view which could do with some support from the suttas, or ethnography, or some other source. You're welcome to such a view, of course, but it is likely to lead to your being misunderstood.
It’s not a personal view, based on the definition of praying that I provided this is fact. I don’t need to provide suttas to back this up.
I think a lot of people like to pray to the Buddha because it makes them feel good at the moment. But I’ve never read a sutta suggesting this prayer as part of the noble path.
It would be helpful if you defined your understanding of prayer. As i am currently very confused by your view.
The point I am making is that your definition is idiosyncratic. You have equated "praying to the Buddha" with "craving". Making up your own definitions doesn't make something a fact, it just (as you admit) makes you confused. Everybody else in the world seems to think that "craving" is something far wider than merely "praying to the Buddha". If you look up "craving" in a dictionary, it will not say anything about the Buddha, or praying. If you expect definitions to be taken seriously, then you need to give reasons.

There's no point in me telling you about my understanding of prayer until you sort this bit out.

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mikenz66
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:44 am

SarathW wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:20 am
Recollection of the Buddha is recommended by the Buddha. And that could be interpreted as prayer in a some sense.
I don't think it is a prayer.
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:40 am
SarathW wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:31 am
I think it is a form of meditation not a prayer.
In prayer, you ask something or some help from God.
Not necessarily. The type of prayer in which one asks for something is called petitionary prayer, but that's not the only type of prayer there is in Christian (and presumably other theistic) traditions. Often, people talk about praying in order to be present with God, or to open oneself up to him, which sounds rather more like meditation than simply asking for one's wants to be fulfilled.
SarathW wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:20 am
It [recollection of the Buddha] is questioning yourself "what would Buddha have done in this situation".
It is more of an investigation.
I don't follow the logic that it is "what would the Buddha have done".
Recollection of the Buddha goes like this:
[1] “There is the case where you recollect the Tathagata: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.’ At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Tathagata. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.

“Mahanama, you should develop this recollection of the Buddha while you are walking, while you are standing, while you are sitting, while you are lying down, while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children.
https://suttacentral.net/an11.12
:heart:
Mike

thepea
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by thepea » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:34 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:12 am
thepea wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:16 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:44 pm

You might think that "Praying to the Buddha" is a synonym for "craving", but that's an idiosyncratic view which could do with some support from the suttas, or ethnography, or some other source. You're welcome to such a view, of course, but it is likely to lead to your being misunderstood.
It’s not a personal view, based on the definition of praying that I provided this is fact. I don’t need to provide suttas to back this up.
I think a lot of people like to pray to the Buddha because it makes them feel good at the moment. But I’ve never read a sutta suggesting this prayer as part of the noble path.
It would be helpful if you defined your understanding of prayer. As i am currently very confused by your view.
The point I am making is that your definition is idiosyncratic. You have equated "praying to the Buddha" with "craving". Making up your own definitions doesn't make something a fact, it just (as you admit) makes you confused. Everybody else in the world seems to think that "craving" is something far wider than merely "praying to the Buddha". If you look up "craving" in a dictionary, it will not say anything about the Buddha, or praying. If you expect definitions to be taken seriously, then you need to give reasons.

There's no point in me telling you about my understanding of prayer until you sort this bit out.
Your being deliberately obtuse.
I guess your definition is nonsensicle and your argument is weak, you just keep pushing it back in my corner refusing to share your understanding. You obviously like praying (craving) to Buddha and confusing people in the process.
Go ahead if that makes you happy (for now), but don’t say I’m confused, when you won’t even contribute your own prayer definition.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:11 pm

thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:34 pm

Your being deliberately obtuse.
I guess your definition is nonsensicle and your argument is weak, you just keep pushing it back in my corner refusing to share your understanding. You obviously like praying (craving) to Buddha and confusing people in the process.
Go ahead if that makes you happy (for now), but don’t say I’m confused, when you won’t even contribute your own prayer definition.
Please try to remain courteous, and please avoid making disparaging remarks. I'll try to explain.

I am not interested in explaining my definition of prayer. I never have been on this thread.

What I am interested in is your comment:
“Praying to the Buddha” = craving
, and your claim that
Praying to Buddha is the root cause of the entirety of universal suffering.
I'm just pointing out that these are simply wrong by the normal, conventional understanding of the terms involved. That's the understanding I'm sharing - that you have got this bit wrong. That's all - nothing about what I think prayer is.

And one final thing. When I say you are confused, it's because you say that yourself in the previous post:
As i am currently very confused by your view.

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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by thepea » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:46 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:11 pm
thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:34 pm

Your being deliberately obtuse.
I guess your definition is nonsensicle and your argument is weak, you just keep pushing it back in my corner refusing to share your understanding. You obviously like praying (craving) to Buddha and confusing people in the process.
Go ahead if that makes you happy (for now), but don’t say I’m confused, when you won’t even contribute your own prayer definition.
Please try to remain courteous, and please avoid making disparaging remarks. I'll try to explain.

I am not interested in explaining my definition of prayer. I never have been on this thread.

What I am interested in is your comment:
“Praying to the Buddha” = craving
, and your claim that
Praying to Buddha is the root cause of the entirety of universal suffering.
I'm just pointing out that these are simply wrong by the normal, conventional understanding of the terms involved. That's the understanding I'm sharing - that you have got this bit wrong. That's all - nothing about what I think prayer is.

And one final thing. When I say you are confused, it's because you say that yourself in the previous post:
As i am currently very confused by your view.
I’m being courteous, please don’t accuse me of being anything otherwise. Im being direct. I find it disrespectful to critisize someone’s views on a subject and not share your own view when asked repeatedly for comparison. Using the argument, I’ll answer you when you clarify this one point for me. And when you do you get raked over the coals.Please try to respect this in future. I’ve had my fill of this BS from tilt and Ben in the past. I’m enjoying the forum much more now with views from different angles being tolerated and openly discussed as opposed to shut down.


My definition of prayer is not idiosyncratic it is a widely accepted definition of prayer. You are focusing on the “praying to Buddha” portion to much.
Praying is craving. Praying for chocolate cake, praying for your son to be cured from cancer is craving. Craving is the cause of suffering.
Craving for gods help or Buddha’s help instead of being god or Buddha is the cause of self and suffering.

Now don’t even respond to this unless you are willing to share your understanding of prayer, Buddha, god. And not banish me for comparative religion propaganda.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:13 pm

thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:46 pm

Now don’t even respond to this unless you are willing to share your understanding of prayer, Buddha, god. And not banish me for comparative religion propaganda.
It doesn't work like that, I'm afraid. You don't get the right to prevent others from responding. As I said, I'm not interested in talking about those particular things now, though I might in the future if I think fit. You don't get to decide, any more than I get the right to demand what you post.

My point here is that your claim
Praying to Buddha is the root cause of the entirety of universal suffering.
is quite clearly wrong. Some suffering might be caused by praying to the Buddha. But as we are talking about "universal suffering", there is much suffering that is not caused by praying to the Buddha. Now, you might be using terms idiosyncratically or with some special meaning known only to yourself. But most people, whether Buddhist or not, would say that suffering arises from other things - like loss, accidents, sickness, etc., which have nothing to do with praying to the Buddha. If you think that this is wrong, and that in some special sense these sentient beings are somehow "praying to Buddha", then you might want to make that case.

Alternatively, I think that you might have expressed yourself wrongly, and can't see how. It might be that you meant something like "Praying to the Buddha is a type of craving, and craving in general is the source of suffering". (That's only my guess). If so, then it's easily amended, isn't it!

I'll PM you about other issues arising from this exchange.

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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by thepea » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:57 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:13 pm

My point here is that your claim
Praying to Buddha is the root cause of the entirety of universal suffering.
is quite clearly wrong. Some suffering might be caused by praying to the Buddha.
Not wrong, all suffering is caused by praying to Buddha.
God answers prayers is the Christian equivalent to this.
The misunderstanding is that when you pray to Buddha or god (same meaning within my understanding) to cure your son from cancer the answer you get is the kamma produced from your cravings, not the resulting outcome of your sons cancer.
Craving is praying unless you can provide your own definition which counters this understanding.

dharmacorps
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:12 pm

thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:57 pm


Not wrong, all suffering is caused by praying to Buddha.
God answers prayers is the Christian equivalent to this.
Interesting ideas, but as I understand it these are your own pontifications. I see no grounding in the dhamma for that. The Buddha spoke at great length in the suttas about suffering and its causes-- it is kind of the basis for the religion. He never said that prayer was the cause of all suffering, as others have mentioned here, craving/clinging is the cause of suffering. You can state otherwise of course, it just would be a position unsupported by (and in fact in contradiction of) what we know about what the Buddha taught.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:28 pm

thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:57 pm
Not wrong, all suffering is caused by praying to Buddha.
I raise my original objection to this. Is the suffering of animals caused by them or someone else praying to the Buddha? Is the suffering of people in this world before the Buddha's birth caused by them or someone else praying to the Buddha? Is, say, the suffering of a child in the sixth Century BCE due to malaria due to some person praying to the Buddha?
Craving is praying unless you can provide your own definition which counters this understanding.
Sure. When the Buddha talked about craving, he probably used the word tanha. To the best of our knowledge, this meant something like thirst, as for water; and by extension a strong desire, lust, hunger or compulsion, according to the PED. There's no mention of prayer there.

Hopefully you can see now why there is no need for me to provide a definition of what "prayer" consists of. The point here is that it is not (by anyone other than you, apparently) considered to be synonymous with "craving", or necessarily a part of it. Some types of prayer might be considered a form of craving, but not all craving is prayer.

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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by thepea » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:40 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:12 pm
thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:57 pm


Not wrong, all suffering is caused by praying to Buddha.
God answers prayers is the Christian equivalent to this.
Interesting ideas, but as I understand it these are your own pontifications. I see no grounding in the dhamma for that. The Buddha spoke at great length in the suttas about suffering and its causes-- it is kind of the basis for the religion. He never said that prayer was the cause of all suffering, as others have mentioned here, craving/clinging is the cause of suffering. You can state otherwise of course, it just would be a position unsupported by (and in fact in contradiction of) what we know about what the Buddha taught.
Prayer definition
wish or hope strongly for a particular outcome or situation.
"after several days of rain, we were praying for sun

Am I missing something here or is this not craving.
Prayer is craving.

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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by thepea » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:51 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:28 pm
thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:57 pm
Not wrong, all suffering is caused by praying to Buddha.
I raise my original objection to this. Is the suffering of animals caused by them or someone else praying to the Buddha? Is the suffering of people in this world before the Buddha's birth caused by them or someone else praying to the Buddha? Is, say, the suffering of a child in the sixth Century BCE due to malaria due to some person praying to the Buddha?
Craving is praying unless you can provide your own definition which counters this understanding.
Sure. When the Buddha talked about craving, he probably used the word tanha. To the best of our knowledge, this meant something like thirst, as for water; and by extension a strong desire, lust, hunger or compulsion, according to the PED. There's no mention of prayer there.

Hopefully you can see now why there is no need for me to provide a definition of what "prayer" consists of. The point here is that it is not (by anyone other than you, apparently) considered to be synonymous with "craving", or necessarily a part of it. Some types of prayer might be considered a form of craving, but not all craving is prayer.
Animals praying/craving creates their own universe of suffering.
People praying/craving to the enlightened one create their own universe of suffering. This has been going on well before the birth of Sid.
The child with malaria’s suffering is a result of their praying/craving to the enlightened one.
All craving is prayer, when being one with god or Buddha, even for a mere mind moment self creation stops and the accumulation of past self is liberated.

Can you provide an example of prayer that is not a creation of self. I have no idea of this method of prayer you are involved with.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:01 pm

thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:51 pm

Animals praying/craving creates their own universe of suffering.
People praying/craving to the enlightened one create their own universe of suffering. This has been going on well before the birth of Sid.
Animals might crave, but nobody believes that they pray. Some people praying to the Enlightened One may well cause themselves suffering thereby, but there are many types of suffering which are not caused by prayer to the Buddha. Someone who has not heard of him could not formulate such a prayer.
The child with malaria’s suffering is a result of their praying/craving to the enlightened one.


Without ever having heard of him? The child him/herself does not think they are praying to the Blessed One, and external observers don't think s/he is praying to the Blessed One, but they are still praying to the Blessed One. One could substitute any factor at this point. "All suffering is caused by thinking about penguins. The child suffering from malaria may not think they are thinking about penguins, and nor do external observers, but the child must be thinking about something he has never encountered, because he is suffering..."

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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by thepea » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:17 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:01 pm

Animals might crave, but nobody believes that they pray. Some people praying to the Enlightened One may well cause themselves suffering thereby, but there are many types of suffering which are not caused by prayer to the Buddha. Someone who has not heard of him could not formulate such a prayer.

Without ever having heard of him? The child him/herself does not think they are praying to the Blessed One, and external observers don't think s/he is praying to the Blessed One, but they are still praying to the Blessed One. One could substitute any factor at this point. "All suffering is caused by thinking about penguins. The child suffering from malaria may not think they are thinking about penguins, and nor do external observers, but the child must be thinking about something he has never encountered, because he is suffering..."
Prayer definition
wish or hope strongly for a particular outcome or situation.

Have you ever seen videos of cows when their calves have been taken from them. Certainly looks like they fit this definition. And see them when their babies are returned.

Siddarth gotama is not the enlightened one, Buddha is the enlightened one. Before sid there was the enlightened one. Praying to the enlightened one has existed since the beginning of I.

Anytime you wish for something to be different from that which it is, you are praying/craving. In these moments you are creating self(sankharas), they can be light or heavy. In these moments you are not being the enlightened one you are praying to the enlightened one. The kamma you receive is the answer to your prayers.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is it wrong to pray to the Buddha?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:06 pm

thepea wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:17 pm

Prayer definition
wish or hope strongly for a particular outcome or situation.

Have you ever seen videos of cows when their calves have been taken from them. Certainly looks like they fit this definition. And see them when their babies are returned.
"Wish or hope strongly for a particular outcome or situation" is not a definition of prayer, it's part of a dictionary definition which is parasitic upon the more usual meaning. And it's certainly not, as you claimed earlier, praying to the Buddha.

Many years ago, I worked as a dairy herdsman, so am quite familiar with what cows do when their calves are taken from them. (Incidentally, many don't seem to mind, and in most cases involving dairy production the calves are never returned. The videos always show the worst cases. But that's another issue entirely...) They may have suffered, but they weren't praying. They just seemed to be reacting in the way that evolution had bio-programmed them to do. Likewise, when sudden pain is inflicted, I begin to suffer before I have time to formulate and conception of a particular outcome or situation; and when irrevocable situations provoke my suffering, there is often no outcome or situation that I wish or hope for.
Siddarth gotama is not the enlightened one, Buddha is the enlightened one. Before sid there was the enlightened one. Praying to the enlightened one has existed since the beginning of I.
Where was this enlightened one, and what conception do people have of him if they have never heard of the Buddha? Why are there no cultural records of how people formulate these particular prayers? In short, what evidence is there that people did or do this?
Anytime you wish for something to be different from that which it is, you are praying/craving.
In so far as wishing is part of craving, then the bit about craving is true. But try this sentence substituting anything else for "praying", and see how it looks. "Any time you wish for something to be different from that which it is, you are selling your soul to the devil". And why not? You may not think you are selling your soul to the devil, other people around you don't think you are selling your soul to the devil, and there is no cultural record suggesting any such thing. But I maintain that this is what people have always done, regardless of what they, or other people, or indeed anyone other than myself thinks they are doing.

At best, it's an attempt to create a metaphor or figure of speech for craving by using a term which nobody else uses in that way.

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