praying to devas

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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dudette
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praying to devas

Post by dudette » Sat May 26, 2018 3:44 pm

By my understanding in theravada buddhism there is no brahman/allah.
Ok, but there are devas from hindu religion which include vishnu, siva,etc who are not brahman/allah.
Then is it possible in theravada buddhism to pray to a deva just for protection (not as brahman/allah, but like to a spirit)?

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mettafuture
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Re: praying to devas

Post by mettafuture » Sat May 26, 2018 4:04 pm

There are paritta (protective) recitations that one can do, but, if I recall, these are usually directed to the Buddha. There's also devanussati (recollection of the devas) where one meditates on the qualities of the devas. This practice is outlined in AN 11.12, and deconstructed in 15.13 of Piya Tan's Sutta Discovery series.

dharmacorps
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Re: praying to devas

Post by dharmacorps » Sat May 26, 2018 7:53 pm

Based on the suttas, the ability of devas to intercede in worldly affairs is limited, and usually incidental, not something you can control so there is no use in praying to them. It is usually spoken of as a misguided thing to do by the Buddha-- this is how Buddhism is called nontheistic rather than atheistic.
You could pray to spirits but it wouldn't be Buddhism/Dhamma.

santa100
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Re: praying to devas

Post by santa100 » Sat May 26, 2018 9:09 pm

dudette wrote:Then is it possible in theravada buddhism to pray to a deva just for protection (not as brahman/allah, but like to a spirit)?
And the best way to keep one safe from harms is to cultivate Metta:
AN 11.16 wrote:Monks, eleven advantages are to be expected from the release (deliverance) of heart by familiarizing oneself with thoughts of loving-kindness (metta), by the cultivation of loving-kindness, by constantly increasing these thoughts, by regarding loving-kindness as a vehicle (of expression), and also as something to be treasured, by living in conformity with these thoughts, by putting these ideas into practice, and by establishing them. What are the eleven?

1. "He sleeps in comfort. 2. He awakes in comfort. 3. He sees no evil dreams. 4. He is dear to human beings. 5. He is dear to non-human beings. 6. Devas (gods) protect him. 7. Fire, poison, and sword cannot touch him. 8. His mind can concentrate quickly. 9. His countenance is serene. 10. He dies without being confused in mind. 11. If he fails to attain arahantship (the highest sanctity) here and now, he will be reborn in the brahma-world."

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: praying to devas

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sun May 27, 2018 2:14 am

dudette wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 3:44 pm
Then is it possible in theravada buddhism to pray to a deva just for protection (not as brahman/allah, but like to a spirit)?
I remember some Ajahn saying we shouldn't bother praying to devas, because "it's like an ant praying to a human for help."
He also said devas don't like the human world because they perceive it as foul and disgusting, and so they try to avoid coming here.
So don't bother.

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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: praying to devas

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Sun May 27, 2018 3:52 am

'buddha vs god (brahmā)' https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

In whatever place a wise person makes his dwelling, — there providing food for the virtuous, the restrained, leaders of the holy life — he should dedicate that offering to the devas there. They, receiving honor, will honor him; being respected, will show him respect. As a result, they will feel sympathy for him, like that of a mother for her child, her son. A person with whom the devas sympathize always meets with auspicious things.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

i have also heard of offering food to devas, then after a while throwing it away or feeding it to animals
not sure if that ritual comes from a sutta
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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ShineeSeoul
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Re: praying to devas

Post by ShineeSeoul » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:04 am

why not pray to Bodhisattvas if you believe in Hindu gods, I don't think praying to Hindu gods is what Lord Buddha has teached us

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