can you be superstitious in buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
dudette
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can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by dudette » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:42 pm

Is there a buddhist school which allows you to be superstitious (if this is the case then which ones)?
For example there are these realms of devas, human, animals and ghosts, and I was wondering if a buddhist can say (be superstitious about it) that he/she saw a ghost (for example a grandparent with very bad karma who was reborn as a ghost)?

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robertk
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:48 pm

It would be hard to find, en masse, a more superstitious group than Thai people, so sure you can be rabidly superstitious, and still buddhist.

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mikenz66
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:59 pm

I second Robert. And see this, for example:

The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk viewtopic.php?t=11284

:heart:
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rightviewftw
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:01 pm

It is not clear what you mean by superstitious but reports of visions and encounters with non-humans are somewhat common. If someone says that they encountered a Yakkha ie, that is completely plausible according to the texts. If it actually happened is another matter.

dudette
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by dudette » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:20 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:01 pm
It is not clear what you mean by superstitious but reports of visions and encounters with non-humans are somewhat common. If someone says that they encountered a Yakkha ie, that is completely plausible according to the texts.
a superstitious person is a person who believes in ghosts (Preta) spirits (Kumbhāṇḍas, Gandharva,Nāgas and Yaksha), and seeing them sometimes for example a superstitious person might believe that he/she saw a ghost in a forest or in a shrine or in a house while a non-superstitious person would think that it was just an illusion created by his/her mind.
Last edited by dudette on Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rightviewftw
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by rightviewftw » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:27 pm

dudette wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:20 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:01 pm
It is not clear what you mean by superstitious but reports of visions and encounters with non-humans are somewhat common. If someone says that they encountered a Yakkha ie, that is completely plausible according to the texts.
a superstitious person is a person who believes in ghosts (Preta), and seeing them sometimes for example a superstitious person might believe that he/she saw a ghost in a forest or in a shrine or in a house while a non-superstitious person would think that it was just an illusion created by his/her mind.
I see. I think reports of non-human encounters, visions and prophetic dreams will rightfully be met with a degree of skepticism but are also a reality that some people have encountered and continue to encounter to this day. It is my impression that the belief in supernatural is naturally quite prevalent in Theravada given the vast textual support, even reports of magical powers are seemingly quite common in Thailand.

dudette
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by dudette » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:01 am

rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:27 pm
dudette wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:20 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:01 pm
It is not clear what you mean by superstitious but reports of visions and encounters with non-humans are somewhat common. If someone says that they encountered a Yakkha ie, that is completely plausible according to the texts.
a superstitious person is a person who believes in ghosts (Preta), and seeing them sometimes for example a superstitious person might believe that he/she saw a ghost in a forest or in a shrine or in a house while a non-superstitious person would think that it was just an illusion created by his/her mind.
I see. I think reports of non-human encounters, visions and prophetic dreams will rightfully be met with a degree of skepticism but are also a reality that some people have encountered and continue to encounter to this day. It is my impression that the belief in supernatural is naturally quite prevalent in Theravada given the vast textual support, even reports of magical powers are seemingly quite common in Thailand.

but then there is this question which I have now, is it ok for a person who believes in supernatural (ghosts,spirits,devas) to consider buddhism even if this person claims to have seen a Preta or Yakkha once or twice in his/her life without being enlighten, or reaching this realm without meditation? Also can your mind reach these realms without meditation (if you consider to argue that it is somehow possible to see spirits or ghosts within buddhism)?
I mean like you said that theravada tends to be more "supernatural" type of buddhism, but then isn't buddhism supposed to make you, get rid of these type of beliefs and superstition of seeing Preta or Yakkha? (at least this is the case in western buddhism. What about theravada?).

rightviewftw
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:36 am

dudette wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:01 am
but then there is this question which I have now, is it ok for a person who believes in supernatural (ghosts,spirits,devas) to consider buddhism even if this person claims to have seen a Preta or Yakkha once or twice in his/her life without being enlighten, or reaching this realm without meditation? Also can your mind reach these realms without meditation (if you consider to argue that it is somehow possible to see spirits or ghosts within buddhism)?
I mean like you said that theravada tends to be more "supernatural" type of buddhism, but then isn't buddhism supposed to make you, get rid of these type of beliefs and superstition of seeing Preta or Yakkha? (at least this is the case in western buddhism. What about theravada?).
As far as i know it is not stated anywhere that only enlightened beings encounter non-humans and rather the opposite is seemingly inferred.
I don't think it is in itself a problem if a person is convinced to have had an encounter even without meditation but it can certainly be problematic if it is something prevalent in one's practice and daily life as it presents unique challenges for the meditator and the teacher.
In case of a Yakkha they are far more likely to "engage" a person than the other way around unless the person has magical powers as i understand it.
I think that Buddhism is not supposed to rid one of these beliefs at all, quite the contrary actually.
I think such claims are likely to be met with skepticism, admiration or fascination dependent on one's credibility and faith of the listener.
It is my personal opinion that apart from development of full blown ability to see the invisible, certain personality traits, meditative attainments and the noble realizations in particular make such encounters more likely.

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Lankamed
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by Lankamed » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:09 am

robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:48 pm
It would be hard to find, en masse, a more superstitious group than Thai people, so sure you can be rabidly superstitious, and still buddhist.
Image

justindesilva
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by justindesilva » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:23 am

robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:48 pm
It would be hard to find, en masse, a more superstitious group than Thai people, so sure you can be rabidly superstitious, and still buddhist.
The scripture Petavattu ( theravada) in kuddaka nikaya describes hungryghosts from a realm of peta( hungry ghosts). In it I remember a description of Sariputta thera attempting to get his mother out from this hell.
A human gets birth at peta realms due to bad karma of excessive greeds.
Then Karaniya metta sutta explains disturbsnce by unseen beings( devas) . Details of yakkas and other beings in lower realms are described in other buddhist scriptures too.
But at times of sicknesses or mental illness asian cultures have got in to practises of using chants based on such budda scripts as petavattu where as these chants contain budu guna ( qualities of budda).
Hence
if at all there is supersttition in buddhist cultured folks it has a bearing on buddhist belief.

justindesilva
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by justindesilva » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:23 am

robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:48 pm
It would be hard to find, en masse, a more superstitious group than Thai people, so sure you can be rabidly superstitious, and still buddhist.
The scripture Petavattu ( theravada) in kuddaka nikaya describes hungryghosts from a realm of peta( hungry ghosts). In it I remember a description of Sariputta thera attempting to get his mother out from this hell.
A human gets birth at peta realms due to bad karma of excessive greeds.
Then Karaniya metta sutta explains disturbsnce by unseen beings( devas) . Details of yakkas and other beings in lower realms are described in other buddhist scriptures too.
But at times of sicknesses or mental illness asian cultures have got in to practises of using chants based on such budda scripts as petavattu where as these chants contain budu guna ( qualities of budda).
Hence
if at all there is supersttition in buddhist cultured folks it has a bearing on buddhist belief.

Saengnapha
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:35 am

robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:48 pm
It would be hard to find, en masse, a more superstitious group than Thai people, so sure you can be rabidly superstitious, and still buddhist.
Most Asians seem to share this trait.

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robertk
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by robertk » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:34 am

Talking about Peta (phi (ผี) in Thai), my university, back when I lived in Bangkok, decided to have a end of year get away at an upcountry resort.
So I found out they booked me in a hut as a shared room. I told them I would pay the extra to have the room to myself. All sorts of reasons appeared as to why this was inadvisable - especially the extra 700baht ($23)..
Anyway I did sleep alone, and had a great time at the event..
I swear though that I was looked at differently after that, and I found out that people were worried I would be visited by Phi, it being on the outskirts of a jungle, and that was the real reason why everybody should share a room.

I figure half of the staff thought I was somewhat brave, and the others thought I was insane, or at least the epitome of a farang, ( same, same).

James Tan
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by James Tan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:09 am

Superstitious is something ,

mythical, irrational, groundless, unfounded, unprovable;

Therefore , unprovable many things are unprovable . Including rupa realm , arupa realm , Nibbana , jhana , psychic power etc etc .
:reading:

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Grigoris
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Re: can you be superstitious in buddhism

Post by Grigoris » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:22 am

The Buddha talked about Preta, Gandharva, Hell realm beings, Gods (Deva), Asura, etc... You reckon he was just superstitious, or maybe he was enlightened and could actually see them?
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

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