Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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cappuccino
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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:08 pm

bryozoa wrote: the Ancients often encoded advanced astronomical knowledge in myth
there are many hell planets (we've discovered)

I see no reason to waste planets

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by bryozoa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:31 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:08 pm
bryozoa wrote: the Ancients often encoded advanced astronomical knowledge in myth
there are many hell planets (we've discovered)

I see no reason to waste planets
Rebirth could take place on those planets? Devas themselves could be celestial bodies, stars or planets or highly evolved life forms indistinguishable from them?

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by auto » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:49 pm

bryozoa wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:23 pm
Is there any chance these terms were used just for illustrating the deleterious effects of attached action?
slim are the changes,

https://suttacentral.net/sn32.57/en/sujato
“Sir, what is the cause, what is the reason why sometimes it rains?”

“Mendicant, there are what are called gods of the rainy clouds.
Sometimes they think:
‘Why don’t we revel in our own kind of enjoyment?’ Then, in accordance with their wish, it becomes rainy. This is the cause, this is the reason why sometimes it rains.”
It is a question why it sometimes rains and he bluntly says it is gods of the rainy clouds.

If you know that it rains because of gods, so i wonder how you tell the truth in other words what would be acceptable for atheists but still is the truth?
maybe views what results in being an atheist are wrong views??

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cappuccino
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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:59 pm

According to St Augustine, 'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:23 pm


https://suttacentral.net/sn32.57/en/sujato
“Sir, what is the cause, what is the reason why sometimes it rains?”

“Mendicant, there are what are called gods of the rainy clouds.
Sometimes they think:
‘Why don’t we revel in our own kind of enjoyment?’ Then, in accordance with their wish, it becomes rainy. This is the cause, this is the reason why sometimes it rains.”
Gods of the Rainy Clouds.??? Oh gawd! What superstitious nonsense! Much of the suttas mention of devas and gods may be correct, but Gods Of The Rainy Clouds, no I don't think so.
Clouds are condensed water vapor. They rain when the moisture content saturates the air, small suspended droplets combine, and it starts to fall out.
I have no doubt that myths and foolish superstitions got into the suttas somehow. The Buddha might not have said them, they may have been added later when the suttas were rewritten or completely invented, as we know some were.

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by bryozoa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:49 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:23 pm

https://suttacentral.net/sn32.57/en/sujato
“Sir, what is the cause, what is the reason why sometimes it rains?”

“Mendicant, there are what are called gods of the rainy clouds.
Sometimes they think:
‘Why don’t we revel in our own kind of enjoyment?’ Then, in accordance with their wish, it becomes rainy. This is the cause, this is the reason why sometimes it rains.”
Gods of the Rainy Clouds.??? Oh gawd! What superstitious nonsense! Much of the suttas mention of devas and gods may be correct, but Gods Of The Rainy Clouds, no I don't think so.
Clouds are condensed water vapor. They rain when the moisture content saturates the air, small suspended droplets combine, and it starts to fall out.
I have no doubt that myths and foolish superstitions got into the suttas somehow. The Buddha might not have said them, they may have been added later when the suttas were rewritten or completely invented, as we know some were.
Not being a Buddhist scholar, I was going to let this go, but honestly such credulity might make the most ardent evangelical blush! How can we be certain what was transcribed centuries after the Buddha lived can genuinely be attributed to him? Does Buddhism have its equivalent of the Q Source?

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:07 pm

our time is called the Iron Age or Kali Yuga

hence conditions, in general, are at the worst

what this means for religion is lack of faith, or in other words, skepticism

you might think highly of doubt, but that's confusion

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by bryozoa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:28 pm

cappuccino wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:07 pm
our time is called the Iron Age or Kali Yuga

hence conditions, in general, are at the worst

what this means for religion is lack of faith, or in other words, skepticism

you might think highly of doubt, but that's confusion
I completely agree that we're living in a spiritual dark age but If I start believing in hungry ghosts and hellish realms then I'd also have to entertain the possibility that a jealous ethno-nationalist God might exist and revealed religion is true.

Buddhism always struck me as getting right to the point, life is suffering and all that matters is removing suffering.

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:30 pm

bryozoa wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:28 pm
Buddhism always struck me as getting right to the point, life is suffering and all that matters is removing suffering.
That is right; so just get to work on it instead of indulging in speculative views.
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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:47 pm

bryozoa wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:49 pm
Does Buddhism have its equivalent of the Q Source?
The texts from the first time they were written down have been lost. But there are the Chinese Agamas which were suttas taken to China early on, and they match with the modern Pali Canon Suttas in many cases.
If you are interested you can read through this rather large topic where the authenticity of one of our most important suttas is debated
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2266
...there are several sectarian versions of the satipatthana Sutta. These share much in common, yet differ in key points...

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by bryozoa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:03 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:47 pm
bryozoa wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:49 pm
Does Buddhism have its equivalent of the Q Source?
The texts from the first time they were written down have been lost. But there are the Chinese Agamas which were suttas taken to China early on, and they match with the modern Pali Canon Suttas in many cases.
If you are interested you can read through this rather large topic where the authenticity of one of our most important suttas is debated
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2266
...there are several sectarian versions of the satipatthana Sutta. These share much in common, yet differ in key points...
Thank you, I'll look at that thread with interest. As it is indisputable that Buddhist teaching always included supernormal phenomena, I will concentrate on what matters as per the advice of Bhikkhu Pesala.

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by DooDoot » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:17 pm

bryozoa wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:52 pm
If there is one thing I have learnt about the Ancients is that they often encoded advanced astronomical knowledge in mythology. A lot of Buddhist scripture concerning planes of existence, ghosts and devas may relate to investigations into consciousness which would have been perfectly understood by Buddha's followers at the time. Only now through the eyes of modernity do we take these accounts as literal.
In ancient times, powerful people, such as kings, rulers, parents, the wealthy or mystics were considered "gods". No need to look into astronomy.
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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:44 pm

gods are people, who previously made good karma


would you deny the results of karma?


maybe it hurts your pride

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by seeker242 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:10 pm

bryozoa wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:52 pm
Oh no not a liar, merely that modern humans misinterpret. If there is one thing I have learnt about the Ancients is that they often encoded advanced astronomical knowledge in mythology. A lot of Buddhist scripture concerning planes of existence, ghosts and devas may relate to investigations into consciousness which would have been perfectly understood by Buddha's followers at the time. Only now through the eyes of modernity do we take these accounts as literal.
I think it's the opposite of that. Only now through the eyes of modernity, AKA materialism, do we take these accounts as just metaphorical. Without actual rebirth, the notion of kamma doesn't make sense and one could argue that the whole point of getting enlightenment, becomes pointless. Besides, there is just way too much evidence in the old scriptures to argue that it's just a problem or occurrence of modern interpretation. Literal rebirth is an ancient interpenetration that is embraced by every Buddhist tradition everywhere, for thousands of years.

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Re: Would Buddhism be better witbout 'devas', 'hell realms' and 'hungry ghosts'?

Post by inyenzi » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:41 pm

bryozoa wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:23 pm
While I respect and am exhilarated by Buddhism (particularly Theravada), I am also alienated by the fact that supernatural beings feature so prominently in Buddhist scripture. Surely the sole focus should be on liberation from incurring karmic debt, eschewing every form of superstition as extraneous to that overriding purpose?
This strikes me as confused. "Karmic debt" (which itself could be described as a 'superstition'), is nonsensical unless within the context of literal rebirth, i.e. through hell/heaven/animal realms (the ending of which is "liberation"). If there is no literal rebirth, then there is no kamma, and therefore (as pointed out in this thread) there is just annihilation - one life and done. No need for buddhism if dukkha ceases when the body stops functioning.

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