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

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

Post by binocular » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:39 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?

I can accept 'hell' and 'hungry ghosts' as metaphors for psychological conditions couched in the colourful vernacular of the time the Buddha lived in, but I cannot accept them as having independent and literal existence.
/.../
I swear we had an almost identic topic not long ago.

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

Post by confusedlayman » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:08 pm

weird if they were just metaphors, how buddha and other students talk to other beings in realm who have died on earth? maybe they talk with own imaginations? or if someone did horrible crime so physical death end everything?
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

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

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:11 pm

the buddha and other ardent meditators have transcended human perception and can see beings outside that limitation (not all ardent meditators can, however, and i dont know why). it's much like a 2-dimensional being learning to see beings in 3 dimensions. don't forget we are cousins to apes and what we think about the world is dependent on sense-contact. here is an example of a lay follower literally dying and literally coming to visit the buddha as a deva http://obo.genaud.net/dhamma-vinaya/pts ... rn.pts.htm and here is the buddha teaching his son ven rāhula in a secluded area in the presence of literal devas http://obo.genaud.net/dhamma-vinaya/pts ... rn.pts.htm
these are just a couple of examples that come to mind for me that i couldn't quite explain away
anyway, if you come into a better understanding of the law of dependent arising you might put away your skepticism with regard to non-human and non-animal realms http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... ev-1-0.pdf
i may not have a good enough ability to teach what i understand to be true (with or without direct knowledge) but it's important for me to try, from my heart
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:15 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.
all of this about clouds might be true, but it still doesn't speak to unknown or unseen influencing or causal factors. is it so farfetched that a deva can control weather to some degree when humans can apparently do the same [global warming]?
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:23 pm

bryozoa wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:52 pm
seeker242 wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:45 am
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?
Zero chance that the Buddha was a liar about such things.
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.
ok, but all that a birth as a human is is a continual experience of consciousness. it so happens that the human body in contact with the world is roughly a mixture of pleasure and pain. the deva body is mostly pleasure and the hell or ghost body is mostly pain. is it because the concepts sort of exist in other traditions that you're skeptical or is it just because you can't see these things? there isn't a worthwhile competing theory of causality with regard to birth -- even if it were true that each individual is born one time how did it come to be, why do we have different states of mind?
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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