Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Ervin
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Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Ervin » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:58 am

How does karma work in relation to so called Demons, Are they subject to it? And what does Buddhism say on how do Demons operate?

Thanks

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by LonesomeYogurt » Wed Oct 03, 2012 6:46 am

The only real "demons" in Buddhist cosmology would be the Hungry Ghosts, who don't often interact with humans. There are occasionally mentions of demons who reign in hell realms but they are often presented in a clearly symbolic way.

Devas, on the other hand, are heavenly beings - far more angel than demon.

All beings, including heavenly ones, are bound by Karma. They have been born as gods because of past actions.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

plwk
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by plwk » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:01 am


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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:48 am

Also, don't forget the Asura who battled the Devata for the control of heaven. I believe they are more clearly the parallel of the Judeo-Christian fallen angels: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/glossary.html#asura

Mettaya,

Mike
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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James the Giant
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by James the Giant » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:13 am

Here's a gruesome modern depiction of Asura http://www.cgarena.com/gallery/3d/descr ... /asura.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Here's a modern version of Mara, as seen by the Sri Lankans... but a warning, it's in the shape of a monstrous penis. yeah you heard me. http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q104 ... hoto22.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://lparchive.org/Shin-Megami-Tensei ... 3-MARA.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Cool imagery.
I'm not at all spooked by the silly traditional depictions of demons, but these weird tentacle things and spiders and Asura freak me out.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:31 am

The actions of the demons who are the wardens of hell are described in the Devadūta Sutta of the Majjhimanikāya.

I guess the demons are also suffering greatly having to do such gruesome work, just as present-day executioners, riot-police, and prison-wardens have to suffer mental anquish while inflicting suffering on others. Though they themselves are not criminals, they have to associate with criminals and face numerous threats and abuse on a daily basis, which is not a happy kammic result.
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nibbuti
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by nibbuti » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:23 pm

Ervin wrote:How does karma work in relation to so called Demons, Are they subject to it? And what does Buddhism say on how do Demons operate?
Hi Ervin

Demons are subconscious unwholesome thought processes and feelings.

When one identifies with these unwholesome thoughts and feelings, based on the causes and conditions, as a result a 'demon' born. This is karma work in relation to so called demons, which are subject to it.

Therefore Buddhism says it is important to not identify with thoughts and feelings.

:juggling:

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:52 pm

nibbuti wrote:
Ervin wrote:How does karma work in relation to so called Demons, Are they subject to it? And what does Buddhism say on how do Demons operate?
Hi Ervin

Demons are subconscious unwholesome thought processes and feelings.

When one identifies with these unwholesome thoughts and feelings, based on the causes and conditions, as a result a 'demon' born. This is karma work in relation to so called demons, which are subject to it.

Therefore Buddhism says it is important to not identify with thoughts and feelings.

:juggling:
This is one interpretation which has a more psychological feel to it but I believe the OP was asking about traditional Buddhist cosmology.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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nibbuti
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by nibbuti » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:05 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:This is one interpretation which has a more psychological feel to it but I believe the OP was asking about traditional Buddhist cosmology.
Thanks Khalil. You seem to want to distinguish between cosmology and psychology views.

I think when cosmology and psychology are considered two seperate things, it is due to our understanding and vision not going very deep. Thus I see no reason to keep our understanding at a superficial level.

The Awakened One said:

Desito Aananda mayaa dhammo anantaram abaahiram katvaa. natth'Aananda Tathaagatassa dhammesu aacariyamutthi

"I have taught Dhamma, Ananda, making no 'inner' and 'outer': the Tathaagata has no 'teacher's fist' (in respect of the doctrines)." (Mahaparinibbana Sutta)

:reading:

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Mr Man
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Mr Man » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:51 pm

Hanzze wrote:
there are bings out of our normal apperception


A bold statement. What brings you to this conclusion?

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Mr Man
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Mr Man » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:06 pm

Hanzze wrote:
No need to believe anything, but a little faith in ahead is somehow secure also in developing right view. Only your own experiance will make an end of doubt at least. So even if I would tell you it would not make sence.

Better to relay on what the Buddha taught, that is much more secure. If that is different, you need to find out your self at least.
More bold statements. How do you come to these conclusions? Is there a basis?

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Aloka
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Aloka » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:36 pm

nibbuti wrote:
Ervin wrote:How does karma work in relation to so called Demons, Are they subject to it? And what does Buddhism say on how do Demons operate?
Demons are subconscious unwholesome thought processes and feelings.
I agree nibbuti - and they needn't necessarily be subconscious !

kind regards

Aloka

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Hanzze
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Hanzze » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:18 am

Mr Man wrote:
Hanzze wrote:
No need to believe anything, but a little faith in ahead is somehow secure also in developing right view. Only your own experiance will make an end of doubt at least. So even if I would tell you it would not make sence.

Better to relay on what the Buddha taught, that is much more secure. If that is different, you need to find out your self at least.
More bold statements. How do you come to these conclusions? Is there a basis?
One basis is that what is delivered by the Buddha, Mr Man. Also included in the right view for example:
"And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view...
The other base next to intelectual understanding of right view is of coures self experiances at least.
How ever, if one does not have experianced it is not wise to reject such things. It's the same with Nibbana or kamma. Of couse we can say, law of kamma is nonsens but that will just close a door.
So a "could be" attitude is always a good idea. Like kamma: if we do not remember and compare cause and effects, we will not see them. The more open and relaxed our attitude is and the lesser we clinge to views out of our ideas of reality the more possibility of understaning will arise.

Its a saddha - panna pendulum that makes it possible to grow. Sati will look for it, that it get not stick in the word of ideas.
and they needn't necessarily be subconscious !
What is subconscious Aloka? A conscious that has not be reached or is out of reach? Or a parallel conscious, which seems to be not well conform with Buddhas dep-co-arising. One after the other or?

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Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Mr Man
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by Mr Man » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:22 am

Hanzze wrote:
So a "could be" attitude is always a good idea. Like kamma: if we do not remember and compare cause and effects, we will not see them. The more open and relaxed our attitude is and the lesser we clinge to views out of our ideas of reality the more possibility of understaning will arise.

Perhaps you could learn somthing from this. Talking is one thing.

:anjali:

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ground
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Re: Isnt it a Buddhist belief that so called Demons exist?

Post by ground » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:58 am

Ervin wrote:How does karma work in relation to so called Demons, Are they subject to it? And what does Buddhism say on how do Demons operate?

Thanks
If one sees demons or kind of feels that demons exist then because one has become conditioned to the idea "there are demons", "demons exist". "To become conditioned to" means "to accumulate the kamma". How does one accumulate kamma? How does one become conditioned to? Through conscious thinking in the affirmative which is identifying thinking as "I" and appropriating it as "mine" :sage:

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