I really hate to point this out, but there are very clear examples in the Tipitika where the Buddha does describe hell as a place one enters after death.yuuki wrote:I don't think there needs to be special thought given to the "hell" interpretation of words like this. What can hell be, physically, anyways? I choose to just leave it at that: wrong actions leave us worse off, in a worse destination or existence. This can happen before death, and I don't know what happens after death.
"It is from having known it myself, seen it myself, realized it myself that I tell you that I have seen beings who — endowed with bodily good conduct, verbal good conduct, & mental good conduct; who did not revile noble ones, who held right views and undertook actions under the influence of right views — at the break-up of the body, after death, have re-appeared in the good destination, the heavenly world."
"I have seen beings conquered both by receiving offerings & by not receiving offerings — their minds overwhelmed — at the break-up of the body, after death, reappearing in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell.'"
-- Iti 3.22
I think the Buddha, or who ever wrote that, was just a product of the time. For the lifestyle teachings, they looked to personal experience and the insights that came about through meditation. But to fill in the blanks about death and the afterlife, the probably referenced the dated Hindu philosophy that was widespread at the time. But this is not a bad thing. Most of the teachings, particularly the ones on how to live, are very solid. I just need to keep telling myself this. lol.
To lighten the mood, here is a link to the joke that introduced me to Buddhism. It's about heaven and hell, from a slightly different perspective.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZubVvvO914U" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (Ajahn Brahm)
Will do.Guy wrote:It is important to understand that the Buddha was NOT a scientist, nor did He ever claim to be. His teachings were (and still are) aimed at recognizing suffering, identifying the cause, knowing the cessation and developing the Path leading to the cessation of suffering. If you expect the Buddha to be a leading physicist or astronomer then you are missing the whole point of His teachings. If you want to be free from suffering then it is in your best interest to practice the Noble Eightfold Path and see for yourself if the Buddha is indeed "right about everything" that he taught.
Thank you for that.David N. Snyder wrote:There are many Buddhists (Theravada and Mahayana) who see the hellish realms as simply mind states and not as physical places. This includes Ven. Dhammika, who has been a monk for over 30 years:mettafuture wrote: - Can a Buddhist ignore the heaven / hell realms, and focus only on the rational teachings?
http://buddhismatoz.com/d/Devil.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
You're right. I know I shouldn't worry about this, but it keeps popping into my mind like a hindrance during meditation. I need to reconcile the whole heaven / hell thing so that I can just move on and continue with my practice.In my own opinion, I see them as both mental states and possibly physical places too. For now, it is not an important part of the practice and we will all find out soon enough when higher attainments are realized.