Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
budo
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by budo » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:23 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:15 am
budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:08 am
AgarikaJ wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:45 am


Fundamentalist sectarianism. How cute. :rolleye:
You do realize you're on a Theravadan forum right? You do realize that the first fetter in Theravadan and Early Buddhism is doubt of the Buddha Dhamma Sangha.. And that the Dhamma is the dhamma-vinaya and not the lotus sutra.. According to Theravadans on a Theravadan forum..

Why do people go to specific communities and act suprised when the people in those specific communities align with their communities doctrine? Seems irrational and troll like behaviour to pretend otherwise.
So according to this (yours and Binocular's) argument, Early Buddhism is not 'proper' Buddhism?

I am getting more surprised with every posting.
Are you even reading what I'm writing? because I never said Early Buddhism is not proper Buddhism, I follow Early Buddhism myself, although I hold the Nikayas higher than the Agamas.

Regardless, I'm saying it's not logical to go to a specific community which is at odds with your views and expect them to align with your views. It's like going to a Muslim forum and telling them Koran != Islam, or a Jewish forum and telling them Torah != Judaism, or Second Testament != Christianity. Which is basically what you said with Theravada != Buddhism .

Furthermore, anyone who is trying to attain enlightenment on this Theravada forum, is going to destroy the 3 fetters, specifically "Doubt of the Buddha, Dhamma (Dhamma-Vinaya), Sangha", which in your words is "Fundamentalist Sectarianism", so it's not rational at all to go to a specific community where people are trying to progress in their doctrine and to expect them to align with your views which fall outside of that doctrine. To do so would mean you're specifically looking to clash and conflict with these people.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by AgarikaJ » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:35 am

budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:23 am
Furthermore, anyone who is trying to attain enlightenment on this Theravada forum, is going to destroy the 3 fetters, specifically "Doubt of the Buddha, Dhamma (Dhamma-Vinaya), Sangha", which in your words is "Fundamentalist Sectarianism"
No, it is Fundamentalist Sectarianism if one says that "only Theravada is proper Buddhism" (quoting @binocular here).

This might, I get your point, be naturally an accepted and ubiquitous position on a Theravada forum. It is still extremely imprecise to take from this view that "all Buddhists are Theravadin" while quite demonstrably this is a fallacy.

And the dangerous thing about this, I repeat it again, is that people join a Mahasiddha cult -- the robes have nearly the same colour but there are nice temple bells! -- in the expectation that the moral space they enter protects their self-determination over their body (we had recently not one, but two such threads on here), because "all Buddhism is morally benign".

Of course, if you wish to have your beliefs equated to such views by less-well informed outsiders, go right ahead. I still have not really understood why you prefer imprecision and see benefit in confusion about what the Dhamma entails. :shock:
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

budo
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by budo » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:56 am

AgarikaJ wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:35 am
budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:23 am
Furthermore, anyone who is trying to attain enlightenment on this Theravada forum, is going to destroy the 3 fetters, specifically "Doubt of the Buddha, Dhamma (Dhamma-Vinaya), Sangha", which in your words is "Fundamentalist Sectarianism"
No, it is Fundamentalist Sectarianism if one says that "only Theravada is proper Buddhism" (quoting @binocular here).
Well, then the Buddha of the Dhamma-Vinaya is a Fundamental Sectarian. Furthermore, not only is he a Fundamental Sectarian, but he also respects the beliefs of other religions and honours their beliefs without trying to push his beliefs onto them, unless of course they ask the Buddha questions about his beliefs.

What the Buddha is in other forms of Buddhism is outside the scope of Theravada discussion, just like Reform Jewish beliefs are outside the scope of Conservative Jewish beliefs. Anyone can make a new Buddhism and claim whatever they want, it doesn't mean other groups have to entertain these ideas, or even accept them as Buddhists.
AgarikaJ wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:35 am
This might, I get your point, be naturally an accepted and ubiquitous position on a Theravada forum. It is still extremely imprecise to take from this view that "all Buddhists are Theravadin" while quite demonstrably this is a fallacy.
Imprecise according to whom? You? You speak as if there is a natural law that determines what Buddhism is. My view is definitely not imprecise according to the Dhamma-Vinaya.
AgarikaJ wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:35 am
And the dangerous thing about this, I repeat it again, is that people join a Mahasiddha cult -- the robes have nearly the same colour but there are nice temple bells! -- in the expectation that the moral space they enter protects their self-determination over their body (we had recently not one, but two such threads on here), because "all Buddhism is morally benign".

Of course, if you wish to have your beliefs equated to such views by less-well informed outsiders, go right ahead. I still have not really understood why you prefer imprecision and see benefit in confusion about what the Dhamma entails. :shock:
The dangerous thing about this is people do not respect the boundaries and views of the communities they enter and try to bring in views uttered by other people and not the founder of their doctrine. There's a time and place for everything, and there are forums created specifically for debating such topics with people who are willing to debate such topics since that is the purpose of those forums.

Speaking of dhamma, do you know where it is defined? That's right, in the Dhamma-Vinaya, the suttas.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by AgarikaJ » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:06 pm

budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:56 am
Well, then the Buddha of the Dhamma-Vinaya is a Fundamental Sectarian. Furthermore, not only is he a Fundamental Sectarian, but he also respects the beliefs of other religions and honours their beliefs without trying to push his beliefs onto them
The hallmark of NOT a Fundamentalist Sectarian.
budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:56 am
There's a time and place for everything, and there are forums created specifically for debating such topics with people who are willing to debate such topics since that is the purpose of those forums.
This however clearly ticks the box for fundamentalism: refusing to communicate with holders of other views. That there is a section called 'Connections to other paths' is, I get your point, not to engage with those other paths, but to (quite forcefully) put them in their place.

The weird thing is, I am -- largely -- not even one of those "holders of other views", I am merely fascinated in what people believed through time (while acknowledging a slightly more heterodox view as the Mahaviharan purists).

I was rather trying to protect your beliefs being thrown together with quite horrible philosophies. Well, maybe you do not need this help, or -- what I rather think -- you still have not understood why your careless throwing around of words hinders propagation of the Dhamma in a larger sense.

But I think I am understanding you now: the era of the True Dhamma has come to its natural end several hundred years ago (according to the Buddha's prophecy in the Cullavagga, first through the creation and then the subsequent loss of the Fourth Assembly) and therefore the Dhamma can neither be fully understood nor actually practised in its entirety to Arahantship in this poisoned and incomplete world we live in now. So it does indeed not matter at all (for a strict Theravadin) if the Dhamma spreads or is at least superfluously understood; it is 'damaged goods' anyway... :shock: :shock: :shock:

Did I get your thought process right this time? Or is that now "too orthodox and dogmatic"?
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

budo
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by budo » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:10 pm

AgarikaJ wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:06 pm
budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:56 am
Well, then the Buddha of the Dhamma-Vinaya is a Fundamental Sectarian. Furthermore, not only is he a Fundamental Sectarian, but he also respects the beliefs of other religions and honours their beliefs without trying to push his beliefs onto them
The hallmark of NOT a Fundamentalist Sectarian.
budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:56 am
There's a time and place for everything, and there are forums created specifically for debating such topics with people who are willing to debate such topics since that is the purpose of those forums.
This however clearly ticks the box for fundamentalism: refusing to communicate with holders of other views. That there is a section called 'Connections to other paths' is, I get your point, not to engage with those other paths, but to (quite forcefully) put them in their place.

The weird thing is, I am -- largely -- not even one of those "holders of other views", I am merely fascinated in what people believed through time (while acknowledging a slightly more heterodox view as the Mahaviharan purists).

I was rather trying to protect your beliefs being thrown together with quite horrible philosophies. Well, maybe you do not need this help, or -- what I rather think -- you still have not understood why your careless throwing around of words hinders propagation of the Dhamma in a larger sense.

But I think I am understanding you now: the era of the True Dhamma has come to its natural end several hundred years ago (according to the Buddha's prophecy in the Cullavagga, first through the creation and then the subsequent loss of the Fourth Assembly) and therefore the Dhamma can neither be fully understood nor actually practised in its entirety to Arahantship in this poisoned and incomplete world we live in now. So it does indeed not matter at all (for a strict Theravadin) if the Dhamma spreads or is at least superfluously understood; it is 'damaged goods' anyway... :shock: :shock: :shock:

Did I get your thought process right this time? Or is that now "too orthodox and dogmatic"?
The Buddha did say that creating a schism leads to hell, so yes the Buddha is not interested in other forms of Buddhism but his own. There's nothing wrong with communicating with other faiths and respecting their boundaries, there is however something wrong with hijacking another faiths name and labels and then entering their community and trying to overwrite the contents of their ideology, hence what the Buddha in the suttas calls counterfeit Buddhism.

Whether you think all of Buddhism is counterfeit or not, is another discussion entirely, but for now you should respect Theravadans boundaries and not try to claim the Buddha is vishnu or that Theravadan Buddhism is not Buddhism, and not call them Fundamental Sectarians for not accepting your ideology.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by AgarikaJ » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:09 pm

budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:10 pm
Whether you think all of Buddhism is counterfeit or not, is another discussion entirely, but for now you should respect Theravadans boundaries and not try to claim the Buddha is vishnu or that Theravadan Buddhism is not Buddhism, and not call them Fundamental Sectarians for not accepting your ideology.
You get ever more confused, I am sorry to say that. :!:

a) I did not say that Theravadan Buddhism is not Buddhism. I did say that not all Buddhism is Theravadan Buddhism (which is your repeatedly declared position) and that this is a very important distinction.
It is the most obvious of fallacies, small children are already taught and understand: "all cats are animals, but not all animals are cats". Have a thought about it next time you see a cat chirping in a tree, croaking in a pond, barking at you, being held in a pigsty or swimming by the million in a drop of water.

2) I did not claim the Buddha is Vishnu, or an Avatar of it. The thread was opened by @ihrjordan who asked this in form of a question (which you answered.
What I added was, that there have been indeed people in the past who believed in forms of Vaishnuite Mahayanism; I actually gave no value proposition in regard to such beliefs (but pressed for it, I would say that for me this would be a number of steps of Mahayanist syncreticism too many). The Buddha's teaching were Indra-centric, where it relates to the planes of existence.

3) For now I believe I very much respect Theravadin boundaries (maybe excluding your lone personal opinion of what they might be). Once again: we are in a section 'Connections to other paths'.
The whole concept that people might talk about various philosophies out of historical interest seems totally beyond your limited horizon, or you are indeed in the more radical spectrum of Fundamentalist Sectarians (take your pick). If the latter, why do you answer in sections which will be beyond your sphere of acceptance of free expression of opinions?

4) To repeat the point: I am calling *you* a Fundamentalist Sectarian, NOT the Buddha (I demonstrated he was the opposite), NOT Theravadins in general and NOT other members of this forum. Just you.
But beyond that, I am not sure why you have a problem with this, you yourself have made clear now several times that those two labels would be supremely fitting, as according to your own words you are definitely both 'fundamentalist' (as in: "a person who believes in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture") and a 'sectarian' (as in: "a member of a sect", in this case an orthodox Theravadin).

Q.E.D.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

budo
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by budo » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:30 pm

AgarikaJ wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:09 pm

You get ever more confused, I am sorry to say that. :!:

a) I did not say that Theravadan Buddhism is not Buddhism. I did say that not all Buddhism is Theravadan Buddhism (which is your repeatedly declared position) and that this is a very important distinction.
It is the most obvious of fallacies, small children are already taught and understand: "all cats are animals, but not all animals are cats". Have a thought about it next time you see a cat chirping in a tree, croaking in a pond, barking at you, being held in a pigsty or swimming by the million in a drop of water.

2) I did not claim the Buddha is Vishnu, or an Avatar of it. The thread was opened by @ihrjordan who asked this in form of a question (which you answered.
What I added was, that there have been indeed people in the past who believed in forms of Vaishnuite Mahayanism; I actually gave no value proposition in regard to such beliefs (but pressed for it, I would say that for me this would be a number of steps of Mahayanist syncreticism too many). The Buddha's teaching were Indra-centric, where it relates to the planes of existence.

3) For now I believe I very much respect Theravadin boundaries (maybe excluding your lone personal opinion of what they might be). Once again: we are in a section 'Connections to other paths'.
The whole concept that people might talk about various philosophies out of historical interest seems totally beyond your limited horizon, or you are indeed in the more radical spectrum of Fundamentalist Sectarians (take your pick). If the latter, why do you answer in sections which will be beyond your sphere of acceptance of free expression of opinions?

4) To repeat the point: I am calling *you* a Fundamentalist Sectarian, NOT the Buddha (I demonstrated he was the opposite), NOT Theravadins in general and NOT other members of this forum. Just you.
But beyond that, I am not sure why you have a problem with this, you yourself have made clear now several times that those two labels would be supremely fitting, as according to your own words you are definitely both 'fundamentalist' (as in: "a person who believes in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture") and a 'sectarian' (as in: "a member of a sect", in this case an orthodox Theravadin).

Q.E.D.
That's nice and all, but I follow the dhamma-vinaya and that's all, I don't waste my time on other ideologies like I did in the past as I already sorted through that. Call me whatever you want, it doesn't make a difference to me, I'll keep calling out counterfeit Buddhism when I see it. You can keep conflicting with people who follow the dhamma-vinaya if you wish and labeling them things like Fundamentalists, it makes no difference to me. You can call me Fundamentalist, and I can call you non-Buddhist.

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by AgarikaJ » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:41 pm

budo wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:30 pm
You can call me Fundamentalist, and I can call you non-Buddhist.
You can. But what sense does it make, using ever more words without accepting their actual meaning?

As in calling a fellow Theravadin a 'Non-Buddhist' because you have a personal dislike of Asian medieval history... :rolleye:

Are you Humpty Dumpty by any chance?
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by dylanj » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:00 pm

No, according to the very teachings of the Lord Buddha it is not possible that he was an avatar of Vishnu. To come to this conclusion would require concluding that the Lord Buddha was wrong or lied about some things (& thus the same would be true of Vishnu). The Buddha specifically said he is not any sort of God & also told stories of his previous births, none of which line-up with the other avatars of Vishnu, & he taught that he would not take any births in the future or enter any sort of state of existence.
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:01 pm

Greetings,
dylanj wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:00 pm
No, according to the very teachings of the Lord Buddha it is not possible that he was an avatar of Vishnu. To come to this conclusion would require concluding that the Lord Buddha was wrong or lied about some things (& thus the same would be true of Vishnu). The Buddha specifically said he is not any sort of God & also told stories of his previous births, none of which line-up with the other avatars of Vishnu, & he taught that he would not take any births in the future or enter any sort of state of existence.
:goodpost:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by AgarikaJ » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:46 am

dylanj wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:00 pm
No, according to the very teachings of the Lord Buddha it is not possible that he was an avatar of Vishnu. To come to this conclusion would require concluding that the Lord Buddha was wrong or lied about some things (& thus the same would be true of Vishnu). The Buddha specifically said he is not any sort of God & also told stories of his previous births, none of which line-up with the other avatars of Vishnu, & he taught that he would not take any births in the future or enter any sort of state of existence.
Not sure this is an answer to me, or to the OP in general.

I do agree.

The Buddha was a 'normal' human being, died and was/will not be not reborn (there was a thread not too long ago, where somebody asked if the Buddha would remember/care about us from beyond his Parinibbāna, which of course is impossible).
The good thing about this is, that as such, all of us with the luck to be (re)born into the human plane of existence, have the same possibility/ability to develop ourselves towards the relief from Samsara, without the need of any super-natural aspects.

They very clearly do exist, however, as no serious student of the Suttas would deny.

In any case, in a Theravada context and according to the Pali suttas, the only relevant (as in Vedic) gods the Buddha could potentially be an Avatar of -- if one would wish to entertain such a concept out of intellectual curiosity -- would have been Indra (Śakra) or Brahma (Prajāpati).
But this would not make any sense, as Indra and his other co-existing gods are only major Devas and the Buddha -- again according to the Pali Suttas -- actually had face to face conversations with them.

As this specific part of the Theravada Pantheon of Gods derives historically from a pre-Hindu, even relatively early Vedic stage, one could now discuss if Vishnu, Shiva et al have a place in there as aspects of Indra and/or Brahma, but I guess this goes beyond both the question of the OP and the scope of this thread.
The Buddha himself and the Suttas are also to my knowledge silent on this question, so it would possibly only be a reconstruction (like 'Early Buddhism') anyway.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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ihrjordan
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by ihrjordan » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:11 am

Side question. Would any of you recognize nataraja (shiva ,anagami) if you were looking at a picture of him? Lololol

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ihrjordan
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by ihrjordan » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:16 am

Hint hint

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ihrjordan
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by ihrjordan » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:33 am

The buddha was not an avatar of Vishnu. I myself am not totally free from delusion. i apologize.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Was the Buddha an avatar of lord vishnu?

Post by Ceisiwr » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:10 pm

Post Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:07 pm

The Buddha denied a “ground of being” which is the source of all phenomena, which is the usual conception of God:


https://suttacentral.net/mn1/en/bodhi


As for the other discussion, Theravāda isn’t the only Buddhism. I would class some of the early schools as Buddhism too. I do struggle in classifying Mahāyāna as Buddhism. Some forms of zen maybe. Tibetan Buddhism, hardly.

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