The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:29 am

Hi Element,
Element wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:That really is not an answer. You have claimed that devas are human beings. It is up to you to support your claim.
Buddha said his teaching is "sanditiko..... paccatum veditabo vinnuhi".

My answer is an answer.
So, your answer is: "Trust me, I'm Element?".

Mike
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:29 am

This is not a Classical Theravada thread.

However, there is the text when just after Buddha was awakened, he was asked: "Are you are deva, are you a gandhabba, etc,?"

Clearly the Buddha was not flying in the sky with wings when he was asked these questions. He was simply walking with serenity and radiance.

Further, the Buddha answered: "I am awake".
No, this is not a the Classical Forum, but that does not mean you can just make things up and call it the Buddha's teaching. As for the text, actually quote the whole text.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:30 am

tiltbillings wrote:That really is not an answer. You have claimed that devas are human beings. It is up to you to support your claim.
Similarly, in the Vinaya and in the suttas, there is the phrase 'animal talk'.

This does not refer to communicating with non human beings.

ImageImage

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:No, this is not a the Classical Forum, but that does not mean you can just make things up and call it the Buddha's teaching.
Are you inferring Buddhadasa was making things up? Are you inferring you know better than him?

If you are interested in the thread, links were posted. But if you are not, it appears you are simply "trolling".

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:40 am

Greetings Element,

I'm trying to open...

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... udents.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

... so we can actually have a meaningful discussion on what venerable Buddhadasa said... however, the link doesn't seem to be responding. (maybe it's a large file and there's network isses?)

Do you have an alternative URL we could download it from, or could you paste the text relevant to question 47.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:41 am

Element wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:No, this is not a the Classical Forum, but that does not mean you can just make things up and call it the Buddha's teaching.
Are you inferring Buddhadasa was making things up? Are you inferring you know better than him?

If you are interested in the thread, links were posted. But if you are not, it appears you are simply "trolling".
In which link did Ajahn Buddhadasa state that Devas were human beings? Is it in the book Retro is asking about?

Metta
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:43 am

The text is widely known. It is beyond dispute.
Then quote it for those who do not know it.

Also, if you are claiming Ven Buddhadasa said devas are human, quote him as well.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:50 am

Dear Element,

All we are asking is that you tell us where the idea is written down. Having downloaded the book, I now think you are misreading Ajahn Buddhadasa:

Page 50 of Buddha Dhamma for University Students, by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu:
41) Now consider the “happy state”
“Where is the happy state to be found? Where do we go to get happiness?”
In the texts, there is a passage which speaks of celestial beings (devatas) dying, passing away, coming to the end of their merit, and
coming to the end of their life spans. It also tells of their wishing to attain the happy state, seeking it, and wishing to know where to find it. In the end they come to the conclusion that the happy state is to be found in the realm of human beings. The celestial. beings rejoice saying, “May your wishes be fulfilled! Go to the happy state in the human realm!” The expression “happy state in the human realm” signifies that in the human realm impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and non-selfhood can more readily be perceived than in the celestial realm. In the human realm there are enlightened beings, there are arahants, and there are the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. In the celestial realm, that jungle of sensuality, there are none of these things. Thus, celestial beings come to the human realm in search of the happy state. It is ridiculous that human beings here should want to go to the celestial realm for happiness. Yet some people seek paradise, happiness in the next existence, in the realm of celestial beings. They invest in it by making merit, giving to charity, selling their houses and goods, and building things in monasteries. Where is the genuinely happy state to be found? Think it over.
I don't read that as saying that "devas are human", I read it as saying that the smarter ones want to be reborn in the human realm...
Last edited by mikenz66 on Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:As for the text, actually quote the whole text.
Dona Sutta.

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:53 am

Don't be stingy. Quote the section you referenced.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

Element

Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by Element » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:54 am

mikenz66 wrote:I now think you are misreading Ajahn Buddhadasa:
I do not misread Buddhadasa nor the suttas. I have listened to Buddhadasa speak in person over 50 times.

I trust you have misread the text.

The human state is the realm of work, the realm of effort, the realm of renunciation.

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:01 am

Dona Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:09 am

Ajahn Buddhadasa's book is quite interesting. Luckily the Western writings have improved since the 1970s. Perhaps Element, or someone else, would like to comment...

Page 2
“What subject did the Buddha teach?
THE BEST WAY of answering this is to quote the Buddha himself, “Know this, O Monks: Now, as formerly, I teach of only dukkha (suffering, unsatisfactoriness) and the elimination of dukkha.”
Whether or not this answer agrees with what you had thought, please take good note of it. There are many other ways we may answer, but this one saying of the Buddha sums up his teaching very succinctly.
The Buddha taught only dukkha and the quenching of it. This renders irrelevant any questions without a direct bearing on the elimination of dukkha. Don’t consider such questions as “Is there rebirth after death?” or “How does rebirth take place?” These can be considered later.
So, if a Westerner asks us this question, we shall answer it by saying, “The Buddha taught nothing other than dukkha and the elimination of it.”
As I read it (and other books of his that I've read) he doesn't deny rebirth, just that the books he's seen get it wrong, and that he sees no point in worrying about it. Which is probably good advice.
Page 25.
So we find there is a third kind of kamma. Most people know of only the first and second kinds of kamma, good and evil kamma. They don’t know yet what the third kind of kamma is. The Buddha called the first kind of kamma black or evil kamma, and the second kind white or good kamma. The kind of kamma that can be called neither-black-nor-white is that which puts an end to both black kamma and white kamma. This third kind of kamma is a
tool for putting a complete stop to both black and white kamma. The Buddha used these terms “black kamma”, “white kamma”, and “kamma neither-black-nor-white”. This third type of kamma is kamma in the Buddhist sense, kamma according to Buddhist principles. As has been said, to put an end to lust, hatred, and delusion is to put an end to kamma. Thus, the third kind of kamma is the ending of lust, hatred, and delusion; in other words, it is the Noble Eightfold Path. Whenever we behave and practise in accordance with the Noble Eightfold Path, that is the third type of kamma. It is neither black nor white; rather it brings to an end black kamma and white kamma. It is world-transcending (lokuttara), above good and above evil.
This third type of kamma is never discussed by Westerners in their chapters on “Kamma and Rebirth”. They get it all wrong; what they expound is not Buddhism at all. To be Buddhist, they should deal with the third type of kamma, the kamma that is capable of bringing to an end lust, hatred, and delusion. Then the whole lot of old kamma — black kamma and white kamma — ends as well.
That's well covered in what I've read...

Metta
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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:16 am

Greetings,

The following is the section of the text that Element asked us to look at earlier... apologies for the formatting. Try here http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... udents.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; if you want to read it in PDF format.

This is the teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa.
47) Now, let us see,
47) “What is the meaning of the Four Woeful States?”
THE FIRST OF the Four Woeful States is hell. Hell is anxiety (in Thai, literally “a hot heart”). Whenever one experiences anxiety,
burning, and scorching, one is simultaneously reborn as a creature
of hell. It is a spontaneous rebirth, a mental rebirth. Although the body physically inhabits the human realm, as soon as anxiety arises the mind falls into hell. Anxiety about possible loss of prestige
and fame, anxiety of any sort — that is hell.
Now rebirth in the realm of beasts is stupidity. Whenever one is inexcusably stupid about something: stupid in not knowing that Dhamma and nibbāna are desirable, stupid in not daring to come into contact with or get close to Buddhism, stupid in believing that if one became interested in Dhamma or Buddhism it would make one old-fashioned and odd. That is how children see it, and their parents too. They try to pull back and move far away from Dhamma and religion. This is stupidity. Regardless of what sort of stupidity it is, it amounts to rebirth as an animal. As soon as stupidity
arises and overwhelms one, one becomes an animal. One is a beast by spontaneous rebirth, by mental rebirth. This is the second
Woeful State.
The third Woeful State is the condition of a peta, a ghost that is chronically hungry because his desires continually outrun the supply of goods. It is a chronic mental hunger which a person suffers
from, not hunger for bodily food. For instance, one wants to get a thousand baht. Then having just got the thousand baht, one suddenly wants to get ten thousand baht. Having just got the ten thousand baht, one suddenly wants to get a hundred thousand baht. No sooner has one got the hundred thousand baht, it’s a million baht that one wants, or a hundred million. It is a case of chasing
and never catching. One has all the symptoms of chronic hunger.
One further resembles a hungry ghost in having a stomach as big as a mountain and a mouth as small as a needle’s eye. The intake is never sufficient for the hunger, so one is all the time a peta. The peta’s direct opposite is the person who, on getting ten satang *, is content with getting just the ten satang, or on getting twenty satang is content with twenty. But don’t get the idea that being easily
satisfied like this means one falls into decline and stops looking
for things. Intelligence tells one what has to be done, and one goes about doing it the right way. In this way, one is filled to satisfaction
every time one goes after something. One enjoys the seeking
and then is satisfied. This is how to live without being a peta, that is, without being chronically hungry. Going after something with craving constitutes being a peta. Going after something intelligently
is not craving: then one is not a peta; one is simply doing what has to be done.
Thus, a wish such as the wish to extinguish suffering is not craving.
Don’t go telling people the wrong thing, spreading the word that mere wishing is craving or greed. To be craving or greed it must be a wish stemming from stupidity. The wish to attain nibbāna is a craving, if pursued with foolishness, infatuation, and pride. Going for lessons in insight meditation without knowing what it is all about is craving and greed; it is ignorance that leads to suffering
because it is full of grasping and clinging. However, if a person
wishes to attain nibbāna, after clearly and intelligently perceiving
suffering and the means whereby it can be extinguished, and in this frame of mind steadily and earnestly learns about insight meditation in the right way, then such a wish to attain nibbāna is not craving, and it is not suffering. So wishing is not necessarily always craving. It all depends on where it has its origin. If it stems from ignorance or the defilements, the symptoms will be similar to those of chronic hunger — that chasing without ever catching. We speak of this chronically hungry condition as spontaneous rebirth as a hungry ghost (peta).
The last Woeful State is the realm of the asuras (cowardly demons). First to explain the word asura: sura means “brave”, a means “not”, thus asura means “not brave” or “cowardly”. Take it that whenever one is cowardly without reason, one has been spontaneously
reborn an asura. Being afraid of harmless little lizards, millipedes, or earthworms is unjustified fear and a form of suffering.
To be afraid unnecessarily, or to be afraid of something as a result of pondering too much on it, is to be reborn as an asura. We all fear death, but our fear is made a hundred or a thousand times greater by our own exaggeration of the danger. Fear torments a person all the time. He is afraid of falling into hell and in so doing becomes an asura. Thus he is actually falling into the Four Woeful
States every day, day after day, month after month, year in and year out. If we act rightly and don’t fall into these Woeful States now, we can be sure that after dying we shall not fall into the Woeful
States depicted on temple walls.
This interpretation of the Woeful States agrees in meaning and purpose with what the Buddha taught. These sorts of false belief regarding the Four Woeful States should be recognized as superstition.
The most pitiable thing about Buddhists is the inaccurate way we interpret the teaching of the Buddha and the stupid way we put it into practice. There’s no need to go looking for superstition
in other places. In the texts there are references to people imimeditation in the right way, then such a wish to attain nibbāna is not craving, and it is not suffering. So wishing is not necessarily always craving. It all depends on where it has its origin. If it stems from ignorance or the defilements, the symptoms will be similar to those of chronic hunger — that chasing without ever catching. We speak of this chronically hungry condition as spontaneous rebirth as a hungry ghost (peta).
The last Woeful State is the realm of the asuras (cowardly demons). First to explain the word asura: sura means “brave”, a means “not”, thus asura means “not brave” or “cowardly”. Take it that whenever one is cowardly without reason, one has been spontaneously
reborn an asura. Being afraid of harmless little lizards, millipedes, or earthworms is unjustified fear and a form of suffering.
To be afraid unnecessarily, or to be afraid of something as a result of pondering too much on it, is to be reborn as an asura. We all fear death, but our fear is made a hundred or a thousand times greater by our own exaggeration of the danger. Fear torments a person all the time. He is afraid of falling into hell and in so doing becomes an asura. Thus he is actually falling into the Four Woeful
States every day, day after day, month after month, year in and year out. If we act rightly and don’t fall into these Woeful States now, we can be sure that after dying we shall not fall into the Woeful
States depicted on temple walls.
This interpretation of the Woeful States agrees in meaning and purpose with what the Buddha taught. These sorts of false belief regarding the Four Woeful States should be recognized as superstition.
The most pitiable thing about Buddhists is the inaccurate way we interpret the teaching of the Buddha and the stupid way we put it into practice. There’s no need to go looking for superstition
in other places. In the texts there are references to people imitating the behaviour of cows and dogs; these were practices current
in India at the time of the Buddha. There is no more of that these days, but behaviour does exist now which is just as foolish and much more undersirable. So give up all this superstition and enter the Stream of Nibbāna. To give up belief in a permanent ego-entity, to give up doubt, and to give up superstition is to enter the Stream of Nibbāna and have the Dhamma-eye — the eye that sees Dhamma and is free of delusion and ignorance.
Bear in mind that in us worldlings there is always a certain measure of ignorance and delusion in the form of ego-belief, doubt, and superstition. We must move up a step and break free of these three kinds of stupidity in order to enter the Stream of Nibbāna. From that point on there is a flowing downhill, a convenient sloping down towards nibbāna, like a large stone rolling down a mountain-side. If you are to become acquainted with nibbāna and the Stream of Nibbāna, if you are to practise towards attaining nibbāna, then you must understand that these three kinds of delusion and stupidity
must be given up before one can give up sensual desire and ill-will, which are fetters of a higher and more subtle order. Simply giving up these three forms of ignorance constitutes entering the Stream of Nibbāna. To completely give up self-centredness, hesitancy
in pinpointing one’s life objective, and ingrained superstitious behaviour is to enter the Stream of Nibbāna. You can see that this kind of giving up is universally valuable and applicable to every person
in the world. These three forms of ignorance are undersirable, Just as soon as a person has succeeded in giving them up he becomes an ariyan, a Noble One. Prior to this he is a fool, a deluded person, a lowly worldling, not at all an ariyan. When one has improved and progressed to the highest level of worldling, one must advance still further, until one reaches the stage where there is nowhere to go except enter the Stream of Nibbāna by becoming a sotapanna. Then one continues to progress and flow on to nibbāna itself.
The practice that leads away from grasping, self-centredness, and delusion is to observe all things as unworthy of being grasped at or clung to. This results in the eradication of hesitancy, blind grasping,
and self-centredness. So we ought to start taking an interest in non-attachment right this very minute, each of us at the level most appropriate for us. If you fail in an examination there is no need to weep. Determine to start again and do your best. If you pass an examination you should not become carried away; you should realize that this is the normal way of things. This will then mean that there has arisen some understanding of non-grasping and non-clinging.
When you are sitting for an examination, you should forget about yourself. Take good note of this! When starting to write an examination answer, you should forget about being yourself. Forget
about the “me” who is being examined and who will pass or fail. You may think beforehand of how to go about passing the examination
and plan accordingly, but as soon as you start to write, you must forget all that. Leave only concentration, which will pierce through the questions and seek out the answers. A mind free of any “me” or “mine” who will pass or fail immediately comes up agile and clean. It remembers immediately and thinks keenly. So sitting for an examination with proper concentration will produce good results. This is how to apply cit waang (a mind free of the self-illusion), or Buddhist non-grasping and non-clinging, when sitting for examinations. In this way you will get good results.
Those who don’t know how to make use of this technique always feel anxious about failing. They become so nervous that they are unable to call to mind what they have learned. They can not write accurate and orderly answers. Consequently they fail thoroughly.
Others become carried away by the idea that “I am brilliant,
I am certain to pass.” A student carried away by this sort of grasping and clinging is also bound to do poorly, because he lacks cit waang. On the other hand, for the “person” with cit waang there is no “me” or “mine” involved, so he cannot become panicky or over-confident. There remains only concentration, which is a natural
power. Entirely forgetting about self, he can pass well. This is an elementary, most basic example of the effect of non-attachment and of cit waang.
Now a stupid and deluded person, as soon as he hears the word suññata mentioned in temple lecture halls, translates it as “utter emptiness or nothingness”. That is the materialistic interpretation and is how certain groups of people understand it. The suññata of the Buddha means absence of anything that we should grasp at and cling to as being an abiding entity or self, although physically everything is there in its entirety. If we cling, there is dukkha; if we do not cling, there is freedom from dukkha. The world is described as empty because there is nothing whatsoever that we might have a right to grasp at. We must cope with this empty world with a mind that does not cling. If we want something, we must go after it with a mind free from grasping, so that we get the desired object without it becoming a source of suffering.
Misunderstanding the word “empty”, just this one single word, is a great superstition (sīlappata-parāmāsa) and constitutes a major obstacle to people attaining the Stream of Nibbāna. So let us understand
the word “empty”, and all other words used by the Buddha, properly and completely. He described the world as empty because there is nothing in it which can be taken as a self or ego. He answered King Mogha’s question by saying, “Always regard the 72
world as something empty. Always look on this world with all that it contains as something empty.” Viewing it as empty, the mind automatically becomes free of grasping and clinging. There can not arise lust, hatred, and delusion. To succeed in doing this is to be an arahant. If one has not succeeded in doing it, one has to keep on trying; though still an ordinary worldling, one will have less suffering.
No suffering arises as long as there is cit waang. Whenever one becomes carried away and lapses, there is suffering again. If we keep good watch, producing emptiness (of self-idea) more and more often and lastingly, we come to penetrate to the core of Buddhism, and come to know the Stream of Nibbāna.
Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: The teachings of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:37 am

Dona Sutta

On one occasion the Blessed One was traveling along the road between Ukkattha and Setabya, and Dona the brahman was also traveling along the road between Ukkattha and Setabya. Dona the brahman saw, in the Blessed One's footprints, wheels with 1,000 spokes, together with rims and hubs, complete in all their features. On seeing them, the thought occurred to him, "How amazing! How astounding! These are not the footprints of a human being!"
Then the Blessed One, leaving the road, went to sit at the root of a certain tree — his legs crossed, his body erect, with mindfulness established to the fore. Then Dona, following the Blessed One's footprints, saw him sitting at the root of the tree: confident, inspiring confidence, his senses calmed, his mind calmed, having attained the utmost control & tranquility, tamed, guarded, his senses restrained, a naga. On seeing him, he went to him and said, "Master, are you a deva?"

"No, brahman, I am not a deva."

"Are you a gandhabba?"

"No..."

"... a yakkha?"

"No..."

"... a human being?"

"No, brahman, I am not a human being."

"When asked, 'Are you a deva?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a deva.' When asked, 'Are you a gandhabba?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a gandhabba.' When asked, 'Are you a yakkha?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a yakkha.' When asked, 'Are you a human being?' you answer, 'No, brahman, I am not a human being.' Then what sort of being are you?"

"Brahman, the fermentations by which — if they were not abandoned — I would be a deva: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. The fermentations by which — if they were not abandoned — I would be a gandhabba... a yakkha... a human being: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

"Just like a red, blue, or white lotus — born in the water, grown in the water, rising up above the water — stands unsmeared by the water, in the same way I — born in the world, grown in the world, having overcome the world — live unsmeared by the world. Remember me, brahman, as 'awakened.'

"The fermentations by which I would go
to a deva-state, or become a gandhabba in the sky,
or go to a yakkha-state & human-state:
Those have been destroyed by me,
ruined, their stems removed.
Like a blue lotus, rising up,
unsmeared by water,
unsmeared am I by the world,
and so, brahman,
I'm awake."
There is nothing in this text that would support a claim that a deva is a human being, or that the Buddha was talking about these things in a figurative way. That Buddhadasa may have given an idiosyncratic reading to the idea of being a deva – that is, that being a deva is a figurative sort of way of talking about things – is fine; that it is his way of talking about things, but that is far cry from baldly, without qualification, stating that a deva is a human being. The texts clearly do not support that. What is reasonable is to state that Buddhadasa interprets these things in a figurative manner.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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