The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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IanAnd
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by IanAnd » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:06 pm

tiltbillings wrote:A couple of different ways to look at God. There is a God, but it is not quite what it thinks it is, or that there is no God that is permanent, omniscient, and the creator of the universe:

Now the question: why is union with God is a lesser goal? The Buddha states (Anguttara-Nikaya X 29):

'...the Great God is the highest being. But even the Great God is subject to coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be.'

And in the 83rd discourse of the Middle Length Sayings:

"God truthfully answers [the questions of the Buddha] in succession: 'Good sir, those views I previously held are not mine; I see the radiance the world of God as passing; how could I say that I am permanent and eternal?'"

In other words God is still bound by karma and union with God is still to be within the realm of karma, which is inferior to the attainment of nirvana.

"There are some ascetics and brahmins who declare as their doctrine that all things began with the creation by God, or Brahma."

And this singular god is characterized so:

"That Worshipful God, the Great God, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the Organizer, the Protection, the Creator, the Most Perfect Ruler, the Designer and Orderer, the Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be, He by Whom we were created, He is permanent, Constant, Eternal, Unchanging, and He will remain so for ever and ever."

which is a nice characterization of the brahmanical notion of the creator God one finds in the early Brahmanical and Ishvara literature, and it seems to fit for most every other creator God notion that has come down the pike.


Elsewhere the Buddha states: . . .

"If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused the creative act of a Supreme God [Issara-nimmana-hetu], then the Niganthas [Jains] surely must have been created by an evil Supreme God." MajjhimaNikaya II 222.
Hallelujah. Finally someone who has read the discourses and understands the implications of what he has read. You couldn't have said it any better, Tilt.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

5heaps
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by 5heaps » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:21 pm

tiltbillings wrote:"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God."MN II 68.
on the other hand if its possible that exhaustion of the heaps and their causes is not the ultimate form of nirvana-without-remainder (whilst still maintaining the view of the 4 arya truths) then a new rational view of god is enabled
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

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tiltbillings
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:38 pm

5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God."MN II 68.
on the other hand if its possible that exhaustion of the heaps and their causes is not the ultimate form of nirvana-without-remainder (whilst still maintaining the view of the 4 arya truths) then a new rational view of god is enabled
Huh?
>> 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

5heaps
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by 5heaps » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
5heaps wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God."MN II 68.
on the other hand if its possible that exhaustion of the heaps and their causes is not the ultimate form of nirvana-without-remainder (whilst still maintaining the view of the 4 arya truths) then a new rational view of god is enabled
Huh?
if there were a way to purify the heaps instead of entering a cessation then this would give a new meaning to the idea of a buddha
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:35 pm

5heaps wrote:if there were a way to purify the heaps instead of entering a cessation then this would give a new meaning to the idea of a buddha
Damdifino what you are talking about, and I have not a clue as to what it has to do with the bit you quoted from my msg. Can you expand on your point, making it a bit less opaque?
>> 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

Kenshou
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by Kenshou » Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:38 pm

My impression was that cessation is the natural eventual result of the purification of the skandhas.

But, even if it may be possible for an enlightened being/set of purified khandhas to cause itself to be reborn, that doesn't necessarily imply that the "reborn arahant" has any God-like ability. All it implies is that it has the ability to choose not to cease. Nothing godlike necessary.

In other words, the non-cessation of the khandhas doesn't have anything at all to do with any (potential) God-notions. Maybe some Mahayana would disagree with me.

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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by 5heaps » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:
5heaps wrote:if there were a way to purify the heaps instead of entering a cessation then this would give a new meaning to the idea of a buddha
Damdifino what you are talking about, and I have not a clue as to what it has to do with the bit you quoted from my msg.
i mean there could be a god in the sense of someone who has extended their capacity of siddhis to an ultimate extent, and is always around.
Kenshu wrote:But, even if it may be possible for an enlightened being/set of purified khandhas to cause itself to be reborn,
theres no rebirth because theres no ignorance. the final samadhi instead of leading to cessation leads to something similar, based on the same initial wisdom but with something extra realized about it.

anyway i remember reading a sutta about the inconceivable good qualities of a buddha and so i thought it would be common knowledge
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

Kenshou
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by Kenshou » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:12 am

Such vague passages don't justify ascribing to a Buddha whatever amazing godlike qualities one likes. And are additionally too vague for there to be any particular thing which is "common knowledge". Perhaps that's my hinayana showing.

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tiltbillings
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:16 am

Kenshou wrote:Such vague passages don't justify ascribing to a Buddha whatever amazing godlike qualities one likes. And are additionally too vague for there to be any particular thing which is "common knowledge". Perhaps that's my hinayana showing.
Are you referring to the passage that I quoted that in turn 5heaps quoted as being vague? Quite frankly, I have no idea why he tied his odd comment to that passage.
>> 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

Kenshou
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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by Kenshou » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:00 am

Nope. Mostly I was responding to
anyway i remember reading a sutta about the inconceivable good qualities of a buddha
Which I took to mean things along the lines of the first of the 4 imponderables. Which doesn't really make any implications in the ballpark of Mahayanist Über-Buddha concepts.

Seems like 5heaps was simply playing off your mention of "god" as an opportunity to plug the alternative notion of some kind of transcendent Buddhagod. Perhaps a little bit of a non-sequitur.

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Re: The Truths and the Myths about "God" in Buddhism!

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:15 am

Kenshou wrote:Nope. Mostly I was responding to
anyway i remember reading a sutta about the inconceivable good qualities of a buddha
Which I took to mean things along the lines of the first of the 4 imponderables. Which doesn't really make any implications in the ballpark of Mahayanist Über-Buddha concepts.

Seems like 5heaps was simply playing off your mention of "god" as an opportunity to plug the alternative notion of some kind of transcendent Buddhagod. Perhaps a little bit of a non-sequitur.
Thanks. I am afraid 5heaps' point was less than clear, causing great confusion, consternation, and such. I shall pretend I did not see it.
>> 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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