Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

Postby BlackBird » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:49 am

I believe in the cosmology that the Buddha taught in the Suttas, thus I believe in Brahma, devas, ghosts and hell beings.
It won't stop you meditating, or practicing the Buddha's teachings if you don't believe in them. But I believe at a certain point you have to take the Buddha at his word, and surrender your own views in favour of those of the Buddha, realizing that one is ignorant of the truth, and the Buddha has known and seen. Until one is ready to submit that they are blind and ignorant - one can only progress so far. Rebirth is intricately tied to the teachings. If rebirth does not exist then one need only meditate enough to prevent the grosser manifestations of dukkha, and wait until death comes. In such a view death brings nibbana. This is a wrong view, in the Buddha's teachings. Buddhism doesn't make much sense without rebirth.

That is my view, and it appears to be right to me, but I cannot say anything for sure.
Last edited by BlackBird on Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

Postby Aloka » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:16 am

Digity wrote:I give little thought to ghosts, devas and brahmas. My focus is more on what's in front of me.


I totally agree.
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Re: Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

Postby steve19800 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:51 am

past is dead wrote:Hello all

How many of you guys believe in ghosts, devas, and brahmas?

Do you think it's a must to believe in these supernatural deities in order to be a practitioner of Buddhism?

Can it hinders the progress in meditation?


No. They are completely different thing. The existence of other beings and your practice are two different things.
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Re: Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

Postby Mindstar » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:05 pm

Digity wrote:I give little thought to ghosts, devas and brahmas. My focus is more on what's in front of me.


Well its very true that it isnt usefull for the practice. I guess i just couldnt stop my curiosity :lol:
Wherever he goes, there he is unafraid.. Wherever he sleeps, there he is unalarmed!
The nights and days does neither touch nor burn him. He sees nothing in this world
that is to be kept or lost.. Therefore his mind dwells in goodwill and gentle kindness
towards all beings until he falls asleep.
SN I 110
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Re: Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

Postby Digity » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:22 pm

If the Buddha taught these things then I do take him for his word. So, in that sense I do believe in these forms of beings. However, I just leave it at that. I don't pray to the devas or anything of that nature.
Samsara sucks.
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Re: Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

Postby whynotme » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:58 pm

past is dead wrote:
whynotme wrote:
past is dead wrote:Hello all

How many of you guys believe in ghosts, devas, and brahmas?

Do you think it's a must to believe in these supernatural deities in order to be a practitioner of Buddhism?

Can it hinders the progress in meditation?

You should read kalama sutta, one of very best suttas out there.


I don't believe, but that does not mean that they don't exist. Maybe my belief will change as my understanding deepens with time and practice :)


Well, the kalama sutta isn't about believing or not, but keeping the right attitude about believing
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Re: Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

Postby whynotme » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:16 pm

Alex123 wrote:
past is dead wrote:How many of you guys believe in ghosts, devas, and brahmas? ?


I don't believe in them if their image is taken literally. But if given the proper evidence, I would.

Maybe a possible way to reconcile that with current science is that those are viruses and bacteria?

As for seeing ghosts, etc: How do we know that it is not hallucination? Hallucination can appear very real, and I don't doubt the honesty and sincerity of those who say that they have seen them.

Personally, if I would see a ghost - first I would make sure that I am not dreaming, second I would investigate what was in my tea/coffee...


You should doubt when there are clues to doubt. From what I knew, different people saw and described the same thing at the same location, so it must have some truths in it.

Yes, I agree with you that most people who claimed saw them are not honestly and want to add their ego to their stories, but with an opened mind to find out the truth, comparing them, analyzing them, one can get something in their stories. You can doubt, but you need to be smart. The credit of witnesses is not only the problem in religions, but on criminals, intelligence gathering as well. But in real worlds, police and intelligence officers can get a lot of valuable infos from not so good sources. It is not depended on sources, it depends on how you processed information.

I believe UFO and the phenomenons of spirit world are the same and only happens in conscious mind, that explained why there isn't any physical evidence, which physical measurement can't contact with them. Well, the basics question, what is conscious, is still unanswered despite being familiar with in daily experiences.
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Re: Ghosts, devas, and brahmās?

Postby Alex123 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:23 pm

whynotme wrote:You should doubt when there are clues to doubt. From what I knew, different people saw and described the same thing at the same location, so it must have some truths in it.


Similarity of hallucinations could be due to similarity in the way brain functions when under extreme circumstances, when oxygen/sense perception deprived, with chemicals affecting it...

Also it seems that Xtians during NDE experiences see Angels, Virgin Mary, Jesus etc. People of other beliefs see other beings...
Various religions can use visions to prove their religion.

whynotme wrote:Yes, I agree with you that most people who claimed saw them are not honestly


I think that many people can be honest and sincere about their hallucinations. These experiences can be very real. I had dreams about being stabbed, and I felt it.
I also had dreams when Satan screamed into my ear calling me strait to hell. Of course these are dreams.
"dust to dust...."
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