Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Are there? Or is it the case that superstitious people believe that the help came from a deity when it was due to their own kamma? There is a wise saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”
What I meant was for example when doctor can't help. They are cured due to their own kamma but it needs certain conditions to make the kamma ripen in my opinion.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Buddhists recite protection discourses such as the Ratana Sutta or the Khandha Sutta for protection from dangers, but these Suttas are just Buddhānussati, Dhammānussati, and Sanghānussati or Mettābhāvanā. The disciple who has faith in the virtues of the Triple Gem, who observes the five precepts, and who practices loving-kindness need have no fear.
When you say I take refuge in the Buddha. What does taking refuge in someone who have attained parinibbana mean? Dhamma is teaching of Buddha and Sangha is the community of monks and nuns. And then we say recite Ratana and Khandha Sutta for protection from dangers but why not other Sutta? Could this be a much more complex process than we thought? Why we chant in Pali but not in Italian or other language for example and the answer from most people is because many great enlightened practitioner were using Pali language i.e. to chant and to recite the Sutta and it has been passed for many generations therefore it has its own vibration. I don't think if we chant Buddhanussati in Arabic for example will have the same benefit as we chant in Pali, let alone the virtues of the Triple Gem. I am not talking about metaphysics but since our historical Buddha is a Samma sambuddha, his attainment was known not only in the human realm but up to the highest heaven as well. This what makes his teachings and Suttas are so special IMO.
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The most famous Paritta Sutta — the Mangala Sutta — explains how one can be assured of good fortune in the future. There is no mention there of praying to deities (though it dos say that one should show reverence to those worthy of respect), but only the cultivation of 38 wholesome practices beginning with the avoidance of fools (immoral people), and culminating in the attainment of Arahantship.
While I believe that our own good kamma is helping us but at the same time I also believe that during our wandering in the Samsara we have created many affinities and connections with many beings whether they are good or bad. Some of them maybe still with us as a family member but was our wife/husband or maybe they are not with us in this lifetime in the human realm. These connections can be strong or weak depending on how deep our relationship with them. Buddhists are not praying asking for help from God but Gods become God because of the result of their virtues and wholesome conducts. Lower beings for example because of their strong hatred or jealousy might do harm to other people although maybe we might not be able to see them. The same thing with God. I think it is more to the level and understanding of the practice. But in my opinion, Devas do exist, our affinity to other sentient beings do exist as well. If unseen beings can do harm to us then why unseen beings can't do good to us?