Heaven, Hell, etc.

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Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby Jay1 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:41 pm

I'm shocked that Buddhism, a seemingly secular religion...lol, would teach these things. And devas!!!

Why/How does one manage to believe such things?

:namaste:
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby Coyote » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:06 pm

Views like these are those which best allow us to cultivate correct effort towards the eightfold noble path, and act as a basis for going beyond views altogether, having seen for ourselves. The Buddha was very critical of nihilistic and eternalist viewpoints, as well as non-moralist ideas of Kamma, and so offered these ideas in opposition to those views. This is "mundane" right view.
I hope this is correct, but it is what I have been taught. Perhaps others can elaborate.

"And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view...

"One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.
"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html

:anjali:
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby perkele » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:16 pm

The Buddha never advertised his teaching as a "secular religion". Whatever that term is supposed to mean. To me it means nothing meaningful. :broke:
To my understanding, the Buddha taught about the reality of experience, because he understood it completely. Now that's meaningful to me. Don't know if that conveys any meaning to you.
We believe all kinds of stuff. What do you believe happens to your experience when your body breaks apart?
Those who are ashamed of what they should be ashamed of, and are not ashamed of what they should not be ashamed of -- upholding true views, they do not go to states of woe.
(suggested by SamBodhi)
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby matais » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:37 pm

The reason the Buddha taught his followers about heaven, hell, devas, etc is because doing so would convince his followers that their actions made a difference even after death. The buddha never taught anyone to worship a deva though, and rather than saying that people should try to go to heaven, as is common in many other religions, the Buddha taught a path towards liberation from rebirth (and thereby liberation from suffering) altogether.

I can believe this because I've (at least tentatively) accepted the Buddha as a perfectly enlightened being who taught the Dhamma to his followers for the purpose of their liberation, based on those parts of the Dhamma that I can empirically verify, and because I see no harm in believing them. Quite the contrary - I hope these beliefs can turn me into a better person.
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:02 pm

Jay1 wrote:I'm shocked that Buddhism, a seemingly secular religion...lol, would teach these things. And devas!!!

Why/How does one manage to believe such things?

:namaste:

When did Buddhism start billing itself as a secular religion?

How could a secular religion even exist?
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby SDC » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:32 pm

I believe in trolls.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby ground » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:15 am

Jay1 wrote:I'm shocked that Buddhism, a seemingly secular religion...lol, would teach these things. And devas!!!

Why/How does one manage to believe such things?


Just believing. Believing is not difficult. One may also believe that buddhism is a secular religion. :sage:
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby pegembara » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:43 am

`These things lead to dispassion, not to passion; to detachment,
not to attachment; to dispersal, not to amassing; to modesty, not to
ambition; to content, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to association;
to energy, not to idleness; to frugality, not to luxury,' of them
you can quite certainly decide: `This is the Dhamma, this is the Discipline,
this is the Master's teaching.' "
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby barcsimalsi » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:33 am

People are free to believe what they want and there's no denying the dhamma has tons of unprovable stuff with fairy tale alike story.
However, the Dhamma reminds us:
The criterion for rejection

4. "It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,' abandon them.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el008.html

The Buddha taught them, and us, not to accept or believe anything immediately just because it fits with any of a number of criteria. He listed ten such criteria for them to be wary of, so they could avoid becoming anyone’s intellectual slave, even of the Buddha Himself. This principle enables us to choose for ourselves the teachings that are truly capable of quenching suffering (dukkha). The ten examples the Buddha gave in the Kalama Sutta follow.
1. Ma anussavena:

Don’t accept and believe something to be true just because it has been passed along and retold for many years. Such credulity is a characteristic of brainless people, of "sawdust brains," such as those in Bangkok who once believed that disasters would befall people born in the "ma" years. (The years of the small snake, big snake, horse, and goat — five through eight in the old twelve-year Thai cycle — all begin with "ma.")
2. Ma paramparaya:

Don’t believe in something merely because it has become a traditional practice. People tend to imitate what others do and then pass the habit along, as in the story of the rabbit that was terrified by a fallen mango (like Chicken Little’s falling sky). When the other animals saw the rabbit running at top speed, they were frightened too and ran after it. Most of them ended up tripping and tumbling off a cliff to their deaths. Any vipassana (insight) practice that merely imitates others, that just follows traditions, will bring similar results.
3. Ma itikiraya:

Don’t accept and believe something simply because of reports and news of it spreading far and wide, whether through one’s village or throughout the whole world. Only fools are susceptible to such rumors, for they refuse to exercise their own powers of intelligence and discrimination.
4. Ma Pitakasampadanena:

Don’t accept and believe something just because it is cited in a pitaka (text). The word "pitaka," although most commonly used for Buddhist scriptures, can mean anything written or inscribed on a suitable writing material. The teachings memorized and passed on orally should not be confused with pitaka. A pitaka is a certain kind of conditioned thing made and controlled by human beings, which can be improved or changed by human hands. Thus, we cannot trust every letter and word we read in them. We need to use our powers of discrimination to see how these words can be applied to the quenching of suffering. There are discrepancies among the pitaka of the various Buddhist schools, so care is called for.
5. Ma takkahetu:

Don’t believe something solely on the grounds of logical reasoning (takka). Logic is merely one branch of knowledge that people use to try to figure out the truth. Takka or Logic is not infallible. If its data or inferences are incorrect, it can go wrong.
6. Ma nayahetu:

Don’t believe or accept something merely because it appears correct on the grounds of Naya or what is now called "philosophy." In Thailand, we translate the Western term philosophy as prajna. Our Indian friends cannot accept this because "naya" is just a point of view or opinion; it isn’t the supreme understanding properly referred to as panya or prajna. Naya or nayaya is merely a method of deductive reasoning based on hypotheses or assumptions. Such reasoning can err when the method or hypothesis is inappropriate.
7. Ma akaraparivitakkena:

Don’t believe or accept something simply because of superficial thinking, that is, because it appeals to what we nowadays call "common sense," which is merely snap judgments based on one’s tendencies of thought. We like to use this approach so much that it becomes habitual. Some careless and boastful philosophers rely on such common sense a great deal and consider themselves clever.
8. Ma ditthinijjhanakkhantiya:

Don’t believe accept something to be true merely because it agrees or fits with one’s preconceived opinions and theories. Personal views can be wrong and our methods of experiment and verification may be inadequate, neither of which lead us to the truth. This approach may seem similar to the scientific method, but can never actually be scientific, as its proofs and experiments are inadequate.
9. Ma bhabbarupataya:

Don’t believe something just because the speaker appears believable, perhaps due to creditability or prestige. Outside appearances and the actual knowledge inside a person can never be identical. We often find that speakers who appear creditable outwardly turn out to say incorrect and foolish things. Nowadays, we must be wary of computers because the programmers who feed them data and manipulate them may put in the wrong information, make programming errors, or use them incorrectly. Don’t worship computers so much, for doing so goes against this principle of the Kalama Sutta.
10. Ma samano no garu ti:

Don’t believe something simply because the monk (more broadly, any speaker) is "my teacher." The Buddha’s purpose regarding this important point is that nobody should be the intellectual slave of anybody else, not even the Buddha Himself. The Buddha emphasized this point often, and there were disciples, such as the Venerable Sariputta, who confirmed it in practice. They didn’t believe the Buddha’s words immediately upon hearing them; they only did so after reasoned reflection and the test of practice. See for yourselves whether there is any other religious teacher in the world who has given this highest freedom to his disciples and listeners! In Buddhism there is no dogmatic system that pressures us to believe without the right to examine and decide for ourselves. This is the greatest uniqueness of Buddhism that keeps its practitioners from being anybody’s intellectual slave. We Thais should never volunteer to follow the West as slavishly as we are doing now. Intellectual and spiritual freedom is best.

http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books5/Bhikk ... a_Help.htm
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby whynotme » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:37 pm

Well, kalama sutta is one of the best human can get, but if you only quoted the first half, it is pointless. The later part and also the right understanding the kalama sutta are more important

At first the Buddha said should not put faith easily (but on many other suttas he said should believe in him, the awaken one)
Then later he said one must judge based on wisdom, and the possibility: if those things exist what would you get and lost? If those things don't exist then what would you get and lost (2000 years before Descarte, in a much better manner) IMO, that part is much more important, it show the perfect wisdom right there, not any bad word can be said against kalama sutta as a whole

Regards
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:52 am

SDC wrote:I believe in trolls.

:spy:

:thinking:

Me too.
Do we have a reliable troll-detector here?

:coffee:

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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:07 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:Do we have a reliable troll-detector here?

The Āṭānāṭiya Sutta is useful to ward off trolls.

In order that the hostile non-human beings, who are always evil-doers and who do not have faith in this well-esteemed religion of the Lord,

May not injure the four social classes, and may protect society from dangers. The Almighty Hero has expounded this discourse of protection. Let us recite this Ātānātiya Sutta now...
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Re: Heaven, Hell, etc.

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:37 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:Do we have a reliable troll-detector here?

The Āṭānāṭiya Sutta is useful to ward off trolls.

In order that the hostile non-human beings, who are always evil-doers and who do not have faith in this well-esteemed religion of the Lord,

May not injure the four social classes, and may protect society from dangers. The Almighty Hero has expounded this discourse of protection. Let us recite this Ātānātiya Sutta now...

Thank you, bhante. Merely mentioning its name seems to have sufficed in this case.
:bow:

:namaste:
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