Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

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Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby Individual » Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:12 pm

By "the Lord", I mean a few things... I mean the supposed monotheistic God... Sakka, the king of the gods who is married to an Asura, and tries to make peace between the devas and the asuras... And the bodhisattva Kwan Yin. Any of these things could be equated with the divinity of other religions, like the God of Abrahamic tradition.

At the risk of sounding sacriligious, these beings seem to exist forever and are always there to help us; they vow to remain in the world forever. Gautama, however, renounced his life at 80 and then died. His vow was a few thousand Arahants which is a much smaller vow than that of many other bodhisattvas.

So why, then, do the Theravada teachers regard Buddha as the highest? As I see it, Buddha is God. God is Buddha. He always guides us where we need to be in our proper destiny.

Right? Does this sound Mahayanist?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:27 pm

I think that if God is to be the greatest then:

1) He'll have a control that is greater than the universe (i.e., he has an absolute control over everything that makes up this universe.)

2) Have a compassion that is absolutely flawless, which means he views everyone's suffering as painful, and unnecessary.

If he has a control that is greater than the universe, and has a compassion for absolutely everyone's suffering, then he'll just simply get rid of this suffering; or get rid of all the causes of this suffering; or he'll be able to construct a world, or the beings in such a way where the suffering won't be a necessary component. Apparently that isn't the case with God.

:anjali:
Last edited by beeblebrox on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:30 pm

Greetings Individual,

Individual wrote:Right? Does this sound Mahayanist?

It just seems as if you are unnecessarily super-imposing concepts foreign to the Dhamma and increasing your confusion in the process.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby Annapurna » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:46 pm

:computerproblem:

Breeblebox,

it requires a deep understanding of philosophies and religions, -their complete dogma,- to avoid notions like:

"If God was almighty, compassionate, etc, then He would not let this and that happen.... bla bla bla. "

"But if kamma was really fair, my neighbor would not have gotten away with stealing my property....he'd be poor by now. "

See?

Both notions are not based in a full knowledge of the teachings.

But this is probably all I want to say here.
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:02 pm

Annapurna wrote:it requires a deep understanding of philosophies and religions, -their complete dogma,- to avoid notions like:

"If God was almighty, compassionate, etc, then He would not let this and that happen.... bla bla bla. "

"But if kamma was really fair, my neighbor would not have gotten away with stealing my property....he'd be poor by now. "

See?

Both notions are not based in a full knowledge of the teachings.


That's very true, Anna... which is why it's mistaken to try view God as the greatest, or to view the kamma in that way. Thanks for bringing it up.

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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby Individual » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:03 pm

This was a pointless discussion.

But as I see it, to each his own. I respect your way too. I don't mean to confuse things. If it works for you, then great. If not, give it up, right?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:19 pm

Individual wrote:But as I see it, to each his own. I respect your way too. I don't mean to confuse things. If it works for you, then great. If not, give it up, right?


Just keep up with your own practice, that's the only thing that matters.

:anjali:
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby lojong1 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:43 pm

Individual wrote:Does this sound Mahayanist?

It sounds individual. This is God`s lojong1 guiding you now so listen very carefully..."it is what it is" is true and still abused. Slow down. You don't need to respond verbally immediately when the doctor asks you a question.
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby plwk » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:09 am

So why, then, do the Theravada teachers regard Buddha as the highest? As I see it, Buddha is God. God is Buddha.

Do these look familiar?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
On seeing him, he went to him and said,
"Master, are you a deva...a gandhabba...a yakkha...a human being?"
"No, brahman, I am not a deva...gandhabba...a yakkha...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...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.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"But, monks, when the top of the deva-chief Sakka's standard is caught sight of, or when the top of the deva-king Pajapati's standard is caught sight of, or when the top of the deva-king Varuna's standard is caught sight of, or when the top of the deva-king Isana's standard is caught sight of, whatever fear, terror, or horripilation there is may be abandoned or may not be abandoned.
Why is that?
Because Sakka the chief of the devas is not devoid of passion, not devoid of aversion, not devoid of delusion.
He feels fear, feels terror, feels dread. He runs away.
...— there should arise fear, terror, or horripilation, then on that occasion you should recollect me:
'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.'
For when you have recollected me, whatever fear, terror, or horripilation there is will be abandoned. Why is that?
Because the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — is devoid of passion, devoid of aversion, devoid of delusion.
He feels no fear, feels no terror, feels no dread. He doesn't run away."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
Driven only by fear,
do men go for refuge to many places
— to hills, woods, groves, trees and shrines.

Such, indeed, is no safe refuge;
such is not the refuge supreme.
Not by resorting to such a refuge
is one released from all suffering.

He who has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Teaching and His Order,
penetrates with transcendental wisdom the Four Noble Truths
— suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering,
and the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the cessation of suffering.

This indeed is the safe refuge,
this the refuge supreme.
Having gone to such a refuge,
one is released from all suffering.


He always guides us where we need to be in our proper destiny. Right? Does this sound Mahayanist?

I doubt it.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way.

Let's see what a 'Mahayanist' sounds like...
http://cttbusa.org/vajra/vajrasutra2.asp
“Subhuti, what do you think?
You should not maintain that the Tathagata has this thought: ‘I shall take living beings across.’
Subhuti, do not have that thought. And why?
There actually are no living beings taken across by the Tathagata.
If there were living beings taken across by the Tathagata, then the Tathagata would have the existence of a self, of others, of living beings, and of a life.
Subhuti, the existence of a self spoken of by the Tathagata is no existence of a self, but common people take it as the existence of a self.
Subhuti, common people are spoken of by the Tathagata as no common people, therefore they are called common people.
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby nobody12345 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:36 pm

Even God(s)/Goddess(es) are delusional and ignorant.
Our kind hearted teacher was beyond the Godhood for all its implication because he has penetrated the entire spectrum of existence including Godhood and its dimensions.
No God is higher than our teacher who was the ultimate conqueror/victor/penetrator of the truth.
Metta for God(s)/Goddess(es) because they too are bound to suffering and misery of Samsara.
Metta.
Ps:The first sutta of Digha Nikaya might be a good place to start to truly understand what the Awakened one has to say about the different levels of existence and its habitants (including the ones who really believe they are omnipotent and eternal Creator/God).
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:57 am

If it helps you attain peace of mind, inspire you to positive acts and steer from unwholesome thoughts - go for it!
_/|\_
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby Nibbida » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:18 pm

Individual wrote:At the risk of sounding sacriligious, these beings seem to exist forever and are always there to help us; they vow to remain in the world forever. Gautama, however, renounced his life at 80 and then died. His vow was a few thousand Arahants which is a much smaller vow than that of many other bodhisattvas.


Nonetheless, here we are 2500 years later studying, practicing, and applying his teachings. I'd say his method was pretty effective.

As for supposed personified supreme beings, I haven't seen many lately.
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby meindzai » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:36 pm

Dan74 wrote:If it helps you attain peace of mind, inspire you to positive acts and steer from unwholesome thoughts - go for it!


Delusional thoughts are not wholesome.

-M
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Re: Why isn't the Lord the greatest?

Postby lojong1 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:48 am

meindzai wrote:
Dan74 wrote:If it helps you attain peace of mind, inspire you to positive acts and steer from unwholesome thoughts - go for it!

Delusional thoughts are not wholesome.

Still, if one delusion(?) leads to compassion for sentient beings, and another to the mowing of genitals, I know which one I would encourage.
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