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Anders Honore wrote:At the risk of continuing to be off-topic, I'm going to be bold anyway as I think there's an amusing and slight dhamma related point in it:
I was once told, secondhand, that one Asutralian bhikkhu (don't recall his name, no one famous), once remarked that once he actually got to see a female deva himself, it really took the gloss off what desire he might have for ordinary human women. Apparently, they are so ridiculously beautiful, he could just never look at human women again without them looking utterly flawed and plain in comparison.
And it was with The Buddha's cousin, Nanda: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
Way I was told was that this was the experience of the Australian bhikkhu in question.
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Anders Honore wrote:Way I was told was that this was the experience of the Australian bhikkhu in question.
Well, being an Australian bhikkhu, it is probably a true story. She probably protected him from a drop-bear or a bunyip. Probably a good thing I have never seen a devatā.
What is the use of his knowledge
pertaining to the number of insects in the whole world?
Rather, inquire into his knowledge of
that which is to be practised by us
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.
Níl sa saol seo ach ceo
There is naught in this life but mist
Is ní bheimid beo ach seal beag gearr.
And we will not be alive but a short hard time.
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Although now I'm a Theravadan, I owed a lot to Guanyin whom I regarded to be almost like my mother in my quest of discovering Buddhism. He/she is the first 'being' that I meet, or otherwise maybe today I'm not a Buddhist at all. I started getting interested in Buddhism after I read about Guanyin and her description in the Lotus Sutra Chapter 25 (a famous Mahayana sutra). Beginning from that point of time, I started learning more and more about Buddhism and in the end ventured into Theravada where I finally found my path. And yes, there have been shifts in my perception about Guanyin overtime. When I first knew her, I considered her a Bodhisattva, then a manifestation of a past Buddha, then as a concept that represents the ultimate selfless love and compassion, a deity, etc, but now, I could only be satisfied with the last two. She could be a Bodhisattva or even a past Buddha, I certainly don't know and can't be sure about that, but I need to express my gratitude to her for bringing me into Buddhism
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The image posted by OP is actually from the oil paintings series "Dunhuang Flying Series" (敦煌飞天, i.e. "Gandharvas of Dunhuang")
by a modern Chinese artist Zeng Hau(曾浩)
"Guanyin" in Chinese tradition is definitely not a Gandharva (Pali: Gandhabba). Anyway, in popular culture, it is not uncommon to compare beatiful female image with Guanyin.
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