Gods in the Canon

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Gods in the Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:37 am

Couldn't quite deside where to put this so sorry if it is in the wrong place!

I know there is mention of what the Buddha considdered a Brahman, and Monk, to be but is there any mention in the suttas of what he considered to be a god?

Thanks in advance
Manapa
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby clw_uk » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:09 pm

Perhaps if you could clarify what you mean by God?

Do you mean the Abrahamic God or the Hindu versions? Do you mean an all powerful creator?


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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:54 pm

as mentioned in the suttas
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby green » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:58 pm

Manapa wrote:Couldn't quite deside where to put this so sorry if it is in the wrong place!

I know there is mention of what the Buddha considdered a Brahman, and Monk, to be but is there any mention in the suttas of what he considered to be a god?

Thanks in advance
Manapa


I agree with clw_uk, be very careful with the word "God" or "gods"-- there are a lot of wrong views out there about this one word, which is why many Buddhists become allergic to it's use. :smile:

Buddhism is about shedding wrong views and getting it right for the first time. :twothumbsup:

There is the Devata anussati or recollection of the Gods in atleast 7 levels of heaven and beyond-- this is to be learned by every Buddhist in addition to the other 5 recollections. In it, a "god" has the following characteristics and when you too have these characteristics, you too are given a "deva kaya" or body of a god:

1) Saddha (faith in Buddhism is defined as faith in Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha)
2) Accomplished in Sila (precepts)
3) Suta (accomplished in learning)
4) Cago (accomplished in giving)
5) Wisdom (accomplished in wisdom)


"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the devas, thus:
'There are the Devas of the Four Great Kings,
the Devas of the Thirty-three,
the Yama Devas,
the Contented Devas,
the devas who delight in creation,
the devas who have power over the creations of others,
the devas of Brahma's retinue,
the devas beyond them.

Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well.

Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well.

Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well.

Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well.

Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.'

In Buddhism of course, Buddha is the supreme most object of verified confidence and faith :

§ 90. {Iti 3.41; Iti 87}

"Among whatever beings there may be — footless, two-footed, four-footed, many footed; with form or formless; percipient, non-percipient, neither percipient nor non-:percipient — the Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, is considered supreme...with confidence in the supreme, supreme is the result.

The characteristics of Buddha is discussed throughout the Pali Tipitika.
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:10 pm

Manapa wrote:I know there is mention of what the Buddha considdered a Brahman, and Monk, to be but is there any mention in the suttas of what he considered to be a god?

Buddha is teacher of gods and men. Devas (gods) are still subject to rebirth (samsara) and can still accumulate kamma and can exhaust kamma. They are not all-powerful in the Western use of the term with a capital 'G.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/jootla/wheel414.html
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:31 pm

One whose beyond or not-beyond or beyond-&-not-beyond can't be found; unshackled, carefree: he's what I call a brahman.

Hands restrained, feet restrained speech restrained, supremely restrained — delighting in what is inward, content, centered, alone: he's what they call a monk.

anything similar for a god/s?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:00 pm

green wrote:I agree with clw_uk, be very careful with the word "God" or "gods"-- there are a lot of wrong views out there about this one word, which is why many Buddhists become allergic to it's use. :smile:

Buddhism is about shedding wrong views and getting it right for the first time. :twothumbsup:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The characteristics of Buddha is discussed throughout the Pali Tipitika.


I thought "in the canon" would of been clear enough in the General Theravada Discussion section?
I am asking a specific question in regard to the theravada canon, not another tradition, or being, and how others percieve a word doesn't mean much to in regard to what the question about what the canon is saying the Buddha considdered about that being!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby Kare » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:29 pm

Manapa wrote:Couldn't quite deside where to put this so sorry if it is in the wrong place!

I know there is mention of what the Buddha considdered a Brahman, and Monk, to be but is there any mention in the suttas of what he considered to be a god?

Thanks in advance
Manapa


This question - and an answer to it - has many aspects, so it really would take a book to answer it. Luckily, someone has written that book already. Take a look at Helmuth von Glasenapp: "Buddhism - A Non-Theistic Religion", an interesting study of "gods" in the Tipitaka.
Mettāya,
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:29 am

Kare wrote:
Manapa wrote:Couldn't quite deside where to put this so sorry if it is in the wrong place!

I know there is mention of what the Buddha considdered a Brahman, and Monk, to be but is there any mention in the suttas of what he considered to be a god?

Thanks in advance
Manapa


This question - and an answer to it - has many aspects, so it really would take a book to answer it. Luckily, someone has written that book already. Take a look at Helmuth von Glasenapp: "Buddhism - A Non-Theistic Religion", an interesting study of "gods" in the Tipitaka.
Everything that arises also ceases, including gods. Fair enough. I tried to ask this before and no one provided an answer. We all recognize that these beings are not eternal gods. Still these beings are mentioned and various realms are mentioned, etc.. So, given all of this does Theravada contain a kind of 'theology' or if not then what should the treatment of this subject matter within Theravada be called? Simple question.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby adeh » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:05 am

The only Sutta that I can find that talks about the nature of the Devas is in the Ittivuttaka no. 83 [in the section of the threes, John Ireland translation] in which the Buddha speaks of the five prognostic signs that appear when a Deva is about to pass away. Adeh.
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:58 am

Awareness and understanding is clearly to be made known by the path and it's fruit:

The Arahant

"A monk who is a Worthy One, devoid of mental fermentations — who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the fetters of becoming, and is released through right knowledge — directly knows earth as earth. Directly knowing earth as earth, he does not conceive things about earth, does not conceive things in earth, does not conceive things coming out of earth, does not conceive earth as 'mine,' does not delight in earth. Why is that? Because he has comprehended it, I tell you.

"He directly knows water as water... fire as fire... wind as wind... beings as beings... gods as gods... Pajapati as Pajapati... Brahma as Brahma... the luminous gods as luminous gods... the gods of refulgent glory as gods of refulgent glory... the gods of abundant fruit as the gods of abundant fruit... the Great Being as the Great Being... the dimension of the infinitude of space as the dimension of the infinitude of space... the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness as the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness... the dimension of nothingness as the dimension of nothingness... the dimension of neither-perception-nor-non-perception as the dimension of neither-perception-nor-non-perception... the seen as the seen... the heard as the heard... the sensed as the sensed... the cognized as the cognized... singleness as singleness... multiplicity as multiplicity... the All as the All...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I think Ven. Bodhi's book with MN1 and the commentaries had a lot of background on all of this cosmology and philosophical thought that was excellent. It is an awesome sutta anyhow. My library perished in a small cataclysm here a while back but that was a great one for this subject. Still I have no idea if it is a theology or a theopathology or a theotaupsy or what? It doesn't matter to me if there is no convention of what it is called. It kind of seems to me that the Buddha is the supreme theologian so far as theologians go and that the path to arahatship would be the supreme education in this. I grew up with a lot of theologians and they would all wonder what to call it if not a theology. Not that I would be at all interested in taking up any of this with any of them. I think that could get tedious. Oh hey, how about theothropology! :smile:
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But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:37 pm

Manapa wrote:One whose beyond or not-beyond or beyond-&-not-beyond can't be found; unshackled, carefree: he's what I call a brahman.
Hands restrained, feet restrained speech restrained, supremely restrained — delighting in what is inward, content, centered, alone: he's what they call a monk.
anything similar for a god/s?

Perhaps not any one all-inclusive description of the qualities of the devas, because there are so many different types of devas. Most of the 31 planes of existence consist of different deva realms, some that might be considered pretty "high up there" and others not so great.
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:11 am

Manapa wrote:One whose beyond or not-beyond or beyond-&-not-beyond can't be found; unshackled, carefree: he's what I call a brahman.

Hands restrained, feet restrained speech restrained, supremely restrained — delighting in what is inward, content, centered, alone: he's what they call a monk.

anything similar for a god/s?

No. A brahman and a monk in the above contexts are descriptions of types of practitioners. A god in Buddhism is a type of birth, not a type of practitioner.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:59 am

Peter wrote:
Manapa wrote:One whose beyond or not-beyond or beyond-&-not-beyond can't be found; unshackled, carefree: he's what I call a brahman.

Hands restrained, feet restrained speech restrained, supremely restrained — delighting in what is inward, content, centered, alone: he's what they call a monk.

anything similar for a god/s?

No. A brahman and a monk in the above contexts are descriptions of types of practitioners. A god in Buddhism is a type of birth, not a type of practitioner.



Is there any similar description of a god in the Pali canon though? the verses used were to show what sort of thing I am looking for, and considering the buddha was a teacher of gods and men a god can easily be a practitioner also.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:11 pm

Manapa wrote:
Peter wrote:A brahman and a monk in the above contexts are descriptions of types of practitioners. A god in Buddhism is a type of birth, not a type of practitioner.

Is there any similar description of a god in the Pali canon though? the verses used were to show what sort of thing I am looking for, and considering the buddha was a teacher of gods and men a god can easily be a practitioner also.

A god can be a practitioner in the same way that a man can be a practitioner.
A being is a god or man according to their birth.
A being is a brahmin or a monk based on their qualities as a practitioner.

So, as I said, no.

A man is a man due to being born in the human realm.
A god is a god due to being born in the heavenly realm.
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby green » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:18 am

Manapa wrote:
green wrote:I

I thought "in the canon" would of been clear enough in the General Theravada Discussion section?
I am asking a specific question in regard to the theravada canon, not another tradition, or being, and how others percieve a word doesn't mean much to in regard to what the question about what the canon is saying the Buddha considdered about that being!



about which being? God(s) or (God) in the Theravada canon?

By God(s) then the Theravada Canon is quite clear by it's definition in the devata anusati.

By "God" and how the Pali Canon defines it, please read the "Titles of Buddha" thread in this forum...this has all the titles of Buddha used in the Pali Canon. :anjali:
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Re: Gods in the Canon

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:27 am

green wrote:
Manapa wrote:
green wrote:I

I thought "in the canon" would of been clear enough in the General Theravada Discussion section?
I am asking a specific question in regard to the theravada canon, not another tradition, or being, and how others percieve a word doesn't mean much to in regard to what the question about what the canon is saying the Buddha considdered about that being!



about which being? God(s) or (God) in the Theravada canon?

By God(s) then the Theravada Canon is quite clear by it's definition in the devata anusati.

By "God" and how the Pali Canon defines it, please read the "Titles of Buddha" thread in this forum...this has all the titles of Buddha used in the Pali Canon. :anjali:


Hi Green
please have a look at the title to which is used.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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