Conversations with devas

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Conversations with devas

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:13 am

Greetings,

Does anyone know of any reports of anyone having done this in recent history?

MN 79: Culasakuludayi Sutta
http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=113

"Venerable sir, isn’t there another course of actions, for realising the world of pleasant feelings, is this the only course of action?’

‘Udayi, this is not the only course of actions, for realising the world of pleasant feelings only. There are other courses of action, for realising the world of pleasant feelings only.’

When this was said, Udayi’s gathering of wandering ascetics, became noisy. They said, it is only this much we know to realise. Then the wandering ascetic Sakuludaayi silenced his gathering and said to the Blessed One. ‘Venerable sir, how is this world of only pleasant feelings realised?’

‘Here, Udayi, the bhikkhu dispelling pleasantness and unpleasaantness, purifying mindfulness with equanimity, without pleasantness and unpleasantness, earlier having overcome pleasure and displeasure and mindfulness purified with equanimity abides in the fourth jhana; Whoever gods be born in the world of only pleasantness, with them he talks and discusses things. Udayi, this is the realising of the world of pleasantness only.’


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: Conversations with devas

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:57 am

retrofuturist wrote:Does anyone know of any reports of anyone having done this in recent history?

Do you mean talk to the gods (devas)?

I imagine no one would believe him or her, if anyone even made such a claim (true or untrue).
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:01 am

Greetings TheDhamma,

I think one of the earlier Thai Forest monks (was it Ajahn Mun?) supposedly saw devas, and I understand that such comments were not without controversy.

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: Conversations with devas

Postby SeerObserver » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:21 am

There are many accounts of people encountering pretas. This is also met with skepticism, although less so than encounters with devas. It seems easy to believe that pretas linger and make themselves known in order for us to be able to help them somehow. People seem to have a hard time believing devas are sometimes in need of the same. This post from ANOTHER THREAD is relevant.
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:26 am

this is the only thing that came to mind it is quite a long video and the info is through out although I am not convinced

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/me ... gibson.htm
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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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: Conversations with devas

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:49 pm

i dont think it's mun's talking with devas that causes problems, it's his talking with arahants that people take issue with.. :juggling:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:21 pm

Greetings JC,
jcsuperstar wrote:i dont think it's mun's talking with devas that causes problems, it's his talking with arahants that people take issue with.. :juggling:

Oh yeah... that's right. Were these arahants that had already achieved parinibbana, or didn't he specify?

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: Conversations with devas

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:49 pm

i'm not sure... i never read the whole bio... :embarassed:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:26 pm

Greetings JC,

jcsuperstar wrote:i'm not sure... i never read the whole bio... :embarassed:


Well I read it... but I can't remember :embarassed:

I assume if they were living, it wouldn't have been such a problem. The problem presumably relates the traditional assessment on what parinibbana constitutes; cessation and so on.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:36 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Does anyone know of any reports of anyone having done this in recent history?

Retro. :)
Yes Retro. I'm willing to report doing it. I'm not willing to engage in an argument about whether it can be done or not. I think the highest level discussion about this I have seen are in the context of what has been called pure land jhanas on the Dharma Overground board. Jhana has been treated very broadly and openly in terms of developmental pathways on that board. It is an engaging discussion. I think I would be willing to discuss my thinking on how it might be occurring from the fourth jhana internally stable enough to be externally engaged in the senses and so informed by this. There may also be some perceptual changes from access to the formless jhana involving boundless consciousness and boundless space that would impact externalized perception. The nana processes also contribute to forms of perceptual stability that are both internalized and externalized. Personally I think unbinding is perceptually potentially a liberation from space time and so the question of whether the Buddha can be perceptive of Buddhas past or future directly or not is moot. They are aware, so are arahats, seems they are more likely to be able to be aware of each other, whenever and wherever they were, as not. Sorry, not much time for forums these days.

Just to add on a more practical note. I have approached the meditation on the Buddha as a kind of space time unbinding. I reflect not on an image of the man or anything narrative. I reflect on the qualities of mind of the very mind of the Buddha as if present to me. I try to mindfully compose a mirror of that mind and it is not a very linear reflection, very qualitative. So very non-dual kinds of perspectives reminiscent of formless concentrations like emptiness, unbounded space, and unbounded consciousness seem to have a role in this. Certainly adds to the meditation to realize that there is a commonality of nibbana at the heart of that kind of a communion and in a purity of mind when the mind is purified by jhana.

metta & upekkha
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:05 pm

i think I agree with nathan on this. Interestingly the Buddha asks ven sariputta whether buddhas of the past appeared to him, and he says no, in one sutta. This is the closest I have got to seeing it said in the suttas.

I might add that the question whether the buddha or arahanths appears nowadays is flawed- they never existed in a concrete sense- you could say 'they' 'existed' as strings of causes and effects which passed on information sequentially. Something manifests some of the causes in a mind now - this image that appears -it is neither belongs to the 'person' seeing it, nor does it belong to anyone else- but the information that this image generates maybe from another string of causes and effects; hope that makes some kind of sense..
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby rahul » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:26 pm

Interestingly the Buddha asks ven sariputta whether buddhas of the past appeared to him, and he says no, in one sutta


what Buddha might had wanted to know is that whether he (sariputta) is able to recall any incident from his previous lives that specifically involves past Buddhas.

Remember, Buddha himself has recognized 6 previous Buddhas on the basis of recollection of his past lives and they never just appeared to him (for the sake of conversation) through jhanhic cultivation or otherwise.
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby pink_trike » Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:45 pm

I'll say this as respectfully as I can: mental illness existed then also. Auditory hallucinations can be caused by something as simple as specific dietary deficiencies, or certain fungus that grows on grains. Even without auditory hallucinations, dreams/visions/messages from the god(s) etc... are often simply elaborate flights of imagination into delusions of grandeur in order to escape looking reality spang in the eye.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby robertk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:22 am

jcsuperstar wrote:i dont think it's mun's talking with devas that causes problems, it's his talking with arahants that people take issue with.. :juggling:

and the long dead Buddha's he used he greet.
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:47 am

Greetings Robert


and the long dead Buddha's he used he greet



Could you show a quote where he said he has done this?



Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby srivijaya » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:08 am

Interesting topic, as I've recently started to read my copy of the Samyutta Nikaya which opens with conversations with Devatas.
I guess the Jhana Buddha is in will affect and enable any communication he has at that level. It would be like 'tuning in' to a different frequency and, thus, being able to 'connect' with beings who dwell there.
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:31 pm

modern psychiatry is moving towards the idea that hallucinations are on a spectrum with normality- ie a large portion of the normal population can experience hallucinations without having any mental illness. for example it is quite normal to have hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up, when extremely tired and with sensory deprivation. what is not clear is why a normal mind has such a capacity.
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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:44 pm

rowyourboat wrote:modern psychiatry is moving towards the idea that hallucinations are on a spectrum with normality- ie a large portion of the normal population can experience hallucinations without having any mental illness. for example it is quite normal to have hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up, when extremely tired and with sensory deprivation. what is not clear is why a normal mind has such a capacity.


you remind me of a program exploring this I will have a search for it! I don;t remember the name but it was a female psychiatrist and a UK program so those in the US would not of seen it in all likelyhood.

there is also during times of grief, and we don't think those who choose a vocation within a closed community of monastics as mentally ill even though they do many of the same things associated with mental illness (talking to someone we can not see, being isolated etc)
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: Conversations with devas

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:28 pm

rowyourboat wrote:modern psychiatry is moving towards the idea that hallucinations are on a spectrum with normality.


Interesting. Can you site some references, please?
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: Conversations with devas

Postby srivijaya » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:11 pm

rowyourboat wrote: a large portion of the normal population can experience hallucinations without having any mental illness. for example it is quite normal to have hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up, when extremely tired and with sensory deprivation. what is not clear is why a normal mind has such a capacity.

So, basically Buddha and his followers were hallucinating when they imagined talking to Devas.
Is it possible that Jhana is a result of the "sensory deprivation" scenario you mention?
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