Buddha can't help

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Buddha can't help

Postby steve19800 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:20 pm

Hello all,

Buddha has attained parinibbana, it is said that he has gone beyond, just like a bird in the sky untraceable. The enlightened mind as mentioned by Ajahn Chah is unmoving thus cannot be recognized, there are also some Suttas about Mara who are unable to recognized or to locate the Buddha enlightened disciple's mind. Not to sure which Sutta is that, does anyone know?

Anyway, back to the topic. However, we, as a human being sometimes have a difficult/very/extremely difficult period. During this period or in any circumstances, as Buddha stated very clearly I cannot help you, you need to make your own self an island of refuge. But when you are going through a very difficult period and are in pain. You will think I need help. And then you know there are higher beings within the realm of samsara might still be able to hear your prayer so to speak? For example certain Gods or Deities or Bodhisattas? Hindu has many such as Krishna, Lakshmi, etc. I never practice that but they are powerful. They have their own mantra and purpose. Of course our kamma also important, however, there are too many cases to prove. If you are very sincere, you will get help from them.

Buddha himself was a Hindu. He perfected his parami through incalculable cycle of birth and death, became Buddha and then there is Buddhism. From my point of view, Buddha has attained the highest evolution a human being could possibly attained. While we are as lay people is not an exception. I just want to know what is your thought on this, Gods or Brahmas can hear you, they are sharing the same realm with us. Do you normally do this or you just doing nothing at all when you need help? Thanks.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:38 pm

When I need help I speak to a friend, one I trust who is kind and perhaps a bit wiser than I am. If I need advise about practice I read scriptures stories and commentaries from Buddhist tradition. If I need specific practice advise I find someone who's practice is more mature than my own and enter into open ended communication with that person.

A good deal of this is made possible by the Buddha. He has accomplished much and the scope of that accomplishment is still expanding.

We can be a part of that.

Take care

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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:41 pm

Of course the Buddha can help us a great deal, as long as we understand his teaching in the right way.

If you wanted to understand Physics, can Einstein or Newton help you? They are both dead, aren't they? It would be no use at all praying to Einstein or Newton to help you understand the laws of physics — you would need to read their writings, and repeat their experiments.

I don't think we need to pray to any deities or bodhisattas. We just need to be inspired by the example set by wise and good beings, and try to emulate them.

Reflecting on the Buddha's noble qualities is the meditation technique called Buddhānussati. It will bring joy and optimism to overcome depression and despair. The concentration gained from that practice can serve as a basis for insight.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby steve19800 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:59 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I don't think we need to pray to any deities or bodhisattas. We just need to be inspired by the example set by wise and good beings, and try to emulate them.



I know, even Buddha did not ask us to ask deities for help. But other sect of Buddhism, in fact all sects of Buddhism except Theravada 'pray' or have many Deities and Bodhisattas. Of course we can talk with other people or kalyanamitta as prasadachitta mentioned but what I'm talking here is for example someone cured from cancer or healed by particular mantra, etc.

But do you think there are many level of practice? Obviously the self-reliance one is the most advanced and hardest one IMO.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:12 pm

steve19800 wrote:But do you think there are many level of practice? Obviously the self-reliance one is the most advanced and hardest one IMO.

I think there are as many levels of practice and understanding as there are Buddhists in the world. I don't find much evidence for praying to deities for help in the Buddhists texts or Commentaries. Even the practice of Devānussati is the recollection of those noble qualities that led to rebirth in celestial realms. When we learn that exercising great patience under duress, or paying homage to the Buddha, leads to rebirth in celestial realms, then we may try to practice likewise. It is the practice of patience or humility that leads to heavenly realms.

The deities will help and protect the virtuous — Venerable Anuruddha was beloved by the deities, and Sakka came to tend to the Buddha's needs when he was ill. They did that of their own free-will and not because anyone asked them for help.

We can find Nat worship in Burma, and worship of deities like Kataragama in Sri Lanka, just as we can find many kinds of visualisations of deities in Tibetan Buddhism or worship of bodhisattas in Chinese Budhism. IMO these are all the result of Hindu influences, and have little to do with the Buddha's original teachings.

Blind worldlings may be far from the right path. See Verses of Profound Meaning by Ledi Sayādaw. I think most traditional Buddhists are like this.

Even placebo's may cure some diseases, but I wouldn't trust them to cure cancer. Intensive meditation may work for some, but most of us should rely on medical treatment, not superstition or prayer.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby chris98e » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:41 pm

steve19800 wrote:Buddha himself was a Hindu.

I don't think that the Buddha was Hindu. He might have been affected by Hinduism but I believe that the religion that the Buddha grew up with was of the samana (I hope I'm spelling it right) realigion. A religion based on going into the woods and finding yourself. At least that's what I read in the long discourse of the Buddha Nikaya in the introduction.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby manas » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:52 pm

steve19800 wrote:Hello all,

Buddha has attained parinibbana, it is said that he has gone beyond, just like a bird in the sky untraceable. The enlightened mind as mentioned by Ajahn Chah is unmoving thus cannot be recognized, there are also some Suttas about Mara who are unable to recognized or to locate the Buddha enlightened disciple's mind. Not to sure which Sutta is that, does anyone know?

Anyway, back to the topic. However, we, as a human being sometimes have a difficult/very/extremely difficult period. During this period or in any circumstances, as Buddha stated very clearly I cannot help you, you need to make your own self an island of refuge. But when you are going through a very difficult period and are in pain. You will think I need help. And then you know there are higher beings within the realm of samsara might still be able to hear your prayer so to speak? For example certain Gods or Deities or Bodhisattas? Hindu has many such as Krishna, Lakshmi, etc. I never practice that but they are powerful. They have their own mantra and purpose. Of course our kamma also important, however, there are too many cases to prove. If you are very sincere, you will get help from them.

Buddha himself was a Hindu. He perfected his parami through incalculable cycle of birth and death, became Buddha and then there is Buddhism. From my point of view, Buddha has attained the highest evolution a human being could possibly attained. While we are as lay people is not an exception. I just want to know what is your thought on this, Gods or Brahmas can hear you, they are sharing the same realm with us. Do you normally do this or you just doing nothing at all when you need help? Thanks.


Hi steve

I was once into Hinduism and used to pray to a few of the Gods you mentioned. I agree that they do exist, but I seriously question whether they are permanent, unborn and undying as they seem to think they are. (Imagine living for a couple of Aeons, noticing beings in lower realms being born and dying, noticing entire lower realms being destroyed and rearising...if not ariya, a deva might misconstrue this as indicating that they themselves must be eternal, and I suspect that certain devas (such as Krishna perhaps?) might be suffering from this misapprehension (hope I don't get struck down by lightning for saying that lol!) I suspect that death is indeed coming for them, it's just a darn long way away. But come it will, eventually, and then - what then?) Anyway, the reason I got into Buddhism instead, was not because I doubted the existence of higher beings or devas, but rather because I simply couldn't find another Path that was as thorough, deep, profound, and even pleasing as this one, when it comes to the training, purification and spiritual cultivation of the mind. I tried but the Buddha came up by far the most excellent teacher out of the lot. (It was only relatively recently that I began to understand what is most wonderful and important about the Buddha Dhamma, which is that it is the Path to the cessation of dukkha - but this awareness too, is still a work in progress and not as yet concluded).

As for who to pray to (if that is something you feel the need for), well it is logical that not everyone who attained stream entry during the Buddha's time, went further than that in realisation (as yet; obviously they will all complete the Path at some stage in the future). I propose that there are many deva-beings in various levels of the Heavenly realms, who are either stream entrants, or anagamis. (I'm not sure of once returners, I get the notion they come straight back to this world, ie the human realm, is that correct?) So if I was going to ask for help or guidance, I would be very specific in my intention, and direct my request towards either devas who were ariya, or else, Bodhisattas. Is it possible that they could listen sometimes? Afaik, yes. But what they can or will actually do to help, I'm not sure of. However I do occasionally ask anyway, because it is good to feel the connection, the sense of there truly being a Noble Sangha that extends much further out than we might be aware.

kind regards :anjali:
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby drifting cloud » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:06 am

chris98e wrote:
steve19800 wrote:Buddha himself was a Hindu.

I don't think that the Buddha was Hindu. He might have been affected by Hinduism but I believe that the religion that the Buddha grew up with was of the samana (I hope I'm spelling it right) realigion. A religion based on going into the woods and finding yourself. At least that's what I read in the long discourse of the Buddha Nikaya in the introduction.


Technically there were no "Hindus" during the time of Buddha - there was a Brahamnical tradition based in the Vedas that later evolved into the extremely broad and diverse practices which we now lump together under the name "Hindusim". Buddhism influenced the development of many contemporary Hindu traditions, just as Buddhism was in turn influenced by the development of Hinduism.

The Buddha was born into a family that practiced in this Vedic/Brahamical tradition, although he turned his back on the mainstream religion of his time when left home. In doing so he became part of the Sramana movement - the group of "drop outs" who rejected the authority of the Vedas and the efficacy of Brahamanist practices and lived as wandering mendicants. Aside from Buddhism, Jainism is the other surviving tradition from the Sramana movement today, although the Hindu sadhus of India live like the Sramanas.

In terms of the OP, I think there is a subtle but important distinction between devotional practice in which one shows devotion to the ideals and teachings of the Buddha (perhaps by bowing to representations of the Buddha or his disciples), and worship of deities. In one of them we express our faith in the Three Jewels and engage in beneficial contemplation. In the other we ask for intervention or assistance from other entities.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby Nyorai » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:10 am

Buddha can't help is referring to enlightenment supreme per se. Buddha can only guide along this path, and if you would to explore the Infinite life sutra in the paradise world of inherent Amitabha, the surround help is remarkably indescribable. The attainment is still depend on individual. And prior to this attainment, the realization of bodhicitta is essential for the actualization of enlightenment supremely. In Zen practice, they use this "Who is it this origin appearance before it was even born" to achieve the Realization state of Bodhicitta, one of other usual method used is Anapana sati, the meditation on in-and-out breathing, is the first subject of meditation expounded by the Buddha in the Maha-satipatthana Sutta :tongue:
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby pilgrim » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:30 am

Whatever fears and anxieties you have, all these are experienced in the mind. Prayer and reciting mantras are all strategies to relieve the mind of suffering. They let you believe that things will be OK so you feel less worried. instead of using these props, why not go straight to the mind to strengthen it? Practise Anapanasati to calm and strengthen it.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:28 am

HI Steve
I used to pray to Deities for help and got lots of material things. I am not sure whether my prayers or my hard work contributed for this success.
However all those material things brought me great unhappiness.
So I do not pray to Deities anymore and ask for things. I take life as it comes and I pass my merits to them instead.

We can’t realise Nirvana By prying to Deities or Buddha. Buddha is only the teacher so we have to follow his teaching and attain Nirvana.

I have nothing against people who pray to God or Deities. It gives them some comfort. I see many people in local temple prying and asking for help. I
t is not easy for people to understand Buddhism. I still not have any great understanding about Karma, Rebirth and Nirvana.
So when people are in trouble I help them the way I can and ask them to pray and do hard work! For some people, I give a Dhamma book to read.

Buddha never taught Dhamma to a hungry person. He gave him some food first.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby santa100 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:22 pm

Steve19800 wrote:
Anyway, back to the topic. However, we, as a human being sometimes have a difficult/very/extremely difficult period. During this period or in any circumstances, as Buddha stated very clearly I cannot help you, you need to make your own self an island of refuge. But when you are going through a very difficult period and are in pain. You will think I need help. And then you know there are higher beings within the realm of samsara might still be able to hear your prayer so to speak? For example certain Gods or Deities or Bodhisattas?


MN 116 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .piya.html ) gives an enumeration of the names and epithets of paccekabuddhas who formely dwelt on the mountain of Isigili. From Ven. Bodhi's note: "In Sri Lanka this sutta is regularly recited as a protective discourse and is included in the medieval compilation, Maha Pirit Pota, 'The Great Book of Protection'".
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby steve19800 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:51 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
steve19800 wrote:But do you think there are many level of practice? Obviously the self-reliance one is the most advanced and hardest one IMO.

I think there are as many levels of practice and understanding as there are Buddhists in the world. I don't find much evidence for praying to deities for help in the Buddhists texts or Commentaries. Even the practice of Devānussati is the recollection of those noble qualities that led to rebirth in celestial realms. When we learn that exercising great patience under duress, or paying homage to the Buddha, leads to rebirth in celestial realms, then we may try to practice likewise. It is the practice of patience or humility that leads to heavenly realms.

The deities will help and protect the virtuous — Venerable Anuruddha was beloved by the deities, and Sakka came to tend to the Buddha's needs when he was ill. They did that of their own free-will and not because anyone asked them for help.

We can find Nat worship in Burma, and worship of deities like Kataragama in Sri Lanka, just as we can find many kinds of visualisations of deities in Tibetan Buddhism or worship of bodhisattas in Chinese Budhism. IMO these are all the result of Hindu influences, and have little to do with the Buddha's original teachings.

Blind worldlings may be far from the right path. See Verses of Profound Meaning by Ledi Sayādaw. I think most traditional Buddhists are like this.

Even placebo's may cure some diseases, but I wouldn't trust them to cure cancer. Intensive meditation may work for some, but most of us should rely on medical treatment, not superstition or prayer.


Thanks Bhante and all for the prompt reply.
Referring to the worship of deities in some or in fact most/all Buddhist countries, can we ask why is this so? Does this mean the Hindu influence so strong or does that mean simply because the nature of a human being, we are fragile; need 'love' and protection? There are many cases when a human being endowed with tremendous capability and knowledge unable to help another human being, get helped and cured by praying to certain Deva or God.

Can you please refer me to the Devanussati, obviously this is not the same as Buddhanussati? Thanks.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby steve19800 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:07 am

manas wrote:
steve19800 wrote:Hello all,

Buddha has attained parinibbana, it is said that he has gone beyond, just like a bird in the sky untraceable. The enlightened mind as mentioned by Ajahn Chah is unmoving thus cannot be recognized, there are also some Suttas about Mara who are unable to recognized or to locate the Buddha enlightened disciple's mind. Not to sure which Sutta is that, does anyone know?

Anyway, back to the topic. However, we, as a human being sometimes have a difficult/very/extremely difficult period. During this period or in any circumstances, as Buddha stated very clearly I cannot help you, you need to make your own self an island of refuge. But when you are going through a very difficult period and are in pain. You will think I need help. And then you know there are higher beings within the realm of samsara might still be able to hear your prayer so to speak? For example certain Gods or Deities or Bodhisattas? Hindu has many such as Krishna, Lakshmi, etc. I never practice that but they are powerful. They have their own mantra and purpose. Of course our kamma also important, however, there are too many cases to prove. If you are very sincere, you will get help from them.

Buddha himself was a Hindu. He perfected his parami through incalculable cycle of birth and death, became Buddha and then there is Buddhism. From my point of view, Buddha has attained the highest evolution a human being could possibly attained. While we are as lay people is not an exception. I just want to know what is your thought on this, Gods or Brahmas can hear you, they are sharing the same realm with us. Do you normally do this or you just doing nothing at all when you need help? Thanks.


Hi steve

I was once into Hinduism and used to pray to a few of the Gods you mentioned. I agree that they do exist, but I seriously question whether they are permanent, unborn and undying as they seem to think they are. (Imagine living for a couple of Aeons, noticing beings in lower realms being born and dying, noticing entire lower realms being destroyed and rearising...if not ariya, a deva might misconstrue this as indicating that they themselves must be eternal, and I suspect that certain devas (such as Krishna perhaps?) might be suffering from this misapprehension (hope I don't get struck down by lightning for saying that lol!) I suspect that death is indeed coming for them, it's just a darn long way away. But come it will, eventually, and then - what then?) Anyway, the reason I got into Buddhism instead, was not because I doubted the existence of higher beings or devas, but rather because I simply couldn't find another Path that was as thorough, deep, profound, and even pleasing as this one, when it comes to the training, purification and spiritual cultivation of the mind. I tried but the Buddha came up by far the most excellent teacher out of the lot. (It was only relatively recently that I began to understand what is most wonderful and important about the Buddha Dhamma, which is that it is the Path to the cessation of dukkha - but this awareness too, is still a work in progress and not as yet concluded).

As for who to pray to (if that is something you feel the need for), well it is logical that not everyone who attained stream entry during the Buddha's time, went further than that in realisation (as yet; obviously they will all complete the Path at some stage in the future). I propose that there are many deva-beings in various levels of the Heavenly realms, who are either stream entrants, or anagamis. (I'm not sure of once returners, I get the notion they come straight back to this world, ie the human realm, is that correct?) So if I was going to ask for help or guidance, I would be very specific in my intention, and direct my request towards either devas who were ariya, or else, Bodhisattas. Is it possible that they could listen sometimes? Afaik, yes. But what they can or will actually do to help, I'm not sure of. However I do occasionally ask anyway, because it is good to feel the connection, the sense of there truly being a Noble Sangha that extends much further out than we might be aware.

kind regards :anjali:


Thanks manas for reminding _/\_
We are indeed have to be more mindful to whom we are maintaining our connection with. But how do you know if certain gods are ariya, do we just direct our request to the most worshipped or well-known Bodhisattas such as Avalokitesvara for instance?
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:26 am

steve19800 wrote:Can you please refer me to the Devanussati, obviously this is not the same as Buddhanussati? Thanks.

The section on Recollection of Deities is found in the Visuddhimagga, Path of Purification p 221 (Vism.225), which refers to the Mahānāma Sutta (No.6) in the Book of Sixes (A.iii.287).

Basically, the disciple with faith recollects the various deities who have faith, virtue, generosity, etc., and reminds himself that he also has the same virtues.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby binocular » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:41 am

steve19800 wrote:However, we, as a human being sometimes have a difficult/very/extremely difficult period. During this period or in any circumstances, as Buddha stated very clearly I cannot help you, you need to make your own self an island of refuge. But when you are going through a very difficult period and are in pain. You will think I need help.
/.../
Do you normally do this or you just doing nothing at all when you need help? Thanks.


I think it comes down to what the problem is that one desires to be helped about.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:48 am

steve19800 wrote:Referring to the worship of deities in some or in fact most/all Buddhist countries, can we ask why is this so? Does this mean the Hindu influence so strong or does that mean simply because the nature of a human being, we are fragile; need 'love' and protection?

Greed, Hatred, and Delusion are inherent in all ordinary human beings. The foolish majority will follow the crowd, and believe in all manner of superstitions. The true disciples of the Buddha should follow the opposite path leading away from attachment and ignorance, but most do not. Such superstitious Buddhists are easily influenced by Hinduism or other belief systems, that's why they are so afraid of the Moslems and Christians.
steve19800 wrote:There are many cases when a human being endowed with tremendous capability and knowledge unable to help another human being, get helped and cured by praying to certain Deva or God.

Are there? Or is it the case that superstitious people believe that the help came from a deity when it was due to their own kamma? There is a wise saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Buddhists recite protection discourses such as the Ratana Sutta or the Khandha Sutta for protection from dangers, but these Suttas are just Buddhānussati, Dhammānussati, and Sanghānussati or Mettābhāvanā. The disciple who has faith in the virtues of the Triple Gem, who observes the five precepts, and who practices loving-kindness need have no fear.

The most famous Paritta Sutta — the Mangala Sutta — explains how one can be assured of good fortune in the future. There is no mention there of praying to deities (though it dos say that one should show reverence to those worthy of respect), but only the cultivation of 38 wholesome practices beginning with the avoidance of fools (immoral people), and culminating in the attainment of Arahantship.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby steve19800 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:54 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
steve19800 wrote:Can you please refer me to the Devanussati, obviously this is not the same as Buddhanussati? Thanks.

The section on Recollection of Deities is found in the Visuddhimagga, Path of Purification p 221 (Vism.225), which refers to the Mahānāma Sutta (No.6) in the Book of Sixes (A.iii.287).

Basically, the disciple with faith recollects the various deities who have faith, virtue, generosity, etc., and reminds himself that he also has the same virtues.


Thanks for the link, I'll have a look.
The practice of recollection of Devanussati or paying homage to Buddha, Buddhanussati can lead you to a higher rebirth such as heaven. It is also said that in the Sutta that Monks should show the way for lay people to be reborn in the realm of happiness (heaven). But Buddha also mentioned that most beings in the heavenly realms are so intoxicated with sense desire hence those places are not a suitable place for practice. They will continue the cycle of birth and death once their good kamma is used up.
There are many ways of practicing that resulting in taking rebirth in higher realm, another one is taking and observing the eight precepts for instance. Since there are many causes which one will have the definite result? Everyone's kamma is different. For example In the Buddha time, there was a poor old lady who had nothing to give but dirty washed rice water. Her respect and generosity led her to take a rebirth in heavenly realm, maybe she herself did not know oh by practicing eight precepts will lead me to a happy destination.

To make it short, in one occassion Buddha said showing the way to heaven on the other hand heavenly realm is not our destination. Why is that so?
When you do the recollection of the noble qualities does it mean that you have to have a high standard of moral conduct for example. Because the text of recollection itself does not mention anything for instance what kind of virtue, faith, sila, etc. Of course sila in Buddhist teaching is important but there is occassion when Buddha advised other person about taking rebirth in heaven who may not be a Buddhist at that time.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:02 am

steve19800 wrote:To make it short, in one occassion Buddha said showing the way to heaven on the other hand heavenly realm is not our destination. Why is that so?

Because rebirth in heavenly realms is not the highest goal. In the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta we find this stock phrase used how the Buddha gave a graduated discourse in many different places:
dānakathaṃ sīlakathaṃ saggakathaṃ kāmānaṃ ādīnavaṃ okāraṃ saṃkilesaṃ nekkhamme ānisaṃsaṃ pakāsesi. Yadā te Bhagavā aññāsi kallacitte muducitte vinīvaraṇacitte udaggacitte pasannacitte, atha yā buddhānaṃ sāmukkaṃsikā dhammadesanā, taṃ pakāsesi — dukkhaṃ samudayaṃ nirodhaṃ maggaṃ.

That is (freely translated without looking it up) he first talked about the benefits of generosity, then morality, on the way to heaven, on the disadvantages of sensual pleasures, on the benefits of renunciation. Then, having made the minds of the listeners skilful, pliable, elevated, and gladdened, he taught the Dhamma unique to the Buddhas — suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the way to its cessation.
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Re: Buddha can't help

Postby mogg » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:52 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
steve19800 wrote:To make it short, in one occassion Buddha said showing the way to heaven on the other hand heavenly realm is not our destination. Why is that so?

Because rebirth in heavenly realms is not the highest goal. In the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta we find this stock phrase used how the Buddha gave a graduated discourse in many different places:
dānakathaṃ sīlakathaṃ saggakathaṃ kāmānaṃ ādīnavaṃ okāraṃ saṃkilesaṃ nekkhamme ānisaṃsaṃ pakāsesi. Yadā te Bhagavā aññāsi kallacitte muducitte vinīvaraṇacitte udaggacitte pasannacitte, atha yā buddhānaṃ sāmukkaṃsikā dhammadesanā, taṃ pakāsesi — dukkhaṃ samudayaṃ nirodhaṃ maggaṃ.

That is (freely translated without looking it up) he first talked about the benefits of generosity, then morality, on the way to heaven, on the disadvantages of sensual pleasures, on the benefits of renunciation. Then, having made the minds of the listeners skilful, pliable, elevated, and gladdened, he taught the Dhamma unique to the Buddhas — suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the way to its cessation.

Such a beautiful teaching...even though I've read/heard it a hundred times before, I had shivers up my spine when I read that last paragraph. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu
mogg
 
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