New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

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New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:47 pm

I came across this book, Why God Became A Buddha through a conversation on goodreads.com with the author.

I haven't read it, but it sounds very interesting, so I thought I would post a blurb about it here.

Commence blurb( quoted from goodreads.com ):

For many of us who grew up in a theistic world of 'God', the idea of God becoming a Buddha may seem confusing and disorienting, as we tend to think of God as the creator of the physical universe and "the Buddha" as just a human being within this creation. And while it is certainly true that the historical Buddha (Siddhattha Gotama) was a human being just like us, this book examines his past lives as a God, his discourses to the Gods, and central teachings from the Dhamma he taught to shed light on the logic and nature of Buddhist Cosmology and its relationship to the path of spiritual liberation from the things that make us suffer.

One may ask, how could a God who ruled the universe not be fully liberated spiritually, as the awe, overwhelming power, and genius of the physical universe appears beyond human comprehension, and therefore its ruler must have achieved the highest state of being. Complete mastery of the physical laws of the universe - the elusive goal of science - is widely considered the ultimate in human development. But through examining Buddhist Cosmology and the numerous discourses the historical Buddha gave on the nature of the God(s), we learn that the Gods were/are imperfect and addicted to form and/or sense gratification, and had many spiritual fetters that kept them bound to the gross and finer material realms of existence despite significant spiritual advancement.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Aloka » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:39 pm

There's an excerpt from the first chapter of that book here:

"How the Universe and First Beings Were Created"

http://www.whygodbecameabuddha.com/excerpt.htm

Doesn't the title of the chapter appear to contradict the words of the Buddha in AN 4.77 ?

."Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.077.than.html

:)
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Viscid » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:37 pm

This author does well to represent the worst of ego-ridden Western Buddhism. He named himself 'Metteyya.'
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Metteyya » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:52 pm

The purpose of the first chapter as indicated from the opening quote from the Loka Sutta is to attempt to set the tone for the whole book, which concerns understanding the universe and all that is in it just as it is through examining the Buddha's past lives as God and human, discourses to the Gods, and choices he made in his final birth, so that one may become spiritually liberated.

The specific excerpt from Chapter One on the Why God Became a Buddha website is a teaser from the Aggañña Sutta that attempts to show that modern science is now confirming what the Buddha said 2600 years ago concerning the 'nature' (not ORIGIN) of the universe and the appearance and development of life on Earth. This analysis of modern science sets up the second part of first chapter concerning 'skeptical doubt' about the Dhamma, and why this second fetter blinds many Buddhist commentators from connecting the dots between the truthfulness of the Buddhist cosmology in describing real realms of existence and the truthfulness of the Dhamma.

This book project has been quite an education in itself, as it has forced me to come to terms with my own skepticism and recognize the importance of the cosmology as a teaching tool of the Dhamma. Vague dismissals of the cosmology as 'myth' or humor because of a few embellishments by monks here and there in the Jataka Tales or later additions to the Nikayas prevents us from fully seeing the Dhamma as the Buddha saw it, and therefore has a deleterious effect on our efforts to remove our own ignorance of the Dhamma.

By forcing us to take a second and more critical and deliberate look at the cosmology as revealed in the Dhamma, this book puts the cosmology in a new light and makes it easier to shed left-over aversions from Judeo-Christian framing in Western culture so that we can freely discuss God and the heavens from a Buddhist point of view and not feel ambivalent or 'belief' oriented in the process.
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Viscid » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:31 pm

Metteyya's Book wrote:The Buddha explains that the first beings appearing on Earth after one of the expansion cycles of the universe are mind-made beings of light that fell from the heavenly realm of Streaming Radiance. The idea of a cyclical expanding and contracting universe had been dismissed by most scientists until recently, as the universe as currently observed is simply expanding. The most powerful telescopes, for example, can see this expansion clearly going back in time all the way to what is thought to be the Big Bang, but these telescopes obviously can't see what happened before the Big Bang. Fairly recent scientific studies, however,


'Most scientists' are not convinced of a cyclical universe. You cited a couple pappers which suggest a possible cyclical model of the universe, but attributing such a belief to 'most scientists' in this context is misleading-- especially when this material is obviously being sold to the casual reader. 'Most scientists' have absolutely nothing to say about 'mind-made beings of lights' and associating any such nonsense with the scientific community, scientific method or whatever you mean by the word 'science' is a desperate stretch.

It seems to be suggested that going outside of oneself for gratification from contact with a sense object is what caused these first beings to lose their luminescence, but it may well be the case that the cyanobacteria that these first beings eventually feasted on from the ocean's surface sapped the light from these first beings. Consuming intense light through photosynthesis was the only way this cyanobacteria could produce its own food, and the collective light from these first beings may have been the only widespread intense light available during this early darkness period of the Earth's development.


I don't see what value any of this speculation could possibly have. What is most offensive about your book is your attempt to pawn your speculations off as something 'scientific' or academic, when it's merely nonsense any adolescent being armed with Wikipedia and basic knowledge of the history of the planet could imagine up after reading the Aggañña Sutta.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby LG2V » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:06 am

Mr. Brahmana,

I've read the first chapter of your book and loved it. I think that it provides a great Buddhist analogue to modern materialistic science. It is, in my opinion, a thought-provoking and edifying commentary on the Agganna Sutta. I am quite interested in reading the rest of your book. I've bookmarked it for future purchase.

Mr. Brahmana, can I pm you or contact you by email? I have some questions which I think you may be well suited to answer.


Metta,
LG2V :anjali:
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Metteyya » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:20 am

Hi LG2V!

I typing this message on a very small phone so please forgive me. Sure, you can pm or email me any time with any question. My email address is listed under "contact" on the Why God Became a Buddha website.

With much metta
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Metteyya » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:59 am

Hi Vicid!

I am sorry you don't like my legal name and my new book that was the result of two years of research. My name means "he whose name is kindness" and is derived from metta (loving kindness) practice. Most people love my name as it reminds them to treat others with unconditional love, including difficult people who try to insult you or cause you harm. You can Google my name and Tricycle magazine and find a comment I posted there that disavows any attempt to promote anyone with the name, 'Metteyya' as the next Buddha, as this Buddha is not to appear in the human realm until we achieve lifespans of 80,000 years.

Concerning the book, you really should go look up the footnotes cited from the excerpt and learn who these scientists are and something about their current research. You will find they are the top scientists in their field and have no skin in the game as non Buddhists. I know you are full of doubt concerning the Buddha's words and teachings like many academics, but I encourage you to take the Buddha up on his offer and 'practice' the Dhamma as he taught it as this is the antidote to skeptical doubt as described in the Kalama Sutta. If you don't want practice all of his teachings as described in tbe Pali Nikayas, that is certainly your choice, but at least consider the principles of Right Speech when engaging others so that you don't attract harm to yourself.

May you find happiness, peace, and freedom from suffering.

With much metta
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:04 am

Not a lot different from someone changing their name to Gautama, or Shakyamuni, at least, it would seem a bit grandiose..IMHO
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Metteyya » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:24 am

Hi Lyndon Taylor!

It is only grandiose if you are clinging to some FALSE idea in 'your' head that I think I am the future Metteyya Buddha because of my first name. Metteyya is actually a common name here in Sri Lanka, and no one here thinks of it as anything other than a name conveying 'loving kindness' (metta) because the vast majority of us who have studied the Pali suttas know that the Metteyya Buddha will not appear in the human realm until humans achieve lifespans of 80,000 years (see, Cakkavatti-sihanada Sutta, Digha Nikaya 26).

Unfortunately in the West, the Pali sutta knowledge is not that deep, and ideas of the 'coming messiah' are still a hangover from the Judeo-Christian 'second coming of Jesus' for many Western Buddhists. But rather than assuming that someone is trying to gain authority over you as a Buddhist, you should give ANY Buddhist the benefit of the doubt regardless of their name, especially someone like myself who has engaged in sincere practice for such a long time and who has studied the Pali suttas at an advanced level.

A 'personal' name is just that - personal. It is therefore insulting to attack anyone because of their name whom you do not know.
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Aloof » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:39 am

Metteyya wrote:Hi Lyndon Taylor!

It is only grandiose if you are clinging to some FALSE idea in 'your' head that I think I am the future Metteyya Buddha because of my first name. Metteyya is actually a common name here in Sri Lanka, and no one here thinks of it as anything other than a name conveying 'loving kindness' (metta) because the vast majority of us who have studied the Pali suttas know that the Metteyya Buddha will not appear in the human realm until humans achieve lifespans of 80,000 years (see, Cakkavatti-sihanada Sutta, Digha Nikaya 26).

Unfortunately in the West, the Pali sutta knowledge is not that deep, and ideas of the 'coming messiah' are still a hangover from the Judeo-Christian 'second coming of Jesus' for many Western Buddhists. But rather than assuming that someone is trying to gain authority over you as a Buddhist, you should give ANY Buddhist the benefit of the doubt regardless of their name, especially someone like myself who has engaged in sincere practice for such a long time and who has studied the Pali suttas at an advanced level.

A 'personal' name is just that - personal. It is therefore insulting to attack anyone because of their name whom you do not know.



Metteyya,

:Your book supports what I have been experiencing in my meditation.
I am glad that you have quotted Agganna suta etc. in support
I have been facing a lot of criticism of my writings in Buddhist world.
But now and then articles and letters like your keep up my confidence.
I had recently written that Buddha is replacing God in FreeSangha in the
name of Riju.
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Aloof » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:44 am

I hope this book is available in Pune (ndia
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Re: New Book: "Why God Became A Buddha"

Postby Ben » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:25 am

Dear Mr Brahmana

I look forward to reading more about your book. Right now I have to put it on the backburner as I have a rather long script to memorize and several histories to read before I have time for non-work related reading.
kind regards,

Ben
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