Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

Caodemarte wrote: I don't believe the Buddha is saying that he is above or below the gods in some godly hierarchy or ranking his status. His answer does not imply that in any way.
Santi253 wrote:
The most powerful of the gods, Brahma, descended from his heaven to implore the Buddha to teach, arguing that although many might not be able to understand, there were some with “little dust in their eyes” who would. This is an important moment because it makes clear that the Buddha knew something that the gods did not, and that the gods had been waiting for a new buddha to appear in the world to teach them the path to freedom from rebirth, even from rebirth in heaven. For this reason, one of the epithets of the Buddha is devatideva—“god above the gods.”

Although a human, the Buddha has a body unlike any other. It is adorned with the 32 marks of a superman (mahapurusalaksana), such as images of wheels on the palms of his hands and soles of his feet, a bump on the top of his head, forty teeth, and a circle of hair between his eyes that emits beams of light. Some of the marks are characteristics found in animals rather than humans: webbed fingers and toes like a duck’s, arms that extend below the knees like an ape’s, and a penis that retracts into body like a horse’s. His mind knows all of his past lives and the past lives of all beings in the universe. In fact, he is omniscient (although the various Buddhist schools have different ideas about exactly what this means).

Even in the early tradition, it is said that he can live for an eon or until the end of the eon, if he is asked to do so.
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/god-or-human/
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

Another teaching about the Buddha, which is shared by both Mahayana and Theravada, an attribute that non-Buddhists usually associate with a god, is that the Buddha loves all beings unconditionally.

The Buddha's unconditional love is part of what makes him more than an ordinary human being. Not even the gods, who are still tainted by selfishness and delusion, are able to love as perfectly as the Buddha does.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Caodemarte
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Caodemarte »

Santi253 wrote:
Caodemarte wrote: I don't believe the Buddha is saying that he is above or below the gods in some godly hierarchy or ranking his status. His answer does not imply that in any way.
Santi253 wrote:
The most powerful of the gods, Brahma, descended from his heaven to implore the Buddha to teach, arguing that although many might not be able to understand, there were some with “little dust in their eyes” who would. This is an important moment because it makes clear that the Buddha knew something that the gods did not, and that the gods had been waiting for a new buddha to appear in the world to teach them the path to freedom from rebirth, even from rebirth in heaven. For this reason, one of the epithets of the Buddha is devatideva—“god above the gods.”

Although a human, the Buddha has a body unlike any other. It is adorned with the 32 marks of a superman (mahapurusalaksana), such as images of wheels on the palms of his hands and soles of his feet, a bump on the top of his head, forty teeth, and a circle of hair between his eyes that emits beams of light. Some of the marks are characteristics found in animals rather than humans: webbed fingers and toes like a duck’s, arms that extend below the knees like an ape’s, and a penis that retracts into body like a horse’s. His mind knows all of his past lives and the past lives of all beings in the universe. In fact, he is omniscient (although the various Buddhist schools have different ideas about exactly what this means).

Even in the early tradition, it is said that he can live for an eon or until the end of the eon, if he is asked to do so.
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/god-or-human/
Yes, the whole point is that Buddha was awake and knew more than the "god" and so was not in their hierarchy. He is not a greater or lesser Indra. He is not in that category.
Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

Caodemarte wrote: Yes, the whole point is that Buddha was awake and knew more than the "god" and so was not in their hierarchy. He is not a greater or lesser Indra. He is not in that category.
He is, according to the Pali scriptures, the "teacher of gods and men" and "god above gods." Please forgive me if I'm wrong.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Dharmic
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Dharmic »

In the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka the Buddha is known as - Devātideva - God above the gods, Devadeva - God of the gods etc.. It should not be misunderstood that the Buddha is some god. The wisdom, compassion, attainments, skills, perfections, qualities, powers etc. of the Buddhas are far beyond any gods. Simply put the SammāsamBuddhas are unrivaled.

:anjali:
Caodemarte
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Caodemarte »

Dharmic wrote:In the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka the Buddha is known as - Devātideva - God above the gods, Devadeva - God of the gods etc.. It should not be misunderstood that the Buddha is some god. The wisdom, compassion, attainments, skills, perfections, qualities, powers etc. of the Buddhas are far beyond any gods. Simply put the SammāsamBuddhas are unrivaled.

:anjali:
Yes. This is a point that should not be misunderstood. Modern Hinduism attempts to absorb Buddha into the pantheon by making him just another higher or lower god or an emanation of Brahma. This distorts or misses the whole point of Buddhism.
Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

Dharmic wrote:In the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka the Buddha is known as - Devātideva - God above the gods, Devadeva - God of the gods etc.. It should not be misunderstood that the Buddha is some god. The wisdom, compassion, attainments, skills, perfections, qualities, powers etc. of the Buddhas are far beyond any gods. Simply put the SammāsamBuddhas are unrivaled.

:anjali:
Yes, exactly. Thank you.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

I don't know if this counts as prayer, but one thing I like to do is ask the Buddha to show me how to live. And when I feel happy about the Buddha's teaching influence in my life, I tell him thank you.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

I want to love the Buddha more. I want to have more of a connection to him in my heart, and live more according to his example.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Garrib
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Garrib »

Santi253 wrote:I want to love the Buddha more. I want to have more of a connection to him in my heart, and live more according to his example.
That's a good thing to want - You can reflect on his good qualities often:

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=10920
Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

Garrib wrote:
Santi253 wrote:I want to love the Buddha more. I want to have more of a connection to him in my heart, and live more according to his example.
That's a good thing to want - You can reflect on his good qualities often:

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=10920
Even after his parinirvana, is it normal to talk to the Buddha, like talking to a loved one? I am not claiming that he talks back.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Dharmic
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Dharmic »

Santi253 wrote:
Garrib wrote:
Santi253 wrote:I want to love the Buddha more. I want to have more of a connection to him in my heart, and live more according to his example.
That's a good thing to want - You can reflect on his good qualities often:

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=10920
Even after his parinirvana, is it normal to talk to the Buddha, like talking to a loved one? I am not claiming that he talks back.
The Buddha is always talking to us through his teachings. :smile:
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bodom
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by bodom »

Itivuttaka The Buddha’s Sayings
The Section of the Threes
92. The Hem of the Robe


This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, even though a bhikkhu might hold on to the hem of my robe and follow close behind me step by step, if he is covetous for objects of desire, strongly passionate, malevolent, corrupt in thought, unmindful, uncomprehending, unconcentra­ted, of wandering mind and uncontrolled faculties, he is far from me and I am far from him. What is the reason? That bhikkhu does not see Dhamma. Not seeing Dhamma, he does not see me.

“Bhikkhus, even though a bhikkhu might live a hundred leagues away, if he is not covetous for objects of desire, not strongly passionate, not malevolent, uncorrupt in thought, with mindfulness established, clearly comprehending, concentrated, of unified mind and controlled faculties, he is close to me and I am close to him. What is the reason? That bhikkhu sees Dhamma. Seeing Dhamma, he sees me.”
https://suttacentral.net/en/iti92

:namaste:
This is our foundation: to have sati, recollection, and sampajañña, self-awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, or reclining. Whatever arises, just leave it be, don’t cling to it. Whether it’s like or dislike, happiness or suffering, doubt or certainty... Don’t try to label everything, just know it. See that all the things that arise in the mind are simply sensations. They are transient. They arise, exist and cease. That’s all there is to them, they have no self or being, they are neither ‘us’ nor ‘them’. None of them are worthy of clinging to.

- Ajahn Chah
Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

bodom wrote:
Itivuttaka The Buddha’s Sayings
The Section of the Threes
92. The Hem of the Robe


This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, even though a bhikkhu might hold on to the hem of my robe and follow close behind me step by step, if he is covetous for objects of desire, strongly passionate, malevolent, corrupt in thought, unmindful, uncomprehending, unconcentra­ted, of wandering mind and uncontrolled faculties, he is far from me and I am far from him. What is the reason? That bhikkhu does not see Dhamma. Not seeing Dhamma, he does not see me.

“Bhikkhus, even though a bhikkhu might live a hundred leagues away, if he is not covetous for objects of desire, not strongly passionate, not malevolent, uncorrupt in thought, with mindfulness established, clearly comprehending, concentrated, of unified mind and controlled faculties, he is close to me and I am close to him. What is the reason? That bhikkhu sees Dhamma. Seeing Dhamma, he sees me.”
https://suttacentral.net/en/iti92

:namaste:
Thank you for sharing this.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

To be honest, I think that the Buddha is better than a god. While a god might offer the chance to serve him in heaven, the Buddha teaches us the path to become Buddhas ourselves. Buddha wins.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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