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 »

In Mahayana Buddhism, there's an understanding that one can pray to buddhas and bodhisattvas to act out of their boundless compassion.

Perhaps most notable is Avalokitesvara in the Lotus Sutra, which promises salvation from worldly calamities and disasters for those who call on her name.

At a deeper level, the sutra promises that one will be freed from the three poisons of ignorance/delusion, greed/lust, and anger/hate, by calling on the name of Avalokitesvara.

Belief in the ability of buddhas and bodhisattvas to answer prayer stems from the bodhisattva ideal, that the purpose of seeking buddhahood is to relieve the suffering of others.
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chownah
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by chownah »

Santi253 wrote:In Mahayana Buddhism, there's an understanding that one can pray to buddhas and bodhisattvas to act out of their boundless compassion.

Perhaps most notable is Avalokitesvara in the Lotus Sutra, which promises salvation from worldly calamities and disasters for those who call on her name.

At a deeper level, the sutra promises that one will be freed from the three poisons of ignorance/delusion, greed/lust, and anger/hate, by calling on the name of Avalokitesvara.

Belief in the ability of buddhas and bodhisattvas to answer prayer stems from the bodhisattva ideal, that the purpose of seeking buddhahood is to relieve the suffering of others.
Maybe belief in the ability of buddhas and bodhisattvas to answer prayer stems from the Lotus Sutra where Avalokitesvara promises salvation from worldly calamities and disasters for those who call on her name.

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

Post by Santi253 »

chownah wrote: Maybe belief in the ability of buddhas and bodhisattvas to answer prayer stems from the Lotus Sutra where Avalokitesvara promises salvation from worldly calamities and disasters for those who call on her name.
Avalokitesvara is one of many celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism.

Mahayana Buddhism traditionally teaches about the existence of countless planets inhabited by intelligent life, with countless Buddhas from countless eons before the Big Bang.

The idea that we’re alone in the universe is foreign to a traditional Mahayana perspective.
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cappuccino
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by cappuccino »

A very long time comes and goes, before the arising of a Buddha.

Almost it never happens.
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chownah
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by chownah »

Santi253 wrote:In Mahayana Buddhism, there's an understanding that one can pray to buddhas and bodhisattvas to act out of their boundless compassion.

Perhaps most notable is Avalokitesvara in the Lotus Sutra, which promises salvation from worldly calamities and disasters for those who call on her name.

At a deeper level, the sutra promises that one will be freed from the three poisons of ignorance/delusion, greed/lust, and anger/hate, by calling on the name of Avalokitesvara.

Belief in the ability of buddhas and bodhisattvas to answer prayer stems from the bodhisattva ideal, that the purpose of seeking buddhahood is to relieve the suffering of others.
Maybe belief in the ability of buddhas and bodhisattvas to answer prayer stems from the Lotus Sutra where Avalokitesvara promises salvation from worldly calamities and disasters for those who call on her name.

What I am saying is that the belief does not come from some ideal....it comes from people reading stories in the lotus sutra....and probably other places. People don't need to think "gee, I think it is because of the bodhisatva ideals that I think that they will answer my prayers"....all they have to do is to read the stories in the lotas sutra and believe them.
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by cappuccino »

chownah wrote:all they have to do is to read the stories in the sutra and believe
Remember, faith is one of the five faculties that progress depends on.
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by binocular »

chownah wrote:What I am saying is that the belief does not come from some ideal....it comes from people reading stories in the lotus sutra....and probably other places. People don't need to think "gee, I think it is because of the bodhisatva ideals that I think that they will answer my prayers"....all they have to do is to read the stories in the lotas sutra and believe them.
And yet not everyone who reads those stories believes them. Why not?
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by cappuccino »

binocular wrote:And yet not everyone who reads those stories believes them. Why not?
They're not desperate, they don't realize they're in a desperate situation.
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binocular
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by binocular »

cappuccino wrote:They're not desperate, they don't realize they're in a desperate situation.
Desperation is in no way causally related to wisdom.
Just because one is desperate doesn't mean one will make wise decisions.
In fact, desperate people often resort to some very stupid measures that bring a lot of suffering.
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cappuccino
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by cappuccino »

I meant faith is hope.

Hope is for desperate situations,
like Buddha said we're in.
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binocular
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by binocular »

cappuccino wrote:Hope is for desperate situations, like Buddha said we're in.
And where did the Buddha say that we should pray to bodhisattvas?
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by cappuccino »

binocular wrote:And where did the Buddha say that we should pray to bodhisattvas?
Humanity prays, in general.
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Santi253
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Re: Theistic Belief/Believing in God/Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Post by Santi253 »

cappuccino wrote:A very long time comes and goes, before the arising of a Buddha.

Almost it never happens.
If there are many world systems with intelligent life, and if the universe has existed from the incalculable past, then there have been many, if not countless, buddhas.
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 »

chownah wrote: People don't need to think "gee, I think it is because of the bodhisatva ideals that I think that they will answer my prayers"....all they have to do is to read the stories in the lotas sutra and believe them.
The altruistic intent of buddhahood in Mahayana Buddhism is why celestial buddhas and bodhisattvas are believed to hear and answer prayer in the first place.
Non-violence is the greatest virtue, cowardice the greatest vice. - Mahatma Gandhi

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

Post by cappuccino »

Santi253 wrote:If there are many world systems with intelligent life, and if the universe has existed from the incalculable past, then there have been many, if not countless, buddhas.
Since forever and this is the closest
you ever came to nirvana.
"All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine." -Socrates
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