Are gods bored and can they meditate?

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Mahabrahma
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Mahabrahma »

I agree with you, it is not the original Middle-Way intent and Teaching, but many Buddhists, even very, very Enlightened ones teach no-self because it is a prominent Expedient Means in Buddhism. You are right though, at it's core, it is not the original Teaching, the original Teaching is that we should abandon the fetters and aggrigates and end material life, entering into pure Spiritual Enlightenment.
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by confusedlayman »

Mahabrahma wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:34 pm I agree with you, it is not the original Middle-Way intent and Teaching, but many Buddhists, even very, very Enlightened ones teach no-self because it is a prominent Expedient Means in Buddhism. You are right though, at it's core, it is not the original Teaching, the original Teaching is that we should abandon the fetters and aggrigates and end material life, entering into pure Spiritual Enlightenment.
there is no one to enter anywhere...
dont think
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Mahabrahma »

confusedlayman wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:17 am
Mahabrahma wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:34 pm I agree with you, it is not the original Middle-Way intent and Teaching, but many Buddhists, even very, very Enlightened ones teach no-self because it is a prominent Expedient Means in Buddhism. You are right though, at it's core, it is not the original Teaching, the original Teaching is that we should abandon the fetters and aggrigates and end material life, entering into pure Spiritual Enlightenment.
there is no one to enter anywhere...
The Buddha's not a no one, He's The Blessed One, right?!
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by confusedlayman »

Mahabrahma wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:24 am
confusedlayman wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:17 am
Mahabrahma wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:34 pm I agree with you, it is not the original Middle-Way intent and Teaching, but many Buddhists, even very, very Enlightened ones teach no-self because it is a prominent Expedient Means in Buddhism. You are right though, at it's core, it is not the original Teaching, the original Teaching is that we should abandon the fetters and aggrigates and end material life, entering into pure Spiritual Enlightenment.
there is no one to enter anywhere...
The Buddha's not a no one, He's The Blessed One, right?!
pin point and show
dont think
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Mahabrahma »

confusedlayman wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:41 am
Mahabrahma wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:24 am
confusedlayman wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:17 am

there is no one to enter anywhere...
The Buddha's not a no one, He's The Blessed One, right?!
pin point and show
From Samanupassana Sutta: Assumptions:
At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said, "Monks, whatever contemplatives or brahmans who assume in various ways when assuming a self, all assume the five clinging-aggregates, or a certain one of them. Which five? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.
From Phena Sutta: Foam:
On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Ayojjhans on the banks of the Ganges River. There he addressed the monks: "Monks, suppose that a large glob of foam were floating down this Ganges River, and a man with good eyesight were to see it, observe it, & appropriately examine it. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in a glob of foam? In the same way, a monk sees, observes, & appropriately examines any form that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near. To him — seeing it, observing it, & appropriately examining it — it would appear empty, void, without substance: for what substance would there be in form?
From Maha-punnama Sutta: The Great Full-moon Night Discourse:
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara's mother. And on that occasion — the uposatha of the fifteenth, the night of a very full moon — he was sitting out in the open with the community of monks.
From Wikipedia:

Ten characteristics of a Buddha

...

10. The Blessed One or fortunate one (Skt: bhagavat)[12]
The tenth epithet is sometimes listed as "The World Honored Enlightened One" (Skt. Buddha-Lokanatha) or "The Blessed Enlightened One" (Skt. Buddha-Bhagavan).[13]
From Buddha Dharma: The Way To Enlightenment:
(3) All those gathered, equally sorrowful in grief, asked Ananda, “O Ananda,
allow us to approach and see the World-Honored One, for it will not be possible
to be blessed by the appearance of the Buddha again in this world.” Ananda
thought, “When the World-Honored One was in this world, the number of women
who could approach him was limited. Therefore, it is now appropriate for them
to pay their respects to the World-Honored One.” Thus, he let not only many
nuns but also laywomen pay homage to the World-Honored One. They bowed in
tears and offered various incenses and flowers.
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Pulsar »

Salutations dear Mahabrahma!
this thread amused me, hence my quip. You implied
"that everything has the capacity for Buddhahood! Rocky Buddhas???"
I am not going to pick up on what you put down. Elaborations of Mahayana do not interest me.
  • Words such as self or non-self vanish when people gain insight into the teachings of the Buddha.
Only this interests me, not how Mahayanists interpreted the teachings, Śālistamba Sūtra (rice stalk or rice sapling sūtra) is a prime example, another fabrication of At Savatthi???
"that rocks have consciousness"
where on earth did it come from?
It is true that in the nikayas Buddha says a couple of times, something like
"If these Sal trees could understand the teaching, they would be enlightened"
but the same sentence ended with 
"If they could"
Buddha was not an idiot.
Things taken out of context, topics such as Jhana, Kamma, Consciousness, Nibbana can be used to create vast fields of mental proliferation. Some folks thrive on these, engaging in these (that is how they gain happiness in this lifetime) but that is not a means to end suffering.
To make story short, i am not taking your bait. Instead see if you can handle mine.?
Can you make head or tail of the following?

First thoughts of the Buddha upon awakening, and Ven. Thanissaro's comment to that
dependent co-arising (paṭicca samuppāda) is expressed in terms of processes — of events and actions — without reference to a framework containing those processes. 
  • In other words, it doesn't mention the existence or non-existence of agents doing the actions, or of a framework in time and space in which these processes happen.
 
Thus it makes possible a way of understanding the causes of suffering and stress without reference to the existence or non-existence of an "I" or an "other" responsible for those events.
Instead, the events are viewed simply as events in the context of the process — a way of viewing that makes it possible to abandon clinging for any of these events, so as to bring suffering to an end. 
  • Even the idea of an "I" or an "other" is seen simply as part of the process (under the factors of fabrication and the sub-factor of attention under "name" in name-and-form).
This is what makes possible the abandoning of any attachment to the conceit "I am,
link to UD1.1https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/KN/Ud/ud1_1.html

Dear OP sorry for the slight diversion. To answer your question, may i ask a rhetorical question "Do you understand Khajjaniya sutta?"
link https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN22_79.html
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by 2600htz »

MrLearner wrote: Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:13 pm Hey,
I have a question about god realms, in buddhism that can be reached when you do good karma.

1. The god realms are full of hapiness, but my question is will gods eventually get bored of this continuous happiness even before there good karma finishes. Does this mean without letting go, too much happiness or sadness both lead to suffering? So can gods also be suffering due to too much happiness? Sorry if this is a stupid question and makes no sense.

2. Why can't gods meditate in god realms and achieve enlightenment there without becoming human to do so?
Hi:

1) Devas can have hindrances: they can get bored, sad, have desires unfulfilled, be attached to things, etc. Its just that this arise not with the same intensity that in a human. Yes, being attached to happiness or sadness leads to suffering.

2)Gods can meditate. But they are not as flexible as humans in terms of changing habits. Lower realm gods have more childhish personalities, i mean, there is a sutta where the buddha gives some teaching to a deva, and 5 minutes later he was honestly not able to remember that talk because he was enjoying so much what he was doing in his heaven. Also, because they dont have intense hindrances they dont have the proclivity to make effort meditating.

Regards.
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Mahabrahma »

Pulsar, I don't doubt you understand the world very well, and I understand where you are coming from. Thank you for saying the Buddha was not an idiot. He was not. Everything we have as a continuation of Buddhism comes from Him and I am glad you have desired to be just like Him. One of my favorite things about the Buddha was that He would explore philosophical concepts by constantly asking questions upon questions about life. In the Palace He lived in before He attained His Expedient Enlightenment (that He yet already had from a past life), He was well known for always asking questions about life and things to do with it, people would often jokingly taunt Him about it in a friendly way because He would do it so much. In the same way a lot of us are like Him, deep down we understand these things we are asking questions about but for the sake of others we are following the Buddhist path of Expedient Means to develop a framework to answer them. I have faith in you and your point of view. My previous post on the matter speaks for itself, and you are right to ask questions all the while. You are powerful enough to answer all of the questions you have asked as fully as I am, in fact I sense you could Teach me much yourself. So thank you for your input and time. Meditate on it. There are no discrepancies in the words of the Buddhas, so if you meditate on them you will get all of your answers. And truly, all of the answers you need you will find in Metta. Thank you for bringing up the points that you did, and I will think about them.
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Pulsar »

Dear Mahabrahma: You wrote
He attained His Expedient Enlightenment (that He yet already had from a past life)
While your response warms my heart, because it emerges from a strong foundation of Metta, (which I admire)
your statement above puzzles me, perhaps it is influenced by the later Mahayana ideas?
I see no difference in very early Mahayana (Madhyamika sort of, some early Tibetan also) and early Theravada,
  • the earliest Mahayanists relied on the earliest suttas of the sutta pitaka.
Ideas changed as prajnaparamitha suttas evolved...
not that I find fault with the very original, (they contain the most profound ideas about samadhi and non-self)
but things morphed.. core ideas were tweaked.
Things evolved. In the process the human Gotama evolved into some kind of deity, Arahants were replaced by Bodhisattvas, this creates issues for many Theravadins.
For them Buddha was not a god, and it is not useful to treat him as one, and pray to him or pray to the newly created Bodhisattvas.
But people need props and crutches, for their search. Buddha was aware of this. i.e. Kalahaviveda sutta of Sutta Nipata, reveals so.

Truly Mahabrahma, only thing that helps us is the Dhamma, Buddha left behind.
Buddha himself after enligtenment spent rest of his life honoring the Dhamma that he rediscovered. By rediscovery I mean the Dhamma he awakened to. Four Noble truths and Dependent origination are features of the world, regardless of a Buddha. Folks just need to awaken to that.
Our ability to penetrate the 12 links of DO via Eight-fold path/Ten-fold path, and realize the Four Noble Truths will be our greatest accomplishment.

I leave behind the razzmatazz, bells and whistles that sometimes Mahayana and Theravada exhibit, and try to focus on the bare bones of the Dhamma, the core of the doctrine.
It is definitely a challenge to make this effort on a stern of Foundation of
Mettha. You have accomplished the latter.
There was only one SammaSambuddha in the time period that concerns us, and if we say that
  • Gotama's awakening is something he had from a previous life? are we not discounting the enormous effort Gotama the renunciate, put into reaching the highest potential within man?
Bottom line is he was very much a human being just like the rest of us, but he had the courage to break though all the barriers of being a flawed human.
All of this is written with the great respect due to your enormous foundation
of Metta... I constantly strive to ge there.
May you be well :candle:
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Mahabrahma »

Mahayana and Theraveda are of the same One Buddha Vehicle. Buddha uses One vehicle to convert the Bodhisattvas, according to His own words in the Lotus Sutra. The Buddha is not guilty of lies or falsehood when it comes to His preaching, therefore everything you say is correct, and it is okay just to stick to the Theravada style or Buddhism, just understand that it is a foundation of Mahayana, without Theravada there would be no Mahayana and in it's origin is Buddhahood and it's good roots. See here:
In the Buddha lands of the ten directions
there is only the Law of the one vehicle,
there are not two, there are not three,
except when the Buddha preaches so as an expedient means,
merely employing provisional names and terms
in order to conduct and guide living beings
and preach to them the Buddha wisdom.
The Buddhas appear in the world
solely for this one reason, which is true;
the other two are not the truth.
Never do they use a lesser vehicle
to save living beings and ferry them across.
The Buddha himself dwells in this Great Vehicle,
and adorned with the power of meditation and wisdom
that go with the Law he has attained,
he uses it to save living beings.
He himself testifies to the unsurpassed way,
the Great Vehicle, the Law in which all things are equal.
If I used a lesser vehicle
to convert even one person,
I would be guilty of stinginess and greed,
but such a thing would be impossible.
If a person will believe and take refuge in the Buddha,
the Thus Come One will never deceive him,
nor will he ever show greed or jealousy,
for he has rooted out evil from among the phenomena.
Therefore throughout the ten directions
the Buddha alone is without fear.
I adorn my body with the special characteristics
and shine my light upon the world.
I am honored by numberless multitudes
and for them I preach the emblem of the reality of things.
Shariputra, you should know
that at the start I took a vow,
hoping to make all persons
equal to me, without any distinction between us,
and what I long ago hoped for
has now been fulfilled.
I have converted all living beings
and caused them all to enter the Buddha way.
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter Two: Expedient Means

As regards to how Buddha acheived Enlightenment in a distant past life according to His own words is written here in the Sixteenth Chapter of the Sutra. It is a very important read:
At that time the World-Honored One, seeing that the bodhisattvas repeated their request three times and more, spoke to them, saying: "You must listen carefully and hear of the Thus Come One's secret and his transcendental powers. In all the worlds the heavenly and human beings and asuras all believe that the present Shakyamuni Buddha, after leaving the palace of the Shakyas, seated himself in the place of practice not far from the city of Gaya and there attained annuttara-samyak-sambodhi. But good men, it has been immeasurable, boundless hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas of kalpas since I in fact attained Buddhahood.

"Suppose a person were to take five hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million nayuta asamkhya thousand-million-fold worlds and grind them to dust. Then, moving eastward, each time he passes five hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million nayuta asamkhya worlds he drops a particle of dust. He continues eastward in this way until he has finished dropping all the particles. Good men, what is your opinion? Can the total number of all these worlds be imagined or calculated?"

The bodhisattva Maitreya and the others said to the Buddha: "World-Honored One, these worlds are immeasurable, boundless--one cannot calculate their number, nor does the mind have the power to encompass them. Even all the voice-hearers and pratyekabuddhas with their wisdom free of outflows could not imagine or understand how many there are. Although we abide in the stage of avivartika, we cannot comprehend such a matter. World-Honored One, these worlds are immeasurable and boundless."

At that time the Buddha said to the multitude of great bodhisattvas: "Good men, now I will state this to you clearly. Suppose all these worlds, whether they received a particle of dust or not, are once more reduced to dust. Let one particle represent one kalpa. The time that has passed since I attained Buddhahood surpasses this by a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, a million nayuta asamkhya kalpas.

"Ever since then I have been constantly in this saha world, preaching the Law, teaching and converting, and elsewhere I have led and benefited living beings in hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of nayutas and asamkhyas of lands.

"Good men, during that time I have spoken about the Buddha Burning Torch and others, and described how they entered nirvana. All this I employed as an expedient means to make distinctions.

"Good men, if there are living beings who come to me, I employ my Buddha eye to observe their faith and to see if their other faculties are keen or dull, and then depending upon how receptive they are to salvation, I appear in different places and preach to them under different names, and describe the length of time during which my teachings will be effective. Sometimes when I make my appearance I say that I am about to enter nirvana, and also employ different expedient means to preach the subtle and wonderful Law, thus causing living beings to awaken joyful minds.

"Good men, the Thus Come One observes how among living beings there are those who delight in a little Law, meager in virtue and heavy with defilement. For such persons I describe how in my youth I left my household and attained anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. But in truth the time since I attained Buddhahood is extremely long, as I have told you. It is simply that I use this expedient means to teach and convert living beings and cause them to enter the Buddha way. That is why I speak in this manner.

"Good men, the scriptures expounded by the Thus Come One are all for the purpose of saving and emancipating living beings. Sometimes I speak of myself, sometimes of others: sometimes I present myself, sometimes others; sometimes I show my own actions, sometimes those of others. All that I preach is true and not false.

Why do I do this? The Thus Come One perceives the true aspect of the threefold world exactly as it is. There is no ebb or flow of birth and death, and there is no existing in this world and later entering extinction. It is neither substantial nor empty, neither consistent nor diverse. Nor is it what those who dwell in the threefold world perceive it to be. All such things the Thus Come One sees clearly and without error.

"Because living beings have different natures, different desires, different actions, and different ways of thinking and making distinctions, and because I want to enable them to put down good roots, I employ a variety of causes and conditions, similes, parables, and phrases and preach different doctrines. This, the Buddha's work, I have never for a moment neglected.

"Thus, since I attained Buddhahood, an extremely long period of time has passed. My life span is an immeasurable number of asamkhya kalpas, and during that time I have constantly abided here without ever entering extinction. Good men, originally I practiced the bodhisattva way, and the life span that I acquired then has yet to come to an end but will last twice the number of years that have already passed. Now, however, although in fact I do not actually enter extinction, I announce that I am going to adopt the course of extinction. This is an expedient means which the Thus Come One uses to teach and convert living beings.

"Why do I do this? Because if the Buddha remains in the world for a long time, those persons with shallow virtue will fail to plant good roots but, living in poverty and lowliness, will become attached to the five desires and be caught in the net of deluded thoughts and imaginings. If they see that the Thus Come One is constantly in the world and never enters extinction, they will grow arrogant and selfish, or become discouraged and neglectful. They will fail to realize how difficult it is to encounter the Buddha and will not approach him with a respectful and reverent mind.

"Therefore as an expedient means the Thus Come One says: 'Monks, you should know that it is a rare thing to live at a time when one of the Buddhas appears in the world.' Why does he do this? Because persons of shallow virtue may pass immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands, millions of kalpas with some of them chancing to see a Buddha and others never seeing one at all. For this reason I say to them: 'Monks, the Thus Come One is hard to get to see.' When living beings hear these words, they are certain to realize how difficult it is to encounter the Buddha. In their minds they will harbor a longing and will thirst to gaze upon the Buddha, and then they will work to plant good roots. Therefore the Thus Come One, though in truth he does not enter extinction, speaks of passing into extinction.

"Good men, the Buddhas and Thus Come Ones all preach a Law such as this. They act in order to save all living beings, so what they do is true and not false.
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter Sixteen: The Life Span of the Tathagata

The Lotus Sutra is considered by many to be a Mahayana Sutra, but it contains great wisdom that the Buddha Himself preached, with useful and powerful means for one to attain Supreme Perfect Enlightenment, and in it's Teachings one can reach Buddhahood, it is the Buddha's prescribed method as He says within it's pages. Whether you consider yourself a Theravada or Mahayana Buddhist, or both, it is a great practice to read it. I once encountered a Theravada Buddhist monk who used the practice of meditation and Nichiren Buddhist chanting of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which translates to "I Devote Myself To The Mystic Law Of The Lotus Sutra", to achieve Enlightenment, and the day He achieved Enlightenment He was the happiest person on Earth. I asked Him a question and in reply to the contents of my question He told me that everybody Loves, all beings Love, even the most fallen ones, even if just a small amount. There is that old John Lennon quote "Love is needing Love". So truly, the goal of life is Metta, and the unequivocal path to Buddhahood.
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Mahabrahma »

Also, with regards to conscious rocks that you mentioned, I found a text that talks about the unconscious consciousness of rocks, in the saying of the monks, of how the unconscious earth makes it's deep places full. I believe with enough Spiritual attention the unconscious can wake up to be conscious, despite the commonly held belief that immovable living entities simply have an inert or only unconscious existence. This requires a belief in Spirit or a Transcendental understanding on where the symptom of consciousness comes from. Begin thinking what kind of powerful attributes objects that you use everyday have to them, and reflect on the thusness of these attributes and where those attributes are coming from. What is the source? This kind of Metta is found in Buddhist statues and written Scriptures as I have mentioned earlier, and ultimately in basic Sankhya philosophy even our bodies are said to be composed of the same five elements other things in this world are. Anyway, read here:
‘Venerable Nāgasena, you Bhikkhus say that: “When the Blessed One walked along, the earth, unconscious though it is, filled up its deep places, and made its steep places plain.” And on the other hand you say that a splinter of rock grazed his foot. When that splinter was falling on his foot why did it not, then, turn aside? If it be true that the unconscious earth makes its deep places full and its steep places plain for him, then it must be untrue that the splinter of rock hurt his foot. But if the latter statement be true, then the first must be false. This too is a double-edged problem now put to you, and you have to solve it.’
-5.3.8. The Splinter Of Rock

(They end up blaming Devadatta for pushing the rock towards Buddha's head, and not the rock itself).

:buddha2:
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Pulsar »

Mahabrahma wrote
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter Sixteen: The Life Span of the Tathagata
I am not an expert on Lotus Sutra. Besides our conversation is deviating from the main thrust of "Theravada for beginners"
It is morphing into "Theravada vs Mahayana". I am not sure whether this is the right place for that. Let a Moderator decide first.
With love :candle:
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Mahabrahma »

Pulsar wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:09 am Mahabrahma wrote
-The Lotus Sutra, Chapter Sixteen: The Life Span of the Tathagata
I am not an expert on Lotus Sutra. Besides our conversation is deviating from the main thrust of "Theravada for beginners"
It is morphing into "Theravada vs Mahayana". I am not sure whether this is the right place for that. Let a Moderator decide first.
With love :candle:
I don't want it to morph into that, and I am a proponent for Mahayana and Theraveda to be seen as a single Buddhist Vehicle, as I have said. I understand there is no need for deviation, but it was nice conversing with you.

Returning to the main topic, I would like to point out that those beings called Gods in Buddhism are extremely advanced in their Spiritual life, and have no problem meditating. Their lives generally are much less boring than ours, when there is boredom involved, because they live in higher planes. There is a reason Buddhas and great Bodhisattvas ascend to Heavens such as the Tusita Heaven or a Buddha Land to wait on coming back to a lower planet such as ours, because without so much suffering they are able to meditate for thousands and millions of years. It was also possible to meditate for millions of years on this planet during Satya Yuga.

So generally, if you want to progress in Spiritual life, it is good to give the proper respects to Higher Beings, and there is nothing wrong with asking them for help. However, one should realize that the capacity for Buddhahood lies within, and strive to Awaken one's own Buddha-Nature fully, relying on their own abilities nonetheless accepting and not neglecting the Metta of others.
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Pulsar »

Mahabrahma wrote
he is a proponent for Mahayana and Theravada to be seen as a single Buddhist Vehicle.
Well, no mattter what the school of buddhism is,
  • the Four Noble truths and Dependent origination  is the bedrock.
If that were the focus of our discussion, i won't feel queasy about commenting here.
You wrote
as I have said. I understand there is no need for deviation,
True, no need to deviate from the bedrock
you wrote
but it was nice conversing with you.
Me too.
As for gods and what they do in their spare time, i personally would not go there,
it would be better for us to focus on 8-fold path, since the living Buddha of the Theravadins advised not to engage in mental proliferation,
if it does not lead to end of suffering. Instead of worrying about gods it would be better if we focussed on "Where does suffering come from?" This is a more fruitful endeavour. We find the answer "Craving" in 2nd Noble Truth.
Sometimes this carving is solely due to our need to speculate about the happiness of gods, instead of our own happiness. So if we drop that craving and rely on the need to find our own happiness/bliss, ie Nibbana,  3rd Noble Truth, we find we have a ton of work to keep ourselves busy, just this 8-fold path, 4th Noble truth, and how to correctly expedite it,
to get the 8-fold path straight it takes a great deal of reflection.

Just as much as right intention (2nd step) involves perfecting Metta, say one develops Metta for six months, moment one slips (one forgetful moment) one falls off that cliff. Retry again and again, to get back on the top, even while falling.
Consider the Stream enterer, s/he can still get agitated and angry, so the path does not allow time to wonder about stuff that is peripheral to the path? such as of gods? Does it? 
Just to get the 7th and 8th steps right? How many get that right?
i think that is why Khajjaniya wrote in SN 22.79 an excerpt:
"Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception,
disenchanted with fabrications,
disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"
Wondering about gods would fall under perceptions (sanna) and fabrications or volitions (sankhara).
We can wonder until the cows come home, and just do the very thing that the Buddha advised us not to.
This very sutta begins with, At Savatthi:
"Monks, any brahmans or contemplatives who recollect their manifold past lives
all recollect the five clinging-aggregates, or one among them.
Which five? When recollecting, 'I was one with such a form' in the past' one is recollecting just form.
Or when recollecting, 'I was one with such a feeling in the past,' one is recollecting just feeling. Or when recollecting, 'I was one with such a perception in the past,' one is recollecting just perception. Or when recollecting, 'I was one with such mental fabrications in the past,' one is recollecting just mental fabrications" Or when recollecting, 'I was one with such a consciousness in in the past, one is recollecting just consciousness
At Savatthi here, is not a lately fabricated "At Savatthi"
This is truly a sutta spoken by the living Buddha At Savatthi.
With a great deal of Metta.   :candle:

link SN22.79https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN22_79.html
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Mahabrahma
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Re: Are gods bored and can they meditate?

Post by Mahabrahma »

I understand.

If you refer to craving as simply desiring material things, then in it's entirety it is a cause of suffering. Those that desire Buddhahood, Metta, and good will towards others, or someone's Metta and compassion however, even though they may suffer in the process, are not desiring in vain, and I believe these types of Spiritual desires dovetailed with Bodhicitta are the causes of liberation. Transcendental pleasure is not a sin. The goal of life is to enjoy, and we are meant to enjoy even after the point of liberation, not vanish into nothingness, even in the void there is great Metta and enjoyment of the presence of other Buddhas, what to speak of Buddha Lands and the Spiritual World. I believe all Metta is an Emanation from the Primordial Buddha, and as such, all Love is a Buddha, and if one becomes that Love, they become a Buddha. Buddha is Love and only Love. So I think all of the people in this world struggling for material things are making mistakes, falling into craving, but those endeavouring for Metta and Love, whether it be romantic, religious, monastic, or even Spiritually sensual, are accepting a gift Buddha has given them so they can steer clear from the path of evil.

True, it has happened that people tended to fear losing Love so much that they turn to revenge when they stopped Loving the way they used to, and some have treated Love as if it were a possession, but this is not the fault of Love. And in Buddhism the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path Teach humanity and all living beings how to Love, how to have perfect Metta, and fully recognize the Buddha as their Teacher to attain Buddhahood and be just like Him. That is His intervention, and that is His original plan. The Buddha is fearless, and He makes no mistakes. Siddhartha means "One Who's Goal Has Already Been Accomplished". And His goal has been to make all beings exactly like Him. So we are already there. If we just look within, we'll find that Light.
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