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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:17 am

What I am asking is, what does 'compatibility' refer to in this context?
If it means that a person cannot assert two apparently conflicting doctrines, well, I think I would disagree here.

The reason why I would disagree is rather long and complicated (I might go into it later) but suffice to say that at some level, or to a certain degree, or at some point along the way, believing in a god and not believing in a god end up being descriptions of the same thing, not the least of which being that they are each merely projections of mind.

This is because when you keep breaking down the definitions of 'god' and 'belief' into more and more precise definitions, you surpass the dualism of belief/non-belief.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby adinatha » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:24 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:What I am asking is what, what 'compatibility' refers to in this context.
If it means that a person cannot assert two apparently conflicting doctrines, well, I think I would disagree here.

The reason why I would disagree is rather long and complicated (I might go into it later) but suffice to say that at some level, or to a certain degree, or at some point along the way, believing in a god and not believing in a god are the same thing.

This is because when you keep breaking down the definition of 'god' into more and more precise definitions, you surpass the dualism of belief/non-belief.


Yeeeaaaahhhh.... Ummmmmm.... nice try. People who believe in God just think there's a creator God "who knows the number of hairs on your head," keeps a tally of when you were naughty and when you were nice, and will conduct an interrogation before allowing you to pass through the Pearly Gates. They say stuff like, "Praise God," when the mail arrives again like it has every day since forever, and will preface any good news with "I believe in a creator God who..." made the good news happen. From the Buddhist standpoint, this is total illusion.

And so is that voluminous analysis you have in your head about how believing in God is the same as not believing in God. But who knows. Wittgenstein could make two plus two equal five; maybe you're a Wittgenstein. :shrug:

I'm really hoping you don't break out your theory.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:18 am

adinatha wrote:
I'm really hoping you don't break out your theory.


hmmmm....maybe today is not your lucky day !!!

Yes, you are correct. From the Buddhist standpoint, this is total illusion.
Belief in no god is also total illusion.

The creator theory is total illusion, because no thing has been created. Everything is constantly changing. The rest of the stuff you mention is just theology.

Some people define god as this...some people define god as that.
Only Afterwards, they decide if god is real or not according to the definitions they just invented.
So, both belief and non-belief are both just projections of the mind.
When we cling to projections of the mind, we end up with incompatibilities.
When we stop clinging to mental projections, there is no difference between compatible and incompatible.

Belief in god / no god is based on clinging to labels. Everybody defines their concept of the god they believe or don't believe in according to their own ideas. It's like sumo wrestlers in the ring. As soon as one steps outside that ring, the fight is over.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Serenity509 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:24 am

Fa Dao wrote:Serenity,
perhaps it would be better for you to approach Buddhism without any preconceived ideas whatsoever.


If I have a preconceived idea, it's the concept of Brahman, which has definite parallels in Buddhism. What is Amida? What is Adibuddha?
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:40 am

Serenity509 wrote:If I have a preconceived idea, it's the concept of Brahman, which has definite parallels in Buddhism.


Buddhism emerged from that (brahman) culture just as christianity emerged from judaism. So, there are similar reference points, historically and culturally, but technically, some defining differences.

the main difference is that Brahmanism asserts that there is a permanent soul or 'atma' that experiences one life after another, and ends up achieving unity with god (which is defined so many ways, there is not enough bandwidth to list them).

Buddhism asserts that there is not a permanent 'self' but, instead collections of conditions which, you might say, continuously replicate themselves, due to a type of grasping, and due to cause and effect, always striving until the causes of that continuous replication cease.

That is a pretty big gap, but it doesn't mean that the important things you mention such as compassion, are not expressed equally by both traditions.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby adinatha » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:43 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Belief in no god is also total illusion.


You are missing the key point of valid relative cognition. Where belief in no god is based on valid facts. Whereas, belief in a creator god is not.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby catmoon » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:45 am

Serenity509 wrote:It might be a matters of semantics. Is there a primordial force that the universe emanates from?


I really don't know, but my belief is that the universe is an unending chain of causes and effects. It's possible that each event shares, among its many causes, a common cause with all other events, but I don't see what it could be or how one would prove it is there.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby muni » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:13 am

Serenity509 wrote:
Jikan wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:If that is your opinion, perhaps we should agree to disagree in peace then. One of the things I appreciate about Buddhism is that a wide variety of interpretations about God are tolerated.


I haven't seen very many interpretations of, on, or about God among Buddhists. I have seen much tolerance, though.

Would you please explain which views on God you've found among Buddhists?


I think much of your apprehension about the concept of God arises from however you interpret the meaning of the term. Is there a compassionate presence that pervades the universe? Is there a power greater than ourselves? Can we personally experience this presence?

Depend what is concept ourselves of course. Interpretation. I had once a nice talk with Jehovah followers. We are bad ones they told, only God can solve all. I just translated that in Ma Rigpa (not knowing) and Rigpa ( knowing). then it was said God is a person.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby mudra » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:38 am

Serenity, gotta hand it to you, you are persistent. Unfortunately I think it is a fruitless perseverance.

No offense but you keep stubbornly trying to fit some kind of God concept into Buddhism, whose essential standpoint is exactly that what is the state of everything, if you like is, dependent origination (cause and effect, and of course the category of cause and effect which deals with mind, karma). You are free to believe and work with whatever you want to, if the God/Supreme Power/Force thing works for you that's cool. It's just not Buddhism.

By virtue of dependent origination there can be nothing said to have its own independent inherent existence. (vice versa too if you like). This is central to Buddhist thought. Regarding God the Creator, the Buddhist question is "And who/what created God?" Certain Buddhists certainly accept the existence of "Brahman" as one of the gods, just another being, albeit with great karma ripening at that point in time. The next stop for gods isn't usually that great, depends.Talking about creation, we Buddhists don't believe in a beginning of time either ("what was before the beginning?" is the obvious question that arises...).

So much for the 'conscious' supreme being, the Abrahamic traditions etc. Then you can wriggle this way and that with "primordial matter" theories etc (there was plenty of variants in India) > all of them were shredded to bits by great master geniuses like Nagarjuna (e.g. in MMK) and Santideva (e.g. in the 9th chpt of Bodhicaryavatara) on the basis of what the Buddha himself taught. However these texts are extremely terse and require a lot of help to understand properly. Trust me, by the time these and other Buddhist masters were done with these theories there really wasn't much left.

Compassion isn't "out there" floating around waiting for us to tap into it, it's a quality of the mind. As are other positive qualities, wisdom etc. You either work on developing them or you don't.

PS: to my fellow posters - shouldn't we distinguish between "illusion", "illusion-like", and "delusion"? They really aren't inter-changeable in the Buddhist context.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:43 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
Fa Dao wrote:Serenity,
perhaps it would be better for you to approach Buddhism without any preconceived ideas whatsoever.


If I have a preconceived idea, it's the concept of Brahman, which has definite parallels in Buddhism. What is Amida? What is Adibuddha?


Amitabha (Amida) was a guy, Bodhisattva Dipamkara, who made aspirations, and became a Buddha called Amitabha.

An Adibuddha is the first buddha of this eon. But that does not mean the Adibuddha is something like brahmin or paramashiva.

There is no corollary to brahmin in Buddhism because Buddhism, even in the Mahaparinirvana sutra, rejects all non-Buddhist definitions of self, including Brahmin.

As I said, your basic predisposition is Vedic/Advaita.

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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:40 pm

Serenity509 wrote:It might be a matters of semantics. Is there a primordial force that the universe emanates from?



Buddhists do not assert that there is any kind of primordial consciousness that the universe emanates from.
Physicists might be able to demonstrate some force involving matter, energy, gravity, mass or whatever, but not something that has any sort of function that can perceive things.

There is a concept of something called the dharmata, which is interpreted to mean the basic truth, or true nature of everything, or what exists before anybody even forms an opinion about it.

A buddha is said to have such a complete and unhindered understanding of this dharmata that there is no spearation between them, and many regard the appearance of the buddha to be a a personification of this ultimate reality (truth in human form).
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:40 pm

adinatha wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Belief in no god is also total illusion.


You are missing the key point of valid relative cognition. Where belief in no god is based on valid facts. Whereas, belief in a creator god is not.


Outside of the mind, where does belief/no belief exist?
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:45 pm

It exists inside the mind? Where exactly?
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Enochian » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:45 pm

Hi Serenity,

I don't think anyone has of yet explained to you WHY there can't be Brahman, God etc.

Namdrol has hinted at it.

Understand that this universe is dependently originated. Research what that means. Once you understand that, you will understand that an independent reality like God etc. cannot interact with this Universe.

The two natures are totally incompatible. You cannot have a truely independent thing interact with our dependently originated Universe, as the Dalai Lama explains in "The Middle Way".

Of course there may still be a false demiurge God, who only thinks he is God ala Mahabrahma.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Serenity509 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:58 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:If I have a preconceived idea, it's the concept of Brahman, which has definite parallels in Buddhism.


Buddhism emerged from that (brahman) culture just as christianity emerged from judaism. So, there are similar reference points, historically and culturally, but technically, some defining differences.

In Hinduism, Brahman (ब्रह्मन् bráhman) is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe.[1] Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead[2] which is the Divine Ground[3] of the primordial Being Hiranyagarbha and all subsequent Creation. Brahman is conceived as personal ("with qualities"), impersonal ("without qualities") and supreme depending on the philosophical school.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:05 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:If I have a preconceived idea, it's the concept of Brahman, which has definite parallels in Buddhism.


Buddhism emerged from that (brahman) culture just as christianity emerged from judaism. So, there are similar reference points, historically and culturally, but technically, some defining differences.

In Hinduism, Brahman (ब्रह्मन् bráhman) is the one supreme, universal Spirit that is the origin and support of the phenomenal universe.[1] Brahman is sometimes referred to as the Absolute or Godhead[2] which is the Divine Ground[3] of the primordial Being Hiranyagarbha and all subsequent Creation. Brahman is conceived as personal ("with qualities"), impersonal ("without qualities") and supreme depending on the philosophical school.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman


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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Enochian » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:06 pm

The funny thing is that Advaita Vedanta is derived from buddhist philosophy as every scholar maintains.

Oh snap.

Stick to the original, buddhism.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Serenity509 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:08 pm

Namdrol wrote:As I said, your basic predisposition is Vedic/Advaita.


I agree more with Mahayana Buddhism than I do with Hinduism.

‎1. Mahayana Buddhism (100%)
2. Hinduism (94%)
3. Liberal Quakers (92%)
4. Neo-Pagan (90%)
5. Theravada Buddhism (90%)
6. New Age (89%)
7. Unitarian Universalism (89%)
8. Sikhism (87%)
9. Jainism (87%)
10. Baha'i Faith (85%)
11. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (75%)
http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/ ... Matic.aspx

I honestly have no interest in chanting Hare Krishna, yet I would take refuge in the Buddha.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:43 pm

Serenity509 wrote:I honestly have no interest in chanting Hare Krishna, yet I would take refuge in the Buddha.
So go chant Namu Amida Butsu and stop bugging everyone already!
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby adinatha » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:48 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
adinatha wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Belief in no god is also total illusion.


You are missing the key point of valid relative cognition. Where belief in no god is based on valid facts. Whereas, belief in a creator god is not.


Outside of the mind, where does belief/no belief exist?


Okay. So you are venturing into ultimate reality. I agree with you there. But this is beyond logical thought too, and a theist generally would be able to go with you there. One needs to take refuge and believe the Three Jewels to go there.
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