Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

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vinasp
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Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby vinasp » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:17 am

Hi everyone,

Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

By which I mean: Are they an objective reality or are they just a way of
talking about states of mind?

It seems that how one understands these three realms will determine one's
interpretation of many other aspects of the teachings.

If one understands them as an objective reality, then they are actual places,
or locations in a larger space. From this certain things follow logically.

a) One can only be in one place at any given time.
b) Most of these places may be inaccessible for Human Beings.
c) Nibbana must be another place, beyond the three realms.

However, if the three realms are just a way of talking about states of
mind, then this will lead to different conclusions.

a) One can only be in one state of mind at any given time.
b) All these states of mind are accessible for Human Beings.
c) Nibbana is a different state of mind, where all those states
have ceased.

Regards, Vincent.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:20 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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ground
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby ground » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:57 am


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Ben
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:24 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

vinasp
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby vinasp » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:44 am

Hi retro,

Retro said;

"Namely, that "realms" are experienced, and that whether they are "really" [A] geospatial places or [B] just mental states, is inconsequential."

I do not agree with you on this point. If the experience of these realms
is a delusion, then according to the teachings, such experiences should
be eliminated. The difference is hardly "inconsequential".

Regards, Vincent.

SamKR
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby SamKR » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:52 am

We want to believe what the Buddha actually said. While reading the suttas I have to believe that the Buddha was clearly referring to the actual objective realms, not merely to mind states. Why would Buddha want to give unclear, indefinite or ambiguous statements?

However, the issue regarding how accurately the suttas represent the historical Buddha's message, is a separate subject.
Some suttas are so "Puranic" that it is hard to believe they are not influenced by evolving Hinduism of that time. For example this recent addition in accesstoinsight.org () presents the view of the hell which is very similar to that of Puranas (Garuda purana?) which I have been hearing since my childhood in my Hindu family. Even the name of the king of hell (god of death) (Yama) is the same as in Hinduism.
Compare the above sutta with this:
Some details like "sword-like leaves" are similar.

SamKR
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby SamKR » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:30 am

Last edited by SamKR on Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ben
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:32 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Zom
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Zom » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:10 am

You should read MN 60 on this question ,)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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pilgrim
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby pilgrim » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:39 am


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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:45 am


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kirk5a
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:32 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Prasadachitta
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:50 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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kirk5a
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:58 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Prasadachitta
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:03 pm

"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:06 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:09 am

Greetings,

I'm not sure quite how we got onto chickens, but since we're there, we may as well look at dogs and oxen too...

MN 57: Kukkuravatika Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Nyana
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Nyana » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:19 am

I refuse to believe in chickens....

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Aloka
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby Aloka » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:20 am


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kirk5a
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Re: Do the Three Realms Really Exist?

Postby kirk5a » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:24 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230


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