The Six Realms

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The Six Realms

Postby flowerbudh » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:26 am

Above humans are the devas... I was under the impression that Buddhists don't believe in gods. :shrug: Help?
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without. - The Buddha
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby hop.pala » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:42 am

flowerbudh wrote:Above humans are the devas... I was under the impression that Buddhists don't believe in gods. :shrug: Help?

Don't believe in creator.
One model:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby flowerbudh » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:56 am

I'm reading the Wikipedia article on Buddhist cosmology and it is saying that the "beings" that inhabit the heaven and hell realms are thousands of feet tall. :thinking: I'm very confused.
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby M.G. » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:59 am

Most of the Buddhist descriptions of non-mundane entities or realms are meant as metaphorical guides rather than literal descriptions. Statements about devas being a thousand feet tall and living for millions of years are closer to literary devices than depictions of hard reality.
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:11 am

I look at it like this:

Human life, just even life as we know it period, is probably one very small bandwidth of the myriad different ways to exist in samsara. You can infer for instance that there are both sufferings well beyond what you've experienced, as well as pleasures amd "good" feelings well beyond what you've experienced. All kinds of sentient states you cannot even fathom. There are many different colorful ways of describing these different states of existence, whether or not you take them literally (and some do, i've seen it create real friction for some people) is less important than whether you understand the implications behind Buddhist cosmology, IMO.

So there are definitely "god" in Buddhism, but they are not an object of refuge, and none created samsara.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby futerko » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:27 am

By chance I came across this, the wheel of life with a clickable explanation of each segment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/galleries/bhavachakra/
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby Lindama » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:47 am

flowerbudh wrote:I'm reading the Wikipedia article on Buddhist cosmology and it is saying that the "beings" that inhabit the heaven and hell realms are thousands of feet tall. :thinking: I'm very confused.


As I understand, the six realms, also called the 6 lokas in Bon, are states of suffering that we each inhabit... the six lokas practice lays out a way of relating and working with each realm, providing an antidote. This is a practical way of approaching and discovering our individual patterns and compensatons to suffering and moving beyond them.

I don't know what the six-foot tall ref is about... but we can get real and examine our individual paths to suffering.... or we can go beyond them if we are ready... we need not stop at each station along the way... only the ones that bring us grief.

and, I'm not an expert tho this has been skillful means for me at times.
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby undefineable » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:34 pm

M.G. wrote:Most of the Buddhist descriptions of non-mundane entities or realms are meant as metaphorical guides rather than literal descriptions. Statements about devas being a thousand feet tall and living for millions of years are closer to literary devices than depictions of hard reality.
I don't see a problem with these kinds of physical descriptions, except that it doesn't matter for a practitioner whether they're true, or whether they're believed. Even if accurate, they'd have to be based on the perceptions of enlightened beings, and since there's no way of telling which of these descriptions such people wrote themselves and which were written those with second-hand knowledge (or frauds), 'mistakes' like Mount Meru happen. {Of course, there might be some mileage in claiming that 'Mount Meru' is a metaphor for the Milky Way, but many disagree, and it seems more likely to me that the distortions that creep into second-hand knowledge piled in on top of an original 'upaya'.}
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby LastLegend » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:38 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Above humans are the devas... I was under the impression that Buddhists don't believe in gods. :shrug: Help?


No ultimate creator personification. But there are beings...we can call them gods or devas.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby asunthatneversets » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:16 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Above humans are the devas... I was under the impression that Buddhists don't believe in gods. :shrug: Help?

The six realms are quite multifaceted in meaning and application. In the dharma there is always an exoteric or outward appearance and meaning, and an esoteric or inner meaning, some even add a third 'secret' meaning to certain concepts. At any rate though, one way to look at the realms, is as states of mind. So for instance; the god realm would be one of happiness or sheer elation, ease, luxury, etc. what most people would consider the high end of the spectrum as far as life experiences and circumstances go. The dharma is saying that even those who live in the lap of luxury, and have no worries, immense fortune or fame etc. are still caught in samsara.

In contrast you have the realm of the pretas or hungry ghosts. They represent greed. Their small mouths and insatiable appetites mean that they're never satisfied, and always want more and more. So this describes a state of mind that we can fall victim to. Likewise the asura realm represents extreme anger and wrath, sometimes jealousy. The animal realm represents torpor or ignorance. The human realm represents a state of equanimity or indifference, sometimes desire. The hell realm represents states of immense suffering.

So these are all ways to describe our condition as sentient beings, or in our case; the human condition.
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby xabir » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:20 pm

flowerbudh wrote:Above humans are the devas... I was under the impression that Buddhists don't believe in gods. :shrug: Help?

Buddhists do believe in gods (as in celestial beings in the deva realm) but not a God (creator).
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:24 pm

You might want to check out Trungpa/Freemantle Tibetan Book of The Dead, for my money Trungpa Rinpoche gives the most digestible account of the "meaning" of the six realms.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: The Six Realms

Postby dude » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:02 pm

asunthatneversets wrote:
flowerbudh wrote:Above humans are the devas... I was under the impression that Buddhists don't believe in gods. :shrug: Help?

The six realms are quite multifaceted in meaning and application. In the dharma there is always an exoteric or outward appearance and meaning, and an esoteric or inner meaning, some even add a third 'secret' meaning to certain concepts. At any rate though, one way to look at the realms, is as states of mind. So for instance; the god realm would be one of happiness or sheer elation, ease, luxury, etc. what most people would consider the high end of the spectrum as far as life experiences and circumstances go. The dharma is saying that even those who live in the lap of luxury, and have no worries, immense fortune or fame etc. are still caught in samsara.

In contrast you have the realm of the pretas or hungry ghosts. They represent greed. Their small mouths and insatiable appetites mean that they're never satisfied, and always want more and more. So this describes a state of mind that we can fall victim to. Likewise the asura realm represents extreme anger and wrath, sometimes jealousy. The animal realm represents torpor or ignorance. The human realm represents a state of equanimity or indifference, sometimes desire. The hell realm represents states of immense suffering.

So these are all ways to describe our condition as sentient beings, or in our case; the human condition.



That's how I see it too. The gods, the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas are not to be found outside ourselves.
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