Hell realm and other bad realms

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Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby Ervin » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:04 am

Ok can someone tell me a bit abot the lower realms and are the stories that I have read somewere in the past about how horific are they to be taken literaly or is it all a metaphor?

Thanks
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby catmoon » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:12 am

Ervin wrote:Ok can someone tell me a bit abot the lower realms and are the stories that I have read somewere in the past about how horific are they to be taken literaly or is it all a metaphor?

Thanks


It's just like Christianity in a few respects: some of us take it literally and some of us take it as a metaphor. There is even a devil-like figure, Mara, and a sort of temptation episode in Buddha's life where Mara comes for a visit just before Buddha is about to attain enlightenment. Some say Buddha worked miracles too, and if you are good and have faith you will go to a Pureland and attain enlightenment there. And both Christians and Buddhists have a strange obsession with ringing large bells and wearing robes.

On the other hand, there are large branches of Buddhism that don't go in for any of the above. (Except the bells and robes; everyone likes playing with bells and wearing robes). :rolling: The big difference is that in Buddhism, there is no Creator and honest skeptical inquiry into the doctrines is pretty much the order of the day, as you will see as soon as you dive into the threads here.

Buddhist Hell-ology

The Buddhist hells are quite graphically described and very unpleasant. I believe there are over a hundred of them and they are tailored to whatever misbehaviour you are fondest of, so an adulterer might have to spend most of the day having his/her naughty bits burned of with red hot iron pincers or some such thing. On the plus side, there is no eternal damnation in Buddhism. So sooner or later an occupant of a Hell will exhaust his/her lousy karma and have a chance to take rebirth elsewhere.

Well so much for differences and similarities. Could go on all day like this. The next step would be to get a qualified teacher to teach you something about the Four Noble Truths, meditation and so on.
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby Jechan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:35 pm

Hi Ervin,

Here is a link to the Sutra of Ksitigarbha's Fundamental Vows from the Buddhist Text Translation Society. Ksitigarbha is a Bodhisattva who has taken a vow not to become a Buddha until all of the hells are empty and all beings have attained Buddhahood. :bow:

Chapters 3-5 speak of the different hell realms and the retribution suffered in each. Also about the causes and conditions that lead to rebirth in the hell realms.

http://www.ymba.org/ksitigarbha/content.html

I can't give you any guidence on whether or not to take it literally but please enjoy reading this Sutra, anyway. :reading:
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby Will » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:55 pm

Ervin wrote:Ok can someone tell me a bit abot the lower realms and are the stories that I have read somewere in the past about how horific are they to be taken literaly or is it all a metaphor?

Thanks


Literal or metaphor misses the point.

Ever had a nightmare or been terrified by some person or event? Just greatly magnify and lengthen that experience and you have a hell realm.
Last edited by Will on Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby Indrajala » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:11 pm

Ervin wrote:Ok can someone tell me a bit abot the lower realms and are the stories that I have read somewere in the past about how horific are they to be taken literaly or is it all a metaphor?

Thanks


Buddhist traditions historically all affirmed the literal existence of the lower realms. Post-mortem you can be reborn in such states. The Buddha likewise spoke of them in the same literal terms. You can be reborn after you die in such states of existence. It is equally as illusory as your present existence, yet seems just as real and solid for individuals in such a state.

Anyone who says otherwise is contradicting what Shakyamuni himself clearly elucidated and moreover is warping a core teaching.
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby spiritnoname » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:52 pm

I wouldn't compare Buddhism to Christianity, it's like comparing worms to birds because they both have mouths and anus'.

Yeah, Buddhism completely affirms the hell realms, anyone that says differently is slanderous.

""Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two? He who explains a discourse whose meaning needs to be inferred as one whose meaning has already been fully drawn out. And he who explains a discourse whose meaning has already been fully drawn out as one whose meaning needs to be inferred. These are two who slander the Tathagata.""

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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby 5heaps » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:44 pm

Ervin wrote:are they to be taken literaly or is it all a metaphor?
the Buddha said he saw them, and so did his main students.

but we're not meant to take it on faith, we're supposed to confirm what they said, which is why they taught so much.
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby Individual » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:16 pm

Ervin wrote:Ok can someone tell me a bit abot the lower realms and are the stories that I have read somewere in the past about how horific are they to be taken literaly or is it all a metaphor?

Thanks

You can understand them either way. It's not important either way.

The important thing is the intention in that understanding and what it leads to.

Buddhists are not all atheistic materialists devoid of mystical & esoteric beliefs but nor do they stand on the street-corners, proclaiming that all heretics go to hell, or live in constant fear of such.

"Fear" (of hell, or anything) after all is a hindrance that can actually lead to woeful realms. Even if you believe in hell literally, it is something we acknowledge with equanimity. And it's not that important to convince others to have such a literal belief, so long as they avoid the actions that lead there. :)

spiritnoname wrote:I wouldn't compare Buddhism to Christianity, it's like comparing worms to birds because they both have mouths and anus'.

Following that analogy, you must be the mouth of Buddhism, so who or what is the anus? :lol:
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby spiritnoname » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:39 pm

:jumping: Where is your mind Individual? :jumping:

:toilet:
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby plwk » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:08 am

Quick question to the OP...
Are 'you' real? Is that literal or is that a metaphor?
Last edited by plwk on Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hell realm and other bad realms

Postby spiritnoname » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:24 am

Huh?
I don't get what you're asking.
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