Questions regardin God and Nirvana

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Nosta
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Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Nosta » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:04 pm

I am not sure how to expose my question, since the concepts of God, and even Nirvana, are not completly well defined.

I also would like to say that i am not a guy trying to explain Christian ideas by using Buddhist ideas.

When sometimes i speak about Buddhism and Nirvana, many people will try to join the concepts of God and Nirvana. In here, God is not an individual entity but like an open empty space of light and love. When someone dies will join with such inteligent and omniscient entity that is not able to change human actions. Some people describe God like that - more or less - like that open space or light.

Nirvana is somewhat similar to some of these ideas: there is no suffering, there is inteligence and omniscience, but there is no interference with beings.

With these toughts in mind, my questions are (the main question is the 1st, the others are not tottaly related to that one but are important too):
1) Can we say that such description of God is the same as Nirvana?

2) In Near Death Experiences some people will see lots of light. Many people see that light. Is that what, God?

3) When someone is/reach Nirvana, does he became one with the others that already reached it? I think that this is a tricky question since we are using the concept of "I". Another way to expose the question: imagine that every human being is a glass of water. Nirvana is an ocean. People reaching Nirvana is like dropping the water of that specific glass in the ocean. Nirvana would be something like "all becoming one". Is that so?

Thank you very much and sorry if i not explained myself very well, but its hard to expose a difficult question while not using your mother tongue.

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Wesley1982
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Wesley1982 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:24 pm

Maybe Nirvana varies from region to region, culture to culture...

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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby steveb1 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:42 am

A case can, and has been, made by scholar of religions Huston Smith, that the mystical experience of God in the West is very similar to descriptions of Nirvana. The God of the mystics is not necessarily a Creator. The God of the mystics is described as the Ultimate, No-Thing-Ness; and non-existence is one of its properties. It is unborn and unconditioned. Perhaps some Western mystics have experienced an aspect of Nirvana and called it "God". Note too that it is not a personal human-like being who has only-begotten sons, intervenes in the material universe, or inspires the writing of scripture. In the West, this is the God of apophatic theology (or via negativa), which attempts to get to the divine core by assertions of negatives, i.e., of what God is not, rather than what God is (cataphatic theology).

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Monlam Tharchin
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Monlam Tharchin » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:43 am

I've read that Nirvana is more like a ripple realizing it's made of water. From that perspective, ideas of returning to some state or reality are just as inaccurate as being separate from one.
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby seeker242 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:07 pm

One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:28 pm

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Nosta
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Nosta » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:38 pm


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Jesse
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Jesse » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:57 pm

I think most religions at least try to point to the same thing, a state of compassion & love that frees you from your own ego.
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one's desires, but by the removal of desire” – Epictetus

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cesar
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby cesar » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:51 pm

in Dharma, there is something called "The Fours Seals", which if one is in accord with, one is considered on the path. they are:

All Compounded Things are Impermanent
All Emotions are Pain
All Phenomena are Empty; They Are Without Inherent Existence
Nirvana is Beyond Extremes


here is an explanation by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche,

The Fourth Seal
Nirvana is Beyond Extremes


Now that I have explained emptiness, I feel that the fourth seal, “Nirvana is beyond extremes,” has also been covered. But briefly, this last seal is also something uniquely Buddhist. In many philosophies or religions, the final goal is something that you can hold on to and keep. The final goal is the only thing that truly exists. But nirvana is not fabricated, so it is not something to be held on to. It is referred to as “beyond extremes.”

We somehow think that we can go somewhere where we’ll have a better sofa seat, a better shower system, a better sewer system, a nirvana where you don’t even have to have a remote control, where everything is there the moment you think of it. But as I said earlier, it’s not that we are adding something new that was not there before. Nirvana is achieved when you remove everything that was artificial and obscuring.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a monk or a nun who has renounced worldly life or you are a yogi practicing profound tantric methods. If, when you try to abandon or transform attachment to your own experiences, you don’t understand these four seals, you end up regarding the contents of your mind as the manifestations of something evil, diabolical and bad. If that’s what you do, you are far from the truth. And the whole point of Buddhism is to make you understand the truth. If there were some true permanence in compounded phenomena; if there were true pleasure in the emotions, the Buddha would have been the first to recommend them, saying, “Please keep and treasure these.” But thanks to his great compassion, he didn’t, for he wanted us to have what is true, what is real.

When you have a clear understanding of these four seals as the ground of your practice, you will feel comfortable no matter what happens to you. As long as you have these four as your view, nothing can go wrong. Whoever holds these four, in their heart, or in their head, and contemplates them, is a Buddhist. There is no need for such a person even to be called a Buddhist. He or she is by definition a follower of the Buddha.

courtesy of Shambala Sun
http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?o ... mitstart=0


cheers,
cesar

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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby KathyLauren » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:55 pm


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Astus
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Astus » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:57 pm

Nirvana means extinction. It is the extinction of the cause of suffering, it is the end of attachment. As an example, A is in love with B, then eventually A becomes bored with B, then A feels that B is getting rather annoying, and finally A happily leaves B. Simple story. When A finally gives up on B, that is the nirvana, the total extinction of A's infatuation with B. All beings are very much attached to the sensual impressions, their emotions and their ideas. But when one learns that it is this grasping of phenomena that is causing all the trouble, one gradually becomes disinterested in them, and turns away from them. And that is nirvana, when one has left behind all attachment for good. The bonfire of passion is now a pile of cold ash. The love story is over. Does this sound like a mystical experience? Or a divine presence?
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby krodha » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:39 pm


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Nosta
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Nosta » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:48 pm

I think Nirvana is mystical because its behind the normal things. Its not usual to see people achieving Nirvana everyday :D, that why i think its somewhat mystical. Of course that Nirvana means removing suffering, but it not only that, it means the end of Karma, Rebirth, aggregate formation, etc, its something far from our usual experience.

Jus my humble opinion

:namaste:

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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Rakz » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:55 pm

A lot of Christian mystics describe their experiences as temporarily merging into some entity and becoming blissed out. That is not nirvana.

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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:08 pm

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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dharmagoat
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby dharmagoat » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:09 pm


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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:17 am

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:36 am


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Astus
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Astus » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:58 am

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Astus
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Re: Questions regardin God and Nirvana

Postby Astus » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:01 am

Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.




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