Where are the Gods?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Astus
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Where are the Gods?

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:07 am

Traditionally it is described that gods live on mount Meru and above in the sky. There are actual distances given and so on. But where are the gods now that we have no mount Meru and even the sky ends at one point and there is just empty space left? This is also a question because gods below the formless realm have some kind of physical body thus they're supposed to be somewhere. But where is it?
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.



SonamZangpo
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby SonamZangpo » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:32 pm

I'm just seeking clarification on the nature of this question- is it a legitimate inquiry, or more rhetoric to stimulate thought on the subject?
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http://www.facebook.com/kyle.labonte <- This is my more active facebook, if you want some real discussion

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"The world is dark when you're depressed; your thoughts have the power to invent your world." -Courage Wolf

"It is more important to be kind than to be right."
(I acknowledge I do not follow the quote above this, that is why it is there! so I will be reminded every time I post! :) )

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Astus
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:05 pm

I think it is a legitimate inquiry. The gods within Buddhism are often forgotten although they're integral part of the religion. Since our current view of the world is radically different from those of ancient India and who came after them the traditional Buddhist cosmology is put aside as irrelevant. But cosmology forms the basis of a couple of other doctrines, especially the six worlds. Of course, it could have been possible to ask where the hells are but I assume - based on my own limited knowledge - that we're more familiar with the sky above than the earth below and their modern understanding.
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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Grigoris
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Grigoris » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:06 pm

Attachments
MeruMap.jpg
MeruMap.jpg (196.11 KiB) Viewed 3074 times
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Astus
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:37 pm

Well, it doesn't look like thousands of yojanas high and there are no surrounding mountains of different metals plus the inner oceans, etc. So it is mount Meru in name only.

Being all metaphorical, well, no, I don't think it was all intended as a big over-complicated metaphor. And metaphor for what?
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.



SonamZangpo
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:52 pm

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby SonamZangpo » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:13 pm

http://www.facebook.com/szangpo

http://www.facebook.com/kyle.labonte <- This is my more active facebook, if you want some real discussion

OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA

"The world is dark when you're depressed; your thoughts have the power to invent your world." -Courage Wolf

"It is more important to be kind than to be right."
(I acknowledge I do not follow the quote above this, that is why it is there! so I will be reminded every time I post! :) )

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Malcolm
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:21 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Malcolm
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:26 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Astus
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:03 pm

I'd say that there is no Mt. Meru on Earth because none can fit the description. It makes little difference if we identify any ordinary mountain as the "real Meru" since there are no terraces on it where gods live their lives, etc.
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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Malcolm
Posts: 24173
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:16 pm

Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.




འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Malcolm
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:20 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Indrajala
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

plwk
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby plwk » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:16 pm

And I tot Greg would append a map of Olympus.... :tongue:

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Malcolm
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:24 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

User avatar
Grigoris
Former staff member
Posts: 14670
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Grigoris » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:03 pm

Last edited by Grigoris on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6615
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Location: Budapest

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:08 pm

A being cannot see those who live in a higher realm except by magic or other aid, says the Kosha in reference to gods of different heavens. This is actually the answer for not being able to see them normally.

But my question touches upon the issue of the relationship between cosmology and theology (god-lore). As we have a different view of the world where can we position the beings of other realms?

As for the literal nature of the teachings on the realms of gods, in vol. 2 p. 463-464 of the Kosha, Vasubandhu discusses at length the spread of the fragrance of the flowers of a certain magnolia tree situated in the world of the Thirty-Three Gods.
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.



User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24173
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:45 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24173
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:46 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

User avatar
Astus
Former staff member
Posts: 6615
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:22 pm
Location: Budapest

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Astus » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:21 pm

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.



User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 24173
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:57 pm





འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.


— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa


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