God in Buddhism

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Tue May 03, 2011 7:02 pm

Keshin wrote:
The way you guys have presented it is not the Dharma I was learned, I know that much. The way I am told Buddhism is here, like other forms of nihilism and embracing nothingness, are certainly not the beautiful Dharma I learned.


You are free to believe whatever you wish, of course.

But when you cite a Dzogchen text to support views that do not accord with Dzogchen, don't be surprised if someone points that out to you.

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

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he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Astus » Tue May 03, 2011 7:33 pm

Keshin,

You have certain views you cherish and you label those views to be in accordance with the Buddhadharma. It may not have occurred to you before that Buddhism, regardless of what school we're talking about, has some fundamental tenets that form the very basis of what can be called the teaching of the Buddha. The question is whether you prefer your own views above the Dharma or the other way around. And if it happens you take the Buddhadharma above your own current views, that is you take refuge in the Triple Jewel and not something else, you put your faith in the Dharma at least on the level to be open toward it and be ready to learn and contemplate it. Now I don't mean that you should just accept whatever people here tell you. What I'm saying is that you should study the teachings. Studying the teachings means that you look into the words of the Buddha, that is the sutras, and may also read the explanations of teachers who are widely accepted within the Buddhist community as reliable. For instance, if you prefer Dzogchen, you should first learn about the general doctrines present in Tibetan Buddhism, and it doesn't even need any special transmission.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue May 03, 2011 7:35 pm

Keshin wrote:I thought about responding to this, but then I realized it's pointless.

As you wish. :smile:

So, who's had a problem? This board, and a few glorified nihilists in the real world.

We are far from being nihilists. Nihilism is one of the extremes we avoid. As is Eternalism (your ideas fit in this class).


No difference. We don't know what lies beyond this life.

The fact I was talking about was considering your ideas Buddhist, not what lies beyond this life. For most, just another life. This doesn't mean there's a soul though, as there isn't a soul right now, passing from one moment to the next.


I never tried. Others have tried with me.
If I was truly allowed my views, as you claim, they would be accepted. 84,000 Dharma-doors and all that.

There are doors that don't lead to enlightenment also. This isn't an "anything goes" system of beliefs. I'm sorry if you feel upset because your ideas don't fit the Dharma. But don't expect us to fit Dharma to your ideas just to indulge you.


To delve into a form of Buddhism indistinguishable from Cārvāka? No thanks.

If you read my posts in the thread about Batchelor's book "Buddhism without beliefs", you'll see how I feel about materialist philosophies...
Listen, if I go to a Christian forum and ask them to accept rebirth, I'm sure they won't like the idea. What you are asking us to do is pretty much the same.

Because this isn't the Buddhism I encountered. This is more nihilistic than the Buddhism I am used to. My friends never had a problem with my views and considered themselves. My mentor and some Shin priests with whom I am in contact with haven't said anything against it, either.

Then the problem is that who taught you never took the trouble of clarifying what Buddhism is to you. Blame them, not us.
You are perfectly free to dislike Buddhadharma, but it isn't what you thought it was. It isn't what you think it is now either. You're still to discover it, if you have enough interest. It's neither nihilist, nor materialist. You are simply failing to understand it.
The Dharma you believe is a fantasy that doesn't hold water. If you study a bit you will realize that anatman is incompatible with your idea of both God and soul. Much of the beauty of Dharma lies exactly in that point, but you fail to see it.
Last edited by Dechen Norbu on Tue May 03, 2011 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Wed May 04, 2011 1:48 am

Sigh. I guess I'll go now.

Keshin: I, for one, don't care if you hold some "unorthodox" views. Any time you want to discuss the Dharma, feel free to PM me. Even if we reach some discrepancies in interpretation, I assure you I'm not going to force feed you any Buddhist imperatives. If anything, I would find our differences a refreshing topic of exploration. Oh, and for what it's worth, I'm pretty sure you don't actually hold any so-called un-Buddhist views. What I see going on here looks a lot like just varying preferences of semantic description.

To those still trying to convince Keshin: You made your point pages ago. Keshin isn't (or doesn't appear to be) meeting your standards. He gets it. We all get it. I respect all of you, but this is quite unflattering. I'd seriously suggest looking at the descriptions provided for "God and "Soul" again. Looks a lot like poetic (albeit unconventional) descriptions of Dharmakaya, Buddha-Nature, Emptiness, etc. to me.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed May 04, 2011 1:50 am

:roll:

Lo and behold the holder of moral...

Saying him his views are Buddhist is lying to him or showing ignorance about the Dharma.
But you seem quite and adept of a broad interpretation of the Dharma, so broad that ends up encompassing adharma.

Fellows like you are to blame for the confusion around Buddhism. In your ignorance, you mislead others. It's sad.

I'll take no part in this discussion any longer. I think all that was need to be said was said already. It's up to keshin now.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby LastLegend » Wed May 04, 2011 2:46 am

Ok...my turn people but don't get stuck on my words

A few words on Buddha Nature (Mind big letter M)...it is not One or Two. Not One because you and I are not one, obviously we are two different personalities. Not Two because just like space we cannot be separated; for we are equal, and present everywhere. Equal here means that all beings will become Buddhas; we all have this potential and all the inherent qualities. So I will say "one out of many"-E Pluribus Unum (this is found on American money, and it is Latin).

Realized Buddha Nature is called Dharmakaya/Emptiness
Your Buddha Nature and Mine is not Dharmakaya right now because our Buddha Nature is deluded right.

Like the Great Tao, Buddha Nature cannot be defined really. When I say "it" is non-physical...so "it" refers to a thing but since is not a thing. As you can see words have limitations in expressing Buddha Nature, so don't get stuck on them. It is also incorrect to say it is nothingness. Emptiness does not mean nothingness apparently there exists forms, and forms arise from Buddha Nature, and Buddha Nature is present everywhere and nothing is outside of it. Forms/bodies (physical, matter [energy]) and Buddha Nature/Mind cannot be separated (dualistic)...in practice, you still have to keep vows and precepts to cultivate form (in this case body) and Mind. If you only cultivate Mind and forget about the body and let the body indulge attachments, then you will not succeed because cultivating Mind is cultivating body-cannot be separated either.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Fu Ri Shin » Wed May 04, 2011 3:06 am

Dechen Norbu wrote::roll:

Lo and behold the holder of moral...


I think sarcasm is hardly necessary. It degrades the integrity of this board.


Dechen Norbu wrote:Saying him his views are Buddhist is lying to him or showing ignorance about the Dharma.


I didn't say his views were Buddhist, I said they might be.


Dechen Norbu wrote:But you seem quite and adept of a broad interpretation of the Dharma, so broad that ends up encompassing adharma.
Fellows like you are to blame for the confusion around Buddhism. In your ignorance, you mislead others. It's sad.


I'm curious how you've come to this conclusion, given my limited activity here and that I've never actually stated my own interpretation of the Dharma, but rather given my impressions of others' interpretations without any concrete judgment value.


Dechen Norbu wrote:I'll take no part in this discussion any longer. I think all that was need to be said was said already. It's up to keshin now.


I agree. If you wish, I would have no issue with receiving a PM containing your reactions to this post.
"Once delusion is extinguished, your wisdom naturally arises and you don’t differentiate suffering and joy. Actually, this joy and this suffering, they are the same."

— Chinese hermit, Amongst White Clouds
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed May 04, 2011 3:33 am

Fu Ri Shin, there's no need to react by PM, friend. You shared your opinion and I've shared mine. I'm sorry if I was out of line with you. Too much of internet forums. Sometimes I get too invested when I see alien and incompatible ideas being understood as Dharma. I'm all for a language that adapts to our culture and to different needs of different beings, but I'm always concerned with the day the core teachings will vanish. When this happens, Dharma will become useless. All this effort is not to hurt anyone, but to avoid people getting confused. I also keep in mind newcomers who may read these things and get the strangest ideas. People can believe whatever they want, but they have the right to know if it is Buddhadharma or not. I give my opinions based in all I've learned from teachers and read about the topic. I do my best to avoid corrupting the teachings myself, although I'm sure such happens now and then.
Let's just agree to disagree. I think keshin's views fall under eternalism. You can't reconcile a soul and a God, even the way he defines them, with anatman and anitya. His views are much closer to Advaita Vedanta. This is not hair splitting. :smile:

Of course he can practice and consider himself a Buddhist, but he has the right to know that his views aren't considered as such by any credible Buddhist authority I have ever heard of. Maybe he sticks to these views up to some point and then drops them. As the Dalai lama says about this issue, initially it's fine, but there comes a point when one has to let go these beliefs if one is to practice Dharma.
Anyway, here you have an example of good will without skill from my part. Alas, I care, but many times I fail miserably when expressing myself. Me and my temper, oh my. :emb:

So, now this is all I had to say regarding this topic.
Keshin, you would do good if you listened to Namdrol. He is very qualified to answer your questions, being an Acharya and all. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best. :smile:
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby moksha » Wed May 04, 2011 12:57 pm

Keshin wrote:You know what, guys. Forget it. This is going to keep going on and on, and I'm bored of it now.

If you guys have such a problem with my views that I can't not hold, would you rather I give up Buddha Dharma?
Do you want me to donate my Buddha statues and sūtras, and thangkas, and so on to the local Buddhist temple, simply because you guys can't accept my view?

The way you guys have presented it is not the Dharma I was learned, I know that much. The way I am told Buddhism is here, like other forms of nihilism and embracing nothingness, are certainly not the beautiful Dharma I learned.


Keshin, in a move that may surprise you, I actually support this forum. Not their views as much, but the ethos of debate.

I have been to quite a few forums which revolve around Taoism, Hinduism and Buddhism. This one is certainly the most lively. On a lot of forums relating to religion there is just no debate. People exchanging views, saying nice things etc. As a result, the post counts are pretty low and the thread counts lower. There can be days between new threads. The fact that this topic has gone into four pages already is great.

So, we have ascertained that Buddhism is mostly anti-theistic. We knew that already. Hinduism - and arguably Taoism - are not. As much as I would love a Taoism or Hindu subforum here, it probably won't happen. But I shall continue to post because debate on a loved topic is interesting... universal acquiescence is not.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed May 04, 2011 2:34 pm

We had one of those in e-sangha, but it turned out a bad idea. Instead of becoming a good space for debate, it was used mostly by people who wanted to proselytize others. :smile:

Regarding what you said, here's an article you might find interesting:

"Is Buddhism Really Nontheistic?" here: http://www.alanwallace.org/Is%20Buddhis ... istic_.pdf
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Wed May 04, 2011 5:48 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:We had one of those in e-sangha, but it turned out a bad idea. Instead of becoming a good space for debate, it was used mostly by people who wanted to proselytize others. :smile:

Regarding what you said, here's an article you might find interesting:

"Is Buddhism Really Nontheistic?" here: http://www.alanwallace.org/Is%20Buddhis ... istic_.pdf



"However, a careful analysis of Vajray›na Buddhist cosmogony, specifically as presented in the Atiyoga tradition of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, which presents itself as the culmination of all Buddhist teachings, reveals a theory of a transcendent ground of being and a process of creation that bear remarkable similarities with views presentedinVed›ntaandNeoplatonicWesternChristiantheoriesofcreation."

This is complete nonsense on Wallace's part.

There is no such a thing as a transcendent ground of being in Dzogchen. The cosmology of Dzogchen is almost exactly like that of Abhidharma with slight differences.

He has obviously never read Garab Dorje's commentary on the Sras gcig bu rgyud in the Vima snyin thig.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed May 04, 2011 6:23 pm

I've noticed Alan loses his foot now an then wen he talks about Dzogchen. :lol:
He seems marveled by Dzogchen teachings (his words were even stronger), but I think he was a Gelugpa monk, so these teachings might have come much later in his career.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Fa Dao » Wed May 04, 2011 7:47 pm

I am not understanding why this is even being "debated". Any religion is based on its teachings. Either you follow those teachings or you do not. If you do, thats fine...if you dont thats fine too. Its all good, right? As far as Buddhism is concerned there are Suttas and Sutras, too many to enumerate, that definitively declare that there is no creator god, no soul. Been kind of a primary teaching from the beginning. This is not to say that if you do believe in those things that you are bad, or ignorant, or stupid. Its just that if you do you are not following the teachings of the Buddha or Buddhism, plain and simple. If a person is not able to let go of these beliefs then perhaps the Path of the Dharma is not for them. Once again, all good, everyone has to find their own Path.
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu May 05, 2011 10:24 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote:We had one of those in e-sangha, but it turned out a bad idea. Instead of becoming a good space for debate, it was used mostly by people who wanted to proselytize others. :smile:

Regarding what you said, here's an article you might find interesting:

"Is Buddhism Really Nontheistic?" here: http://www.alanwallace.org/Is%20Buddhis ... istic_.pdf



"However, a careful analysis of Vajray›na Buddhist cosmogony, specifically as presented in the Atiyoga tradition of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, which presents itself as the culmination of all Buddhist teachings, reveals a theory of a transcendent ground of being and a process of creation that bear remarkable similarities with views presentedinVed›ntaandNeoplatonicWesternChristiantheoriesofcreation."

This is complete nonsense on Wallace's part.

There is no such a thing as a transcendent ground of being in Dzogchen. The cosmology of Dzogchen is almost exactly like that of Abhidharma with slight differences.

He has obviously never read Garab Dorje's commentary on the Sras gcig bu rgyud in the Vima snyin thig.


These statements by Wallace were extremely puzzling to me too because I know he's received his fair share of Dzogchen teachings, and has had close relations with Western translator/practitioners of Dzogchen who I know not to have these strange ideas about Dzogchen or Samantabhadra... and Wallace is supposed to have relied closely upon Gyatrul Rinpoche while doing his translation and commentary upon Dudjom Linpga's Vajra Heart tantra. And Gyatrul Rinpoche has never taught anything that remotely resembles what Wallace is saying here.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri May 06, 2011 4:42 am

Hi Pema! :smile:

Why don't you write him? Right now I think he is abroad, but I'm sure you'll get an answer.
I have no clue about why he wrote that.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri May 06, 2011 8:22 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:Hi Pema! :smile:

Why don't you write him? Right now I think he is abroad, but I'm sure you'll get an answer.
I have no clue about why he wrote that.


Hey DN, nice to see you, man! You know, as puzzling as his statements were to me when I first came across them a while back, contacting him about his ideas is just pretty low on my priorities list... My main priorities are 1) wasting my time on Dharmawheel, 2) studying human anatomy and physiology in college, 3) and practicing the Dharma... or at least it would seem so, since that's how it works out these days lol. But I figure at least #'s 1 and 2 are connected somewhat to my desire to take career time and leisure time onto the path haha.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri May 06, 2011 3:20 pm

hahaha! :lol:
:twothumbsup:
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby adinatha » Fri May 06, 2011 10:24 pm

This is why the God issue matters in Buddhism. God cannot change your karma, because God is not a creator of karma. Karma is a law to which all are subject. Only you yourself can change your karma. Buddhism puts the onus on self.
CAW!
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Re: God in Buddhism

Postby mahabuddha » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:57 pm

a god is irrelevant in buddhism. There is no creator god in buddhism. period.
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