Buddhism and Deities

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Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:52 pm

I would like to start this thread of with an apology if what I am about to say offends anyone. I don't mean any offense with what I am about to ask. :anjali:

I had a question about worship and deities and I wasn't sure if I should post it. Though I have decided to do it anyways. I believe Buddha would want us to ask questions.

I wonder why many schools of Buddhism (not all) focus much of their time on deities? Are these deities considered a part of the Sangha or "The Buddha"? Seems like I hear about the worshiping of deities in prayers and such or talk of them more than the noble eightfold path and the four noble truths, ect. Not only here but many places I have visited it has been that way(not all).

Worshiping has come into question as I have seen different degrees of worshiping and veneration in Buddhism. Were is the line between worship and veneration? Is all these deities and prayers to these deities necessary to obtain enlightenment? Did Shakyamuni teach the Sangha to worship deities? I don't know if he did or not and if so, why?

*EDIT**Deleted part of this paragraph as I felt it would result in taking this thread in the wrong direction* I have spent some time reading about these practices but I keep going back to the main principles of Buddhism and aside from these deities being teachers it seems to me in other times it comes across as much more than that.

Once again no disrespect, I apologize if anyone has taken offense. This is just something I could not find answers in any Google search or books I have read. My gut tells me this has a lot to do with the various heritage of Buddhist in the East/South East schools and that is where it stops. Is that observation a fact?

:anjali: :namaste: :buddha1: ,
Thanks!
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby kirtu » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:20 am

Distorted wrote:I wonder why many schools of Buddhism (not all) focus much of their time on deities? Are these deities considered a part of the Sangha or "The Buddha"?
....
Did Shakyamuni teach the Sangha to worship deities? I don't know if he did or not and if so, why?
....


In a sense there is no such thing as worshiping deities including Shakyamuni Buddha in any school of Buddhism. In reality there can be no real distinction between worship and veneration and how these terms are used in the West. For quite some time Buddhism has been running in many cases on automatic to echo a criticism that I read today.

No Buddha can save us. We can only save ourselves through the teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha taught.

As you may be aware, there is a Southern School, the Theravada and a Northern School, the Mahayana. The Mahayana is further divided into common and esoteric (Vajrayana).

The deities, Tara, Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, ect. are primarily meditation methods in order to propel us to enlightenment very quickly, in the best case in this very lifetime. These esoteric methods all come from India circa 600-800 AD. Some of them were said to be taught by Shakyamuni Buddha himself while others stem from other enlightened teachers such as Padmasambhava.

This is a very deep topic and in order to come to grips with this you will need to study Buddhist history and the wild Indian siddha movement (typically done by studying biographies of famous masters such as Padmasambhava, Tilopa, Naropa, etc. Marpa and Milarepa are late history for these purposes).

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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:47 am

kirtu wrote:
Distorted wrote:I wonder why many schools of Buddhism (not all) focus much of their time on deities? Are these deities considered a part of the Sangha or "The Buddha"?
....
Did Shakyamuni teach the Sangha to worship deities? I don't know if he did or not and if so, why?
....


In a sense there is no such thing as worshiping deities including Shakyamuni Buddha in any school of Buddhism. In reality there can be no real distinction between worship and veneration and how these terms are used in the West. For quite some time Buddhism has been running in many cases on automatic to echo a criticism that I read today.

No Buddha can save us. We can only save ourselves through the teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha taught.

As you may be aware, there is a Southern School, the Theravada and a Northern School, the Mahayana. The Mahayana is further divided into common and esoteric (Vajrayana).

The deities, Tara, Manjushri, Avalokiteshvara, ect. are primarily meditation methods in order to propel us to enlightenment very quickly, in the best case in this very lifetime. These esoteric methods all come from India circa 600-800 AD. Some of them were said to be taught by Shakyamuni Buddha himself while others stem from other enlightened teachers such as Padmasambhava.

This is a very deep topic and in order to come to grips with this you will need to study Buddhist history and the wild Indian siddha movement (typically done by studying biographies of famous masters such as Padmasambhava, Tilopa, Naropa, etc. Marpa and Milarepa are late history for these purposes).

Kirt



I thought this about worshiping in Buddhism, that it is suppose to not be a factor. Mode of meditation makes sense. Although I often read or hear differently.The distinction of terms Worship and Venerate in the west, in regards to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.



Definition of WORSHIP

transitive verb
1: to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power
2: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion <a celebrity worshipped by her fans>


Definition of VENERATE

transitive verb
1: to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference
2: to honor (as an icon or a relic) with a ritual act of devotion


Don't get me wrong I didn't say it was worshiping I just noticed it is referred to this often. Lost in translation?
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby plwk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:21 am

If these are of any assistance...

O beings, listen closely.
May you all radiate loving-kindness to those human beings who, by day and night, bring offerings to you (offer merit to you).
Wherefore, protect them with diligence.
More here

Thus, spirits, you should all be attentive.
Show kindness to the human race.
Day & night they give offerings,
so, being heedful, protect them.
More here
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
One who is aroused to practice is one of conviction, not without conviction.
One aroused to practice is one with persistence aroused, not lazy.
One aroused to practice is one of established mindfulness, not muddled mindfulness.
One aroused to practice is centered in concentration, not uncentered.
One aroused to practice is discerning, not undiscerning.
Established in these five qualities, you should further develop six qualities:
"There is the case where you recollect the Tathagata...Dhamma...Sangha...virtues...generosity...
"Furthermore, you should recollect the devas:
'There are the devas of the Four Great Kings, the devas of the Thirty-three, the devas of the Hours, the Contented Devas, the devas who delight in creation, the devas who have power over the creations of others, the devas of Brahma's retinue, the devas beyond them.

Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well. Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well.
Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well.
Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well. Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.'

At any time when a disciple of the Noble Ones is recollecting the conviction, virtue, learning, generosity, and discernment found both in himself and the devas, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the [qualities of the] devas.
And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the Noble Ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma.
In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm.
One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.

"Of one who does this, Mahanama, it is said: 'Among those who are out of tune, the disciple of the Noble Ones dwells in tune; among those who are malicious, he dwells without malice; having attained the stream of Dhamma, he develops the recollection of the devas.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Mahanama, you should develop this recollection of the devas while you are walking, while you are standing, while you are sitting, while you are lying down, while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children."
Other readings: 1: Page 110 2 3: Page 71 4

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
Driven only by fear,
do men go for refuge to many places —
to hills, woods, groves,
trees and shrines.

Such, indeed, is no safe refuge;
such is not the refuge supreme.
Not by resorting to such a refuge
is one released from all suffering.

He who has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Teaching and His Order,
penetrates with transcendental wisdom the Four Noble Truths —
suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering,
and the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the cessation of suffering.

This indeed is the safe refuge,
this the refuge supreme.
Having gone to such a refuge,
one is released from all suffering.
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:31 am

plwk wrote:If these are of any assistance...

O beings, listen closely.
May you all radiate loving-kindness to those human beings who, by day and night, bring offerings to you (offer merit to you).
Wherefore, protect them with diligence.
More here

Thus, spirits, you should all be attentive.
Show kindness to the human race.
Day & night they give offerings,
so, being heedful, protect them.
More here
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
One who is aroused to practice is one of conviction, not without conviction.
One aroused to practice is one with persistence aroused, not lazy.
One aroused to practice is one of established mindfulness, not muddled mindfulness.
One aroused to practice is centered in concentration, not uncentered.
One aroused to practice is discerning, not undiscerning.
Established in these five qualities, you should further develop six qualities:
"There is the case where you recollect the Tathagata...Dhamma...Sangha...virtues...generosity...
"Furthermore, you should recollect the devas:
'There are the devas of the Four Great Kings, the devas of the Thirty-three, the devas of the Hours, the Contented Devas, the devas who delight in creation, the devas who have power over the creations of others, the devas of Brahma's retinue, the devas beyond them.

Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well. Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well.
Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well.
Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well. Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.'

At any time when a disciple of the Noble Ones is recollecting the conviction, virtue, learning, generosity, and discernment found both in himself and the devas, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the [qualities of the] devas.
And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the Noble Ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma.
In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one who is rapturous, the body grows calm.
One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.

"Of one who does this, Mahanama, it is said: 'Among those who are out of tune, the disciple of the Noble Ones dwells in tune; among those who are malicious, he dwells without malice; having attained the stream of Dhamma, he develops the recollection of the devas.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"Mahanama, you should develop this recollection of the devas while you are walking, while you are standing, while you are sitting, while you are lying down, while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children."
Other readings: 1: Page 110 2 3: Page 71 4

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
Driven only by fear,
do men go for refuge to many places —
to hills, woods, groves,
trees and shrines.

Such, indeed, is no safe refuge;
such is not the refuge supreme.
Not by resorting to such a refuge
is one released from all suffering.

He who has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Teaching and His Order,
penetrates with transcendental wisdom the Four Noble Truths —
suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering,
and the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the cessation of suffering.

This indeed is the safe refuge,
this the refuge supreme.
Having gone to such a refuge,
one is released from all suffering.



Fantastic, Thanks PLWK that does help very much. What I had thought I knew on Buddhism is in fact the truth on this subject. I was getting worried for a minute that something else was really happening, as I have also heard what holy men say outside can be another story inside. That answered my questioned no doubt.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby DarwidHalim » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:40 am

For catholic, Muslim, or even Hindu, they always have this in their mindset when we pray to the Buddha, we are praying as if we are worshipping Buddha.

In Buddhism, that is not the case isn't it?

Although we pray, we don't pray like you are my master, I am your servant. We dont pray like youbare so holy, so pure, I am so ignorant, so disgusting.

But for outsider, they don't know that.

This kind of notion seems carried forward by how Theravada see Mahayanist or Vajrayanist practice.

They think Mahayanist or Vajrayanist pray or worship deisties. If you know how Vajrayana people pray to Buddha or deities, you will be very surprise. I will say they even go beyond how Theravada pray to Buddha. Why I say that?

First of all, in this universe, Buddhas are a lot. If you see Bodhisattva Maitreya, the next Buddha, he is just one of bodhisattva. There are countless boddhisattvas in this universe, beyond our imagination.

In terms of realization, they are no differences. Mahayanist or Vajrayanist see no differences the qualities between Buddha Amitabha and Sakyamuni or Maitreya, or Avalokitesvhara, or any other deity.

Praying to one deity is equivalent to all Buddhas, because the nature of Buddhas are all same.

For theravadist, this body is seen as disgusting although they also see this as precious.

But for vajrayanist, this body is Buddha. When we pray to Buddha, we even pray in the position of I am Buddha, you are Buddha, I am praying to you to wake me up for my delusions.

The very important point in Mahayana or Vajrayana is this awakening (buddha nature) is already here.
Awakening is not a product like we are making a cake from egg, flour, water, etc.
Awakening is a matter of recognition of what you already have.

Vajrayana technique is called a quick technique because of the method in recognizing this Buddha Nature.

You are already Buddha due to your Buddha nature, why you still grap your mindset you are a human praying to Buddha? With this mindset ( you are my master or you are holly, I am your servant or dirty or suffering human) instead of bringing up your buddhahood, you are actually burry your Buddha nature deeper and deeper in the ground.

Vajrayana technique is basically bringing out the result to the front.

For theravadist, your buddhahood is in the future. This attitude or mindset make your way to Awake your buddhahood as a matter of future business.

For Vajrayana, your buddhahood is a present business.

We are like jaundice people for many many years who see the blue color as yellow. We don't know this and always think blue is yellow. We even fight with people this blue is actually yellow. However, once the doctor pointing out you have jaundice, you finally know this is blue not yellow.

People who have the attitude of seeing blue even if they still see that as a yellow during the prescription, has a higher change to cure his jaundice faster, as compare to people who has a mindset it is still blue and just rely on the prescription to make him see blue.

We this as well in Olympic champion. Before they start to run, their mindset is I am already the winner. The game even hasn't started. People with this mindset, has higher chance to win the game, isn't it?

Buddha nature said you are already a Buddha, you just don't know it.

So, Vajrayanist practitioner, particularly those who do deity yoga. They pray to Buddha with the view, I am Buddha praying to you Buddha.

If my name is Jack, I am a Buddha (or that deity) pretending to be jacky praying to you (Buddha or Boddhisattva)

This attitude make buddhahood is the present business. Because Vajrayana bring result to the front, their technique is fast in awakening up your Buddha nature which is already there. Attitude or mindset and technique can really make a difference. The end result is the same, but the speed is different.

For those who has accumulated a lot of merit, his recognition to his buddhahood is just like flipping the hand, instantaneously.

For gradual type although we know we are Buddha pretending Jacky, I still pray to you requesting for blessing or guidance to remove this smell of ignorance.

So, Mahayanist, particularly vajrayanist do not worship deity of Buddha. On top of that, they even pray with the attitude I am Buddha praying to you Buddha.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:07 am

Thanks DarwidHalim, That is a great bit of info!


Interesting no doubt,I definitely didn't feel or think that in Buddhism the deities were worshiped and that is where the question came from as the wording I have seen at times started leading me to believe that might be happening though it just didn't fit. It was very vague to my observations.Though that was quite the rundown on deities and Buddhism DarwidHalim, I appreciate it. My original question was definitely answered with what Buddha had said for sure though this definitely gave me more understanding.

Remember to those whom may take offense to any of this, none of this was meant to be a attack on practices, just looking for answer to something I am unfamiliar with. Thanks Again!

*edited, so I would not sound vague* :namaste:
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:09 am

Distorted wrote:I definitely didn't feel or think that in Buddhism the deities were worshiped...

Well actually, buddhas certainly are worshiped according to the definition you gave above. Although nothing Darwid said is incorrect, there is also the fact that in a practical sense, we still acknowledge relative existence and view the buddha as a being worthy of praise. Within samsara, the buddhas have superior qualities to sentient beings.

And yes, in Vajrayana, deity yoga is a path whereby a practitioner develops the qualities of a buddha by visualizing the deity, receiving blessings, and mixing their consciousness with the deity's in order to realize that their minds have the same nature. You can't only emphasize the mixing-your-consciousness aspect of the practice. You cannot see the "inner" deity without receiving the blessings from the "outer" deity.
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:12 am

tomamundsen wrote:
Distorted wrote:I definitely didn't feel or think that in Buddhism the deities were worshiped...

Well actually, buddhas certainly are worshiped according to the definition you gave above. Although nothing Darwid said is incorrect, there is also the fact that in a practical sense, we still acknowledge relative existence and view the buddha as a being worthy of praise. Within samsara, the buddhas have superior qualities to sentient beings.

And yes, in Vajrayana, deity yoga is a path whereby a practitioner develops the qualities of a buddha by visualizing the deity, receiving blessings, and mixing their consciousness with the deity's in order to realize that their minds have the same nature. You can't only emphasize the mixing-your-consciousness aspect of the practice. You cannot see the "inner" deity without receiving the blessings from the "outer" deity.


:popcorn: I have to let this post percolate.

Does Japanese Pure land Buddhism such as Jodo Shinshu or perhaps another such as Zen Buddhism practice the same with what is mentioned in this post and other posters above this post ?
Last edited by Distorted on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby tomamundsen » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:23 am

Distorted wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
Distorted wrote:I definitely didn't feel or think that in Buddhism the deities were worshiped...

Well actually, buddhas certainly are worshiped according to the definition you gave above. Although nothing Darwid said is incorrect, there is also the fact that in a practical sense, we still acknowledge relative existence and view the buddha as a being worthy of praise. Within samsara, the buddhas have superior qualities to sentient beings.

And yes, in Vajrayana, deity yoga is a path whereby a practitioner develops the qualities of a buddha by visualizing the deity, receiving blessings, and mixing their consciousness with the deity's in order to realize that their minds have the same nature. You can't only emphasize the mixing-your-consciousness aspect of the practice. You cannot see the "inner" deity without receiving the blessings from the "outer" deity.


:popcorn: I have to let this post percolate.

Does Japanese Pure land Buddhism such as Jodo Shinshu or perhaps zen Buddhism practice the same with what is mentioned in this post and other posters above this post ?

I am not sure about the Pure Land schools, but Zen does not. Zen is similar, because the goal is to recognize the nature of your mind. But their methods do not involve deity yoga, mantras, etc.
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby catmoon » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:26 am

Yes, we really could use some input from Pureland Buddhism. It would round out the overview nicely. Besides, Pureland is a BIG chunk of Buddhism.
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:39 am

That would be great. Any Pure Land Buddhists around on the Dharmawheel.net much? :thanks:
Last edited by Distorted on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:55 am

tomamundsen wrote:I am not sure about the Pure Land schools, but Zen does not. Zen is similar, because the goal is to recognize the nature of your mind. But their methods do not involve deity yoga, mantras, etc.


Recognizing the nature of our mind sounds like a painful road. Dealing with who we are and overcoming ourselves? Is that what it is? In a way isn't that all Buddhism? I may sound confused because I am. I am not sure if there is more too that than how I have simplified it.
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Uniltiranyu » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:59 am

I see deities as aspects of a human being, and initiation will reveal these, as you can see in the Initiation of Padmasambhava and the display of the wrathful and peaceful lineages, which I believe are the meaning behind the Buddha's recollection of his past lives/understanding of fermentations etc.. Because of this, I don't see Theravada as that far removed from the notion of deities; where a Theravada meditator might dismiss sensations in meditation as a distraction, and an arising mood as a hindrance obstructing jhana, say, a deity yoga meditator will understand both as the play of deity, and they'll give that deity form and symbolism. The Bible has its lineages as well, and, since Genesis and Padmasambhava's Initiation are very similar, I presume that these are akin to Tibetan deities.
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:30 am

Distorted wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
Distorted wrote:I definitely didn't feel or think that in Buddhism the deities were worshiped...

Well actually, buddhas certainly are worshiped according to the definition you gave above. Although nothing Darwid said is incorrect, there is also the fact that in a practical sense, we still acknowledge relative existence and view the buddha as a being worthy of praise. Within samsara, the buddhas have superior qualities to sentient beings.

And yes, in Vajrayana, deity yoga is a path whereby a practitioner develops the qualities of a buddha by visualizing the deity, receiving blessings, and mixing their consciousness with the deity's in order to realize that their minds have the same nature. You can't only emphasize the mixing-your-consciousness aspect of the practice. You cannot see the "inner" deity without receiving the blessings from the "outer" deity.


:popcorn: I have to let this post percolate.

Does Japanese Pure land Buddhism such as Jodo Shinshu or perhaps another such as Zen Buddhism practice the same with what is mentioned in this post and other posters above this post ?


Jodo Shinshu takes it to the next level and is very unique compared to other schools in Buddhism. It's a purely faith based school where all self power practices such as meditation and precepts are rejected in favor of entrusting yourself wholeheartedly on the Primal Vow made by Amida Buddha which ultimately leads to rebirth in the Pure Land. It is unique in that all other Pure Land schools promote precepts and meditation alongside recitation of the name (Namo Amitabha Buddha)

I hope that answers your question.
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:40 am

Ryoto wrote:Jodo Shinshu takes it to the next level and is very unique compared to other schools in Buddhism. It's a purely faith based school where all self power practices such as meditation and precepts are rejected in favor of entrusting yourself wholeheartedly on the Primal Vow made by Amida Buddha which ultimately leads to rebirth in the Pure Land. It is unique in that all other Pure Land schools promote precepts and meditation alongside recitation of the name (Namo Amitabha Buddha)

I hope that answers your question.


Thanks Ryoto, that definitely adds another perspective. Ryoto, Jodo Shu similar to Jodo Shinshu?
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:49 am

Distorted wrote:
Ryoto wrote:Jodo Shinshu takes it to the next level and is very unique compared to other schools in Buddhism. It's a purely faith based school where all self power practices such as meditation and precepts are rejected in favor of entrusting yourself wholeheartedly on the Primal Vow made by Amida Buddha which ultimately leads to rebirth in the Pure Land. It is unique in that all other Pure Land schools promote precepts and meditation alongside recitation of the name (Namo Amitabha Buddha)

I hope that answers your question.


Thanks Ryoto, that definitely adds another perspective. Ryoto, Jodo Shu similar to Jodo Shinshu?


They are similar in the fact that both rely completely on Amida Buddha. The difference being Jodo Shu emphasizes greatly on the number of recitations whereas Jodo Shinshu does not.
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:52 am

Ryoto wrote:They are similar in the fact that both rely completely on Amida Buddha. The difference being Jodo Shu emphasizes greatly on the number of recitations whereas Jodo Shinshu does not.


Ok, thank you for the info!
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby kirtu » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:55 am

Distorted wrote:The distinction of terms Worship and Venerate in the west, in regards to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.



Definition of WORSHIP

....

Definition of VENERATE[/b]
.....


And they are both concepts that having meaning in a particular context, namely a dualistic one, worship being understood normally as directed to an entity truly separate and different from oneself, veneration not necessarily so.

In Buddhism we have different kinds of faith but the basic one is confidence in the teachings of the Buddha coupled with an admiration of the qualities of the Buddha (and in Mahayana and Vajrayana an admiration of the qualities of the Buddha's and Noble (Arya) Bodhisattvas like Tara, Manjushri, Vajrapani, and Avalokiteshvara). We want to be like them, to have their compassion, lovingkindness, patience, ability to give and help beings, etc. And in fact we do have those qualities already in a kind of seed form. Deity meditation develops those seeds.

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Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Buddhism and Deities

Postby Distorted » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:11 am

kirtu wrote:
And they are both concepts that having meaning in a particular context, namely a dualistic one, worship being understood normally as directed to an entity truly separate and different from oneself, veneration not necessarily so.

In Buddhism we have different kinds of faith but the basic one is confidence in the teachings of the Buddha coupled with an admiration of the qualities of the Buddha (and in Mahayana and Vajrayana an admiration of the qualities of the Buddha's and Noble (Arya) Bodhisattvas like Tara, Manjushri, Vajrapani, and Avalokiteshvara). We want to be like them, to have their compassion, lovingkindness, patience, ability to give and help beings, etc. And in fact we do have those qualities already in a kind of seed form. Deity meditation develops those seeds.

Kirt


:thanks:

I have got to say, I sure have learned a lot on this thread. Thank you all for the responses and understanding. :buddha1:
"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."
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