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Serenity509
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

Namdrol wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:That's somewhat similar to the view that the eternal Buddha became man in Siddhartha Gautama so that we could attain Buddhahood.
There is no such view in Buddhism.

N
I've read it from several Buddhist sources. You might disagree with the view but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
DGA
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by DGA »

Serenity509 wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:That's somewhat similar to the view that the eternal Buddha became man in Siddhartha Gautama so that we could attain Buddhahood.
There is no such view in Buddhism.

N
I've read it from several Buddhist sources. You might disagree with the view but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Which sources are you alluding to?
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Astus
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Astus »

Serenity509 wrote:In the doctrine of theosis, Christ provides the grace for the path, but he doesn't do all the work either.
In theists religions men are completely in the hands of God. That is not the case in Buddhism, including Pure Land Buddhism. That is quite an important difference. The idea of grace itself relies on the concept that it is God who has to be merciful. Saying that Amita Buddha provides a grace toward deluded beings is nothing but a Westernised simplification of the idea that Amita Buddha gives the opportunity because of his vows to beings to relatively easily attain birth in his buddha-land. Buddhas have nothing but compassion toward beings, God can be just as loving as wrathful. In theist religions one's salvation depends on God, in Buddhism enlightenment is available both with and without buddhas.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

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

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

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


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"
Malcolm
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Malcolm »

Serenity509 wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:That's somewhat similar to the view that the eternal Buddha became man in Siddhartha Gautama so that we could attain Buddhahood.
There is no such view in Buddhism.

N
I've read it from several Buddhist sources. You might disagree with the view but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
You have either misunderstood what you were reading, or you were mislead by someone else who does not understand what they were reading.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Serenity509 wrote: That's somewhat similar to the view that the eternal Buddha became man in Siddhartha Gautama so that we could attain Buddhahood.
Well, that's one way of looking at it, but it isn't exactly right.
Do you know what kim chee is? It is a Korean food made from cabbage that is put in a jar with hot pepper and other ingredients, and then it is allowed to sort of pickle or ferment. I once tried to get my mother to try some, but she didn't like the smell of it.

Anyway, after that, whenever it came up in conversation, she would refer to it as "that Korean saur kraut" that I like.
So, my point is, that kim chee is not saur kraut. They are two completely different things even though they both contain cabbage and they ferment in a jar and they have a strong flavor.

Getting back to the quote above, you might like to research the terms Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya for a better understanding of what that refers to, because "the eternal Buddha became man in Siddhartha Gautama" is saur kraut.

There is a school of thought in Mahayana Buddhism which suggests that Siddhartha is a manifestation of the ultimate truth of things. He explained the true nature of suffering and the end of suffering, but if someone else had explained it, it would still be the same ultimate truth. So, it's not like he just made it up.

If you want to put Buddha and Christ together into the same jar of cabbage I doubt either of them would have any objections, but since neither is logged onto this forum (as far as we know) you will have to settle with knowledgeable people disagreeing with you on the finer details.
:jumping:
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Vajrahridaya
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Vajrahridaya »

Serenity509 wrote:
Shin Buddhism views Amida Buddha as something or someone which can actually bestow wisdom and compassion to the individual. Please correct me if I'm wrong. This would have nothing to do with Abrahamic monotheism.
Yes, through focus, meditation, and contemplation on Amitabas teachings. It's a 2 way road.
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LastLegend
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by LastLegend »

Serenity509,

The nature of the mind is empty. So don't ascribe anything to it such as eternal or not-eternal, self or no-self, this or that, etc. When you ascribe something to it, you are creating a self which is problematic for Buddhists. Self is what we work to liberate from. If you understand what I am saying here, you understand Buddhism.
Make personal vows.

End of the day: I don’t know.
Enochian
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Enochian »

Serentiy,

Explain to me from the Mādhyamaka standpoint how you can have an uncaused higher power interact with our caused universe.

It would be like mixing oil and water.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Serenity509 wrote:
Shin Buddhism views Amida Buddha as something or someone which can actually bestow wisdom and compassion to the individual. Please correct me if I'm wrong. This would have nothing to do with Abrahamic monotheism.
You are referring to Merit Transference. This doesn't actually have anything to do with bestowing wisdom and compassion.

Amida made a vow to establish a pure realm and to bring those there who recite his name. His pure realm is said to lie in the western part of the Universe. But of course, there is no western direction in the universe. Also, his name means infinite. So, How can an infinite buddha squeeze into a finite ream? So his realm is infinite too, which means it extends all the way to your nose. If you chant his name, when you die, you will be reborn in his pure realm. But guess what? Who you were a second ago has already passed away. maybe not dead, but gone. Wow. So, what does this mean?

When you recite the name of Amitabha, then you are practicing infinite mind. Your own mind, my mind, is also infinite, but because we usually cling to the limited appearances of things, we don't realize it. By realize, I mean we don't actually experience that limitlessness. Shin Buddhism teaches that because of Amida's vow, you can have this experience of "ShinJin" which sometimes is translated as 'faith' but that is not really accurate. It is more like your mind and the mind of Amida coming together.

To become a Buddha in the Mahayana tradition, it is generally considered that one must accumulate a lot of merit. What is merit? I used to think it was like Amida was giving out some kind of spirit money, but that is not the case. Merit is something like the energy one develops through exercise, except that it isn't really physical energy. Through generosity, patience, meditation and so forth, one develops merit. This merit means that one has a greater ability to help others. For example, if you are patient, then you can sit for a long time while somebody tells you all their problems, and if you have developed skillful means you can help them. Merit is an accumulation of pure qualities. So, pure realm.

Shin Buddhism teaches that employing various practices, such as prostrations or making various offerings cannot help people because these actions are based on one's own efforts, so it is like one person with his eyes closed leading another person along with his eyes closed, except that they are both you. Instead, Shin emphasizes total reliance on Chanting the name of Amida, because Amida is an enlightened Buddha and made the vow. But this doesn't mean that if you chant his name you will suddenly become generous or wise or compassionate. It does mean that you will experience the Pure Land.
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Enochian
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Enochian »

The funny thing is that even in Advaita Vedanta, which Serenity mentions, it is FORBIDDEN to think of God as separate from oneself.

This is stated in The Essential Vedanta by Eliot Deutsch and Rohit Dalvi.
There is an ever-present freedom from grasping the mind.

Mind being defined as the thing always on the Three Times.
plwk
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by plwk »

In the doctrine of theosis, Christ provides the grace for the path, but he doesn't do all the work either.
This view is somewhat only limited to the Catholic and Orthodox streams of Christianity, the Protestants (with exception of some older sects) would normally contest this claim...
That's somewhat similar to the view that the eternal Buddha became man in Siddhartha Gautama so that we could attain Buddhahood.
But even without the manifestation of a Buddha, there is Dharma, so one could still achieve Buddhahood, although it would be more difficult, and even so, when one sees the Dharma, one sees the Buddha and vice versa.
And the other part looks like it may be stemming from Sutras like the Lotus and Mahayana Mahaparinirvana...but when the term 'eternal' is used, it is not understood in context of 'eternalism' which has been pointed out and refuted by the Buddha as one of the extreme views but in terms of Dhármakāya and Śūnyatā. It's a whole world of difference/context. It's like when comparing apples with oranges, just because both are fruits, that they are the somewhat similar? Both have their own merits and contexts.
While I believe in a higher power, I am very open and loose in terms of defining It. I believe that there is a compassionate Spirit that pervades the universe and indwells us all. Whether one terms this Spirit as the cosmic Buddha or the cosmic Christ doesn't make too much of a difference to me. I believe that the historical Buddha and the historical Jesus were in contact with the same spiritual reality.
Fine, I have no problems with your personal belief, it's your given right, only that if and when one starts ascribing a personal interpretation onto another context, then perhaps one must be prepared to encounter this...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Monks, these two slander the Tathagata. Which two?
He who explains what was not said or spoken by the Tathagata as said or spoken by the Tathagata.
And he who explains what was said or spoken by the Tathagata as not said or spoken by the Tathagata.
These are two who slander the Tathagata."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"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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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Everyone wants to have their understanding and personal realization validated. We all want somebody else to say, "wow---you're right!!!" This is part of ego's grasping. Serenity, you don't need anybody here to stamp your ticket. If you know what you know, then you really know it. I think you should visit the Shin Temple more often and talk to someone there.
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Grigoris
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Grigoris »

PadmaVonSamba wrote:... I think you should visit the Shin Temple more often and talk to someone there.
Best advice yet!
:namaste:
"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
Serenity509
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Everyone wants to have their understanding and personal realization validated. We all want somebody else to say, "wow---you're right!!!" This is part of ego's grasping. Serenity, you don't need anybody here to stamp your ticket. If you know what you know, then you really know it. I think you should visit the Shin Temple more often and talk to someone there.
I've been saying on this forum what people told me there. Shin teaches that we cannot attain Enlightnment on our own, that we need the "other-power" of Amida Buddha, who is Infinite Light and Life.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Serenity509 wrote:I've been saying on this forum what people told me there. Shin teaches that we cannot attain Enlightnment on our own, that we need the "other-power" of Amida Buddha, who is Infinite Light and Life.
Yes, that is what the Shin Buddhists teach.
It is not what other Buddhist traditions teach.
In many ways It contradicts what most schools of Buddhism teach,
but in a profound way it leads to the same end.
I have run out of analogies.

So.... :shrug: now what?
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Serenity509
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

I am happy that we've reached a better mutual understanding.
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Josef
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Josef »

Serenity509 wrote:I am happy that we've reached a better mutual understanding.
Amida Buddha helps sentient beings attain rebirth in his pure land. This is due to dependent origination.
The pure land is not the end of the road however. The conditions for practice and attainment are better there.
Its still ultimately up to the individual.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Serenity509 wrote:I am happy that we've reached a better mutual understanding.
Whew! :applause:
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Serenity509
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

I am a reader of the Urantia Book. I don't take the Urantia Book in its entirety to be literal truth. What's more important to me is the spiritual truth, beyond literal factuality, that the book emphasizes. Interestingly, the Urantia Book is very favorable to Buddhism, calling it the most spiritually advanced religion of the East.

This is the Urantia Book on God in Buddhism:
The God Concept Of Buddhism
The Urantia Book; Paper 94, Section 12

P1040:5, 94:12.1 The great weakness in the cosmology of Buddhism was twofold: its contamination with many of the superstitions of India and China and its sublimation of Gautama, first as the enlightened one, and then as the Eternal Buddha. Just as Christianity has suffered from the absorption of much erroneous human philosophy, so does Buddhism bear its human birthmark. But the teachings of Gautama have continued to evolve during the past two and one-half millenniums.

The concept of Buddha, to an enlightened Buddhist, is no more the human personality of Gautama than the concept of Jehovah is identical with the spirit demon of Horeb to an enlightened Christian. Paucity of terminology, together with the sentimental retention of olden nomenclature, is often provocative of the failure to understand the true significance of the evolution of religious concepts.

P1040:6, 94:12.2 Gradually the concept of God, as contrasted with the Absolute, began to appear in Buddhism. Its sources are back in the early days of this differentiation of the followers of the Lesser Road and the Greater Road. It was among the latter division of Buddhism that the dual conception of God and the Absolute finally matured. Step by step, century by century, the God concept has evolved until, with the teachings of Ryonin, Honen Shonin, and Shinran in Japan, this concept finally came to fruit in the belief in Amida Buddha.

P1041:1, 94:12.3 Among these believers it is taught that the soul, upon experiencing death, may elect to enjoy a sojourn in Paradise prior to entering Nirvana, the ultimate of existence. It is proclaimed that this new salvation is attained by faith in the divine mercies and loving care of Amida, God of the Paradise in the west. In their philosophy, the Amidists hold to an Infinite Reality which is beyond all finite mortal comprehension; in their religion, they cling to faith in the all-merciful Amida, who so loves the world that he will not suffer one mortal who calls on his name in true faith and with a pure heart to fail in the attainment of the supernal happiness of Paradise.

P1041:2, 94:12.4 The great strength of Buddhism is that its adherents are free to choose truth from all religions; such freedom of choice has seldom characterized a Urantian faith. In this respect the Shin sect of Japan has become one of the most progressive religious groups in the world; it has revived the ancient missionary spirit of Gautama's followers and has begun to send teachers to other peoples. This willingness to appropriate truth from any and all sources is indeed a commendable tendency to appear among religious believers during the first half of the twentieth century after Christ.

P1041:3, 94:12.5 Buddhism itself is undergoing a twentieth-century renaissance. Through contact with Christianity the social aspects of Buddhism have been greatly enhanced. The desire to learn has been rekindled in the hearts of the monk priests of the brotherhood, and the spread of education throughout this faith will be certainly provocative of new advances in religious evolution.

P1041:4, 94:12.6 At the time of this writing, much of Asia rests its hope in Buddhism. Will this noble faith, that has so valiantly carried on through the dark ages of the past, once again receive the truth of expanded cosmic realities even as the disciples of the great teacher in India once listened to his proclamation of new truth? Will this ancient faith respond once more to the invigorating stimulus of the presentation of new concepts of God and the Absolute for which it has so long searched?

P1041:5, 94:12.7 All Urantia is waiting for the proclamation of the ennobling message of Michael, unencumbered by the accumulated doctrines and dogmas of nineteen centuries of contact with the religions of evolutionary origin. The hour is striking for presenting to Buddhism, to Christianity, to Hinduism, even to the peoples of all faiths, not the gospel about Jesus, but the living, spiritual reality of the gospel of Jesus.
http://urantiabook.org/newbook/ub/ppr094_12.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Oddly, A.A. Milne, author of the Winnie the Pooh books has not offered his analysis of Buddhism.
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