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Serenity509
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

Vajrahridaya wrote: Meher Baba did not speak about Buddhahood, he spoke about the type of stuff that leads to higher rebirth in long lived god realms, but not Buddhahood.
Is Nirvana the ultimate goal of Hinduism?
Vajrahridaya
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Vajrahridaya »

Serenity509 wrote: Please stop accusing me of reading my own beliefs into Buddhism, when I am trying to make sense of Shin teaching, since the temple I've attended is Shin Buddhist. We can peacefully agree to disagree about particular doctrines, but please don't accuse me of simply making them up.
The concept of "other power" in Buddhism is not the same as a Monotheism. Your mind becomes like that which it focuses upon, and this is the concept of other power. The mind naturally externalizes, so placing an image and a concept or philosophy that is empowering towards the goal of Buddhahood as an external image which the mind can focus on leads the mind to that goal through progressive stages of mental purification. Also, these beings, like Amitaba were regular human beings like us, who attained Buddhahood, and now work on liberating others, they're are not representations of a source of the entire universe. They are representations of the source of certain teachings, but it's not the same as Monotheism or Monistic Idealism.
Vajrahridaya
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Vajrahridaya »

Serenity509 wrote:
Vajrahridaya wrote: Meher Baba did not speak about Buddhahood, he spoke about the type of stuff that leads to higher rebirth in long lived god realms, but not Buddhahood.
Is Nirvana the ultimate goal of Hinduism?
They define the term differently, which is actually originally a Buddhist word. The Buddha was the first one to describe liberation in those terms.

Vedanta does not have the same view of the same word.
Serenity509
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

Vajrahridaya wrote: Also, these beings, like Amitaba were regular human beings like us, who attained Buddhahood, and now work on liberating others, they're are not representations of a source of the entire universe. They are representations of the source of certain teachings, but it's not the same as Monotheism or Monistic Idealism.
Shin Buddhism entrusts in the “Other Power” of Amida Buddha’s Wisdom and Compassion and does not rely upon our self-centered attempts to attain Enlightenment. The Historic Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, is recognized as a human manifestation of Amida Buddha who appeared to share the Nembutsu Dharma or Teachings of the Nembutsu. In Shin Buddhist Temples, Amida Buddha is the Object of Reverence.
http://www.moiliilihongwanji.org/Inform ... buddha.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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.
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Grigoris
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Grigoris »

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.
Look up the terms Alaya vijnana and tathagataarbha and then you will understand.
: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 »

gregkavarnos wrote:
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.
Look up the terms Alaya vijnana and tathagataarbha and then you will understand.
:namaste:
When you respond, are you trying to provide a Shin perspective? I'd appreciate it.
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Grigoris
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Grigoris »

Serenity509 wrote:When you respond, are you trying to provide a Shin perspective? I'd appreciate it.
Look up the terms Alaya vijnana and tathagataarbha and then you will understand.
:namaste:
PS You are not in the east asian buddhist sub-group forum.
"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 »

gregkavarnos wrote: PS You are not in the east asian buddhist sub-group forum.
I'd still appreciate it. I think much of the confusion in this thread has resulted from me trying to articulate a Shin Buddhist perspective, which might be a minority position on this forum.
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

If this thread could be moved to the Pure Land forum, I'd appreciate it.

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewforum.php?f=60" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I am sorry for any confusion or unrest I may have caused.
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Mr. G
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Mr. G »

The thread has been moved, but I wouldn't expect radically different answers in this sub-forum either.
  • How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
Malcolm
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Malcolm »

Serenity509 wrote:
Vajrahridaya wrote: Also, these beings, like Amitaba were regular human beings like us, who attained Buddhahood, and now work on liberating others, they're are not representations of a source of the entire universe. They are representations of the source of certain teachings, but it's not the same as Monotheism or Monistic Idealism.
Shin Buddhism entrusts in the “Other Power” of Amida Buddha’s Wisdom and Compassion and does not rely upon our self-centered attempts to attain Enlightenment. The Historic Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, is recognized as a human manifestation of Amida Buddha who appeared to share the Nembutsu Dharma or Teachings of the Nembutsu. In Shin Buddhist Temples, Amida Buddha is the Object of Reverence.
http://www.moiliilihongwanji.org/Inform ... buddha.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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.

Wisdom cannot be bestowed on another. Compassion can.

N
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
plwk
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by plwk »

Shin Buddhism views Amida Buddha as something or someone which can actually bestow wisdom and compassion to the individual.
Firstly, out of respect for my fellow Japanese Pure Land brethren, I would leave this statement to be clarified by someone who is an actual practitioner of that understanding and lineage and so it's a matter of waiting for one of them to turn up and respond.

Secondly, so I can only share with elaborations from one Chinese Mahayana Pure Land POV, in relation to the Threefold Pure Land Sutras, the supporting Sutras and Commentaries on this path:
i.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
To obtain human life is difficult in the extreme;
To meet a Buddha in this world is also difficult;
It is difficult, too, for a man to attain faith and wisdom.

The Buddha said to Maitreya,
"It is difficult to encounter and behold Tathagata when He is in this world.
Difficult of access, difficult to hear are the Buddhas' Teachings and Scriptures.
It is also difficult to hear the excellent teachings for Bodhisattvas, the Paramitas.
Difficult too is it to meet a good teacher, to hear the Dharma and perform the practices.
But most difficult of all difficulties is to hear this Sutra, have faith in it with joy and hold fast to it.
Nothing is more difficult than this.
Thus have I formed my Dharma, thus have I expounded My Dharma, and thus have I taught My Dharma.
You must receive it and practice it by the method prescribed."
From what have been read and understood from various scriptures and treatises, it must be said/pointed out that this Dharma Door of Mindfulness of the Buddha or Buddhānusmṛti or commonly known as Pure Land, unlike other Dharma Doors, utilises phenomena/existence to realise emptiness, unlike other Dharma Doors, such as Ch'an/Zen or Vajrayana, which points one directly to the realisation of one's own Mind, in the here and now, the one lifetime thingy. Some others emphasise on lifetime after lifetime.
Having said that, this Dharma Door in no way denies that the one lifetime/many lifetimes model is out of reach, it reaches out to those who would be left out of the loop and offers them a 2 lifetime alternative: now and then and also those who manage to 'make it in this lifetime', who wishes to be in Sukhavati. Even those Great Bodhisattvas who are realised ones, emanations of past Buddhas, like Avalokitesvara, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, Mahastamaprapta and so forth still chose to have a presence in the Sukhavati to exhort this Dharma Door to all. In fact, standing with Amitabha are Avalokitesvara & Mahastamaprapta who form the 'Three Sages of Sukhavati'. See this...
http://web.archive.org/web/200808280850 ... /bwf32.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The aim of the Pure Land method is the Buddha Recitation Samadhi, achieving, in totality, our Self-Nature Amitabha -- the realm of the "Ever-Silent Illuminating Pure Land." However, the most urgent and immediate aim is rebirth in the Pure Land.
This ensures an end to transmigration, and then, through the excellent environment of the Land of Bliss, progress in cultivation and swift attainment of Buddhahood. For this reason, Pure Land cultivators should recite the name of Amitabha Buddha.
This is the principal approach of Pure Land; it does not consist of rapidly reaching the realm of No-Thought and becoming enlightened to our Original Nature, as in Zen.
However, while working toward that goal, the practitioner should recite until he reaches the state of one-pointedness of mind. Thus, although he does not seek the realm of "No-Thought," that realm will nevertheless appear naturally. Moreover, it will appear that much sooner, thanks to the virtues accumulated through Buddha Recitation, which help to erase bad karma swiftly. Here we can see a new ray of light, a new vista: to achieve "No-Thought" swiftly, to become enlightened to the Original Nature speedily, we should recite the Buddha's name all the more.
And this:
Question V: The nature of all dharmas is "emptiness," from time immemorial, ever non-arising, equal, serene and still. When the mind is pure, though we may be living in an impure world, the mind is just as pure. On the other hand, if the mind is not pure, even if we are living in a "pure land," it will be full of afflictions and disturbances. If there is "arising," there is "extinction;" where there is birth, there is death. Thus, is it not contrary to the Dharma to leave the Saha World and seek rebirth in the Pure Land?
Answer:
This question can be answered on two levels. I will follow the explanations of the T'ien T'ai Patriarch Chih I in his treatise Ten Doubts about the Pure Land and add a few explanatory comments of my own, from the two viewpoints of generality and specificity.
On the level of generality, if we consider that seeking rebirth in the Pure Land means "leaving here and going there," which is inconsistent with the principle of Equal True Thusness, then what about remaining in the Saha World and not seeking rebirth in the Pure Land? Is that not also making the mistake of "leaving there and grasping here"? Now, if we say that "I neither seek to go there nor am I attached to here," we are also caught in the error of nihilism. For this reason, the Diamond Sutra states:
Subhuti, do not think that to develop the Bodhi Mind is to annihilate all the marks of the dharmas. Why is this so?
It is because developing the Bodhi Mind with respect to phenomena is not the same as nihilism.


On the level of specificity, I will now explain the truth of No-Birth and the Pure Mind.
"No-Birth" is precisely the truth of No-Birth No-Death. No-Birth means that dharmas are born of illusory combinations of causes and conditions, with no Self-Nature and thus, no true mark of birth. Because they are illusory, they are not really born nor do they appear from anywhere. Therefore, they are said to have No-Birth.

"No-Death" means that when dharmas disintegrate, there is no Self-Nature remaining. Since they have no true place of return, no place of extinction, they are said to be "undying." The truth of No-Birth, or neither Birth nor Death, cannot exist outside of conditioned dharmas. Thus, No-Birth does not mean not seeking rebirth in the Pure Land, or that being reborn in the Pure Land is to be subject to death and extinction (which is contrary to the truth of No-Birth). This is from the viewpoint of principle or noumenon.

On the level of phenomena, those who are reborn in the Pure Land have reached the stage of non-retrogression, with a life extending over innumerable eons. During that period, they will have ample opportunity to progress toward the fruit of No-Birth. Thus, the issue is moot: there is no arising, no extinction, no Birth and no Death to worry about!

The principle of the Pure Mind is similar. Practicing with a Pure Mind in the Saha World, and "anchoring" the Pure Mind in the Pure Land to progress in cultivation are not contradictory. The Vimalakirti Sutra states:
Although he knows that Buddha Lands
Are void like living beings
He goes on practicing the Pure Land (Dharma)
To teach and convert men.

(Charles Luk, tr., p. 88.)
Therefore, the wise, while diligently reciting the Buddha's name seeking rebirth in the Pure Land, do not grasp at the mark of Birth, because that mark does not really exist. Although they are clearly aware that dharmas from time immemorial are ever pure, empty and still, they do not hesitate to seek rebirth in the Pure Land. This is because they rely on the supremely auspicious environment there to progress in their cultivation and to teach and enlighten others. This is true No-Birth and also the true meaning of a Pure Mind in accord with a pure environment.

On the other hand, those who lack knowledge and true understanding are caught up in the mark of Birth. Hearing of Birth, they immediately think that it really exists, along with death and extinction. Hearing of No-Birth, they immediately become attached to the notion that there is no rebirth anywhere. Little do they realize that Birth is really No-Birth, No-Birth is not incompatible with Birth. With a Pure Mind, where is the worry about seeking rebirth in the Pure Land? Not understanding this truth, they develop a contentious and discriminatory Mind, belittling those who seek rebirth in the Pure Land. How mistaken and lost can they be?
Now there is no 'right or wrong' as to whether one wants to 'get it' now or 'later' but rather there is a need to understand that as much as there will be those who will walk in the path of the latter, not ALL sentient beings are able to embody that and hence, due to varying causes and conditions, the former arose as a response to meeting those who might be 'left out' by the latter methodology or just simple have an affinity with the former path. Hence, one can read in 'The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra', how Sakyamuni Buddha taught on Amitabha and the Sukhavati without anyone having requested for it and in 'The Buddha Speaks of the Larger Amitayus Sutra', it is mentioned that even the Sravakas (Sound Hearers) and Bodhisattvas could not fathom this Dharma Door but only a Tathagata and one who brings forth entrustment can.

So, for those who opted to practice in the latter method, there is no ideal guarantee from the practitioner's perspective that their practice will be stable with turbulent conditions. Note here that nothing has been questioned on the workability and guarantee of the latter approach/Dharma Door per se but the practitioner's is. Hence one can see in the history of Buddhist practice, one hears of combinations like Ch'an and Pure Land and even in Vajrayana practice with a side aspiration for or as a path towards the Pure Land besides the focused and exclusive practice. The 'what if' factor at play?

ii.
http://web.archive.org/web/200808280854 ... m#approach" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The Patriarch Yin Kuang, a Chinese Pure Land Master of recent times, also said:
In the current Dharma-Ending Age, sentient beings bear heavy karma and their minds are deluded. If they practice other methods rather than Buddha Recitation, they can expect to sow the seeds of merit, virtue and wisdom but not to escape the cycle of Birth and Death in their present lifetimes. Although there are a few instances of great monks exhibiting extraordinary achievement, they are in reality transformation Bodhisattvas. In accordance with their vows, they act as examples for sentient beings in the Dharma-Ending Age, as is taught in the Surangama Sutra [a key Zen text].
Even then, these Bodhisattvas, adapting themselves to people's capacities, can only take the expedient appearance of having awakened to the Way, but not of having attained Enlightenment.
In the specific case of Pure Land, very few sentient beings can achieve the Buddha Recitation Samadhi these days, compared to earlier times. However, through Buddha Recitation, they can "take their residual karma along with them" to the Pure Land -- by relying on their own vows and those of Amitabha Buddha. Once there, they have escaped Birth and Death, achieved non-retrogression, and can progress in cultivation until they reach the stage of Non-Birth.
So, it is understood that in this Saha World, the Land of Endurance, the conditions and opportunities for awakening and realization are limited and are often impeded and hindered by obstacles such as the Five Turbidities: kalpa turbidity, the view turbidity, the affliction turbidity, the living beings turbidity, and the life turbidity. So the Buddha in His great compassion and wisdom introduces another 'alternative', that from the realised 48 vows of another Buddha, known as Amitabha, in the direction of the West, there is this chance/opportunity to fully develop one's potential of awakening and enlightenment in the best/ideal of conditions and with the best/ideal of teachers (and in other scriptural/commentarial references, of all similar ideas and states of a Pure Land in the tenfold directions, this one, known as Sukhavati, where a Buddha named Amitabha is the foremost and excellent) that otherwise, one normally would have to struggle and oft get entangled to the point of surrender, back in the Saha World. That's why Sakyamuni Buddha is praised by the various Buddhas here for His heroic deed:
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id4.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Shariputra, just as I now praise the inconceivable virtue of other Buddhas, they also praise my inconceivable virtue, saying,
'Shakyamuni Buddha, you have accomplished an extremely difficult and unprecedented task.
In this Saha world, during the evil period of the five defilements -- those of time, views, passions, sentient beings, and life-span -- You have attained
the highest, perfect Enlightenment and, for the sake of sentient beings, have delivered this Teaching, which is the most difficult in the world to accept in
faith.'
"Shariputra, you must realize that I have accomplished this difficult task during the period of the five defilements. That is to say, having attained the
highest, perfect Enlightenment, I have, for the sake of all the world, delivered this Teaching, which is so hard for them to accept.
This is indeed an extremely difficult task."
What Amitabha Buddha 'provides', is merely another 'alternative', an option, a commitment of entrustment in one's own true and inherent potential of awakening and enlightenment in the end and the idea of the Sukhavati basically embodies this. Right now, one sees Amitabha and oneself as 'us and them' but the point of Sukhavati is to awaken and enlighten to our own inherent nature, fundamentally no different from His ultimately, with the aid of the best of conditions and guides. So, we seek refuge and entrustment in Amitabha and His Sukhavati until we ourselves in turn attain the same Amitabha Nature and Sukhavati of our own Mind.

So, 'bestowals' coming from Amitabha Buddha? Rather they are all inherent qualities of one's own Buddha Nature, now at the present conventional level, confused and misdirected, like the clouds which blocks the view of the moon, one is not able to see one's own inherent qualities as of yet.

iii. As one who treads this path, one's unfolding and manifesting that refuge and entrustment is through faith, vows and practice (a semblance to the classic model of morality/precepts, concentration and wisdom). This is our way of giving our entrustment that concrete foundation and for creating the right causes towards the Pure Land in the here and now. It's our way of saying that one is committed to one's own awakening and enlightenment which embodies what Amitabha and the Sukhavati is all about. He's done His 'part', have we?
http://www.cttbusa.org/amitabha/amitabha.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“Shariputra, those living beings who hear should vow, ‘I wish to be born in that country.’ And why?
Those who thus attain are all superior and good people, all gathered together in one place.
Shariputra, one cannot have few good roots, blessings, virtues, and causal connections to attain birth in that Land.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
But excluded are those who have committed the Five Gravest Offenses and abused the right Dharma."

Without a stock of goodness from past lives,
One cannot hear this Sutra;
But those who have strictly observed the precepts
Can hear the right Dharma.

Arrogant, corrupt and indolent people
Cannot readily accept this teaching.
But those who have met Buddhas in their past lives
Rejoice to hear it.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id5.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Whoever wishes to be born there should practice three acts of merit:
first, caring for one's parents, attending to one's teachers and elders, compassionately refraining from killing, and doing the ten good deeds;
second, taking the three refuges, keeping the various precepts and refraining from breaking the rules of conduct;
and third, awakening aspiration for Enlightenment, believing deeply in the law of causality, chanting the Mahayana Sutras and encouraging people to follow their teachings. These three are called the pure karma."
The Buddha further said to Vaidehi,
"Do you know that these three acts are the pure karma practiced by all the Buddhas of the past, present and future as the right cause of Enlightenment?"
In short:
http://web.archive.org/web/200807231115 ... /bwf05.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Several main elements define Pure Land:
Its teachings are based on compassion, on faith in the compassionate Vows of Amitabha Buddha to welcome and guide all sentient beings who so desire to His Pure Land;
It is an easy method, in terms of both goal (rebirth in the Western Pure Land as a stepping-stone toward Buddhahood) and form of cultivation (can be practiced anywhere, any time with no special liturgy, accoutrements or guidance);
It is a panacea for the diseases of the mind, unlike other methods or meditations which are directed to specific illnesses (for instance, meditation on the corpse is designed to sever lust, while counting the breath is for the purpose of reining in the wandering mind);
It is a democratic method that empowers its adherents, freeing them from arcane metaphysics as well as dependence on teachers, gurus, roshis and other mediating authority figures.
In closing...from Asvaghosha's 'The Awakening Of Faith In Mahayana'
http://www.fodian.net/world/1666.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Next, suppose there is a man who learns this teaching for the first time and wishes to seek the correct faith but lacks courage and strength. Because he lives in this world of suffering, he fears that he will not always be able to meet the Buddhas and honor them personally, and that, faith being difficult to perfect, he will be inclined to fall back.

He should know that the Tathágatas have an excellent expedient means by which they can protect his faith: that is, through the strength of wholehearted meditation on the Buddha, he will in fulfillment of his wishes be able to be born in the Buddha-land beyond, to see the Buddha always, and to be forever separated from the evil states of existence.

It is as the Sutra says:
"If a man meditates wholly on Amitabha Buddha in the world of the Western Paradise and wishes to be born in that world, directing all the goodness he has cultivated toward that goal, then he will be born there." Because he will see the Buddha at all times, he will never fall back. If he meditates on the Dharmakaya, the Suchness of the Buddha, and with diligence keeps practicing the meditation; he will be able to be born there in the end because he abides in the correct samádhi.
This would have nothing to do with Abrahamic monotheism.
Nor any other samsaric isms...
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Enochian »

Hi Serenity,

If you wanted to get in shape, would you rely on a higher power, or would you simply exercise?
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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Astus
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Astus »

From the Jodoshu website (http://www.jodo.org/about_plb/what_plb.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;):

"On the other hand the Christian God has a different nature from Buddha. God is the creator of the universe, the absolute existence, the highest being, etc. God is quite different from man. He is the creator and man is the created. God is perfect good and man is a sinner. Man cannot become God however hard he may try. God and man are totally different from each other by nature, different ontologically. While God is perfect truth, man cannot attain the perfect truth of God. God is far from us. He is beyond our apprehension. God and man differ from each other epistemologically.
Thus the difference between God and Buddha in relation to man would be as follows: God is different from man epistemologically and ontologically, whereas Buddha is different from man epistemologically but not ontologically."


And what you've quoted already from there: "Amida Buddha is not the creator or ground of all being."

Buddhas are not like any Absolute God other religions and philosophies have. That is because: 1. any being can achieve buddhahood and buddhas all went through such a path, i.e. no beings are born buddhas 2. buddhas are not the substrata of the universe, they are not omnipotent nor omnipresent 3. the sole purpose of buddhas is to help beings become free from samsara 4. there are infinite number of buddhas with different attributes 5. when buddhas are talked about in an ultimate sense what is meant is the true nature of all beings and not a single being or even a being or a thing.

Here is a collection of different forms of refutations: Dharmakiirti's refutation of theism
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"
Serenity509
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

I don't think it's either or. I'd rely on the other-power to perhaps give me the strength, perseverance, will power, etc. to exercise, and the rest would be up to me. It would be a collaborative effort.
Serenity509
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

Astus wrote: Thus the difference between God and Buddha in relation to man would be as follows: God is different from man epistemologically and ontologically, whereas Buddha is different from man epistemologically but not ontologically."[/i]
"God became man so that man could become God." - Athanasius of Alexandria

In the ancient Christian church, it was taught that God became man in Christ so that humans could attain Christhood. That's somewhat similar to the view that the eternal Buddha became man in Siddhartha Gautama so that we could attain Buddhahood.
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Astus
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Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Astus »

Serenity509 wrote:"God became man so that man could become God." - Athanasius of Alexandria

In the ancient Christian church, it was taught that God became man in Christ so that humans could attain Christhood. That's somewhat similar to the view that the eternal Buddha became man in Siddhartha Gautama so that we could attain Buddhahood.
Certain similarities doesn't make two things the same, like ducks have two legs just as humans do. In case of your example, they don't really match in many aspects. From the perspective of three bodies the Buddha never became human, it is not some sort of incarnation but only an illusory display that appears because of sentient beings' karma, while the birth and death of Christ was part of the divine plan of God to sacrifice himself in exchange for the sins of mankind. Shakyamuni taught the Dharma but the birth and death of the Buddha is not in itself the solution of men's problems. If you take things out of context and give them a new interpretation it is easy to make bold statements about religions being the same. It is being able to think within the appropriate context that can show the actual meaning of a teaching. Even in case of Amita Buddha, he simply provides the optimal environment for completing the bodhisattva path, that is hardly the same as bestowing liberation upon beings.
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"
Serenity509
Posts: 800
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Location: United States

Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Serenity509 »

Astus wrote: Certain similarities doesn't make two things the same
I did not say that it did.
Astus wrote: Even in case of Amita Buddha, he simply provides the optimal environment for completing the bodhisattva path, that is hardly the same as bestowing liberation upon beings.
In the doctrine of theosis, Christ provides the grace for the path, but he doesn't do all the work either.
My point was simply to dispute this idea:
Thus the difference between God and Buddha in relation to man would be as follows: God is different from man epistemologically and ontologically, whereas Buddha is different from man epistemologically but not ontologically."[/i]
Malcolm
Posts: 33886
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: God in Buddhism

Post by Malcolm »

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
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
5heaps
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: God in Buddhism

Post by 5heaps »

Serenity509 wrote: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.
theres something very profound about this idea of a general principle or essence that pervades everything.

when not clearly ascertained this thing seems to pervade everything through its own self-sustaining power..
such is the report by the various degrees of accomplished yogis
however when clearly ascertained (according to buddhism) it is individual instances of emptiness....without understanding that these are instances of emptiness it will seem like a pervading generality from a distance
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