That belief in Hell realms are not a necessary component of being a Buddhist.Fortyeightvows wrote: ↑Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:42 pmWhich parts are false?Sonam Wangchug wrote: ↑Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:48 pmFalseMatt J wrote: ↑Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:53 pm Belief is hell is not a core, or even a necessary component of being a Buddhist. It is not a refuge, a Noble Truth, a part of the Eightfold Path, a dharma seal, etc.
Most of the past life memories recorded by UVA are memories of past human lives without reference to hell realms.
If one claims this then it leads to a number of problems.
For one it eradicates a major part of the Hinayana refuge (fear in lower realms)
It diminishes the role of karma, (underestimates relative truth) because the most severe of karmic actions will only lead one to rebirth in the authors proclaimed belief in the Human realm only. Which obviously is not nearly as severe in terms of suffering.
It goes against the words of the Buddha, who stated that there were hell realms, which have been described in great details.
Even if we take the common dedication prayer in the Tibetan tradition, Sonam Di yi tham che etc .. This was a prayer first made by the Buddha in a previous life, by this merit may the lower realms be emptied.
It negates the life stories and teachings of countless Bodhisattva's, Yogis, Monastics, and so forth, who have experienced the Hell realms in their meditative experience and taught about them. Take for example the vow of Ktsitigarbha bodhisattva to be reborn in hell until all of the beings there are liberated.
If the implication above is as stated, that the majority of NDE's are only of a human being, it completely eradicates the notion of infinite sentient beings to liberate, which basically puts a whole in the entire mode of the Bodhisattva's since there are only 7 Billion of us at the moment ( Not to mention Buddhism speaks of various other human dimensions not only ours)
It negates the power of Dharanis, relics, and so forth which are clearly said to be able to save beings from being reborn in hell states.
From the Theravada to the Vajrayana hell is part and parcel of the Buddhist tradition.
I wouldn't say one has to believe in it to admire Buddhism, or study Buddhism, or even meditate, however if one wants to take Refuge in the three jewels, clearly the hell realms are a necessary part of Buddhist thought and practice, and spoken of in the Dharma which we take refuge in.