What exactly is a deva??

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nyonchung
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Re: What exactly is a deva??

Post by nyonchung »

And Ajivikas and forgotten others
Like the Buddha himself, many of his great disciples followed other teachers before meeting hime, some became even teachers and brought their own disciples with them, so there were certainly exchange of ideas, common interests and views on some points, the necessaity to cover topics mentioned in other systems ...

As for devas, I have a good story:
Long ago,while visiting Frande, the Palpung Tai Situ gave a quite general teaching in Paris, with questions at the end. One guy came with an extremely convoluted question, boiling down to this: due my smadhi practice, I read that, according to Mahayana I might be reborn in the formless realm, and this will be horribly breaking my Bodhisttava vows (I was translating). Rinpoché opened wide eyes, laughed his head off, and, even before the translation was completed, said straight to the guy (in English): "Oh, as for you, don't worry, there's no risk"
"Me and the sky don't hold views - Me and the river have no fixed practice
Me and the madman don't have a guide- Me and the rainbow have no experiences
Me, the sun and the moon have no certitudes - Me and the jewel bear no fruit" - Dampa Sanggyé as quoted by Domar Mingyur Dorjé (born 1675)
Kai lord
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Re: What exactly is a deva??

Post by Kai lord »

That rinpoche probably knows that bodhisattvas can't reborn as formless devas even after their attainment of formless jhanas due to their bodhisattva vows
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nyonchung
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Re: What exactly is a deva??

Post by nyonchung »

Kai lord wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:50 am That rinpoche probably knows that bodhisattvas can't reborn as formless devas even after their attainment of formless jhanas due to their bodhisattva vows
Hum, no, that was a comment about the guy's self-overestimated meditative capacities, I'm afraid
I'm not so sure about this being impossible (theoretically as well), I' ll check sometimes with Kongtrül or Ngari Penchen, sometimes, since ther is no immediate risk for me as well :lol:
"Me and the sky don't hold views - Me and the river have no fixed practice
Me and the madman don't have a guide- Me and the rainbow have no experiences
Me, the sun and the moon have no certitudes - Me and the jewel bear no fruit" - Dampa Sanggyé as quoted by Domar Mingyur Dorjé (born 1675)
Kai lord
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Re: What exactly is a deva??

Post by Kai lord »

nyonchung wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:38 pm
Kai lord wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:50 am That rinpoche probably knows that bodhisattvas can't reborn as formless devas even after their attainment of formless jhanas due to their bodhisattva vows
Hum, no, that was a comment about the guy's self-overestimated meditative capacities, I'm afraid
I'm not so sure about this being impossible (theoretically as well), I' ll check sometimes with Kongtrül or Ngari Penchen, sometimes, since ther is no immediate risk for me as well :lol:
Guess we will very likely never find out personally, because the cultivating form and formless jhanas are not only difficult but considered unnecessary distraction for most Vajrayana practitioners.
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Aemilius
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Re: What exactly is a deva??

Post by Aemilius »

Kai lord wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:20 pm
Aemilius wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:11 pm I have never heard Arada Kalama and Udraka Ramputra being described as Samkhya or followers of the Vedas. They are usually described as leaders of the Shramana schools of ascetics, i.e. non-brahmin and non-vedic schools. Buddha himself rejected the authority of the Vedas and brahmins quite strongly.
Arada Kalama, Udraka Ramaputra or their followers are not called brahmins in the Lalitavistara sutra. Arada Kalama is said to be staying with a great assembly of Sravakas and three hundred disciples (?). Udraka Ramaputra is said to have seven hundred disciples (no mention of Sravakas).
I did some digging, here's the textual source and contexts that hints on their Samkhya origins:

Visits to Ārāḍa and Udraka
16. “Eye, ear, nose, tongue, and body—these are called faculties of intellection. For the faculty of mind the two meanings are combined: both action and that called intellection. Nature and change are a cause, and the knower of the cause[2] is the self.
This quote said to be uttered by Arada, is close to Samkhya's doctrine.
17. “The seer Kapila and his retinue of disciples studied the important meaning of this self and obtained deliverance. That Kapila is Prajāpati now.
And Sage Kapila widely regarded as the legendary founder of Samkhya. Over here, Arada clearly mentioned him in high regard. Uddaka repeated what Alara said but added his belief in higher dhyana attainment of non perception and perception.

Some Buddhist scholars also feel that way about Arada as shown below.

Samkhya
"The ancient Buddhist Aśvaghoṣa (in his Buddha-Carita) describes Āḷāra Kālāma, the teacher of the young Buddha (ca. 420 B.C.E.) as following an archaic form of Sāṅkhya."
Nevertheless its very likely Buddhism, Jain and Samkhya ended influencing one another before arriving at their current form.
Thanks, very interesting.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
tingdzin
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Re: What exactly is a deva??

Post by tingdzin »

SardonicHerzog wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:00 pm the language part of this thread was really interesting, thanks
And shows how much guesswork still goes into etymologies, and gives a hint at how often the reflect some sort of axe-grinding.
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Aemilius
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Re: What exactly is a deva??

Post by Aemilius »

There is an interesting sutta/sutra, in which Shakyamuni talks about his experiences in meditation and particularly about his seeing devas and conversing with them.

At Gayā, Gayā Sutta (AN 8:71):
“... So, at a later time—staying heedful, ardent, & resolute—I perceived light and saw forms, but I did not associate with those devas, didn’t converse with them, or engage them in discussion. The thought occurred to me, ‘If I perceived light and saw forms; and associated with those devas, conversed with them, and engaged them in discussion, then this knowledge-&-vision of mine would be purer.

“So, at a later time—staying heedful, ardent, & resolute—I perceived light and saw forms; and I also associated with those devas, conversed with them, and engaged them in discussion; but I did not know of those devas that ‘These devas are from this or that deva host.’ The thought occurred to me, ‘If I perceived light and saw forms; and associated with those devas, conversed with them, and engaged them in discussion; and I also knew of those devas that ‘These devas are from this or that deva host,’ then this knowledge-&-vision of mine would be purer."

“So, at a later time—staying heedful, ardent, & resolute—I perceived light and saw forms; and associated with those devas, conversed with them, and engaged them in discussion; and I also knew of those devas that ‘These devas are from this or that deva host’; but I did not know of those devas that ‘As a result of this kamma, these devas fell away from here and reappeared there.’ The thought occurred to me, ‘If I perceived light and saw forms; and associated with those devas, conversed with them, and engaged them in discussion; and I also knew of those devas that ‘These devas are from this or that deva host’; and I also knew of those devas that ‘As a result of this kamma, these devas fell away from here and reappeared there,’ then this knowledge-&-vision of mine would be purer.’...

And, monks, as long as this—my eight-round heightened deva-knowledge-&-vision—was not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, with its people with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & commonfolk. But as soon as this—my eight-round heightened deva-knowledge-&-vision—was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, with its people with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & commonfolk. Knowledge & vision arose in me: ‘Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.’”

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/AN/AN8_71.html
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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