Author Topic: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?  (Read 2266 times)

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2017, 11:00:07 am »
Regarding corruption of teachings from what Buddha originally taught:  I don't see any possibility of the Buddha's actual words being left intact due to multiple processes:

1.  The Suttas were originally memorized and passed on from monk to monk over hundreds of years.  Meanings had to be lost, or garbled ( corrupted ) due to missunderstanding and changing of meanings over the centuries, much like computer codes have errors introduced when recopied.

1.a.  When the suttas were placed into writing, and then recopied, some typographical errors inevitably occurred in addition to all of the above and below mentioned reasons for errors.

2.  Translation from one language to another almost always leads to errors, simply because meanings vary from one culture to another.

3.  Personal and cultural obstinancy, and clinging to one's own beliefs, range and domain of personal experiences, and ingrained traditions, methods, and protocols are always going to lead to omissions and changes.  This has likely led to errors and deviations from Buddha's orignal words.

This is the main reason why the Kalama Sutta is so important to study, research and follow, and why following the intstructions of a qualified teacher is of great value to those who learn better and more quickly from personal guidance.

Hinayana and Mahayana:  This is an old argument and one which never leads to harmony between traditions.  From an historical perspective, The Theravadin tradition did not exist during the time when the name, Mahayana, was first formulated.  And the Mahayana has several subdivisions within the larger title.  It is true that there are many different vehicles, all of which are to be abandoned once the river of enlightenment is crossed. 

Such arguments remind me of little boys arguing in the shower as to whose is the biggest.  Things change quickly when the hot water runs out.

Specious arguments about such things lead nowhere of any value,often do much harm, and as stated previously destroy harmony for all of us. :dharma:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Rahul

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2017, 09:02:02 pm »
Mayahana is highly corrupted, also it deviates a lot from Buddha's original teachings. Surprisingly they call themselves 'Mahayana' and consider Theravada (which is very close to the original teachings of Buddha) as 'Hinyana'. Maha = great, yana = vehicle. Hin = lowly, yana = vehicle.  Calling oneself great and considering others as lowly is apparently arrogance on their side. Mayahan is rife with several superstitious, illogical and other practices which contradict several of Buddha's fundamental teachings. One of the core purpose of Buddhist practices is to rise above this game of duals: existence vs. non-existence, mercy vs. cruelty, happiness vs. suffering, ... But Mahayanists totally overthrew this idea and started believing in: divine beings called Bodhisattvas, that come to existence again and again, in order to spread happiness and eliminate suffering in all living beings...

Buddha highly discouraged rituals, reliance on divine beings for salvation. He emphasized on striving and relying on one's own. Mahayana came up with the idea of repeating mantras of Avalokiteshvara as a means of getting rid of suffering and being born in 'pure land'...

The examples of contradictions are countless. And there are several fundamental contradictions that would make us think twice if Mahayana can be considered a school of Buddhism...

Rahul:  I'm in full support of dissecting different views and having a civil discussion about these things.  Starting a post by claiming that a particular sect or set of beliefs is corrupt doesn't contribute to a civil discussion.  I'm sure you can understand why, so let's refrain from going in that direction.

'Corrupt' is a civil word. What's not civil is calling people 'jerk' and claiming like 'you don't know anything about this or that'. Couldn't you read what some other people just posted before your post? What kind of moderation is this?

"Corrupt" by itself is a civil word.  Claiming that someone's closely held personal beliefs are part of a corrupt sect isn't civil by any means, and won't foster reasonable discussion on the subject.  I think we can both agree there was probably a more constructive approach available to discussing your points.

Additionally, this is the second time in a short period that you have raised issue with the way this site is moderated.  If you disagree with the moderation methods that are employed here, you are welcome to follow the path that leads to the exit.  Hopefully you decide to stick around and contribute.

Would you care to answer why people using blatant words like 'jerk' and 'sex addicts' for other people in the forum are freely allowed to keep posting? Would you care to argue why trolling and abuse is allowed here? And when someone uses civilized words to criticize a particular school/branch, you spring into action and start giving warnings? If people can't listen to civilized criticism of views they hold dear, then they must not be in a forum.

Let me put this straight: forums do need people, but people may need a forum. I have no interest in arguing with moderators partial towards some audience and doing unnecessary moderation. If this doesn't make you happy, feel free to do whatever actions you deem fit.

Offline meez

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2017, 10:38:23 am »
Would you care to answer why people using blatant words like 'jerk' and 'sex addicts' for other people in the forum are freely allowed to keep posting? Would you care to argue why trolling and abuse is allowed here? And when someone uses civilized words to criticize a particular school/branch, you spring into action and start giving warnings? If people can't listen to civilized criticism of views they hold dear, then they must not be in a forum.

Let me put this straight: forums do need people, but people may need a forum. I have no interest in arguing with moderators partial towards some audience and doing unnecessary moderation. If this doesn't make you happy, feel free to do whatever actions you deem fit.

"Would you care to argue why trolling and abuse is allowed here?"
"I have no interest in arguing with moderators..."

If you have no interest in arguing, it may help to refrain from inviting someone to argue their points. 

I've never claimed to be perfect in anything I do, especially forum moderation.  Are there some things that get overlooked from time to time? Absolutely.  The fact of the matter is, I don't have time to comb through every word that is written here.  I saw your post and addressed it, it's as simple as that.

Again, if you don't like what is taking place at this forum, the exit is freely available.  You've been here for almost six months now, made 157 posts, and this is the first time there has been an issue.  With that being the case, your presence and contribution here is welcome, I just needed that one point of discussion to be toned down.

Offline BlackLooter

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2018, 08:55:50 pm »
I would say the Buddha is eternal like anything else..

With detached mind you can see this.
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Offline Shogun

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2018, 01:14:09 am »
Mahayana practitioner here.  At no point have I ever heard anyone in the practice express it as being better than or superior to any other school of Buddhism.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2018, 03:42:53 am »
Mahayana practitioner here.  At no point have I ever heard anyone in the practice express it as being better than or superior to any other school of Buddhism.

I heard such comments regularly when I was practising in Mahayana and Vajrayana schools. 

I used to joke that the former was obsessed with size, and the latter with speed.  :teehee:
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 03:52:49 am by Dairy Lama »
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Offline Empty13

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2018, 02:58:55 pm »
Mayahana is highly corrupted, also it deviates a lot from Buddha's original teachings. Surprisingly they call themselves 'Mahayana' and consider Theravada (which is very close to the original teachings of Buddha) as 'Hinyana'. Maha = great, yana = vehicle. Hin = lowly, yana = vehicle.  Calling oneself great and considering others as lowly is apparently arrogance on their side. Mayahan is rife with several superstitious, illogical and other practices which contradict several of Buddha's fundamental teachings. One of the core purpose of Buddhist practices is to rise above this game of duals: existence vs. non-existence, mercy vs. cruelty, happiness vs. suffering, ... But Mahayanists totally overthrew this idea and started believing in: divine beings called Bodhisattvas, that come to existence again and again, in order to spread happiness and eliminate suffering in all living beings...

Buddha highly discouraged rituals, reliance on divine beings for salvation. He emphasized on striving and relying on one's own. Mahayana came up with the idea of repeating mantras of Avalokiteshvara as a means of getting rid of suffering and being born in 'pure land'...

The examples of contradictions are countless. And there are several fundamental contradictions that would make us think twice if Mahayana can be considered a school of Buddhism...

Not all Mahayana sects or practitioners use such a derogatory term as that. Using "Hinayana" is a sign, in my own eyes, of ignorance, among much else. I have high respect for Theravada and it's practitioners, and I practice Mahayana, as do many others I practice with, along with their lineage. I never understand the sentiment of negative attitude towards another Buddhist school, or the constant advancement of one's own school at the expense of others, when it isn't a requirement to speak negatively of other schools for the advancement of all or any towards enlightenment or less suffering.

Also, even though the Buddha taught specific teachings, like those in the Pali canon/Dhammapada, as to the validity of what his own words were, that may not be relevant if there is merit and Dharma in that which his disciples and their disciples taught (the direct lineage), especially after his passing, or would that somehow not be true? If some find Dharma in the suttas of a later time, or in the Bodhisattva ideal, how does that corrupt the validity of the Dhammapada or other Pali canon, or Theravada teachings as a whole? I myself hold the Pali Canon to an extremely high regard, and still find benefit and Dharma in other teachings also, Mahayana or Vajrayana, or otherwise.

No need to speak ill of any other teachings for those that I follow to hold true. But that's just my own, maybe ignorant opinion. And many others.

As far as the eternity of Gautama Buddha, that depends on who you ask, but essentially he neither is nor isn't would be an average answer I think. A God? Not remotely in any Western sense.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2018, 05:16:28 pm »
Not all Mahayana sects or practitioners use such a derogatory term as that.

Actually, quite a few do. 

Quote
Using "Hinayana" is a sign, in my own eyes, of ignorance, among much else. I have high respect for Theravada and it's practitioners, and I practice Mahayana, as do many others I practice with, along with their lineage.

Ignorance?  No.  And respect?  A lot of very good teachers in the Mahayana tradition use the term Hinayana quite freely.  To call them ignorant, is getting a little disrepectful, wouldn't you think.

Quote
I never understand the sentiment of negative attitude towards another Buddhist school,

It's not really a negative so much as an observation.  If you want to put down the use of Hinayana, you can't stop there.  You have to stop using Mahayana as well.  As I'm sure you know, Mahayana, mean's Greater Vehicle.  For there to be a greater there must, by necessity, be a lesser.  And while we're at we better thake look at Vajrayana, too.  The Hinayana is the path of individual liberation.  Nothing wrong with that, but when set along side the Mahayana and the altruism of the Bodhisattva, which is the more noble?  Being in a Mahayana lineage does not make you a make you a practitioner of the Mahayana.  That requires a Bodhisattva vow.  Being a Theravedin does not make you a Hinayanist, either.  A Theravadin can have the awakened heart of the Bodhisattva.  Everyone who. has taken the Bodhisattva vows has taken refuge vows first, so that means they were Hinayana before they were Mahayana.

So,  I wish you luck renaming the three yanas.  The real challenge will be to get everyone else on board.

Offline loopix

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2018, 06:25:51 am »
one does in no way need any sort of vow to enter any sort of path. just the right mindset and attitude.

Offline Empty13

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2018, 04:33:58 pm »
Not all Mahayana sects or practitioners use such a derogatory term as that.

Actually, quite a few do. 

Quote
Using "Hinayana" is a sign, in my own eyes, of ignorance, among much else. I have high respect for Theravada and it's practitioners, and I practice Mahayana, as do many others I practice with, along with their lineage.

Ignorance?  No.  And respect?  A lot of very good teachers in the Mahayana tradition use the term Hinayana quite freely.  To call them ignorant, is getting a little disrepectful, wouldn't you think.

Quote
I never understand the sentiment of negative attitude towards another Buddhist school,

It's not really a negative so much as an observation.  If you want to put down the use of Hinayana, you can't stop there.  You have to stop using Mahayana as well.  As I'm sure you know, Mahayana, mean's Greater Vehicle.  For there to be a greater there must, by necessity, be a lesser.  And while we're at we better thake look at Vajrayana, too.  The Hinayana is the path of individual liberation.  Nothing wrong with that, but when set along side the Mahayana and the altruism of the Bodhisattva, which is the more noble?  Being in a Mahayana lineage does not make you a make you a practitioner of the Mahayana.  That requires a Bodhisattva vow.  Being a Theravedin does not make you a Hinayanist, either.  A Theravadin can have the awakened heart of the Bodhisattva.  Everyone who. has taken the Bodhisattva vows has taken refuge vows first, so that means they were Hinayana before they were Mahayana.

So,  I wish you luck renaming the three yanas.  The real challenge will be to get everyone else on board.

I simply said not all. Also, I still think that, although intent matters, generally referring to Theravada as lesser, even meaning less practitioners, considering it is more monastic, still carries some level of ignorance of the offense it may hold toward those it's referring to, but even my Zen teacher agrees in it's possible derogatory nature, though she isn't obviously omniscient. Even though I have heard many use Hinayana in what seemed neither negative or positive, I would say why not use the term Theravadan, since it's their choice of preferred name and fellow Buddhists? I just don't think any sort of even slight superiority complex is a good thing, and that term may have that effect.

I am not a fan of compelled speech in any regard, just pointing out my reasons for not using the term myself. I am sure there are plenty Mahayana teachers who grew up/practiced without ever even hearing the opposite term, so that is something I would consider also.

I shouldn't have said things in a sweeping manner, but ignorance of one small thing (the possible Hinayana connotation) doesn't have to mean complete and utter ignorance. I don't know how many types of giraffes there are, but that doesn't mean I am learning disabled.

Also I am no teacher. My ignorance and dukkha is in good supply.  :bigtears: :dharma: :anjali:

Offline Anemephistus

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2018, 05:31:25 pm »
Regarding corruption of teachings from what Buddha originally taught:  I don't see any possibility of the Buddha's actual words being left intact due to multiple processes:

1.  The Suttas were originally memorized and passed on from monk to monk over hundreds of years.  Meanings had to be lost, or garbled ( corrupted ) due to missunderstanding and changing of meanings over the centuries, much like computer codes have errors introduced when recopied.

1.a.  When the suttas were placed into writing, and then recopied, some typographical errors inevitably occurred in addition to all of the above and below mentioned reasons for errors.

2.  Translation from one language to another almost always leads to errors, simply because meanings vary from one culture to another.

3.  Personal and cultural obstinancy, and clinging to one's own beliefs, range and domain of personal experiences, and ingrained traditions, methods, and protocols are always going to lead to omissions and changes.  This has likely led to errors and deviations from Buddha's orignal words.

This is the main reason why the Kalama Sutta is so important to study, research and follow, and why following the intstructions of a qualified teacher is of great value to those who learn better and more quickly from personal guidance.

Hinayana and Mahayana:  This is an old argument and one which never leads to harmony between traditions.  From an historical perspective, The Theravadin tradition did not exist during the time when the name, Mahayana, was first formulated.  And the Mahayana has several subdivisions within the larger title.  It is true that there are many different vehicles, all of which are to be abandoned once the river of enlightenment is crossed. 

Such arguments remind me of little boys arguing in the shower as to whose is the biggest.  Things change quickly when the hot water runs out.

Specious arguments about such things lead nowhere of any value,often do much harm, and as stated previously destroy harmony for all of us. :dharma:

 :buddha:


Offline IdleChater

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2018, 07:20:11 am »
I simply said not all. Also, I still think that, although intent matters, generally referring to Theravada as lesser,

But you're talking apples oranges.  Theravada is a lineage.  Hinayana is a vehicle.  One is not, technically speaking, the same as the other.  Theravada may teach what, from  Mahayana perspective, is a Hindayana path, we must keep in mind that Mahayana lineages also teach that same path to new students.  In most cases a grounding in Hinayana is prerequisite to study/practice in Mahayana.


Quote
Even though I have heard many use Hinayana in what seemed neither negative or positive, I would say why not use the term Theravadan, since it's their choice of preferred name and fellow Buddhists?

That doesn't work because the scriptures that Hinayana teachings are based on, are not the sole domain of the Theravada.  They actually predate the rise of the Theravada, and are also used my Mahayana teaching lineages as well.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 07:32:36 am by IdleChater »

Offline Empty13

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2018, 04:10:26 pm »
I simply said not all. Also, I still think that, although intent matters, generally referring to Theravada as lesser,

But you're talking apples oranges.  Theravada is a lineage.  Hinayana is a vehicle.  One is not, technically speaking, the same as the other.  Theravada may teach what, from  Mahayana perspective, is a Hindayana path, we must keep in mind that Mahayana lineages also teach that same path to new students.  In most cases a grounding in Hinayana is prerequisite to study/practice in Mahayana.


Quote
Even though I have heard many use Hinayana in what seemed neither negative or positive, I would say why not use the term Theravadan, since it's their choice of preferred name and fellow Buddhists?

That doesn't work because the scriptures that Hinayana teachings are based on, are not the sole domain of the Theravada.  They actually predate the rise of the Theravada, and are also used my Mahayana teaching lineages as well.

I am well aware of the inclusion of teachings like Dhammapada or the rest of the Pali Canon being a foundation for both Theravada and Mahayana, with the latter including things like the Heart Sutra etc. before expanding based ion their lineage. Also the "vehicle" translation of the suffix of said schools. I am following the difference, but still would think one may lack humility or at least be acting in a possibly arrogant nature to call a school part of Hinayana, especially while they are present and with demeaning intent.

In the end, I just prefer to act with respect to each tradition/lineage/school. I would hope we could move beyond the infighting and belittling of others within our own larger umbrella of Buddhism, instead of falling victim to it like the Abraham or other religions.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2018, 03:18:05 am »
In the end, I just prefer to act with respect to each tradition/lineage/school.

I regard sectarianism and claims of superiority as basically unskillful. 
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline allanwattsiscool

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Re: Is the Buddha Eternal? Is the Buddha a God?
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2018, 06:18:41 pm »
No. Awakened beings are normal humans that experience themselves as one with the universe.

 


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