Author Topic: Do Buddhists Believe in God?  (Read 2189 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Do Buddhists Believe in God?
« Reply #60 on: September 10, 2017, 10:13:20 pm »
While certain Buddhist doctrines and practices might seem like prayer or worship of a theistic god, that’s usually how it appears on the surface level, rather than on the ultimate level of truth:

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In studying and speaking the Dharma, we especially need to be aware of the conventional (or worldly or cultural) level and the ultimate (param’attha) or spiritual or Dharma) level of teaching. The conventional language is only useful and wholesome when they point, even remotely, to the true Dharma. And at the proper time, this reference should be clarified to the follower or practitioner. The point is that the spiritual should in due course transcend the worldly and cultural.
1.2 The Neyy’attha Nīt’attha Sutta (A 2.3.5-6) records an important reminder by the Buddha on how we should approach every sutta and text, that is, we must carefully consider whether the language is conventional (based on everyday language describing causes and conditions) or ultimate (that is, Dharma language, pointing to the fact that things have no intrinsic nature or abiding essence).
Those suttas or teachings that tell stories, describe ritual acts, or that talk of “beings,” “gods,” etc, need to have their meaning drawn out (neyy’attha), as they do not directly refer to true reality. They use language and words in the form of a story or images to talk about true reality. Their meaning is indirect.
They are provisional (pariyāya) teachings, unlike say some Abhidhamma doctrines, which are said to be explicit (nippariyāyena).1
http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/2.6b_Neyyattha_Nitattha_S_a2.3.5-6_piya.pdf


While it might appear, for example, that Tibetan Buddhists pray to Avalokitesvara for worldly blessings, the deeper goal of such prayer is to cultivate Avalokitesvara’s enlightened qualities within oneself.

Offline Dairy Lama

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Re: Do Buddhists Believe in God?
« Reply #61 on: September 14, 2017, 05:15:03 am »
While it might appear, for example, that Tibetan Buddhists pray to Avalokitesvara for worldly blessings, the deeper goal of such prayer is to cultivate Avalokitesvara’s enlightened qualities within oneself.

I think that's right, though when I was involved in Tibetan Buddhism a lot of people believed these were real entities, "out there".
"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream"

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Do Buddhists Believe in God?
« Reply #62 on: September 14, 2017, 03:25:45 pm »
While it might appear, for example, that Tibetan Buddhists pray to Avalokitesvara for worldly blessings, the deeper goal of such prayer is to cultivate Avalokitesvara’s enlightened qualities within oneself.

I think that's right, though when I was involved in Tibetan Buddhism a lot of people believed these were real entities, "out there".

There's nothing wrong with that, as long as it's not for the purpose of being granted wordly blessings.

Offline ground

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Re: Do Buddhists Believe in God?
« Reply #63 on: September 15, 2017, 08:24:07 pm »
While it might appear, for example, that Tibetan Buddhists pray to Avalokitesvara for worldly blessings, the deeper goal of such prayer is to cultivate Avalokitesvara’s enlightened qualities within oneself.

I think that's right, though when I was involved in Tibetan Buddhism a lot of people believed these were real entities, "out there".

On the other hand many theravadins believe that the figure in the suttas is real.

 


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