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 Post subject: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:31 pm 
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If we practice ethics and that leads us to the higher realms. And if we cannot become an Arhat in this life, how do we avoid a rebirth as a god or demi god whereby we will just spend all our good karma away and this results in us going to the lower realms?

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:47 pm 
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waimengwan wrote:
If we practice ethics and that leads us to the higher realms. And if we cannot become an Arhat in this life, how do we avoid a rebirth as a god or demi god whereby we will just spend all our good karma away and this results in us going to the lower realms?

Thanks in advance.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:52 pm 
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The force of the Bodhisattva Vow keeps us from taking rebirth in the god realms. My understanding is that one has to basically intend to take rebirth in the god realms. But as we dedicate merit to all sentient beings for their liberation and ultimate enlightenment, this keeps us from taking rebirth in the god realms.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:20 pm 
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kirtu wrote:
The force of the Bodhisattva Vow keeps us from taking rebirth in the god realms. My understanding is that one has to basically intend to take rebirth in the god realms. But as we dedicate merit to all sentient beings for their liberation and ultimate enlightenment, this keeps us from taking rebirth in the god realms.

Kirt


This is how I have been taught also.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:55 pm 
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waimengwan wrote:
If we practice ethics and that leads us to the higher realms. And if we cannot become an Arhat in this life, how do we avoid a rebirth as a god or demi god whereby we will just spend all our good karma away and this results in us going to the lower realms?

Thanks in advance.

An asian woman asked exactly the same to my teacher (Geshe Pema Samten) in a lesson.
I hope i remember well, what he answered, because it was some years ago. Sorry.

I remember he said something like: we can wish not to become a god. I think it is the development of Bodhicitta that helps avoiding these pleasures of the higher realms.
If one remembers the suffering and the impermanence as a regular practice and tries to generate as much Bodhicitta as possible in his lifetime, he will be on a good way.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:15 pm 
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waimengwan wrote:
If we practice ethics and that leads us to the higher realms. And if we cannot become an Arhat in this life, how do we avoid a rebirth as a god or demi god whereby we will just spend all our good karma away and this results in us going to the lower realms?

Thanks in advance.


I always found this teaching (of avoiding rebirth as a god) to be a little incongruent with what the sutras report. In both pre-Mahayana and Mahayana sutras (but especially the latter), we always read of incredible hosts of devas, brahmas and even lower spiritual beings like nagas, yaksas, etc, attending the teachings of the Buddha and then most of them would attain one of the patiences at the end, which signify that they were already well on their way in the path. The number of celestial beings always outnumber the humans in attendance. So based on this observation, won't it reason that a rebirth as a god is actually a better situation to be in than rebirth as a human?

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:30 pm 
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No.
As a god it is easier to forget the path, because the motivation to make a change is low.
Only a human being is in between prosperty and adversity. This generates the pressure to find "more"...

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:47 pm 
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Ayu wrote:
No.
As a god it is easier to forget the path, because the motivation to make a change is low.
Only a human being is in between prosperty and adversity. This generates the pressure to find "more"...


Well, based on the number of deities attaining the various ksantis at the end of major sutras, it seems unlikely they will forget the path. As a human it is also easy to forget the path, and many who are religious cleave to theistic religions, hence embracing wrong view. And many humans struggle to maintain a reasonable livelihood and have no inclination towards dharma. And the sutras also indicate the eight qualities that a human must possess in order to be considered to have a truly fortuitous rebirth. So if we consider all these factors, the chance of attaining a truly fortunate rebirth as a human is actually quite difficult.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:50 pm 
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Quote:
So based on this observation, won't it reason that a rebirth as a god is actually a better situation to be in than rebirth as a human?

I agree but on the basis if one chooses well into which level/type of 'heaven' or another term of 'Pure Abodes' within the Saha World to manifest that birth.
For instance, the Inner Court of Tusita within the realm of desire, where Maitreya and the Sages are in assembly, some make aspirations to be in this teaching assembly until even to the time for Maitreya to manifest as the 5th Buddha? [And after all, the Gaden Lhagyama practice mentions on Maitreya and Tusita too.]

Then, there's the Akanishta, highest in the realm of form where the Noble Ones would choose as their place for practice as presented in traditional teaching.
But as for others, the dangers of distraction from the Path and retrogression is ever present.

I find Ayu's assertion is quite in line with standard Buddhist teaching on the 'trump card' of the precious human birth but there are exceptions to it I guess like for example if one has been such an exemplary practitioner that even birth in the heavenlies is hardly a dent on one's practice. See this Bhikkhu deva story

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:15 pm 
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plwk wrote:
Quote:
So based on this observation, won't it reason that a rebirth as a god is actually a better situation to be in than rebirth as a human?

I agree but on the basis if one chooses well into which level/type of 'heaven' or another term of 'Pure Abodes' within the Saha World to manifest that birth.
For instance, the Inner Court of Tusita within the realm of desire, where Maitreya and the Sages are in assembly, some make aspirations to be in this teaching assembly until even to the time for Maitreya to manifest as the 5th Buddha? [And after all, the Gaden Lhagyama practice mentions on Maitreya and Tusita too.]

Then, there's the Akanishta, highest in the realm of form where the Noble Ones would choose as their place for practice as presented in traditional teaching.
But as for others, the dangers of distraction from the Path and retrogression is ever present.

I find Ayu's assertion is quite in line with standard Buddhist teaching on the 'trump card' of the precious human birth but there are exceptions to it I guess like for example if one has been such an exemplary practitioner that even birth in the heavenlies is hardly a dent on one's practice. See this Bhikkhu deva story


Oh - I have no doubt Ayu's assertion is the standard teaching - I was taught that way too. In fact, at one point I was interested in the mindfulness of deva practice and told my master about it, and he remarked with some surprise and slight disappointment "Oh, you are seeking rebirth in the deva-realms?". I was actually not, and just needed a practice to remind myself of the importance of virtuous conduct, and curiosity in seeking entrance to Tushita.

Akanistha would be out of reach for most of us, except those in the advanced Bodhisattva stages and those destined for the non-returner state.

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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:21 pm 
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pueraeternus wrote:
Ayu wrote:
No.
As a god it is easier to forget the path, because the motivation to make a change is low.
Only a human being is in between prosperty and adversity. This generates the pressure to find "more"...


Well, based on the number of deities attaining the various ksantis at the end of major sutras, it seems unlikely they will forget the path. As a human it is also easy to forget the path, and many who are religious cleave to theistic religions, hence embracing wrong view. And many humans struggle to maintain a reasonable livelihood and have no inclination towards dharma. And the sutras also indicate the eight qualities that a human must possess in order to be considered to have a truly fortuitous rebirth. So if we consider all these factors, the chance of attaining a truly fortunate rebirth as a human is actually quite difficult.


Wich 8 qualities are that?

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebirth as a GOD
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:43 am 
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Nosta wrote:
pueraeternus wrote:
Ayu wrote:
No.
As a god it is easier to forget the path, because the motivation to make a change is low.
Only a human being is in between prosperty and adversity. This generates the pressure to find "more"...


Well, based on the number of deities attaining the various ksantis at the end of major sutras, it seems unlikely they will forget the path. As a human it is also easy to forget the path, and many who are religious cleave to theistic religions, hence embracing wrong view. And many humans struggle to maintain a reasonable livelihood and have no inclination towards dharma. And the sutras also indicate the eight qualities that a human must possess in order to be considered to have a truly fortuitous rebirth. So if we consider all these factors, the chance of attaining a truly fortunate rebirth as a human is actually quite difficult.


Wich 8 qualities are that?

Thanks.


Sorry - I should have wrote ten qualities/endowments:

Five personal endowments:
1) born as a human
2) born in a central Buddhist region,
3) With all faculties intact
4) free from experiencing the karmic retributions of committing the five heinous sins
5) faith in the dharma

Five environmental endowments:
6) An era where a Buddha has come
7) He has taught the Dharma
8) His Dispensation is still maintained
9) The Sangha is still in existence
10) There is support for the Sangha

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