Buddhist Deities

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StrangeGuy
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Buddhist Deities

Post by StrangeGuy » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:34 pm

How would anybody explain the “reality issue” of Buddhist Deities (as in the Tibetan system ) to somebody who tries to understand it?
Some try to explain it, that Buddhist Deities are Jungian Archetypes. Others explain it as “quasi real aspects” as in they’re not real and at the same time real and “not not real” while at the same time partial real. Then there are some who describe it as real beings who’ve “transcended” their physicality into a higher dimensionality and therefore not bound by space & time. Some Buddhist monks have described for example the Christian Mary as Tara, so the last explanation would make sense somehow, or not? Any ideas?

fckw
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by fckw » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:51 pm

You already gave several nice examples how to explain these deities from various perspectives. What more do you want?
How would anybody explain the “reality issue” of Buddhist Deities (as in the Tibetan system ) to somebody who tries to understand it?
As you just did.
Some try to explain it, that Buddhist Deities are Jungian Archetypes.
Yes, this is a suitable explanation for people clinging to the view of psychoanalysis.
Others explain it as “quasi real aspects” as in they’re not real and at the same time real and “not not real” while at the same time partial real.
Yes, this is a suitable explanation for people clinging to the view of logics (such as computer scientists).
Then there are some who describe it as real beings who’ve “transcended” their physicality into a higher dimensionality
Yes, this is a suitable explanation for people clinging to esoteric ideologies.
and therefore not bound by space & time.
Yes, this is a suitable explanation for Major Tom.
Some Buddhist monks have described for example the Christian Mary as Tara
Yes, this is a suitable explanations for those Buddhist monks who never studied Christianity in-depth.
so the last explanation would make sense somehow, or not? Any ideas?
To me these are all very valid explanations. So, again, what more do you want than these explanations?

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jkarlins
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by jkarlins » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:20 pm

It's hard to say, all of the ideas you've mentioned are fairly close.

In my experience, people tend to fall somewhere on the spectrum of "totally real" and "totally an image/form of meditation."

My opinion is that it's somewhere in the middle, but I don't worry about it too much because I'm more concerned with how these practices improve my mind. So it's a matter of deity practices being practices. In order to get a sense of that you have to learn them from teachers.

That's my take, more practice oriented.

It took a long time to get to the point where I was interested enough to try these practices, and at first it felt very odd, foreign, and artificial. Over time, it became enjoyable. Now I wouldn't do without it, it's indispensible as part of my daily routine.

Jake

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heart
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by heart » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:28 pm

StrangeGuy wrote:How would anybody explain the “reality issue” of Buddhist Deities (as in the Tibetan system ) to somebody who tries to understand it?
Some try to explain it, that Buddhist Deities are Jungian Archetypes. Others explain it as “quasi real aspects” as in they’re not real and at the same time real and “not not real” while at the same time partial real. Then there are some who describe it as real beings who’ve “transcended” their physicality into a higher dimensionality and therefore not bound by space & time. Some Buddhist monks have described for example the Christian Mary as Tara, so the last explanation would make sense somehow, or not? Any ideas?
The deities are the nature of your mind.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Nyedrag Yeshe
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:24 pm

StrangeGuy wrote:How would anybody explain the “reality issue” of Buddhist Deities (as in the Tibetan system ) to somebody who tries to understand it?
Some try to explain it, that Buddhist Deities are Jungian Archetypes. Others explain it as “quasi real aspects” as in they’re not real and at the same time real and “not not real” while at the same time partial real. Then there are some who describe it as real beings who’ve “transcended” their physicality into a higher dimensionality and therefore not bound by space & time. Some Buddhist monks have described for example the Christian Mary as Tara, so the last explanation would make sense somehow, or not? Any ideas?
They are purified/liberated mindstreams. Like any mindstream, their nature is of emptiness. But emptiness doesnt mean "absence" ou "non-existence".
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

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Wayfarer
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Re: Buddhist Deiti

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:44 pm

Modern scientific culture is naturally inclined towards scientific materialism. This is the view that science alone is the guide to what is real, that the only kinds of reailities that are to be taken seriously are those which can be detected by scientific instruments and scientific analysis. Even many people who wouldn't consider themselves materialistic in the social sense, still have that understanding in the back of their mind when they think about such questions.

But if you really do question scientific materialism as an arbiter of reality, then there's no inherent reason why there may not be entire domains quite unknown to science. It might be that the material or physical universe, the universe that humans can detect and measure via their instruments and senses, is only one aspect of a far greater totality. It's like we're peering at the world through a gap in a fence, and we can only make out sketchy details. Whereas the Enlightened One is 'lokavidu', meaning 'Knower of worlds', who sees and knows all the domains and realms, not simply those known to science.

In very ancient texts, both Buddhist and Hindu, there are many references to the 'triple world' which is taken for granted in ancient culture. The domain of ordinary perception (which includes scientific perception, that being ordinary perception enhanced by instruments and mathematical analysis) is the 'desire realm', that is, only one of the 'three worlds'. Whereas in traditional cosmologies deities, radiant beings, bodhisattvas, angels, and other beings of such kinds, dwell in the Rupaloka, the domain of pure form'. The purpose of rituals, invocations and so on, are to 'call' the deity from the Ruploka to manifest in the Kamaloka in which the human realm is situated. That is the theory behind the practices.
Last edited by Wayfarer on Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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heart
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Re: Buddhist Deiti

Post by heart » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:50 pm

Wayfarer wrote: In very ancient texts, both Buddhist and Hindu, there are many references to the 'triple world', which is taken for granted in ancient culture. The domain of ordinary perception (which includes scientific perception, that being ordinary perception enhanced by instruments and mathematical analysis) is the 'desire realm', that is, only one of the 'three worlds'. Whereas in traditional cosmologies deities, radiant beings, bodhisattvas, angels, and other beings of such kinds, dwell in the Rupaloka, the domain of pure form'. The purpose of rituals, invocations and so on, are to 'call' the deity from the Ruploka to manifest in the Kamaloka in which the human realm is situated. That is the theory behind the practices.
This might be true for you, but it isn't the meaning behind Buddhist deities. When you call for Tara, for example, you are actually calling for your own inherent qualities to mature and manifest. I guess many find this difficult grasp.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Wayfarer
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:55 pm

I'm not keen on 'true for you'', that's simple relativism. I believe the wisdom beings and deities are real, if they're aspects of mind, that is true in a sense much more profound than psychology would fathom.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by odysseus » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:04 pm

StrangeGuy wrote:How would anybody explain the “reality issue” of Buddhist Deities (as in the Tibetan system ) to somebody who tries to understand it?
They are part of reality, and also aspects of the mind.
StrangeGuy wrote: Some try to explain it, that Buddhist Deities are Jungian Archetypes.
Sorry, but they are not the same as Jung's archetypes. They come not from our sub/un/conscious, they come from reality.
StrangeGuy wrote: Others explain it as “quasi real aspects” as in they’re not real and at the same time real and “not not real” while at the same time partial real. Then there are some who describe it as real beings who’ve “transcended” their physicality into a higher dimensionality and therefore not bound by space & time. Some Buddhist monks have described for example the Christian Mary as Tara, so the last explanation would make sense somehow, or not? Any ideas?
They are not quasi, they are real in the sense they exist immortaly outside the bounds of the human mind. But they are not gods.
Let a man not seek for the respect of his peers, let him seek wisdom.

-- Dhammapada

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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by heart » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:07 pm

Wayfarer wrote:I'm not keen on 'true for you'', that's simple relativism. I believe the wisdom beings and deities are real, if they're aspects of mind, that is true in a sense much more profound than psychology would fathom.
Not mind, the nature of mind.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Anders
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by Anders » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:57 pm

heart wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:I'm not keen on 'true for you'', that's simple relativism. I believe the wisdom beings and deities are real, if they're aspects of mind, that is true in a sense much more profound than psychology would fathom.
Not mind, the nature of mind.

/magnus
Obviously they can not be reduced only to that, since the nature of mind has no appearances, does not come forth, is immovable, etc.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:04 pm

IMO experiences can answer this question better than words. Trying to find the 'right' verbal explanation for a thing like this at best will simply quell niggling thoughts well enough to practice, at worst send you on a wild goose chase.
Read up on sambogakaya if you wan't the book lernin'.
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-Jeff H.

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heart
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by heart » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:51 pm

Anders wrote:
heart wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:I'm not keen on 'true for you'', that's simple relativism. I believe the wisdom beings and deities are real, if they're aspects of mind, that is true in a sense much more profound than psychology would fathom.
Not mind, the nature of mind.

/magnus
Obviously they can not be reduced only to that, since the nature of mind has no appearances, does not come forth, is immovable, etc.
The deity is the natural state and the effect that recognition have.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

philji
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by philji » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:05 pm

Anders wrote:
heart wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:I'm not keen on 'true for you'', that's simple relativism. I believe the wisdom beings and deities are real, if they're aspects of mind, that is true in a sense much more profound than psychology would fathom.
Not mind, the nature of mind.

/magnus
Obviously they can not be reduced only to that, since the nature of mind has no appearances, does not come forth, is immovable, etc.
Is this niot only a limited view of nature of mind. What about the three kayas

Tolya M
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Re: Buddhist Deities

Post by Tolya M » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:42 pm

StrangeGuy wrote:How would anybody explain the “reality issue” of Buddhist Deities (as in the Tibetan system ) to somebody who tries to understand it?
Some try to explain it, that Buddhist Deities are Jungian Archetypes. Others explain it as “quasi real aspects” as in they’re not real and at the same time real and “not not real” while at the same time partial real. Then there are some who describe it as real beings who’ve “transcended” their physicality into a higher dimensionality and therefore not bound by space & time. Some Buddhist monks have described for example the Christian Mary as Tara, so the last explanation would make sense somehow, or not? Any ideas?
At the very beginning it is necessary to give a definition of reality. There is place for innumerable beings and mahasattvas in the billion of a billion worlds postulated in Mahayana doctrine. Another question is that mahasattvas certainly do not look like in the drawings. This is an interpretation. It is beneficial to look at images and think about their qualities. Even thinking about the devas is beneficial as the Buddha said. (Without touching the theme of istadevatas images in the HYT).

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