Where are the Gods?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
User avatar
Posts: 2901
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 1:41 am

Re: Where are the Gods?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:13 am

conebeckham wrote:"Experiencing" something means there is an experiencer, and an experience to be experienced. Also, there is a time prior to the experience, and a time after the experience. Because there are therefore multiple factors or conditions for this "phenomenon" of "experiencing" to occur, all experiences are dependently arisen, and therefore unreal.
By 'unreal' you mean having no inherently self-existing quality or reality?
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

User avatar
Posts: 4663
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:49 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA, USA

Re: Where are the Gods?

Post by conebeckham » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:07 am

Illusory. Not real. No reality.

"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

User avatar
Posts: 26145
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Where are the Gods?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:04 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:[
and so what you are saying is that if it is not the result of cause, it cannot be experienced.
"it cannot be experienced..." by something arisen from causes.

If we refer to the 12 links of dependent arising and say that they are beginning-less, how does begingingless-ness differ from what we would refer to as being eternal?
Relatively speaking, every instant is impermanent, even though the 'chain' of instants has no beginning. The point of dependent origination is that no conditioned entity can arise from anything other than another conditioned entity. All causes are themselves effects, and all effects are themselves causes. There is no room in the logic of dependent origination for a cause that is not an effect of some other cause -- hence there can be no beginnings of any kind at all.

Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

The knowledge imparted through the guru’s instructions that formerly was unknown (avidyā) is vidyā.

—Treasury of the Supreme Vehicle, Longchenpa.

User avatar
Posts: 1601
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Where are the Gods?

Post by ronnewmexico » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:44 pm

To affirm that from a text I am just now reading...

"You may have the eternalist view, thinking, "Even thought thoughts themselves cease, they are permanent because they will always continue to arise and appear"."

Considering that to be a deluded thought, which I surmise is... misconstruing continual presence of a thing as eternal presence(to my opinion).

As water always presents wet, that does not imply eternal presence.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.

Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:47 pm

Re: Where are the Gods?

Post by Kai » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:42 am

Astus wrote:Traditionally it is described that gods live on mount Meru and above in the sky. There are actual distances given and so on. But where are the gods now that we have no mount Meru and even the sky ends at one point and there is just empty space left? This is also a question because gods below the formless realm have some kind of physical body thus they're supposed to be somewhere. But where is it?
My guess is that the deva or rather mount Sumera is somewhere within the Himalaya, if you read the Vedas which Buddhist mythology are largely based upon, you will realize that Shiva is said to be resided in a particular mountain in the Himalaya. Some practitioners of Vajrayoginis have also said that Khecari lies around the same specific area as well. And tantric practitioners knew that Khecari was once the abode of Shiva Himself before taking over by Chakrasamvara.

One thing about the devas is that they don't only reside on the Mount Meru or in the sky. Some of them are said to have "castles on the top of the tress" (It like the Greece Dryads or Norse Elves) and many Thai Theravadins do believe that myth, the same goes for devas living in the rivers, etc. So these are the ones that should be bothering most Buddhists as they are living along the side of human beings without the latter (In most cases) ever notice them. Asuras also re appeared in the form of Titans for greece and giants (Fire or frost) for Norse and they lived under the ground or in the sea without attracting the attention of anyone.

Comparative Mythology had shown that the various belief systems in the world have a slight different version of the mythological backbone; For example, Zeus who is like Indra, lives at the top of a high Mountain, Meru or Olympus and both love women or that the world system is born from a cosmos egg put into a sea of chaos. Some of these myths was even dated back a few thousand years (especially Sumerian, Egypt and India). And given the fact that several regions around the world were separated by vast geographical obstacles, it seems unlikely that there are great interactions between different regions before Alexander started his continent spanning conquest. So, your guess is as good as mine, whether these divine beings really exist and ancient people living in various parts of the world did actually saw them. Its quite freaking to see parallels of same legends appearing all over the world since the very olden days unless those things really exist in some forms or another.

Regarding the meditative accounts of some yogis (Hindu or Buddhists), they seem to support the popular idea that some creatures can't be seen without specific training of our senses. The fact, most of the worldly beings like us, are the more deluded ones, their words will tend to carry more weight.

As for the location of Brahma, my guess is that he is located somewhere within the solar system (A rough estimation of a world system as described in Buddhist cosmology). Interesting enough, the Christian Gnostics (Around 200 AD) told of a blind God that believe himself to be the creator in very similar fashion like how Buddha rebutted Brahma in the suttas. And in their gospels, the blind God created solar system and the seven heavens. And his servants, the archons (Just like the Brahama ministers) was said to live in each of the seven celestial spheres (Planets) like Saturn, Jupiter, etc.

My interest in this area is not done yet and hopefully, I might discover more interesting stuffs in the near future.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests