Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

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truthb
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Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by truthb » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm

Hi all-

I have been tinkering with Buddhism for years, meaning taking little bits of pieces and now I am diving in deep and really imersing myself in the Mahayana tradition.

Looking at the Hell realms, and it seems incomphrehensible to me that someone could do enough bad things in one lifetime to warrant 1 billion years of torture.... and that is the shortest term in a hell realm, some are MUCH longer.

Any insights?
Paul Robert's life changing book on Amida Buddha- "Shin Buddhism 101"
https://drive.google.com/file/d/10i4DCA ... sp=sharing

Please visit my Jodo ShinShu Buddhism youtube channel- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB2JSy ... oFyP917KMA and offer feedback.

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Caoimhghín
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Caoimhghín » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:32 pm

truthb wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm
Any insights?
Saṁsāra sucks. Let's just all be thankful that Jehovah isn't the one that will be punishing one's soul eternally in a neverending holy temper tantrum.
savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)

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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Queequeg » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:37 pm

Caoimhghín wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:32 pm
truthb wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm
Any insights?
Saṁsāra sucks. Let's just all be thankful that Jehovah isn't the one that will be punishing one's soul eternally in a neverending holy temper tantrum.
This.

one billion trillion is still < eternity.

One of the basic Buddhist teachings is, "do good, don't do evil."

For those tempted to do evil, keep in mind the punishments of hell and their duration.

If you do evil, Buddhism teaches, take your lumps.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Dan74
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Dan74 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:58 pm

truthb wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm
Hi all-

I have been tinkering with Buddhism for years, meaning taking little bits of pieces and now I am diving in deep and really imersing myself in the Mahayana tradition.

Looking at the Hell realms, and it seems incomphrehensible to me that someone could do enough bad things in one lifetime to warrant 1 billion years of torture.... and that is the shortest term in a hell realm, some are MUCH longer.

Any insights?
Buddhism isn't a creed, so you are free to doubt some teachings.

Myself I don't know. Doesn't seem commensurate, I agree. Maybe it was exaggerated for motivational purposes?

dechenpa
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by dechenpa » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:32 pm

You are looking at it in terms of justice, which is a Western concept, bound up with the gods of the ancients (primarily Zeus) and Mosaic law, and divine providence. In Buddhism, there are no divine arbiters of justice, there are only actions and their results. The hells are projections of our own minds. We create them ourselves, and they have no inherent reality. What happens in the hells is beyond imagination, and is neither just nor fair. There is nobody who is going to save you from the hells but yourself. Samsara is so much worse than you think.

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KeithA
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by KeithA » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:13 pm

Any insights?
Don't go there.

;)
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:21 am

Some people feel like their lives are a hell or their lives really are hellish without them "doing" anything to be like that. No need to look at hells, it is enough to look at yourself during your worst. We all have enough karma to suffer in this life without us necessarily doing anything wrong. Imagine bilions of lives of bad karma. Sounds like enough to me.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:47 am

truthb wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm
Hi all-

I have been tinkering with Buddhism for years, meaning taking little bits of pieces and now I am diving in deep and really imersing myself in the Mahayana tradition.

Looking at the Hell realms, and it seems incomphrehensible to me that someone could do enough bad things in one lifetime to warrant 1 billion years of torture.... and that is the shortest term in a hell realm, some are MUCH longer.

Any insights?
You've never been covered head-to-toe with poison ivy.
A billion years of torture can occur even during just one summer.
.
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.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

truthb
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by truthb » Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:26 am

dechenpa wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:32 pm
You are looking at it in terms of justice, which is a Western concept, bound up with the gods of the ancients (primarily Zeus) and Mosaic law, and divine providence. In Buddhism, there are no divine arbiters of justice, there are only actions and their results. The hells are projections of our own minds. We create them ourselves, and they have no inherent reality. What happens in the hells is beyond imagination, and is neither just nor fair. There is nobody who is going to save you from the hells but yourself. Samsara is so much worse than you think.
I admit that I was raised in Western Culture, and hence have that idea of justice deeply embedded in me.... and I was trying to understand it in terms of cause and effect.

Hell being the effect.... I was trying to understand what could cause that.
Paul Robert's life changing book on Amida Buddha- "Shin Buddhism 101"
https://drive.google.com/file/d/10i4DCA ... sp=sharing

Please visit my Jodo ShinShu Buddhism youtube channel- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB2JSy ... oFyP917KMA and offer feedback.

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:03 am

dechenpa wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:32 pm
In Buddhism, there are no divine arbiters of justice, there are only actions and their results.
Except for the Yama’s court, his officers, the trial with the mirror, the ten kings, etc.

jhanapeacock
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by jhanapeacock » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:34 am

Fortyeightvows wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:03 am
dechenpa wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:32 pm
In Buddhism, there are no divine arbiters of justice, there are only actions and their results.
Except for the Yama’s court, his offIicers, the trial with the mirror, the ten kings, etc.
Lol, i was just going to said that.

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Astus
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Astus » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:33 am

truthb wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm
Looking at the Hell realms, and it seems incomphrehensible to me that someone could do enough bad things in one lifetime to warrant 1 billion years of torture.... and that is the shortest term in a hell realm, some are MUCH longer.
'There is the case where a trifling evil deed done by a certain individual takes him to hell. There is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by another individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.
Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.'

(Lonaphala Sutta)

'This fifth category means the maturation of a big result from a small karma For example, regarding nonvirtuous deeds, it is said that one will experience a kalpa in the hell realm for each instant of negative thought Engaging in the Conduct of Bodhisattvas says:
"The Buddha has said that whoever bears an evil thought
Against a benefactor such as that bodhisattva
Will remain in hell for as many aeons
As there were evil thoughts"'

(Jewel Ornament of Liberation, p 120)

'Therefore, solidify the certainty that even the subtlest of virtuous and nonvirtuous actions follow you like shadows and produce both great happiness and great suffering. Then, strive to cultivate even the subtlest of virtues and to eliminate even the subtlest of sins and infractions.'
(The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, vol 1, p 212)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

tkp67
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by tkp67 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:23 am

truthb wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm
Hi all-

I have been tinkering with Buddhism for years, meaning taking little bits of pieces and now I am diving in deep and really imersing myself in the Mahayana tradition.

Looking at the Hell realms, and it seems incomphrehensible to me that someone could do enough bad things in one lifetime to warrant 1 billion years of torture.... and that is the shortest term in a hell realm, some are MUCH longer.

Any insights?
It seems unreasonable from the perspective of just one human existence. When you look at all human existence as an aggregate it might be accurate in regards to the human condition that relentlessly seeks the perpetuation of samsara.

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:20 pm

The problem we have in the west is that we are always comparing these buddhist "unprovables"
to our own being, as though our own being is somehow provable.
Then we forget the basics, the basic premises of Dharma, of emptiness, illusion, clinging.
We forget that it applies all around.
So, just as we wonder if celestial beings, and ghosts and hell dwellers and various realms are "real"
in the same way that we are "real"
we forget that concepts such as "uncountable kalpas" or "billions of years in a hell realm" also follow the same reasoning.
We are only on one planet, that takes 365 spins, what we ignorantly separate into "night and day"
then going around around our Sun, to make a year.
Actually, all of our labels for time are arbitrary.
We say the big bang happened billions of years ago.
But if the universe is still expanding because of it,
then it's still happening, isn't it?
You can't find an indivisible moment when the big bang "stopped".
So, a billion years in the hell realm,
maybe that happens in a split second.
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Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

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Matt J
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Matt J » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:53 pm

Belief is hell is not a core, or even a necessary component of being a Buddhist. It is not a refuge, a Noble Truth, a part of the Eightfold Path, a dharma seal, etc.

Most of the past life memories recorded by UVA are memories of past human lives without reference to hell realms.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:20 pm

Matt J wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:53 pm
Most of the past life memories recorded by UVA are memories of past human lives without reference to hell realms.
I would guess that there are also no references to other realms only. maybe it's because the people they are talking to don't have a frame to remember their time as animals, etc.
We know that memory is not 'static' and to ordinary minds it always carries some feeling.

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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:48 pm

Matt J wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:53 pm
Belief is hell is not a core, or even a necessary component of being a Buddhist. It is not a refuge, a Noble Truth, a part of the Eightfold Path, a dharma seal, etc.

Most of the past life memories recorded by UVA are memories of past human lives without reference to hell realms.
False
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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Nemo
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Nemo » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:56 pm

The big question is who is doing the punishing?
Are there a class of evil beings who delight in tormenting evil humans, Gods and even animals?
That sounds very silly. A ghost story to tell novices around the fire.

But if your true nature is the actual Buddha imagine his distress at doing an evil deed. Would you not punish yourself?
I think it is summed up well by this. "In the abode of Yama(God of Death) the houses have no windows or doors."

Yama can also be translated as twin.

One of his powers being making you feel ashamed of your actions.

The underworld is often thought of as the unconscious.

All the puzzle pieces are there,...

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by Fortyeightvows » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:42 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:48 pm
Matt J wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:53 pm
Belief is hell is not a core, or even a necessary component of being a Buddhist. It is not a refuge, a Noble Truth, a part of the Eightfold Path, a dharma seal, etc.

Most of the past life memories recorded by UVA are memories of past human lives without reference to hell realms.
False
Which parts are false?

truthb
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Re: Buddhist Hell seems a bit much

Post by truthb » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:11 am

Astus wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:33 am
truthb wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:03 pm
Looking at the Hell realms, and it seems incomphrehensible to me that someone could do enough bad things in one lifetime to warrant 1 billion years of torture.... and that is the shortest term in a hell realm, some are MUCH longer.
'There is the case where a trifling evil deed done by a certain individual takes him to hell. There is the case where the very same sort of trifling deed done by another individual is experienced in the here & now, and for the most part barely appears for a moment.
Now, a trifling evil deed done by what sort of individual takes him to hell? There is the case where a certain individual is undeveloped in [contemplating] the body, undeveloped in virtue, undeveloped in mind, undeveloped in discernment: restricted, small-hearted, dwelling with suffering. A trifling evil deed done by this sort of individual takes him to hell.'

(Lonaphala Sutta)

'This fifth category means the maturation of a big result from a small karma For example, regarding nonvirtuous deeds, it is said that one will experience a kalpa in the hell realm for each instant of negative thought Engaging in the Conduct of Bodhisattvas says:
"The Buddha has said that whoever bears an evil thought
Against a benefactor such as that bodhisattva
Will remain in hell for as many aeons
As there were evil thoughts"'

(Jewel Ornament of Liberation, p 120)

'Therefore, solidify the certainty that even the subtlest of virtuous and nonvirtuous actions follow you like shadows and produce both great happiness and great suffering. Then, strive to cultivate even the subtlest of virtues and to eliminate even the subtlest of sins and infractions.'
(The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, vol 1, p 212)

Thank you.

That is what I am looking for- to understand Hell within the Buddhist context.
Paul Robert's life changing book on Amida Buddha- "Shin Buddhism 101"
https://drive.google.com/file/d/10i4DCA ... sp=sharing

Please visit my Jodo ShinShu Buddhism youtube channel- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB2JSy ... oFyP917KMA and offer feedback.

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