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Buddha taught the union with God(Brahma)!

AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
edited June 2007 in Philosophy
http://www.dhammaweb.net/Tipitaka/read.php?id=13

Tevijja Sutta (On Knowledge of The Vedas)

“Vasettha, it might be said that such a man on being asked the way might be confused or perplexed - but the Tathagata, on being asked about the Brahma world and the way to get there, would certainly not be confused or perplexed. For, Vasettha, I know Brahma and the world of Brahma, and the way to the world of Brahma, and the path of practice whereby the world of Brahma may be gained.”

At this Vasettha said : “Reverend Gotama,” I have heard them say : “The ascetic Gotama teaches the way to union with Brahma.” “It would be good if the Reverend Gotama were to teach us the way to union with Brahma, may the Reverend Gotama help the people of Brahma!”

“Then, Vasettha, listen, pay proper attention, and I will tell you.” “Very good, Reverend Sir,” said Vasettha. The Lord said :

“Vasettha, a Tathagata arises in the world, an Arahant, a fully-enlightened Buddha, endowed with wisdom and conduct, Well-Farer, Knower of the worlds, incomparable Trainer of men to be tamed, Teacher of Gods and humans, enlightened and blessed. He, having realised it by his own super-knowledge, proclaims this world with its Devas, Maras and Brahmas, its princes and people. He preaches the Dhamma which is lovely in its beginning, lovely in its middle, lovely in its ending, in the spirit and in the letter, and displays the fully perfected and purified holy life. A disciple goes forth, practises the moralities, attains the first jhana (as Digha Nikaya 2, verses 43-75).”

“Then, with his heart filled with loving-kindness, he dwells suffusing one quarter, the second, the third, the fourth. Thus he dwells suffusing the whole world, upwards, downwards, across, everywhere, always with a heart filled with loving-kindness, abundant, unbounded without hate or ill-will.

“Just as if a mighty trumpeter were with little difficulty to make a proclamation to the four quarters, so by this meditation, Vasettha, by this liberation of the heart through loving kindness he leaves nothing untouched, nothing unaffected in the sensuous sphere.7 This, Vasettha, is the way to union with Brahma.”

“Then with his heart filled with compassion, … with sympathetic joy, with equanimity he dwells suffusing one quarter, the second, the third, the fourth. Thus he dwells suffusing the whole world, upwards, downwards, across, everywhere, always with a heart filled with equanimity, abundant, unbounded, without hate or ill-will.”

“Just as if a mighty trumpeter were with little difficulty to make a proclamation to the four quarters, so by this meditation, Vasettha, by this liberation of the heart through cornpassion, …through sympathetic joy, … through equanimity, he leaves nothing untouched, nothing unaffected in the sensuous sphere. This, Vasettha, is the way to union with Brahma.”

“What do you think, Vasettha? Is a monk dwelling thus encumbered with wives and wealth or unencumbered?” “Unencumbered, Reverend Gotama.” “He is without hate …, without ill-will …, pure and disciplined, Reverend Gotama.”

“Then, Vasettha, the monk is unencumbered, and Brahma is unencumbered. Has that unencumbered monk anything in common with the unencumbered Brahma?” “Yes indeed, Reverend Gotama.”

“That is right, Vasettha. Then that an unencumbered monk, after death, at the breaking-up of the body, should attain to union with the unencumbered Brahma - that is possible. Likewise a monk without hate …, without ill~will …, pure …, disciplined … Then that a disciplined monk, after death, at the breaking-up of the body, should attain to union with Brahma - that is possible.”

..



http://tipitaka.pbwiki.com/Tevijjasutta
40. "Siyā kho vāseṭṭha tassa purisassa manasākaṭe jatavaddhassa manasākaṭassa maggaṃ puṭṭhassa dandhāyitattaṃ vā vitthāyitattaṃ vā, nattheva tathāgatassa brahmaloke vā brahmalokagāminiyā vā paṭipadāya puṭṭhassa dandhāyitattaṃ vā vitthāyitattaṃ vā. Brahmānañcāhaṃ vāseṭṭha pajānāmi brahmalokañca brahmalokagāminiñca paṭipadaṃ. Yathāpaṭipanno brahmalokaṃ upapanno, tañcapajānāmī"ti.

79. Puna ca paraṃ vāseṭṭha bhikkhu muditāsahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ eritvā viharati tathā dutiyaṃ tathā tatiyaṃ tathā catutthiṃ. Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ muditāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena avyāpajjhena pharitvā viharati. Seyyathāpi vāseṭṭha balavā saṅkhadhamo appakasireneva cātuddisaṃ sarena viññāpeyya, evameva kho vāseṭṭha evaṃ bhāvitāya mettāya cetovimuttiyā yaṃ pamāṇakataṃ kammaṃ na taṃ tatrāvasissati, na taṃ tatrāvatiṭṭhati. Ayampi kho vāseṭṭha brahmuno sahavyatāya maggo.

80. Puna ca paraṃ vāseṭṭha bhikkhu upekkhāsahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ eritvā viharati tathā dutiyaṃ tathā tatiyaṃ tathā catutthiṃ. Iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ upekkhāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena avyāpajjhena pharitvā viharati. Seyyathāpi vāseṭṭha balavā saṅkhadhamo appakasireneva cātuddisaṃ sarena viññāpeyya, evameva kho vāseṭṭha evaṃ bhāvitāya mettāya cetovimuttiyā yaṃ pamāṇakataṃ kammaṃ na taṃ tatrāvasissati, na taṃ tatrāvatiṭṭhati. Ayampi kho vāseṭṭha brahmuno sahavyatāya maggo.
Buddha_Fan22

Comments

  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited May 2007
    It has always seemed to me that the Buddha and all teachers of the Dharma strive to turn the wheel in terms that can be understood by the hearers, in the context familiar to their listeners, despite the fact that the Dharmais, of its nature, impossible to express in words.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa,

    While the discourse given to the brahmins in the Tevijja Sutta concludes with the Buddha declaring that the four Brahmaviharas will lead to a 'union with Brahma', it is imperative that we do not forget another passage found later in the Digha Nikaya where the Buddha's converses with the gandhabba Pancasikha:
    [Speaking in reference to a past life of Gotama, Pancasikha asks:] 'Do you remember this, Lord?' [The Buddha then answers:] 'I do, Pancasikha. At that time, I was the Brahmin, the Great Steward, and I taught those disciples the path to the union with the Brahma-world [which the previous paragraphs show consisted of the four Brahmaviharas].

    'However, Pancasikha, that holy life does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to superknowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana, but only to birth in the Brahma-world, whereas my holy life leads unfailingly to to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace, to superknowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. That is the Noble Eightfold Path, namely Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration. (DN 19)

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Buddha had spoken to many brahmins..
    Many brahmins became his disciplies and Buddha taught them they way to Brahman.
    Buddha taught also brahmacarija - walking with Brahma..


    Jason, the sutta is Govidna sutta you cited? Can you provide the link?
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    For Buddha true brahmin(brahman) was who know the unmade, who is free of fetters.

    "Having striven, brahman,
    cut the stream.
    Expel sensual passions.
    Knowing the ending of fabrications,
    brahman,
    you know the Unmade."

    "One whose beyond or
    not-beyond or
    beyond-&-not-beyond
    can't be found;
    unshackled, carefree:
    he's what I call
    a brahman."
    "Sitting silent, dustless,
    absorbed in jhana,
    his task done, effluents gone,
    ultimate goal attained:
    he's what I call
    a brahman."

    "He has made his way past
    this hard-going path
    — samsara, delusion —
    has crossed over,
    has gone beyond,
    is free from want,
    from perplexity,
    absorbed in jhana,
    through no-clinging
    Unbound:
    he's what I call
    a brahman."

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.26.than.html

    So, why Buddha honored so much the status of brahman? Why he use this word for liberated arahant?

    The Buddha must have know what the word brahman did mean "those who are with union with Brahma" "who knows the ultimate truth - Brahma" etc.
    So this amount to that brahman goal or result and goal and result of Buddha dharma is the same
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa,

    I transcribed that passage (except for the bracketed quotes, of course, which were simply my notes for the reader's benefit) from a hard copy edition of the Digha Nikaya, therefore there is no link provided. I suppose that there are versions that you can find online if you google "DN 19" or "Mahagovinda Sutta".

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa,
    Anavasesa wrote:
    The Buddha must have know what the word brahman did mean "those who are with union with Brahma" "who knows the ultimate truth - Brahma" etc.
    So this amount to that brahman goal or result and goal and result of Buddha dharma is the same

    No, it does not mean that they are the same goal. The Buddha often used many words differently than they were originally used by those of his time, giving them his own meaning and context. This is clearly documented with a varitey of words such as brahmin, kamma, khandha, nibbana, et cetera. The Buddha was also an expert at word play, especially puns, which does not always translate well into English.

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Jason,

    Union with Braha does not consist of brahmaviharas, these are the path to. And Brahma is not brahmaloka.

    So when you put this path with contrast to 8fold path.. i have a question to you:
    Do you think that brahmaviharas does not lead to nibbana?
    Do you think that brahmaviharas are not part of 8fold path, its substantional part?

    I have found in suttas great stress on cultivating brahmaviras, which develop necessary quality of heart, lead to jhana, so its solid ground for attaing of nibbana.

    For unlimited mind and consciouness, full of best wishis and kindness for others is pure,without selfishnes, is very inteligent, unfettered, can very ease develop wisdom and ready to perceive the unmade, nibbana,and finally in connection with vipassana realize it.

    Moreover consider the path of anagami - they come to high pure planes wher they finally realize parinibana. So could we say that that path of anagami is not path to nibbana? No.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa wrote:
    Do you think that brahmaviharas does not lead to nibbana?

    No, they do not lead to nibbana by themselves.
    Do you think that brahmaviharas are not part of 8fold path, its substantional part?

    Yes, they are a part of the path.
    I have found in suttas great stress on cultivating brahmaviras, which develop necessary quality of heart, lead to jhana, so its solid ground for attaing of nibbana.

    Yes, they are useful practices.
    For unlimited mind and consciouness, full of best wishis and kindness for others is pure,without selfishnes, is very inteligent, unfettered, can very ease develop wisdom and ready to perceive the unmade, nibbana,and finally in connection with vipassana realize it.

    Moreover consider the path of anagami - they come to high pure planes wher they finally realize parinibana. So could we say that that path of anagami is not path to nibbana? No.

    I think you are misunderstanding their purpose.

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    http://www.buddhistinformation.com/ida_b_wells_memorial_sutra_library/agganna_sutta.htm

    Aggana-sutta
    about the beginnig and meaning of brahmin caste.

    Buddha about brahmin at that time:"‘Then, Vasettha, the Brahmins have forgotten their ancient tradition when they say that. Because we can see Brahmin women, the wives of Brahmins, who menstruate and become pregnant, have babies, and give milk. And yet these womb-born Brahmins talk about being born from Brahma’s mouth…These Brahmins misrepresent Brahma, tell lies and earn much demerit."

    Buddha about himself:Vasettha, all of you, though of different birth, name, clan and family, who have gone forth from the household life into homelessness, if you are asked who you are, you should reply: "We are ascetics, followers of the Sakyan." He whose faith in the Tathágata is settled, rooted, established, solid, unshakable by any ascetic or Brahmin, any deva or mara or Brahma or anyone in the world, can truly say: "I am a true son of the Blessed Lord, born of his mouth, born of Dhamma, created by Dhamma, an heir of Dhamma." Why is that? Because, Vasettha, this designates the Tathágata: "The Body of Dhamma[dhammakayo]," that is "The Body of Brahma[brahmakayo]," [3] or "Become Dhamma," that is "Become Brahma.[brahmabhuto]," [4]

    Yassa kho panassa vāseṭṭhā, tathāgate saddhā niviṭṭhā mūlajātā patiṭṭhitā daḷhā asaṃhāriyā4 samaṇena vā brāhmaṇena vā devena vā mārena vā brahmunā vā kenaci vā lokasmiṃ, tassetaṃ kallaṃ vacanāya: bhagavato'mhi putto oraso mukhato jāto dhammajo dhammanimmito dhammadāyādo'ti. Taṃ kissa hetu? Tathāgatassa hetaṃ vāseṭṭhā, adhivacanaṃ dhammakāyo itipi, brahmakāyo itipi, dhammabhuto iti pi, brahmabhuto iti pi.

    So the Buddha himself proclaim as a Brahma(or Brahma or brahman?)!

    Buddha about brahmins:"‘Then some beings thought, "Evil things have appeared among beings, such as taking what is not given, censuring, lying, punishment and banishment. We ought to put aside evil and unwholesome things." And they did so. "They Put Aside Evil and Unwholesome Things" is the meaning of Brahmin, which is the first regular title to be introduced for such people. They made leaf-huts in forest places and meditated in them. With the smoking fire gone out, with pestle cast aside, gathering alms for their evening and morning meals, they went away to a village, town, or royal city to seek their food, and then they returned to their leaf-huts to meditate. People saw this and noted how they meditated. "They Meditate[jhayanti]" is the meaning of Jhayaka, which is the second regular title to be introduced.

    ‘However, some of those beings, not being able to meditate in leaf huts, settled around towns and villages and compiled books. People saw them doing this and not meditating.

    ‘Now "These Do Not Meditate" is the meaning of Ajjhayaka, which is the third regular title to be introduced. At that time it was regarded as a low designation, but now it is the higher. This, then, Vasettha, is the origin of the class of Brahmins in accordance with the ancient titles that were introduced for them. Their origin was from among the very same beings, like themselves, not different, and in accordance with Dhamma, not otherwise.
    ."
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa,
    So the Buddha himself proclaim as a Brahma(or Brahma or brahman?)!

    I would suggest that you pay careful attention to the context in which the Buddha uses the words brahmin and Brahma, particularly in DN 27. As I said before, the Buddha was an expert at word play, often using many words differently than they were originally used by those of his time, giving them his own meaning and context.

    When it comes to the various epithets in reference to the Buddha, they are generally metaphors that represent certain aspects of his achievements, character, teachings ability, etc. and not meant to be taken literally. For example, he is called a bull among men, but he was not actually a bull. What do you think he means here?

    I might be misunderstanding what it is that you are attempting to prove with all of this, but notice that while here the Buddha tells a story about the beginning of life on this world, in the end, the story was used to illustrate how Dhamma is best in this world and the next, and that the way to liberation is beyond caste and lineage.

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Everyone,

    For anyone that might be interested, I thought that I would included a few notes concerning brahmas and brahmins. In the introduction to his translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, Bhikkhu Bodhi addresses the Brahmanasamyutta, where the Buddha's conversations with various brahmins are recorded. In particular he writes, "He here interprets the word "brahmin" by way of its original meaning, as a holy man, and on this basis redefines the true brahmin as the arahant. The three Vedas which the brahimns revered and diligently studied are replaced by the three vijjas or true knowledges possessed by the arahant: knowledge of past births, of the laws of kammic retribution, and of the destruction of the taints" (83-4).

    He also addresses the Brahmasamyutta, and in one paragragh he writes, "The Nikayas offer an ambivalent evaluation of the brahmas, as can be seen from the present samyutta. On the one hand, certain brahmas are depicted as valiant protectors of the Buddha's dispensation and devoted followers of the Master. But precisely because of their longevity and elevated stature in the cosmic hierarchy, the brahmas are prone to delusion and conceit; indeed, they sometimes imagine they are all-powerful creators and rulers of the universe. Perhaps this dual evaluation reflects the Buddha's ambivalent attitude towards the brahmins: admiration for the ancient spiritual ideals of the brahmin life (as preserved in the expressions brahmacariya and brahmavihara) coupled with rejection of the pretensions of the contemporary brahmins to superiority based on birth and lineage" (82).

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Elohim wrote:
    Anavasesa,



    I would suggest that you pay careful attention to the context in which the Buddha uses the words brahmin and Brahma, particularly in DN 27. As I said before, the Buddha was an expert at word play, often using many words differently than they were originally used by those of his time, giving them his own meaning and context.

    When it comes to the various epithets in reference to the Buddha, they are generally metaphors that represent certain aspects of his achievements, character, teachings ability, etc. and not meant to be taken literally. For example, he is called a bull among men, but he was not actually a bull. What do you think he means here?

    I might be misunderstanding what it is that you are attempting to prove with all of this, but notice that while here the Buddha tells a story about the beginning of life on this world, in the end, the story was used to illustrate how Dhamma is best in this world and the next, and that the way to liberation is beyond caste and lineage.

    Sincerely,

    Jason

    So Jason,

    What problem do you have with this proclamation?

    When is said that Buddha is teacher of people and gods it is also the play with word?
    Or the eye of world or body of dharma?
    "who sees dharma sees me" - also play with words?


    Every one know what means bull and every one get quickly metaforical meaning "bull among the men". But what about Brahma.
    Do know you what Brahma means?

    To see in everything what you does not fit in your image of buddhism as a play with words seems to me a little like a offence to Buddha. So it as if he was a sophist politic to gain the popularity and advantige in discourse for every price.
    But this is not this cas, Buddha teach thing as their are, leads to cessation of suffering, was without taint of lies.
    And metafor is not play with words.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa,

    Perhaps you are misunderstanding what it is that I am trying to say. I am trying to say that the Brahmas that are referred to in the suttas are nothing like the Western concept of G_d, and that the goal of the holy life is not 'union with Brahma' (or G_d). While the Buddha taught that the four brahamaviharas would lead to a 'union with Brahma' by leading to birth in the Brahma-world, he also taught that this does not lead to Nibbana—only the Noble Eightfold Path, namely Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration, leads to Nibbana.

    Often, when people use references such as DN 13 or the Brahmanavagga of the Dhammapada, for whatever reason, they do not make this distinction clear and it can appear that Buddhism is nothing more than another form of theism. I simply feel that it is important to understand the underlying meaning and context behind suttas such as these. I believe that misrepresenting the Dhamma is more of an offense to the Buddha than anything else, so I do my best to understand each sutta in its proper context. I do not believe that the Buddha would take offense to my efforts, even if sometimes I make a mistake or two.

    Sincerely,

    Jason
    FullCircle
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Elohim wrote:
    Anavasesa,

    Perhaps you are misunderstanding what it is that I am trying to say. I am trying to say that the Brahmas that are referred to in the suttas are nothing like the Western concept of G_d, and that the goal of the holy life is not 'union with Brahma' (or G_d). While the Buddha taught that the four brahamaviharas would lead to a 'union with Brahma' by leading to birth in the Brahma-world, he also taught that this does not lead to Nibbana—only the Noble Eightfold Path, namely Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration, leads to Nibbana.

    Often, when people use references such as DN 13 or the Brahmanavagga of the Dhammapada, for whatever reason, they do not make this distinction clear and it can appear that Buddhism is nothing more than another form of theism. I simply feel that it is important to understand the underlying meaning and context behind suttas such as these. I believe that misrepresenting the Dhamma is more of an offense to the Buddha than anything else, so I do my best to understand each sutta in its proper context. I do not believe that the Buddha would take offense to my efforts, even if sometimes I make a mistake or two.

    Sincerely,

    Jason


    Elohim, who says that Brahma has anything to do with our western term of God?
    Otherwise, do you see here any unified concept of "god"? I dont see it.
    Generally we can say, that GOD is what transcendent our individual experience.

    And it is not my invention, to translate Brahma as God. This is got used by many people included therevadin

    And there is eplicit evidence, that Buddha (also) taught the union with Brahma.
    He does not say to brahmin, that this is silly idea. he didn not refused the saying among people " I have heard them say : “The ascetic Gotama teaches the way to union with Brahma.”". No, he says: i now Brahma and brahma-loka and know the path, i will teach you".
    This is fact.
    Another fact is that Buddha taught what lead to cessation of suffering. And brahmavihars lead to this.

    The another fact is, that theravadins and modern scholar anad laymens have no idea of what the word "brahman" stood for at times of Buddha. They have no idea the basic conception of brahmans, their mode of thinking, the backround which Buddha set out from.
    Who have of them have studied early upanishad and brahmanas and vedas?


    It is only this ignorant people who project various silly idea into concept "Brahman". Naturally this then has really no connection with original term.
    So what we can dismiss are those silly assumption about brahma of this poeple.

    Conlusion: So we can se that Buddha taught union, and that is not any obstacle for holy life and to attain nibbana, regardless if union with brahma is goal itself, or other synonym for nibbana or some hiegher step before to nibbana.


    btw- what pali word is used for "holy life"?
    Why bhramacari is not translated as the same way as dharmacari?
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa,
    Anavasesa wrote:
    Elohim, who says that Brahma has anything to do with our western term of God?
    Otherwise, do you see here any unified concept of "god"? I dont see it.
    Generally we can say, that GOD is what transcendent our individual experience.

    The implication of using the capitalized "God" tends to give that impression, especially to Westerners who often equate the word "God" with the Western concept of G_d. When you say that the Buddha taught union with Brahma (God), it certainly gives the impression that you are referring to something similar without any distinction as to what you are referring to.
    And it is not my invention, to translate Brahma as God. This is got used by many people included therevadin

    Generally, Theravada does not tranlsate brahma as "God". Brahma, if anything, is a type of deva or heavenly being. The term is generally left untranslated when it references a specific brahma since it is considered to be a proper name, however, the word brahma is not used to reference what Westerners would generally equate with the capitalized version of "God".
    And there is eplicit evidence, that Buddha (also) taught the union with Brahma.
    He does not say to brahmin, that this is silly idea. he didn not refused the saying among people " I have heard them say : “The ascetic Gotama teaches the way to union with Brahma.”". No, he says: i now Brahma and brahma-loka and know the path, i will teach you".
    This is fact.
    Another fact is that Buddha taught what lead to cessation of suffering. And brahmavihars lead to this.

    Yes, and I already covered this. The evidence also shows that what the Buddha calls 'union with Brahma' is not the goal of the holy life that he teaches. It should also be noted that (i) the brahmaviharas themselves do not lead to Nibbana, and that (ii) DN 13 is the only sutta in the first thirteen of that collection which fails to lead to the attainment of arahantship.
    The another fact is, that theravadins and modern scholar anad laymens have no idea of what the word "brahman" stood for at times of Buddha. They have no idea the basic conception of brahmans, their mode of thinking, the backround which Buddha set out from.
    Who have of them have studied early upanishad and brahmanas and vedas?

    I would beg to differ that we do not have any idea as to what the word brahman stood for at the time of the Buddha. Not only do we have the suttas and commentarial material, but we also have contemporary usages of the word by other sects and religious texts of that time. Many translators, such as Bhikkhu Bodhi, have also studied the Upanishads and Vedas.
    Conlusion: So we can se that Buddha taught union, and that is not any obstacle for holy life and to attain nibbana, regardless if union with brahma is goal itself, or other synonym for nibbana or some hiegher step before to nibbana.

    Again, we can see in DN 19 that what the Buddha calls 'union with Brahma' is not the goal of the holy life which he himself teaches. That is a very important distinction that should be made regardless of whether he taught it to a group of brahmins or not. It should also be noted, once again, that the brahmaviharas do not lead to Nibbana in and of themsleves.
    btw- what pali word is used for "holy life"?
    Why bhramacari is not translated as the same way as dharmacari?

    First, see my previous post concening Bhikkhu Bodhi's notes from the Samyutta Nikaya to get one perspective. In addition, to further elaborate on what that means, the word brahma in the Nikayas is generally used in the sense of "highest", "holy", "divine", "supreme", et cetera when not referring to a specific type of deva or name of one such deva in particular.

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Generally, Theravada does not tranlsate brahma as "God". Brahma, if anything, is a type of deva or heavenly being. The term is generally left untranslated when it references a specific brahma since it is considered to be a proper name, however, the word brahma is not used to reference what Westerners would generally equate with the capitalized version of "God".

    Yes, this is valid for translation in pali. But i speak about Brahman of brahmans and upanishad.
    He they claim that believed in god and Brahmanism and upanishad are theistic system unlike buddhism.
    That is very hypocritacal by many.
    Example: Narada: "The Pāli equivalent for the Creator-God in other religions is either Issara (Samskrit -- isvara) or Brahma. In the Tipitaka there is absolutely no reference whatever to the existence of a God."
    So we can see this is evident lie form prominent monk.

    But in any anyway the same Brahma(nominativ form Brahman) about the Buddha taught. This Brahma is not like Brahmá, for their were distict individual, but Brahman is not personal, also then we should admit that Buddha procalim himself to become this divine being, but hi was about them, and yet said he was Brahmabhuto.

    When we look what are the characteristic of Brahman of brahmins- this are f.e. omnisciensce, infinite bliss, uncoditoned, ungraspable- so tell does it not valid also for Buddha?
    Of course in conditioned that we are not superfical and dont see only Buddha´s body.

    I would beg to differ that we do not have any idea as to what the word brahman stood for at the time of the Buddha. Not only do we have the suttas and commentarial material, but we also have contemporary usages of the word by other sects and religious texts of that time.
    Who is that "WE"? Do yoy identify all theravadin i have adressed?
    What about to "we have other sects text"?
    Yes, the text are available, but it does not mean that one have studied it.

    and you havent replied to this
    "Why bhramacari is not translated as the same way as dharmacari?"

    To translate some "suspicious" words which could incur positive connection with upanishidic or brahmans text into some meek meanings is standart practies, but it is not justifiable and professional.
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Elohim wrote:

    Again, we can see in DN 19 that what the Buddha calls 'union with Brahma' is not the goal of the holy life which he himself teaches. That is a very important distinction that should be made regardless of whether he taught it to a group of brahmins or not. It should also be noted, once again, that the brahmaviharas do not lead to Nibbana in and of themsleves.

    So Elohim,
    You want to say, that the Buddha discerned between two "holy lifes"?
    How can be there holy life, which does not lead to nibbana?
    But the quotation from DN19 seems to contradict to another passages in suttas and logic.
    I even dare to say that this one paragraph was added later
    If Buddha was in previous life "brahma Steward" and taught the union with Brahman and practice brahma-viharas was not unfruitful. It is maybe just because of this practise which brought him great merits, finally the birth as Gautama, endowed with grat quality and virtue, and compassion which led him finally to holy life and become the Buddha.

    And again we see that Gautama as Buddha again taught brahma-viharas(union with Brahma), exactly the same instruction. How is it possible?

    I did not say that brahma-viharas are goal of holy life. They are means as 8fold path is not goal but a means.
    And Brahma-viharas lead to nibbana, they are connected with jhanas.

    Look at this sutra:

    "May the Blessed One teach me the Dhamma in brief! May the One Well-gone teach me the Dhamma in brief! It may well be that I will understand the Blessed One's words. It may well be that I will become an heir to the Blessed One's words."

    "Then, monk, you should train yourself thus: 'My mind will be established inwardly, well-composed. No evil, unskillful qualities, once they have arisen, will remain consuming the mind.' That's how you should train yourself.

    "Then you should train yourself thus: 'Good-will [metta], as my awareness-release, will be developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

    "When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should then train yourself thus: 'Compassion, as my awareness-release... Appreciation, as my awareness-release... Equanimity, as my awareness-release, will be developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

    "When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should then train yourself thus: 'I will remain focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

    "When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should train yourself: 'I will remain focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.' That's how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture... not accompanied by rapture... endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity.

    "When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort."

    Then that monk, having been admonished by an admonishment from the Blessed One, got up from his seat and bowed down to the Blessed One, circled around him, keeping the Blessed One to his right side, and left.
    Then, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus he became another one of the arahants.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.063.than.html
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Jason and what about capitalized version of Nibbana?:-))
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    "Wise & mindful, you should develop immeasurable concentration [i.e., concentration based on immeasurable good will, compassion, appreciation, or equanimity]. When, wise & mindful, one has developed immeasurable concentration, five realizations arise right within oneself. Which five?

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.027.than.html
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Brahmavihara-sutta
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.208.than.html

    "This awareness-release through good will should be developed whether one is a woman or a man. Neither a woman nor a man can go taking this body along. Death, monks, is but a gap of a thought away. One [who practices this awareness-release] discerns, 'Whatever evil action has been done by this body born of action, that will all be experienced here [in this life]. It will not come to be hereafter.' Thus developed, the awareness-release through good will leads to non-returning for the monk who has gained gnosis here and has penetrated to no higher release.


    Elohim do you want still claim that brahmaviharas does not lead to nibbana?
    Is not non-returner the lokatura path to nibbana?

    ----
    Mettasutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.125.than.html
    Comment form Thanisaro"This sutta, read in conjunction with AN 4.123, has given rise to the belief that the development of good will as an immeasurable state can lead only to the first jhana, and that the next two immeasurable states — compassion and appreciation — can lead, respectively, only to the second and third jhanas. However, as AN 8.63 shows, all four immeasurable states can lead all the way to the fourth jhana. The difference between that discourse and this lies in how the person practicing these states relates to them. In that sutta, the person deliberately uses the state as a basis for developing all the jhanas. In this sutta, the person simply enjoys the state and remains in it."
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa,

    I believe that I have sufficiently made my points; therefore, since my time is limited, there is no reason for me to continue—unless, of course, there are some new points added to this discussion. In conclusion, equating "Brahma" with "God" can be potentially misleading. The fact that the Buddha taught the four brahmaviharas was never contested; nevertheless, the Buddha also taught that alone, without the aide of insight, cultivation of the four brahmaviharas did not lead to Nibbana, but only to birth in the Brahma-world. The Buddha made a clear distinction between the two, whether or not you believe that this was a latter addition. Furthermore, it is my opinion that comparing the concept of Brahman that is found within the Upanishads with the concept of Nibbana that is found within the Pali Canon to be untenable. I do not have the time to detail all of the reasons why, but if you are sincerely interested, read Lal Mani Joshi's Brahmanism, Buddhism and Hinduism and Francis Story's Dimension of Buddhist Thought: Collected Essays for starters. Beyond that, I have nothing more to add unless this discussion takes on a new direction.

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • AnavasesaAnavasesa Explorer
    edited May 2007
    Jason, i dont compel you to participate on this discussion, do i?:-))

    Note: I dont persist on translation that Brahman = God.
    On the other side many people do thus, including buddhist regarding brahman of brahmins of hinduism, and it has also its justification under certain conditions, fe. Brahman is not God-creater.

    And if some theravadin buddhist speak about vedic or upanishadic brahman to be God, and their goal union with God, then one should also use it in pali sutras. This is called logical consistency or consistency of thought
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 2007
    Anavasesa,
    Anavasesa wrote:
    Jason, i dont compel you to participate on this discussion, do i?:-))

    No, my respect for the Dhamma compels me to participate.
    Note: I dont persist on translation that Brahman = God.

    No, you translated Brahma as God in the title of this thread.

    On the other side many people do thus, including buddhist regarding brahman of brahmins of hinduism, and it has also its justification under certain conditions, fe. Brahman is not God-creater.

    This statement is unclear, and I 'm not sure what you mean.
    And if some theravadin buddhist speak about vedic or upanishadic brahman to be God, and their goal union with God, then one should also use it in pali sutras. This is called logical consistency or consistency of thought

    Only if we assume that their usage of brahman is identical.

    Sincerely,

    Jason
  • edited June 2007
    Dear Jason:

    I often wonder why you participate in these disputes about the "self" and "god" with such energy. I guess you sort of answered that with your satement that respect for the Dhamma compels you. After reading some of what you say about these issues I am then surprised by things you say about Judaism. I do feel confused about where exactly you really stand. I mean, you follow a theistic moral scruple by writing "G-d" and yet still accept being addressed as "Elohim"! I don`t really get it!
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited June 2007
    VWP,
    After reading some of what you say about these issues I am then surprised by things you say about Judaism. I do feel confused about where exactly you really stand. I mean, you follow a theistic moral scruple by writing "G-d" and yet still accept being addressed as "Elohim"! I don`t really get it!

    Basically, whenever I am speaking about G_d or the concept of G_d in relation to the three Abrahamic religions, I write it omitting the vowels out of respect for those that believe in such a G_d. It is a habit that is left over from studying Judaism. In most other circumstance, I generally write it normally.

    Jason
  • edited June 2007
    he really taught about union with brahma? i didnt kno that
  • edited June 2007
    It's called "expedient means" in teaching terms. Couching new concepts in terms that the listener will comprehend.

    In conversations with Christian friends and acquaintances, I often explain that what they may call the "gods and goddesses" of oriental Buddhism (Kwan Yin, HoTei -- arhants and boddhisattva) are "more like saints."

    This does not mean Kwan Yin and St. Vincent de Paul are the same entity. It means they are similar in religious significance.

    namo amitofo
    -fd-
  • Bobby_LanierBobby_Lanier Veteran
    edited June 2007
    Jennings, The Vedantic Buddhism of the Buddha, 573–74 :

    “It should never be forgotten that Buddhism is a reformed Brahmanism, as is evidenced by the invariably honorific use which Gautama makes of the title ‘Brahmin’ and it therefore takes for granted certain Vedic or Vedantic postulates. The background of Buddhism, as that of Brahmanism, is Brahma, the impersonal divine unity underlying and harmonizing all individualities, all egoism, all difference, and all strife”

    Love ya'll,

    Bobby
    Buddha_Fan22
  • not1not2not1not2 Veteran
    edited June 2007
    TexZen wrote:
    It's called "expedient means" in teaching terms. Couching new concepts in terms that the listener will comprehend.

    In conversations with Christian friends and acquaintances, I often explain that what they may call the "gods and goddesses" of oriental Buddhism (Kwan Yin, HoTei -- arhants and boddhisattva) are "more like saints."

    This does not mean Kwan Yin and St. Vincent de Paul are the same entity. It means they are similar in religious significance.

    namo amitofo
    -fd-

    I would argue that everything that came out of the Buddha's mouth could be considered 'expedient means'. But we should be careful not to simply equate everything he said to everyone with full, unsurpassed enlightenment. The Buddha taught many things to many people, but that does not mean they were all just different words for the same thing. He had advice for non-practitioners, lay-practitioners, monks, those on retreats, and on & on. But while all of this advice is arguably towards the goal of release, it is not all the same. So, what we must do at this point is simply study each teaching in it's own right, in relation to its context as well as to other teachings (in other contexts) to determine its proper meaning & significance.

    I don't know whether or not I am disagreeing with you in any way, I just think there is a big danger of conflating & confusing the teachings if one does not properly investigate these points.

    metta
    _/\_
  • Understanding Brahma in Buddhist philosophy for me was tough. Hindus see Brahma as the supreme creator, but Theravada sees Brahma as a class of Devas in the high realms of samsara. Buddha said that he knew the Brahma world and the path to it, does this mean the union of Brahma (Moksha), or just being rebirthed in that higher plane of existence?

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited February 2015

    Hey @Buddha_Fan22 ...just a heads up...Aunt Fede ( our Mod) should be here soon and this thread will probably get closed. It's old..2007. Check the dates, If it's old, start anew thread...they (mods and admins) like to keep the conversations current...
    The dates are under the names...

    So sorry...I didn't even speak first...Hi...nice to meet you :smile:

    DavidTheEccentricBuddha_Fan22
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Quite.

    Do feel free to start a new thread if you feel the topic is relevant or permanent.
    And yes, indeed.
    welcome. ;)

This discussion has been closed.