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DN 1 - Brahmajāla Sutta: The All-embracing Net of Views - reference to the Abrahamic God?

BunksBunks Australia Veteran
edited February 3 in Faith & Religion

Hi all

Recently came across this in the Brahmajala Sutta:


  1. "There are, bhikkhus, some recluses and brahmins who are eternalists in regard to some things and non-eternalists in regard to other things, and who on four grounds proclaim the self and the world to be partly eternal and partly non-eternal. And owing to what, with reference to what, do these honorable recluses and brahmins proclaim their views?

  2. "There comes a time, bhikkhus, when after the lapse of a long period this world contracts (disintegrates). While the world is contracting, beings for the most part are reborn in the Ābhassara Brahma-world. There they dwell, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And they continue thus for a long, long period of time.

  3. "But sooner or later, bhikkhus, after the lapse of a long period, there comes a time when this world begins to expand once again. While the world is expanding, an empty palace of Brahmā appears. Then a certain being, due to the exhaustion of his life-span or the exhaustion of his merit, passes away from the Ābhassara plane and re-arises in the empty palace of Brahmā. There he dwells, mind made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And he continues thus for a long, long period of time.

  4. "Then, as a result of dwelling there all alone for so long a time, there arises in him dissatisfaction and agitation, (and he yearns): 'Oh, that other beings might come to this place!' Just at that moment, due to the exhaustion of their life-span or the exhaustion of their merit, certain other beings pass away from the Ābhassara plane and re-arise in the palace of Brahmā, in companionship with him. There they dwell, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And they continue thus for a long, long period of time.

  5. "Thereupon the being who re-arose there first thinks to himself: 'I am Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the Universal Seer, the Wielder of Power, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that are and are to be. And these beings have been created by me. What is the reason? Because first I made the wish: "Oh, that other beings might come to this place!" And after I made this resolution, now these beings have come.'

"And the beings who re-arose there after him also think: 'This must be Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the Universal Seer, the Wielder of Power, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that are and are to be. And we have been created by him. What is the reason? Because we see that he was here first, and we appeared here after him.'


Do you think this may also explain the Abrahamic God and their belief that they created the universe?

Comments

  • Do you think this may also explain the Abrahamic God and their belief that they created the universe?

    I don't think like a god or worry about their imaginary situation/problems. I have my own thinking to do away with …

    howBunksFosdick
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    I'm far from informed on the subject, but I believe the thinking the Abrahamic God came out of Judaism or its precursor? I also wonder how likely exchange of ideas would be between the regions at that time.

    What I find really interesting is all around the same time (within a few centuries) many of the worlds religions were founded. The period is known as the Axial_Age, if you're curious about the topic maybe look there?

    Bunks
  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    The period is known as the Axial_Age,>

    The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong is a good book to start with on that subject.

    Shoshin1lobsterpersonBunks
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited February 4

    I always wonder how the thoughts and actions of a god over a very, very long period of time happened to arrive on Earth for us to read. I do find it interesting that they call the other beings “mind-made”, kind of a reference that even in the heavens everything is made by the mind.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited February 4

    @Bunks said:
    Do you think this may also explain the Abrahamic God and their belief that they created the universe?

    The "Abrahamic God" specifically? No, IMO. Why? Because Abrahamic monotheism has a different philosophical trajectory than Indian religion. It's possible that Jesus was a great non-Buddhist dhyānin who misunderstood himself as "God" after having reviewed his past lives until he found Mahābrahmā among them, certainly, but there would be no way to know. The forms of Christianity that believed in reincarnation lost out and most of their theological literature is gone, save for esoteric fragments.

    Buddhism has many similarities with a pan-religious movement that hit the Near East and Mediterranean between approximately 100 and 300 AD called "Gnosticism." The Gnostics imagined an ineffable transcendent "true God" who is the source of all good and a wicked false God who claims to be him. This wicked false God was believed to be the creator of the heavens and the earth we know. The garden of Eden, in Gnostic texts, is sometimes depicted as a deadly golden cage, designed to lock up the light of the true God which the false God (the Demiurge) coveted. That light was the souls of humanity as represented by Adam and Eve.

    It's not exactly Mahābrahmā, but closer to him IMO than the Abrahamic God of mainstream contemporary Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

    BunksWalker
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    I see Jesus more as someone who saw himself in God (and I think one can replace this term with Spinoza's nature, nibbana, buddha-nature, etc.) and God in himself, unifying his individual mode of being with the substance or unconditioned reality underlying it. The familiarity with which he speaks about God reflects that God isn't somewhere out there, far away, but already present in our hearts.

    BunksShoshin1lobsterWalker
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