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Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/8/14 3:48 PM
I am having a conundrum, please help me out

1) Due
to certain experiences I know, without a doubt, that large parts of
Buddhism are true


2) Due
to certain experiences, I know, without a doubt, that the Christian
God exists and much of what Christianity says is true

(The latter happened first)


This leads to my problem...Why didn't God teach meditation? Why didn't God teach the path to
enlightenment? Shouldn't he know that Hell is impermanent, shouldn't he know he is impermanent?

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/8/14 4:04 PM as a reply to Bailey ..
Christianity teaches via mysteries which are absurdities that capture truth. Their contradictions are honest representations of truth.

Both religions contain strains of truth, I consider Christianity to be a more final revelation.

See Bernadette Robert's "The Real Christ", "What is Self?", "The Path to No-Self", and "The Experience of No-Self".

Personally my Christian experience was a gateway into genuine mystical experience, I'll come back here to explicate more if you want.

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/8/14 5:07 PM as a reply to J J.
J.J's reccomendations are good. Also Richard Rohr, Thomas Keating.

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/8/14 10:37 PM as a reply to J J.
Buddha teaches the truth, he teaches samsara, and he teaches the way out.

I 100% know the Christian God exists and am wondering why he did not teach samsara, impermanence and the way out.

That's it

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/8/14 11:19 PM as a reply to Bailey ..
Bernadette Roberts' works seem to link up contemplative states between Buddhist traditions and Christian traditions.

So, don't be so sure that Christ did not reveal something. He did, it's a mystery, but you'll find that it links up with the Buddhist tradition and maybe even goes beyond.

I know you're saying that the Christian God never taught any explicative Dharma, I get it. But Christian contemplatives are probably very well aware of these things.

Cheers,

James

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/9/14 5:29 AM as a reply to Bailey ..
As Isha Natha (Jesus Christ) is part of a community of spiritual masters that I work with, I have spent quite a bit of time in meditation/guru yoga with him during the last 6 years. I began a dialoque with him some months ago and I wrote it down as we went along. We got to cover some general things but specifically I-lessness in regards to both subject and objects. In buddhist terms firstfold and secondfold emptiness, this he made perfectly clear. Therefore for me personally, it is clear that the difference in attainments of the followers of either Christian or Buddhist traditions is only due to (limited) interpretation and dulling of the lineage. I will continue the book with him at some point but for the time being I'm too busy working and changing diapers emoticon

Baba

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/9/14 1:03 PM as a reply to Bailey ..
Bailey .:
Buddha teaches the truth, he teaches samsara, and he teaches the way out.

I 100% know the Christian God exists and am wondering why he did not teach samsara, impermanence and the way out.

That's it
Not sure if that helps, but there are some Pali suttas that indicate that Brahma (theorically the equivalent of the Christian God) does not have the deep knoledge of suffering and the path to end suffering as Buddha did.
I remember reading one sutta where a monk went to Brahma and asked him a question, and Brahma wasn't able to answer, while Buddha was able.
In another (more controversial) sutta, the Buddha explains how the current Brahma came to be and why he thinks he is the creator of the world, and where do prophets come from, etc. Note that these suttas are known to be ~2500 years old.

Oh, and in case you aren't aware, Heaven ≠ Nirvana.
In Heaven, people can still suffer and die and be reborn in other realms (though they supposedly have an absurdly long life and the suffering is more subtle). While Nirvana isn't even a realm.

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/9/14 10:37 PM as a reply to John P.
Awesome, this is more what I'm looking for.  Can you point me in the direction of those suttas you talk about?

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/9/14 10:55 PM as a reply to John P.
The first reference is to the Kevatta Sutta.

The second reference is to Baka Brahma.

Cheers.

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/10/14 5:35 AM as a reply to Bailey ..
Bailey .:
Awesome, this is more what I'm looking for.  Can you point me in the direction of those suttas you talk about?
I wasn't able to find the specific suttas I was talking about, but I just found a web page that seems to be highly related, which references passages of the Pali suttas that talk about God:
http://christianity.nibbanam.com/

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/10/14 8:27 AM as a reply to John P.
I often wonder why people get so entangled in doctrines.

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/10/14 10:19 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Personally I treat this mainly as a curiosity and do not take it too seriously.

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/10/14 12:07 PM as a reply to Bailey ..
What do you, and everybody else here, mean by God?

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/10/14 2:43 PM as a reply to John P.
I probably should have been more clear.

The first story about how Brahma is ignorant about certain things is the Kevatta Sutta, it is toward the bottom in the "Conversations with Gods" section.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.11.0.than.html

The second story is the classic story of Baka Brahma, who ignorantly believes that no one is capable of leaving his realm and that his life permanent. There is an interesting play of powers in this one because Mara takes possession of some of us Brahma's retinue. But the Buddha confounds them all.

Another favorite of mine is a discourse where a certain Brahma believes no one can enter his world. Instantaneously the Buddha and some chief disciples appear in his realm surrounded by different elements. That one is linked below.

http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Apara_Ditthi_Sutta

Baka Brahma's story is here:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.049.than.html

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/11/14 1:14 AM as a reply to Pål.
Another reason of why it's problematic to say whether God exists or not is that everybody has their owm definition of God. So most of the time there will be misunderstandings.

RE: Buddha and God, God and Buddha
Answer
12/14/14 11:53 AM as a reply to Bailey ..
Bailey .:
Awesome, this is more what I'm looking for.  Can you point me in the direction of those suttas you talk about?


JJ:
The first reference is to the Kevatta Sutta.

The second reference is to Baka Brahma.

Following are links to an online translation of one of the suttas referenced. However, I prefer Maurice Walshe's translation as published in the Wisdom Publications volume The Long Discourses of the Buddha, A Translation of the Digha Nikaya.

Digha Nikaya (DN) 11
PTS: D i 211
Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta: To Kevatta

Not sure what JJ is referring to in his second reference. However, try looking at the following sutta from the same volume of discourses, the Digha Nkiaya.

DN 21
PTS: D ii 276 chapter 2
Sakka-pañha Sutta: Sakka's Questions

In Walshe's translation, the passage I'm referring to occurs at 2.2 and 2.3 of the narrative. Sakka, king of the Thirty-Three Gods, approaches the Buddha through the aid of Pancasikha, and puts various questions on the holy life to the Buddha.

2.2 Then Sakka, having expressed his appreciation, asked another question: "But, sir, what gives rise to jealousy and avarice, what is their origin, how are they born, how do they arise? Owing to the presence of what do they arise, owing to the absence of what do they not arise?"

[Gotama answers]: Jealousy and avarice, Rulers of the Gods, take rise from like and dislike, this is their origin, this is how they are born, how they arise. When these are present, they arise; when these are absent, they do not arise."

"But, sir, what gives rise to like and dislike? Owing to the presence of what do they arise, owing to the absence of what do they not arise?"

"They arise, Ruler of the Gods, from desire ... Owing to the presence of desire, they arise, owing to the absence of desire they do not arise.."

"But, sir, what gives rise to desire?"

"Desire, Ruler of the Gods, arises from thinking ... When the mind thinks about something, desire arises; when the mind thinks about nothing, desire does not arise."

"But, sir, what gives rise to thinking?"

"Thinking, Ruler of the Gods, arises from the tendency to proliferation [of thought and thinking] ... When this tendency is present, thinking arises; when it is absent, thinking does not arise."

2.3 "Well, sir, what practice has that monk undertaken, who has reached the right way which is needful and leading to the cessation of the tendency to proliferation?"

"Ruler of the Gods, I declare that there are two kinds of happiness; the kind to be purusued, and the kind to be avoided. The same applies to unhappiness and equanimity. Why have I declared this in regard to happiness? This is how I understand happiness: When I observe that in the pursuit of such happiness, unwholesome factors increased and wholesome factors decreased, then that happiness was to be avoided. And when I obesrved that in the pursuit of such happiness, unwholesome factors decreased and wholesome ones increased, then that happiness was to be sought after. Now, of such happiness as is accompanied by thinking and pondering [vitakka and vicara], and of that which is not so accompanied, the latter is the more excellent. The same applies to unhappiness, and to equanimity. And this, Ruler of the Gods, is the practice that monk has undertaken who has reached the right way ... leading to the cessation of the tendency to proliferation."

Thanissaro uses the word "objectification" to translate the Pali word papañca. Walshe uses the word "proliferation" (as in "proliferation of thought and thinking" based upon one's reaction to objects which one reifies, distorts, elaborates, exaggerates, and identifies with oneself).

Objectification = papañca. The tendency of the mind to proliferate issues from the sense of "self."

Understanding (that is, being able to identify those moments when one is engaged in proliferation of thinking) papañca is key to being able to end dukkha in one's life.

This mental process of papañca all becomes self-evident once the mind is able to quieten itself down and is able to observe the reactions it is taking in response to various phenomena in the outer and inner worlds.