salima
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 08:52 am
@vajrasattva,
vajrasattva;87341 wrote:
No Guru padmashabhava had a few consorts and sex was and is used as a for of meditation to the end of enlightenment. The idea behind tantra was the idea that worldly pleasures can lead to enlightenment.

Hence all of the deities being in union with their consorts in all of the mandalas

Frankly the fear of talking about sex in religion is a little off puting I dont get it procreation is a beautiful and spiritual thing. Why we feel we cant talk about it i dont know.

but thanks

Vajrasattva


hello vaj-
i thought the idea of the deities having consorts was because of the male/female characteristics in each human being, and that when you reach enlightenment there is no gender difference at all. sort of a yin/yang symbol, god/goddess.

procreation i take to mean having children and sex is a broader subject. i think you can put religion into sex but it isnt a good idea to try and put sex into religion. that's only my opinion though.

any time sex or even gender is brought up in a thread it seems to get out of hand and closed. guess we cant handle it!
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 07:38 am
@salima,
Krumple;86824 wrote:

Here is an example. What if you are destined for a human birth, yet for some reason no humans want to have sex? Or if all the humans are wiped out. Your karma would allow for you to take a human birth yet there is no option to. Therefore karma is not justified because it can not fulfill the "reward" of obtaining the human birth.


How could you be destined for human rebirth if humans do not exist in the first place? If there are no humans, or if no humans procreate, then it is impossible to be destined for human rebirth. It's that simple.

This is no different that objecting to karma by saying, "What if karma does not work? Then karma would not work!"

As I understand Buddhist karma, in order for something to be in the cards, it must actually be in the cards.

It is no objection to karma to ask, "What if a soul is destined to be a unicorn, but, obviously, there are no unicorns? See - karma is full of holes!"

Krumple;86831 wrote:

I would agree with you, but that is not what DT even says, nor do I think most whom support the idea of karma and rebirth would say is possible. It is why DT says that human life should be "treasured" because it is the only way in which we can "obtain" or "reach" nirvana. If you could by any other realm of existence then being a dog in your next life isn't such a bad thing because you could still reach nirvana. I have never seen this claim ever made within the Buddhist circles. It is only a human birth which allows a being the opportunity for enlightenment.


I'm not so sure about this, Krumple. I recall in the sutras, as the Buddha teaches, that the birds in the trees obtain enlightenment.

It is not that only humans can obtain enlightenment, but that human form is most suitable for doing so. Remember, in Buddhism there are realms other than the one in which we humans live.

If you like, I can look around for some direct references so that you can check them for yourself.

Krumple;86831 wrote:
So if you can not obtain a human birth, then you can never escape the rounds of Samara. No humans, no human birth? Or would you spontaneously spring into being? Would you take a human form but as the offspring of some primate parents?


Here's a tricky thing to keep in mind: human form is the one most suitable that we know of for obtaining enlightenment. However unlikely, it is possible that somewhere in this universe an equally suitable form exists.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 07:57 am
@gentryman,
But the consorts were not originally thought as sexual union but instead aspects of the same mind. It's different but they didn't know how to translate that into imagery so they used consorts in sexual position while the particular deity was in meditation position.

There are lots of yogas in tantrayana, but can't seem to find any that relate directly to sexual mediation. Although there are quite a few that deal with transforming sexual desire.

---------- Post added 09-02-2009 at 07:05 AM ----------

Didymos Thomas wrote:
How could you be destined for human rebirth if humans do not exist in the first place? If there are no humans, or if no humans procreate, then it is impossible to be destined for human rebirth. It's that simple.


We are not in disagreement here, it is what I was saying IF a human birth is required for enlightenment. So IF you can ONLY reach enlightenment while in a human form then by all means you would need to acquire a human form. But if there are no human forms available then how can you take a human form? It would be a bottle neck in the karma scheme. That is all I was pointing out.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
I recall in the sutras, as the Buddha teaches, that the birds in the trees obtain enlightenment.


The only thing that comes close to this is the explanation of the Buddha lands which says that there are birds that sing dharma songs. But they are not actually birds, they take the form of birds but they are really just transformation bodies of the Buddha. This is a way to beautify the Buddha land rather than having Buddhas in their place I guess.

But by all means if you can find where it states that you can achieve enlightenment while in the animal realm. Please present it to me.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 08:31 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;87631 wrote:

We are not in disagreement here, it is what I was saying IF a human birth is required for enlightenment. So IF you can ONLY reach enlightenment while in a human form then by all means you would need to acquire a human form. But if there are no human forms available then how can you take a human form? It would be a bottle neck in the karma scheme. That is all I was pointing out.


Well, in that case, we are not talking about Buddhist karma, but some other system that shares that name, "karma".

But even still, without knowing the specifics of this other version of karma, there is still the objection that if X is not possible, then it is impossible for X to be destined.

Krumple;87631 wrote:
The only thing that comes close to this is the explanation of the Buddha lands which says that there are birds that sing dharma songs. But they are not actually birds, they take the form of birds but they are really just transformation bodies of the Buddha. This is a way to beautify the Buddha land rather than having Buddhas in their place I guess.

But by all means if you can find where it states that you can achieve enlightenment while in the animal realm. Please present it to me.


You will have to give me more time for scriptural references - with work, I have less time to read through material as was once available. But I will give it some time as I can. I want to know the exact sources myself - being so brilliant :rolleyes: , I neglected to make a note when reading.

But for the moment, I can show you this:
" Furthermore, animals possess Buddha nature (according to the Mahayana school) and therefore an equal potential to become enlightened."

From the Wiki on animals in Buddhism. And from the article on Buddha-nature:
"The Buddha Nature or Buddha Principle (Buddha-dhātu) is taught to be a truly real, but internally hidden immortal potency or element within the purest depths of the mind, present in all sentient beings, for awakening and becoming a Buddha."

Given that animals are sentient beings, it follows that they have Buddha-nature, and therefore the potential for enlightenment.
vajrasattva
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 08:52 am
@gentryman,
All is as such therefore all is enlightenment. Samsara and nirvana are in essence the same.
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 10:17 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;87641 wrote:
Well, in that case, we are not talking about Buddhist karma, but some other system that shares that name, "karma".

But even still, without knowing the specifics of this other version of karma, there is still the objection that if X is not possible, then it is impossible for X to be destined.


Well I always thought karma meant volitional action. Which usually gets narrowed down to action. I know there are some western connotations which bend the concept a little. The odd thing was you don't seem to object at all to the idea of rebirth. There are lots of Buddhists who say the Buddha never meant literal rebirth or multiple lives but instead each realm of existence is just a state of mind. I object to that claim because why use a term such as rebirth instead of something more suiting and less problematic for misinterpretation? I think he really meant rebirth.

Didymos Thomas;87641 wrote:

You will have to give me more time for scriptural references - with work, I have less time to read through material as was once available. But I will give it some time as I can. I want to know the exact sources myself - being so brilliant :rolleyes: , I neglected to make a note when reading.


Well I'm patient, doesn't really matter to me so when ever you can spare the time.

Didymos Thomas;87641 wrote:

But for the moment, I can show you this:
" Furthermore, animals possess Buddha nature (according to the Mahayana school) and therefore an equal potential to become enlightened."


Well this means that animals retain the potential for enlightenment. But that holds true if you live multiple lives however; it also says that in the lower realms you are so involved or distracted by your own existence that you can't put any effort into enlightenment.

Didymos Thomas;87641 wrote:

From the Wiki on animals in Buddhism. And from the article on Buddha-nature:
"The Buddha Nature or Buddha Principle (Buddha-dhātu) is taught to be a truly real, but internally hidden immortal potency or element within the purest depths of the mind, present in all sentient beings, for awakening and becoming a Buddha."


Yeah all sentient beings which would also mean that a dog, a mouse, a cockroach and worms are all equal in terms of Buddha nature. But their potential for enlightenment is not and that is why the need for a human birth.

Didymos Thomas;87641 wrote:

Given that animals are sentient beings, it follows that they have Buddha-nature, and therefore the potential for enlightenment.


Yes they have the potential but not while they remain in the animal realm. They would have to obtain rebirth as humans to meet with enlightenment. If the realm didn't matter or have an effect on awakening than the Buddha wouldn't have even discussed it. It would be like saying, no matter what grade of school you are in, you will always graduate.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 10:49 am
@Krumple,
Krumple;87672 wrote:
Well I always thought karma meant volitional action.


Yes, essentially - it also includes thought, mental action. That is, as I understand it, I'm certainly not the expert.

Krumple;87672 wrote:
The odd thing was you don't seem to object at all to the idea of rebirth.


Of course not.

Krumple;87672 wrote:
There are lots of Buddhists who say the Buddha never meant literal rebirth or multiple lives but instead each realm of existence is just a state of mind. I object to that claim because why use a term such as rebirth instead of something more suiting and less problematic for misinterpretation? I think he really meant rebirth.


I'm not going to say one way or the other about what Buddhist believe on this particular point, as I have heard both interpretations. But I will say this: what does it really matter? Buddhism is a pragmatic practice, not just an intellectual study. Minutia like this are largely irrelevant, the important thing is to practice - only through practice will you learn the answer for yourself, you know?

But for the sake of the discussion, because it is an interesting one, I have to ask: what is the difference between really meaning rebirth and saying that rebirth into certain realms, like hungry ghosts, is figurative language referring to a state of mind? Are these really mutually exclusive? Couldn't one be reborn into an existence of a particular psychological status that corresponds to the figurative descriptions of a particular realm?

And we also have to remember the issue of translation. I would love to learn the etymology of this word:
punabbhava

Krumple;87672 wrote:
Well I'm patient, doesn't really matter to me so when ever you can spare the time.


You bet.

Krumple;87672 wrote:
Well this means that animals retain the potential for enlightenment. But that holds true if you live multiple lives however; it also says that in the lower realms you are so involved or distracted by your own existence that you can't put any effort into enlightenment.


If they have the potential for enlightenment, wouldn't that mean that they can become enlightened? I get what you are saying about that potential may only be realized in some other form, and that's a fine point. But what necessarily bars the animals from attaining enlightenment as animals?

I do recall something about what you say regarding animals and effort, though, which may very well be the answer to my question. Do you have a source that I could look at?

Krumple;87672 wrote:
Yeah all sentient beings which would also mean that a dog, a mouse, a cockroach and worms are all equal in terms of Buddha nature. But their potential for enlightenment is not and that is why the need for a human birth.


Well, maybe we'll just have to wait for the source to be collected and referenced, but what you say here contradicts the article. Not that those articles are authoritative...

Krumple;87672 wrote:
Yes they have the potential but not while they remain in the animal realm. They would have to obtain rebirth as humans to meet with enlightenment. If the realm didn't matter or have an effect on awakening than the Buddha wouldn't have even discussed it. It would be like saying, no matter what grade of school you are in, you will always graduate.


I don't think it's quite like that - I think it's closer to 'no matter what grade you are in, you might be able to graduate, though it is a heck of a lot easier for a senior to graduate than a freshman'.

Anyway, I'll try to track down my references, and if you track down yours, we can put them together and see what we come up with. Smile
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 11:30 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;87690 wrote:

only through practice will you learn the answer for yourself, you know?


Yeah but there are a lot of sources that want to feed you nonsense and I don't feel like being a groomer of BS just to try to find what is honest wisdom. That is why I place higher importance on the math teacher than from a book. But I haven't found a teacher yet that isn't teaching BS.

Didymos Thomas;87690 wrote:

But for the sake of the discussion, because it is an interesting one, I have to ask: what is the difference between really meaning rebirth and saying that rebirth into certain realms, like hungry ghosts, is figurative language referring to a state of mind? Are these really mutually exclusive? Couldn't one be reborn into an existence of a particular psychological status that corresponds to the figurative descriptions of a particular realm?


To be honest I don't really know. All I am trying to point out is that he should have known that using certain terminology would be confusing if he really didn't mean it. The best way I can explain this is by using that link I gave you and the word Nirvana.

Nirvana really means blowing out or extinction. It in no way implies a heaven, yet people will attribute nirvana to mean heaven. But if this were the case why does the Buddha talk about the heaven realm? These terms would then become confusing. So obviously there is a distinction between heaven and nirvana and they are not the same thing. Even if you don't believe heaven to be a physical place but instead a mental state, still nirvana and heaven could not be one and the same. So to talk about nirvana you wouldn't use a term like heaven to describe it, if it is not in fact heaven.

Didymos Thomas;87690 wrote:

And we also have to remember the issue of translation. I would love to learn the etymology of this word:


Yeah I agree translation is where a lot of meanings even biblical ones are either completely ignored or adjusted to suit some commonly held misconception. For instance, the word cross is actually a mistranslation in the bible. The word stav-ross that was mistranslated really means upright stake but people ignore that.

Didymos Thomas;87690 wrote:

If they have the potential for enlightenment, wouldn't that mean that they can become enlightened? I get what you are saying about that potential may only be realized in some other form, and that's a fine point. But what necessarily bars the animals from attaining enlightenment as animals?


Yes, but not while in that form. Um well the article mentions that while in the lower realms you can't accumulate any good karma. You have to wait until your bad karma or merit has been exhausted before you can be reborn. But I have also read somewhere that beings in the lower realms are either too preoccupied with suffering or danger they can't concentrate their mind enough to achieve the states of jhana.

Didymos Thomas;87690 wrote:

I do recall something about what you say regarding animals and effort, though, which may very well be the answer to my question. Do you have a source that I could look at?


Four planes of misery:
  1. niraya - hell (1)
  2. asura yoni - demons (2)
  3. peta yoni - here the beings have deformed bodies and are usually consumed by hunger and thirst (3)
  4. tiracchaana yoni - the world of animals (4)

Rebirth into these planes takes place on account of unwholesome kamma. Beings reborn there have no moral sense and generally cannot create good kamma. However, when the unwholesome kamma that brought them to these planes is exhausted, some stored up good kamma can bring them rebirth in some other plane. Only stream-enterers and other ariyans can be sure they will never again be born in these planes of misery.


Check out the full source for a full picture, it should cover it completely:

The Abhidhamma in Practice

Didymos Thomas;87690 wrote:

Well, maybe we'll just have to wait for the source to be collected and referenced, but what you say here contradicts the article. Not that those articles are authoritative...


I'm not really contradicting the article. Dogs have Buddha nature but they are not in a position to utilize it.

Didymos Thomas;87690 wrote:

I don't think it's quite like that - I think it's closer to 'no matter what grade you are in, you might be able to graduate, though it is a heck of a lot easier for a senior to graduate than a freshman'.


Well I was using graduate in the sense of moving from one grade to another. It is an obvious statement so it is silly to say it.

Didymos Thomas;87690 wrote:

Anyway, I'll try to track down my references, and if you track down yours, we can put them together and see what we come up with. Smile


Well that is fine by me but I will admit again that I feel there is nothing in Buddhism that can not be got secularly. Despite several objections to that statement the Buddha even names such people. Pratyekabuddhas, which have reached enlightenment without the use of teachers or even the Buddhas teachings.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 May, 2012 10:12 pm
@Krumple,
I agree that heaven and nirvana are not meant to be taken as the same. The Christian heaven refers to "another world"; nirvana pertains to an enlightened state, a fulfillment within "this world."
In fact I think that the intricacies of buddhist theology/mythology are obstracles to the spiritual maturity derived from simple awareness of the world as it presents itself.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:06 pm
@JLNobody,
Let me add to the above my suspicion that the very best possible description of the Dharma is the worst possible obstacle to its realization.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 May, 2012 11:04 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

Let me add to the above my suspicion that the very best possible description of the Dharma is the worst possible obstacle to its realization.


Yeah I can see that. It also doesn't help that it gets a lot of baggage along with it which our culture unnecessarily dumps on it.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jun, 2012 10:54 pm
@Krumple,
Indeed, and on top of that is the realization that the Dharma is beyond symbolic description. It is immediate rather than mediate.
0 Replies
 
BatMastersonJr
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Mar, 2013 08:56 pm
@gentryman,
I think you are confused about the Buddhist teachings of suffering. The first of the Four Noble Truths identifies the primary characteristic of our default human existences as being "dukkha" - often translated as "suffering", but more closely defined as "unsatisfactoriness".

The second truth states that _we_, not the world around us, are the cause of this unsatisfactoriness. This is due to our responses of attachment and aversion. That is, we are always grasping or pushing away - never comfortable with what actually is.

The third and fourth truths go on to say that, just as we are our problem, we can also be our solution. "Nirvana", or "nibanna" - literally "the blowing out of the candle" - is attained through right thought and behavior.

This can be viewed as a secular perspective. For religious Buddhists - the idea is that the cycle of birth and death continue until enlightenment has truly been obtained. In Western terms, the "soul" needs to be reborn as many times as it takes to reach this stage. Being born into a human existence is considered the greatest opportunity for attaining this sort of wisdom.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Apr, 2013 01:05 pm
@BatMastersonJr,
I prefer--and this is just a personal and equally "secular" preference--to translate dukkha as "dissatisaction" rather than "unsatisfactoriness". The latter connotes an objective condition while the former suggests a subjective state of mind, more consistent with the pathology of (positive and negative) attachment and grasping.
0 Replies
 
 

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