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43

"Views regarding one's past and future existence are included in the "62 false beliefs"" A little context: I assume the 62's mentioned above are the same as found in DN 1 (Brahmajāla Sutta) translated as "The sixty-two kinds of wrong views" by Walshe (MN 102 also develops on these wrong views). Now, "wrong view" is understood as either "not according to ...


20

Rebirth is a metaphor. There is no literal rebirth (of the same person). This hope for literal rebirth is really a hidden attachment to "I", the desire to continue. Let go. It's Ok, you will die -- and never exist again. In fact, "you" do not exist even now, as a separate being. It is just wrong understanding that is called "I". The world is continuous ...


17

There are lot of archaeological evidence align with Buddha's life story. I think those can be considered as the most trusted third party evidence. Here I am listing some of the web search findings. Archaeologists working in Nepal have uncovered evidence of a structure at the birthplace of the Buddha dating to the sixth century B.C. This is the first ...


14

I'm a secular Buddhist who takes Mahayana as my starting point. What you are discussing is the cosmology-- the idea that there are six realms, maybe one or more pure lands, and places you can go after you die. In Glenn Wallis's book "Basic Teachings of the Buddha," I think he persuasively argued that the historical Buddha was an extinctionalist and had no ...


9

No, evolution does not do that. But this is a hard question to answer succinctly, because of the layers of concepts involved. I'll have a try. First, consider one of the core notions in Buddhism: that our normal view of reality suffers from three illusory aspects. We don't normally see that the thing we usually call "real" -- tables, chairs, electrons, our ...


9

Of course, I can't speak for all modern-day Buddhists, but for myself, those that I have learned from, and those that I have known, we believe that Mara is the metaphorical personification of the forces that oppose enlightenment. I've not met any Buddhist who believes that Mara is a literal personal being.


8

I guess for something that happened such a long time ago you would struggle to prove it categorically. However I read that a shrine was uncovered at Lumbini (one of the candidates for the Buddha's birthplace) which dates to around the Buddha's time. This is taken to provide some kind of corroboration to the Buddha's life story. Also the early texts do ...


8

I encourage you to read the following: Bhikkhu Sujato & Bhikkhu Brahmali. The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts. In this work, their project is to investigate the question of authencity systematically. In that, the approach is quiet academic and might be to your liking. Page 7, they state a feature of the early Buddhist texts: The Buddha’s ...


7

In AN 4.67, the Buddha allowed the monks to use the paritta to protect themselves from harm. Notice Ven. Thanissaro's note: "This is one of the few protective charms mentioned in the Pali canon and specifically allowed by the Buddha for monks to use (another charm, also allowed to the monks, is contained in DN 32). Note that the power of the charm is said ...


7

To answer your very simple question very simply: there is no contemporary evidence for the Buddha, or for Jesus, or Muhammad, or Moses, or Zoroaster. This does not mean that these people did not exist, it just means that there is no confirmation of their existence in contemporary sources.


7

There are 5 kinds of Maras. The fifth is Devaputta Mara who is an actual being(god) who controls a portion of the paranimmita-vasavatti heaven. But he is not similar to the Satan concept in Christianity. Mara is not an eternal being. Unlike Satan, Mara is not against doing good deeds. He at times encourages beings to do good deeds and prolong their Samsara. ...


7

There is a nice analysis in this article here. But basically, the Buddha said: This body of mine, made of material form, consisting of the four great elements, procreated by a mother and father, and built up out of boiled rice and porridge, is subject to impermanence, to being worn and rubbed away, to dissolution and disintegration, and this consciousness ...


6

I know too little to have an opinion on this matter, but here is an article where Thanissaro Bhikkhu argues that rebirth is "an important working hypothesis in following the path all the way to the end of suffering", that is, that the belief in rebirth is an important part of practising Buddhism. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/...


6

There's emperor Ashoka (304–232 BCE), who after a war in which a lot of people were slaughtered, decided to endorse Buddhism, having realized that what he did was wrong. He erected a bunch of columns (The Pillars of Ashoka) on which several inscriptions (The Edicts of Ashoka) are to be found with his view on Buddhism. These were erected after about one ...


6

I think there are some very good and apposite questions here. I find I meet two kinds of Buddhists online. Those committed to the idea that the Pāḷi Canon is something like the Bible, the words of the Buddha and thus an ultimate authority. These kind are mostly, but not only, Theravādin Buddhists. To a lesser extent one also sees this kind of ideological ...


6

Buddha's response to such questions has been that whether or not other worlds exist, his teaching is still beneficial if applied in practice. So, for example, if it is said that acting on an extreme negativity-rooted-in-confusion leads to hell, whether the hell is taken literally as a place you go to or metaphorically as a highly disagreeable state of ...


5

The sacred Tooth relic of the Buddha Hindus consider the Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu. Mahawamsa the great Chronicle of Sri Lanka gives an account of the Buddha's 3 visits to Sri Lanka. Apart from those, we have the sacred Tooth relic of the Buddha in Kandy. We also have the sacred footprint of the Buddha at the top of mount Siripada. Also, lord Buddha's ...


5

Here is a quote from the book What Buddhist Believe by Ven. K. Sri. Dhammanda. The quote is from the chapter: "Historical Evidences of the Buddha", p. 38-41: GAUTAMA the Buddha is not a mythical figure but an actual, historical personality who introduced the religion known today as Buddhism. Evidences to prove the existence of this great religious ...


5

Contrary to popular misapprehension, Buddhism is not a cult of "source material". It is not actually the case that the point of Buddha's message has been lost, and now generations after generations of practitioners try to deduce it from texts. Buddhism is a living tradition, that at large has never lost the path. Sure, there were some misunderstandings here ...


5

According to Abhidhamma commentary it seems that the seat of consciousness is in the heart. However, in the suttas Buddha seems to have only mentioned ‘yam rupam nissaya’—depending on that ‘rupa’. 98. Hadayavatthu — heart-base. According to the commentators hadayavatthu is the seat of consciousness. Tradition says that within the cavity of the heart there ...


5

First of all you have misunderstood the meaning of 31 planes of existence. It doesn't mean there are 30 other planets in the universe. This simply suggests that there are 30 other realms that are inhabited other than the human realm in this solar system. Four of the 31 are said to be on earth itself: human, animal, hungry ghost and hell realms. On the other ...


4

Humans aren't the only ones who can attain Nibbana. Gods and Brahmas also attain Nibbana. In fact, there are five Brahma realms called the Suddavasa(pure abodes) which are reserved only for Arahath and Anagami Aryans. Sahampathi Maha Brahma who invited the Buddha to preach the Dhamma to the world is from one of those realms. He was already an Arahath at the ...


4

Buddhist scriptures are not as sacrosanct as in the way the Quran is where the Quran is divinely guaranteed to be incorruptible till the end of time and cannot be questioned. However, at the same time, there is a distinction between what is Buddhavacana (words of the Buddha) and what isn't. The Buddha's own stand on this matter is reflected in the Kalama ...


4

Yes, Gautama Buddha had 32 major qualities, as do all Buddhas a.k.a. one who has attained the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, as well as the nirmanakaya--the latter two of which correspond to the physical attainments. These physical attainments progress according to the Taoist timeline of physical transformation of jing, chi, shen transformation but in Buddhism, ...


4

Here's a quote from Science at the Crossroads by Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama, Because of this methodological standpoint, I have often remarked to my Buddhist colleagues that the empirically verified insights of modern cosmology and astronomy must compel us now to modify, or in some cases reject, many aspects of traditional cosmology as found in ancient ...


4

I think the Dalai Lama is making a tactical retreat on issues he doesn't care about. He isn't claiming he's a modern secular Buddhist. I'm looking for a Donald Lopez quote but can't find one. Anyhow, Lopez often writes about how west projects more progressive & (western) Age of Englightenment ideas on the Buddhism than really are there. When I was in ...


4

Do Buddhists accept the modern view of the universe I was about to answer, "Yes, I do": but in a way I don't. By that I mean that in fact I go about my daily life without thinking of astronomy (in fact I go all year without it, except a handful of moments per year if I think about the tides or an equinox or etc.). As it happened I studied the maths of ...


3

If it works for you, it works for you. The siddhis and mantras, sutra recitations as magic are outside of science (or more to the point, there is no support for magic from science-- and if there was, then it wouldn't be magic anymore, it would be a new branch of science). All that said, the siddhis are most convincing when the effect of the "magic" is ...


3

As far as I'm aware, experiments of Dr.Ian Stevenson are referred to by Buddhists to convince materialists & the followers of monotheistic religions that there's a Samsara. There's no intention of getting them to believe in a soul. The approach isn't perfect as you have pointed out. But it could be effective for monotheists and those who refuse to accept ...


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