Saturday, February 11, 2017
“Those who take refuge truly and wholeheartedly, freeing themselves from all delusional attachments and all concern with the propitious or unpropitious, must never take refuge in spirits or non-Buddhist teachings.”
Unenlightened beings are the karmic cause for the existence of unenlightened samsaric realms. Their individual and collective karma actually manifested the realms, worlds and universes in which they live. Contrary to this, Enlightened beings or Buddhas, naturaly and karmically manifest Pure Lands or Enlightened realms. If a so called "supreme being" created a world like ours that means he is not enlightened, because if he was enlightened this world would have been perfect and inhabitted by perfectly enlightened beings. Amida Buddha (and any Buddha!) does not pretend to be the creator of this samsaric world, but only of His enlightened Pure Land, where He vowed to bring all samsaric beings for their final liberation (attainment of Buddhahood/Nirvana).
Friday, November 25, 2016
|the wheel of samsara with various realms|
Recent discussions with various readers convinced me that it would be very useful to have a single paper in which to gather my most important articles on Buddhist cosmology. So, I made this pdf format for free distribution - Some Elements of Buddhist Cosmology.
Most of the articles in this presentation are from the first part of my book, The True Teaching on Amida Buddha and His Pure Land, but some, like number 5 and 6 were published only on this website.
The presentation contains the following chapters:
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
actually exists as
real place, that means that the hellish realms and other samsaric places exist
literally as well - as a result of our collective karma, as you said in your book. So I would like to know your thoughts about this: if the Pure Land is not
symbolic and exists in a specific place (like to the west), does that mean that
places such as hells also exist literally in specific places outside of our
Yes, the hells exist specifically as places outside of our minds, too, but they exist because of the minds of those who have a hellish karma. The realm we are living in now exists outside of our minds too, because, as we see, we have these bodies, we have mountains, oceans, forests, etc, I can look to you and you can look to me (there is nothing mythological or symbolic or fictional in this), but in the same time, it exists because of our minds and our karma. My mind, your mind, plus all the other minds of human beings and their karma are the causes for such a human place to exist. The mind streams of beings need their vehicles, and so the worlds and bodies come into existence due to the individual and collective karma of various mind-streams.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
But before reading them, I strongly advise you to carefully study my article, Some Buddhist Explanations on the Origin and Existence of the Universe as well as the articles, There is no Creator God in the Buddha Dharma and Two Questions on Buddha-nature and Samsara.
There is also another very important reason for which I wrote these explanations of the six planes of existence. It is the same reason why Master Genshin or Bodhisattva Vasubandhu took great pains to describe them - to help true disciples to become aware of the painful reality of the samsaric existence and to make them wish to escape from it:
"Leaving the Unclean World means to abhor and to depart from this impure world. It means to depart not only from this human world but also from the entire Six Realms. These all taken together constitute what is called the Three Worlds.
There is no peace in the Three Realms. The Buddha explained them by comparing them with a burning house and by saying that it is like living in a house which is on fire.. It is a thing above all others from which to separate oneself with a feeling of disgust".
Friday, March 13, 2015
I received a few questions from my readers in relation to my last articles, “Some Buddhist explanations on the origin and existence of the universe” and “There is no supreme creator god in the Buddha Dharma”. Here are two of them (reformulated) and my short answer:
Question 1: “Where the Buddha nature within us originally came from?”
Question 2: “When the process of self-delusion or suffering started in the first place and why?”
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Regard this phantom world
As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud
A flickering lamp — a phantom — and a dream.
As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud
A flickering lamp — a phantom — and a dream.
( read my previous article in the same category, “There is no supreme creator god in the Buddha Dharma”)
If Buddhism denies the idea of a creator-god, then how it explains the existence of the various worlds and universes?
First of all, when it refers to worlds and universes, the Buddha Dharma explaines them as places of rebirth, or Samsaric realms. Thus, they are inhabited by unenlightened beings in various stages of spiritual evolution or involution. As far as I know, most of the monotheists give the following argument in the support of their belief in a supreme creator-god: “if you see a house in a field you ask yourself who built it. In the same way, this complex world is the creation of our god. Anything that exists has a creator”. This is the basis of their belief system, but for Buddhists the matter is wrongly addressed here. Yes, indeed, everything has a creator, but not in the way the monotheists think. I would rather say, every dream has a creator – the dreamer. And who is the dreamer? It is us – the unenlightened beings with our specific individual karma, but also with the collective karma or the karmic connections we create among us.
Monday, February 9, 2015
|Buddha (right) preaching the Truth to Baka Brahma (left)|
who had the illusion that he is supreme in the world
Well, this is a great delusion and a falsification of Shakyamuni’s teaching. In fact, the Buddha clearly denied the existence of a supreme being who created the world, rules the world and will one day judge the world. In this short article and others that will soon follow, I do not have the intention to enter into any debate or polemics with followers of other religions on the existence or non-existence of such a supreme being, but just to prove that Shakyamuni Buddha clearly denied this view and considered it a false and dangerous illusion. For me the most important thing is not what monotheistic religions say, or if some chose to believe in a creator god (its their choice), but what the Buddha actually said and preached. So, if we consider ourselves to be His diciples, we ought to know His position on this topic and follow it faithfully.
It is well known that among the many religious and philosophical traditions that were contemporary with the Buddha, the idea of a supreme being who created and sustains the world was well known and shared by many. This is exactly why, He did not kept silence, but preached against it.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
|Six heavens of the world of desire from|
the Wheel of Life
In the World of Desire (Kamadhatu), there are six classes of gods with their specific realms.
The first realm is the Heaven of the Four Kings (Cāturmahārāja), which are located on four cardinal points of the
1) East: Dhrtarāstra, 2) South: Virūdhaka, 3) West: Virūpāksa,
4) North: Vaiśravana. Each of these divine rulers has their own following of Caturmaharajakayika
gods. Mount Sumeru
As Master Genshin explained, “one day and night in the realm of the Four Kings is as long as fifty years of human life, and life in the realm of the Four Kings lasts five hundred years”.
The second realm is the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods (Trāyastrimśa) which is placed on the summit of
The most important god of this realm is Sakra (or Indra in some texts). Mount Sumeru
As Master Genshin explained, “a hundred years of human life are equal in length to one day and night in the Heaven of the Thirty-three, and in this heaven life lasts a thousand years”.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
|Asura realm from the Wheel of Life|
As Master Genshin explained, the realm of Asuras is divided into two parts: 1. “the creatures of this realm which are fundamentally superior live at the bottom of the great sea north of Mount Sumeru”, and 2. “the inferior creatures of this realm dwell among the rocks of the high mountains which lie between the four great continents”.
Although they experience various pleasures and abundance which are far superior to those of humans, and even rival those of the gods, they are constantly tormented by anger, jealousy, quarreling and fighting. Beings in the human realm who are more spiritually advanced than others, but who strongly manifest these characteristics will be born among the Asuras.
In their own realm, Asuras divide themselves in various groups and territories and fight never ending wars, while also, because they envy the pleasures of the lower realms of the gods, start useless conflicts with them, which they eventually lose.
In some texts, the realm of Asuras is counted among the lower gods, because of the pleasures found there, or among the lower realms, together with hells, animals, and pretas, because of the pain they inflict to themselves.
In conclusion, life as an Asura is a pitiful one – filled as it is with joys and pleasures more than a human can imagine, but not being capable to enjoy it due to envy and conflicts.
Friday, February 6, 2015
|the human realm from the Wheel of Life|
To illustrate the extreme difficulty of rebirth in the human realm, as opposed to the lower realms, Sakyamuni Buddha compared it to the likelihood that a blind turtle, surfacing from the depths of the ocean only once every one hundred years, would encounter a tree trunk with a hole suitable for nesting:
“Sooner, do I declare, would a one-eyed turtle, if he were to pop up to the surface of the sea only once at the end of every hundred years, chance to push his neck through a yoke with one hole than would a fool, who has once gone to the Downfall, be reborn as a man.”
(Samyutta Nikaya. v. 455)
Thursday, February 5, 2015
|the animal realm from the Wheel of Life|
Bodhisattva Vasubandhu states:
“As for the animals, they have three places, the land, the water, and the air. Their principal place is the
; the animals that
are elsewhere are the surplus of the animals”. Great
Master Genshin also explains:
“The realm of animals is divided into two parts. The chief place is in the great sea, and branches are interspersed in the Realms of Humans and Heavenly Beings” .
Animals living in the Great Ocean
In the Buddhist cosmology, the great ocean or sea is the immeasurable extant of salt water which surrounds the four continents inhabited by humans and the
In that place there are many type of animals, some of which many times bigger
than those living in our human continent of Jambudvipa. Some of them are born
between the continents where there is no sunlight and where they cannot see
even their own bodies. Their suffering comes mainly from eating each other, the
bigger ones swallowing up the little ones, while they themselves are inhabited
by tiny little creatures who feed on their flesh. Mount Sumeru
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
|Preta realms from the Wheel of Life|
“The king of the pretas is called Yama; his residence, which is the principal dwelling of the pretas, is located under Jambudvipa. The pretas that are found elsewhere are the surplus of the pretas. The pretas differ much one from another; certain of them possess supernatural powers and enjoy a glory similar to that of the gods”.
There are two kinds of pretas: 1. pretas who live collectively, and 2. pretas who travel through space. Among the pretas who live collectively there are three types: the pretas who suffer from external obscurations, pretas who suffer from internal obscurations and pretas who suffer from specific obscurations.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
|the various hells from the Wheel of Life|
There are eight hot hells and eight cold hells. According to Shakyamuni, and various Buddhist masters who explained them, these eight hells have their own adjacent or neighboring hells (utsadas):
“There are eight hells there that I have revealed, difficult to get out of, full of cruel beings, each having sixteen utsadas; they have four walls and four gates; they are as high as they are wide; they are encircled by walls of fire; their ceiling is fire; their sun is burning, sparkling fire; and they are filled with flames hundreds of yojanas high.”
Another type of hell are also the temporary hells (prādeśikanakara in Skt), which were created through the actions of one being, two beings, or many beings. As Master Vasubandhu explained, their variety is great and their place is not fixed, so they can be found in rivers, mountains, deserts, and elsewhere.