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Brahma,brahma Deva,deva, God or god?

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  • shugy boyle
    Guys, I appreciates you sharing your knowledge. Many thanks. So the words Deva and Brahma get translated as god-God. Thank you so much for letting me know. I
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 18, 2005
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      Guys, I appreciates you sharing your knowledge. Many thanks.

      So the words Deva and Brahma get translated as god-God.
      Thank you so much for letting me know.

      I suspected it may have been Bhagawan.

      Are you able to say that when the above words are translated into god or God is there a grammatical principle which decides wether it is large G or small g.

      For example does Deva commonly get translated as god and Brahman as God ?

      The above proposition is just as an illustration to give an example of the type of principle , if there is one, which may, or may not be used.

      Another related question if you have time and enery to answer is; are there are any ground rules about deciding if Deva and Brahma are given capitals ?
      And if so is this in any way relevant to the god or God translation ?

      with appreciation

      Mr X.
    • Ong Yong Peng
      X, a few points you may like to add to your notes. Asking a Buddhist about god or gods or God is quite awkward and incorrect. It only reflects a lack of
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 18, 2005
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        X,

        a few points you may like to add to your notes.

        Asking a Buddhist about god or gods or God is quite awkward and
        incorrect. It only reflects a lack of understanding on your part. I
        hope this reply would help you to understand why.

        1. Without the invention, yes, of the small letters, we will all be
        still typing and writing in just capital letters today. Other than
        European languages, most other languages do not have small letters.
        So, how does 'GOD' look to you?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minuscule

        2. the word 'deva' in the Buddhist scriptures simply means a heavenly
        being. And these devas all have different names. Yes, you can
        translate them as gods, but bearing in mind that Buddhism is not a
        polytheist religion, I personally like to use "heavenly beings" (or
        very infrequently 'deities').

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytheism

        3. as for 'brahma', I won't even translate it at all. There is no
        point. But, I shall write it as 'Brahma', with a capital B, following
        current naming conventions. Brahma is a student of the Buddha, and it
        is Brahma who persuaded the Buddha to start his teaching career.

        A better and more intelligent question to ask a Buddhist is if there
        is a creator of the universe. This is an issue which the Buddha has
        addressed in the Tipitaka. (The Buddhist answer is no.) Brahma is the
        only deity who claimed to have created the 'world'. The Buddha
        countered the claim, and in fact, after being the Buddha's disciple
        2500 years ago, Brahma has realised his foolishness. He is still
        Brahma, enjoying the fruits of his good karma, though.

        http://www.buddhistinformation.com/buddhist_attitude_to_god.htm

        4. Buddhism is not a monotheist religion either, so it is awkward and
        incorrect putting the word 'God' in Buddhism. Buddhism has been a
        stabilising element in the world, and in the previous era of
        globalisation, merchandise and Buddhism were the two most important
        goods transmitted along the Silk Road!

        While trade has largely improved their material well-being, ancient
        Asian societies has benefited greatly from the harmonising power of
        the teachings of the Buddha, the teacher of men and gods.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism


        metta,
        Yong Peng.
      • shugy boyle
        Yes I totally agree that my God,god,Deva,Brahma question reveals my lack of understanding. I would have assumed my lack of understanding was self evident.
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 21, 2005
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          Yes I totally agree that my God,god,Deva,Brahma question reveals my lack of understanding. I would have assumed my lack of understanding was self evident. Which is why I asked.

          My responce is in text beneath.


          Ong Yong Peng <yongpeng.ong@...> wrote:



          a few points you may like to add to your notes.

          Asking a Buddhist about god or gods or God is quite awkward and
          incorrect.

          ....But is not honest enquirery about Buddhist beliefs good? What is incorrect about honest enquirery? I suggest your definition of "incorrect" is the problem here. ....

          It only reflects a lack of understanding on your part.

          .........and I suggest a lack of understanding from you about the helpfulness of honest enquirery......

          I hope this reply would help you to understand why.

          ....Actuall it really does help. Despite your hostility to honest enquirery your below answer is helpfull and clarifies my Q, So thank you.....


          1. Without the invention, yes, of the small letters, we will all be
          still typing and writing in just capital letters today. Other than
          European languages, most other languages do not have small letters.
          So, how does 'GOD' look to you?

          ....God, GOD, god etc all look fine to me , how do they look to you? Out of them all I prefer God or god as they look best....

          ikipedia.org/wiki/Minuscule

          2. the word 'deva' in the Buddhist scriptures simply means a heavenly
          being. And these devas all have different names. Yes, you can
          translate them as gods, but bearing in mind that Buddhism is not a
          polytheist religion, I personally like to use "heavenly beings" (or
          very infrequently 'deities').

          ......So Buddhism believes in many gods.That is polytheist is it not?

          Or does god not qualify as God? I suppose it may boil down to what does " theis" mean?. Does "theis" distinguish between God and god?

          It does seem then Buddhist is polytheist in nature.I guess this perhaps may be a problem for you.......

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polytheism

          3. as for 'brahma', I won't even translate it at all. There is no
          point. But, I shall write it as 'Brahma', with a capital B, following
          current naming conventions. Brahma is a student of the Buddha, and it
          is Brahma who persuaded the Buddha to start his teaching career.



          ....I did not know that,thank you for sharing.....

          A better and more intelligent question to ask a Buddhist is if there
          is a creator of the universe.

          ....Yes I agree that would have been better.....

          This is an issue which the Buddha has
          addressed in the Tipitaka.

          ....Really? Are you sure? Please can you tell me where he says this?

          This is really ironic because just 30 mins ago I posted a mail asking this very question about did Buddha deny the excistence of a creator God.......

          (The Buddhist answer is no.) Brahma is the
          only deity who claimed to have created the 'world'. The Buddha countered the claim,

          .... Are you speaking from your own view here or did Buddha actually debate the issue of a creator God?

          It may be helpfull to seperate the issues of Brahma's delusions and the excistence or non excistence of a creator God.

          Brahma was not the creator God. But what does Buddha say about a creator/creators of the Universe? I assume he would have know what the Veda's etc say, and about the numerous belief systems held by the different traditions which follwed different Gods within the Eternal Truth-Anatanna Dhamma" or Hinduism.

          Where did he speak about the concept of a creator God or God's as held by his contemporery Indians? I am most interested to know where you get your reference from?.........

          and in fact, after being the Buddha's disciple
          2500 years ago, Brahma has realised his foolishness. He is still
          Brahma, enjoying the fruits of his good karma, though.

          http://www.buddhistinformation.com/buddhist_attitude_to_god.htm

          4. Buddhism is not a monotheist religion either, so it is awkward and
          incorrect putting the word 'God' in Buddhism. Buddhism has been a
          stabilising element in the world,

          ....Are you sure about Buddhism beign stablising? Have you looked at the history of most Buddhist countries? Buddhist secterianism and desire for power seems to equal the other religions, and actually in many cases worce.

          Buddhism is not polytheist nor monotheist and I guess it is not athheist either.

          I politely suggest you are mistaken to see awkward questions as wrong.........

          and in the previous era of
          globalisation, merchandise and Buddhism were the two most important
          goods transmitted along the Silk Road!

          ...... Yes and both done countless good and compareble levels fo harmm too. You know the concept of Yin and Yang, good and bad go together......

          While trade has largely improved their material well-being, ancient
          Asian societies has benefited greatly from the harmonising power of
          the teachings of the Buddha, the teacher of men and gods.

          ...... While I have difficulty with your insistence that honest enquirery is awkward I do thank you for your otherwise intelligent council........

          Yours sincerely Mr X.


          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism


          metta,
          Yong Peng.




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        • "Dmytro O. Ivakhnenko (Дмитро Ол
          Dear Mr X, Regarding the attitude of Buddha to gods and deities, from http://sasanarakkha.org/articles/archive/2003_06_01_articles.html : Offerings to Devas
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 25, 2005
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            Dear Mr X,

            Regarding the attitude of Buddha to gods and deities, from
            http://sasanarakkha.org/articles/archive/2003_06_01_articles.html :

            "Offerings to Devas as well

            In Pattakamma Sutta (AN 4.61) the Buddha said to Anathapindika that a
            noble disciple who acquired his income through righteous means should
            spend it by making five types of offerings. These are offerings to
            o living relatives
            o guests
            o departed relatives
            o the king (government)
            o devas.

            There is also a verse in Ratana Sutta (Khp 6) that urges deities to
            protect humans because they make offerings to them day and night.
            So, whether or not one’s offerings are
            appreciated or used by the recipient
            does not affect the validity of the
            wholesome kamma of doing puja.

            The above references bring us to the following conclusion: a Buddhist is
            actually encouraged by the Buddha to make offerings to departed
            relatives as well as to devas.

            Dedication of Offerings to Devas

            In the story on the making of Pataliputta village found in
            Mahaparinibbana Sutta (DN. 16), the Buddha advised people to offer dana
            to virtuous monks and dedicate the offering to the devas there. We do
            the same when we are invited for dana in a new house. These devas, being
            honoured and cherished, will honour and cherish the occupants of the
            house in return."

            Best regards, Dmytro
          • Gunnar Gällmo
            ... Олексійович Івахненко) ... As an act of worship, or as an act of compassion? Gunnar gunnargallmo@yahoo.se
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 25, 2005
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              --- "Dmytro O. Ivakhnenko (Дмитро
              Олексійович Івахненко)"
              <nibbanka@...> skrev:

              > The above references bring us to the following
              > conclusion: a Buddhist is
              > actually encouraged by the Buddha to make offerings
              > to departed
              > relatives as well as to devas.

              As an act of worship, or as an act of compassion?

              Gunnar


              gunnargallmo@...
            • Ong Yong Peng
              Dear Shugy/X, here is my reply. I am glad that I guessed correctly you do not understand the Buddhist view. Otherwise, putting such a question is like asking
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 25, 2005
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                Dear Shugy/X,

                here is my reply.

                I am glad that I guessed correctly you do not understand the Buddhist
                view. Otherwise, putting such a question is like asking "Does a gdo
                has a soul?" to a Christian, putting him into a difficult position.

                A theist is a person who believe that salvation or eternal bliss can
                be obtained through external divine source. If you do, the next
                question is are you mono (one god) or ploy (many gods).

                A Buddhist believes that there are beings living, eating, sleeping,
                jumping, hopping, singing(!), dancing (and so on) in other 'higher
                planes of existence' as a result of their past kamma. If you call
                that polytheism, so be it.

                Among these beings, some have been there longer, many thousands of
                years. Some could be there only since yesterday. The cute part about
                these beings is they are not born of the womb. Brahma is the oldest
                around in one of the plane. Because he does not have a mother, he
                thought he was self-created. And he thought he has created the lower
                planes (which he can observe from his own). What he never thought is
                that he is also in one of the planes of existence, Samsara, and there
                are planes higher than the one he lives, which he just can't see. The
                next higher planes are the Jhana :-) planes.

                According to the Dhamma, these beings are no different from us
                humans. The similarity is that all has the same potential for
                enlightenment/nibbana.

                As for your talk about "Buddhist countries", I only want you to know
                that historically no such entities exist, except for convenience of
                study and comparison. That's all I will write, and I wish you the
                best in your search for Truth.


                metta,
                Yong Peng.
              • Hugo
                Hello Mr. X May I suggest the following readings? Buddhism and the God-idea by Nyanaponika Thera http://accesstoinsight.org/lib/bps/misc/godidea.html THE
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 26, 2005
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                  Hello Mr. X

                  May I suggest the following readings?

                  Buddhism and the God-idea by Nyanaponika Thera
                  http://accesstoinsight.org/lib/bps/misc/godidea.html


                  THE BUDDHA AND HIS TEACHINGS
                  Venerable Nārada Mahāthera
                  http://www.quangduc.com/English/basic/11teach23.html


                  --
                  Hugo
                • Ong Yong Peng
                  Dear friends, I have discovered I made a couple of mistakes in my recent posts on the discussion of Brahma. Here are the corrections: 1. Maha Brahma lives in
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 3, 2005
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                    Dear friends,

                    I have discovered I made a couple of mistakes in my recent posts on
                    the discussion of Brahma. Here are the corrections:

                    1. Maha Brahma lives in one of the jhana planes.

                    2. It was Brahma Sahampati who begs the Buddha to teach the Dhamma to
                    the world, not Maha Brahma.

                    Please see the following for more information:
                    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sagga/loka.html



                    metta,
                    Yong Peng.


                    --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Ong Yong Peng wrote:

                    The cute part about these beings is they are not born of the womb.
                    Brahma is the oldest around in one of the plane. Because he does not
                    have a mother, he thought he was self-created. And he thought he has
                    created the lower planes (which he can observe from his own). What he
                    never thought is that he is also in one of the planes of existence,
                    Samsara, and there are planes higher than the one he lives, which he
                    just can't see. The next higher planes are the Jhana :-) planes.
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