Buddhists view of God, Creation & Karma Explored | Exploring Buddhism



welcome back to exploring Buddhism

previously on exploring Buddhism we

considered how the religions spread and

evolved throughout Southeast Asia and

beyond and yet its core beliefs remained

intact primarily Buddhism's focus on

alleviating suffering in part through

right words and deeds and mindfulness

one of the primary concepts of Buddhism

is what's known as Karma the notion that

actions good or bad have consequences

the Karma symbol known as the endless

knot represents the endless interlinking

of cause and effect and is a common

motif seen at the center of this prayer

wheel to understand karma we begin with

a perspective on the core beliefs of the

faith the Four Noble Truths and the

Eightfold Path shared by venerable

basura Don tamaño of the dhamma kiya

buddhist temple in Thailand interviewed

at the georgia meditation center so if

they might said all the theory begins by

is is Athens people fall for what

happened with me so I will try to spend

the rest of my life Lee people what to

do or fix something wrong about me but

if my theories are that whatever is

going on is that in how I adjust myself

to copy the situation aright because I

can change the whole thing

I can accept adapt so that I could

overcome it that would transform my

intention intention would transfer to be

words physical action and how I live my

life the more effort I put in the more

focus that we have so that is how the fo

path but all even part begins in with

one thing which is addressing problems

the first in the noble truth is all

about sufferings people like to call

them suffering so I would like to call

it addressing problems see that if you

don't really trying to addressing what's

wrong what happened to me you know what

what kind of problem that I got then we

never figure out the cause of the

problem the one beside we fought far the

cause of the problem now how to end that

so the whole know but the phone number

to this all about

addressing problem for the root cause of


what the end of the problem looked like

and then the FO part is all about how to

reduce often that is tht how to put into

action that's why when people use the

word sufferings is about looking at the

nature of themself I get upset with how

people yell at me I lack my

self-confidence so that I can speak in


I can sustain my life specially so those

are the problem that is allowed you to

reflect on yourself so if you're miles

away on the outside you can't see all

that you can only keep your mind quiet

and still and look inside yourself so

you can hear what you might be saying

without any noises so that is really the

practice so that you can follow the

cause of the product that begins within

yourself when the problems are in here

the problem Holly o be resolved that's

how we think us out of the box you have

to be outside of the box it can stay in

the box one of the double quotes saying

that at tahi afternoon at all which mean

you argue on refuge or the other

meanings translation will be you are

responsible for yourself if you eat your

food if you drink if you quench your


nobody can do all this for you you have

to be responsible for your unhappiness

you cannot expect other people to make

you happy you just have to start it

yourself but that is how we started

taking responsibility because that's how

we talk about karma because every action

create consequences that will have that

impact they're coming back to you what

goes around comes around so that's why

if you become responsible for your own

action become aware that what I choose

should be something is right good and

should then the consequence of the

action to be right should and good for

yourself as well that's how we started

to become more mindful in when we do

something and that's why we've the

practice of this mindfulness a

meditation prayer griddled of advocate

it gives us this time of reflection

about how we should act how as you speak

how we should think how we should

interact with people or others and as

become more responsible human being

bhante pan am well-aware jadibooti is

the abbot of the Georgia Buddhist Vihara

karma the word karma means action karma

means action so when we do good action

we call good karma when we do bad action

we call bad karma so we can do good

karma we can do bad karma but we have we

have to refrain from doing any bad karma

so the Karma something that we

accumulate when we do good karma we

accumulate good karma when we do bad

karma we accumulate that so we need to

do good karma in order to overcome bad

cards that's why you know the correction

agencies say you have done certain side

bad things so you have to do such and

such good things right so that is what

good the sake if you if you do some bad

karma you are able to overcome bad

Karma's by doing good Karma's

so it is encouraging us to do more and

more good actions good works wholesome

works wholesome actions then it

discourages us to not to do any

unwholesome actions so when we chanting

when we meditate we are simulating karma

when we are helping others we are

accumulating karma when we kind to

others we are you know even say kind

words you know you will thank you you

know that's a kind word some people even

though if you help you help person

doesn't say thank you right because he

doesn't have that concept of kindness we

also accumulate bad karma by doing bad

actions killing stealing sensual

misconduct lying taking drugs and so


and having nearly thoughts having

thought of jealousy right and harming

others those other ways that people

accumulate in bad karma so they have to

face the consequences though considered

a bad action committing such an act is

not in the Buddhist context considered a

sin did you put the bus in let me break

it down to something like energy you see

that what karma has been missed concept

in many ways because they were common

literally translate as action and any

actions will always create consequences

so it's like if you plant rice when you

get is rice if you plans nuts what you

get is nuts

you can't plan us and expect we have

Apple so that's how we experience one

goes around comes around the question is

always going back to East life about

choice or it is pristine

the answer is is both because we don't

leave just right now

take a simple you are who you are today

because of the everything that we have

thought said and done from the first day

you are born and you right now which

mean that everybody everything is going

to happen on the last day of your life

will be the accumulation of resolve of

action from today until that day

meanings that you always have a choice

to make a difference plus there's a

period of time from day one with you

right now that is to create an impact of

home for those actions that you can't

change anything about it so it's already

create predestine sort of path that will

happen into your life so that's why when

we talk about this concept and all the

gurus are they like to talk about being

the present moment be mindful of your

actions because you can't change what

happened in the past it's going to

create this pot but if your intention

and your action right here right now is

strong enough you can make the choice to

alter the cost and redesign your life as


the despy you be doubly talking the

originals saying that it was like

transfer from another person but is that

the effect of the action that you have

done in the past tense do have the

effect until it's appear in yourself

right here and right now and also cut it

into the future only the part that we

talk about rebirth that some of this

thing carry your lifetime a spell

normally when we say that after we die

only to thing that we can take with us

number one is our Karma

number two is our habit so we tend to

carry both about good and bad characters

into the next life so each and every day

that become more responsible for

ourselves become aware of what we do

transform a result with MA post even

better meanings that we have better

characters and have it in the next life

so if we are pretty much in the Lazy in

this light we're gonna be lazy in the

next like spell so that each of the

lights something that we use in order to

cultivate and so that we can develop

ourselves further and reach a state of

perfections the concept of Karma of

cause and effect is inextricably linked

to the Buddhist approach to time

impermanence death and rebirth and of a

supreme if not entity than energy

Jonathan Herrmann is associate professor

of Religious Studies at Georgia State

University I have to provide the caveat

that that whenever we say the Buddhist

concept there may not be one Buddhist

concept it may depend which Buddhists

you're talking about in general in

general traditional Buddhism does not


the existence of a creator deity or when

they have stories about deities creating

things they're not necessarily as

important as they are in the

monotheistic traditions in the West and

part of that is because the Buddhists

have inherited the Hindu worldview of

rebirth and transmigration and karma and

the idea that the human beings each live

countless lives millions upon millions

of times and that the universe itself

has been created countless times that

they don't really think of creation as

one moment happening a long time ago and

so there isn't even really an

understanding of a Creator God and

Buddhists will be quick to tell you that

the Buddha is not a Creator God and

monks and nuns in the traditional

Buddhist kinds of teachings will tell

you he was a man he was an extraordinary

man but he was not supernatural and we

looked to him as a model for how to live

a kind of enlightened life and how to

pursue the path to enlightenment but if

you're an anthropologist or a

sociologist if you see people going to

temples and kneeling on prayer mats and

putting their hands together and making

offerings to the Buddha or asking for

favors of the Buddha or asking that they

would get good merit for doing something

and ask that the buddha transfer their

merit that for the well-being of someone

else well that looks a lot like

worshipping deities and it's hard it's

hard to make an argument to say that's

not really the worship of deities now in

traditional Buddhism when I say

traditional Buddhism meaning the tera

vaada tradition in South East Asian

countries like Sri Lanka and Thailand

and Myanmar that I think it's fair to

say that the laypeople do worship the

Buddha I think it's also fair to say

that they worship other local deities

who have particular kinds of functions

much like they do in China and Japan

in a lot of other eastern Asian

countries and so I'm not really

comfortable saying that there that there

is no God or there are no deities now it

gets more complicated when we get into

the later forms of Buddhism the Mahayana

Buddhism like you find in Tibet and

China and Japan and by the way all of

these all of these come to America they

sort of older Buddhism and the newer

Buddhism but in the Mahayana Buddhism

the inner Asian and East Asian Buddhism

they don't just talk about Buddha


they talk about multiple Buddha's

Buddhas with different names and

histories and functions and the people

worship those Buddha's the way they

worship you know different in the way

they worship the Buddha in Southeast

Asian countries or the way Christians

and Jews and Muslims worship God in the

modern West and there are other beings

that are the object of worship and those

Mahayana countries called Bodhisattvas

and I have a Bodhisattva right here this

is the Bodhisattva Guanyin who is the

goddess of compassion in China now in

fact wanyan has an interesting story

because she is a transformed version of

a bodhisattva from india who was male

and over a period of about a hundred to

two hundred years the iconography

gradually became more androgynous and

then eventually female and now in China

and Japan has simply understood as a

female deity but that deity back in

India was Avila koteshwara he who hears

the sounds of the world the Bodhisattva

of compassion listening for the sounds

of the world and waiting to help and

save those in need the original use of

the term Bodhisattva it was it was a

title given or a term referred to the

Buddha retroactively Li like in his

youth or as a young man before he became

a Buddha so it refers to an imminent

Buddha an aspiring Buddha one who was is

on the edge of Buddhahood in the

Mahayana Buddhist tradition Bodhisattvas

refer to beings who are about to take

the step

Buddhahood but cling to one human I

guess one could say it's a failing one

one one aspect of human humanity that

prevents them from becoming complete

enlightened Buddhas and that thing that

they still cling to is compassion

compassion for other beings and the

Bodhisattva vow is the day will not take

the final step to Buddhahood until they

have helped all sentient beings reach

enlightenment now that can refer to a

vow that a monk or a nun nun takes upon

entering a monastery and says you know I

will I will not achieve my own

enlightenment until I work toward the

enlightenment of others but in practice

what it refers to is these beings these

quasi divine beings that have different

roles and different functions who are

very popular in Mahayana Buddhist

communities that they pray to and

venerate and ask for favors and ask for

protection and so they function kind of

as in some ways guardian angels a

memorable way I heard the Bodhisattva

described and I still I still I still

think about this description a lot is

that a former colleague of mine who was

the son of a of a fairly well-known a

fiscal bishop in New England the son was

himself a scholar of Hinduism and he

said that he knows of no no feature in

any world religion that more captures

the idea of a universe that is

conspiring to do you well you know the

idea that these beings resume d'être is

to work for your enlightenment in your

liberation that's why they exist is to

try to is this is through their

compassion for you is to try to bring

you to that enlightenment he said what a

what a symbol of a of a generous cosmos

of a beneficent worldview that the

forces in the universe are conspiring to

do you well


the Buddhist concept of Karma

and a cosmos conspiring to do well for

Humanity reflects the Buddhist concept

of a supreme energy or force but perhaps

others might call God do we believe in

something greater than us yes we do but

we don't person infinite we can't

control karma but come a strongly

influence our life so karma is one

aspect that has great influence great

affect on how we live our life we have

something called the Dhamma which is all

this knowledge more of the kind trans

out to be compassion to be virtues that

we have for us and for others so we can

call that love somewhere people would

translate as wonderful character of God

all knowing all of the potent of the

present so in the way instead of have

one big word that will conclude it all

we have different ideas to explain

different function of you know how would

you say what whereas God the other thing

that different would be the concept of

created in the Buddha Tom there were

many masters there were many other

faiths in India it was just just the

Buddha so many groups of faith we have

explanation of how things is created in

different ways so that's why when people

ask the Buddha he never said yes I know

about creator he did explain about the

fraction of how time will be like

beginning of this blow and how it ends

but only a fraction of the whole thing

he didn't talk about the beginning and

the end because he said if you are shot

by an arrow are you going to go to the

doctor or you're gonna see the shooter

and the answer is that you're gonna go

to see the doctor first right because he

want to be healed and he conclude that

right now we have sufferings and

proteins in our life that depends on us

to solve it so if you can practice

yourself go to that knowledge inside

yourself you will find out who is it who

is the tutor or the creator you can know

other by yourself because even if I

explain it to you it doesn't mean even a


and what's the plight of knowing it

anyway because you're gonna have to fix

the problem yourself if you are sick is

your job to take the medicine you cannot

just go to the doctor and say I am sick

and the doctor said I take medicine for

you in your heal so that's why he didn't

put in perspective of who is the creator

in terms of person so he don't he didn't

personify everything we things in

Buddhism will explain easier in terms of

energy flow everything is energy good or

bad is energy when we do something we

create positive energy that we transfer

to be positive effect in our life same

way when we do something bad we create

negative energy will transform to

negative affect your life so energy is

like something that already exists the

nature understand that is much greater

than ourselves we can't control it we

can accept the rules of it and trying to

use understanding of the rules the lost

or that we can live better and happier

there is one sutra that the buddha did

talk about fraction of time which is

this world that we're living in right

now how the beginning of it and how it

end but it's not something that you

would refer as eternal because it's how

the things well starting from

nothingness from emptiness and study to

form into earth with the materials the

masses they store they are there for me

to earth and is kind of go into the

cycle until one day it's gonna reach the

state but it has to end the cycle of

death and rebirth and karma is also

reflected in notions of eternity in the

afterlife when people use the word

concept of heaven in hell they using the

boat in the context that stated when

you're happy you'd like a live in heaven

on earth all the same times many of your

software site to begin hell on that's a

suffix sort of expression that people

use to make a comparison but we do talk

about the heaven and hell but not in

this concept of eternal place normally

our heaven in hell is like it's like a

bonus or like a punishment

that is a little Rolly because in the

life of rebirth you always have

something called second chance you have

to come back and redo all the word again

to get it better so unless say that in

this life if you really work hard in a

very positive way then you get the bonus

to rest for a while in heaven where you

can really enjoy your time but then you

have to come back again probably be the

resources better materials so that you

can keep moving up on the stair and then

if you sort of make a mistake you did

bad thing to yourself and to people

erosion so you have to suffer the

consequence that's been we go to help of

course because no come back again and

have to continue all the way of life

until they end up with birth so that's

by heaven and hell for us a solid

temporarily what then according to

Buddhist teachings is the meaning of

life in the face of such impermanence

and with karma cause-and-effect in place

what'd you have for dinner last night

sauteed mushrooms and spinach sounds


was it good did you enjoy it

we enjoy it less if I tell you that

you're not a permanent entity and this

is the Buddhist riddle in a sense on the

one hand everything is impermanent

nothing is substantial nothing is real

in and of itself or using Buddhist

language everything is a moment in a

chain of conditioning everything is

caused by conditioned by other factors

and then conditions other factors so

that's the one hand on the other hand we

have we seem to have a very concrete

real conventional existence here I may

not be a permanent self but my wife

knows my name my kids recognize me my

students know who I am

they're afraid my tests are difficult

you know we seem to have concrete

working identities so conventionally

everything seems utterly real and yet

ultimately nothing is permanent and

nothing is substantial which one do we

believe the Buddhist answer is to figure

out some way to navigate the middle and

Buddhism called itself from the

originally its origins the middle way

and the final exam question I always

give my students and Buddhism is tell us

about the development of the concept of

Middlemiss as it evolves through all

sorts of different forms of Buddhism

that somehow to be able to live in the

world and be real in the world at the

same time recognizing it's me Hilary its

non-existence its impermanence and

that's the puzzle is to get into the

middle and so if you ever ask a question

well dudas do buddhists believe that you

know do buddhists believe in existence

of the maintainer of the material world

regardless of which form of Buddhism

you're talking about the answer usually

tries to navigate something of a middle

path and they have different strategies

for navigating that middle path you know

to to sort of be present and alive and

awake in the world but not quite

thinking of it as really real in fact if

you want a kind of a shorthand in

traditional Buddhist communities the

laypeople treat the world as though it's

perfectly real they have very worldly

goals they have families they teach

social ethics they they teach compassion

for one another they value making a good

living they recognize a social structure

in politics and education and

communities and they want good karma so

they will have a better station in life

later on or in their next life and at

the same time you have monks and nuns

engaging in meditation practices trying

to get out of this cycle of rebirth

trying to stop producing karma trying to

be disinterested in merits and get out

of the cycle of rebirth well which is it

the tension between the monks and nuns

having other worldly goals and the lay

people having worldly goals that's the

middle way in action that's the

symbiotic relationship between those two

that says the Buddhist community

requires both it has to navigate both

and they're thoroughly dependent on each

other and it works just fine

how you accept a fire yourself to your

daily practice until usually betray who

you are but that's it's a sense of

Buddhism when you do something good

because it's good you don't even do it

because you expected we saw that we'll

come back to you you

because it is good is good for yourself

good for the others you do and if you're

happy that of doing good good thing so

that's it's the essence of it just by

calling yourself something it's like

create an illusion of the image so that

people can hear look at me look at it

image but don't look at myself but if

you really practice something really

good that you believe in this good for

you ink of the artist you can proudly

show yourself out there and this has how

really a sense of being being good is

all about and that's why it doesn't

matter how you would label yourself in

in our belief it matters more are you



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