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Thread: The ten dharma realms ?

  1. #1
    mohamed zen

    The ten dharma realms ?

    Hello dear teachers and friends

    I have question about the ten dharma realms , the six realms ( Hell . Ghost . Animal . Asura . Human . Deva ) .
    And the nobel realms ( Sravaka . Praetyka-Buddha . Bodhisattva . Buddhas )

    are they states of mind ?
    Or they are real realms ?

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  2. #2
    I don't know. Maybe mind creates the world so they can mean whatever you want them to mean? :-)

    Gassho, Jishin

  3. #3

    Well, perhaps when they are real in your mind they are real realms. Real as real can be. I encounter people who create true "hells" for themselves in their own thoughts, and for many of the people around them through their words and actions. You know, most Buddhists of all flavors are not so quick to see "hard walls" and divisions between "inside" and "outside". "Mind" in a Buddhist sense is that wonderful interflowing and amalgamation when outside "stuff" gets processed inside and inside interprets outside ... such that our experience of the world is really just outside inside and inside out. What you see through your eyes right now as "real" ... for example, the "beautiful green tree" through the window ... is really your interpretation and self-definition of the world much more than you may realize. The "green" of the tree, for example, is light, and molecules and eye and brain all dancing together ... likewise the "beautiful" you subjectively place as value upon it ... and so for the whole concept of "tree" ... for otherwise there is no "beautiful green tree". Sure, there is "something out there" I suppose, a configuration of molecules in a certain way doing its thing ... but not "beautiful green tree" without the label and interpretation machine between your ears hard at work! In fact, you are not even really experiencing "the world" right now, but only a recreated "holodeck" image in your brain from light waves that were turned into electrical pulses in the eye, then reprocessed and seen as a visual image in your visual cortex.

    So, if you feel there is an "ugly hell" in the world ... in a very real sense, there is! A hot and angry place as real in its way as the "beautiful green trees!"

    It is a bit like we sometimes say around here about Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion:

    One way is to see that such Buddhas (Bodhisattvas too) exist is as a paradigm, an ideal, a goal representing the best of the human condition to which men and women can aspire. As I said in a talk last week on Kannon, the symbol of Compassion: It does not matter that she "may not be really real", for we make Kannon "really real" in life:

    I had a hard time, for many years, incorporating into my practice many figures such as Kannon and Jizo ...

    I have come to see "them" as archetypes, representing real characteristics of human life and (since we are just the universe) thus the universe.

    In other words: When we feel in our hearts and act upon Love and Compassion, thereby Love and Compassion exist as real, concrete aspects of the world which our hearts and acts create. There is no "inside" or "outside" ultimately, thus what is inside you is just as much "the universe" and concrete reality as the moon, gravity and the stars. That is "Kannon", in that way a real and concrete aspect and 'force' of the world. Her 1000 helping hands are our hands, and our actions make her real in the world.
    As with Bodhisattvas, so it is with the Buddha, all the Buddhas. Wisdom and Compassion realized in each of us is the realization (meaning both "the discovery" and "the making real") of Buddha in the world. We make Buddha real, Kannon and the other Bodhisattvas too. (Mara and the Devil too if we act badly).
    Does that help?

    It is true that in the past (for many in the present too), many Buddhist folks used to think of the "hells", "Asura Realm" and such as places on the world map, much as some Christians (Muslims?) and folks of old believed that one would find "hell" under the earth, with the sun revolving around us. Here is the map of the old Buddhist universe. These days, most of us need not be so literal about it.

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-21-2014 at 03:50 AM.

  4. #4
    mohamed zen
    Thank you very much dear Jundo .
    It's very help !


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  5. #5
    I've always interpreted them as states of mind, or states of living.

    Hell . Ghost . Animal . Asura . Human . Deva. I've interpreted these as people who are led around by their base desires to one level or another. Some are drug addicts, some are money addicts, etc.

    The noble realms: Sravaka . Praetyka-Buddha . Bodhisattva . Buddhas. States of mind too, but different. Not lead around by base desires. Still lead around though.

    I haven't experienced any other realms. If I do, I let people know-ish.


  6. #6
    I just started watching a show from the US called Ray Donavan, about a fellow who is a "fixer" in Hollywood to solve problems for messed up movie types, all well having a violent messed up home life. I am only on Episode 2 (things get to Japan late) but ... I see no better model for all the "10 Realms" which are all exhibited in this show ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 03-23-2014 at 04:25 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I just started watching a show from the US called Ray Donavan, about a fellow who is a "fixer" in Hollywood to solve problems for messed up movie types, all well having a violent messed up home life. I am only on Episode 2 (things get to Japan late) but ... I see no better model for all the "10 Realms" which are all exhibited in this show ...

    Ohhh this looks interesting Jundo, I think I might have grab a look. =)


  8. #8
    Real in the mind, yes, which creates the circumstances in our life. Real as in supernatural places and states, no, I don't believe so.


  9. #9
    Reality is beyond any dichotomy.
    All of these "realms" seem necessary to describe the road but their only reality is what deluded beings give them.
    Open the moment from whatever realm you think you are in and you see the present moment in its infinity and wonder, dynamic, will not be grasped or labeled. In an instant or less be in calm serenity or in hammering hell.
    Hold nothing, avoid nothing and the Dharma will come open, there, as you, me, all beings.
    Jump in, the water is fine.
    In gassho!!!
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa

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