Reply To: Post on “Dangers of Ten Types of Wrong Views and Four Possible Paths”


I have been posting the recent posts from on Dhamma Wheel discussion forum for some time. Regarding the recent post (the topic of this thread), the following question was asked:

“How to confirm the existence of gandhabba from the individual experience?”

The following is my answer, which could be helpful to some.

This is a good question in the sense that it goes to the heart of Buddha Dhamma.

As I explained in the recent three posts, Buddha’s teachings are not known to humans in the absence of a Buddha Sasana (or “Ministry of the Buddha” in Western terminology.) Many aspects are not amenable to the “experience of an average human.”
The core teachings of the Buddha can be summarized into a few “axioms” in the terminology of science. An axiom in science is a “fundamental truth” that is taken to be “self-evident.”
– However, in Buddha Dhamma, the following “axioms” are NOT self-evident, because only a Buddha can discover them.

The following, among a few others, fall into that category.
1. The laws of kamma.
2. Existence of gandhabba and para loka.
3. Existence of the 31 realms.
4. The rebirth process.

An average human can never figure out those on his/her own. Even when explained by a Buddha, not all can understand them either.
– There is another critical factor involved in that “understanding process.” It HAS TO BE understood in a systematic way. One cannot just jump in and grasp those concepts right away.

As we know, one cannot learn higher mathematics like calculus without learning basic arithmetic first, then algebra, and so on. Buddha Dhamma describes the laws of nature. Nature’s laws are much more complex than advanced mathematics.
– There is an additional factor involved too. The ability to understand becomes easier when one starts “cleansing one’s mind.” That does not just mean following some precepts (even though they are an important part).
– One has to start on the mundane path, live a simple life (away from both too much sensory pleasures and also hardships). That makes a mind less stressful and less agitated.
– As one lives a moral life and keeps learning (and seeing the self-consistencies) one’s faith in the teachings will grow.

For example, some people are very uncomfortable with the concept of rebirth and the idea that one could be born an animal or worse.
– So, one needs to make an attempt to see whether there is truth to the rebirth accounts of so many children from all over the world.
– Even if ONE rebirth account is true, that allows laws of kamma to work over multiple lives. One reason that many people don’t believe in the laws of kamma is that they can see murderers not getting justice, drug-dealers living luxurious lives, etc. But those actions do not go unpunished in the rebirth process.

That is just one example. The bottom line is that do not expect to confirm those “axioms” in Buddha Dhamma by “personal experience” in the sense of being able to “see” a gandhabba.
– However, personal experiences DO play a major role in the sense that one can start experiencing the benefits of the practice IF one does not restrict practice just to following a set of precepts.
– Real “mediation” is contemplation. One has to learn Dhamma concepts and contemplate on them. There is no “blind faith” involved. Blind faith WILL NOT work.
– Even a change in lifestyle to a simpler life (away from too much drinking, partying, gambling, etc) will indicate the benefits of a simple life. That is a good start.

Now, I am NOT directing the above comments to you on a personal basis. I have no idea about the status of any single person at the forum. Those are general comments.
– Furthermore, it is not possible to say all I need to say about this important issue in a post like this. But if you read my posts over the past couple of years at this forum, it may be possible to get a better idea.
– By the way, your previous question on “bhava” and jati” falls under the same category. One has to logically follow the teachings of the Buddha to see the truth in them. It is a big jigsaw puzzle that needs to be assembled with a lot of effort and determination.
– However, once some traction is gained, the “joy of Dhamma” will keep one fully engaged. Then one will realize that activities like watching movies are a waste of time and fishing, for example, is an immoral activity. One will not need to force oneself away from such activities. Again, you may be already fully engaged. That is a general comment, just like all my posts. They are meant for a general audience.