King Yama

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    • #21033

      I read the Devaduta Sutta about Hell and came across the name Yama. King Yama can also be found in Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and some other religions that appeared after the Buddha. While depicted differently in each religion, all of them agree that Yama abides in Hell.

      Does that mean that there were people with abhinna powers who could see Hell even before the Buddha, or the Blessed One decided to use this name because it was familiar to the people of that time?

      There are also many other terms that were in use even before The Buddha proclaimed the Dhamma(kamma, deva, brahma, even Buddha, etc), but they had slightly or very different meaning. Could it be that the Buddha used some of those terms and even proper names to make it easier for the listeners to have some basic idea (a starting point) about the topic?

      I think this is a rather important topic, because if what i guessed above is true, that means that we should be even more careful when growing a perception of some terms, especially in cases with proper names, such as king Yama.

    • #21037

      It is true that there were yogis (and could be at any time) with abhinna (supernormal) powers who can see some of these things. This especially true for seeing past lives and being able to even visit brahma realms (by cultivating jhanas, which correspond to mental states of those brahma realms). But I am not sure whether they can see apayas.

      In any case, there are many concepts in several religions, especially in Hinduism, that are coming from the previous Buddha, Buddha Kassapa, who was there before before Buddha Gotama during this Maha Kappa.
      – This gets into archaeological dating problems (these dating techniques can only go back about 100,000 years), so I try to keep away from this topic. This is an issue that could deviate attention from more important issues such as incorrect interpretations of Buddha Dhamma.
      – Again, there is so much that modern science is still not aware of.

    • #21042
      y not

      I had often wondered myself how long ago was, for instance, the Kasssapa sasana, the Konagamana sasana, and so on back into this mahakalpa and those even prior to this mahakalpa, in simple, direct millions or tens of millions or hundreds of millions or billions of years.

      Then you get into the times of the Buddhas in other world-systems in this galaxy, then on to other galaxies, then yet on to other superclusters of galaxies. In truth, the numbers will be infinite – even of past Buddhas.
      And all those Buddhas proclaimed the same Dhamma.

      But all this is of no real value to the IMMEDIATE task of treading the Path – as Lal has pointed out. It is just an eagerness to satisfy curiosity, but that, if pursued to any lenght of time, will be at the expense of that immediate task.

      For that reason, I have given up looking into these things. The one prevailing motive, the ‘ruling idea’ being that it is difficult to be born a human, and moreover being born a human in a Buddha sasana – and we are here, in a human bhava and in a Buddha sasana. It is a duty to oneself to make the most of it.

      With Noble Ones it is a duty to others as well, as we can see for ourselves.

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