Post on The Suffering (Dukkha) in the First Noble Truth

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    • #27297

      Under point #11…

      “In general, good deeds (kusala kamma) lead to good rebirths (those in the human and higher realms.) Evil deeds (akusala kamma) lead to bad existences (the lowest four realms or the apāyā.)”

      People ask where is hell? Can one prove the existence of hell? I am quite taken aback when even some renown venerables replied the questioners philosophically – hell is in our mind. Something like when one is very angry, he or she is currently in hell. I’m not trying to downplay the answer given by the venerables. But come on, I don’t think it’s that simple. If hell only exists in the mind, what is the big deal for a person to relieve his vexation without having to face any real consequences later on? I seriously do not believe hell exists only in our mind (here and now) kind of thinking.

    • #27304

      That is right. We can consider the following analogy.

      Most of us have not been to Africa. But do any of us have doubts about the existence of Africa?
      – There is overwhelming indirect evidence for the existence of Africa.

      It is the same with the existence of hell or Deva/Brahma realms.
      – As one learns Buddha Dhamma, one will be able to verify by “indirect means” the validity of the existence of those realms.
      – One needs to start getting rid of wrong views with basic concepts like kamma/kamma vipaka and rebirth. Just keep an open mind and look at the evidence.
      – Such fundamental truths INEVITABLY lead to the conclusion of the existence of the 31 realms, gradually.

    • #27340

      Cubibobi (Lang) has sent me the following comment to post. Apparently, he could not post it. The software bug is random since he has been able to post other times. Please keep a copy when you post and send it to me ([email protected]) if you have problems.


      Does anyone know the Pali breakdown of the word niraya?

      I struggled with the notion of hell for quite some time, and came to terms with it to some degree fairly recently.

      I used to have serious doubt about a human being reborn as an animal, let alone a hell being, so I set it aside; and the sources I was studying just glossed over the picture of the 31 realms.

      Because of that, I also just glossed over the 31 realms when I came to; I was most excited about learning the true meanings of anicca, dukkha, anatta. However, reading more and more, it’s hard not to miss Lal’s emphasis on reaching the sotapanna stage to be free from the apāyā, and I realized that I needed to get over this hurdle.

      On the upside, being open to the possibility of rebirth in the apāyā is like getting a kick in the rear end to awaken to the law of kamma as nothing else could.

      Many thanks to Lal for continually reminding of the dangers of the rebirth process because of the apāyā. A number of Buddhist traditions, as Johnny_Lim pointed out, put more importance of hell and heaven as mental states than actual destinations of rebirth. They like to tell the story of the Zen master and the samurai; one such version is here:

      Zen Story: Heaven & Hell


    • #27341
      y not

      It is good to see this sense of appreciation from participants. When the reality of the 31 realms really sinks in, then it becomes Gratitude, an Infinite measure of it.

      See… once one sees the operation of cause and effect, action and reaction (kamma and kamma vipaka) and that that must apply even to the mental world, then it will be natural to accept also the existence of the 31 realms since in the human realm itself we see that causes may have snowball effects – the consequences appearing far too disproportionate to the causes from which they arose. I allude here to cubibobi’s reference to hell. But the ways of Nature cannot be ‘unfair’ – in the long run. Dhammata works that out perfectly well.

      As to ‘good births’ above the human, they may be experienced as nicca and sukkha (the Buddha compared the treasures and pleasures even of kings as insignificant therewith) but there is no way of getting around their anatta nature. Death will see to that. So even those good births will count for nothing if one had not gone for Refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha after ‘getting a kick in the rear end’

      Everyone seems to want to get a kick out of life these days. Here what one gets is a kick out of many a life of suffering.

    • #27345

      Cubibobi (Lang) asked: “Does anyone know the Pali breakdown of the word niraya?

      The Pali root “ra” means “to enjoy.” For example, “rāga” comes from “ra” + “agga” where “agga” means foremost. Thus kāma rāga means putting a high-value on “kāma” or sensory pleasures.

      Niraya comes from “ni” + “ra“, where “ni” indicates without. Thus niraya means “where any enjoyment is absent.”
      – That is why niraya (hell) is the lowest realm. Even animals enjoy life sometimes. The animal realm is the “best” of the four. The preta (or peta) and the asura realms are in between (as far as suffering is concerned.)

    • #27406

      Here is a video that describes the 31 realms of existence. It is good to watch it.
      Bhante Anandajoti: The Planes of Existence

    • #34349

      The information given here is useful in many ways and I found the information useful here through half different comments. Here are all the astrology related answers and there are stories of Hinduism from which I learned a lot.

      And if you are also suffering from a lot of problems in your life, you can talk to an astrologer who can make your feature better.

      Also Read, What Laughing Buddha Significance and Benefits?

    • #34351

      The above link does not provide any insights.

      You need to try to understand Buddha Dhamma with more insight, Anil!

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