Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

A place to compare and contrast Dharmic traditions, debates allowed, but be polite.
Post Reply
Bundokji
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:53 pm

Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by Bundokji » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:30 am

Monotheistic religions use terms such as "sin" to describe problematic behavior/action and recommend repentance to redeem oneself, while Buddhism uses terms such as "bad kamma" and "purifying the mind".

How to understand the differences between the two?

User avatar
Nicholas
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:21 pm
Location: California

Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by Nicholas » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:42 pm

How do you now understand the differences yourself?
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

Bundokji
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:53 pm

Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by Bundokji » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:10 pm

Nicholas wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:42 pm
How do you now understand the differences yourself?
If i am provided with definitions of both terms, then i can spot differences based on the definitions, but i am unable see a meaningful difference that i can relate to from my own experience.

The term "sin" on its own does not seem to convey a meaning that i can sense of in daily life. Same thing can be said about "purifying the mind" which raises the question: purifying it from what? Or to put it differently: what is a "sin"? or "purifying the mind from what"? The question "what" resonates in my mind when i encounter both terms!

Let us say i did something "wrong" in the past, then i would probably learn from it, or at least, i can envision the consequences of such action in the future regardless if i keep on doing it or not. So why do we need terms such as "sin" or "purity"? and if we do need them, what is the exact difference between the two?

User avatar
Nicholas
Posts: 820
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:21 pm
Location: California

Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by Nicholas » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:48 pm

From a dictionary re Sin:
Transgression of the law of God; disobedience of the divine command; any violation of God's will, either in purpose or conduct; moral deficiency in the character; iniquity; as, sins of omission and sins of commission.
Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. John viii. 34. Sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John iii. 4.
As far as the nature of Sin or bad karma goes, there is not much difference. Both are caused by the many forms of self-centeredness. The locus is in our mind. Redemption in Buddhism is caused by our own efforts to replace anger, greed & ignorance (for example) with love, equanimity & wisdom. If our mind remains impure we will suffer more and more.

Theists believe that an external Deity will remove sin provided we worship or pray in the correct manner.
Last edited by Nicholas on Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

Bundokji
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:53 pm

Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by Bundokji » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:16 pm

Thanks Nicholas :anjali:

Another similarity i can think of is that there is a root cause for suffering. In theistic religions, there is the notion of "original sin" while in Buddhism the root cause is ignorance. Both seem to require effort though, but in the case of Buddhism, effort is directed towards generating insight (with the aim of eliminating ignorance) while the original sin is associated with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Its funny how "knowledge" is presented as both the problem and the solution!

tkp67
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:15 am

Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by tkp67 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:22 pm

I could talk about this topic from a christian perspective as I have deep relationship with that practice but it led me to the lotus sutra (some might content I led myself through it) and in the Lotus Sutra all beings in Buddhist cosmology bow to Buddha.

After a decade of contemplation I see it to mean this.

The the pure realm of the mind as understood by enlightenment is the most pure mind, purer than the realm of the mind in which deities rule, benevolent or otherwise.

This is not in deference or in derogation of the realms of the beings who bow to Buddha but acknowledgement of the purity of mind and thus purity of being that he himself has achieved.

The other realms prepare us for this realm and many of the tools we use to gain humanitarian merit in those still remain and the joy we experience, unbreakable.

I hope this helps.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests