Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

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Bundokji
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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?

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Nicholas
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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
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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?

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Nicholas
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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
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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
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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.

Bundokji
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Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by Bundokji » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:35 pm

tkp67 wrote:
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.
Thank you tbk67 :namaste:

The problem of the difficulty in dealing with the idea of purity, as i see it, is that it can be associated with different forms of pathology. Take racial or national purity for example, or even moral purity and how these ideas can lead to suffering.

For instance, to what extent do you agree/disagree with Richard Rorty's input on the idea of purity?


tkp67
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Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by tkp67 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:33 pm

Disagree strongly because he is using purity as compared to theist belief, it is comparative purity.

The purity in way of mind from a buddhist POV lies below the formation of belief itself, regardless of what virtues that belief reveals because the purity of mind is an aspect of pure self.

This true self is virtuous and only a rise of ego can take this virtue away which is why belief that seeks to program ego is problematic.

Bundokji
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Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by Bundokji » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:53 pm

tkp67 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:33 pm
Disagree strongly because he is using purity as compared to theist belief, it is comparative purity.

The purity in way of mind from a buddhist POV lies below the formation of belief itself, regardless of what virtues that belief reveals because the purity of mind is an aspect of pure self.

This true self is virtuous and only a rise of ego can take this virtue away which is why belief that seeks to program ego is problematic.
I think he was talking about purity and linking it to platonic forms. Is there a non comparative purity anyway? even in Buddhism the idea of purity is often linked to the idea of defilements.

Did the Buddha teach about true or pure self? or is it your way of conceptualizing your understanding?

tkp67
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Re: Purifying the mind and the idea of sin

Post by tkp67 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:11 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:53 pm
tkp67 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:33 pm
Disagree strongly because he is using purity as compared to theist belief, it is comparative purity.

The purity in way of mind from a buddhist POV lies below the formation of belief itself, regardless of what virtues that belief reveals because the purity of mind is an aspect of pure self.

This true self is virtuous and only a rise of ego can take this virtue away which is why belief that seeks to program ego is problematic.
I think he was talking about purity and linking it to platonic forms. Is there a non comparative purity anyway? even in Buddhism the idea of purity is often linked to the idea of defilements.

Did the Buddha teach about true or pure self? or is it your way of conceptualizing your understanding?
If you listen to the video you posted he compared used physcial beauty as a basis of pure and called it subjective which is true but not purity in the way buddhist understand it which leads to your last question, yes.

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=29561

The Pure Land is the Pure Mind

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