Buddha and the Creator God that Wasn’t
Baka Brahma (literally “crane-Brahma”) is a deva who believes that his world is constant, permanent, eternal and without decay (and that therefore he is immortal), and there is no higher refuge. The Buddha counters Baka’s claims by relating the concept of annicca (impermanence), but one of Baka’s attendants (under the influence of Mara, the archetypal personification of unskillfulness) claims that Baka is “the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be”, and that those who praise him will be rewarded – but those who defied the word of Brahma would be like someone who chases fortune away with a stick and accomplishes nothing. Yet the Buddha identified that the real speaker was Mara, and stated that he is free of his power and control.
Baka then claims that his domain is universal and that if Buddha depends upon any of the things within Bakas jurisdiction, he will be within his realm thus Baka can do whatever he sees fit. The Buddha responds that Baka does in fact have this much power, might and influence – but that there are also realms beyond Baka’s understanding, and that the Buddha’s knowledge places him beyond Baka’s power.
Baka is at last convinced by a display of the Buddha’s “fabrication of psychic power to the extent that Brahma, the Brahma assembly, and the attendants of the Brahma assembly heard my voice but did not see me. Having disappeared, I recited this verse: ‘Having seen danger right in becoming, and becoming searching for non-becoming, I didn’t affirm any kind of becoming, or cling to any delight.'”
Buddha was also able to explain Baka’s present situation by reference to his past lives. Baka was in a past life a human ascetic named Kesava who by various means saved many people (e.g. giving drinking water to many people who were dying of thirst). For his meditative prowess he was born as a Brhatphala deva (lit. “having great fruit”), and in successive rebirths gradually sank through the levels of the Rupadhatu (“Form Realm”) until he became an ordinary Brahma.
On another occasion, Baka believed that no monk or contemplative can enter his world (through the supramundane powers of manifestation), but the Buddha himself and several of his disciples visit him to prove him wrong.
Posted on 10/20/2010, in anatta, dependent origination, dharma, dukkha, egolessness, emptiness, enlightenment, heaven, karma, nirvana, not-self, religion, samsara, stories, suttas, three seals. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.