Enlightenment

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
MatthewAngby
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Enlightenment

Post by MatthewAngby » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:28 am

1) Is there any bliss , joy or enjoyment in enlightenment actually? If not, why do we aim for that?

Do we become vegetable state beings in enlightenment , sitting tightly in blank space ?

If everyone became buddhas and there is no more to liberate , can buddhas still do anything at all? Do they finally become static beings who do nothing because they no longer have any need to benefit beings already?

Can Buddha perceive sentient beings and enviroments or pure lands? Or do they see nothing and sort of become blind?

Can Buddha hear sounds and music? Do they enjoy music or do they become lifeless and emotionless when they hear it?

Do buddhas have thoughts? If they don’t, then won’t it be like brain dead and like emotionless beings?

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Queequeg
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Queequeg » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:40 am

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

MatthewAngby
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by MatthewAngby » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:00 am

So why would one still wish to bring beings to enlightenment? Other than the fact to relieve them of suffering , isn’t it scary if we do not even know if we can perceive anything at all or if we will become floating space rocks in the deep expanse? Now I really want beings to be happy, but why does enlightenment seem not to be? Is it void and emotionless there? Since there are no labels or fabrications , do we finally become the truly dead?

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Aryjna
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Aryjna » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:26 am

MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:00 am
So why would one still wish to bring beings to enlightenment? Other than the fact to relieve them of suffering , isn’t it scary if we do not even know if we can perceive anything at all or if we will become floating space rocks in the deep expanse? Now I really want beings to be happy, but why does enlightenment seem not to be? Is it void and emotionless there? Since there are no labels or fabrications , do we finally become the truly dead?
Because without buddhahood you will keep spending an eternity in the hell, preta, and animal realms, as you have been doing so far.

Buddhahood is not nothingness, or being a space-rock, something which is addressed many times because it is a common misconception.
Last edited by Aryjna on Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dan74
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Dan74 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:29 am

Looking at the Buddha's life, he didn't seem much like a 'floating space rock'. And check out contemporary masters from all traditions (Dilgo Khyentse R., Ajahn Chah, Kusan S., Kodo Sawaki, Omori R, etc. etc.) I'd say they were pretty happy.

Enlightenment is liberation from delusion. Delusion doesn't make us happy or add anything valuable to our lives. Dropping it is like dropping a huge burden, like waking up from uneasy groggy sleep.

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FromTheEarth
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by FromTheEarth » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:48 am

A personal take (of an East Asian flavor) on this issue:
I think your "scary" characterization of nirvana/Enlightenment as such is (at least one of the) reason(s) why, for most Mahayana scholars, there is a need to criticize traditional doctrines of nirvana held by Theravada or sectarian scholars and try to develop their own, as well as the innovative doctrine of Buddha's bodies, especially https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%E1%B9%83bhogak%C4%81ya.
In the Tiantai/Tendai School, Ven. Zhiyi (kind of negatively) portrays the nirvana of Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas as "灰身滅智" or "the body reduced to atoms while the consciousness completely extinct," and criticizes it. For the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, however, there is another complicated story about their various bodies, realms, neither of which has anything to do with your "scary" characterization of nirvana here.
In the Yogacara tradition, there is also a nuanced theory on different kinds of nirvana. The kind of Enlightenment you've just described is considered of an inferior nature (but still a sort of Enlightenment!). See p.354 of the whole pdf file http://www.bdkamerica.org/system/files/ ... y_1999.pdf. Also, if you read the treatise further, you would find more about Buddha's bodies etc.. Those paragraphs definitely answers your puzzlement (Chapter XIV), and, probably, arouse many new.
*The main difference between the two schools is that Tiantai believes all Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas will turn to Buddhahood eventually, while the mainstream Yogacara believes they could not (,thus only being able to achieve the "Enlightenment" that scares you).

However, I do think we should not simply replace the Selfhood with another kind of "self," which is a very complex topic involving almost the complete history of Buddhism. If one fears "we finally become the truly dead," then he or she may still be troubled and trapped by the conception of Ego. It's not a nice thing.
Moreover, for most Theravada practitioners and even some Mahayana people, the "True/Ultimate Death" is exactly what they aspire for. There is a kind of beauty there (very subtle) and I fully appreciate why they are so fond of this idea.

MatthewAngby
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by MatthewAngby » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:26 am

Dan74 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:29 am
Looking at the Buddha's life, he didn't seem much like a 'floating space rock'. And check out contemporary masters from all traditions (Dilgo Khyentse R., Ajahn Chah, Kusan S., Kodo Sawaki, Omori R, etc. etc.) I'd say they were pretty happy.

Enlightenment is liberation from delusion. Delusion doesn't make us happy or add anything valuable to our lives. Dropping it is like dropping a huge burden, like waking up from uneasy groggy sleep.
Maybe these masters just displayed acts of movement and “animations” because they had to accord by human conventions? What if they are actually really static in nirvana but their spontaneous emanations just make an appearance of being happy , being lively , being animated , but in real sense they’re actually not like this?

MatthewAngby
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by MatthewAngby » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:29 am

Aryjna wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:26 am
MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:00 am
So why would one still wish to bring beings to enlightenment? Other than the fact to relieve them of suffering , isn’t it scary if we do not even know if we can perceive anything at all or if we will become floating space rocks in the deep expanse? Now I really want beings to be happy, but why does enlightenment seem not to be? Is it void and emotionless there? Since there are no labels or fabrications , do we finally become the truly dead?
Because without buddhahood you will keep spending an eternity in the hell, preta, and animal realms, as you have been doing so far.

Buddhahood is not nothingness, or being a space-rock, something which is addressed many times because it is a common misconception.
But don’t buddhas only do things SOLELY for the benefit of all beings? What happens when the day comes when all beings already became Buddha and no more to liberate. Will buddhas still do things - maybe walk, fly, visit pure lands, drink , dance, talk to buddhas over conversations - I really dk because at that time , it won’t really be benefitting would it, so I fear.

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Astus
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Astus » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:36 am

MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:28 am
1) Is there any bliss , joy or enjoyment in enlightenment actually? If not, why do we aim for that?
"This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."
When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"
"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.

(Nibbana Sutta)

To see how nirvana is bliss it is necessary to comprehend how samsara is pain. As the second noble truth states, from craving arises suffering. The object of craving is primarily something we see as pleasurable. That perception of enjoyment is the gratification (assāda), then the suffering ensuing is the danger (ādīnava), but there also a way out from it, i.e. the path, called the escape (nissarana). So there is a clear difference between how the ignorant and the wise experiences things, as you can see for yourself in the Sallatha Sutta.
Do we become vegetable state beings in enlightenment , sitting tightly in blank space?
There is actually a realm of nothingness exactly for those who find such an existence desirable. That is still samsara. As long as there is a longing towards any state of being or non-being, for that long there is birth and pain.

"Bhikkhus, there are these two views: the view of being and the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmans who rely on the view of being, adopt the view of being, accept the view of being, are opposed to the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmans who rely on the view of non-being, adopt the view of non-being, accept the view of non-being, are opposed to the view of being.
Any recluses or brahmans who do not understand as they actually are the origin, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger and the escape in the case of these two views are affected by lust, affected by hate, affected by delusion, affected by craving, affected by clinging, without vision, given to favoring and opposing, and they delight in and enjoy proliferation. They are not freed from birth, aging and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair; they are not freed from suffering, I say."

(Cula-sihanada Sutta)
If everyone became buddhas and there is no more to liberate , can buddhas still do anything at all?
That is assuming buddhas to be just like common beings. They look like that only for common beings, who cannot comprehend anything else. But that is not the true nature of buddhas.

"Someone who tries to discern me in form
Or seek me in sound
Is practicing non-Buddhist methods
And will not discern the Tathāgata"

(Diamond Sutra, ch 26)
Can Buddha perceive sentient beings and enviroments or pure lands? Or do they see nothing and sort of become blind? Can Buddha hear sounds and music? Do they enjoy music or do they become lifeless and emotionless when they hear it? Do buddhas have thoughts? If they don’t, then won’t it be like brain dead and like emotionless beings?
The problem is not with the senses or the sense objects, but with craving and attachment.

"the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds... The nose is not the fetter of aromas... The tongue is not the fetter of flavors... The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations... The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. There is an eye in the Blessed One. The Blessed One sees forms with the eye. There is no desire or passion in the Blessed One. The Blessed One is well-released in mind."
(Kotthita Sutta)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

MatthewAngby
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by MatthewAngby » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:12 am

Astus wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:36 am
MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:28 am
1) Is there any bliss , joy or enjoyment in enlightenment actually? If not, why do we aim for that?
"This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."
When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"
"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.

(Nibbana Sutta)

To see how nirvana is bliss it is necessary to comprehend how samsara is pain. As the second noble truth states, from craving arises suffering. The object of craving is primarily something we see as pleasurable. That perception of enjoyment is the gratification (assāda), then the suffering ensuing is the danger (ādīnava), but there also a way out from it, i.e. the path, called the escape (nissarana). So there is a clear difference between how the ignorant and the wise experiences things, as you can see for yourself in the Sallatha Sutta.
Do we become vegetable state beings in enlightenment , sitting tightly in blank space?
There is actually a realm of nothingness exactly for those who find such an existence desirable. That is still samsara. As long as there is a longing towards any state of being or non-being, for that long there is birth and pain.

"Bhikkhus, there are these two views: the view of being and the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmans who rely on the view of being, adopt the view of being, accept the view of being, are opposed to the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmans who rely on the view of non-being, adopt the view of non-being, accept the view of non-being, are opposed to the view of being.
Any recluses or brahmans who do not understand as they actually are the origin, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger and the escape in the case of these two views are affected by lust, affected by hate, affected by delusion, affected by craving, affected by clinging, without vision, given to favoring and opposing, and they delight in and enjoy proliferation. They are not freed from birth, aging and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair; they are not freed from suffering, I say."

(Cula-sihanada Sutta)
If everyone became buddhas and there is no more to liberate , can buddhas still do anything at all?
That is assuming buddhas to be just like common beings. They look like that only for common beings, who cannot comprehend anything else. But that is not the true nature of buddhas.

"Someone who tries to discern me in form
Or seek me in sound
Is practicing non-Buddhist methods
And will not discern the Tathāgata"

(Diamond Sutra, ch 26)
Can Buddha perceive sentient beings and enviroments or pure lands? Or do they see nothing and sort of become blind? Can Buddha hear sounds and music? Do they enjoy music or do they become lifeless and emotionless when they hear it? Do buddhas have thoughts? If they don’t, then won’t it be like brain dead and like emotionless beings?
The problem is not with the senses or the sense objects, but with craving and attachment.

"the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds... The nose is not the fetter of aromas... The tongue is not the fetter of flavors... The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations... The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. There is an eye in the Blessed One. The Blessed One sees forms with the eye. There is no desire or passion in the Blessed One. The Blessed One is well-released in mind."
(Kotthita Sutta)
So this seems like total cessation of all feelings, thoughts and emotions - terribly scary. Perhaps the gods at Tusita or Trayasimtra have more liveliness and enjoyments of the senses and perceptions, i don’t know...

Why wouldn’t we strive to become a god then, and also accumulate merit to sustain our next rebirth in a good realm... maybe we won’t “ feel nothing “ then..

I am starting to think that life is really all sad and painful now... but again I’m just confused .

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Aryjna
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Aryjna » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:04 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:12 am
Astus wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:36 am
MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:28 am
1) Is there any bliss , joy or enjoyment in enlightenment actually? If not, why do we aim for that?
"This Unbinding is pleasant, friends. This Unbinding is pleasant."
When this was said, Ven. Udayin said to Ven. Sariputta, "But what is the pleasure here, my friend, where there is nothing felt?"
"Just that is the pleasure here, my friend: where there is nothing felt.

(Nibbana Sutta)

To see how nirvana is bliss it is necessary to comprehend how samsara is pain. As the second noble truth states, from craving arises suffering. The object of craving is primarily something we see as pleasurable. That perception of enjoyment is the gratification (assāda), then the suffering ensuing is the danger (ādīnava), but there also a way out from it, i.e. the path, called the escape (nissarana). So there is a clear difference between how the ignorant and the wise experiences things, as you can see for yourself in the Sallatha Sutta.
Do we become vegetable state beings in enlightenment , sitting tightly in blank space?
There is actually a realm of nothingness exactly for those who find such an existence desirable. That is still samsara. As long as there is a longing towards any state of being or non-being, for that long there is birth and pain.

"Bhikkhus, there are these two views: the view of being and the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmans who rely on the view of being, adopt the view of being, accept the view of being, are opposed to the view of non-being. Any recluses or brahmans who rely on the view of non-being, adopt the view of non-being, accept the view of non-being, are opposed to the view of being.
Any recluses or brahmans who do not understand as they actually are the origin, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger and the escape in the case of these two views are affected by lust, affected by hate, affected by delusion, affected by craving, affected by clinging, without vision, given to favoring and opposing, and they delight in and enjoy proliferation. They are not freed from birth, aging and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair; they are not freed from suffering, I say."

(Cula-sihanada Sutta)
If everyone became buddhas and there is no more to liberate , can buddhas still do anything at all?
That is assuming buddhas to be just like common beings. They look like that only for common beings, who cannot comprehend anything else. But that is not the true nature of buddhas.

"Someone who tries to discern me in form
Or seek me in sound
Is practicing non-Buddhist methods
And will not discern the Tathāgata"

(Diamond Sutra, ch 26)
Can Buddha perceive sentient beings and enviroments or pure lands? Or do they see nothing and sort of become blind? Can Buddha hear sounds and music? Do they enjoy music or do they become lifeless and emotionless when they hear it? Do buddhas have thoughts? If they don’t, then won’t it be like brain dead and like emotionless beings?
The problem is not with the senses or the sense objects, but with craving and attachment.

"the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds... The nose is not the fetter of aromas... The tongue is not the fetter of flavors... The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations... The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect, but whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. There is an eye in the Blessed One. The Blessed One sees forms with the eye. There is no desire or passion in the Blessed One. The Blessed One is well-released in mind."
(Kotthita Sutta)
So this seems like total cessation of all feelings, thoughts and emotions - terribly scary. Perhaps the gods at Tusita or Trayasimtra have more liveliness and enjoyments of the senses and perceptions, i don’t know...

Why wouldn’t we strive to become a god then, and also accumulate merit to sustain our next rebirth in a good realm... maybe we won’t “ feel nothing “ then..

I am starting to think that life is really all sad and painful now... but again I’m just confused .
Most of the above quotes are talking about the state of the arhat, not buddhahood. But thinking there is anything good in feelings or in being a god is probably a sign that it would be good to think more on impermanence and karma.

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Astus
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Astus » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:26 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:12 am
Why wouldn’t we strive to become a god then, and also accumulate merit to sustain our next rebirth in a good realm...
That is what everyone does normally in samsara, but hardly anyone attains. And even if heavenly birth is attained, it shall pass.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

MatthewAngby
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by MatthewAngby » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:46 pm

Astus wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:26 pm
MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:12 am
Why wouldn’t we strive to become a god then, and also accumulate merit to sustain our next rebirth in a good realm...
That is what everyone does normally in samsara, but hardly anyone attains. And even if heavenly birth is attained, it shall pass.
I don’t know how to feel now. It feels like oh you will
Have to sacrifice the enjoyments and the luxuries of the gods to reach the deathless state, but then in the deathless state I don’t even know if they party or have fun. So I am truly sad , because inherently I still know liberation is important, but am I ready for the consequences if the deathless state is beyond the parties, enjoyments and luxuries of the great high gods? It feels like a trade off... or maybe I am wrong. Idk, this period of time is confusing sorry...

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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Aryjna » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:04 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:12 am
So this seems like total cessation of all feelings, thoughts and emotions - terribly scary. Perhaps the gods at Tusita or Trayasimtra have more liveliness and enjoyments of the senses and perceptions, i don’t know...

Why wouldn’t we strive to become a god then, and also accumulate merit to sustain our next rebirth in a good realm... maybe we won’t “ feel nothing “ then..

I am starting to think that life is really all sad and painful now... but again I’m just confused .
Don't worry about that. As you probably know, you are already a buddha, clouded by temporary obscurations. Why would you want to keep the obscurations? They only bring suffering. Being a buddha is not even comparable to being a god, where you will be having sex with goddesses and drinking nectar or whatever, and after a certain amount of time you will realize you are about to plunge down into a hell realm. You cannot plan in advance to make sure that you will be infinitely creating good karma in samsara, unless you are on the way to buddhahood. The reason is that the motivation to accumulate karma for the birth as a god is selfish, and that is probably the tendency that it creates in the end. Buddhahood is not a quiet nothingness, I cannot find a specific quote at the moment other than this, which has already been posted here before:


http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra14.html

“Śāriputra, foolish ordinary beings do not have the wisdom that comes from hearing the Dharma. When they hear about a Tathāgata’s entering nirvāṇa, they take the wrong view of cessation or extinction. Because of their perception of cessation or extinction, they claim that the realm of sentient beings decreases. Their claim constitutes an enormously wrong view and an extremely grave, evil karma.
“Furthermore, Śāriputra, from the wrong view of decrease, these sentient beings derive three more wrong views. These three views and the view of decrease, like a net,[3] are inseparable from each other. What are these three views? They are (1) the view of cessation, which means the ultimate end; (2) the view of extinction, which is equated to nirvāṇa; (3) the view that nirvāṇa is a void, which means that nirvāṇa is the ultimate quiet nothingness. Śāriputra, in this way these three views fetter, hold, and impress [sentient beings].

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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Jeff H » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:23 pm

I don’t know what it might be like to be a buddha, but I’m very frightened of the alternative: samsara. If your main concern is feeling, you’re already in the right place: samsara is for you. In addition to impermanence and karma, I’d recommend studying the teachings on “precious human life”.

The reason a human rebirth is considered precious is because it is a balanced vantage point. We have enough experience and observation of both pleasure and pain to evaluate them, and the intelligence to be able to understand the problem of cyclical, pervasive suffering.

Humans have the capacity to understand that our experiences of the world are a function of our own minds. The mind gives us the relatively minor suffering of this life and its unsatisfying pleasures. The teachings about the other five realms demonstrate that the same mind has the capacity to create infinitely terrible suffering (hells) as well as pure joy (god realms), not to mention the ignorant brutality of the animal realm. They are all samsara; you don't get to stay human, you cycle.

As an animal, one has no capacity to figure what’s going on or how to change it. In hell and in god realms we are so caught up in the immediate experiences that understanding impermanence, karma, and positive change are nearly impossible. As a god you don’t create good karma, you just use up past good karma. In hell there’s no respite from your own suffering so you aren’t likely to think of others.

To understand Buddhism it necessary to think beyond the experiences of just one rebirth. And also to understand the three sufferings:
1. Manifest suffering is the common understanding of pain and displeasure.
2. Changing suffering is what the world calls "happiness" (like your parties). Buddha called it changing suffering because it is only a brief respite between manifest sufferings. Seeking such respite is just craving for relief and it always turns into its opposite.
3. Pervasive suffering is that cycle: craving for happiness leads to disappointment and dissatisfaction which leads back to craving again and again, throughout endless lives.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Enlightenment

Post by LolCat » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:38 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:46 pm
Astus wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:26 pm
MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:12 am
Why wouldn’t we strive to become a god then, and also accumulate merit to sustain our next rebirth in a good realm...
That is what everyone does normally in samsara, but hardly anyone attains. And even if heavenly birth is attained, it shall pass.
I don’t know how to feel now. It feels like oh you will
Have to sacrifice the enjoyments and the luxuries of the gods to reach the deathless state, but then in the deathless state I don’t even know if they party or have fun. So I am truly sad , because inherently I still know liberation is important, but am I ready for the consequences if the deathless state is beyond the parties, enjoyments and luxuries of the great high gods? It feels like a trade off... or maybe I am wrong. Idk, this period of time is confusing sorry...
Are you really sacrificing enjoyments and luxuries, or are you sacrificing the craving for them? It seems to me like wishing for an eternal itch to keep scratching forever rather than being free of the itch.

I think Malcolm once mentioned here that the Buddhas always perfectly experience the four immeasurables, which includes joy(I don't know if I am remembering right). I don't know much about this, but I am guessing it would probably blow any samsaric bliss out of the water.

I remember reading about a Bodhisattva/Buddha/Guru in the Words of My Perfect Teacher, who having realized the emptiness of all phenomena, partook in enjoyments and pleasures. So realization doesn't seem to be barrier to enjoying things.
Last edited by LolCat on Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Astus
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Astus » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:38 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:46 pm
Have to sacrifice the enjoyments and the luxuries of the gods to reach the deathless state, but then in the deathless state I don’t even know if they party or have fun.
You should familiarise yourself with the story of the Buddha's half-brother Nanda, about whom it was said: "He's leading the holy life for the sake of nymphs. The Blessed One is his guarantor for getting 500 dove-footed nymphs." See in the Nanda Sutta.

There is also the teaching from the Sakya school called Parting from the Four Attachments:

“If you are attached to this life, you are not a true spiritual practitioner;
If you are attached to saṃsāra, you have no renunciation;
If you are attached to your own self-interest, you have no bodhicitta;
If there is grasping, you do not have the View.”


For more on that see this shorter commentary and/or this longer one.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Aryjna
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Re: Enlightenment

Post by Aryjna » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:45 pm

You can read about the qualities and activities of buddhas in the Uttaratantra. A large part of the text is on this matter:
[Enlightenment, of which the Buddha] said: “It is by nature clear
light,” is similar to the sun and space.
It is free from the stains of the adventitious poisons and hindrances
to knowledge, the veils of which obscured it [like] a dense sea of
clouds.
Buddhahood is permanent, steadfast, and immutable, possessing all
the unpolluted buddha qualities.
It is attained on the basis of [two] primordial wisdoms: [one is] free
from ideation with regard to phenomena, [the other is] discriminative.

There is permanence [since] the causes are endless and sentient beings
inexhaustible [in number].
They have compassionate love, miraculous power, knowledge, and
utter [bliss].
They are masters of [all] qualities. The demon of death has been
vanquished.
Being not of the essence [of the compounded] it is the [true]
protector of all worldly [beings].

MatthewAngby
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:51 am

Re: Enlightenment

Post by MatthewAngby » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:48 am

Aryjna wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:45 pm
You can read about the qualities and activities of buddhas in the Uttaratantra. A large part of the text is on this matter:
[Enlightenment, of which the Buddha] said: “It is by nature clear
light,” is similar to the sun and space.
It is free from the stains of the adventitious poisons and hindrances
to knowledge, the veils of which obscured it [like] a dense sea of
clouds.
Buddhahood is permanent, steadfast, and immutable, possessing all
the unpolluted buddha qualities.
It is attained on the basis of [two] primordial wisdoms: [one is] free
from ideation with regard to phenomena, [the other is] discriminative.

There is permanence [since] the causes are endless and sentient beings
inexhaustible [in number].
They have compassionate love, miraculous power, knowledge, and
utter [bliss].
They are masters of [all] qualities. The demon of death has been
vanquished.
Being not of the essence [of the compounded] it is the [true]
protector of all worldly [beings].

I am sorry for sounding stupid... but I am just scared that if we become buddhas all we is utter pure light, and then I can’t see celestial mansions and the beautiful pure lands... which means I have no freedom to see forms... is that true?
LolCat wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:38 pm
[quote=MatthewAngby post_id=464005 time=<a href="tel:1536162365">1536162365</a> user_id=10176]
[quote=Astus post_id=464001 time=<a href="tel:1536157617">1536157617</a> user_id=304]
[quote=MatthewAngby post_id=463981 time=<a href="tel:1536131569">1536131569</a> user_id=10176]Why wouldn’t we strive to become a god then, and also accumulate merit to sustain our next rebirth in a good realm...
That is what everyone does normally in samsara, but hardly anyone attains. And even if heavenly birth is attained, it shall pass.
[/quote]

I don’t know how to feel now. It feels like oh you will
Have to sacrifice the enjoyments and the luxuries of the gods to reach the deathless state, but then in the deathless state I don’t even know if they party or have fun. So I am truly sad , because inherently I still know liberation is important, but am I ready for the consequences if the deathless state is beyond the parties, enjoyments and luxuries of the great high gods? It feels like a trade off... or maybe I am wrong. Idk, this period of time is confusing sorry...
[/quote]
Are you really sacrificing enjoyments and luxuries, or are you sacrificing the craving for them? It seems to me like wishing for an eternal itch to keep scratching forever rather than being free of the itch.

I think Malcolm once mentioned here that the Buddhas always perfectly experience the four immeasurables, which includes joy(I don't know if I am remembering right). I don't know much about this, but I am guessing it would probably blow any samsaric bliss out of the water.

I remember reading about a Bodhisattva/Buddha/Guru in the Words of My Perfect Teacher, who having realized the emptiness of all phenomena, partook in enjoyments and pleasures. So realization doesn't seem to be barrier to enjoying things.
[/quote]

Yes I am aware that enlightened beings can still enjoy. What I meant earlier was that perhaps the enlightened beings did this kind of acts solely for the benefit of beings, but what happens when everyone becomes enlightened one day? Do enlightened ones also no longer want to enjoy the sense objects? .... which in a way is equivalent to being “unable” to enjoy sense objects forever.
Aryjna wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:04 pm
[quote=MatthewAngby post_id=463981 time=<a href="tel:1536131569">1536131569</a> user_id=10176]
So this seems like total cessation of all feelings, thoughts and emotions - terribly scary. Perhaps the gods at Tusita or Trayasimtra have more liveliness and enjoyments of the senses and perceptions, i don’t know...

Why wouldn’t we strive to become a god then, and also accumulate merit to sustain our next rebirth in a good realm... maybe we won’t “ feel nothing “ then..

I am starting to think that life is really all sad and painful now... but again I’m just confused .
Don't worry about that. As you probably know, you are already a buddha, clouded by temporary obscurations. Why would you want to keep the obscurations? They only bring suffering. Being a buddha is not even comparable to being a god, where you will be having sex with goddesses and drinking nectar or whatever, and after a certain amount of time you will realize you are about to plunge down into a hell realm. You cannot plan in advance to make sure that you will be infinitely creating good karma in samsara, unless you are on the way to buddhahood. The reason is that the motivation to accumulate karma for the birth as a god is selfish, and that is probably the tendency that it creates in the end. Buddhahood is not a quiet nothingness, I cannot find a specific quote at the moment other than this, which has already been posted here before:


http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra14.html

“Śāriputra, foolish ordinary beings do not have the wisdom that comes from hearing the Dharma. When they hear about a Tathāgata’s entering nirvāṇa, they take the wrong view of cessation or extinction. Because of their perception of cessation or extinction, they claim that the realm of sentient beings decreases. Their claim constitutes an enormously wrong view and an extremely grave, evil karma.
“Furthermore, Śāriputra, from the wrong view of decrease, these sentient beings derive three more wrong views. These three views and the view of decrease, like a net,[3] are inseparable from each other. What are these three views? They are (1) the view of cessation, which means the ultimate end; (2) the view of extinction, which is equated to nirvāṇa; (3) the view that nirvāṇa is a void, which means that nirvāṇa is the ultimate quiet nothingness. Śāriputra, in this way these three views fetter, hold, and impress [sentient beings].

[/quote]

With this sentence , would it be right to say that buddhas actually still have a “lively- life” of their own which is not nothingness but is beyond our concepts and limitations ? That means ... maybe buddhahood it’s not parties, maybe it’s not having dates with goddess ( I still cling to that 😔 ) , but it is something else that is greater and “desirable” than that, but it is not “ sitting in blank space , not doing anything “ ? So - they still have a life and can do animations of their own, but it’s just beyond our thinking ?

MatthewAngby
Posts: 313
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:51 am

Re: Enlightenment

Post by MatthewAngby » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:53 am

Jeff H wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:23 pm
I don’t know what it might be like to be a buddha, but I’m very frightened of the alternative: samsara. If your main concern is feeling, you’re already in the right place: samsara is for you. In addition to impermanence and karma, I’d recommend studying the teachings on “precious human life”.

The reason a human rebirth is considered precious is because it is a balanced vantage point. We have enough experience and observation of both pleasure and pain to evaluate them, and the intelligence to be able to understand the problem of cyclical, pervasive suffering.

Humans have the capacity to understand that our experiences of the world are a function of our own minds. The mind gives us the relatively minor suffering of this life and its unsatisfying pleasures. The teachings about the other five realms demonstrate that the same mind has the capacity to create infinitely terrible suffering (hells) as well as pure joy (god realms), not to mention the ignorant brutality of the animal realm. They are all samsara; you don't get to stay human, you cycle.

As an animal, one has no capacity to figure what’s going on or how to change it. In hell and in god realms we are so caught up in the immediate experiences that understanding impermanence, karma, and positive change are nearly impossible. As a god you don’t create good karma, you just use up past good karma. In hell there’s no respite from your own suffering so you aren’t likely to think of others.

To understand Buddhism it necessary to think beyond the experiences of just one rebirth. And also to understand the three sufferings:
1. Manifest suffering is the common understanding of pain and displeasure.
2. Changing suffering is what the world calls "happiness" (like your parties). Buddha called it changing suffering because it is only a brief respite between manifest sufferings. Seeking such respite is just craving for relief and it always turns into its opposite.
3. Pervasive suffering is that cycle: craving for happiness leads to disappointment and dissatisfaction which leads back to craving again and again, throughout endless lives.
Jeff... I am more than aware of the suffering of change that take place - yes I experience that in my daily life of my holidays atm. That’s why i said it seemed to me like a trade off. I know I have to liberate myself else I might be in deep shit next time.... but at the same time doesn’t that mean I won’t be interested in having grand parties with the beautiful goddesses and taking a walk with them on their lush gardens ?

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