Direct experience of suffering by the Buddha

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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Direct experience of suffering by the Buddha

Post by dimeo » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:49 pm

From what little I've learned, Siddhārtha Gautama was born a prince, was sheltered, and witnessed human suffering later as an adult. What was the extent of his direct personal experience of suffering? Before enlightenment he was an ascetic who nearly starved to death.... anything else? Certainly I intend no disrespect here, but wish to understand better. Does anyone know of some sutras that tell about this? Thanks!

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Re: Direct experience of suffering by the Buddha

Post by KonchokZoepa » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:13 pm

i dont have source for this but i think i heard from somewhere that buddha developed first time bodhicitta when he was in hell as a suffering being. so maybe he could recall that through his meditative absorption. i think he penetrated to the essence of suffering. birth, old age, sickness and death. those are the four sufferings that buddhist deal with since its the same for us all. and i think buddha had pretty good experience and understanding what those include in themselves.

although he may not have had the same kind of mental sufferings that we in this day and age has but in essence its all the same. when you get deeper into the causes of this and that problem and suffering you find the same underlying causes.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….



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Re: Direct experience of suffering by the Buddha

Post by Hickersonia » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:11 am

I think that the realization experienced by the Buddha speaks to our condition in ways that most of us, quite frankly, don't even want to admit. Is seeking pleasurable experiences actually suffering? Yes -- especially when we fail to get them, or we get them and they are lost for whatever reason.

And ultimately, it is all unsatisfactory -- we get bored with one sort of pleasure and go out seeking a different kind, more, or whatever. Are we ever really satisfied? That is what I think the Buddha's teaching really goes after -- not just the simple English-language understanding of the word "suffering."

Please be well, friend. :namaste:

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

Nam mô A di đà Phật!

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