If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

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If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby Inge » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:45 pm

I once heard that if I get enlightened everybody gets enlightened. Is this something you consider to be true?

Also, if anybody else gets enlightened, I would not get enlightened, so I cant just wait for someone else to enlighten me, I have to do it myself. Is this correct?
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby Dexing » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:05 pm

First of all, what is enlightenment?

Nobody "gets" enlightened. Once one wakes up to the fact that they are already awake, then simultaneously one sees that this awakened quality is the same in all beings. In that sense, your enlightenment or awakening, is the awakening of other beings.

But it is neither a cause or an effect. It's not some "thing" that you give or get some time off in the future. Just pay attention, in simple terms.

:namaste:
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby catmoon » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:39 pm

Inge wrote:I once heard that if I get enlightened everybody gets enlightened. Is this something you consider to be true?




Then why did Buddha teach?
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby plwk » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:31 am

...so I cant just wait for someone else to enlighten me, I have to do it myself. Is this correct?
See below...
http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Sutr ... cumstances
"The word 'Buddha' is equivalent to 'Enlightenment', which may be dealt with (as in the Sutra) under four heads:
To open the eyes for the sight of Enlightenment-knowledge.
To show the sight of Enlightenment-knowledge.
To awake to the sight of Enlightenment-knowledge.
To be firmly established in the Enlightenment-knowledge.

"Should we be able, upon being taught, to grasp and understand thoroughly the teaching of Enlightenment-knowledge, then our inherent quality or true nature, i.e., the Enlightenment-knowledge, would have an opportunity to manifest itself.
You should not misinterpret the text, and come to the conclusion that Buddha-knowledge is something special to Buddha and not common to us all because you happen to find in the Sutra this passage,
'To open the eyes for the sight of Buddha-knowledge, to show the sight of Buddha-knowledge, etc.'
Such a misinterpretation would amount to slandering Buddha and blaspheming the Sutra.
Since he is a Buddha, he is already in possession of this Enlightenment-knowledge and there is no occasion for himself to open his eyes for it.
You should therefore accept the interpretation that Buddha-knowledge is the Buddha-knowledge of your own mind and not that of any other Buddha.
"Being infatuated by sense-objects, and thereby shutting themselves from their own light, all sentient beings, tormented by outer circumstances and inner vexations, act voluntarily as slaves to their own desires.
Seeing this, our Lord Buddha had to rise from his Samadhi in order to exhort them with earnest preaching of various kinds to suppress their desires and to refrain from seeking happiness from without, so that they might become the equals of Buddha. For this reason the Sutra says, 'To open the eyes for the sight of Buddha-knowledge, etc.'
"I advise people constantly to open their eyes for the Buddha-knowledge within their mind.
But in their perversity they commit sins under delusion and ignorance; they are kind in words, but wicked in mind; they are greedy, malignant, jealous, crooked, flattering, egotistic, offensive to men and destructive to inanimate objects. Thus, they open their eyes for the 'Common-people-knowledge'.
Should they rectify their heart, so that wisdom arises perpetually, the mind would be under introspection, and evil doing replaced by the practice of good; then they would initiate themselves into the Buddha-knowledge.

http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Sutr ... Repentance
"...we will take the following four All-embracing Vows:--
We vow to deliver an infinite number of sentient beings of our mind.
We vow to get rid of the innumerable defilements in our own mind.
We vow to learn the countless systems in Dharma of our Essence of Mind.
We vow to attain the Supreme Buddhahood of our Essence of Mind.

Learned Audience, all of us have now declared that we vow to deliver an infinite number of sentient beings; but what does that mean?
It does not mean that I, Hui Neng, am going to deliver them.
And who are these sentient beings within our mind?
They are the delusive mind, the deceitful mind, the evil mind, and such like minds -- all these are sentient beings.
Each of them has to deliver himself by means of his own Essence of Mind.
Then the deliverance is genuine.
Now, what does it mean to deliver oneself by one's own Essence of Mind?
It means the deliverance of the ignorant, the delusive, and the vexatious beings within our own mind by means of Right Views. With the aid of Right Views and Prajna-Wisdom the barriers raised by these ignorant and delusive beings may be broken down; so that each of them is in a position to deliver himself by his own efforts. Let the fallacious be delivered by rightness; the deluded by enlightenment; the ignorant by wisdom; and the malevolent by benevolence. Such is genuine deliverance.

As to the vow, 'We vow to get rid of the innumerable evil passions in the mind,' it refers to the substitution of our unreliable and illusive thinking faculty by the Prajna-Wisdom of our Essence of Mind.

As to the vow, 'We vow to learn countless systems of Dharmas,' it may be remarked that there will be no true learning until we have seen face to face our Essence of Mind, and until we conform to the orthodox Dharma on all occasions.

As to the vow, 'We vow to attain Supreme Buddhahood,' when we are able to bend our mind to follow the true and orthodox Dharma on all occasions, and when Prajna always rises in our mind, so that we can hold aloof from enlightenment as well as from ignorance, and do away with truth as well as falsehood, then we may consider ourselves as having realized the Buddha-nature, or in other words, as having attained Buddhahood.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby Huifeng » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:23 am

Inge wrote:I once heard that if I get enlightened everybody gets enlightened. Is this something you consider to be true?

Also, if anybody else gets enlightened, I would not get enlightened, so I cant just wait for someone else to enlighten me, I have to do it myself. Is this correct?


There are statements like this, particularly in Western expressions of Zen, and some other Mahayana traditions, but it is certainly not a position that all Mahayana, or even most Mahayana, would assert.

Personally, I think it is a development, and a rather dubious one of that, of another idea, which is more fundamental to most of the Mahayana, and some non-Mahayana schools too. That idea is that at the bottom line, the essential nature of all phenomena is the same. This is related to dependent origination.

eg. the nature of a buddha is that of dependent origination, one becomes a buddha due to conditions; likewise, even unenlightened beings are also in the same category of being subject to dependent origination. This is their "suchness", which is "profound".

However, unenlightened beings do not know this, but once one knows it, one becomes a Buddha. ie. knowings "suchness" (tathata), one becomes a "thus come one" (tathagata).

Therefore, rather than "When one becomes a Buddha, everyone becomes a Buddha", it is more the case of "When one becomes a Buddha, one knows that the nature of a Buddha is the same as the nature of an unenlightened being." And knowing that all beings are dependently originated, they also know that there is the possibility for them to become enlightened, too.

The mistake is to say: "Because the nature of a Buddha is suchness, and because the nature of an unenlightened being is also suchness, therefore an unenlightened being is also a Buddha." Logical fallacy. eg. try "Because the color of a sheet of paper is white, and because the color of a polar bear is white, therefore a polar bear is a sheet of paper." oops.

Another problem is one (but not all) later East Asian interpretation of "Mind Only", which is also common in the West (due to Jungian notions of a the sub-conscious, and other western views). It suggests that when one's mind is purified, then all minds are purified, because all living beings have the same "One Mind". This idea of "One Mind" as something shared by all beings, a cosmic Mind accessible by all, is not the original meaning in the Yogacara school. There are certain Brahmanic influences, particularly in the later period.

Obviously, the problem with this idea, is that then when the first Buddha was enlightened, we would all be enlightened already! No need to practice, no need to teach Dharma, etc. This is extremely problematic, and similar parallels in Brahmanic and Sramanic atman systems have the same problem. It leads to inactivity in the bad sense. Do what you want!

The "originally enlightened but don't know it" issue is an attempt to answer this problem. But to me, it has so many problems that it is barely worth considering. They should take a few steps back and work it out, rather than proceeding with an error, and trying to fix it.

:soapbox:
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:07 pm

It is not.

it is sweet,
it is sour,
it is coming, it is going.
asleep it is,
awake 'it is not'.

Dexing wrote:
It's not some "thing" that you give or get some time off in the future. Just pay attention, in simple terms.


is it in seeing emptiness? no. it is not.
is it in realizing fearlessness? no. it is not.
is it enlightenment? no. it is not.
is it in philosophical understanding? no. it is not.
is it nothing, or everything? no. it is not.
is it in perfect understanding of all things? no. it is not.
is it in ignorance? no. it is not.
is it in action, or inaction? no. it is not.
is it in meditation? no. it is not.
is it in 'no self'? no. it is not.
is it in emptiness of all things? no. it is not.
is emptiness form? no. it is not.

so what are you talking about? i am not. this dharma is no dharma. emptiness of emptiness. if you take all that is said above... what does it leave you with? that state is enlightenment. (i speculate that there is nothing to be attained, and realizing this is attainment). though having written this, i do not consider myself to be enlightened, though if i were able to accept this. i may then be.

with love, from White Lotus. xxx
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:12 pm

Hui-feng wrote:
However, unenlightened beings do not know this, but once one knows it, one becomes a Buddha. ie. knowing "suchness" (tathata), one becomes a "thus come one" (tathagata).


suchness is the "as it is ness" of all things, just as things are. for example the sky is blue this afternoon. having a cup of tea. these things are just as they are. just so. so.

when one has seen the emptiness of all approaches and systems and methods then it is... just as it is. all this is just as it is. about the purest thing i can say right now is... "typing at the computer". thats it. this is it. theres nothing in it. there is nothing to be, nothing to become. empty. just so. realizing this is in accord with enlightenment, but i am not able to realize this, since i have no mind to realize, nor any attachment to any concepts or approaches, even this non-approach of suchness.

i am unable to move even an inch, north east south or west. all i can do right now is type at this computer. there is no understanding.

love, White Lotus. x :pig:

ps Hui Feng does tathagata mean thus come one or one who is fully gone (beyond)? are there different interpretations of how tathagata ought to be translated.

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twitch a whisker, so bold is he!
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby Huifeng » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:14 am

White Lotus wrote:
Hui-feng wrote:
However, unenlightened beings do not know this, but once one knows it, one becomes a Buddha. ie. knowing "suchness" (tathata), one becomes a "thus come one" (tathagata).


suchness is the "as it is ness" of all things, just as things are. for example the sky is blue this afternoon. having a cup of tea. these things are just as they are. just so. so.


As far as most teachings in this area go, to say "the sky is blue", or "having a cup of tea", is NOT the suchness of things. These are already conceptualizations.

when one has seen the emptiness of all approaches and systems and methods then it is... just as it is. all this is just as it is. about the purest thing i can say right now is... "typing at the computer". thats it. this is it. theres nothing in it. there is nothing to be, nothing to become. empty. just so. realizing this is in accord with enlightenment, but i am not able to realize this, since i have no mind to realize, nor any attachment to any concepts or approaches, even this non-approach of suchness.


If there is nothing in it, then there is also no computer, and no typing either. How much more so no "me" who is typing.

This is the emptiness of the three aspects, ie. actor, action, the enacted. This is the gate to suchness.

i am unable to move even an inch, north east south or west. all i can do right now is type at this computer. there is no understanding.

love, White Lotus. x :pig:

ps Hui Feng does tathagata mean thus come one or one who is fully gone (beyond)? are there different interpretations of how tathagata ought to be translated.

a lion roars, the mouse doesnt
twitch a whisker, so bold is he!
well, he is death and dumb!


"tathAgata" can be read in a number of ways. The most common is a two part compound:
Either "tathA" + "gata" = "such / like that / thus" + "gone".
Or "tathA" + "agata" = "such / like that / thus" + "come".
The "tathA" is usually as a corelative with "yathA". Together, "yathA X tathA Y" means "Just as X, so too Y". ie. thus / like that / such, etc.
The word "tathatA" is "suchness", from the same root "tatha", but slightly different, as it has the abstract ending "-tA".
The "(a)gata" is from the root "gam", meaning "go" in English. "gata" is the past form, "gone", and "agata" is the opposite, "come". However, the term "gam" (but not usually "a-gam") can also be used to mean things like "understand" in a slightly more abstract sense.
So, although "tathAgata" could be "thus gone" or "thus come", by defining it as "understood such(ness)", it should be read as "thus gone".
This is only one way to read "tathAgata", though. Another, using "tathA" + "agata", is "thus come", ie. the TathAgata has come just like the other TathAgata's, via the eightfold path. This is also another old definition and way of explaining it.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:30 pm

Hui-feng i will have to read carefully what you have written, before i post a reply, thank you for your detailed reply.
best wishes, White Lotus.

(ps. interesting, i thought i had understood suchness!... perhaps not.) :thinking:
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:09 pm

Hui Feng wrote:
As far as most teachings in this area go, to say "the sky is blue", or "having a cup of tea", is NOT the suchness of things. These are already conceptualizations.


to make a direct observation is not a conceptualization, if the observation avoids ideas and elaborations. to say... i am typing at the computer (and i am)... is a direct observation, which to the reader becomes a concept, but to me it is not an idea or concept but a reality (although empty). if i try to interpret what typing at the computer means then it becomes conceptual/related to ideas.

Hui Feng wrote:
If there is nothing in it, then there is also no computer, and no typing either. How much more so no "me" who is typing.

typing at the computer, there is no computer, nor typing, nor typist... only the appearance of these things. so i say "typing at the computer. just 'so'. 'so' (empty)".

by "nothing in it", i mean that there is nothing in enlightenment. it just isnt anything, but nonetheless is it a no-thing. theres no effort to be made since everything is suchness/empty. i am suchness/empty, whether or not i am experiencing sunyatta/sunyatman. theres nothing in it. its easy, theres nothing to realize except this. typing at the computer, is perfect enlightenment. the blue sky is perfect enlightnment, so too is the grey sky. whether or not you see it.

making an observation... "there is a milky sun today", i add 'so' to indicate the emptiness of this observation. it is just empty. i know this intelectually, but do not see its emptiness as a direct experience, but this does not matter (nothing is required). i do however see my emptiness.

My question is: is the fact that all these things are only 'so' (empty), the meaning of suchness, or does suchness require a direct experience or observation of it "as it is" as well as the recognition that "as it is" is only 'so' (empty). that form is emptiness. surely to emphasise the 'so'/emptiness without recognition of things "as they are" is to miss the target?

Is the understanding i give above in agreement with your understanding of suchness, Hui Feng?

entering form, one enters emptiness.
as it is, will do just so. so.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby Huifeng » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:23 am

I recommend study of the smaller Prajnaparamita Sutra. In particular, chapters 1 & 2.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby catmoon » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:30 am

Huifeng wrote:I recommend study of the smaller Prajnaparamita Sutra. In particular, chapters 1 & 2.


Would that be the same as the Heart Sutra? It has so many names and versions I get confused. A link would be really nice. :emb:
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:17 pm

Venerable Hui-Feng. it may be difficult for me to get hold of chapters 1 and 2, smaller prajnaparamita sutra. could you quote a relevant verse or two from these chapters to illustrate the meaning of suchness.

im sorry to hassle you!

best wishes, White Lotus. :|

i will attempt to get hold of a copy of this sutra. in gratitude. tc.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:06 pm

White Lotus wrote:Venerable Hui-Feng. it may be difficult for me to get hold of chapters 1 and 2, smaller prajnaparamita sutra. could you quote a relevant verse or two from these chapters to illustrate the meaning of suchness.

im sorry to hassle you!

best wishes, White Lotus. :|

i will attempt to get hold of a copy of this sutra. in gratitude. tc.



Is this what you're looking for?

http://lirs.ru/lib/conze/The_Perfection ... 3,1975.pdf
The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines & Its Verse Summary
Translated by Edward Conze, 1973.


Take a look through here for other texts:

http://dharma.org.ru/board/topic1221.html
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:56 pm

Huseng, thank you, but how do i read it. all i get is a lot of code?!
best wishes, White Lotus. x
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:10 pm

White Lotus wrote:Huseng, thank you, but how do i read it. all i get is a lot of code?!
best wishes, White Lotus. x


The forum is Russian (but the download links to English are all in English)

and the pdf file should be a standard scan...
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:49 pm

Thank you Huseng for the file. i have printed out chapters one and two, already having read part of chapter one... interesting.

Thank you ven. Hui Feng for the guidance.

best wishes, White Lotus. x :twothumbsup:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:42 pm

Venerable Hui Feng,
i have read chapters 1 and 2 of the Smaller Perfection of Wisdom. I am amazed by it, just as i was amazed by the Diamond sutra. are there any other wisdom sutras you can recommend for reading. not knowing much about sutras, i dont know what to read. i recently read the Vimalakirti Nirdesa sutra, but it wasnt nearly as interesting as the smaller prajna paramita sutra and the diamond sutra.

as for suchness, it is no other than the emptiness of all things, just as they are. A particularly interesting quote from the smaller prajnaparamita is:

Chapter 2: Sakra. [34] Conze. "I will teach you how a Bodhisattva should stand in Perfect Wisdom. Through standing in emptiness should he stand in Perfect Wisdom."


page 98. [37] "Nowhere did the Tathagata stand because his mind sought no support".


not in enlightenment.
not in non-duality.
not in emptiness.
not in meditation.
not in scriptures.
not in the robe, nor the bowl.

was the crime of those who burnt the sutras, really so bad... no saintliness, no criminality, no crime. after all where can the dharma be found?

Chapter 1 [14]: "He does not train in any dharmas at all because the dharmas do not exist."

p58. "a Bodhisattva does not settle down in any dharma."

5. The Meaning Of Great Vehicle.
"it will stand in all knowledge, by way of taking its stand nowhere."

not standing in even enlightenment.
not standing in the dharma, we stand in the true dharma... emptiness.

p94 [30?]. "does one attain an unproduced attainment through an unproduced dharma".
i speculate... there is no enlightenment, nor attainment to attain. none to attain it. knowing this one accords with emptiness of enlightenment, attainment and self. enlightenment ensues. it is formless.

Chapter 1 [13] "He does not go near any dharma at all, because all dharmas are unapproachable and unsupportable."

as for tathata... Hui Feng is tathata, just as he is. empty (so, and only so). dependence is emptiness, dependee is empty. all is empty. all is just so.

with great gratitude. the heart has
been filled. grain for a feast.
slandering the buddhas just will not do.

with love, from White Lotus. x
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby Huifeng » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:36 am

To stand in "dharmas are empty" is to "not stand in prajnaparamita".
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Re: If I am enlightened, everybody are enlightened?

Postby White Lotus » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:25 pm

page 98. [37] "Nowhere did the Tathagata stand because his mind sought no support".


To stand in "dharmas are empty" is to "not stand in prajnaparamita".


one does not take ones stand anywhere, even in emptiness? free to come and go, to accept or reject?

best wishes, White Lotus. :shock:
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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