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Did the Buddha dream? - Dhamma Wheel

Did the Buddha dream?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Dhammakid
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Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:34 am

I was listening to a talk on modern Gnosticism and the instructor was speaking about the nature of being awake and enlightened. He mentioned that since the Buddha was spiritually awake, his mind never slept, even when his body did. He claimed this allowed the Buddha to "astral travel," visit other planes of existence, and interact with beings, among other things.

What do you all think of this? Does the Ariyan mind dream (in the sense that it is temporarily separate from reality), or is it ever-mindful and awake even when the body is asleep, enabling it to disconnect from the body and experience freedom from time and space?

Anjali,
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plwk
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby plwk » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:39 am


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Ben
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:53 am

Thanks plwk

It would have been nice if Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera included some references in his article.
I think the compilers of the Abhidhamma would argue that a Buddha does not dream. Unfortunately I don't have the time to look up CMA at the moment.
Hopefully later.

As for claims of "instead of dreaming, astral travel", sounds a bit like creative hagiography of the New Age variety. Though, I am happy to be proven wrong if there is evidence in the Pali Canon or commentarial literature that supports the idea.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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bodom
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby bodom » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:35 am

For what its worth, Ajahn Chah had stated in a talk that he no longer had dreams. Cant remember which talk off the top of my head. It might be online somewhere or in Food for the Heart, not sure, but its definitely there.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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cooran
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:36 am

Hello all,

As a Bodhisatta, he had dreams ... but I don't think he did so once enlightened.

Supina Sutta
"When the Tathagata — worthy & rightly self-awakened — was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, five great dreams appeared to him. Which five?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#dreams5

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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cooran
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby cooran » Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:44 am

A little more:

[DILEMMA THE SEVENTY-FIFTH. DREAMS.]
33. 'Venerable Nâgasena, men and women in this world see dreams pleasant and evil, things they have seen before and things they have not, things they have done before and things they have not, [298] dreams peaceful and terrible, dreams of matters near to them and distant from them, full of many shapes and innumerable colours. What is this that men call a dream, and who is it who dreams it?'
'It is a suggestion 1, O king, coming across the path of the mind which is what is called a dream. And there are six kinds of people who see dreams--the man who is of a windy humour 2, or of a bilious one, or of a phlegmatic one, the man who dreams dreams by the influence of a god, the man who does so by the influence of his own habits, and the man who does so in the way of prognostication 3. And p. 158
of these, O king, only the last kind of dreams is true; all the rest are false.'
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe36/sbe3606.htm

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Ben
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:01 am

Thanks Chris!
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Freawaru
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Freawaru » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:21 pm


PeterB
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby PeterB » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:08 pm

"The Buddha did astral travel imo " care to back that up from the Canon, Freawaru ? This is the modern Theravada forum.

The Zen Buddhist and Neuroscientist Susan Blackmore on the subject of astral travel and OOTBE's on which she conducted extiensive research;
"The idea of out of body experiences is based on a false notion of self and of inside and outside.
Not only is there no self to go anywhere, there is nowhere for it to go ".

Freawaru
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Freawaru » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:32 pm


PeterB
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby PeterB » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:07 pm

Lets just say that I draw a different conclusion to yours on the matter of literally "travelling" to other lokas etc, and leave it there.

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Dhammakid
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:34 pm

Interesting discussion so far.

Was it just the Buddha's consciousness that visited and taught beings in various planes of existence other than the human realm? Or are we to take it that he was both physically and consciously there?

I'm thinking of a buddha's dream as a type of lucid dream - being fully conscious and interacting with the dream environment. But I guess that still makes them dreams and not reality. I'm also not sure what the difference is between lucid dreams and astral projection, unless the latter is a state by which a person can travel in real time and interact with real, live beings and then talk about it with those beings later once they "wake up" from it.

:shrug:
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby PeterB » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:55 am

I suspect that the only way to really find out is to become a Buddha, Dhammakid.

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Dhammakid
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:44 am

Peter: Haha, indeed, I'll get right on it :-p
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby PeterB » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:16 pm

:anjali:

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acinteyyo
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:35 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Dhammakid » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:58 pm

Venerable,
Thank you very much for that. It's greatly appreciated. I think this answers the question.

Anjali,
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Goofaholix
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:50 pm

What is a dream? isn't it just the mind continually proliferating even when the body is asleep? A continuation of the crap that goes through the mind during the day.

I've noticed as a result of my meditation practice I tend to be aware during some periods of sleep, I don't think it's always sleeplessness as sleeplessness results in me being tired the rest of the day. I've heard teachers suggest similar things.

So I think it not unreasonable to assume that the Buddha may have been continually aware while his body was sleeping.

As for astral travel save that for the new agers.

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acinteyyo
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:14 am

Last edited by acinteyyo on Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Dhammakid
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Re: Did the Buddha dream?

Postby Dhammakid » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:58 pm

Ah, sorry about that. I guess there is such a thing as being too polite, haha.

Great quote from the (actual) venerable. I've never thought of dreams as mere fabrications, even though it's pretty obvious that is what they are.

Anjali,
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