ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Rael » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:20 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
If historical accuracy is a definitive criteria for you, you are probably better off going Theravada. The Mahayana sutras were most likely not spoken by the historical Buddha.

The reason to be a Mahayanist is that one considers them more profound and holds this profundity to be more definitive. That is to say, though the Mahayana sutras were not necessarily spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha back in India 2500+ years ago, one nevertheless accepts that they were composed by a Buddha.

For example, the prajnaparamita sutra says on this:

Śāriputra thereupon conceived the thought: “[Shall] Subhūti teach through his own power, or by empowerment by the Buddha’s spiritual might?”

Subhūti knew the thought conceived in Śāriputra’s mind, and he spoke to Śāriputra, saying: “Whatever the Buddha’s disciples may venture to teach, all is [through] the Buddha’s power. For what reason? That dharma taught by the Buddha, they have trained in it, they are able to realize the nature of dharma. Having realized [it] they proclaim and teach [it], and none of it is contrary to the nature of dharma, by way of the power of the nature of dharma.”


Even in most pre-mahayana schools, buddhavacana ["word of the buddha"] was not traditionally understood as 'the literal word of the historical buddha' but rather as 'that which is well spoken and accords with dependent origination'. The Therigatha collection, along with the words of the Buddha's disciples are all considered buddhavacana in the Theravada tradition for example. In the Sarvastivada the abidharma was considered buddhavacana even though it was attributed to later authors.

The Mahayana sutras derive their authority from its composers being empowered by Buddha knowledge. Don't believe they were? ok, no biggie. But at the end of the day, there is no a priori reason to assume that the historical buddha was more or less enlightened than the composers of the Mahayana sutras. You judge either by their profoundity and until you're a Buddha yourself, it's basically a subjective call on whether that profundity has merit or not.

It's better to consider the settings of the Mahayana sutras as re-enactments for a special purpose. This is also why traditional Mahayana hermeneutics pay more attention to details like the audience, the place and environment taught in and so forth. In the earlier sutras, these are just as likely to be mere historical happenstance, whereas in Mahayana sutras, they typically have a teaching purpose embedded.



never before has this been said to me more eloquently and with such power of lucidity....

but i know this....


the advice that came along with it....very helpfull indeed.....thank you....

The Tulku i study under was placed in a Temple / monastery in thailand after the chinnese invasion of Tibet.....

He said what you said , but not as ...for lack of articulation.....compressed with lucidity.... :thumbsup:

thank you for your kindness and effort....


oki doki...with this i shall say adieu and as i understand it see some of ya over at the sister site....
Love Love Love
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Luke » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:08 pm

Anders Honore wrote:Either way, whether it was this lifetime or not, he attained it at some point and there was a point in time where he was a sentient being like you and me.

But was Shakyamuni always "predestined" to be the Nirmanakaya Buddha of this kalpa, or was there some time in the past when it was uncertain whether it would be him or some other person? I'm not sure if karma allows for things to be "predestined"...
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:31 pm

It appears to me that you're missing the point of the Mahayana in beIng so obsessed with whether such and such took place at such and such a time or not, or whether the Buddha really attained enlightenment at such a such place 2,600 yrs ago or in some distant past. A buddha's enlightened activity knows no bounds other than the conceptual limitations of individual sentient beings, but even if one could root out some single, objectively true enlightenment story and catalog of his literally spoken teachings, such a memorized history lesson doesn't possess the slightest liberating power. It is the view, meditation, and conduct that contain liberating power - they alone lead to the fruition. And since infinite beings all possess a variety of types and degrees of conceptual limitations and karmic proclivities, the fact that the Buddha and his lineage heirs have never tried to feed the exact same medicine to a multitude of beings with different ailments (i.e. present the path in only one flavor and present everything from only one limited point of view) makes their genius evident.

Rael wrote:the Mahayana has afforded me experiences...
I don't fear ridiculing it.....i never understood why anyone would think there is some wrathful retribution from the Buddha...some sects profess this.....


In any event, if you feel focusing on the Theravada is what will b most fruitful for you, maybe that's what you should do for as long as you feel necessary. I pray that if you ever gave rise to the bodhicitta motivation, that you at least won't give it up. Also, even if the Mahayana sutras don't resonate with you, there's no reason to "ridicule them." As for people thinking there would be some sort of "wrathful retribution" from the Buddha for ridiculing the Mahayana, that is one of the strangest thoughts I've ever heard. In ten yrs as a Buddhist I've never come across anyone with such a view. I think it's obvious that it's not the Buddha one should fear if one ridicules the Mahayana - it's one's own mind and the immense amount of extremely negative karma of such thoughts and speech that will eventually ripen that one would have to fear.
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:41 pm

Luke wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:Either way, whether it was this lifetime or not, he attained it at some point and there was a point in time where he was a sentient being like you and me.

But was Shakyamuni always "predestined" to be the Nirmanakaya Buddha of this kalpa, or was there some time in the past when it was uncertain whether it would be him or some other person? I'm not sure if karma allows for things to be "predestined"...


I think the problem is with the word "predestined." Nothing is predestined, as if created and set in stone and guided along by some creator. However, a buddha can indeed perceive the accumulation of karma, and of merit and wisdom, in beings' mind streams and clearly see where they're headed.
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Astus » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:38 am

Luke wrote:But was Shakyamuni always "predestined" to be the Nirmanakaya Buddha of this kalpa, or was there some time in the past when it was uncertain whether it would be him or some other person? I'm not sure if karma allows for things to be "predestined"...


If it is a buddha it can't be a person and karma has nothing to do with it. See, if you put things into a Mahayana context it usually means a transcendental level, a kind of abstract and spiritual perspective. Nirmanakaya than can either mean how ordinary people see a buddha (thus history has relevance) or it means an expression of the ultimate truth (generally you can put both meanings into that same word).
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby ground » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:07 am

Rael wrote:did the Buddha first attain Buddhahood under the bodhi tree?

Yes.

Kind regards
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Adamantine » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:07 am

Rael wrote:
Yeshe wrote:
Good luck.

It's fine to change your mind and it can be a very uncomfortable process, but your approach here is to post what you are thinking as your mind moves along. This can be frustrating for others as they see your opinion change, seemingly to opposites, in the space of a couple of posts.



me posting my thoughts i don't consider superficial....it's important for me to understand what i'm going through...



Just a thought, -but maybe the tendency as illustrated above means your proclivity would naturally be more towards self-liberation rather than liberation purely for the sake of others. . . that said, if you've taken Bodhisattva vows or Vajrayana vows, unless you discuss your change of heart with the teachers you received the vows under, and receive a special permission to revoke them, then abandoning those vows to focus purely on a Theravadan practice could bring serious obstacles for you. Not from any Buddha's wrath of course, but because of the interdependence of cause and effect-- the same reason why taking vows can rapidly accelerate ones merit and realization.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Adamantine » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:21 am

Anders Honore wrote:
If historical accuracy is a definitive criteria for you, you are probably better off going Theravada. The Mahayana sutras were most likely not spoken by the historical Buddha.


From where does your relative certainty come?
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Adamantine » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:21 am

TMingyur wrote:
Rael wrote:did the Buddha first attain Buddhahood under the bodhi tree?

Yes.

Kind regards


From where does your absolute certainty come?
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby ground » Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:07 am

Adamantine wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
Rael wrote:did the Buddha first attain Buddhahood under the bodhi tree?

Yes.

Kind regards


From where does your absolute certainty come?


From there where others' uncertainty comes from too.

Kind regards
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Ken1969 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:28 am

I can't find the actual quote in my Buddhism for Dummies book (which is actually very good for a n00b like me), but it says something along the lines of each of us have different personalities and like to believe different things; and that's fine. It then goes on to cite HH Dalai Lama saying that he prefers to believe that Maitreya Buddha was just a normal person who became Enlightened. He says thinking in this way gives him motivation and encouragement with his own practise.

I've paraphrased the above, but I hope I've managed to pass on the meaning.
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Jikan » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:41 pm

Ken1969 wrote:I can't find the actual quote in my Buddhism for Dummies book (which is actually very good for a n00b like me), but it says something along the lines of each of us have different personalities and like to believe different things; and that's fine. It then goes on to cite HH Dalai Lama saying that he prefers to believe that Maitreya Buddha was just a normal person who became Enlightened. He says thinking in this way gives him motivation and encouragement with his own practise.

I've paraphrased the above, but I hope I've managed to pass on the meaning.


84,000 Dharma gates. There's a door for everyone, which is to say, there's a way in which the Buddhist teachings can meet people where they are and pull them into the stream.

Once you're in the stream of the teachings, however, you get the feeling there may be something to this One Taste teaching...
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Luke » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:58 am

Astus wrote:
Luke wrote:But was Shakyamuni always "predestined" to be the Nirmanakaya Buddha of this kalpa, or was there some time in the past when it was uncertain whether it would be him or some other person? I'm not sure if karma allows for things to be "predestined"...


If it is a buddha it can't be a person and karma has nothing to do with it. See, if you put things into a Mahayana context it usually means a transcendental level, a kind of abstract and spiritual perspective. Nirmanakaya than can either mean how ordinary people see a buddha (thus history has relevance) or it means an expression of the ultimate truth (generally you can put both meanings into that same word).

But I thought that Mahayana Buddhists believed that Buddha was a regular person many life times ago (although according to them, he was already a buddha before his life as Shakyamuni). If true, this means that at some point in the past, he was not a buddha.

Therefore, I wonder if at some point in the past it was uncertain whether the being who would later be incarnated as the person Shakyamuni would become the Nirmanakaya Buddha. Perhaps other high-level bodhisattvas may have filled this role if things had happened slightly differently?

Or was it more like it was only possible for Shakyamuni to be the Nirmanakaya Buddha of this kalpa and no other being ever had a chance of becoming this, no matter how much merit they accumulated? If so, why was Shakyamuni's mindstream unique since beginingless time?
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Tatsuo » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:23 am

Luke wrote:Or was it more like it was only possible for Shakyamuni to be the Nirmanakaya Buddha of this kalpa and no other being ever had a chance of becoming this, no matter how much merit they accumulated?

I'm pretty sure, that Mahayana doesn't have this notion of having only one Buddha in each kalpa. And according to the Trikaya doctrine, each Buddha has all three bodies, though traditionally a certain aspect of each certain Buddha was emphasized like the Nirmanakaya of Shakyamuni, the Sambhogakaya of Amida and the Dharmakaya of Dainichi/Vairocana (or of Shakyamuni in Nichirenshū).
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:31 pm

Rael wrote:It was brought up in the dedication of merit thread....

this is another topic.

did the Buddha first attain Buddhahood under the bodhi tree?

or in the infinite past....

discuss please.
Depends on who you ask!!! :tongue:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Luke » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:24 pm

Tatsuo wrote:
Luke wrote:Or was it more like it was only possible for Shakyamuni to be the Nirmanakaya Buddha of this kalpa and no other being ever had a chance of becoming this, no matter how much merit they accumulated?

I'm pretty sure, that Mahayana doesn't have this notion of having only one Buddha in each kalpa. And according to the Trikaya doctrine, each Buddha has all three bodies, though traditionally a certain aspect of each certain Buddha was emphasized like the Nirmanakaya of Shakyamuni, the Sambhogakaya of Amida and the Dharmakaya of Dainichi/Vairocana (or of Shakyamuni in Nichirenshū).


Yes, every buddha has all three bodies, but there are several types of Nirmanakaya Buddhas
http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Nirmanakaya

I guess when I said "the Nirmanakaya Buddha," I meant what that webpage calls the "Supreme Nirmanakaya"

A supreme nirmanakaya (Skt. uttamanirāmaṇakāya; Wyl. mchog gi sprul sku) is a buddha who takes birth into the world, displays the twelve deeds of a buddha, and passes into parinirvana at the end of his life. Buddha Kashyapa, Buddha Shakyamuni and the Six Munis are examples of supreme nirmanakaya buddhas.
http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?titl ... irmanakaya

My understanding is that most Mahayana Buddhists believe that there is only ONE Supreme Nirmanakaya Buddha in each kalpa.
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:50 pm

Luke wrote:My understanding is that most Mahayana Buddhists believe that there is only ONE Supreme Nirmanakaya Buddha in each kalpa.


I don't think it's universally for any single number of kalpas (in other words I believe the duration of each Buddha's teachings differs), but otherwise your understanding here is correct: one supreme nirmanakaya at a time. In our world system, Shakyamuni was the fourth of 1,000 that will eventually appear here.
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Rael » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:11 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Rael wrote:It was brought up in the dedication of merit thread....

this is another topic.

did the Buddha first attain Buddhahood under the bodhi tree?

or in the infinite past....

discuss please.
Depends on who you ask!!! :tongue:
:namaste:

Yeah it does.....
I'm not doing so well in my study of Theravada....
It's all so boring and talking about things.. that well... are just for like monks with little desire..
I mean making ...huge deals outta of discussion of primary thoughts on how to think in situations..

end craving...so like if you end craving why take up the mahayana?....everyone i know in the Mahayana that wants completion stage ...is craving...for completion stage....some sit in a box for 3 years to attain siddhis...

i mean tell me it's not craving....oh you can disguise it ans try to feel unattached...but really now....lets be honest....

William Blake would not fare well in a Theravadian monastery...



i think i'm way too into magik...
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Blue Garuda » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:12 pm

Rael wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:
Rael wrote:It was brought up in the dedication of merit thread....

this is another topic.

did the Buddha first attain Buddhahood under the bodhi tree?

or in the infinite past....

discuss please.
Depends on who you ask!!! :tongue:
:namaste:

Yeah it does.....
I'm not doing so well in my study of Theravada....
It's all so boring and talking about things.. that well... are just for like monks with little desire..
I mean making ...huge deals outta of discussion of primary thoughts on how to think in situations..

end craving...so like if you end craving why take up the mahayana?....everyone i know in the Mahayana that wants completion stage ...is craving...for completion stage....some sit in a box for 3 years to attain siddhis...

i mean tell me it's not craving....oh you can disguise it ans try to feel unattached...but really now....lets be honest....

William Blake would not fare well in a Theravadian monastery...



i think i'm way too into magik...


I think if you dig deeper you will find that 'desirous attachment' to 'inappropriate' objects or phenomena is the downfall to be avoided.

Attachment to the 3 Jewels is not inappropriate per se, but some people could indulge in selfishness in wanting it for themselves alone and couldn't give a toss about anyone else, which of course would be inappropriate.

Blake was druidic and mystical and had a keen sense for the suffering of others, so maybe he would have made a good shaman! LOL :)
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Re: ok i gotta ask/when did Buddha first attain enlightenment

Postby Rael » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:33 pm

Yeshe wrote:I think if you dig deeper you will find that 'desirous attachment' to 'inappropriate' objects or phenomena is the downfall to be avoided.

Attachment to the 3 Jewels is not inappropriate per se, but some people could indulge in selfishness in wanting it for themselves alone and couldn't give a toss about anyone else, which of course would be inappropriate.

Blake was druidic and mystical and had a keen sense for the suffering of others, so maybe he would have made a good shaman! LOL :)


i understand about being attached to non attachment
As per Blake..The greatest of the Brit Williams'...lol check the Bold
I also am off the opinion William experienced his Kundalinni and dealt with it with his art.
William Blake

From "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

The Proverbs of Hell



In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.

Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.

He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.

The cut worm forgives the plow.

Dip him in the river who loves water.

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.

He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.

Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

The busy bee has no time for sorrow.

The hours of folly are measur'd by the clock, but of wisdom: no clock can measure.

All wholsom food is caught without a net or a trap.

Bring out number weight & measure in a year of dearth.

No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.

A dead body, revenges not injuries.

The most sublime act is to set another before you.

If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.

Folly is the cloke of knavery.

Shame is Prides cloke.

Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.

The pride of the pea is the glory of God.

The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.

The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.

The nakedness of woman is the work of God.

Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.

The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the storymy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man.

The fox condemns the trap, not himself.

Joyes impregnate. Sorrows bring forth.

Let man wear the fell of the lion, woman the fleece of the sheep.

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.

The selfish smiling fool, & the sullen frowning fool, shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod.

What is now proved was once, only imagin'd.

The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbit: watch the roots; the lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant, watch the fruits.

The cistern contains; the fountain overflows.

One thought, fills immensity.

Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.

Every thing possible to be believ'd is an image of truth.

The eagle never lost so much time, as when he submitted to learn of the crow.

The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.

He who has suffer'd you to impose on him knows you.

As the plow follows words, so God rewards prayers.

The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Expect poison from the standing water.

You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

Listen to the fools reproach! it is a kingly title!

The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.

The weak in courage is strong in cunning.

The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow, nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.

The thankful reciever bears a plentiful harvest.

If others had not been foolish, we should be so.

The soul of sweet delight, can never be defil'd.

When thou seest an Eagle, thou seest a portion of Genius, lift up thy head!

As the catterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.

To create a little flower is the labour of ages.

, braces: Bless relaxes.

The best wine is the oldest, the best water the newest.

Prayers plow not! Praises reap not!

Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not!

The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands & feet Proportion.

As the air to a bird of the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.

The crow wish'd every thing was black, the owl, that every thing was white.

Exuberance is Beauty.

If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.

Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.

Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.

Where man is not nature is barren.

Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ'd.
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