"enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment..."

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

"enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment..."

Postby villkorkarma » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:44 pm

So said Dalai Lama in the book A simple path. How come?
"enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment according to mahayanawiew."
villkorkarma
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:49 pm

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby smcj » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:07 pm

If you were on a sinking ship, would you jump into a lifeboat and row away without letting other people get in it too?
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby greentara » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:48 am

It's important to point out that none but a realized teacher is qualified to teach others. He who does not know the path himself cannot show it to others. Ultimately an awakened one sees no others, but effortlessly radiates purity and compasssion which draws devotees who's minds are receptive.
greentara
 
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:03 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:19 am

Can't help other people if you can't help yourself first.
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 776
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby lobster » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:47 am

Nighthawk wrote:Can't help other people if you can't help yourself first.


True, the best way of helping yourself . . . is by helping others. This does not mean you are their teacher or bodhicitta resource center . . . it means being kind and helpful to the best of ones ability and understanding to everyone. That in itself is 'enlightened thinking'. :smile:
User avatar
lobster
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:06 pm

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby oushi » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:37 am

So, It seems that there are different types of enlightenment. At least two: enlightenment and right enlightenment.
I think that Dalai Lama confronted with this would correct himself right away. Such sentences shouldn't be taken outside the whole teaching.
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Jeff » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:52 pm

villkorkarma wrote:So said Dalai Lama in the book A simple path. How come?
"enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment according to mahayanawiew."


Rather than describing two types of enlightenment, the Dalai Lama is pointing the way. Even though many spiritual teachers describe it, there is no such thing as individual enlightenment. Many begin to experience clarity of the local body-mind, become confused and declare "done".
Jeff
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby lobster » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:26 pm

Jeff wrote:the Dalai Lama is pointing the way


Exactly so.

The same thing said two ways.
Or two things said with one voice.
or [insert duality of choice] . . . :popcorn:
User avatar
lobster
 
Posts: 952
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:06 pm

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Seishin » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:37 pm

villkorkarma wrote:So said Dalai Lama in the book A simple path. How come?
"enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment according to mahayanawiew."


You have already asked this question. viewtopic.php?f=77&t=10765&p=136785#p136785

:rules:
User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
 
Posts: 1408
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:20 pm

lobster wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:Can't help other people if you can't help yourself first.


True, the best way of helping yourself . . . is by helping others. This does not mean you are their teacher or bodhicitta resource center . . . it means being kind and helpful to the best of ones ability and understanding to everyone. That in itself is 'enlightened thinking'. :smile:

What if one is trying their best to help others but still full of negative thoughts?
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 776
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby wisdom » Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:51 pm

Nighthawk wrote:
lobster wrote:
Nighthawk wrote:Can't help other people if you can't help yourself first.


True, the best way of helping yourself . . . is by helping others. This does not mean you are their teacher or bodhicitta resource center . . . it means being kind and helpful to the best of ones ability and understanding to everyone. That in itself is 'enlightened thinking'. :smile:

What if one is trying their best to help others but still full of negative thoughts?


Thats OK. In Mahayana there are many levels of compassionate activity based on ones place on the path. After entering the Great Vehicle, a person takes the Bodhisattva vows and begins to undertake the accumulation of positive merit and karma. One way this is done is through positive acts directed at other people such as acts of generosity, giving people access or teachings to the Dharma, freeing people from any kind of fear, and so forth. Of course we should be careful not to become preachy and proselytize to people about the Dharma no matter our level of realization.

The reason that enlightenment is considered "for the benefit of oneself AND other people" is because basing your path on an altruistic motivation not only helps purify the mind faster than not doing so, but also it helps reduce egotism and clinging to selfishness. Bodhicitta (the mind of enlightened intent) is the compassionate desire that all beings be freed from samsara as swiftly as possible. Bodhicitta (in my opinion) is the defining characteristic of the Mahayana path, since without it one is not really practicing the Great Vehicle.

Bodhicitta also helps us protect others from ourselves. When we have strong Bodhicitta, we are very mindful of how our actions might harm or help others. This helps us stop ourselves from performing actions that could have serious negative consequences, and helps us constantly put aside our own selfish desires in order to be of benefit to other people. In this sense Bodhicitta is a protection against negative karma and poor merit (at least when ones intention to practice the Mahayana is pure and one is sincerely making an effort to cultivate Bodhicitta).

Its OK to seek enlightenment only for yourself, but if you can muster the motivation to do so for others as well, thats even better!

May all beings benefit!
User avatar
wisdom
 
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:33 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Dave The Seeker » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:10 pm

:good:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
User avatar
Dave The Seeker
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Jeff » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:31 pm

From the Lankavatara Sutra. The section highlights the issue/concern with the concept of individual enlightenment.

"The exalted state of self-realisation as it relates to an earnest disciple is a state of mental concentration in which he seeks to indentify himself with Noble Wisdom. In that effort he must seek to annihilate all vagrant thoughts and notions belonging to the externality of things, and all ideas of individuality and generality, of suffering and impermanence, and cultivate the noblest ideas of egolessness and emptiness and imagelessness; thus will he attain a realisation of truth that is free from passion and is ever serene. When this active effort at mental concentration is succesful it is followed by a more passive, receptive state of Samadhi in which the earnest disciple will enter into the blissful abode of Noble Wisdom and experience its consumations in the transformations of Samapatti. This is an earnest disciple's first experience of the exalted state of realisation, but as yet there is no discarding of habit-energy nor escaping from the transformation of death.
Having attained this exalted and blissful state of realisation as far as it can be attained by disciples, the Bodhisattva must not give himself up to the enjoyment of its bliss, for that would mean cessation, but should think compassionately of other beings and keep ever fresh his original vows; he should never let himself rest nor exert himself in the bliss of the Samadhis.
But, Mahamati, as earnest disciples go on trying to advance on the path that leads to full realisation."
Jeff
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby villkorkarma » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:02 pm

greentara wrote:It's important to point out that none but a realized teacher is qualified to teach others. He who does not know the path himself cannot show it to others. Ultimately an awakened one sees no others, but effortlessly radiates purity and compasssion which draws devotees who's minds are receptive.

doesnt he see other bodies?
villkorkarma
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:49 pm

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Arjan Dirkse » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:23 pm

Enlightenment just for oneself is an impossibility, and an oxymoron...the self isn't part of enlightenment, any kind of enlightenment is about interdependence, a larger whole, it is a boundless continuum. Still, in this life the only mind we can directly deal with is our own.
Arjan Dirkse
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby kirtu » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:40 pm

Arjan Dirkse wrote:Enlightenment just for oneself is an impossibility, and an oxymoron...


No, it is the Arhat result (it is not necessarily the Arhat path). Enlightenment for oneself can be accomplished by removing all the mental negativities and just seeking cessation of suffering for oneself.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4421
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:49 am

kirtu wrote:
Arjan Dirkse wrote:Enlightenment just for oneself is an impossibility, and an oxymoron...


No, it is the Arhat result (it is not necessarily the Arhat path). Enlightenment for oneself can be accomplished by removing all the mental negativities and just seeking cessation of suffering for oneself.

Kirt

That cessation isn't permanent in Mahayana.
Nighthawk
 
Posts: 776
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:04 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby kirtu » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:56 am

Nighthawk wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Arjan Dirkse wrote:Enlightenment just for oneself is an impossibility, and an oxymoron...


No, it is the Arhat result (it is not necessarily the Arhat path). Enlightenment for oneself can be accomplished by removing all the mental negativities and just seeking cessation of suffering for oneself.

Kirt

That cessation isn't permanent in Mahayana.


That's correct. But it is still liberation.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4421
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby smcj » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:06 am

oushi wrote:So, It seems that there are different types of enlightenment. At least two: enlightenment and right enlightenment.

There are several different types and styles of enlightenment: Arhat, Pratyekabuddha, Bodhisattva, and Buddha. There are several "levels" to the bodhsiattva (10) and buddha (3) attainments. I'm not sure that Arhat and Pratyekabuddha have levels of attainment.
I think that Dalai Lama confronted with this would correct himself right away.

No, I think he would stand by the statement, which if quoted correctly in the start of this thread was,
"Enlightenment just for oneself isn't right enlightenment according to mahayana view."

The "according to the Mahayana view" is the context that makes the statement correct.

From Gompopa's "Jewel Ornament of Liberation":
"The Hearer (Arhat) and Solitary Realizer (Pratyekabuddha) families are inferior by virtue of the fact that they fully purify their families by dispelling only the obscuration of afflicting emotions. The Mahayana is superior because it fully purifies its family by dispelling two obscurations--afflicting emotions and the subtle obscurations to enlightenment. Therefore, the Mahayana family is superior and unsurpassed."
Gompopa goes on to say that the Buddha "encourages" Arhats and Pratyekabuddhas to attain Buddhahood.
"...light radiates through the Buddha's wisdom and touches the mental bodies of the Hearers and Solitary Realizers. As soon as the light reaches them, they arise from their unafflicted meditations." He then goes on to tell them that their experience of nirvana is not the final nirvana, and that they should work towards the realization of the Buddha.

Of course that is terribly politically incorrect to say on a forum that caters to Theravadans.
Such sentences shouldn't be taken outside the whole teaching.

Exactly
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
smcj
 
Posts: 2078
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: "enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment

Postby Quiet Heart » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:17 pm

villkorkarma wrote:So said Dalai Lama in the book A simple path. How come?
"enlightenment just for oneself isnt right enlightenment according to mahayanawiew."

-----------------------
:smile:
Just consider:
It's dark and you can't see well.
You can't find your way in the darkness.
Then someone else holds up a torch. Now you see the pa\h by that torch.
No matter what or who he or she lit that torch for, it will guide you, won't it?
As the saying goes, when you are ready a guide will come.
If you do see clearly all the Buddhas from ten thousand ages will be clear to your sight.
You won't be alone. You never actually were.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
User avatar
Quiet Heart
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 10:57 am
Location: Bangkok Thailand

Next

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Fruitzilla, Hieros Gamos and 15 guests

>