Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
[N.B. This is the forum that was called ‘Exploring Buddhism’. The new name simply describes it better.]
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Ikkyu
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Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:20 am

Is Buddhism exclusivistic? This question has been puzzling me for some time... So many sutras speak of their self-contained teachings to be the "highest" or "greatest" -- essentially surefire ways to attain enlightenment.

To what extent is the notion that there are "84,000 [distinct] ways to the dharma" true? Does this mean that, say, Christianity or Islam or Hinduism are in their own ways one of the 84,000? Do people, regardless of religious affiliation, become pratekyabuddhas or buddhas in their own right?

It would seem that enlightenment simply means the full comprehension and experience of no-self and emptiness. Is this limited to Buddhist meditations such as Vipassana or Samatha... or is it the case that when, say, Christian mystics like Eckhart and Joseph the Hesychast engaged in contemplative prayer aiming for "spiritual silence in God" they were close to experiencing something similar to sunyata?

Just wondering your opinion.

Thank you. :smile:
"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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DarwidHalim
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:31 am

Cannot.

Other religions can make you become a good person, but not a person free from reborn.

Because the one that make you reborn or not is the teaching of no self, which is not shared even by Hinduism.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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Ikkyu
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:36 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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DarwidHalim
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:45 am

Then that is possible.

For example a Sikh meditator. If in their journey of meditation they can see the flaw of self in their scripture and at the end they see the truth of no self from their own meditation, They can achieve liberation. They can be said as pratekyabuddha.

But this hypothetical case may happen in 1 over trillion trillion practitioners
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

Jeff
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Jeff » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:48 am

Last edited by Jeff on Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ikkyu
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:50 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


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Ikkyu
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:51 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


Jeff
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Jeff » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:14 am


SSJ3Gogeta
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:34 am


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Ikkyu
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:43 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


SSJ3Gogeta
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:47 am


Jeff
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Jeff » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:29 am

From a Gnostic Christian website...

"There is an open secret to be spoken. When the sameness or oneness of Mercy and Judgment is realized there is a suspension of Judgment, or bondage to the law (karma), and therefore the power to deliver, or to illuminate, heal and bring peace; hence, the power of the “remission of sin,” or “forgiveness of sin” in the “Blood of the Lamb,” the Spirit of Messiah. This is founded upon the recognition of Ani-Ain, Self-No Self, and the Ain Nature of All (Kol); in this Self-realization there is no longer a doer"

There exist further "non-open" secrets...

:smile:

Jeff
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Jeff » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:41 am


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Ikkyu
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:43 am

"Nothing can be known, not even this."
-- Arcesilaus (but I'm not sure)

(cutting through bullshit, and sometimes failing... that's ok, though)


Thus-gone
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Thus-gone » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:04 am

After full enlightenment, one will have perfect awareness of Buddha-nature even amidst the deepest sleep. Only when one has reached this stage can one claim to see clearly, and thus cease all karmic outflows. While the practices of other religions may lead one to have a glimpse of Buddha-nature, it is extremely difficult to attain the stage of true enlightenment without a consistent and perpetual effort that ignores any gains short of complete realisation. And this kind of effort is not something you find in any other religion.

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viniketa
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby viniketa » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:34 am

Warning: 99% of those active on this forum will find the following post objectionable. If you wish to keep your mind "pure", do not read.

I suppose the answer to the question in the OP heavily depends upon one's definition of "enlightenment". But, in general, yes, other religions can lead to enlightenment, even under the more limited definitions of the term.

One can find a lot of disagreement, among Buddhists, about what is "enlightenment". At a broad level, it means a sensation of being "in the presence" of something that "transcends" the minds of individuals and is beyond ordinary description.

The underlying question has more to do with "means" than the "end" of "enlightenment". As can be seen even on just this forum among those who are, ostensibly, Buddhist, there is a lot of disagreement about means. In a number of religious traditions, the means get mighty garbled. This happens among Buddhist traditions, as well, but if we get lost and come back to the 4NT, we can always find our way again. I have doubt that other religious traditions have such a profound yet clear statement of the means.

:namaste:
Last edited by viniketa on Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
. ~

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Indrajala
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:46 am

tad etat sarvajñānaṃ karuṇāmūlaṃ bodhicittahetukam upāyaparyavasānam iti |

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catmoon
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby catmoon » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:30 am

Of course other religions can lead to enlightenment.

Buddha himself did not start out as a Buddhist, had no Buddhist teachers and had no proper Dharma to work from.

Then there are the obvious examples, like Ghandi and Mother Theresa. And the pratyekabuddhas. It's happening all the time.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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oushi
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby oushi » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:02 am

Say what you think about me

zangskar
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Re: Can other religions lead to enlightenment?

Postby zangskar » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:28 am



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