Forceful Enlightenment

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Forceful Enlightenment

Postby kkrotu » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:30 am

Is there any whay to achieve such a thing as forceful enlightenment? By this I mean forcing another person to become enlightened(or at least to start walking on the path to enlightenment).
I wonder if one way to do this is through the use of iddhi(supernormal powers) .

I am aware that the usual opinion abouth enlightenment is that "None but ourselves can free our minds". I am also aware that any forceful act is an immoral act because it means stealing that person's freedom. And since the search for enlightenment is a search for the ultimate freedom , the last thing you should be thinking about is stealing someone else's freedom.

But my point is : wouldn't forcing someone to see that enlightenment is possible through any kind of way (including the display of iddhi) be in fact a good thing? Wouldn't it be like in the case of a child that doesn't yet know right from wrong nor can the child understand why one thing is right and another wrong and you force him to do what you know to be right.

The only metaphor i can think of to prove that forceful enlightenment (if such a thing were possible) is wrong would be:
When a person is not ready to open his eyes and yet you force him to open his eyes, then the light could blind him forever.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:57 am

People have no true freedom unless they are enlightened, but I get what you're saying. :smile: We're slaves to ignorance, attachment and repulsion (and subsequent complications :lol: ).

If I knew of a way to force enlightenment upon anyone, I would dedicate my life to doing just that, not mattering their wishes. "Oh... but I DON'T want to become... :jedi: KAPAAUUU!" Next!
I assure you that there would be nothing immoral about that.
That's impossible unfortunately. Nobody can force anyone to get enlightened or even to start the path. It simply doesn't work that way.
Trying to force someone to start the path may even make things worse. We shouldn't even try. If someone is interested, we can try to be helpful. If someone is not, it's their right. So big difference right there. If I could force enlightenment upon anyone, I wouldn't stop doing it. Yet, I would never try to force someone to become a Buddhist. That never crossed my mind.

PS- Ignorance is what blinds us. Enlightenment is the ultimate eye opener. No more afflictions of any kind. So don't worry about someone being prepared or not. It doesn't work that way, like saying a big truth to someone and him not knowing how to handle it after. None of that.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:30 pm

Phowa?
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby sangyey » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:56 pm

I think to help others like that may be you must have to accumulate the causes to help others while you are on the path yourself. I.e., practicing generosity, patience, meditation and dedicating the practice to the benefit of others. Then perhaps in the future the causes and conditons that you create and others positive causes and conditions will manifest itself into a condition where you can benefit others. It takes endeavor on the path I think with the positive forces being dedicated to others. That's how I understand it anyway.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby kkrotu » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:43 pm

Tell me more abouth phowa.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby emptydreams » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:48 am

Did someone mention Guru Devotion?

oh. its just phowa.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby kirtu » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:37 am

kkrotu wrote:Tell me more abouth phowa.


Phowa is a method for rebirth in Amitabha's Pure Land. In the Tibetan traditions one can learn and practice phowa for themselves. One can also ask a phowa master to practice for another person, usually a family member or someone they had a close connection with on the event of their death. However this is not forceful enlightenment as the being practised for must have a connection with the Dharma for this to have any chance of success. It's like reminding someone of their practice during their life.

You can't just force enlightenment on beings. If you could then the Buddhas and high Nofhisattvas would have done so long ago.

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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby kirtu » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:43 am

kkrotu wrote:By this I mean forcing another person to become enlightened(or at least to start walking on the path to enlightenment).I wonder if one way to do this is through the use of iddhi(supernormal powers) .


But this part is possible for some people - the very high lamas and teachers with connections to other beings do this via blessing. People with a connection to a lama or Dharma master can become inspired by them, even just by their presence or a picture, or even just a connection with a Buddha statue or painting and start on the spiritual path as a result. This part is very real. But I wouldn't call the blessing power "forceful". The Buddha spoke about this in a few sutras actually.

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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby kkrotu » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:13 pm

What I had in mind was something more like using the supernormal powers (iddhi/siddhis/abhijna) in order to control the mind of another person in such a way that you would forcefully make that person enter jhana and then force his consciousness to have insight into the nature of reality. This would have to be a very powerful method of hypnosis or mind control witch I suspect could only manifest after someone has achieved some kind of supernormal powers(iddhi/siddhis/abhijna).

Another way that I was thinking of is the display of such supernormal powers in such a way that the people watching would realize that it is something beyond what they previously thought was possible. Then you would tell them that you have a way for the end of suffering passed down from the Buddha himself . This would be done so that the ignorant people (who are also skeptical) would see that you have physical proof of what you are saying and then they would become more likely to walk on the path to enlightenment. And of course the one doing this would only be doing it for the bennefit of others not for his on , I mean it would be an act of just showing off the super-powers but a thoughtful act of compasion.Long story short: people tend to listen with more attention to someone that manages to impress them first.

The only problem i can see in such a situation would be that the ones that witness the supernormal feats could after that only try and achieve such power themselfs witch could result in even more potent attachment and ignorance due to the fact that they would not be searching for enlightenment but for selfish and blinding power.
If this were so , my case is that even if they start by craving for power they still have to begin and walk the path to try to achieve such power, and along the way through meditation they could start and see that the power is not the real answer to the end of suffering.

So what i am looking for is a way that would make people(even against their will) realize the truth. So in a way the same effect karma has but only much faster.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:36 pm

Be an example yourself. Others may feel inspired.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Dharmaswede » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:18 am

What about the post-mortem (for want of a better term) Bardo guiding rituals? And can they be applied ethically on non-Buddhists, such as hardcore atheists and Christians?

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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:17 pm

I'm not sure it works as their visions don't seem to be the same.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Silent Forest » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:57 pm

Life(s) probably is (are) such a „supernormal“ power which sometimes forces people to enlightenment ;-)
Dharmaswede wrote:And can they be applied ethically on non-Buddhists, such as hardcore atheists and Christians?

Maybe someone who really thought about it and decided to be atheist or Christian already is on the path to enlightenment. Some may be a further away and some closer, but it always starts with a thought and it is no race and there is no time limit (at least that´s the way I think about it).

I think deepness of experience goes over forcing someone into anything. Even if there was something like enforced enlightenment I would prefer just to help people develop than to “change” them.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Quiet Heart » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:05 am

kkrotu wrote:Is there any whay to achieve such a thing as forceful enlightenment? By this I mean forcing another person to become enlightened(or at least to start walking on the path to enlightenment).
I wonder if one way to do this is through the use of iddhi(supernormal powers) .

I am aware that the usual opinion abouth enlightenment is that "None but ourselves can free our minds". I am also aware that any forceful act is an immoral act because it means stealing that person's freedom. And since the search for enlightenment is a search for the ultimate freedom , the last thing you should be thinking about is stealing someone else's freedom.

But my point is : wouldn't forcing someone to see that enlightenment is possible through any kind of way (including the display of iddhi) be in fact a good thing? Wouldn't it be like in the case of a child that doesn't yet know right from wrong nor can the child understand why one thing is right and another wrong and you force him to do what you know to be right.

The only metaphor i can think of to prove that forceful enlightenment (if such a thing were possible) is wrong would be:
When a person is not ready to open his eyes and yet you force him to open his eyes, then the light could blind him forever.

Any thoughts?


---------------------------
I have had computer problems for a while, so I haven't replied to this topic before.
In my opinion...and for whatever that is worth...the very idea of "forceful enlightenment" ...whatever means might be used to do that...is a fundamental error and I can not see any valid teacher allowing himself/herself to do such a thing....even if it were possible.
Now I am NOT a teacher, and I really have no desire to be one.
But I feel that anyone who did such a thing would be violating his/her moral and spiritual code as a teacher...by assuming the reponsibility for any errors their student commited....and therefore assume a heavy karmic load for that student.
As was pointed out by another poster here...there is a valid reason why any student MUST come to the state where he/she actively seeks the understanding of the Dharma and accept it for themselves. If this is not done the student's understanding is only superficial, and is NOT VALID.
No true teacher would accept that from their student...especially before accepting their understanding and "certifying" that student's understanding as valid.
It is not merely certifying the student's understanding....but actively verifying the student's understanding of his direct actualization...by his demonstarted actions...of his understanding of his realization of the Dharma. This can only be done by the student's direct demonstration of that understanding to the treacher...thus satisfying the teacher's doubts.
There is no other way.
"Forcing" another person to become "enlightened" ...even if it is somehow possible...seems to be a fundamental violation of the student/teacher relatiomnship...and I feel no teacher would ever allow himself/herself to do such a thing.
That is just my opinion.
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in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby kirtu » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:15 pm

It's not forceful enlightenment but I had forgotten about the practice of Akshobya Buddha for dead beings: it's a promise of Akshobya Buddha that if one recites Akshobya Buddha's long dharani 100,000 times and and dedicates an image of Akshobya Buddha for them then that being will be released from the lower realms and reborn in positive spiritual circumstances.

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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Kyosan » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:39 am

We have a good example to follow, Shakyamuni Buddha. He would have liked to immediately bring everyone to enlightenment but even he couldn't do that. The best he could do was convince people of the benefits of the dharma and convince them to actually start practicing Buddhism. And he helped them by explaining the dharma to them in ways that they could understand. But even though they didn't understand the ultimate dharma, what they did understand was still beneficial to them. Their faith in the dharma increased because they experienced the benefits in their own lives and knew that Buddha was speaking the truth.

We can tell other persons the benefits and explain Buddhism in ways that are meaningful to them. If they listen and start practicing and benefit from that practice, they may be interested in proceeding further in Buddhism. We should never try to force anyone to be a Buddhist.

And if others we know see that we benefited from Buddhism, that might make them interested.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Sönam » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:40 am

How can one "force" enlightenment as enlightenment is to "let" oneself go ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby davidchatman » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:34 am

You can't make anyone force to do something unless they really desired to do so.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby Jinzang » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:58 am

You can't force enlightenment, because it is uncontrived and unfabricated, our innate wakefulness. You can show it, but be prepared to be misunderstood when you do.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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Re: Forceful Enlightenment

Postby swampflower » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:24 pm

Even if this could be done it would be a bad idea.
I recall sutras from the Buddha where He spoke out against the use of psychic powers.
Here are some examples: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/bud ... ples08.htm


52. The Buddha knew that the display of psychic powers could have quite an effect upon people, and not always a positive one. Those who displayed such powers could easily be spoiled by the adulation they received, while those who saw such powers displayed often gave unthinking devotion to those who had them. He was also critical of the use of psychic displays to convert people. Once, when the Buddha was staying at Nalanda, one of his disciples said to him: "Lord, Nalanda is rich, prosperous, crowded, full of people who have faith in you. It would be good if you were to get a monk to perform extraordinary feats and miracles. In this way Nalanda would come to have even more faith."[ N8 ] The Buddha refused this request because he wanted people to follow the Dharma out of understanding, not because they had been impressed by miracles or psychic feats.

53. Once, a wealthy merchant put a sandalwood bowl on the top of a long bamboo pole which he set up in the market at Rajagaha. Then he let it be known that any monk who could rise into the air and remove the bowl could have it. Shortly afterwards, Moggallana and Pindola Bharadvaja went into Rajagaha, and when the merchant saw them he said, "You both have psychic powers. If you fetch the bowl, it is yours." So Pindola rose into the air and brought the bowl down, to the immense admiration of the large crowd who had gathered to watch. Then the merchant called Pindola to his house and filled the sandalwood bowl with expensive food. After that, everywhere Pindola went, crowds of noisy, excited people followed him. When the Buddha heard about this, he called Pindola and scolded him:

"It is not fitting, it is not becoming, it is not right, it is not worthy of a monk, it is not allowable, it should not be done. How could you, for the sake of a miserable wooden bowl, exhibit one of the conditions of a developed person to these householders. It is just like a loose woman who exhibits her undergarment for the sake of a few miserable coins."[ N9 ]

As a result of this incident, the Buddha made a rule making it an offence for monks to unnecessarily display their psychic powers. However, he also realised that psychic powers could sometimes be put to good use. On another occasion, some thieves attacked a house and kidnapped two children. When the monk Pilindavaccha heard of this, he used his psychic powers to bring the children back. When the other monks accused him of breaking the rule, the Buddha declared him innocent of any offence because he had used his powers out of compassion."[ N10 ]

However transmission of the Dharma is very good.
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā
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