Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

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Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby Tsondue Sangmo » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:10 pm

Hello everyone.

This is my first post on Dharma Wheel and I have a lot of questions to ask but I will start with this, I suppose, very basic one: Buddhist in general believes in the possibility of achieving Buddhahood. This is a given in Buddhism. But, then, how can we conclude that this is true from the point of view of reason or logic. How is possible for human beings (or sentient beings in general) to achieve the qualities of a perfect being called a Buddha?

If there is another thread that discusses this matter, please give me the link so I can search what have been already said on this topic.

Forgive me if I am not clear enough, since English is not my mother language. Thank you.
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:21 pm

[quote="Tsondue Sangmo"]How is possible for human beings (or sentient beings in general) to achieve the qualities of a perfect being called a Buddha?
/quote]

If you are going to take this approach, you need to define your goal: what do you imagine Buddhahood is? In other words, you need to define those qualities. Within that definition you will begin to discover your answer.

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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby Tsondue Sangmo » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:17 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Tsondue Sangmo wrote:How is possible for human beings (or sentient beings in general) to achieve the qualities of a perfect being called a Buddha?
/quote]

If you are going to take this approach, you need to define your goal: what do you imagine Buddhahood is? In other words, you need to define those qualities. Within that definition you will begin to discover your answer.

N


Thank you for replying Mr. Namdrol.

I am trying to understand the possibility for a sentient being to achieve Buddhahood as is view, I think, in general Mahayana Buddhism. In this sense, I do not want to imagine what a Buddha can be, but just to take and understand Buddhist scriptures in the literal sense, if this is the correct approach. Therefore, It seems that in the Mahayana, a Buddha is someone who after reaching the ten bhumis is not more tainted by the klesas and so is possible for him to show the qualities of Buddhahood like the four fearlessness, the 18 distinctive qualities like freedom from making any mistakes and so on; and also displays the 32 bodily marks, etc. So in this sense I hope I am not making a vast generalization since I think all Mahayanist (with the exception probably of Zen?), believes this can be achieved as described.

I am trying to understand and learn more from a broader Mahayana (and Buddhist in general) perspective beyond the modern (and some old) Zen literature (and zazen practice) I have been in contact for some years now. But I want to approach this matter not on faith but understanding. And in this sense, my question, I believe, goes to the central matter of why to practice Buddhism and the true possibility of going beyond suffering and achieving total freedom for the benefit of others.

So, again, I believe I need to start, by the A,B,C of Dharma if I want to have a meaningful understanding so that I can approach practice correctly.
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:22 pm

Tsondue Sangmo wrote:I am trying to understand the possibility for a sentient being to achieve Buddhahood as is view, I think, in general Mahayana Buddhism. In this sense, I do not want to imagine what a Buddha can be, but just to take and understand Buddhist scriptures in the literal sense, if this is the correct approach.


A buddha is defined as someone who has removed the two obscurations, affliction and knowledge, and gathered the two accumulations, merit and wisdom.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby ronnewmexico » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:27 pm

My answer will be of no use I'd guess but it is truthful in being what I think. So that qualified ....buddha is one who is awake.... who understands.
Our nature, if we could be found to have one..... is only understanding things in a very complex manner. In a samsaric way.... us and other as basis.

As we are understanding...we may and will achieve a superior understanding state...the only question is..how long.
Us and other will be found faulted...we speed it along with buddhism. Faulted things cannot stand. They have inherant weaknesses. With long enought time frames even the most solid apprearing of structures but one slight weakness of foundational nature will fall..time makes that a certainity.

Eventually we find it anyway as the buddha did....
\
So it is not only possible it is certain....how long that is the question.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby adinatha » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:02 pm

b/c of emptiness
CAW!
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby LastLegend » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:32 pm

If you grow apple, you will have apple. If you study doctor, you will become a doctor. If you study and practice the way of Buddha, you will become a Buddha. Besides this, you have to experience for yourself through practice.
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NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

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must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby Astus » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:27 pm

There are many texts describing systematically the stages how buddhahood can be attained. Some of them are available in English. One example is Ven. Yinshun's "The Way to Buddhahood" (verses only here). Other works, like Gampopa's "Jewel Ornament of Liberation" and Tsongkhapa's "The Great Treatise On The Stages Of The Path To Enlightenment" are great and you can also get modern commentaries on them.
"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)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“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; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:31 am

My understanding is that the reason why all beings strive for happiness, or to be free from suffering,
is because the original nature, or original condition of the mind is clear and luminous,
naturally free from all confusion and striving.
In other words, the Mind's original nature is already the same as a Buddha's.
But it is obscured by the results of karma,
of unwholesome actions of body, speech and mind over many lifetimes,
And this is the experience of suffering.
To be perfectly free from suffering is buddhahood.
Buddhahood is perfect freedom from suffering.
Perfect freedom from suffering is what all beings strive for.

So, is it some kind of "destiny" that all beings will reach this ultimate goal,
to be perfectly free from suffering and the causes of suffering?
My understanding is that, while it is not pre-destined
in the sense of being scripted by a God or some universal source,
it is the nature of beings to eventually be free of suffering,
because that is naturally the direction that all beings are heading.
No being is intentionally trying to have more unhappiness.
So, all beings are headed toward Buddhahood.
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:35 am

Being probably a bit unclear in my earlier post...I agree 100% with Padma's post on this as well.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby catmoon » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:41 am

It is possible for a drunkard to give up drinking. A man with a ferocious temper may tame it. An ignorant person can learn.
If it is possible to abandon some of our bad habits, it might be possible to abandon all of them.

Or, if you have faith, you can say, "Shakyamuni did it and so can I."
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby Inge » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:36 am

Namdrol wrote:
Tsondue Sangmo wrote:I am trying to understand the possibility for a sentient being to achieve Buddhahood as is view, I think, in general Mahayana Buddhism. In this sense, I do not want to imagine what a Buddha can be, but just to take and understand Buddhist scriptures in the literal sense, if this is the correct approach.


A buddha is defined as someone who has removed the two obscurations, affliction and knowledge, and gathered the two accumulations, merit and wisdom.


Could you give definitions of the two obscurations, merit and wisdom, or maybe refer to an english text where I can find such definitions.

I also wonder if it is possible to say anything about the personal experience from the viewpoint of a Buddha, how it is like to be a Buddha?
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:25 am

Inge wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Tsondue Sangmo wrote:I am trying to understand the possibility for a sentient being to achieve Buddhahood as is view, I think, in general Mahayana Buddhism. In this sense, I do not want to imagine what a Buddha can be, but just to take and understand Buddhist scriptures in the literal sense, if this is the correct approach.


A buddha is defined as someone who has removed the two obscurations, affliction and knowledge, and gathered the two accumulations, merit and wisdom.


Could you give definitions of the two obscurations, merit and wisdom, or maybe refer to an english text where I can find such definitions.

I also wonder if it is possible to say anything about the personal experience from the viewpoint of a Buddha, how it is like to be a Buddha?



The two obscurations are the obscuration of affliction i.e. desire, hatred and ignorance. These are responsible for rebirth in the three realms. The second obscuration is obscuration of knowledge that prevent omniscience, which prevent full buddhahood.

The merit accumulation is reponsible for realizing the material body of a buddha i.e. the sambhogakāya and nirmanakāy. The wisdom accumulation is responsible for realizing the dharmakāya of the buddha.

N
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Why is possible to achieve Buddhahood?

Postby Jinzang » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:00 am

I think Dharmakirti makes the argument that while physical qualities are limited, mental qualities are not, and given limitless lifetimes (which he argues for separately) can be developed to their fullest. For example, you can't pat every sentient being on the head (those that have heads) but you can love them all. There is no limit to the love that you can cultivate. The same is true of wisdom. Since any being who has developed limitless love and wisdom is a Buddha, Buddhahood is possible for all sentient beings.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
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