Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

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Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Ervin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:30 am

Peace. I have a what I believe to be a very good question and that is are there any enlightened people in the world today. Are any people reading this message enlightened? If someone was to reach enlightenment and if he was willing to teach would you follow him if anything contradicted the traditional teachings.

And how do you know that what you have today really came from Budha. From what I know there is no physical evidence of Bhudas existence.

Don't take this post as an atempt for me to insult. Deists have taught me to question everything. I am a believer/knower my self!

Thanks
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Tenzin1 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:41 am

This raises the question: does an enlightened person have to be a Buddhist? Your OP sounds like it assumes so. But there are hidden bodhisattvas everywhere. If they reached enlightenment in the previous life, they wouldn't necessarily chose to return as a Buddhist. They could be anyone. As the 16th Karmapa said, when asked if there are enlightened beings, bodhisattvas, among us, "They're all over the place. But they're not going to look like me."

My vote is for Harry Belafonte.
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Josef » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:47 am

I dont care if the Buddha ever existed or not.
Nor do I care if the teachings we have came from him if he did exist.
Yes, I think there are enlightened people alive today.
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:05 am

Hmmm..in tibetan buddhism, generally there are various levels of bodhisattava and then there is buddhahood.

The buddha himself according to some traditions of buddhism did not have a formal teacher. That some describe as the path of experience and understanding or sutric path. More a trial and error learned type thing than a spiritual means thing such as tantra. But many in tibetan buddhism believe the buddha is not a real human but a emenation sent to teach us. Having achieved as much as possible as human but going to another realm to attain full buddhahood...so there is a bit of a differing opinion depending upon school.

Generally in mayahanan Buddhism peoples may become humanly enlightened and be not fully enlightened.Those are called solitary realizers. They may not all have formal buddhist teachings, but they may be somewhat limited. Not returning but not fully enlightened.
Many in tibetan buddhism think one comes as close to enlightened as possible as human(realized) and then gets furthur instruction in other realm to attain full buddhahood.

AS to humanly enlightened realized..perhaps there are presently. In a teaching context the teacher, ones guru, is considered as fully realized while teaching.
Bodhisattava's will generally return as human. Solitary realizers.......... some say they must to achieve final enlightenment or buddhahood spend some lives at the higher level of bodhisattava returning to the human realm. Or they will not achieve that.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
"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: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Quiet Heart » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:10 am

:smile:
I don't know.
I can say, quite confidently, that if there are...I'm am not one of them.
But I do believe that just perhaps ....many years ago when I was not yet 21 and full of my self-assumed importance.... I may have met one.
I am now pushing 66 years...so you can see...if I did meet one...how rare they must be.
This person was a Vietnamese Buddhist nun...what tradition or sect she was I never did know....and she was revered by the local Vietnamese Buddhists. My Vietnamese girlfriend dragged me to a local Buddhist temple to meet this woman. That was down south of the then Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh city...in a place I knew as Vung Tau...but the French called Cap Saint Jaques.
Like I said before, I was not yet 21 at that time, and full of my assumed self-importance....so I had no time for old Vietnamese women in white robes then.
What I do remember is that she laughed a lot...and she seemed to glow from inside out (I don't know how else to describe that).
I never even bothered to learn her name then...and I still don't.
Even at 21 though, I saw she was something special...but I didn't know why...then or now.
But now, I do wonder.
: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
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:23 am

In a anthropological context there is evidence of the buddhas existance.
A competiting philosophy of the day, Jainism has reference within it of the existance of the Buddha and the principal founder of Jainism in this present age is also refered to in some buddhis tales. Both philosophies are present and contrasted.

If he had not existed certainly a opponant of philosophy back in the day would not have mentioned him.
There are other proofs but from a scientific standpoint that is proof.

Lineage is very important in buddhism and all recognized schools draw lineage from the buddha. Hence the term buddhist.
Essentially a unbroken line from the buddha to the present schools teacher is available to be drawn.
So people can not make up their own buddhism.
Initially this was all oral tradition but that it was not written does not imply that it is not reflecting what was said.
Eventually it was all written down. 2500 years ago many histories were kept in oral form in different places.
"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: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Ervin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:27 am

Can some of you briefly tell me of what is the evidence available of Budha's existence and teachings? Any archeologists around?

Thanks
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:44 am

Ervin wrote:Can some of you briefly tell me of what is the evidence available of Budha's existence and teachings? Any archeologists around?

Thanks


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edicts_of_Ashoka
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:44 am

Here is a link that references archeological evidence of the buddha from a BBD program..http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080425082617AAKEBwj.

If this for reason does not work or is not acceptable quary archeological evidence of the buddha and you will find quite a few links.
To assist with the above mentioned excellent source already provided.
"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: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Ervin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:00 am

Isn't Dalai Lama allegedly enlightened? Isn't he like a Budha of compassion?

Thanks
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:19 am

HHDL considers himself a simple monk, nothing more. He ardently denies the claim some such as some chinese have made, that he is a buddhist god of some sort, and finds that in fact funny.

His followers some consider him a emenation of the buddha of compassion.
He denies any enlightened state nor even a bodhisattava state...he states he vows to be a bodhisattava.... nothing more.
Many here hold that same vow.

As a teacher he assumes the role of the Buddha, so it may be a bit confusing. All buddhist teachers when teaching are the buddha considered in that context. So in a differing culture and religion is may mislead.
Not to mislead certainly many revere him pray to him and for him. That is their choice not his.
"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: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby plwk » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:30 am

I will leave ya with these to ponder on with regards to your question...from one Buddhist perspective...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
And the Blessed One spoke, saying:
"In whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, there is not found the Noble Eightfold Path, neither is there found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, or fourth degree of saintliness.
But in whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline there is found the Noble Eightfold Path, there is found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness.
Now in this Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, is found the Noble Eightfold Path; and in it alone are also found true ascetics of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness.
Devoid of true ascetics are the systems of other teachers.
But if, Subhadda, the Bhikkhus live righteously, the world will not be destitute of Arahants.

Just as a footnote...
1. In various Buddhist Traditions, the classes of 'saints' or to use that term 'enlightened' ones are known (in Sanskrit/Pali) as the Arhats / Arahants (Worthy One) (with its 4 stages), the Pratyekabuddhas / Paccekabuddhas (Solitary/Silent Enlightened Ones) and finally the Samyak Sambuddhas / Samma Sambuddha (Fully Enlightened Ones - with its various stages of Bodhisattvahood stages).
2. Not forgetting also are all those who have made a commitment, where they are found in the Fourfold Assembly of monks, nuns, layman and laywomen, and are actually aspirants and treaders of any of the three categories although some only regard those who have attained the fruition of the path as worthy of mention.
3. The difficult part about spotting these Saints is that they do not normally engage a public relations firm to advertise themselves or pose in pictures with a plastic lotus throne, with neon lights and funny hats and come with a grandiose 3 line name/titles business card. But their activity sphere of benefiting sentient beings and the place wherever they may be are limitless and boundless at times, taking on many forms, guises, shapes and sizes and may even appear 'unconventional' in a conventional world.
http://cttbusa.org/lotus/lotus2.asp
Shariputra, from the time I realized Buddhahood, I have, by means of various causes and conditions and various analogies, extensively proclaimed the verbal teaching. With countless expedient devices, I have guided living beings, leading them to separate from all attachments.
http://buddhistfaith.tripod.com/purelan ... s/id3.html
"Wherever the Buddha comes to stay, there is no state, town or village which is not blessed by His virtues.
The whole country reposes in peace and harmony. The sun and the moon shine with pure brilliance; wind rises and rain falls at the right time. There is no calamity or epidemic, and so the country becomes wealthy, and its people enjoy peace.
Soldiers and weapons become useless; and people esteem virtue, practice benevolence and diligently cultivate courteous modesty."
"Out of pity for you and other devas and humans, I have taken great pains in exhorting you to do good deeds.
I have given you instructions appropriate to your capacities.
The Buddha continued,
"My concern for you, devas and humans, is greater than the care of parents for their children.
I have become a Buddha in this world, destroyed the five evils, removed the five sufferings, and extinguished the five burnings.
I have countered evil with good, eradicated the suffering of birth-and-death, and enabled people to acquire the five virtues and attain the peace of Unconditioned Nirvana"

So for Buddhists, as a general yardstick, one may watch their body, speech and mind and also compare if it is traceable in the Teaching & Discipline.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
And there the Blessed One addressed the Bhikkhus, saying:
"Now, Bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. Listen and pay heed to My words."
And those Bhikkhus answered, saying: "So be it, Lord."

Then the Blessed One said:
"In this fashion, Bhikkhus, a Bhikkhu might speak:
'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus:
This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or:
'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or:
'In an abode of such and such a name live several Bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or:
'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single Bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, Bhikkhus, the declaration of such a Bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn.
Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline.

If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus:
'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that Bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, Bhikkhus, you should reject it.

But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus:
'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that Bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.'

And in that way, Bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference.
These, Bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."
Refer also to the Four Reliances
http://www.cttbusa.org/shurangama/shurangama2.asp
After I enter Nirvana, when the Dharma is about to perish, during the evil age of the five turbidities, the way of demons will flourish. Demonic beings will become Shramanas; they will pervert and destroy My Teachings. Monastics will wear the garb of laypersons and will prefer handsome clothes. Their precept sashes will be made of multi-colored cloth. They will use intoxicants, eat meat, kill other beings and they will indulge in their desire for flavorful food. They will lack compassion and they will bear hatred and exhibit jealousy even among themselves.

”Even then Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, and Arhats will reverently and diligently cultivate immaculate virtue. They will be respected by all people and their teachings will be fair and egalitarian. These cultivators of the Way will take pity on the poor, they will be mindful of the aged, and they will save and give counsel to those people they find in difficult circumstances. They will at all times exhort others to worship and to protect sutras and images of the Buddha. They will do meritorious deeds, be resolute and kind, and never harm others. They will make physical sacrifices for others’ benefit. They will hold no great regard for themselves but will be patient, yielding, humane, and peaceful.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"That's the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are degenerating and the true Dhamma is disappearing, there are more training rules and yet fewer monks established in final gnosis. There is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world. Just as there is no disappearance of gold as long as a counterfeit of gold has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of gold when a counterfeit of gold has arisen in the world, in the same way there is no disappearance of the true Dhamma as long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but there is the disappearance of the true Dhamma when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has arisen in the world.

"These five downward-leading qualities tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five?
There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live without respect, without deference, for the Teacher. They live without respect, without deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration. These are the five downward-leading qualities that tend to the confusion and disappearance of the true Dhamma.

"But these five qualities tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma. Which five?
There is the case where the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live with respect, with deference, for the Teacher. They live with respect, with deference, for the Dhamma... for the Sangha... for the Training... for concentration.
These are the five qualities that tend to the stability, the non-confusion, the non-disappearance of the true Dhamma."


And how do you know that what you have today really came from Budha. From what I know there is no physical evidence of Bhudas existence.
Well, I do not know whether humankind actually first landed on the moon back then because I wasn't even born then nor have I been to the moon to see it for myself and some claim that it happened in an Arizonian desert but there are records of that legacy and event that are made available today by the scientific community that anyone can look at, investigate and come to their own conclusions isn't it?

Similarly, we are not left helpless and hopeless to wonder or tinker around with nothing either when it comes to the Buddha and His legacy...
a. Numerous religious relics or sariras all over the world, both that of the Buddha and His Disciples
b. Remains of archaelogical/historical sites, both in and out of India
c. Records, oral or written, from both Buddhist and non Buddhist sources like the Jains and so forth
d. the living legacy of past and present practitioners and traditions of His Teaching and Discipline
e. other misc sources
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:00 am

Definitely, they are still enlightened people out there. Only, we don't know how many.

When they pass away, we can still find all their relics through the news, photos, etc.

From our side, we can prove the validity of their teaching whether through meditation or whatever it is and see their effect to ourself, for example whether it really reduce our anger, attachment, and so on.
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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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Sönam » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:21 am

There is only enlightened peoples, but most of them do not know it ... only if you know it they can be recognized.

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.
- Longchen Rabjam -
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Acchantika » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:40 am

"There are, strictly speaking, no enlightened people. There is only enlightened activity." ~ Shunryu Suzuki
...
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Beatzen » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:39 am

Acchantika wrote:"There are, strictly speaking, no enlightened people. There is only enlightened activity." ~ Shunryu Suzuki


w00t.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Ervin » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:03 pm

Peace. I believe that Eckhart Tolle is most likely enlightened! I am reading his book called "A new earth".

The book is brilliant.

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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:07 pm

Image
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Sönam » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:23 pm

Image
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.
- Longchen Rabjam -
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Re: Are there any enlightened people in the world today?

Postby Nemo » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:08 pm

There numbers do seem to be dwindling of late.
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