PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

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karmanyingpo
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PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by karmanyingpo »

Opinions probably vary on this so I am just looking for your personal stance and where applicable any references or teachings that support it. My hunch is that some of us will say no others will say yes but I just hope to keep the discussion lighthearted and kind AND substantial so hopefully we will see people citing appropriate things if possible :popcorn:

My personal stance is that it is a gray area and if you want to awaken you at least need to deeply realize the truths taught in buddhism like no self and interdependent arising but HOW can you do this without practicing buddhism... I guess its possible technically but it is very unlikely. What do you think?

KN
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

The Gelug view of general Mahayana says that if one accumulates enough merit and enough wisdom, then one becomes enlightened.

There’s lots of ways to collect merit. Wisdom is the tricky one.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Norwegian »

karmanyingpo wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:47 pm Opinions probably vary on this so I am just looking for your personal stance and where applicable any references or teachings that support it. My hunch is that some of us will say no others will say yes but I just hope to keep the discussion lighthearted and kind AND substantial so hopefully we will see people citing appropriate things if possible :popcorn:

My personal stance is that it is a gray area and if you want to awaken you at least need to deeply realize the truths taught in buddhism like no self and interdependent arising but HOW can you do this without practicing buddhism... I guess its possible technically but it is very unlikely. What do you think?

KN
The Buddha already covered this issue in the Nikayas/Agamas, by saying that outside of his teachings there is no liberation. This is how it is viewed in Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen, which means the entire scope of all the teachings of all Buddhas of the past, present, and future.

So no, liberation/Buddhahood cannot be had outside of the Buddha's teachings. It's Buddhadharma or bust if that's your goal.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra
karmanyingpo
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by karmanyingpo »

Schrödinger’s Yidam wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:57 pm The Gelug view of general Mahayana says that if one accumulates enough merit and enough wisdom, then one becomes enlightened.

There’s lots of ways to collect merit. Wisdom is the tricky one.
Yes this seems to make sense to me too. Because wordly wisdom does not cut it does it!
And so in a sense I think your view if it is the same as the Gelug view is the same as mine: maybe technically this wisdom can be found and learned outside of Buddha Dharma but HOW........ so perhaps: technically possible but practically not

We are livin in crazy times some people who make up their own samsaric ideas about how to be enlightened wishfuly imagine themselves to be bodhisattvas and pratekyabuddhas......

KN
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Shotenzenjin »

Buddhism is the only path that leads to liberation
Generation's shall pass, our determination shall grow, at the foot of Mount Fuji
Like smoke that reaches far beyond the clouds.--nichimoku shonin. Third high priest of Nichiren Shoshu

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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Tenma »

Shotenzenjin wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:43 pm Buddhism is the only path that leads to liberation
What made it so? What is "liberation?"
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

This is pretty clearly stated a number of places, the Dhammapada and Lankavatara sutras off the top of my head.

Other paths don’t lead to enlightenment but to better rebirth in samsara. That is the standard doctrinal approach. You can accumulate lots of merit in practicing these paths but not the wisdom to get off the sad-go-round.

We aren’t supposed to use that to look down on other paths though, the paths of gods and men are legit, they just aren’t Buddhadharma.

Handily, most other religions don’t even recognize samsara, much less make a plan to deal with it. With the other Dharmic religions that do it’s more of a debate I guess, but again spelled out in lots of places....right view is important.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Tenma wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:50 pm
Shotenzenjin wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:43 pm Buddhism is the only path that leads to liberation
What made it so? What is "liberation?"
...well, that’s the thing.
Specifically, the Buddha identified and categorized suffering and its causes, and then laid out a path away from that specifically identified suffering (which, as it just so happens turns out to be pretty universal).

So, it’s like identifying any destination, such as New York City for example. There are lots of directions that will take you from where you are right now to cities all over the world. But, if you want to be a Broadway performer, the only path that will take you to NYC, regardless of your starting point, is a path to NYC.

There are plenty of religions and spiritual traditions that will lead to heaven or ecstatic states of mind or whatever.
But if you specifically want to be liberated from the cycle of suffering as it is defined in Buddhism, then the BuddhaDharma is the only path for that.

Same as taking headache medicine for a headache or stomach medicine for a stomach ache.
Buddha medicine is for a samsara ache.
EMPTIFUL.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by karmanyingpo »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:57 pm This is pretty clearly stated a number of places, the Dhammapada and Lankavatara sutras off the top of my head.

Other paths don’t lead to enlightenment but to better rebirth in samsara. That is the standard doctrinal approach. You can accumulate lots of merit in practicing these paths but not the wisdom to get off the sad-go-round.

We aren’t supposed to use that to look down on other paths though, the paths of gods and men are legit, they just aren’t Buddhadharma.

Handily, most other religions don’t even recognize samsara, much less make a plan to deal with it. With the other Dharmic religions that do it’s more of a debate I guess, but again spelled out in lots of places....right view is important.
Hello Johnny Dangerous good to see you here.
So, theoretically say that someone felt devoted to another path. But somehow (I don't know how but this is just a hypothetical) they integrated all the essential elements of view or wisdom from buddha Dharma into their practice. Then practicing with the essentials of Buddhism they could be liberated right? Or am I wrong. But then it might be a semantic issue of whether they should then be called a buddhist having integrated the essential Buddhist teachings into their view and practice...
And of course the practical question of HOW that could happen

KN
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

karmanyingpo wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:22 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote: Sun Dec 13, 2020 7:57 pm This is pretty clearly stated a number of places, the Dhammapada and Lankavatara sutras off the top of my head.

Other paths don’t lead to enlightenment but to better rebirth in samsara. That is the standard doctrinal approach. You can accumulate lots of merit in practicing these paths but not the wisdom to get off the sad-go-round.

We aren’t supposed to use that to look down on other paths though, the paths of gods and men are legit, they just aren’t Buddhadharma.

Handily, most other religions don’t even recognize samsara, much less make a plan to deal with it. With the other Dharmic religions that do it’s more of a debate I guess, but again spelled out in lots of places....right view is important.
Hello Johnny Dangerous good to see you here.
So, theoretically say that someone felt devoted to another path. But somehow (I don't know how but this is just a hypothetical) they integrated all the essential elements of view or wisdom from buddha Dharma into their practice. Then practicing with the essentials of Buddhism they could be liberated right? Or am I wrong. But then it might be a semantic issue of whether they should then be called a buddhist having integrated the essential Buddhist teachings into their view and practice...
And of course the practical question of HOW that could happen

KN
Right view is just that, it's having the right view, not a brand name. That said, there is no other path that teaches the same stuff, verse 254 and 255 of the Dhammapada are real clear on this ...s "there are no true contemplatives outside the order", or something to that effect. The Buddha thought right view was important, but not as a a personality contest or an identity thing.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by avatamsaka3 »

Can people who don't practice Buddhism become enlightened?
Can people who "practice" become enlightened?
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by karmanyingpo »

avatamsaka3 wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:47 am
Can people who don't practice Buddhism become enlightened?
Can people who "practice" become enlightened?
In a manner of speaking yes if they practice in the right way. Even in "already enlightened" schools people still have to put in some kind of work to realize their nature. Whether thats in this lifetime or in another.

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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Even in "already enlightened" schools people still have to put in some kind of work to realize their nature. Whether thats in this lifetime or in another.
I was also taught that way. My teacher said that the work is always there. What looks like sudden enlightenment is just karma ripening from a previous lifetime's practice. Just because we don't see it doesn't meant it isn't there.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by karmanyingpo »

Schrödinger’s Yidam wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:06 am
Even in "already enlightened" schools people still have to put in some kind of work to realize their nature. Whether thats in this lifetime or in another.
I was also taught that way. My teacher said that the work is always there. What looks like sudden enlightenment is just karma ripening from a previous lifetime's practice. Just because we don't see it doesn't meant it isn't there.
Yes that's what I have been taught too. Whether its Zen or Vajrayana or whatever I think I think that is the same.
However that being said, with modern western transmissions of Zen this might get murked up more since there is less of an emphasis on teachings like karma and rebirth.

KN
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

There were many buddhas before Shakyamuni, and many exist in different universes. Is Buddhism defined by the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni? Buddhism is defined as that which leads one out of samsara.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

In the universal gate chapter of the Lotus Sutra, it says Avalokitshvara can manifest in infinite ways... as warlords and non-buddhist teachers, and many forms that would not be considered buddhist. I'm sure that all buddhas have this ability. Why be closed minded and think only the people who call themselves buddhist can become arhats, bodhisattvas and buddhas?
Last edited by SilenceMonkey on Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Another thought... We've lived so many lives. No doubt that we've practiced different religions! What if a rabbi became enlightened in previous lifetimes, but returned as a jew? And achieving some high state of realization in this lifetime with jewish practices, perhaps kabbalah... without knowing that their realization is founded on previous understanding of shunyata.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:13 pm In the universal gate chapter of the Lotus Sutra, it says Avalokitshvara can manifest in infinite ways... as warlords and non-buddhist teachers, and many forms that would not be considered buddhist. I'm sure that all buddhas have this ability. Why be closed minded and think only the people who call themselves buddhist can become arhats, bodhisattvas and buddhas?
A bodhisattva can only lead a person as far as that person is able to go due to the person’s own merit and karmic conditions. So, while what you say is true, it’s like iron, which can take any shape, such as a chunk of iron being in the shape of a tire tool when someone needs to change a flat tire. That will help them get their car to the next service station, but that’s about all. Likewise, a bodhisattva can help open someone’s eyes, but how far that someone is able to see, that’s a different matter.

There are many paths that lead to inner contentment, happiness, and many actions that lead to favorable rebirths. But specifically, to untie the knot of self-grasping that ties one to samsara, while any teaching that actually does that can be said to be the Dharma, and while there are certainly many spiritual paths that lead to loosening attachment to the self, the BuddhaDharma is the only teaching that actually unties that specific knot.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by Könchok Chödrak »

"There are no discrepancies in the words of the Buddhas."
-The Lotus Sutra.

Now go and find the Buddhas.
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Re: PERSONAL OPINIONS: Can people who don't practice buddhism enlighten

Post by SilenceMonkey »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:26 pm There are many paths that lead to inner contentment, happiness, and many actions that lead to favorable rebirths. But specifically, to untie the knot of self-grasping that ties one to samsara, while any teaching that actually does that can be said to be the Dharma, and while there are certainly many spiritual paths that lead to loosening attachment to the self, the BuddhaDharma is the only teaching that actually unties that specific knot.
Any path that leads one out of samsara is Buddhadharma.
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