Posted by Shane on November 30, 1999 at 22:16:21:
In Reply to: Are there any Buddhas alive today? posted by Remmy on November 30, 1999 at 21:58:03:
I haven't yet got to your last message, but when I read this one I knew I had to reply, even though I'm not really qualified to reply.
In answer to your question yes and no! A being who has reached the goal of total buddhahood never dies in the sense that we normally believe in death. To reach Buddhahood means that they are no longer subject to the cycle of rebirth, otherwise known as Samsaric life. They sort of exsist beyond it. So I guess they are no longer alive (well at least not in the usual sense we think about), after all the Buddha taught (in the Diamond Cutter Sutra I think) that all the beings we have to save from samsara are those to whom we would attach the label living beings. Since Buddhas are no longer in samsara to be saved from it they logically can't be living beings (well at least not labelled as such).
Your second question (about meeting a buddha) well Remmy, it may well be that you've met one yourself or at least an emanation thereof. A millisecond after becoming totally enlightened a Buddha is able to send out millions upon millions of emanations to help all suffering beings. They could be anyone from your teacher, to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, even the fellow who drives the local school bus. Actually your teacher is an interesting one as the Six Images for Instruction teach us (image 5) to "Think of the Buddhas as infalliable, or of the infalliable one (your teacher) as a Buddha. So if you label your teacher as a Buddha doesn't that make them so? Remember emptiness...
Hope this is of some help.
Love and Compassion,
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