Re: Confusing

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Posted by Zolla ( on October 31, 2000 at 01:54:14:

In Reply to: Confusing posted by Craig D on October 31, 2000 at 00:17:17:

<><-----In fact you're rite, because we all try to seek answers on the intellectual/conceptual level. But I think the Buddhist scriptures actually have already had answers to this.

First of all, we shouldn't think "when you become enlightened you escape the cycle of rebirth and suffering and exist in full awareness for eternity". As far as I can understand it, it's incorrect to think nirvana is some kind of "existence" or some kind of eternal existence similar to those heavenly realms described in some religions. Nirvana is very different, it is simply the cessation of the Five Aggregates that cause future rebirths and suffering. That's it.

Second, although it is always said that the enlightened ones are to here help sentient beings. Again it is not appropriate to think the Buddhas are here to "save" "all" sentient beings. Again according to the earliest records, it is said that the Buddha decided to teach the Dharma only because there were a few who had "little dusts in their eyes". Many texts also mention when the next Buddha comes (that'll be the Maitreya Buddha), what the situation of the world will be like and how many people will attain liberation because of his teachings. But I can't see anyway saying the historical "saved" "all" people of his time, also I can't see anywhere saying the future Buddha will "save""all" beings of his time. So don't worry about not being able to "save" all beings.

Third, according to the Pali teachings, we know that even tho' those who aren't Buddhas but who have developed the ability to enter into the attainment of cessation (a meditation state in which all consciousnesses and mental concomitants temporarily cease for a given period--but don't confuse it with Nirvana) already have the ability to protect their bodies and their belongings by making these determinations: i) to emerge from the attainment of cessation after a fixed time, for example, seven days; ii) to emerge from the attainment of cessation should a Buddha wants to seem them--this is to be done only when there is a living Buddha; iii) to emerge from the attainment of cessation should the Sangha wants to see them; and iv) that their requistes not be destroyed by any cause such as fire. During that given period nothing can harm them nor the objects they determined to protect. Even a non-returner who has accomplished the four jhanas and eight attainments has such power, we shouldn't have to worry that the world suddenly blows while a fully enlightened one is here trying to help sentient beings.

Finally, many sutras have already mentioned that this is not the only universe, this is not the first time an universe exists. All universes that comes to exist will die one day, this is of of the universal laws taught by the Buddha. Even tho this physical plane doesn't exist, sentient beings can still exist in so many different planes/realms/spheres. So don't worry that there'd be no sentient being that continue to do foolish things which cause them to suffer.

All these are only concepts. We can read a lot of things like the Genesis of the universe, but until we can be truely mindful of what happen inside ourselves, everything remains still not Dharma. First of all, we don't have to know things like how many Buddhas and how many universes are there, nor our past lives, nor any of those seemingly amazing accounts. They can do nothing good for us. To really get started, is just to really know OURSELVES--honestly.

To know myself is already hard enough. It's much harder than knowing all those amazing things from the words written by others. To hold onto that kind of stories is in itself attachment. Unless we realize the truth for ourselves, there'll be no point really to say we believe something. Buddhism is not about belief. Just realize it for ourselves.

Sorry for sounding a bit like an old grandma.

May all seekers of the noble path know more and more about ourselves soon! May all seekers of the noble path be always happy and be free from suffering. May all sentient beings we know be always happy and be free from suffering.

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