Author Topic: Living Buddhas  (Read 9340 times)

thomas

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Living Buddhas
« on: March 30, 2011, 07:07:41 AM »
I know this is probably not an easy one to answer. I was wondering how many people are actually known to, or claim to have become a buddha? Alive now.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
incidentally, whilst I was looking it up on google, I found this:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article2194682.ece

First of all it made me laugh, until I understood what they actually meant by it. Old news though - 2007
back to the breath... and back to the breath....  and back to the breath.... and back to the breath..... and back to the breath

Vivek

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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 07:27:36 AM »
It is said that the state of Samma Sambuddha, the state that Gautama reached, is very rare and it happens maybe once in a millenium (I don't think it is fixed according to a specific time frame). The purpose that a Buddha chooses for Himself is the restoration of the essential teachings of Dhamma and the practical methods to reach the Final Goal. As time passes, many essential aspects of Dhamma get lost and the task that the Buddha takes up is to re-introduce those to humanity.

Apart from that, I think you would be able to find some enlightened people even now. It's quite difficult to know how many are there actually, because: 1) those who are enlightened, usually don't talk about their attainments, 2) enlightenment being mostly related to the subjective realm, it is very difficult for a person to judge from outside, whether another person is enlightened or not. The second chapter in the Bhagavad Gita explains some crucial details which can be used to know whether a person is truly enlightened or not (the term Sthithaprajna is used to refer to an enlightened person, in it). I guess, our primary goal should be always to guage how much we have progressed towards the Goal rather than others. :) 
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Jeeprs

Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 10:21:28 AM »
Suzuki Roshi said in 'Zen Mind Beginner's Mind' that 'strictly speaking, there are no enlightened beings, only enlightened activity'. Also the Buddha's title was 'Tathagata' - 'gone thus'. That is worth reflecting on.

There are references to 'living Buddhas' in the literature of Buddhism. It is a term reserved for spiritual teachers held in extremely high regard by the monastic and lay community. They are said to embody the qualities of the Buddha such as spiritual realization and compassion. The Chinese term for the Tibetan word 'tulku' - those who have voluntarily incarnated - can be translated as 'living Buddha'.

Crystal Palace

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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 02:12:24 PM »
I don't know if there are any Arahats out there, but there are definitely many people who have reached advanced stages. Among them, I admire Mr. S.N. Goenka a lot. I am always amazed at just how pure he is and how much the Dhamma reflects through him.

Warmly,
CP
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Vivek

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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 02:16:33 PM »
Indeed, I agree with you, CP. He is truly a very inspiring, Dhammic person.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

chintan

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    • Vipassana - Goenka
Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 07:50:39 PM »
Wanted to post it under a separate thread but maybe this is a good place to discuss..

Apologize in advance if I am going to hurt anyone fellow group member's feeling.

Sri Satya Sai Baba http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_Baba,_Satya - an Indian spiritual guru with millions of followers across the globe died couple of days back. He is one guru whom I had categorized as a conjurer / magician and had never bothered about his followers or teachings. The number of followers he has far exceeds what J Krishnamurthy, Osho, Mahesh Yogi ever had.

There are umpteen videos showing his sleight of hands and the funny thing is that his followers continue to worship him like a reincarnation of GOD. Just intrigued by human nature - how easily we can develop faith towards something and how easily we can reject evidence which is contrary to our beliefs.

This one was surely not a living Buddha.. but yes the work done by his trust on education, health and development of some parts of rural India is commendable.. net net he had more positive than negative impact on the society. Don't know why but am uneasy since I can't hate him and also can't condone his methods.. why do human beings have this huge need to be led / to be told that "I bless you and your suffering will now be gone"..

Metta to Sai Baba - RIP

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 03:45:12 AM »
but yes the work done by his trust on education, health and development of some parts of rural India is commendable.. net he had more positive than negative impact on the society.

Better than most magicians I would think. There is no way of telling if he was always a fake or if ;

human beings have this huge need to be led / to be told that "I bless you and your suffering will now be gone"..


just dragged him down. If I had a dollar for every time I lived up to others expectations by faking it, then I would have schools and orphanages etc as well.

To add to your observation, people also demand that those who dispense said blessings have no faults. But then where would that leave anyone? This forum would be useless as we all would say, "well you know, that might be true, but this guy/girl got it wrong yesterday" We would miss the point as we search for perfect people to give advice.

I would put him in the category of leaders like JFK; huge faults, but a true reflection of what people want.

I never followed or really knew much about him, but never got the feeling that his heart was in the wrong place. If anything I would be blind in this regard as I always wanted there to be such a master, so the fault would be mine as well. It does break my heart to see how I have held this view, I don't claim to be any different to those waiting to have fake dust dropped on their head! Though there is change brewing everyday.

This event is the perfect opportunity to search my heart on this subject, to see this expectation, the inclination to blame, the pain of being alone in ultimate responsibility for my own salvation.


love

andy






getting it done

Jeeprs

Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 07:51:57 AM »
Don't have any knowledge of that teacher. As soon as I saw mention of the conjuring tricks I just walked away. I know reputable people that held him in high regard though.

I am not completely skeptical about spiritual teachers in general. I don't think I am gullible, but I also don't want to be overly cynical. I have been disillusioned a few times; I was very disillusioned by the accounts of Chogyam Trungpas last years and by the Rosalind Rajagopal book about Krishnamurti. But I got over it, in time - I learned it is a mistake to idolize anyone, and I have done that at times (even with guitar players :D )

A lot of what happens in spiritual traditions is determined by projection: we project ideals of goodness onto teachers and project other things onto our self-image. It is something that is very hard to see through. There is an excellent scholar-practitioner of Zen Buddhism by the name of Stuart Lachs - he has a very realistic view of the pitfalls as well as the peaks. His site is at http://www.darkzen.com/ (or is it http://www.thezensite.com/ ?) He has a lot of articles on both.



« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 07:54:34 AM by Jeeprs »

Matthew

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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2011, 08:56:28 AM »
I can not conceive that there is any living Buddha.

People who attain this level of realisation make a difference to the world. They might not talk of being enlightened but in all their actions they show it.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jeeprs

Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2011, 09:33:51 AM »
I am sure that they also stabilize the whole world, just by their state of being, like the gyroscopes on a starship.

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2011, 09:49:31 AM »
I was thinking today about the diamond sutra, how the buddha lived with 1000 disciples living off alms. He said that he did it that way the same as the previous Buddha had. It makes me wonder; where would a Buddha live if that is what is expected? It would have to be India as this tradition doesn't exist anywhere else.

The reason I thought that was, If I was Buddha, would I be going to work, driving my car, paying taxes? would I even have a tax file number? Would I have a birth certificate? Would a Buddha be able to exist in western society at all, or is it so water tight that there is no space for a Buddha.

I can only imagine that he/she would have to manifest food from thin air, and other wise live as if he/she didn't exist, or they would be arresting him/her for tax evasion :D  ??? :'(

Or is being a Buddha simply saying that you do not suffer at all? considering that is what he said he preached and had realized, beyond that he could be anyone at all.

Perhaps it is better to ask, what does it take to be Buddha really, is it simply freedom from suffering? Then it may be asked, when Buddha died of a stomach complaint how did he know? :D. No point really, just throwing it out there...

love

andy
getting it done

Matthew

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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2011, 11:12:30 AM »
Andy,

He died of food poisoning and would not let any of the Sangha eat the dish he was offered. It was not the first time someone tried to do away with him.

The awake are anathema to the powerful. Always have been and always will be. The powerful rely on lies and fakery for their power to persist. Today in London we have the spectacle of the Royal Wedding and thousands of paupers waving flags. This powerful family have made their money over the centuries from theft, slavery, serfdom, colonialism, drug running and etc. They are one of the biggest crime syndicates in the world and yet the stupid programmed idiots are out buying £5 plastic flags and feeling all gooey and loved up at the spectacle. Bread and circuses, bread and circuses.

Modern societies are deeply and deliberately conditioned through fear and other means into the shape they are. Freud's nephew Bernaise came up with the idea that the ordinary man must be turned into a programmed consumer or the status quo of the world would be put at risk. Breaking free from that conditioning is an immense task. You are seeing it in yourself, in the questions that are already coming up for you: How can a person become a Buddha in the west? Where will they find food? - This is the fear they want you to feel so you do not wake up.

I don't know all the answers yet. I also live in fear of "doing what must be done", that is a work in progress. My second Dhamma name is "Great Ocean Beyond Fear". My teacher saw in me, I think, that when I finally overcame my fears it would unleash the Dhamma Ocean residing inside of me to it's fullest potential.

Will let you know how things are going from time to time.

Jeeprs

I am sure that they also stabilize the whole world, just by their state of being, like the gyroscopes on a starship.

Yes. And No. haha! They may stabilise the whole world but they also cause a great deal of instability for they invariably show up the existing power structures and social norms for the load of bullcrap that they are. Buddha's teachings were anathema to the Brahmins. He destroyed their caste system. Christ was anathema to the Romans and to the Pharisees - he destroyed their caste system.

Buddha's are great "levellers": All persons are born of equal value and potential. Our world is manifesting more and more inequality. This is why I posted what I did:

I can not conceive that there is any living Buddha.
...

Because if there was a living Buddha he would be destroying the caste system of today - not for the sake of vandalism, but because when you shine the light of true awareness of the rise and fall of things on the world, the world must change in reply.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jeeprs

Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2011, 12:40:01 PM »
I was thinking today about the diamond sutra, how the buddha lived with 1000 disciples living off alms. He said that he did it that way the same as the previous Buddha had. It makes me wonder; where would a Buddha live if that is what is expected? It would have to be India as this tradition doesn't exist anywhere else.

I think that is true. When Buddhism went to China, it had to adapt, because Chinese society had completely different views about begging for a living. The Ch'an monasteries all had gardens and were largely responsible for growing their own food - 'no work, no eat' was the motto. Ancient India was unique in that respect but bear in mind at the time of the Buddha, the population was a minute fraction of what it is today, and sustenance much more plentiful.

As for working out what the Buddha is  -  He said 'he that sees the Dharma, sees Me'. That is all we're likely to know. Beyond that, it is not possible to know. Buddhist teaching does not teach, or rely, on physical immortality and 'the deathless' does not pertain to the physical body.

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2011, 02:12:39 AM »
It is written both Christ and Buddha came out of Compassion. "For god so loved the world..." in Jesus' case and Buddha was also persuaded by a god I believe.

A mate and I were discussing this the other day, well, not quite this but more about the nature of Mastery and Miracles. If what is said about Jesus and Buddha is true, in that they had control over the very elements of nature at a fundamental level, then only someone with the purest compassion and completely devoid of selfishness could possibly operate like this without destroying reality as we know it.

I must admit, I am disappointed by finding out about Sai Baba. It's not that I had any faith in him or knew much, but in my thinking I just held out that there was some truth to the miracles for the sake of it being possible at all...

It's not a new thing for me to think about being free from the system by having mastery over reality at this level. It is new to me to have the thought about how much Compassion and 'No-self' are really fundamental to it's manifestation. Again just talking about things that I haven't seen.

When I was jogging the other morning it occurred to me to 'pray' for the peace of the world. I just started naming people and saying 'may they have peace'. I guess it is the same as sending metta. I get so wrapped up in my own struggle that I forget my basic solipsism and realize the world is a reflection of me and I of it, it is up to me then to love deeply and 'lay down my life' or otherwise said 'realize no-self' to truly see change.

I'm opening myself up here, as you can see now why I never got anywhere with meditation considering my goals! It is only now that I am seeing the first fruits of Calm-Abiding that anything is making sense at all. It is the sign post to the ancient path without a doubt. 

Just thinking out loud!

love

andy



« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 03:02:52 AM by andy »
getting it done

Andrew

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    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2011, 03:12:34 AM »
... control over the very elements of nature at a fundamental level, ... destroying reality as we know it.

 I forget my basic solipsism and realize the world is a reflection of me and I of it

This is the idea I have been operating on for the past 10 years, that perhaps my universe is being 'destroyed' by me. That each of us has universes that are minute degrees apart, each unique, and also joined. That who I appear to be to others is actually a 'me' that fits in their universe, but perhaps not mine. To one person I am the utmost fool, the other a true friend. To me I appear as just plain old me!

It may well be that the Buddha or Christ to appear in our universes is ourselves, and the legend and tradition of other Buddhas and Christs are 'distant ship smoke on the horizon' of our reality.

It is both a brutal and beautiful idea.

love

andy
getting it done

Daiho

Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2011, 06:57:46 AM »
There must be more than a few Buddhas about since this helpful guide was published:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Become-Buddha-Weeks-Self-realisation/dp/1848370334

Matthew

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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2011, 08:07:25 AM »
"Mr Banana" gives it a good review.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Daiho

Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2011, 10:06:54 AM »
Mr Banana has written several such helpful reviews.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2011, 10:43:19 AM »
Mr Banana has written several such helpful reviews.

Indeed. I feel confident his review of "Venetian Murano Glass Chunky Curved Ocean Blue and Silver Pendant Charm Necklace. Beautifully presented in a Kooqi gift box and red organza bag." makes him highly qualified to comment on Buddhist practice.

Compare that to J Thomas who had the cheek to write this:

Quote
This is book is for the Buddhist tradition of meditation.

Personally thought this book was not solid or simple enough to follow. I felt it was a fairly "airy fairy" approach to meditation.

Thats not to say it wouldn't be good for you. I found it somewhat lacking. There are better books on meditation and self-realisation.

It lacked any real insight for beginner or advanced practitioners.

Mr banana is obviously more credible.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jeeprs

Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2011, 10:50:51 AM »
Wise sage says 'if it were not for gold, there would be no fool's gold'.


(gong sound.)

Matthew

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    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2011, 01:29:13 PM »
Or to put that another way without Dukkha there would not be Nirbana ....
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Masauwu

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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2011, 07:20:27 AM »
If there was a living Buddha today, would we be able to recognise him? How many people knew about him 2500 years ago? Like with most great painters and composers, sadly worldwide recognition comes long after they are gone. I am just thinking outloud here, but we can`t expect one to behave like the previous; even with common values and perfections, they still have unique personalities and approaches.

I think that people were a lot more mindful, compassionate and open to spiritual teaching a few thousand years ago. I don`t know the situation in the civilized world, but i live in a country with 85% declared orthodox "christians", where most of their practice consists of listening to priests in churches, kissing icons and taking part in absurd rituals; if you even dare bring up different ideas about spirituality they are filled with deep anger and hatred. The "Christian" Orthodox Church (read: corporation) in my country has tight links with the corrupt government, makes tons of money including generous handouts from public funds, pays no taxes and their leaders attack publicly in ther speaches even the slightest alternative to being orthodox christian, forcing laws to teach their dogma in schools and building some 18000 churches in a country with only 300-400 hospitals.

If you ask me, the major abrahamic "religions" (if religion means a system of manipulation and control) have an iron grip on most of the western world and are guilty of genocide - literal genocide in the cases where they destroyed nations to take over their resources and their minds and cultural and spiritual genocide when they impose their dogma of fear, blind obedience and intolerance.

If a living Buddha would present himself today in my country, he would not survive the week.
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

dragoneye

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Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2011, 04:47:00 PM »
If a living Buddha would present himself today in my country, he would not survive the week.
The Beatles-I am the Walrus(BEST QUALITY)
Just trying to keep it light ;D
Dragoneye

Matthew

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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Living Buddhas
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2011, 09:43:30 PM »
...I think that people were a lot more mindful, compassionate and open to spiritual teaching a few thousand years ago. ...

They were less conditioned and more open in general, especially around the time of the Buddha, when several places in the world showed great leaps forward.

If a living Buddha would present himself today in my country, he would not survive the week.

Well he wouldn't "present" himself were he to find himself there - unless committing suicide proved to be the greatest way of helping the greatest number of beings.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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