Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

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Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby Yodsak » Thu May 06, 2010 11:56 pm

In my humble opinion;

This question is really quite 'Buddha-centric'.
Kind of like the Christian-centric and Islamic-centric dogma that ONLY believers can get to heaven (or hell for that matter!).

Layman Arahant.

Do we only permit 'Buddhists' to be Arahants?

Is there a guidebook/manual with all the specifics and exclusions........

I am certain there are many people, like me, who (looking back) discern the shadow of the Arahant in their Mothers. My Mum's life of selflessness and unconditional love have been the main motivating factors in my practice. And she, a semi-literate Maori, never read a book on Buddhism.

Seems we 'Buddhists' can be as exclusionary as the jews, Christians, Muslims etc etc.

I guess Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Te Whiti o Rongomai (pre-Ghandian passive resistance in New Zealand 19th century) are all on the outer until they've read the Pali Canon and been to a dozen vipassana retreats? :thinking:

Metta, karuna, muditta, upekha.
kia kaha Buddhadhamma
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby bodom » Fri May 07, 2010 12:08 am

"In any doctrine & discipline where the noble eightfold path is not found, no contemplative of the first... second... third... fourth order [stream-winner, once-returner, non-returner, or arahant] is found. But in any doctrine & discipline where the noble eightfold path is found, contemplatives of the first... second... third... fourth order are found. The noble eightfold path is found in this doctrine & discipline, and right here there are contemplatives of the first... second... third... fourth order. Other teachings are empty of knowledgeable contemplatives. And if the monks dwell rightly, this world will not be empty of arahants."— DN 16


Yodsak,

There are no arahants outside of the Buddhasasana.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Yodsak » Fri May 07, 2010 12:12 am

bodom wrote:
"In any doctrine & discipline where the noble eightfold path is not found, no contemplative of the first... second... third... fourth order [stream-winner, once-returner, non-returner, or arahant] is found. But in any doctrine & discipline where the noble eightfold path is found, contemplatives of the first... second... third... fourth order are found. The noble eightfold path is found in this doctrine & discipline, and right here there are contemplatives of the first... second... third... fourth order. Other teachings are empty of knowledgeable contemplatives. And if the monks dwell rightly, this world will not be empty of arahants."— DN 16


Yodsak,

There are no arahants outside of the Buddhasasana.

:anjali:



Mai nae!

But thanks for the true juice oh omniscient one.
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Yodsak » Fri May 07, 2010 12:15 am

Now that really is super-exclusionary.

In all the infinite vastness of the universe....

:roll:
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri May 07, 2010 12:20 am

Yodsak wrote:Do we only permit 'Buddhists' to be Arahants?


No one sits in judgment to permit or exclude in Buddhism, it is all on merit, kamma, etc.

Is there a guidebook/manual with all the specifics and exclusions........


The Pali Canon

I am certain there are many people, like me, who (looking back) discern the shadow of the Arahant in their Mothers. My Mum's life of selflessness and unconditional love have been the main motivating factors in my practice. And she, a semi-literate Maori, never read a book on Buddhism.


Anyone can get to heaven according to Buddhism, religious preference does not matter.
http://justbegood.net/

Seems we 'Buddhists' can be as exclusionary as the jews, Christians, Muslims etc etc.


Not really, there are many people including here at Dhamma Wheel who follow, practice the Buddha's teachings, but do not call themself Buddhist. There is nothing in the paramitas or ten hindrances to enlightenment that require profession of faith in some deity, following some divine commandments, accepting a savior, making pilgrimage, etc. None of this is mentioned or required in the paramis or hindrances to enlightenment.
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Goofaholix » Fri May 07, 2010 12:22 am

Yodsak wrote:Now that really is super-exclusionary.

In all the infinite vastness of the universe....

:roll:


I think probably he is meaning that an Arahant outside of the Buddhadhamma is called a Pacceka Buddha (Pratyekabuddha) not an Arahant.

Same same but different.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Yodsak » Fri May 07, 2010 12:26 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Yodsak wrote:Do we only permit 'Buddhists' to be Arahants?


No one sits in judgment to permit or exclude in Buddhism, it is all on merit, kamma, etc.

Is there a guidebook/manual with all the specifics and exclusions........


The Pali Canon

I am certain there are many people, like me, who (looking back) discern the shadow of the Arahant in their Mothers. My Mum's life of selflessness and unconditional love have been the main motivating factors in my practice. And she, a semi-literate Maori, never read a book on Buddhism.


Anyone can get to heaven according to Buddhism, religious preference does not matter.
http://justbegood.net/

Seems we 'Buddhists' can be as exclusionary as the jews, Christians, Muslims etc etc.


Not really, there are many people including here at Dhamma Wheel who follow, practice the Buddha's teachings, but do not call themself Buddhist. There is nothing in the paramitas or ten hindrances to enlightenment that require profession of faith in some deity, following some divine commandments, accepting a savior, making pilgrimage, etc. None of this is mentioned or required in the paramis or hindrances to enlightenment.


David, my reply was aimed at Bodom's assertion that there are no arahants without the Buddhasasana.

And is the Pali canon (like the bible and the koran) unimpeachable? :twothumbsup:
Don't surrender your own moral autority please.
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby bodom » Fri May 07, 2010 12:31 am

Yodsak,

No assertion on my part, it is clearly stated in the texts.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby Kenshou » Fri May 07, 2010 12:38 am

Well, what about paccekabuddhas?
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Re: Layman Arahant

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri May 07, 2010 12:39 am

Yodsak wrote:David, my reply was aimed at Bodom's assertion that there are no arahants without the Buddhasasana.


What is wrong with Bodom's response? A samma-sam-buddha rediscovers the Dhamma and becomes enlightened. Others can get enlightened, but need some instruction, with the dispensation period of when the teachings are alive. The Buddha didn't call himself a Buddhist, nor did his first followers.

A Paccekabuddha can become enlightened without the dispensation, so Arahants come during a dispensation period. There is nothing exclusionary in that since there is no profession of faith required, no worship to a certain direction, pilgrimage, etc.

And is the Pali canon (like the bible and the koran) unimpeachable? :twothumbsup:


Not really, look at some of the debates here and elsewhere. Scholars including monks, such as Bhikkhu Bodhi have questioned the authenticity of some later texts that may have been added to the Pali Canon and especially the later commentaries.
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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby Pannapetar » Tue May 11, 2010 9:31 am

I always thought this was pretty uncontroversial in Buddhist lore. There are the Sammasambuddhas and Paccekabuddhas who are not Buddhists in the sense that they do not follow the Shakyamuni Buddha, but become enlightened through their own efforts. It is also uncontroversial in Buddhist lore, that all these noble people discover the same truth or dhamma. But that is apparently as far as it goes.

According to my (limited) knowledge there is no agreement about several interesting questions, such as:

- to what degree the phrasing of a Sammasambuddha's teaching coincides with Gautama's phrasing as handed down in the canon.
- whether Sammasambuddhas and Paccekabuddhas do exist in other religious traditions, such as Christianity or Hinduism.
- with what frequency Paccekabuddhas arise.
- whether Pratyekabuddha arise in other traditions.

Was Jesus Christ an enlightened master?

Any ideas?

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 11, 2010 9:40 am

Greetings Pannapetar,

Pannapetar wrote:Was Jesus Christ an enlightened master?

I get the impression he was an attavadin, meaning he had not broken the fetters required for stream-entry.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 11, 2010 9:46 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Pannapetar,

Pannapetar wrote:Was Jesus Christ an enlightened master?

I get the impression he was an attavadin, meaning he had not broken the fetters required for stream-entry.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Where is paticcasamuppada in his teaching?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 11, 2010 9:48 am

Greetings Tilt,

I'm guessing the answer is "not there", but to be honest, I really know next to nothing about Jesus and his doctrine.

In this regard, I consider myself blessed.

8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue May 11, 2010 10:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

I'm guessing the answer is "not there", but to be honest, I really know next to nothing about Jesus and his doctrine.

In this regard, I consider myself blessed.
Sergeant Howie: He [your father] brought you up to be a pagan!
Lord Summerisle: a heathen, conceivably, but not, I hope, an unenlightened one. - The Wicker Man
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby brad48 » Tue May 11, 2010 10:57 am

Yodsak wrote:In my humble opinion;

This question is really quite 'Buddha-centric'.
Kind of like the Christian-centric and Islamic-centric dogma that ONLY believers can get to heaven (or hell for that matter!).

Layman Arahant.

Do we only permit 'Buddhists' to be Arahants?

Is there a guidebook/manual with all the specifics and exclusions........

I am certain there are many people, like me, who (looking back) discern the shadow of the Arahant in their Mothers. My Mum's life of selflessness and unconditional love have been the main motivating factors in my practice. And she, a semi-literate Maori, never read a book on Buddhism.

Seems we 'Buddhists' can be as exclusionary as the jews, Christians, Muslims etc etc.

I guess Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Te Whiti o Rongomai (pre-Ghandian passive resistance in New Zealand 19th century) are all on the outer until they've read the Pali Canon and been to a dozen vipassana retreats? :thinking:

Metta, karuna, muditta, upekha.


By the time you are a stream winner you are in a Buddhist category.

Vatican II says we do not reject what is true and beneficial about the religions of others. I know 2 Buddhist monks who use to be Catholic monks.

In the time of the Buddha there were many Brahmin Buddhists. You could become a stream winner, be a Buddhist at heart, and be clever about the way you word it if you from a family from a different religion and are concerned about how your family is going to relate to you. You could meditate and tell them you are interested in meditition. Once-returer. Never Returner. By the time you become an Arahant though, you are going to need more and more of a Buddhist community to fit in with as a Buddhist monastic.
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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby Pannapetar » Tue May 11, 2010 11:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:I get the impression he [Jesus Christ] was an attavadin...


Hmm, my impression is quite different. I think that the sermon at the mount and the (non-canonical) gnostic texts, such as the Gospel of Thomas, are enlightened master material. But it is quite difficult to tell from scripture. The thing that convinces me is that well, here we are in 2010 and... Jesus lives..., sort of, in the minds of people. Explain that sort of kamma...

tiltbillings wrote:Where is paticcasamuppada in his teaching?


Either Jesus never taught it, or he taught it and it was lost. Perhaps erased, like so many things in early Christianity. Who knows. Contemporary Christianity is a far cry from what Jesus taught. It is a mixture of Jewish myths, the vision of Paul and other authors, and the heavy editing of the Roman Catholic Church.

Cheers, Thomas
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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby PeterB » Tue May 11, 2010 11:53 am

Osiris lives in the minds of people too.
Not only does patticcasamuppada not feature in the teachings of Jesus..there is no patticcasamuppada- shaped hole that would be filled by patticcasamuppada and make sense of the rest of his techings.
Which makes any deduction that it was there but somehow got lost somwhat implausible.

The reality is that Christianity and Buddhadhamma have their respective sources in world views that have little or no commonality, Notwithstanding a shared view of some issues of social and individual morality.
A shared view that is also common to humanists, Hindus, Richard Dawkins and my gran when she was alive. In other words a moral stance that emerges from a common humanity, but differs considerably in its context.
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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby Ben » Tue May 11, 2010 11:58 am

Hi Thomas,
Pannapetar wrote:Perhaps erased, like so many things in early Christianity. Who knows.

How do you know this and what evidence do you have that this is the case?
Thanks

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tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: Can non-Buddhists become enlightened?

Postby Pannapetar » Tue May 11, 2010 12:25 pm

PeterB wrote:Osiris lives in the minds of people too.


Not a very good comparison. Jesus and Buddha have many more things in common than Buddha and Osiris. Both were human. Both offered a path to salvation. Both attracted a large following. Both started a religion.

PeterB wrote:Not only does patticcasamuppada not feature in the teachings of Jesus..there is no patticcasamuppada- shaped hole that would be filled by patticcasamuppada and make sense of the rest of his techings.


I agree with that. Which leads to the question whether the spelling out of Patticcasamuppada is requirement for an enlightened master.

PeterB wrote:A shared view that is also common to humanists, Hindus, Richard Dawkins and my gran when she was alive. In other words a moral stance that emerges from a common humanity, but differs considerably in its context.


Certainly. But these common views are just that: common views. They are not spiritual teachings.

Ben wrote:How do you know this and what evidence do you have that this is the case?


Concerning dependent origination there is no evidence. I thought that was quite clear from my phrasing. In other words, we don't know. However, there is a great variety of doctrines and wildly divergent beliefs in early Christianity. There is also good evidence that reincarnation was taught by certain Christian sects long into and after the Roman era.

All of this makes it a little difficult to determine exactly what Jesus actually taught. I consider the Gospels fragments at best.

Cheers, Thomas
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