When Buddha Died

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When Buddha Died

Postby Hunter » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:17 am

What happens after the death of a Buddha. I read that, sense Buddha is an Arahant, That the Aggrigates dissolve. Does this means that Buddha has ceased to exist?

And another question, In mahayana i see that people think that Buddha is still connected to the world and that he gives blessings and listens to our prayers. Is this not true to the Theravada Buddhists? Is Buddha gone from this world completely?
the Buddha said :

"Intention, monks, is karma, I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind."
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:25 am

Greetings Hunter,

Hunter wrote:What happens after the death of a Buddha. I read that, sense Buddha is an Arahant, That the Aggrigates dissolve. Does this means that Buddha has ceased to exist?


That question is answered in...

SN 22.85: Yamaka Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Hunter wrote:And another question, In mahayana i see that people think that Buddha is still connected to the world and that he gives blessings and listens to our prayers. Is this not true to the Theravada Buddhists? Is Buddha gone from this world completely?


Even when the Buddha was alive, he was already gone from this world, hence the epithet Tathagata (thus-gone-one). For the Buddha there was no being - see...

SN 23.2: Satta Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

But in direct answer to your question, I do not know of any Theravada Buddhist that acts as if the Buddha can "hear our prayers".

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)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Hunter » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:33 am

THANK YOU!

The Yamaka Sutta was fasinating and shows the greatness of the Tathagata!
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:02 am

Hunter wrote:What happens after the death of a Buddha. I read that, sense Buddha is an Arahant, That the Aggrigates dissolve. Does this means that Buddha has ceased to exist?

And another question, In mahayana i see that people think that Buddha is still connected to the world and that he gives blessings and listens to our prayers. Is this not true to the Theravada Buddhists? Is Buddha gone from this world completely?


You may also wish to check out the Aggivacchagotta sutta:

...
"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.

"Any feeling... Any perception... Any mental fabrication...

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply."
...


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

And also: Vacchagotta Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

To point is, the Tathagata cannot be found even whilst "alive", how much more so, after "death".
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Hunter » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:07 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
You may also wish to check out the Aggivacchagotta sutta:

...
"Even so, Vaccha, any physical form by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of form, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply.

"Any feeling... Any perception... Any mental fabrication...

"Any consciousness by which one describing the Tathagata would describe him: That the Tathagata has abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Freed from the classification of consciousness, Vaccha, the Tathagata is deep, boundless, hard to fathom, like the sea. 'Reappears' doesn't apply. 'Does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Both does & does not reappear' doesn't apply. 'Neither reappears nor does not reappear' doesn't apply."
...


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

And also: Vacchagotta Sutta:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

To point is, the Tathagata cannot be found even whilst "alive", how much more so, after "death".


Wow!

This is all such deep stuff! This is why I like Buddhism and am happy to be a Buddhist. It tells me that i can end suffering and reach a state of Nibbana!

Thanks Paññāsikhara!
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"Intention, monks, is karma, I say. Having willed, one acts through body, speech and mind."
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Bankei » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:45 pm

Hunter wrote:
And another question, In mahayana i see that people think that Buddha is still connected to the world and that he gives blessings and listens to our prayers. Is this not true to the Theravada Buddhists? Is Buddha gone from this world completely?


Yes, to many the Buddha is like a god. In Thailand many pray to the Buddha asking for favours such as wealth, passing exams, health, happiness, etc. Some Buddha statues specialise in certain areas, eg. there is a special Buddha statue in Ayutthaya where people go to pray for success in Business.
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:28 am

Hello hunter, Bankei, all,

This might be of interest:
”Do Buddhists Pray?“
A panel discussion with Mark Unno, Rev. Shohaku Okumura, Sarah Harding and Bhante Madawala Seelawimala.
Sarah Harding is a Tibetan translator and lama in the Kagyü school of Vajrayana Buddhism and editor of Creation and Completion: Essential Points of Tantric Meditation (Wisdom).
Rev. Shohaku Okumura is director of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center in San Francisco.
Mark Unno is ordained in the Shin Buddhist tradition and is an assistant professor of East Asian religions at the University of Oregon.
The Venerable Wadawala Seelawimala is a Theravadin monk from Sri Lanka and professor at the Institute for Buddhist Studies and the Graduate Theological Seminary in Berkeley

EXCERPT:
Buddhadharma:
Bhante Seelawimala, what is the Theravada tradition’s view of other power and self power, and of supplication and prayer generally?

Bhante Wadawala Seelawimala:
In Theravada Buddhism we don’t get into the discussion of self power or other power. We don’t use the notion of “power” in the same way to begin with. We believe our minds are weak in certain areas of our thinking. The ordinary mind is not working to its fullest capacity, but we can correct its drawbacks by proper mental exercises, by following the step-by-step guidance of the Buddha. Gradually, the mind starts to work properly and see things clearly. As a result we can overcome our suffering, frustration and fear.
Prayer is not a necessary part of the process of mental exercise as taught in the Theravada tradition. We discuss these matters in completely different terms than we have heard from Reverend Okumura and Professor Unno. The language is quite different.

Buddhadharma:
In Theravada, are there any deities or universal buddhas or other such principles?

Bhante Seelawimala:
That is not part of our language. We don’t regard the Buddha as universal spirit, or self as universal self, or personal self. We don’t discuss things in those terms. We don’t have any power beyond dhamma. Dhamma means things as they really are, the power of cause and effect, dhammata—real knowledge of how things are. That genuine knowledge—knowing what causes what—can be used to improve our condition.
For example, if we understand that we are ignorant of how things work, we see what causes the ignorance. That help came from the Buddha, to be sure. We appreciate the Buddha for that and we appreciate the dhamma, which is the knowledge given by the Buddha. We appreciate other people who use the knowledge and thereby improve their conditions. That is called sangha. We respect Buddha, dhamma and sangha as our model and our support system, but the actual work is done by ourselves.
We don’t have the notion of praying to someone or asking for help from someone.
http://www.thebuddhadharma.com/issues/2 ... _pray.html

metta
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:23 pm

Hi Cooran,

The book review that Bankei posted a link to here: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3274&p=48004#p48004 is worth reading. If one hangs out with Thai people for a while it's pretty clear that there is a difference between the principles espoused by the Venerable in your quote and many of the practices "on the ground" in SE Asia.

Of course, one could argue that "all that stuff isn't actually Buddhism". Nevertheless, it exists.

Metta
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby smokey » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:32 pm

In Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta containing "Fourteen uUnanswerable Questions", Buddha is asked these questions: "Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata exists: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

"Then does Master Gotama hold the view: 'After death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist: only this is true, anything otherwise is worthless'?"

"...no..."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Bankei » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:21 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Cooran,

The book review that Bankei posted a link to here: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 004#p48004 is worth reading. If one hangs out with Thai people for a while it's pretty clear that there is a difference between the principles espoused by the Venerable in your quote and many of the practices "on the ground" in SE Asia.

Of course, one could argue that "all that stuff isn't actually Buddhism". Nevertheless, it exists.

Metta
Mike


Hi Mike

There is a lot of scholarly literature on the 2 Buddhisms - ie the ideal which is only found in the books and an extreme minority of practitioners, and the actual which is the Buddhism practiced by most. Its a fascinating topic, maybe one for another thread - are the majority of Buddhists really Buddhists?
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:49 am

Bankei wrote:Its a fascinating topic, maybe one for another thread - are the majority of Buddhists really Buddhists?

Or are the minority really Buddhists? :thinking:

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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby cooran » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:04 pm

Which could possibly lead on to a discussion of how the present time is the time of the Decline of the Sasana and how the Dhamma will be weakened and undermined? :thinking:
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Bankei » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:29 pm

cooran wrote:Which could possibly lead on to a discussion of how the present time is the time of the Decline of the Sasana and how the Dhamma will be weakened and undermined? :thinking:


It is not just the present time - but the distant past too. The decline started shortly after the Buddha's death. Maybe the 'ideal' was never practiced at all.

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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:20 am

Bankei wrote:
cooran wrote:Which could possibly lead on to a discussion of how the present time is the time of the Decline of the Sasana and how the Dhamma will be weakened and undermined? :thinking:


It is not just the present time - but the distant past too. The decline started shortly after the Buddha's death. Maybe the 'ideal' was never practiced at all.

Bankei


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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Bankei » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:02 am

was the Buddha a Buddha?
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:40 am

Bankei wrote:was the Buddha a Buddha?


yes.
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:42 am

Not only that ~ he was what is called the Sammasambuddha.

sammā-sambodhi
'Perfect Enlightenment', Universal Buddha-hood, is the state attained by a Universal Buddha (sammā-sambuddha), i.e. one by whom the liberating law (dhamma) which had become lost to the world, has again been discovered, realized and clearly proclaimed to the world.

"Now, someone, in things never heard before, understands by himself the truth, and he therein attains omniscience, and gains mastery in the powers. Such a one is called a Universal Buddha, or Enlightened One" (Pug. 29).

The doctrine characteristic of all the Buddhas, and each time rediscovered by them and fully explained to the world, consists in the 4 Truths (sacca) of suffering, its origin, its extinction and the way to its extinction (s. magga). See bodhi.
http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/s_ ... mbodhi.htm

with metta
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Re: When Buddha Died

Postby Bankei » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:17 am

was Jesus the son of God?
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