Everyone seeking Enlightenment

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Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby clw_uk » Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:37 pm

Greetings


I was reading up on some of the contemporaries of the Buddha such as Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sanjaya Belatthaputta and Ajita Kesakambali etc and i began to think

Why is it at that time in india there was so many people seeking and claiming enlightenment, it seems to only be that time in history and only in india that such a thing has occured


I know there was the tradition of samaṇa in india at that time but it still stikes me as odd that there was all these people who were all seeking and claiming the same thing, "enlightenment"

Or am i assuming that the other teachers were thinking of enlightenment differently, so am i just grafting the buddhist concept of it onto the other teachers?


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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby SeerObserver » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:52 am

clw_uk wrote:Why is it at that time in india there was so many people seeking and claiming enlightenment, it seems to only be that time in history and only in india that such a thing has occured

I know there was the tradition of samaṇa in india at that time but it still stikes me as odd that there was all these people who were all seeking and claiming the same thing, "enlightenment"
It is really not all that strange if you take the religious beliefs and therefore surrounding culture into account. For example, Hinduism's goal is to attain Brahman (self-realization). They believe in samsara and seek to alleviate themselves of it.

Most prior and subsequent religions do not have this concept and therefore have a different highest attainment. For example, if your highest attainment is to go to heaven, you will not care as much about how to walk the path leading to the cessation of suffering. You will probably be under the impression that you only experience birth, aging, sickness, and death in one lifetime and do not seek to liberate your mindstream from it...at least not in the same way. Botox will not release you from aging the way the eightfold path will.
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:33 am

Wikapedia has a few articles on this if you look at the related religions in the side menu this may shed some light on the topic for you, I have only ever scanned them and not looked any further than when I noticed them there. maybe there will be a link to information which will be more useful
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby Dhammanando » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:38 am

clw_uk wrote:Why is it at that time in india there was so many people seeking and claiming enlightenment, it seems to only be that time in history and only in india that such a thing has occured


I wouldn't agree with this. Many of the philosophers of ancient Greece were arguably engaged in an analogous pursuit, notably the Cynics, Stoics, Epicureans and (earlier) the Pythagoreans.

Best wishes,
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    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby Jechbi » Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:42 pm

[speculate]
Can you imagine the incredible good fortune to be born at that time and in that place? It was kamma. No surprise. Folks who had made the kamma to be born right then and there at the time of the Buddha probably had some past experience with Dhamma.
[/speculate]
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:10 pm

Jechbi wrote:[
Can you imagine the incredible good fortune to be born at that time and in that place? It was kamma. No surprise. Folks who had made the kamma to be born right then and there at the time of the Buddha probably had some past experience with Dhamma.

:thumbsup: Perhaps it was their kamma to be born during that time, to be contemporaries of the Buddha. I am pretty sure there is a Sutta somewhere where the founder of the Niganthas (Jains), Mahavira, eventually learns the Dhamma and attains enlightenment / Nibbana.

Perhaps there was some sort of ancient "Enlightenment" (term used here more toward the recent 'European Enlightenment' of ideas) with the ancient Greeks enjoying some great wisdom, also around this time.
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby genkaku » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:09 pm

Swami Vivekanada, the 19th century exponent of Vedanta and yoga, once commented that what India needed was a dose of western science and industry and that what the West needed was a dose of spiritual understanding. Given the excitement that India seems to feel about its new-found technologies and the excitement the West can feel about spiritual adventures ... well, maybe he had a point.
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby robertk » Mon Mar 30, 2009 2:36 am

TheDhamma wrote:
Jechbi wrote:[
Can you imagine the incredible good fortune to be born at that time and in that place? It was kamma. No surprise. Folks who had made the kamma to be born right then and there at the time of the Buddha probably had some past experience with Dhamma.

:thumbsup: Perhaps it was their kamma to be born during that time, to be contemporaries of the Buddha. I am pretty sure there is a Sutta somewhere where the founder of the Niganthas (Jains), Mahavira, eventually learns the Dhamma and attains enlightenment / Nibbana.

Perhaps there was some sort of ancient "Enlightenment" (term used here more toward the recent 'European Enlightenment' of ideas) with the ancient Greeks enjoying some great wisdom, also around this time.

I think it is said that after being embarrased by the Buddha demonstrating his powers he tied something to his neck and jumped in a river. he was then reborn in hell.
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:38 pm

robertk wrote:
TheDhamma wrote:
Jechbi wrote:[
Can you imagine the incredible good fortune to be born at that time and in that place? It was kamma. No surprise. Folks who had made the kamma to be born right then and there at the time of the Buddha probably had some past experience with Dhamma.

:thumbsup: Perhaps it was their kamma to be born during that time, to be contemporaries of the Buddha. I am pretty sure there is a Sutta somewhere where the founder of the Niganthas (Jains), Mahavira, eventually learns the Dhamma and attains enlightenment / Nibbana.

Perhaps there was some sort of ancient "Enlightenment" (term used here more toward the recent 'European Enlightenment' of ideas) with the ancient Greeks enjoying some great wisdom, also around this time.

I think it is said that after being embarrased by the Buddha demonstrating his powers he tied something to his neck and jumped in a river. he was then reborn in hell.

Do you have a reference for that? I have not been able to find the reference to where he may have attained enlightenment or the one you refer to.

Wikipedia reports that he attained (Buddhist) enlightenment:

The Pali texts mention the Buddha referring to the liberation of Mahavira (referred to as Niggantha Nataputta) at Pava.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism_and_Buddhism

But unfortunately, there is no reference.
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:40 pm

Hi Rob, David,

The Upali Sutta (MN. 56) reports that hot blood gushed from the mouth of Nigantha Nataputta after he had heard his former leading disciple Upali (now a disciple of the Buddha) praising the Buddha's virtues.

The commentary to the same says that "a heavy sorrow arose in him because of the loss of his lay supporter, and this produced a bodily disorder that resulted in his vomiting hot blood. After vomiting hot blood, few beings can continue to live. Thus they brought him to Pava on a litter, and shortly thereafter he passed away."

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby clw_uk » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:43 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Why is it at that time in india there was so many people seeking and claiming enlightenment, it seems to only be that time in history and only in india that such a thing has occured


I wouldn't agree with this. Many of the philosophers of ancient Greece were arguably engaged in an analogous pursuit, notably the Cynics, Stoics, Epicureans and (earlier) the Pythagoreans.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu



Bhante

Of course, i had forgotten about the greeks, the Pythagoreans seemed to have a world view close to that of ancient india
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Re: Everyone seeking Enlightenment

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:57 am

Dhammanando wrote:The Upali Sutta (MN. 56) reports that hot blood gushed from the mouth of Nigantha Nataputta after he had heard his former leading disciple Upali (now a disciple of the Buddha) praising the Buddha's virtues.

The commentary to the same says that "a heavy sorrow arose in him because of the loss of his lay supporter, and this produced a bodily disorder that resulted in his vomiting hot blood. After vomiting hot blood, few beings can continue to live. Thus they brought him to Pava on a litter, and shortly thereafter he passed away."

Bhante, :thanks:

Here is the pertinent part:

‘Householder, when did you compose this praise for the recluse Gotama?’ ‘Sir, when there is a great heap of flowers of various kinds, a clever garland maker would make a beautiful garland. In the same manner, sir, the Blessed One has innumerable good qualities, thousands of them, when they are suitable why not allude them.’

Then Niganthanataputta, not able to hear the honour accorded to the Blessed One then and there vomited hot blood.

(from MN 56)

Wikipedia has the wrong information, but then again, it would not be the first time.
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