Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

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Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Individual » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:37 pm

Why can't there be more than one Buddha at a time?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby genkaku » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:18 am

Who said there wasn't?
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:29 am

genkaku wrote:Who said there wasn't?

The Buddha. :buddha1:

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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:32 am

mikenz66 wrote:
genkaku wrote:Who said there wasn't?

The Buddha. :buddha1:

Mike


Can you site that from the suttas?

Metta

Gabe
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:43 am

Greetings,

An extract from The Questions Of King Milinda
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe36/s ... tm#page_47

4. 'Venerable Nâgasena, this too was said by the Blessed One:

"This is an impossibility, an occurrence for which there can be no cause, that in one world two Arahat Buddhas supreme should arise at one and the same time [237]--such a thing can in no wise be 1."

'But, Nâgasena, when they are preaching, all the Tathâgatas preach (the Doctrine as to) the thirty-seven constituent elements of insight 2; when they are talking, it is of the Four Noble Truths that they talk; when they are instructing, it is in the three Trainings 3 that they instruct; when they are teaching, it is the practice of zeal 4 that they teach. If, Nâgasena, the preaching of all the Tathâgatas is one, and their talk of the same thing, and their training the same, and their teaching one, why then should not two Tathâgatas arise at the same time? Already by the appearance of one Buddha has this world become flooded with light. If there should be a second Buddha the world would be still more illuminated by the glory of them both. When they were exhorting two Tathâgatas would exhort at ease; when they were instructing two Tathâgatas would instruct at ease. Tell me the reason of this, that I may put away my doubt.'





p. 48

5. 'This world system, O king, is a one-Buddha-supporting world; that is, it can bear the virtue of only a single Tathâgata. If a second Tathâgata were to arise the world could not bear him, it would shake and tremble, it would bend, this way and that, it would disperse, scatter into pieces, dissolve, be utterly destroyed. just as a boat, O king, might be able to carry one passenger across. Then, when one man had got on board, it would be well trimmed and able to bear his weight 1. But if a second man were to come like to the first in age and caste and strength and size and stoutness of body and build of frame, and he too should get on board the boat--would that boat be able, O king, to carry them both?

'Certainly not, Sir! it would shake and tremble; it would bend, this way and that; it would break into pieces, be shattered, dissolved, and utterly destroyed; it would sink into the waves.'

'Just so, O king, with this world, if a second Tathâgata were to appear. Or suppose, O king, that a man [238] had eaten as much food as he wanted, even so that he had filled himself with nourishment up to the throat, and he--thus satiated 2, regaled, filled with good cheer, with no room left for more, drowsy and stiff as a stick one cannot bend--were again to eat as much food as he had eaten before--would such a man, O king, then be at ease?'

'Certainly not, Sir! If he were to eat again, but once more, he would die.'



p. 49

'Well, no more could this world bear a second Tathâgata, than that man could bear a second meal.'

6. 'But how is that, Nâgasena? Would the earth tremble at a too great weight of goodness?'

'Suppose, O king, there were two carts quite filled with precious things up to the top 1, and people were to take the things from the one cart and pile them up on the other, would that one be able to carry the weight of both?'

'Certainly not, Sir! The nave of its wheels would split, and the spokes would break, and the circumference would fall to pieces, and the axle-tree would break in twain 2.'

'But how is that, O king? Would the cart come to pieces owing to the too great weight of goods?'

'Yes, it would.'

7. 'Well, just so, O king, would the earth tremble owing to the too great weight of goodness. But that argument has been adduced to make the power of the Buddhas known 3. Hear another fitting reason why two Buddhas could not appear at the same




p. 50

time. If, O king, two Buddhas were to arise together, then would disputes arise between their followers, and at the words: "Your Buddha, our Buddha," they would divide off into two parties--just as would the followers of two rival powerful ministers of state. This is the other [239] reason, O king, why two Buddhas could not appear at the same time.

8. 'Hear a further reason, O king, why two Buddhas could not appear at the same time. If that were so, then the passage (of Scripture) that the Buddha is the chief would become false, and the passage that the Buddha takes precedence of all would become false, and the passage that the Buddha is the best of all would become false. And so all those passages where the Buddha is said to be the most excellent, the most exalted, the highest of all, the peerless one, without an equal, the matchless one, who hath neither counterpart nor rival--all would be proved false. Accept this reason too as in truth a reason why two Buddhas cannot arise at once.

9. 'But besides that, O king, this is a natural characteristic of the Buddhas, the Blessed Ones, that one Buddha only should arise in the world. And why? By reason of the greatness of the virtue of the all-knowing Buddhas. Of other things also, whatever is mighty in the world is singular. The broad earth is great, O king, and it is only one. The ocean is mighty, and it is only one. Sineru, the king of the mountains, is great; and it is only one. Space is mighty, and it is only one. Sakka (the king of the gods) is great, and he is only one. Mara (the Evil One, Death) is great, and he is only one. Mahâ-Brahmâ is mighty, and he is only one.

p. 51

[paragraph continues] A Tathâgata, an Arahat Buddha supreme, is great, and he is alone in the world. Wherever any one of these spring up, then there is no room for a second. And therefore, O king, is it that only one Tathâgata, an Arahat Buddha supreme, can appear at one time in the world.'

'Well has the puzzle, Nâgasena, been discussed by simile adduced and reason given. Even an unintelligent man on hearing this would be satisfied; how much rather one great in wisdom as myself. Very good, Nâgasena! That is so, and I accept it as you say.

____________________________

[Here ends the dilemma as to why there should be only one Buddha at a time in the world.]

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: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:50 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:Can you site that from the suttas?


Bahudhātukasutta (MN. 115), Mahāgovindasutta (DN. 19), Sampasādanīyasutta (DN. 28), and a few others:

    "He [i.e., the bhikkhu who understands the possible and the impossible] understands: ‘It is impossible, it cannot happen that two Arahants who are Sammāsambuddhas could arise contemporaneously in one world-system — there is no such possibility.’"
    ...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.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:06 am

Thank you Dhammanando

Thank you Retro

Does that mean a Buddha can arise at the same time in another world system?

Metta

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Individual » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:47 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:Thank you Dhammanando

Thank you Retro

Does that mean a Buddha can arise at the same time in another world system?

Metta

Gabe

What other world-system do you mean?
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:10 am

Individual wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:Thank you Dhammanando

Thank you Retro

Does that mean a Buddha can arise at the same time in another world system?

Metta

Gabe

What other world-system do you mean?


You dont think this is the only place life is found in the universe? Or does world-system mean universe?
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Dhammanando » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:32 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:Does that mean a Buddha can arise at the same time in another world system?


I should think so, for if I remember right, 'lokadhātu' refers to just one ten thousandfold world-system, not to the whole universe.

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.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby gavesako » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:59 am

The belief in many Buddhas existing (in different world-spheres perhaps) at the same time has spread all over SE Asia and meditators report encounters with these Buddhas (sometimes in order to receive instructions or, which is more important, to make a bodhisattva-vow in their presence). There are also some chants which are directed at these presently existing Buddhas, e.g. in Thailand "atiitaa ... anaagataa ... paccuppannaa ca ye buddhaa". But these are obviously later developments.
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Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby clw_uk » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:17 pm

I should think so, for if I remember right, 'lokadhātu' refers to just one ten thousandfold world-system, not to the whole universe.



I dont know if this is going to be to off topic so delete it or move it if you think it is, what is the ten thousandfold world-system? is it the whole universe including the various realms or is it something else?
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Individual » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:35 pm

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Individual wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:Thank you Dhammanando

Thank you Retro

Does that mean a Buddha can arise at the same time in another world system?

Metta

Gabe

What other world-system do you mean?


You dont think this is the only place life is found in the universe? Or does world-system mean universe?

I don't know of any other. Anything apart from this ignorance would be speculation.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:38 pm

Short answer: There can only be one samma-sam-buddha at a time, because there is only one 'discoverer.' A samma-sam-buddha comes when / after the Dhamma has died-out. There is only one 'discoverer' of something, be it the car, the computer, the Dhamma.

There can be other enlightened ones, such as arahants.
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:45 pm

clw_uk wrote:what is the ten thousandfold world-system? is it the whole universe including the various realms or is it something else?

I believe there are some differences in opinion on this interpretation of the 10,000 world system, but my opinion is that it is a universe of solar systems. There can be other universes, solar systems. I think each world system has its own cosmological deva and lower realms up to #16 on the planes of existence (according to Teacher of Devas, by S. Jootla).
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby pink_trike » Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:33 am

There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, or one for every sun-type star in the galaxy, said Alan Boss, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution and author of the new book "The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets."

Source: CNN online http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/02/25/galaxy.planets.kepler/index.html
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Individual » Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:11 am

pink_trike wrote:There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, or one for every sun-type star in the galaxy, said Alan Boss, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution and author of the new book "The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets."

Source: CNN online http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/02/25/galaxy.planets.kepler/index.html

One speculation on how this is possible while paradoxically there is no extraterrestrial contact is that most sentient species destroy themselves before spreading across many planets -- possibly even every sentient species thus far within this universe. Those sentient species which do spread across many planets may be quite different from human beings.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Dhammanando » Thu Feb 26, 2009 4:38 am

clw_uk wrote:I dont know if this is going to be to off topic so delete it or move it if you think it is, what is the ten thousandfold world-system? is it the whole universe including the various realms or is it something else?


It's not the whole universe, but rather the portion or extent of the universe that gets shaken when a Buddha first sets the Dhamma Wheel turning.

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.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:43 am

Individual wrote:You dont think this is the only place life is found in the universe? Or does world-system mean universe?
I don't know of any other. Anything apart from this ignorance would be speculation.


Speculation is fine as long as you know your doing it and you dont make more of it than it is. Its called an educated guess.

Metta

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: Why can there be only one Buddha at at time?

Postby Element » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:42 am

Individual wrote:Why can't there be more than one Buddha at a time?

The Buddha declared this. However, the interesting fact to observe is objectively it is true.

The world only has one Buddhism and one Buddha.

It is not like the theistic who argue about who is 'God's prophet'?

Prophets teaching about kamma are a dime a dozen.

There are many prophets but only one Buddha teaching heartwood.

This shows how rare Buddhism is, despite those who claim the Dhamma cannot be lost.

This is why we should focus our efforts on sharing supramundane heartwood.
Last edited by Element on Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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