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This may come off as a very strange question. From small days I have been taught Buddhism, not in the way it should have been, but in a way which took most stories and teachings for granted.

Those who know Buddhism know that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment on a Vesak Poya day (a full moon in May). According to Theravada teachings (and maybe even Mahayana I am not sure) what came next was seven weeks of very "Holy" or special events/activities concerning Lord Buddha.

First of which was the "Animisa Locana Pooja" where the Buddha was believed to have shown gratitude to a Bo tree. Later on was a week named "Ruwan Sakmana" where the Buddha meditated while walking. This I found very strange. A Buddha is a person who has found the ultimate liberation from all the sorrows, one whose kindness and compassion has no bounds. Laymen meditate to basically calm themselves and to improve "Maithri"/ kindness. Why does an enlightened being meditate? I doubt a Buddha would just meditate to pass time! My opinion is that a Buddha does not meditate because he does not need to do it anymore. But does a Buddha meditate?

  • Is it possible he was never not meditating? – JeffO Feb 11 '16 at 17:38
  • Are you talking about before Gautama Awakened or after (and thus became known as a Buddha)? Before he Awakened, he practiced meditation very intensely particularly the 8 samadhis, as did all other Enlightened masters. – Ahmed Feb 16 '16 at 18:12
  • After becoming Buddha – Donald Edwards Feb 17 '16 at 1:21
9

I can't find the reference at the moment but if I recall correctly, the Buddha continued to meditate after enlightenment for two reasons, according to the Theravada tradition: (1) To dwell in a pleasant abiding here and now (jhana) (2) to set an example for his followers

  • One reference to jhanas is towards the end of the Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha (in verse 9 of part 6, in the section titled "How the Blessed One Passed into Nibbana"). – ChrisW Feb 11 '16 at 16:21
  • Does make sense when you say that it was to set an example. – Donald Edwards Feb 11 '16 at 16:49
  • According to Theravada, Arahants still experience physical pain although they do not experience any aversion (dosa) to that pain; At the end of the Buddha's life he experienced back pain as is mentioned in this sutta: accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.053.than.html#fn-2 Again, I don't have a reference but I remember hearing that at the end of his life he experienced back pain constantly unless he entered into a meditative absorption, including the cessation of perception and feeling (nirodha samapatti) It was said that he bore any painful feelings mindfully. – Adamokkha Feb 12 '16 at 3:05
5

In fact, the Buddha meditated everyday. All Arahaths meditate whenever they are not busy with teaching or day to day activities. But it is not to get rid of any defilements like ordinary beings. Instead, they attain a state called the Nirodha Samapatti.

It's like going home after busy day at the office(the world of Sankhara). Nirodha Samapatti is a pleasant abiding.

If I remember right, the Buddha attains the Jhanas after every sentence he speaks, when he gives a sermon.

The Buddha's Daily Routine

Buddha would get up at 4.00 a.m. and as soon as he had had a wash would sit down to meditate for an hour. From 5.00 to 6.00 a.m. he would look around the world with his mental eye to see if anybody needed help. At 6.00 a.m. he would put on his robe and either go out and help the needy or beg for food....

  • Thank you for the answer. I think a Buddha or an Arahath does not have to do anything that is routine. I feel like an enlightened being feels pleasant at all times irrespective of what ever he/she is doing. But then again meditation can be focused for the betterment of other beings and in that case it does make for a Buddha to meditate. However, as I have said, for a person with a boundless kindness and compassion, I doubt that they require to carry out mediation for the betterment of others. It is all very confusing but I am intrigued! – Donald Edwards Feb 11 '16 at 16:45
  • An I too have read the scriptures. I am not looking for a reference but for a justification – Donald Edwards Feb 11 '16 at 16:49
  • @DonaldEdwards Yes they have to do routine things while they live. Ex: eating, brushing, bathing, washing etc. Whether they attain Nirodha Samapatti or not, they don't feel any suffering. But think of it as going home after work as opposed to sleeping in the office :) – Sankha Kulathantille Feb 11 '16 at 16:59
  • Going home after office is a bliss no doubt about it! but all I am saying is they already have attained the most supreme bliss and do not have to do anything else to feel pleasant. I must be annoying at this point I am sorry. I am just not convinced yet. I just think questioning Buddhism is the best way to really learn it. thanks anyway – Donald Edwards Feb 11 '16 at 17:07
  • 1
    @DonaldEdwards That's ok! They have attained Nibbana but when they do daily activities, Nibbana is not the object of the mind. It is whatever they are doing or talking about at the time. There's a big difference between taking Nibbana as the object of the mind vs taking a worldly thing as the object of the mind. – Sankha Kulathantille Feb 11 '16 at 17:19
0

The most obvious and in detail is in a sutta describing Bhuddha's parinibbana process. Process monitored and confirmed by Ven Anuruddha. When Buddha closed his eyes he enter jhanna 1 - 2 -3 -4, and then infinite space, infinite consciousness, no-thingness, neither perception nor non-perception, cessation. and then from cessation to neither perception nor non-perception, no-thingness, infinite consciousness, infinite space,then jhanna 4 -3 -2 -1 . and then again from Jhanna 1 -2 -3 -4 , and when he left jhanna 4, his 5 skhanda was over.

PS. (I noticed Buddha never once called infinite space, etc. a 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Jhanna ever. He always used their full names. ) only called the entire group as arupa Jhanna but when it comes to individual level, Buddha called them their full names.

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