After enlightenment, the Buddha spoke:

This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality and dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and if others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.

Enough now with teaching what only with difficulty I reached. This Dhamma is not easily realized by those overcome with aversion & passion.

What is abstruse, subtle, deep, hard to see, going against the flow — those delighting in passion, cloaked in the mass of darkness, won't see.

Was the Buddha judging people unfairly here because his mind was defiled (polluted) with self-conceit; narcistically believing he was better or superior than others? Was the Buddha polluted by the fetter of conceit (mana)?

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    Usually an answer is based on references or personal experience. If you're asking whether the Buddha's judgement/testimony is unreliable, what kind of evidence (references or personal experience) could an answer provide that would satisfy you? For example I could quote a statement by Mahasi Sayadaw which implies that the answer is "no", but I'm not sure you'd find that satisfactory? – ChrisW Oct 10 '17 at 20:25
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    How would an answer to this question look like and how would it be verified or falsified? You might also want to explain why you believe the fetters are not broken when enlightenment is attained. – user2424 Oct 10 '17 at 21:14
  • Beside of possible good or bad intentions behind the asking (that's the doers food, no need to pic there something out), it's actually a valid question, this seemingly paradox. So it would be good to open it again, maybe nicer rephrased. – user11235 Oct 12 '17 at 4:36
  • Is it true that the Buddha said "If you offend someone then you are not following my teaching"? Didn't' he say something like, "Scrutinize even me, The Buddha"? – Lowbrow Oct 24 '17 at 2:25
  • This is a very good question, because thai tradition people always confuse between attā-anudiṭṭhi (not available in all ariya), māna (not available in just arahanta), and upanidhāpaññatti (available at all state, except just anupādisesanibbāna-dhatu). It is one of the reason that why abhidhamma have to describe very deep in dhamma's detail. – Bonn Oct 24 '17 at 2:48

This answer says there are 9 types of conceit (including e.g. "thinking one is superior when one is not"), of which only 3 types are true (including e.g. "thinking one is superior when one is").

It says that a sotapanna is only capable of "true conceit".

To say "judge people unfairly with self-conceit" would therefore imply that the Buddha is more deluded than a sotapanna.

This doctrine (about "true conceit") can also be found in this paper, “Me”: The nature of conceit, by Piya Tan (on page 50):

Here, the Vibhaṅga Commentary goes on to state that only the following three are types of true conceit (yāthāva,māna), that is, founded pride, namely:

  • the superiority complex of the superior;
  • the equality complex of the equal; and
  • the inferiority complex of the inferior.

The rest are types of false conceit [unfounded pride].

While false conceit is abandoned by the path of stream-winning, true conceit is abandoned only by the path of arhathood. (VbhA 486 f)

It's based on the Vibhaṅga Commentary.

  • Actually this case has to be viewed better on "Attukkamsana + Paravambhana", of which there are cases that it just seems like that: Timely Proclamation However, there are opportune occasions when you should proclaim your ability and virtue, with a view to gain due respect for the work you are occupied with, for your words and your ideas. Otherwise, people may look down upon you for not grasping the true situation. This is not conceit (mana), but a timely plan that befits the occasion. Issa is here a big matter. Add? – user11235 Oct 11 '17 at 14:30

This question is strange especially if it's from those who have studied Buddhism and are inside this doctrine. Unshakable confidence in Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha is required to make progress in this doctrine. No matter how one slices it, faith is required in Buddhism to make that first step. Example, before I start practice how do I know Nirvana exist? If faith is not required, then someone should be able to demonstrate to me that is does. If you are not Buddhist and make a critical inquiries about Buddha's characteristic, then best answer would probably come from a scholar who isn't a Buddhist. I doubt that a Buddhist would give an answer that border line disrespectful to the "triple gems".

My answer is "no". Buddha is perfect in every way.

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