I am a faithful believer in the Buddha's teachings and I even believe in the iddhi powers they all had and that show up in our day as well. I also believe in the various Bodhisattvas and Buddha's even within Taoism and contemplate and marvel at them every day, their mysteriousness, hard work and wisdom. Some of the scriptures have some astounding excerpts though of millions of bodhisattvas and deities...

Which is why I wonder why, if we are:

  1. a bundle of skandhas with no central core;
  2. quite subject to cause and effect;
  3. crying for saving;
  4. individuals the omnisicient, omnipresent, omnipotent (iddhis) buddhas and bodhisattvas have vowed to save from actual suffering and also awaken;

Then why don't the billions of bodhisattvas and buddhas just make manifestation bodies and march across the universe and pacify and awaken everything as the first Buddha vow states?

What is your opinion on this matter?

  • 1
    This answer suggests that they already have.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 7:02
  • @GottfriedHelms I would like to know the Buddha's discourse on 'Discussions'...post it if you get hold of it. Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 13:29
  • 1
    @TheDarkKnight : You're welcome. I've found it in the (german) site of the "palicanon.com" at this adress : palikanon.com/angutt/a03_067-071.html#a_iii68 The "7. Kathāvatthu Sutta" but could still not locate it at accesstoinsight.com for the english version. I'm trying further... There are also more advices with which type of people a monk should share company/have talks, but I remembered most this one. If I come across one of the other texts I'll add some more link Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:03
  • @TheDarkKnight: Perhaps this is also a good resource, but I've not yet evaluated this fully for references into the canon: accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/conversation.html Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 16:26
  • 1
    @TheDarkKnight: The english version seems to be this one accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.067.than.html Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 22:01

5 Answers 5


If you are "a faithful believer in Buddha's teachings" you have missed his point entirely.

You should not believe a single thing. Instead, your own experience should lead you to your own conclusions.

This is what Buddha left behind. Techniques for waking up, so that you may dissolve into pure experience, as did he and countless others.

Only you can save yourself.

  • 1
    True... good answer... reminds me of the story of Asanga who had Maitreya following him around but he could never see him. Only after he achieved a certain level (Divine Eye?) after doing a very meritorious act (feeding maggots) was Maitreya able to show himself to Asanga. Anyway the Buddha did himself say not to see for ourselves by practicing... as did so many masters..
    – Ahmed
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 4:34

In response to your question, may I ask what are we saving ourselves from?

Samsara is an endless (and beginningless) grinding cycle where all beings are being agonized by myriad forms of suffering (Dukkha). However, Samsara, and even higher realms of existence are illusionary, how can one be saved from an illusion?

Here is an excellent analogy I read from the esoteric master Huang Nian-Zu: what is the best way to save a man being hunted by a vicious tiger in a nightmare?

The answer isn't trying to run away or defending yourself. The best solution is to simply wake up and end the dream. Our true self has always been safe asleep, and the tiger can not harm us.

In theory, the above sounds like a really simple solution. In reality, though, the difficulty to achieve this is parallel to the depth of one's delusion and attachment.

Every being is one with Buddha. We are all capable and deserve the perfect wisdom, fortuity and abilities that Buddha possess. To seek help from Buddha and Bodhisattvas we need to awaken the Buddha within ourselves.

Hope this helps. If there is anything I could improve on with my reply please kindly share your views :)


Main cause of your problems are when you come in contact a sensation arise and you react due to our delusional perceptions which proliferates other sedation to which we react. You liberation is being non reactive to the sensation and reducing pre conditioned reaction.

The Buddha cannot subdue perception of another being or indefinitely influence the sensations experienced by another being or influence indefinitely the reaction to sensation of another being. Hence we have to work on our own liberation.


Now why can't a Buddha just intercede? From what the Enlightened Zen Master Huai-Chin Nan said... even the Buddha's cannot penetrate our ignorance and so that is why they provided all these mantras as a means of accessing their consciousness so that they can help us and help us out. It's like a "password" to enter into their system.

In my own words, they can only help us as much as our sincerity, purity and jhana allows them! From another perspective, isn't it true that we each of us contain the power of gods, the power to become a Buddha? So how can this god nature this buddha nature be brought out by anyone but itself? If it was able to be brought out by an "other", this buddha nature that you have within you would not be buddha nature! It would be "slave nature."

Similarly, you yourself cannot egoistically bring about this buddha nature. Because you (skandhas) are just ego. Everything you are, feel, think... is "false thought". Just like a Buddha cannot save you, you can't effort yourself into enlightenment. All you as the egoic container can do... is prepare and wait... and even that is not enough. As the diamond sutra states, it comes without coming... only then is it true coming.

Thus, use that understanding in your own cultivation of effortlessness, because the closer you are to effortlessness, the closer you are to It. This Buddhism is becoming very Taoist, no?

Another speculations for why the Buddha's might just be "passive" in their universe-saving policies... how is this whole saving business even necessary. Karma is karma. Everyone deserves what they got. What do you learn more from, hard experiences or easy experiences? What are you more thankful for, difficulties and failures or easy-gimmes?

Karma is a wonderful educational system that the Buddha's have no need to intercede with. (I really learned this concept through the Buddhist cosmological analyses given in Mind Experiment by Professor Bavo Lievens.)

They gave their education, it's time for you to play the game and cultivate your own Tao. Look at some pictures of the Angry Hell Buddha (I forget what it's called).

Anyway, their help is always at your beck and all when you ask with focus, clarity and faith.

  • Interceding would unbalance the whole system, perhaps. It would make the results of the 'experiment' inauthentic.
    – datashaman
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 8:20
  • Once you have reached that level of understanding, all your motivations would change. Perhaps they do not completely align with ours.
    – datashaman
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 8:23
  • True true.. only a Buddha can see that far level of karma. So many times trying to help someone backfires in 100 ways and helps in 1. So many times I just watch and a person does exactly as they should, maybe a little later than I had hoped, minus the condescencion disturbance and karma if I had interceded..
    – Ahmed
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 8:28
  • It's a tough one to see people suffer, but sometimes they have to. It's usually best to be asked, if you intercede (imo). 100/1 is bad odds. :)
    – datashaman
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 8:32

If the Buddha came to you today and offered the blue pill and the red pill like in the movie The Matrix, and by swallowing this blue pill, you will get instant Nirvana, would you accept it?

The answer is that 99.999% of serious Buddhists will not accept it, because they are not ready to let go of their attachments right now. Even if they accept the Buddha's teachings, they are not mentally prepared to leave everything that forms their reality. They don't want to be "saved" right now. They might ponder about their loved ones, material possessions, career etc. They won't be ready to let go of their personhood. But they may want to get there progressively.

  • Not me. I don't care for this reality. And even if you doubt my existentinal apathy, I don't think you can doubt the apathy of the ones in Buddhist stories who cultivate and are still stuck in the plane of form and formless jhanas. There's something insanely difficult about the path that is beyond desire to get enlightened or non-desire. Adyashanti talked about this in "The End of Your World" (a great listen). Some people that really want Enlightenment, never get it while some that never cared for Awakening, that don't know about it (6th Patriarch), got it even though they are illiterate!
    – Ahmed
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 7:27
  • Even those who are suicidal are really not ready to let go of their sorrows. Perhaps their sorrows define their identity and their minds are overwhelmed by the defilements (kleshas)
    – ruben2020
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 9:13
  • Suicidal is an extreme state of attachment to one's sorrows. Detachment from the world of being yet FULLY enjoying it and living it is a characteristic of a bodhisattva/arhat.
    – Ahmed
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 17:59
  • You may be attached to your personhood. There is still a person ("I") who does not care for this reality.
    – ruben2020
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 23:25

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