Questions tagged [enlightenment]

The goal of the Buddhist path. Can refer to liberation, awakening or the end of suffering but is generally understood as being indescribable to an unenlightened being.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
19 votes
8 answers
4k views

Do you have to follow a monastic lifestyle to attain enlightenment?

How do the different groups/sects of Buddhism view attaining enlightenment and living a common life? In other words, do they think it is possible to be a common person and achieve enlightenment? Even ...
eric's user avatar
  • 1,162
16 votes
5 answers
1k views

What exactly is Jhana?

What exactly is the theory of jhana, how does it come about and how does it relate to the buddhist practice and everyday life? feel free to answer in depth.
Anatta34811's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it possible to become UNenlightened?

Is it possible for i.e. an Arhat to become unenlightened after he reached the state of Nirvana? What if an enlightened being gets a severe brain injury by some cause leaving him with amnesia. Could ...
Jordy van Ekelen's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Enlightenment vs nibbana/nirvana

What is the difference between enlightenment/awakening and nibbana/nirvana? And how do these terms relate to parinibbana/parinirvana?
michau's user avatar
  • 2,702
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

Can you explain "nirvana"?

Can anybody explain to me about "nibbana" and how it is different form "nirvana"? Are there views about it and ways to get to it?
ravi's user avatar
  • 61
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

How come enlightened people don't have any laziness?

I just heard that enlightened people have zero laziness. How is it possible? What is "laziness" ? What is the connection between laziness and ego/desire? Edit: Also that monk said: "Laziness is ...
Dum's user avatar
  • 715
17 votes
11 answers
4k views

If there's nobody to get enlightened, why bother?

It seems the goal of Buddhist practice is to become an Arahant - someone who won't take a rebirth, and therefore will be eternally relieved from suffering. But WHO is this someone who doesn't get ...
burlap's user avatar
  • 171
16 votes
5 answers
8k views

Are there any living enlightened people?

Is there any person who is widely believed to be enlightened by Buddhists, and who confirms that himself/herself?
michau's user avatar
  • 2,702
11 votes
6 answers
2k views

What dietary practices are most helpful for reaching enlightenment?

Gandhi, a Hindu ascetic, was adamant that the spiritual well being of a person was not disconnected from one's diet. He said "The body was never meant to be treated as a refuse bin, holding all the ...
Chris Mueller's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Did the Buddha Meditate?

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 ...
Donald Edwards's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is Satori the same as Enlightenment?

Is the Zen term Satori the same as enlightenment or does it have different nuances or emphasis over what is commonly meant by enlightenment in non-Zen texts. If it is the same then why is used at all. ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
  • 21.1k
26 votes
14 answers
2k views

Role of belief in Buddhism

As a westerner that self-identifies as Buddhist, I have struggled to understand the role of belief in Buddhist practice. In my culture, we are more familiar with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, ...
Anthony's user avatar
  • 2,598
16 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is it like to experience enlightenment?

What is it like to expereince enlightenment? Does it change a person and if so, how?
JaJa's user avatar
  • 161
13 votes
8 answers
2k views

Can we reach enlightentment with recreational drugs?

Some drugs, like ecstasy, help build empathy and help our mind see things from a different point of view. What about if meditation is the obsolete ways to see enlightment and perhaps drugs are the ...
user4951's user avatar
  • 385
11 votes
5 answers
485 views

Isn't Buddhist insight practice more scientific than the so-called scientific method? [closed]

All enlightened beings since the first Arahant have confirmed the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path to be true through their own experience. So there is a community of Ariya Sangha who ...
Sankha Kulathantille's user avatar
8 votes
10 answers
2k views

Where does morality come from in Buddhism?

I have a hypothetical question. Let's say I don't believe in karma, reincarnation, or any deities of any sort. I also saw in some texts and videos that, to achieve higher awareness, I should not ...
QuestionEverything's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
804 views

Attainment of enlightenment without desire

The Noble Truths make us aware that the cause of suffering is desire. Isn't it a desire to become enlightened and attain Nirvana; thus, causes suffering? If you drop the desire, will it be possible to ...
user5380's user avatar
  • 866
8 votes
7 answers
9k views

Isn't enlightenment the ultimate death?

Is it true that after you reach enlightenment you simply vanish into the vast space of existence, and you simply cease to exist? Kind of like, when you have not attained to enlightenment you keep on ...
George's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
5 answers
776 views

How should I stop thinking that I am even slightly enlightened?

I don't know how else to phrase this question, but please advise. I have this constant irritating feeling that I am kind of enlightened. It is confusing. I don't really know if it is my ego which is ...
esh's user avatar
  • 2,244
6 votes
7 answers
676 views

Is it "bad" to want a "materialistic" happiness?

After reading several articles and a book about Buddhism, I now feel a bit uncertain about what Buddhism actually is about. Am I not allowed to dance? To sing? To fall in love? Is the purpose of ...
Lou P.F's user avatar
  • 177
4 votes
6 answers
2k views

How to function properly in society after getting enlightenment?

I am near. May be few hours or days. Right now it is getting a little harder to behave properly according to the society. I just don't talk much because I don't have much to say. I'm not able to ...
user avatar
4 votes
10 answers
1k views

How to experience Anatta

Is it during deep meditation when the mind is completely stilled that one experiences anatta? Is the conviction in anatta gradual or abrupt? This question would be connected to the 4 stages of ...
Val's user avatar
  • 2,540
3 votes
8 answers
287 views

Does enlightenment in all teachings amount to a progressively deeper realisation that I am already enlightened?

So e.g. kensho is usually thought of as beginning realisation in zazen, and is into our true nature as Buddhas. Does enlightenment in all teachings amount to a progressively deeper realisation that I ...
user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
5k views

How do animals attain enlightenment?

The Wikipedia article on animals in Buddhism states that animals have Buddha nature, and therefore have potential for enlightenment. I do not dispute this as I sit here petting my cat, but wonder - ...
Jeff Wright's user avatar
  • 1,037
7 votes
2 answers
445 views

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Are the Seven Factors of Enlightenment understood to happen as specific phases in a linear progression in one's journey or are they understood to happen in a circular manner with ever deepening ...
Robin111's user avatar
  • 9,572
7 votes
8 answers
708 views

Is it only humans who can understand Buddhism?

If Buddhism is a general theory of understanding the cycle of attachments, is it possible that any other 'wise' enough creature could achieve the same thing? In the Visuddhimagga English translation,...
kalan nawarathne's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does (bad) karma have to be depleted to be able to attain enlightenment?

This question came to me from over thinking the "Angulimala" story. He had to "repent" to some extent for the murders he committed, by being scolded an hit by stones. However, the effect of the karma ...
DirkM's user avatar
  • 1,525
7 votes
5 answers
495 views

Need some pointers about the current phase

I know this is a big letter but it is important. Would really appreciate your help. My spiritual path very much goes along with my career. I knew since my school days that I never wanted to be part ...
Satchitanand's user avatar
6 votes
11 answers
2k views

Is it even possible to attain Nirvana?

Sorry, I've just read Satipatthana Sutta (MN 10) and feel a bit overwhelmed. As far as I understand, this is some sort of instruction on how to attain enlightenment. It teaches, that one has to ...
Damocle Damoclev's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

What does Buddhism say about creativity and spiritual development?

Does Buddhism say anything about a relationship between greatness in art, music or other creative areas, and spiritual development? For example, consider the well-known great composers: is there ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
340 views

Is there anything like "positive suffering" for Buddhists?

In some religions, suffering is seen as a positive thing, some people even see it as a necessary step for growing, however in Buddhism suffering is seen as something that should be avoid or eliminated,...
konrad01's user avatar
  • 9,857
5 votes
9 answers
2k views

Was the Buddha an arahant?

According to Theravadan Buddhism would the Buddha have been considered an arahant? Is this word synonymous with the title 'the Buddha' or does being the Buddha mean something over and above being an ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
  • 21.1k
5 votes
3 answers
996 views

If Dalai Lama is enlightened, why he keeps coming back?

Assuming the result of enlightenment is attainment of Nirvana, and assuming Dalai Lama is enlightened, why does he keep on getting reborn? Could it mean that Nirvana means something else, for example ...
bweber's user avatar
  • 205
4 votes
7 answers
1k views

Does the will to live cease after enlightenment?

What would motivate an enlightened person to continue living? It seems like once somebody attains enlightenment, other than teaching, there would be no reason to continue living.
Ian's user avatar
  • 2,673
4 votes
3 answers
352 views

Whats the path towards enlightenment?

I'm pretty new to Buddhism, so I'm not very knowledgeable about what's most commonly considered as the path towards enlightenment. I already have a pretty subjective idea of it - I have to unify my ...
zeozea's user avatar
  • 59
3 votes
5 answers
465 views

What is the easiest way to achieve a state of no physical suffering?

I read that those monks who self-immolated probably felt no pain because they were in nirvana... Is there a state you can get to more easily than nirvana where you can be conscious and pain-free? If ...
potatopotato's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
672 views

gradual versus sudden enlightenment

Is it true that most "enlightened" Buddhists attained this realization gradually? Or are there cases of sudden enlightenment? I ask because either this process is way more gradual than I can even ...
Jeff Wright's user avatar
  • 1,037
3 votes
5 answers
3k views

Shiva's 112 ways to attain enlightenment and Buddha's way

I recently came across a video of a guru (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPINIZmQDwI&t=1s) claiming that Buddha's method to enlightenment was just one of 112 methods discovered by Shiva many ...
Heisenberg's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
160 views

When was the word enlightenment introduced into Theravada Buddhism?

I feel the word enlightenment conveys the wrong meaning if used in context of nibbana. For example, Buddha says that nibbana is similar to a lighted lamp, having taken away the oil and the wick, will ...
Ravindranath Akila's user avatar
2 votes
8 answers
275 views

Rationalism and The spirit of inquiry

Is a logical questioning process of every thought(almost) a useful way to break through thought itself and possibly understand enlightenment? For eg:- What is this thought? What is the mind? And try ...
esh's user avatar
  • 2,244
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

How does Enlightenment feel like

Finally everyone who meditate comes to a single point "Enlightenment". So anybody have any idea about how the enlightenment feels like. How it helps a man. How their mind works and reacts to the ...
RBK's user avatar
  • 191
2 votes
12 answers
889 views

How can I be sure if the Buddha actually woke up?

waking up to the ultimate truth of reality and that anyone can do like him. I feel like I'm living in the matrix. but i'm not so sure if waking up is possible.
user17755's user avatar
  • 485
2 votes
4 answers
261 views

What was Buddha's purpose in constructing The Four Stages of Enlightenment?

I can see the major to entering this path as being quite significant: the seeing through ones own imagination of their self. I also see that this four stage progression must be held onto quite loosely ...
user avatar
1 vote
6 answers
246 views

What is the common understanding of all enlightened people?

There are many sutras and they are on different topics. Many people got enlightened by asking different sutras. Ven. Saripuththa thero got sothapanna by asking to cause and effect. Ven. Kondanna thero ...
Dum's user avatar
  • 715
1 vote
1 answer
411 views

Animisa Locana Pooja. Is it really what it is?

This is probably by far the most interesting theory that I have heard (Yes a theory or you may call it a story. I just don't have a reference to back this up!) about the life of Gautama Buddha. The "...
Donald Edwards's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
744 views

Is it possible to be reborn for all eternity?

According to Buddhist teachings, is it possible to continue to reborn and suffer for all eternity? Suppose if a being never attained any merit, never was able to work through its old karma. Would it ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
  • 162
1 vote
4 answers
354 views

Can Cyborg/ Trans-human reach enlightenment? When enlightenment is depended on a Human Body

The world is going to a point of no return, with the thirst for materialistic grandeur and power to rule over nature; after the conquered of Oriental by the Occidental. This article talks about Cyborg....
Mishu 米殊's user avatar
  • 2,299
0 votes
6 answers
142 views

Specific ways/practices to help die with equanimity, (less "self") and perhaps even awakening at death-time?

In general all Buddhist practice seems to help with the concerns mentioned in the Title. Equanimity helps with all unwanted, changing conditions (from minor challenges to "aging, sickness and ...
Kyoshin's user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
4 answers
74 views

Is understanding a practice?

Enlightened people doesn't have any desire, because they see impermanence in everything. All the things are useless to them. To achieve enlightenment , one required to practise deattachment, ...
Dum's user avatar
  • 715
0 votes
4 answers
492 views

How to identify Pada Parama Persons?

As preached by Buddha there are four types of people in the world, they are ugghaṭitaññū, vipañcitaññū, neyya and padaparama. The last person is definition is here. Can anyone please guide me how how ...
Isuru's user avatar
  • 699