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.

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5answers
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Enlightenment vs nibbana/nirvana

What is the difference between enlightenment/awakening and nibbana/nirvana? And how do these terms relate to parinibbana/parinirvana?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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, ...
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What is it like to experience enlightenment?

What is it like to expereince enlightenment? Does it change a person and if so, how?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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12answers
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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.
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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 ...
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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,...
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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 - ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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,...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 "...
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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....
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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 ...
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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 ...