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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268 views

Compassion and Wisdom

Does wise practice of compassion ever lead to suffering or bliss for the practitioner? Is there a difference between compassion cultivated through the Brammaviharas and compassion cultivated through ...
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Did the Buddha really have snails on his head? [duplicate]

For a long time I was told that when the Buddha touched the ground and became enlightened that his hair went up and formed a ball on his head and that that is what we see on the statues. But recently ...
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Can a person get into any stage of enlightenment without being aware of it?

In Buddhism we classically have four stages of enlightenment: Stream-enterer (Sotapanna); Once-returner (Sakadagami); Non-returner (Anāgāmi); Arahant. My question, as stated in the title, is: can a ...
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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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Which Living Ajahns are considered to be Arahants today?

After the era of the well known Thai Bhikkhus like Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Tate, Ajahn Maha Boowa, Ajahn Waen and Ajahn Chah; Which Ajahns are considered as Arahants or Highly developed Meditators,in these ...
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Did the Buddha state that there is only one way, and state/imply that any other path (such as those practiced by yogis) was futile?

This question mainly came up to my mind as I thought about how interconnected some concepts and practices of Buddhism are with other spiritual practices, such as meditation, and the concept of letting ...
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Reference request for “our Buddha nature chooses not to be enlightened”?

I seem to remember that Mahayana Buddhism said somewhere something along the lines of, "Our Buddha nature (or the Buddha) chooses not to be enlightened". I am not sure if I am remembering this ...
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How can anyone who hasn't realised the truth, claim that Mahatma Buddha or any other person in history realised God or the Truth?

Isn't it possible that whatever they have realised is just a psychological effect? Doing continuously hard practices leads to affect their mind and they tend to believe that, yes, this is the truth. ...
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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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Is no soul doctrine (there is no eternal soul) supported in Buddhist suttas?

"The purification of one's own mind/will (citta); this is the Doctrine of the Buddha" [DN 2.49] "How is it that one is called a 'Buddha'?...gnosis that the mind/will (citta) is purified (visuddham)......
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After Enlightenment - 7 Weeks (Sath Sathiya)

As we all have heard the Buddha spent 7 weeks after his enlightenment in different places and engaging in different activities. But in the Mahavagga Pali (the first half) in Vinaya Pitakaya states ...
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When the obstacles are abandoned does one experience dharma everywhere?

When I first started to think of encouraging myself on the path I imagined that when I reach the moment of cessation that I would see and experience dharma in an all pervading way " omniscient " is ...
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Does the aim of enlightenment equal the aspiration of the end of all life?

In my understanding suffering -- craving and aversion and all which it results in -- exists in living beings to help sustain procreation, evolution, and life. Can the ideal of all beings attaining ...
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How to identify a sotapanna (stream enterer)

I just wan to know whether there are any measurements advised by the Buddha to identify a stream enterer (sotapanna). I know for a fact that from the stream enterer and above, all four types have ...
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Why should I study the Suttas?

If the Buddha said that we shouldn't take his teachings as dogma, but rather try to experience for ourselves what realization is--why should we study the scriptures?
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Reference points

Is it possible to become enlightened without realising it? My question is prompted by the thought that if your progress is very gradual and you do not have a measuring stick (or any labels), you might,...
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In short, what is the path to enlightenment? Where to begin?

If I were to begin meditating, what practical list of advises would you give me?
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Mindfullness or Self Consciousness (Introvert's Struggle)

I am trying to achieve consciousness and that is my target to achieve it,... I am struck in Strange State .. as Bruce lee said, in Enter The Dragon: Its like a finger pointing away to the moon. ...
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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 ...
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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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Betraying People

Today people are betraying each other in different levels without considering relationships and bonds. For example scenarios: Children betrays parents and ignore them Boy/Girl cheats on Girl/Boy due ...
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8 causes of Earthquake - Maha-parinibbana Sutta

Buddha as part of the noble eightfold path preached that killing any organism is an unskillful action which results in bad karma. He also preached that every buddhist monk's final aim should be ...
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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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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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When did Shakyamuni became buddha?

We know Shakyamuni was a prince and had all the lavish life a prince should have. He was isolated from every pain and suffering as we are told. As he traveled countryside he began to feel pain and ...
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Is the path an individual journey?

When seeking or on the path, is the journey intended to be for the one on the path or can it be travelled by more than an individual i.e. is the path different for each being?
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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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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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Where is the complete William Hamilton's “Saints and Psychopaths”?

I have been trying to find a complete copy of William Hamilton's "Saints and Psychopaths" and although it seems to be distributed on the web in various places in electronic format, it also seems that ...
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How can fiction writing be best used for achieving enlightenment?

It seems that many fiction writers were very wise, including those, who had little or no access to spiritual teachings (e. g. the Strugatsky brothers). Allegedly, in Japanese culture non-spiritual ...
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Is too much of good kamma an obstacle for enlightenment?

The more good kamma one has, the more likely one is to be reborn as a deva, and not a human, right? This article says the following about devas: So in spite of their excellent concentration and ...
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Does any canonical sutta say you can attain enlightenment *while* chanting?

I've heard a couple of mentions (but seen no direct reference) that there is a (presumably canonical) formal list of certain activities that you can attain enlightenment during. I'm guessing it's the ...
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Is the path of enlightenment consists 7 levels?

In this question The Seven Factors of Enlightenment shown, Tranquility, Concentration, Equanimity, Investigation of dhammas, Effort and Rapture as specific phases in the path of enlightenment (also in ...
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What are Ekabiji?

As per the answer given to this question, AN 3.87 was cited as such: ...Having undertaken the training rules, he trains in them. With the utter destruction of three fetters, he is a seven-times-at-...
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What will erase our good deeds?

Our body will die but not our good deeds. If nothing can erase our good deeds, does it mean everyone will become enlightened eventually?
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If Rebirth is not taken literally then why seek Enlightenment?

I've read that some Buddhists do not believe in the literality of rebirth. As someone who is new to the study of Buddhism, this is confusing to me. My understanding, which perhaps is incorrect, is ...
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Can all human beings potentially be enlightened in this lifetime?

Does any Buddhist school or tradition make the assertion that all human beings have the capacity to be enlightened in this lifetime? Or to put it the other way are there groups of people who it just ...
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Does each person have a particular True Nature, according to Buddhism?

I know that there is what is described as universal True Nature - aspects common to everyone. I know about Karma, which can be seen as how beings have tendencies even from birth (which otherwise has ...
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Halo on the Buddha

Do the suttas make any mention of a halo around the Buddha's head, or was it a later addition through the cultural influence of other religions? I recall mentions of a golden aura around the Buddha ...
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What does it mean to “see the Dhamma”

In a number of the books I'm reading on Buddhism, and in a number of talks I've heard on the subject, I repeatedly encounter the idea that the Buddha "saw the Dhamma" or that he "witnessed Dhamma" or ...
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What is the nature of impermanence, desire and anatman?

If everything in unstable, unsatisfying and out of control then what is the point in living? Isn't the 'point of life' meant to be a journey to stability, satisfaction and self control? Thanks :).
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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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Do enlighted people cry? Did the Buddha ever cry?

What is the Buddhist view on crying? I don't remember hearing or reading about the Buddha ever crying. Is crying a consequence of "lack of understanding" of the ultimate reality?
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Dealing with angriness or sadness that comes up with “meditation”

Ok, my "meditation" is physical exercise where I concentrate on what I am doing concentrate on my breath If I exercise in morning, I feel violent anger. When I confront why I feel such anger, I ...
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Is there a specific practice that leads to a “rainbow body”

First of all is the "rainbow body" almost similar in the different lineages of Tibetan Buddhism? Then the above question. Thanks
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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 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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Who or what decides that someone has enlightened himself?

Who or what decides that someone has enlightened himself? It's just about an urge to know the point where/how enlightened one's or their followers approve that 'they are enlightened'. What happens ...
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Is self enlightenment achieved through contemplation of impermanence?

Not asking for a friend, or as a plan... I started doing this some 11-14 years ago, and wondered if it was over - in any significant sense. Not that it matters - I might take the bodhisattva vows, now ...
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If one's inner monologue stops forever, is one necessarily an arahant?

Question in the title. I'm looking for answers citing either canonical scripture or the position of any particular school of Buddhism. The inner monologue in the question could also be read as mental ...