Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Has anyone achieved Nirvana?

Since the Buddha, has there been anyone else that has reached Nirvana?

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Quite a few people claim to have been liberated, mostly outside of Buddhism. But just as one should be careful in selecting a teacher, so should one be careful in believing the claims of would-be guru’s...

    SnakeskinFoibleFull
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Veteran

    Such a claim is unverifiable. Hence, in the recollection of the Dhamma, it's said "come and see" (ehipassiko).

    The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed One,
    directly visible, immediate, inviting one to come and see,
    worthy of application, to be personally experienced by the wise.

    Verse 276 of the Dhammapada echoes "come and see":

    It is up to you to make strong effort;
    Tathagatas merely tell you how.
    Following the path, those absorbed in meditation
    Will be freed from Mara's bonds.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Most of us could only see a nirmanakaya manifestation of a Buddha. A bodhisattva could see the enjoyment body of Buddha or as it is called samboghakaya.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Those who do/have, never talk about it.
    Those who talk about it can be assumed to have misunderstood their experience as being Nirvana.

  • nubuddh4nubuddh4 Unknown New

    I am new and will get used to posting threads in the right places but I hope my two questions have been in correct category.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @nubuddh4 said:
    I am new and will get used to posting threads in the right places but I hope my two questions have been in correct category.

    You'd be unique. The amount of times I have to move mis-placed threads... ! :D Still, it's all part of the task. In my job-spec, as it were. ;)

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    ^^^^^^
    ... and you do a hell of a job! :)

    federicalobsterKaydeekay
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Thanks petal! :D <3

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited April 4

    Many. And yet, no one because, paradoxically, there's nothing to achieve and one to achieve it.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    As to "achieving/reached Nirvana" -- if you have "achieved/reached" anything whatsoever, doesn't that mean you've missed the point?

  • techietechie India Veteran

    I think we should stop being clever by playing with words/semantics.

    In Buddhism, the goal is to 'escape' the cycle of birth and death. We are still here on this earth, which means we haven't really escaped it and are still working out our karma. Which also means we have a long way to go before we achieve nirvana.

    No point in denying this and saying, Is there anything to achieve? Yes, else you and I wouldn't be here.

    Snakeskin
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited April 5

    @techie said:
    I think we should stop being clever by playing with words/semantics.

    In Buddhism, the goal is to 'escape' the cycle of birth and death. We are still here on this earth, which means we haven't really escaped it and are still working out our karma. Which also means we have a long way to go before we achieve nirvana.

    No point in denying this and saying, Is there anything to achieve? Yes, else you and I wouldn't be here.

    Depends on how you look at it.

    If one accepts the teachings on anatta and interprets them as pointing towards there being no self, then who is there to achieve anything? And what would this non-existent person achieve?

    If one accepts that someone persists and transmigrates, a self that's not a self, then perhaps there is someone to achieve something, and that person is released. But when they're released from this transmigration, then this temporary self is no more, destroyed.

    If there is a self that is a true self (i.e., permanent) and it's released, then where does it go? And if doesn't go anywhere where, is it destroyed? Can a permanent self be destroyed?

    If one views this as applying moment to moment, and the cycle of birth and death arising in the mind, then one is released in the moment from the cycle; but is there a 'self' to be released or is it more akin to a process that's interrupted than a thing achieved?

    Whatever the answer may be, I think it's worth thinking about because the semantics of our questions can have a big impact on the answers and the approaches we take to get them.

    On one level, there is something we're working towards, release, liberation, freedom from suffering, etc. But on a deeper level, what does that mean? Who is released? And what does it entail?

    Many appear to be 'free,' though.

    Snakeskin
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 5

    @nubuddh4 said:
    Since the Buddha, has there been anyone else that has reached Nirvana?

    There are those whose heart(citta) has been released through non clinging.

    "What gains total release from the five khandhas?"

    "The heart, of course, & the heart alone.
    It doesn't grasp or get entangled.
    No more poison of possessiveness,
    no more delusion,
    it stands alone.
    No saññas can fool it into following along
    behind them."

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/mun/ballad.html

    "Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

    When Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva was practicing the profound prajna paramita, he illuminated the five skandhas and saw that they are all empty, and he crossed beyond all suffering and difficulty.

    Snakeskin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited April 5

    but is there a 'self' to be released or is it more akin to a process that's interrupted than a thing achieved?

    That is a good way of putting it. The self does exist on the mundane and even the Boddhisatva planes, if the Buddha was not a Boddhisattva and had no motivation or qualities of existence but was just a moving light ... well that belongs in fantasy realms ...

    Then a middle-aged woman at the back of the room asked how we intended to show the Mahatma on screen. Dick relaxed as he enthused about Ben Kingsley, the acclaimed actor whose meticulous research had included studying Gandhi's voice and gait in old newsreels.

    The woman was unimpressed. This was sacrilege, she said. Richard needed to be aware that Gandhi was a deity in this country, not a mere mortal to be caricatured from newsreels. Dick said he was sorry she felt like this. How would she have him portray the Mahatma? 'Not at all. But if you must. .. as a moving light.' At this, Dick's patience finally snapped. 'Madam,' he riposted, 'I am not making a film about bloody Tinkerbell!
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1052245/Richard-Attenborough-The-film-bosses-wanted-Gandhi-sexy--played-Richard-Burton.html

    It is a question of the degree, quality and nature of the 'interruption'.
    https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-the-self-450193

    @FoibleFull said:
    Those who do/have, never talk about it.

    Don't they? Many teachers, monks, zen masters, lamas, Boddhisattvas and the Buddha all talk about it ... maybe you are aware of this dharma heritage ...

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @Jason said:

    @techie said:
    I think we should stop being clever by playing with words/semantics.

    In Buddhism, the goal is to 'escape' the cycle of birth and death. We are still here on this earth, which means we haven't really escaped it and are still working out our karma. Which also means we have a long way to go before we achieve nirvana.

    No point in denying this and saying, Is there anything to achieve? Yes, else you and I wouldn't be here.

    Depends on how you look at it.

    If one accepts the teachings on anatta and interprets them as pointing towards there being no self, then who is there to achieve anything? And what would this non-existent person achieve?

    If one accepts that someone persists and transmigrates, a self that's not a self, then perhaps there is someone to achieve something, and that person is released. But when they're released from this transmigration, then this temporary self is no more, destroyed.

    If there is a self that is a true self (i.e., permanent) and it's released, then where does it go? And if doesn't go anywhere where, is it destroyed? Can a permanent self be destroyed?

    If one views this as applying moment to moment, and the cycle of birth and death arising in the mind, then one is released in the moment from the cycle; but is there a 'self' to be released or is it more akin to a process that's interrupted than a thing achieved?

    Whatever the answer may be, I think it's worth thinking about because the semantics of our questions can have a big impact on the answers and the approaches we take to get them.

    On one level, there is something we're working towards, release, liberation, freedom from suffering, etc. But on a deeper level, what does that mean? Who is released? And what does it entail?

    Many appear to be 'free,' though.

    Which is why I think of nirvana as 'freedom from the self' rather than 'freedom of the self'. The self is the problem, even when it's not permanent or substantial. Self=suffering. The ending of suffering means the ending of self. What lies beyond, no one knows, which is perhaps why the Buddha kept quiet.

  • KaydeekayKaydeekay Explorer

    I think anyone who has would never say they have, so they are hard to spot. It's just a way of being, endless selflessness and kindness because they see that we are all one in the same and they wish to help free us all from suffering.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Enlightened Being is a hard job ... but someone has to do it.

    We need all the selfless kindness going (well I do - maybe the rest of the world too).

Sign In or Register to comment.