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salvation in buddhism

anatamananataman Who needs a title?Where am I? Veteran

Most religions are soteriological. Which basically means there is salvation for those who follow these religions - e.g christianity, believe in christ and your soul will live forever in the sanctuary of heaven.

However, in buddhism there is no soul that is reborn, and anatta is a doctrine which as one of the 3 marks of existence and is essentially a centraldoctrine; and in the realms of buddhism reincarnation really becomes a thorny issue under such circumstances! I ask a very simple question, and it is from a mahayana perspective.

Apart from there being the goal or achievement of relief from suffering, what really is there to be saved or salvaged in buddhism, that is not or has not already been saved or achieved?

Just a thought?

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Comments

  • 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

    Who's asking......?

    Jeffrey
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited October 2014

    I've never heard of any goal apart from release from suffering and rebirth (which is also suffering).

    And that is really about here and now; this suffering that draws us to seek release from it.

    What else would there be? Some master plan or goal or purpose? Haven't seen any of that.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @anataman

    From the Ego/identities perspective (self verses others) Buddhist salvation offers little more than a justification for the Egos continued adversarial agenda.
    From the perspective of selflessness, Buddhist salvation is actually the freedom from the Ego's habituated manipulations.

    What is saved in Buddhist salvation really depends on how enslaved or free one is from our own ego's ministrations or where one stands on the self verses selflessness teeter totter when asking.

    Or as federica says...Who's asking?

    Bunkslobster[Deleted User]
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    The promise of the cessation of suffering is 'salvation' as much as whatever it means to 'believe' in Jesus as a method of salvation -- in my head. Which is always under construction.

    But you are asking 'what is saved'? and I am quite happy with not understanding (with my cortex) what that 'what' is. It just is. I like @How's teeter totter of self versus no self :D !

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    I asked this question, as something has tormented me for a very long time when someone as @federica knows, came to this site quoting informed dharma this and that and dwelt on the fact of buddhism as being soteriological; after describing that their mini excursion into real life was a mere excursion, and their dhyana meditations were at 23 or 24 or whatever entry into deep emptiness they were at; they described buddhism as being soteriological. This is a nonsense....

    Who is asking the question @federica, @Hamsaka, Well I am, and I am here and now, and so are you. What am I - I am 'thusness', and 'thisness' and which why and wasness and something that wishes to stand here and declare myself as 'I AM', and all the time 'I AM' in the realm of buddhism is seen as nought, nil nothing and although it remains ridiculously illusive and elusive, I know it can never, in human form know completely that this being is something or nothing - it's both, and that is why I ask 'what is being salvaged, or saved' if buddhism is a soteriological religion?

    bookwormHamsaka
  • The mahayana extends the motivation to liberation of ALL sentient beings even though they may be limitless. And even though there are no beings even.

  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @anataman said:

    What am I - I am 'thusness', and 'thisness' and which why and wasness and something that wishes to stand here and declare myself as 'I AM', and all the time 'I AM' in the realm of buddhism is seen as nought, nil nothing and although it remains ridiculously illusive and elusive, I know it can never, in human form know completely that this being is something or nothing - it's both, and that is why I ask 'what is being salvaged, or saved' if buddhism is a soteriological religion?

    Thou art that which declares :) . In all seriousness. And to ask 'what' is being salvaged or saved in Buddha's paradigm seems like it would be . . . just this. What is this 'this' that just is? I can 'feel' it or whatever it is that apprehends it. Is that the 'this' that is saved, maybe? How bottomlessly inadequate the English language is.

    There is something sticking out at me about how you are using the anatta doctrine to describe a state of being versus not-being (about the lack of soul). I don't know if I can put it into words. Being is . . . . being, there isn't anything else (is there?) A lack of a soul doesn't mean lack of being. I'm as lost as you are, and don't even think you said anything 'wrong', it feels like something is missing.

    Have you seen the Netflix movie Yangsi? It's about the young tulka Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche, the latest incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Beautiful movie! Watch it if you haven't. Yangsi is this very young man and coping with 'who he is' as a tulka seems like a kind of answer to what I think you are asking. Yangsi clearly says (in his perfect English) that he is just himself, 'supposedly' the emanation of this famous teacher, this other person. Yangsi talks about the pressure and expectations without self pity and acknowledges the narrowness of his human life in this day and age with a small tinge of regret :) .

  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran

    @anataman said:
    Apart from there being the goal or achievement of relief from suffering, what really is there to be saved or salvaged in buddhism, that is not or has not already been saved or achieved?

    I think that really is it. If your "what" in "What is there to be saved" is referencing something physical or metaphysical like a soul, then that concept isn't in Buddhism (at least, not in the kind I practice). I think "what" there is to be saved in Buddhism is less cerebral. It's, simply, your life. Maybe the lives of others. Not in the sense that you are "saved" based on a belief in eternal damnation or an actual threat, but simply, a cessation of suffering. Not really a secret. Buddhism helps the monkey mind cope with all that we can really prove we have been given.

    Toraldris
  • In Buddhism there is salvation. But the catch is that you won't be there at that point.

    howBuddhadragonlobster
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @anataman said:
    Apart from there being the goal or achievement of relief from suffering, what really is there to be saved or salvaged in buddhism, that is not or has not already been saved or achieved?

    We've surged up in a lifetime we did not choose, we're stuck with a given set of skandhas, and apparently anatta is our lot in life.
    We'll vanish in a wisp of smoke before we even have the chance to know what it was all about.
    I'm not sure overthinking the nuances of philosophical lexicology will assuage our existential angst.
    But relief from suffering, more as an ongoing work in progress, a path to tread, rather than as a goal, doesn't sound too bad to me.

    ToraldrisHamsaka
  • The last verse says what you are looking for. You must remember the Buddha where was he and where did he go!

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    @anataman said:
    Most religions are soteriological. Which basically means there is salvation for those who follow these religions - e.g christianity, believe in christ and your soul will live forever in the sanctuary of heaven.

    However, in buddhism there is no soul that is reborn, and anatta is a doctrine which as one of the 3 marks of existence and is essentially a centraldoctrine; and in the realms of buddhism reincarnation really becomes a thorny issue under such circumstances! I ask a very simple question, and it is from a mahayana perspective.

    Apart from there being the goal or achievement of relief from suffering, what really is there to be saved or salvaged in buddhism, that is not or has not already been saved or achieved?

    Just a thought?

    Our minds our 'saved' from greed, hatred, and delusion. That seems like enough to me.

    BuddhadragonlobsterRowan1980Kundo
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    Liberation from self, and liberation from suffering.

    To quote from Ud 5.5: "Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this Dhamma and Discipline has one taste, the taste of liberation."

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @anataman said:

    and it is from a mahayana perspective.

    Apart from there being the goal or achievement of relief from suffering, what really is there to be saved or salvaged in buddhism, that is not or has not already been saved or achieved?
    Just a thought?

    From a Mahayana perspective, what there is to save are all sentient beings from suffering. To liberate all those other beings still trapped in samsara.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Thanks all for the input, I'm not going to agree or disagree with many of the comments, although there are some which really don't resonate with my view - just more grist for the mill!

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @anataman said:
    Thanks all for the input, I'm not going to agree or disagree with many of the comments, although there are some which really don't resonate with my view - just more grist for the mill!

    I'm still not sure what your view actually is.

    Chazhow
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I'm still not sure what your view actually is.

    Likwise, I'm sure.

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran

    I second that. Give us your view, we've given ours. :D  

  • What is the difference between reincarnation and rebirth?

  • 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

    @Greg911, Is that question rhetorical, or are you really asking?

    In the books of many Buddhists, generally speaking, the terms are interchangeable. But from a personal perspective (and I know I am not alone) there IS a difference....

  • For me it is one who has reached the goal and one who has not.

    Cinorjer
  • 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

    Well, I've not heard that one before. :scratch: .

    Rebirth is what happens to us ordinary mortals, Hoi Polloi... Reincarnation is for enlightened Lamas in the Tibetan Tradition, who aver that they are reborn as a specific entity, or a recognised Tulku. This Tulku is an embodiment, but not a direct duplicate, of the deceased Lama.
    AFAIK, it is only in the Tibetan tradition that Reincarnation as a choice, is adhered to as a principle or tenet.

    Bunks
  • That is interesting because we both said the same thing.

    Toraldris
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited October 2014

    Ha that's funny. :) As in reincarnation for the enlightened tulku and rebirth for the unenlightened masses.

    Rowan1980
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    @spinynorman and @chaz and @‌how & @Toraldris

    OK if you are willing to seriously hear me out and view my view on salvation as having no conceptual framework in buddhism: I'll do it for your benefit. But it is going to take a little time - lets call it a work in progress!

    TTFN

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited October 2014

    Salvation just seems a loaded Christian word to me. If we make it just mean something to be saved from, then Buddhism doesn't just have a view to that end... Buddhism is entirely about  being saved from our own ignorance and the suffering it causes, whether you take that individualistically or more like Pure Land's Amitabha.

    There's nothing else to be saved from. Even our desire for immortality, to exist eternally, is based in ignorance and is part of suffering. What else is there? We can hope for the human race to prosper and progress, technologically and socially and even spatially (maybe we'll take to the stars), but what do we want? What do we expect?

    I think it's at this point that people create gods, unless they think of the universe as a living being that has its own desires and purpose. :D It's not enough for us to make our own purpose, we feel lost without some father/mother figure(s) or something greater than ourselves to tell us what to do. I've even felt that way on occasion, and we have a vast diversity of religions to show for our collective yearnings in that direction.

    So what do you think @anataman? These are indeed the Big Questions.

    Buddhadragon
  • 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

    @Greg911 said:
    That is interesting because we both said the same thing.

    >

    Oh good grief, you're right!! I was just more verbose and specific..... Slap my head!

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Completely disagree with you @Toraldris - buddhism isn't about being saved at all, theres nothing to save my friend! It's about ending suffering during your life time...

    Once that suffering ends, you're liberated. But thats not salvation - it's liberation - there is a very subtle but liberating distinction between these two words.

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @anataman You don't disagree with me, you've misread me... badly  I might add, to think you completely disagree! Don't worry though I'll help you out with some emphasis on the first sentences I said:

    Salvation just seems a loaded Christian word to me. If we make it just mean something to be saved from, then Buddhism doesn't just have a view to that end... Buddhism is entirely about being saved from our own ignorance and the suffering it causes [...]

    I also prefer the word liberation. It avoids the confusion, because a Christian's understanding of the word salvation would differ from a Buddhist's stripped-down version. I'd rather not have to clarify every time I use a word; if it's as bad (loaded) as salvation or sin or soul, I'll find another.

    Baggage, bleh!

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    No I didn't misunderstand you at all. My view is completely different from yours. Firstly - You cannot help being ignorant, it is part and parcel of being self-conscious, and secondly the suffering that arises from avidya can be viewed in a way that if you are attentive and learn to be continually attentive, then the dukkha and karmic consequences can be dealt with in a different way, and that is the liberation I speak of, it is not salvation; what is being salvaged? There is liberating self-consciousness, but nothing that can be taken away and held up as a trophy or award and tin testimony stated - this is the reward for understanding my ignorant self, and here is the bounty of the crap I went through to win it.

    True liberation, has no such goal or reward!

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited October 2014

    Semantics. There is no goal, but there is a goal. There is no achievement, but there is an achievement. There's nothing to argue about; you're arguing with yourself. :)  

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @Toraldris said:
    Ha that's funny. :) As in reincarnation for the enlightened tulku and rebirth for the unenlightened masses.

    It kind of makes sense if reincarnation is what happens when we learn how to aim.

    HamsakaRowan1980
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @ourself said:
    It kind of makes sense if reincarnation is what happens when we learn how to aim.

    Depends on if it's real or not. If it's not, then it's just a way to get off-track and into eternalism... or give the masses something to hope for, someone to root for as an authority who will come back and never leave them. I'm not a Tibetan Buddhist, and I've not seen enough to believe in it. That combined with understanding the lengths people will go to to deceive themselves about surviving death, and I'm quite skeptical. Others do believe. Who knows. :D  

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    And yet again we come full circle and come to know the ineffable oroborous!

    The illusory and the real - where does one begin and the other end?

    Just one thing to think about before you go to sleep - will you possibly recognise the awake as it slips into the night...

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @Toraldris said:
    Depends on if it's real or not. If it's not, then it's just a way to get off-track and into eternalism... or give the masses something to hope for, someone to root for as an authority who will come back and never leave them. I'm not a Tibetan Buddhist, and I've not seen enough to believe in it. That combined with understanding the lengths people will go to to deceive themselves about surviving death, and I'm quite skeptical. Others do believe. Who knows. :D  

    I can't be bothered to either believe it or dismiss it. It just sounds like a fun experiment in an otherwise unfun situation.

  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @anataman said:
    And yet again we come full circle and come to know the ineffable oroborous!

    The illusory and the real - where does one begin and the other end?

    Just one thing to think about before you go to sleep - will you possibly recognise the awake as it slips into the night...

    See you in the morning! (hell if I know what time it is over there)

    As for the illusory and the real, what essential difference is there? The only thing I have for sure is 'this'. Oops, now it's gone and I have 'this' instead. No, wait . . .

    Toraldris
  • You are all forgetting Buddha. He is the difference. He is the one we are following. He has been there and done that. He is not just thinking of how it might be.
    Take refuge in the Buddha.

    lobsterCinorjerHamsaka
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @anataman said:
    buddhism isn't about being saved at all, theres nothing to save my friend!

    Explain this passage from the Pali, then, if you please.

    > "Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation."

    I've see a number of translations of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta that all use the word "salvation".

    My view is along these line. What the Buddha saw, the hitherto inescapable cycle of birth, old age, sickness, and death, is what drove him into the wilderness which led to his eventual awakening. He escaped the cycle, and returned with the compassion to turn the Wheel of Dharma so that others could find similar escape. What he taught us was how to escape. That is salvation.

    ToraldrisHamsaka
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @anataman said:

    Apart from there being the goal or achievement of relief from suffering, what really is there to be saved or salvaged in buddhism, that is not or has not already been saved or achieved?

    One's sanity ? . :scratch: ..
    . :p ..

    No Fear In The Now

    Toraldris
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @anataman said:
    Once that suffering ends, you're liberated. But thats not salvation - it's liberation - there is a very subtle but liberating distinction between these two words.

    I agree that "liberation" works better than "salvation" for Buddhism, but see here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soteriology

    Hamsaka
  • @how said:
    From the perspective of selflessness, Buddhist salvation is actually the freedom from the Ego's habituated manipulations.

    I am happy with the words 'liberation' and 'salvation' because both potentials rely on our efforts.

    For example a purely salvational approach such as Pureland Buddhism, may focus entirely on mantra recitation. No recitation; no re-emergence into the heavenly Buddha unreal estate. I would suggest that very devout reciters also immerse themselves in contacts and teachings that enhance their being in this life and experience. Salvation.

    A dharma model that many western practitioners follow, is more about liberation from the hindrances, accumulation, karma etc that keeps us chained to unskilful being. Liberation.

    My plan: Save self, save others, save worlds. In that order.

    Hamsaka
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    but you can't save your self or others or other worlds @lobster- that's just the order of things!

    You can however, develop an attitude where one realises - that that's the way it is, and one day I'll be free of it!

    Now am I saved or have I been liberated.

    And for those who think I am still dealing with semantics - it's a discussion forum - semantics are just bread and peanut butter! sorry if are allergic to peanuts!

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @anataman said:

    but you can't save your self or others or other worlds lobster- that's just the order of thing

    If that's so, then why did the Buddha instruct us to strive for it? Why have Boddhisattva vows contained that aspiration for others for over 1000 years?

    HamsakaRowan1980
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited October 2014

    Don't get too hung up on the word "salvation" because that's just a translation of the Pali and I doubt it's an exact match for what the monks would have actually been talking about. One quick search gives this translation of the famous last words:

    1. And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
      This was the last word of the Tathagata.

    Here the translator doesn't tell you what Buddha said you're actually striving for, but that was obvious in context. This translation, by the way, is from http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html

    And in any case, should be take this Sutta as literal truth? Well, no. It's a passion play, about as historically accurate as the one that's supposed to tell us about the death of Jesus. In our case, even though these events and what Buddha said is supposed to have been recited from memory by the Disciple Ananda, at one point in the story the Buddha sends Ananda away so he can have a private discussion with Mara, the Evil One, and the story carries on accounting this private discussion in detail.

    anatamanHamsaka
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    because @Chaz - boddhisattva vows are unrealistic and unachievable, like other religious vows in other religions, and as I alluded in another thread - you cannot become buddha. You are either have buddha as your nature or you don't, and it's realising it that leads to the awakened state.

    Let me ask you a simple question - does sitting on a lotus leaf for all eternity smiling beneficently as others unfold and pop out of their lotus leafs and smile back beneficently really appear to be a great way to spend eternity?

    I enjoy life and it's experiences, it's ups. downs and surprises, occasionally realising the wonder and amazement of it all. But then I'm just a human being, and not a buddha am I. When everything is spontaneously arising every moment, and everyone is free to do what they want - THIS is what you get: Samsara/Nirvana - it's a double-edged sword, and where you stand in the bhavachakra is where you are, going up or going down, but never really going anywhere.

    I'm not being antagonistic here btw - I'm giving a view.

    vinlynHamsaka
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @anataman said:
    because Chaz - boddhisattva vows are unrealistic and unachievable, like other religious vows in other religions, and as I alluded in another thread - you cannot become buddha.

    Really? How do you figure that. Sidartha because a Buddha and thaaught that we all have the same Buddha Nature as he did. IOW we can all become a Buddha. Was he lying? Deluded?

    Padmasambhava was a Buddha. There are also a number of Buddhas who came before Shakyamuni. What of those?

    You are either have buddha as your nature or you don't,

    No we all have Buddha nature. Period.

    Let me ask you a simple question - does sitting on a lotus leaf for all eternity smiling beneficently as others unfold and pop out of their lotus leafs and smile back beneficently really appear to be a great way to spend eternity?

    I dunno, perhaps? It would be better than spending an etrernity in Aushwitz.

    The question is ludicrous. Sometimes I haven't the fainest idea of what recess you pull some of this stuff out of. This world/universe of sitting about on a lotus leaf existss where, actually, or did you make up a straw man to make some point that I'm, sadly, missing.

    Kundo
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    Is it ludicrous @‌Chaz

    pure land buddhism - btw, is what it is, and most people who practice in the east practice this form of buddhism - so as this is a discussion forum there is something here I want to discuss!

    Boddhisattva vows are unachievable vows from a human perspective - but if you feel otherwise - take those vows and see where it leads you, you will never achieve them in this or any other lifetime, and if and when you do, I expect you to be the boddhisattva who shows me regal light and the true charm of the dharma.

    Everything, and every event, is buddha, it cannot be otherwise or contrary, it's beyond god and any other name you might conceivably put upon it; even that leaf waving in the wind outside your window - and it is waving at you if you become aware of it and give it the conscious attention it deserves, just wave back not that it's expecting you to do so, and you might see the world in another light.

    The Auschwitz swipe was completely unnecessary, and I forgive you for that as being avidya. Being born and bred to be completely ignorant, has it's downfalls and without referring to the abhorrent behaviour of others in the world who kill innocents for the sake of ghoulish theatrical terrorism, I do have compassion for them and those affected by their behaviours. You may or you may not, but I know from conversations with others on this site, that there is a lack of that compassionate state of mind. And compassion is something to be nurtured, or otherwise buddhism has no status in the world.

    So in conclusion: as one (and I refer to each and everyone of us here) who has given everything up completely for the sake of others to be liberated and free to do what they wish or desire, including your memory and recollection of what you really are, then your comments are received as they are perceived. Harsh as that may sound.

    The Historical Buddha was given the title the awakened one. The one who woke up - but what is it to be really awake? Really do you know?

    That is probably a better question that you can deal with. rather than discerning salvation c.f liberation!

    I do enjoy my interaction with you btw @Chaz - I just think you have a one dimensional approach to things, that does not give me the freedom I need!

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @anataman said:
    And for those who think I am still dealing with semantics - it's a discussion forum - semantics are just bread and peanut butter! sorry if are allergic to peanuts!

    See here: http://www.palikanon.com/english/wtb/u_v/vimokkha.htm

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