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Is the Buddha welcome in the Sangha?

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

I wanted to relate in brief a hilarious discussion I came across the other day. The discussion was started by a man calling himself simply ‘Buddha’, who said he was enlightened but was having some trouble convincing Buddhist sanghas to accept him. Another man, a long term Buddhist, responded saying that its one of the things one shouldn’t do within a sangha, claiming some stage of enlightenment. The discussion then touched on various points such as how Gautama had talked to the five ascetics, and it slowly becomes clear that our prospective Buddha has an ego the size of Mount Meru, was being very evasive when asked about his experiences, and was not willing to follow the slow way. Predictable laughter followed.

Its funny, yes, but at the same time it is also a serious point. If we were to ever encounter a next Buddha, how would the world’s Buddhists recognise him or her, it sounds like a process that would take years?

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

    I don't know who he is, but I've had plenty who said they were, and aren't. You'll be glad to know non has passed in quite a while.

    FoibleFull
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I know, it seems to be a common occurrence that someone, often a bit later in life and having had a few successes in life, decides that they’re enlightened. I find it hugely funny. Osho used to have fun with this once or twice, he would declare a few disciples enlightened, watch their egos puff up as they fielded all the questions from others, and then a few days later he would say it was a joke or a device. He was a bit wicked.

    Bunks
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    I think how we respond to someone calling themselves "Buddha" can show us a lot about our own ego identifications. Nobody is immune to spiritual understandings and much of the Buddha/Sangha's Dharma has evolved to help their adherents go beyond personalizing such experiences when they occur. In fact, within many Buddhist monastic circles, the criteria for evaluating the Dharmic validity of a student's breakthrough of understanding is very much pinned to that individuals lack of personalization and possession of it.

    The inverse also applies to delusions.

    Simple delusions, which are by far the most common types, can be potentially addressed by a full experiencing of their progression from an arising cause to a result of suffering.

    Compounded delusions, of which spiritual identification is a good example of, are simple delusions that have been obfuscated by a misdirection of their true causes so that no experience of a progression of that miss directed cause to sufferings result can actually challenge the validity of the originating delusion.

    Those poor individuals whose spiritual experiences have been truly co-opted by their own egos really deserve our empathy, sympathy, tenderness, benevolence, compassion, love & wisdom because these are considered to be some the most complex delusions to ever try to address.

    ShoshinJeffreylobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    , and it slowly becomes clear that our prospective Buddha has an ego the size of Mount Meru,

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    The Pāli Canon states that the next Buddha (self enlightened being) will appear in 576 million years. His name will be Buddha Metteyya (the infinite friendly one).

    So I’d be hesitant to believe anyone declaring themselves to be a Buddha.

    But if they claimed to be an arahant I may be willing to listen. Apparently only another arahant can recognise an arahant.

    Not sure why they shouldn’t be allowed in the Sangha? S**t they might teach us something!

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited May 3

    If we were to ever encounter a next Buddha, how would the world’s Buddhists recognise him or her, it sounds like a process that would take years?

    No doubt egos would start to come out of the woodwork within the different schools, traditions, sects of Buddhism...
    With "Our school, tradition, sect of Buddhism, more closely represents the Buddha and his teachings..."

    Not much would change for me...I would continue to practice the Dharma regardless...

    One thing for sure s/he would have a big following on facebook/twitter/WhatApp and the like... ;)

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    If we were to ever encounter a next Buddha, how would the world’s Buddhists recognise him or her, it sounds like a process that would take years?

    No doubt egos would start to come out of the woodwork within the different schools, traditions, sects of Buddhism...
    With "Our school, tradition, sect of Buddhism, more closely represents the Buddha and his teachings..."

    Not much would change for me...I would continue to practice the Dharma regardless...

    One thing for sure s/he would have a big following on facebook/twitter/WhatApp and the like... ;)

    Maybe he's already here?

    Shoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Excellent post from @how

    Clearly quite able to limit the effects of praise by non-teaching ... Tee Hee <3

    The ordinary non arahant type person when teaching is nothing more than an asho bog1 show off. They are a detriment to others. That should be clear from studying any guru/teacher/self deluded ego monster etc.
    With some, such a monster may shine as if the light comes from their nether regions ...

    But enough about Osho the Magnificent and his sangha of trolls.

    On to the Buddha meat:

    If we were to ever encounter a next Buddha, how would the world’s Buddhists recognise him or her, it sounds like a process that would take years?

    How many yeahs?

    Those on the path in or nearing stream entrant begin to encounter discernment. For those not ready, take refuge in the best teachings/teacher you can a ford or free.

    Nobody is fried or freed without complicity and help.Yep we can help our way into delusion as well as out ...

    For example I need all the help I can get. Thank you Buddha/butter and better. Yes the butter on my toast really is A Buddha.

    @Bunks said:

    But if they claimed to be an arahant I may be willing to listen. Apparently only another arahant can recognise an arahant.

    Indeed.

    We should also listen to a rant and those who are clearly 'professional spirituals'. Look to The Sangha made of good people. Practicing sila/restraint/example.

    I'll join as soon as I am worthy ...

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    The Pāli Canon states that the next Buddha (self enlightened being) will appear in 576 million years. His name will be Buddha Metteyya (the infinite friendly one).

    So I’d be hesitant to believe anyone declaring themselves to be a Buddha.

    That’s a very long time. I’m not sure I’m willing to wait that long :) I guess we will have to do with more ordinary sangha members as teachers.

    But if they claimed to be an arahant I may be willing to listen. Apparently only another arahant can recognise an arahant.

    I know, when I came across this discussion I also had a long close look at him. I think it’s the automatic reaction, to see if it might be true and such a person might have something real to teach. But he was advising enlightenment through Tibetan mechanics, through the esoteric path of tummo, the illusory body, dreams and so on, in a limited time. Which I thought was just a bit too crazy.

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    edited May 4

    According to the Pali Canon the Dhamma will be lost again in about 2,400 years.

    Only to re-appear with Buddha Metteyya.

    Apparently there is a certain practice one can follow that will mean you will be re-born in the time of Metteyya.

    Given the average human life length at that time will be 80,000 years, you'd hope to be able to make some progress :)

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It is lucky to be reborn in the time of a Buddha, that is for sure.

    But as our Buddha-wannabe was argueing, enlightenment in 49 days through an esoteric energy process seems a little unlikely. One wants to evolve the mind through an understanding of what is happening to the greater being, so that the mind is not left untouched by these realisations of one-ness and being in the present.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Apparently the real Buddha also didn’t immediately make a favourable impression on everyone.

    From The Concept of the Buddha, Guang Xing, page 10:

    "Some people were attracted by Gautama Buddha and had interesting conversations with him, yet were not converted because they were suspicious of his claim to enlightenment. On his way to Benares immediately after his enlightenment, Gautama Buddha met the Ajivaka Upaka, who inquired about his teacher and his dharma. Gautama Buddha then told him that he had no teacher and that he himself was the supreme teacher, the Fully Enlightened One. However, Upaka, the very first person the Buddha met after his enlightenment, went away shaking his head, without being converted. Dona, the Brahmin, asked Gautama whether he was a deva, a gandharva, a yakka or a human being. Gautama declared that he was none other than the Buddha because he had destroyed the klesha's which cause one to be born as all those kinds of beings. Dona, however, was not convinced and went away".

    Bunks
  • 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

    Of course, there is the bit of a propos information that everyone you meet is a Buddha, there to teach you something...
    The tricky bit is discerning which is the fool who can be your teacher, and which is the fool that can be shunned...
    Arguably, they ALL become that, in the end...

    lobsterhowFosdickFrogpond
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    This reminds me of a novel I read a while ago, The Messiah of Morris Avenue (2006). Its about Jesus coming back today and how people would react, in particular the Christian churches. Spoiler Alert! They think he is a fraud.

    KeromeBunks
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