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Where is Buddha now?

karastikarasti BreathingMinnesota Moderator

This might be a dumb question. So Buddha(s) became liberated and left Samsara...then what? Am I understanding correctly when it's translated that Nirvana means more "extinguish" rather than "liberate" that when we become enlightened and then die, that essence is snuffed out? If we follow the metaphor that our lives are like candle flames, when the candle goes out, it's just poof, out. But of course all energy carries on in some form, the smoke enters the air and the wick and remaining candle erode and basically become something else. So when our nature becomes liberated from samsara...then what? If that essence (for lack of better word) is not reborn as a human again, where does it go/what happens to it?

Comments

  • There never was any essence in the first place. Shakyamuni was Nirmanakaya. The Dharmakaya isn't a person.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trikaya

    seeker242
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I realize it is not a person, I just lack the words to properly express it, lol. It is still something and something cannot then become nothing. I understand logically the words in the link you sent, but it still makes no sense to me. Maybe I'm just not ready to understand it yet. Even truth and bliss can't cease to be, it simply always exists. So, Buddhanature is that always-existing truth and bliss that has taken a bodily form. It doesn't go anywhere or become anything once the body that held it ceases to exist. I'm still not sure I have a clue, LOL.

    vinlyn
  • It depends what you mean by something. I think you are right that the Buddha nature always exists. The heart whatever heart that may be can always be delivered out of desire realm of suffering. Thus the Buddha nature that is always there is the capacity to be delivered. I'm not sure myself. I wonder how my karma gets to the next life. If I like onions why would I have an affinity for them in the next life. (oh no jeffrey don't mention karma :lol: )

    karastiZenshin
  • 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

    it is said that the air we breathe contains minute particles of Julius Caesar's last breath. So it stands to reason that we are absorbing the energy which left him at the moment of death, too.
    Follow this logic, and you arrive at the inevitable conclusion that therefore, we're breathing the same breath as the Buddha's and absorbing his 'conscious energy' too.

    That's why we're all a little bit Buddha.....

    Tosh
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    And a little bit Jack The Ripper?

    JeffreyBunks
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    Some schools of Theravada say that indeed at the point of parinirvana (the death of someone who has attained liberation) the individual does indeed cease to exist.Then you've got the idea of Tathagatagarbha, a positivist view on parinirvana.

    So when our nature becomes liberated from samsara...then what? If that essence (for lack of better word) is not reborn as a human again, where does it go/what happens to it?

    When asked this question the Buddha said something to the effect of that at the point of parinirvana the individual neither exists nor not exists. I think that says that our conceptual idea of nonexistence or existence isn't able to comprehend the nature of what happens.

  • 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

    @vinlyn said:
    And a little bit Jack The Ripper?

    What a combination - ! :lol:

  • @vinlyn said:
    And a little bit Jack The Ripper?

    And the remnants of a blue hypergiant star that blew itself to bits 11.56 billion years ago.

    _"We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon..." _

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Yeah I think the comprehension just is one of those things we don't know. I'm ok with that, someone asked it on a forum and I had been wondering the same thing so i thought I'd see what was out there. Thanks!

    I always enjoy the idea of everything on earth (and elsewhere of course) being recycled. I remember the first time I was told that we use the same water that the dinosaurs used, and that was (and still is) pretty fascinating. We all definitely have a little bit of Cesar...and Jack the Ripper...in us.

    jayne
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    Here's my answer. Probably not as satisfying as others, though.

    karasti
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    According to the zen masters, he's in the courtyard and he looks like an oak tree. :)

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

    @karasti This need to know what's going to happen to you, this fear of death and the unknown, is part of Samsara. It's suffering based on the delusion that you're a separate being with your own story, and the need to cling to that being even beyond the grave. The truth is that the stuff that makes up your mind and body isn't yours, and it hasn't brought into being an eternal "you" -- it existed prior to your conception, is always changing, and will continue to become new things when it's done "being you".

    The Buddha was asked if he'd still exist after death, and he couldn't give a satisfactory answer to that question. Why? Because it's based on the false premise that he was ever a separate being, a "self" within the selfless universe, to begin with. It's like asking if the plate still exists after it's been broken. It was never really a plate!

    Jeffreypegembara
  • Two of my favorite analogies have to do with the ocean.

    In the first, our lives are a drop of rail, falling from the sky. The duration of the fall is the lifetime. When the drop lands in the ocean, it is still water, nothing is gained or lost, but it is now one with the ocean.

    In the second, we are foam on the surf. Arising, dissipating, arising again the same but different.

    I grew up near the ocean, and I find these metaphors to be very peaceful and idyllic.

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

    @Steve_B Another good one I've heard is a wave rising and then crashing. If that wave were sentient, it would certainly begin to feel dread as it reached its zenith and then started descending toward the ocean... failing to realize what it truly is.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    My question isn't out of a sense of fear or concern with where I end up. It's more a wonder-filled curiosity. I'm not afraid to die, I'm also not terribly worried about what might happen if/when I become enlightened, as I'm pretty sure I have a ways to go, LOL. The ocean analogies are how I've always understood it, too, but always more of a sense of within samsara, that we rise out of the whole and go back to it. But Buddhahood transcends that cycle, so how can a Buddha return to the whole (ie the ocean) with the assurance he/she will never be born again (become a wave). Perhaps I need to readjust my thinking on that analogy.

  • What is a drop in the ocean? What is an ocean without drops?

    up, down :wave:

    ripples

    Zenshin
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran

    @federica said:
    it is said that the air we breathe contains minute particles of Julius Caesar's last breath.

    That's disgusting.

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

    @Nevermind The air you breathe in the presence of other people is all mixing and being redistributed anyway.The absence of other people in your direct vicinity doesn't mean the air you're breathing isn't just the same... recycled. Everything is recycled.

    The very particles that make up your body used to be plants and other animals. There's plenty you can be disgusted about, but that's a view that separates "you" from the totality. That wall between self/other is entirely mind-made, and it needs brought down. Well, it doesn't need brought down, but if you're practicing Buddhism that's what it's all about.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Interestingly, I was just reading last evening about a movement in some American cities in the early 1800s that people were afraid they were breathing in the fumes of decaying bodies in cemeteries, and as a result, many cities started moving cemeteries out of cities. Of course, as the cities grew, they eventually overtook the "new" cemeteries, as well.

  • "Where is the Buddha now?" is the same as asking "Is there a self?"

    The answer is the same for both - one cannot say anything about its existence or non-existence. In short, indescribable.

    Zenshin
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    He's sitting on my desk at work......

    image

    karastiNamada
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Sorry......I have just been reading the "some Christians are boobs" thread and thought a little lightheartedness was required!

    Kundobookwormkarasti
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited April 2014

    There is no true essence. The mind grasp at things and give them an essence that they don't have by naming/labelling them. Is there a river Ganges? Is there a chariot? Is there @karasti, Nagasena, King Milinda?

    It is this grasping that creates existence. Upadana paccaya bhavo.

    A permanent entity is only a concept, only a name. It does not exist in reality. In the famous dialogues between King Milinda and Thera Nagasena, the latter wishing to explain to the King this idea, enquired from the King how he came there, whether on foot or riding. The King replied that he came in a chariot.

    "Your Majesty," said Nagasena, "if you came in a chariot, declare to me the chariot. Is the pole the chariot?" "Truly not," said the King. "Is the axle the chariot," asked Nagasena. "Truly not, said the King. "Is the chariot-body the chariot’?" — "Truly not," said the King. "Is the yoke the chariot?" — "Truly not," said the King. "Are the reins the chariot?" — "Truly not," said the King. "Is the goading stick the chariot?" — "Truly not," said the King.

    "Where then, Oh King," asked Nagasena, "is this chariot in which you say you came? You are a mighty king of all the continent of India and yet speak a lie when you say there is no chariot." In this way by sheer analysis, by breaking up what is signified by chariot into its various component parts, Nagasena was able to convince the King that a chariot as such does not exist, but only component parts exist. So much so that the King was able to answer thus, — "Venerable Nagasena, I speak no lie. The word ‘chariot’ is but a figure of speech, a term, an appellation, a convenient designation for pole, axle, wheels, chariot-body and banner staff."

    Similarly, "human being", "man", "I" are mere names and terms, not corresponding to anything that is really and actually existing I.

    Mara:

    By whom was this living being created?
    Where is the living being's maker?
    Where has the living being originated?
    Where does the living being
    cease?

    Sister Vajira:

    What? Do you assume a 'living being,' Mara?
    Do you take a position?
    This is purely a pile of fabrications.
    Here no living being
    can be pinned down.

    Just as when, with an assemblage of parts,
    there's the word,
    chariot,
    even so when aggregates are present,
    there's the convention of
    living being.

    For only stress is what comes to be;
    stress, what remains & falls away.
    Nothing but stress comes to be.
    Nothing ceases but stress.

    Zenshinkarasti
  • NevermindNevermind Bitter & Hateful Veteran

    @AldrisTorvalds said:
    Nevermind The air you breathe in the presence of other people is all mixing and being redistributed anyway.The absence of other people in your direct vicinity doesn't mean the air you're breathing isn't just the same... recycled. Everything is recycled.

    The very particles that make up your body used to be plants and other animals. There's plenty you can be disgusted about, but that's a view that separates "you" from the totality. That wall between self/other is entirely mind-made, and it needs brought down. Well, it doesn't need brought down, but if you're practicing Buddhism that's what it's all about.

    Buddhism is about bad breath?

  • The Jewel Ornament of Liberation says that lying leads to bad breath.

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

    @Nevermind I'll get back to you.

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

    @Jeffrey Onions and garlic don't help... not one bit. In fact, if you eat a lot of garlic it will exude from the pores of your skin. I might know someone that's a bit of a garlic nut. ;) Maybe "some" can be healthy for you, but phew!

    Bunksbookworm
  • Aldris, part of my chemistry research project was going to be working with thiols which garlic is similar (i think). The chemicals were supposedly bad smelling and would come out of my pores. Fortunately I didn't complete enough of that project to get to the 'smelly part'.

    Toraldris
  • jaynejayne Explorer

    @karasti said:
    I always enjoy the idea of everything on earth (and elsewhere of course) being recycled. I remember the first time I was told that we use the same water that the dinosaurs used, and that was (and still is) pretty fascinating. We all definitely have a little bit of Cesar...and Jack the Ripper...in us. <

    I love the idea of being recycled too! To me that is part of what means we're all connected and we are connected to all of nature. It's my idea of rebirth and it also ties in with the concept that matter cannot be created or destroyed, it just changes form.

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

    @jayne Yep that's Emptiness in a nutshell. Everything is the rebirth of everything; recycled. There can be continuities of causality (life), but nothing's personal. Nothing is owned, everything is borrowed. Clinging only causes us pain and deprives others out of selfishness. When we develop compassion based on our realization that all sentient beings desire happiness and to avoid suffering, we "pay it forward" to the future by acting with skillful (wise) intentions in the present.

    lobsterjayneZenshin
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran
    edited April 2014

    I like to think that after an Arahat passes away and on the moment of his parinibbana his consciousness is unbounded and expands less than a trillionth of a second or less and eclipses the entire universe and goes beyond the universe and beyond space and time, in an instant, kind of like the big bang.

    karasti
  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    edited April 2014

    @karasti said:
    This might be a dumb question. So Buddha(s) became liberated and left Samsara...then what? Am I understanding correctly when it's translated that Nirvana means more "extinguish" rather than "liberate" that when we become enlightened and then die, that essence is snuffed out? If we follow the metaphor that our lives are like candle flames, when the candle goes out, it's just poof, out. But of course all energy carries on in some form, the smoke enters the air and the wick and remaining candle erode and basically become something else. So when our nature becomes liberated from samsara...then what? If that essence (for lack of better word) is not reborn as a human again, where does it go/what happens to it?

    Look inside you. You may find him there unless he has extinguished!

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