Monday, September 1, 2008

The difference is in the Mind

Question : (unedited)
In the heart of a Buddist, is Budda thought of as an all-powerful being, or a wonderful loving teacher? I am sure it is not that simple. Please explain how a Buddist looks to Budda as being what?

My comment:

You are right. It is not that simple. As the Buddha's teachings are very profound and difficult to understand for those new to Buddhism, I try not to introduce the scriptural teachings of the Buddha, but in layman's language. The Buddha in fact was as you put it, an all- powerful being, apart from a wonderful loving teacher.

"Buddha" means "the fully enlightened one". He was a teacher of gods and men. "Gods," for lack of a better English term, means "angels" of higher planes of existence. The big difference was in his MIND. The Buddha had cultivated his mind through unimaginable long periods of time through his countless lives, culminating in his last birth which he achieved full enlightenment.

The power of a completely pure mind is beyond the comprehension of an average person. As an example, a diffused light has little energy; but a compressed laser light exerts enormous power. A purified mind has the power to understand everything and can perform miraculous feats. However, the Buddha repeatedly warned his followers not to be engrossed with supernatural powers. He would not allow his monks to exhibit their supernatural powers. His emphasis was on his teachings, not on his supernatural powers.

We revere the Buddha for his TEACHINGS, not for his supernatural abilities. The former is beneficial when we put into practice. The latter has nothing to do with us. His discovery is useful to us. The Buddha had passed away and gone. We do not depend on him. We only use his discovery to improve ourselves. Just like we don't need Faraday (the man who discovered electricty), we need only to use his discovery to our benefit.


A true Malaysian said...


You are indeed a good teacher yourself.

I found clarity in your explanation.

Justin Choo said...

Thank you A True Malaysian.

A little praise goes a long way esp to a person with Big Ego like me!!


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