Saturday, January 3, 2009

Enlightenment, Bodhisatta, Meditation.

(Picture above not related to this post)
(Just for viewing pleasure)


I'm fifteen, and have a more than slightly curious mind. I'll try to make my questions as breif as possible, so here we go.

1) We both know that Buddha realized the Truth of how the world can save itself from ignorance. Yet, he realized how we can do it, yet he may not have actually done it himself. He acheived Enlightenment, yet in a different way than we are supposed to do now. He did all the right stuff, became a great man and the like, yet did not acheive Enlightenment in the way he told us to, mainly by the Eightfold path. I guess I find it hard to articulate through writting it, so I'll try to be as blunt as possible, please forgive my ignorance: How did the Buddha acheive Enlightenment different than we did? It must be hard to understand, please try to understand that I only seek to end my own curiosity.

2) How does one become a Boddhisatva? I'm not even sure on spelling, but I do know that they help mankind a lot. I find myself at great peace when I help others, so much so that I want to dedicate my self to helping others. I'm not sure if that's selfish of me, since I may only be doing it because I like the feeling, but I find that people learn from my actions. Preaching the Dhamma through my actions, I guess is the only way to put it. I know that's what any Buddhist should do, yet I want to dedicate myself to it.

3) How does someone think when meditating? I know how I'm supposed to meditate, yet I fail to understand how answers come from nothingness. With my mind focused and cleared, I fail to see what to focus on, since it has just been cleared. I guess the real question is how can I find answers that lead to Enlightenment when I don't know the question?

I guess that's it. Sorry if I haven't been clear on a question, I find it hard to put the right words down when I type, so my meaning is somewhat lost in translation ,I guess. Answer at you leisure, just please answer soon.
Your partner in crime

My comment:

Hi D......,

Thank you for asking me.

At your age, you have read alot about Buddhism. Keep it up. I know it is very difficult to put questions in words, especially when one is not very clear on the subject. You have done very well. I shall try my best to share whatever knowledge I have with you.

1) The Buddha's realization of the truth was not the same as our understanding of the truth. We come to "understand" through the Buddha's teachings. To "realize" is very different from just "understand". That's why we still cannot gain enlightenment although we can fully understand the Buddha's teachings.
The Buddha discovered the truth not within a lifetime. It took the Buddha such a long time that we refer this time period as 4 Mahakappas and 100,000 aeons. In simple term, the period is unimaginably and incomprehensibly long. During that long period he had gone through the process of perfecting his life through innumerable rebirths. What we know of the historical Buddha was his last rebirth before he attained full enlightenment. Even during his last birth, he had to go through 6 excruciating years in his search and practice before he found the answer, by his own effort. We are different because we have not developed our mind to such extreme and powerful level. We need someone to teach us the method. The Buddha is called the fully enlightened one, the Samma Sambuddha. He was omniscient; understanding all that needs to be understood.

2)"Bodhisatva" is Sanskrit. "Bodhisatta" is in Pali. In Mahayana interpretation, a Boddhisatva is a person who has attained enlightenment but chooses to still exist in this "world" to help others realize the truth. In Theravada interpretation, a Boddhisatta is an enlightened being destined to Buddhahood, a future Buddha. The historical Buddha before his enlightenment, was addressed as a Bodhisatta.

Helping others is a very noble act. I do not consider helping others as selfish.

3)Buddhist meditation is to calm the mind. An uncontrolled mind is like a fluttering fish out of water. In order to "control" this mind we have to constantly focus on one object. By focusing as such, the mind is relaxed but alert. When one has achieved this state of mind, one can proceed further to train the mind to note or contemplate on the true nature of things. In this way, we gain "insight" into the realities of this world and this life.


A true Malaysian said...


I found 'answer' from your 'answer'. Previously, I wonder if there was any Buddha before 'Gautama Buddha'.

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

Very good.

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