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Has Anyone Since Buddha Reached Nirvana, Really?

 
 
tcis
 
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2004 04:06 pm
Do you think anyone since Buddha has reached nirvana?

Has anyone living today actually reached nirvana?

Is there a way to know if another person has reached nirvana?

There is actually a journal called ""What is Enlightenment?"
http://www.wie.org/

They devote thousands of pages to the subject. Its good stuff. Yet, it seems like when they speak of enlightened individuals, it is always some person that lived 100 or more years ago, who was said to be enlightened, etc. "This person knew that person who visited that temple and met an enlightened master."
They never directly mentioned anyone who is living, who is enlightened.

Some may say that a vegetarian who practices nonviolence is enlightened. With this definition, there might be millions of enlightened people out there.

But using a more strict definition, say: one who has reached nirvana, are there ANY out there?

Dictionary definitions:

Nirvana
1.a. Buddhism: The ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion.
b. Hinduism: Emancipation from ignorance and the extinction of all attachment.
2. An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.

Enlightenment
1. Buddhism & Hinduism: A blessed state in which the individual transcends desire and suffering and attains Nirvana.

There are so many charlatans out there who will take you on a "Spiritual Retreat Week" for $2000+. How is one to know who has actually achieved nirvana?

Is there actually currently anyone on earth who has reached nirvana?

Have you met someone you considered enlightened?

Example: Ram Dass says he considered his guru Neem Karoli Baba enlightened. This guru would do things like tell Dass stories about his mother, with information that no one outside the family knew. He was said to perform miracles. For this and other reasons, Dass considered him to be enlightened. BUT: This guru was far away in India. Almost on purpose, he didn't give directions on how to reach Baba. He is now deceased. Again, its innuendo and not a direct experience.

I've seen photos of gurus sitting in caves who seem to have eyes glowing. They seem to be a different breed. They might be somewhere. But these are 80 year old photos.

Are there any living people who are in nirvana? Who are they? Where are they?
 
shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2004 10:50 pm
I only know what it's not like.
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2004 11:15 pm
tcis,

I'm beginning to wonder if you are foolish. You keep coming back to this "question" which has been answered. By your own report you have at least had a glimpse of Ultimate Reality. There are many people alive today who have had the Awakening experience, some apparently more fully experience it than others, but so what? What do you think it is?
tcis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jun, 2004 12:03 pm
Asherman,

I was trying to encourage a group dialogue on what appears to be one of the most important subjects in life.

I am sincerely interested in this subject. I wanted to try to gather as much information and various personal experiences from the group here on this subject. Perhaps resulting in beneficial information to some.

I apologize if the above has become repetitive.

For the record, it appears others are still asking related questions:
someone just posted this in Religion: "Tell me about your Buddhist beliefs, please"
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=27318
SealPoet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 03:58 am
0 Replies
 
satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 04:20 am
Nirvana is simply the inner state devoid of love or hate from others, hence not very interesting. It is not concerned with outer attitudes at all.
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 04:55 am
My Kung Fu/Chi Kung instructor told our class that when he became enlightened, he felt like he had a really big tooth. I'll always remember that.
0 Replies
 
tcis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 11:52 am
satt_focusable wrote:
Nirvana is simply the inner state devoid of love or hate from others, hence not very interesting. It is not concerned with outer attitudes at all.


Nirvana is not very interesting?!?

Hmm...well I've heard some say that the Abrahamic idea of "Heaven" seems boring, too.
0 Replies
 
satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 04:47 pm
tcis..
I am sure that nirvana can be eternal but will be boring unless there is love.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 09:28 pm
tcis, I agree with Satt__Focusable that Nirvana/enlightenment, are not interesting. When one starts meditating it is usually with a passion to acquire such things. Eventually, about five years in my experience, you quit meditating, coming to the unfortunate conclusion that there are no such things. If you are among the very small minority who do not quit meditation, you probably begin to meditate with a far better orientation. You eventually come to realize how subtle mystical knowledge is. It goes well beyond the dichotomies of enlightenment vs. non-enlightment, dream/samsara/maya vs. Nirvana/satori, even trying vs. not trying. But one must speak in those dualistic terms, hoping the aspirant will eventually come to understand their meaning "transcendentally", i.e., what they mean non-dualstically. Your attitude strikes me as commendable because it is so serious; it totally lacks the low level of interest suggested by the phrase, "idle curiosity."
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 09:42 pm
"Nirvana
1.a. Buddhism: The ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion.
b. Hinduism: Emancipation from ignorance and the extinction of all attachment.
2. An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.

Enlightenment
1. Buddhism & Hinduism: A blessed state in which the individual transcends desire and suffering and attains Nirvana."

I fail to see how one night of heavy drinking doesn't accomplish the same thing as years of meditation.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 09:52 pm
Surely you jest, Cav. Those definitions are really very inadequate, being as they are totally "external" descriptions, totally missing the meaning underlying the practice of Zen Buddhism and Vedant Hinduism. Boy am I becoming a preacher!
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 09:54 pm
I jest indeed JL. However, according to those definitions, my interperetation stands. Laughing
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 10:03 pm
When I was studying martial arts, this book had a big influence on me:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0877287856/ref=sib_dp_pt/002-9671691-1744000#reader-page
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 10:18 pm
Exactly, Cav. If those external definitions were all there was to it, getting drunk or taking mescaline would do the job quite well.
I wish there was an authoritative book on Bodhisattva Chefs. Don't you?
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 10:25 pm
Hang out with me on a job someday, JL, you won't need a book. Comment from a corporate bigwig from Maple Leaf Pork, at a team-building function I did for them: "You're just really into your thing and your groove, aren't you?"

"Yep, now keep putting those shrimp on skewers."

This was a very Zen job. It was the night of the famous blackout, and much improv needed to be done. We had no electricity, but there was still gas. When the power went out and I saw 8 tiny cellphones pop out of pockets, I snickered. "Drink the wine before it gets warm, folks, the night isn't over, and we'll all get out before it gets dark."

We did. They were impressed.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 10:28 pm
As I understand it, that was a zen night. In your groove, eh? Smile
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 10:29 pm
His words, not mine, but acceptable nonetheless.
0 Replies
 
tcis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 11:12 pm
JLNobody wrote:
tcis, I agree with Satt__Focusable that Nirvana/enlightenment, are not interesting. When one starts meditating it is usually with a passion to acquire such things. Eventually, about five years in my experience, you quit meditating, coming to the unfortunate conclusion that there are no such things. If you are among the very small minority who do not quit meditation, you probably begin to meditate with a far better orientation. You eventually come to realize how subtle mystical knowledge is. It goes well beyond the dichotomies of enlightenment vs. non-enlightment, dream/samsara/maya vs. Nirvana/satori, even trying vs. not trying. But one must speak in those dualistic terms, hoping the aspirant will eventually come to understand their meaning "transcendentally", i.e., what they mean non-dualstically. Your attitude strikes me as commendable because it is so serious; it totally lacks the low level of interest suggested by the phrase, "idle curiosity."


Interesting and thanks for that, JLN.
Yes, I have experienced ths "5 year itch" also...
0 Replies
 
SCoates
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2004 11:54 pm
I became enlightened once. But that was a long time ago.
 

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