Is it still possible to get enlightened?

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Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby lewis454 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:46 am

In the way the Buddha talked about? Yes or no? Is there any 'evidence'? It also seems like a lot of different people mean a lot of different things by enlightenment.
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:49 am

Yes, why would it not be possible?
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:34 am

It all depends on whether one is committed and does the hard work that is required.
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby lewis454 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:17 pm

Yes, why would it not be possible?


I'm not sure, but I've heard some people say it's not.
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:22 pm

lewis454 wrote:
Yes, why would it not be possible?


I'm not sure, but I've heard some people say it's not.


I've heard some people say that it is not possible to be free from anger, or never lie. Addicts sometimes feel that life is impossible without the addiction. We get pretty attached to our habits and sometimes it is hard to see beyond them and even trust that there is freedom from them. I think it mostly depends on how much we truly want this freedom, how prepared we are to let go and see through the whole charade.

Sure, kamma has a momentum and sometimes it feels almost inevitable that we fall into the same traps and repeat the same behaviours. That's when practice comes in to help slow down and clarify the process, so that we see it for what it is, and recognize that kamma and habits are empty and just mind-made.
_/|\_
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby BlackBird » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:06 pm

lewis454 wrote:
Yes, why would it not be possible?


I'm not sure, but I've heard some people say it's not.


Well those people are wrong, pay them no heed. Pay heed to what you're doing instead :)

Let me ask you this. If man were the same 2550 years ago as he is today, and the Dhamma is the same 2550 years ago as it is today, what makes you think you cannot get enlightened?

metta
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"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby fivebells » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:59 pm

I don't know exactly where the path ultimately leads, but there is a lot of sweet, sweet fruit to pick up along the way, and it gets better as you progress. :)
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby floating_abu » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:02 pm

Here's what Ajaan Lee Dhammadaro said about it:

When I first became aware of the conflicting views held by people who practice — and of how ill-informed they are — I felt inspired by their desire to learn the truth, but at the same time dismayed over their views: right mixed with wrong, some people saying that nibbana and the paths leading to it still exist, others maintaining that nibbana has passed away and can no longer be attained. This latter belief is a particular cause for dismay, because a desire for nibbana is what has led us all to submit ourselves to the practice of the Buddha's teachings in the first place. If we don't have such a desire, we aren't likely to be especially sincere in our practice; and if we aren't sincere, our practice will be in vain as far as the benefits the Buddha intended for us are concerned, because the Buddha's sole purpose in teaching was to liberate living beings from suffering and stress. If we were to worm our way in as parasites on his religion, it would run counter to his compassionate intentions toward us. Each and every one of us aims for what is good, so we should pay heed to whatever factors may lead to release from suffering and stress. Don't let the Buddha's teaching pass by you in vain.
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby floating_abu » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:08 pm

lewis454 wrote:In the way the Buddha talked about? Yes or no? Is there any 'evidence'? It also seems like a lot of different people mean a lot of different things by enlightenment.


I would have thought yes, and I would have thought that nothing anybody else says can actually prove it. That's why Buddhism is so dissatisfying, you have to taste it to know it, but when you taste it, it's your own experience to know and learn from. Arguing, trying to see who thinks what, this is ultimately cyclical and doesn't lead anywhere for your practice (assuming it is the practice you are interested in). There are also those who don't get the fruits, so to speak, and trash it, but does it mean that the path is invalid? I don't think so.

Abu
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Slava » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:08 pm

lewis454 wrote:In the way the Buddha talked about?


There is no other way. Eightfold path 2500 years ago, eightfold path today, eightfold path 1000 years from now.
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Vern Stevens » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:22 pm

The answer to your question lies inside you and not in the opinion of others.
“What we think, we become.“ - The Buddha
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:27 pm

Greetings,

The Dhamma is timeless.

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Coyote » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:17 pm

Playing Devil's advocate here: Although the Dhamma is timeless, what if what the commentaries says is true - that it is not longer possible that someone can attain arhantship at this time? Given the enormous good kamma needed to be born in a time where the Buddha is teaching, why would it not be possible for there to be a cutoff point when it is no longer possible to become enlightened? Unless you want to posit that we have the same tendancies and good kamma as those born at the time of the Buddha. /devilsadvocateover.

The fact is no-one can know, unless they try and fail - and even then it is not wasted energy. So personally, I wouldn't worry about it, given that even those who say arhantship is not possible say that anagami is.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Aloka » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:50 pm

.

The best thing to do is to be at ease and keep on practising.

The Buddha said:


..the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.047.than.html

:)
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Digity » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:44 am

I think the original teachings are intact enough for us to reach Nibbana.
Last edited by Digity on Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby BlackBird » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:06 am

Coyote wrote:The fact is no-one can know, unless they try and fail - and even then it is not wasted energy. So personally, I wouldn't worry about it, given that even those who say arhantship is not possible say that anagami is.


See that's just ridiculous, saying that anagami is possible but arahantship isn't. Obviously these speculators know nothing of what is required of one to become an ariyan. They are worldlings, and they would do well to remember that they're steeped in avijja of the Buddha's teachings and are therefore in no position to be making comment upon what is and what is not possible when it comes to achieving the four stages of saint hood.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby floating_abu » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:33 am

BlackBird wrote: They are worldlings


I would have thought they are human beings, like you and I might be :tongue:
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby kirk5a » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:24 pm

Coyote wrote:Playing Devil's advocate here: Although the Dhamma is timeless, what if what the commentaries says is true - that it is not longer possible that someone can attain arhantship at this time? Given the enormous good kamma needed to be born in a time where the Buddha is teaching, why would it not be possible for there to be a cutoff point when it is no longer possible to become enlightened? Unless you want to posit that we have the same tendancies and good kamma as those born at the time of the Buddha. /devilsadvocateover.

The fact is no-one can know, unless they try and fail - and even then it is not wasted energy. So personally, I wouldn't worry about it, given that even those who say arhantship is not possible say that anagami is.

There's something confusing about the commentary regarding that. In a footnote on p.1805 of Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Anguttara Nikaya, he says the commentary says there will be arahants who have attained the analytic knowledges for the first thousand years, dry-insight arahants for the second thousand, non-returners for the 3rd thousand, once-returners for the 4th thousand, and stream enterers for the 5th thousand. So going by that, no arahants should have appeared after somewhere around 1600 AD at the latest. And our current time frame would allow for non-returners.

But my puzzlement is that, by definition, even stream-enterers are destined for arahantship within 7 additional lifetimes at most. So let's say someone achieves stream entry in the last thousand year period. Then they must be destined for arahantship either within that thousand year period or later. In which case, would that not count as an arahant appearing?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby Coyote » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:31 pm

kirk5a wrote:
But my puzzlement is that, by definition, even stream-enterers are destined for arahantship within 7 additional lifetimes at most. So let's say someone achieves stream entry in the last thousand year period. Then they must be destined for arahantship either within that thousand year period or later. In which case, would that not count as an arahant appearing?


I believe the commentary still allows for arahantship within the Deva realms, and this is where stream enterers will gain awakening. Similar to how there have been Anagami's in the pure abodes since the time of previous Buddhas, despite the Dhamma dying out.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Is it still possible to get enlightened?

Postby acinteyyo » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:54 pm

Vern Stevens wrote:The answer to your question lies inside you and not in the opinion of others.

:goodpost:
Aloka wrote:The best thing to do is to be at ease and keep on practising.
The Buddha said:

..the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.047.than.html

:)

:goodpost:
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
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