Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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mikenz66
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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:44 am

This is also relevant. The Buddha describing an arahant:
They neither make a choice nor form an intention to continue existence or to exterminate existence. Because of this, they don’t grasp at anything in the world. Not grasping, they’re not anxious. Not being anxious, they personally become extinguished. They understand: ‘Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.’

If they feel a pleasant feeling, they understand that it’s impermanent, that they’re not attached to it, and that they don’t take pleasure in it. If they feel a painful feeling, they understand that it’s impermanent, that they’re not attached to it, and that they don’t take pleasure in it. If they feel a neutral feeling, they understand that it’s impermanent, that they’re not attached to it, and that they don’t take pleasure in it.

If they feel a pleasant feeling, they feel it detached. If they feel a painful feeling, they feel it detached. If they feel a neutral feeling, they feel it detached. Feeling the end of the body approaching, they understand: ‘I feel the end of the body approaching.’ Feeling the end of life approaching, they understand: ‘I feel the end of life approaching.’ They understand: ‘When my body breaks up and my life has come to an end, everything that’s felt, since I no longer take pleasure in it, will become cool right here.’

https://suttacentral.net/mn140/en/sujato#sc26--28
Bhikkhu Nanananda, near the end of Nibbana Sermon 18 http://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/, comments on similar passages:
Venerable Sāriputta once declared that he neither delighted in death nor
delighted in life, nābhinandāmi maraṇaṃ nābhinandāmi jīvitaṃ. So the embers
go on smouldering until they become ashes. It is when the life span ends that the
embers finally turn to ashes.

The popular interpretation of the term anupādisesā Nibbānadhātu leaves
room for some absolutist conceptions of an asaṅkhata dhātu, unprepared
element, as the destiny of the arahant. After his parinibbāna, he is supposed to
enter this particular Nibbānadhātu. But here, in this discourse, it is explained in
just one sentence: Tassa idheva, bhikkhave, sabbavedayitāni anabhinanditāni
sītibhavissanti, "in the case of him" (that is the arahant) ", O! monks, all what is
felt, not having been delighted in, will cool off here itself."
Mike

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:51 am

So, it seems that the question: "Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment?" should be rejected, along with the question of whether he exists after death.
[Any of the aggregates] by which a Realized One might be described has been cut off at the root, made like a palm stump, exterminated, and unable to arise in the future. A Realized One is freed from reckoning in terms of consciousness. They’re deep, immeasurable, and hard to fathom, like the ocean. ‘They’re reborn’, ‘they’re not reborn’, ‘they’re both reborn and not reborn’, ‘they’re neither reborn nor not reborn’—none of these apply.”
https://suttacentral.net/mn72/en/sujato#sc28
However, one might ask "is there suffering after awakening?" The answer seems to be in the verse I quoted:
But it’s only suffering that comes to be,
lasts a while, then disappears.
Naught but suffering comes to be,
naught but suffering ceases.
:heart:
Mike

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by Pondera » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:26 am

I can see that everyone here is in agreement that the Buddha is always in Nibbana, and feels bodily pain - but does not suffer. He seeks to alleviate that bodily pain through the cessation of perception and feeling - but still does not suffer either way - whether he attains to that state or not. The question of why he would want to alleviate that pain through the cessation of feeling is a moot point. So, if you are all in agreement, then I will let you all be at peace with your views. I don’t see the point in kicking a dead horse.

:namaste:

Mikenz66 may be the exception. Correct me if I’m wrong.

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:38 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:26 am
I can see that everyone here is in agreement that the Buddha is always in Nibbana,..
I think that's an oversimplification. In most interpretations that I am familiar with, including the ancient commentaries, and various modern interpretations, there is a nibbana "awakening experience" that involves the ceasing of conditioned phenomena. And an arahant can apparently return to that "state". But to say that they are "always in nibbana" would be misleading, as there are still pleasant and painful feelings going on...

[However, there are some interpretations that posit a permanent nibbana state.]

:heart:
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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by chownah » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:42 am

I've read almost none of the posts here so I hope I'm not being repetitive:
It is beyond range.....there is no way for you to know about this....even if you achieve enlightenment it will be beyond range I think.
chownah

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by Pondera » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:47 am

Yes. Mike - you appear to be the exception here. Be prepared to defend your view until death :rolleye:

I will have a kick at the dead horse. Here is the first noble truth.
"Now this, monks, is the Noble Truth of dukkha: Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair are dukkha; association with the unbeloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are dukkha."

— SN 56.11
Now. The second noble truth is the ending of all this stress including birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Etc. In short, the five clinging-aggregates.

Now how does one not experience the five clinging aggregates? There is only one state in which form, feeling perception, volition and consciousness are not suffered - the attainment of the cessation of feeling and perception.

Unless you are in THAT particular state, you will experience the dukkha of the clinging aggregates. All else is heresy. :)

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by James Tan » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:31 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:28 am
robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:39 pm
Even now there is no James or Robert in the deepest sense. And also there was no Buddha as some sort of existant being.

There are, and were, however, the five khandhas, namarupa, arising and passing away.

This is basic Dhamma, but get it right and other aspects will be clear.
Thanks Robert. There are the khandhas, and suffering, but no suffering being.

The first two of these verses by Sister Vajirā are often quoted, but the last one is the important one here:
Māra, is this your theory?
This is just a pile of conditions,
you won’t find a sentient being here.

When the parts are assembled
we use the word ‘chariot’.
So too, when the aggregates are present
‘sentient being’ is the convention we use.

But it’s only suffering that comes to be,
lasts a while, then disappears.
Naught but suffering comes to be,
naught but suffering ceases
.”

https://suttacentral.net/sn5.10/en/sujato#sc4--7
:heart:
Mike
According to Robert and Mike ,
While still alive the Buddha / arahant with the khandhas functioning , So, this khandhas which is suffering comes to be and then ceases . This explains that until Buddha / arahant final Nibbana or non residue that everything / suffering put to rest ! The khandhas is no difference from suffering .

May everyone rest in peace !
RIP :meditate:
:reading:

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:10 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:47 am

Now. The second noble truth is the ending of all this stress including birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Etc. In short, the five clinging-aggregates.

Now how does one not experience the five clinging aggregates? There is only one state in which form, feeling perception, volition and consciousness are not suffered - the attainment of the cessation of feeling and perception.

Unless you are in THAT particular state, you will experience the dukkha of the clinging aggregates. All else is heresy. :)
That particular state is said to be still a conditioned one, and temporary, in the sense that it is not what is pointed at as being nibbana. You seem to be putting your marbles on something that is also illusory. Heresy is also illusory. All of that is sorted through your thinking structure which cannot know what the end of suffering is because it is suffering itself. Any movement you make within this structure will be illusory and give you no real answers to your imaginary questions that are created by this very same thought structure. You can only imagine. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but that seems to be the long and short of it.

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by Laurens » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:36 am

I used to think of awakening as some kind of constant state of feeling blissed out. Nothing hurts, and everything just feels great. Like you're on a drug or something.

As I've matured, I now see that an awakened being might experience having a bad back for example, just that their response to feeling that is not to suffer. Not to get tangled up in it.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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mikenz66
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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:26 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:47 am
Yes. Mike - you appear to be the exception here. Be prepared to defend your view until death :rolleye:
I don't think I am an exception. At least Robert and Ven Nanananda agree with me... :tongue:

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by Pondera » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:43 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:10 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:47 am

Now. The second noble truth is the ending of all this stress including birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Etc. In short, the five clinging-aggregates.

Now how does one not experience the five clinging aggregates? There is only one state in which form, feeling perception, volition and consciousness are not suffered - the attainment of the cessation of feeling and perception.

Unless you are in THAT particular state, you will experience the dukkha of the clinging aggregates. All else is heresy. :)
That particular state is said to be still a conditioned one, and temporary, in the sense that it is not what is pointed at as being nibbana. You seem to be putting your marbles on something that is also illusory. Heresy is also illusory. All of that is sorted through your thinking structure which cannot know what the end of suffering is because it is suffering itself. Any movement you make within this structure will be illusory and give you no real answers to your imaginary questions that are created by this very same thought structure. You can only imagine. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but that seems to be the long and short of it.
Show me a sutta where cessation of feeling and perception is a conditioned state. Conditioned by what exactly? You won’t be able to and you won’t be able to answer either.

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by Saengnapha » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:49 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:43 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:10 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:47 am

Now. The second noble truth is the ending of all this stress including birth, aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Etc. In short, the five clinging-aggregates.

Now how does one not experience the five clinging aggregates? There is only one state in which form, feeling perception, volition and consciousness are not suffered - the attainment of the cessation of feeling and perception.

Unless you are in THAT particular state, you will experience the dukkha of the clinging aggregates. All else is heresy. :)
That particular state is said to be still a conditioned one, and temporary, in the sense that it is not what is pointed at as being nibbana. You seem to be putting your marbles on something that is also illusory. Heresy is also illusory. All of that is sorted through your thinking structure which cannot know what the end of suffering is because it is suffering itself. Any movement you make within this structure will be illusory and give you no real answers to your imaginary questions that are created by this very same thought structure. You can only imagine. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but that seems to be the long and short of it.
Show me a sutta where cessation of feeling and perception is a conditioned state. Conditioned by what exactly? You won’t be able to and you won’t be able to answer either.
The formless jhana of Sanna Vedayita Nirodha, Cessation of Sensation and Feeling, is not referred to as nibbana by Buddhism. This is like a dead man's state, perhaps necessary, but not final. The Buddha awoke out of this and was then able to see how Dependent Origination/Paticca Samupadda worked. He saw how perception creates the world, self, the objective and subjective, which is suffering. According to Bh. Punnaji, This is awakening from the dream of existence. Nirodha Samapatti is the seeing of what is going on, the stopping of bhava=existence. Cessation is nibbana. You are a Buddha.

The shortcut is entering the 4th jhana and analyzing the 5 constituents of the process of perception, Pancha Khandhas. When you understand this, you understand the Paticca-Samupādda. I believe Sariputta took the shortcut. Nibbana is unconditioned. Everything else is a form of conditioned existence.

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:40 am

Pondera wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:43 am
Show me a sutta where cessation of feeling and perception is a conditioned state. Conditioned by what exactly? You won’t be able to and you won’t be able to answer either.
Are you using this passage to equate that attainment with nibbana?
Furthermore, going totally beyond the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he entered and remained in the cessation of perception and feeling. And, having seen with wisdom, his defilements came to an end. And he emerged from that attainment with mindfulness. Then he contemplated the phenomena in that attainment that had passed, ceased, and perished: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is no escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is not.

https://suttacentral.net/mn111/en/sujato#sc11
And here?
“But ma’am, how does someone attain the cessation of perception and feeling?”

“A mendicant who is entering such an attainment does not think: ‘I will enter the cessation of perception and feeling’ or ‘I am entering the cessation of perception and feeling’ or ‘I have entered the cessation of perception and feeling.’ Rather, their mind has been previously developed so as to lead to such a state.”

https://suttacentral.net/mn44/en/sujato#sc25--26
:heart:
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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by Bundokji » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:23 am

Laurens wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:36 am
I used to think of awakening as some kind of constant state of feeling blissed out. Nothing hurts, and everything just feels great. Like you're on a drug or something.

As I've matured, I now see that an awakened being might experience having a bad back for example, just that their response to feeling that is not to suffer. Not to get tangled up in it.
:goodpost:

I think of enlightenment more as sanity. The end of suffering is a by product of being sane.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Does a Buddha Suffer after Enlightenment

Post by Pondera » Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:17 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:40 am
Pondera wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:43 am
Show me a sutta where cessation of feeling and perception is a conditioned state. Conditioned by what exactly? You won’t be able to and you won’t be able to answer either.
Are you using this passage to equate that attainment with nibbana?
Furthermore, going totally beyond the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he entered and remained in the cessation of perception and feeling. And, having seen with wisdom, his defilements came to an end. And he emerged from that attainment with mindfulness. Then he contemplated the phenomena in that attainment that had passed, ceased, and perished: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is no escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is not.

https://suttacentral.net/mn111/en/sujato#sc11
And here?
“But ma’am, how does someone attain the cessation of perception and feeling?”

“A mendicant who is entering such an attainment does not think: ‘I will enter the cessation of perception and feeling’ or ‘I am entering the cessation of perception and feeling’ or ‘I have entered the cessation of perception and feeling.’ Rather, their mind has been previously developed so as to lead to such a state.”

https://suttacentral.net/mn44/en/sujato#sc25--26
:heart:
Mike
That’s the gist of it. This particular passage from DN 15 summarizes it well.
1) Possessing form, one sees forms.357 That is the first liberation. (2) Not perceiving material forms in oneself, one sees them outside.358 That is the second liberation. [71] (3) Thinking: “It is beautiful”, one becomes intent on it.359 That is the third. (4) By completely transcending all perception of matter, by the vanishing of the perception of sense-reactions and by non-attention to the perception of variety, thinking: “Space is infinite”, one enters and abides in the Sphere of Infinite Space. That is the fourth. (5) By transcending the Sphere of Infinite Space, thinking: “Consciousness is infinite”, one enters and abides in the Sphere of Infinite Consciousness. That is the fifth. (6) By transcending the Sphere of Infinite Consciousness, thinking: “There is no thing״, one enters and abides in the Sphere of No-Thingness. That is the sixth. (7) By transcending the Sphere of No-Thingness, one reaches and abides in the Sphere of Neither-Perception-Nor-Non-Perception. That is the seventh. (8) By transcending the Sphere of Neither-Perception-Nor-Non-Perception one enters and abides in the Cessation of Perception and Feeling.360 That is the eighth liberation.

36. ‘Ananda, when once a monk attains these eight liberations in forward order, in reverse order, and in forward-and-reverse order, entering them and emerging from them as and when, and for as long as he wishes, and has gained by his own super-knowledge here and now both the destruction of the corruptions and the uncorrupted liberation of heart and liberation by wisdom,361 that monk is called “both-waysliberatedʺ, 362 and, Ananda, there is no other way of ʺboth-ways-liberationʺ that is more excellent or perfect than this.’

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