Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
SarathW
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Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by SarathW » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:04 am

Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

I just wonder whether becoming an Arahant is something similar to try to become one of your admired heroes.
Many of us like to read the biography of those people and sometimes we try to imitate them.
There are some people who became successful by doing this.
Isn't following Buddha is similar to follow the footsteps of our heroes?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DooDoot
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by DooDoot » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:46 am

Idappaccayata wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:33 am
The op was asking about the relationship between arahantship and famous figures...
The OP was referring to imitate them or "becoming" them. Thus, the more we know about them, the better; which includes the Buddha. Same with Obama. Best to avoid the mythology.

Regards :smile:

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budo
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by budo » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:31 pm

SarathW,

You don't need to over-complicate. The Buddha said that all who become enlightened must understand, abandon, realize and develop the 4 noble truths, and overcome the 5 hindrances. He said that you should meditate continuously and exert effort with the four noble truths, five hindrances, five aggregates, and sixfold sense media in mind.

As long as you enter the stream and work on those things, everything else will fall into place.

Think about actions and steps, not about outcomes and status.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:16 pm

Moderator note: Please restrict posts to those which specifically answer SarathW's point. Political material which directly criticises the specified and other leaders without a specific link to Dhamma will be removed.

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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by DNS » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:49 pm

SarathW wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:04 am
Isn't following Buddha is similar to follow the footsteps of our heroes?
Sure, why not?

If you're Buddhist, try and be more Buddha-like.
If you're a Christian, try and be more Christ-like.
If you're a Taoist, etc.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:24 pm

Greetings Sarath,

"Becoming" (bhava) is the sure fire way not to be an arahant!

It's fine to follow and take inspiration and direction from historical figures (Buddhist or otherwise) but don't lose fact of the Dhammic truth that arahantship is the cessation of becoming.

It is about less becoming, rather than more.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

SarathW
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:01 am

So you cant become an Arahant!
I think we still can become an Anagami.
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

chownah
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by chownah » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:10 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:01 am
So you cant become an Arahant!
I think we still can become an Anagami.
:thinking:
Don't confuse the commonly used meaning for 'becoming' and the dhamma meaning of 'becoming'.
In the dhammic sense, 'becoming' anything is part of the process which results in dukkha......it is therefore incompatible with he end of suffering which is what 'arahant' is all about.

I think that in the dhammic sense 'arahant' is only applied to individuals as a conventional way of speaking about things......saying that someone was an arahant is just a way to talk about that individual and to describe something about that individual....this is conventional speech which is used because if you don't use that kind of conventional speech then the vast bulk of people will not understand what you are talking about. Perhaps a good way to think is that 'enlightenment there is but no one who is enlightened' which means that when there is enlightenment there is no identity view....and 'arahant' is taken by the vast bulk of people as identity view.
chownah

SarathW
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:38 am

when there is enlightenment there is no identity view
Identity view is eliminated by the Sotapanna.
Self identity (conceit or mana) is eradicated by an Arahant.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by TRobinson465 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:33 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:16 pm
Moderator note: Please restrict posts to those which specifically answer SarathW's point. Political material which directly criticises the specified and other leaders without a specific link to Dhamma will be removed.
When did this become a rule?
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:33 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:33 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:16 pm
Moderator note: Please restrict posts to those which specifically answer SarathW's point. Political material which directly criticises the specified and other leaders without a specific link to Dhamma will be removed.
When did this become a rule?
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32021

:anjali:

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DooDoot
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:29 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:33 am
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32021
If that is the case, probably the whole thread should be moved to the other (Greenies) website or even to the Mahayana site.

SarathW
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:37 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:29 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:33 am
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32021
If that is the case, probably the whole thread should be moved to the other (Greenies) website or even to the Mahayana site.
Not really.
See Retro's answer to my question.
This is an indirect question about Buddha's teaching.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DooDoot
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:38 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:37 am
This is an indirect question about Buddha's teaching.
OK. Such as this thread I started: viewtopic.php?t=32844 :smile:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Can I become Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King or Gandhi?

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:03 am

DooDoot wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:29 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:33 am
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32021
If that is the case, probably the whole thread should be moved to the other (Greenies) website or even to the Mahayana site.
No, I don't think so. It's perfectly possible to answer SarathW's original question without getting polemical or even partisan regarding the heroes he lists.

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