Friday, November 12, 2004

My e-mail reply to JP on Nov. 11 (2)

No, I do not agree “that the enlightened mind of a buddha


I think I can see where the wedge is. Am I correct to
assume that you believe that the “enlightened mind of the
Buddha” should be permanent?

Well, this is how I understand it.

First of all, the last living Buddha I know, according to
Buddhist teachings, was Gotama. He died thousands of years
ago. When he was alive, he was a person like us, but he
discovered the law of nature (law of dependent origination)
and the Four Noble Truth. Hence, he became a Tathagata (a
supreme enlightened being) or what others would call a
Buddha. Gotama the Buddha, in being able to stop the
process of rebirth, would no longer “arise” in samsara
after his death. Since Gotama the Buddha is dead, how
can there be an “enlightened mind of a Buddha?”

All phenomena, by their nature, are impermanent. If you
believe in a permanent “enlightened mind of a Buddha,”
then the attachment to that idea, a mind consciousness
(there also being eye consciousness, ear consciousness,
nose consciousness, tongue consciousness, body
consciousness), is a phenomenon. Therefore, it is

Furthermore, phenomena arise in samsara. What thing in
samsara is permanent or eternal? Even the Buddha died.
If you insist that the Buddha is eternal, then this line
of argument will end up nowhere because to me Gotama the
Buddha is dead. That, in fact, has been the idea of the
practice. No more rebirth in samsara after death because
rebirth means another round of sufferings.


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