Thursday, August 09, 2018

Interrogating the Enlightened Man, part 3

Part 1, Part 2

Q: What is your experience like in the state of Enlightenment?
A: The world is perfect as it is.  Nothing remains to be done.  As the Buddha said in The Fire Sermon: "The task fulfilled, there is nothing further for this world."

Q: But then, why continue to live?
A: Told you earlier: to help others achieve the freedom that I experience.

Q: But you said nothing further remains to be done?
A: That is the supreme state of Nirvana. I am a Bodhisattva, who eschews Nirvana.  My state of affairs is described in the Lankaavtara sutra:
A bodhisattva wishes to help all beings attain nirvana. He must therefore refuse to enter nirvana himself, as he cannot apparently render any services to the living beings of the worlds after his own nirvana. He thus finds himself in the rather illogical position of pointing the way to nirvana for other beings, while he himself stays in this world of suffering in order to do good to all creatures. This is his great sacrifice for others. He has taken the great Vow: "I shall not enter into final nirvana before all beings have been liberated." He does not realize the highest liberation for himself, as he cannot abandon other beings to their fate. He has said: "I must lead all beings to liberation. I will stay here till the end, even for the sake of one living soul.
Q: I see. So you are still not in Nirvana (no Buddhahood, but only a Bodhi-citta). So some desire, at least to help others, still remains. So how do you then claim the existence of that final state when no more desire exists? You are not there yet.
A: I have experienced it in spurts. I know that that state exists.

Q: But that's quite a common experience. I was sitting by the river yesterday, watching the water, and had no desire or sorrow at that time. What makes you different from me?
A: You did have latent desires, which came up as soon as you probably started driving back home.

Q: And what makes you confident that you do not have any latent desires? I saw you getting annoyed a while ago.
A: (inaudible)

(to be continued)

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