Author Topic: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?  (Read 3390 times)

hope rainbow

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Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« on: October 24, 2011, 07:32:37 AM »
I have heard that Buddhas do not generate any more karma, free they are of self-cherishing motivated thoughts and actions.
But do they still create merit though?
I find this interesting to debate because we can generate merit when we associate our actions within theirs...

iloveds

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 03:19:26 PM »
If you do virtuous actions doesn't that create merit.

Just by the action alone then of course the Buddhas would collect merit. I was told that accumulating merits will propel one to the point of no return that they can become enlightened whether they like it or not.

hope rainbow

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 03:50:59 AM »
If you do virtuous actions doesn't that create merit.

Just by the action alone then of course the Buddhas would collect merit. I was told that accumulating merits will propel one to the point of no return that they can become enlightened whether they like it or not.

Thank you iloveds for your reply.

I do no doubt that if I do virtuous actions with refuge in my mind, I create merits.

Though what I don't understand is this:

if Buddhas do not create karma, do they still create merits?

In other words, karma would somehow still exists after enlightenment, but because it is free of the 3 poisons it is no more working as "karma" but only as merits... Is that correct?

kurava

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 02:37:49 AM »
Dear HB,
I will try to explain this as best as I could -

From the ultimate sense, fully enlightened beings are beyond dualism and ordinary conception - no good nor bad, no attainment nor non attainment (ref Heart Sutra).  Buddhas are beyond merits and karma -hence they are called 'Those who have gone beyond '
That's why we say Buddhas bless all beings without discrimination between bad and good  as long as they are open to receive the blessings.

However, from the conventional sense, out of their great compassion Buddhas manifest as ordinary beings eg as the Sage Sakyamuni , as Gurus ,  to show us how to create the right causes for positive karma and merits.

Hope the above help.

vajrastorm

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2011, 08:00:52 AM »
I do believe that Buddhas continue to generate merits from their never ending stream of virtuous actions, through their emanations, for instance. I remember words from a dedication prayer that says: " May the drops of merit arisen here merge with the stream of all Buddhas' and Bodhisattvas' virtue..."

hope rainbow

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 05:35:32 AM »
I re-visited this old post and thought about it again.

And perhaps the key is here: merit is not karma.
Karma can be positive or negative, but it is ALWAYS samsaric - thus it always create more samsara for us.

Merit is not very very very good karma, merit is no more samsaric karma, it does not qualify as karma.
Merit is MERIT, an energy that cannot even be compared the the best of karma.

So I think Buddhas do not create merits, they embody the results of merit, they are the embodiment of Buddhahood, they are oceans of merits.

Pilgrim

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 09:45:40 AM »
I re-visited this old post and thought about it again.

And perhaps the key is here: merit is not karma.
Karma can be positive or negative, but it is ALWAYS samsaric - thus it always create more samsara for us.

Merit is not very very very good karma, merit is no more samsaric karma, it does not qualify as karma.
Merit is MERIT, an energy that cannot even be compared the the best of karma.

So I think Buddhas do not create merits, they embody the results of merit, they are the embodiment of Buddhahood, they are oceans of merits.

I like this explanation. It explains a lot. Thanks!

psylotripitaka

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 03:21:39 PM »
Merit is a positive karma. Positive karma is created by virtuous intention. Buddhas no longer have intention. Intention is a mental factor and mental factors comprise 3 of the 5 aggregates of a living being. When we become a Buddha our 3 aggregates (which are mental factors 'feeling', 'discrimination', and 'compositional factors' which comprise the remaining mental factors of a living being) are transformed into 3 of the 5 omniscient wisdoms of a Buddha. Buddhas radiate spontaneously from omniscient wisdom. They have arrived at the final place that the accumulations propelled them while they were practitioners.

To really understand how a Buddha does not accumulate karma, we need a deep experiential understanding of emptiness, the nature of omniscient wisdom, and the qualities of Buddhas in contrast with those of living beings. For me, this is honestly one of those questions that I call 'Buddha questions' which are questions that can only fully be understood when we have accomplished omniscient wisdom. So to me, it is enough to know that extensive accumulation of positive karma either with bodhichitta or at least dedicating that karma to enlightenment, this karma will propel the practitioner into the final union of no more learning.

yontenjamyang

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 05:52:55 AM »
By definition, all actions of a Buddha generate merits. Just by not doing anything, a Buddha generate unending merits. If one chance upon and take a glance of an image (or any representation of the Body, Speech and Mind) of a Buddha, one receive the merits. In a way, a Buddha "IS" the store of never ending merits.
So Buddhas do not generate merits in the ordinary sense because they are merits itself in a way.

The Buddhas are the ocean, we are a wave not realizing we are part of the ocean.
One wave ask another wave; can the ocean generate water?
Not realizing the ocean is water.
Out of Ignorance.

Rihanna

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 03:51:01 AM »
I have never heard of Buddhas generating merit for themselves. If one is already a Buddha, they will not have to endure further suffering as they have already achieved perpetual happiness. Buddhas would not have the karma to be hurt and would not feel hurt even there would be such instances. In fact, I believe Buddhas do create merit fields to help beings in samsara to generate merits. Attained masters such as the Dalai Lamas, the Trijang Rinpoches, the Gangchen Rinpoches and The Zong Rinpoches who are all achieved Enlightenment compassionately reincarnate back to this world as human beings to create the opportunity for beings in samsara to practice Dharma or generate merits to help beings to gain enlightenment with the aim of eventual end of samsara.



icy

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 09:12:10 AM »
For the Buddhas, they have gone beyond merits or demerits; they have transcended merits and demerits. They have reached the state of Tatagatha who is the fully Enlightened One, the One without dualism and hence Buddhas do not generate merits nor degenerate merits.

MoMo

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2014, 01:27:24 PM »
The Buddha becomes a Buddha by “free they are of self-cherishing motivated thoughts and actions”. “Merit” does not implied that there are external energies or forces but the very nature of what left of in the process of abandoning the self-cherishing “I”.
A “positive potential” that constantly flow without the need of applying force or thought.
A Buddha is a mega generator of this “positive potential” that do not need to have the thought of “Oh! I’m now a Buddha! It’s my job to generate this positive potential!” They just flow…

Matibhadra

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2014, 02:16:39 AM »
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Buddhas no longer have intention.

Of course they have. The intention of all the buddhas has even a name, Amoghasiddhi.

Amitabha, Ratnasambhava, Vairochana, and Akshobya are the names given to the other four aggregates of all the buddhas, such as discrimination, sensation, form, and consciousness.

What buddhas no longer have are intention, and the other aggregates, covering, or concealing reality.

In other words, they got rid of that which covers or conceals reality, also known as obstructions to omniscience.

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And perhaps the key is here: merit is not karma.

Merit and demerit are possible results of action, and ”action” is just English for ”karma”. Therefore, while merit is not karma, merit is not possible without karma, or action.

And, since buddhas are ceaselessly acting for the benefit of every single sentient being, it follows that they are ceaselessly producing immeasurable merit.

What buddhas, and even arhats, do not produce is contaminated merit, that is, merit contaminated by afflictive mentalities such as ignorance, desirous attachment, anger, envy, pride, miserliness, and so forth.

gbds3jewels

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2014, 04:56:00 AM »
I have read that only actions that are free from the 8 worldly concerns generate merit. Technically speaking in my opinion no un-enlightened beings in samsara are capable of actions that are free from the 8 worldly comcerns. Because we are govern by the 8 worldly concerns we remain in samsara. So merit is actually extremely difficult to collect. Good karma on the other hand is what we mostly collect by our good deeds and virtues acts.

I think the Buddhas do generate merit but not like us that they gain merit per say and definitely not for themselves. The virtuos acts of Buddhas are free from the 8 worldly concerns and it is the Buddhas that we dedicate our "virtuos actions that are not free from 8 worldly concerns" in order to gain merit instead of just collecting good karma. Just my two cents.

Matibhadra

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Re: Do Buddhas generate merits for.... themselves?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 12:55:58 AM »
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I have read that only actions that are free from the 8 worldly concerns generate merit.

Actually, even actions contaminated by the eight worldly concerns may generate merit. For instance, the action of saving a life may be contaminated with the side thought of receiving praise, but still is a virtuous action, and does generate merit.

In general, the enjoyments of the desire realm, which are merits nevertheless, are caused precisely by virtuous actions, contaminated however with desire realm afflictive mentalities, and therefore with attachment for this life, and thus with the eight worldly concerns.

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Technically speaking in my opinion no un-enlightened beings in samsara are capable of actions that are free from the 8 worldly comcerns.

Actually, even samsaric beings abiding in higher (form and formless) meditative states are free from the eight worldly concerns, even if only temporarily.

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Because we are govern by the 8 worldly concerns we remain in samsara.

Giving up the eight worldly concerns is necessary to achieve rebirth in the upper realms, but not enough to quit samsara!

In order to quit samsara, there is the need to give up not only the attachment to, or concern for this life (which includes the eight worldly concerns), but also attachment to samsara in general.

Besides, the correct view of reality is also necessary for liberation from samsara.

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So merit is actually extremely difficult to collect. Good karma on the other hand is what we mostly collect by our good deeds and virtues acts.

Merit by definition, is the result of good deeds and virtuous actions. Therefore, collecting merit is as easy or as difficult as doing good and acting virtuously.

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I think the Buddhas do generate merit but not like us that they gain merit per say and definitely not for themselves.

Sure! The merit buddhas create is pure, because it is thoroughly free from afflictive mentalities together with their seeds, and even their predispositions, but also it is vast, because is fully dedicated to all sentient beings without an exception.

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The virtuos acts of Buddhas are free from the 8 worldly concerns and it is the Buddhas that we dedicate our "virtuos actions that are not free from 8 worldly concerns" in order to gain merit instead of just collecting good karma. Just my two cents.

Dedicating our virtuous actions or karma to the achievement of buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings, the result is a merit so vast that it will not be exhausted until the samsara is empty, and all sentient beings without an exception are established on the ground of buddhahood.

And, even if our virtuous actions are still tainted by the eight worldly concerns, these and other evils will be burnt by bodhichitta, as explained by Shantideva in his Bodhicharyavatara.