Author Topic: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime  (Read 6634 times)

bambi

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Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« on: July 21, 2012, 01:48:22 PM »
We often talk about Buddha and His disciples but seldom about His son, Rahula. It is said here that Rahula gained Enlightenment when He was only 18 years old because of His father, the Buddha, taught Him the Dharma. How 'lucky' He is to be able to do so at such a young age and merits to have the Buddha as His father.

Are there any other interesting stories whereby the compassion of a family member who conveyed the Dharma and as a result, one/some of family member became Enlightened in 1 lifetime?


Rahula -— The Son of the Enlightened One

Just before Prince Siddhartha renounced the world, his wife Yasodhara gave birth to a son. According to legend, when the birth was announced to the prince, he said, "A fetter (rahula) has been born, a bondage has been born," and this is how the boy got his name. It is more likely that he was named after a lunar eclipse (rahu) that might have occurred around the time of his birth. Either way, the birth of this child only served to make Prince Siddhartha's desire to escape from what had become for him a golden cage, even more difficult. On the evening he had finally decided to leave, the Buddha peered into the royal bedchamber to take one last look at his sleeping wife and child, but the mother's arm obscured the child's face.

Seven years after he left, the Buddha returned to Kapilavatthu. Yasodhara took the little Rahula to listen to the Buddha's preaching. When they arrived, she said to him: "This is your father, Rahula. Go and ask him for your inheritance." The child walked through the assembly and stood before the Buddha, saying, "How pleasant is your shadow, O Monk." When the talk had finished and the Buddha left, Rahula followed him, and as they walked along Rahula said: "Give me my inheritance, O Monk." Of course the Buddha no longer had gold or property but he had something far more precious - the Dharma, so he turned to Sariputta and said: "Sariputta, ordain him."[ N1 ] Later, the Buddha's father, Suddhodana, and Yasodhara complained that the boy had been taken away without their permission, as a result of which the Buddha made it a rule that parental consent was necessary before someone could be ordained.

As if to make up for the seven years he was without a father, the Buddha took great interest in Rahula's moral and spiritual education, teaching him many times himself, and making Sariputta his preceptor and Moggallana his teacher. Rahula responded to this excellent tutelage by being an eager and attentive student and it is said that each morning as he awoke, he would take a handful of sand and say: "May I have today, as many words of counsel from my teacher as there are here grains of sand." As a result of this enthusiasm, the Buddha said of his son that of all his disciples, he was the most anxious for training. When Rahula was still a boy, the Buddha discussed with him aspects of Dharma that were suitable for the young and in such a way as he could understand and remember.

Rahula was trained in the Ten Precepts and monastic discipline and when he was eighteen, the Buddha decided that he was ready for meditation and then gave him advice on how to practise.

"Rahula, develop a mind that is like the four great elements (earth, water, fire and air) because if you do this, pleasant or unpleasant sensory impressions that have arisen and taken hold of the mind will not persist. Just as when people throw faeces, urine, spittle, pus or blood on the earth or in the water, in a fire or the air, the earth, the water, the fire or the air is not troubled, worried or disturbed. So too, develop a mind that is like the four great elements. Develop love, Rahula, for by doing so ill-will will be got rid of. Develop compassion, for by doing so the desire to harm will be got rid of. Develop sympathetic joy, for by doing so, dislike will be got rid of. Develop equanimity, for by doing so sensory reaction will be got rid of. Develop the perception of the foul for by doing so, attachment will be got rid of. Develop the perception of impermanence for by doing so, the conceit, 'I am', will be got rid of. Develop mindfulness of breathing for it is of great benefit and advantage."

Following his father's advice and guidance on meditation, Rahula finally attained enlightenment. He was eighteen at the time. After that his friends always referred to him as Rahula the Lucky (Rahulabhadda) and he tells why he was given this name.

They call me Rahula the Lucky for two reasons:

One is that I am the Buddha's son.
And the other is that I have seen the truth.


Other than this, we know very little about Rahula. He does not seem to have been prominent at being either a Dharma teacher or a trainer of other monks. It is likely that Rahula kept himself in the background so that he could not be accused of taking advantage of being the son of the Enlightened One.

Big Uncle

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 03:43:43 PM »
This is indeed very interesting. Rahula is famous to be one of the 16 Arhats besides being known as just the Buddha's son. It is beautiful how the Buddha gave special attention to his only son culminating with the son having achieved Nirvana. Here's a excerpt of how the Buddha guided his son towards realizing true cessation.



Cula-Rahulovada Sutta: The Shorter Exposition to Rahula
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 2006–2012
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's Monastery. Then, as he was alone in seclusion, this line of thinking arose in the Blessed One's awareness: "The mental qualities that ripen in release have ripened in Rahula. What if I were to lead Rahula further to the ending of the mental fermentations?"

Then the Blessed One, early in the morning, put on his robes and, carrying his bowl & outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. Having gone for alms in Savatthi, after the meal, returning from his alms round, he said to Ven. Rahula, "Fetch your sitting cloth, Rahula. We will go to the Grove of the Blind to spend the day."

Responding, "As you say, lord," to the Blessed One, Ven. Rahula, carrying his sitting cloth, followed behind the Blessed One. Now at that time, many thousands of devas were following behind the Blessed One, [thinking,] "Today the Blessed One will lead Ven. Rahula further to the ending of the mental fermentations."

Then the Blessed One, having plunged into the Grove of the Blind, sat down on a seat made ready at the foot of a tree. Ven. Rahula, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side.

As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, "What do you think, Rahula — is the eye constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think — are forms constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think — is consciousness at the eye constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think — is contact at the eye constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think — whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye as a mode of feeling, a mode of perception, a mode of fabrication, or a mode of consciousness:[1] Is it constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think, Rahula — is the ear constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord" ...

"What do you think, Rahula — is the nose constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord" ...

"What do you think, Rahula — is the tongue constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord" ...

"What do you think, Rahula — is the body constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord" ...

"What do you think, Rahula — is the intellect constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think — are ideas constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think — is consciousness at the intellect constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think — is contact at the intellect constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"What do you think — whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect as a mode of feeling, a mode of perception, a mode of fabrication, or a mode of consciousness: Is it constant or inconstant?"

"Inconstant, lord."

"And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?"

"Stressful, lord."

"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Seeing thus, Rahula, the instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the eye, disenchanted with forms, disenchanted with consciousness at the eye, disenchanted with contact at the eye. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye as a mode of feeling, a mode of perception, a mode of fabrication, or a mode of consciousness: With that, too, he grows disenchanted.

"He grows disenchanted with the ear...

"He grows disenchanted with the nose...

"He grows disenchanted with the tongue...

"He grows disenchanted with the body...

"He grows disenchanted with the intellect, disenchanted with ideas, disenchanted with consciousness at the intellect, disenchanted with contact at the intellect. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect as a mode of feeling, a mode of perception, a mode of fabrication, or a mode of consciousness: With that, too, he grows disenchanted. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is depleted, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Rahula delighted in the Blessed One's words. And while this explanation was being given, Ven. Rahula's mind, through no clinging (not being sustained), was fully released from fermentations. And to those many thousands of devas there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."

Note

1.
The Buddha's basic approach in this discourse is to take a line of questioning that he usually applies to the five aggregates (see SN 22.59) and to apply it to the framework of the six sense media as given in SN 35.28. This phrase, however, is the one point where this sutta deviates from that framework. The corresponding phrase in SN 35.28 focuses exclusively on feelings. The passage here — vedanagatam, saññagatam, sankharagatam, viññanagatam — focuses on all four mental aggregates. For another example of translating –gatam as "mode," see the phrase "mode of perception" (saññagatam) in MN 121.
See also: MN 61; MN 62.

icy

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2012, 11:47:33 AM »
In tantra practice, what we are trying to do is to get rid of death and rebirth, which is the basis for experiencing all the sufferings from lifetime to lifetime. In the highest class of tantra, we actually do practices that are modeled after what happens in the process of dying, going through a bardo intermediate stage, and being reborn. We do practices like that so that we build up the habit that this will substitute the actual attainment of Buddhahood.

In that subtlest level of mind consciouness it can gives rise to a samsaric type of appearance and existence, it can also give rise to an enlightened appearance and existence, if we have the wisdom realising voidness and have bodhichitta motivation.  By working with the subtle energy system in meditation intensely, it will be the direct cause which gives rise to us as an enlightened being, as a Buddha and is possible in one life time.   


DS Star

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2012, 04:28:27 PM »
In tantra practice, what we are trying to do is to get rid of death and rebirth, which is the basis for experiencing all the sufferings from lifetime to lifetime. In the highest class of tantra, we actually do practices that are modeled after what happens in the process of dying, going through a bardo intermediate stage, and being reborn. We do practices like that so that we build up the habit that this will substitute the actual attainment of Buddhahood.

In that subtlest level of mind consciouness it can gives rise to a samsaric type of appearance and existence, it can also give rise to an enlightened appearance and existence, if we have the wisdom realising voidness and have bodhichitta motivation.  By working with the subtle energy system in meditation intensely, it will be the direct cause which gives rise to us as an enlightened being, as a Buddha and is possible in one life time.


Thank you Icy for this explanation on Tantra.

It is said that only through Tantra practice, we will have the chance to achieve enlightenment within one life time, similar the Lucky Rahula who was taught directly by his father, none other the the Buddha himself. However, the different is, the conventional method like the one Rahula received is difficult to come by... how many people will have such a great merits to receive direct teachings from a Buddha?

Furthermore, in our current degenerate age, certain teachings based on Sutra teachings will take too long time... thus very difficult to achieve the enlightenment within one life time.

Tantra on contrary was said to use very different and 'drastic' practice to achieve the goal of liberation for practitioners. Instead of suppress our negativity, tantric practice actually encourage it to arises and to transform it to benefit others.

Why is achieving enlightenment in 1 Life time very important? Well, we never know where we will end up in our next life...

lotus1

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2012, 05:06:29 PM »
Thank you for sharing.
Before I get to know Vajrayana Buddhism, I see that enlightenment is very far although it is said that it is achievable. I was taught that we will be able to be enlightened if we work towards it but it is most probably need to work many lives time before we can get it. In Vajrayana, I learn a new prospective so as to work towards enlightenment in one life time. This becomes very challenging as it also means that I have to work much harder spiritually and need to work towards a more effective and efficient way in my practice. I would think that the motivation for enlightenment in one life time is not just it is hard to come by to get a human life for our next rebirth, it is more towards the Bodhicitta where we can gain enlightenment soonest so that it is faster for us to find the way to help all sentient beings. 

RedLantern

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2012, 06:36:14 PM »

Enlightenment is awakening to the true nature of the mind.There are stages and practices to go furthur until complete Enlightenment.It is  possible to attain Enlightenment in one lifetime ans also kalpas to attain it.
One should not just follow blindly and literally,word by word.
Sutras are material form,mundane  and it is the spirit of the of the teaching that guide one to Enlightenment.
Balance view is one of the eight fold path ,one should observe carefully one's mind before coming to slander . anyone 's teachings.It's also illusion to perceive another person as slandering a sangha.Watch how our thoughts move.

fruven

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2012, 10:48:07 PM »
I like the advice given by the Buddha. It is very applicable today although the advice was given for a particular person and time. We have more distractions now therefore we need to place higher empathize on compassion, and all those good qualities. The story is simple and easy to understand but profound on many levels. One of the more deeper questions is what had Rahula done in the past that in this very life he has been fortunate enough to be born as a son of a Buddha?  :D

Develop love, Rahula, for by doing so ill-will will be got rid of. Develop compassion, for by doing so the desire to harm will be got rid of. Develop sympathetic joy, for by doing so, dislike will be got rid of. Develop equanimity, for by doing so sensory reaction will be got rid of. Develop the perception of the foul for by doing so, attachment will be got rid of. Develop the perception of impermanence for by doing so, the conceit, 'I am', will be got rid of. Develop mindfulness of breathing for it is of great benefit and advantage.



yontenjamyang

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 10:45:13 AM »
In the suttas, many examples were given of various form of spiritual ground attained (eg, stream enterer, once returner, arhats) after listening to a discourse. It is well known that people during Buddha's time was more virtuous and hence can achieve these attainments in one lifetime. Karmically, it can be understood that those who attained these grounds practiced for many lifetimes before that particular lifetime and during the Buddha's time, it was more like getting the final lesson or merit or transformation or the final push.

For beings like us, it is not possible for us to achieve these grounds in one lifetimes unless we practice tantra. Certain tantric practices are said to have higher efficacy the further it is from Buddha's time for eg, Vajrayogini practice. Until such time, what we can do is  to practice compassion with at least contrived boddhicitta to accumulate the merits and wisdom so the condition may ripen to be able to receive and hold tantric practices.

That is why, it is said the two accumulations of merits and wisdom are the primary goals of Vajrayana Buddhism (or any school of buddhism actually). Merits are generated through compassionate deeds for all sentient beings. Wisdom is generated through knowledge and merits. So it boils down to being compassionate to all sentient beings by benefitting them and wisdom by being realizing the Lamrim particularly non self cherishing.

buddhalovely

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2012, 03:44:08 PM »
QUOTE:

Student: You spoke of the vajrayana path as one that could lead to enlightenment in this lifetime. Yet in the bodhisattva vow, we vow not to enter enlightenment until all sentient beings have become enlightened. That seems to present a contradiction.

Trungpa Rinpoche: I don't think so at all. That's the trick of the mahayana path; it helps you to give up. You're not going to attain enlightenment at all; you're going to work with sentient beings. And the idea in vajrayana is that you're going to attain enlightenment in one lifetime. Both work together. In mahayana, the idea that you're not going to attain enlightenment cut your speed, your ambition. In the vajrayana, you develop pride, vajra pride, and dignity. Actually, both amount to the same thing. You can't become buddha in any case at all. Youless, unyou, nonyou, is going to attain enlightenment. That logic holds true all the way along. You can't attain enlightenment. Maybe non-you can attain enlightenment.

ratanasutra

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Re: Enlightened in 1 Lifetime
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 02:34:49 AM »
The person who born in Buddha time and have met Buddha are very fortunate. As we knew many people who received teaching directly from Buddha became arhats in Buddha time. Rahula was born as son of buddha and received teaching from buddha so indeed he was a very lucky person.   

Therefore in this life time we will see most of people are pray and wish that they will be born again in Maitreya Buddha time. They did many good deed and wish they collect lot of merit to be born in Maitreya Buddha time to meet and receive a teaching from him directly and can gain some attain like others in the path.