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A Buddhist response to various questions

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posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 06:37 AM
These questions are answered through a traditional Buddhist worldview.

What is the meaning of life?
“What is the one benefit, Master Gotama, which you exist for? The one thing that the Tathagata exists for is the fruit and emancipation by illumination.” [samyutta nikaya 5.73]

What this means is that the main goal of Buddhism is to achieve nirvana which is liberation from samsaric existence.

How does one become enlightened?
“The purification of one’s own mind/will (citta); this is the Doctrine of the Buddha” [digha nikaya 2.49]

What this means is that through observation, one perceives that everything is impermanent, and thus subject to suffering. Turning away from that which is suffering, and turning towards the Eternal Law of the Buddhas, one purifies their mind and no longer attaches to things that are impermanent.

How does one prove in Buddhism that nirvana exists?

Through neti neti terminology, meaning "not this, not that" what this means is that
“Whatever form, feelings, perceptions, experiences, or consciousness there is (the five aggregates), these he sees to be without permanence, as suffering, as ill, as a plague, a boil, a sting, a pain, an affliction, as foreign, as otherness, as empty , as Selfless. So he turns his mind/will (citta) away from these; therein he gathers his citta within the realm of Immortality. This is tranquility; this is that which is most excellent!” [majjhima nikaya 1.436]

One can not empirically prove that a soul exists, one can only prove via negative terminology that All of This Totality is impermanent and not the soul. Materialists at this point proclaim that since the Soul does not exist in the world it must not exist at all, yet what we need is not a law in the world just one that operates in the world.

What is conditioning? What is samsaric existence? What is rebirth and reincarnation?

karma is the law of nature, the principle behind samsara. Samsara is hell but real to us. Samsara is the mirage, the illusion. To seek something greater than samsara is to change your attitude from the impermanent to the permanent.

"Wide open is the portal to Immortality." majjhima nikaya 1.168

What is Form and Emptiness?

Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form. What has form has emptiness, and what has emptiness has form. Break down all conditions by analyzing the parts that make up the whole. Your body is your organs and tissues and bones, your cells and your thoughts, each one interdependent upon the other, dependent also on the environment as if yoked to it. This yoke is body, the body is the yoke. Having done away with the body, and no longer calling it "mine" one does also away with the yoke.

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