Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by CobblersApprentice, Jul 6, 2019.
How would others here distinguish between "Salvation" and "Enlightenment"? If at all.
1. Preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.
2. Theology. Deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ.
The action of enlightening or the state of being enlightened. Understanding, insight, education, learning, knowledge, awareness, wisdom.
Enlightenment:- bodhi in Indian Buddhism (aka "early Buddhism"), satori in Zen Buddhism. Ceasing to be reborn, attaining nirvana.
Often, in some quarters, a distinction is made between enlightenment as a human attempt to "attain" (release of some sort), while salvation is a gift, grace. Human effort v the work of God.
Which suggests the old conundrum (to some) of "faith" v "works", or in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism between "self power" (jiriki) and Other Power (Tariki)
"Will you tell us of jiriki?
Yes, but there is neither jiriki nor tariki
What is, is the graceful acceptance only"
(from the Journals of Saichi, a Pure Land "saint" - myokonin)
"It is a necessary stage on the path where self-power is also appreciated, in refelection, as the working of Other Power."
(Taitetsu Unno, from "Shin Buddhism:Bits of Rubble Turn into Gold")
And Thomas Merton:- "The innocence and purity of heart which belong to paradise are a complete emptiness of self in which all is the work of God, the free and unpredictable expression of His love, the work of grace. In the purity of original innocence, all is done in us but without us. But before we reach that level, we must also learn to work on the other level of 'knowledge' - where grace works in us but 'not without us'."
Moksha in Hindu traditions?
Yes, that too.
It seems some insist there can be no "grace" in Buddhism, on other forums that there can be no "sin", and of course, outside of Christianity there is "no salvation". I'm beginning to see that what I would call "fundamentalism" is a very close bed-fellow to outright dualism.
All is two, will forever be two, and never the twain shall meet.
Anyway, I'll leave it for now.
Speculating... enlightenment comes in gradual stages, salvation is sudden, all-or-nothing?
In fact, there is much discussion in zen concerning sudden and gradual enlightenment, some arguing for one, some for the other. Then again, some see them - sudden and gradual - as inter-related! (That seems to be how Dogen speaks of it, but his thought is so complex I flounder)
If I understand correctly, much Christian evangelism seems to speak of "sudden" salvation, this followed by sanctification. But it is as you say, "all or nothing".
This is where my third post on this thread is relevant, at least to me, seeking as I do more clarity.
Speaking to myself, it is not "either/or", but "both/and". It is all and nothing.
The dalai lama was said to have said... "You know you are enlightened when everyone you see you see as enlightened."
A preacher friend said, "You've come to the wrong place, we don't save you here, we teach you to save yourself!". (Like fishing!)
On topic I'd say the difference between the two is west vs east one occurs without, the other within
"Salvation" = arrival at the goal. [Back home back to Godhead's abode]
"Enlightenment" = knowing what the goal is.
My understanding of the nature of the Soul, is that the soul is active by nature, and thus it doesn't stay in nirvana nor in the Brahman state nor when merged in the Brahmajyoti effulgence.
The name "Mukunda" is the name of the Lord that means, "one who awards liberation".
FYI, This is a name of Lord Krishna only. The name itself means 'the One who liberates'
A Shivite eventually finds this out too.
Hi wil, there is something from Thomas Merton about always approaching another as one who has already been touched by God. Something like that. Certainly never approach anyone as a predator and seeking only a mirror.
On enlightenment, a Theravada guy, Ajahn Chah, once said that enlightenment was like a flower and would grow naturally. Our job was simply to "keep the bugs away". Then again, when he died his pupils preserved him and sat him down somewhere in the monastery. Given his main topic of discourse was "impermanence" you have to doubt the efficacy of his teaching methods.
But I'm waffling as usual. Your final sentence hits the nail on the head. Yes, thank you. I have more to say but perhaps later. As Merton once said, "Don't read anything that robs you of sleep." Sound advice.
The Theravada Elder, Nyanaponika Thera, once contrasted the beginning of the Bible with that of the Dhammapada.
"In the beginning God........" with "All is mind made......."
He then asserted that the first took us up up and away (not his words, but can't actually remember them) while the second took us deep into ourselves. Maybe its a case of each to their own? Anyway, here is a couple of small verses from the Pali Text the "Anguttara Nikaya":-
"Thus have I heard: The end of the world can never be reached by walking. However, without having reached the end of the world there is no release from suffering. I declare that it is in this fathom long carcass, with its perceptions and thoughts, that there is the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world."
Well, don't lose sleep over that, but of "inner" and "outer" and ways and means, perhaps the "argument by relegation" comes into this, and of exactly which position is subsumed by the other. (Opposite positions are treated not by refuting them, but by accepting them as true, but only true as a part of the full picture)
As I understand it, this is much to do with Dogen's teaching that non- dualism is to be realised within duality. I just love the way he continually has his cake and eats it too.
I "get" this. Thanks.
"The journey itself is home" rings true for me rather than any "arrival" and any definitive "knowing".
Ajahn Chah's body was cremated.
Probably you are right. I can no longer recall where I heard the story. I have found by googling that his funeral was held "one year after his demise."
That's possible, since he received a state funeral. The Thai military have this weird macho admiration for the forest monks, and Ajahn Chah was a famous figure in Thai society.
Edited to add: In Thailand, it's not uncommon to have a time span of a year between the death of a person and the cremation ceremony. The equivalent of graveyards has areas to store bodies for this period.
Hi CA —
have you read 'Is There Room For Grace in Buddhism' by Marco Pallis?
I like that ...
It's strong in the patristic tradition, drawing from the Johannine texts, a saying along the lines of 'love thy neighbour, for there is God'.
The two commandments given by Christ are embodied in Christ, or rather Christ is the incarnation of that twofold commandment. Loving God and loving one's neighbour are inseparable, and whoever claims to love God yet does not love his neighbour is deluding himself.
'Salvation' and 'Enlightenment' are two concepts, easily stated but so difficult to pin down and impossible to define, because they approach the eschaton and thus a mystery.
For me, it's more and more about love. Where love is, there God is ...
Separate names with a comma.