Author Topic: Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana  (Read 1650 times)

Offline ErwinOwin

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Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« on: December 02, 2014, 04:28:50 am »
Even Though Gautam Buddha Attained enlightenment, he was still bound by the nature of life. He had to die. The physical death of The Gautam Buddha is termed as Mahaparinirvana (Great State Beyond Nirvana) that took place Kushinagara in India.

The Buddha was eighty years old when he died. As mentioned by tradition, The Buddha was lying in his right side and his right hand supporting his head. This position is known as Mahaparinirvasana.

His last teaching to his disciples was "be a light to yourselves".

"Let a person be a light to himself and learn wisdom.
When he is free from delusion, he will go beyond birth and death." Dhammapada

http://www.buddhist-art.net/about-buddha/death-of-the-buddha
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Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 08:20:25 am »
His last teaching to his disciples was "be a light to yourselves".

The World Honored One, perfect in illumination and wisdom, summed up the whole of his teaching in one gatha (or verse): to cease from all evil actions, to generate all that is good, and to cleanse one’s mind, that this was (and still is) the constant advice of all Buddhas past, present and future --

Sabba papassa akaranm
Kusalassa upasampada
Sachitta pariyo dapanam
Etam Buddhanusasanam


Having taught first at Deer Park, then at Vulture Peak, and finally at Crane Grove, where after declaring that his parinibbana was without the marks of having been a great man, the Buddha then instructed this noble family to take refuge in the Dhamma and only the Dhamma, that this was the proper way to honor the Tathagata, to become an island between two streams --

Atta dipa
Viharatha
Atta sharana
Ananna sharana
Dhamma dipa
Dhamma sharana
Ananna sharana


Actually, his last teaching was as follows: "Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation."

Atha kho bhagava bhikkhu amantesi
Handa dani, bhikkave, amantayami vo
Vayadhamma sankhara appamadena sampadetha ti
Ayaṃ tathagatassa pacchima vaca


Offline mysticmorn

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Re: Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 06:43:57 pm »

Actually, his last teaching was as follows: "Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation.
What about his Mahaparinirvana Sutra, which some regard as controversial, because it appears to contradict his earlier teachings? Others consider it a "supramundane" teaching, compared to the other "mundane" teachings. But his elaboration of the concept of "True Self" and Buddhanature, and the permanence of the Enlightened state, are very interesting!  Did those come before this "last teaching" quoted here?

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2014, 12:37:12 am »
The Mahaparinirvaṇa Sutra belongs to the Tathagatagarbha collection of the Mahayana Canon. According to most scholars, it originated in the first century CE in Andhra, South India, and was substantially expanded by Dharmakṣema, a Chinese translator in the fifth century CE, though the compilation of portions corresponding to the Faxian and Tibetan translations are believed to have occurred during (or prior to) the 2nd century CE.

What about his Mahaparinirvana Sutra, which some regard as controversial, because it appears to contradict his earlier teachings?

The so-called "controversial" nature of the Mahayana Canon is related to the fact that the Theravada tradition only recognizes the Pali Canon, whereas the Mahayana tradition accepts the Pali Canon, as well as hundreds of other teachings not found within the Pali Canon. Speaking strictly from an academic point of view, the controversy is two-fold: (1) the Mahayana claim of canonical authenticity, that these other teachings were spoken by the historical Buddha; and (2) the failure of the Theravada tradition to hold itself to the same standard when it comes to the Pali Canon as buddha-vacana --- in other words, the Pali Canon has its own problems when it comes to canonical and historical authenticity.

Leigh Brasington probably said it best when it comes to the authencity of the Pali Canon[1]:

Given the huge variety in these suttas, how literally should we take this material? Is it all really the words of the Buddha and his close disciples? Well, unless you are willing to believe, for example as found in MN 123, that the newly born baby Buddha-to-be took seven steps to the north and exclaimed in a loud voice "I'm the chief in this world, the most accepted and the most senior. This is my last birth, I will not be born again”, you are going to have to let go of literalism. You will need to use your critical thinking ability to decide what is authentic, what is mythology, and even what was a later creation to serve some sectarian purpose.

more here >>> http://www.leighb.com/palisuttas.htm

As for the Mahayana tradition, Paul Swanson deals with the issue of apocryphal texts in Chinese Buddhism and the way those texts were used in the work of Chih-i (6th century), the founder of the T'ian-t'ai tradition[2][3]. It appears that like most of the classical Buddhist commentators, Chih-i is not pre-occupied with the distinction between 'canonical' and 'apocryphal'; apocryphal texts were quoted by him with the same authority as other Buddhist scripture. Chih-i uses the apocryphal writings as texts containing 'the words of the Buddha' (buddha-vacana) by taking the criterion of authority in a wider sense; namely, by not limiting the buddha-vacana as referring to the actual words of the Buddha only, but also to words that carry the same meaning as the actual words. This shift of the focus of authority from historical origins to that of content and meaning may open the door for the canonization of new texts, or for the decanonization of texts that have lost relevance, or even for the re-canonization of rediscovered texts.

IMHO the controversy tends to be a bit of a red herring or an inopportune argument --- for example, there would be no controversy if the Mahayana Canon was recognized for what it actually is: expedient means.


Notes:

[1] Brasington, Leigh -- "The Authenticity of the Suttas of the Pali Canon" -- http://www.leighb.com/palisuttas.htm

[2] Swanson, Paul L. -- "Foundations of Tʻien-Tʻai Philosophy" -- http://books.google.com/books?isbn=0895819198

[3] Swanson, Paul L. -- "The Two Truths Controversy in China and Chih-i's Threefold Truth Concept" -- http://books.google.com/books?id=g3vUAAAAMAAJ

Offline ErwinOwin

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Re: Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2014, 03:27:10 am »
Thank You Dharmakara
So The Buddha's Last Teaching was "Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All component things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation."

I was mistaken then
 ;D
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Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2014, 06:30:55 am »
Actually you weren't mistaken, other than a subtle distinction in context --- in other words, the Atta Dipa wasn't the last teaching of the Buddha, but something much more important: it was nothing less than the "Last Will and Testament" of the Buddha, no different than any other legal declaration by which a person names one or more persons to manage his or her estate,  whereby establishing a testamentary trust that's binding and effective only after the death of the "testator" (or in this particular instance, the Buddha himself).

It might seem strange to refer to Atta Dipa in such fashion, where some people might even object to such a notion, but the Buddha was responding to Ananda's question: ”Who would be the teacher of the Sangha in the future, after the Buddha had passed away?” The Buddha replied, “Atta-dipa viharatha atta-sarana annana-sarana” or translated from its original Pali, “Dwell bikkhus with yourselves as an island and be your own refuge. Have no other as your refuge.” The word Atta-dipa is a compound term which can be divided into two --- atta meaning "self" and dipa meaning "island" --- but the Buddha also added the following to his response: “Dhamma and Vinaya I have taught clearly. This Dhamma and this Vinaya will be the teacher of the Sangha, also being its saviour, refuge and its island. Do not use others as your refuge."

Offline john1565

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Re: Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2018, 08:43:45 am »
Thanks Dharmakara. Nice discussion

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2018, 10:35:29 am »
Thanks Dharmakara. Nice discussion

Just so you know,. Dharmakara, died a couple years ago.

Offline Lotusmile

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Death of Gautam Buddha AKA Mahaparinirvana
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2018, 05:12:58 am »
Even Though Gautam Buddha Attained enlightenment, he was still bound by the nature of life. He had to die. The physical death of The Gautam Buddha is termed as Mahaparinirvana (Great State Beyond Nirvana) that took place Kushinagara in India.

The Buddha was eighty years old when he died. As mentioned by tradition, The Buddha was lying in his right side and his right hand supporting his head. This position is known as Mahaparinirvasana.

His last teaching to his disciples was "be a light to yourselves".

"Let a person be a light to himself and learn wisdom.
When he is free from delusion, he will go beyond birth and death." Dhammapada

http://www.buddhist-art.net/about-buddha/death-of-the-buddha

mahaparinirvana is not term for physical death. It is the term for the origin nature state of non birth and non death of all beings and buddha or enlightened one or enlightenment . In the physical seeing and knowledge of all beings, there is a physical death, in the ultimate bliss of buddha, there is non birth and death

 


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