Author Topic: A moment of your time  (Read 620 times)

Offline kidwell

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A moment of your time
« on: January 12, 2015, 07:17:39 pm »
This will be my last post as I do not wish to interfere with the real purpose of this forum, so forgive me.  I live in a very rural area and am taking a college world religion class on line.  My professor assigned that we have to interview two people from two religions of our choice.  I chose Buddhism because I could really understand the importance of meditation to reach Nirvana. 

I told my professor that I lived in a very rural area and did not have access to interview any of the religions we had been studying but he would not make any concessions and this had to be incorporated in our eight page essay which is due this weekend.  This essay is not taking sides or in anyway damaging to any religion, I would not participate in it if it were.

The essay is only to compare similarities and differences between two religions.  I chose to research and write about enlightenment in Buddhism and that one must experience rebirth, and follow the Eight Fold Path to reach Nirvana.  To gain eternal life free from suffering of this world.  The interview consists only of this question:  What is your understanding and personal belief of enlightenment versus salvation?  This is not an argumentative essay it is only to gain a better understanding from one who is knowledgeable.  Please feel free to message me here or email me at mkidwell60@gmail.com      I appreciate your time and thank you...    michelle

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: A moment of your time
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 10:20:00 pm »
Hi Michelle.

I don't know what gave you the idea that you were interfering with the purpose of this forum --- in my opinion, you certainly were not interfering with anything --- in fact, many others have come here for the same reason you have, to do research for a paper, ect.

As for your question, Nirvana is sometimes described as the Buddhist equivalent of salvation, but this can be misleading because there is no saviour concept in Buddhism. A Buddha is not a saviour who saves others by his personal salvation. Although a Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha as his incomparable guide who indicates the path of purity, he makes no servile surrender. A Buddhist does not think that he can gain purity merely by seeking refuge in the Buddha or by mere faith in the Buddha. It is not within the power of a Buddha to wash away the impurities of others.

There is nothing argumentative is this, nor is it an issue of personal belief of enlightenment, but a matter of doctrine through and through --- the liberation of self is the responsibility of one's own self, placing heavy emphasis on self-reliance, self discipline and individual striving.


I chose to research and write about enlightenment in Buddhism and that one must experience rebirth, and follow the Eight Fold Path to reach Nirvana.

It wouldn't be correct to say that one must experience rebirth to reach Nirvana --- it's more of an "either or" proposition, where if one doesn't reach Nirvana it is believed that they then experience rebirth --- in other words, rebirth is not a prerequisite of enlightenment, but understood as being the end result of not reaching Nirvana, where the wheel of life repeats itself.

Following the Eightfold Path is the means by which one might become liberated from Samsara and reach Nirvana.

Offline kidwell

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Re: A moment of your time
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 07:36:47 pm »
Dharmakara,

Thank you for clarifying the cycle of rebirth, and elaborating on the liberation of one's self is completely dependent on one's own self.  I can actually see where there is truth in this.  I think we easily become our own obstacle so to speak, I know I have realized that about myself in some personal matters.

Thank you for your time,
Michelle

 


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