Q212. Did ancient masters obtain enlightenment?

A. No master says that he has attained enlightenment because it is also an illusion. Masters are those who have realised the truth that everything is empty as an illusion and there is nothing to gain or lose. When everything including the master himself is empty, who would attain what? It is, for example, like, after struggling a lot to reach the Earth, finding the truth that they are originally part of the Earth and there is no other place to reach than where they are. So after enlightenment, they would say that all the efforts they had made were of no use at all. In order to describe such people, we use the phrase ‘attained enlightenment’ for the sake of convenience. If a master happens to think that he has obtained anything, he is not enlightened.

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Master: “Why did you come here?”

Student: “I came here to attain enlightenment.”

Master: “I don’t have such a thing here.”

Student: “Why do many people try to attain enlightenment?”

Master: “Because they have not confirmed the truth that there is nothing to gain or lose.”

 

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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