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Thread: Killing Buddha

  1. #1

    Killing Buddha

    Many levels of understanding for killing Buddha...

    The most superficial one, don't be attached to the Buddha.
    The second one, don't create, make a Buddha separate form this life and these sentient beings.
    The third one, forget about the Buddha.
    The fourth one, as you become one with the Buddha, the Buddha is killed on the spot, instantly. No traces of Buddha left.

    and of course, these four understandings can be experienced all together, at once.

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    Re: Killing Buddha


    Thank you! Not sure that I completely understand the reference but , thank you for sowing the seeds and rekindling the fire.

    gassho, Richard

  3. #3

    Re: Killing Buddha

    Quote Originally Posted by richard409

    Thank you! Not sure that I completely understand the reference but , thank you for sowing the seeds and rekindling the fire.

    gassho, Richard
    If I may provide some context for the reference (Taigu, correct me if I am wrong) ... Taigu is reflecting on the famous quotation by the famous 9th Century Master, Lin Chi (Master Rinzai) ...

    ‘Followers of the Way [of Chán], if you want to get the kind of understanding that accords with the Dharma, never be misled by others. Whether you're facing inward or facing outward, whatever you meet up with, just kill it! If you meet a buddha, kill the buddha. If you meet a patriarch, kill the patriarch. If you meet an arhat, kill the arhat. If you meet your parents, kill your parents. If you meet your kinfolk, kill your kinfolk. Then for the first time you will gain emancipation, will not be entangled with things, will pass freely anywhere you wish to go.’ (Taish?, vol. 47, p. 500b)

    Of course, Master Rinzai was not likely advocating actually killing one's parents ... or anyone!

  4. #4

    Re: Killing Buddha

    Record of Linchi!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GASSHO!

  5. #5

    Re: Killing Buddha

    Why worry about Buddha?


  6. #6

    Re: Killing Buddha

    I forget where I heard this, but the old saying of; if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the Buddha was interpreted as meaning that even if Buddhism starts to get in the way of understanding or acceptance, throw away this idea of Buddhism. Kill the Buddha and keep on moving forward.



  7. #7

    Re: Killing Buddha

    Thank you Taigu,
    forget about the buddha seems to be most spot on for me, like Dogens "To study the self is to forget the self" which is one of my all time favorites ... I should forget it :-D

  8. #8

    Re: Killing Buddha

    Yes, I guess when you kill the buddha, you are really only throwing away the skilful means that once had a purpose but aren't useful for you anymore, throwing away the parts of Buddhism that are hindering you on your path. With greater understanding, the doctrines and philosophy at some stage probably seem unnecessary, ináccurate, crude or very simplified. If we had been born in the same time and place as Shakyamuni Gautama, perhaps it wouldn't have been such a bright idea to kill him if we met him on the road... But the 'buddha' we 'meet' on 'the path' isn't the real buddha, it's only the expression or projection of our attachment, longing and delusion.

    But I don't like the expression much. I think it's overly dramatic, a way for a Rinzai priest to sort of slap his student in the face, returning him to reality when the student is too full of himself after having has a glimpse of reality. In our tradition, wouldn't it be better to sort of say farewell to the buddha, knowing we will never see him again, thanking him for the help along the way and then press on alone?


  9. #9

    Re: Killing Buddha

    but then he might go off and confuse others....=)

    just kidding

    I agree with you...I do not like the expression either...and if I was born at the time of the Buddha I would not kill him...

    *Bowing to your wisdom*


  10. #10

    Re: Killing Buddha

    humbly, from recent experience-

    kill the Buddha,
    forget the Buddha,
    and walk away, blinded in the rising sun...
    bald head shining,
    soul amiss and weary.

    Buddha is still there,
    like beads on a string intertwined
    with the tendons in my flesh.

    everlasting, indistinguishable from



  11. #11
    Perhaps Lin Chi is encouraging us to look inside ourselves for the answers, to kill the Buddha or all his other victims meaning kill them in our mind. Not just letting anyone, because they are in a position in authority "mislead" us. I rather like this quote. While somewhat harsh it isn't without humor.

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