The Paradox (or two or three)!
Buddha's First Response
best represented and advocated in Mahayana Buddhism
The Buddha responds, for the un-enlightened, un-awakened, the yana, the ferryboat has a critical and essential role and purpose, to help teach and communicate the Dharma and journey across the river of life. But once across, would you continue to carry such a heavy boat on your back?
all overt elements of the Yana not needed, for example, the Three Jewels Dharma, Sangha, and the . . . .
the ultimate realization is that there is no Buddha - he becomes meaningless -
consider the example of art of the Buddha under the Bo Tree with Mara threatening and tempting him, as he is in a meditative state of "extinguishing his flame," is empty, and thus no image of the Buddha under the Tree.
fully realize that there is anatta - no Self, and no Soul
"person" - skandas = aggregate bundle of forms, sensations, perceptions, predispositions, and consciousness - "mind" - "skeins that hang together as loosely as yarn"
that as you go through samsara and the series of bardos, you get reassembled - like "clouds" - until eventually extinguished -
realize there is no God, the Buddha is not a Savior
AND realize there is no Nirvana - it becomes meaningless
Nirvana - "blowing out," "cooling," "extinguishing" passions, desires, attachments
it is certainly not a "place," nor a state of "being" you enter when you die, Not void
it is not, as Westerns often think, "death" (which is itself not a permanent state, given possibility of re-birth)
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