Letters

Why Do The Enlightened Sometimes Conceal Their Identities?

gautama buddha statuettes inside brown and white room
Photo by George Best Thai on Pexels.com

Question: With reference to the article at https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/11/the-cross-manifestations-of-buddhas-bodhisattvas-gods, the Buddha said that, ‘having taught them the Dharma, and roused, edified, and gladdened them, I would straightaway vanish.’

Why did he disappear without revealing his identity? Would it not increase the faith of those present if he did?

Answer: Those present did not karmically deserve the full presence of the Buddha, in form and function – which is why he could only manifest as one of them, instead of appearing as himself, to skilfully offer the teachings that they should and could receive, and leave thereafter. However, this is not before leaving adequate impressions, with the teachings offered being impactful.

When appropriate, there can be occasions when his identity is revealed to strengthen faith, but must only be shortly before departure. Reasons for this can be seen at https://purelanders.com/2021/05/15/fourth-heavy-precept. These apply to Bodhisattvas and other enlightened beings too.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.