If the Buddha was Enlightened, why Teach?

I don’t understand why Sakyamuni would teach if he were enlightened. To be enlightened, according to Buddhism, would be to free of all desire. But, if Sakyamuni was free of all desire, why teach? Why would one want to do anything? Would it not be that one without desire would be indifferent? So, why would he want to teach? I can perhaps believe one may do something out of duty or discipline without want, but that would imply a higher value system to strive for, so why would he teach? He’d have no desire to teach or help those with just a little bit of crust in their eyes. I don’t get it.

Desire in Buddhism means to be attached to things. You can want to teach someone the truth without being attached to teaching others the truth.

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The teaching is to help others attain Enlightenment. The teaching arises not from desire but from the very state of Enlightenment. For all must be one.

The Buddha taught because he had compassion for those who were not enlightened.


But one cannot have compassion without desiring the better for someone.
I.e., desiring that x may have freedom, that x may understand, to serve God, etc.

It makes more sense if instead of desire one describes it as “attachment”.

He was commanded to? He was desireless. And one spirit came and gave him a command. He obeyed for he had no desire.
Where does this command comes from? Is it God? Is it the devil? In Buddhism the dangers are not expressed. Simply contact the spiritual world and have no desire of the world. But…who are you talking to when detached?
If Buddhism was the way of leaving the world and its vanity, as God wished, being constructed before Christianity as an older religion, then why did Christ have to die? (So we know Who should be giving us orders when we are desireless?)
Just a thought.

Buddhism and Christianity are pretty different from what I can see.

Some practices may be similar from the outside (ie, some Tibetan practices), but they are really different.

In Buddhism, you try to save yourself, though the “self”, the soul, doesn’t exist but is merely an illusion provided by 5 different forces of the body, namely form, sensations, perceptions, mental activity or formations, and consciousness. You are to be your own light and escape the suffering of being reborn by attaining enlightenment, thus being like a candle put out, whatever this truly means. Sakyamuni did not expound on whether those enlightened still lived or not.

In Christianity, we have an eternal soul saved by God through the bestowing of Virtue and accepting of the infinitely meritorious Work of Christ, we are to be like crystal clear windows, bringing the Light of Christ to the World. We are to embrace suffering, and die to ourselves. Eventually one is to attain the Beautific Vision, and have everlasting life.

I consider Buddhism to be a fine effort in reason to virtue, considering he was apparently void of Divine Revelation.

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If Buddhism is about personal salvation through self while Christianity is about die to oneself with the hope of rebirth in Christ, then they are quite opposite. Self or giving oneself up (to follow Him)?

Either “attachment” or “selfish desire” is often used.


If Buddha was enlightened, he would’ve been Catholic and taught the fullness of truth that is found in the Catholic Church.

When trying to understand something in one worldview, it is typically better to try to understand the facts of the matter within said worldview
When we hear of someone burning a witch, for example, we should think of how they would justify the action to their own self.
"(S)he is bringing plagues and disease into our nation!" “(S)he is cursing us!” "(S)he is evil and trying to cast spells!"
Then it makes more sense.

And in his day, he was separated from the Jews and appears to not have had Divine Revelation. It was prior to the coming of the Messiah. He grew up in India with a much different worldview, albeit a unique one with the whole bring kept from suffering for a long time and all.

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