Avalokiteśvara etc

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JackV
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Avalokiteśvara etc

Postby JackV » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:52 am

Hi.

Just a quick question. I began my readings / understanding and practice of Buddhism from a Therevadin teacher and as such have always followed the Therevada school. However I was curious about a few things from other schools in the Mahayana tradition. For instance the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara in Mahayana (as far as I understand) is considered to be a real and active being, whereas I always considered that after Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama attained Nibbana and died he - for lack of a better term - stayed dead.
What is the Terevadin view of Bodhisattvas then? Are they considered to be real and active beings or just visualisations and interpretations of concepts. The extension of this question then is that if there are Bodhisatvas who are more than just embodiments of concepts and feelings then where does that mean for Siddhārtha?

Any information on this subject would be appreciated as I am quite interested yet any site about Mahayana traditions and Sutras are amazingly baffling.

Jack
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captains swore grand conquest
Tall grasses their monument.

JackV
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Re: Avalokiteśvara etc

Postby JackV » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:55 am

Oh and I forgot too mention. Whats this Thai tradition of Days Of The Week Buddhas?
Is this just choosing to focus on a particular attribute of the Buddha on a day of the week; Compassion one day, Wisdom the next etc?

Thank you kindly
Here where a thousand
captains swore grand conquest
Tall grasses their monument.

PeterB
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Re: Avalokiteśvara etc

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:46 pm

Generally speaking JackV the Theravada reserves the use of the term Bodhisattva for those who are on the way to become Sammasambuddhasa...fully enlightened teachers "of gods and men".
The Theravada does not recognise the existence of the Mahayana Bodhisattvas and so has no developed doctrine about them. :smile:

plwk
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Re: Avalokiteśvara etc

Postby plwk » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:28 pm

What do you think?
Is Metteyya Bodhisatta real as described in the Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutta or for that matter the past 24 Buddhas as described in the Buddhavamsa of Khuddaka Nikaya?

:sage:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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PeterB
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Re: Avalokiteśvara etc

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:46 pm

Both Mettaya Buddha and the 24 are Buddhas or Buddhas to be...
Avalokiteshvara. Manjushri, Tara, et al do not have their origin in the teachings of the Buddha as found in the Pali Canon and are later developments or more accurately perhaps appear to be a reversion to preBuddhist Maha Deva figures as described in the Vedas and Upanishads, and recast into " Buddhist " form.

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Kare
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Re: Avalokiteśvara etc

Postby Kare » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:58 pm

plwk wrote:What do you think?
Is Metteyya Bodhisatta real as described in the Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutta or for that matter the past 24 Buddhas as described in the Buddhavamsa of Khuddaka Nikaya?

:sage:


If you read the Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutta, you will find that it is an allegorical tale about ethical values and society. The life-lengths of the generations mentioned there can hardly have been realistically meant. Therefore it would indeed be quite surprising if the mentioning of Metteyya should have been thrown in as a realistically meant element in such an allegorical and fabulous setting.
Mettāya,
Kåre

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Kim OHara
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Re: Avalokiteśvara etc

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

JackV wrote:... Any information on this subject would be appreciated as I am quite interested yet any site about Mahayana traditions and Sutras are amazingly baffling.

Hi, Jack,
A quick summary of the above could be, "We don't know much about bodhisattvas here - they are not part of Theravada." If that's enough of an answer, fine. :smile: Otherwise, you'll have to try somewhere else.
You say you have found Mahayana sites 'baffling' but Dhamma Wheel's Mahayana twin, Dharma Wheel (see link at bottom of this page), is every bit as easy to get around, and as full of friendly people, as this site. You might find better answers to most of your Mahayana/Vajrayana questions over there.
Good luck!
:namaste:
Kim


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