arising bodhisattas

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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arising bodhisattas

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:03 am

Here is quote from another forum:

The Pali suttas don't give a lot (if any) guidance for the Bodhisattva path, because they are designed to teach the path to arahantship, so it's hard to reconcile the two paths. As far as I can tell, this is why you have the Bodhisattva ideal that arises in mahayana.
Actually the bodhisatta notion arose among the Mainstream schools before the arising of the Mahayana. As the Mahayana assumed an oppositional stance vis a vis the Mainstream schools, the bodhisttva notion took on a very different flavor from what is found in the Mainstream schools and the very early Mahayana bodhisattva sutras such as the Ugra.
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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Ngawang Drolma.
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Re: arising bodhisattas

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:04 am

Hi Tilt,
This is very interesting. These particular passages caught my eye:

briefly outlining the lives of these six buddhas,
Gotama begins an in-depth recollection of the first
buddha, Vipassii, from his life in Tu.sita heaven
until he dispersed his monks for the purpose of
spreading the teachings. In this narration, the
Buddha not only refers to Vipassii up to his
enlightenment as a bodhisattva,(26) but also takes
the life events of Vipassii as the example for all
future bodhisattvas and buddhas, including
(retroactively) Gotama himself.(27)

Another section of the sutta-pi.taka where the
term "bodhisattva" pertains to each of the six
previous buddhas is the Samyutta Nikaaya. For
instance, in the fourth section of the second book,
we find the phrase "To Vipassi, brethren, Exalted
One, Arahant, Buddha Supreme, before his
enlightenment, while he was yet unenlightened and
Bodhisat[ta], there came this thought...." This same
phrase, then, is used in conjunction with the other
five previous buddhas in the following verses:
Sikhi, Vessabhu, Kakusandha,, and

While most of the uses of the term "bodhisattva"
concern Gotama Buddha and the numerous buddhas who
preceded him, there are also references in the Paali
canon to the possibility of future buddhas (and
hence bodhisattvas) . For example, in the
Cakkavatisiihanaadasutta of the Diigha Nikaaya, the
Buddha foretells of the future when "an Exalted One
named Metteyya [Skt: Maitreya], Arahant, Fully
Awakened [i.e., sammaasambuddha], abounding in
wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the
worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to
be led, a teacher for gods and men, and Exalted One,
a Buddha, even as I am now," will arise.(29)

Though Maitreya is the only future buddha
mentioned specifically, the possibility of attaining
buddhahood is not restricted solely to him. In the
Sampasaadaniiyasutta of the Diigha Nikaaya, for
instance, Saariputta is professed to have said: "In
the presence of the Exalted One have I heard him say
and from him have received, that... in times gone by
and in future times there have been, and will be
other Supreme Buddhas equal to himself [i.e.,
Gotama] in the matter of Enlightenment."(30) Thus,
no longer is the term "bodhisattva" used solely in
conjunction with Gotama, with other past buddhas,
and with Maitreya; the bodhisattva-yaana is regarded
as a possible, albeit difficult, path open to anyone
who desires buddhahood.

This more expanded use of the term "bodhisattva"
is explicitly expressed in the Khuddakapaa.tha. In
the eighth chapter of this canonical text (the
Nidhika.n.dasutta) , the goal of buddhahood is
presented as a goal that should be pursued by
certain exceptional beings. After demonstrating the
impermanence and uselessness of accumulating and
storing material possessions or treasures, the sutta
mentions another type of treasure that is more
permanent and which follows beings from birth to

What is the Urga? Thanks very much :anjali:

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Re: arising bodhisattas

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:22 am

What is the Urga?
    >> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<<
    -- Proverbs 26:12

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