Path to Buddhahood

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby fig tree » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:52 am

ccharles wrote:If one had already successfully made the aspiration to become a Buddha in the presence of a Buddha in a past life, how would one know? If one has not done that, is there a path one can take to eventually meet a Buddha in a future life, so he can then successfully make the aspiration?

Ven. Nanarama writes in his "The Seven Stages of Purification" that at the stage of "knowledge of equanimity about formations" one can ascertain whether one has made such an aspiration (for Buddhahood, Paccekabuddhahood, chief discipleship, etc.), which can prevent some from going beyond that stage.

If a person reaches such a stage, completing the path would be of great benefit both to themselves and to the rest of us in this Buddha sasana, which they could then help to maintain. If it should happen in rare instances to be the case that by "holding off" one can be of even more benefit... I'll leave it up to that person to recognize when that is the case.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Hanzze » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:46 am

I guess the Buddha would not have given such addvices, remembering the countless we might have met, claiming to have seen a special task for them selfs. We percept, dream and see much, therefore I guess it is useful to focus just on reaching for example "knowledge of equanimity about formations" which is quite a lot to do, and I am sure even on 5% of the way to this stage, one would not give such speculations even a single time a chance. They (toughts about it) even would not let one start to strive for such a state.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby whynotme » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:07 am

I find it is a bit funny that now, under the current Buddha sasana, people started worshiping future Buddha. Then maybe in future, under the Maitreya's teaching then they will worship another future Buddha. They try to catch the train but miss it every time it arrives :mrgreen:

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Tom » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:52 am

tiltbillings wrote: and he also possesses a unique familiarity with the intricacies of the path not shared by his disciples.


So would this mean that this "unique familiarity with the intricacies of the path" is not available to those who attain arahantship?
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:00 am

ccharles wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: and he also possesses a unique familiarity with the intricacies of the path not shared by his disciples.


So would this mean that this "unique familiarity with the intricacies of the path" is not available to those who attain arahantship?
I suppose the point here is that given the very long time, life after life, spent cultivating the paramis, the perfections, the Buddha knows things related to awakening better than anyone else.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Hanzze » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:37 am

ccharles wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: and he also possesses a unique familiarity with the intricacies of the path not shared by his disciples.


So would this mean that this "unique familiarity with the intricacies of the path" is not available to those who attain arahantship?

Maybe useful in relation of your question:

Answers of questions given by Ven. Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw (taken from the Dhamma-Dana book “Knowing and Seeing” distributed by budaedu.org)

Question 4.1: Is a bodhisatta, including Arimetteyya Bodhisatta, a worldling (puthjjana)? If Arimetteya Bodhisatta is a worldling like us, then at the time for him to come down to become Metteyya Buddha, what is the difference between the conditions for him to become a Buddha and for us?

Answer 4.1: The difference is that his paramis have matured, as they had for our Sakyamuni Buddha as the bodhisatta Prince Siddhattha. Such bodhisattas will for many lives have been cultivating their paramis. There are then paramis:

1. Generosity (dana)
2. Virtue (sila)
3. Renunciation (nekkhamma)
4. Wisdom (panna)
5. Energy (viriya)
6. Patience ((khanti)
7. Truthfulness (sacca)
8. Resolution (adhitthana)
9. Lovingkindess (metta)
10. Equanimity (upekkha)

When these ten paramis are mature, they push the bodhisatta to renounce the world, even though he is enjoying sensual pleasures. In this last life, a bodhisatta marries and has a son; this is a law of nature. We forget the names of Metteyya Bodhisatta’s wife and son. According to the Theravada Tipataka, it is his last life, because no arahant, including The Buddha, is reborn after his Parinibbana. His Parinibbana is the end of his round of rebirths. He will not be reborn anywhere.

Take our Sakyamuni Bodhisatta: in his last life, before his enlightenment, he was a worldling. How? When he was sixteen years old, he became Siddhattha and married princess Yasodhara. They had a son. He enjoyed sensual pleasure for more than thirteen years. He did not have five hundred female deities on his left, and five hundred femals deities on his right, but was surrounded by twenty thousand princesses. This is kamasukkallikanyogo: enjoyment of sensual pleasure, indulgence in sensual pleasures.

After he had renounced those sensual pleasures, he practiced self-mortification in the Uruvela forest. After six years of that futile practice, he abandoned it, practiced the middle way, and before long attained enlightenment. After His enlightenment, in His first sermon, the “Dhammacakkapavattana”, He declared:

Kamesu kamasukhallikanuyogo
Hino, gammo, puthjjaniko, anariyo, anatthasamhito.
(this enjoyment of sensual pleasure is inferior (hino),
The practice of villagers (gammo), the practice of worldlings (puthjjaniko).
It is the practice of unenlightened ones (anariyo).
It is unbeneficial (anatthasamhito)

This means that the enjoyment of sensual pleasure is not the practice of enlightened ones. An sensual pleasures are unbeneficial because although they provide mundane benefit such as human happiness, deva happiness and brahma happiness, they do not provide the supramundane benefit that is Nibbana happiness, which can be enjoyed only by Path- and Fruition Knowledge.

So, in His first sermon The Buddha declared that anyone who enjoys sensual pleasure is a worldling. When he was still a bodhisatta, he too had enjoyed sensual pleasure, that is, with Yasodhara in the palace. At that time, he too was a worldling, because enjoyment of sensual pleasures is the practice of a worldling.
This is not only for our bodhisatta, but for every bodhisatta.
There may be many bodhisattas here among the present audience.

You should consider this carefully: are the bodhisattas here worldlings (puthujjana) or noble ones (ariya)? We think you may know the answer.

Question 5.4: (The following questions are all covered by the same answer.)

• Was there a bodhisatta during The Buddha’s time? If so, did he attain a path or was he just a worldling (puthujjana)?
• Why can a noble one (ariya) not become a bodhisatta?
• Can a disciple (savaka) change to become a bodhisatta? If not, why not?
• When by following the Sayadaw’s teaching one is able to attain the Path and Fruitation Knowledge of Stream-Entry (sota magganana and sotapatti phalanana), con one choose to not do so, because of a desire and vow to practice the bodhisatta path?

Answer 5.4: One can change one’s mind before attaining a path or fruitation, but not afterwards. In many suttas, The Buddha taught that the path occurs to the law of nature (sammatta niyama).
The law of nature says:

• The Stream-Entry Path (sotapatti magga) produces the Stream-Entry Fruition (sotapatti phala), after which one con progress to the once-returner (sakadagami) stage, but one cannot regress to the worldling (puthujjana) stage.
• A once-returner can progress to the non-returner (anagami) stage, but cannot regress to the stream-enterer or worldling stage.
• A non-returner can progress to arahantship, but cannot regress to the once-returner, stream-enterer or worldling stages.
• An arahant attains Parinibbana at death, and cannot regress to the lower noble stages, the worldling stage, or any other stage.
Arahantship is the end. This is the law of nature (sammatta niyama). Referring to arahantship, The Buddha said many times:

Ayamantima jati, natthidani punabbhavoti
(This is the last rebirth, now there is no new rebirth)

This means that one cannot change one’s mind, and decide to become a bodhisatta after having attained a path fruition.
Moreover, one cannot change one’s mind after having received a definite prophecy from a Buddha or arahant. But one may wish to wait, and become an arahant some time in the future, and then change one’s mind, and attain arahantship in this life.

The Visuddhi Magga gives an example of a Mahathera, the Venerable Mahasangharakkhita, who did this. He was expert in the four foundations of mindfulness, had practiced Samatha-Vipassana up to the knowledge of Equanimity Towards Formations, and had never performed a bodily or verbal action without mindfulness. And ha had developed sufficient Samatha-Vipassana paramis to be able to attain arahantship if he wanted to. But, because he wanted to see Arimetteyya Buddha, he had decided to wait, and become an arahant only in that dispensation. According to the law of nature we just mentioned, he would not be able to see Arimetteyya Buddha, if he attained arahantship now.

But, at the time near his death, a large number of people gathered, because they thought he was an arahant, and thought he was going to attain Parinibbana, although he was in fact still a worldling. When his disciple told him many people had gathered, because they thought he was going to attain Parinibbana, the Mahathera said, “Oh, I had wanted to see Arimetteyya Buddha. But if there is a large assembly, then let me meditate.” And he practiced Vipassana. Now that he had changed his mind, and because he had in his past lives not received a definite prophecy, he very soon attained arahantship.
During The Buddha’s time there was no mention of a definite prophecy to a bodhisatta except for Arimetteyya Bodhisatta, who was a bhikkhu named Ajita. The Tipitaka does not say either when the next Buddha after Arimetteyya Buddha will arise, so we cannot say how many bodhisattas there were during The Buddha’s time.


Question 5.5: Is it possible to practice the path to liberation (vimutti-magga) and the path of bodhisatta [path to Buddhahood] at the same time? If so, what is the method?

Answer 5.5: Liberation (vimutti) means escape from defilements or the round of rebirths. When a bodhisatta becomes a Buddha, he escapes from the round of rebirths at his Parinibbana. If you, as a disciple (savaka), try to attain Arahantship and succeed, you will also escape from the round of rebirths at your Parinibbana. A person cannot become a Buddha as well as a disciple. He must choose either one or the other, but they both escape from the round of rebirth when they attain Arahantship. The way to attain the Arahant path is the final ppath to liberation (vimuttimagga).

Question 5.6: Is this method [of meditation] for liberation only, or is it also for the bodhisatta path?

Answer 5.6: It is for both. In a previous talk, we mentioned that Sakyamuni Buddha was a bhikkhu in nine of his past lives as a bodhisatta. If we look at his practice in those nine lives, we see the three trainings: morality (sila), concentration (Samadhi), and wisdom (panna). The bodhisatta was able to practice the eight attainments, five mundane psychic powers, and Vipassana up to the knowledge of Equanimity toward Formations.
Now you too are developing Samatha-Vipassana meditation based on virtuose conduct. When you have practiced the three trainings up to the knowledge of Equanimity Towards Formations, you can choose either way. If you want liberation you can choose to go to Nibbana; if you want to become a bodhisatta you can choose the bodhisatta way: no problem.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:52 pm

tiltbillings wrote:You would do better to directly counter my position by showing what it is that I said, using the texts I quoted and showing how what I said the text are saying is wrong.

Already addressed: Your textual sources are selective, your analysis is incomplete, and your thesis can't be accepted.

tiltbillings wrote:I have no problem with: This and that is what the Theravada classically teaches.

Then it might be prudent and certainly more balanced to explain to questioners what the Theravāda teaches instead of hitting them with your opinion that "The "enlightenment" -- bodhi -- of the arahant is no different from that of the Buddha," as if this were truly established. Then questioners might not come away mistakenly thinking that the distinctions between the three types of bodhi is a "taboo" subject.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby daverupa » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:58 pm

Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

Thus the Buddha is distinguished from the arahant disciples, not by some categorical difference in their respective attainments, but by his role: he is the first one in this historical epoch to attain liberation, and he serves as the incomparable guide in making known the way to liberation. He has skills in teaching that even the most capable of his disciples cannot match, but with regard to their world-transcending attainments, both the Buddha and the arahants are `buddho', "enlightened," in that they have comprehended the truths that should be comprehended. They are both `nibbuto', in that they have extinguished the defilements and thereby attained the peace of nirvāṇa. They are both `suvimutto', fully liberated. They have fully understood the truth of suffering; they have abandoned craving, the origin of suffering; they have realized nirvāṇa, the cessation of suffering; and they have completed the practice of the noble eightfold path, the way leading to the cessation of suffering.


The article goes on to delineate a number of other differences between an arahant and the Buddha, mostly surrounding his role as unsurpassed teacher, but the equivalency of that which is denoted by the terms 'buddho/nibbuto/suvimutto' is clear.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:44 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:You would do better to directly counter my position by showing what it is that I said, using the texts I quoted and showing how what I said the text are saying is wrong.

Already addressed: Your textual sources are selective, your analysis is incomplete, and your thesis can't be accepted.
So you claim, but you have not shown that your claim holds any water.

tiltbillings wrote:I have no problem with: This and that is what the Theravada classically teaches.

Then it might be prudent and certainly more balanced to explain to questioners what the Theravāda teaches instead of hitting them with your opinion that "The "enlightenment" -- bodhi -- of the arahant is no different from that of the Buddha," as if this were truly established. Then questioners might not come away mistakenly thinking that the distinctions between the three types of bodhi is a "taboo" subject.
Other than your stating a contrary opinion, you have not shown with any evidence that my claim about the nature of bodhi as described in the suttas, which is carefully backed up with careful textual exegesis, is wrong. The "questioners?" Plural? The point is that the "types of bodhi" is hardly a "taboo" subject; it is, rather, one that is wide open to discussion. The only attempt at limiting the discussion of the nature of bodhi seems to be coming from thee, not me.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:47 pm

daverupa wrote:Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

Thus the Buddha is distinguished from the arahant disciples, not by some categorical difference in their respective attainments, but by his role: he is the first one in this historical epoch to attain liberation, and he serves as the incomparable guide in making known the way to liberation. He has skills in teaching that even the most capable of his disciples cannot match, but with regard to their world-transcending attainments, both the Buddha and the arahants are `buddho', "enlightened," in that they have comprehended the truths that should be comprehended. They are both `nibbuto', in that they have extinguished the defilements and thereby attained the peace of nirvāṇa. They are both `suvimutto', fully liberated. They have fully understood the truth of suffering; they have abandoned craving, the origin of suffering; they have realized nirvāṇa, the cessation of suffering; and they have completed the practice of the noble eightfold path, the way leading to the cessation of suffering.


The article goes on to delineate a number of other differences between an arahant and the Buddha, mostly surrounding his role as unsurpassed teacher, but the equivalency of that which is denoted by the terms 'buddho/nibbuto/suvimutto' is clear.
I wonder if that makes Ven Bodhi a "modernist secular revisionist ?"
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:13 pm

tiltbillings wrote:So you claim, but you have not shown that your claim holds any water.

Personally, I have no fondness for these kinds of ivory tower discussions. In this specific instance, a buddha's omniscience and great compassion are foundational tenets of Theravāda Buddhism, and are sources of inspiration and faith for many Theravādin practitioners. And in general, I'm rather unimpressed with modern attempts to re-invent the Buddha.

tiltbillings wrote:Other than your stating a contrary opinion, you have not shown with any evidence that my claim about the nature of bodhi as described in the suttas, which is carefully backed up with careful textual exegesis, is wrong.

Your analysis is incomplete and inaccurate. A more thorough analysis would have included careful consideration of the Psm. Ñāṇakathā, tracing the ideas related to the six knowledges not shared by disciples back to the suttas (with the help of the Aṭṭhakathā & Tīkā), in order to discover and examine the explicit and implicit correlations.

For example, if you had carefully considered the Psm. and relevant sutta passages you would have found that your analysis of the ten powers of a tathāgata isn't supported by the Ñāṇakathā. Power #6 (i.e. indriyaparopariyatta) is not due to the attainment of the divine eye. Rather, it is due to the attainment of the buddha eye (cf. SN 6.1 & comm.; a very important event in the establishment of the dispensation!). It is also listed in the Psm. as one of the buddha knowledges not shared by arahant disciples.

In this thread I've already offered a couple of interesting passages that further inform this subject, related to a buddha's omniscience, and so on. There are likely numerous others. Commentary needs to account for all of the passages in the four main Nikāyas and the oldest texts from the Khuddakanikāya. This is what the author(s) of the Psm. have done. Their efforts deserve our careful attention.

tiltbillings wrote:The "questioners?" Plural?

Yes -- plural. You've presented this opinion on threads in the Discovering Theravāda forum as well.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby daverupa » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:31 pm

Ñāṇa wrote:Your analysis is incomplete and inaccurate.


What of Bhikkhu Bodhi?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:53 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:So you claim, but you have not shown that your claim holds any water.

Personally, I have no fondness for these kinds of ivory tower discussions.
Nothing "ivory tower" about what I prsented. It is simpy a straighforward look the question of the Buddha's bodhi and the arahant's bodhi as presented in the suttas.

In this specific instance, a buddha's omniscience and great compassion are foundational tenets of Theravāda Buddhism, and are sources of inspiration and faith for many Theravādin practitioners. And in general, I'm rather unimpressed with modern attempts to re-invent the Buddha.
In the analysis I presented I am not addressing the question of omniscience; rather, I am looking, in the suttas, at the question of bodhi, awakening, which the Buddha did not tie to the question of omniscience.

tiltbillings wrote:Other than your stating a contrary opinion, you have not shown with any evidence that my claim about the nature of bodhi as described in the suttas, which is carefully backed up with careful textual exegesis, is wrong.

Your analysis is incomplete and inaccurate. A more thorough analysis would have included careful consideration of the Psm. Ñāṇakathā, tracing the ideas related to the six knowledges not shared by disciples back to the suttas (with the help of the Aṭṭhakathā & Tīkā), in order to discover and examine the explicit and implicit correlations.
As I said, I am looking at what the suttas have to say, not the latter commentarial literature, which show shifts in the meaning of bodhi that corresponds to shifts in how the Buddha is regarded.

For example, if you had carefully considered the Psm. and relevant sutta passages you would have found that your analysis of the ten powers of a tathāgata isn't supported by the Ñāṇakathā. Power #6 (i.e. indriyaparopariyatta) is not due to the attainment of the divine eye. Rather, it is due to the attainment of the buddha eye (cf. SN 6.1 & comm.; a very important event in the establishment of the dispensation!). It is also listed in the Psm. as one of the buddha knowledges not shared by arahant disciples.
So you say, but so you do not show. I do not care what the later commentarial in nature Psm states, since that is not my focus in the question about the nature of bodhi, but since my focus is on the suttas, please quote the "relevant suttas passage" that contradict what I have said.

In this thread I've already offered a couple of interesting passages that further inform this subject, related to a buddha's omniscience, and so on. There are likely numerous others. Commentary needs to account for all of the passages in the four main Nikāyas and the oldest texts from the Khuddakanikāya. This is what the author(s) of the Psm. have done. Their efforts deserve our careful attention.
I have no problem with the later texts, and they certainly do desreve careful attention, but as I said, it is not unreasonable that one can also look at the suttas, asking them what they have to say about a particular subject.

tiltbillings wrote:The "questioners?" Plural?

Yes -- plural. You've presented this opinion on threads in the Discovering Theravāda forum as well.
I have not seen anyone here having stated anything like: ""The reason why arhat doesnt have similar power with Buddha can be something like a taboo subject to be discussed." So, please quote and link to anything said by others here that would support this contention: Then questioners might not come away mistakenly thinking that the distinctions between the three types of bodhi is a "taboo" subject.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:I have no problem with the later texts, and they certainly do desreve careful attention, but as I said, it is not unreasonable that one can also look at the suttas, asking them what they have to say about a particular subject.

I think that recourse to the later canonical and para-canoncial materials is necessary for understanding the suttas.

tiltbillings wrote:I have not seen anyone here having stated anything like: ""The reason why arhat doesnt have similar power with Buddha can be something like a taboo subject to be discussed." So, please quote and link to anything said by others here that would support this contention: Then questioners might not come away mistakenly thinking that the distinctions between the three types of bodhi is a "taboo" subject.

It's the conclusion that Darwid came to, after having lengthy discussions of this subject with you. It's far more balanced and appropriate to set out the canonical Theravāda viewpoint on a subject, especially to new people inquiring about Theravāda Buddhism, even if one doesn't agree with some of the details.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:39 am

daverupa wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Your analysis is incomplete and inaccurate.


What of Bhikkhu Bodhi?

If you're referring to his Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas paper, it's incomplete. For example, any analysis of "pre-sectarian period" ideas needs to include the relevant non-Pāli sources. And in this case sources from the Mahāsāṃghika side might contain some interesting material.

But more importantly, even if a thorough study were to be done, I suspect that text-critical analysis of the sutta strata materials is an insufficient tool to tell us what the Buddha actually thought about himself, his awakening, and his place in history.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:07 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I have no problem with the later texts, and they certainly do desreve careful attention, but as I said, it is not unreasonable that one can also look at the suttas, asking them what they have to say about a particular subject.

I think that recourse to the later canonical and para-canoncial materials is necessary for understanding the suttas.
And that is your opinion, and my opinion differs. The later commetrial material has its importance and its place, but that does not mean that one cannot ask what it is the suttas say about a particular subject, and that does not mean that one cannot note the differences between what the suttas say and what is found in the later literature on that subject.

tiltbillings wrote:I have not seen anyone here having stated anything like: ""The reason why arhat doesnt have similar power with Buddha can be something like a taboo subject to be discussed." So, please quote and link to anything said by others here that would support this contention: Then questioners might not come away mistakenly thinking that the distinctions between the three types of bodhi is a "taboo" subject.

It's the conclusion that Darwid came to, after having lengthy discussions of this subject with you. It's far more balanced and appropriate to set out the canonical Theravāda viewpoint on a subject, especially to new people inquiring about Theravāda Buddhism, even if one doesn't agree with some of the details.
So, it is only one person -- not persons, not plural -- one person who holds rather eccentric views who is posting on a different forum. Hardly meaningful support for your statement.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:12 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
daverupa wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Your analysis is incomplete and inaccurate.


What of Bhikkhu Bodhi?

If you're referring to his Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas paper, it's incomplete. For example, any analysis of "pre-sectarian period" ideas needs to include the relevant non-Pāli sources. And in this case sources from the Mahāsāṃghika side might contain some interesting material.
Except what most of the Mahāsāṃghika literature we have to look at is rather late.

But more importantly, even if a thorough study were to be done, I suspect that text-critical analysis of the sutta strata materials is an insufficient tool to tell us what the Buddha actually thought about himself, his awakening, and his place in history.
Well, then do we rely on the sectarian texts that hold such widely differing points of view as a way of getting at what the Buddha thought about himself? I think we can ask, reasonably, what the Buddha thought about the question of bodhi in relation to himself and the arahants as we have his teachings in the Pali suttas.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:
But more importantly, even if a thorough study were to be done, I suspect that text-critical analysis of the sutta strata materials is an insufficient tool to tell us what the Buddha actually thought about himself, his awakening, and his place in history.
Well, then do we rely on the sectarian texts that hold such widely differing points of view as a way of getting at what the Buddha thought about himself?

Since the Buddha's omniscience was considered acceptable to the early Theravāda & Sarvāstivāda systemizers who likely still had arahants in their midst, then it's acceptable to me. I don't see any valid means, either textual or epistemological, that could be used to ascertain otherwise. AN 4.77: "The Buddha-range of the Buddhas is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it."

tiltbillings wrote:So, it is only one person -- not persons, not plural -- one person who holds rather eccentric views who is posting on a different forum. Hardly meaningful support for your statement.

One person who has voiced that conclusion. You've presented this argument to a number of questioners. Again, it's more balanced and appropriate to set out the canonical Theravāda viewpoint on a subject, especially to new people inquiring about Theravāda Buddhism, even if one doesn't agree with some of the details.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:14 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
But more importantly, even if a thorough study were to be done, I suspect that text-critical analysis of the sutta strata materials is an insufficient tool to tell us what the Buddha actually thought about himself, his awakening, and his place in history.
Well, then do we rely on the sectarian texts that hold such widely differing points of view as a way of getting at what the Buddha thought about himself?

Since the Buddha's omniscience was considered acceptable to the early Theravāda & Sarvāstivāda systemizers who likely still had arahants in their midst, then it's acceptable to me. I don't see any valid means, either textual or epistemological, that could be used to ascertain otherwise. AN 4.77: "The Buddha-range of the Buddhas is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it."
First of all I am not talking about "omniscience." Secondly, the Buddha, as the texts I quoted clearly show, had a lot to say about bodhi, so it is not a matter of conjecture.

tiltbillings wrote:So, it is only one person -- not persons, not plural -- one person who holds rather eccentric views who is posting on a different forum. Hardly meaningful support for your statement.

One person who has voiced that conclusion. You've presented this argument to a number of questioners. Again, it's more balanced and appropriate to set out the canonical Theravāda viewpoint on a subject, especially to new people inquiring about Theravāda Buddhism, even if one doesn't agree with some of the details.
One person on a a forum that was not Dhamma Wheel, but you said persons, and when asked you reaffirmed that "persons" was in the plural, and when asked to back up your claim, you give no specifics. Your complaint here is meaningless.

But if you want to actually engage what I said, using the suttas to show that my point about the bodhi of the arahant being no different from that of the Buddha is wrong, I would certainly welcome that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:25 pm

tiltbillings wrote:First of all I am not talking about "omniscience." Secondly, the Buddha, as the texts I quoted clearly show, had a lot to say about bodhi, so it is not a matter of conjecture.

"Bodhi" is a designation referring to the realization of knowledge. The Buddhist tradition has maintained, from a very early period, that the Buddha's knowledge included omniscience, whereas the knowledge of arahant disciples didn't. There is no reason to suppose that this tradition doesn't extend back to the Buddha's lifetime. Indeed, it is implicit in a number of sutta passages. However, the suttas were never intended to provide a systematic analysis of every aspect of the dhamma. That is what the Paṭisambhidāmagga, the Peṭakopadesa, and the Nettippakaraṇa are for. Trying to analyze and comment on the suttas without recourse to these texts is like groping around in the dark. This type of interpretive approach is probably the single biggest problem occurring within the context of Theravāda Buddhism today.

tiltbillings wrote:One person on a a forum that was not Dhamma Wheel, but you said persons, and when asked you reaffirmed that "persons" was in the plural, and when asked to back up your claim, you give no specifics. Your complaint here is meaningless.

Stop posting your novel opinions on the Discovering Theravāda forum.
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