Can Mahayanists achieve true Buddhahood

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
PeterB
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Re: Can Mahayanists achieve true Buddhahood

Postby PeterB » Sat May 28, 2011 10:21 am


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Stiphan
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Re: Can Mahayanists achieve true Buddhahood

Postby Stiphan » Sat May 28, 2011 10:42 am

Maybe a small clarification may be needed:

Can followers of the Mahayana tradition, by practicing Mahayana, attain true Buddhahood, according to the Theravada?


I.e., I realize anyone can attain Buddhahood, but the question is rather: "Can the practice of Mahayana lead to real Buddhahood?"

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BlackBird
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Re: Can Mahayanists achieve true Buddhahood

Postby BlackBird » Sat May 28, 2011 11:54 am

"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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Stiphan
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Re: Can Mahayanists achieve true Buddhahood

Postby Stiphan » Sat May 28, 2011 12:02 pm


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Dan74
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Re: Can Mahayanists achieve true Buddhahood

Postby Dan74 » Sat May 28, 2011 12:13 pm

_/|\_

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BlackBird
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Re: Can Mahayanists achieve true Buddhahood

Postby BlackBird » Sat May 28, 2011 12:17 pm

You might be best to ask a Mahayanist. A monk of quite some qualification in Tibetan Buddhism explained it to me a while back I can't quite remember his exact words.
It has a lot to do with their conception of nibbana and what their version of it is about.

He spoke about the bhumi levels in Mahayana, according to them one of the lower bhumi's corresponds to the arahant, and their bodhisattva system goes well beyond that. Since in Theravada a Buddha is a self described arahant, that would mean that our conception of the Buddha is wrong to a Mahayanist. (or more to the point they believe our conception is incomplete) They believe in something about non-stopping nibbana, that the Buddha was enlightened a long time ago and his appearance on Earth was just an emanation i.e. he continues to operate in Samsara.

None of this the Theravada accepts. The Buddha's paranibbana and that of the arahant are in essence identical, once the flame goes out, the flame goes out. Done.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." -

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Dan74
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Re: Can Mahayanists achieve true Buddhahood

Postby Dan74 » Sat May 28, 2011 12:40 pm

Yep, this is one take on it.

The other take is that what is commonly understood as "Hinayana arahatship" in Mahayana is not what is mean by arahant in Theravada.

Yet another take is not worrying about these matters at all and concentrating on the practice.

And there are more takes. All within Mahayana. It is not one partyline-toeing school.
_/|\_


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