sartre234 wrote:there is nothing about active help for the others.
sartre234 wrote:So I have tried to find if it is possible to become a bodhisattva, according to Pali canon. By making researches I have found that there were some kings, if I remember properly, from Sri Lanka, who have made the vows that they will become fully enlightened Buddhas. I have also found that both Theravada and Mahayana agree that ideal of bodhisattva which leads to the state of samyaksambuddha is the greatest. And I also know that bodhisatta (instead of bodhisattva) is the term used in Tipitaka to speak about person on the way to buddhahood.
What Dr Rahula is talking about are psychic powers which are the characteristics of Sammasambuddhas and Paccekabuddhas only. The liberative wisdom of a Buddha and a Paccekabuddha is attainable by anyone who becomes an arahant.sartre234 wrote:I have found some statement by Ven. Dr. W. Rahula which makes me confused: " But only a Buddha achieves the complete liberation from all the obstructions to the knowable, i.e., obstructions to knowledge (Jneyyavaranavisuddhi), not the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas" (http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha126.htm). Why is it so if nirvana is blowing out? The fire cannot be more blowed out than completely. There is no higher spiritual gain than parinirvana. However, mahayana point of view is somehow different if it says about those three kayas. For example some Buddhas like Amitabha have spent much time on accumulating the merit (if I understand it properly) in order to create those great purelands.
tiltbillings wrote:See: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6566
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Although the motivation and philosophical basis for followers of the bodhisattva vehicle differ from that of followers of the śrāvaka vehicle, the lifestyles of the two are not very different. The popular images of the withdrawn, solitary arahant, and the gregarious, super-active bodhisattva are fictions. In real life, the two resemble each other much more than one would think. The arahants, and those who seek to attain arahantship, often work assiduously for the spiritual and material improvement of their fellow human beings. The bodhisattvas, and bodhisattva aspirants, often must spend long periods in solitary meditation cultivating the meditative skills that will be necessary for them to attain Buddhahood. They will also have to study all the doctrines and the paths of the śrāvaka vehicle, yet without actualizing those paths. The bodhisattvas will have to learn to enter the meditative absorptions, practice them, and eventually master them. They will have to contemplate the three characteristics of impermanence, suffering, and non-self. They will have to acquire the insight-knowledges into the three characteristics. They differ from śrāvakas in so far as a śrāvaka aims to use the insight-knowledges to attain realization of nirvāna. A bodhisattva will link his or her practice of the path with the bodhicitta aspiration, the bodhisattva vows, and the spirit of great compassion. Sustained by these supports, a bodhisattva will be able to contemplate the nature of reality without attaining realization of nirvāna until he or she has matured all the qualities that come to perfection in Buddhahood. Among these is the perfection of giving and the conferring of benefits on sentient beings. But the greatest gift that one can give is the gift of the Dharma, and the kindest benefit one can confer on sentient beings is teaching them the Dharma and guiding them in the Dharma. Though a bodhisattva can certainly engage in social service as an expression of his or her compassion, to reach the higher stages of the bodhisattva path the aspirant will require a different range of skills than is exercised in social engagement, skills that are closer to those possessed by the arahant.
From: Arahants, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:If samsara were a place, it might seem selfish for one person to look for an escape, leaving others behind. But when you realize that it's a process, there's nothing selfish about stopping it at all. It's like giving up an addiction or an abusive habit. When you learn the skills needed to stop creating your own worlds of suffering, you can share those skills with others so that they can stop creating theirs. At the same time, you'll never have to feed off the worlds of others, so to that extent you're lightening their load as well.
It's true that the Buddha likened the practice for stopping samsara to the act of going from one place to another: from this side of a river to the further shore. But the passages where he makes this comparison often end with a paradox: the further shore has no "here," no "there," no "in between." From that perspective, it's obvious that samsara's parameters of space and time were not the pre-existing context in which we wandered. They were the result of our wandering.
For someone addicted to world-building, the lack of familiar parameters sounds unsettling. But if you're tired of creating incessant, unnecessary suffering, you might want to give it a try. After all, you could always resume building if the lack of "here" or "there" turned out to be dull. But of those who have learned how to break the habit, no one has ever felt tempted to samsara again.
From: Samsara by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
sartre234 wrote:So I have tried to find if it is possible to become a bodhisattva, according to Pali canon. By making researches I have found that there were some kings, if I remember properly, from Sri Lanka, who have made the vows that they will become fully enlightened Buddhas.
I have also found that both Theravada and Mahayana agree that ideal of bodhisattva which leads to the state of samyaksambuddha is the greatest.
I have found some statement by Ven. Dr. W. Rahula which makes me confused: " But only a Buddha achieves the complete liberation from all the obstructions to the knowable, i.e., obstructions to knowledge (Jneyyavaranavisuddhi), not the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas" (http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha126.htm).
OK, seriously the point I am trying to make (yes, there is a point) is that all such assertions and platitudes have very little if anything to do with the way people actually practice in whatever school of Buddhism. The best was to choose a school is, in my opinion, to visit some local temples/ centres (do some research on them beforehand to make sure they are not suss, no sandals or nasty controversies) and see what clicks.
Ben wrote:sartre234 wrote:there is nothing about active help for the others.
While it is not explicitly mandated, as one progresses on the path, one cannot but develop the altruistic desire to help others. The accusation that the Theravada promotes a selfish path, is an old one and holds no water. Many Theravada teachers will tell you that it is impossible to help others until one has first seen to oneself's safety and wellbeing. In fact, many mahayanist and vajrayanist teachers mention "idiot compassion" - that is - the compassion of those who, like someone blind, attempting to lead someone else just as blind.
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