A Beginners Guide and other questions

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
User avatar
octobersun79
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:01 pm

A Beginners Guide and other questions

Postby octobersun79 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:14 pm

Hi

Please excuse my ignorance. I wanted to know what peoples views are on a Bodhisattva...

Is this someone who is working towards enlightenment and is there a difference between a fully enlightened being and a bodhisattva? How do you know you are a bodhisattva? Do you need to be ordained for instance? Any recommended reading on this particular area? :reading:

Also I'm finding all the different schools of Buddhism very confusing, I'm reading a little about Zen at the moment and its like a different religion altogether (ok well maybe not!). I would like to know how you came to choose Theraveda as the school of Buddhism that clicked for you and if you researched many schools before choosing?

In my view, Buddhism should be about sorting out your issues, becoming purified of all delusions and being a person of infinite compassion for the purpose of helping all other beings to be alleviated from suffering - but can be done in day to day life whilst raising a family. What type of Buddhism would this come under or should I not pick a school - after all the Buddha did not have this luxury.

Oh and one more thing, is there a 'beginners guide' to buddhism including all the schools of Buiddhism - just so I know what they are!?

:?:

Thanks

Caroline

User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
Posts: 17078
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: War.loun.dig.er.ler
Contact:

Re: A Beginners Guide and other questions

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:23 pm

Greetings Caroline,

octobersun79 wrote:I wanted to know what peoples views are on a Bodhisattva...
Quite literally, a being on the path to Buddhahood. The Bodhisattva path is mainly a Mahayanist/Vajrayanist path but there is some evidence of the Bodhisatta (pali) path in the Theravada.

octobersun79 wrote:Is this someone who is working towards enlightenment and is there a difference between a fully enlightened being and a bodhisattva? How do you know you are a bodhisattva? Do you need to be ordained for instance? Any recommended reading on this particular area? :reading:
According to the Theravada, one is a Bodhisatta when one's path to Buddhahood has been predicted by a Buddha. Within the Theravada, one works at developing one's paramitas (perfections) to generate the opportunity to meet a Buddha and for that Buddha to foretell one's eventual Buddhahood. The difference between one working to be a Bodhisatta is that he or she forestalls any development of insight which would lead one to the first stage of awakening (sotapanna) and then setting one's destiny for arahantship within seven lives.

octobersun79 wrote:Also I'm finding all the different schools of Buddhism very confusing, I'm reading a little about Zen at the moment and its like a different religion altogether (ok well maybe not!). I would like to know how you came to choose Theraveda as the school of Buddhism that clicked for you and if you researched many schools before choosing?
I think it was my kamma that led me to my spiritual path. I was attracted to it like a magnet.

octobersun79 wrote:In my view, Buddhism should be about sorting out your issues, becoming purified of all delusions and being a person of infinite compassion for the purpose of helping all other beings to be alleviated from suffering
Within the Theravada the focus is that its about coming out of your own suffering. But as soon as you begin to make some progress on the path there arises a natural inclination to also help others.

octobersun79 wrote:but can be done in day to day life whilst raising a family. What type of Buddhism would this come under or should I not pick a school - after all the Buddha did not have this luxury.
Yes, many of us are householders with family responsibilities. And you will find householders with families in Theravada, Mahayana, Zen and Vajrayana.

octobersun79 wrote:Oh and one more thing, is there a 'beginners guide' to buddhism including all the schools of Buiddhism - just so I know what they are!?
Have a look in the discovering theravada forum as there should be a pinned thread of resources. Another resource (Theravada-based) is www.accesstoinsight.org. David N. Snyder's site: http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page (Theravada encyclopaedia). Google Peter Harvey's 'encyclopaedia of Buddhism' entries.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

User avatar
octobersun79
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:01 pm

Re: A Beginners Guide and other questions

Postby octobersun79 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:38 am

Thanks Ben, these links are very helpful.

I'm off to Thailand today so am printing some literature off for the flight. Access to Insight is ace, I can read it on my iphone. :thumbsup:

Many thanks

Caroline :-)

User avatar
retrofuturist
Posts: 15729
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: A Beginners Guide and other questions

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:17 am

Greetings Caroline,

You can actually download the whole A2I site... Bhikkhu Pesala occasionally posts a link to a full downloadable copy at Dhamma Wheel... alas, I can't search just at the moment, I'm in a bit of a rush.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"When we transcend one level of truth, the new level becomes what is true for us. The previous one is now false. What one experiences may not be what is experienced by the world in general, but that may well be truer. (Ven. Nanananda)

“I hope, Anuruddha, that you are all living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.” (MN 31)

Never again...

taps11
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 6:09 pm

Re: A Beginners Guide and other questions

Postby taps11 » Wed May 18, 2011 6:20 pm

Hello all

i was just wondering if there is actually a statistic number on how many people in the world right now are Buddhists?
i'm very new and curious about these things


Return to “Discovering Theravāda”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine

cron