Path to Buddhahood

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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby santa100 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:42 am

Tiltbillings wrote:
"Putting an end to suffering is what the Buddha was all about, becoming no less than what he became, awake, buddha."

Putting an end to suffering is what the Buddha was about, becoming what he became, awake, and more possibilities to become perfect in every way..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:59 am

tiltbillings wrote:Re-inventing the Buddha? Hardly.

Of course you are re-inventing the Buddha -- making a Buddha that's more compatible with your world view.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:01 am

santa100 wrote:Tiltbillings wrote:
"Putting an end to suffering is what the Buddha was all about, becoming no less than what he became, awake, buddha."

Putting an end to suffering is what the Buddha was about, becoming what he became, awake, and more possibilities to become perfect in every way..
One can gain more powers, but being awake, buddha, is the only perfection that really matters.

    'Two things, o monks, I [the Buddha] came to know well: not to be content with good states of mind, so far achieved and to be unremitting in the struggle for the goal. Unremittingly, indeed, did I struggle and I resolved: "Let skin, sinews and bones remain; let flesh and blood in the body dry up: yet there shall be no ceasing of energy, manly energy, manly effort!"

    'Through heedfulness have I won sambodhi, through effort have I won the unsurpassable security from bondage
    [yogakkhemo=nibbana]. 'If you, O monks, will struggle unremittingly and resolve: "Let skin ... [as above] manly effort" -- then you, too, O monks, will soon realize here and now, through your own direct knowledge, that unequaled goal of the holy life."' -- AN II ii 5.
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 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:05 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Re-inventing the Buddha? Hardly.

Of course you are re-inventing the Buddha -- making a Buddha that's more compatible with your world view.
So you claim, but not that you have shown that I am "re-inventing the Buddha." And you know what my "world view" is? I have told you?

I don't need to "re-invent" the Buddha. I am simply taking the suttas seriously.
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 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:20 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Re-inventing the Buddha? Hardly.

Of course you are re-inventing the Buddha -- making a Buddha that's more compatible with your world view.
So you claim, but not that you have shown that I am "re-inventing the Buddha." And you know what my "world view" is? I have told you?

I don't need to "re-invent" the Buddha. I am simply taking the suttas seriously.

Okay then, which Buddhist school accepts your conclusion?
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby santa100 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:27 am

Tiltbillings wrote:
"One can gain more powers, but being awake, buddha, is the only perfection that really matters"

Obviously the ending of suffering should be a perfection that matters a lot. Nevertheless, the fact remains clear that there'll be a lot more to be done, to fully earn all Ten Epithets, not just the epithet of Arahant, but also the epithet of Samma-Sambuddha..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:34 am

Ñāṇa wrote:Okay then, which Buddhist school accepts your conclusion?
Interestingly, given that divergences among the various Buddhist schools about the nature of the Buddha and arahants, that hardly seems to be a meaningful criteria. We have the suttas; while they may not be enough for you without the texts you mentioned as tools for interpreting the suttas, I find that concerning the issue of bodhi, the attainment of liberation/nibbana, the suttas have a great deal to say in terms of the Buddha and the arahant. No need for later sectarian interpretations.
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 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:35 am

santa100 wrote:Tiltbillings wrote:
"One can gain more powers, but being awake, buddha, is the only perfection that really matters"

Obviously the ending of suffering should be a perfection that matters a lot. Nevertheless, the fact remains clear that there'll be a lot more to be done, to fully earn all Ten Epithets, not just the epithet of Arahant, but also the epithet of Samma-Sambuddha..
Did the Buddha teach earning the "epithet of Samma-Sambuddha" as a goal?
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 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:39 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Okay then, which Buddhist school accepts your conclusion?
Interestingly, given that divergences among the various Buddhist schools about the nature of the Buddha and arahants, that hardly seems to be a meaningful criteria. We have the suttas; while they may not be enough for you without the texts you mentioned as tools for interpreting the suttas, I find that concerning the issue of bodhi, the attainment of liberation/nibbana, the suttas have a great deal to say in terms of the Buddha and the arahant. No need for later sectarian interpretations.

Then your conclusion has no historical lineage, and is your own conception of the Buddha based on your interpretation of the Pāli suttas.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby santa100 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:42 am

Tiltbillings wrote:
"Did the Buddha teach earning the "epithet of Samma-Sambuddha" as a goal?"

Did He ever tell not to earn the epithet of Samma-Sambuddha?
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:46 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:Okay then, which Buddhist school accepts your conclusion?
Interestingly, given that divergences among the various Buddhist schools about the nature of the Buddha and arahants, that hardly seems to be a meaningful criteria. We have the suttas; while they may not be enough for you without the texts you mentioned as tools for interpreting the suttas, I find that concerning the issue of bodhi, the attainment of liberation/nibbana, the suttas have a great deal to say in terms of the Buddha and the arahant. No need for later sectarian interpretations.

Then your conclusion has no historical lineage, and is your own conception of the Buddha based on your interpretation of the Pāli suttas.
I never said it was other than a carefully done exegitical examanation of the suttas around the issue of the Buddha and the arahant and the nature of bodhi. Historical lineage has its place, but it is no guarantee. In this, I am with Dharmakirti on this:

    People, afraid of being deceived by false teachers.
    In the matter of directing the ignorant,
    Seek out a man with knowledge,
    for the sake of realising his teaching.

    What is the use of his knowledge
    pertaining to the number of insects in the whole world?
    Rather, inquire into his knowledge of
    that which is to be practised by us
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 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:48 am

santa100 wrote:Tiltbillings wrote:
"Did the Buddha teach earning the "epithet of Samma-Sambuddha" as a goal?"

Did He ever tell not to earn the epithet of Samma-Sambuddha?
That seems to be a thing that developed after the death of the Buddha. I am inclined to think that if the Buddha had thought it was important he would have clearly taught it.
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 santa100 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:51 am

Tiltbillings wrote:
"That seems to be a thing that developed after the death of the Buddha. I am inclined to think that if the Buddha had thought it was important he would have clearly taught it."

Obviously the keyword is "Seems to be", so your're entitled to your own interpretation..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:58 am

santa100 wrote:Tiltbillings wrote:
"That seems to be a thing that developed after the death of the Buddha. I am inclined to think that if the Buddha had thought it was important he would have clearly taught it."

Obviously the keyword is "Seems to be", so your're entitled to your own interpretation..
Drop the "seems to be." Being from Minnesota I am given to understatement. The suttas clearly do not teach a path to sammasambuddha-hood. Where that sort of thing starts to take place is in the post-death of Buddha literature among the various schools of Buddhism that were popping up, where we start getting biographies (hagiographies) of the Buddha, a valorization of the Buddha that starts separating him from the arahant in terms of status in ways not found in the suttas. It is out of that that the idea of a bodhisatta path emerges, not out the direct teachings of the Buddha.
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 santa100 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:09 am

Tiltbillings wrote:
" Where that sort of thing starts to take place is in the post-death of Buddha literature among the various schools of Buddhism that were popping up, where we start getting biographies (hagiographies) of the Buddha, a valorization of the Buddha that starts separating him from the arahant in terms of status in ways not found in the suttas. It is out of that that the idea of a bodhisatta path emerges, not out the direct teachings of the Buddha."

And without "that sort of things", young prince Siddhattha would never become the the 28th Samma-Sambuddha. Kassapa Buddha would have no sucessor, and you wouldn't be here to "grade" the Buddha's capability..
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby Nyana » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:22 am

tiltbillings wrote:The suttas clearly do not teach a path to sammasambuddha-hood. Where that sort of thing starts to take place is in the post-death of Buddha literature among the various schools of Buddhism that were popping up, where we start getting biographies (hagiographies) of the Buddha, a valorization of the Buddha that starts separating him from the arahant in terms of status in ways not found in the suttas. It is out of that that the idea of a bodhisatta path emerges, not out the direct teachings of the Buddha.

This is a thesis that can't be proven (and also an aspect of the "world view" that I referred to previously). It's based on an historical approach to text-critical analysis, which is speculative. If we are to take the suttas seriously, as you would like, the Buddha is said to occupy a historical position between earlier and later buddhas.

tiltbillings wrote:One can gain more powers, but being awake, buddha, is the only perfection that really matters.

Not for a Buddha it isn't. It's important to not conflate knowledges with nibbāna. Knowledge is the cause of realization (abhisamaya). Nibbāna is an object of knowledge.

tiltbillings wrote:Did the Buddha teach earning the "epithet of Samma-Sambuddha" as a goal?

A buddha teaches the sāvaka path. A buddha is an example for how to develop the mahābodhiyāna if one so chooses. Different vehicles, different levels of practice, different realization of knowledges.
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Re: Path to Buddhahood

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:22 am

santa100 wrote:Tiltbillings wrote:
" Where that sort of thing starts to take place is in the post-death of Buddha literature among the various schools of Buddhism that were popping up, where we start getting biographies (hagiographies) of the Buddha, a valorization of the Buddha that starts separating him from the arahant in terms of status in ways not found in the suttas. It is out of that that the idea of a bodhisatta path emerges, not out the direct teachings of the Buddha."

And without "that sort of things", young prince Siddhattha would never become the the 28th Samma-Sambuddha. Kassapa Buddha would have no sucessor, and you wouldn't be here to "grade" the Buddha's capability..
In an interesting way you make my point. "Siddhattha" is a name not found in the suttas that I have yet to see (and I have looked), but it is clearly in the later hagiographic literature as are a number of the aspects of the "Buddha's story" that we assume are fact.

Something you might find interesting: http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/jeffrey2.htm
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 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:29 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:The suttas clearly do not teach a path to sammasambuddha-hood. Where that sort of thing starts to take place is in the post-death of Buddha literature among the various schools of Buddhism that were popping up, where we start getting biographies (hagiographies) of the Buddha, a valorization of the Buddha that starts separating him from the arahant in terms of status in ways not found in the suttas. It is out of that that the idea of a bodhisatta path emerges, not out the direct teachings of the Buddha.

This is a thesis that can't be proven (and also an aspect of the "world view" that I referred to previously). It's based on an historical approach to text-critical analysis, which is speculative. If we are to take the suttas seriously, as you would like, the Buddha is said to occupy a historical position between earlier and later buddhas.
And we should not take "history" at all seriously? It has nothing useful to tell us? Actually, given that the Buddha did not in the suttas clearly teach a bodhistta path is obvious, and where we start to see that sort of thing in in the sectarian literature that clearly post-dates the Buddha's death. It may not be 100% provable, but there is good evidence to support it it.

tiltbillings wrote:One can gain more powers, but being awake, buddha, is the only perfection that really matters.

Not for a Buddha it isn't. It's important to not conflate knowledges with nibbāna. Knowledge is the cause of realization (abhisamaya). Nibbāna is an object of knowledge.
Since the Buddha clearly equated bodhi with nibbana, I see no reason not to, as well.

tiltbillings wrote:Did the Buddha teach earning the "epithet of Samma-Sambuddha" as a goal?

A buddha teaches the sāvaka path. A buddha is an example for how to develop the mahābodhiyāna if one so chooses. Different vehicles, different levels of practice, different realization of knowledges.
But, of course, this is a sectarian set of classifications that the Buddha did not teach.
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 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:34 am

A buddha teaches the sāvaka path. A buddha is an example for how to develop the mahābodhiyāna if one so chooses. Different vehicles, different levels of practice, different realization of knowledges.
Also, what Theravada text teaches "vehicles" and what Theravada text teaches that we can choose our "path?"
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 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:Also, what Theravada text teaches "vehicles"

Dhammapāla explicitly mentions the three vehicles and the mahābodhiyāna in his Cariyāpiṭaka Aṭṭhakathā:

    We now undertake a detailed explanation of the pāramīs for clansmen following the suttas who are zealously engaged in the practice of the vehicle to great enlightenment (mahābodhiyāna), in order to improve their skilfulness in accumulating the requisites for enlightenment....

    In detail, to those whose minds are disposed towards the enlightenment of disciples, he gives a discourse establishing and purifying them (in progress towards their goal) by elaborating upon the noble qualities of whichever among the following topics is appropriate.... So too, for beings whose minds are disposed towards the enlightenment of paccekabuddhas and of perfectly enlightened Buddhas, he gives a discourse establishing and purifying them in the two vehicles (leading to these two types of enlightenment) by elaborating upon the greatness of the spiritual power of those Buddhas, and by explaining the specific nature, characteristic, function, etc., of the ten pāramīs in their three stages.

tiltbillings wrote:and what Theravada text teaches that we can choose our "path?"

A Manual of the Excellent Man by Ven. Ledi Sayādaw:

    I shall now outline the ten ordinary perfections, the ten higher perfections, and the ten supreme perfections....

    One who can fulfil only the first ten attains the enlightenment of a Noble Disciple. One who can fulfil only the first ten and the second ten attains the enlightenment of a Solitary Buddha. One who can fulfil all thirty attains Supreme Self-Enlightenment...

    What is meant by “the Noblest Aspiration”? It is the verbal and mental undertaking that the bodhisatta had made at some point of time aeons before taking up the perfections. It was made in these terms:

    “As a man who knows his own strength, what use is there to get to ‘the yonder shore’ (nibbāna) alone? I will atain to Supreme Knowledge and then convey men and devas to the yonder shore.”

    That was the pledge that sent the ten thousand universes reeling and echoing in applause. That was the bodhisatta’s earnest wish. For he intensely aspired to Supreme Self-Enlightenment thus:

    “Knowing the Truth, I will let others know it. Freeing myself from the world, I will free others. Having crossed over, I will enable others to cross.”

    This fervent and most daring aspiration is called “the Noblest Aspiration.”

And Dhammapāla adds:

    Since it [i.e. the great aspiration to realize mahābodhi] has as its object the inconceivable plane of the Buddhas and the welfare of the whole immeasurable world of beings, it should be seen as the loftiest, most sublime and exalted distinction of merit, endowed with immeasurable potency, the root-cause of all the qualities issuing in Buddhahood. Simultaneous with its arising, the Great Man enters upon the practice of the vehicle to great enlightenment (mahābodhiyānapaṭipatti). He becomes fixed in his destiny, irreversible, and therefore properly gains the designation “bodhisattva.” His mind becomes fully devoted to the supreme enlightenment in its completeness, and his capacity to fulfill the training in the requisites of enlightenment becomes established. For when their aspiration succeeds, the Great Men correctly investigate all the pāramīs with their self-evolved knowledge which prefigures their future attainment of omniscience. Then they undertake their practice, and fulfill them in due order, as was done by the wise Sumedha when he made his great aspiration.

tiltbillings wrote:And we should not take "history" at all seriously?

Who's version of history?

tiltbillings wrote:Since the Buddha clearly equated bodhi with nibbana, I see no reason not to, as well.

Can you please provide a reference?
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