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The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism - Dhamma Wheel

The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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bodom
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The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:26 pm

I am interested in the Bodhisattva ideal of Theravada Buddhism and have a question regarding the eight qualifications through which the aspiration for Buddhahood succeeds. According to the Treatise on the Paramis by Acariya Dhammapala it is stated that the eight qualifications for aspiration to Buddhahood can only succeed when eight factors are met. The eight qualifications through which the aspiration succeeds are: the human state, the male sex, the cause, the sight of the Master, the going forth, the achievement of noble qualities, extreme dedication, and strong desire (Bv. IIA,v.59). Now the fourth qualification is making the aspiration for Buddhahood in the presence of a living Buddha. Does this mean that those who aspire for Buddhahood and are practicing the Bodhisattva path today are practicing in vain? Is the Bodhisattva path a viable option for buddhist's today? Are these qualifications found in Mahayana literature? Could it be that in a former life i have already completed this qualification?

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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bodom
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:36 pm

And now that i read further into this commentary qualification 5 states (5) The going forth (pabbajjaa): The aspiration succeeds only when made in the presence of the Exalted Buddha by one who has gone forth (into the homeless state of a monk), either as a bhikkhu or as an ascetic who maintains the doctrine of kamma and the moral efficacy of action; it does not succeed for one living in the household state.

And qualification 6 states: Aspiration only succeeds when made by one who has gone forth and gained the eight meditative attainments and the five mundane types of direct knowledges.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el409.html

This is not looking very promising. I would like to undertake the Bodhisattva path but not through the Mahayana tradition and these qualifications make it look rather bleak. Are there any here who aspire to the Bodhisattva path through the Theravadin tradition?
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby Sekha » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:45 pm

Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

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bodom
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby bodom » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:54 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:45 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:49 am

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bodom
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:51 am

After reading Ledi Sayadaws Manual of the excellent man it seems there are additional factors to be cultivated leading towards fulfillment of the eight qualifications and the Noblest Aspiration.

Ledi says "The four conditions, the four root causes, and the six inclinations are the factors for declaring the Noblest Aspiration and for taking up the higher perfections."

The four conditions are: exceptional energy, a keen intellect, steadfastness, compassion.

The four root causes: perfections, compassion, fortitude, friendship.

The Six Natural inclinations are sees the danger in greed, hate, delusion, sensuality, socializing and the danger of birth.
Last edited by bodom on Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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bodom
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:57 am

Thank you for the clarification Bhante. So these eight conditions are found in the Mahayana tradition also? Am i able to undertake this path as a Theravadin buddhist despite the fact of not knowing if i have completed any of these qualifications in a past life or will in this or a future life? Is it enough in this life to just take the vows and practice the paramis?

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

suanck
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby suanck » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:07 am


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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:56 am

THE BODHISATTVA IDEAL IN THERAVAADA

http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/jeffrey2.htm

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bodom
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:10 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Paññāsikhara
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:59 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:03 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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bodom
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:05 am

I came across this excellent article:

Bodhisattva Ideal in Buddhism Ven. Dr. W. Rahula

http://www.viet.net/~anson/ebud/ebdha126.htm

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

pt1
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby pt1 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:26 am


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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby Paññāsikhara » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:07 am

The north western Sthaviravadins also had a few distinctions between when the bodhisattva has the aspiration to when they personally know, and then externally declare that they are on the bodhisattva path.

Lamotte, 2001: 212
During the first asaṃkhyeya, the bodhisattva does not know if he will become a Buddha or not. - During the second asaṃkhyeya, he knows that he will be Buddha but does not dare to proclaim: "I shall be Buddha." - During the third asaṃkhyeya, he knows confidently that he will be Buddha and he dares to proclaim fearlessly (bhaya): "Later I shall be Buddha."438

438 Passage taken from the Vibhāṣā, T 1545, k. 176, p. 886c.


For the Mahayana position viz srotaapanna, etc. remember that there are various Mahayana "vada" on these matters. Some are Sthavira based (eg. Yogacara), but others are Mahasamghika based (eg. probably Madhyamaka).

Even if one looks at any given Mahayana sutra, there may be different strata whereby initially one position is given, only to have that shifted elsewhere as the sutra was added to, or bulked up on. This is the case in the Prajnaparamita at least, and I would also suspect elsewhere.
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby Abyss » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:08 pm


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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby Heavenstorm » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:59 pm


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bodom
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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:53 pm

Thank you pt1 and Abyss for raising good questions which i have also wondered about but have no answers for and thank you to heavenstorm for your insightful comments. I am now wondering how far i can take my satipatthana practice? Can and should i practice satipatthana at all? How do i cultivate the parami of wisdom without attaining sotapanna? Maybe this goes to show how really difficult it is just to attain the level of sotapanna?

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Re: The path of the Bodhisattva in Theravada Buddhism

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:11 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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