"My thinking is that it means the enlightened one at death has no fuel remaining (for continued existence as we know it), much different from even an anagami or sakadagami and as such 'enters' Nibbana but there is no swelling or diminishing in the property of Unbinding meaning no eternalism and no annhilation, but even that does not do it proper justice because of the constraints of language since Nibbana is neither existence, non-existence, both, or neither existence nor non-existence."
That makes a lot more sense. Thanks for clearing it up.
Through hearing this brief explanation of the Dhamma from the Blessed One, the mind of Bahiya of the Bark-cloth right then and there was released from the effluents through lack of clinging/sustenance (Bahiya Sutta)
"Although some scholars think that Bahiya was not actually enlightened when he died."
This sounds like it goes along with what Individual and David are saying about sudden realizations along the gradual path. I'm guessing we're supposed to assume Bahiya had been practicing in many former lives before being released upon hearing the Buddha's teaching.
"Hi Dhammakid. I don't intend to turn this into a Theravada Vs Mahayana argument. JMHO that the Buddhist Councils seem to be looking at the similarities of all who claim to be Buddhist. My brief experience with one Chan group is that the similarities are what is emphasized, etc. The differences I see, I set aside for later consideration. I have just a touch of exposure to other traditions. In most cases, I see the teachings of the Buddha come through. I admit that in some other cases I scratch my head and wonder where "that" came from I think that both branches retain the basics. I also think it is the nature of humans to improve on things, so maybe the differences are human ones "
Thanks for reminding me to remain open-minded and see things as they are, especially since I can't really claim to know what I'm talking about when it comes to Mahayana practices. I dabbled in both Zen and Vajrayana for a short period, and even attended teachings from a Rinzai monk regularly, but many of the concepts are still hard for me to grasp. But you're right - there are many similarities that are forgotten when comparing the two, especially among devoted members of each.