was jesus an arahant

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Coëmgenu
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Coëmgenu »

aflatun wrote:But he does know his stuff so I'm sure he's basing this on many reputable Mahayana sources, which IMO must be misreading the Pali suttas.
In my experience, Mahāyāna critiques of "Hīnayāna" by any name frequently consists of claims of "Hīnayāna/Arhats/whichever name believes X", but those familiar with the Theravāda tradition know that it doesn't teach X.

That we assume one speaks of the other is something of a misconception, one unfortunately heavily perpetuated.

Even the otherwise quite brilliant text I am currently reading, the Venerable Khenchen Kunzang Pelden's jam dbyangs bla ma'i zhal lung bdud rtsi'i thig pa/"The Nectar of Mañjurśrī's Speech" opens with twin discourses that leave me with one eyebrow quite raised, one entitled "How the Dharma is taught by a Buddha" and the other "how the Dharma is taught by an Arhat", the second paragraph of the relevant discourse on the teaching of the arhats states:
Why is it that the Śrāvaka Arhats do not explain the teachings by means of the three kinds of miraculous display? In fact, they are unable to do so owing to four cognitive limitations. To begin with, Arhats suffer from ignorance (in other words, an impediment in their knowledge) with respect to spatial location.
Last edited by Coëmgenu on Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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aflatun
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by aflatun »

Coëmgenu wrote:
aflatun wrote:But he does know his stuff so I'm sure he's basing this on many reputable Mahayana sources, which IMO must be misreading the Pali suttas.
In my experience, Mahāyāna critiques of "Hīnayāna" by any name frequently consists of claims of "Hīnayāna/Arhats/whichever name believes X", but those familiar with the Theravāda tradition know that it doesn't teach X.

That we assume one speaks of the other is something of a misconception, one unfortunately heavily perpetuated.

Even the otherwise quite brilliant text I am currently teaching, Khenchen Kunzang Pelden's jam dbyangs bla ma'i zhal lung bdud rtsi'i thig pa/"The Nectar of Mañjurśrī's Speech" opens with twin discourses that leave me with one eyebrow quite raised, one entitled "How the Dharma is taught by a Buddha" and the other "how the Dharma is taught by an Arhat", the second paragraph of the relevant discourse on the teaching of the arhats states:
Why is it that the Śrāvaka Arhats do not explain the teachings by means of the three kinds of miraculous display? In fact, they are unable to do so owing to four cognitive limitations. To begin with, Arhats suffer from ignorance (in other words, an impediment in their knowledge) with respect to spatial location.
Yes exactly. It's like a straw man, but I prefer to avoid the term because I want to be more charitable.

And that's a good example! I'm guessing he's alluding to the so called knowledge obscurations that Arahant's are still supposedly subject to? As opposed to afflictive obscurations (can't remember the write phrase perhaps).
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16
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Coëmgenu
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Coëmgenu »

aflatun wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:
aflatun wrote:But he does know his stuff so I'm sure he's basing this on many reputable Mahayana sources, which IMO must be misreading the Pali suttas.
In my experience, Mahāyāna critiques of "Hīnayāna" by any name frequently consists of claims of "Hīnayāna/Arhats/whichever name believes X", but those familiar with the Theravāda tradition know that it doesn't teach X.

That we assume one speaks of the other is something of a misconception, one unfortunately heavily perpetuated.

Even the otherwise quite brilliant text I am currently reading, Khenchen Kunzang Pelden's jam dbyangs bla ma'i zhal lung bdud rtsi'i thig pa/"The Nectar of Mañjurśrī's Speech" opens with twin discourses that leave me with one eyebrow quite raised, one entitled "How the Dharma is taught by a Buddha" and the other "how the Dharma is taught by an Arhat", the second paragraph of the relevant discourse on the teaching of the arhats states:
Why is it that the Śrāvaka Arhats do not explain the teachings by means of the three kinds of miraculous display? In fact, they are unable to do so owing to four cognitive limitations. To begin with, Arhats suffer from ignorance (in other words, an impediment in their knowledge) with respect to spatial location.
Yes exactly. It's like a straw man, but I prefer to avoid the term because I want to be more charitable.

And that's a good example! I'm guessing he's alluding to the so called knowledge obscurations that Arahant's are still supposedly subject to? As opposed to afflictive obscurations (can't remember the write phrase perhaps).
Honestly, IMO, I wonder if these issues are even really preserved at all, let alone relevant. Clearly some Mahāyāni had a (presumably important) disagreement with a non-Mahāyānist concerning spatial location, but what relevance does this really have? Is it really a solid ground to criticize upon? It strikes me as similar to if I were to criticize Buddhism for ignorance with respect to particle physics.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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zerotime
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by zerotime »

Maitri wrote:No. Jesus was not an arahant. He was a 1st century Jewish Rabbi and probably a Zealot/Essene. Though he was a very charismatic teacher and gifted speaker of spiritual insight, he taught his own people's religious tradition and history.
There is no need to overlay Buddhist teachings and categories onto him. It's not appreciated when Christians attempt to do this to the Buddha so we should not do likewise to Jesus. We can respect Jesus's teachings and life of its own accord and on its own merit. It doesn't diminish him to say he was not an arahant. That is not the goal of the Jewish or Christian life anyways.
agree. Christians follows their teaching while we Buddhists we follow the Buddha teaching.

Everyone has his own kamma for some reason and these comparatives are of bad taste.
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Coëmgenu »

zerotime wrote:
Maitri wrote:No. Jesus was not an arahant. He was a 1st century Jewish Rabbi and probably a Zealot/Essene. Though he was a very charismatic teacher and gifted speaker of spiritual insight, he taught his own people's religious tradition and history.
There is no need to overlay Buddhist teachings and categories onto him. It's not appreciated when Christians attempt to do this to the Buddha so we should not do likewise to Jesus. We can respect Jesus's teachings and life of its own accord and on its own merit. It doesn't diminish him to say he was not an arahant. That is not the goal of the Jewish or Christian life anyways.
agree. Christians follows their teaching while we Buddhists we follow the Buddha teaching.

Everyone has his own kamma for some reason and these comparatives are of bad taste.
To be fair, though, wisdom is wisdom. And we can recognize wisdom where we see it. The problem arises when some people see wisdom in X tradition and say: look, I recognize wisdom... therefore X teacher definitely secretly taught a dharma congruent to my most-loved teachings and his/her contemporary followers have a degenerated recension. That is where the problem lies. IMO.

Consider the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares from the canonical gospel of Matthew:
24: Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26: But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27: So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28: He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29: But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30: Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
The Kingdom of Heaven (which is within, that is to say, which is "us", assuming a theoretical Christian "we") is likened to a field of wheat with tares (weeds) strewn about by whoever, the Biblical Theos tou Aiōnon ("God of the aeons"), or Māra, you choose. The Christian is told to, with the servants of the owner of the field (the metaphors speak for themselves here) gather the tares (within themselves) and burn them (purify themselves of afflictions).

This is all fine and well. Similar to some Buddhist practices and teachings. "Similar", not "identical" to, and therefore we (or at least, I) can appreciate the wisdom therein.

Its a rather general teaching: we need to not have afflictions to be pure. The difference with Buddhism lies elsewhere, and is just as important as the similarities to it.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by binocular »

aflatun wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:/.../
Even the otherwise quite brilliant text I am currently teaching, Khenchen Kunzang Pelden's jam dbyangs bla ma'i zhal lung bdud rtsi'i thig pa/"The Nectar of Mañjurśrī's Speech" opens with twin discourses that leave me with one eyebrow quite raised, one entitled "How the Dharma is taught by a Buddha" and the other "how the Dharma is taught by an Arhat", the second paragraph of the relevant discourse on the teaching of the arhats states:
Why is it that the Śrāvaka Arhats do not explain the teachings by means of the three kinds of miraculous display? In fact, they are unable to do so owing to four cognitive limitations. To begin with, Arhats suffer from ignorance (in other words, an impediment in their knowledge) with respect to spatial location.
/.../
And that's a good example! I'm guessing he's alluding to the so called knowledge obscurations that Arahant's are still supposedly subject to? As opposed to afflictive obscurations (can't remember the write phrase perhaps).
Which is it now -- arahant or arhat?
If a Mahayani says "arhat", should we automatically translate that into the Theravadan term "arahant"?

There is an ocean of difference between a bodhisattva and a bodhisatta. And karma and kamma. And Dharma and Dhamma.
Just because two words are obviously etymologically related, it doesn't mean they mean the same thing.


I once spoke to a Mahayani who claimed that according to the Pali Nikayas, all that is necessary to become and arahant is to keep the precepts. He did not support this with any sutta. I offered MN 78, about the stupid baby boy lying on its back, keeping the precepts, but not being "consummate in what is skillful, foremost in what is skillful, an invincible contemplative attained to the highest attainments". He ignored it.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Coëmgenu »

binocular wrote:If a Mahayani says "arhat", should we automatically translate that into the Theravadan term "arahant"?
IMO, absolutely not. These are seperate but deeply related systems. Mahāyāna polemic against various assorted "lesser vehicles" simply does not apply to what I see and know of contemporary (and historical, tbh) Theravāda. It does apply to all sorts of various "bad Buddhists" I interact with (almost always online, that's funny), but not to Theravāda as I have come to know it.

Unfortunately, in my experience, I am in the minority in holding that position among my fellow Mahāyānists.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
binocular
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by binocular »

Coëmgenu wrote:These are seperate but deeply related systems.
Related but deeply separate.
Mahāyāna polemic against various assorted "lesser vehicles"
Perhaps that is the whole point, though, similar as what the Bahais and many other religions do: defaulting to assume supremacy over all others. The Mahayanis don't care about how others see themselves or whether others think they were correctly characterized by the Mahayanis. In evolutionary terms, this is certainly advantageous. It is something that expansive religions have in common: "You are what I say that you are."
Unfortunately, in my experience, I am in the minority in holding that position among my fellow Mahāyānists.
Which is quite confusing sometimes, for us as well.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Maitri »

Coëmgenu wrote:
zerotime wrote:
Maitri wrote:No. Jesus was not an arahant. He was a 1st century Jewish Rabbi and probably a Zealot/Essene. Though he was a very charismatic teacher and gifted speaker of spiritual insight, he taught his own people's religious tradition and history.
There is no need to overlay Buddhist teachings and categories onto him. It's not appreciated when Christians attempt to do this to the Buddha so we should not do likewise to Jesus. We can respect Jesus's teachings and life of its own accord and on its own merit. It doesn't diminish him to say he was not an arahant. That is not the goal of the Jewish or Christian life anyways.
agree. Christians follows their teaching while we Buddhists we follow the Buddha teaching.

Everyone has his own kamma for some reason and these comparatives are of bad taste.
To be fair, though, wisdom is wisdom. And we can recognize wisdom where we see it. The problem arises when some people see wisdom in X tradition and say: look, I recognize wisdom... therefore X teacher definitely secretly taught a dharma congruent to my most-loved teachings and his/her contemporary followers have a degenerated recension. That is where the problem lies. IMO.

Consider the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares from the canonical gospel of Matthew:
24: Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26: But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27: So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28: He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29: But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30: Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
The Kingdom of Heaven (which is within, that is to say, which is "us", assuming a theoretical Christian "we") is likened to a field of wheat with tares (weeds) strewn about by whoever, the Biblical Theos tou Aiōnon ("God of the aeons"), or Māra, you choose. The Christian is told to, with the servants of the owner of the field (the metaphors speak for themselves here) gather the tares (within themselves) and burn them (purify themselves of afflictions).

This is all fine and well. Similar to some Buddhist practices and teachings. "Similar", not "identical" to, and therefore we (or at least, I) can appreciate the wisdom therein.

Its a rather general teaching: we need to not have afflictions to be pure. The difference with Buddhism lies elsewhere, and is just as important as the similarities to it.
I absolutely agree there is a wisdom in the Christian tradition. No doubt about it. I actually think the majority of Westerners looking East would be happier rediscovering the Christian wisdom and contemplative traditions which have long been buried or ignored since the Enlightenment.

For some reason, the Christian West has cut itself off at the knees from following the beautiful depths of its own tradition. Whether it's been from endless religious conflict, war, or cultural exhaustion I can't say. But, all the great treasures of Christian wisdom can be very healing for the west, no doubt.

I don't think Christians need to engage with Buddhist meditation when they have their own practices dating back at least to the time of the earliest church fathers to pull from. The medieval era in Western Europe was also a gold mine of contemplative practices.
"Upon a heap of rubbish in the road-side ditch blooms a lotus, fragrant and pleasing.
Even so, on the rubbish heap of blinded mortals the disciple of the Supremely Enlightened One shines resplendent in wisdom." Dhammapada: Pupphavagga

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by TreeSleeper »

Probably the rebirth of Sotapana or Sakadagami after practicing Buddhism for lifetimes or even being a disciple of the Buddha. He was only 600 years after the Buddha, so it wasn't long after the Buddha turned the wheel of Dhamma. And that's like 7 lifetimes right there.
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by CedarTree »

Jesus was pretty awesome,

I think his ministry was around the Brahmaviharas and their practice in the Suttas if we are comparing his message within a Theravada framework.


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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Dharmic »

Dhammanando wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:For some reason people think the notion of eternal damnation doesn't exist in Buddhism.
They are (more or less) correct in thinking so. The only thing in Buddhism that would be analogous to eternal damnation is the Mahāyāna’s icchāntika conception. In one of the more extreme formulations of this doctrine it is alleged that certain beings are so bad that they have permanently cut off any possibility of enlightenment and so are compelled to transmigrate for ever. But this view has no support in the Suttas and even within the school that gave rise to it —the Yogācāra— it never amounted to more than a minority opinion.
Coëmgenu wrote:Samsara, viewed with right view, what more a hellish existence could one imagine?
Any in which hell is conceived to consist in uninterrupted everlasting torment, with the damned souls fully aware that there is no possibility of exit. Set aside this, Buddhist saṃsāra would appear as agreeable as a dish of strawberries and ice cream.
Coëmgenu wrote:What guarantee do you or I have that you or I will ever be enlightened? What "verifiable" guarantee? Christianity and Buddhism are the same in this regard.
But with infinitely different penalties incurred in the event of failure. In the Buddhist conception, no matter how badly you screw up there can never be an absolute and irreversible failure.

Hosso Yogacara Buddhism and the Five Natures Doctrine :

This teaching, unique to Yogacara Buddhism and its offshoots only, states that there are in fact three “vehicles” of Buddhism (三乗, sanjō), not one as contended by the Lotus Sutra:

The Bodhisattva vehicle
The Pratyeka or “private Buddha” vehicle
The Śrāvaka or “voice hearer/disciple” vehicle.

Now the Five Natures Doctrine in Hossō / Yogacara Buddhism states that due to innate natures of beings (lit. innate seeds), people will ultimately follow only one of these nature to fruition, or none at all. One does not feed into the other, so to speak. The Five Natures are:

Beings with a predisposition toward the Bodhisattva Path
Beings with a predisposition toward the Private Buddha Path
Beings with a predisposition toward the Voice Hearer Path
Beings with an indeterminate predisposition (they could go a few different ways)
Beings lacking the predisposition at all for reaching Enlightenment (e.g. icchantikas)

The last class of beings is the one that draws the most fire. The notion of Icchantikas or beings who can never attain Enlightenment has some precedence in the Buddhist teachings, where it’s mentioned in the Mahayana Nirvana Sutra, and also mentioned at length in the Lankavatara Sutra. The Lankavatara also happens to be one of the two central texts in Hossō Buddhism.1 Anyway, the Sutra defines the Icchantikas as follows (explanations added by D.T. Suzuki):

Again, Mahamati, how is it that the Icchantika never awaken the desire for emancipation? Because they have abandoned all the stock of merit, and because they cherish certain vows for all beings since beginningless time. What is meant by abandoning all the stock of merit? It refers to [those Buddhists] who have abandoned the Bodhisattva collection [of the canonical texts], making the false accusation that they are not in conformity with the sutras, the codes of morality, and the emancipation. By this they have forsaken all the stock of merit and will not enter into Nirvana. Secondly again, Mahamati, there are Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas who, on account of their original vows made for all beings, saying, “So long as they do not attain Nirvana, I will not attain it myself,” keep themselves away from Nirvana. This, Mahamati, is the reason of their not entering into Nirvana, and because of this they go on the way of the Icchantika. (Section XXII)

So there are actually two types of icchantikas, or those who will never attain Enlightenment: those who have utterly abandoned merit and good works, and those Bodhisattvas who voluntarily stay and liberate all beings, rather than reach Enlightenment. But even in the case of those who have abandoned merit, the Buddha then states in the Sutra:

Those Icchantikas, Mahamati, who have forsaken all the stock of merit might some day be influenced by the power of the Tathagatas and be induced at any moment to foster the stock of merit. Why? Because, Mahamati, no beings are left aside by the Tathagatas. For this reason, Mahamati, it is [only] the Bodhisattva-Icchantika who never enters into Nirvana.

As Rev. Tagawa in his book, Living Yogacara, explains the doctrine like so:

When we consider the broad range of sentient beings, even without their variations in external form and appearance, we must acknowledge that they internally contain a wide variety of differences in terms of ability of character. In roughly defining a Buddhist lifestyle, I would like to think of it as the lifestyle of consistent application toward the elimination of of evil and cultivation of good, which the ultimate aim of liberating our mind, while simultaneous caring for others. But we certainly cannot say that all sentient beings are endowed with the same capacity for the elimination of evil and cultivation of good. Beyond these very general differences, the Yogācāras understood that all living beings do not uniformly become buddhas in the same way, and furthermore, that the state that they attain differs according to their predilection. (pg. 104)

This teaching drew intense criticism from the Tendai school of Buddhism in particular, which held the Lotus Sutra and its One Vehicle teaching as the ultimate. Indeed, Saichō, the founder of Tendai, traded harsh words with Tokuitsu, the leading Hossō scholar of his time. Later, debates such as the Ōwa Debate in 963, pitted both sides against each other with inconclusive results, followed by more and more debates until the time of Jōkei in the 13th century, who according to James L. Ford’s book, Jōkei and Buddhist Devotion in Early Medieval Japan, attempted to reconcile the differences with a “middle way” approach: reiterating the Lankavatara Sutra’s point that even Icchantikas will be saved by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, rather than their own effort (or lack thereof). At the same time, he uses the Lotus Sutra, namely chapter five, and the parable of medicinal herbs, to assert the view that there are indeed different natures ultimately for all beings.

Rev. Tagawa writes regarding the whole debate and controversy:

This disparity in view between all sentient beings becoming Buddha and distinction in five natures is grounded in the differences between an idealistic point of view [the Tendai One Vehicle doctrine] and a realistic point of view [the Hossō Five-Natures doctrine]. To the extent that members of each side attach their own positions, they will accomplish nothing more than continuing to traverse along parallel lines, and we can never expect any satisfactory resolution of the controversy. However, those of us who are trying to follow the Buddhist path should, regardless of the standpoint, be willing to give serious consideration to the perspectives of the others. (pg. 108)

And lastly Rev. Tagawa provides one last warning with regard to the Five-Natures Doctrine:

…we should remember to never take the division into five-natures as either a standard by which others are measured in the Buddha-path, or as a teaching that coldly divides practitioners into classes. The theory of the distinction if five natures is something that should be taken up only in the context of one’s own self-examination regarding one’s own qualities. (pg. 109)

Rev. Tagawa’s point about realism vs. idealism is something for Buddhists to bear in mind, as Buddhism has an abundance of very poetic and beautiful imagery and concepts, but sometimes it’s important to take stock of what we have, compare it to reality, and try to understand where they agree and disagree. I do find myself sympathetic to the Five Natures Doctrine, but also willing to consider the Lotus Sutra view of universal Buddhahood if indeed it’s possible.
Aho! Buddho! Aho! Suddho! Aho! Saṃsuddhamānaso!
Aho! Aho! Mettāsindhu! Buddhaṃ taṃ paṇamāmyahaṃ!


Natthi me saraṅaṃ aññaṃ Buddho me saranaṃ varaṃ
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.
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Coëmgenu
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Coëmgenu »

Dharmic wrote:Hosso Yogacara Buddhism and the Five Natures Doctrine :

This teaching, unique to Yogacara Buddhism and its offshoots only, states that there are in fact three “vehicles” of Buddhism (三乗, sanjō), not one as contended by the Lotus Sutra:

The Bodhisattva vehicle
The Pratyeka or “private Buddha” vehicle
The Śrāvaka or “voice hearer/disciple” vehicle.
Indeed, this is a huge point of contention between Yogācāra and Tiāntāi: triyāna vs ekayāna.

The Tiāntāi position is indirectly, not directly at all, supported by the EBTs ("Early Buddhist Texts"), from Saṃyuktāgama 550:
佛世尊、如來、應、等正覺所知所見,說六法出苦處昇於勝處,說一乘道淨諸眾生,離諸惱苦,憂悲悉滅,得真如法。何等為六?
The Bhagavān, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Samyaksaṁbuddha, the Known One, the Seer, speaks of six dharmāḥ that one may go forth from duḥkha's realm ascending to the abode of superiority, speaks of a one vehicle path/principle purifying all sentient beings, they leave myriad afflictions and duḥkha, they obtain the tathātā dharma. Which six?
Tiāntāi and Theravāda are alike in this regard, though different in many many other ways: there is absolutely only one Buddhahood, there is only one Buddhadharma, and there is only one vehicle to Buddhahood.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.

(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: was jesus an arahant

Post by Dhammarakkhito »

Maitri wrote:No. Jesus was not an arahant. He was a 1st century Jewish Rabbi and probably a Zealot/Essene. Though he was a very charismatic teacher and gifted speaker of spiritual insight, he taught his own people's religious tradition and history.

There is no need to overlay Buddhist teachings and categories onto him. It's not appreciated when Christians attempt to do this to the Buddha so we should not do likewise to Jesus. We can respect Jesus's teachings and life of its own accord and on its own merit. It doesn't diminish him to say he was not an arahant. That is not the goal of the Jewish or Christian life anyways.
on what basis do you say we shouldn't overlay buddhist teachings and categories onto [insert religious figure]?
how could i say more nicely, but that christians and buddhists aren't to be treated equally? i mean, we revere buddha but obviously, some of us, don't feel the same about jesus. there's a reason for that
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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