What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

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Red Faced Buddha
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What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:26 pm

I've never fully understood the differences between Arhats and Bodhisattva.Are Arhats higher than Bodhisattva,are they the same,or are they different?Is one superior to another or are both equal?
A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"

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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Virgo » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:32 pm

Bodhisattvas are superior.

Kevin

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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby purple rose » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:32 pm

Please note: Topic moved from "Dharma-free-for-all" to "Exploring Buddhism"

Red Faced Buddha
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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Red Faced Buddha » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:34 pm

A person once asked me why I would want to stop rebirth. "It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want to be reborn."
I replied. "Wanting to be reborn is like wanting to stay in a jail cell, when you have the chance to go free and experience the whole wide world. Does a convict, on being freed from his shabby, constricting, little cell, suddenly say "I really want to go back to jail and be put in a cell. It sounds pretty cool. Being able to come back. Who wouldn't want that?"

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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Virgo » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:49 pm


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Astus
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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Astus » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:30 pm

First of all, there is a variety of interpretations about how arhats differ from bodhisattvas. Generally we can say that arhats are permanently free from samsara, while bodhisattvas have chosen to remain within samsara in order to help beings and accumulate merit to become buddhas. Because bodhisattvas eventually can become buddhas, it is said that because of their wish to become buddhas, they are superior to arhats in the sense that they have greater aspiration based on greater compassion, and that compassion and aspiration is what bodhicitta is.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Terma » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:45 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:09 am

Arhats and Bodhisattvas are beyond samsara, but an Arhat is said to seek their own liberation resulting in an abiding nirvana, whereas Bodhisattvas seek to liberate all beings, resulting in a non-abiding nirvana. If we follow Astus' account, a Bodhisattva is not endowed with wisdom, and they would be inferior to Arhats.

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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:29 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:34 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:54 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby deepbluehum » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:13 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:23 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Ransom » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:04 am

Perhaps I have been given different information than most of you, but I was taught that an Arhat (which is the Sanskrit spelling of the Pali "Arahant") is a person who has attained Nirvana through the teachings of the Buddha. Basically the same thing as a Buddha. The difference being that Gautama attained Nirvana on his own and this is why he is referred to as the Buddha, The One Who is Awake, while all others are Arhats/Arahants (AKA: saints).

A Bodhisattva, "Awakening Being", is someone who is close to becoming a Buddha, or is on the path to attaining Nirvana.

I hope that helps!! ^_^

:buddha1:

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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:20 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Ransom » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:24 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby tomamundsen » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:36 am


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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Rakshasa » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:16 am

It is common for Buddhists to often talk about Arhats in a disparaging tone while comparing them with the Bodhisattvas, almost like the Arhats are not only lower compared to the Bodhisattvas, they are in fact lower to average Buddhist lay disciples (humans) also. This is not a good thinking in all schools of Buddhism.

Arhats are superior to all the Devas, including the Brahmas, so they do deserve their own respect and veneration. In comparison to Bodhisattvas, Arhats are superior to even Bodhisattvas of the 8th Bhumi (will need to confirm this though).

In the end, Arhats attain Nirvana.

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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby Astus » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:40 am

Just to add to this plethora of interpretations and ideas, in East Asian Buddhism - based primarily on the Lotus Sutra - arhats attain only a seeming nirvana and once they're awaken from it by the buddhas they continue their path to liberation as high level (8th bhumi) bodhisattvas. So, according to this view, there is only one kind of nirvana, that of the buddha.
Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.



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Re: What is the difference between an Arhat and Bodhisattva?

Postby muni » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:49 am



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