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What is Boddhisattva in Theravada? - Dhamma Wheel

What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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DarwidHalim
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Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:04 pm

In Pali canon, we know there are Buddha, Arahant, and Bodhisattva.

In Mahapadana Sutta, the word Bodhisattva is mentioned again and again.
http://buddhasutra.com/files/mahapadana_sutta.htm

Some Theravadist have an understanding that
Buddha is 100% Arahant, and
Arahant is 100% Buddha.

THen, what is your exact definition about Bodhisattva inside the Pali Canon?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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tiltbillings
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Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:10 pm


plwk
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Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:11 pm


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DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:13 pm

I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!


plwk
Posts: 1464
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby plwk » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:16 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:20 pm

Well, DarwidHalim, you have yourself a fair amount of information to consider. Good luck.

santa100
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Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby santa100 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:26 pm

Bhikkhu Bodhi's essay below might be helpful..

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

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DarwidHalim
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Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:26 pm

I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

User avatar
DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby DarwidHalim » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:38 pm

I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

plwk
Posts: 1464
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby plwk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:27 am


User avatar
DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:56 am

Hi pwlk,

Yes I read it, but I forget to comment on it.

The link that you show doesn't tell us bodhisattva according to Pali canon as Paceka Buddha."

Why?

In the last statement.

"). The wisdom of a Bodhistatta is greater than that of a Pacceka Buddha (J.iv.341)."

This statement clearly shows boddhisattva is not Paceka Buddha, instead he is even more superior than Paceka Buddha because his Wisdom is greater.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

User avatar
DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:11 am

By the way, what is that (J.iv.341).

Anybody knows what is that reference?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

plwk
Posts: 1464
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby plwk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:51 am


User avatar
DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:33 am

I ask this question is because if Theravada understanding about Bodhisattva is similar with Mahayana, I will not find any dispute about Bodhisattva notion.

But this notion called Bodhisattva is a sensitive word, particularly in this forum.

According to Mahayana, Boddhisattva is anyone who becomes a Buddha because of others. It is a dream to help others if he himself is deluded. So, he tries his best and as quickly as possible practise day and night to become a Buddha so he can save all beings. He relied on 2 wings: Boddhicitta and Wisdom of Emptiness.

Theravada puts a lot of emphasize in the Wisdom of Emptiness, particularly Emptiness of Person.

But I don't see they put a lot of emphazis in the Boddhicitta side.

In this sense, I cannot conclude that Bodhisattva term is similar between Theravada and Mahayana.

The term arhat is a good example. Mahayana and Theravada have a different notion. It is clear why they are different.

Things become complicated inside Theravada because not all Theravada fully agree that Arhat is 100% Buddha. One example is expressed by Bhikku Boddhi in one of his article as shown by Santa100 above.


Another case is the writing of Bhikku Nanananda in his work on Paticcasamuppada, which dramatically deviates from Theravada dogmatis. He got a letter and was accused of "being disgrace to the Theriya tradition".

He himself mention "I didn't quote from Mahayana texts in the Nibbana sermons," he says, "BECAUSE THERE WAS NO NEED. All that was needed was already found in the Sutta. Teachers like Nagarjuna brought to light what was already there but was HIDDEN from view..."

The word hidden actually struck me.

The word Boddhisatvva is inside Pali text. Hidden somewhere here and there.

I also just found out that it is inside Pali text as well, we can conclude implicitly that Siddharta Gautama doesn't start his journey from zero. He has enlightened before he was born.

So, inside Pali canon itself, I found contradiction for some Theravada view. The contradiction is not inside the Pali canon, but inside the groups of Theravada itself, in how they interprete their own Pali Canon.

Going back to the Bodhisatvva notion, I am looking for the exact meeting for it from the Theravada orthodox, who said ordination of Bhikuni is against Pali context.

What is his view about it?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

santa100
Posts: 2673
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby santa100 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:11 pm

Instead of looking for the exact definition of the term Bodhisattva, why not looking for its spirit? The Punna Sutta remains one of the most inspiring and most beautiful example of the Bodhisattva spirit:

"Lord, there is a country called Sunaparanta. I am going to live there."

"Punna, the Sunaparanta people are fierce. They are rough. If they insult and ridicule you, what will you think?"

"If they insult and ridicule me, I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with their hands.' That is what I will think, O Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone."

"But if they hit you with their hands, what will you think?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a clod.'..."

"But if they hit you with a clod...?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a stick.'..."

"But if they hit you with a stick...?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."

"But if they hit you with a knife...?"

"...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."

"But if they take your life with a sharp knife...?"

"If they take my life with a sharp knife, I will think, 'There are disciples of the Blessed One who — horrified, humiliated, and disgusted by the body and by life — have sought for an assassin, but here I have met my assassin without searching for him.' [1] That is what I will think, O Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone."

~~ Punna Sutta ~~ (ref: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )

User avatar
DarwidHalim
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:49 am
Location: Neither Samsara nor Nirvana

Re: What is Boddhisattva in Theravada?

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:28 pm

I actually notice that there is no discrepancy inside Buddhist teaching. There are discrepancy inside institution, but inside the teaching, it depends on how good you are in linking all Buddhist teaching and how good you are in dettaching yourself from that institution.

It's people choice at the end.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!


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