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bodhisakta not bodhisattva? - Dhamma Wheel

bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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acinteyyo
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bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:06 pm

Hi,

I visited a quite new Wat about 70km far from my hometown. I had a conversation with a bhikkhu, who was formerly ordained as a Mahayana monk and reordained later in Theravadatradition. Someway we came to the concept of "bodhisattvas". He told me then, that the Sanskrit-word "bodhisattva" (enlightenment being) is a wrong interpretation of the Pali-word "bodhisatto" and the correct Sanskrit-word would be "bodhisakta" which means "one seeking awakening".
When the Buddha was talking about himself as a "bodhisatta" (Pali), he said, the Buddha would not have meant that he was an "enlightenment being" (bodhisattva) but "one seeking awakening" (bodhisakta).

That sounds to me like the whole Tibetan "bodhisattva" ideal would then just be wrong, wouldn't it?
Because the "bodhisattva" (bodhisakta) would then be in fact just "one who's seeking awakening", like me for example.

I'm not familiar with Sanskrit and such things like which Sanskrit-term is the correct counterpart to the Pali-term and so on.

Thoughts?

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:30 pm

No idea about the etymology but it's intriguing to be sure. Such a redefinition of the term seems to align more closely with the actual teachings of the Lord Buddha. Metta. :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Dmytro » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:14 pm

Hi Acinteyyo,

Peter Harvey writes:

the term bodhisatta ... was originally equivalent to Sanskrit bodhisakta, meaning ‘one bound for awakening’ or ‘one seeking awakening’, though in time it came to be Sanskritised as bodhisattva, a ‘being (for) awakening’.

http://www.sunderland.ac.uk/buddhist/originaleob.pdf

Lance Cousins writes:

sutta in Pali is probably from suukta (su+ukta) and its Sanskritization to sutra is unhistorical, while bodhisatta in early sources is probably not equivalent to bodhisattva, but to bodhisakta 'one seeking awakening '.

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0041-977X(1996)59%3A1%3C173%3AOUBEOT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-W

Steven Collins in "A Pali Grammar for Sutudents" writes:

"This word has traditionally been analyzed as bodhi + sattva, enlightenment-being, which makes no grammatical sense. What seems to have happened is that the Pali (or related MIA) word satta has been re-Sanskritized as sattva. This is possible correspondence, but satta in Pali can be equivalent to two other words in Sanskrit, both of which make better sense than sattva. From √sañj, to adhere to, be intent on, the past participle is sakta which → satta in Pali. From √śak, to be able to, be capable of, the past passive participle is śakta, which also → satta in Pali.
Intent on enlighment or capable of enlightment are both more à propos than enlightment-being, so it is likely one of these two sense of bodhisatta was the original".

I've opened a topic about Pali and Sanskrit:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3215

Metta, Dmytro
Last edited by Dmytro on Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Freawaru » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:11 pm


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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:48 pm


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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:57 pm

Hello all,

This might add some information:

THE BODHISATTVA IDEAL IN THERAVAADA BUDDHIST THEORY AND PRACTICE: A REEVALUATION OF THE BODHISATTVA-`SRAAVAKA OPPOSITION
By Jeffrey Samuels Philosophy East and West Volume 47, Number 3 July 1997 P.399-415 (C) by University of Hawai'i Press
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/jeffrey2.htm

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:29 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:46 pm

Acinteyyo,

Interesting stuff. I checked the link you provided regarding the etymology of nibbana and found that what is being said has been a frequently covered topic by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. See here:




Tell me what you think when you get a chance. Mettaya.

Mike
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:49 pm


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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:02 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby piotr » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:09 pm

Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...

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acinteyyo
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:19 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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piotr
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby piotr » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:21 pm

Hi,

No problem. :smile: Interesting topic, BTW. :thumbsup:
Bhagavaṃmūlakā no, bhante, dhammā...

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:53 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: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:21 am

สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby acinteyyo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:57 am

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Paññāsikhara
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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:21 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: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby Sanghamitta » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:44 am

I wonder if there is a way of cutting through the lingustic Gordian Knot. If, and I might be wrong, the purport of the question is of what relevance is the Bodhisattva concept to a Theravadin. Then it becomes a question of a) whether such a concept is found in the Pali Canon and b) Whether such a concept can usefully form part of the practice of a Theravadin. I know what I think. But it might be that the intention is more nuanced and more subtle than my somewhat simple view of things. Based as it is on the fact that life is short and Nibbana not yet in my reach.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: bodhisakta not bodhisattva?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:47 am



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