I heard that Theravada presupposes HH Dalai Lama is not even reached initial bodhisattva enlightenment and that His existence is mocked. Is it not so?

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    This invites unnecessary controversy – Yeshe Tenley Feb 17 '20 at 1:29
  • For whom is it unnecessary? I say that if there is one for whom it is unnecessary there is also one for whom it is necessary – 4N4G4M1N Feb 17 '20 at 1:34
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    @4N4G4M1N This is one site for all schools/traditions of Buddhism. The community here doesn't/didn't want it to be used for topics where one school criticises another, and so this form of question is off-topic. See also Hostile and Broad Comparisons in the Moderation policies for Questions and especially the Minimizing controversy sections of the FAQ index (summary of site policies). – ChrisW Feb 17 '20 at 1:55
  • It seems a simple matter of fact whether or not Theravadans say this, so I cannot see a problem with the question. No judgement or comparison is called for. – user14119 Feb 17 '20 at 15:22

Its often best to avoid comparing Theravada to Mahayana.

For example, in Theravada there is no notion of 'bodhisattva enlightenment'. In Theravada, the word 'bodhisattva' is never used, apart from referring to Gotama prior to his Awakening. For example, in the Pali suttas, there is the stock phrase:

Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, it occurred to me:...


As for HH Dalai Lama, his former political role as leader of Tibet is somewhat alien to Theravada monasticism. Therefore, occasionally, Theravada people criticize the Dalai Lama; including for some of his political decisions & actions.

This said, if HH Dalai Lama has inwardly realised not-self (anatta) & eradicated identity belief (sakkaya ditthi) then he has reached one of the four levels of enlightenment according to Theravada. Personally, I believe he has enlightenment.

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    @4N4G4M1N This site is principally for asking and answering questions about Buddhist doctrine and practice. In theory one might use it to criticise people, to quote them out of context, and to carry arguments over from one topic to another -- but almost nobody does, and please, you really mustn't. And please avoid posting too many comments too. – ChrisW Feb 17 '20 at 1:39
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    @4N4G4M1N: Doctrine is philosophical; dogma is ideological. It's a question of one's attitude towards the text. – Ted Wrigley Feb 17 '20 at 5:36
  • This is the answer to my question. Thank you, dear Ted. – 4N4G4M1N Feb 17 '20 at 5:37
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    @4N4G4M1N I use "doctrine" to mean "what is taught" -- from the Latin docere (to teach) and doctor (teacher). And "dogma" is a belief or opinion, which someone holds but which they may not have 'proven' to your satisfaction -- from the Greek dokein (to seem good, to think) and dogma (opinion) -- I view "dogma" as being possibly a bit pejorative (used to refer to unreasonable religious beliefs and arguments) but people also use it as a synonym for "axiom" or "an article of faith". – ChrisW Feb 17 '20 at 8:55

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