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Mahayana or Theravada, or any other offshoot. Is a Buddha an exception? Or a personification?

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    You need to define “special.” – StillJustJames Nov 8 '20 at 17:15
  • The question is not clear enough. What does "special", "exception" and "personification" mean here? – ruben2020 Nov 8 '20 at 17:17
  • To tell someone is special, we have to compare him/her with someone else. So the answer for your question is entirely depend on whom the blessed one compare with. The number of sets which all the persons/things other than blessed one belonged to is countless. So please narrow your question to something like "Is Tathagata special from another Tathagata?" or "Is the Tathagata special from other Arahants?" or "Is the Thatagata special from puthujjana?" or "Is the Thatagata special from other conditioned things?" – Damith Nov 9 '20 at 3:18
  • I can only answer for the last part of your question until you change the question. The blessed one said "Sabbe Dhamma Anatta". Here, "Dhamma" means all including Nibbana. So the Tathagata is not an exception. In other words, the blessed one is also no-self. – Damith Nov 9 '20 at 3:45
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It is not personification. There is evidence that Gotama Buddha exists in India. He is special so he was called Samma Sambuddha.

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when the Buddha is designated a sammā Sambuddha, "a perfectly enlightened one," this highlights not only the fullness of his enlightenment but his authority and reliability as a spiritual teacher.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/arahantsbodhisattvas.html

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Why does good householder Ilya, so long and often wisely involved, as such a fullish question, actually knowing for her self? Why would on join a "Tathagata-form" at first place, if perceiving him as common?

Everybody, seeing the Dhamma could see the Tathagata, and in as far every not blind person could reach same "Tathagata-hood", once there, is common under Arahats. And also "fox and sour graps"-thinking is common under those not inside or heading toward different ancestorship.

Although householders question could be marked as special unwise, it's actually common under common. If liking common... well then... the world stands open for such.

[Note that this isn't given for stacks, exchange, other world-binding trades, nor for delight in pseudoliberalism, but for escape from this wheel]

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