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Did Nagarjuna aspire to Buddhahood in a way that he wouldn't be a 'ariyasavaka' type of disciple who attains awakening to the truth during a Buddha's sasana?

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  • Does this answer your question? Does Mahayana Buddhism discourage attaining enlightenment under the Gautama Buddha Sasana?
    – user13375
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 17:13
  • I guess it does but as i understand your answers, the answer is yes, Nagarjuna too would advocate foregoing the awakening to the truth in that very life under Buddha Gotama and supposedly did not attain to any Ariya stage but instead aspired to become a Buddha in some future existence. He was neither a faith-follower, nor a dhamma-follower and certainly not Sotapanna or higher.
    – user8527
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 9:06
  • No, my answer is the exact opposite. Nagarjuna - like all Bodhisattva's in the Mahayana path - make a vow to reach full and complete enlightenment as fast as they possibly can. That means if a Buddha was alive right now on this earth and they could possibly reach full and complete enlightenment in the next millisecond, they would do so without question forthwith.
    – user13375
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 12:04
  • I was confused. By enlightenment above what do you mean exactly? Canki Sutta says, 1st there is a learning, pondering & coming to agreement, then exertion and an awakening to the truth before a final attainment of the truth by development of the same qualities. Vinnana Sutta & Cakka Sutta say, a person who has faith in anatta or a modicum understanding is ensured sotapatti latest at moment of death. Why would one take a Bodhisatta vow if one is a ariyasavaka, ariyasavaka do not become Buddha as they are disciples. I like some of the things you write therefore i became curious about this.
    – user8527
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 13:33
  • I always write mahayana off because these kind of things but you seem to think Nagarjuna was basically a Vibbhajavadin of Mahayana and aligned with the pali texts?
    – user8527
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 13:35

1 Answer 1

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In brief, the Mahayana has a specific Bodhisattva vow not to wait:

To abandon: Believing and saying that followers of the Mahayana should remain in cyclic existence and not try to attain liberation from afflictions.

Those authoritative texts in the Mahayana which seem to contradict this are only for purposes of training the mind. This is not a subject of controversy in the Mahayana as every tradition acknowledges the above.

Again, with emphasis so this is absolutely clear: All Bodhisattva's in the Mahayana path make a vow to reach full and complete enlightenment as fast as they possibly can. That means if a Buddha was alive right now on this earth and they could possibly reach full and complete enlightenment in the next millisecond, they would do so without question forthwith.

See here for the long answer.

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