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Questions tagged [bodhisattva]

A being on the spiritual quest (Theravada) or an awakened being who vowed to indefinitely stay in Samsara for the sake of others (Mahayana).

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165 views

Are there Theravada practitioners that aspire to be Buddhas?

As far as I know, most Theravada followers practice according to the Pali Canon even though they accept the Bodhisattva vehicle as well. So, the main focus is to attain Arahantship for most people. My ...
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85 views

Has any Buddhist ever talked about postponing Buddhahood forever, but not for all sentient beings?

Has any Buddhist ever talked about postponing Buddhahood forever, but not for all sentient beings? I do not, I suppose, mean because the "bodhisattva" enjoys life. I am trying to ask about "...
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63 views

Are the bodhisattva vows better suited to the lay side of Buddhism?

As a practical observation, if one were staying below arhat for the initial aeons, could monastic living limit the efficacy of a bodhisattva? Since that goal heavily rests on seclusion, and both the ...
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337 views

Difference between abiding nirvana and non-abiding nirvana?

In Mahayana Buddhism, what is the difference between abiding nirvana and non-abiding nirvana? Are there official Sanskrit terms for "abiding nirvana" and "non-abiding nirvana"? What are they? When a ...
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Why wasn't the Buddha a solipsist?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking because I consider myself a great person etc., Chakravartin, but why didn't the Buddha take solipsism seriously, perhaps before his complete enlightenment? If he's ...
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43 views

What does celestial mean in 'celestial bodhisattva'

What does celestial mean in 'celestial bodhisattva'. I'm aware of the definition of the term "celestial", but wondered if it meant that the bodhisattva was not born on earth, so that e.g. tantric ...
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137 views

Bodhisattva wisdom vs. Arhat Wisdom

This answer says that: in terms of wisdom, a Hinayana arhat is more powerful than a bodhisattva before the 8th bhumi, because he abandoned afflictive obscurations while the bodhisattva abandons ...
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Was the Buddha a bodhisattva (for the benefit of all) before his awakening?

Was the Buddha a bodhisattva before his awakening? Are there references from the suttas which point to when (possibly in past lives)? Bodhisattva is the Sanskrit term for anyone who has generated ...
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449 views

Religious experiences in Buddhism

What would be considered a religious experience in Buddhism in the same way,for example, Moses' experience with the burning bush of God? Would it be the Buddha's enlightenment itself or a bodhisattva'...
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122 views

Beliefs about the 14th Dalai Lama

What are the Tibetan Buddhist beliefs of the Dalai Lama being an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara? Do all Buddhists agree with this idea?
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Assuming empathy is a worldly thing (which i believe it is), why does/would a buddha try to help others find the way?

I've always believed that empathy/feeling for others is a biological feature of evolution in social animals. So, why does/would an enlightened being go to lengths to help others reach enlightenment? ...
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133 views

Bodhicitta and the path of knives?

Is cutting off the "path of knives" (i.e. avoiding rebirth into lower realms) not the ultimate? I mean, obviously it's unlikely any Buddhist seeker would affirm that. But, given life on earth can be ...
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112 views

Why would a non-dualist mind choose the Bodhisattva path once it has stopped differentiating between suffering and non-suffering?

As I understand from what contact I've had with Mahayanist explanations, a prominent feature of the enlightened mind is that it no longer splits the world into "X and non-X" categories but sees it all ...
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261 views

How many levels of enlightenment are there?

I have experienced enlightenment multiple times. I have found many religions have a similar way of describing it, though they can differ about how many experiences occur and if they are sudden or ...
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1answer
335 views

How do Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhists make sense of Maitreya's prophecy?

How do Mayahana and Vajrayana Buddhists make sense of Maiterya's prophecy? I know for a fact that some e.g. son masters claimed to have achieved anuttara samyak sambodhi, and that some Vajrayana ...
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483 views

Why do people pray to Buddhas?

Why do Buddhists pray to Buddhas in temples? I heard that Sakyamuni didn't approve of that and even criticized Bodhisattva for telling other people that he can help them with things that only God can ...
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656 views

Are there Bodhisatta practices within Theravada?

In the Majjhima Nikaya, there are mentions of Bodhisattvas. For instance, Bhayabherava Sutta (4. Fear and Dread) says: "Before my enlightenment, while I was still ony an unenlightened ...
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Betraying People

Today people are betraying each other in different levels without considering relationships and bonds. For example scenarios: Children betrays parents and ignore them Boy/Girl cheats on Girl/Boy due ...
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Do geshe degrees change over time?

I have read several different conflicting pieces of information about geshe degrees. I assumed geshe is a rank given at the end of study. But, according to Wikipedia: At the conclusion [of their ...
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971 views

Are Bodhisattvas real human beings we can encounter?

I was wondering if bodhisattvas are real life people we can encounter along our path. There seems to be literature on how these beings take vows, but I was wondering if it was common to encounter one ...
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Why does/would a “Bodhisattva” burdens himself and instigate others as well?

Why does/would a "Bodhisattva" burdens himself with the choice of becoming a Buddha (avoiding extinguishing dukkha) and instigate others as well to do so? Given that this world is full of "...
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133 views

The Bodhisattva ideal in practice (and its relation to the Arhat ideal)

I have questions about the Bodhisattva ideal, based on the 37 practices of the Bodhisattva. I’m also curious about how this practice is for one with the aspiration of becoming an Arhat. The general ...
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Is there a middle way between working towards personal liberation and liberation for all sentient beings?

I may be a little off-mark here, but if I understand correctly there are two broad opinions on liberation. The first where a practitioner works towards her own liberation (the way of the Sravaka or ...
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How does the force of ones karma determine where the mind stream goes?

"On the other hand, superior Bodhisattvas, who have attained the path of seeing, are not reborn through the force of their karma and destructive emotions, but due to the power of their compassion for ...
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841 views

What is the historical origin of Vajrapani?

I've always found the imagery of Vajrapani (a wrathful Bodhisattva) very evocative. I'm reading a little bit about him and how his form is to do with energy and power in service of the Dharma so he is ...
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Buddha's past lives in the Jatakas

In multiple Jataka stories, the Buddha tells of his different past lives, multiple of which occurred under King Brahmadatta. Am I missing something here? How is it that the Buddha was living multiple ...
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1answer
589 views

Why do Bodhisattvas postpone enlightenment? [duplicate]

I've read that one understanding of Bodhisattvas is that they postpone their enlightenment until all sentient beings have entered Nirvana? That's always struck me as odd. Why would this be necessary? ...
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158 views

What is bodhisattvahood in personal practice?

I've read a lot of english language scholarship on the mahayana, probably about 150 books thoroughly, with notes, though not always with very good notes. I wanted an opinion from a broadly Mahayana ...
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684 views

At what point in the path is one able to recall their past lives?

In most traditions of Buddhism there is talk of the Buddha, or various Bodhisattvas talking about their past lives. At what point in the path to enlightenment is the ability to remember ones past ...
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4answers
386 views

How does the idea of Bodhisatva in Mahayana mesh with anattā?

As this is my first posted question, I welcome input as to how to improve it. Many thanks in advance. When I have heard Mahayana practitioners discuss the concept of Bodhisatva as it varies from ...
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1answer
205 views

Shariputra and a bodhisattva losing bodhicitta

In my copy of Shantideva's Bodhicaryavatara, there is a footnote referencing a story about Shariputra losing bodhicitta. Apparently a demon asked for his right arm, Shariputra willing gave it. But ...
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2answers
663 views

Why is Budai often associated with the future Buddha Maitreya?

Many times I've heard of Budai (pictured below) being associated with Maitreya, the future Buddha. Why is this so and how widespread is this belief? Wikipedia lists a short verse uttered before Budai'...
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1answer
130 views

Which Jatakas illustrate Viriya Paramita

As far as I know, the story of Khantivadi illustrates the perfection of Khanti by the Bodhisatta, and the Vessantara Jataka illustrates the perfection of Dana - on similar lines - is there a Jataka(s) ...
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1answer
503 views

In what way do Bodhisattvas help others get enlightened?

In Mahayana, how do Bodhisattvas help others get enlightened? Do they do it by teaching, just like Gautama Buddha did, or by some other means?
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1answer
115 views

What are the differences between the Yogacarin & Brahma Net Sutra Boddhisatva Precepts?

This google books link indicates that there is a version of the Bodhisattva Precepts with 4 major and 43 minor (as compared to 10 major and 48 minor in the BNS Bodhisattva Precepts). Does anyone know ...
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12k views

Buddhas vs bodhisattvas vs arhats vs devas vs brahmas

What are differences between these entities? I understand they all are entities that they posses some abilities that normal humans don't have. Are there any other similar entities that might be easily ...
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1answer
586 views

What explains the membership of Shingon's 13 Buddhas list?

The list of 13 Buddhas (which is actually Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Wisdom Kings) plays a role in Shingon gongyo and funerary rites. What accounts for why these particular 13 are set aside for ...
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231 views

How much does the Bodhisattva way influence Theravadan practices?

I've read Walpola Rahula on this, and so I think I already understand that the frequently held view that the Bodhisattva concept is far less a part of Theravada than Mahayana, etc. is at best an over-...
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1answer
247 views

What is a Vajrasattva?

I recently heard the term Vajrasattva and wondered if that is another term for a Bodhisattva? How does the Vajrasattva path differ from the path of a Bodhisattva?
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5k views

What is the difference between a Bodhisatta and a Bodhisattva?

Lots of Buddhist words have two different spellings (kamma/karma) because one is the Pali version and the other is the Sanskrit version; but the meaning is the same. My understanding of Bodhisatta and ...
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416 views

What is the Pure Land?

The Three Pure Land sutras contain descriptions of a beautiful and serene place with trees, ponds, and palaces all made of jewels and surrounded with heavenly music and fragrance. How is this Pure ...
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What are Buddha-fields and Dharma-fields in Buddhism? What roles do they play in various lineages?

Recently, I heard the terms Buddha-fields and Dharma-fields. It was explained as a place to do good deeds for gaining good karma. However, I'm not sure about the explanation or what it means. What ...
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Is it harmful to the Buddha when we request he or she to continue teaching instead of entering parinirvana?

One of the ten things that Bodhisattva Samathabhadra says that a person on the Bodhisattva path should do is to request the Buddhas to continuing teaching instead of entering parinirvana. Given that a ...