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The term theravāda means "doctrine" (vāda) of the elders (thera). It generally refers to the teachings found in the Pali Canon, commentaries, and sub-commentaries. Anything laid down as doctrine in this large body of literature should be considered as theravada. Does Theravada have scope for individuals to even make the Bodhisattva choice at all when the ...


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It's a dangerous question, because it invites potential arguments between supporters of particular sects, but I will try to answer in good faith anyway. The goal of Buddhism is attainment of Nirvana. For simplicity, let's characterize Nirvana as "unconditional peace". As per the Noble Truth such unconditional peace is only possible when there is absolutely ...


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As per my understanding, formal taking of Bodhisattva vow (with ceremony and all) is not a hard requirement, as long as one eventually internalizes the core message of the vow: that one must surrender the hope of ever attaining Nirvana and get very comfortable with the idea of staying in Samsara for a long, long time. Here is a version of the vow we chanted,...


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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? Many people misunderstand Nirvana as permanent happiness or permanent absence of any trouble - which is impossible due to Impermanence. So Bodhisattva explains that such "Nirvana" is impossible, and ...


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A Bodhisattva 'instigates' others because he wants what is best for others (full enlightenment together with its causes). From this viewpoint, 'abiding nirvana' is thus not what is best for others, because it is not the one final result of the one final vehicle (i.e. the Mahayana path). There are two obscurations: Afflictive obscurations - all the ...


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What does the phrase “to armor oneself with vows” mean? I don't recall seeing that exact phrase in the texts that I've read but the analogy of the vows being used as an armor symbolizes the protection they provide to oneself and others by observing them. You can see this theme in the Self-protected Discourse (Atta-rakkhita Sutta) for example: At Savatthi....


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The term Tathagata is gramatically ambiguous. You can parse it in two main ways. You can parse it as Tatha+gata, "He who has gone thus" which refers to going over to the other shore, which is a title of Nirvana, or you can take it as Tatha+agata (in which case the first a in agata drops out due to Sandhi) which means "He who has come thus" referring to ...


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Cultivating bodhicitta (both ultimate and relative) is absolutely indispensable on the Mahayana path; and one who has vowed to do so is called a bodhisattva. From my understanding, this vow can be made with as little or as much pomp and circumstance as befits one's mind - the key is to inspire confidence and commitment. Check out Shantideva's 'Way of the ...


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Okay I found the answer. It's from the "Sūtra of the Upāsaka Precepts" (Shansheng Jing). It was translated into Chinese in the 5th century. http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra33c.html This sutra has similarities to the older Sigalovada Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.31.0.ksw0.html (Ref comparing the UPS and Sigalovada: "Buddhism ...


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When offers of help are denied, one has done what they can. I'd say a temporary distance is acceptable in this situation. For the adult child of the sick one, maintain the intent to help and the compassion and bodhicitta for both parents. This is a rough time for all involved, in times like these emotions tend to cause conflicts that might seem to be ...


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I think that Mahayana literature teaches that becoming an Arhat is a temporary rest, for example: Mahayanins are urged to instead take up the path of the bodhisattva and to not fall back to the level of arhats and śrāvakas. Therefore, it is taught that an arhat must go on to become a bodhisattva eventually. If they fail to do so in the lifetime in which ...


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From the Mahayana viewpoint, the mind of enlightenment is the wish to achieve buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. It is true we also often say "to set them in enlightenment" as well. The omniscient mind of a buddha gives birth to the teachings of the buddha in that it causes him to teach us the Dharma. We say that the teachings of the buddha ...


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There is no paradox. Rather, it seems there may be some mistaken assumptions behind your question. First, if someone is enlightened that does not mean that they will enlighten all people. For example, The Buddha was enlightened and yet he did not enlighten all people. In fact, after his enlightenment, he actually wondered whether he should teach what he ...


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Questions from the OP: "How can Bodhisattvas enlighten others if they themselves are not fully enlightened?" "If they are enlightened, then they would not have been reborn in the first place." So I take it the questioner is coming from a Theravadin background. Mahayana Buddhism follows the precedent set by non-Theravadin so-called "...


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Agreed with Barzeli's answer. Bodhisattva chosen to be reborn. "Until the hells are empty (of suffering beings), I will not become a Buddha." (「地獄不空,誓不成佛。」) "Once all sentient beings are saved, I will attain Buddhahood." (「眾生度盡,方證菩提。」) "If I do not descend into hell, who will?" (「我不入地獄,誰入地獄?」) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...


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I would like to answer the question that @Doubtful Monk asked, rather than the Update added to it. He asked: “If Sunyata is the ultimate reality, why hasn’t anyone achieved the ability to save others nowadays?” As background he stated that everyone is born under their own particular karma, that respecting the Dharma while following our own paths is necessary,...


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My question involves someone also resolving on something other than complete destruction of the taints: continued efforts to help others and improve the world. Does such a choice fall under Wrong Intention & Wrong Effort/Striving? I think that Mahayana doctrine is that there are two or three types of "obscuration" ... Obscuration of disturbing ...


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My understanding of this is as follows; Illusion is impure, but a water wave is beyond purity and impurity; May I be reborn in a hell to purify it and save the living beings there.


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The short answer? You actually save all the beings in your heart. The hell within. Your demons within of anger, craving, delusion. When they are saved you are left with enlightenment.


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This article is highly relevant http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.054.olen.html I don't have time to write a full response, but that article (especially the Notes section) contains a lot of worthy information about the origins of the name.


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The commentary cites the Maha-Janaka Jataka (539) as the pinnacle of the perfection of effort: So I will ever do my best to fight through ocean to the shore; While strength holds out I still will strive, nor yield till I can strive no more." (Cowell, trans) Also, the Vaṇṇupatha Jataka (#2) deals with this perfection. There's also one about a bird ...


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I take it you know the BNS precepts already, so you're asking about the Yogacara tradition. I wonder whether this might be close to what you'e looking for (4 major and 41 minor precepts). The Four Major Precepts Great Ones, the following four parājikas [grave sins] are in the mātṛkā [collection of treatises] written by Bodhisattvas. ...


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