Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by Zom » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:56 am

Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?
Yes, they are in there, because these religions are based on old buddhism and certain things remained. However, nobody cares about them as they are seen as useless rudiments, rather than real goals or at least variants of spiritual way.
Then how do they eliminate ten fetters?
They don't really care about that. Many of them even don't know about such a thing.

Mahayana and Vajrayana teach how to become a Buddha (who is, well, more "a God" rather than "theravadin buddha"). And the way to become one is quite different, especially in Vajrayana with its tantras and so on.

Ancient mahayana texts are very close in doctrine and practice to theravadin texts, however, that was long long time ago (some 1500-2000 years ago). Since that Mahayana developed a lot and those old doctrinal parts and practices became rudiments. Just read some modern books about Mayahana and Vajrayana, and you'll see that.

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by SarathW » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:18 pm

How old the Mahayana Sutra?
Do you find four stages of sainthood there?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:50 am

SarathW wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:18 pm
How old the Mahayana Sutra?
Do you find four stages of sainthood there?
I think the person in question meant older sūtrāṇi in general, like the Prajnāpāramitāsūtrāṇi.

Mahāyāna is bodhisattvayāna. There is an exonym, or a made-up name, that Mahāyāna calls the older non-bodhisattvayāna traditions of Buddhism, a lump category called "śrāvakayāna" and as we all know, also the less favourable term, hīnayāna.

Bodhisattvayāna is a different path. That is why there is so much contention between schools as much as there is kinship.

Looking at the dasasaṃyojanāni on the wikipedia page associated with them, it is easy to see that the way that they map onto the stages of sainthood are not going to line up exactly.

Why? Because, from a Theravāda perspective, a Mahāyānist is not trying to become a saint/arhat, because a Mahāyānist entertains misinformed notions about how nirvāṇa "works" essentially (to say nothing about whether or not the Theravādin in question would entertain the notion of this 'new' bodhisattvayāna-methodology even being conducive toward nirvāṇa in the first place).

Your four stages pages on 10 fetters
Stream-Enterer
Once-Returner
Non-Returner
Arahat

Once you get to 'Non-Returner' the biggest problems arise. A bodhisattva is not a non-returner. A bodhisattva returns. That is the audacity of Mahāyāna.

"Once-returner" corresponds more-or-less perfectly to the attainment of the first bodhisattva bhūmi. From then on, non-returner & arahat do not apply, because the intention of bodhisattvayāna is not to become an arahat. Bodhisattvayāna is based on the six perfections, which is said to lead to buddhahood from bodhisattvayāna practice.

A further mapping of the remaining bhūmayaḥ onto the non-returner & arahat stages would be interesting, but ultimately speculative, since the two traditions are going to disagree as two how those fetters are removed.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by Saengnapha » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:29 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:50 am
Once you get to 'Non-Returner' the biggest problems arise. A bodhisattva is not a non-returner. A bodhisattva returns. That is the audacity of Mahāyāna.

"Once-returner" corresponds more-or-less perfectly to the attainment of the first bodhisattva bhūmi. From then on, non-returner & arahat do not apply, because the intention of bodhisattvayāna is not to become an arahat. Bodhisattvayāna is based on the six perfections, which is said to lead to buddhahood from bodhisattvayāna practice.

A further mapping of the remaining bhūmayaḥ onto the non-returner & arahat stages would be interesting, but ultimately speculative, since the two traditions are going to disagree as two how those fetters are removed.
A Theravadin may think 'why would a Bodhisattva entertain the idea of returning to a realm like this?' Nagarjuna's verse is precisely the reason:

There is no distinction whatsoever between saṃsāra and
nirvāṇa.
There is no distinction whatsoever between nirvāṇa and
saṃsāra

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:33 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:29 am
Coëmgenu wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:50 am
Once you get to 'Non-Returner' the biggest problems arise. A bodhisattva is not a non-returner. A bodhisattva returns. That is the audacity of Mahāyāna.

"Once-returner" corresponds more-or-less perfectly to the attainment of the first bodhisattva bhūmi. From then on, non-returner & arahat do not apply, because the intention of bodhisattvayāna is not to become an arahat. Bodhisattvayāna is based on the six perfections, which is said to lead to buddhahood from bodhisattvayāna practice.

A further mapping of the remaining bhūmayaḥ onto the non-returner & arahat stages would be interesting, but ultimately speculative, since the two traditions are going to disagree as two how those fetters are removed.
A Theravadin may think 'why would a Bodhisattva entertain the idea of returning to a realm like this?' Nagarjuna's verse is precisely the reason:

There is no distinction whatsoever between saṃsāra and
nirvāṇa.
There is no distinction whatsoever between nirvāṇa and
saṃsāra
And therein lies the controverted point!
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by SarathW » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:59 pm

There is no distinction whatsoever between saṃsāra and
nirvāṇa.
Does this mean without Samsara there is no Nibbana?
Or
Samsara and Nibbana the two sides of the same coin?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:06 pm

they're opposites in every way
Last edited by cappuccino on Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by aflatun » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:07 pm

It means samsara understood is nirvana. It also means neither can be established as any of the four extremes. It doesn’t mean there is no difference between nirvana (recognition) and samsara (delusion) from the perspective of the practitioner.
Last edited by aflatun on Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:09 pm

SarathW wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:59 pm
There is no distinction whatsoever between saṃsāra and
nirvāṇa.
Does this mean without Samsara there is no Nibbana?
Or
Samsara and Nibbana the two sides of the same coin?
It means they are completely identical. As in, realization of saṃsāra is realization of nirvāṇa. Afaik/IMO.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः

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cappuccino
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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by cappuccino » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:28 pm

there is a desert

there is a fertile spot in a desert where water is found

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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by aflatun » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:36 pm

Of course there is. Who said otherwise?
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

Saengnapha
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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:19 am

SarathW wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:59 pm
There is no distinction whatsoever between saṃsāra and
nirvāṇa.
Does this mean without Samsara there is no Nibbana?
Or
Samsara and Nibbana the two sides of the same coin?
All descriptions cannot capture what the phrase samsara is nirvana and vice versa means. When you define this, you create only images, more thinking, more grasping. It has nothing to do with opposites. It is about suchness. What can you say about suchness? Does it exist? :D

SarathW
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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by SarathW » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:54 am

What can you say about suchness? Does it exist
Buddha said there is an escape from Samsara.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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cappuccino
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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by cappuccino » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:36 pm

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:19 am
It has nothing to do with opposites.

Don't misrepresent the Blessed One. It's not good to misrepresent the Blessed One

SarathW
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Re: Do we find four stages of sainthood in Mahayana or Vajrayana?

Post by SarathW » Sat May 26, 2018 1:30 am

he list of ten bhumis are ten "lands" a bodhisattva must pass through on the way to Buddha-hood.


https://www.thoughtco.com/ten-bhumis-of-buddhism-450015
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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